Aging Well in the Gorge February 21st 2017

Have you noticed when we were younger, we would search around to find childcare, or the best life insurance policy, or what options we had for investing the little money we had left after raising our children?
But now in our greying years, we have different questions: where can you find a qualified caregiver for your spouse or mother, what are the best long term care options, or how do you enroll in Medicare? How times have changed.
When the Center receives calls about services for older adults, we often refer them to the local Area Agency on Aging (AAA), a branch of the Mid-Columbia Council of Governments that covers the five-county region of Hood River, Wasco, Sherman, Gilliam and Wheeler counties.
Our local AAA provides a vital service: administering and supporting community-based care services to maintain and enhance the quality of life for older adults and to ensure their basic needs are met. The AAA provides a variety of services, so listen carefully as I mention just a few of them: support for family caregivers, the Friendly Visitor Program, Oregon Money Management, in-home assistance through the Oregon Project Independence (OPI), Medicare assistance, options counseling to assist individuals in making decisions about long-term care, and short-term interventions to help isolated seniors navigate and access services.
I know it can get confusing when looking for assistance, but the AAA has an excellent staff to answer your questions. You can reach them at 541-298-4101 or stop by their offices in the MCCOG building on the corner of 11th and Kelly Avenue.
When I was having dinner at Casa El Mirador, I saw Jorge Barragan, the owner, who mentioned that many Center members were using their yearlong 10% discount coupon. That coupon, as well as the Sawyer’s True Value coupon worth $10 off any purchase over $50 (good through March 31st), are just two of the discount coupons you will receive when you join the Center. Stop by to become a member, or mail your check and we will send you your member benefit discount coupons and membership card. The cost is $35 per person or $60 per couple – or $50 for a Super-Duper Membership.
I missed last week, but for this week, #17 of the “40 Great Things about Growing Older” – time to volunteer. And if you look, I guarantee there is a volunteer opportunity that will fit your interests – and the nice thing about volunteering is you can work it around your schedule.
Now that this winter’s snow storms have ended and we can instead enjoy the cool rain, I want to again thank Tom Brace of the Brace Brothers and Paul Lepinski of A&P Recycling for coming to the rescue by clearing the Center’s parking lot of snow and ice so many times during this difficult winter. It was truly appreciated.
For the Center’s Tuesday Night Music on February 28th, Country Road will be performing for your dancing and listening pleasure. Doors open at 6:00, music starts at 6:30 and donations are appreciated.
What would you find “down at the end of Lonely Street”? Why, the Heartbreak Hotel – which was recorded by Elvis Presley’s and included the chorus, “You make me so lonely baby/ I get so lonely/ I get so lonely I could die”. (The winners of a quilt raffle ticket each are Debbie Bush, Jeanne Pesicka, Jess Birge, Lana Tepfer, Cheryl Green, Harold Stephens and the TDHS class of 63’s own hip-shaking Dennis Davis. And starting next week, I will continue mentioning everyone who submits the correct answer, but will only draw one name for a free quilt raffle ticket.)
For this week’s “Remember When” question, what was the name of the song that was released on August 26th, 1968; was more than seven minutes long; spent nine weeks at number one on the Billboard Hot 100; and included the lyrics, “… don’t make it bad/ Take a sad song and make it better/ Remember to let her into your heart/ Then you can start to make it better.”? Email your answer to, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or mail it with a picture of Julian Lennon.
Well, it’s been another week, wondering what surprises are waiting over the hill and around the bend. Until we meet again, as the proverb goes, “It’s now or never.”

“When was the last time you woke up and thought this could be the best day in your life?” Dr. Steve Marshall

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