Aging Well March 24th 2015

There are many folks who want to stay in their own homes but find it difficult to do so. It is harder to finish all the chores around the house, keep the yard up and even fix healthy meals. But maybe a few hours a week of in-home help could allow them to continue to live in their own homes. If you know of someone in that situation, there is a program funded by the state of Oregon that may help.
Oregon Project Independence (OPI) provides services to Oregonians age 60 and older. These services are intended to support older adults so they can remain in their home as long as they wish. Here in the Mid-Columbia region (Wasco, Sherman, Hood River, Gilliam and Wheeler counties), OPI is administered by the Area Agency on Aging (AAA).
Because of its value, Melissa Howtopat was hired two and a half years ago by the AAA to expand the OPI program. As a result of additional funding from the Oregon legislature and her diligent efforts, OPI is now assisting more than fifty older adults. And the good news is they currently have the resources to assist even more older adults.  
To qualify for OPI, a person must be age 60 or older and need some type of in-home assistance based on an assessment completed by Melissa. Persons younger than age 60 who have a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease or other dementia may be eligible for OPI services.
If a person qualifies, the fees are often affordable – utilizing a sliding fee schedule based on the individual’s monthly income minus their medical expenses. Other financial resources such as savings are not included.
From the individual assessment, services are tailored to the individual’s needs. The available services can include homemaker assistance such as preparing meals, shopping for personal items, or doing light housework; chore assistance such as heavy housework and yard work; respite services which provide a temporary break for the caregiver; assistance identifying other resources and health care options; and personal care services.
Oregon Project Independence has helped thousands of older Oregonians to remain as independent as possible in their own homes. To enroll in OPI or for more information, contact Melissa at the Area Agency on Aging by calling her at 541-298-4101.
For the Center’s 11:00 Tuesday Lecture on March 31st, a Bill Moyers’ interview with Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot will be shown and discussed. Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot is one of America’s leading educators and author of The Third Chapter: Passion, Risk, and Adventure in the 25 Years After 50 and more recently Exit: The Endings That Set Us Free.
As a reminder, if you can’t attend “Are You Ready for Medicare?” on Wednesday April 8th from 9:00 – 11:00 at The Dalles campus of CGCC, you can always call the Center and make an appointment with a trained SHIBA counselor to help answer your Medicare questions.
Every fifth Tuesday, the always popular Dufur Boys perform at the Center for your listening and dancing pleasure. And fortunately, the next fifth Tuesday is this coming Tuesday, March 31st, Doors open at 6:00, music starts at 7:00, all ages are welcome and donations are appreciated.
Last reminder. Nehemiah Brown will be performing at the Center this Friday March 27thfrom 7:00 – 9:00 sponsored by The Dalles Health and Rehabilitation Center. The cost is still only $3.00 per person.
Many folks remembered the Spudnut (and if you want to make the trip, there is still one open in Richland, Washington). But Dennis Morgan, who worked at the Spudnut, also known as Otto’s Ice Cream Center when it was owned by “Ma Durfee”, also remembered Egbert’s Tasty Bakery. And Jerry Philips remembers the Super Cream – where you could watch the donut machine in the window. (The winner of five raffle tickets for the Necktie Quilt is Susan Ortega.)
For this week’s “Remember When” question, let’s try one more local question which came from a conversation with Juanita Ignowski. What was the name of the cafe in a house across the street from The Dalles High School where Juanita and Zelta Wasson would often eat when they were in high school? (Juanita, I hope I got that right.) E-mail your answer to, call 541-296-4788 or have a girl named Wendy drop it off at the Center.
Well, it’s been another week, enjoying the unexpected surprises- the good and the ugly. Until we meet again, remember, if the world was perfect, we wouldn’t be here.

“In youth we run into difficulties. In old age difficulties run into us.” Beverly Sills

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