AARP Smart Driver Course scheduled for Oct. 19


Due to popular demand, the Pagosa Springs Senior Center is hosting a third AARP Smart Driver course on Friday, Oct. 19, from 1 to 5 p.m.
The AARP Smart Driver course, offered by AARP Driver Safety, is the nation’s first and largest refresher course designed specifically for drivers age 50 and older. For more than 35 years, the course has taught 16 million drivers proven safety strategies so they can continue driving safely for as long as possible.
Why take the course?
Over nine in 10 course participants report changing at least one key driving behavior for the better as a result what they learned in the course and over eight in 10 participants felt that information they learned in the course has prevented them from being in a crash. Plus, you may be eligible to receive an insurance discount upon completing the course, so consult your insurance agent for details.
AARP membership is not required to take the course.
The classroom course costs only $15 for AARP members and $20 for nonmembers.
To register, visit Senior Center staff will be glad to help you register.
San Juan Basin Area Agency on Aging:
‘Elderspeak’ has
By Kay Kaylor
I advocate for residents at Pine Ridge, a 24-hour extended care home, and BeeHive, an assisted living residence, as the part-time, long-term care ombudsman for Archuleta County. Federal and state laws protect residents to promote quality of care and quality of life.
In honor of National Consumer Voice’s annual Residents’ Rights Month (October), today’s column will feature an illustration of the right to be treated with respect and dignity. Last year at this time, I wrote several columns on various resident rights, and these can still be read online at after searching for “ombudsman.”
According to Anne-Marie Botek at, caregivers often engage in “elderspeak,” which can profoundly affect a resident’s mental and physical health. One verbal example is a younger person saying, “Let’s go potty now, honey,” with a slow, simplistic and exaggerated tone of voice. To the elder, this approach might be viewed as condescending and may lead to resentment and miscommunication.
Botek mentions studies showing that condescending styles of communication from caregivers and medical professionals perpetuate negative stereotypes of aging, which in turn leads to pessimism and memory and balance problems. The overcompensation of elderspeak is perceived by the care recipient as disrespectful and undignified. Those living with dementia may then become more aggressive and resistant to care, which could lead to caregiver burnout, despite the best of intentions.
A simple guideline is to interact with elders in the way you would want to be treated in the same situation.
For further information, you may call me at 403-2164 or send an email to
Everyone is welcome to join us for lunch. If you are a senior (60 years and older), for only a $4 suggested donation, you are eligible for a hot meal, drink and a salad prepared by our kitchen staff.
The guest fee for those 59 and under is $10 and children 10 years and under can eat for $8.50 each. Access to the salad bar is only $6 for those under 60.
Lunch is served from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Thursday, Oct. 11 — Barbecued pulled pork, loaded baked potato bar, cream of zucchini soup, milk, salad bar and peach cobbler.
Friday, Oct. 12 — Turkey Rachel sandwich, potato salad, baked beans, milk, salad bar and blond brownie.
Monday, Oct. 15 — Beef stroganoff, roasted cauliflower snowflakes, maple-glazed carrots, milk, salad bar and chocolate cake with mocha frosting.
Tuesday, Oct. 16 — Chicken cordon bleu, pasta with marinara sauce, yellow squash casserole, asparagus with walnuts, milk and salad bar.
Wednesday, Oct. 17 — Pork bratwurst with peppers, onions, and sauerkraut on a hoagie, Brazilian black beans, creamed corn, milk, salad bar and orange dessert.
Thursday, Oct. 18 — Turkey with brown and wild rice soup, baked tomatoes provencal, green peas, milk, salad bar and strawberry shortcake.
Reservations and cancellations are required. You can make a reservation at 264-2167 by 9 a.m. the morning of the day you would like to dine in the Community Cafe at the Senior Center.