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Observing Older Americans Month

May is Older Americans Month, a tradition dating back to 1963 to honor the legacies and ongoing contributions of older Americans and support them as they enter the next stage in life.

Archuleta County Senior Center, Silver Foxes Den, is joining communities nationwide in celebrating this month with special activities and events.

This year’s Older Americans Month theme, Age Strong! Live Long!, recognizes the diversity and vitality of today’s older Americans who span three generations. They have lived through wars and hard times, as well as periods of unprecedented prosperity. They pioneered new technologies in medicine, communications and industry while spearheading a cultural revolution that won equal rights for minorities, women and disabled Americans.

These remarkable achievements demonstrate the strength and character of older Americans, and underscore the debt of gratitude we owe to the generations that have given our society so much. But the contributions of older Americans are not only in the past.

Older Americans are living longer and are more active than ever before. And with the aging of the baby boomer generation — the largest in our nation’s history — America’s senior population is expected to number 71.5 million by 2030.

While keeping the growing population of older Americans healthy and active will increase the demand for senior services, what is remarkable is the extent to which older Americans themselves are supporting each other. As the new generations of seniors become better educated and more financially secure than their predecessors, they are spending more time making significant contributions in their communities through civic and volunteer opportunities.

In fact, older Americans are a core component of service delivery to seniors — embodying and modeling the drive to Age Strong! Live Long! They volunteer at group meal sites and deliver food to homebound seniors; they act as escorts and provide transportation for older adults who cannot drive; they help seniors with home repair, shopping and errands; and they provide vital counseling, information and referral services. Their energy and commitment reminds all Americans — not just senior citizens and their caregivers — to do their part to enhance the quality of life for older generations.

The annual commemoration of Older Americans Month is our opportunity to recognize the contributions of older citizens and join them in providing services and support that empower the elderly. Americans of all ages and backgrounds can volunteer with programs that improve health literacy, increase access to quality health services, offer food and nutrition services, provide financial and housing counseling, sponsor social activities and community engagement, and more. Contact the Silver Foxes Den, your local Senior Center, by calling 264-2167 to find out what you can do to strengthen services for older Americans, this month and all year round.

Older American Walk

To commemorate Older American Month, we are having a one-mile walk from the Senior Center to the county courthouse and back. Join us Tuesday, May 18, at 11:00 a.m. at the entrance of the dining room. Of course, we will enjoy a tasty lunch afterwards.

Fox Tales

I asked my morning coffee drinkers at the Foxy Ladies Table what they thought of President Obama’s proclamation for Older Americans Month. Mae Boughan nodded her head sagely and said, “We are good.” John Egan agreed. “I am glad he is recognizing the vitality, wisdom and experience of older Americans.”

Watercolor Open Studio

Sabine Baeckmann-Elge will offer lessons in watercolor and an open environment in which to paint beginning Friday May 21, from 1 to 4 p.m.

She has taught art for nearly 20 years and believes that everyone can paint. She insists she “caters to cowards.” Beginners will receive lessons and specific attention. Advanced artists can avail themselves of her expertise if needed.

The supplies for beginners are being generously supplied by Grace Free Evangelical Church. Seasoned watercolorists are encouraged to bring their own pallets, brushes and paper.

Join us every third Friday of the month for Watercolor Open Studio from 1-4 p.m.

Fox Trot speakers

Game on! The Fox Trot Challenge has begun.

Our guest speakers the rest of this month are: Ming Steen, May 19, and Nancy Dickhoff, May 25.

Ming Steen is a super athlete and manager of the Pagosa Lakes Recreation Center. Our own Nancy Dickhoff, chef extraordinaire, is also a secret athlete. Speakers begin at 12:45 p.m.

Thanks

Thank you to Judge Lyman for your motivating talk.

Thank you to everyone who works, volunteers, plays and dines here at the Senior Center. All of our operations, including the office, the kitchen, the premises and our programs, were inspected by the great State of Colorado and we passed with kudos. Yeah team!

Weekly activities

Friday, May 14 — Geezers 9 a.m.; Stitchin’ in the Kitchen 10 a.m.; Tai Chi 11 a.m.; Gym Walk 12:30 p.m.; ASI board meeting 1 p.m.

Monday, May 17 — Gym Walk 12:30 p.m.; Canasta 1 p.m.

Tuesday, May 18 — Older American Month Walk 11 a.m.; Gym Walk 12:30 p.m.; Meditation for Healing 1 p.m..

Wednesday, May 19 — Dance for Health 10 a.m.; blood pressure checks 11 a.m.; Ming Steen 12:45 p.m.; poker 1 p.m.; Sky Ute Casino 1 p.m.; May Nutrition Education.

Thursday, May 20 — No lunch, administrative day.

Friday, May 21 — Geezers 9 a.m.; Stitchin’ in the Kitchen 10 a.m.; Tai Chi 11 a.m.; Gym Walk 12:30 p.m.; ASI board meeting 1 p.m.; Water Color Open Studio, 1–4 p.m.

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. The salad bar opens at 11:30 a.m. with lunch served from noon to 12:30 p.m.

Friday, May 14 — Chicken cacciatore, noodles, spinach, fruit, garlic biscuit.

Monday, May 17 — Barbecue beef on a bun, broccoli salad, carrots, apple, cookie.

Tuesday, May 18 — Chili relleno casserole, carrots, cauliflower and broccoli, watermelon, roll.

Wednesday, May 19 — Crunchy baked fish, mashed potatoes, mixed vegetables, pineapple and mandarin oranges, bread.

Thursday, May 20 — No lunch, administrative day.

Friday, May 21 — Dijon chicken, brown rice, cabbage, orange juice, peach, bread.