Senior Center allows for reconnection after COVID closures

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By Rose Chavez | PREVIEW Columnist

It has been great to see everyone who has ventured into the Pagosa Senior Center of late. 

We have really enjoyed walking into the dining area and talking with folks to hear about what they have been doing for the last few years since we have been partially closed. The most common feedback we have received is a great big “thank you” for the continuous home-delivered meals and well check phone calls. The Grab-N-Go meals are just as popular as ever and we are glad.

While we are having a busy August and it’s been hot as well, it’s nice to see so many of you during the lunch period. Our numbers have been increasing in the dining room and we’re glad more of you have taken the time to eat at the center. Please be patient with us as we attempt to offer more services and ramp up our in-house dining at the Community Cafe. 

The Community Cafe continues to be open to the public every Monday and Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. If dining in, please be prepared to show your vaccination cards. If you have COVID-19, have been exposed or are exhibiting any symptoms, please stay home. 

We always offer Grab-n-Go meals Monday through Friday 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at our convenient drive-thru. Our meals are available to all ages by reservation; call or text us at (970) 264-2167 by 9 a.m.

Senior discounts: How
to keep more cash in your pockets

Senior discounts are one of the perks that come with crossing the half-century mark. Many retailers, restaurants, hotels, transportation companies and insurance firms cater to older adults by offering discounted prices on everything from the food they eat to the clothes they wear.

From a marketing standpoint, this makes total sense. After all, as a group, seniors have enormous spending power. 

According to an AARP analysis on HuffPost, adults aged 50 and older are the largest and fastest-growing consumer group in the country, spending $3.2 trillion every year. That’s more than the total gross domestic product of nations like Italy, France, Russia and the United Kingdom. Savvy marketers know the best senior discounts can turn older adults into loyal customers and pay huge dividends.

Your senior status can definitely be an economic advantage. However, while senior discounts are commonly available, they aren’t always clearly advertised. The best strategy is to always ask. Many clerks are reluctant to apply a discount based on age for fear of offending customers, but it’s worth your while to speak up and see if you can save a few dollars.

Your friendly Senior Center also offers a $10 Senior Discount Club Card for members of the community who are 55 and older. You may contact Barbara Noriega at our office to obtain your membership card. Then simply present your 2022 membership card to obtain discounts around Archuleta County. We will provide a comprehensive list of discounts with your membership card. Cards are renewable beginning in January of each year. If you are a business or organization that would like to join our Senior Discount Club, please contact us to be included. 

Seeking Spanish-
speaking/translation
volunteers

The work of Archuleta Seniors Inc. (ASI) has engaged new community members over the past month as we have opened up to the community. As we continue to deepen our reach into the community we are looking to directly involve more Spanish speakers in our work. 

Engaging Spanish-speaking community members means leveraging their energy and curiosity, their diverse experiences and their creativity as communicators. And that is where we need help. If you, or someone you know, may be interested in supporting the work of ASI with bilingual translation and/or engagement into the Spanish-speaking community, please call or text us at (970) 264-2167 if you are interested or want to learn more.

Farmers market vouchers

Farmers market vouchers for seniors (age 60 and older) are now available. If you love to shop at the farmers market, are 60 or older, or if you are 200 percent of poverty, please call Debbie at (970) 403-2164 at the Area Agency on Aging (AAA) to put your name on the list for $25 in vouchers to redeem for local foods. Then, visit the Pagosa Farmers Market any Saturday during the growing season (June through September) to pick up your $25 voucher to support the local food artisans and growers in southwest Colorado and northern New Mexico. The Pagosa Farmers Market is located on the third row of the East Side Market and is open only on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. through September. 

Community Cafe now accepting texts

Text us at (970) 264-2167. The Community Cafe is now accepting text messaging for meal reservations, cancellations and/or communication of any kind. When texting, please include your name, phone number and the days you want a meal. If you are calling to cancel a reservation, please include your name, phone number and the days you want to cancel. 

Texting services are available for dining-in meal reservations, Grab-n-Go meals, and Meals on Wheels recipients.

Mahjong

Mahjong is a 19th century Chinese tile-based game that is commonly played with four players. Each player receives 13 tiles with a goal to make matching sets and pairs (like poker). To win, a player must form four sets and one pair. Come to the Senior Center to learn or play every Tuesday at 1:15 p.m. Proof of vaccination is required.

Medicare call by
appointment

For anyone who needs help enrolling and navigating Medicare plans, we help with Parts A, B and D. We can also help you with fraud concerns and troubleshooting any billing issues you may be having. By appointment only. Please call our Medicare line at (970) 264-0501, ext 4. 

Bridge

The longest-played bridge game in Archuleta County takes place on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays at 1 p.m. Bridge is a four-player card game with partners sitting opposite each other around a table. It is a trick-taking card game using a standard 52-card deck. Come alone or bring a partner. Proof of vaccinations is required.

Kitchen and desk
volunteers needed 

The Community Cafe at the Senior Center is requesting volunteers to help with greeting customers. Please call or text us at (970) 264-2167 to volunteer or for more information.

ASI board vacancy

The ASI Board of Directors has one vacant position open for financial oversight and policy implementation for the organization and senior center staff. Terms are three years with an option to renew for an additional term. 

Potential candidates should be at least 55 years of age or older and must have a passion for adult and aging services.

Community Cafe menu

Thursday, Aug. 18 — Hawaiian pork with peppers over coconut rice with sauteed vegetables, milk, garden salad and mango salad.

Friday, Aug. 19 — Vegetable tamale pie, refried beans, milk, garden salad, strawberries.

Monday, Aug. 22 — Ginger lime shrimp with rice, Caribbean beans, milk, garden salad, tropical fruit and fortune cookies.

Tuesday, Aug. 23 — Spaghetti Bolognese, green beans, focaccia bread, milk, garden salad, fruit and scones.

Wednesday, Aug. 24 — Chicken piccata with vegetable gratin, focaccia bread, milk, garden salad, cottage cheese and mandarin oranges.

Thursday, Aug. 25 — Pork tenderloin with carmelized onions and apply chutney, cous cous milk, garden salad and blueberry cobbler.

Friday, Aug. 26 — Pasta primavera with marinara sauce, garlic bread, milk, garden salad, fruit and carrot cake.

Grab-n-Go meals 

Reservations and cancellations are required. Please call or text by 9 a.m. the morning of the day you want to pick up a meal. A suggested donation of $5 helps to sustain our program. No one will be turned away for their inability to donate. For ages 59 and younger, the cost is $10. Please call or text us at (970) 264-2167 to make a reservation.

Monetary need

ASI has an immediate monetary need to support ongoing operations and programming that provide critical services to some of the most vulnerable in Archuleta County.

Please consider donating to ASI. You may mail your donation to PO Box 3444, Pagosa Springs CO 81147, or please visit our website: http://www.psseniors.org/. Donation checks can be written to: Archuleta Seniors, Inc. We are located at 451 Hot Springs Blvd. For more information about ASI, please visit http://www.psseniors.org/.