Aging Well September 10th 2013

It is often said, “If you’ve seen one Senior Center, you’ve seen one Senior Center”. That’s because every Senior Center is unique: in how they are structured and operated; and how they reflect their community. And that’s true of every Senior Center and the many meal sites in the Mid-Columbia from Sherman County to Hood River and Klickitat Counties.

 But what they do have in common is offering a place where older adults can stay active, engaged and empowered to contribute to their own health and well-being; and where the experiences, skills, and knowledge of older adults are valued and their dignity, self-worth, and independence affirmed.

 Because of the valuable role of Senior Centers and meal sites, September has been designated National Senior Center Month to recognize both the senior center and meal site participants and the staff and volunteers who work every day to enhance the well-being of older citizens.

If you haven’t already visited your local Senior Center or meal site, take time and stop it. You will find helpful programs and activities, but most importantly you’ll find wonderful, caring and active folks.

 To kick off National Senior Center Month at the Center in The Dalles, two work teams of committed, energetic and slightly nuts volunteers decided to put words into action and added a little lipstick to the Center – which is showing some wear and tear of middle age. Because of their efforts, the Center’s downstairs concrete floor was brightly painted – after removing the carpet which Laura Comini remembers Shilo Inn donating twenty plus years ago. And then over the Labor Day weekend – believing you should never waste a good three day weekend – the Center’s dining room was repainted. (The most difficult task was choosing the paint colors – but so far the reviews have been good.) Thanks to everyone who helped plus Discover Rentals, Brace Brothers – and Sawyers True Value for having their Labor Day Paint Sale just for us!

 Did you know when older adults were asked what was most important to maintaining a high quality of life, staying connected to friends and family was the top choice – ahead of financial means? And that 71% of older adults feel the community they live in is responsive to their needs, but just 49% believe their community is doing enough to prepare for the future needs of the growing older population? These are some of the key findings from the National Council on Aging’s report called ”The United States of Aging” which will be discussed at the Center’s next Tuesday Lecture at 11:00 on the 17th.

 One of the benefits of having children home is they are always showing you some new technological device or program – to add even more distractions to your life. The latest example is Twitter. But even though I can waste hours reading the “tweets”, Twitter has allowed me to follow Oregon Scam Alert. The most recent scam has been reported by the Better Business Bureau, They are asking folks to keep an eye on their magazine renewal subscriptions, and avoid payment to Associated Publishers Network (APN). There have been a flood of complaints about this renewal subscription “business” mailing out phony renewal invoices. So beware. For more information and additional scam alerts check out the Center’s blog/website at

 Every Tuesday night there is music and dancing at the Center starting at 7:00 PM including Truman who will be playing his Country Gold on the 17th. The suggested donation is $2.00 per person and $3.00 per couple.
Several folks remembered the Seattle Pilots professional baseball team that played just one season in 1969 (including Jess Birge winner of a September 21st Saturday Breakfast). But I wasn’t one of them. I was in Indiana packing up my VW van for the wild, wild west called Oregon and the Wil-uh-Met Valley.

And for this week’s “Remember When” question, what was the name of the bi-weekly, general-interest magazine that emphasized photos more than articles; and was published from 1937 to 1971 – peaking in 1969 with 7.75 million subscriptions, second to only Life magazine? E-mail your answers to, call 541-296-4788 or mail it with a limited edition photo taken by film director Stanley Kubrick when he was a staff photographer for this magazine.

 Well, it has been another week trying to keep my marbles from rolling off the table. Until we meet again, as the Oklahoma sage, Will Rogers once said “If you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop digging”.

 “Worry is like a rockin’ horse. It’s something to do that don’t get you nowhere.” Old West Proverb

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