Aging Well in the Gorge October 23rd 2019

I was going to write about maintaining good oral health but there is just too much happening these coming weeks. So I’m going to punt and save that topic for next week.
First, don’t forget the Center is hosting a “60’s Gold Dance” on Friday October 25thfrom 6:30 – 8:30. Randy Haines will be the DJ playing the great hits from the 60’s. Once again there will be “groovy” decorations to give you that 60’s vibe and The Pines and Freebridge will be providing the beverages making it an over 21 event. This JCW production is sponsored by our friends at Flagstone Senior Living.
Then at the Center on October 29th from 10:00 – 12:00 the Alzheimer’s Association of Oregon will present a two part program “Understanding Alzheimer’s and Dementia” and “Effective Communication Strategies”.
In the first program you will learn about the impact of Alzheimer’s, the difference between Alzheimer’s and dementia, stages and risk factors, current research and treatments available for some symptoms, and Alzheimer’s Association resources.
The second part of this program explores how communication takes place when someone has Alzheimer’s. Learn to decode the verbal and behavioral messages delivered by someone with dementia and identify strategies to help you connect and communicate at each stage of the disease.
You can explore additional education programs by visiting
And on November 6th the first annual Ageless Awards will be held celebrating the contributions of older adults particularly those 75+. It will be held at the Center from 12:00 to 1:15 starting with a delicious meal provided by The Dalles Meals on Wheels and followed by the awards ceremony. The noon dinner is a suggested donation of $4.00 for anyone 60 and over or $6.00 for everyone else.
Lastly to get you in the Halloween mood, The Gorge Winds Concert Bands will be presenting its October “Spooktacular Concert” on Sunday, Oct. 27th, 7:00 p.m. For us older adults admission is $5.00
Do you understand how Oregon’s property tax system works: difference between maximum assessed value and market value or where your taxes go? The Wasco County Assessment and Taxation Office website has posted several videos to answer many of your questions. In addition, Wasco County Assessor Jill Amery will be speaking at the Center on Monday October 28th at 11:00 to answer any questions.  
Gorge Happiness Month is almost over and here are this week’s suggestions for things to do to help increase your happiness. Oct. 24 – Let someone go in front of you in line; Oct. 25 – Pick up three pieces of trash; Oct. 26 – Pick a good moment from the week and draw it; Oct. 27 – List ten things you like about yourself; Oct. 28 – Post a gratitude on social media #gorgehappiness or tell a random person; Oct 29 – Wave or nod at someone; Oct. 30 – Sit outside and watch wildlife; and Oct. 31 – Go back and finish the ones you haven’t completed.
The name of the Western series broadcast on television from 1952-1970 featuring true stories of the American West and in 1964-1965 was hosted by Ronald Reagan was Death Valley Days. I received correct answers from Rhonda Spies, Diana Weston, Dave Lutgens, Lana Tepfer, Mary Collins, Jim Ayers, Jess Birge, Cheri Brent and Beverly McKinney this week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket.
I’ve covered medical dramas, comedies and westerns and now it’s time for game shows. This television game show was hosted by Allen Ludden and aired from 1961 through 1967. For this week’s “Remember When” question what was the name of the show where two teams attempt to convey mystery words to each other using only single-word clues? Email your answer to, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or mail it with a first edition of Milton Bradley’s home version of the game show.
Well, it’s been another week, trying to catch my breath without falling. Until we meet again, it’s just as easy to look at the bright side than walking in the dark.
“I’m eighty-eight and getting a little dingy. But I’ve never been eight-eight before.” Unknown

Aging Well in the Gorge October 16th 2019

Remember when it was considered rude to question your doctor? Back then you would ask “Doc what should I do?” and he (when doctors were generally men and women nurses) would tell you and you did it. But the relationship between doctor and patient has changed – for the better.
Today the relationship has progressed where the doctor gives you advice and YOU decide in consultation with your doctor what to do. But this puts more responsibility on you. You are no longer a backseat passenger. You are now helping drive your medical care.
In the video presentation, “4 Questions You Should Always Ask Your Doctor”, neurosurgeon Christer Mjåset points out in the United States, an estimated thirty percent of all medical spending does not add value to your medical care and is unnecessary.
To avoid unnecessary treatment, he suggests asking your doctor these four questions.
1. “Doctor, is this really necessary?” A basic question – but seldom asked. The problem is that unnecessary procedures burden an already over stressed medical system. A good doctor will sometimes say “no”, but the sensible patient also at times will turn down an opportunity to get diagnosed or treated – which is difficult when you want something to be done.
2. “What are the risks attached to this operation?” There is no medical procedure or operation that is without risks. I remember Dr. Stanley speaking at the Center ten years ago explaining joint replacements and the risks. His advice – don’t do it unless your condition is affecting your quality of life.
3. “Doctor, are there other options?” Alternatives may be just as effective. Recent research has shown in some circumstances there is no difference between the effect of operating on the knee and regular physical therapy.
4. “And what happens if I don’t do anything?” Doing nothing is always an option, but you should know the consequences.
By asking these four questions, research has shown that one out of five individuals will change their mind about what to do – and according to Mjaset benefiting an already overstressed health care system while keeping you in the driver’s seat when making decisions about your medical care.
This sounds like a way to get into the Halloween spirit. The Gorge Winds Concert Bands presents its October Spooktacular Concert, Sunday Oct. 27th, 7:00 pm at The Dalles Middle School. And if you dare, wear your Halloween costume! Suggested donations are: Families $20; General Admission $10; Senior Citizens and Children 13 -18 years old $5; and for Children under 12 admission is free.
As we head into the second half of Gorge Happiness Month, here are this week’s suggestions for things to do to help increase your happiness. Oct. 17 – Leave a kind note in an unlikely place; Oct. 18 – Pet a cat or dog; Oct. 19 – Take a nap; Oct. 20 –   Make plans for something to look forward to; Oct. 21 – Have a conversation where you listen more than you talk; Oct 22 – Look at the sky; and Oct. 23 – Walk or drive a different route.
The name of the CBS comedy broadcast from 1962 to 1971 that told the story of a poor backwoods family from the Ozarks who moved to California after striking oil was the “Beverly Hillbillies”. And the family was the Clampetts. I received correct answers from Becky Roberts, Barbara Cadwell, Rhonda Spies, Jerry Phillips, Darcy Long Curtiss, Darlein France, Virginia McLain, Elaine Lee, Lana Tepfer, Mary Collins, Alse Mattos, Lucille Stephens, Cheri Brent and Claudette Potter this week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket. And last week I missed Betsy Ayres.
This week I’m raising the ante with a question I think you’ll find more challenging. Westerns were a popular genre on television, but by the middle of the 1970’s after Bonanza, Gunsmoke and this series were cancelled, it marked the end of the traditional Western era. For this week’s “Remember When” question, what was the name of the Western series originating on radio in 1930 and broadcast on television from 1952-1970 featuring true stories of the American West and hosted by various actors including Ronald Reagan? Email your answer to, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or mail it with a box of Twenty Mule Team Borax.
Well, it’s been another week, watching the leaves turn. Until we meet again, the older you get the more complicated life seems.
“Don’t let your mouth write a check that your tale can’t cash.” Bo Diddley

Aging Well in the Gorge October 9th 2019

Older adults make countless contributions to our communities, but they are often forgotten in our youth obsessed society. It takes commitment and perseverance to continue working or volunteering to help our neighbors and improve our communities. It’s not easy – but it’s not easy getting older either. Yet we all get older, and we can all contribute.
To recognize the contribution of older adults in Wasco County, the Center, in cooperation with Age+, is soliciting nominations for the first Wasco County Ageless Award. There are three criteria for the nominees: the person has to be seventy five or older; an individual who has made and continues to make a substantial contributions to the lives of others; and an individual who serves as a role model showing that our elders are a significant part of the community fabric.
If there is someone you feel meets the criteria, email their name with a short explanation of their contributions to or
I realized that last week when I said SHIBA volunteers are unbiased, I might have given the impression I thought insurance agents are biased in a negative sense. All the insurance agents I know are capable, knowledgeable and committed to serving their customers. But in some cases, there may be limits to what they can offer.
Whether you see an insurance agent or talk to a SHIBA counselor, you have an opportunity to change your Medicare health plans and prescription drug plan during open enrollment between October 15th and December 7th. Each yearMedicare plans can change their cost, coverage, and what providers and pharmacies are in their networks.
But how do you know if you should change plans?
You should have received from your current plans information in a document called “Annual Notice of Change” listing any changes that will go into effect in January. Review these statements carefully. If you’re satisfied, you don’t need to do anything. But if you aren’t happy with the changes, you can compare plans by going online to If you feel more comfortable talking to someone face-to-face, contact your insurance agent; or call the Center at 541-296-4788 or the SHIBA coordinator at 541-288-8341 to schedule an appointment with a trained SHIBA volunteer.
Most importantly, take this time to understand your Medicare plans and options so you can make informed decisions – both for your health and your pocketbook.
Did you share a new joke last week as suggested in the Gorge Happiness Calendar? When I asked that question at the Center, this is the joke I heard that I hope you will enjoy. What do you call ninety-nine rabbits stepping backwards? Keep reading and you’ll find the answer – if you don’t know it already
And speaking of Gorge Happiness Month, here are this week’s suggestions to help increase your happiness. 

Oct. 10 – Complete one small irritating task; 
Oct. 11 – Listen to music; 
Oct. 12 – Talk to someone at the farmer’s market; 
Oct. 13 – Reconnect with an old friend; 
Oct. 14 – Stop and count the number of things you can hear right now; 
Oct 15 – Do someone else’s chore; and 
Oct. 16 – Send a thank-you.
The title of the NBC television series that told the story of a young intern working at a large metropolitan hospital was Dr. Kildare starring Richard Chamberlain. I received correct answers from Cheri Brent, Lana Tepfer, Barbara Cadwell, Rhonda Spies, Kim Birge, Becky Roberts, Julie Carter and Mary Collins this week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket.
Continuing the October theme of television shows, this week it’s a question about a comedy series. I don’t know if anyone thought this was going to be a hit, but it became a cultural phenomenon during the 60’s and at the same time disliked by critics. For this week’s “Remember When” question, what was the name of the CBS comedy broadcast from 1962 to 1971 that told the story of a poor backwoods family from the Ozarks who moved to California after striking oil on their land? And foe extra points what was the name of the family? Email your answer to, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or send it with any album by the great bluegrass duo Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs.
Answer for the joke: a receding hare line!
Well, it’s been another week, trying not to worry about things I can’t control. Until we meet again, you don’t know if it’s your cup of tea unless you take a sip.
Some simple advice from table tennis master Dick Hamilton: “When you get mad, keep your mouth shut!”.

Aging Well in the Gorge October 2nd 2019

From all the Medicare television ads and mailbox stuffers, you probably know that Medicare Open Enrollment begins Oct. 15 and runs through December 7th. But where can you get unbiased information to help you navigate through the complicated and often frustrating Medicare system?
To answer your Medicare questions, you can make an appointment with a SHIBA counselor by calling the Center at 541-296-4788 or calling 541-288-8341. SHIBA is a federally funded, nationwide program that trains volunteers to provide free one-on-one Medicare counseling.
You can also attend a free Medicare 101 workshop on October 9th from 9:00 – 11:00 AM at The Dalles Campus of CGCC. To register, you are encouraged to call 541-506-6011 to ensure there are enough materials, but walk-ins are welcome as space allows.
By attending the workshop, you will learn when and how to enroll; what Medicare does and does not cover, the difference between A and B, prescription drug coverage, financial assistance, fraud protection, and much, much more.
Have you thought of trying something new such as one of the four Creative Arts classes scheduled at the Center this month? I know you were told since grade school that you have no artistic ability, but they were wrong. And besides it isn’t all about what you create but the process of creating.
If you are interested, call the Center to sign up for one of the following classes which are free, but space is limited to ten.
Pen and Ink and Drawing Florals. Artist – Abigail Agersea, Wednesdays, October 2ndand 16th from 1:00 – 3:00. Knitting, Crocheting and even spinning your own yarn. Fiber Artist – Ruth Barnes, Fridays, October 4th, 11th, 18th and 25th from 9:00 – 10:30. Poetry, Creative Writing and Haikus. Artist – Kristyn Fix, Tuesdays, October 8th and 15that 10:00; Glass Art. Artist – Anielle Forsyth, Thursdays, October 10thand 24th at 10:00.
It’s Gorge Happiness Month and here are some ways to increase your happiness this week. Oct. 3 – Go for a short silent walk; Oct. 4 – Tell a new joke; Oct. 5 – Get someone to do the three daily happiness habits; Oct. 6 – Pick a person or a goal to focus on this week; Oct. 7 – Say yes; Oct 8 – Seek out a new free class or event; and Oct. 9 – Tell someone what you like about them.
But what makes me happy is listening and dancing to the “oldies” which you can do at the Center’s next dance “60’s GOLD” on Friday, October 25th from 6:30 – 8:30 with DJ Randy Haines. A “groovy” time is guaranteed.
If you can’t wait until the 25th, the Sceptre Brothers are going to be playing great rock and roll from the 60’s in the Civic Auditorium’s newly remodeled theater on Saturday October 5th as a fundraiser for the Civic. Doors open at 6:00 music starts at 7:00. You can purchase tickets at the door or Klindt’s Booksellers.
You may already know, but The Sceptre Brothers is a four-piece band, which includes The Dalles own Dan Ross on drums, first formed when the band members attended school in LaGrande, Oregon in 1964. After school they went their separate ways but reunited forty-three years later. Check them out at
The name of the mystery series first published in 1927 that revolved around two teenage boys acting as amateur detectives was The Hardy Boys. And the girl’s series was Nance Drew. I received correct answers from Betsy Ayres, Dale and Becky Roberts, Sandy Haechrel, Jess Birge, Michael Carrico, Lana Tepfer, Jerry Phillips, Barbara Cadwell and Glenna McCargar this week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket.
I still remember the days when the television networks’ “fall lineup” was a big deal. Looking back at the fall lineup of 1961 there were two new Medical dramas: Ben Casey and an NBC series. For this week’s “Remember When” question, what was the title of the NBC television series that told the story of young intern working at the fictional large metropolitan “Blair General Hospital”? And for bonus points who was the star?  Email your answer to, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or send it with a recording of the hit single, “Three Stars Will Shine Tonight” which was the show’s theme song.
Well, it’s been another week, enjoying the fall weather. Until we meet again, you know you are getting old when you google the word “groovy” and the first thing listed is “a powerful language for the Java platform” – whatever that means!
“Don’t hitch your wagon to a falling star” Judge Judy