Aging Well July 9 2013

One of my favorite quotes is from comedian Emo Phillips who said “I used to think that the brain was the most wonderful organ in my body. Then I realized who was telling me this.”

 That wonderful organ is the focus for this month’s Passport to Happiness event at the Center on Wednesday July 17th from 3:00 – 4:30 PM where you are invited to learn more about maintaining and improving your Cognitive Health.

 Because as we age, we all want to stay physically fit. But over the last decade with new brain research and a greater awareness of the debilitating effects of cognitive decline, we are increasing becoming more aware and concerned about our cognitive health – particularly our memory.

 We all experience those memory blips: the name forgotten, the word lost; the keys left in the parked car – with the motor running! – little missteps that we wouldn’t even think about before, but now in our twilight years become a greater concern.

 But there is good news. Research is showing that as we grow older, we may not be as mentally quick, but because of life experiences and the continued growth of the executive functions in the brain, older brains make more accurate decisions than younger brains. For example our nation is led by thirty-two US Senators and ninety-five US Representatives over the age of 65. Okay, that may not be the best example of cognitive functioning. But you get the point.

 Over the last five years I have written about memory and brain functioning. So how about a pop quiz? Can you remember the six components of achieving a healthy brain? (While you are writing down your answers, do you remember when you were younger using “thingamajig” or “whatchamacallit” – as place holders for objects you couldn’t remember? Looking back, I realize “tip of the tongue” memory lapses are nothing new with age.)

 Okay time is up. The six components of a healthy brain lifestyle are: physical exercise – 25% of blood flow from each heartbeat goes to your brain; mental stimulation – participating in activities that are novel and complex; socialization – enjoying the company of friends; nutrition – eating foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids and filling your plate with colorful fruits and vegetables; stress reduction through meditation or prayer; and a good night’s sleep.

 Did you know all six? In which areas do you do well? And which ones do you need to work on?

 Because of brain plasticity, your brain is continually changing. And at any age you can make intentional choices to keep your brain healthy and wise – which is as important as keeping yourself physically fit.

 If you are looking for a way to securely shred your documents, you now have one more option. Besides calling Gorge Security Shred at 541-490-7078 to make an appointment, or meeting them at the Center every Friday between noon and 1:00, the Center now has a secure container provided by Gorge Security Shred so you can conveniently drop off at the Center any documents (under twenty pounds) you want shredded. The cost is a suggested donation of forty cents per pound.

 Since this month’s focus is Cognitive Health, I’m again mixing up the music announcement to challenge your grey matter (with apologies to the political satire assemble “Capital Steps” and their “Lirty Dies”). Before you swick the flitch and the lights go out, taying plonight at the Center is “Martin and Friends”. And “Truman” will be terforming on Puesday the 16thth starting at 7:00 PM. Duggested sonations are two pollars per derson and three collars per douple to keep the fusicians med and the swoors flept.

 The live variety show that aired on television during the fifties featuring Imogene Coca and Sid Caesar is “The Show of Shows”. (And the winner is Pat Davenport.)

Sticking with television for another week, this fast paced comedy series aired from 1968 through 1972 and featured such recurring sketches as “The Mod, Mod World” and “The Flying Fickle Finger of Fate Award”. And made famous such catchphrases as “Sock it to me” and “Here come da judge” Who were the comedy team that hosted this series? And if that is too easy, who was the actress that appeared in every season and portrayed her most famous character – the dowdy spinster Gladys Ormphby? Mail your answer to, call 541-296-4788 or send it with Edith Ann’s oversized rocking chair.

 Well, it has been another week throwing spaghetti against the wall and seeing what sticks. Until we meet again, you can’t really appreciate the silence without the noise.

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