Aging Well in the Gorge July 24th 2019

If you’re like me, you worry about memory loss: can’t remember a friend’s name; where you parked the car or why is my banana in the freezer? But memory loss can have more serious consequences: forgetting to turn off the stove or taking your medications.

So how do you know if your memory loss is normal or an indication of future difficulties? One method is a simple memory test such as I was given during my in-home health assessment provided by my Medicare Advantage Plan.

During the health assessment, I was asked to repeat three words: dog, couch, pizza. And since I’m concerned about my memory, I knew I had better remember those three words because I would be asked to repeat them later. But I was prepared!

I knew from the Center’s Brain Fitness Club a good technique to remember several words is to visualize them together. So, I created a mental picture of a “DOG, lying on a COUCH eating PIZZA”. (It also pictured quite a mess and my wife really wasn’t happy!)

I was then asked several more questions testing my memory: what day is it? what time does a picture of a clock without the numerals represent? I answered them both correctly as I kept mentally focused on a picture of a “DOG on COUCH eating PIZZA”.

There were more general health related questions and I seemed to remember being told what vaccines the “DOG on the COUCH eating PIZZA” needed and something about an Advanced Directive that all “DOGS on COUCHES eating PIZZA” should have.

As expected at the end of my interview I was asked to repeat those three words and I calmly answered, “WIFE chasing me around LIVING ROOM with a BROOM!”. No, that’s the wrong picture. It’s “DOG on a COUCH eating PIZZA”.

The good news is I passed the memory test. But unfortunately, if you asked me to repeat anything else I was told - I wouldn’t have a clue.

If you are concerned about your own memory (and who isn’t), you will want to attend Nicole Pashek’s presentation about “Normal Memory Loss and Aging” on Wednesday, August 7th at 11:00 at the Center. Write it down!

Until then here are three riddles to work your brain’s neurons and synapses. (Answers will be in next week’s column or you can find them on the Center’s website:

#1. One snowy morning, Jane awoke to find that her bedroom window was misty with condensation. She drew the word "SNOWING" on it with her finger. Then she crossed out the letter N, turning it into another English word: "SOWING." She continued this way, removing one letter at a time, until there was just one letter remaining, which is itself a word. What words did Jane make, and in what order?

#2. The Number Row. The numbers one through 10, below, are listed in the following order: 8 5 4 9 1 7 6 10 3 2. What is the rule that causes them to be in this order? (Hint - don’t think mathematically.)

#3. Counting Bills. I had a wad of money in my pocket. I gave half away and of what remained, I spent half. Then, I lost five dollars. That left me with just five bucks. How much money did I start with?

The Danny Thomas Show ran on CBS from 1957 through 1964, but it first aired on ABC in 1953 as Make Room for Daddy. I received correct answers from Rhonda Spies, Alice Mattox, Cheri Brent, Beverly McKinney, Mike Carrico, Jess Birge, Betsy Ayres and Debra Sorrels this week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket.

I enjoy scanning the advertisements in magazines from the 50’s and 60’s and reminiscing about some of the products that have faded away. Jean Hockman and I were doing just that when looking through a Life magazine, Jean came across an advertisement for a popular diet product - before the days of Slimfast.

For this week’s “Remember When” question, what was the name of this brand of diet drink introduced in the early 1960’s that originally came as a powder fortified with vitamins and minerals which was to be mixed with water? Email your answer to, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or return your answer with the November 20th, 1964 edition of Life magazine.

Well, it’s been another week, keeping my cool. Until we meet again, if you are going to walk on the moon you have to get there first.

“I am never upset for the reason I think.” Helen Schueman

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