Aging Well July 2nd 2013

As I am trying to stay cool in my air conditioned bedroom like a kangaroo rat in its desert burrow; with my laptop computer sitting appropriately on my lap, I am wondering what to write about this week.  And then like a sweaty palm slapping me across my face, it hits me – the dangers of overexposure to summer heat!
Because as we age, our bodies change (which I am reminded everyday) becoming less sensitive to heat and the feeling of thirst, making us older adults more vulnerable to summer’s heat and humidity. In addition, certain medical conditions, such as heart disease, and medications commonly taken by older adults —water pills, allergy and sinus medications, and antidepressants—further increase the risk.
But according to The American Geriatrics Society’s Foundation for Health in Aging (FHIA), there are precautions we can take to prevent the harmful effects of dehydration and heat illness – particularly when the temperatures reach ninety degrees. There are the obvious: turn on the air conditioner or go somewhere with air conditioning; when outdoors wear a hat and lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing; use SPF 30 or higher sunscreen; avoid strenuous activity; and my favorite – take a cool shower or bath.  
But what you may not know is avoid caffeine and alcoholic beverages; and frequent drinking of smaller quantities is better than less frequent drinking of larger quantities. (If you aren’t sure if you are drinking enough fluids – how should I say this politely? – check your urine: light yellow urine is usually a sign you are drinking enough, while darker urine may signal that more liquid is needed.) And in many situations, it is a good idea during these heat waves to have someone check in on you twice a day.
It may not be 128 degrees as it was in Death Valley, but the heat can still be unbearable and dangerous. Stay cool, slow down and drink plenty of water. In six months, we can start complaining about how cold it is.
We are already half way through 2013, and since a Center membership is for the calendar year, the Center is offering “a once in a life time opportunity” for new members to join the Center at half the regular price. During the month of July, individual memberships are $20 instead of $35 and a membership for a couple is only $30 instead of $60. If you have never been a member, this is your chance to join and help support the Center. Memberships provide almost 15% of the Center’s revenue.
Meals-on-Wheels will be closed on the 4th and 5th, but extra meals will be delivered for the long weekend. The Center will be closed on Thursday but will be open on Friday although many of the classes and activities will be cancelled. But there will be Bingo on Saturday the 6th starting at 6:00 PM. And if there are over sixty folks playing that night, someone in the crowd is guaranteed to win $1000.
And if that is not enough to get you out of the heat, on July 11th Meals-on-Wheels will have their big Bingo Bash starting at 6:00 with free hamburgers between 4:30 and 6:30. There will be a guaranteed $1000 give-a-way plus several other special prizes including free one night stays at Wildhorse and Spirit Mountain. For this special event minimum buy-in is $20.00.
And before the toast is buttered and the coffee’s made, playing tonight at the Center is “Strawberry Mountain Band”. And “Martin and Friends” will be performing next Tuesday on the 9th starting at 7:00 PM. All ages are welcome and suggested donations are $2 per person and $3 per couple to keep the musicians fed and the lights on.
Robert Young and Jane Wyatt, as his wife, starred in the hit comedy “Father Knows Best”. (And this week’s winner is Sandy Haechrel.) But that was a little too easy, so this week’s “Remember When” question should be a little more challenging. What was the name of the 90 minute live variety show ranked #30 on TV Guide’s 50 Greatest TV Shows; starred Sid Caesar, Imogene Coca, Carl Reiner and Howard Morris and aired from February 25, 1950 to June 5, 1954? Mail your answer to, call 541-296-4788 or send it with a kinescope copy of the comedy sketch “From Here to Obscurity”.

Well, it has been another week looking for shade in all the cool places. Until we meet again, here’s a quote to share with your grandkids, “Listen to your elder’s advice not because they are always right, but because they have more experiences of being wrong.”

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