Aging Well in the Gorge January 13th 2021

It seems as if once or twice a year I feel I need to write about the latest scams from Medicare scams to sweepstakes and lottery scams. So, just as sugar ants return in the spring (well at least in my kitchen!), vaccine scams are beginning to circulate. So here are just a few reminders.

There is no cost for the COVID-19 vaccine. Medicare covers it.

You can’t pay to put your name on a list to get the vaccine.

You can’t pay to get early access to a vaccine.

If someone calls, texts, or emails you promising access to the vaccine for a fee, as with all scams, don’t share your personal or financial information. Medicare will never contact you for your Medicare number or other personal information unless you’ve given them permission in advance; will never call to sell you anything or enroll you over the phone unless you called first, and will never visit you at your home. And remember, guard your Medicare card as if it was a credit card.

If the scammers get your Medicare number or personal information, they can commit Medicare fraud which results in higher health care costs and taxes for everyone. If you encounter anything suspicious, call the Medicare Fraud line at 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227).

Volunteers in Action is pursuing a pilot program in partnership with Senior Planet to offer Technology classes locally to help older adults access technology to enhance their lives. Because of COVID-19 the classes will start out with online-only classes converted from the Senior Planet in-person curriculum and will move to in-person classes when it’s safe to do so. The Technology classes are available to residents of Hood River, Klickitat and Wasco Counties and will be held twice a week from 2/22/21 – 3/26/21 but the days of the week and times have not yet been determined.

But first they need to find and train the volunteer Technology Trainers. If you feel you have a proficiency in common software applications and devices, the ability to effectively communicate the relevancy of technology to seniors’ lives, and reliable internet connectivity, this may be the exciting volunteer opportunity for you. But don’t dillydally. (Do people still say dillydally or am I showing my age once again?). The Train the Trainer classes are from 1/19/21 to 2/18/21 on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11:00am – 12:15pm.

If you are interested in being a trainer or want to learn how to access technology in a supportive environment, call Britta Willson, Program Coordinator, Volunteers in Action Providence Hood River Memorial Hospital at 541-387-6404

 Now a little humor. “Strange new trend at the office. People are putting names on food in the company fridge. Today I had a tuna sandwich named ‘Linda’.”

The saying children used to convince someone they were telling the absolute truth was “Cross my heart and hope to die. Stick a needle in my eye.” I received correct answers from Jeanne Pesicka, Barbara Cadwell, Lana Tepfer, Jess Birge, Clare Zumalt, Keith and Marlene Clymer, Joan Chantler, Margo Dameier, Susan Ronning and Shirley Colf this week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket. And last week I missed Margo Dameier.

The Miss America Pageant has changed dramatically over the years, but we can all remember watching it during the early 1960s when it was the highest-rated television program. For this week’s “Remember When” question, who was the host for the Miss America telecast from 1955 through 1979 when each pageant ended with him singing “There She Is, Miss America” as the winner was crowned? Email your answer to, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or send it with a recording of the television show Stop the Music that aired in the 1950s.

Well, it has been another week looking up my sleeve for the unexpected. Until we meet again, remember the adage that’s fitting for these times, “Better be safe than sorry”.

“You are only young once, but you can stay immature indefinitely.” Ogden Nash

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