Aging Well in the Gorge March 1st 2016

Let’s face it. Alzheimer’s disease scares the bejeezus out of most of us. In fact, according to a 2011 MetLife Foundation/ Harris Interactive poll of American adults, only cancer tops Alzheimer’s as the disease Americans are most afraid of. And for adults aged 55 and older the fear of getting Alzheimer’s is even greater than cancer. 93% of those surveyed were aware of the disease, but 74 % said they knew nothing or only a little about Alzheimer’s; and more than three out of five people worry that they will have to eventually provide or care for someone with the disease.

These are sobering statistics about a frightening disease. But the Oregon Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association is working hard throughout the state to provide education and support for people diagnosed, their families, and caregivers.

As part of their outreach, next Tuesday at the Center from 10:00 – 12:00, the Oregon chapter will be offering a two hour training that includes two parts. The first is the Basics: Memory Loss, Dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease – describing what is happening to a person with Alzheimer’s so you can better understand how to interact effectively and provide quality care. The second part is Effective Communication Strategies where you will learn how communication occurs and how to decode the verbal and behavioral messages delivered by someone with dementia, and identify strategies to help you connect and communicate at each stage of the disease.

Even though we aren’t much of a RSVP kind of town, for this training you are requested to register by calling the Center at 541-296-4788.

And speaking about memory, while my wife and I were visiting her father, he said “There is something I was supposed to remind you, but I can’t remember what it is”. Isn’t that the way it is. You know you are forgetting something – but don’t have a clue what it is.

Debra Jones, the sparkplug for the Center’s Creative Arts Classes, has scheduled the next four classes starting in April, but she is still working on the content. But while you’re waiting, The Dalles Art Center will be hosting their Opening Reception for the March show “Gardens and Garden Art” on Thursday from 5:00 – 7:00 PM. In addition, the TDHS Advanced Placement art students will be showing selections from their works.

March is the month for Irish music and once again, the local Irish band Barley Draught will be performing at the Center. But this year they’ll be playing on Friday, March 11th instead of St. Patrick’s Day which always conflicted with the St. Patrick’s Day concert at St. Peter’s Landmark. The Barley Draught Concert which benefits the Center is sponsored by the good folks at The Dalles Health and Rehabilitation Center and costs $7.00 for the concert only and $10 for the concert and a light supper of baked chicken or sub sandwiches. Doors open at 5:30 and the concert starts at 7:00 PM. Since beer will be served, thanks to Clock Tower Ales, this is an over 21 event. (And if you keep mispronouncing Barley Draught, as I always seem to do, remember this line that Mike Ballinger sent me, “If you’ve had a grand time, danced, sang and laughed, we really don’t mind if you blame Barley Draught!”)

Ron Holliday remembers a “Bushel and a Peck” was first sung by Betty Hutton (in a duet with Perry Como) and then Doris Day. But Bobetta Stewart emailed me that she and two of her girlfriends sang a “Bushel and a Peck” on stage at the Granada Theater during the Reddy Kilowatt show on Saturday morning; and even has a recording of it – if she can just find it. So sorry Ron, but with a story like that, the winner of a Quilt Raffle ticket has to be Bobetta.
There are words from the 50’s and 60’s we seldom hear anymore: fender skirts, suicide knobs, store bought, brassiere, picture show or ice box – what I use to call a refrigerator. For this week’s “Remember When” question, what was the two-word slang term commonly used in the 60’s that described someone as unpleasant or contemptible – and the first word is a type of rodent? Email your answer to, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or mail it with an illustration by Ed “Big Daddy” Roth – cartoonist, custom car designer and purveyor of the term.

Well, it’s been another week watching nature come alive after its winter siesta. Until we meet again, keep your eyes on the road and your motor running.

Comment your thoughts!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.