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Pagosa Springs
Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Exercise a proven tactic to prevent falls

By Cheryl Wilkinson
PREVIEW Columnist

The simplest things end up having the worst effect on our lives. Not enough sleep and you can fall asleep at the wheel. Forgetting to put away a box or bag when you unpack groceries — you get distracted because the phone rings or the dog needs out — and a fall hazard is created. A tile floor meets a wet shoe and suddenly the world goes upside down — literally. 

Treating injuries and lifestyle changes due to falls is hard. That’s why fall prevention matters. Even when falls do not result in catastrophic outcomes like broken bones, major sprains or head injuries, the fall reduces our confidence and makes us less likely to participate in activities around the house or in our community. That has a lasting and devastating impact on our lives. After a fall, many of us who have been living independently never recover our full functioning, often leading to the move to assisted living.

Exercise is a proven prevention tactic. Most importantly, the biggest reduction in falls is seen for those in the 60-plus age group who regularly exercise in ways that require the use of our fine muscles, tendons and ligaments — those little bits that surround our joints in our knees, neck, ankles and arms. These “little” muscles are what come to our rescue as we try to recover our balance. That’s probably why tai chi and similar types of standing “soft” exercises have been shown to be the most effective for reducing falls and serious injury. Resistance training, dancing and walking alone are not shown to have the same effect, though these types of exercise all improve circulation, strength and overall balance.

Most importantly, do what you are able to do so you can retain those abilities. In addition to exercise, a few other items can help. Make use of an assistive device at home, in the community and especially when on unfamiliar terrain — a walking stick or cane, a walker if that is appropriate — as that can prevent falls. Wear shoes that support your feet, are not slip-on and have a non-skid sole. If you or your loved one is living independently, a monitor unit can help maintain that independence. ASI can help with that for eligible individuals.

Our website provides information about ASI programs here in Pagosa Springs, as well as resources for wellness and aging. Our site also provides information on making reservations at The Community Café for take-out and for Meals on Wheels at: http://www.psseniors.org/.

Desk volunteers

The Community Café in the Pagosa Springs Senior Center is requesting volunteers to help with the lunch desk. Please call (970) 264-2167 to volunteer or for more information.

Meals on Wheels
volunteers needed

The 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.

Dishes and china

Have old dishes or china that you no longer want to use or store? The Community Café is accepting donations of old dishes or china. Please call (970) 264-2167 for more information or to donate.

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, June 24 — Salmon Wellington, sweet potatoes, milk, salad, and fruit salad with lemon curd, yogurt, honey, vanilla and mint. 

Friday, June 25 — Beef short ribs with creamy peppercorn sauce, mashed potatoes, dinner roll with butter, milk and salad. 

Monday June 28 — Orange chicken with white rice, broccolini, milk, salad and almond croissant.

Tuesday, June 29 — Zuppa Toscana, glazed carrots, breadstick with butter, milk and salad. 

Wednesday, June 30 — Shrimp scampi over pasta, asparagus, milk, salad and cherry crisp.

Thursday, July 1, 2021 — Beef cheeseburger, corn on the cob, milk, banana, and brownie.

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.

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