Moisture miracles for dry winter skin

Winter’s cold, brisk air may be great for an energy boost, but it can totally sabotage efforts to get your skin in dazzling condition. As temperatures plummet, so does the humidity, and the dry air that follows literally sucks the moisture from your skin. The fallout can be maddening: tight, dull, rough skin that can get red and itchy and, in extreme cases, crack or even bleed — signs of a more serious problem, such as eczema, that may require a doctor’s attention. But there’s plenty you can do, and choosing the right moisturizing products, and using them in the right way, is the critical first step.

Cleansers and soaps. Avoid foaming body washes and cleansers, bubble baths, and harsh bar soaps, as many contain detergents, such as sodium lauryl sulfate, which will strip your skin of natural oils. Instead, try soaps made of olive oil or other natural ingredients; gentle milk cleansers and body washes; or cleansers with “oil” in their names—best for very dry skin.

Facial creams and lotions. Look for products with glycerin, shea butter, ceramides, and stearic acid—all are rich moisturizing agents that go the extra mile to maintain a healthy top skin layer or repair a damaged one. Remember to apply these while your skin is still damp—after you wash your face or you shower.

Body lotions. Use a bath oil when you bathe or shower, and resist the urge to linger in hot water — another way to quickly strip out natural oils. For extra dry hands — a common winter problem that can lead to cracking — use petroleum jelly or bag balm at night, then cover your hands with cotton socks or gloves. And make sure you use rubber gloves when you do the dishes.

Bonus tips. Cover up when you go outside, and swap some of your winter wools for soft, skin- friendly fabrics such as cotton, silk or cashmere. To hydrate from the inside out, drink more water.

Special events

The VIP’S. What is low vision? Partial vision loss that cannot be corrected causes a vision impairment known as “low vision.” A person with low vision has severely reduced visual acuity or contrast sensitivity, a significantly obstructed field of vision-or all three. Some signs of low vision are difficulty recognizing a familiar face, or difficulty reading print, it appears broken, distorted or incomplete or difficulty seeing objects and potential hazards such as steps, curbs, walls, uneven surfaces and furniture. Come learn more on Tuesday, Feb 17, from 10:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m.

Risk factors and coronary heart disease. Extensive clinical and statistical studies have identified several factors that increase the risk of coronary heart disease and heart attack. Some of them can be modified, treated or controlled, and some can’t. To learn more about heart disease join us on Wednesday, Feb. 18, at 12:30 p.m. with Dr. Bricca from Pagosa Family Medicine.

Weekly activities

Friday, Feb.13 — Geezers, 9 a.m.; gym walk, 11:15 a.m., ASI board meeting, 1 p.m.

Monday, Feb. 16 — Closed for President’s Day.

Tuesday, Feb. 17 — Visually Impaired Persons’ support group, 10:30-11:30 a.m.; blood pressure check, 11 a.m.; Gym walk, 11:15 a.m.; Meditation for Healing, 1 p.m.; Sky Ute Casino, 1 p.m.

Wednesday, Feb. 18 — Dance for Health, 10 a.m.; risk factors and coronary heart disease.

Thursday, Feb. 19 — Meal served in Arboles.

Friday, Feb. 20 — Geezers, 9 a.m.; gym walk, 11:15 a.m.

Sky Ute Casino trip

Tuesday, March 17, at 1 p.m., after a hearty lunch at the Silver Foxes Den, head to Ignacio with a bus load of your friends for an exciting afternoon of fun and games. Sky Ute Casino provides free transportation, with limited seating. The Sky Ute bus leaves The Den at 1 p.m. and returns approximately 5:45. This is a popular trip, so be sure to call us at 264-2167 or stop by The Den and sign up.

Medical expense assistance

 The Silver Foxes Den, in cooperation with Archuleta Seniors, Inc. (ASI), may be able to help with excess medical expenses.  Items covered might be prescription copays, eyeglasses, hearing aids and dental care.  Qualifying amounts are based on income and need. Recipients must be current members of ASI.  Dues are $5 per year. For more information about how we might help you or your family, contact Musetta at 264-2167.

Books and movies

Discover the books and movies The Den has to offer. These are available for you to check out or you can sit back, relax and watch a movie in our cozy lounge.

Monthly calendar

Alzheimer’s Support Group. Elaine Stumpo, regional director for SW Alzheimer’s Association, hosts this monthly gathering for individuals who are supporting loved ones who are living with Alzheimer’s. Learn how to be supportive of someone with memory loss. The meeting takes place in the Silver Foxes Den the last Wednesday of the month at 1 p.m.

ASI board meeting. Archuleta Seniors, Inc. meets the second Friday of every month at 1 p.m. This board also serves as the Local Council on Aging and supports many of the activities at The Den. In addition to their support of The Den, they are also a non-profit organization providing support to seniors who may need additional financial support in areas such as medical needs. Please see their membership packet available at The Den for further information.

Silver Foxes Book Club. Do you love to read? Do you have a desire to discuss what you read in a group setting of inquiring minds? If so, then we have just the thing for you. Kathy Hamilton from the Sisson Library hosts the Silver Foxes Book Club on the fourth Friday of every month at 10:30 a.m. in the Den. Kathy can also obtain books on CD, cassette, and in large print. Stop by the Silver Foxes Den to sign up or call 264-2167.

ASI memberships

Time to renew or buy your 2009 ASI Membership? During the month of February, you may purchase memberships at The Silver Foxes Den on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Folks 55 and older will benefit with discounts from many local businesses, including the local hot springs. This is one of the best deals in Pagosa. All 2008 memberships expired Dec. 31.

Meals on Wheels

Archuleta County Senior Services is now offering frozen meals for once-a-week delivery to reach those who are more rurally isolated and unable to participate in our regular route of the Meals on Wheels program. The suggested donation for these meals is $3 each. To find out if you qualify for this program or for more information, call 264-2167.

Increase in prices

Beginning Jan. 1, there was an increase in our Medical shuttle and Non-senior meal charges. The price is now $35 for medical shuttle services. If you are an Archuleta Seniors Inc. member, the charge is $10.

Menu

Suggested donation for older adults age 60-plus is $3, kids 12 and under and guests $6. Our meal program is partially funded through the Older Americans Act, United Way, and Archuleta County, Town of Pagosa Springs and other contributions and grants. These funds help support the cost of the meal which is approximately $9.75. Please note our menu is subject to change. The salad bar opens at 11:30 a.m. with lunch served at noon.

Friday, Feb. 13 — Baked ham, potatoes, green beans, cranberry mold, bread, cookies.

Monday, Feb. 16 — Closed for President’s Day.

Tuesday, Feb. 17 — Fish creole, cheesy potatoes, squash and onion, peaches, roll.

Wednesday, Feb. 18 – Chicken cordon bleu, rice pilaf, asparagus, apricots, bread.

Thursday, Feb. 19 — Meal served in Arboles.

Friday, Feb. 20 — French dip, potatoes, mixed veggies, strawberry apple sauce.

Please note: Archuleta County Cultural Center Newsletter is available on Archuleta County’s Web site: www.archuletacounty.org/Seniors/seniors.asp.