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Senior News: There are many advantages to growing older

Over the last six years since I turned 60, I have found getting older is a series of adventures: never knowing what to expect next.

Senior News: Healthy habits are for living better not just longer

How many times do you hear of new products or research findings that will help you live longer? Take this pill or that, eat less fat and more fiber, hit the gym, and lift those weights, etc. But many folks ignore these reports because they believe when their time is up, there ain’t nothing you can do about it. So why change old habits? Que Sera, Sera, whatever will be, will be.

Senior News: Getting involved: It’s good for wellbeing

Being active in your community is both good for the community and good for your health and well-being.

Senior News: Seniors should keep up with the times

We are all learning how to navigate this digital age, with its email addresses, numerous passwords, Facebook friends, and online banking.

As a senior, you don’t have to stop learning

It could be learning how to stitch, playing a ukulele, trying your hand at poetry, or, since you always doodled as a child, learning how to draw.

Senior News: Spring brings new activities for seniors

Is it beginning to feel like spring? We are getting closer with the first day of spring, or the vernal equinox as they say in the more educated circles, arriving March 20. And just like flowers sprouting in the gardens, and ants climbing on the kitchen counters, the Mid-Columbia Senior Center is busy with activities.

Senior News: Now is the time to do what you always wanted

Life can be broadly defined by three stages: the years preparing for work and family, when you were told what you had to do; followed by years of working and raising a family, when you did what you thought you should do. And now, this third chapter when you are no longer working, or at least working less, and watching your grandchildren grow, a time to do what you have always wanted to do, no longer constrained by time or self-imposed limitations.

Senior News: Find your way through the legal world

Don’t you wish the American legal system was simple, understandable, and inexpensive? But doesn’t it seem like the laws are becoming even more complex, and in the name of clarity and fairness more ambiguous and contradictory, to the point where you just want to scream “I give up!”

Senior News: Staying socially engaged is important for overall health

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.

Senior News: It’s important to be prepared for a winter emergency

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.

Senior News: Advice on how to beat those winter blues

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.

Senior News: Mid-Columbia offers many organizations for senior support

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.

Senior News: Socializing can help make physical activity more fun

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.

Senior News: Using your spare time to get creative and hands on

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.

Senior News: Passport to happiness calendar now available

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.

Senior News: Offering a helping hand through the holidays

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.”

Avoid falling this winter and pay attention to these reminders

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.

Senior News: Stop focusing on what you don’t have and be grateful

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.

Senior News: Bury the hatchet of past family feuds before the holidays

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.

Senior News: The best is yet to come

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.

Senior News: Volunteering is the backbone of a strong community

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.

Senior News: Start exploring new forms of self-expression

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.

Senior News: November is more than falling leaves and cooler temperatures

November is a couple of steps away. And if you live in the Northern Wasco County Parks and Recreation District, you know November is more than falling leaves and cooler temperatures. It is your chance to vote on the proposed pool bond which will replace the current pool - first built in 1938 and substantially rebuilt in 1990-91.

Senior News: Social engagement is better for a healthy lifestyle

Loneliness has been described as “when one door is closed, but the ‘other one’ has yet to open.” Or “an ‘inner worm’ that gnaws at the heart.” It can visit at any time in our lives. But circumstances and events we encounter as we get older make it easier to be more withdrawn, alone and less likely to be involved in social activities and organizations: the loss of a life partner or difficulties with our hearing, seeing or walking.

Senior News: Many resources available to assist in daily living

Last week I discussed one option for thousands of older Americans who want to stay in their homes, and are “house rich but income poor,” and that is the reverse mortgage.

Senior News: Reverse mortgages can be a useful tool for some

If you are struggling to pay your bills as the cost of living constantly increases — and yet you have paid off your house, which you purchased 40 years ago for $35,000 and is now worth four times that much, you are one of thousands of American older adults who are income poor but “house” rich.

Senior News: Medicare open enrollment between Oct. 15-Dec. 7

This Friday night from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m., Meals-on-Wheels and the Mid-Columbia Senor Center invite you to their 3rd Annual Baby Back Rib Dinner sponsored by The Springs at Mill Creek. With the financial support of the Springs and with several other small and large donations, all the expenses for the dinner are covered, so every penny from every ticket sold goes directly to Meals-on-Wheels and Senior Center — split evenly.

Senior News: There are steps you can take to prevent falls

Falls can be more than an inconvenience. Among older adults, falls are the leading cause of both fatal and nonfatal injuries. And according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) one out of three adults aged 65 or older falls each

Senior News: September 22 is National Fall Prevention Day

Gary Grossman at BiCoastal Media reminded me that “Brevity is the soul of Clarity” (I wonder what he was trying to tell me?). But that is good advice — particularly this week when there is so much to mention.

Senior News: Sharing the ‘Prayer of an Anonymous Abbess’

Because of the Labor Day Weekend, I had fewer days to collect my thoughts for this column, so I decided to kick the ball down the field until next week and instead share with you some sagely advise I found called the “Prayer of an Anonymous Abbess.” (But I do it with some reservation. I have this notion in the back of my head that I have shared it before. But then I shouldn’t be too overly concerned — there’s a lot of stuff I’ve discovered in the back of my head that should be ignored!)

Senior News: Pledge encourages us to stay strong and confident

Because we live in a society that reflects the cultural values of independence, youthfulness, and productivity, often the elderly are either negatively portrayed as frail, decrepit and burdensome “old” folks — ignored, stored away and forgotten. Or on the opposite extreme “super seniors” accomplishing age defying feats of strength and daring.

Senior News: Be real, but don’t let them ‘graywash’ you

You see them advertised in magazines and on television: vitamin supplements, exercise contraptions or plastic surgery – products that will turn back the hands of time.

Senior News: Surviving the highs and lows of summer

As I am trying to stay cool in my air conditioned bedroom like a kangaroo rat in its desert burrow; with my laptop computer sitting appropriately on my lap, I am wondering what to write about this week. And then, like a sweaty palm slapping me across my face, it hits me: the dangers of overexposure to summer heat!

Senior News: Pondering the ideals of today with the Lone Ranger

Do you ever miss the “good ole days” when the Lone Ranger could dispense justice without fanfare or press conferences — and the local citizens had to ask, “Who was that masked man?”

Senior News: Driving and technology set a different reaction time

Automobiles have changed over the years, from push button transmissions, metal dash boards, and cigarette lighters to computerized engines, backup cameras and remote car keys (so you can lock your car from your living room and accidently set off the car alarm as you fumble with your car keys!) And so have traffic rules, driving conditions, and, although I hate to admit it, so have we.

Senior news: People helping people overcome cancer. Won't you help?

Several weeks ago I highlighted the public transportation options available in the Mid-Columbia area (for a reminder you can go to www.gorgetranslink.com).

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Grandparents play important role in lives of their grandchildren

Ah, grandchildren. For many, grandchildren have been the joy of their lives. For my parents, who retired between Florida and the mountains of North Carolina, they never visited me after my wife and I moved to Oregon. (I guess 18-plus years raising me was enough!) But once my son Andrew was born, it didn’t take them long to say goodbye Ashville, N.C., and hello The Dalles — living in our small basement apartment and inviting Andrew downstairs every afternoon for Sesame Street. You could tell who they were interest in seeing!

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Let’s get ready for some summer activities at the Center

As we move closer to summer and the temperatures rise, it’s the time when door-to-door salespeople start hitting the sidewalks.

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Medicare unavailable for long term patients

How do you travel to the store, your church or to visit friends? Do you ride a bike or a four wheel electric scooter? Or do you careen around town on a Vespa like Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn in the movie “Roman Holiday?”

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Senior News: Planning with medical insurance in limbo

Do you expect you will ever need long term care services? And knowing that Medicare does not cover long term care, are you prepared to pay for it, i.e. long term care insurance or personal assets?

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I’m no longer the young whipper-snapper I use to be

I’m trying to hold back the slow, methodical footsteps of time. I do all the right things: I wear a pedometer so I know when I reach my 10,000 steps a day; I keep mentally stimulated playing brain games and learning new languages; I now eat whole grains and a variety of fruits and vegetables; and I try to stay socially active by dating numerous women. (No Rita, I am just kidding!).

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Senior News: Thank you to all for a successful membership drive

Now that the Mid-Columbia Senior Center has completed its Spring Membership Drive, I would like to thank everyone who either renewed their membership or became a member for the first time. We surpassed 300 members, the largest number in the last several years, and it is all because of you! The 2013 Membership Campaign will conclude in July, before the center’s annual membership meeting, and the goal is still four hundred members.

Senior News: Financial health is the focus for the month of April

How are you doing financially? Are you able to live comfortably; able to take vacations to faraway places? Or are you just getting by — barely able to meet your basic needs: housing, food, clothing, transportation and medical?

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Senior News: Life is too short to worry about how short life is

Were you ever called a “Fraidy Cat?” Unable to go to sleep without a night light? Or teased because you were too scared to watch Godzilla? Young imaginations can run wild!

Senior News: Promote healthy aging by sharing and caring

For over 26 years the Mid-Columbia Senior Center has played an important role supporting older adults in the region by providing opportunities to explore, connect and contribute.

Spring is just around the corner: what are your plans?

As we age, our natural social support system diminishes: friends and loved ones move or pass away and there are fewer opportunities to make new friends. And without this web of caring friends and family, when there is an emergency or crisis, there are fewer places to turn to for assistance.

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