By Rose Chavez | PREVIEW Columnist
Two webinars from Changing the Narrative of Colorado — Ending Ageism Together (https://changingthenarrativeco.org/) are occurring July 18 and 19.
Changing the Narrative is a campaign of NextFifty Initiative to end ageism, using evidence-based strategies, strategic communications and innovative public-facing campaigns.
The first webinar, to watch on your own, is July 18: “Reframing Aging: Changing the Stories We Tell About Aging,” at 10 a.m.: “Are you a leader who cares about communicating in a more effective and age-inclusive way? We’re offering training on reframing aging — the why and how to reframe communication with and about older adults. This training is designed to help you lead in telling a different story and to use your influence and position to change the narrative about aging. We know that ageism not only hurts our constituents, but also impedes our ability to do work effectively. You’ll leave with some concrete tips and examples, and strategies for reframing aging.”
You can register for it at https://actionnetwork.org/events/reframing-aging-changing-the-stories-we-tell-about-aging-2?source=direct_linkand.
The second webinar will be hosted by Archuleta Seniors Inc. (ASI) in the dining room of the Pagosa Senior Center at 10 a.m. on July 19. It is “Coffee Chat: Share Your Stories About Ageism in Healthcare.”
From the website: “We know that stories bring issues to life and we want to hear from you. Have you ever experienced ageism in healthcare? Real life examples leave lasting impressions and impact our health and wellbeing. Changing the Narrative’s work is rooted in grassroots activism to end ageism and your experiences inform our work. We want to know what you have seen and heard.”
Examples include attributing symptoms solely based on your age: “You can expect to have that pain at your age.” Another is treating you as if you are invisible: “My provider ignored me and only spoke to my care partner.”
Join us at the Coffee Chat to share stories and ideas. If you would like lunch, which starts at 11 a.m., call or text (970) 264-2167 by 9 a.m.
ASI awarded $50,000 from the Daniels Fund
ASI was awarded $50,000 from the Daniels Fund this past week in support of general operations, which includes our full scope of services. ASI annually provides support for more than 900 individuals 55 years and better with the goal that they live healthy, vibrant and independent lives. Services are driven by the deeply-held value that older adults have an important role in our community, and additionally assist families and caregivers to remain strong and connected.
The organization and its programming work directly to improve the well-being of seniors and the community in areas widely considered to be social determinants of health (SDOH) — nutrition security, social connections, physical/built environment and housing — and access (transportation) to services.
Those benefiting include older adults who live at or below the federal poverty level, those representing racial/ethnic minority populations (particularly Latinx and Indigenous Native Americans), socially and/or geographically isolated individuals, veterans, those with physical disabilities, and those requiring accommodation and/or physical space modifications to continue living safely and independently in their homes.
While in-person dining was curtailed for some time during the COVID pandemic, ASI’s provision of critical services did not lapse, and retailored operations resulted in expansion of food distribution systems including meal carryout, now the most popular method for local seniors to access meals.
Concurrently, Executive Director Rose Chavez, who has deep ties to the local Hispanic/Indigenous community, joined the team of nine staff a year ago along with 40-plus dedicated volunteers, and an influx of new talent at the board of directors level has been a recent and exciting development.
ASI is grateful for this and other recent funding opportunities (shout out to the Pagosa Springs Town Council for the recent rent relief grant) and looks forward to expanding programming this fall and next spring in the area of tai chi, diabetes self-management and Matter of Balance classes through additional support from the San Juan Area Agency on Aging.
There is a desire to offer some of these classes bilingually, and we look forward to partnering with local Spanish speakers to broaden our offerings to the community.
Ticketing and schedule of activities for July 29 Spanish Fiesta
You are invited to the 21st annual Spanish Fiesta, sponsored by ASI. The theme is “Viva la familia, cultura y tradición!”
Enjoy the Spanish Fiesta in Pagosa Springs, where Spanish, Mexican and Native American cultural traditions intertwine to create the strong heritage we have today here in Southwest Colorado. Food, music, dance, vendors, color and good company provide the ingredients for a party to delight all the senses.
This year is the 21st anniversary of the Spanish Fiesta in Pagosa Springs after being dormant for some 20 years. The Spanish Fiesta Committee (formed by the families and royalty of fiestas of years past) has worked hard to make this first year back memorable.
The headliner for the day’s activities will be the famous New Mexican artist Al Hurricane Jr. and his band during the evening at the Archuleta County Fairgrounds. Hurricane is generously giving his own time to benefit the fundraiser.
Activities begin at 3 p.m., but come earlier to get your seat and enjoy authentic Hispanic cuisine of southern Colorado and northern New Mexico plus a variety of other food trucks, artisan vendors, music from local band Los Mitotitos, and folklorico dance performances from local artists.
While there will be no royalty during this first event, we look forward to engaging the community and youth to support the fiestas in this capacity once again. Proceeds from this event will support older adults of Archuleta County through the services of ASI and a BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, people of color) youth scholarship fund.
Admission is for an afternoon and evening from 3 to 8 p.m. To purchase tickets, visit https://givebutter.com/asispanishfiesta2023 or stop by the Pagosa Springs Area Chamber of Commerce, Choke Cherry Tree or the Pagosa Senior Center, located in the Ross Aragon Community Center.
Interested in being a sponsor or vendor? Please visit http://www.psseniors.org/events-and-fundraisers.html for more information or call (970) 264-2167.
Farmers Market vouchers
Farmers Market vouchers for seniors are 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 $50 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 $50 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.
Join us Wednesdays at 1:15 p.m. for a series of “Senior Conversations” with local Bill Salmansohn.
He will lead the group through mindfulness exercises and discussion of various topics pertaining to aging in Archuleta County. Explore and discover for yourself answers to your questions and concerns.
The meeting will be held at the Pagosa Senior Center in the dining hall. Snacks will be provided.
Share lunch Monday through Thursday
Join us at the Silver Fox’s Den, aka the Community Cafe, in person for daily hot/cold meals Mondays through Thursdays downtown at the Ross Aragon Community Center between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. It is open to all. Pickup is available all week, including Fridays.
Our dining hall is open to all ages and welcomes you all with kindness and warmth. We provide hot/cold meals for anyone in the community interested in a nutritious and delicious meal. For those 60 or older we request a suggested donation of $10, but no one will be turned away. There is a $10 charge for guests under the age of 60.
Meals include a main course, side dish, fruit/dessert, garden salad plus beverage. Some popular menu items include Frito chili pie, pork tenderloin with harvest chutney, Singaporean pork ribs, vegetarian lasagna, Hawaiian shrimp with coconut rice and always a beautiful green salad. Many of our items are locally sourced and organic.
Our chef works with a team of local food professionals to hand-prepare your meal for dine-in service in our cozy dining room (with an amazing view of the San Juans) or for takeout (via our convenient drive-through). Our menu changes daily.
To reserve your meal for the day, please make your reservation via text or phone call to (970) 264-2167 by 9 a.m. weekdays.
Community Cafe menu
Thursday, July 13 — Butternut squash ravioli and brown butter herb sauce, wilted spinach and red onion, garden salad, fruit, banana bread and milk.
Friday, July 14 — Seafood chowder with oyster crackers, glazed carrots, garden salad, fruit and milk.
Monday, July 17 — Herb and garlic pork tenderloin, roasted potatoes, cherry crisp, garden salad, fruit and milk.
Tuesday July 18 — Vegetable lasagna with white sauce, garlic bread, garden salad, fruit and milk.
Wednesday, July 19 — Cajun shrimp with cheesy grits, zucchini and squash saute, garden salad, fruit, blueberry streusel muffins and milk.
Thursday, July 20 — New Mexican blue corn chicken enchilada casserole, Spanish rice, garden salad, fruit, biscochos and milk.
Friday, July 21 — Chef salad with ham, turkey, cheese, avocado, egg and ranch dressing; broccoli and white cheddar soup; focaccia bread; blueberry cobbler; and milk.
Dine-in and Grab-N-Go meal 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 $10 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 also. 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.
Don’t forget that we offer a convenient texting service for you to communicate with us. Text us at (970) 264-2167. When texting, please include your name, phone number and the days you want a meal. If you are canceling a reservation, please include your name, phone number and the days you want to cancel.
Texting services are available for dine-in meal reservations, Grab-n-Go meals and Meals on Wheels recipients.
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 at the Senior Center.
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.
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.
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/.