The Desert IndependentTM

Serving Blythe and the Desert Regions of the Southwest Since 2001

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Senior Xmas Party Perfect


By ROBERT JENSEN
The Desert Independent

December 17, 2016

BLYTHE, Calif The silver-hairs congregated in droves at the Blythe Community Center for the Annual Christmas Party, replete with scrumptious hams, delicate desserts, Xmas gifts, shifting dentures, animated conversations, gift exchanges, raffles and awards for the ugliest Christmas sweater, adorned with aplomb by Beverly Mays.

Pictures follow at end.

The staff of the Nutrition Program truly stepped up to the plate and served a sumptuous feast to well over sixty people who left with burgeoning bellies and the need for a long nap. The feast was prepared by the Blythe Staff, including Cindy Ruiz, Supervisor of the Senior Nutrition Program; Jose Garcia, Health Assistant and the energetic Elsa Moreno, another Health Assistant. Day in and day out over the year, these three individuals come to work at an early hour, do the shopping, prepare the Meals on Wheels, do the main amount of food preparation and are always ready to serve a nutritious meal to a happy group of senior citizens five days a week.

In addition to a plastic Kris Kringle, the event was visited by two overseers from the Riverside County Office of Aging. Karla Kjos, Contracts and Services Officer for the Nutrition Program and Keisha Winder, Administrative Services Analyst II, came for observation as well to sample the homemade desserts and make a collaborative judgment of which was the best.

In their background explanations, the program offers meals and socialization in a congregate setting, as required through the Older Americans Act. Service Hours are 8-12, Monday through Friday, with meals served promptly at 11:00. The program also provides meals to home-bound seniors five days a week. Services are available to individuals over 60 years in age, their spouses and volunteers as appropriate.

Congregate sites provide activities for socialization. Approximately 50 attend daily activities including bingo, nutrition awareness and geriatric exercise.

The program is well received by the individuals, Mrs. Kjos said, "There's a reason they come back every day. Cindy and her staff are pleased to serve the seniors in Blythe."

The Home Delivered meal program serves two nutritious meals as well as providers performing two wellness checks on those that are home-bound. We want to ensure the seniors are still able to care for themselves and are safe. Our goal is for individuals to remain independent in a home setting as well as maintain their dignity.

Ms. Kjos averred, "Annually, beginning in May through the summer months, the Office on Aging info van will go into the Blythe Community Senior Centers and others throughout the country to deliver nutrition education and to distribute Senior Farmers Market Vouchers which can be redeemed at any certified Farmer's Market.

For more on this program, please call 1-800-510-2020.

Or, e-mail [email protected]

Another source is Keisha Winder at 1- 951-867-3800 or e-mail: [email protected]

With that The Desert Independent wishes a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukah, Festivus for the Rest of Us, and Feliz Navidad to the folks at the Community Center as well as the good people of the City of Blythe at large.



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