Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to the most commonly asked questions

What sports and fitness programs do you offer for seniors?

The Department of Senior Affairs offers a variety of programs including:

  • Aerobics
  • Adapted Aquatics
  • Gentle Exercise
  • Senior Olympics
  • Weight Training
  • Winter Sports

Call (505) 888-8166 for more information.

Learn more.

Do senior centers offer a Defensive Driving Course?

The AARP Defensive Driving Program is a classroom driver-improvement course. The eight-hour course is taught in two four-hour sessions over two days. It provides practical techniques for coping with changes in vision, hearing and reaction time, along with a review of “rules of the road." Anyone 50 years or older may take this class and receive a discount on insurance premiums. No written or driving test is involved. Cost is $20 per person, make your check payable to AARP and bring it to the first class. No cash will be accepted. Call the Senior Centers for monthly dates and registration.

How old do you have to be to join a senior center?

Any person wishing to participate at a senior center is required to be at least 50 years old and obtain a membership card.  Spouses of members who are younger than 50 may become a member of a senior center. There is a $13.00 membership fee for the year. Cards are issued for one year and are valid at all six senior centers and two multigenerational centers in Albuquerque.

Our Multigenerational Centers (Manzano Mesa & North Domingo Baca) are for seniors, youth, and the entire community, age six and older. Memberships for the multigenerational centers are also $13.00 per year.

What activities do you offer at senior centers?

Each senior center offers different activities ranging from educational classes to computers, arts (including water colors and oil painting, crafts, pottery), languages, exercise, dance, music, cultural activities, day trips, overnight trips, support groups, health screenings, lectures, etc. The Department of Senior Affairs offers activities to satisfy a variety of interests.

You can view a complete listing of activities online, or obtain a free Activities Catalog by visiting one of our centers.

What is served for lunch at senior centers?

Bear Canyon, Palo Duro and Highland Senior Centers each have a different daily menu which may be read in the Sunday Albuquerque Journal under "Trends" or by obtaining a monthly menu calendar from each center. Manzano Mesa, North Valley, Los Volcanes and Barelas have the same luncheon menu also listed in the Albuquerque Journal under "Trends" or by obtaining a monthly menu from one of the sites

Note: Occasional cancellations or schedule changes may involve days the center is closed for cleaning/renovations.


What if I cannot afford the donation for membership at a senior center?

If you can not afford the donation, please tell the Senior Center Manager and he/she will waive the donation for you.

Which senior centers are open during the evenings and Saturdays and Sundays?

Bear Canyon Senior Center

  • Thursdays until 9pm and Saturdays 9am - 3pm

Highland Senior Center

  • Wednesday until 9pm

Manzano Mesa Multigenerational Center

  • Monday through Friday until 9pm
  • Saturdays 9am until 3pm

Los Volcanes Senior Center

  • Dinner Dance on the last Tuesday of the month, 5:30pm - 8:30pm (Doors open at 5pm)

North Valley Senior Center

  • A dance on Sundays 12:45pm until 4:30pm

Palo Duro Senior Center

  • Saturday 9 am-3 pm

Where are senior centers located and what are their hours of operation?

Please refer to the Centers page.

Where can I get Senior Citizen services?

City of Albuquerque, Department of Senior Affairs and the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP).

For all questions concerning senior affairs, the City of Albuquerque, Department of Senior Affairs, located at 714 Seventh St., SW, phone (505) 764-6400 uses a clearing house information line for all questions.

The Albuquerque office for the National AARP is (505)843-9372. You may contact Patrice Cardona.

For the AARP employment program (505)248-0052, you may contact Art Lopez.

What is the P.E.T.S. Program?

Pets & the Elderly Together S

This project is a partnership between the City of Albuquerque Department of Senior Affairs, the Environmental Health Department and the Animal Humane Association of New Mexico. Homebound seniors age 60 and older who receive Home Delivered Meals from the Department of Senior Affairs will be the recipients of dog and cat food for their pets.

The Retired and Senior Volunteer Program of the Department of Senior Affairs is recruiting volunteers. To participate in this project call the Senior Information Line at (505) 764-6400.

How should donations or contributions for home delivered meals be made?

Donations should be made by check or money order payable to the City of Albuquerque, Nutrition Program.

Envelopes with the postage pre-paid are provided to clients.

Additional envelopes can be obtained by calling 505-764-6433.

Money is not to be given directly to the driver or any other person representing the Nutrition Program.

What resources are available for a senior who is homebound and frail?

The department of Senior Affairs provides access to many services in Albuquerque and Bernalillo County for frail homebound seniors over the age of 60.

Services include Care Coordination, Home Retrofit (installation of wheelchair ramps, grab bars, safety rails and other supportive equipment), basic Home Repair and Home Chores, Home-Delivered Meals, and Senior Transportation.

Interested public should call(505) 764-6400 between 8:30 am and 4:30 pm, Monday through Friday to speak to an intake specialist.

The Senior Information number(505) 764-6400 is the Department of Senior Affairs one-stop telephone number that provides information, assessment, referral, assistance, and literature.

Where will the Palo Duro Senior Fitness Center be located?

The Palo Duro Fitness Center will be located adjacent to the McKinely Community Center, 3401 Monroe NE, on the McKinely Middle School property. The Center is west of San Mateo and south of Comanche.

What are the age requirements for the Senior Sports and Fitness Program?

To participate in the Senior Sports and Fitness Program at a senior center you are required to be age 50 and older; to participate in the Senior Olympics, the age requirement is 50.

Where is the Senior Sports and Fitness office?

The Senior Sports and Fitness office is located at the Palo Duro Fitness Center, 3401 Monroe NE. Karen Baker, is the program coordinator, and she may be reached by calling 880-2800.

Does the Senior Sports and Fitness Program offer weight training?

The Senior Sports and Fitness Program offers weight training at its Palo Duro Senior Fitness Center, Los Volcanes Fitness Center.

What is the Albuquerque 50 Plus Senior Olympics?

The Albuquerque 50Plus Olympics is a program of the Senior Sports and Fitness where by adults, aged 50 and older, may participate in 23 different sports, qualifying them for participation in the State Senior Olympics, held every summer in a selected city in New Mexico. Participants who qualify at the state level are eligible to qualify for nationals, which is held every two years in a selected location throughout the country.

What is Exercise to Music?

Exercise to Music is the name of the classes offered at all Department of Senior Affairs senior centers, and some satellite senior centers. Exercise to Music classes emphasize stretching and strengthening the entire body, but exercises are designed to improve flexibility, agility, range of motion, posture, coordination, endurance, bone density, muscle tone and cardiovascular fitness. All classes are conducted by the Senor Sports and Fitness Program instructors who are evaluated yearly for safety and effectiveness. Call the Senior Sports and Fitness Office for list of sites and scheduled times, 888-8166.

What is Gentle Exercise?

Gentle Exercise is a fun, non-impact, chair exercise class set to music. Classes are designed to improve strength, flexibility, balance, cardiovascular capacity, endurance and bone density. Classes are offered at six senior center sites, for more information and schedule of times, call the Sports and Fitness Office, 880-2800.

Is there a cost to join the Senior Sports and Fitness Program?

Any one who is a member of a senior center is welcome to utilize the Senior Sports and Fitness programs. Membership is $13.00 per year, and may be obtained by completing a member registration form. If a participant can not afford the registration donation, it will be waived. If a participant is not a member of a senior center, he/she may complete a Senior Sports and Fitness member registration form.

What is Adapted Aquatics?

The Adapted Aquatics program is an offering of the Senior Sports and Fitness Program, of the Department of Senior Affairs. Adapted Aquatics is conducted five days a week at the University of New Mexico warm water therapy pool. An instructor leads participants through a series of exercises designed to increase their strength, flexibility and range of motion. The class works all parts of the body, with particular emphasis given to increasing mobility. It is an excellent class for those suffering from arthritis and range of motion problems. All classes are conducted by Senior Sports and Fitness Program instructors, who are evaluated yearly for safety and effectiveness.

Do you have an age requirement to participate in your weight training program at Manzano Mesa?

It is the decision of the Department of Senior Affairs to impose a minimum age requirement of 18 and older for persons to participate in the weight training room at Manzano Mesa Multigenerational Center. This decision was reached after reviewing a number of studies involving strength training and youth which advocate that the proper age specification to begin a weight training program is after this age.

Where can homebound seniors get help with income tax preparation?

Income tax preparation is available for seniors who are homebound.Contact Senior Information at (505) 764-6400 to request information on organizations that have volunteers who can go to the home. This service is free to seniors who qualify.Qualifying seniors would be those who are homebound - have absolutely no means of transportation, family support, or method of getting to a tax preparation site.

What is the Senior Winter Sports Program?

The Senior Winters Sports Program is an offering of the Department of Senior Affairs, Senior Sports and Fitness Program. Each winter, opportunities for classes and activities are offered to seniors to participate in downhill skiing, cross country skiing, snowshoeing, overnight ski trips and a two-day Senior Winter Sports Competition. Dependent on weather conditions, the Winter Sports Program begins in January of each year; for more information, call the Senior Sports and Fitness Program, 880-2800.

At what age is a Home Bound Person eligible to receive home delivered meals

Seniors over the age of 60 are eligible. In addition to serving seniors over the 60, the spouse and or dependent children, (regardless of their age), of an eligible senior may be eligible.

How early can I call in for Transportation?

Transportation clients can call up to seven (7) days in advance to schedule a ride. They can call up to the day before their appointment but schedules fill up quick and availability may be limited. Calling ahead, however, does not guarantee a ride, since medical appointments are priority. In addition, rides are provided as resources and scheduling permits.  Clients identified as "Special Needs Clients" must state that that they need a wheelchair accessible vehicle when booking their ride. Other transportation options may be discussed.

Does the Senior Nutrition Program offer special therapeutic meals?

Yes, all of the meals prepared are considered "heart health," they are low salt and low fat. They are considered to be generally acceptable to persons with diabetic requirements. A licensed dietician prepares and analyzes the menus to insure they meet 1/3 of the RDA's .

What type of services are offered by Senior Information?

For assistance in locating any type of senior service, contact Senior Information at (505) 764-6400; fax (505) 764-6465; tty (505) 764-6405 or via email at [email protected]

Senior Information is open from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm Monday through Friday and is closed on major holidays. Senior Information is located in the Barelas Senior Center at 714 7th Street SW, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87102.

The Senior Information Line, (505) 764-6400, is a health / social service information and referral program for senior services. It is the one-stop site / telephone number for answering almost any question about the Department of Senior Affairs or for linking Bernalillo County seniors and caregivers to appropriate community services throughout metropolitan Albuquerque. Services include information, assessment, referral, and advocacy related to senior services. Assistance for seniors in completing forms and occasional letter-writing is also provided.

Long distance caregivers of seniors in another part of the country can be linked to information resources in those areas.

Senior Information creates and distributes literature on senior-related topics. This includes the Quick Guide to Senior Services, the Public Benefits and Other Assistance Guide, and approximately twenty other handouts.

Directions: Senior Information is located in the Barelas Senior Center and may be accessed from I-25 by driving west on Lead to Sixth Street; turn left or South on Sixth Street to Iron; turn right or West on Iron to Seventh Street; turn left or South on Seventh Street, go one block; Barelas Senior Center is the first building on the left. At the senior center counter, ask for directions to the Senior Information office.

Where can seniors get help with income tax preparation?

Reservations are required however, walk-ins needing forms or simple questions answered are welcome without reservations. If you have a complicated return, check with the center prior to your appointment for a consultation with the volunteer tax assistant. Most centers are emphasizing electronic filing. Please ask for this service when making your appointment. There is no charge for income tax preparation at any of the senior centers.