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Free ‘Healthier Living’ course at The Den

There is nothing fun about this week’s column except for Shelby Chavez’s interview of Sammy Martinez. However, like saving money and being nice to mean people, it’s good for you.

Healthier living

“Healthier Living” is an awesome six-week chronic disease self management program developed at Stanford University. The program is designed to help with the challenges that come with living with an ongoing health condition. The class will run weekly starting Tuesday, April 6, from 1-3 p.m. and will be taught by trained leaders, Katy Deschler and Tracy Reuther.

Chronic conditions are diseases that cannot be cured. Participants in the classes have ranged in age from 40 to 89 and have grappled with emphysema, chronic bronchitis, heart problems, arthritis, Parkinson’s disease, diabetes and back pain. Other examples of chronic illnesses are Lupus, Crohn’s disease, long-term depression, obesity and phobias.

This course series will teach skills that can help with coping with fatigue, frustration, pain and stress. It is also recommended for family, friends and caregivers. Included with the course is the companion book, Living a Healthy Life with Chronic Conditions. It will be taught here at the Senior Center. There is no charge for the class or materials. This is a really great course. Call me, Jodi Starr, at 264-2167 to sign up.

Colorado ElderWatch

Here is a new item from AARP’s ElderWatch, who works very hard to protect older Coloradans from financial exploitation. Tax Refund Anticipation Loans are short-term cash advances against a customer’s anticipated income tax refund. You may get your refund a little bit earlier, but you will get a lot less money.

These loans are offered at very high interest rates, ranging from about 40 to over 700 percent APR. And they only speed up the refund process by as little as one week, compared to what consumers can expect by filing online and having their refunds deposited directly into their banking accounts. Beware of companies that call RAL’s (Refund Anticipation Loans) a “refund” or “instant money.” It’s not, it’s a loan. Watch out for companies that charge extra for cashing your tax refund check.

Also be cautious of car dealerships and furniture companies that offer to do your taxes so that you can use that money as a down payment. Usually there are processing fees and it is actually a loan. Questions? Call ElderWatch (800) 222-4444 or me, Jodi Starr, at 264-2167.


The Census is a count of everyone residing in the United States. It is required by the United States Constitution once every ten years, and determines the representation in the U.S. House of Representatives. Additionally, the results of the Census partly determine federal funding. Not only is it the law to respond to the Census, it is important to us as citizens.

The 2010 Census questionnaire is only 10 questions long and the Census Bureau claims it takes only 10 minutes to complete. It asks for your name, gender, age, race, ethnicity, relationship and whether you own or rent your home, as of April 1. It does not ask for social security numbers, credit card numbers, bank account numbers or any other financial information.

I called the Telephone Questionnaire Assistance Center and it was a long recording. And depending on your living situation, it may take a little longer than 10 minutes to complete. So, if you need help with your questionnaire, bring it here to the Silver Foxes Den at 451 Hot Springs Blvd. and we will make arrangements to help you.

The Census will be mailed to your residence any day now. Complete your Census and be counted.

Midnight Masquerade

Archuleta Seniors, Inc. will host its annual Senior Prom on April 25 from 3 to 6 p.m. at the Pagosa High School in the commons area. The high school prom happens the night before and the school is leaving the decorations. The theme is “Midnight Masquerade.” For $5 for ASI members and $8 for non-members, each person receives a corsage or boutonniere, hors d’oeurves catered by “Christine’s Cuisine” and one free prom photo. John Graves will provide the music, and rumor has it there will be pre-prom dance lessons here at the Silver Foxes Den. Tickets will be sold at the ASI membership desk located in the dining room at the Silver Foxes Den on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Senior Spotlight

By Shelby Chavez.

Sammy was born in 1948, in Pagosa Springs, and is 61 years old. To my surprise, I knew Sammy better than I thought. He grew up with three brothers and two sisters, and came to know a lot of my family members, attending school with them. He attended school here in Pagosa, and graduated from high school in 1967.

After high school, he attended for one year at Western Technical College in Denver, to be a mechanic. After college, Sammy was drafted in the Army for two years, going to Vietnam. Following the Army, he began mining at the Eisenhower Tunnel, north of Denver. He made his way to Dulce, N.M., and worked as a facility manager at the school district for 15 years.

Sammy has two children, and has many hobbies he likes to do in his free time. He enjoys fishing, ice fishing, hunting and coming to the Silver Foxes Den. He is also an active member of the Catholic Church council.

Big love, and help

Once again I humbly ask for volunteers for home delivery of meals to our people who can’t get out of their houses. I need a regular Wednesday delivery person and a couple of substitute deliverers. You get big love from the recipients and a free lunch from us. OK, and big love from us, too.

Give it a thought. Hopefully we all will be older someday, and we too might need a good lunch delivered. Call me, Jodi, 264-2167

Thank you

Thank you Norma Jean Foust, for caring about our chairs and our piano.

Thank you Rick Sautel, for volunteering to drive the van when our bus driver was sick and we couldn’t find any substitutes. You were gracious, efficient and friendly and our passengers (and us) appreciate you.

AARP Tax-Aide cancelled

The AARP Tax-Aide Program Coordinator informed us that there would be no AARP Tax Aide Program in Pagosa Springs due to lack of volunteers. Unfortunately, we know of no other free alternatives.


Are you homebound or know someone who is? Let the Silver Foxes Den help you with your meals. We have expanded our service to the more rurally-isolated areas of the county and would like to help you help yourself.

These meals are the same meals prepared in our kitchen by the same cooks who prepare those scrumptious senior center meals. Our hot meal home-delivery program remains available to those closer to town four days per week, with frozen meals on Thursdays. Meals are available to people age 60-plus for a suggested donation of $3 per meal. Give me or Musetta a call at 264-2167 for further information.

Weekly activities

Friday, March 12 — Geezers 9 a.m.; Tai Chi Int. 9:30 a.m.; Stitchin’ in the Kitchen 10:00 a.m.; Tai Chi Beg. 11 a.m.; Gym Walk 11:15 a.m; ASI board meeting at the Senior Center 1 p.m.; AARP Driver’s Safety Program 1–5 p.m.

Monday, March 15 — Gym Walk 11:15 a.m.; Canasta 1 p.m.; Library Day! over 50 things to do 1:30 p.m.

Tuesday, March 16 — Gym Walk 11:15 a.m.; Dennis Driscoll Piano Music 12:15 p.m.; Meditation for Healing 1 p.m.

Wednesday, March 17 — Dance for Health 10 a.m.; blood pressure checks 11 p.m.; Sky Ute Casino 1 p.m.

Thursday, March 18 — No lunch, administrative day.

Friday, March 19 — Geezers 9 a.m.; Tai Chi Int. 9:30 a.m.; Stitchin’ in the Kitchen 10 a.m.; Tai Chi Beg. 11 a.m.; Gym Walk 11:15 a.m.

ASI memberships

Is it time for you renew or buy your 2010 ASI membership? You can purchase memberships at The Silver Foxes Den on Monday, Wednesday and Fridays from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Folks 55 and over will benefit with discounts from many local businesses, including the local hot springs. This is one of the best deals in Pagosa Springs.

This week’s menu

Suggested donation for older adults age 60-plus is $3, kids 12 and under and guests $6. Our meal program is partially funded through the Older Americans Act, United Way, and Archuleta County, Town of Pagosa Springs and other contributions and grants. These funds help support the cost of the meal which is approximately $9.75. Please note our menu is subject to change. The salad bar opens at 11:30 a.m. with lunch served from noon to 12:30 p.m.

Friday, March 12 — Coconut fish, broccoli, grapes, whole wheat roll.

Monday, March 15 — Tater Tot casserole, salad, baked squash, banana, bread.

Tuesday, March 16 — Chicken cacciatore, rice, spinach, pears, roll.

Wednesday, March 17 — Corned beef, parsley potatoes, cabbage and carrots, cookie, rye bread.

Thursday, March 18 — No lunch, administrative day.

Friday, March 19 — Tilapia fish with mushroom sauce, cool cucumber salad, peas, pears, roll.