Aging Well in the Gorge September 12th 2018

Did you know that 1 in 5 Medicare beneficiaries describes Medicare as confusing (I’m surprised it isn’t higher!); most adults can’t identify what Medicare Parts A, B, C and D cover; 70% of baby boomers say they have a fair or poor understanding of Medicare; and a surprising 62% of those eligible have never shopped for Medicare coverage to fit their needs.
In response, National Medicare Education Week was established from September 15 through the 21st (one month before the start of Medicare Open Enrollment which runs from Oct. 15 to Dec. 7) dedicated to helping people better understand Medicare.
Locally, you can learn more about Medicare by attending the free Medicare 101 workshop on September 20th from 1:00 – 3:00 PM in Room 102, Building 3 on The Dalles Campus of CGCC. To register, you are encouraged to call 503-947-7302 or email But walk-ins are welcome as space allows.
Donna Delikat, an advocate for SHIBA (Senior Health Insurance Benefits Assistance), will be the presenter. The workshop is offered by SHIBA: a federally funded, nationwide program designed to help beneficiaries of Medicare navigate their way through the complicated and often frustrating Medicare system.
By attending the workshop, you will learn when and how to enroll; what Medicare does and does not cover, the differences between Medicare and Medicaid and between Medicare supplement insurance and Medicare Advantage plans; how to choose the type of coverage that works best for you; and much more.
It is important to remember Medicare health and drug plans make changes each year – such as cost, coverage, and what providers and pharmacies are in their networks. And Medicare’s open enrollment period is your chance each year to change your Medicare health plans and prescription drug coverage to best meet your needs.
But how do you know if you should change plans?
Soon you will be receiving information from your current Medicare plans such as the “Evidence of Coverage” (EOC) and “Annual Notice of Change” (ANOC). Review these statements carefully to make sure your plans will still meet your needs for next year. If you’re satisfied, you don’t need to do anything. But if you aren’t happy with the changes to your current plan, you can compare plans by going online to If you feel more comfortable talking to someone face-to-face, in a few weeks you can call the Center to schedule an appointment with a trained SHIBA volunteer.
Most importantly, take this time to understand your Medicare options so you can make informed decisions – both for your health and your pocket book.
You don’t always want to be worrying about every possible disaster: earthquake, fire, train derailment, but when one does occur, you want to be prepared. To learn more about preparing for various emergencies join NW Natural and local experts at Get Ready – The Dalles on Saturday, September 15th from 10:00 – 1:00 at the Mid-Columbia Fire and Rescue. And to make it even more fun, there will be prizes and free lunches.
Here’s a tip I just learned from Tonya Brumley, community affairs manager for this area of NW Natural. To create a record of your possessions in your home, spend a few moments and videotape every room. It could provide fond memories for you children – and one day your insurance agent might really appreciate it.    
In the epic adventure comedy movie based on the classic novel by Jules Verne, the Englishman Phileas Fogg in 1872 bets that he can circle the globe in 80 days. (I received one correct answer from Bob Earls who wins a quilt raffle ticket; and for the week before, Jo Smith also receives a free quilt raffle ticket for her correct answer.)
During the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago, eight protesters including Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin, were arrested and tried for conspiracy and inciting to riot because of their role in anti-Vietnam War protests during the convention. For this week’s “Remember When” question, what was the popular name given to these protestors? Email your answer to, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or send it with a black robe once worn by Judge Julius Hoffman.
Well it’s been another week making lemonade out of lemons – which are always nearby. Until we meet again, here is some simple advice from Oswald Avery, “Whenever you fall, pick something up.”
“To be interested in the changing seasons is a happier state of mind than to be hopelessly in love with spring.” George Santayana
Menu for The Dalles Meals-on-Wheels dinners served at noon in Betty’s Diner at the Center.

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