Senior Living December 9th

I hesitate to start with this next topic because who really wants to talk about feet, because what do you think of? Ugly toenails, disgusting smells and corns and bunions? There ain’t nothing sexy about feet. (I always thought a podiatrist was the lowest of the medical professions.) But you live and learn, and I have found that this constantly used by often neglected part of the body is critical to our well being.

Thursday, December 10th at 1:00 at the Senior Center you will have the opportunity to discover more about “Foot Care in Later Life” with Fern Wilcox from Wasco County Extension. During this session of the monthly Healthy Aging Series you will learn steps to prevent foot problems including foot hygiene, how to take care of your toenails and when to seek a doctor’s advice. If you think you know all you need to know about feet, try this short true or false quiz and see how smart you really are.

1. Our feet can mirror our general health. Not surprising the answer is yes. Often foot problems are the first indication of more serious problems including arthritis, diabetes, and kidney, heart, circulatory or neurological disease.

2. There is no difference between the number of men and the number of women who experience foot problems. I know women live longer, are smarter and better looking, but I figure when it comes to our feet, men and women should be equal. Right?
Wrong. This is one area where men shine. Women have about four times as many foot problems as men. One reason might be that 9 out of 10 women wear shoes too small for their feet.

3. About one quarter of all bones in the body are in the feet.
True. I was surprised to learn that the human foot contains about 52 bones – 25% of the number of bones in the body. – as well as numerous joints, ligaments, muscles and tendons.
Well, I didn’t so well. Maybe you did better, and even if you did, you will learn much more about this critical part of the body. I believe it was the Greek philosopher Socrates who proposed the first step to personal fulfillment was to “Know thy feet”.

I am not sure it is a lecture because the presentation for the Next Chapter Lecture Series is literally hands-on. Freda Wasson and Robin Fritts, both Licensed Massage Therapists will be at the Center to discuss and demonstrate the “Joy of Massage”. I know there are some of you where just the thought of being touched by some unknown person gives you the willies – like my wife – but even she has learned that massage can provide tremendous benefits. “Joy of Massage” will be informative, relaxing and fun and definitely not one to miss on Tuesday the 16th at 11:00 in the basement of the Senior Center.

With so many pleasant distractions during this time of the year: Christmas cards, holiday bazaars, and where to find a place to park, you may have forgotten about the AARP Driver Safety class this coming Monday and Tuesday. Dennis makes sure the class is informative and interesting with cookies and coffee and bathroom breaks. And if you are really good students, I heard he lets you out early for recess. The class is on the third Monday and Tuesday of every month from 9:00 – 1:00 at the Senior Center. You can call the Center at 296-4788 to sign up.

This holiday season there is music in the air everywhere. Next Tuesday, the 16th, Penny and Small Change will be performing for the Senior Center’s Christmas Dance and Music with finger foods, beverages and Santa. The special evening is sponsored by Heart of Gold Caregivers. And tonight the Notecrackers will be performing for your dancing and listening pleasure. Music starts at 7 PM, and is free but donations are appreciated. All ages are welcome.

And there is more holiday music. On Saturday the 13th at 7:30 PM and Sunday at 4 PM, you can hear the Cascade Singers “Shout the Glad Tidings”, at their 2008 Christmas Concert at the St. Peter’s Landmark. General admission is $10, $5 for students and seniors, children 10 and under free. Then on Sunday December 14th at 2 PM, The Gorge Winds Concert Band will be presenting their Christmas Concert in the ballroom of the Civic Auditorium. The concert is free but a $5 donation per person is suggested. On Monday, December 15th you can listen to the next generation of musicians at The Dalles-Wahtonka Symphonic and Jazz Bands’ “Winter’s Eve Concert“ at 7:00 PM at the Civic Auditorium. And there is always music and dance at the Cherry Park Grange.

An early reminder that on Saturday December 20th the Senior Center will hold a special third Saturday Christmas Breakfast sponsored by Mill Creek Point. The Sweet Adelines will provide special seasonal music and Santa will make an appearance. Bring all your kids and grandkids for breakfast with Santa.

Will winter finally arrive? Is there snow in the air? Will I again wait till last moment to put on the snow tires? Stay tuned. Until we meet again, enjoy life and keep your feet dry.

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