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November is National Alzheimer’s Awareness Month

November is National Alzheimer’s Awareness Month.

Concerned about memory problems? Early detection is important. Take action, get answers.

National Memory Screen Day is an annual initiative of the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America in collaboration with community sites across the country. Qualified healthcare professionals administer free, confidential memory screenings. Administered face-to-face, they consist of a series of questions and tasks, and take about five to 10 minutes. Pagosa’s site is in the Visiting Angels office at 452 Pagosa Street, Suite 2B.

The Memory Screen serves as a starting point for discussions about memory concerns, as well as lifestyle changes — diet, managing stress, physical and mental exercises — that might help people age successfully. They are a first step toward finding out if a person may have a memory problem or other medical problem. It is very important to identify the disease or problem that is causing memory loss. Some memory problems can be readily treated, such as those caused by vitamin deficiencies or thyroid problems.

Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States and it’s estimated that missed diagnosis of dementia may be as high as 90 percent. Early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s or a related dementia enables individuals to obtain appropriate medical treatment and behavioral management interventions, be more involved in long-term planning, and obtain social services support for themselves and their families.

Who should Be screened? Are any of these your concerns?

Am I becoming more forgetful? Do I have trouble concentrating? Do I have difficulty performing familiar tasks? Do I have trouble recalling words or names in conversation? Do I sometimes forget where I am or where I am going? Am I misplacing things more often? Have family and friends told me that I am repeating questions or saying the same thing over and over again? Have I become lost when walking or driving? Have my friends or family noticed changes in my mood, behavior, personality or desire to do things? Am I making bad decisions?

Free memory screenings will be available Nov. 13 at 452 Pagosa St. , Suite 2B. Please call 264-5991 and schedule an appointment.

Medicare

The 2012 General Enrollment for Medicare Prescription Plans (Part D) and Medicare Advantage Plans is Oct. 16-Dec. 7.

Be sure to pay attention to any literature you receive in the mail from either CMS (Medicare) or your current plan. If you received a colored letter from CMS, there have been changes in your plan. If you do not understand your letter, be sure to call our office and we’ll schedule an appointment with one of our counselors for free assistance.

Remember, you do not want to enroll in a plan just because it’s a plan your friend or neighbor recommends and here’s why.

I highly recommend anyone already enrolled in Part D, or needing to enroll, to schedule an appointment. The program(s) can, and sometimes do, change their deductible, the drugs they cover and how much you pay for the drug. Some of the low-income plans will no longer be offering services to the low income recipients this year; however they may still offer to enroll you at a higher cost.

• Don’t get caught by surprise; make sure you are enrolled in the plan that best suits your needs. Your neighbor may have a great plan, but it may not be great for you. The best plan for you is based on your specific drugs.

• Beware of letters you receive encouraging you to buy their program, it may not be best for you.

• Read any materials you receive in the mail in regard to your plan — it may contain information on plan changes.

• Low-income beneficiaries may qualify for extra help with drug costs.

• Remember, Medicare will never call you selling a product; never give out your Medicare number.

• When in doubt, contact our SHIP office located at the Senior Center.

We highly encourage you to make your appointment early; as we move into open enrollment, we are extremely busy and want to make sure that we are able to meet your needs.

Our counselors are ready to tackle open enrollment and help you navigate your way through the process; our calendar is ready for scheduling.

Remember, all our services are free.

For further information, or to schedule an appointment, call 264-2167.

Yoga

Due to popular demand, our stretch and breathe yoga class will continue through Dec. 26. The sessions will take place on Wednesdays — Oct. 31, Nov. 14 and 28, Dec. 12 and 26 — at 10:45 a.m. Come on in and join instructor Margaret Burkesmith for this gentle stretch and breathe yoga class.

Help us help others

Due to budget restructuring, I am in need of a program coordinator (volunteer). Can you help answer phones that ring off the hook, create spreadsheets, enter data, come up with presentation ideas and schedule them? You must be able to work at a fast pace and be an awesome multi-tasker with a revolving door at your side.

Your reward for your assistance is the fulfillment of the many needs of our seniors. A free lunch is a bonus, too!

I am looking for a writer to help out with the weekly column. One idea for a writer would be to interview our Senior of the Week. Perhaps you or others have ideas.

Like to greet people and lend a hand? If so, we have the perfect opportunity for you. We are looking for a few people who would like to greet our folks, introduce new clients to our services, show them the ropes in the dining room and offer assistance to those needing help filling out our new client form.

Special delivery

Are you struggling to get meals prepared because you are homebound, recovering from surgery or an illness? Let us do the cooking. Enjoy Cafe Fox meals delivered to your door. Our hot meal, home-delivery program is available to those living close to town four days per week, with frozen meals for Thursdays and weekends. Those living farther out of town could be eligible for the frozen meal program. Meals are available to people age 60-plus for a suggested donation of $4 per meal. Give us a call at 264-2167 for further information. Donations are greatly appreciated.

Naked walls

We have been enjoying the photo display of Navy Photographer Rob Gaston and now it’s time to enjoy our next artist’s work. Who will it be? Do you have photos, paintings, etc. you would like to display on our dining room walls for the senior diners to enjoy? If so, please contact me at 264-2167.

Transportation

Get out in the community and let us do the driving. Get to where you need to go. Door-to door bus service is available Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday and the second and fourth Thursday of the month for seniors age 60-plus. Suggested donation, $2 per day. Come hang out with us and enjoy our company. Call for details, 264-2167.

Weekly activities at The Den

Friday, Oct. 26 — 9 a.m. Geezers; 10 a.m. Stitchin’ in the Kitchen; 10:30 a.m. Book club; 12:30 p.m. Gym Walk.

Monday, Oct. 29 —12:30 p.m. Gym walk; 1 p.m. Canasta.

Tuesday, Oct. 30 — 12:30 p.m. Gym Walk; 1 p.m. Meditation for Healing.

Wednesday, Oct. 31 — Dress up for Halloween

Thursday, Nov. 1 — No scheduled activities

Friday, Nov. 2 — 9 a.m. Geezers; 10 a.m. Stitchin’ in the Kitchen; 10:30 a.m. Brain Injury Support Group; 12:30 p.m. Gym Walk

Cafe Fox menu

All meals include our great salad bar.

Friday, Oct. 26 — October birthday meal. Meatloaf with beef gravy, whipped potatoes, peas and carrots, tossed salad, apple pie.

Monday, Oct. 29 — Porcupine meatballs with brown gravy, whipped carrots, parsley carrots, almond peaches, whole wheat bread, tossed salad.

Tuesday, Oct. 30 — Baked cod, oven browned potatoes, peas and carrots, tossed salad, wheat roll, ice cream with bananas and strawberries.

Wednesday, Oct. 31 — Boogers with snot, maggots, insect variety, fermented skin, hairball salad, coagulated blood. (Translated: Swiss steak with gravy, whipped potatoes, mixed veggies, whole wheat roll, salad, orange fluff with Mandarin oranges.)

Thursday, Nov. 1 — Closed.

Friday, Nov. 2 — Hamburger on whole wheat bun, potato salad, baked beans, fruit salad.

Reservations required by 9 a.m. the morning of the day you would like to dine at Cafe Fox.

Suggested donation for older adults age 60-plus is $4, guests $6. Our meal program is partially funded through the Older Americans Act via the San Juan Basin Area Agency on Aging, United Way, Archuleta County, Town of Pagosa Springs and other donations and grants. These funds help support the cost of the meal which is approximately $10.50. Please note our menu is subject to change. The salad bar opens at 11:30 a.m. with lunch served from noon to 12:30 p.m. Call 264-2167 for reservations.

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