Senior Center receives support from town

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By Rose Chavez | PREVIEW Columnist

Archuleta Seniors Inc. (ASI) would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to the Pagosa Springs Council members for their generosity in funding the Pagosa Senior Center. 

This has been our home for the past 20 plus years, and we are counting our blessings that we are able to lean on the community to support us through this time of transition. 

In August we submitted a funding application for Senate Bill 290 funds to purchase the old Sears building, but were notified in October that we did not receive the funds due to a very competitive process. Ultimately, there wasn’t enough funding to support all applications and that means that, for the near future, ASI will continue to call the Ross Aragon Community Center its home. 

We thank the council members for extending our lease and also providing funding to replace and purchase new kitchen equipment to help us keep up with the demand of serving around 200 meals every day of the week and frozen meals delivered via Meals on Wheels during the weekends. 

We look forward to expanding our catering services in addition to educational and entertainment programming in the near future. Thanks to everyone who continues to support us and benefits from our services, we are grateful to be a part of Pagosa Springs. 

COVID-19 booster clinic set for Dec. 2

Please join us for a drop-in clinic performed by San Juan Basin Public Health on Dec. 2 from 10 a.m.. to noon at the Pagosa Senior Center, located in the Community Center. Please call us at (970) 264-2167 to sign up for the booster so we know how many to plan for on the day of the event. 

When things get ruff: How dog walking eased pandemic loneliness

The following is taken from “Dog walking and the social impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on loneliness in older adults” by D. Carr, E. Friedmann, N.R. Gee, C. Gilchrist, N. Sachs-Ericsson and L. Koodaly.

“Pet ownership increases the likelihood that owners interact with other individuals, an opportunity that is of particular interest to older adults who are often socially isolated. Having a dog is especially beneficial. Studies have shown that older adults with dogs exhibit less stress, but that stress is not associated with owning any other type of animal. In response to COVID-19 safety measures, the pandemic further increased their likelihood that older adults experience social isolation. Given the social opportunities afforded by owning dogs, researchers sought to examine whether dog walking impacted the relationship between the COVID-19 pandemic and loneliness among older adults. 

“In a study that earned a Bronze 2022 Innovative Research on Aging Award, analysis was conducted by examining longitudinal data from a Florida community-based sample of adults, aged 60+ at two timepoints, September 2018 and October 2020. At both timepoints, respondents were asked to indicate the frequency for which they felt that they lacked companionship, felt left out, and isolated from others. At the later time point, respondents were additionally asked how much the COVID-19 outbreak impacted their sense of social connection and the frequency for which they walk their dog weekly. 

“The study found that those who reported being significantly impacted by COVID-19 exhibited higher levels of loneliness. However, those who walked their dog at least once a day did not become lonelier, despite the pandemic. The researchers acknowledge that individuals often acquire dogs to combat loneliness, highlighting that it’s difficult to infer the causal relationship between dog walking and loneliness. The study also did not measure emotional connection to pets, which might have indicated that those who are more emotionally close to their dogs tend to walk their dogs more. Consequently, the researchers argue that more research is needed to examine the benefits of dog walking on overall well-being.”

Holiday ornament
craft Nov. 14

Do you want to learn how to make a beautiful and easy decoration for Christmas? The best part is that it is made from last year’s Christmas cards. 

Join us on Monday, Nov. 14, at 1:15 p.m. in the Pagosa Senior Center dining hall to learn how to make this wonderful Christmas globe. No art skills are needed, no experience is required, and all materials are provided for you. We will be cutting circles that have been traced on the cards and gluing them together in a special way. Our teacher will be Denise Fisk, who is a former elementary school art teacher from Iowa. Come join us for some holiday fun.

Text reservations

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.

Mobile food pantry service available for seniors

The Senior Center would like to remind the community about our mobile food pantry services we provide in partnership with Archuleta County MET to seniors age 60 and older throughout most areas of Archuleta County. 

In order to participate in this program, community members must visit with Barbara Noriega at the Senior Center, located in the Ross Aragon Community Center, to fill out an application to qualify for hot meal delivery service and/or the mobile pantry service. 

The application, called the dining assessment form, is also available on our website at the bottom of the Community Cafe page: http://www.psseniors.org/community-cafeacute.html. For more information, contact us at (970) 264-2167.

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.

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.

Hand and foot card game

Whether you are new to hand and foot or interested in learning, please join us most Thursdays at 1:15 p.m. at the Senior Center. Our next game is Nov, 17. 

This card game involves four rounds of playing until the final round is reached — some two to three hours later. Plan to stay and meet some new friends or catch up with those you have missed over the last couple of years. No experience is necessary, so come willing to learn. 

Future programming
volunteers needed

We are looking to implement new programming in the future and want to rely on the insight and expertise of the community to expand our offerings. We are looking for volunteers to help us coordinate new games, crafts, wellness and intergenerational opportunities. If you are interested, please contact us at (970) 264-2167.

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.

Board vacancies

The ASI Board of Directors has multiple vacant positions open. 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, Nov. 10 — Pulled pork with creamed corn, blueberry cobbler, coleslaw, salad and fruit.

Friday, Nov. 11 — Closed for Veterans Day.

Monday, Nov. 14 — Baked lemon chicken, lentils, orzo salad and fruit.

Tuesday, Nov. 15 — Beef pot roast with potatoes, creamed spinach, salad, fruit and whole-wheat roll.

Wednesday, Nov. 16 — Pasta primavera with Alfredo sauce, focaccia bread, salad, cottage cheese and fruit.

Thursday, Nov. 17 — New England clam chowder, oyster crackers, broccoli with almonds, salad, fruit and cake.

Friday, Nov. 18 — Pork chile adovada, Mexican rice, pinto beans, salad and fruit.

Grab-N-Go meals

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 $10.50. Please call or text us at (970) 264-2167 to make a reservation.

Meals on Wheels

We deliver fresh Meals on Wheels five days a week (and provide frozen Meals on Wheels for weekends) to homebound Archuleta County residents. Call or text us at (970) 264-2167.

Requesting donations

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 Archuleta Seniors Inc. 

You may mail your donation to P.O. 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/.