Aging Well in the Gorge October 31st 2018

Do you remember your family doctor stopping by the house with his black leather satchel checking in to see how you were doing? And in those days, you’d do whatever the doctor said. No questions asked.

Times have changed. Communication between you and your health care provider is no longer a one-way conversation. Now it is more a partnership, working as a team. And it should be. If your doctor doesn’t know what you are experiencing, how is she going to treat you successfully. And if you don’t understand the how’s, what’s, when’s  and why’s of your diagnosis and treatment, how are you going to stay motivated to follow your doctor’s orders. 

This is particularly true for older adults. We often are discussing with our doctor more difficult health conditions and treatments, affecting more facets of our lives. And what is said can be easily misunderstood. At a gerontology conference, I heard a health care professional say that after a doctor’s appointment most people only remember about half what they heard - and it’s wrong!

Here are a few tips provided by the National Institute on Aging to help you get the most out of your doctor’s visit.

1.) Be honest. Don’t just say what you want the doctor to hear - that you have been exercising even when you haven’t. Tell it like it is so she will have accurate information for her diagnosis and treatment.
2.) Decide which three or four questions you’ll ask and state them at the beginning of the appointment, so they aren’t overlooked.
3.) Stick to the point. I always enjoy the friendly small-town chats. But keep it short and get to the reason you are there by briefly stating your symptoms, when they started, how often they happen and if they are getting worse or better.
4.) Share your feelings about the visit. Tell your doctor if you feel rushed, worried, or uncomfortable. If you are confused, ask your doctor to clarify. If you are worried about your condition and would like to talk more, ask her for more time or schedule another appointment.

It’s important to stay informed - one reliable source for medical information is MedlinePlus produced by the U.S. Library of Medicine. And to ask questions. But don’t be shy. You need to be your own advocate or find someone who will be. And if your doctor keeps brushing off your questions and symptoms as simply you’re getting old, you might want to look for another doctor.

You can learn more by visiting the website Or even better, on Wednesday November 7th at 11:00 at the Center, you can attend a presentation by Nicole Pashek ANP on “How to Talk to Your Medical Provider” where you can ask questions and share your doctor-patient experiences.

The name of the first network television western series broadcast on NBC starting in 1949 and starring William Boyd as a reserved and well-spoken hero dressed in black who traveled the west on his white horse Topper was Hopalong Cassidy. (I received correct answers from Carol Earl, Jess Birge, Alice Mattox, Harold and Lucile Stephens, Sharon Hull, Jerry Taylor, Diana Weston, Lana Tepfer and this week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket, Beverly McKinney.  And as usual, last week I missed Carol Earl and Mary Collins.)

Back in the day, the new technology was television and we all watched with anticipation shows on the “Big Three” networks: NBC, CBS and ABC. It was one of those national experiences we all had in common. And to some degree, you can say the same about popular music when we tapped our foot to the top 40 hits on our favorite AM radio station.

So for this week’s “Remember When” question, who was the second most popular recording artist of the late 1950s (behind Elvis) with thirty-eight top-40 hits including “Love Letters in the Sand”, “April Love”, “Ain’t that a Shame”, “Don’t Forbid Me”, and “I Almost Lost My Mind”; and at the  age of twenty-three, hosted a half-hour ABC variety television series from 1957 through 1960?  Email your answer to, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or send your answer with one of the five issues of the DC comic book series in which this recording artist starred.

Well, it’s been another week living in the now because I can’t remember yesterday. Until we meet again, always do what you can - until you no longer can.

“I told the doctor I broke my leg in two places. He told me to quit going to those places.” Henny Youngman

Aging Well in the Gorge October 24th 2018

You hadn’t finished the latest chapter in your life and now another chapter starts and you’re in a new living situation: a new town, new residential living facility, or living with one of your adult children. And it’s good: greater safety, less physical demands, fewer worries; but often it also means making new friends. And at our age it isn’t as easy as making friends on the playground. But it is possible. Here are four tips from Margaret Manning, author and founder of that might help.

Get to know yourself. To make new friends, you will need to be motivated and confident; and knowing what you want and who you are is often the first step. Learn to become your own best friend.

Chase passions not people. Take a class or volunteer in an area that interests you. At the Center, we offer many classes which are always looking for new faces. You will then have that common conversation starter - and who knows where it will lead.

Develop Your Physical and Emotional Resources. Start some simple exercises. Or try Pickleball. Make sure it’s something you enjoy. And emotionally, do activities that make you happier such as the ideas promoted by Gorge Happiness Month.

Invite people into your life. Now that you have a better idea of who you are, and are committed to pursuing your passions, it’s time to reach out and get to know other people. But if it doesn’t work out, not everything does, don’t take it personally!

Making new friends isn’t easy. Don’t compare yourself to those folks who seem to have been bred to make friends. It takes a belief in yourself, getting out and taking a few emotional risks – which often requires time and persistence. But it’s worth it.

Many people look forward to retirement - trading in the stress and worry of work for extra free time, neglected hobbies and grandchildren. But those retired years are not without their own challenges: money, health and loss. The theme for our next “Let’s Talk: Conversations about Things that Matter” on Friday, October 19th from 11:00 – 12:00 is “What do you have to worry about? You’re retired! Come and join the conversation.

We’re coming to the end of Gorge Happiness Month, and after this week you’re on your own. Until next October, keep practicing the Daily 3’s: Three Gratitudes, an Act of Kindness and a Moment of Silence.

25th – Say yes; 
26th – Have a conversation where you listen more than you talk; 
27th – Pick a good moment from yesterday and draw it;  
28th  – Let someone go in front of you in line; 
29th   – Come up with a new idea to do and then send it to Gorge Happiness at; 
30th  – Go back and do one you have missed; and  
31st  – Give candy to a stranger.

The name of the gentleman gunfighter who worked as a mercenary gunfighter in the television series Have Gun Will Travel was Paladin played by Richard Boone - who according Diane Weston also starred as the bad guy in the John Wayne movie Big Jake.

(I also received correct answers from Cheri Brent, Herman Nueberger, Merle Gearhart, Jerry Taylor, Dale Roberts, Alice Mattox, Sandy Haechrel, Kim Birge, Jerry Betts, Lana Tepfer (who said you can still watch it on channel 2.2), Dale Roberts, Carol Staves, Kay Tenold, Carol Irwin, and Gary Van Orman who with his acting experience is this week’s winner of quilt raffle ticket. And as is my habit, last week I missed Rhonda Austin, Lucilee Stephens, Sandy Haechrel and Cheri Brent.)

Okay, I promise this is ABSOLUTELY the last western television series question for this year.  I was going to ask about one of Sandy Haechrel’s and my favorite Saturday morning westerns, Sky King. But I went back in the archives and found I had asked about Sky King just last March. So instead, hopefully you’ll remember the first network television western series when it aired on NBC in 1949.  For this week’s “Remember When” question, what was the name of this western series starring a reserved and well-spoken hero dressed in black who traveled the west on his white horse Topper and starred William Boyd? Email your answer to, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or send your answer with a bottle of nonalcoholic sarsaparilla.

Well, it’s been another week looking forward to each day’s new surprise.  Until we meet again, before you call the electrician, check the breaker box.

“If fate means you to lose, give him a good fight anyhow.” William McFee, writer

Aging Well in the Gorge October 17th 2018

Medicare fraud and abuse is costly for our nation losing billions of dollars each year. But according to Oregon’s Senior Medicare Patrol, you can make a difference by protecting, detecting and reporting.
Protecting your personal information is the first and best line of defense in the fight against healthcare fraud and abuse. Treat your Medicare and Social Security numbers like a credit card number. Never give these numbers to a stranger, even when tempted by a friendly voice on the telephone who wants to help.  Remember, Medicare doesn’t call or visit to sell you anything.
Another suggestion is to use a calendar or create a personal health journal to record doctor visits, tests and procedures. It’s like keeping a diary when you were a youngster, but instead of recording loves lost and found, you are tracking your latest health ups and downs. Oh, how times have changed!
It is also important to save your Medicare Summary Notices and any Explanation of Benefits (If it wasn’t for my wife, I would probably toss them because I find them so difficult to understand). You should review them for any potential errors or fraud - and then compare them to your personal health care journal and prescription drug receipts to make sure they are correct. Look for charges for something you didn’t receive; billing for the same thing twice; or services that were not ordered by your doctor.
If you suspect any errors or fraud, or have questions, call your provider or plan first. Then if you are not satisfied with their response, report your concerns to your local Senior Medicare Patron (SMP) at 1-877-808-2468 or contact the Aging and Disability Resource Connection (ADRC) of Oregon: 1-855-ORE-ADRC (673-2372) or
You can learn more about Medicare Fraud at the Center’s next “Lectures for the Curious” on Wednesday, October 24th at 11:00. Sue Ann Arguelles, the local SHIBA (Senior Health Insurance Benefits Assistance) coordinator will be the speaker.
Are you at an age where you feel you are invisible: seldom noticed or valued? Or are you one who makes enough noise you can’t be ignored? For our next “Let’s Talk: Conversations about Things that Matter” on Friday, October 19th from 11:00 – 12:00 the theme will be “I’m Still Here! - Staying Visible”.

Wow, we have already entered the second half of Gorge Happiness Month. Here are a few more suggestions for things to do during this next week.

18th – Send a thank-you note; 
19th – Attend a new free class or event; 
20th – Bite the middle of a pencil for 3 minutes (your brain thinks you’re smiling – but everyone else will think your nuts!)); 
21st  – Make plans for something happy next weekend; 
22nd  – Go for a walk; 
23rd  – Smile at someone you don’t know; 
24th  – Walk or drive a different route.

The name of the western that was the most watched television show in 1962 and recounted the adventures of a group of settlers as they made their way from St. Joseph Missouri to California was Wagon Train. (I received correct answers from Betsy Ayers, Jess Birge, Louise Wooderson, Dale Roberts, Virginia McClain, Alice Mattox, Diana Weston, Lana Tepfer, Sharon Hull, Jerry Taylor, Jerry Betts and Ruth Radcliffe who told me if you have an antenna, you can watch Wagon Train every day at 4:00 on channel 2.2. But since there were so many entries Sharon Pevera, Sunny T and Carol Stace are this week’s winners of a quilt raffle ticket each.)

Since last week's question was so popular, I'm going to take it up a notch and see if you can remember the lead character in this classic American Western television series that aired on CBS from 1957 through 1963. For this week's "Remember When" question, in the half hour television series Have Gun Will Travel  (which I do remember watching) what was the name of the gentleman gunfighter who travels around the Old West working as a mercenary gunfighter for people who hire him to solve their problems? And for bonus points, who was the actor that played that character?

Email your answer to, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or send your answer with a knight chess piece.

Well, it’s been another week trying to find the right word before I forget the sentence. Until we meet again, it is never too late to spread your wings and fly.

“Don’t be afraid. Because you’re going to be afraid. But remember when you become afraid, just don’t be afraid.” Joan Jett, musician (You got that?)

Aging Well in the Gorge October 10th 2018

With the advent of the Internet and social media, newspapers are struggling to adapt – some more successfully than others. But this is not the first time.

When I grew up in Indianapolis, there were two daily newspapers - one delivered in the morning and the other in the afternoon. And as was the case in many large cities, one was considered conservative and the other liberal – well, as liberal as Indiana could be. It was the newspaper equivalent to FoxNews and CNN.

But with the increasing popularity of television’s evening news shows, the evening newspaper gradually lost circulation and eventually ceased operations.

Today there are even greater challenges. On October 17th at 11:00, RaeLynn Ricarte and Mark Gibson, the Ying and the Yang of The Dalles Chronicle, will speak about the challenges and opportunities local papers face and answer your questions about how the Chronicle is learning to adapt.

Community based local newspapers will adapt and survive. Where else can you find local news vetted following high journalistic standards – and the obituaries!?

Have you experienced “The Talk” where your children sit you down and talk about what they think your future should be? But how about this for an idea. Before they have a chance, let’s reverse it and sit them down and have “The Talk” explaining what we expect from them as our all-to-caring adult children. In other words, telling them to “Stop bugging me and telling me what I should do!”

The joys and challenges of the parent and adult child relationship will be the focus of our next “Let’s Talk: Conversations about Things that Matter” on Friday, October 12th from 11:00 – 12:00.  

We all have our struggles and many times as we get older it feels like we have more than our fair share. But without struggle there isn’t growth. Wasn’t that what we were told when we were children? “If it doesn’t kill you, it will make you stronger.” But in the midst of our struggles and challenges, we can still find happiness.

As I have mentioned, October is Gorge Happiness month, encouraging everyone to incorporate in their daily routine the three habits that can make us happier and healthier: 3 Gratitudes, an Act of Kindness and a Moment of Silence.

And to prime the pump, a specific task is suggested for each day in October including the following for the next seven days: 

11th – Complete one small irritating task; 
12th - Leave a kind note in an unlikely place; 
13th – Take a nap (that’s any easy one!); 
14th – Reach out to someone you haven’t seen in a long time; 
15th – Stop and count the number of things you hear right now (with and without your hearing aids); 
16th – Do someone else’s chores; 
17th  – Listen to music.

If you didn’t follow the suggestion from last week to talk to someone at a Farmer’s Market, your last chance is this coming Saturday between 9:00 and 1:00. After the 13th the Farmer’s Market will be shutting down until next June.

The pitcher who cemented his place in baseball history in the 1965 World Series when he pitched two shutouts for the Los Angeles Dodgers to compliment his twenty-six wins during the regular season was not Don Drysdale or Don Larson but Sandy Koufax. (I received correct answers from Sandy Haechrel, Sharon Hull, Jerry Betts and Lee Kaseberg this week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket.)

TV westerns were popular in the 50’s and 60’s: Bonanza, Gunsmoke, and Rawhide for example. But I don’t remember watching this show back when it aired on NBC from 1957 through 1962 before it moved to the new ABC. For this week’s “Remember When” question what was the name of the most watched television show in 1962, starring Ward Bond and Robert Horton and recounted the adventures of a group of settlers as they made their way from St. Joseph Missouri across the Mid-Western plains and the Rocky Mountains to California? Email your answer to, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or send your answer with the 1960 episode directed by the legendary director John Ford.

Well it’s been another week trying to decide should I or shouldn’t I. Until we meet again as Anton Chekhov once pointed out “Any idiot can face a crisis. It’s the day to day living that wears you out”.

“A newspaper is the center of a community, it's one of the tent poles of the community, and that's not going to be replaced by Web sites and blogs.” Michael Connelly

Aging Well in the Gorge October 3rd 2018

There are many excellent facilities and services supporting older adults in the Gorge: assisted living facilities, retirement communities, in-home care and both inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation services.

One of the inpatient rehabilitation services is mPower: a 6-bed accredited inpatient rehabilitation program located within Mid-Columbia Medical Center. They offer comprehensive rehabilitation services for persons who have sustained a variety of illnesses and injuries; and are proud to report that 93% of their participants return home at discharge, and 96% of their participants would recommend mPower Rehabilitation to friends or family.

But they know the best treatment is prevention. For the Center’s “Lectures for the Curious” on Wednesday, October 10th at 11:00, Brandon Johnson from MCMC’s mPower will present “Reducing Fall Risks in your Home”. A common myth is that falling is normal as you get older. But it isn’t, and Brandon will explain steps (no pun intended) you can take to prevent falls. Just because you have fallen and have been able to get up without injury, doesn’t mean that will always be the case.

I am always amazed by what I learn from other “mature” folks about how to navigate this journey called life. “Let’s Talk: Conversations about Things that Matter” is a safe place where issues we all face can be discussed. For the next “Let’s Talk” on Friday, October 5th at 11:00, the focus will be “Independent, Safe or None of the Above - finding the Balance”.

Spending time with new and old friends with good food and good music makes for a very good day. Meals-on-Wheels offers meals at the Center Monday through Friday; and every Thursday you can enjoy the music of Tom Graff and his friends starting at 11:00. I know, you can always go to McDonalds or KFC for a bite to eat. But where can you enjoy a nutritious meal for a suggested donation of $4 (if you are fortunate to be 60 or over) while listening to some fine music without a cover charge?

And this Friday, October 5th, Nehemiah Brown will be singing from 11:30 – 1:30 and its free – although we hope you do buy dinner. Nehemiah’s known for his buttery smooth voice, singing pop, country and gospel standards from the 50’s and 60’s. And once again his performance is sponsored by our friends at The Dalles Health and Rehabilitation Center.  

October is Gorge Happiness Month – “31 days of celebrating the three daily habits to make us happier and healthier”: 3 Gratitudes, an Act of Kindness and a Moment of Silence.

For these days in October try the following: 
4th - Pick up Trash; 
5th - Learn a new joke; 
6th - Talk to someone at a Farmer’s Market, 
7th - Pick a person or a goal to focus on this week; 
8th - List your strengths; 
9th - Include someone new; 
10th – Tell someone what you like about them.

The television series that ran on CBS from 1965 to 1969 and told the story of two Secret Service agents James West and Artemus Gordon whose mission was to protect President Grant and the United States was the Wild, Wild West.
(I received correct answers from Jerry Taylor, Sharon Hull and this week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket Ruth Radcliffe which I hope is everyone. Because the previous week, I was once again a day late and a dollar short missing the correct answers from Lana Tepfer and Sharon Hull who both will also receive one free quilt raffle ticket each.)
With the regular baseball season over and the playoffs starting, it is time for a question for all the baseball fans in the peanut gallery.

For this week’s “Remember When” question, what pitcher cemented his place in baseball history in the 1965 World Series when he pitched two shutouts for the Los Angeles Dodgers to compliment his twenty-six wins during the regular season?  Email your answer to, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or send your answer with pictures of the Cy Young awards he won in 1963, 1965 and 1966.

Well it’s been another week trying to keep the sticky notes stuck in my memory. Until we meet again, you can’t turn back the hands of time, but you can make sure the clock is wound.
"You win a few, you lose a few. Some get rained out. But you got to dress for all of them." Satchel Paige who at the age of 59 pitched three innings of one hit baseball for the American League Kansas City Athletics.


Blog Archive