— Do you remember Charles and Charlane who began dating in an assisted living facility? You may have read about their first stirrings of togetherness, and how they were swept up into a full-fledged romance in Where Singles Meet. Their story ended with the growing physical and mental enfeeblement of Charles, and Charlane’s worsening forgetfulness – the inexorable sprouting of dementia. But they were inseparable. Glued. Like a fraternity pinning in college days gone by. Then the unavoidable! The ineluctable course of …

— By Mac McLean Juanita Santana knew exactly what came next when she retired from her job as director of a Head Start program in San Francisco. She moved to Portland in 2010 and became a full-time caregiver for her parents. That took up so much time that she never thought about what life would be like after they died, which happened a few years later. “It was real difficult for me to find my niche in retirement,” said Santana, 66. …

— Many AARP members and I have this in common–we’ve been on both sides of caregiving. We have given and we have received, and considering life’s trajectory, it’s a trend that will likely continue. Chances are good we will have family members and friends who will depend on us to assist them, provide transportation, and perhaps advocate on their behalf. I’m going out on a limb here, but maybe some of you are like me–occasionally you need some of those very …

— Thirty-five percent of Oregonians live in rural areas, and of those, 44 percent are 65 or older. Yet rural communities lag behind in offering health care, transportation and other services that make a community age-friendly. The first annual Forum on Aging in Rural Oregon invites policy makers, health care providers, family caregivers and others to explore ways to make it easier for rural Oregonians to age in place. Jon Bartholomew, AARP Oregon government relations director, will discuss factors that make …

— By Merry MacKinnon As newcomers flock to Oregon, soaring housing values are enriching property owners while big rent hikes are pricing out lower-income tenants. “It’s brutal out there,” said Briana Winterborn, a program coordinator for Elders in Action, a Portland nonprofit advocating for older adults. Each week she gets calls from harried renters facing eviction. One client reported a $400 monthly rent increase, which she called a de facto eviction. Under pressure to protect the 39 percent of Oregon’s households …

—   Social Security is constantly evolving to make your life easier. If you are currently receiving benefits from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and are reapplying for benefits, or are assisting someone with their application, a trip to the Social Security office is probably not necessary even if verification of Social Security benefits is needed. Because of a data exchange established between Social Security and HUD, most people do not need to contact Social Security for …

— Dick Weinman is an AARP volunteer and an Assisted Living Guru In the decade that I have been an inmate in an Assisted Living Facility (ALF), I have endured “…the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune… and have …taken arms against [them], and by opposing – ACCOMPLISHING NOT A DAMN THING. My experience forces me to realize – in an ALF – the Pen is not mightier than the System. I rallied for tissues on tables in the dining room, …

—   Here is a simple fact. When you board horses, dogs and other animals, you never get bored! At 77, Joanne Mead is the picture of good health and vitality. She owns a 7 acre horse boarding ranch and dog kennel for the last 45 years and takes care of other animals too.  And that, she acknowledges, helps keep her going physically with a little help from friends, family and volunteers. And in her spare time? (Yes she does have …

— More than 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease, including 62,000 Oregonians. The debilitating disease takes a serious toll on patients, family caregivers and the health care system. AARP Oregon is encouraging members to participate in Walks to End Alzheimer’s, which will be held in Portland, Sept. 11; Bend, Sept. 17; Linn-Benton, Sept. 18; Medford, Sept. 24; Roseburg, Sept. 25; and Eugene, Oct. 9. While there is no fee to register, the Alzheimer’s Association asks participants to set a …

—   It’s a fitness center for geriatrics of all decades. The cut off is 50 years of age. But only a few members are that young. Most are “Boomers,” old enough to have grown their hair shoulder length and delved into LSD. Others, like me, just missed the free living and stoned sixties. We wear tie-die, but we’re in our 80s. In our community, even nonagenarians pump iron. Where can you find this assemblage of energetic old bodies? In Fitness …