Healthy Aging & Yoga Therapy Class Series Starts Monday Jan 16
Gather with local yoga practitioners AJ Connors and Will Sechrist for a series of evidence based healthy aging and yoga therapy classes at the Pagosa Senior Center geared for adults and older adults of all ages. Start 2023 with a yoga series for healthy aging individuals with therapeutic classes offering yoga tools and education for strength, resilience, and wellness. Classes are designed to address different aspects of healthy aging and are geared towards accessibility and gentle practice. The themes for the class will include physical and mental well-being utilizing movement, meditation, and breathing practices. Mats and chairs will be provided; it's optional to bring a blanket, and please wear comfortable clothing. Classes are offered Monday 2:30 pm-3:30 pm with a suggested donation sliding scale of $5-15/class. First class begins 1/16/23 and subsequent classes are 1/23/23, 1/30/23 and 2/6/23.
Suggested Donation for Hot Meals will Increase January 2023
Meals on Wheels (MOW) of Pagosa Springs is a food service provided by the Archuleta Seniors Inc. for those needing a hot, home-cooked and home delivered meal at low cost. The cost of a meal historically has been a $5.00 donation. Starting in January of 2023 the suggested donation will be raised to $10.00 for all meals (MOW, dine in, pick up, grab n go, guests) made by the Pagosa Senior Center and Community Cafe. As a reminder this increase in cost is being requested as a donation, and no one will be turned away. The current supply chain and the rising cost of food, along with limited program funding have put a strain on the nine year old non-profit. ASI kitchen staff hand prepare around 200 meals every day (five days a week, frozen meals on weekends) for people who are unable to make a meal for themselves. If you would like to Adopt A Senior to help provide hot daily meals to a senior in need or have other questions please contact us at 970-264-2167.
Home Delivered Meals Via MET Transit will End Dec 23
The program for transportation services from the State Unit on Aging has been revised, curtailing delivery of meals through Archuleta County MET Transit. The transit service will still be available to those who require transportation to dine in at the Community Cafe Monday-Thursday. Community members who received delivery services from the Pagosa Senior Center through our Meals on Wheels program will continue to receive these services through volunteer drivers coordinated by the Center. We apologize for any inconveniences this may cause and invite the community to use our drive through services to pick up meals to go Monday through Friday or join us and dine in person Monday through Thursday between 11 am and 1 pm.
Archuleta Seniors Inc. November 3, 2022
Have you ever felt stressed out or frustrated to the point of wanting to give up? Or felt like you were going crazy because you lost your car keys again or aren’t feeling quite yourself? Of course, we've all had this problem at one time or another… especially as we grow older. Throw a pandemic into the mix and my mind really started to wander, having the tendency to zone out as the days blurred together. So what’s to be done? After all, we’re easing back into normalcy now, which means getting back into a routine again.
You’ve complained to a family member or friend and no one seems to understand. They may have even given you, “the look”. At this point, you probably feel angry… which is normal, but can’t continue. So, in this post, I'll give you some great ideas for mindfulness activities for seniors to help you gain peace of mind and find your way back to feeling like your old self again!
What is Mindfulness?Mindfulness is a basic human ability that comes naturally to all of us where we're able to stay present and aware of what we're doing and who we are. Being upset or over excited by what may be happening in our environment isn't always necessary. By doing mindfulness activities for seniors, you can avoid becoming overly emotional over slight details and focus on being positive.
Research has suggested that mindfulness activities for seniors may help combat the decline in memory or cognitive function. Exercising regularly, eating a healthy diet, acquiring enough sleep, reading fiction, and learning a new skill are also lifestyle practices to enhance mental abilities.
Being mindful can also benefit you by improving your social skills and helping you meet new people. You can do this by taking a yoga or meditation class, or practicing active listening. There are several benefits of mindfulness activities for seniors including:
Mindfulness Activities for Seniors and the Elderly
Although some people may believe meditation is challenging before even trying it, you might be surprised at how quickly you learn. You might need to grow accustomed to it first, but with practice, you'll likely be familiar in no time. You can meditate in the morning upon waking or even before bedtime.
2. Enjoying Nature
Whether you've always wanted to appreciate birds chirping or would rather just sit breathing some fresh oxygen into your lungs, we can all be more grateful for nature. Besides this, you can hone your creative skills by using a nature journal to record any objects you observe.
3. Writing in a JournalWriting can improve your health and boost concentration. A smart way to gain these benefits is to start a daily journal. You can keep a gratitude journal by writing down what you're grateful for.
4. Practicing Guided Sleep MeditationGuided sleep meditation can help you relax, fall asleep faster and easier and sleep longer and deeper throughout the night. You can download an app that takes you through each step of guided sleep meditation or follow a video tutorial.
5. GardeningGrowing plants doesn't need to be hard work, especially if you start small. Furthermore, you can focus on connecting with nature.
6. Listening to Calming Music When you listen to calming music, you have the chance to forget about your problems and focus on the present moment. While listening to classical music may be an excellent way to reduce stress, soft pop can also encourage relaxation.
7. Sharpening the MindKeeping your mind sharp by doing activities such as a crossword puzzle, jigsaw puzzle or word search can enhance brain power and relieve boredom. Staying alert, improving focus, boosting memory, and remaining independent longer are a few benefits of exercising your brain.
8. Reciting Positive AffirmationsSince we all experience negativity, it can be important to have a simple way to stay positive. For one, when you have negative thoughts, you can say positive affirmations to yourself.
9. Creating Daily RitualsDaily rituals can ground and stabilize us and give us purpose in a busy world. You can listen to an audiobook at a slower speed, walk your dog or do something else that brings you joy. Making time for what creates value in your life can make you healthier and happier.
10. WalkingGoing for a walk for a few minutes or longer each day can strengthen your muscles and bones. You can walk with a friend or family member and use this time to socialize o appreciate nature.I
11. Reading Something InspiringIn spite of all of the negative content in the world, there's plenty of inspirational content to read. Specifically, reading inspirational quotes in the morning can motivate you to be more positive. Moreover, you can read blog posts about those who perform good deeds or check out articles involving spirituality or religion.
12. Taking Technology BreaksWatching too much TV or browsing the internet may be fun, but it can also make you feel like you lack a purpose. Instead of wasting your valuable time on using electronics, you can call a loved one on the phone or take up a creative hobby.
13. Using AromatherapyAromatherapy has varying benefits, including improving sleep quality, easing depression, anxiety, and stress, and increasing feelings of relaxation. Indeed, smelling pleasant scents may be helpful in the treatment of certain conditions such as arthritis and cancer. You can be creative by adding an essential oil mixture to a bath, shampoo, body wash or diffuser.
14. Waking with a Purpose Everyone needs a purpose because this can make our days’ worth experiencing. One idea for cultivating one is to wake up each morning with the right mindset. Firstly, try figuring out what you'd like to accomplish the night before by making a plan for the following day.
15. Relishing Every Mouthful Making every bite of food count can be one of the most effortless mindfulness activities for seniors. Simply pay attention to the taste and texture of each mouthful and focus on being grateful for it.
16. Setting Daily GoalsWhen you set mindful goals, you can pursue these with a purpose in mind. In addition, this can encourage you to value your actions by cultivating an emotional connection with your efforts. M
17. Planning for the Next DayMaking a plan for the upcoming day can create positive intentions in your mind.
18. Breathing Exercises By increasing oxygen exchange, breathing exercises slow the heart down, ease abdominal tension and reduce blood pressure. As these changes affect your body, your mental state changes. Concentrating on breathing can be helpful in relaxing and gaining mindfulness. You can do breathing exercises when you'd like to reduce anxiety or stress.
19. Reading a Favorite Book Doing mindfulness activities for seniors can mean doing what you genuinely enjoy, that is if you love to read. On the one hand, reading aloud can be mindful.
20. Doing Yoga This is one of the mindfulness activities for seniors which is beneficial to your health and well-being that you can do alone or with a group.
21. Doodling or Coloring Self-expression can give you a way to let your inner child out and have a bit of healthy fun. All you need is some crayons and an adult coloring book or a pencil and a piece of paper. Attend a group coloring party and invite all of your friends or create a piece of art on your own.
22. VolunteeringBecoming a volunteer in your community or online can change your life and someone else's for the better. From helping to run a local food drive to becoming a youth mentor, there are various ways for you to become involved. By volunteering, you can gain a sense of purpose, know you're making a real difference, and likely meet friends who share your passions.
23. Gaining Body AwarenessIncreasing awareness of the feelings in your body can give you a way to understand what you need at any particular moment. You'll recognize more clearly when you're thirsty, distressed emotionally, hungry or tired. So you'll be able to improve weight and pain management. You can build body awareness by doing physical exercises like yoga, Tai Chi, balance exercises or walking backward. Taking a class can be an exceptional way to meet like-minded people who can provide you with encouragement to achieve your goals.
24. Expressing AppreciationWhen you express gratitude, you have the opportunity to relish whatever you experience at a higher level. This is because you're acknowledging your real emotions and living in the moment. Showing how you truly feel to those you love can be a satisfying way to build stronger relationships, stay positive and be healthier.
25. Making CraftsPottery, carving, knitting, and weaving are all examples of craft activities. In fact, crafting can give you a way to occupy yourself when you'd like to be creative. By joining a class, you can stay motivated to be creative by participating in group craft projects.
26. ExercisingYou can even be mindful when you exercise by engaging all your senses. Remember to acknowledge any discomfort you may have and stay attentive to your thoughts. You can ask friends or family members to join you for a walk or sign up for a group sport. Being part of a group can give you a sense of belonging and be plenty of fun.
27. Join a Cooking ClassTaking a cooking class can open doors to meeting new people and grasping useful skills. You can learn to cook everything from mouthwatering vegan Mexican food to healthful Mediterranean cuisine. After you've mastered the art of cooking, you can feel confident in making delicious meals.
Final Thoughts on Mindfulness Activities for SeniorsAs you can see, there are various benefits to becoming involved in mindfulness activities for seniors… probably the most noteworthy being improved cognitive ability and increased social interactions.
Whether you find pleasure in doing these by yourself or with a group, they work. Mindfulness can be incorporated into almost everything you do, because it’s about awareness more than the activity itself.
Most older people with vision impairment or blindness are not aware that they can access services or devices that can make daily tasks more straightforward, and in some cases simply safer. Medications – something often prescribed for low vision, vision impairment, or other vision conditions – are one of these areas where a little assistance can go a long way toward providing privacy and independence.
Communicating drug information is a necessity. Blindness and vision impairment increases in adults, especially after age 75 (Prevent Blindness America, 2002). “People age 80 years and older currently make up 8% of the population but account for 69% of blindness (Eye Diseases Prevalence Research Group, 2004).” Safety and nonadherence issues arise for these consumers. The lack of a national standard for labeling for this consumer base compromises their ability to read labels and information sheets, as well as determine color, shape, markings, and measuring devices and the number of refills left on a prescription. This problem is recognized by the US Veterans Affairs Office, which mandates that Audible Prescription Reading Devices are required to be provided for veterans needing this assistance. We could not locate in an online search a local or regional pharmacy that advertises this type of service and the related devices.
Useful sites for those wishing to pursue improved services for loved ones or other individuals in their care:
ASI’s website provides a wide variety of resources on aging, active engagement, provider and caregiver education, and information about ASI programs in Archuleta County, as well as contact information for making reservations at The Community Café for take-out and for Meals on Wheels.
Famously, Jane Brody provides some pithy advice that we all understand but find it hard to put into practice, “The secret to successful aging is to recognize one’s issues and adapt accordingly.” Physical activity is well-known for improving our quality of life on so many levels. So let’s consider what stops us from getting the level of activity that will help keep us physically fit and mentally sharp.
A new paper from Mather Institute gives some insight into why the “majority of older adults—many of whom understand the importance of physical activity for their ongoing health and independence—do not participate in regular activity.” A few items from the report might help to spark ideas for your setting.
Whatever activity you choose, it needs to be interesting and fun for the participants. As we work toward getting our own in-person health and education programs back open, you can find low-impact, online options for in-home exercise on our website through our alliance with Mather.
Our site also provides a wide variety of resources on aging, active engagement, provider and caregiver education, and information about ASI programs in Archuleta County, as well as contact information for making reservations at The Community Café for take-out and for Meals on Wheels.
Vision and hearing loss affect our brains. When these changes go untreated, it becomes harder for us to comprehend what our eyes are seeing and our ears are hearing. This impact takes an unfortunate toll on cognitive function and our emotional and physical well-being. The loss does not have to be profound to make a significant impact.
The additional work the brain has to do to process information in a new way is taking a real toll:
Conversely, correcting or supporting vision and hearing loss is good for our brains and by extension our long term well-being. Moderators are new cues that we can use in our daily environment to improve how we live our lives and better manage with our changing eyes and ears. Steps you can take include simple solutions, such as:
Think bigger as well – when someone falls due to poor vision and has a major health impact, the medical and social costs to that individual and their family far outstrip the effort needed to make smaller accommodations before an accident occurs.
Our website provides a wide variety of resources on aging, active engagement, provider and caregiver education, and information about ASI programs in Archuleta County, as well as contact information for making reservations at The Community Café for take-out and for Meals on Wheels.
For those seeking to gain financial literacy – especially those trying to manage a low income household – free, accessible resources are key. Accessible might mean the library computer terminal and their wi-fi hook up, but the results are worth it. Budgeting when debt looms, when funds for medical/dental expenses are needed but not available, and when savings seems out of the question are all parts of gaining financial literacy. Financial literacy is not intuitive – it’s not something we should just “know” without guidance. It is an area of study now being taught in most middle and high schools around the world. However, this is a new phenomenon which means that many older adults have not had the benefit of this type of education and may be struggling harder than they need to just to get by week to week and day to day.
According to the Center for Retirement Research in Boston, over half of Americans do not have adequate savings to maintain their lifestyle after age 65. More worrying, 39% of Americans currently report that they cannot cover a $1,000 emergency cost with existing cash reserves. For all of us, no matter where we sit on the socio-economic spectrum, we can gain from seeking out financial management resources so we can better understand our position in this changing world. Here are a few free resources from three leading non-profits for both individuals and financial literacy educators:
Note: Explore our website for other resources on aging, active engagement, provider education, caregiver resources, and information about ASI programs in Archuleta County, as well as contact information for making reservations at The Community Café for take-out and for Meals on Wheels.
Asking whether a friend, family member, or patient has someone they can count on to listen when they need to talk can be a telling proposition. Social supports come in all sizes and flavors – including the friendly neighbor who waves hello and the one willing to walk your dog so that you can have a furry companion in your home as you age. It turns out that having someone who genuinely listens to us measurably improves our cognitive resilience.
With an estimated 5 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s, and many more living with slow progressive loss of intellectual abilities for other reasons, it is important that we understand the value that simply listening brings and the positive impacts this exerts on each individual’s ability to maintain their intellectual stamina over time. The impacts start earlier in life than you may expect. For example, those in their 40’s and 50’s who have little access to someone who they can count on to listen when they need to talk have a cognitive age four years older than their peers who do have someone who listens.
Being a listener is a social support unto itself. The listener hears what concerns, interests, or confuses the speaker and this interaction protects brain health in ways that we may not properly value. Providing a sounding board for a loved one or an acquaintance is a simple action that increases their odds of long-term brain health and improved quality of life. Whether cultivating a new social relationship or taking the time to sustain an old one, it is worth the investment required to sustain those bonds.
Explore our website for more caregiver resources and information about ASI programs in Archuleta County, as well as contact information for making reservations at The Community Café for take-out and for Meals on Wheels.