Aging Well June 9th

How old is old? Is it fifteen years older than you are as Bernard Baruch once famously said? Or as the basketball Coach Phog Allen lamented “when it takes longer to rest up than it takes to get tired”? MetLife did a marketing survey of sixty-two year olds asking them how old is old and the answer they found was seventy seven. I know several folks in their seventy’s who wouldn’t consider themselves old – maybe a little slower, a little stiffer and not as strong – but certainly not old. But whatever you think old is today, in the next 25 years the definition of old will change dramatically. By that time science fiction will become reality and Shangri-La may no longer be found only in an imaginary valley in the Himalayas.

On the new horizon, technological advances are just being discovered and engineered that may drastically change the way we age and consequently how we perceive old age. With the possibility of growing new organs and the advancements in brain research we may have to answer the question, “What do we do when we possess our own soul but the insurance company owns our body?”

Aubrey de Grey, a British biomedical gerontologist, has promoted a radical and controversial theoretical framework suggesting that aging is a disease and within 25 years through regenerative medicine it may be possible to live for a hundred and fifty, two hundred or even three hundred years. But is this just another misguided dream like changing lead into gold or creating the perpetual motion machine? We may soon find out.

In the next 25 years what will old look like? It is already said that today’s sixty’s are the new fifty’s. In the not too distant future will the hundred and fifty year olds be the new sixty’s?

There are many challenges when caring for a person with Alzheimers. One area that creates many questions is how to manage the many possible medications. On Tuesday June 23rd from 2 – 4 PM at the Center, the Area Agency on Aging will be hosting a workshop on “Medication Management in Alzheimer’s Disease: the Role of the Family Caregiver”. If you care for someone with this tragic disease or know of someone with Alzheimers, you will find this workshop helpful and informative.

You will have a chance to learn more about the challenges and opportunity facing the city when Nolan Young The Dalles City Manager, speaks at the Center’s Next Chapter Lecture on Tuesday June 16th. It is not easy weighing the interests of a diverse public with the interests of the individual when deciding complex and contentious issues such as urban renewal, annexation, docks and roundabouts. Nolan will share with you the city’s perspective and answer your questions.

Tonight, it’s Truman Boler’s one-man Country Gold and next Tuesday the Sugar Daddies playing at the Center for your dancing and listening enjoyment. Music starts at 7:00 and everybody is welcome. And it’s all free but donations are always appreciated.

If you want to watch a short humorous video of Tom Rush singing the “Remember Song” go to the Center’s Blog at The song is a humorous take on our memory lapses that Pat Davenport found on the Internet and sent to me. If you have enjoyed any other Internet videos and think they would appeal to the 50+ crowd, send me a link and I will see if I can post it on the Center’s blog.

That’s another week. Until we meet again, I want to leave you with this observation from Sam Ciranny. When I asked him how he was doing; he paused and replied “My friends say I’m doing fine”.

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