2019 Senior Discount Club Memberships are now offered Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
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 Feb. 23 and March 16, 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.
Free legal document preparation
The San Juan Basin Area Agency on Aging will provide legal services for seniors through the program attorney, Daniel Fiedler. Fiedler will be spending the day at the Pagosa Springs Senior Center on Jan. 25.
Following are the legal services Fiedler can assist with:
• Public benefits and utilities shut off.
• Landlord-tenant problems, such as persons being evicted.
• Simple wills, power of attorneys, medical durable power of attorney and living wills.
• Consumer issues such as advocating for persons harassed by debt collectors.
• Emergency limited long-term care guardianship and domestic problems, such as abuse.
Please come by or call the Senior Center office (inside the Ross Aragon Community Center) located at 451 Hot Springs Blvd. or call 264-2167 to schedule an appointment.
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.
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.
The next Health and Wellness date is Jan. 16.
San Juan Basin Area Agency on Aging:
Gawande’s five questions
By Kay Kaylor
I advocate for residents at Pine Ridge, a 24-hour extended care home, and BeeHive, an assisted living residence, as the part-time long-term care ombudsman for Archuleta County. Federal and state laws protect residents to promote quality of care and quality of life.
Some of you may have heard of or read the bestselling 2014 book by Dr. Atul Gawande, a professor, writer and surgeon, titled “Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End.” After research and interviews with more than 200 people about their serious illness, he created “Five Questions to Ask at Life’s End.”
As Gawande emphasizes in a 2017 Google talk, the questions also are relevant to people considering long-term care options for themselves or loved ones. The intent is to identify the priorities of those facing changes due to age or illness versus care created by a society built on “rescue” and safety.
The exact words vary, but here are the questions and comments derived from the talk:
1. What is your understanding of your current health or condition?
2. If your condition worsens, what goals would you have for life or health care? For example, would you prefer not to die in a hospital?
3. What are your fears or hopes for the future?
4. What tradeoffs are you willing to make or not make? (What are you willing to sacrifice or not sacrifice?) For example, how much pain medication would you like versus consciously experiencing your dying process?
5. What would a good day look like? For example, you may want to eat chocolate ice cream no matter what diet a doctor has prescribed.
For further information, you may call me at 403-2164 or send an email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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, Jan. 10 — Turkey potpie on puff pastry, bacon green beans, milk, salad bar and carrot cake.
Friday, Jan. 11 — Shrimp scampi with orzo, lemony roasted eggplant, stir-fried asparagus, breadstick with butter, milk and salad bar.
Monday, Jan. 14 — Orange chicken with brown rice, cauliflower snowflakes, yellow squash medley, milk, salad bar and poached pears.
Tuesday, Jan. 15 — Beef stroganoff, spinach pie, beets braised in butter, milk, salad bar and snickerdoodle cookies.
Wednesday, Jan. 16 — Grilled turkey sandwich, potato/leek soup, corn on the cob, cranberry sauce, milk and salad bar.
Thursday, Jan. 17 — Crunchy baked catfish with tartar sauce, Brussels sprouts with sweet chili sauce, roasted sweet potatoes, milk, salad bar and lemon cream pie.
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.