Second AARP Smart Driver course set for Friday


Due to popular demand, the Pagosa Springs Senior Center is hosting a second AARP Smart Driver class on Friday, Sept. 14, from 1 to 5 p.m.

The AARP Smart Driver course, offered by AARP Driver Safety, is the nation’s first and largest refresher course designed specifically for drivers age 50 and older.

For more than 35 years, the course has taught 16 million drivers proven safety strategies so they can continue driving safely for as long as possible.

More than nine in 10 course participants report changing at least one key driving behavior for the better as a result of what they learned in the course, and more than eight in 10 participants felt that information they learned in the course has prevented them from being in a crash. Plus, you may be eligible to receive an insurance discount upon completing the course, so consult your insurance agent for details.

AARP membership is not required to take the course.

The classroom course costs only $15 for AARP members and $20 for nonmembers.

To register, visit The Senior Center staff will be glad to help you register.

A Matter of Balance

The Senior Center is pleased to announce our fourth Matter of Balance program. The Matter of Balance program lasts eight weeks. Classes are on Wednesdays and started Sept. 5. Each class is from 9 to 11 a.m. Snacks will be provided. Class size is limited.

A Matter of Balance is an award-winning falls-prevention program designed to reduce the fear of falling and increase the activity levels of older adults who have concerns about falls.

Please call 264-2167 for more information or to register. Classes are free.

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 event is scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 19.

San Juan Basin Area Agency on Aging:

Families for better care

By Kay Kaylor

I advocate for residents at Pine Ridge and BeeHive Homes 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.

Several advocacy organizations for long-term care have been mentioned in this column. Today, I will highlight Families for Better Care (FFBC), a nonprofit citizen group “empowering families to advocate for quality nursing home care,” according to its website.

The state ombudsman sent information on FFBC due to its announcement that “nursing home regulators have scuttled thousands of state long-term care ombudsman complaint referrals over the past decade.”

The ombudsman data were collected and published by the national Administration on Community Living, the principal agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Ombudsman complaint referrals to a federal or state enforcement agency occur after attempts to resolve them locally have failed or when the health, welfare and rights of long-term care residents are immediately endangered.

The data show that the outcome of nearly 80 percent, or almost 100,000, of these complaints were never reported back to the ombudsman offices. The number of referrals to agencies with no final report in Colorado from 2007 to 2016, shown in a graphic, is 3,000-4,000. Also, one in five complaints nationally were “never acted upon” or “never substantiated.”

In response, FFBC asks for new policies to prioritize ombudsman referrals and for expediently providing referral outcomes to ombudsman programs.

For further information, you may call me at 403-2164 or send an email to


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, Sept. 13 — Teriyaki salmon, baked sweet potato, bacon green beans, milk, salad bar and banana pudding.

Friday, Sept. 14 — Turkey sausage soup, green peas, milk, salad bar and ginger molasses cookies.

Monday, Sept. 17 — Pork ziti, glazed carrots, roasted cauliflower soup, focaccia bread with butter, milk and salad bar.

Tuesday, Sept. 18 — Crunchy baked catfish with tartar sauce, yellow squash casserole, steamed asparagus with lemon, milk, salad bar and baked hush puppies with butter.

Wednesday, Sept. 19 — Roast turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, milk, salad bar and cranberry sauce.

Thursday, Sept. 20 — Chicken and pork sausage gumbo, eggplant medley, milk, salad bar and bread pudding with pecans.

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.