Senior News: Senior Center focusing on learning, social activities despite closure


By Cheryl Wilkinson
PREVIEW Columnist

While ASI has been busily serving meals, we have also been quietly building programs for area residents and visitors that give them opportunities for learning and social activities as long as our center is closed. We have leveraged alliances and technology so that folks can be more easily connected and simply have more fun and a richer day every day.

“Recent research reveals that older populations are less consumed by pandemic depression than those that are younger,” a Nov. 26 NPR report, “There’s No Stopping These Seniors; Even A Pandemic Can’t Bring Them Down,” states. “According to a recent study, some seniors have even expanded their social support networks during the lockdowns. And the researchers found that older adults tended to report lower levels of loneliness compared with middle-aged and younger adults. 

Ashwin Kotwal, at the University of California, San Francisco says that ‘They’ve been finding ways to adapt and cope. They’re finding creative ways to interact with family members through Zoom, taking dance classes online or joining virtual book clubs.’” 

Our website now regularly provides seniors throughout Archuleta County with download printable resources, as well as a links to sign up to enjoy a bevy of virtual — both live and recorded — fun, educational and social opportunities. You can learn more at:

This shift in our programs is part of a larger philosophy and set of “60 and better” best practices that we have been working to adopt since before the pandemic began. Community services around the globe have found success in their region using this approach. This movement relegates the term “seniors” to another era, instead focusing on encouraging “senior” centers to become multigenerational resource centers, retaining their core of service for those “60 and better.”

We’ll be conducting short online surveys on our website throughout the winter and into next year to give a voice to our community members in the evolution of our programs. We’ll let you know in our weekly articles whenever we have a survey open. 

Take-out meals continue

The center is continuing its temporary closing of the congregate dining room due to coronavirus concerns. 

In order to continue providing meals, we are offering take-out hot meals and a salad with a drive-up option under the portico at the Ross Aragon Community Center. 

These meals will be available Monday through Friday between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. There is a $4 suggested donation for lunch for those age 60 and better. If you need to have your meal delivered, please call 264-2167 to see if this option is available in your area. 

The cost per meal for the public age 59 and under is $8.50. The meals include a salad, hot meal, drink and dessert or bread. 

Please call 264-2167 to make a reservation for pickup. We are also continuing our Meals on Wheels program. 

There will be no games, classes, or presentations during this time. The staff will be available by phone. If you need to speak to a staff member, please call 264-2167.

The Community
Café menu

Thursday, Dec. 3 — Lox and bagel with tomato, onion and caper cream cheese, roasted red pepper bisque, milk, salad and baked apple.

Friday, Dec. 4 — Cream of mushroom soup, steamed asparagus, salad and banana pudding.

Monday, Dec. 7 — Beef Bolognese with spaghetti, ratatouille, focaccia bread with butter, milk, salad and chocolate cake.

Tuesday, Dec. 8 — Crispy pork with macaroni and cheese, roasted beets, milk, salad and cranberry cheesecake.

Wednesday, Dec. 9 — Mediterranean tuna melt, corn chowder, milk, salad and peach cobbler.

Thursday, Dec. 10 — Lentils with leeks and sausage, baked rice, milk, salad and pear pie.

For your convenience, you can make your reservations in advance or have a standing reservation on days you know you will always pick up. Please cancel if you cannot attend on your standing reservation days. We want to thank everyone for their support by observing our reservation policy. This helps ensure that everyone with reservations receives a meal and enables us to provide additional and healthier meals.

Due to COVID-19, food supplies have been affected. Substitutions will be made accordingly.