Aging Well in the Gorge April 8th 2015

After you have escaped your days of youthful adventure, and before you arrive at old age, there is that in-between phase called middle age. And with rising life expectancies and healthier lifestyles, it is often asked when does middle begin – or more importantly for us mature folks, how long does it last?
From a recent study, it was found that attitudes towards becoming middle-aged are changing. At one time 41 was considered middle-aged but now it’s 53. And almost half of those over-50 felt they had not yet experienced middle age. In fact, eight in ten said it was a state of mind, rather than a numerical or physical milestone.
My body reminds me daily that I’m no longer “young” but does these changing attitudes mean at 65, 70, 75 or even 80, I could still consider myself middle age? Sounds good to me.
But for those of you who are still unsure about middle age, here is a top ten list of how you know when you are middle aged.
1) You avoid noisy bars, preferring a night in to a night out. 2) You begin thinking doctors look really young – which you see all too often. 3) You are obsessed with monitoring your health. 4) TV shows suddenly look extremely racy. 5) You have no idea what “young people” are talking about – even when they aren’t mumbling. 6) You take a keen interest in gardening and “classic” automobiles. 7) You buy shoes and clothes for comfort rather than style – and everyone can tell. 8) You book a cruise – preferably one that doesn’t allow children. 9) You start placing sticky notes around the house as reminders. And last but not least, your idea of adventure is no longer climbing Mt. Hood but riding the Ferris Wheel during Cherry Festival!
The speaker for the next 11:00 Tuesday Lecture on May 5th will be Litxia Miranda, a Portland State University graduate student working at the Institute of Aging. She will speak about the important subject of aging and mental health.
Following the rule that a person needs to see or hear a message at least seven times before they act upon it, here are few reminders of several events at the Center that may interest you. But I will keep them short.
The Seniors-4-Seniors Dance is on Friday, May 1st from 6:00 – 8:30 with simple dance lessons taught by Danette Utley, social director at Flagstone, from 5:00 – 5:45. This is a fundraiser for the Wahtonka Community School graduation and is open to all generations.
On Saturday, May 2nd, there will be two workshops presented by Vicki Schmall, OSU Extension Gerontology Specialist Emeritus: “The Challenging Behaviors of Dementia: Preventing & Responding”, at the Center from 10:00 am-12:00 pm: and “Packing Your “Caregiving Basket” for Self-Care” at the Hood River Adult Center from 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm. More information at the Center.
There are still a few spots open in Joy Kloman’s popular drawing class. The first of the three Tuesday classes starts on May 5th. The cost is only $55 which includes the supplies. For more information or to register, contact the Center at 541-296-4788 or
At the Center on Tuesday May 5th, Andre, K.C. and Tom will be performing so you can dance the night away. Doors open at 6:00, music starts at 7:00, all ages are welcome and donations are always appreciated. And the entertaining bluegrass band “Hardshell Harmony” will eventually play at the Center before the Meals-on-Wheels dinner, but not yet. When they are rescheduled, I’ll make sure to mention it.
The answer to last week’s “Remember When” question is the Sawyer’s family who built the Ninth Street Supermarket and Sawyers Variety Store where St. Vinnies is now located. (And the winner of five quilt raffle tickets is Bill VanNice.)
Sticking with an aging theme, this week’s question is about Peter Pan – the boy who never wanted to grow up. When Peter Pan, the children’s book written by J.M. Barrie, was adapted into a musical for Broadway in 1954, who played the role of Peter Pan?  Email your answer to, call 541-296-4788 or mail it with a crocodile that goes tick tock in the night.
Well, it’s been another week, trying to remember what I promised to do. Until we meet again, some wise advice from Andre Lamoreaux: ”When they stop listening before you stop playing, you know it’s time to go.”

“I’m officially middle-aged. I don’t need drugs anymore, thank God. I can get the same effect just by standing up real fast.” Jonathan Katz

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