Information on the Southwest Center for Independence


By Kay Kaylor
SUN Columnist
For San Juan Basin Area Agency on Aging (SJBAAA), I am not only a part-time long-term care ombudsman, advocating for residents at Pine Ridge, a 24-hour extended care home, and BeeHive, an assisted living residence. I also am an aging and disability resource specialist and Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) and State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) counselor. Information on the many aging and care concerns will be included here.
The Southwest Center for Independence (SWCI) in Durango is another nonprofit agency that provides resources for the five counties in this region. Its mission follows: “People with disabilities providing supports and training for the disability and elder communities to live well in southwest Colorado.”
The staff offers information, independent living skills training, advocacy, peer counseling and transition services for people in nursing homes and youth. Based on need, SWCI also has low vision, transportation and employment services.
Recently, the center has held classes and workshops, with a few remaining in January, on Thursday afternoons in the Durango Public Library. The series is titled “Living Your Best Life with Disabilities.”
The agency and other sponsors are also planning for the fourth annual ability summit, “Building an Inclusive Community,” on March 12, focusing on barriers to community inclusion. The 60-minute sessions are intended for youth and adults with disabilities, their families and support professionals.
For more information on SWCI, see or call 259-1672 to talk to an independent living specialist.
SJBAAA offers resources for people age 60 and older or on Medicare. For further information, please call me at 264-0501, ext. 1 or send an email to