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News briefs: September 2013

Volunteer Guild celebrates 40 years at Legacy Mount Hood Medical Center

The Volunteer Guild at Legacy Mount Hood Medical Center celebrates its 40-year anniversary in September.

The late Mabel Lewis founded the Gresham Community Hospital Auxiliary, now the Volunteer Guild, in September 1973. Affectionately called the “Sunshine Ladies” for their bright yellow jackets and smiles, the original volunteers sorted and distributed mail, delivered meals, watered plants, fed patients and provided wheelchair assistance to patients and families.

Today, volunteers serve in more than 25 areas within the hospital. Among other tasks, they use electronic record databases, visit patients' rooms, maintain the Healing Garden, serve in the gift shop and provide administrative support.

Though change is frequent in health care, some traditions never fade at Legacy Mount Hood. Since forming in the 1970s, volunteers continue to sew large stockings for babies during the holidays. December babies go home from the Family Birth Center inside festive red stockings.

“Our service lines continue to expand and grow while meeting the needs of our communities,” said Gretchen Nichols, R.N., the chief administrative officer at Legacy Mount Hood, “and the Volunteer Guild continues to support our staff, visitors and patients.”

The Volunteer Guild falls under the Volunteer Services program, and primarily fundraises for patient and family projects in the hospital and community. The group has donated more than $1 million the past four decades. The most recent pledge was $50,000 toward the Breast Health Center, located on Legacy Mount Hood’s campus, in Medical Office Building 3.

“We’re family,” said Kathy Coutts, president of the Volunteer Guild, “and we are proud to serve our community.”

Learn something new at the Senior Studies Institute

The Senior Studies Institute of Portland Community College offers an array of classes during fall term. This all-volunteer group of 350 members, now in its 23rd year, presents 25 classes along with Current Events, Playreading and Poetry Fun each term at eight locations in the Portland area.

Most classes are only two hours long, so joining at any time is encouraged. Seniors can enjoy such topics as Tualatin River Keepers, Cruising the Volga, Greek Theater, American Revolution, Piano Blues, Pirates of the Caribbean, Electric Cars, A Culinary Adventure, Political Cartoonists, Scenic Columbia Gorge and a Food Innovation Center Tour, to name just a few. It costs only $30 each year to join the SSI.

“We learn from each other, and we never stop learning” is the motto of this group that offers social activities as well as classes.

For more information, visit pcc.edu/ssi or call Kathy or Tony at 503-228-2488.

SSI hosts orientation Sept. 6

Get acquainted with the Senior Studies Institute at the annual orientation Friday, Sept. 6, at the Lake Oswego Adult Community Center, 505 G Ave., Lake Oswego. Light refreshments will be served at 8:30 a.m., followed by a program at 9.

Learn about the history of SSI, along with classes, locations and other social activities the program offers. There's no obligation to join, but membership forms will be available.

Join the Walk to End Alzheimer's Sept. 8 in Portland

Nearly one in three seniors who dies each year in the United States has Alzheimer's disease or other dementia. But the fight is on against the disease that takes an increasing toll on our elderly, and thousands of area residents will join the battle Sunday, Sept. 8, at the 2013 Walk to End Alzheimer's, organized by the Alzheimer's Association Oregon Chapter.

The walk — which falls on National Grandparents Day — takes place at Portland International Raceway, 1940 N. Victory Blvd. Registration is at noon, and the walk starts at 2 p.m. Participants can start or join fund-raising teams by signing up online at alz.org/walk or calling Kara Busick at 503-416-0209.

Each walker will join in a tribute ceremony to honor those affected by Alzheimer's. Information about the disease, support programs and services, clinical drug trials and more will be available. A classic car show and Kidz Zone activities also are part of the event.

Walk to End Alzheimer's events are held every fall all over the country. Last year nearly 40,000 teams and more than 364,000 people participated in walks, raising more than $51.8 million.

Help out at the Hollywood Senior Center

The Hollywood Senior Center offers several new opportunities for volunteers who enjoy people and want to make a real difference in the lives of older adults.

Volunteer assistance is needed at the reception desk, thrift shop, special events, and lunch and pancake breakfasts, among other areas. Schedules are flexible; volunteers usually are asked to make a commitment of two to four hours.

The Hollywood Senior Center, 1820 N.E. 40th Ave. in Portland, is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and on the third Saturday of each month. For more information, call Ann, 503-288-8303, ext. 109, or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The Springs Living takes home first win at Bite of Oregon

The Springs Living became the first retirement community ever to enter the culinary competition at The Bite of Oregon, which took place Aug. 9-11 at Portland’s Waterfront Park. On top of that, it won the Best Presentation category for the most beautifully presented food.

All items at The Springs’ booth regularly appear on the menus at The Springs’ retirement communities. At The Bite, the culinary choices included caprese salad on a skewer, fruit cup with poppy seed dressing, The Springs’ chopped salad with grilled chicken and a pesto salmon BLT sandwich.

“For three days, the general public of Portland ate as our senior residents do, with fresh-made, delicious items on the menu,” said Chef Alan Roteman. He said about eight months went into planning the creation of new dishes and test runs before the retirement communities had their new menus in place.

About 50 staff members from seven of The Springs Living Portland-area communities staffed the booth.

The Springs Living owns and operates 10 retirement communities in Oregon and Montana, including facilities in Hillsboro, Lake Oswego, Milwaukie, Salem, Sherwood, The Dalles and Wilsonville. For more information, visit www.thespringsliving.com or call 503-435-2323.

Healthy aging: it's all about diet and exercise

There's no time like Healthy Aging Month — September — for a reminder that exercise and healthful eating can help prevent disease and injury as we get older. Here are three tips from Dr. David Perlmutter, a board-certified neurologist, fellow of the American College of Nutrition and author of “The Better Brain Book” and "Power Up Your Brain,” on how older adults can increase longevity and maintain their health.

n Take 800 to 1,000 mg of DHA every day. Studies have shown that DHA (an omega-3 fatty acid) is associated with a reduction in risk for Alzheimer's disease. Additionally, omega-3 fatty acids can reduce the risk of death in the elderly and may even increase lifespan, according to recent research from the Harvard School of Public Health and the University of Washington.

n Get 20 minutes of aerobic exercise, uninterrupted, at least six times a week. Research shows that exercise activates genes that code for enhanced levels of BDNF, the brain's growth hormone. Increased BDNF translates into increased growth of new cells in the brain's memory center and is correlated with improved memory function.

n Find out if you are gluten sensitive. As many as 30 percent of Americans may be gluten sensitive. Some research suggests that gluten sensitivity might increase the risk of dementia.

Adventist Health opens Willamette View medical office

Adventist Heath Medical Group now is offering primary care services to the public at its location on the Willamette View campus in Milwaukie. The medical office is open weekdays and is staffed with primary care providers.

Adventist Health and Willamette View, a senior residential community, began a collaboration more than a year ago, when Adventist was asked to provide Willamette View residents and employees health services. The partnership is now growing to include care for people of all ages in Milwaukie and surrounding communities.

The medical office is in the Plaza building on the Willamette View campus, 13021 S.E. River Road.

For more information, visit www.adventisthealthnw.com or call 503-343-5548.