Aging Well in the Gorge May 15th 2019

When I first saw my new health care provider and said, with a certain amount of pride, “I don’t take any medications”, I seem to recall a certain surprise in her eye – and imagining her thinking to herself, “That’s going to change!”. Well, ten years later and after various tests and diagnoses, I’m taking three prescriptions which isn’t bad compared to many folks, but more than I ever thought I would be taking.
But even with only three medications, it can be a challenge to manage them. To help, there will be a presentation at the Center on Tuesday, May 21st at 1:00 on “Managing Your Medications” by MCMC’s Visiting Health Services. Until then, here are a few quick suggestions.  
Use a pill box. I wasn’t going to use a pill box because they were just for “old” people. But after twice forgetting if I took my morning medications, I decided maybe I am at that stage. And the pill box works – if I remember. So, the next several suggestions are about ways to remember when to take you medications.
Incorporate your medications into your daily routine such as your morning breakfast or when you brush your teeth. Give yourself reminders such as placing a sticky note calendar in a convenient location and mark the days off in a brightly colored marker each time you take your pills. Or set an alarm on your alarm clock, smartphone or even your smartwatch to remind yourself when it’s time to take your medications.
Poorly managing your medications can have significant health consequences. Stay in communication with your health care provider especially when initiating a new medication. And don’t forget. Your pharmacist can be a tremendous help – if you ask.
We all know when we receive a phone call that smells like a scam to “Just Hang Up!” And that if you’re aware of a scam, or worse fallen victim to one, to contact the Oregon Attorney General’s Consumer Hotline at 1-877-877-9392 or online at
But I received an email from the Oregon Attorney General’s office last week warning consumers to avoid returning unknown phone calls. It goes on to say that consumers have reported waves of “One Ring” or “Wangiri” scam robocalls targeting specific area codes in bursts, often calling multiple times in the middle of the night.  These calls are likely trying to prompt you to call the number back, often resulting in per minute toll charges similar to a 900 number. With the advances in technology, it’s easier for scammers to make massive amounts of calls cheaply and easily while at the same time masking their identity. The best advice if you receive a call from a phone number you don’t recognize is “Don’t Call Back”. If it is important, they will leave a voice message.
The “crew-cut” comedian with a quiet homespun style of humor who was the star of his own weekly comedy variety television show in the 1950’s was George Gobel. And Lana Tepfer even remembered one of his often-quoted remarks to Johnny Carson which many of us can relate to. “Did you ever get the feeling that the world was a black tuxedo and you were a pair of brown shoes?”
I received correct answers from Cheri Brent, Ron Nelson, Lana Tepfer, Carol Earl and Rhonda Spies winner of a free quilt raffle ticket – and I missed Jerry Phillips from last week.
I was going to ask about a 1960’s Broadway musical but current events have forced me to postpone that question to next week. Last week, President Trump nicknamed one of the Democratic presidential candidates after the freckled faced, gap-toothed comic book character Alfred E. Neuman which created quite a generational stir because younger folks never heard of him. For this week’s “Remember When” question, Alfred E. Neuman is best known for being the cartoon cover boy for what humor comic/magazine that satirized American life? Email your answer to, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or write your answer on the back of the first issue from August 1952.
Well, it’s been another week, keeping my eyes open for new opportunities. Until we meet again, getting older means no longer hoping you won’t have to see a doctor but hoping you won’t see three in the same month.
“It’s possible to own too much. A man with one watch knows what time it is; a man with two watches is never quite sure.” Lee Segall

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