Life After 50: Make America Smart Again

By BERNADETTE LAURITZEN
Executive Director
Los Alamos Retired & Senior Organization

Last night I ran across a gentleman who had a Los Alamos hat on that read, “Make America Smart Again”.

That my friends requires the attention of us all.

I am happy to announce that contracts are in place for the new fiscal year, at both senior centers. Questions have already arisen and I welcome your questions, input, complaints and compliments. They should always be directed to 505.662.8920 or Director@losalamosseniorcenter.com.

The senior centers now have gone to one lunch menu, for both facilities, which includes; drive through and Home Delivered Meals. As the director, the reason is a multi-reasoned approach, for LARSO. We are trying to conserve resources since we don’t know what the year will hold, both health-wise and financially. We have to look in advance for the unexpected, food chain interruptions, capacity to get supplies and potential re-opening.

I mention this because it was brought to my attention that some think I am trying to keep White Rock people off the hill. I live in White Rock and work mainly on the hill, so if something seems out of character, please feel free to ask me directly and not spread rumors that could make isolated people feel even worse.

Yes, all my ideas are not going to make everyone happy all of the time and I am okay with those decisions. My goal is the health and safety of our seniors, my staff and LARSO, as a whole.

I am often asked how people can help the centers. I will include with this a list of continuous needs for the elderly. Each center is like a mini store (non-perishable), but it allows staff to serve an immediate need and not utilize additional time or resources. We also graciously accept the donation of funds, through LARSO for the Senior Services program, or the donation of Smith’s gift cards.

I can tell you that senior centers across the state will not be hosting a gathered lunch program until September a a minimum, but many services continue. Our re-opening has nothing to do with providing meal service. The County will work with the Governor on re-opening and centers across the state have submitted COVID plans this week. There is no firm date, but with the current state of things in the state, it could range from September to January.

Four important things to do while stuck at home:

  • Complete the 2020 Census;
  • Register to vote;
  • Wear a mask; and
  • Get a flu shot.

You may not have had a flu shot before, but the 90 percent of people around you probably have, thereby protecting you. The current situation is nothing like the flu. As a nation, we have had 3 million cases and more than 130,000 deaths. We must remain vigilant that it is evolving and something you may have heard 3 months ago has changed now. We must be smart in our actions and with our reactions.

Senior Center Needs

Drop boxes are outside of both the White Rock and Los Alamos senior centers. The centers need cases of water, individual juices, easy to prepare meals, pre-packaged snacks, new puzzle books or magazines, any cleaning products, rubbing alcohol, hand sanitizer notes and letters to seniors and children’s art work.

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