Living Well in the Gorge February 24th 2021

Do ever feel you’re not as sharp in conversations, or you can’t complete a hike with friends, or you don’t want to take a trip because of how many times you’ll have to stop (and we know the reasons why!) You feel you’ve lost the confidence to meet any challenge and you avoid doing the things that have made life worth living.

You are not alone. According to an article in the June 2019 issue of Harvard Men's Health Watch, it’s not uncommon to lose confidence as we age because of the life changes we face: retirement, health issues and loss of a loved one. Self-esteem generally peaks at the age of 60 and then starts to decline.

The reason is during midlife we typically are working, involved in relationships, and more adventurous. In contrast, as older adults we often lose these roles as we enter the later stages of life.

The best way to regain confidence is to remind yourself of your capabilities, focus on what you can do and build from there while addressing what keeps you from feeling confident.

Here are five strategies that can help you gain greater confidence and realize that your best days lie ahead.

1. Look good. When you look good, you feel good - which my wife often reminds me when she buys that nice outfit.  

2. Challenge yourself physically. Set a goal you can realistically meet and create a plan to achieve it. Besides improving your physical and mental health, it can build confidence in your ability to be active. But I’ve always found the first month is the hardest.

3. Learn something. Activities like learning to paint or playing an instrument; or studying a foreign language can show that you can accomplish new things - although for me it takes a little longer to learn something new – okay, a lot longer! And if you make mistakes, it doesn’t really matter.

4. Stay connected. Lack of confidence can make socializing a challenge. Try volunteering where you can meet new people, use your skills, and you find rewarding.

5. Seek help. If you feel down or anxious or you’ve found other obstacles to feeling more confidant, help is always a good thing.  

Finally, don’t believe the age stereotypes. Age does not determine whether you have the ability to be successful at a given task. Often we fall into the trap believing we can’t do something when there are many reasons we can.

It’s true you can’t do everything you once did but with confidence you can still live an active and satisfying life - just stay off that ladder!

“This morning I saw a neighbor talking to her dog.  It was obvious she thought her dog understood her. I came into my house and told my cat. We laughed a lot.”

The name of the parking valet in the television series 77 Sunset Strip who was constantly combing his “piled-high, greasy-styled teen hair” was Edd “Kookie” Byrnes.

I received correct answers from Diana Weston, Sandy Haechrel, Lana Tepfer, Julie Carter, Sandra Fritz, Kim Birge, Tina Castanares, Carol Earl, Gene Uczen, Rose Shultz, and Ed Stager this week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket.

I was more into soul music, but I know there are a lot of country and western music fans out there. For this week’s “Remember When” question, who was the female singer who recorded "I Fall to Pieces", "She's Got You," and "Crazy." before her untimely death in a 1963 plane crash? Email your answer to mcseniorcenter@gmail.com, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or send it with a DVD of the 1985 motion picture Sweet Dreams.

Well, it has been another week, wondering “Have I said that before?”. Until we meet again, I can now look forward to spring guilt-free having had our winter snowstorm.  

“Do not take life too seriously. You will never get out of it alive.” Elbert Hubbard

Nutritious Home delivered meals and pick-ups for anyone over 60.

Hood River Valley Adult Center - For Meals-on-Wheels call 541-386-2060. Pick up a drive-thru meal from 11:30 AM until 12:45 PM.

The Dalles Meals-on-Wheels – Call 541-298-8333 to sign up for home-delivered meals. Call before 10:30 AM to pick up a meal at noon at the Mid-Columbia Senior Center.

The Sherman County Senior and Community Center - Call 541-565-3191 by 10:30 AM and leave a message with the number of meals needed and names of each person.

Klickitat County Senior Services – Call the Goldendale office (509-773-3757) or the White Salmon office (509-493-306).

Skamania County Senior Services - Call 509-427-3990.

Seniors of Mosier Valley - Call 541-503-5660 or 541-980-1157 at least one day in advance to order a Grab-N-Go meal. Monday and Wednesdays from 11-11:30. Pick-up at the Mosier Senior Center. Delivery is also available. 

 

Aging Well in the Gorge February 17th 2021

As vaccinations for older adults begin, patience is the word. Manufacturing of the vaccines is becoming more efficient, producing a continuously increasing number of doses every day. But for now, the vaccines remain scarce. And although every older adult who wants the COVID vaccine will receive one. most older adults will not get their vaccine shots as soon as they are eligible.

As we wait, many have read about the side effects particularly after the second dose and are asking, “Should I take a pain-reliever before the shot?” 

The short answer is no. The preliminary studies, although limited, have found taking over-the-counter pain-relieving medication like acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) before getting your shot decreased the immune response. The pain-relievers might interfere with the very thing the vaccine is trying to do: generate a strong immune system response.

“How about taking a pain-reliever after the shot?”

Opinions are mixed, but to play it safe probably not unless you feel you can’t tolerate the side effects. But it is always good to talk to your doctor.

“What can I do to reduce the side effects other than a pain-reliever?

For arm soreness, if the pain is uncomfortable, apply a clean, cool, wet washcloth over the area where you received the shot - and it can help to use or exercise your arm. For a fever you can reduce the discomfort by drinking plenty of fluids and dressing lightly. And if you’re tired you can use my favorite answer to any problem: take a nap – and a brisk walk could help.

In most cases, discomfort from fever or pain is normal. But call your primary care provider if the redness or tenderness where you got the shot increases after 24 hours; or if your side effects do not seem to be going away after a few days.

If you don’t need to take a pain-reliever, don’t. But for those of you who regularly take one talk to your doctor. Since adults fifty-five and older typically have fewer side effects than younger people. most likely you won’t experience any significant side effects. And all you’ll remember is the peace-of-mind knowing you are better protected.

A short diversion. There are two customers complaining at a restaurant. One woman says, “This food is terrible”. The other replies, “I know, and such small portions!”

The award-winning AARP Smart Driver course helps refresh your driving skills, learn new skills, latest traffic laws and proven safe-driving strategies – and by completing the class you could receive a multiyear discount on your auto insurance!

Even though you can’t take the class in person, you can still enroll in the class online. If you register online by April 1st, 2021, you will have a full 60 days to complete the course at home at your own pace. Register at aarpdriversafety.org and use the promo code: DRIVINGSKILLS to receive a 25% discount.

The American artist famously known for his screen-prints of Campbell’s Soup Cans was Andy Warhol. I received correct answers from Sandy Haechrel, Jeannie Pesicka, Barbara Cadwell, Julie Carter, Lana Tepfer, Rhonda Spies, Sandy Lutgens, Liz Nichols, Margo Dameier, Tiiu Vahtel, and Steven Woolpert this week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket. And last week I missed Keith Clymer.

In the late 50’s youth culture was beginning to be depicted on national television: Dobie Gillis, Maynard G. Krebs, and this teen sensation. For this week’s “Remember When” question, what was the name of the parking valet in the television series 77 Sunset Strip who was constantly combing his “piled-high, greasy-styled teen hair”? Email your answer to mcseniorcenter@gmail.com, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or send it with a picture of Dino’s Lodge.

Well, it has been another week, forgetting that I can’t eat a banana with my mask on! Until we meet again, enjoy the winter - spring is just over a month away.

“Art is what you can get away with.” Andy Warhol

Nutritious Home delivered meals and pick-ups for anyone over 60.

Hood River Valley Adult Center - For Meals-on-Wheels call 541-386-2060. Pick up a drive-thru meal from 11:30 AM until 12:45 PM.

The Dalles Meals-on-Wheels – Call 541-298-8333 to sign up for home-delivered meals. Call before 10:30 AM to pick up a meal at noon at the Mid-Columbia Senior Center.

The Sherman County Senior and Community Center - Call 541-565-3191 by 10:30 AM and leave a message with the number of meals needed and names of each person.

Klickitat County Senior Services – Call the Goldendale office (509-773-3757) or the White Salmon office (509-493-306).

Skamania County Senior Services - Call 509-427-3990.

Seniors of Mosier Valley - Call 541-503-5660 or 541-980-1157 at least one day in advance to order a Grab-N-Go meal. Monday and Wednesdays from 11-11:30. Pick-up at the Mosier Senior Center. Delivery is also available. 

 

Aging Well in the Gorge February 10th 2021

Over the past eleven months the pandemic has turned our lives upside down: were staying home more and seeing friends less. But many folks are coping by engaging in this hundred-year-old, low-tech activity: jigsaw puzzles. You can work on a puzzle for days or even weeks; they’re fun; and what may not be surprising, particularly if you are a puzzler, is that they are good for your brain.

Our brain health can take a beating during the pandemic; affecting many of the key habits that keep our brain healthy: physical activity, healthy diet, quality sleep, meaningful social interactions, stress reduction, and mentally stimulating activities.

But studies have shown jigsaw puzzles benefit your brain in several ways: reduces stress by totally immersing yourself in a puzzle (But dear, just one more piece and then I’ll come to bed!); improves your attention span, mental speed and problem-solving skills – as any puzzler will tell you when struggling to find that last edge piece.

So, if during the pandemic you have friends wondering why you are wasting your time working on jigsaw puzzles, just tell them it’s good for your brain – and then hand them a puzzle so they can also enjoy the benefits of a healthier brain.

Now if you want a high tech challenge for your brain, I suggest the two online programs I am currently using: AARP’s Staying Sharp and Brain HQ. Both have free activities, but if you want the full benefit you will have to pay. I just started subscribing to Brain HQ and in a month, I’ll tell you if I’m smarter, quicker and better looking. (I’m not sure about that third benefit.)

Since we’re talking about puzzles and mental challenges, how about four quick riddles that made me think.

1) If two’s company, and three’s a crowd, what are four and five?

2) There’s a one-story house in which everything is yellow. Yellow walls, yellow doors, yellow furniture. What color are the stairs?

3) What five-letter word becomes shorter when you add two letters to it?

4) If there are three apples and you take away two, how many apples do you have?

Providence Volunteers in Action is excited to team up with OATS (Older Adults Technology Services) and Senior Planet to bring to the Gorge the FREE online 5-week course, “Virtual Essentials”. These ten 75 minute lectures cover a variety of topics to help you use technology including “All Things Zoom”, “Protecting Your Personal Information Online”, “Telemedicine” and more. If you’re interested, you can register for the upcoming classes by calling 541-387-6404 or emailing brittany.willson@providence.org.

The teenager in the 1959 sitcom who “aspired to have popularity, money, and the attention of beautiful and unattainable girls” was Dobie Gillis. I received correct answers from Bob Sampson, Julie Carter, Dave Lutgens, Kim Birge, Rhonda Spies, Lana Tepfer, Tina Castanares, Margo Dameier, Patty Burnet, Susan Ronning, Jim Ayers, and Mike Nichols this week’s winner of a free quilt raffle ticket.

Kerry Cobb, former director of the Columbia Center for the Arts, has offered classes at the Center and senior living facilities in the area. Since that opportunity is no longer possible, she has created a highly recommended monthly newsletter “Art News and Activities”.  You can find it online at www.midcolumbiaseniorcenter.com under the Art Appreciation Tab.

And that leads me to this week’s art inspired “Remember When” question. Who was the American artist, an icon of the “Pop Art” visual arts movement and famously known for his screen-prints of Campbell’s Soup Cans? Email your answer to mcseniorcenter@gmail.com leave a message at 541-296-4788 or send it with the album The Velvet Underground & Nico.

Well, it has been another week, trying to solve the puzzle of life with so many missing pieces. Until we meet again, when it’s sunny - pull back the curtains.

Answers: 1) Nine, 2) There aren’t any - it’s a one-story house. 3) Short, 4) Two

Nutritious Home delivered meals and pick-ups for anyone over 60.

Hood River Valley Adult Center - For Meals-on-Wheels call 541-386-2060. Pick up a drive-thru meal from 11:30 AM until 12:45 PM.

The Dalles Meals-on-Wheels – Call 541-298-8333 to sign up for home-delivered meals. Call before 10:30 AM to pick up a meal at noon at the Mid-Columbia Senior Center.

The Sherman County Senior and Community Center - Call 541-565-3191 by 10:30 AM and leave a message with the number of meals needed and names of each person.

Klickitat County Senior Services – Call the Goldendale office (509-773-3757) or the White Salmon office (509-493-306).

Skamania County Senior Services - Call 509-427-3990.

Seniors of Mosier Valley - Call 541-503-5660 or 541-980-1157 at least one day in advance to order a Grab-N-Go meal. Monday and Wednesdays from 11-11:30. Pick-up at the Mosier Senior Center. Delivery is also available.  

Aging Well in the Gorge February 3rd 2021

 In “Through the Eyes of an Elder” Bonnie New highlights the challenges facing older adults looking for affordable housing options when their home no longer meets their needs.

But what if you are not yet ready to move and would like to stay in your own home. How can you adapt your home to your current life experiences: safer and more accessible? 

AARP has published a HomeFit Guide that examines what makes a home aging-friendly. It illustrates different designs and modifications for exits, kitchens, living rooms, stairs, bedrooms, bathrooms and more that can make a home a better “fit”.

In addition, the HomeFit Guide offers many simple and inexpensive solutions that can make your home safer and more efficient. See if you have incorporated these five suggestions in your home. 

1. Add stick-on battery-operated motion sensor lights in your closet, kitchen and along your steps and stairs - which I have just started doing. (At night you can entertain yourself watching your cat activate each light as she climbs the stairs.) 

2. Place fire extinguishers in accessible locations throughout the home, especially in the kitchen and in any rooms that are far from an exit. (Added to my to-do list.)

3. Store flashlights throughout the home in case of a power outage. (Checked)

4. Carry or keep a cell phone nearby. (Unfortunately, that is not a problem.)

5. If a stool or ladder is needed to reach any fixtures, ask someone to serve as a spotter. (I always hold my wife’s hand when she climbs the step stool!) 

8. Install an outside address number that will be visible to first responders, especially at night. (A blinking address number like the new four way stop signs?)

You can find many more ways to make your house “fit” by going online to AARP HomeFit Guide.  

There is help if you own your home and earn less than $42,700 as a couple. Columbia Cascade Housing offers a home repair program in Oregon and Washington that does more than just repair homes. The program offers zero interest loans repayable when you sell your home. 

While the program normally repairs and replaces things like roofs, windows, and plumbing, it can assist older adults with needed modifications to improve accessibility: ramps, widening doors; replacing bathtubs with showers, or other changes needed to allow access with a wheelchair. 

Columbia Cascade Housing can also assist homeowners in applying to a similar program run through the USDA Rural Development. It is like the home repair program, but the first $7,500 can be a grant.

For additional information and applications contact David Peters at 541-296-3397 X118. 

The words spoken along with the Vulcan salute were “Live long and prosper” or as Rose Schulz, this week’s winner of a free quilt raffle ticket, pointed out "Dif-tor heh smusma". I also received correct answers from Emmett Sampson, Sandy Haechrel, Barbara Cadwell, Linda Frizzell, Darlene Marick, Lana Tepfer, and Tim Annala.

And last week I missed Sandy Haechrel, Sam Bilyeu, Elaine Lee and I think that is all, but I wouldn’t bet my “sweet bippy” on it. 

In 1959 this sitcom was the first television program produced to feature teenagers as leading characters. For this week’s “Remember When” question what was the name of the teenager who “aspired to have popularity, money, and the attention of beautiful and unattainable girls”? Email your answer to www.mcseniorcenter@gmail.com, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or send it with a photo of his “beatnik” sidekick Maynard G. Krebs.

Well, it has been another week, and my body continues to act in strange and mysterious ways. Until we meet again, when you need to move the most is when you don’t feel like it - which doesn’t seem fair does it?

“Spring passes and one remembers one's innocence.

Summer passes and one remembers one's exuberance.

Autumn passes and one remembers one's reverence.

Winter passes and one remembers one's perseverance.” – Yoko Ono


Nutritious Home delivered meals and pick-ups for anyone over 60. 

Hood River Valley Adult Center - For Meals-on-Wheels call 541-386-2060. Pick up a drive-thru meal from 11:30 AM until 12:45 PM.

The Dalles Meals-on-Wheels – Call 541-298-8333 to sign up for home-delivered meals. Call before 10:30 AM to pick up a meal at noon at the Mid-Columbia Senior Center. 

The Sherman County Senior and Community Center - Call 541-565-3191 by 10:30 AM and leave a message with the number of meals needed and names of each person.

Klickitat County Senior Services – Call the Goldendale office (509-773-3757) or the White Salmon office (509-493-306).

Skamania County Senior Services - Call 509-427-3990.

Seniors of Mosier Valley - Call 541-503-5660 or 541-980-1157 at least one day in advance to order a Grab-N-Go meal. Monday and Wednesdays from 11-11:30. Pick-up at the Mosier Senior Center. Delivery is also available.  


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