Aging Well February 25th 2014

“Anybody who thinks talk is cheap should get some legal advice.” – Franklin P. Jones American Journalist and Humorist

Don’t you wish the American legal system was simple, understandable, and inexpensive? But doesn’t it seem like the laws are becoming even more complex, and in the name of clarity and fairness more ambiguous and contradictory, to the point where you just want to throw up your hands and scream “I give up!”

But there may be a time when consulting an attorney is your best and wisest choice. You may have been pressured by a door to door salesman to buy a security system you don’t really need. Or you are threatened by a relative who is living with you. Or you just want to make out a will that will treat your heirs fairly.

But as we all know, legal services are not cheap and are often financially out of reach for many older adults. But for those who feel they can’t afford the cost of legal help, there are several resources available to you. 

Legal Aid Services of Oregon (LASO) serves people with low-incomes and seniors offering assistance in many areas including elder law. They have a staff of 46 attorneys in offices around the state with their regional office in Portland serving Wasco and Sherman Counties. You can call them at (503) 224-4086 or 1-800-228-6958.

Or you can attend the 11:00 Tuesday Lecture at the Center on March 4th, when Andrea Ogston, an attorney for Legal Aid who focuses on legal help for individuals over the age of 60, will discuss the free legal services available through Legal Aid.

There is also Oregon Law Help – a website which provides a guide to legal information and free civil legal services (non-criminal) for low-income persons and seniors in Oregon. On the website you can locate information on a variety of legal issues, as well as information on how to contact programs providing legal assistance in Oregon. This website is a free service and can be found online at

And finally, there is the Lawyer Referral Service, provided by the Oregon State Bar, which cannot provide any legal advice or answer any legal questions. But they can refer you to a lawyer who may be able to assist you. After describing your legal issue, they will give you the name and telephone number of a lawyer with whom you can make an appointment for an initial consultation of up to 30 minutes for a maximum fee of $35. You can call them at 503-684-3763 or toll-free in Oregon at 800-452-7636.

Even if you are unsure whether you need to speak with a lawyer, you may still want to contact one of these services to help you determine what kind of assistance you may need and what next steps you may want to take.

You won’t find a four piece band with backup singers, but you will find at the Center NW Pacific vocalist Nehemiah Brown performing the hits made famous by the likes of Nat King Cole, Tony Bennett, Bobby Darin, and Ray Charles. Back by popular demand, Nehemiah will be performing at the Center on Friday, February 28th from 7:00 – 9:00 PM. And the cost is $3.00 per person.

If country music is more your style, on Tuesday, March 4th at the Center, the always popular Strawberry Mountain Band will be performing from 7:00 – 9:00 PM. All ages are welcome and donations are appreciated.

The answer to last week’s “Remember When” question is the ABC Wide World of Sports, hosted by the unflappable Jim McKay, that broadcasted over 100 different sports including ice barrel jumping which both Don McAllister and Jess Birge particularly remembered. (And who are the winners of a free Saturday Breakfast on March 15th.)

For this week, the category is international political theater. Who was the Russian premier who in the autumn of 1960 allegedly (although no photograph or video has ever been found) angrily banged his shoe on his desk during a UN General Assembly meeting? E-mail your answer to, call 541-296-4788 or send it with a pair of shoes manufactured in Pirmasens, Germany.

Well, it has been another week waiting for the first glimpse of spring to come around the corner. Until we meet again, it’s never too late to savor new and often unexpected adventures.

“I consider conversations with people to be mind exercises, but I don’t want to pull a muscle, so I stretch a lot. That’s why I’m constantly either rolling my eyes or yawning.” Jarod Kintz

Aging Well February 18th 2014

Unless you are a Jeremiah Johnson living in the Rocky Mountains, everyone needs to participate in a network of social supports. When raising a family and working full time, those supports came easily. But when the last paid job is only a memory; friends and family have moved or passed away; and the body? Well, it certainly ain’t what it used to be – all these changes make it harder to get out and stay socially connected.
But the effort is worth it. Staying socially engaged provides many benefits for your overall health and wellbeing: new relationships, feelings of accomplishment from learning new skills, the knowledge and information gained from others, and the mental stimulation. In fact, a 2009 Archives of Internal Medicine study showed that social activity for older adults is just as important as exercise and found that folks who were socially inactive experienced physical decline at a rate 1/3 more rapid than those who were socially active – even if they exercised regularly.
But I imagine most of you reading this column are already socially active and maybe even feel you are busier now than when you were working! (But instead of doing what you had to do, you can now do what you want to do, when you want – which is no small potatoes.) But you may also know someone, a friend or even a parent, who you feel needs to get out more and start doing things. For those folks here are several suggestions.
Enjoy a nutritious lunch at the Center provided by Meals-on-Wheels for a suggested donation of $3.75 for anyone over 60, participate in religious or spiritual activities of your choice, attend community events such as the February 23rd A Taste of Literacy (a benefit for The Dalles SMART Program) at the Sunshine Mill. Or for something smaller and quieter, join an interest group (or start one) such as the third Thursday book group at The Dalles/Wasco County Library or the Quilters and the Needle Nutz at the Center. And then there are many places looking for volunteers of all shapes and sizes.
Often transportation is a barrier and if so, you can call LINK at 541-296-7595 to reserve a ride. You may find it less convenient than owning your own car, but how convenient is it to pay for insurance, gas and change flat tires? The fare is from $1.50 to $5.00 each way and you will need exact change. Reservations must be made by 3:00 PM for a ride on the next business day and you may request a ride one to thirty days in advance. And they will make every effort to fulfill all requests for rides.
By popular demand, Nehemiah Brown, a Pacific NW vocalist in the smooth vocal style of Nat King Cole and Tony Bennett, will be returning to the Center on Friday, February 28th from 7:00 – 9:00 PM. The cost is $3.00 per person.
7h3 5imco3 Boy5 will BE back A7 7HE C3N73R n3x7 7u35day 7h3 25th playing 7h3ir rou5ing 57yl3 of mu5icfor your li573ning and dancing 3njoym3n7. 7h3 door5 op3n a7 6:00, mu5ic 57ar7s a7 7:00 and you’ll b3 hom3 by 9:00 or clo53 7o i7. 3v3ryon3 i5 invi73d  And dona7ion5 ar3 ALWAY5 APPR3CIA73D
I stumped most everyone last week except Alex Currie who is the winner of a free Saturday Breakfast on March 15th. And the two Americans who won Gold in the 1960 men’s and women’s figure skating competition? They were David Jenkins and Carol Heiss, who later starred in the movie “Snow White and the Three Stooges”.
For this week’s “Remember When” question, here’s something a little easier but still sports related. Before Bob Costas and Bryant Gumbel were the prime time hosts for the Olympics on NBC, Jim McKay was the host for six Olympics on ABC. But he was also the host of what weekly sports show that spanned the globe “to bring you … the thrill of victory… and the agony of defeat…”? And for the bonus question, what sports event do you remember most vividly from that sports show? E-mail your answer to, call 541-296-4788 or send it with two season passes to the ESPN Sports Complex in Orlando, Florida.   
Well, it has been another week trying to keep my head above water while keeping a smile on my face. Until we meet again, it’s not important what song is playing, just keep dancing.

“I’ve learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way (s)he handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights.”  Maya Angelou

Aging Well February 11th 2014

I hope you have dug yourself out of the snow by the time you read this. But as I was shoveling the snow – for the third time! – my mind wondered back to the days of my childhood when snow was a gift from the heavens giving children a chance to build snow caves, play capture the flag in the back yard ravines, and drink hot chocolate with marshmallows instead of going to school.
But while you were stuck inside, hopefully warm and secure, you may have thought, “What if this snow storm had been worse. No water, no power and no Winter Olympics! What would I have done?” So this may be a good time to remind everyone how important it is to be prepared for an emergency. Here are some quick reminders from FEMA at and the American Red Cross at
First, prepare a kit of basic supplies including one gallon of water per person per day for up to three days; at least three days of non-perishable food including a can opener (and don’t forget the pets); a battery powered radio with extra batteries; and enough medications and medical supplies to last seven days.
Second, make a plan of whom to contact. And because during emergencies it is more difficult to get through on a local call than long distance, include one or two contacts outside of your area code. And often sending a text is more successful than phone calls.
And third, the American Red Cross recommends that you create a personal support network of friends, neighbors or family with whom you should discuss these seven important points. 1. Make arrangements for your support network to immediately check on you during and after an emergency. 2. Exchange important keys. 3. Show them where you keep emergency supplies. 4. Share copies of your relevant emergency documents, evacuation plans and emergency health information card. 5. Agree on and practice methods for contacting each other in an emergency. Do not count on the telephones working. 6. Notify each other when you are going out of town and when you will return. 7. And learn ways you might be able help them as well during an emergency.
Don’t expect the government or the utility companies to immediately come to your rescue. They will be doing their very best to restore services and assist all of those in need. So be prepared by taking responsibility for your own safety. And you can start by having a kit, a plan and your support network in place.
The weather got the best of us last Tuesday, so we postponed Melissa Howtopat’s presentation. We have rescheduled her for next Tuesday February 18th. And in case you have forgotten she will be explaining the many programs and services that the Area Agency on Aging offers including in-home assistance through the Oregon Project Independence program, Friendly Visitor, AARP Money Management and Senior Health Insurance and Benefits Assistance (SHIBA).
Lyn Dalton emailed me a brain teaser, demonstrating the amazing ability of the brain, where one is asked to read a sentence with several key letters replaced by numbers. Using that idea, see if you can read this week’s music announcement. (Congratulations to Diana Weston who won ten quilt raffle tickets for being the first to email me after reading last week’s music announcement in Euro-English.)
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The Super Bowl Trophy was named after Vince Lombardi – the coach of the Green Bay Packers. (The winners of a free Saturday breakfast in March are Virginia McClain and Cheesehead Karl Vercouteran.)
Being how we are in the midst of the 2014 Winter Olympics from Sochi, this week’s “Remember When” question is about the 1960 Winter Olympics held in Squaw Valley, California where the US won its first Olympic Gold in Hockey (the forgotten Miracle on Ice). What Americans won the other two gold medals – in men’s and women’s figure skating? E-mail your answer to, call 541-296-4788 or send it with a copy of the movie “Snow White and the Three Stooges“.  
Well, it has been another week slipping and sliding down the snow packed slopes of life.  Until we meet again, stay safe and warm during this winter wonderland. 
“A lot of people like snow. I find it to be an unnecessary freezing of water.” Carl Reiner

Aging Well February 4th 2014

Maybe it’s the weeks without seeing the sun, or the chilly days cooped up inside, or the late sunrises and early sunsets, but it is easy to get down during these cold grey days of winter in The Dalles.  
And if you do get the “wintertime” blues, you may try to “just get over it” as your parents use to tell you when you broke up with your first puppy love in junior high. Or you may try writing a gratitude list or start watching comedies to perk yourself up.
And if still all your self-remedies are not working: you have lost interest or pleasure in activities; are irritable, tired and have feelings of worthlessness, guilt, and hopelessness. And you feel you have been stuck in your sadness or grief for too long, you may be suffering from depression.
Andrew Soloman, who wrote the award winning book The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression, describes his own depression as the opposite of vitality. In 1994, three years after a series of personal losses things changed for him. He no longer wanted to do the things he regularly did and he didn’t know why. He knew his reactions were ridiculous but he couldn’t do anything about it. And through his emotional horror he saw depression as “… much, much too much sadness, much too much grief at far too slight a cause.”
Depression affects fifteen in every one hundred adults over 65 – of which 70% are women. It is a serious illness that should not be confused with sadness and grief which we all experience at different times of our lives. Depression is nothing to be ashamed of or to hide from. And it is not a natural part of aging! But most importantly it is treatable. If you feel you may have depression, talk to your health care provider to find help so you can climb out of the emotional abyss of depression and live a fuller and happier life.
Walking is an activity most anyone can do, offers a multitude of health benefits and most importantly – it’s cheap! But as we walk to improve our stamina, mobility and balance, we should also be aware of the dangers of falling. On Tuesday February 11th at 11:00, Ann Stanley and Linda Alexander from Columbia Gorge Spine and Sports Medicine will discuss the benefits of walking and how to prevent falls as we get older.
Two reminders: Don’t forget to have your Passport to Happiness passport stamped at the StrongWomen’s table during the Go Red for Women’s Heart Expo at The Civic Auditorium on Friday from 11:00 am – 2:00 pm. And if you are one of the millions who own an Apple iPad (or an iPhone) join us at the Center on Wednesday, February 5th from 1:00 – 2:30 PM to learn more about the many ways to use your new device.  .
Now that you are fluent in the new Euro-English spelling, I’ll use it one more time for the Center’s music announcement. Tusday night on February 11th Martin and Friends vil be performing for yur dansing and listning pleasur.  Ze dors opn at 6:00, musik starts at 7:00 and ze fun nds at 9:00. (And to se if yu ar stil reading zis, if yu ar ze first to email me or kal the Senter, you’l reseive ten fre quilt rafle tikets.) And I mustn’t forget …everyon is velkom and donations ar apresiated.
English grammar can be a cruel mistress. You forget one verb, a punctuation mark and confusion breaks out! It was pointed out to me that last week I forgot to include “was” and a question mark. The sentence should have read “… the popular television show “Candid Camera” which ran on NBC from 1960-1967 was hosted by what television personality?” which explains why only Sandy Haechrel emailed the correct answer: Allen Funt.
But this week’s “Remember When” question is inspired by the Seahawks dominant (and boring?) victory in Sunday’s Super Bowl. After their win, the team took home the Super Bowl trophy named after Vince Lombardi who coached what team to the first two Super Bowl victories? E-mail your answer to, call 541-296-4788 or send it with a “cheesehead” hat first worn in 1987.
Well, it has been another week enjoying the rollercoaster of life’s ups and downs. Until we meet again, as Vivian Greene wrote “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass—it’s about learning to dance in the rain!”

“Sometimes I get the feeling the whole world is against me, but deep down I know that’s not true. Some smaller countries are neutral.”—Robert Orben