Senior Living March 4 2008

Senior Living March 4th, 2008

In the next 25 years the number of individuals 60 and over in Wasco County is projected to increase by close to 40%. Seniors will live longer and require a greater investment of the nation’s resources than even today when the funding for state programs that support seniors have been described as in a state of emergency. But if we want government and private foundations to invest more in additional senior supports, communities will have to identify the needs and gaps in services for seniors, collaborate and coordinate at the local level and identify and implement programs that work. One means to these ends would be a comprehensive plan, modeled after the Wasco County Commission on Children and Families’ Comprehensive Plan, that could provide the strategic direction to improve the well being and quality of life for all seniors. There is tremendous work being done to support our seniors but there is much more that could be done, and a comprehensive plan for seniors will better position the community to meet their unmet needs.

The Senior Center Quilters have produced many beautiful quilts over the years to support the Senior Center, but the Center has not had a proper place to display them, until now. When you walk into the Senior Center’s lobby, look up and you will see their latest quilt hanging on the wall. And if you want to be that special person to take that lovely quilt home, you can buy as many raffle tickets as you like at the front desk.

On Tuesday, March 11th the speaker for the “Next Chapter” lecture series will be Debbie Saalseld from the Oregon Senior Tax Deferral Program who will be explaining the Property Tax Deferral Program (and other tax deferrals) for seniors. The Oregon Legislature established the program to allow qualifying citizens to delay paying property taxes on their residences—including manufactured homes, multi-family, and income-producing properties (e.g., home business). This is your opportunity to learn more about this option and whether it is something you would want to do.

It may seem redundant but I always try to mention tonight’s musician for the Senior Center’s Tuesday Night Music program, as a gentle reminder for those who may read this column in time. So tonight Truman Boler, who has been playing music in the area since 1958, will be performing his popular style of music at 7:00 PM. Then next Tuesday on the 11th, the “Notecrackers” will be playing their sweet listening and dancing music from the 20’s through 60’s. Also we have a new addition to the Senior Center’s musical scene. On Sunday March 16 from 2 – 5 pm we are very fortunate to have the “Dallesport Jammers” playing at the Senior Center. This is another chance to listen to some great music and have a piece of pie too.

The Senior Center has reserved 24 seats for the Broadway Musical “Sweeney Todd” described as a musical thriller with music by Stephen Sondheim. It has received excellent reviews including “The greatest musical of the past half-century” by the Wall Street Journal. The tickets are for the 1:00 matinee performance at the Keller Auditorium in Portland on Sunday April 13th and cost $65 including transportation. But we need to know by March 10th if there is enough interest before we actually purchase the tickets. If you would like to see “Sweeney Todd” sign-up at the front desk or call the senior center at 296-4788 within the next week.

Martha and Betty have reminded me that I haven’t mentioned the NU-2-U Shoppe for quite a while. Well this is a good time. With the warmer weather they can finally start hanging up the spring clothes from last fall’s donation of high-quality, seldom-used clothes. The prices are incredibly low and on Wednesdays it even gets better with everything on sale at half-price. So come on in and if you are really nice Martha will give you a kiss.

I would like to share with you an article from the Meals-on-Wheels’ March newsletter that demonstrates how Meals-on-Wheels is so incredibly valuable and is “more than just a meal”. “On a Friday in January an MOW driver Joi Wilson, was out delivering meals to a number of clients. When she was delivering to a particular client (we’ll call her client #11), the route sheet indicated “Knock, then walk in.” Joi called out the client’s name, but didn’t get an answer. Then she heard a faint voice calling for help, so she started checking through the house. She found the client on the floor. The client said that she could not get up and had been on the floor for some time, and was happy and thankful to see Joi. The client thought it was Saturday and didn’t know if anyone would be by that day. With the help of some neighbors, Joi got the client off the floor, and into a chair. MOW drivers deliver meals to clients and also check on their welfare, as the driver may be the only person the client sees all day. This is a service provided by MOW for shut-in clients, through the dedicated drivers. So if you know an MOW driver, thank them for the service to the seniors in our area. They are after all, our angels!”

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