Aging Well in the Gorge April 19th 2016

Are you offended when you hear jokes about how older folks are forgetful, unwilling to change, out of date, and slow? Or do you feel, “Relax, it’s just a joke?
How do you feel when someone says you look younger than your age? Is it a compliment – or do you feel it shows a disdain towards old age?
Or how do you feel about Oregon judges having to resign after they turn 75?
And how would you feel if your doctor explained your medical condition is just old age?
Many advocates for older adults believe these situations are all too common examples of ageism, a term coined in 1969 by Robert Butler, noted gerontologist who I have mentioned before, to describe a form of discrimination and prejudice, particularly experienced by older adults.
But most of us older adults are mentally and physically active regardless of age (78.2% of households that include someone in their 80’s still own their own homes!); and with a great deal to contribute. But societal norms that see us and old age as inferior, a stage of decline can create obstacles and barriers robbing us of financial income, independence, and dignity – negatively impacting the quality of our lives.
Worse than societal ageism is when we internalize the ageist stereotypes and start losing confidence in ourselves; start depending on others more than necessary, and stop taking the initiative and responsibility for our own lives – to our own detriment.
Ageism occurs at many levels: institutional, interpersonal and individual; and it is complex. We know all too well that generally speaking we do slow down, our reflexes aren’t as quick and we may not be as mentally sharp recalling information. So what is the difference between ageism and biological reality?
At the Tuesday Lecture on April 25th, I will lead a discussion about the meaning and ramifications of ageism; and what we can do to refute the prejudicial attitudes hurting older adults as they age. And I invite you to come and share your own personal experiences of any ageist attitudes and behaviors you have encountered.
Like most of the town, the Center we will be bustling with activity on Saturday starting at 7:30 AM with the Cherry Festival Breakfast sponsored by the Center’s neighbor – Cherry Heights Living. The menu includes pancakes, scrambled eggs, bacon and fruit as well as the regular beverages. The cost is $6.00 for the general public, $5.00 for members and $3.00 for children under twelve. And this year some pomp and circumstance has been added with the Coronation of King Bing and Queen Anne at 8:30 A.M. Then don’t forget come back for Saturday Night Bingo starting at 6:00 PM when over $1100 will be paid out in cash prizes.
I’ve mentioned that the Center’s Nu-2-U Shop volunteers have been busy restocking the NU-2-U Shop with quality used spring apparel at the best prices in town. But because the Nu-2-U space is limited, there are plenty of good clothes they just can’t fit on the racks. To clear the extra clothes out, there will be a 1-Day Bag Sale at the Center from 8:00 – 2:00 on Saturday, April 30th.
The Center has received several generous donations of decent operating motorized wheelchairs plus several more that just need new batteries. If you are interested in purchasing a motorized wheelchair at a very reasonable cost, give the Center a call.
Enjoy music and dance at the Center on Tuesday Night, April 26th when Country Road will be playing. Doors open at 6:00, music starts at 7:00, and everyone is welcome. Donations are appreciated.
The country artist who made famous the Bakersfield Sound, recorded the #1 hit “Act Naturally”, and was cohost of Hee Haw was Buck Owens. (The winner of a quilt raffle ticket is Sue Ortega.)
This week’s “Remember When” Question is about a brand of products that were influential in shaping two generations of ham radio operators and electronic hobbyists. What was the name of the kits that provided all the necessary parts with clear instructions to build your own electronic devices – from ham radios to even a Thomas electronic organ? Email your answer to, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or mail your answer with a HW-101 HF transceiver known as “Hot Water One-Oh-One”.
Well, it’s been another week watching nature reawaken. Until we meet again, keep a smile on your face and change in your pocket.

“Old age puts more wrinkles in our minds than on our faces.” Michel de Montaigne 

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