Aging Well in the Gorge February 3rd 2021

 In “Through the Eyes of an Elder” Bonnie New highlights the challenges facing older adults looking for affordable housing options when their home no longer meets their needs.

But what if you are not yet ready to move and would like to stay in your own home. How can you adapt your home to your current life experiences: safer and more accessible? 

AARP has published a HomeFit Guide that examines what makes a home aging-friendly. It illustrates different designs and modifications for exits, kitchens, living rooms, stairs, bedrooms, bathrooms and more that can make a home a better “fit”.

In addition, the HomeFit Guide offers many simple and inexpensive solutions that can make your home safer and more efficient. See if you have incorporated these five suggestions in your home. 

1. Add stick-on battery-operated motion sensor lights in your closet, kitchen and along your steps and stairs – which I have just started doing. (At night you can entertain yourself watching your cat activate each light as she climbs the stairs.) 

2. Place fire extinguishers in accessible locations throughout the home, especially in the kitchen and in any rooms that are far from an exit. (Added to my to-do list.)

3. Store flashlights throughout the home in case of a power outage. (Checked)

4. Carry or keep a cell phone nearby. (Unfortunately, that is not a problem.)

5. If a stool or ladder is needed to reach any fixtures, ask someone to serve as a spotter. (I always hold my wife’s hand when she climbs the step stool!) 

8. Install an outside address number that will be visible to first responders, especially at night. (A blinking address number like the new four way stop signs?)

You can find many more ways to make your house “fit” by going online to AARP HomeFit Guide.  

There is help if you own your home and earn less than $42,700 as a couple. Columbia Cascade Housing offers a home repair program in Oregon and Washington that does more than just repair homes. The program offers zero interest loans repayable when you sell your home. 

While the program normally repairs and replaces things like roofs, windows, and plumbing, it can assist older adults with needed modifications to improve accessibility: ramps, widening doors; replacing bathtubs with showers, or other changes needed to allow access with a wheelchair. 

Columbia Cascade Housing can also assist homeowners in applying to a similar program run through the USDA Rural Development. It is like the home repair program, but the first $7,500 can be a grant.

For additional information and applications contact David Peters at 541-296-3397 X118. 

The words spoken along with the Vulcan salute were “Live long and prosper” or as Rose Schulz, this week’s winner of a free quilt raffle ticket, pointed out “Dif-tor heh smusma”. I also received correct answers from Emmett Sampson, Sandy Haechrel, Barbara Cadwell, Linda Frizzell, Darlene Marick, Lana Tepfer, and Tim Annala.

And last week I missed Sandy Haechrel, Sam Bilyeu, Elaine Lee and I think that is all, but I wouldn’t bet my “sweet bippy” on it. 

In 1959 this sitcom was the first television program produced to feature teenagers as leading characters. For this week’s “Remember When” question what was the name of the teenager who “aspired to have popularity, money, and the attention of beautiful and unattainable girls”? Email your answer to, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or send it with a photo of his “beatnik” sidekick Maynard G. Krebs.

Well, it has been another week, and my body continues to act in strange and mysterious ways. Until we meet again, when you need to move the most is when you don’t feel like it – which doesn’t seem fair does it?

“Spring passes and one remembers one’s innocence.

Summer passes and one remembers one’s exuberance.

Autumn passes and one remembers one’s reverence.

Winter passes and one remembers one’s perseverance.” – Yoko Ono

Nutritious Home delivered meals and pick-ups for anyone over 60. 

Hood River Valley Adult Center – For Meals-on-Wheels call 541-386-2060. Pick up a drive-thru meal from 11:30 AM until 12:45 PM.

The Dalles Meals-on-Wheels – Call 541-298-8333 to sign up for home-delivered meals. Call before 10:30 AM to pick up a meal at noon at the Mid-Columbia Senior Center. 

The Sherman County Senior and Community Center – Call 541-565-3191 by 10:30 AM and leave a message with the number of meals needed and names of each person.

Klickitat County Senior Services – Call the Goldendale office (509-773-3757) or the White Salmon office (509-493-306).

Skamania County Senior Services – Call 509-427-3990.

Seniors of Mosier Valley – Call 541-503-5660 or 541-980-1157 at least one day in advance to order a Grab-N-Go meal. Monday and Wednesdays from 11-11:30. Pick-up at the Mosier Senior Center. Delivery is also available.  

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