Caregiver support group meeting tomorrow

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    Approximately 44 million Americans from 18 years old and older provide unpaid support and assistance to older adults and adults with disabilities. The average length of a caregiving situation is approximately 4.3 years.
    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 18 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. This free support group will meet monthly and will be facilitated by Ana Sancho Sama, Ph.D.
    The next group meeting will be Friday, Jan. 25, at 5:30 p.m. at the Pagosa Springs Senior Center, 451 Hot Springs Blvd.
    The support group is limited to 12 individuals, so please call 264-2167 as soon as possible to reserve your place 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 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: Two House bills in Senate
    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.
    First, I wish to express sympathy for their loss to the family and friends of Donna Audetat, who retired last fall from Pine Ridge as the admissions and social services director.
    An act in the Senate mentioned here Dec. 27, H.R. 7217, to improve Medicaid programs, has had no action since, but the U.S. House has passed a similar bill, the Medicaid Extenders Act of 2019 (H.R. 259), and moved it to the Senate. The ongoing government shutdown prevents predicting whether the Senate will pass either of these bills.
    H.R. 259 makes appropriations for Fiscal Year 2019 and revises the Money Follows the Person (MFP) program. Since December 2016, the MFP program has transitioned more than 75,000 people with chronic conditions and disabilities from institutions back to the community. The bill also temporarily extends the protection against spousal impoverishment for spouses who live in the community while their husband or wife is in a nursing home.
    It does reduce the funding available for the Medicaid Improvement Fund beginning in Fiscal Year 2021. This fund is for the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services to improve managing Medicaid, for oversight of contracts/contractors and for evaluating programs such as MFP.
    For further information, you may call me at 403-2164 or send an email to ombudsman2@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. 24 — Pork posole, squash calabacitas, whole-wheat tortilla, milk, salad bar and flan.
    Friday, Jan. 25 — Barbecued chicken, cauliflower mashed, oven fried okra, milk, salad bar and banana cream pie.
    Monday, Jan. 28 — Turkey sausage soup, green peas, milk, salad bar and peach cobbler.
    Tuesday, Jan. 29 — Mahi mahi tacos with coleslaw, cilantro lime rice, Parmesan baked zucchini, milk, salad bar and lemon dessert.
    Wednesday, Jan. 30 — Pork sausage with biscuit and gravy, roasted asparagus with lemony breadcrumbs, milk, salad bar and oven-baked apples and pears.
    Thursday, Jan. 31 — Chicken broccoli rice casserole, squash medley, milk, salad bar and blueberry sour cream pie.
    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.
    For your convenience, you can make your reservations in advance or have a standing reservation on days you know you will always attend. Please cancel if you cannot attend on your standing reservation days.