Aging Well in the Gorge ~ March 20th, 2024

You’ve been doing all the right things: exercising, reading, getting a good night’s sleep, eating well, staying socially active, and managing your stress, and yet you feel your memory is slipping. Is it typical age-related brain change or is it that number one fear: dementia?

To provide some guidance, I have listed the ten early signs of dementia published by the Alzheimer’s Association ( which also includes examples of typical age-related changes.

  1. Memory loss that disrupts daily life: forgetting events, repeating yourself, or relying on more aids to help you remember (like sticky notes or reminders).

Typical? Sometimes forgetting names or appointments, but remembering them later.

  1. Challenges in planning or solving problems: having trouble paying bills or cooking recipes you have used for years.

Typical? Making occasional errors when managing finances or household bills.

  1. Difficulty completing familiar tasks at home, at work, or at leisure: having problems with cooking, driving places, using a cell phone, or shopping.

Typical? Occasionally needing help to use microwave settings or to record a TV show.

  1. Confusion with time or place: having trouble understanding an event that is happening later or losing track of dates.

Typical? Getting confused about the day of the week but figuring it out later.

  1. Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relations: having more difficulty with balance or judging distance, tripping over things at home, or spilling or dropping things more often.

Typical? Vision changes related to cataracts.

  1. New problems with words in speaking or writing: having trouble following or joining a conversation or struggling to find a word you are looking for (saying “that thing on my wrist that tells time” instead of “watch”).

Typical? Sometimes having trouble finding the right word.

  1. Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps to find something: placing car keys in the washer or dryer.

Typical? Misplacing things from time to time and retracing steps to find them.

  1. Decreased or poor judgment: not managing money well, paying less attention to hygiene, or having trouble taking care of a pet.

Typical? Making a bad decision or mistake occasionally, like neglecting to change the oil in the car.

  1. Withdrawal from work or social activities: not wanting to go to church or other activities as you usually do, not being able to follow football games or keep up with what’s happening.

Typical? Sometimes feeling uninterested in family or social obligations.

  1. Changes in mood and personality: getting easily upset in common situations or being fearful or suspicious.

Typical? Developing specific ways of doing things and becoming irritable when a routine is disrupted.

If you experience any of these warning signs, you should consult your primary care provider. What you are experiencing could be symptoms of a treatable condition: Vitamin B-12 deficiency; medications, hypothyroidism, anxiety, or depression.

If you are diagnosed with dementia, an early diagnosis gives you a chance to seek treatment that can slow the disease – and to plan how to face the challenges ahead and live your life to the fullest.

Brain Tease: This Rebus puzzle should be easier than last week’s tease!

What common phrase does the following represent?


The comedian who made popular the national catchphrases “The devil made me do it” and “What you see is what you get” was Flip Wilson. I received correct answers from Donna Mollet, Tina Castanares, Judy Kiser, Doug Nelson, Kathy Bullack, Lana Tepfer, Carol Earl, Jess Birge, Eva Summer, Stephen Woolpert, Dan Crisp, Keith Clymer, Rhonda Spies, Ron Nelson, and Sharon Mounsey this week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket.

I was recently reminded of this television series regarded as one of the greatest of all time. For this week’s “Remember When” question, what was the television series created by Rod Serling that ran from 1959 to 1964 in which characters find themselves dealing with often disturbing or unusual events? Email your answer to, call 541-296-4788, or send it with a memory from your favorite episode.

Well, it has been another week, trying to decide if it’s time to reboot. Until we meet again, as a friend told me recently, “All days are good; some are just better than others”.

“To be without some of the things you want is an indispensable part of happiness.” Bertrand Russell

Nutritious home-delivered and in-person meals are available at noon Monday through Friday unless otherwise noted.

Seniors of Mosier Valley (541-980-1157) – Mondays and Wednesdays; Mt. Hood Townhall (541-308-5997) – Tuesdays; Hood River Valley Adult Center (541-386-2060); Sherman County Senior and Community Center (541-565-3191); The Dalles Meals-on-Wheels (541-298-8333).

For meal sites in Washington, call Klickitat County Senior Services: Goldendale office (509-773-3757) or the White Salmon office (509-493-3068), and in Skamania County call Senior Services (509-427-3990).

Answers: A Stretch of the Imagination.

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