By Rose Chavez | PREVIEW Columnist
Friday, Aug. 25, was an evening of celebration and giving thanks for the 50-plus volunteers and their families who joined the staff of Archuleta Seniors Inc. (ASI) and its board of directors for dinner and a presentation to thank them.
Their countless hours of support make the organization so meaningful to so many in Archuleta County.
During 2022, volunteers provided an estimated 2,500 hours in kitchen/administrative tasks, delivering meals, providing for games/activities and fundraising.
ASI’s mission is “To promote independence and advance community resilience by empowering individuals who are 60 years old and better, their families and other community stakeholders.”
The organization and its programming work directly to improve the well-being of older adults and the community in areas widely considered to be social determinants of health — nutrition security, social connections, physical/built environment and housing — and access (transportation) to services.
ASI provides a safety net for those who can quickly find themselves living in peril, providing home-cooked, quality meals; supplemental nutrition (e.g. “Boost”); at-home wellness checks and monitoring devices; educational workshops and resources/materials; and congregate social activities.
Assisting all individuals in need ages 55-plus years, the desired outcomes for this work are for at-risk older adults to:
• Remain in their homes.
• Have regular and reliable nutritional sustenance, and access/referrals to other resources meeting basic needs.
• Retain physical and emotional wellness, and
• Establish/sustain social connectedness.
Further, ASI provides access/referrals for caregivers of at-risk older adults to various supports that sustain them in their caregiving role. No other organization in the community provides similar daily services.
Chef Cynthia Sperry devised a delicious Greek-themed menu celebrating heart-healthy, nutritious and delicious Mediterranean fare.
Executive Director Rose Chavez welcomed and thanked volunteers while staff Barbara Noriega and Janet Monks provided the guests with some short anecdotes made by the volunteers who had shared about why they are so motivated to volunteer with ASI. Of note were a few volunteers that have been with the organization for almost 20 years who were acknowledged and thanked for their selfless services for so many years.
In reflecting on the past year, ASI is exceedingly grateful for all the support received from within and beyond the community, ensuring continued provision of critical services while positioning the organization for planned expansion of programming in coming months. All the guests enjoyed mingling with each other, enjoying beverages, dinner and dessert.
ASI could not be of service in this community without our volunteers and community members supporting us every step of the way. We are blessed to do the work we do and call Pagosa home. Thank you, community, and please don’t hesitate to reach out if you or someone you know is in need of our services or you would like to volunteer. Please contact us at (970) 264-2167 or stop by the Pagosa Senior Center at 451 Hot Springs Blvd. in the Ross Aragon Community Center.
New Monday music
Enjoy pleasant soft-rock songs from the 1960s, ‘70s and ‘80s, as well as international folk, humor and new music, too.
Dr. Erika Sueker has been playing music since 1967, teaching music since 1978 and working with older adults since 1983. Join the lunchtime fun upcoming Mondays.
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 in the Senior Center in the dining hall. Snacks will be provided.
The Pagosa Springs Scrapbooking Club holds monthly meetings the second Saturday of each month at the Senior Center.
It meets each month from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. to be creative, share ideas, connect with friends, learn new techniques, share supplies and indulge in a potluck lunch together.
Bring your scrapbooking projects — or any crafting project that you may want to work on with the group. If you would like to be added to the mailing list to receive notifications each month of the upcoming meeting along with handy tips and tricks for scrapbooking, please send your request to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 at the 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, Aug. 31 — Chicken pesto wrap, orecchiette pasta salad, garden salad, fruit, milk and lemon bars.
Friday, Sept. 1 — Barbecued country ribs, macaroni salad, apple crisp, garden salad, fruit and milk.
Monday Sept. 4 — Beef Frito pie, coleslaw, blueberry cobbler, garden salad, fruit and milk.
Tuesday, Sept. 5 — Codfish Veracruz, quinoa pilaf, broccoli, garden salad, fruit and milk.
Wednesday, Sept. 6 — Chicken curry with rice, roasted cauliflower, chai pudding, garden salad, fruit and milk.
Thursday, Sept. 7 — Stuffed portabella mushroom cap, naan bread, red pepper hummus, carrot cake, garden salad, fruit and milk.
Friday, Sept. 8 — Grilled turkey, Swiss and tomato sandwich; sweet potato fries; garden salad; fruit; 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. 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.
Mobile food pantry
The Mobile Food Pantry Service has been discontinued due to funding shortages. Older adults needing a ride to a local food pantry should contact the MET to schedule a ride with its paratransit service. For more information, contact Lavonne at (970) 264-2250.
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.
Stop by the Senior Center to pick up a pack of six free COVID-19 tests kits for your personal use. These kits are available to anyone in the public who needs affordable access for health promotion and disease prevention.
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
For anyone who needs help enrolling and navigating Medicare plans, the San Juan Basin Area Agency on Aging helps with parts A, B and D. They can also help you with fraud concerns and troubleshooting any billing issues you may be having. By appointment only. Please call the Medicare line at (970) 264-0501, ext 4.
The longest-played bridge game in Archuleta County takes place on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 1:15 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 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.
Archuleta Seniors Inc. 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/.