How can we be stuck at home all day and yet the time flies by and we lose track of what day it is? We sure are in peculiar times. A year ago, we might have said that we had experienced just about everything a person could… that we had perhaps lived two, three, maybe four different periods in our lives… We’ve been school kids, newly weds, parents, and had numerous job experiences, outside and inside the house. We’ve experienced and overcome dreaded diseases in the world from childhood to adulthood. We’ve experienced a few foreign wars, a few economic crashes and recoveries, enlightenment in race, religion and sex, political intrigue and demonstrations of poor character, violence on the streets, and more.
But never did we have a year when it all seemed to happen at once.
Perhaps a year from now, we will be able to live our normal lives again, with its ups and downs. But now people of every age will have experienced in one year all the things we have over 60, 70, 80 years. What will become of that new knowledge? Can you, as a conscientious knowledgeable senior, step up and take on positions of influence, knowledge and calming through work in churches, political venues, schools, grass root groups, and more? Perhaps we can consider this as our next journey, as we “shelter at home” during the next few months.
EVENTS & ACTIVITIES:
There are no activities, programs, crafts etc. for the rest of this season from the Town of Lyons or Boulder County Aging. The Town had its last activity in October, with about ten seniors doing watercolor drawings in the fresh air of LaVern Johnson Park. They studied painting clouds, and were encouraged by the temporary teacher Sonny Smith to just go free and wild with them. Most of the students included mountains in their pictures because “that’s who we are!”
The Wednesday Walkers are continuing, but have moved their meeting time to 11 a.m. to 12 noon because of the cooler weather. (There is no class the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.) The walkers meet at the Senior Center and go to a nearby park, do some exercises or stretches, and return to the Center, all the while sharing the latest family and friend news and social distancing.
As far as free meals, The River Church has discontinued their Monday night meals, and will serve the community in their church building hall. No other church has indicated that they will restart the Monday night suppers.
Boulder County Area Aging (BCAAA) is continuing its Wednesday and Friday lunch schedule. Nutritious quality lunches for seniors ages 65 and up can be ordered by 1p.m. the day before at (303) 441-1415, and picked up in front of the Walt Self Senior Center at 12 noon. Note, there will be no meal served the Friday after Thanksgiving. This month they had a wonderful mild lemon baked fish, and sesame-ginger thin-sliced beef (kind of like teriyaki sauce). There will be a turkey dinner on Wednesday, November 25.
We thank Teresa DeAnni, Boulder County Healthy Aging Program Manager, and Boulder County, for providing shares of organic, farm-fresh vegetable bags during the summer months to Lyons seniors! And, to Helen Vanderwerken, Lyons Meal Program Coordinator, Boulder County Area Agency on Aging. She always promptly hands out the lunches, with a smile, and makes sure seniors wear their masks and social distance!
WILD FIRES: Many of you were either on the edge of your seat for a week, or evacuated due to the nearby forest fires in October, about ten miles south of Lyons. I heard from many of you who moved in with relatives, in Boulder, Longmont, and even Denver. Some stated to me that when they returned home, they left their bags packed for another week or two. But today, the three surrounding fires are almost entirely contained and/or not growing.
VETERAN’S DAY: We all celebrated Veterans Day last Tuesday, November 11, thanking our brave military for protecting our freedom. Rhonda (Harkalis) French put together a list of Lyons veterans, based on school records, cemetery records, conversations with long-time citizens, and more. It was published in the Recorder. Please check out the list and honor them. https://lyonsrecorder.org/…/11/05/honor-veterans-lyons-co/ If we missed your name, and you are a Lyons Area Veteran — or you had one in your family — please contact the Lyons Recorder, and we will list your name and service branch. LyonsRecorder.Editor@gmail.com
THANKSGIVING: There are a lot of COVID-19 restrictions swirling around, and they seem to change daily, but the thing you need to know is that in Boulder and Larimer County the Orders state that you should not interact with more than one “household.” (defined as people you live with).
November is NATIONAL ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE MONTH / AND FAMILY CAREGIVERS MONTH: Well, this sounds like a match made in heaven. The number of people with the terrible disease is growing, but the number of individuals in the household who are taking care of the ill people is also growing, and is now more than 16 million people. The month was designated as National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month by President Ronald Reagan in 1983 (who later got the disease himself.) It later was expanded by President Bill Clinton to honor our nation’s caregivers: National Family Caregivers Month. So, you see it all makes sense now.
Most caregivers think they can do it all by themselves, but eventually they find themselves exhausted, losing their good health, depressed, and more. If you are a caregiver, know that it is OK to feel and say these emotions out loud. It does not mean that you hate your loved one or are being mean to them. If you don’t take care of your own health, then you won’t be able to take care of them. The Alzheimer’s Association offers scores of support groups around the state of Colorado to help you. You can get advice, counseling and a friendly ear from people who are going through the same thing that you are.
For more information about monthly support groups, call the Alzheimer’s Association free 24/7 Helpline at 800-272-3900 or go to www.alz.org/crf, click on Alzheimer’s Association Programs and Events, and then on Support Group.
Charitable DONATIONS: This is the time of year for people to get donation solicitations over the phone or in emails. It’s a good idea to not give anything to a person calling you. Tell them you will donate online. Do your research before giving by visiting one of these two web sites: www.checkthecharity.com or www.charitynavigator.org. You can enter the name of the charity, or search for a topic (eg, education, hunger, etc.) and it will state how long it has been around, how it spends its funds (eg, how much goes to Administration), and will show you the rating it has earned, and more.
RUTH BADER GINSBURG: In October, we printed an article paying tribute to this amazing Supreme Court Justice. It wasn’t a list of her achievements, which you could get anywhere. It was multiple inspiring views of the effect of Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s life on Lyons people; including the significance of passing away during the Jewish holy days, and during Autumn Equinox. Plus, lyrics to songs written by Shauna Lee. All written by local Lyons people. Be prepared to take advantage of the inspiring words… https://lyonsrecorder.org/…/01/personal-tributes-ginsburg/
FIRE MITIGATION: I asked Kelsey Lesniak, a Forester with the Colorado State Forest Service “What can we do right NOW to protect our home in case a wildland fire starts near us?” She recommended proactive mitigation steps, which we have listed in an article: https://lyonsrecorder.org/…/24/fire-protection-distr-help/
The State of Colorado, and Boulder County, have instated a new category on the “COVID DASHBOARD” that shows how much people are at risk for getting the virus. The new restrictions start Friday, November 20. In general, most businesses are now restricted to ten percent capacity. You can only eat outside of restaurants, with only your one household attending. Elderly people are asked to stay home at all times, unless they have essential things to do, like go to the doctor.
We have a new page that gives all the restrictions for Level RED. And, next week we are publishing a page that will give you facts and links on everything you could possibly ask about COVID-19, and in particular in Boulder or Colorado.
For instance: Outbreaks have been determined at Aunt Alice’s Kitchen in Longmont, at a Taco Bell there, and at a vet/animal care place in Hygiene. You can click on the link to see a map that shows where the outbreaks were, and if they are still active.
BOULDER COUNTY=DISASTER HELP: The County has supports available for any household that is evacuated or otherwise impacted due to the fires: Food assistance; Housing assistance; Financial counseling; Health coverage; Transportation assistance; Referrals and linkages to other basic needs; Mental health supports; Help with debris removal. When disaster strikes, contact the Disaster Assistance Center at 303-441-1206. Larimer County seniors should call the Larimer County Joint Information Center with Questions: 970-980-2500
LYONS REDSTONE MUSEUM: VIRTUAL TOURS: The Lyons Redstone Museum now has three virtual tours. You click on the link and it takes you to a web page where you can view either (1) Lyons Historic District, or (2) “40 Years/40 Artifacts” 2019 exhibit, or (3) stories about some people buried in Lyons Cemetery. Go to the article for more information.
CHRISTMAS GIFT CARD SHOPPING: Many people don’t know that those nice clean gift cards hanging on the wall at stores can be tampered with, and made worthless. When purchasing a gift card, be sure to inspect it thoroughly: Ensure the PIN number on the back of the card is not visible. You also have the option of buying them online directly from the retailer for an extra layer of security. (eg: Go to Target or Safeway or American Express’s web site.) Be sure to give the receipt for the gift card to the recipient as proof of payment.
SHOPPING/MONEY TRANSFER: When shopping on Craigslist, eBay or other marketplace sites, never wire money or use peer-to-peer apps to pay for goods or services. If you are asked to wire funds, pay with an app or use pre-paid gift cards, consider it a scam. By the way, peer-to-peer apps are: Venmo, PayPal and Cash App which allow users to send one another money from their mobile devices through a linked bank account or card.
MAGAZINE SALES: In October, the government charged sixty people in a widespread magazine telemarketing scam that authorities say netted $300 million from more than 150,000 elderly and vulnerable people …I wonder why it took them so long? That’s a lot of people. Don’t forget to call the local police and the federal government to report scams!
FAKE NEWSPAPERS: More than a dozen new websites that are made to look like newspapers in Colorado have popped up recently and come from questionable backgrounds. The websites, which go by names like the Adams County Times, Centennial State News, Colorado Business Daily or Grand Junction Times, look legitimate. The owners have a story written up about a business, person, company, politician, etc. and then change the name for that city, according to the orders of the person who is paying them. It could say “Hickenlooper hides election money in bunker” in a Colorado newspaper. And, then in Utah, it would say “Romney hides election money in bunker.”
It’s a phenomenon that has been dubbed “pink slime journalism,” where the stories themselves are not blatantly false but slanted and often paid for by interested parties.
MEDICARE SCAM: Scammers are taking advantage of “Open Renewal” time for Medicare and Insurance “Enrollment.” Someone will call and say they are from Medicare or your GAP Insurance company and say it is time to renew. They ask you to give them your ID # == Just hang up. If you were thinking of renewing, look up the phone number directly, and CALL. Never give out your Medicare number and Social Security number over the phone unless YOU are calling THEM.
Your Home Town Newspaper: LYONS RECORDER
I hope that you have been reading the weekly Lyons Recorder, as it is equal amounts of entertaining informative articles -and- important reports and news. This fall we have had articles about exactly what happens when one of our Lyons’ bears hibernates in his den –to what to do in the kitchen with all the vegetables we are harvesting. We’ve had reports from every major Lyons nonprofit: from the Garden Club, Lyons Community Foundation, Rocky Mt Botanic Gardens, and the list goes on. Also, some Town government reports, like Arts & Humanities and the library.
Many of you are familiar with Cherie Maureaux, who is the mental wellness counselor with LEAF, and Linda Pecone (“Miss Linney’s Kitchen”) who wrote for the print version of the Recorder for five years, and perhaps Sara at Stillwater. Their monthly wellness and health tips are down-to-earth and useful.
Just because you are isolated at home doesn’t mean that you have to be isolated from your community. Be informed! And, share the news with others.
The hottest columns by far have been the informative ones about the “fire preparedness and reports” and “covid restrictions” etc. They always focus on Lyons, with only brief summaries of national news.
If there is an area that you are interested in, like the environment, schools, parks, etc. and would like to use your skills to write reports on them, let the newspaper know. You might even try your hand at investigative reporting! And dig up some exciting fresh news. Don’t hesitate; write to the paper now: LyonsRecorder.Editor@gmail.com