Tax preparation help coming to Senior Center in 2019

VITA will be returning to prepare federal and state income tax returns at no charge as part of the IRS’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program.
The planned dates are Feb. 23, 2019, and March 16, 2019, by appointment only. The gross income limit this tax season is $54,000.
Please call 264-2167 for more information or to make an appointment.
Free legal document preparation
The San Juan Basin Area Agency on Aging will provide legal services for seniors through the program attorney, Daniel Fiedler. Fiedler will be spending the day at the Pagosa Springs Senior Center on Jan. 25, 2019.
Following are the legal services Fiedler can assist with:
• Public benefits and utilities shut off.
• Landlord-tenant problems, such as persons being evicted.
• Simple wills, power of attorneys, medical durable power of attorney and living wills.
• Consumer issues such as advocating for persons harassed by debt collectors.
• Emergency limited long-term care guardianship and domestic problems, such as abuse.
Please come by or call the Senior Center office (inside the Ross Aragon Community Center) located at 451 Hot Springs Blvd. or call 264-2167 to schedule an appointment.
Health and wellness
The Senior Center has a pilot program expanding health and wellness services to Archuleta County seniors. The program includes wellness and blood pressure monitoring, or allows individual area seniors to discuss two subjects of their choice.
There is no charge for Medicare enrollees. Participant IDs will include Medicare card, photo ID and, if necessary, any supplemental insurances. No Medicaid is accepted at this time. Participants are encouraged to bring a list of their current medications.
Clinical assessment will be provided by Tabitha Zappone, FNP-C.
The goal of the outreach clinic is to provide care to those who are not able to travel.
The next Health and Wellness date is Jan. 16.
San Juan Basin Area Agency on Aging:
Urgent: The IMPROVE Act
I advocate for residents at Pine Ridge, a 24-hour extended care home, and BeeHive, an assisted living residence, as the part-time long-term care ombudsman for Archuleta County. Federal and state laws protect residents to promote quality of care and quality of life.
A significant Medicaid (Money Follows the Person or MFP) bill has passed the U. S. House and is in the Senate as of this writing. Titled the IMPROVE Act (H.R. 7217), it includes important provisions supporting Medicaid home and community-based services (HCBS). The MFP program has already expired, and the other provisions are set to end Dec. 31 if this act isn’t passed by the Senate and signed.
The bill extends two Medicaid provisions for three months while advocates such as National Consumer Voice and Justice in Aging and the public strive for long-term solutions.
One part, “spousal impoverishment protections,” provides long-term services and supports to one spouse who needs nursing-home-level care while allowing the other spouse to retain a modest income and resources for rent, food and medication. The care can be in a facility or in the community.
The other part funds the MFP program that helps older adults and people with disabilities in institutions to transition to community living. Several people living at Pine Ridge and in the rest of the region have participated in this program and transitioned.
On social media, such as Twitter, use #FundMFP and #HCBS to urge senators to pass the act. A number to call senators follows: (202) 224-3121. The person answering will connect you to any senator you request.
Happy new year! For further information, you may call me at 403-2164 or send an email toombudsman2@sjbaaa.org.
Medical alert system
Medical alert monitoring systems are available for seniors. We can help you get set up with a system and assist with the monthly service charges or, if you already have a system in place, we can help supplement the monthly service fees.
Memberships
Senior Discount Club memberships are offered Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Menu
Everyone is welcome to join us for lunch. If you are a senior (60 years and older), for only a $4 suggested donation, you are eligible for a hot meal, drink and a salad prepared by our kitchen staff.
The guest fee for those 59 and under is $10 and children 10 years and under can eat for $8.50 each. Access to the salad bar is only $6 for those under 60.
Lunch is served from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Thursday, Dec. 27 — Closed for the holidays.
Friday, Dec. 28 — Closed for the holidays.
Monday, Dec. 31 — Closed for the holidays.
Tuesday, Jan. 1 — Closed for the holidays.
Wednesday, Jan. 2 — Sliced ham, black-eyed peas, broccoli with lemon butter, cornbread with butter, milk and salad bar.
Thursday, Jan. 3 — Salmon, green chili and corn enchiladas, steamed asparagus with lemon, milk, salad bar and key lime pie.
Reservations and cancellations are required. You can make a reservation at 264-2167 by 9 a.m. the morning of the day you would like to dine in the Community Cafe at the Senior Center.
For your convenience, you can make your reservations in advance or have a standing reservation on days you know you will always attend. Please cancel if you cannot attend on your standing reservation days.

This story was posted on December 28, 2018.