Senior Center to host falls-prevention program beginning in September


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.

The classes help participants to: view falls and fear of falling as controllable, set realistic goals for increasing activity, change their environment to reduce fall risk factors, and promote exercise to increase strength and balance. You can benefit from the classes if: you are concerned about falls; have sustained a fall in the past; you restrict activities because of concerns about falling; you are interested in improving flexibility, balance and strength; you are age 60 or older, ambulatory and able to problem solve.

The Pagosa Springs Senior Center is please to announce our fourth Matter of Balance program. The Matter of Balance program lasts eight weeks. Classes are on Wednesdays beginning Sept. 5. Each class is from 9 to 11 a.m. Snacks will be provided. Class size is limited. Please call 264-2167 for more information or to register. Classes are free.

AARP Smart Driver course

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.

The Senior Center is hosting a class on Aug. 17 from 1 to 5 p.m.

AARP membership is not required to take the course.

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

To register, visit (the Senior Center staff will be glad to help you register).

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.

San Juan Basin Area Agency on Aging:

CMS retreats on enforcement policies

By Kay Kaylor

As the part-time long-term care ombudsman for Archuleta County, I advocate for residents at Pine Ridge and BeeHive Homes. Federal and state laws protect residents to promote quality of care and quality of life.

Unfortunately, effective July 15, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) reversed policies on the enforcement of nursing home violations of certain federal laws due to lobbying by the long-term care industry. Lobbyists have also succeeded in delaying enforcement of new regulations.

The state health inspections of licensed long-term care homes are based on specific rules with penalties determined by the amount of harm done to residents. The new CMS guidance states that civil monetary penalties will be optional unless a violation leads to serious injury, harm, impairment or death to a resident. The regional office determines the level of deficiency. According to the National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care, this change contradicts the purpose of enforcing such laws: “to prevent harm in the first place.”

Now the regional office also can decide if the nursing home will more likely comply if a certain remedy is imposed, rather than imposing a required remedy. It can consider if the violation is a “onetime mistake.” Also, substandard quality of care and food safety violations that previously would have triggered an immediate remedy now are excluded.

The likely results of these changes are fewer, smaller and less frequent penalties, particularly fines. Why does this matter? It means more facilities might get away with substandard care of your family members, friends or even yourself in the future because they are willing to pay lower fines to keep operating with subsidies from Medicare and Medicaid.

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


Senior Discount Club memberships are offered Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.


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, July 26 — Hot chicken salad, roasted broccoli, zucchini medley, milk, salad bar and carrot cake.

Friday, July 27 — Roast beef, gravy, potatoes au gratin, honey garlic green beans, dinner roll with butter, milk and salad bar.

Monday, July 30 — Turkey sandwich, apple/broccoli salad, chilled asparagus soup, milk, salad bar and iced lemon cookies.

Tuesday, July 31 — Beef stroganoff, cauliflower snowflakes, maple glazed carrots, milk, salad bar and chocolate mocha cake.

Wednesday, August 1 — King ranch chicken, charro beans, zucchini medley, milk, salad bar and snickerdoodle cookie.

Thursday, August 2 — Crunchy baked catfish with tartar sauce, corn pudding with green chili, coleslaw, milk, salad bar and pumpkin muffin.

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.