Aging Well in the Gorge August 16th 2016

Since 1966, Medicare has been critical to the health and wellbeing of older adults. But it will be facing significant challenges and the fall elections could have a significant impact on the future of Medicare and your healthcare coverage.
What are some of the challenges?
1. Healthcare spending is nearly five times higher for those aged 85+ than the national average. (Why I probably have seen a doctor more over the last four years than I had during my first forty years.) 2. A growing aging population with the Baby Boomers starting to turn sixty-five. 3. The number of people who pay into Medicare are fewer. (In 2000, there were 5.2 reported workers for every retiree, but by 2030 it is expected there will be only 3 workers for each retired individual.) 4. While Medicare already consumes 15% of the federal budget, many experts believe that today’s benefit levels and quality of service cannot be sustained without more revenue.
So what might you want to know from the candidates? To get you thinking, national senior advocate Carol Marak suggests the following questions that address many of the issues facing Medicare.
What are your proposed policies and strategies to keep Medicare financially secure for generations to come? Do you support limiting Medicare benefits only to those with low incomes? What role would you like to see private health plans play in Medicare? How would you improve the Medicare drug benefit? Do you support federal or state government’s involvement with drug prices negotiations? Do you think greater coverage for preventive care would drive health care costs down?
These are important times. Whoever we elect to Congress and the White House will have to address these questions and find solutions to keep Medicare financially viable while maintaining the benefits levels and quality of services for future generations.
But in blunt terms, the fundamental question may be: Will our elected leaders work together to improve the healthcare for older adults – or will they give up and say we can no longer afford “old” people?
If you like country music from the 50’s, you’ll want to hear Jeanne Coady perform in a free “Tribute Concert to Patsy Cline” at The Springs at Mill Creek’s new Outdoor Amphitheater (1201 W 10th) on Thursday, August 18thstarting at 7:00. Because there is limited seating, please bring blankets or LOW sitting chairs for the grass area.
I’ve found reminders a good thing, so here are a couple quick second reminders.
Write down your most memorable experiences with your grandchildren in 300 words or less, and send it to the Center by September 3rd. And it can just be handwritten if you like. The grand prize for best story is a $300 Shilo Inn gift certificate and runner up prizes include three one-year subscriptions to The Dalles Chronicle.
Thursday, August 18th is Free Day at the Wasco County Fair and Rodeo sponsored by The Dalles Disposal, plus there is a free Senior Picnic in the Park starting at 11:00 – thanks to the generous support of Flagstone, Area Agency on Aging, Hearts of Gold Caregivers and Canyon Rim Manor.
There’s music and dancing at the Center on Tuesday nights; and on August 23rdCountry Road will be playing. Doors open at 6:00, music starts at 7:00, and donations are appreciated.
The first televised National Convention was in 1952 and the anchor was Walter Cronkite – “the most trusted man in America”. (This week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket is Ron Nelson. And last week’s winner was Jim Ayres who reminded me that he was the one who told me you had to wait an hour before swimming.)
Patsy Cline had been performing for many years before she had her breakout national exposure in 1955 singing “Walkin after Midnight” on the television show Talent Scouts. It was hosted by an American radio and television broadcaster and entertainer who played the ukulele and was nicknamed “Old Redhead”. For this week’s “Remember When” question, what was his name? Email your answer to, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or mail it with the 1951 hit recording, “What is a Boy”.
Well, it’s been another week, when I’m REALLY looking forward to sweater weather. Until we meet again, try something different. You may be pleasantly surprised.
What children need most are the essentials that grandparents provide in abundance. They give unconditional love, kindness, patience, humor, comfort, lessons in life. And, most importantly, cookies. ~Rudy Giuliani

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