Help line opens for Oregon seniors

Because they received more than 30,000 calls through local community telephone numbers last year, Oregon’s Aging and Disability Resource Connection has opened a statewide toll-free telephone number. Now, all Oregonians can easily access resources and information from anywhere in the state on issues related to aging or living with a disability.

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The phone number is 855-673-2372.

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“This is one of those phone numbers that all Oregonians should keep handy,” said Mike McCormick, deputy director of the Aging and People with Disabilities program at the Oregon Department of Human Services.

“You may not need it now, but someday you will,” McCormick said. “As Oregonians age and baby boomers turn 65 in greater numbers, the ADRC will be here to answer questions and help families make decisions and locate vital services. Having a single access point makes it so easy for anyone to call to get what they need.”

Oregon’s ADRC is a “one-stop shop” for older adults, people with disabilities, their caregivers and families to get the information and services as their health and long-term care needs change. The ADRC is easily accessible for people seeking long-term services and information to identify options that best suit their needs.

“The feedback we are receiving from callers is that this is exactly the service they needed — and were looking for — they didn’t know where to go or who to talk to for sorting things out about a loved one or for themselves,” said Elaine Young, manager of the State Unit on Aging at DHS. “I heard so many people say that they finally know where to go to get the information and the support they need.”

During the past year, most callers to ADRC requested information about how to access in-home supports. The majority of callers were consumers although calls were often received from family members, friends, neighbors or agencies needing information, referral or assistance.

For more information on Oregon’s ADRC visit www.adrcoforegon.org.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge



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