Senior News: Stepping back out into the world again

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By Cheryl Wilkinson
PREVIEW Columnist

“I don’t think I can go back to a ‘before.’ I don’t think I fit into that life anymore,” explained a contributor to a recent New York Times article on what it means to re-emerge into a post-pandemic world. It is understandably daunting to figure out what’s next.

There is conflict, ambivalence and worry tinging the optimism that surrounds our cautious transition back to a more interactive society. Managing the anxiety that comes from this mixture of emotions takes some skills we may not have in our tool kit. For instance, what’s right for one person or family may not be right for another. We need to gain a sense of tolerance to go along with this difference so that we can treat each other well and make the most of the opportunities that lie ahead.

Being social is what humans are. But the world is not what it once was and we can’t pretend that we can jump back into the deep end of the pool without first testing the waters. Some small steps if you’re nervous about going out might be to spontaneously invite a friend to bask on your patio. Dream up other things you can do together as the spring unfolds into summer. Help a neighbor with their early garden chores — another useful outdoor exercise that eases us back into social mode. Make a date with someone you’ve lost touch with to do something later on in the year; the anticipation alone is good for melting the sense of isolation. Regain some of those passing contacts with folks around town — a friendly hello goes a long way right now to reconnecting with the larger community. Start listening to more music or reading books instead of being always-on with the news.

You can learn about Archuleta Seniors Inc. programs here in Pagosa Springs, find resources for wellness and aging, and make reservations with the Community Café for take-out and Meals on Wheels at: http://www.psseniors.org/.

Meals on Wheels
volunteers needed

The Pagosa Springs Senior Center Meals on Wheels program delivers approximately 3,000 fresh and frozen meals a year. We deliver fresh Meals on Wheels five days a week (and provide frozen Meals on Wheels for weekends) to homebound Archuleta County residents to help them stay healthy and independent in their own homes. 

This program is vitally important because many seniors have little to no access to nutritious meals. They are often too frail or have health complications that prevent them from preparing meals for themselves or from using the Senior Center’s Community Café drive-thru meals pick-up site Monday though Friday. 

The Senior Center needs volunteer Meals on Wheels Drivers for one day a week (or become part of our substitute driver team). Please join us as part of our driver team and build wonderful relationships with the seniors in our community. Call (970) 264-2167.

VITA tax preparation

Due to COVID-19, the IRS’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program will not be coming to Pagosa Springs to prepare federal and state income tax returns this year. 

VITA will be preparing 2020 tax returns at no charge as part of the VITA program in Durango. Please register at: DurangoVITA.org. The gross income limit this tax season is $54,000. 

Take-out meals continue at Senior Center

In order to continue providing meals, the Senior Center is 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 (970) 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 (970) 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 (970) 264-2167.

The Community
Café menu

Thursday, April 22 — Pork loin, sweet potatoes, cornbread with butter, milk and salad.

Friday, April 23 — Lemon butter salmon, broccolini, milk, salad and Key lime pie.

Monday, April 26 — Chicken curry, basmati rice, beets, salad and carrot cake. 

Tuesday, April 27 — Spaghetti Bolognese, ratatouille, focaccia bread with butter, milk and salad.

Wednesday, April 28 — Mango quinoa salad, cauliflower salad, naan bread, milk and salad. 

Thursday, April 29 — Pulled pork sandwich, spaghetti squash with bok choy, milk, salad and lime dessert.

Reservations and cancellations are required. You can make a reservation at (970) 264-2167 by 9 a.m. the morning of the day you would like to drive through and pick up a meal. 

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.