Medical equipment for seniors available locally

Seniors who need walking canes, walkers, and other durable medical equipment can check out both the Methodist Thrift Store at 427 Lewis St. and the Humane Society Thrift Store at 279 Pagosa St. on U.S. 160.

Managers at both stores indicate equipment used by seniors is donated from time to time. Seniors shopping at either thrift store should ask at the service desk for assistance. At both stores, these items are kept in designated storage areas; workers at both stores will be glad to assist seniors.

VITA tax assistance

For the past several years, the VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) group out of Durango has come to the Pagosa Springs Senior Center offering free income tax preparation for seniors.

This year, due to lack of adequate volunteers from Tax Help Colorado, out of Denver, the Durango VITA tax volunteers will not be able to assist senior taxpayers in Pagosa Springs.

The schedule is as follows: Seniors only on Mondays (call 382-6445 for an appointment) and all ages on Saturdays (call 335-9776 for an appointment).

The qualifying income level for free assistance is $54,000.

Next health and wellness event in April

The Pagosa Springs Senior Center has initiated a new pilot program expanding health and wellness services to Archuleta County seniors.

The program will include wellness, blood pressure monitoring or allow 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 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, of Alpine Medical and Specialty Practices. Zappone has been a nurse practitioner for six years and a longtime resident of Pagosa Springs. She understands the difficulties of obtaining health care in a rural area and how these obstacles can be greater for seniors. The goal of the outreach clinic is to provide care to those who are not able to travel.

The next wellness event will be in April. Stay tuned for the date.

Computer center

The Senior Center provides computer access to seniors who are members of the Discount Club.

Computer stations are available by the hour. If no one has signed up for the next hour, seniors may continue to use the computer for an additional hour(s).

Computer and Internet access is available during business hours when staff is in attendance and classes are not in session.

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.

Please call 264-2167 for more information or to sign up.

Medicare Mondays

Are you turning 65? Do you need some help with Medicare? The San Juan Basin Area Agency on Aging has openings every Monday at the Senior Center to help you with your Medicare enrollment questions.

Here are some quick tips: If you are collecting Social Security, you will be automatically enrolled in Medicare parts A and B. We can help you pick a Part D Prescription Drug Plan. If you don’t enroll in a Part D plan, you could face penalties. If you are new to Medicare, you have an eight-month Special Enrollment Period to sign up for parts A, B and D around your 65th birthday. Medicare starts after your employment ends or the group health insurance plan based on your current employment ends, whichever happens first. You do not pay late penalties if you enroll within the eight-month Special Enrollment Period. COBRA and retiree health plans are not considered coverage based on current employment.

Important dates: General enrollment runs from Jan. 1 through March 31 each year and coverage starts July 1. Oct. 15 through Dec. 7 is open (or annual) enrollment for switching plans for Part D and a Medicare Cost Plan; coverage starts Jan. 1.

If you would like to talk to a Medicare counselor, please contact the Area Agency on Aging to make an appointment. Please call 264-0501, ext. 2. We will put you in touch with one of our talented and experienced Medicare counselors.

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 $5 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 30 — Honey-barbecued chicken, baked beans, coleslaw and salad bar.

Friday, March 31 — Shrimp scampi, eggplant medley, roasted broccoli and salad bar.

Monday, April 3 — Beef taco salad, salsa, southwestern black beans, Mexicali corn and salad bar.

Tuesday, April 4 — Roasted turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce, dinner roll, salad bar and peach crisp.

Wednesday, April 5 — Chicken with broccoli and rice casserole, yellow squash medley, salad bar and carrot cake.

Thursday, April 6 — Roast pork with lentils, glazed carrots, roasted potatoes 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.

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 March 30, 2017.