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The Columbia Press

Columnists & Other Opinions

Senior Moments: Seniors can be a powerful force

Emma Edwards
By Emma Edwards, Thursday, February 27, 2020

Many seniors are acquainted with the virtues of old age.

At my stage of life, I can act like a little old lady when it helps my situation or I can express wisdom from years of life’s lessons. With age comes advantage.

Another virtue I think is that our spirituality becomes more intense, kind of like “cramming for finals”! Oh, yes, we look back on life experiences both good and bad.

The most current census estimate (Aug. 28, 2019) shows that there are 31,051 adults in Clatsop County, 8,015 of whom are seniors. The 2020 census in Warrenton is expected to show a 16.7 percent increase in residents 65 and older. Our overall population is estimated to increase 13.2 percent over the count of 4,989 taken in 2010. This data was taken from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Quick Facts. I do not attest to its accuracy but it gives us food for thought!

We may wonder whether our area can care for that many people, a quarter of them seniors. There are a lot of us wondering if we’re in the right place for health care and other senior services. Some wonder whether they should move closer to the big hospitals, such as Oregon Health Sciences University in the Portland area. Many of us have “enjoyed” a crisis requiring a helicopter ride in that direction already.

Will our facilities meet the needs of Clatsop County’s seniors? It’s sobering to realize the limited number of specialists among the limited number of doctors in our area.

What can we do to sort all of this out? A good start would be to call Northwest Senior and Disability Services, where we can learn about Medicaid, Medicare and Statewide Health Insurance Benefits Advisors (SHIBA), help with food, help in your home, where to live other than home, how to prevent and report abuse, and help with wellness, mental health, and money management. We could simply look them up online and “read all about it.”

Benjamin Franklin said “Energy and persistence conquer all things.” In other words, no matter our situation, we must never give up.

I am reminded of Lewis Carroll, who wrote “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” in 1865 when he was 33 years old. When asked about lessons in life, he said, “That’s the reason they’re called lessons; they lessen from day to day.”

Carroll, whose given name was Charles Lutwidge, also wrote “Through the Looking-Glass.” He reminds us that we never stop learning from the lessons of life.


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