Neighbors Helping Neighbors Age in Place 
Newsletter of
Northeast Village PDX  
Northeast Village PDX is a group of neighbors in Northeast Portland, Oregon, who are creating a membership organization that will help seniors in the area stay in their own homes as they age - by providing volunteers to help with rides, simple home repairs,  friendly visits, and light yard work, as well as professional services (plumbing, electrical, care giving and others). This newsletter will keep you up to date on the steps the Village is taking to achieve its goals.
November/December -- In This Issue:

November-December 2018
Introduction to NE Village 
The next Introduction to NE Village PDX session will occur  Monday, November 5 at 9:30 - 11:00 am at the Hollywood Senior Center, 1820 NE 40th Avenue.

Anyone who is interested in learning more about the Village movement in general, and Northeast Village PDX in particular are urged to attend.  No need to RSVP - just show up.
Holiday Office Closures
  • Monday, November 12th -
    Veterans Day
  • Thursday, November 22 & Friday, November 23rd -
  • Monday, December 24th through December 26th-
  • Monday, December 31st & Tuesday, January 1st, 2019 -
    New Years
  • Monday January 21st -
    Martin Luther King Day
Fine Arts + Cool Crafts Show

Start off November with this Friday night show featuring unique, handmade quality items by local artists. Enjoy wine, small bites, and live jazz while you shop.
When : Friday, Nov. 2, 2018, 4-8 pm
Where : Northeast Community Center, 1630 NE 38th Ave.
Flu shots are free, no prescription needed, and now is the time! 
Flu shots are free for those enrolled in Medicare. No health provider's prescription is needed. Participating pharmacies offer them now. Ask your pharmacy or the major drug stores and large grocery stores with pharmacies.
Upcoming Programs & Events
Don't forget to check out all of the events happening in the Northeast Village in November  - s ee our website calendar for full listing and 

Here are some new and/or special events to consider

Members and Volunteers 
Interested in joining with others to see and discuss movies? We want to meet you! Please come to this organizational gathering where we will discuss how we want the group to work and what movies we want to see.
Monday November 19,
4:00 pm
Iconic Lounge, 2226 NE Broadway
No reservation required.
Interested but can't make it to the gathering? Please email one of us:
Members Only
Want to use your smartphone to arrange a ride through Uber or Lyft? 

Ruth Romer, tech-savvy NEV volunteer, will show you how to download the apps, help you set up an account and take you through the process of using Uber or Lyft for transportation from start to finish. 
Monday November 26,
10:00 - 11:30 am
Rose City Park United Methodist Church, 5830 NE Alameda

Reservation required: If you would like to attend, please contact the NEV office at 503-895-2750 or
Members and Volunteers 
HAPPY HOUR to support the Oregon Food Bank
Help others enjoy the holidays: we ask everyone attending this Happy Hour to donate a food item which we will deliver to the Oregon Food Bank. 
Thursday November 29,
4:00 - 6:00 pm
Petite Provence
1824 NE Alberta

Reservation required:  If you would like to attend, please RSVP to the NEV office by phone or email. 503-895-2750 or  The deadline for reservations is November 26.
The Do's and Don't's of Autumn Gardening
As we look at our wilting vines and think about pulling them out, we need to stop for a minute and think. There are things we could do at this particular moment that will affect the heath of the garden. Not just the plants but the garden.
Maintaining soil structure
Good soil relies on structure. Part of that structure comes from clumps of organic material that create little pockets called pores. The pores allow for both air and water to move through the soil. 
But good structure relies on the soil being disturbed as little as possible. So instead of pulling the plant out by the roots, clip off what you can at soil level. Decaying roots leave channels that help with both water and air movement with minimal disruption to the soil itself.  
Feeding the soil
It's a bit of an adage that we feed the soil and the soil feeds the plants. Still, it's a useful way of looking at the process. The soil is not just a base but a mixture of organic material, non-organic material, bacteria, worms, and some fungus. All of these are needed.  
When I pulled out a driveway that had been there since 1924, I assumed that the soil underneath was dead. So after removing a couple of tons of rock, I dumped in all the leaves I could find and added a little feather meal and bacteria. I used the leaves for organic matter, the feather meal to feed the bacteria, and the bacteria to slowly release the nutrients. It worked.
When we are feeding the soil, we might remember that the soil feeds the plants. So we might ask ourselves what plants need. According to my basic botany texts, plants need primary nutrients, secondary nutrients, and trace nutrients. 
We need the primary probably every year, the secondary only every couple of years, and the trace nutrients rarely. We could buy and apply some liquid fertilizer, but that would be like eating straight honey for breakfast. Too much too fast with a good deal of waste and even some ill effects. It would also not give us everything we need. It makes more sense for us to have cereal or toast, and for our garden to have materials that need to be broken down. 
The process gives the plants a regular supply and feeds the soil at the same time. I made our first fertilizer for our garden out of things like feather meal and ground rock. With enough bacteria in the soil, these materials break down slowly and keep producing a regular supply of nutrients.  
Short-term storage
While bacteria breaks down organic compounds, not everything is broken down. A material that surrounds the cell wall remains. The material attaches to the released nutrients and holds onto them until the plant needs them.
Exposing soil to sunlight breaks down this material. So keeping the soil covered at all times is a good idea. In winter we use a mulch of semi-composted leaves. In summer we use a mulch that contains wood fiber. In the natural world, organic materials break down on the surface. 
Even though you might want to amend your soil the first time you build a planter bed, repeatedly turning over the soil is not only unnecessary but also destructive.
Any questions? Send me an email:
--Kehrnan  Shaw 
Medicare Open Enrollment Underway
Medicare open enrollment runs from October 15 to December 7. Make sure that your current Medicare Advantage plan or stand-alone Part D drug plan really meets your health needs. There are a number of changes to these plans this year. It is a good time to review your needs and your health insurance and make changes if necessary.
    SHIBA reps are ready to help.
You can get in-person help from the Oregon Senior Health Insurance Benefits Assistance Program (SHIBA). Trained volunteers can answer questions and even help you change your enrollment.
  • In Multnomah County, call 503-988-3646 to make an appointment for one-on-one counseling with a SHIBA volunteer. These sessions are available at multiple locations, dates, and times.
  • At the State level, you can call 1-800-722-4134 for help or check the SHIBA website:
Or, you can do the review on your own. There are a number of tools to help:
  • Look at the notices you have received from your current plan.
  • Go to and use the Medicare Plan Finder tool.
  • Call 1-800-MEDICARE.
If you choose the personal counseling session or use SHIBA assistance in any way, you may want to let the county, the state, and your congressman and senators know how the session went and whether it helped you with important health care decisions. The SHIBA volunteer program is funded by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid through the National State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) .
Do you have your new Medicare card?
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid are issuing new Medicare cards to everyone who has Medicare. The new card uses a unique combination of numbers and letters rather than a Social Security number in order to protect you from identity theft. Most Oregonians should have received their new card by now and should use that rather than the old card. Destroy the old card.
Unfortunately, you still need to watch out for scams. Medicare will never call you uninvited or ask for personal or private information in order to get your new Medicare number and card.
Scam artists may try to get personal information (like your current Medicare number) by contacting you about your new card. If someone asks you for your information or money, or threatens to cancel your health benefits if you don't share personal information, hang up and call 1-800-MEDICARE.
If you haven't received your new card yet, you may need to update your address on file with Social Security ( S SA.go v ). You can also call 1-800- MEDICARE to find out the status of your card.
New Supplemental Benefits

Starting in 2019 and expanding in 2020 when the CHRONIC Care Act goes into effect, nearly 270 Medicare Advantage plans will be providing an estimated 1.5 million enrollees new types of supplemental benefits. 
These can include expanded health-related supplemental benefits, such as adult day care services and in-home and caregiver support services. For members with certain conditions, such as diabetes and congestive heart failure, a reduction in cost sharing and additional benefits may be available. Check with your plan or other plans available to you in 2019 to see if they are offering new supplemental benefits. The decision to offer supplemental benefits is made by individual plans.
--Anne Lindsay
More ISO Volunteers Will Help Our Community
AARP Foundation Tax-Aide provides free tax preparation for low and moderate income taxpayers. More people could be helped if there were more volunteers. There are a number of roles for volunteers.
  • Preparers are trained and IRS certified. Tax-Aide and CASH OREGON provide the training and support. Experience isn't necessary.  
  • Client Facilitators welcome the taxpayers, help them organize their materials, and manage the overall workflow
  • Translators are needed for various languages

I n our area, north of Burnside and west of 102nd there are 10 sites. We did over 2000 returns bringing over $400,000 earned income credit into the community. The supersite at Lloyd Center did another 2300 returns. More taxpayers could have been helped with more preparers.
If you are interested in volunteering in our community, find out how by attending an orientation session. Sign up to be invited to an orientation session at:
How to Live a Greener Life: Water
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (
IPCC) recently released its most dire predictions yet regarding the impact of climate change. 
One area addressed is water scarcity, a situation already having devastating effects world wide in the forms of fires, floods, droughts, deaths, and "climate refugees" escaping intolerable conditions.
Water consumption is so complex that it's hard to know where to start in cutting back. We read about not letting the water run, using the dishwasher vs. hand washing, watering the yard early in the morning, planting drought tolerant plants, taking shorter showers, etc. What we don't read is how to incorporate these behaviors into our lives. Luckily, Behavioral Sciences can help. As an example, we'll use reducing the water consumed in teeth brushing. The behavioral principles below can be applied to almost any sustainable behavior you want to incorporate into your life.
  • Start small. Trying to decrease water use in every facet of our lives sets us up for failure. Focus on one simple behavior, in this case, water use during teeth brushing.

  • Be specific. We have a greater chance of succeeding when we know exactly how we will achieve lasting behavior change. For example, "I will reduce water consumption by turning off the tap except when I need water," i.e., "I won't let the water run the entire time I brush."
  • Incorporate feedback. In this case, you are accountable only to yourself. Keep a daily tally of your performance.

  • Don't miss a learning experience! We keep a tally for a reason. When you forget your new behavior, write down something you might do to help yourself remember in the future. You might tie a red string around your toothbrush as a reminder or put a note on the mirror. What throws most people off is that they judge themselves negatively if they forget. Virtually everyone forgets!
  • Reward Yourself. Give yourself a reward that is valuable to you, e.g., ice cream, a movie, or a lazy afternoon. The important thing is choosing a reward that is meaningful to you and actually giving it to yourself. The biggest reward may be knowing you are playing a part in the fight against climate change. What we do collectively will have an impact on generations to come.
For an excellent discussion on reducing water use, use this link .
--Tracy McDonald         (The IPCC report is at this link .
On the Nightstand:  
The Gift of Caring: Saving our Parents from the Perils of Modern Healthcare
by Marcy Cottrell Houle, MS, and Elizabeth Eckstrom, MD, MPH
This is an eminently readable and moving personal account of a Portland family's experience with end-of-life care. The narrative is written by Marcy Houle and describes her parents' decline, illness, and death. She frankly details her family's difficulties, including their unpreparedness to recognize symptoms and access medical and social resources, and their anxiety and frustration as they searched for advocacy and support.  She just as openly tells of the humorous, joyful, and fulfilling moments that also arose on their journey.

The narrative is interwoven with chapters headed "What I Wish I Had Known," written by geriatrician Elizabeth Eckstrom.  These chapters abound with information, resources, and recommendations for avoiding/ameliorating pitfalls and problems.

The authors also address medical, lifestyle, and social aspects, such as the need to spend time outdoors, exercise, and have plenty of contact with family and friends.  They teach the differences among symptoms of dementias, delirium, and dehydration--critical differences when it comes to diagnosis.  The ten-page Beers list of "Drugs Seniors Should Not Be On" is appendixed.  They also stress the importance of support for caregivers.

This book not only points out multiple crises in elder and dementia care (e.g., physician education--predicting that there soon will be one geriatrician for every 8,000 patients who need one), but also provides strong suggestions for improving our elders' prospects for better health and well-being.

Books Villagers Have Recommended

Title & Author
Recommended By
No One Has to Die Alone: Preparing for a Meaningful Death
by Lani Leary
Leanne Logan

Ragtime   - by E. L. Doctorow
Ken Kipnis
The Warmth of Other Suns
by Isabel Wilkerson

Pat Vivian 

The Underground Railroad
by Colson Whitehead
Joe Condon
Empire of Cotton 
by  Sven Beckert
Phyllis Bekemeyer
Mornings in Jenin
by Susan Abulhawa
Phyllis Bekemeyer
Seven Brief Lessons on Physics 
Carlo Rovelli
Suzanne Silverstein 
Hands of My Father
by Myron Uhlberg
Suzanne Silverstein
Seeing Voices:  a Journey into the World of the Deaf - by Oliver Sacks
Suzanne Silverstein
Astoria - by  Peter Stark
Marcia Angelos
A Dolores Huerta Reader 
by  Mario T. Garcia
Arcia Wilson
Nine Stories - by J. D. Salinger
Carmen Farmer
More Than Human
by Theodore Sturgeon
Carmen Farmer
Cutting from Stone
by  AbrahamVerghese
Elizabeth Weber
A Gentleman in Moscow
Amor Towles
Vonnie Condon
Anything is Possible
by Elizabeth Strout
Vonnie Condon
Enlightenment Now
by Steven Pinker
Dale Bailey
The Brain that Changes Itself
by Norman Doidge
Pamela Martin

Village Boundaries
Northeast Village PDX is a member of the Villages NW tax-exempt network.

For more information, contact:

Northeast Village PDX

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