Ricardo the Remarkable performs his magic

— Settling back in his ergonomic chair, Richard Loescher begins to talk about his most recent adventure, and how much he enjoyed it. His eyes twinkle mischievously, he wears a big smile. The sense of adventure and satisfaction is almost palpable as he recounts the story. Recently, as part of his mentoring work at Universalist Unitarian Church, Richard accompanied a small group of middle school students to a ropes challenge course at a local park. The challenge involved climbing a ladder and …

— by Elaine Friesen-Strang The forecast predicted rain, but a miracle happened Saturday September 30, just before 10:00 AM, as 80 people gathered at Providence Medical Center to stroll the neighborhood: the clouds parted, sunshine burst through. Being it was our last NeighborWalk of the season, you might say it was providential. When AARP Oregon began this program three years ago, we had no idea it would become such a vibrant, successful venture. Community Engagement Director, Bandana Shrestha, and a small …

— There are many reasons for walking – for health and wellness, to get to places and save gas, and of course, to connect with community! Join AARP Oregon and Rogue Valley Transportation District this September for two great NeighborWalks in the Rogue Valley. Get your steps in, meet new people, and explore Medford and Grantspass on foot. These walks are part of the Oregon Drive Less Challenge.       NeighborWalks: Medford Monday, Sept 25th at 10:30am Meet: In front of …

— Painted on the wall of the For The Love of Dogs training room is the saying, “A Dog’s Tail Never Lies.” Beneath it, Cocoa, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, looks up intently, at her “mom.” True to Pavlov’s theory, Cocoa’s tail wags patiently and enthusiastically as she awaits the forthcoming treat  she’ll be rewarded for good behavior following the sound of dog trainer, Cheryl Flemming’s “click.” The “Clicker Method” is the method of training Cheryl uses in her workshops and …

—                     Privacy, anyone?   “Let me know when you’re finished,” said the caregiver, leaving me to cogitate as I remained where she had put me, seated on the cold, rigid, plastic toilet (or, more sweetly, “commode”) seat. She closed the door to the bathroom (or, more gently, “rest room”) and headed to a place in my living room to wait for me to complete the process of solid waste disposal. Whilst …

— Join AARP Oregon staff and volunteers this July at an AARP Activist  & Volunteer meeting near you.  Discover what we are doing in your community. Get an update on AARP’s local, state and national outreach and advocacy efforts for the first half of the year and what’s ahead. We also want to hear from you. Come share your thoughts about the issues that matter to you. Connect with others in your community and find out how you can continue to stay engaged, including as …

—     I wish these written letters could morph into the sounds they signify,  then you’d get the genuine sound of . . . what to call it? It’s not really abuse – but it’s not really respect, either, and it shoots to hell the declaration of “dignity,” which many – all, really – LTC facilities claim as their “holy grail.” After all, we are “elders,” with all the sacrosanct connotations the word embraces. Me? I’m eighty-four. A decrepit vessel …

— Recherché, a French word meaning of rare quality or elegance aptly describes Encore Entrepreneur, Pamela Burkland, and the line of one-of-a-kind, handmade bags and wearable art she produces. Recherché specializes in bags that illustrate an east meets west design: the bags are made from vintage Japanese Obi, or sashes traditionally worn by both Japanese men and women. A typical obi can measure around 14 feet by 12 inches wide, and may have ornate traditional patterns on one or both sides. …

— Cheek bones tightly squeezed, lips curved downward, brows furrowed,  squinting eyes shifting side-to-side, hypervigilance exploding throughout the dining room.  She and her cohorts are on the prowl – not for  leaping lions,   crouching copperheads,  scurrilous scorpions. No! For walkers. The bi-podal choice – nay, necessity – we elderly in my Assisted Living Facility. Being a Walker Stalker is not a personal choice by the sergeant-at-arms – although she seems to glow executing the charge – or the other hapless employees. …

— Did you know 4th graders who can’t read at grade-level are four times less likely to graduate from high school? AARP Foundation Experience Corps is an intergenerational volunteer-based tutoring program that is proven to help children who aren’t reading at grade level become great readers by the end of third grade. Experience Corps has nearly 2,000 highly-trained volunteers working in 21 cities and serves over 30,000 students every year in high-need elementary schools. Each AARP Foundation Experience Corps site operates …