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Pagosa Springs
Friday, September 17, 2021

The importance of staying connected

By Cheryl Wilkinson
PREVIEW Columnist

There is a beautiful story related through an elder in the Mi’kmaq Indigenous community, Danny Paul, who said, “We’re kind of like trees. On the surface, every tree looks like it stands alone. Beneath the surface all the trees in a forest are connected.”

Loneliness and social isolation are now considered diseases, and rightfully so. They are key factors in aging and related illness. 

Kaiser states individuals who report social isolation and loneliness are more than nine times more likely to experience poor health, nearly 20 times more likely to have a poor quality of life, 22 times more likely to have mental health issues (expressly depression and anxiety)and 5.7 times more likely to have insufficient funds to buy food.

Yet, during this pandemic, research reveals that adults 60 and better are experiencing less pandemic-related depression and lower levels of loneliness than younger adults. According to a recent study, some seniors have been able to broaden their social support networks.

If you or someone you love is not finding the connections that boost their resilience, remember that seemingly small things make a big difference. Identify a trusted neighbor or friend who can visit regularly and can serve as an emergency contact. Try reviving an old hobby or learn something new — there are easy options for participating in learning opportunities on our website. Just getting into the out of doors can make a big difference for those with mobility issues — scheduling time to get a friend out on their porch or volunteering to help someone who cannot get out are both useful solutions. And homebound consumers who have home-delivered Meals on Wheels report significantly less loneliness.

You can find more tips on staying connected at: https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/loneliness-and-social-isolation-tips-staying-connected. And our website provides caregiver resources and information about ASI programs in Archuleta County, as well as contact information for making reservations at The Community Café for take-out and for Meals on Wheels at: http://www.psseniors.org/.


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.

Community Café menu

Thursday, Aug. 12 — Spinach and mushroom quiche, sauteed zucchini, tomatoes and onions, milk, salad and lemon cream cake.

Friday, Aug. 13 — Lemon chicken, asparagus with walnuts, focaccia bread with butter, milk and salad. 

Monday, Aug. 16 — Shrimp and grits, broccolini, milk, salad and pecan pie.

Tuesday, Aug. 17 — Spaghetti with meat sauce, green beans with almonds, garlic bread, milk and salad.

Wednesday, Aug. 18 — Moroccan stew, roasted cauliflower, naan bread, milk and salad.

Thursday, Aug. 19 — Chicken with mushroom cream sauce, wilted spinach, milk, salad and chocolate eclair. 

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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