WASHINGTON — Safety researchers expressed concern a decade ago that traffic accidents would increase as the nation’s aging population swelled the number of older drivers on the road. Now, they say they’ve been proved wrong.
Staying socially engaged provides many benefits for your overall health and wellbeing: new relationships, feelings of accomplishment from learning new skills, the knowledge and information gained from others, and mental stimulation.
I hope you have dug out of the snow by the time you read this. But as I was shoveling snow — for the third time — my mind wondered back to the days of childhood when snow was a gift from the heavens. It provided children with a chance to build snow caves, play Capture the Flag, and drink hot chocolate with marshmallows instead of going to school.
Maybe it’s the weeks without seeing the sun or the chilly days cooped up inside, but it is easy to get down during these cold grey days of winter.
There are many organizations in the Mid-Columbia supporting older adults, but there are very few whose only mission is the health and wellbeing of older adults. One of those organizations is the Area Agency on Aging (AAA) operated under the Mid-Columbia Council of Governments serving a five county region: Wheeler, Gilliam, Sherman, Wasco and Hood River counties.
We have all learned that physical activity is important.. But we have also learned - if it is all work and no play, it is no fun and we probably won’t continue for very long.
Life can be so serious. When we were younger we were focused on pursuing a career, raising a family, and for many putting their lives at risk serving our nation in Germany, Korea or Vietnam.
The free 2014 Passport to Happiness Calendar is now available and if you don’t receive one in the mail in the next week, you can stop by the Center or OSU Extension office at CGCC and pick one up. And thanks to the suggestions from many folks, the 2014 calendar has a few changes to make it even better than 2013.
During this season of peace and good will, it is often a good time to reflect on how we are all far from perfect and complete and to paraphrase Eleanor Roosevelt “in need of both love and charity.”
I know you’ve been around the ice block a few times, so you have heard how to stay safe in cold weather. But maybe just a few reminders might help to keep you upright and avoid falling — one of the major dangers during the cold and slippery winter months.
Don’t you sometimes just wish things were different? There are days when it is a struggle just to keep moving and your head above water. And when that happens it is easy to focus on what we don’t have (and during this season we are bombarded with all the material things we don’t have) instead of what we do — and get stuck riding a downward spiral into the sticky goop of self-pity.
It’s the beginning of the holiday season when we enjoy the company of family and also gain seven pounds before the start of the New Year.
I don’t want to run as fast as I once did, or even look as ruggedly handsome — when all the girls I asked were too intimidated by my good looks to go out with me. (Wasn’t it Mark Twain who said when you’re young, you remember anything, whether it happened or not, but when you’re older, you only remember the latter. But I do vividly remember the lack of dates.
After retiring, many folks spend their extra time volunteering - which provides the flexibility to travel and engage in other personal pursuits, while making meaningful contributions such as mentoring young children, serving on church councils or delivering Meals-on-Wheels, the unselfish work of volunteers is the backbone of strong, healthy communities.
Whether it is painting a sunset illuminating the Columbia Gorge, writing a poem expressing the indescribable joys of grandchildren, or creating a walking stick with a hand carved handle attached to a discarded monopod, these are all creative acts: fashioning something unique and personal out of the ordinary.