Caregiver support group will meet Jan. 25

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    If you are a caregiver of a friend or family member in your home or outside your home, please join us for support and respite (adults 21 and older are eligible to participate).
    A support group can have significant positive effects on caregivers’ well-being. It is a chance to speak with other caregivers who have common experiences with caregiving, learn about resources available in our community, learn how to keep yourself healthy so you can continue to help the care recipient and a chance for respite.
    The group will meet monthly and be facilitated by Ana Sancho, Ph.D. The next scheduled meeting will be Friday, Jan. 25, at 5:30 p.m. at the Pagosa Springs Senior Center, 451 Hot Springs Blvd.
    Please call 264-2167 if you plan to attend or need to request a different starting time.
    Memberships
    2019 Senior Discount Club Memberships are now offered Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
    VITA tax preparation
    VITA will be returning to prepare federal and state income tax returns at no charge as part of the IRS’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program.
    The planned dates are Feb. 23 and March 16, by appointment only. The gross income limit this tax season is $54,000.
    Please call 264-2167 for more information or to make an appointment.
    Free legal document preparation
    The San Juan Basin Area Agency on Aging will provide legal services for seniors through the program attorney, Daniel Fiedler. Fiedler will be spending the day at the Pagosa Springs Senior Center on Friday, Jan. 25.
    Following are the legal services Fiedler can assist with:
    • Public benefits and utilities shut off.
    • Landlord-tenant problems, such as persons being evicted.
    • Simple wills, power of attorneys, medical durable power of attorney and living wills.
    • Consumer issues such as advocating for persons harassed by debt collectors.
    • Emergency limited long-term care guardianship and domestic problems, such as abuse.
    Please come by or call the Senior Center office (inside the Ross Aragon Community Center) located at 451 Hot Springs Blvd. or call 264-2167 to schedule an appointment.
    San Juan Basin Area Agency on Aging:
    Visitors with activities
    By Kay Kaylor
    As the part-time long-term care ombudsman for Archuleta County, I advocate for residents at Pine Ridge, a 24-hour extended care home, and BeeHive, an assisted living residence. Federal and state laws protect residents to promote quality of care and quality of life.
    Pine Ridge has one activity director on weekdays for some 40 or more residents, so your friends and family living there might appreciate activities with visitors. Residents at BeeHive also might benefit from visitors providing stimulating activities. In addition to taking residents on outings or even sitting outside, here are some ideas for indoors.
    Studies have shown that music from the past, especially favorite songs, inspires even people living with the late stages of Alzheimer’s. Visitors could bring a portable CD player with earbuds or headphones or even play music from smartphones. To avoid frightening a resident living with dementia, approach the person carefully and explain what the items are and what you are going to do, perhaps using the hearing items yourself first.
    Visitors could bring a coloring book and crayons or pens, a simple game or an art project. A child could bring something to “show and tell.” Knowing the past interests of the resident might provide ideas.
    To connect the resident with others, visitors could read past or present letters from family, show photos (naming and explaining who the people are if the person forgets) or arrange a video chat with someone living farther away.
    Even showing talks or reading from the Internet would add variety to television watching.
    For further information, you may call me at 403-2164 or send an email toombudsman2@sjbaaa.org.
    Medical alert system
    Medical alert monitoring systems are available for seniors. We can help you get set up with a system and assist with the monthly service charges or, if you already have a system in place, we can help supplement the monthly service fees.
    Menu
    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, Jan. 17 — Crunchy baked catfish with tartar sauce, Brussels sprouts with sweet chili sauce, roasted sweet potatoes, milk, salad bar and lemon cream pie.
    Friday, Jan. 18 — Pork zuppa Toscana, eggplant medley, focaccia bread with butter, milk and salad bar.
    Monday, Jan. 21 — New England clam chowder, sautéed spinach with mushrooms, buttermilk biscuit with butter, milk and salad.
    Tuesday, Jan. 22 — Beef tacos, charro beans, seasoned asparagus, milk, salad bar and bread pudding with pecans.
    Wednesday, Jan. 23 — Hot turkey salad, broccoli with red peppers, honey garlic green beans, milk, salad bar and pumpkin pie.
    Thursday, Jan. 24 — Pork posole, squash calabacitas, whole-wheat tortilla, milk, salad bar and flan.
    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.