Aging Well December 17 2013

The literature on aging has identified three pillars to successful aging: avoiding disease and disability; active engagement in life; and maximizing your cognitive and physical fitness. But Dr. Michael Parker, at the University of Alabama’s Comprehensive Center for Healthy Aging, believes there should be a fourth pillar which has been forgotten when discussing successful aging – the spiritual.

Spirituality extends beyond the physical and material, and connects the individual to something greater than the self. It is deeply personal and expressed in a variety of ways including the involvement in religious activities which is associated with better physical and mental health by providing intergenerational connections, social supports, and encouraging social involvement through good works.

To learn more you can attend the last Passport to Happiness Event of 2013 on Wednesday December 18th at the Center from 3:00 – 4:30 when Joyce Powell Morin will discuss the connection between spirituality and health and well-being.

You’ve probably heard the joke “Keep Grandma off the Street – Support Bingo”. For Thursday and Saturday Night Bingo at the Center, there is a loyal following of older adults but you will also find people of all ages enjoying bingo and  the tantalizing feeling of being, oh, so close – “just one more number!” Or the thrill of taking home $1000.

But bingo is the largest fundraiser for both Meals-on-Wheels (on Thursday nights} and the Center {on Saturday nights). For the Center, bingo generates approximately 20% of the Center’s operating budget. And as a special thank-you to all the bingo players who help support both Meals-on-Wheels and the Center, and to invite new players to this classic American game of chance, on Saturday December 28ththe Center will welcome the New Year, albeit  a few days early, with a Bingo Bash. A free dinner featuring pulled pork sandwiches will be served between 4:30 and 5:30 – in time to digest, clean up and be ready for the games to begin at 6:00 PM.

Thanks to the several folks who stepped forward to help with Bingo, but we still need a couple more cashiers and concession workers to fill in once a month. The time commitment is between 3 ½ and 5 ½ hours a night. Call the Center if you are interested.

The Center’s annual Christmas breakfast will be on December 21st – once again sponsored by The Springs of Mill Creek. The menu will include Pancakes, Scrambled Eggs, Bacon plus fruit and your favorite beverage. And to add to the festive spirit, The Springs will be providing musical entertainment; plus they have invited Santa so the young-at-heart can have their picture taken with Santa. The cost is still only $5.00 for the general public and $4.00 for Center members. This will also be your last chance to buy raffle tickets for the beautiful quilt hanging in the Center’s lobby. The drawing will be held at 9:00 during the breakfast. .

During the holidays, the Center and Meals-on-Wheels will be closed Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. And because Christmas and New Year’s Day fall on Wednesdays, there will not be Tuesday Night Music at the Center for the next two weeks. (You will just have to wait to use your already scrambled brain cells to decipher the wacky mixed up weekly music announcement.}  And there will not be Tuesday Lectures for the next two weeks either – which gives me time to line up the next speaker for January 7th. During the holidays many other Center classes are cancelled, so you may want to call to make sure your class is meeting.

In one of his last roles, Boris Karlof was the voice of the Grinch who stole Christmas in the children’s classic first shown on December 18th in 1966. (The winner of a free Christmas Breakfast on Saturday December 21st is Glenna McCargar.)

As you remember Christmas pasts with presents bought and received, here is a “Remember When” question for both the boys and girls in the peanut gallery. For the boys, what kind of cap did Fess Parker make famous in the Disney mini-series Davy Crockett? And for the girls, what was the name of one of the most popular “drink-and-wet dolls of the 50’s? E-mail your answer to, call 541-296-4788 or mail it with a saver book of S&H Green Stamps.

Well, it has been another week discovering what you think does matter doesn’t and what doesn’t matter does. Until we meet again, don’t let your angels pass by without saying thank-you.  

“Unless we make Christmas an occasion to share our blessings, all the snow in Alaska won’t make it ‘white’.” Bing Crosby 

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