Aging Well in the Gorge September 13th 2016

It’s that time of the year. I’m not talking about the weekend football games or the disappearing daylight, but flu season. Seasonal flu outbreaks can start as early as October, and most often peaks between December and February.  
Flu is a particular concern for older adults, because while the flu was once a nasty inconvenience, now that we are older, it can have serious health implications. It is estimated that between 71 percent and 85 percent of seasonal flu-related deaths and 54 percent and 70 percent of seasonal flu-related hospitalizations have occurred in people 65 years and older.
To protect yourself, the first step is your annual flu shot. Once again, the Center will be offering flu shots in cooperation with Rite-Aid on Wednesday, September 21st from 10:00 until 1:30. Call the Center to sign up.
But since the CDC announced this year’s flu vaccine only covers 50 percent of the strains floating around, you can’t rely only on the flu vaccine, and should take the following additional steps.  
1. Practice good hygiene: wash your hands often and thoroughly with soap and water; and if soap and water aren’t available use an alcohol-based sanitizer on your hands. 
2. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth whenever possible. 
3. Avoid crowds when the flu is most prevalent in your area. 
4. Practice good health habits: get plenty of sleep, exercise regularly, drink plenty of fluids, eat a nutritious diet, and manage your stress. 
(And don’t forget to stay up to date with your pneumococcal vaccination to protect against pneumococcal pneumonia disease – one of the flu-related complications that can cause death.)
And no, you cannot get the flu from a flu shot – I promise! (Although even with a flu shot, some folks still get the flu from one of the influenza viruses not protected by the vaccine or they caught the flu during the two weeks before the vaccine took effect.)
If you want to increase your chances of avoiding the flu – and its complications, be health wise and get your flu vaccine now, before the flu viruses show their runny noses in the Gorge.
In 1965 Congress passed the Older Americans Act (OAA), creating programs & services for adults aged 60+.  As a recipient of OAA federal funds, the Mid-Columbia Council of Governments’ Area Agency on Aging (AAA), is required to update their Area Plan every 5 years to address needs of seniors. Your input is vital to the development of the Area Plan to help review, assess, redesign and develop programs to meet the needs of our growing elder population. The Area Agency on Aging is asking for citizens 55 and older to participate in a community forum on September 16th from 9:30-11:30 am at the Center to review the services offered to the community and to identify unmet needs. For any questions contact the AAA at 541-298-4101.
On Thursday, September 29th the Center has scheduled a two hour ride on the Mt. Hood Railroad to enjoy the fall colors up the Hood River Valley to Odell. The cost is $55 which includes a lunch and transportation to Hood River. Call the Center to sign up.
The Simcoe Boys will be playing at the Center on Tuesday, September 20th. Doors open at 6:00, music starts at 7:00, and donations are appreciated.
The Checkers Speech heard by 60 million Americans and led to an outpouring of public support was made by the 1952 Republican vice-presidential candidate Richard Nixon. (This week’s winners of a quilt raffle ticket each are Virginia McClain, Maxine Parker, Jerry Taylor and Sue Ortega.)
Two folks who often frequented the Center passed away over the Labor Day weekend: Juanita Ignowski and Bill Van Nice. They were a wealth of local history and the source of my “Remember When” questions about The Dalles. In conversations, they had mentioned this popular roller skating rink on the east side of town out by Big Jim’s. For this week’s “Remember When” question, and in memory of both Juanita and Bill, what was the name of this roller rink from way back when? Email your answer to, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or put on your old pair of roller skates and drop your answer off at the Center.  
Well, it’s been another week, cheering for the home team. Until we meet again, our greatest critics are often ourselves.

“Acting is all about honesty. If you can fake that, you’ve got it made.” George Burns

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