Aging Well in the Gorge June 19th 2018

This week is a little of “this” and a little of “that” - sharing some of the events at the Center you might find interesting.

The Center’s durable medical equipment loan closet is probably the Center’s most popular service. You can borrow a variety of medical equipment at no cost - although a $10 donation is appreciated. Right now, the loan closet is full of rollators - which is the fancy word for those four-wheel walkers with a seat. I also call them your “freedom machine” since they allow you to move safely when you are unsteady on your feet or recovering from surgery. So if you need a rollator for any length of time, save your money and call the Center to see if there is a rollator that will work for you.

At the Center, I often get questions asking where one can find free or inexpensive legal advice. As we all know the legal system is complex - and can be costly and unaffordable for many. But for the second year in a row, the Center is hosting the Cascadia Mobile Legal Clinic on June 25th and 26th from 11 to 4 pm. This is a convenient opportunity to receive a free 30-minute consultation on a wide range of legal topics. And if any legal services are provided after the consultation, they are provided to eligible clients for free or on a sliding fee scale (depending on income). If you are interested, call them at 503-444-3449 to guarantee an appointment – although last year, drop-ins were welcome. You can find more information at their website

This next activity sounds really cool. As part of the Center’s Creative Arts series provided by the Columbia Center for the Arts, Jinx Griswold will be teaching a Zentangle class on June 27th from 1:00 – 2:30. The Zentangle Method is an easy-to-learn, relaxing, and fun way to create beautiful images by drawing structured patterns which are called tangles. You create tangles with combinations of dots, lines, simple curves, S-curves and orbs. As you use the Zentangle Method to create beautiful images, you likely will enjoy increased focus, creativity, self-confidence and an increased sense of well-being – and no mistakes are possible!

If you haven’t renewed your Center membership (or can’t recall if you have), there is still time. An individual membership is $35 per person or $60 per couple and if you are a super-duper person, it is $50 a year. The individual and business memberships are critical to fulfilling the Center’s mission of providing opportunities for all generations to explore, connect and contribute.

Besides financially supporting the Center, as a member you can vote at the Center’s annual membership meeting which will be held in the afternoon on Tuesday July 17th. At the annual meeting, you will receive an update of this last year’s accomplishments, future plans and dreams, and vote for the Center’s board members who are up for reelection. If you aren’t a member yet, I encourage you to become one and attend the Center’s 2018 annual meeting.

The four term New York governor whose marriage to “Happy” Murphy soon after they both were divorced, raised such a political firestorm it cost him the Republican presidential nomination in 1964 was Nelson Rockefeller. (I received correct answers from Lana Tepfer, Sandy Haechrel, Tiiu Vahtel, Dave Lutgens, and Jess Birge; and this week’s winners of a quilt raffle ticket are Jim Ayres who saw Nelson Rockfeller in Portland in 1964 - and Sue Ortega whom I missed last week.)

Let’s stick with politics a little longer. Before Bill Clinton played the saxophone wearing Ray-Ban sunglasses on the Arsenio Hall show, Richard Nixon appeared on this popular sketch comedy show two months before the 1968 presidential election and stiffly spoke one of the shows famous catch phrases, “Sock it to me.” For this week’s “Remember When” question, what was the name of this show? Email your answer to, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or send it with the name of the show’s writer who was an ardent Nixon supporter and encouraged Nixon to appear on the show.

Well, it’s been another week, looking for some clarity, but only finding dirty windows. Until we meet again, don’t allow your fears hide all the possibilities.

“Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out.” John Wooden, basketball coach and all-American guard for Purdue University

Aging Well in the Gorge June 12th 2018

Although it might be easier in small towns, these days it is harder to stay involved and connected to our communities as we age. As a result, older people are more likely to experience social isolation - which increases the likelihood of abuse and neglect.

Abuse and neglect is a concern world-wide and can affect older people across all socioeconomic groups, cultures, and races. And to raise the awareness of elder abuse throughout the world, June 15 is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day.  

Okay, but what actually is elder abuse? It refers to intentional or negligent acts by a caregiver or trusted individual that causes harm to an older person - and can be exhibited in many ways: neglect or isolation; physical abuse; financial abuse and exploitation; and emotional or psychological abuse (including verbal abuse and threats).

Fortunately, there are warning signs.

For neglect a lack of basic hygiene, adequate food, or clean and appropriate clothing; home cluttered and filthy, or without adequate appliances; or a person with dementia left unsupervised.

For financial abuse or exploitation, a lack of conveniences the victim could afford; “voluntarily” giving excessive financial reimbursement/gifts to the caregiver; caregiver has control of elder’s money but is failing to provide for elder’s needs; or the vulnerable adult has signed documents such as a Power of Attorney or a new Will without understanding what it means.

For psychological or emotional abuse look for unexplained or uncharacteristic changes in behavior; caregiver doesn’t let anyone in the home; or the caregiver is verbally aggressive or demeaning, controlling, or uncaring

And for physical abuse look for inadequately explained fractures, bruises, welts, cuts, sores or burns.

Some older adults are more susceptible to experiencing abuse or neglect than others. They include adults eighty and older and older adults who experence dementia, poor physical health, mental health or substance abuse issues and isolation.

But you can do something about Elder Abuse. Actually, you already have - because if you have read this far you know the signs of abuse. Now the next step is to share this information with your friends, so instances of abuse are better reported to protect older adults.

You can also stay in contact with your older neighbors, as I know many of you have, and listen. If you suspect any abuse, you can report your suspicions to the Aging and People with Disabilities (APD) office in The Dalles at 541-298-4114.

By spreading the word and making sure national and community resources are directed to providing the necessary supports for older adults and reducing the isolation many older adults face, we can help prevent elder abuse from happening. It’s a matter of justice for all.

The Center’s next two trips are coming up. On June 20th there is a trip to the Portland Grotto with a limit of 12 persons and a cost of $30. And then on Wednesday, July 11th a trip to the Oregon Zoo in Portland is scheduled with a limit of 23 and a cost of $46. There is still room, but make sure you are signed up and paid to reserve your seat on the bus.

The name of the historical drama which was the top grossing film of 1963, won four Academy Awards and was renowned for the extramarital affair between its two costars, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, was Cleopatra. (I received correct answers from Jim Ayers, Lana Tepfer, Dave Lutgens, Sandy Haechrel and Don Hansen - this week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket.)

Lana Tepfer reminded me how the Taylor/Burton affair was such a big deal back in THOSE days which reminded me of how the public’s perception of a political candidate’s character has also changed.

For this week’s “Remember When” question who was the four term New York governor who during his second term as governor married a New York socialite soon after they both were divorced which raised such a political firestorm it cost him the Republican presidential nomination in 1964? Email your answer to, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or send a picture of Happy, his second wife, with their first child.

Well, it’s been another week, trying to figure out what the heck I’m doing. Until we meet again, take a chance, and open the door. You never know what’s on the other side.

“Lonely is not a feeling when you are alone. Lonely is a feeling when no one cares.” Unknown

Aging Well in the Gorge June 5th 2018

We all want to live longer and healthier lives. And advances in the health sciences have made that possible. But those advances are not a product of best guesses or anecdotal information. They have been based on evidence-based research.

One institution in Oregon that is highly regarded for its research and expertise in aging is the Oregon Health Sciences University. It has established the Healthy Aging Alliance whose mission according to Elizabeth Eckstrom, MD, MPH., director of geriatrics at OHSU " … is to strategically plan research to meet the needs of our seniors, find new ways to make sure the results of our research influence the care of our aging patients, and offer new training opportunities to help Oregon clinicians prepare for this significant change in their patient population. "

But the research needs volunteers. And I’m talking homo sapiens, not mice or the African turquoise killifish - which my son is studying to better understand the effects of aging at the molecular level. (And I have told him to hurry up! I can’t wait too long.)

To better understand how to recruit volunteers for OHSU’s research on aging, Elizabeth Eckstrom and her team will be at the Center on Tuesday June 12th at 1:00. They are looking for five to ten individuals who are 75 years or older to participate in a 30 to 60 minute focus group and share their thoughts and opinions about their participation in health research or their interest in the topic. As a thank-you each participant will receive a $25 gift certificate. If you would like to participate, contact Laura Ferrara at or 541-399-1139.

Susan Kirk gave an excellent presentation last week on the Telecommunication Devices Access Program (TDAP): a state government program which loans specialized communications equipment at no cost and with no income guidelines - but you must be an Oregon resident and be able to certify your hearing loss by a hearing specialist. Those who qualify can borrow one of a variety of listening devices such as a caption telephone. So never buy a listening device before calling TDAP! There is information at the Center or you can call TDAP at 1-800-848-4442.

The Center is hosting the Cascadia Mobile Legal Clinic (staffed by attorneys from Martin & Richards, LLP) on June 25th and 26th from 11 to 4 pm. They can provide a variety of legal services including wills, trusts, powers of attorney, advance directives, probate estates, elder abuse, and civil disputes. All clients receive a free 30-minute consultation, and legal services provided after the consultation, if any, are provided to eligible clients for free or on a sliding fee scale (depending on income). Call 503-444-3449 for an appointment. You can find more information at their website

The AARP Smart Driver course is held at the Center from 8:45 – 12:05 on the third Monday and the following Tuesday of each month. The next class is on June 18th and 19th and costs $20 and $15 for AARP members. In Oregon if you complete the class an insurance discount from your insurance carrier is mandatory. But beware - the discounts will vary. You may want to check with your insurance agent. To sign up, call the Center at 541-296-4788.

The host and star of the American radio and television variety show which ran on CBS from 1946 until 1958 and featured "talent scouts" who brought their discoveries onto the program was Arthur Godfrey. (I received only one correct answer, so Dave Lutgens is this week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket.)

It’s time to revisit a classic movie which was more famous for what happened off screen than on. For this week’s “Remember When” question, what was the name of the historical drama which was the top grossing film of 1963 and the most expensive film ever made up to that point, won four Academy Awards and was renowned for the extramarital affair between its two costars? And for bonus points who were the costars? Email your answer to, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or drop it off with a picture from Eddie Fisher’s second wedding.

Well, it’s been another week, rushing to answer the phone before nature calls. Until we meet again, find a song to dance to.

“As I get older, the more I stay focused on the acceptance of myself and others, and choose compassion over judgment and curiosity over fear.” Tracee Ellis Ross

Aging Well in the Gorge May 29th 2018

Who knew I would have to be a speed reader to enjoy watching television. But with my hearing loss, closed captions have been a lifesaver - so I can actually follow the intricate plot lines of my favorite British mysteries.

But are there times when you wish there were closed captions for your telephone? Well there is, and the service is called CapTel which is short for Captioned Telephone.

The Captioned Telephone service from Oregon CapTel offers the ability for anyone with hearing loss to hear and read captions of everything being said by the other person during a telephone conversation. It is a 24-hour-a-day service offered at no cost to users if their audiologist or hearing aid specialist can certify their hearing loss - but they are responsible for their own long-distance or Internet charges.

How does the system work? Let’s say you are calling your grandson. When you dial his number, and before he answers, the phone call automatically connects to a captioning service. While your grandson talks with you, the CapTel operator is listening and transcribes your grandson’s words into text by using voice recognition technology. You then can read the transcription of your grandson’s conversation on the caption telephone’s CapTel display screen.

I personally tried an iPad with the CapTel software installed and it worked fine. I would recommend anyone with hearing loss to give an iPad or caption phone a try. It was easy to order and once again free if an audiologist or hearing aid specialist can certify your hearing loss.

But when I did use it, I found one drawback: there is a delay between the spoken words and the captions. For me it wasn’t worth the effort to adapt to that inconvenience since my hearing loss isn’t that severe – yet. But I have heard there are landline phones that use Bluetooth technology to connect to your Bluetooth enabled hearing aids, avoiding the need for captions, which I hope to try.

If you receive a phone call, and you have to ask the caller to repeat what they just said, (“Now what do I have to do so the cops won’t come to my house and arrest me?”); and you actually DO want to hear what the caller is saying, you will want attend the Center’s 11:00 Wednesday Lecture on May 30th. Susan Kirk from Oregon Relay will explain the different available options, so you can communicate with friends and family over the telephone. And if I have whet your appetite, you can learn more at or

Here’s a new service offered this summer. From June 2nd through October 13th, the LINK, our local public transit provider, will be offering FREE transportation to the Dalles Farmers’ Market thanks to the sponsorship by PacificSource Community Solutions. To reserve a ride, call LINK at 541-296-7595 and tell them where you want to go and when you want to be picked up. For best availability, you will want to schedule your ride at least 24 hours in advance. LINK will pick you up at your door and take you to the Farmer’s Market at The Dalles City Park, and then return to pick you up and take you home or wherever you need to go.

The name of the oil derived from a plant native to Southeast Asia with a dark, musky-earthy aroma, that was associated with the “counterculture” movement of the 60’s is Patchouli Oil. (I received correct answers from Sandy Haechrel, Sue Ortega, Dave Lutgens and Ron Nelson who is this week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket. And a raffle ticket also goes to Dave Lutgens whose answer I missed last week.)

For this week’s “Remember When” question, let’s go back to the classic television shows from the 50’s and 60’s. Who was the host and star of the American radio and television variety show which ran on CBS from 1946 until 1958; featured "talent scouts" who brought their discoveries onto the program to showcase their talents; and the winner was determined by an applause meter. Email your answer to, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or drop it off with a picture of a past contestant such as Connie Francis, Roy Clark or Jonathan Winters.

Well, it’s been another week, enjoying the last weeks of spring. Until we meet again, drive carefully, and stay safe during this traditional travel season.

“Blindness separates us from things, but deafness separates us from people.” Helen Keller


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