Aging Well in the Gorge March 28th 2017

Did you hear about the three guys sitting in a bus shelter: The first says “Windy, ain’t it?” The second answers, “No it’s not, it’s Thursday.” And then the third eagerly adds, “So am I. Let’s go and have a drink!”
Even with my hearing aids, that type of conversation is all too common in my household, and to put it mildly, it drives my wife nuts. But I’ve learned when I have trouble with my hearing aids, it is often because they need cleaning. And one of the major culprits is that nasty, embarrassing earwax – because like cats and dogs, hearing aids and earwax do not play well together when the wax clogs the hearing aid’s microphones or receivers causing poor performance.
But if ear wax is a problem for my hearing aids, wouldn’t a preventive solution be to use Q-tips to clean my ears? Nope. The best advice is the adage you may have heard: “Put nothing in your ear that is smaller than your elbow.” Inserting Q-tips, or any sharp or pointed object into the ear will only push wax further into the canal and may even cause trauma to the canal wall or eardrum. Instead just leave the wax alone, which is formed in the outer part of the canal near the external opening, and it will naturally migrate out of the ear.
In fact, it is not a bad thing to have wax in your ears – unless there is too much wax causing pain, drainage, bleeding or hearing loss. Ear wax actually play an important role protecting the ear by trapping and preventing dust, bacteria, and other germs from entering and damaging the ear; and protecting the delicate skin of the ear canal from getting irritated by water in the canal. To clear the unsightly earwax, simply use a washcloth or tissue to wipe the outer ear after you bathe or shower.
Besides keeping earwax from clogging your hearing aids, you can help keep your hearing aids functioning properly by doing the following: clean the hearing aids regularly with a soft, dry cloth; check batteries – they should last from one to two weeks; minimize moisture in the hearing aids; and something I never heard before, use a listening tube to ensure your hearing aids sound clear and not weak or scratchy.
Because functional hearing is critical to an active and engaging lifestyle, take proper care of your hearing aids. And make sure to schedule regular appointments with your hearing professional to test your hearing and to check the performance of your hearing aids. Because, trust me, if you can avoid it, you don’t want to be the one to drive your spouse or friends nuts!
How do you feel about dancing? Would you agree with James Brown, the “Godfather of Soul”, who said “The one thing that can solve most of our problems is dancing.” Or Christopher Morley who thought dancing was an important life lesson. “Dancing is wonderful training for girls. It’s the first way you learn to guess what a man is going to do before he does it.” But if you are a little self-conscious, all you need is Dave Barry’s advice “Nobody cares if you can’t dance well. Just get up and dance.”
If you like to get up and dance, there are many opportunities in the Gorge including at the Center’s Tuesday Night Music. Performing this coming Tuesday, April 3rd will be Shades of Country, and on April 10th, Martin and Friends will be playing. Music starts at 6:30 and donations are appreciated.
The job that required operating a desk top machine that punched holes on stiff paper cards to store information was a keypunch operator. (I had two correct entries: Tina Castanares and the randomly selected winner of a quilt raffle ticket, Marcia Lacock.)
This brand of toy was first introduced in the 1950’s and because it was inexpensive enough for children to afford, it became the household word for small model toy cars. For this week’s “Remember When” question what was the biggest-selling brand of small diecast model cars and trucks until Mattel introduced the Hot Wheels series in 1968? Email your answer to, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or mail it with a Superfast No 9 AMX Javelin in Blue.

Well, it’s been another week, trying to keep my balance in an unbalanced world. Until we meet again, I know it must be spring when Bruce Harris of Today’s Rays comes to turn on the Center’s irrigation system.  

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