Bingo every Thursday and Saturday Nights. Doors open at 4:00 and games start at 6:00. New players encouraged to arrive by 5:30. Minimum buy-in is $10.

The 4th Annual Mid-Columbia Senior Center Holiday Bazaar will be held on Saturday November 18thfrom 9:00 – 3:00 PM. If you are interested in being a vendor, call the Center at 541-296-4788.

Saturday Holiday Breakfast on December 9th from 8:00 - 9:30 sponsored by Dennis Morgan and Dean Dollarhide.

UPDATED 10.20.17

Aging Well in the Gorge October 17th 2017

Do you care for a loved one? Maybe you help with their grocery shopping, house cleaning, medications or provide emotional support. Or maybe you are a 24/7 caregiver caring for a spouse with advanced dementia or a serious chronic condition, assisting with their personal care and daily activities.

If you are caring for someone and are not paid, you are one of approximately 34.2 million family caregivers in America who provide unpaid care to an adult age 50 or older. To acknowledge the importance of caregivers and their invaluable contribution to our communities, November has been designated National Family Caregivers Month.

In conjunction with National Family Caregivers Month, there is going to be the first ever gorge wide Caregiver Appreciation Day. It will be held on Saturday, November 4th from 10:00 – 4:00 at The Hood River Valley Adult Center (2010 Sterling Place, Hood River). It is free to all unpaid caregivers in the Gorge, and respite care for a loved one will be available. (Screening required.)

The event will start with opportunities for caregivers to pamper themselves: massage, acupuncture, and self-care workshops, followed by lunch with keynote speaker, Dr. Elizabeth Eckstrom, geriatrician at OHSU and co-author of The Gift of Caring. Then in the afternoon there will be educational sessions.

If you are an unpaid caregiver or know of anyone who is, you can register by going to the registration site at Or if you are unable to register online, contact either Melissa at 541-298-4101 ext. 1005, or Britta at 541-298-4101 ext. 1007 at the Area Agency on Aging. This event is organized by the Area Agency on Aging, Providence Volunteers-in-Action, Hood River Valley Adult Center and sponsored by many local organizations and businesses.

Caregiving is rewarding, but also demanding. Here are ten tips from the Caregiver Action Network to help caregivers care for themselves while caring for another.

1. Seek support from other caregivers. You are not alone! 2. Take care of your own health so that you can be strong enough to take care of your loved one. 3. Accept offers of help and suggest specific things people can do to help you. 4. Learn how to communicate effectively with doctors. 5. Be open to new technologies that can help you care for your loved one. 6. Watch out for signs of depression and don't delay getting professional help when you need it. 7. Caregiving is hard work so take respite breaks often. 8. Organize medical information so it's up to date and easy to find. 9. Make sure legal
documents are in order. 10. Give yourself credit for doing the best you can in one of the toughest jobs there is!

What is this Blue Zone Project that has come to The Dalles? And why are the zones called blue? If you would like to learn more about the local Blue Zones project and the 9 components of living a longer, healthier, and happier life, you are invited to attend the Wednesday Lecture at the Center on October 18th from 11:00 – 12:00.

The name of the television show that aired on NBC from 1950 – 1959 and featured versions of the top songs in America was “Your Hit Parade”. (I received correct answers from Jim AYERS, Don McAllister, and she who does not want to be mentioned. But this week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket is Tiiu Vahtel - who can still remembers the closing song.)

Fashion is a funny business with fashion trends recycling through time. Today you see all ages of people wearing skinny pants thanks to the new elastic materials. But back in my high school days, skinny pants were also the “cool” thing to wear. And since I couldn’t find them in the stores, I had to beg my mom to sew the pant legs so skin tight I could barely push my feet through them. For this week’s “Remember When” question what was this style of pants called? Email your answer to, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or drop it off with a picture of yourself wearing this kind of pants.  

Well, it’s been another week, wondering what good news will come next. Until we meet again, as anonymous once said, “Maturity is the art of living in peace with that which we cannot change.”

“My motto was always to keep swinging. Whether I was in a slump or feeling badly or having trouble off the field, the only thing to do was keep swinging.” Hank Aaron

Aging Well in the Gorge October 10th 2017

As we age we encounter many different life stages. In August, I mentioned three stages when planning your retirement described by George H. Schofield, Ph.D.: New Freedom, New Horizons, and New Simplicity.

But there is another stage many of us will reach that isn’t as appealing. A time when the mind may be willing but the body isn’t; and your world seems to shrink and your options appear to evaporate. This stage can seem so scary, we often ignore it and avoid preparing for that time when we must make some very difficult decisions.

In an article for Next Avenue, Debbie Reslock urges us to understand what we fear so we can take responsibility for our lives and discover options that alleviate those fears, so we can make decisions that create a future we can accept and enjoy. And to do it before someone else makes those decisions for us.

There are three aging decisions she thinks we should start considering.

Continue to drive or hang up the keys? Most of us fear the day we can no longer drive. Ever since we were young, the car was a sign of our independence: our ability to be in control of our lives. We don’t want to lose that independence and become a burden for someone else. 

Stay in your home or move? Your home may now be more than you can handle, but it is familiar and full of memories. Do you modify your home, move into an accessible apartment, a retirement or assisted living community or move near your children?

Continue caring for yourself or ask for help? Struggling with daily life on your own not only presents challenges as we age but can contribute to depression and isolation. But no longer being self-reliant is hard to accept.

These are difficult decisions and the answers are unique for each individual. But it is not too early to be proactive. Start imaging your future life while understanding all the options and consequences, so if you do have to give something up, you can do it on your own terms. Because the ultimate loss of independence is when others, often well-intentioned, start making decisions for you.

Now that the elevator is running up and down, we have started straightening up around the Center and have found there is stuff that the Center really doesn’t need or have room to store. So, on Saturday, October 14th from 9:00 – 1:00, there will be a “house cleaning” sale downstairs that will include file cabinets, bookcases, motorized scooters (without batteries), lift chair, and miscellaneous odds and ends.

The next AARP Smart Driver Course will be held at the Center on October 16 and 17 from 8:45 am to 12:05 pm on both days. The cost is $20 and $15 for AARP Members. Call the Center at 541-296-4788 to sign-up. And at the class, you can enroll in a free 20-minute CarFit Safety event that will follow the class.

The title of the instrumental recording composed by David Rose that reached #1 in 1962 (and whenever you hear it you want to start gyrating and throwing your clothes off!) is “The Stripper”. (I received correct answers from Jim Ayres, Diana Weston and this week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket, Marcia Lacock.)

I have a faint memory of wanting to watch this television show so I could hear the week’s most popular songs – although I was always disappointed when the original artists didn’t perform. For this week’s “Remember When” question, what was the name of the television show that aired on NBC from 1950 – 1959, sponsored by Lucky Strikes, and featured versions of the top songs in America. Email your answer to, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or drop it off with a group picture of Snooky Lanson, Russell Arms, Dorothy Collins, and Gisèle MacKenzie.

Well, it’s been another week, wishing and hoping. Until we meet again, don’t let doubt keep you from living. 

“What you eat today walks and talks tomorrow.” Esther Blumenfeld

Aging Well in the Gorge October 3rd 2017

How do you know it’s the end of summer? The leaves falling? The cooler mornings? The football hysteria? No, it’s a mailbox full of solicitations from Medicare insurance plans.

And why? Because October 15th is the start of the annual Medicare Open Enrollment period. Since each year the insurance companies can adjust their Medicare plans, the Open Enrollment period gives you a chance to decide if your Medicare plan is still the best option for you or if it’s time to switch to another plan.

To help decide, you should take time to review the “Annual Notice of Change” which describes any changes in your current plan for next year and which you should have received by now. Then ask yourself the big three Medicare questions. Does your plan allow you to go to the providers you want including your pharmacy? Are your prescription drugs covered? And how much does the plan cost?

Even if you are satisfied with your current plan, you still may want to look around to see if there is a better deal, especially if you have avoided the hassle of comparing plans over the past several years and just opted to automatically renew your current plan.

Choosing the right Medicare plan can be frustrating, perplexing and downright confusing. But all health insurance is complicated. Before I was enrolled in Medicare, I relied upon my employer or insurance agent - insulating me from the complexity of choosing a health insurance plan.

But there are many places where you can find help. You can visit and use the Medicare Plan Finder; study the “Medicare & You” handbook; call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) where help is available 24 hours a day, including weekends; or visit the Oregon SHIBA (Senior Health Insurance Benefits Assistance) website. If you’d rather talk to someone face to face, you can meet with a private insurance broker who specialize in Medicare, or you can call the Center and make an appointment with a trained impartial SHIBA volunteer who will help guide you through the process.

In the meantime, if you want to better understand the ins and outs of Medicare Part A, B, C, and D; Medigap and Medicare Advantage plans; and all the timelines and deadlines, you are invited to attend a Medicare 101 class at CGCC’s The Dalles Campus, on Thursday, October 12th from 1:00 – 3:00. The class is free but seats are limited. Call 541-308-8211 to register or register online at

Tomorrow’s 11:00 Wednesday Lecture at the Center will feature Marylyn Urness discussing the fascinating history of the Chinese community in The Dalles as detailed in her book “Chinatown”. Last May, Marilyn spoke at the annual Wasco County Pioneer Association meeting and her presentation was so impressive we invited her to speak at the Center.

Then at 11:00 on October 11th, Colleena Tenold Sauter from the local Aging and People with Disabilities office will provide an overview of the many services her office provides including elder abuse prevention and investigations, caregiver support, food assistance and long-term care for those who qualify.

Last Wednesday, Kerry Cobb, executive director of the Columbia Center for the Arts, gave a very enlightening presentation on the life and work of five female artists. Fortunately, she will be back at the Center on October 11th at 1:00 to direct a table read of several humorous one-act plays about older adults. There is still room for several more readers. If you are interested, call the Center to sign up.

The popular music pianist and top selling piano recording artist known for his 1955 recording of "Autumn Leaves” was Roger Williams. (I received correct answers from Betsy Ayres, Jeannie Pesicka and this week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket, Pat Foster.)

During some reminiscing at the Center with Jeanne Pesicka, this easily recognizable song, which I hadn’t thought of for decades, came to mind. For this week’s “Remember When” question, what was the title of the instrumental recording composed by David Rose, that reached number one on Billboard's Top 100 in 1962 and is often associated with the entertainment at a bachelor party? Email your answer to, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or drop it off with a picture of Gypsy Rose Lee.

Well, it’s been another week, watching the leaves dance down the street. Until we meet again, keep up the good work. 

“Here is the test to find whether you mission on Earth is finished: if you’re alive, it isn’t.” Richard Bach

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