Aging Well in the Gorge May 19th 2015

Older adults are a vital part of our society. And if you look around at the volunteers who are involved in our communities, from elected officials to community non-profits such as Community Meal and the Warming Shelter, you will realize our communities would not be as strong and vibrant without older adults unselfishly giving their time and efforts.

Since 1963, communities across the country have shown their gratitude by celebrating Older Americans Month each May. The theme for this year is “Get into the Act,” recognizing how older adults are taking charge of their health, getting engaged in their communities, and making a positive impact in the lives of others.

 2015 is also the 50th anniversary of the Older Americans Act when President Johnson signed into law in July 1965. The Older Americans Act funds a network of services that support the dignity and independence of older adults. The Act provides funding for congregate and home delivered meals that support the meal sites here in Wasco and Sherman Counties, caregiver support, community based services, elder abuse prevention and much more. Those funds are distributed through the local Area Agency on Agency (541-298-4101) which is under the umbrella of the Mid-Columbia Council of Governments.

 During Older Americans Month, the 50+ EXPO was held last Saturday at the Readiness Center in The Dalles. I would like to thank all of you who attended and particularly the many exhibitors. The purpose was to provide a one stop place where you could learn about the wide variety of resources available for older adults. As the director of the Center for over eight years, there are times when I think I know everything there is to know about the resources available for Older Adults. But by talking to the many exhibitors, I was reminded once again how wrong I would be.

Such as did you know Life Flight (503-729-5879), which covers all your your costs for a helicopter flight in case of a medical emergency, costs only $60 a year and could save you thousands of dollars if the service was ever needed; and Hood River Mobile Dental Hygiene (503-936-8422) provides thorough and convenient dental care to home or facility bound seniors who find it difficult to make it to a dental office for routine dental hygiene; and Legacy Stories, which is being promoted by Hearts of Gold Caregivers (541-387-0207), is a free award winning app for your iPhone or Samsung device where you can simply scan a photo and record your voice describing the person or event shown in the photo and what it means to you.

 Those are a just few of the resources I learned about at the 50+ EXPO. We will be evaluating the event to identify what worked and what didn’t, so we can make it even better for next year when we hope to see you then.

 Another reminder that Jim Petrusich will be speaking about hearing loss at the Center’s Tuesday Lecture 11:00 on May 26th. As the Columbia Gorge Hearing Care audiologist and with his own personal experiences, he understands the challenges of hearing loss. This will be your chance to ask questions to help you get back into the conversations around you.

 Tuesday Night Music and Dance at the Center on May 26th will feature the Elderly Brothers. Doors open at 6:00, music starts at 7:00 and ends by 9:00. All ages are welcome and donations are always appreciated.

 The fictitious product seen on TV that contained concentrated “vitamins, meat, vegetables, and minerals”, was 23% proof, and promised to help people who are “tired, run-down, and listless” was Vitameatavegamin – the product Lucy was selling in the famous I Love Lucy episode “The TV Commercial”. (And the winner of 3 quilt raffle tickets is Marcia Lacock.)

This week’s “Remember When” question is another easy one but may bring back more memories of classic comedy routines of the past. What comedy duo couldn’t figure out who was on first baseball because of the ballplayer’s unusual nicknames in this famous routine that was ranked as the #1 comedy routine of the 20th century by Time magazine. Email your answer to, call 541-296-4788 or mail it with a DVD of the 1945 movie The Naughty Nineties.

 Well, it’s been another week, when too often something stares me in the face and I still don’t see it. Until we meet again, the first step to remembering anything is to pay attention!

 “By the time you’re eighty years old you’ve learned everything. You only have to remember it.” George Burns

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