Aging Well in the Gorge August 18th, 2021

Do you feel like you’ve been singing the same old song and now your voice is getting hoarse? With the new Delta variant of the COVID-19 virus, we seem to be turning back the hands of time to a place we didn’t want to go again. But here we are. The positive cases of COVID-19 are increasing, hospitals beds are getting critically low, care facilities are limiting outside visitors, and once again we need to wear masks indoors in public places.

It’s frustrating and confusing because everything keeps changing - what we should and should not do. It feels like a moving target. But this virus is new and is continuously being studied with decisions made on the best science at the time. And then new variants such as the Delta variant show up and change the whole equation.

The good news is because the most vulnerable are highly vaccinated the number of deaths is significantly lower. But being vaccinated doesn’t protect you 100%. If you have symptoms of COVID-19 or if you were in close contact with someone with COVID-19, you should get tested regardless of whether you’ve been vaccinated or not. Home testing kits are available at most pharmacies for around $20 and Walgreen’s offers drive through testing, but appointments are limited. Check with your insurance company firt.

Most people who get COVID-19 have mild or moderate symptoms and can recover. But we need to keeping singing that familiar chorus: wear a mask, keep socially distanced, and get vaccinated. And if we sing loud enough, hopefully, this latest surge will soon subside.

Two weeks ago, I wrote about the serious problem of older adults being financially abused. To reduce the risk, older adults should make sure their financial affairs are in order - and as we all know that is not always easy.  

One program that can help reduce the risk of financial abuse while promoting independent living is the Money Management Program offered by CAPECO - the Area Agency on Aging serving older adults in Sherman, Wasco, and Hood River Counties. (In Washington, supports for older adults are provided through the counties: Klickitat Senior Services (509) 773-3757 or Skamania Senior Services (509) 427-3990.)

CAPECO Money Management Program provides Representative Payee services to help individuals maintain independence, obtain financial security, and prevent financial abuse. The program is certified and approved by the Social Security Administration and the Veterans Administration.

When you are enrolled in the program, an individualized budget is prepared. All bills and bank accounts are handled by this program with assistance from the participant. The benefit is that the Representative Payees will ensure that basic expenses and necessary payments are given priority – and not the bail money to the fake grandson in Arizona.

The CAPECO Money Management Program is personalized, confidential, and safe, and is available to low-income adults. If you know someone who has difficulty managing their finances, call 541-276-1926 to learn more about this valuable program.

Archie’s best friend was the easy-going but lazy and slightly nonconformist friend Forsythe Pendleton Jones III more commonly known as Jughead. I received correct answers from Jeanne Pesicka, Susan Ellis, Emmett Sampson, Sam Bilyeu, Glenna McCarger, Gene Uczen, Dave Lutgens, Jim Tindall, Margo Dameier, Richard Shaw, Doug Nelson, and Gloria Krantz, this week’s winner of a free raffle ticket. Last week I only missed Doug Nelson – unless someone tells me otherwise.

Let’s go back to childhood memories of watching Saturday morning TV. You may remember Howdy Doody, a pioneer in children's television, broadcast on NBC from 1947 until 1960, and one of the first TV shows to include audience participation. For this week’s “Remember When” question, what were the children called who watched from the on-stage bleachers? E-mail your answer to mcseniorcenter@gmail.com, call 541-296-4788 or drop it off with a replica of the puppet Phineas T. Bluster: mayor of Doodyville.

Well, it’s been another week enjoying “those hazy, crazy days of summer”. Until we meet again, remember what your teachers always told you, “Pay attention!”

“No matter how one may think himself accomplished, when he sets out to learn a new language, science, or the bicycle, he has entered a new realm as truly as if he were a child newly born into the world.” Francis Willard author of “How I Learned to Ride the Bicycle”

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