AARP Smart Driver course to be offered Friday

The AARP Smart Driver course, offered by AARP Driver Safety, is the nation’s first and largest refresher course designed specifically for drivers age 50 and older.
For more than 35 years, the course has taught 16 million drivers proven safety strategies so they can continue driving safely for as long as possible.
Why take the course?
Over nine in 10 course participants report changing at least one key driving behavior for the better as a result what they learned in the course, and over eight in 10 participants felt that information they learned in the course has prevented them from being in a crash. Plus, you may be eligible to receive an insurance discount upon completing the course, so consult your insurance agent for details.
The classroom course costs only $15 for AARP members and $20 for nonmembers.
To register, please call 462-9613.
Due to popular demand, the Pagosa Springs Senior Center is hosting a fourth class on Friday, March 15, from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m.
San Juan Basin Area Agency on Aging: Alzheimer’s facts and figures
By Kay Kaylor
As the part-time long-term care ombudsman for Archuleta County, I advocate for residents at Pine Ridge, a 24-hour extended care home, and BeeHive, an assisted living residence. Federal and state laws protect residents to promote quality of care and quality of life.
Last week, the Alzheimer’s Association announced the publication of its 2019 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures, available online and with searches for each state.
Of note nationally is that, between 2000 and 2017, deaths from heart disease have decreased by 9 percent, while deaths from Alzheimer’s have increased 145 percent as the sixth leading cause of death. Nearly one in three seniors dies with Alzheimer’s or another dementia, costing the nation $290 billion ($195 billion in Medicare and Medicaid payments), yet only 16 percent of seniors have regular cognitive assessments during checkups.
The Medicaid costs of caring for people with Alzheimer’s in Colorado in 2019 is projected at $596 million, compared to $386 million in Arizona and $2.9 billion in Texas. The number of people with Alzheimer’s in Colorado is 73,000, with the majority, 61,000, age 75 and older.
Lest these figures increase depression in Archuleta County, the good news is that 2018 was a “historic year in Alzheimer’s and dementia policy victories that also included a record increase in federal research funding and the passage of numerous federal and state bills aimed at improving the lives of those living with the disease and their caregivers.”
For further information, please call me at 403-2164 or send an email to ombudsman2@sjbaaa.org.
VITA tax preparation
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 Saturday, March 16, and April 13, 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.
Health and wellness
The Senior Center has a pilot program expanding health and wellness services to Archuleta County seniors. 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.
The next health and wellness date is March 20.
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, March 14 — Tuna melt, roasted cauliflower soup, roasted red potatoes, milk, salad bar and Rice Krispie treat.
Friday, March 15 — Pizza with bacon, mild Italian sausage, figs and arugula, roasted asparagus with lemony breadcrumbs, mandarin orange salad, milk, salad bar and poached pears.
Monday, March 18 — Lamb shepherd’s pie, cabbage steaks, milk, salad bar and Irish lemon pudding.
Tuesday, March 19 — Lemon chicken, loaded baked potato, snow pea medley, milk, salad bar and blueberry sour cream pie.
Wednesday, March 20 — Turkey tetrazzini with egg noodles, squash calabacitas, steamed asparagus with lemon, milk, salad bar, and cherry cream cheese pie.
Thursday, March 21 — Pork zuppa Toscana, eggplant gratin, focaccia bread with butter, milk and salad bar.
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.

This story was posted on March 14, 2019.