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A lifetime of learning INDEPENDENT ENTERPRISE WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 2011 / ARGUS OBSERVER SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 2011

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Classes through Treasure Valley Community College help seniors navigate the digital world JESSICA KELLER ARGUS OBSERVER

ONTARIO Although Treasure Valley Community College regularly turns out students with associates degrees and plans for the future every year, not all classes are for credit and not all students attend with plans to graduate. A small but very important part of the community college’s mission is to provide the extended community with continuing opportunities to learn, including senior citizens. And some of the most popular courses specifically for seniors take place, not in a regular classroom, but in the computer lab. This quarter, a group of seniors and a few nonseniors are wrapping up a class on computer basics, which is an introductory computer course that provides the essen-

tial knowledge needed to operate a computer. The week before Valentine’s Day, most of the hour and a half class was dedicated to taking images on a computer and incorporating them into a Microsoft program to create cards they could take home. The rest of the class time was dedicated to answering computer-related questions and reviewing basic computer lessons. Darlene Escobar, the instructor for the course, who has been teaching community computer-related courses for the past six years, said the courses are always very well attended and designed perfectly for the needs of her students. LaVonne Shaw, New Plymouth, a senior who was enrolled in the class for the first time, is familiar with and utilizes Facebook on her laptop computer at home, but her knowledge about the maCONTINUED ON PAGE E4

JESSICA KELLER | ARGUS OBSERVER

Treasure Valley Community College computer instructor Darlene Escobar, who teaches programs for the community education department, looks over the shoulder of Ed Hammon, Ontario, as he completes a project the students in the computer basics worked on during class. In its mission to provide continuing educational opportunities for people, the college offers classes that are specifically designed with senior citizens in mind, like the computer basics class.

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Targeting seniors: Make sure you don’t fall victim to scam artists WILLIAM ANDERSON ARGUS OBSERVER

ONTARIO It could start as simple as a phone call claiming to be a loved one, asking for help. The results could be disastrous. There are many different schemes and plots to separate senior citizens from their money. The schemes could be done over the phone, in the mail, at your front door and on the Internet, including e-mail. To keep these scammers from your hard-earned money, there are a few simple rules to follow. The first, and maybe most obvious, is if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. “They are (going on) all the time,” Ontario Interim Police Chief Mark Alexander said about scams targeting the elderly. “The big ones are on the Internet and over the telephone. They have the same basis, just different variations of them. They usually involve somebody who wants money or feels they are entitled to it somehow.” Early in February, there was a series of telephone scams that took place on the western side of Oregon, resulting in senior citizens losing up to $6,000. The scammers continued to try and find victims but ran out of luck when they contacted a woman from Umatilla County. The scam started with a man claiming to be an FBI agent calling to conduct a fraud

investigation that had occurred with Publisher’s Clearing House. The lady on the other end of the phone was informed in order to receive her money, all she needed was to send a refundable security deposit of $3,000 via Western Union. The “FBI agent” also informed the victim that a person with the Oregon State Police would contact her to verify the authenticity of the telephone call. A couple hours later, the woman received another phone call, claiming to be somebody from the OSP office in Pendleton, and the number showed up on her caller ID. After this phone call, the woman called back the Oregon State Police office to report the calls. She was informed the calls were an attempt to scam her out of money. After the incidents occurred, OSP sent out a scam warning and gave a few tips to avoid becoming a victim of fraud. The first tip is don’t give out personal or financial information to someone who calls you. If you are unsure, hang up and call the law enforcement agency who the caller is saying they work for. Second, beware of high pressure techniques, such as the need to give information or make an immediate decision. Finally, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. On the Better Business Bureau Web site, there are a list of the top 10 scams that are currently going on and ways to avoid these scams. CONTINUED ON PAGE E13

E3 EASTERN OREGON CENTER FOR INDEPENDENT LIVING Disability Resource and Advocacy Center Eastern Oregon Center for Independent Living (EOCIL) is a disability resource and advocacy center that promotes independence, inclusion, equality and opportunities for people with disabilities and seniors. EOCIL offers individualized services that include: Information and Referral, Peer Counseling, Life Skills Training, Advocacy, Life Transitioning and much more… Do you need help with an issue and not sure what to do or where to turn for help? Do you rely on others and want your independence back? Contact us…We may be able to help. For complete list of services and descriptions please visit www.eocil.org SERVICES AVAILABLE Information and Referral Independent Living Skills Training Peer Counseling Individual Systems Advocacy Life Transitions Employment Services Benefits Analysis BrainTrain (Memory Enhancement) Assistive Technology Loan Project

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INDEPENDENT ENTERPRISE WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 2011 / ARGUS OBSERVER SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 2011

Senior learning...............................................E2 Don’t get scammed........................................E3 Volunteering...................................................E5 Senior vaccinations........................................E6 Fitness in the golden years.........................E10 Dealing with hearing loss ...........................E12


chine was otherwise limited. Shaw said she wants to be able to use her laptop to create personal calendars with pictures on them. She said she initially asked her daughter for help, and her daughter finally recommended Shaw take a class. Her son, Shaw said, gave her the class for Christmas. “I just needed to learn the basics of the computer to go on and learn other things,” Shaw said. The class has been very helpful, Shaw said, and the students in the class have the freedom to ask Escobar for personal help if they get lost. Shaw said she also thinks the class would be valuable for other senior citizens. “Well, I just think we’re getting so computerized, it’s just a neat thing to know, and taking the class is definitely the way to learn it,” Shaw said. Escobar said the class is designed to be accessible for senior citizens and set at a slower pace than other classes. In the current class, she is teaching her students computer basics, such as using the control panel, creating folders and naming files, how to save pictures onto the computer and how to use them for certain Microsoft functions. She said she also touches on how to ac-

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cess the Internet and how to contact local providers. Escobar said she encourages her students to use their own computers at home frequently and play and explore on them to become more familiar with the machines. “Most of them don’t know how to use the computer, and their grandkids or sons and daughters want to send them e-mail and pictures,” she said. Escobar said others in the class want to use the computer for certain projects. One, she said, wants to use his computer for genealogy, and another wants to use his to compose his life story. Other adults, the working seniors, take the class to become more proficient for work. “This is the best class for the seniors, and I’m glad TVCC has it,” Escobar said. “If they didn’t have it, I don’t know what they would do.” She said, at the beginning of the course, she taught the students how to play CDs on their computers as well as DVDs. She said they all knew what a flash drive is, but they didn’t know how to use it. “They’re not exposed to a lot of the new technology,” Escobar said, adding they CONTINUED ON PAGE E15

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Volunteering with youth sports programs keeps many seniors …

Young at heart SCOTT FORD ARGUS OBSERVER

SCOTT FORD | ARGUS OBSERVER

Fruitland resident Debbie Kerr volunteers her time as the scorekeeper for the Fruitland Grizzlies girls basketball team.

ball program, but the long and numerous bus trips the basketball teams have to make every year was just getting to be too much for the retiree, and he decided to stick with just football. At Fruitland High School, Athletic Director Beth Holt

said the senior volunteers are key to the athletic programs success. Fruitland High School Athletics are graced with the volunteering of Debbie Kerr who keeps the girls basketball scorebook. Bob Havens announces the boys and girls basketball games, and Ben Kerfoot announces all the Fruitland football games. Havens has been calling the Fruitland boys and girls basketball games for the past seven years and he also does the FHS volleyball games as well. But his public announcing began 15 years ago in Washington. “Several years ago, when my children were competing in high school sports, I went to n professional sporting event and listened to the announcers call the names of the athletes and I thought I could do that at our high school,” Havens said. “The greatest joy for me is to see the athletes and parents hear their names or the names of their children being called out during the game. Plus I love being involved in the community.” Havens said some of his most memorable moments as an announcer are the games that are won on last-second shots or games that go down to the wire. Havens also volunteers his time in other areas of the community, with his

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ONTARIO Being a volunteer has its own special rewards. It leaves the individual with a sense of belonging to something. It gives a feeling of accomplishment, and it gives an individual the need to be needed. Volunteering time for events is always needed and many times those volunteers come in the form of senior citizens. At the local high school level there are many individuals who donate their time for the sporting events that go on almost on a daily basis. Volunteers are needed for all sorts of things, such as admission sales, concessions, score keeping, announcing, sideline crew and much, much more. At Ontario High School, Ontario resident Bill Ragsdale has been volunteering his time as a statistician for the Ontario High School for more than 20 years. Now in his retirement years, Ragsdale said it is nice to have something to do that involves the youth of the community. “I do it for the kids,” Ragsdale said. “It is nice to be a part of something like the Ontario football program.” Ragsdale started out as a stat-man for the OHS basket-

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INDEPENDENT ENTERPRISE WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 2011 / ARGUS OBSERVER SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 2011

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Vaccinations What senior citizens should know about inoculations later in life JESSICA KELLER ARGUS OBSERVER

ONTARIO While vaccinations are commonplace for children, senior citizens need to be aware they too should receive immunizations as they can help prevent serious illness later in life when seniors are vulnerable. Kelly Jensen, immunization coordinator at the Malheur County Health Department, said there are a variety of immunizations senior citizens should receive. “It’s very important for seniors to get vaccinated because, often, seniors are the ones who have chronic conditions that make them more at risk for getting infec-

tions,” she said. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Mortality and Morbidity Weekly Report released Jan. 28, “Approximately 45,000 adults die each year from vaccine-preventable diseases, the majority from influenza.” Jensen said everybody, especially senior citizens, should receive an influenza vaccine every year. Another recommended vaccine for seniors is the herpes zoster or shingles vaccine, which is recommended for people 60 and older and only needs to be administered once. Jensen said usually pharmacies or doctors’ offices administer the zoster vaccine. According to the Centers for Disease

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ventable illness and death in the United States. Anyone can get it, but people 65 years and older or people with certain health problems, smokers or a weakened immune system are at greater risk. Pneumoccal disease can lead to pneumonia, an infection of the lungs, bacteremia, an infection of the blood, and meningitis, an infection of the covering of the brain. About one out of 20 people who get pneumococcal pneumonia die from it. Bacteremia causes death in about 1 out of five people, and meningitis about three out of 10. People who are 65 years of age and older or who have certain health problems may be more likely to die from the disease. Only one dose of the pneumococcal vaccine is needed usually, but a second dose may be recommended for people older than 65 if they got their first dose when they were younger than 65 and it has been more than five years since they were administered their previous dose. CONTINUED ON PAGE E7

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— Dr. Mohsin Syed Saint Alphonsus Medical Group

“One of the leading causes of death in senior citizens is pneumonia,” Syed said, adding the vaccine defuses incidents of pneumonia by 70 percent. Syed said seniors are especially at risk from pneumonia because abdominal muscles that would otherwise help push fluid out of the lungs are weakened in senior citizens. Three micro-organisms cause pneumonia, and the vaccine prevents the most common and deadliest, the pneumococci, from forming, he said. Another vaccine that is newly recommended for senior citizens is the Tdap — tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis vaccine. Jensen said children receive a similar type of vaccine when they are 7 and older, but many adults don’t know about the Tdap and may never have received it. She said most people receive a tetanus vaccination when they receive an injury, but the Tdap is important for adults. She said all adults should check with their medical providers to see whether they have had that vaccine, and, if not, see if it is recommended for them. Once a Tdap is administered, people only need to have a follow up tetanus vaccine every 10 years after that.

Jensen said it seems most seniors are good about receiving yearly influenza vaccines and a pneumococcal vaccine. More seniors are receiving the shingles vaccine, she said, and local doctors have been diligent about sending seniors to receive a Tdap. Depending on a person’s background or medical needs, healthcare providers may recommend other vaccines. Jensen recommended people ask their doctors what vaccines are recommended for them and when to receive them. With the exception of influenza, many times, only one dose of a vaccine needs to be administered. “They found in studies the more shots you get doesn’t increase your immunity,” she said. Jensen said usually Medicare covers influenza and pneumococcal vaccines. Syed said seniors may be recommended other vaccines based on their health background or current activities. He said he has to encourage many of his patients to receive vaccines, especially for the flu. He said there is a myth people can still get the flu after receiving the vaccine, but there is no evidence that happens. People may confuse other viruses for the flu, however, leading to the misperception. “I think, in our society there is some reluctance to take vaccinations,” Syed said. “I would say one third of my patients would defer taking any vaccination.”

church or with other senior citizen activities. “I feel that people should live for a purpose and with a passion and being a volunteer gives me that feeling of purpose and passion,” Havens said. In Weiser, Athletic Director Terry Mooney said volunteer Dale Emert announces games, Bruce Campbell runs the clock for football games and girls basketball games and Cynda Campbell takes

care of tickets and does door security. Mooney said all three of these individuals have been volunteering their time for more than 20 years at Weiser High School. And there are many more out there who do the same types of things for the schools in their communities. Becoming a volunteer for school athletic or after school programs is not a hard thing to do. All that is needed is for an individual to contact the school and let them know they want to be a part. It’s that simple.

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Eastern Oregon Center for Independent Living Eastern Oregon Center for Independent Living (EOCIL) is a disability resource and advocacy center that promotes independence, inclusion, equality and opportunities for people with disabilities and seniors. EOCIL offers individualzied services that include: Information and Referral, Peer Counseling, Life Skills Training, Advocacy, Life Transitioning and much more…Do you need help with an issue and not sure what to do? Contact us…We may be able to help. EOCIL’s Work Incentive Network: Are you receiving Social Security benefits and want to work? We may be able to help you! WIN is a free benefits and work incentives planning service for individuals receiving Social Security benefits and who want to work. WIN assists individuals to: 1. Make informed decisions about work and their benefits 2 Use work incentives to achieve their employment goals 3. Navigate the benefits system when they begin working Many people receiving Social Security benefits believe that if they go to work, they will lose all cash benefits or medical insurance they receive…this is seldom true. WIN provides a “one-stop” source of information and assistance, reduces the fear and misunderstanding about the effect that working has on benefits, helps prevent crises when change occurs, and improves employment and economic outcomes. WIN Services Contact: Jennifer Bonnell 541-889-3119 jbonnell@eocil.org

EOCIL’s Employment Services “Connecting Qualified Individuals With Employers” EOCIL serves as a full service employment agency assisting qualified individuals with the skills to secure the “right fit” job. EOCIL works closely with each client by providing several different job development skills to assist clients with the following: • Job Preparation - Resumes, interview coaching, mock interviewing. • Job Development - Outreach and direct interactions with local employers • Job Placement - Providing a positive employment decision for both the client and employer. • Job Coaching - Mentoring clients/employees with specific job tasks at the job worksite. • Job Retention - Assisting clients/employees in maintaining a job through direct engagement with the client or the employer or both. EOCIL creates and maintains partnerships with businesses throughout Eastern Oregon. These partnerships are built by EOCIL working with each individual employer to identify the specific employment needs. EOCIL Employment Services Contact: Kevin Warburton 541-889-3119 kevinwarburton@eocil.org Providing Services in: Harney, Malheur, Baker, Union, Grant, Wallowa, Umatilla, Morrow, Wheeler, Gilliam, Wasco, Sherman and Hood River Counties.

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INDEPENDENT ENTERPRISE WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 2011 / ARGUS OBSERVER SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 2011

I think, in our society there is some reluctance to take vaccinations. I would say one third of my patients would defer taking any vaccination.


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INDEPENDENT ENTERPRISE WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 2011 / ARGUS OBSERVER SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 2011


INDEPENDENT ENTERPRISE WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 2011 / ARGUS OBSERVER SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 2011

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Feeling fit Keeping fit helps golden years remain golden SCOTT FORD ARGUS OBSERVER

ONTARIO Staying in good physical condition is not always an easy thing to do, especially in today’s fast-paced world. However, for those who have the time to fit in a daily regiment of workouts, being physically fit will benefit those individuals for years to come. When it comes to the senior citizens, many think they are too old to “work out,” but the truth is, working out will benefit the elderly’s lifestyle. Ontario resident Walt Kovash does not think he is too old to work out. In fact, he works out four times a week and said being fit made it easier for him to battle cancer. “I have been in a fitness program for

more than 30 years,” Kovash said. “It feels good to be fit.” World Fitness trainer Derrick Pierce said it is important for seniors to be involved with a physical fitness program so they can maintain balance, strength and overall better health. “Come in and talk with one of our trainers who can assess what is going on and help set goals,” Pierce said. “The trainers are involved and will get the individuals on the right track. But the key is to get started.” Casey Bonner, manager of World Fitness, said the older a person becomes, the more muscle they lose and being involved in a fitness program will help maintain muscles and even build muscle. “We can promote muscle at the age of 50

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Ontario’s Linda Quinn works her legs on a speciality machine at World Fitness gym in Ontario. Trainer Derrick Pierce looks on to make sure that Quinn is doing the exercise properly.

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Ontario’s Walt Kovash works his upper body under the supervision of World Fitness trainer Derrick Pierce. Kovash has been physically active in the gym for more than 30 years.

as well as warm-up and cool-down periods of five minutes to 15 minutes to tune up your body before exercise and to help you wind down afterward. Always pay attention to what your body tells you. If you feel much discomfort, you are trying to do

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and even 70,” Bonner said. “It’s a little bit harder, but it can be done.” Before embarking on a new workout plan it is always a good idea to visit the doctor first to make sure you understand what the limits or limitations are before getting started. It’s also a good time to make sure any medications will not conflict with physical exertion. Then, before a workout program is started, study all the different options that are available and how to participate in the program. Always start out slow to reduce the risk of injury, soreness and burnout, and if possible, grab a friend or relative to join in on the fun. This will make sticking to the program much easier. Setting goals has proven to be a good way to obtain desired results, and reaching those goals is self-rewarding and can inspire future physical fitness planning. Begin by exercising slowly, especially if you have been inactive. Start with short periods of about five minutes to 10 minutes twice a week. Then build up slowly, adding no more than a few minutes each week. If all goes well, as it probably will, slowly increase your exercise periods to 15 to 30 minutes, three or four times a week. Your doctor may advise stretching

too much. Ease up a bit, or take a break and It’s way more important start again at another time. Although most people will have no problems if they start that the seniors are inexercising slowly, be alert to unusual symptoms such as chest pain, breathless- volved with fitness than it is ness, joint discomfort or muscle cramps. for younger individuals. E11 Call your doctor if any of these occur. — Derrick Pierce There are some tips each individual W o r ld Fitness trainer should learn when it comes to regular exercise. Learning what your heart rate is Ontario resident Linda Quinn, 63, said while resting and how to monitor it while working out on a regular basis has helped working out. her with her health, and it has kept her “The biggest factor to knowing the limtone. Quinn also does her training at itations of your body for the seniors is they World Fitness, and she said the facility is have less room for error because their boda nice place to workout. ies are more prone to injuries and such,” “Everyone here talks with you and the Pierce said. “It’s way more important that the seniors are involved with fitness than place is clean,” Quinn said. “The trainers push you, but they do not hurt you and that it is for younger individuals.” The benefits for exercise include a means a lot to me.” World Fitness offers personal trainers stronger heart and lungs, it can help lower blood pressure, helps protect against for anyone who wants one, and they are all adult-onset diabetes, it can strengthen licensed. Bonner said the gym has specialbones, keeps joints more flexible, can aid ty equipment that assists and keeps the inwith weight loss (combined with good dividual in the proper positioning while eating habits), it can improve overall ap- exercising. pearance and boost self-confidence, it “Our equipment and our staff are the contributes to good mental health and two most important things we have to ofkeeps individuals socially active, aids in fer,” Bonner said. “This is a clean and better sleep, promotes a sense of well-be- friendly place to work out, and we have a ing and helps regulate and improve diges- number of classes that range from large group to small group workouts.” tion.


Did you hear? E12

Dealing with hearing loss doesn’t have to be frustrating WILLIAM ANDERSON

INDEPENDENT ENTERPRISE WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 2011 / ARGUS OBSERVER SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 2011

ARGUS OBSERVER

ONTARIO Are you always asking people to repeat what they are saying? Do you have the television turned up too loud? If you answered yes to these questions, maybe it is time to have a audiologist check your hearing. As people age, their hearing is a sense that often is overlooked as it begins to deteriorate. “Statistics have generally shown that it takes seven years to recognize that there is hearing loss,” Paul Lancaster, an audiologist with Elks Hearing and Balance Center, said. “That is five to seven years before they do anything about it. That is 14 years of life span.” Lancaster said there are many reasons why it takes some people so long to do anything about their hearing loss, ranging from fear of the unknown, to lack of education and basically anything in between.

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There are many warning signs out there for those who may or think they may be experiencing hearing loss. One of those signs is always asking people to repeat what they say. Also, if you are having trouble following two people in a conversation, this is a sign. Difficulty understanding speech in background noise, and if people are sounding like they are mumbling, these are also signs of hearing loss. According to Lancaster, the first thing to do is to get a hearing test. “The hearing test will help them identify whether the hearing difficulties they are having are due to hearing loss,” Lancaster said. “At that time, you can identify hearing loss and treatment options.” Lancaster said there are three types of hearing loss — conductive, sensory-neural and mixed. The conductive hearing loss is loss of hearing due to something blocking the sound from getting to the ear. This can be

caused by ear wax, infection or fusing of the inner-ear bones. This can sometimes be reversed with medications or surgeries. Sensory-neural is nerve-related hearing loss. This type of hearing loss is usually caused by genetics, age or by noise exposure. This is non-reversible. The mixed form of hearing loss is both conductive and sensory-neural, or basically an obstruction and nerve damage causes this type of hearing loss. According to the Better Hearing Institute Web site, three out of 10 people who are over the age of 60 have hearing loss of some sort. One in six are 40- to 45year-olds who have age-related hearing loss or hearing loss caused by noise exposure. If you think you might be experiencing some hearing loss, Lancaster suggests getting in and getting checked out. When searching for a facility to get your hearing CONTINUED ON PAGE E13

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In-ear hearing devices have grown extremely smaller over the years. Today’s devices can fit directly into the ear and are barely noticeable. Don’t dismiss the small size, however. Today’s hearing aids are powerful and can aid almost anyone suffering from hearing loss.

“The biggest thing is, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is,” Alexander said. “Never give any personal information out over the phone.” Alexander said he has heard of scams claiming to be a person’s bank calling to confirm information. He said banks don’t do that, not over the phone. In this case, Alexander said a good way to verify if your bank needs information is to give them a call, or to simply stop by your bank and ask them. Also, if the person on the phone gives you a number to call, don’t use that number. Call a number you have used before, or use a phone book to find the proper number. Another scam to avoid is sending any sort of payment, or receiving and depositing any sort of payment, if you don’t know the source. “Abig indicator is if the person on the phone is starting to get pushy or upset,” Alexander said. Another way, locally, that scammers have attempted to hit local residents is with door-to-door sales. In Ontario, those who travel door-todoor are required to carry a license from the city, to be able to sell products in Ontario. The license gives law en-

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forcement agencies an opportunity to keep an eye on who is traveling through town, selling products to families. “We don’t check out the product, we check out the people selling it,” Alexander said. “They are not supposed to come to a door with a ‘no solicitors’ sign out.” Alexander also said the salespeople are not supposed to knock on a door from 9 p.m. to 9 a.m. “Some people get pushy,” Alexander said. “You don’t have to let them in your house.” Alexander encourages people who have someone knock on their door trying to sell a product to ask to see their license before allowing business to be conducted. Still, with any scam, Alexander said, “if in doubt, check it out further. Call your local law enforcement agencies. Simply delete the e-mail. Throw away the stuff or get off the phone.”

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INDEPENDENT ENTERPRISE WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 2011 / ARGUS OBSERVER SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 2011

checked, look for somebody who understands the anatomy and physiology of the ear. Also look for somebody who can address the reason for the hearing loss. “I would council with a patient on hearing loss to understand what it means and some communication strategies,” Lancaster said. “I would council them to let them know if they are a candidate for a hearing aid and discuss what type of hearing aid would be best.” When it comes to hearing aids, there are many different options available, some so discreet that they are hardly even noticeable. Lancaster said the technology in hearing aids has increased drastically in the last five or six years. “They have gone from analog to digital,” he said. “There are hearing aids that reduce noise in the background and improve sound quality. They do this and they are offered in smaller and smaller packages.” Lancaster also said that if the hearing loss goes a long time without being treated, it can lead to auditory deprivation and can atrophy the nerves. “When we talk about hearing loss, we think about how people are affected individually,” Lancaster said. “Hearing loss is a family and group problem. When my spouse has hearing loss, I need to compensate for them. It is something that affects everybody. By identifying it early, and receiving treatment early, it can improve relationships better.” CONTINUED FROM PAGE E12


Senior Citizen centers INDEPENDENT ENTERPRISE WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 2011 / ARGUS OBSERVER SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 2011

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LARRY MEYER ARGUS OBSERVER

ONTARIO The Ontario Senior Citizens is located at 698 N.W. Eighth Ave., Ontario. There is live music every Friday from 11 a.m. to noon, followed by a lunch from noon to 1 p.m. Friday afternoons, there is line dancing from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. and waltz and two-step dancing from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. Friday evenings, there is dancing to live music from 7 to 10. For more information call (541) 889-5450. The Payette Senior Center is located at 137 N. Main St., Payette. Meals are served at noon on Mondays, Wednesday and Fridays. The center holds a dance from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. every Wednesday, featuring musicians Elvie Thomas and Vince Bingham. There is line dancing at 10 a.m. Silver Sneakers takes place at 10 a.m. Wednesdays and Fridays. Pinochle is played at 6 p.m. Thursdays, and bingo begins at 12:45 p.m. on Fridays. A foot clinic is held the first Tuesday of the month. For more information, call (208) 642-

The Nyssa Senior Citizen Center is situated at 316 Good Ave. in Nyssa.

4223. The Nyssa Senior Center is located at 316 Good Ave., Nyssa. Lunches are served at 11:30 a.m. every Tuesday and Thursday. Game nights are held from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Thursdays, and there are other activities scheduled at the center each month, such as foot clinics, potlucks, dancing and gospel music. For information, call (541) 372-5660.

The New Plymouth Senior Center is located at 126 N. New Plymouth Ave., New Plymouth. Meals are offered to people of all ages at noon Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. The center also offers Meals on Wheels for those who qualify and has a bus for transportation. Other activities include a support group for people with impaired vision, monthly foot clinics and bingo. For more informa-

tion, call (208) 278-5320. The Vale Senior Center is located at 182 Cottage St. S., Vale. Senior meals are served at 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Monday through Thursday, with a potluck on Fridays. For more information, call (541) 473-2005. The Weiser Senior Center, located 115 E. Main, Weiser, serves lunch every day, Monday through Friday, at noon. For more information, call (208) 414-0750.

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INDEPENDENT ENTERPRISE WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 2011 / ARGUS OBSERVER SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 2011

are all very aware and interested in what’s out there. “Seniors need to be exposed to technology, and this class starts them here.” She said more computer-related courses will be taught next quarter, including an introductory Internet class, and she hopes a sequence of computer classes along those lines can be planned. Sheryl Romans, program coordinator for community education at TVCC, said every quarter there are classes that are geared toward seniors, although there is a crossover between students. Computer classes, she said, have always been very popular, and the curriculum is revamped to adjust with updates in computers. In addition to a lesson plan that is very hands-on and designed to move at a slower speed to accommodate new learners, the computer basics class also comes with a textbook that students get to keep and can use at home, Romans said. The “Senior Surf” class, which teaches the ins and outs of surfing the internet is also very popular, Romans said, as is a digital camera class. The classes are extremely important, Romans said, “because there aren’t any

other places for these folks to go and learn.” Often, she said, when seniors want to learn more about their computers, they ask a child or a grandchild for help, but often they are too busy, and it is just easier for the seniors to come and take a class at TVCC among their own peers. “This is just a better way for them to learn,” Romans said. TVCC offers other classes for seniors too, including senior aerobics classes and other classes not specifically designed with them in mind but enjoyed by them as well. In the future, Romans said she is thinking about arranging a class just focused on new technology, such as the Kindle, the latest cell phones and other new gadgets that are becoming popular and mainstream. She also would like to offer some gardening classes for seniors. “I’m always trying to find something that I think will be of interest to this particular group,” Romans said. She said the community education department is also very interested in hearing what classes community members and senior citizens would like to have. “Anytime they bring anything to us, we will do our durndest to make it happen,” she said.


INDEPENDENT ENTERPRISE WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 2011 / ARGUS OBSERVER SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 2011

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Retirement Redefined Q1