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—   Two residents died this week. Hey! Wait! That’s exactly how I began a blog in January. Well. What do I expect? Most residents living in my ALF are octogenarians and nonagenarian’s, although there are a smattering of “young’uns” in their seventies, and a couple of folks in their sixties. But we have enough “old’uns” to keep the fresh new journalists-to-be of our local newspaper skillful in writing obituaries.   “Passing away” is a constant in a living community of …

— By Merry MacKinnon No Oregon law requires it, but Albany farmer Ben Verhoeven gives all 25 of his employees paid parental leave. “We’re a second-generation family farm and we support families,” said Verhoeven, 35, whose greenhouse, Peoria Gardens Inc., offers workers up to 12 weeks of employer-funded leave at full pay for the birth or adoption of a child. He took paid leave from his own business when his two children were born. But Verhoeven would also like to see …

— In the film version of L. Frank Baum children’s novel, The Wizard of Oz, each of Dorothy’s imagined friends  has a burning desire, a craving:  they all yearn for something (“If I Only Had A….)  “The Scarecrow” wants a brain. The “Tin Man” wants a heart.  The “Lion” deviates from the anatomical wish list – he wants something amorphous: courage.   Living in an ALF I, too, have a “wish list.” I seek independence. And as Henry Ford knew back …

— Indeed! They are back.  Not en masse though. It’s early in the back-to-college year, so our beloved town is not inundated yet.  The university students return in dribbles, like a leaky water faucet.  And many live across from my ALF (Assisted Living Facility).  What’s a wheelchairer to do when crossing the street? Erroneously called “kids,” these young adults  are important to the economic health of our university town.  They’re needed as well for the smooth operation of my  ALF.  They’re …

— Caregiving crises can erupt with a phone call. For me it happened on a glorious sunny morning in the summer of 2008 with a ring from my sister. Within hours of hearing that Mom’s caregiver needed to be fired, panic and fear rained down on me because we realized Mom would soon have to leave home. Ten years later, when I reflect on that phone call, I still feel the churn in my stomach as I raced across town to …

— Dear So & So, I don’t mean to hurt your feelings, but I’d rather you were not my Caregiver this month. I understand, unlike other Long Term Care facilities, the residents of NAME REDACTED Assisted Living Facility have the right to accept or reject an assigned Caregiver.  I sure hope so, because I pay over $6000 a month to live  here. At that rate, I’m sure you’d agree, I should be able to call some of the shots.  After all, …

— I had just finished reading an interesting story on Yahoo News, and went to breakfast in the dining room anxious to tell my table mate, George, about it.  After I prefaced my retelling, I couldn’t remember the story I wanted to tell. Yet . . . . . . The other night, I was reminiscing about my undergraduate days as a student actor, playing Shylock in The Merchant of Venice: Hath not a Jew eyes, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions; …

— Get Helpful Guidance at Our Online Q&A Webinar Prepare to Care: Paying for Your Loved One’s Care Part 1: Tuesday, July 24, 2018, 4 – 4:30 p.m. PT Part 2: Tuesday, July 31, 2018, 4 – 4:30 p.m. PT It can happen suddenly. One day, a loved one might be relatively healthy. The next, they could be facing a serious — and costly — health challenge. Don’t wait for a crisis to occur before talking to your loved one about …

— My wheelchair and I have spent over a decade together. Wait a moment. That’s not quite true. Since a cushion first accepted my butt upon which to repose and with which to travel, I have had two wheelchairs, five cushions – and two backs. I highlight the backs because my new one, with curved sides to deter my dextroscoliosis, cost five hundred dollars or so.   A spendy assemblage, but consider: I spend all my waking hours in my chair. How …

— I had just finished reading an interesting story on Yahoo News, and went to breakfast in the dining room anxious to tell my table mate, George, about it.  After I prefaced my retelling, I couldn’t remember the story I wanted to tell. Yet . . . . . . The other night, I was reminiscing about my undergraduate days as a student actor, playing Shylock in The Merchant of Venice: Hath not a Jew eyes, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions; …