Registered nurse Joan Dalrymple, right, checks Alma Harris’s blood pressure and pulse during a wellness clinic at The Haven Community Center. The free, drop-in clinics are held on a regular basis throughout Routt and Moffat counties.

Tamera Manzanares/Courtesy

Registered nurse Joan Dalrymple, right, checks Alma Harris’s blood pressure and pulse during a wellness clinic at The Haven Community Center. The free, drop-in clinics are held on a regular basis throughout Routt and Moffat counties.

Wellness clinics help seniors monitor their health

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Wellness clinics

Routt County

• 1:30 to 3 p.m., third Monday of every month, Selbe Apartments (open to everyone), Steamboat Springs.

• 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., third Tuesday of the month, Steamboat Springs Community Center.

• 10:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., second Wednesday of the month, Mountain Manor Senior Apartments (residents only), Steamboat Springs

• 1:30 to 3:30 p.m., every Wednes­day, Haven Community Center (Wellness Day), Hayden. Drop-in chair massage also is available from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. for 75 cents per minute.

• 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., second and fourth Monday of the month, Oak Creek Community Center (Wellness Day).

Moffat County

• 9 to 11 a.m., first Tuesday of the month, Sunset Meadows II, Craig

• 10 a.m. to noon, every Wednesday, American Legion (Wellness Wednesday), Craig

• 10 to 11 a.m., third Thursday of the month, Sunset Meadows I, Craig

• 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., second Thursday of the month, Maybell Community Center

Foot care clinics

By appointment only

Routt County

• 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., second Monday of every month, Oak Creek Community Center (Wellness Day). For an appointment, call 871-7680.

• 2:30 to 4:15 p.m., second Monday of every month, Oak Creek Senior Apartments. For an appointment call 871-7680.

• 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., fourth Monday of every month, Yampa Town Hall.

• 2 to 4 p.m., every Wednesday, The Haven Community Center (Wellness Day), Hayden. For an appointment call 871-7680.

• 2 to 4 p.m., every Wednesday, The Haven Community Center (Wellness Day), Hayden. For an appointment call 875-1884.

Moffat County

• 9 a.m. to noon, every Wednesday, American Legion (Wellness Wednesday), Craig. For an appointment call 875-1884.

• 9 to 11 a.m., two Thursdays per month, Sunset Meadows I, Craig. For an appointment call 875-1884.

— Health is a personal matter, and senior wellness clinics involve more than checking a person’s weight, blood pressure and other vitals.

The drop-in clinics, offered by the Aging Well program of the Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association, are about developing relationships so seniors feel comfortable discussing issues affecting their well-being.

A 10-minute visit, for example, may reveal whether a person is experiencing pain, fatigue, swelling or headaches, or if they are lonely or isolated — signs of potentially serious problems.

“I ask them how they are today, and if there is anything they’d like to share with me about their health,” said Joan Dalrymple, a registered nurse with the Aging Well program. “You can learn a lot by just talking with them and observing their overall general health.”

Dalrymple travels throughout Routt County for wellness clinics aimed at helping monitor older adults’ health in between visits to their primary care health provider. The free clinics also are held in Moffat County on a weekly or monthly basis.

Dalrymple’s friendly and caring demeanor nurtures clients’ trust, making them more receptive to her suggestions about how to improve their health.

Whether it’s encouraging a person to always carry a list of their medications and health conditions or stressing the importance of getting outside or exercising, Dalrymple tries to promote a positive relationship.

She brings to the table a long and varied nursing career that includes delivering babies, working in operating rooms and emergency rooms, providing bedside nursing care and working as a nurse consultant in a large independent living facility.

A senior herself, her experience makes her particularly sensitive to issues that may affect older adults’ health, and she is thankful for the resources available to help them.

Several wellness clinics, for example, are part of a full day of exercise, wellness, education and social activities offered weekly to older adults in Craig, Hayden and South Routt County.

Wellness Days (or Wellness Wednesdays in Craig), include lunch, guest speakers, classes such as beginning computers and writing memoirs, as well as gentle exercise.

Workshops, such as Healthier Living and Healthier Living Diabetes, are available to help individuals self-manage chronic conditions by improving their overall lifestyle and outlook.

“I feel we have wonderful programs and services to offer people, and I’d like to see more people take advantage of it,” Dalrymple said.

In addition to wellness clinics, Aging Well also offers free foot care clinics. The clinics, available by appointment, are administered by nurses or medical assistants trained to screen for problems such as ulcers, cuts or open wounds, loss of sensation and other problems.

Foot care visits include a foot massage, trimming and filing of toe nails and a foot check.

It is difficult for many older adults to check and care for their feet as they lose flexibility and strength. This can be particularly problematic for people who have diabetes and are prone to foot problems.

Left unchecked, foot problems can fester into dangerous conditions, threatening a person’s mobility and independence.

“We’re all about prevention,” said Mary Acton, who conducts Aging Well foot checks in Hayden and Craig.

For more information about Aging Well programs, including Wellness Days, wellness clinics and foot care, call 871-7676.

— Tamera Manzanares writes for the Aging Well program and can be reached at tmanzanares@nwcovna.org. Aging Well, a division of Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association, is a community-based program of healthy aging for adults 50 and older. For more information, visit www.agingwelltoday.com or call 871-7676.

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