VITA tax volunteers back in town Feb. 24 for free income tax preparation

The VITA tax volunteers will be back in Pagosa Springs this year on Feb. 24 at the Pagosa Springs Senior Center for free income tax preparation for seniors.
This is generally for taxpayers with incomes up to about $54,000.
Please call the Senior Center for an appointment, 264-2167.
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.
The next health and wellness date is Feb. 21.
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.
Medical alert system
Medical Alert monitoring systems are available for seniors. The Senior Center 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.
San Juan Basin Area Agency on Aging: Sensory changes with aging
By Kay Kaylor
I advocate for residents at Pine Ridge and BeeHive Homes as the long-term care ombudsman for Archuleta County. Federal and state laws protect residents to promote quality of care and quality of life. The topics of this column pertain to residents of long-term care facilities and do not necessarily reflect anything occurring at Pine Ridge or BeeHive.
Aging varies with individuals, but the changes may affect their needs in long-term care. This column will focus on sensory changes. The jaw’s bone structure changes, which may lead to problems with dentures residents have had for years. Taste bud sensitivity decreases, especially for men, with sweet and salty tastes declining first. Elders may over-season their food or lose their appetite, which can lead to poor nutrition. The sense of smell also diminishes, which alters people’s reaction to odors and may affect appetite.
Over time, changes in the eyes can alter a person’s self-confidence and feeling of independence. Apart from eye disorders, glare becomes a problem as elders need more time to adjust to bright light. They may not recognize someone when the light intensity changes or due to the extra time needed to adjust distance vision. Colors similar in shade, such as beige and brown, blue and green, and pink and yellow, are harder to distinguish, which may lead to dressing in nonmatching colors. Changes in depth perception might lead to falls or misjudging obstacles. Reading the small print of paperbacks or important documents and operating equipment controls become difficult.
Several hearing changes might occur and can cause depression, misunderstandings and social isolation.
Families and visitors can help residents adjust to such changes with patience and compassion and by listening to their stories from years of experience.
For further information, you may call me at 403-2164 or send an email to ombudsman2@sjbaaa.org.
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 $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, Feb. 15 — Lemon-baked salmon, brown and wild rice pilaf, orange with beet salad, snap pea medley, salad bar and sugar cookie.
Friday, Feb. 16 — Beef stew, buttered corn, cheddar biscuit with butter and salad bar.
Monday, Feb. 19 — Closed for Presidents Day.
Tuesday, Feb. 20 — Beef taco salad, salsa, squash calabacitas, salad bar and chocolate chip banana bread.
Wednesday, Feb. 21 — Roast pork with lentils, roasted red potatoes, glazed carrots and salad bar.
Thursday, Feb. 22 — Tahitian chicken, brown rice pilaf, broccoli with red peppers, snap pea medley, salad bar and nut cup with cranberries.
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 February 19, 2018.