Sam Bauman: Senior center’s lunch area is a major upgrade

I tried lunching at the Senior Center last Tuesday and found the front parking area almost empty. Dodging yellow construction tape, I went in and was told that lunch was being served through the back doors. So I walked in the back doors; a few seniors were standing around.

I was directed down a corridor and into another short one where seniors were sitting at tables and lunching. A bit farther and I walked into an al fresco dining area, bright and sunny with a gentle breeze keeping things cool. I was ushered to a table under a beach umbrella and was quickly served my beverage. And in a few minutes a volunteer worker brought my lunch.

Marvelous setting, so much nicer than the old dining room with all those faded pictures and cafeteria service. Lunch had always been tasty, but now out in the open it had new flavors, new ways of cooking. How it’s done so far from the kitchen is a mystery, but the volunteers and Joe the chef gets it done. Everybody seemed more cheerful, more ready to gossip.

I later found out that during remodeling of the old dining room, lunch would be served in the open plaza, at least until mid-August. It’s enough to lure me there more than now and then. Takes me back to my old Naples days.

Seniors and Vets Agency in Reno

I had an appointment at the VA, I thought for Thursday last week. But I misread the printout when I went up for the blood draw. The folks there said I was early, but they would draw the blood for my doctor’s appointment next day.

Hopefully, I went to the intake desk and asked if they could squeeze me in. A very nice agent said I could speak to the doctor’s nurse, and I did. After doing the usual “vital signs” check, she said I would be able to see the doctor. This was a new doctor; my former one had retired.

So I got to meet Dr. Guptal, a charming lady and quick to the point. As I had no complaints, a small change in medication and we were able to complete the consultation and I was on my merry way.

I stopped at the outpatient clinic to pick up a medication and was reminded of an experience when I was out of test strips for blood sugar tests. It was a week before my appointments, and I had gone to a Carson City pharmacy for a refill. Yes, they could help me. They rang up the bill, first $85 then down to $72.

When I get the strips at the VA, they are almost free as they are lab work rather than medication. So I passed on the $72 and asked for the strips online from the VA. Four days later I had them.

Obviously, if you’re a senior and a vet the VA can be very good for you. My regular meds usually cost $8 each for a month’s supply. And I have found the Reno VA medical facility to be very well-operated.

When I hear the common complaint that the federal government can’t get anything right, I think of the Reno medical facility. And when I see the hundreds of vets there for treatment or help, I think, hey, the feds can get it right.

Sam Bauman writes about senior issues for the Nevada Appeal.


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