The Socorro County Senior Center has a familiar face as its new director. Salina Lopez was named Director of Socorro County Senior Centers by the county commission and took over her new role last week.
Lopez comes to her new position after being the branch manager of Ambercare. Her managerial experience includes running Gene’s Flowers at the corner of Manzanares and California, as well as the Warrior Grill, which she opened with family members in 2010.
She also worked in the county clerk’s office previously.
As Director, Lopez looks forward to opening up some of the activities for seniors that were put on hold because of COVID-19. But regardless, she enjoys serving the senior community.
“I think just working with the seniors,” she said. “I’m really interested in helping them out making sure they’re staying safe with the COVID going on. I know we’re kind of on the downhill with that, but keeping seniors safe, keeping them active in the community, getting them out of the house, is a big priority.”
Lopez works out of the Socorro office on Ake Avenue, overseeing service to about 200 seniors.
“On the average 25 to 27 people a day come to the center here in Socorro,” she said.
Seniors who are home-bound may be eligible to receive home-delivered meals.
These meals are provided to frail, home-bound and at-risk elderly individuals after an in-home assessment is completed.
Although still cautious about COVID, which seniors have a higher risk of, Lopez wants to see activities return.
“We do have a little bit of activity going on, but we’re looking at starting up bingo night, and possibly dances and monthly pool tournaments,” she said. “Those were popular before COVID.”
So far, the Veguita center is not open for people to eat on-site, “but, we’re still delivering home meals to Veguita seniors, 45 currently. We are working on getting them in, in the next week or so.”
The Magdalena Senior Center re-opened for in-person meals a few weeks ago.
“They serve approximately 30 meals a day,” Lopez said. “Magdalena is having a re-grand opening on April 29. We’ll have hamburgers and hot dogs for seniors on that day.”
She oversees a staff of 11 at the three centers.
“We’re still looking for volunteers,” she said.
The Foster Grandparent Program offers volunteer opportunities to low-income senior citizens 60 years of age and older. The volunteers are provided a $2.45 per hour stipend to allow them to provide their services at no cost to themselves.
The Senior Companion Program also provides volunteer opportunities to low-income senior citizens 60 years of age and older. The main purpose of the Senior Companion Program volunteers is to help elders remain at home.
Call the Socorro Senior Center at 575-835-2119 for more information on all senior services.