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It has been a busy period for theAbility Center since our last newsletter. Many things have happened; many lives have changed for the better, and many lessons in the trenches have been mastered. For this month we will be discussing:

·        Recap of TACIL’s activities since our last newsletter

·        Sleep Hygiene

·        Recipe of the Month

·        Fact list about arthritis

·        Thank-you to our collaborators



The Ability Center’s three programs continue to do well regardless of the economic atmosphere being experienced in the state of New Mexico and the Country:

·        Our Independent Living program continues doing great work through advocacy services, independent living skills training, Rural Outreach, nursing home transition and other necessary services for persons with disabilities to live independently in their location of choice.

·        Our Social Security Payee Program continues doing well, teaching Consumers how to manage their finances effectively to achieve and maintain economic security. To illustrate how successful this program has been, within the past year, 3 of our Consumers once deemed incapable of handling their own finances are now doing it successfully on their own!!!

·        Our Traumatic Brain Injury Life Skills Coaching Program continues providing quality service to southwestern New Mexico, currently serving 15 individuals.

·        In collaboration with the New Mexico Commission for Deaf and Hard of Hearing (CDHH) , ASL classes are being offered to the general public at the Ability Center. We have had an excellent turnout for this project. In addition, we have distributed a lot of information and pamphlets regarding deaf culture and etiquette.

·        In collaboration with the Carl C. Anderson, Sr. and Marie Jo Anderson Charitable Foundation, our food bank program aimed at helping 24 low-income persons with disabilities progresses well. A local Wal-Mart has been a great collaborator helping maximize the effectiveness of this project.


The promotion of regular sleep is known as sleep hygiene. The following is a list of sleep hygiene tips which can be used to improve sleep. Also included is a list of special relevance to adolescents, who may experience sleep difficulties due to circadian rhythm changes occurring during the teenage years and into young adulthood.


1.    Go to bed at the same time each night and rise at the same time each morning.

2.    Make sure your bedroom is a quiet, dark, and relaxing environment, which is neither too hot nor too cold.

3.    Make sure your bed is comfortable and use it only for sleeping and not for other activities, such as reading, watching TV, or listening to music. Remove all TVs, computers, and other “gadgets” from the bedroom.

4.    Physical activity may help promote sleep, but not within a few hours of bedtime.

5.    Avoid large meals before bedtime.

Adolescents/Young Adults:

1.    Avoid caffeinated drinks after lunch.

2.    Avoid bright light in the evening.

3.    Avoid arousing activities around bedtime (e.g., heavy study, text messaging, getting into prolonged conversations).

4.    Expose yourself to bright light upon awakening in the morning.

5.    While sleeping in on weekends is permissible, it should not be more than 2–3 hours past your usual wake time, to avoid disrupting your circadian rhythm governing sleepiness and

Avoid pulling an “all-nighter” to study.




For those looking for a low-carbohydrate diet, the one below fits this search. Enjoy!!!


Chicken Breast with Feta, Celery and Radish Salad



  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (about 1 1/2 pounds)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • 1 romaine lettuce heart, torn into bite size pieces (about 4 cups)
  • 2 ribs celery, thinly sliced
  • 6 radishes, quartered
  • 3 ounces fresh feta, crumbled
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 lemon, quartered



Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Heat a large nonstick oven proof skillet over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and swirl to coat the skillet. Season the chicken breast with salt and pepper on the smooth side of each breast. Place in the skillet seasoned side down and cook without disturbing until brown and crisp, about 3 to 4 minutes. Season the top side of the chicken and flip. Cook 1 minute over the burner; then transfer the skillet to the oven until the chicken registers 165 on an instant-read thermometer, about 8 to 10 minutes more. Set chicken aside to rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Divide the romaine, celery, radishes, and feta among 4 plates. Drizzle about 3/4 of a tablespoon of the olive oil over each salad, season with salt and pepper and serve with a lemon wedge.


1 - Arthritis is not a single disease.

Many people speak of arthritis as if it were a single disease. Actually, there are over 100 types of arthritis and related rheumatic conditions. It is important to obtain an accurate diagnosis regarding which type of arthritis you have, so that proper treatment can begin.

2 - There is no known cure for arthritis but there are many treatment options.

There is no single medication or treatment which cures arthritis for everyone. There are treatment options which help with managing pain, controlling arthritis symptoms, and reducing joint damage or deformity.

3- There are many myths and misconceptions about arthritis.

Have you heard that arthritis only affects old people? Not true. Did you know that arthritis causes only minor aches and pains? Not true. Arthritis can be cured by changes in your diet? Not true again. These and several more examples of myths and misconceptions about arthritis, which are perpetuated by the spread of inaccurate information, can keep a person from managing the disease properly.

4 - A rheumatologist is a medical doctor who specializes in treating arthritis and other rheumatic conditions.

Your primary care doctor can refer you to a rheumatologist or you can get an appointment through self-referral if your health insurance allows it. Evaluation by a rheumatologist is important so that you can determine your type of arthritis and start a treatment plan.

5 - Early diagnosis and treatment may prevent joint deformity and disability.

Since there are various types of arthritis and many treatment options, it is important to be properly diagnosed and treated early in the course of the disease. Delaying diagnosis and treatment allows arthritis symptoms to worsen. The best chance for preventing joint deformity and disability begins with early diagnosis and treatment.

6 - You may have to try several treatment options before finding the most optimal treatment plan for you.

There are two important points to remember about arthritis treatment. Patients vary in their response to arthritis medications or other arthritis treatments. What works for one person may not work for another. Also, to find the safest and most effective medication or combination of medications, you'll have to weigh the benefits versus the risks.

7 - A healthy lifestyle and good habits may positively impact the course of arthritis.

Regular exercise, maintaining ideal weight, stress reduction, being a non-smoker and getting good sleep are part of better living with arthritis. Learn why it is important to adopt these lifestyle modifications.

8 - Besides the physical limitations imposed by arthritis, living with chronic pain can have emotional consequences.

So many emotions are stirred by living with chronic pain. Anger, resentment, depression, isolation and fear are just a few. It is important for you and your loved ones to realize that living with arthritis affects your emotions.

9 - There is a financial impact associated with chronic arthritis.

Arthritis and related rheumatic conditions are recognized as the leading cause of disability in the United States. According to the latest statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the total cost of arthritis is $128 billion/year and rising (equal to 1.2 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product). Medical expenses and lost wages are factored into the financial impact of arthritis.

10 - Arthritis can cause functional limitations which interfere with activities of daily living.

According to the CDC, about 41 percent (19 million) of adults with doctor-diagnosed arthritis report arthritis-attributable activity limitations. Some of the activity limitations are vital activities of daily living such as bending, stooping, walking and climbing stairs. Consequently, cleaning, cooking, personal hygiene and other daily activities are affected.







The Ability Center wants to take the time to thank the following individuals and (or) organizations for the great contributions they have made to the Center helping to fulfill our mission:

·        Aging and Long Term Services: Traumatic Brain Injury Program

·        Blas Rel

·        Brain Injury Association of New Mexico

·        Carl C. Anderson Sr. & Marie Jo Anderson Foundation

·        Casa De Oro Care Center

·        Chris Van Horn

·        Christina Little of the United Way of Southwestern New Mexico

·        Deming Luna County Commission on Aging

·        Disability Rights New Mexico

·        Hidalgo County Senior Center

·        Independent Living Resource Center of Albuquerque

·        Melody Parra

·        Munson Center

·        Our Dedicated Board of Directors

·        Our Dedicated Staff

·        Rehabilitation Services Administration

·        Ruth Romo

·        San Juan Center for Independence

·        Sandra Williams

·        Social Security Administration

·        The Catron County Health Council

·        The McCune Charitable Foundation

·        The New Mexico Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Area 3 Office

·        The New Mexico Governor’s Commission on Disability

·        Wal-Mart on Valley, in Las Cruces, NM

Most importantly, our Consumers for having faith in us and coming back to us for assistance to live a high quality of life in their communities free of exploitation and institutionalization.

715 E. Idaho Ave., Ste 3E Las Cruces NM USA
Phone: 575-526-5016  |  Fax: 575-526-1202