Aging Well in the Gorge May 3rd 2016

I dread the day when I have to give up the car keys. (Although I won’t miss the maintenance costs and the insurance payments!) But before I am forced to or worse, before I injure someone, I hope I’ll have the courage to know when the risk is too great and it’s time to let someone else do the driving.  
But how does anyone know when it is time?
AARP has suggested these following questions to help decide when to retire from driving or at least have your driving accessed.
Do you find other drivers honking their horns at you – and they’re not waving to say hi! Do you stop at green lights or brake inappropriately; have trouble making turns, especially left turns; feel confused when exiting a highway or by traffic signs? Do you find yourself easily distracted or have difficulty concentrating? Do you get lost on familiar routes or have trouble remembering where you are going.  Or do you often ask yourself, “Why doesn’t any want to ride with me?!” (Okay, that last question I added. It replaced the question “Do you often forget where you left your car?” which if we answered honestly, half of us wouldn’t be driving.)
Maybe you feel your driving is okay: you’ve modify your driving – no longer driving after dark and staying off the freeways, but you know someone who has stubbornly held on to their car keys way too long. If so, Oregon has an At-Risk Driver Program. You can file a report about an unsafe driver using a Driver Evaluation Request, which you can find at the Center, the DMV office, or can be downloaded at the DMV web site.
But we aren’t talking just about older drivers. Oregon’s at-risk driver criteria are based solely on whether a driver, at any age, has any physical, cognitive or medical limitations that affect their ability to drive a vehicle. A report needs to be specific based upon observed unsafe driving behaviors or medical conditions that may impair a person’s ability to drive safely and not solely because of a person’s age.
You can learn much more about Oregon’s At-Risk Driver Program at the Center’s 11:00 Tuesday Lecture on May 10th, when Kristopher Kyes, Medical Programs Coordinator for the Oregon Department of Transportation, will be speaking.  
The Dalles Annual Community Clean-up co-sponsored by the City of The Dalles and The Dalles Disposal is on Saturday, May 7th. Residents of The Dalles can dispose of yard debris and unwanted items from 9:00 – 3:00 AM at the old county sheds at the corner of 10th and Walnut using the west entrance on Walnut Street near the 9th Street intersection. Household garbage, tires and hazardous waste will not be accepted at the collection site.
And if you’re a senior who doesn’t have a way to take your unwanted items to the community collection site, you can call Cindy Keever at The Dalles Public Works 541-506-2004 and she will arrange to have someone come and pick up the items.
The Center will be the location for the Relay for Life’s Parking Lot and Bake Sale on Saturday, May 7th from 8:00 – 3:00 PM. There will be goodies of all kinds including clothes, toys, books, and more!
Every Tuesday night at the Center there is live music for your dancing and listening enjoyment, and on May 10th, Martin and Friends will be playing. Doors open at 6:00, music starts at 7:00, everyone is welcome and donations are always appreciated.
The young American musician/songwriter and 50’s rebel rocker who recorded “Sittin’ in the Balcony”, and “Somethin’ Else” before he died in 1960 at the age of 21 was Eddie Cochran. (And the winners of a quilt raffle ticket each are Jim Heitkemper (who still has the record of “Sittin’ in the Balcony”) and Don Hanson.)
For this week’s “Remember When” question, we step back to the bright lights of Broadway when this musical opened forty–eight years ago this week. What was the name of the controversial musical that portrayed the hippie counterculture in New York City and defined the “rock musical”? Email your answer to, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or mail your answer with a vinyl soundtrack of the original Broadway cast album.
Well, it’s been another week looking for my scraps of paper with all my to-dos on them. Until we meet again, open up the windows and “Let the Sunshine In”.

“You are never too old to set another goal or dream another dream.” CS Lewis

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