Aging Well October 27

Social isolation can be deadly. The report, “Aging in the Shadows” commissioned by the United Neighborhood Houses of New York, states “If seniors are to avoid institutionalization or hospitalization, they require the social, emotional and physical support of others”.

We all need someone to talk with, to share stories with and to provide a friendly touch. Someone to be there. When you live alone or your mobility is limited, these simple necessities are not always available.

There are many community resources available to prevent social isolation: meals-on-wheels, caregiver support, volunteering opportunities, and gathering places such as the Center. But for many, these supports aren’t enough or possible. To address this need, the Area Agency on Aging has started a Friendly Visitors program, initially serving only Wasco County residents, but hopefully expanding to the rest of AAA service area including Sherman, Gilliam and Wheeler counties. Friendly Visitors will provide companionship and develop relationships through weekly visits with seniors complementing the supports they already receive.

Marilyn Buchanan, who recently returned to The Dalles, has been hired as the Volunteer Coordinator and she is looking for volunteers. If you are interested call Friendly Visitors at 541-298-4101 or toll free at 888-316-1362.

The Center’s terrific “booking agent” (who does not want to be mentioned by name, but Gaby knows who he is) has lined up another month of great Tuesday Night music starting off next week with the popular Truman Boler. Then performing on the following Tuesdays will be the Cherry Park Group, Sugar Daddies and then the Center’s fourth Tuesday regulars, the Jazz Generations, who are also playing tonight. Music starts at 7:00 and the fun is open to everyone and anyone. Admission is free, but donations are guaranteed to bring you good luck.

A quick reminder. The Medicare presentation at the Center on Wednesday the 28th at 11:00 is a chance to find answers for many of your Medicare questions. And don’t forget, if your Medicare Advantage plan is leaving the state, you need to enroll in a new plan by December 31st.

And most importantly, don’t forget Betty Harlan’s Halloween Retirement Potluck Party this Wednesday at the Center starting at 6:30 pm. She started with Meals-on-Wheels in 1975 and has been an important part of Meals-on-Wheels ever since. Betty will be moving to Bend to be closer to her daughter but she has promised to make regular visits to The Dalles. She is a generous soul and we are a much better community because of her. And be careful if she has her camera – and now her new video camera – in hand. She likes to catch you in the most embarrassing situations.

It took a real Elvis Presley fan to know last week’s “Remember When” question. Fortunately for Tom Sofie, he lives with one, his wife Nancy, who knew Elvis’s first #1 hit was Heartbreak Hotel. This week the question is about the singer that some consider the first true “teen idol”, Frank Sinatra. During the 1940’s, he was followed by overzealous adolescent girl fans. What were those screaming fans called? If you know the answer, call the Center at 296-4788 or email the Center at

And lastly, there are times when you feel like broadcasting to the world an accomplishment so great you expect a presidential medal; so unbelievable even your greatest enemy will respect you. What was the awe inspiring feat? I successfully programmed both a universal TV remote and a TV remote to play a DVD player, all without the help of a twelve year old. No need for a “good job” when you see me. My own personal satisfaction is all the recognition I need.

So until we meet again, take a chance; challenge yourself – only if by programming the TV remote, because as George Eliot said “It’s never too late to become what you might have been.”

“Why is it that our memory is good enough to retain the least triviality that happens to us, and yet not good enough to recollect how often we have told it to the same person?” Francois de La Rochefoucauld

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