Aging Well August 12th 2014

It may be overwhelming at times, but the technology bus is still careening down the freeway. And with more information, from medical records to local news; plus an increasing number of services, from online banking to Fred Meyer coupons, migrating to the Internet, there is a national effort to get everyone connected to the Internet whether through a phone company, cable company or a local provider such as Qnect.

But getting on this bus can be both expensive and confusing as demonstrated by a recent situation I encountered.

My wife’s parents are active and living in their own home, but they feel, like many, that for their own safety they need a cellphone in case of emergencies away from home. But their Tracfone no longer works. I quickly saw this as an opportunity to show them the advantages of a smartphone that can tell time, check the weather, watch videos and practically walk the dog, compared to their Tracfone which is, well, so one dimensional and boring.

So we went to a Verizon store to check out prepaid devices. But after finding that the cheapest prepaid plan was four times more expensive than their Tracfone; and more importantly, realizing they didn’t want a smartphone that could run their lives, it was clear the “dumb” Tracfone was the most sensible option for them.

But this experience raises the question, do we all have to have a smartphone? Do we all have to be connected to the Internet?  Does everyone have to get on the bus? Maybe the “dumb” phone, the television set and paper and pencil is all many folks really do need.

Unfortunately, it will become increasingly likely that you will need something that is best found on the Internet. And for those occasional times, you can always call the Center for assistance. We have helped many already and can help you find the information or access the services you need.
So if you don’t want to get on the bus of ever changing technology, we will ride it for you and make sure it stops when you need it.

There is nothing like a wildfire to get you thinking about emergency preparedness. At the Center you will find the Red Cross resource guide Prepare that has valuable information about how to prepare for emergencies. It is particularly important for individuals who have mobility or health issues to plan ahead because disasters can strike at any time. You can also find the resource guide online at

For all of our faithful Saturday Breakfast friends, there will not be a Saturday Breakfast in August. The Center volunteers have been so busy this summer, we decided to give them a break. But there will be a September breakfast on September 20thsponsored on behalf of the AARP Smart Driver Program. The Smart Driver course is offered every month on the third Monday and Tuesday from 9:00 – 12:00.
The five vowels have returned from there foray into the unknown, but before their return two consonants left searching for them. See if you can determine which consonants are missing and where you can probably find them.
Truman will be playing his *ountry Gol* at the *enter on Tues*ay August 19th starting at 7:00 PM. The *oors open at 6:00 an* the musi* keeps rolling from 7:00 until 9:00. *onations are appre*iate* an* everyone is wel*ome. An* this Sun*ay, it is time for the Jammers’ monthly gig at the *enter from 2:00 to 5:00. It’s free and there will be pie and i*e *ream for sale.
The name of the play-by-play announcer known as the “Voice of the New York Yankees” was Mel Allen. (And the winner of a free Saturday Breakfast is Tiiu Vahtel.) 
During the lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer, sometimes it’s nice to just sit back and read a good “hard boiled” mystery. But before Lee Child’s Jack Reacher, there was Raymond Chandler who at the age of 51 wrote his first novel The Big Sleep which was published in 1939 and adapted to the big screen in 1946 starring Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall. For this week’s “Remember When” question, who was the tough, wise cracking and hard drinking private detective in the Big Sleep as well as Chandler’s other mystery novels? E-mail your answer to, call 541-296-4788 or drop it off with two cocktail glasses filled with ½ lime juice and ½ gin.   

Well, it’s been another week trying to be part of the solution and not the problem. Until we meet again, there comes a time when keeping score no longer matters. 

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