Aging Well in the Gorge January 26th 2016

Sometimes we think our plate is full with our own day-to-day responsibilities and health demands, but what if you have two plates to manage? That is the case with an estimated 40 million unpaid caregivers who provide annually over 37 billion hours of care because of a loved one’s debilitating disease, chronic health conditions or simple frailty. And if you haven’t been a caregiver, the majority of us will be one at some point in our lives.

Because the AARP recognizes how caring for a loved one can impact a person; and how important support and acts of kindness are to these caregivers, the AARP is hosting a contest through March 15th to help promote random acts of kindness for caregivers. AARP is encouraging folks to identify a caregiver they know and surprise them with a random act of kindness: preparing a meal, picking up the groceries, or doing that odd job – anything to show your appreciation and to make their life a little bit easier. You can find more details at
If you are caregiver, “Powerful Tools for Caregivers” is being offered from 9:30 to noon on Thursdays for six weeks starting March 3rd. The program is designed to help family caregivers take care of themselves while caring for a relative or friend.  Class size is limited and registration is required. The class is sponsored by the Area Agency on Aging and will be held in the Mid-Columbia Council of Governments’ Board Room at 1113 Kelly Ave., The Dalles. To register call 541-298-4101 ext. 219. The cost is a suggested donation of $20, but is not required in order to attend class.
Also the PBS documentary Caring for Mom and Dad that shows the realities and challenges of caregiving, will be shown at the 11:00 Tuesday Lecture on February 2nd at the Center.  
The AARP Tax Aide Program provides free tax assistance to low and moderate income taxpayers, with special attention to folks sixty and older. It starts February 5that the Center, and will continue through April 15th on Fridays from 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm and Saturdays from 9:00 am to 1:00. It is first come, first serve, and as you can imagine, it’s pretty busy the first several weeks. If you have questions about what documentation to bring, call the Center at 541-296-4788.
A couple of quick reminders – since I know we all need them.

To identify near-term solutions for better transit options in the Gorge, the Oregon Department of Transportation has initiated a Columbia River Gorge Transit Study. You are invited to complete a short online survey before January 31st about Gorge travel. You can find the survey on the Center’s website under the tab “Gorge Transit Survey”.

The Original Courthouse Regional History Forum starts on February 6th at 1:30 with Robert Boyd’s program on Rev. Henry K.W. Perkins: Forgotten Wascopam Missionary. 

You still have time to apply for the OSU Extension’s Master Gardener classes starting on Wednesday, February 17th from 9:00-4:00, but applications are due on January 27th. Contact Machelle Sager at 541-296-5494.
At the Center on February 2nd starting at 6:30 PM, Andre, K.C. and Tom will be performing for your dancing and listening pleasure. Everyone is welcome and donations are always appreciated.
As promised, the answers for last week’s quiz. 1. D) 5; 2. B) False: 3. A) 5%; 4.  A) True; 5. D) As a school reward for good behavior; 6. D) All of the above; 7. F) All of the above; 8. C) Jack Leasch; 9. C) Supportive and respectful because we share the same mission of promoting healthy aging.
Archie Andrews’ best friend in the popular comic book series Archie is Jughead. (The winner of a free quilt raffle ticket is Virginia McClain.)
This week’s “Remember When” question takes us back to our grade school days. Cursive writing has been on the decline ever since the invention of the ball point pen. (I remember when I only could use a fountain pen in class.) But back in the days when teachers still taught cursive writing instead of “keyboard skills”, what was the name of the writing method that taught students to adopt a uniform system of cursive writing with rhythmic motions? Email your answer to, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or mail it with a writing worksheet from your elementary school days.
Well, it’s been another week hoping I’m not repeating myself. Until we meet again, try to make your random acts of kindness not so random.

“Nothing is more important than the helping hand of a neighbor.” Farmer’s Wisdom

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