Register now for the ‘What Are Old People For’ Event on October 16

You are invited to

What Are Old People For?

    Building A Community For All Ages

Join us to learn about the progress of the Age-Friendly Portland & Multnomah County initiatives, how to become engaged in the community-based effort, and to hear Dr. Janet Taylor’s keynote presentation on the value of older adults as it relates to diversity, equity and inclusion.

Keynote presentation will be delivered by Janet Taylor, MD.
Janet is a Community Psychiatrist in New York City. She is a frequent contributor to the CBS  “The Early Show”, NBC “The Today Show”, CNN, MSNBC and’s webcast, “Mom’s Get Real”.  She also has a  column in Family Circle magazine is titled, “Ask Dr. Jane”.
October 16th
Warner Pacific  College
2219 SE 68th Ave.
Portland, OR 97215
Main Campus
(68th & SE Division)

Sponsored by:
AARP Oregon, Portland State University Institute on Aging  & Multnomah County 

What Are Old People For? Building A Community For All Ages

You are invited to

What Are Old People For?



Building A Community For All Ages

Join us to learn about the progress of the Age Friendly Portland Initiative and how you can be part of this fantastic community engagement effort.

Keynote will be delivered by Janet Taylor, MD.
Janet is a Community Psychiatrist in New York City. She is a frequent contributor to the CBS  “The Early Show”, NBC “The Today Show”, CNN, MSNBC and’s webcast, “Mom’s Get Real”.  She also has a  column in Family Circle magazine is titled, “Ask Dr. Janet”
Dr. Janet will be discussing a global perspective on the value of older adults as it relates to diversity, equity and inclusion.
Come and listen to local advocates, representatives and community members about our next steps in the Age Friendly Portland movement.
Registration will begin in September, 2015.


 Friday, October 16th   9:30-11:30am


Warner Pacific  College

McGuire Auditorium

2219 SE 68th Ave. Portland, OR 97215


Fred Meyer Community Rewards Program


You can help Elders in Action donations just by shopping with your Fred Meyer Rewards Card!

Fred Meyer is donating $2.5 million per year to non-profits in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington, based on where their customers tell them to give.

Here’s how the program works:

  • You can search for Elders in Action by our name or by our non-profit number  Then, every time you shop and use your Rewards Card, you are helping Elders in Action earn a donation!
  • You still earn your Rewards Points, Fuel Points, and Rebates, just as you do today. If you do not have a Rewards Card, they are available at the Customer Service desk of any Fred Meyer store.

For more information, please visit







Elaine Wells Champions Access to Transportation

Elaine 1

For 25 years, Elaine Wells, Executive Director of Ride Connection, has devoted her life to helping create safe, reliable transportation options that meet the needs of older adults, people with disabilities and others.

A self-proclaimed “transportation nerd,” Wells believes that transportation is a civil right. “Access to transportation promotes independence,” explains Wells. “It allows people to stay mobile and connect with the community, go to work, shop for food, get to a meal site – and much more.”

In 1990, Wells started her Ride Connection career with the organization that was then named Volunteer Transportation, Inc. as the Risk Manager and Training Coordinator. In 1994 when she became the Executive Director she was the sole employee of the organization; Ride Connection. Her passion, vision, and holistic approach to transportation helped grow the organization to its current size of nearly 90 staff. Ride Connection and its partners primarily serve older adults (aged 60 and over) and individuals with disabilities in Clackamas, Multnomah, and Washington Counties.

Ride Connection is a non-profit organization that works with a network of more than 30 community partners, such as Elders in Action (EIA), to provide and coordinate transportation options at no cost to clients. These options, tailored to an individual’s needs, range from providing rides, transit fare support, travel training or transportation information.

In fiscal year 2014, Ride Connection provided more than 435,000 trips and 225 travel trainings. “The number of people we serve has rapidly increased, but there are not enough resources to respond to everyone,” laments Wells. “Last year we had to turn down 28,000 trips.” She adds that donor and volunteer support go a long way in helping Ride Connection respond to community members’ needs.

“We depend on Elders in Action a lot,” says Wells. “There is a great deal of common ground around our services and we’re looking for more avenues for collaboration.” Because EIA has expertise in advocacy and protecting the rights of older adults and people with disabilities, Wells believes that EIA can help educate public officials about the increase in transportation needs and that Ride Connection can build on EIA’s skills in advocacy and civic engagement.

With Wells at the helm, Ride Connection is in extremely capable hands. She was recognized as Transit Manager of the Year by the Community Transportation Association of American (CTAA) and as Outstanding Executive Director by Portland Monthly Magazine’s “Light a Fire” award. Wells is currently a member of the Oregon Transit Association (OTA) Board of Directors, a CTAA Board member and serves on various other transportation advocacy and service committees and commissions.

To get more information on Ride Connection and its transportation services, visit or call 503-528-1720. To find out how you can personally support the gift of mobility, check out

by Barbara Schuetze

Elders in Action’s New Executive Director – Barbara Bernstein

Barbara Bernstein Executive Director

Barbara Bernstein
Executive Director

I am excited to have accepted the position of Executive Director of Elders in Action offered to me by the Board of Directors last Thursday. I will officially begin my position May 18th. I feel privileged to have been offered this position for many reasons, among them:

  • I will continue to work with a small team of dedicated professionals who care deeply about older adults and are thinking creatively about how to serve this growing population.
  • Elders in Action has a Board that describes itself as a working Board -and it is! From fundraising to elevating the discussion of equity to the top of the priority list, our Board is dedicated to moving this organization forward.
  • I work with amazing volunteers (135) who last year contributed 12,175 hours of service providing for the needs and interests of older adults through four key programs: the Civic Involvement & the Elders in Action Commission, Personal Advocacy, Age Friendly Business Program and Community Engagement & Education. Our staff provides the framework for these programs but our volunteers are doing the work!
  • I can engage community partners and with them, puzzle through the challenge of ensuring our programs are inclusive and welcoming to a more diverse population.

I am ready to build on the 45 years of experience Elders in Action has in advocacy on behalf of older adults in our community. Since its inception Elders in Action has had a solid financial foundation through contracts with the City of Portland and Multnomah County. Our growth has been slow but steady but this trajectory is no longer adequate. The Board is committed to expanding our network of supporters and as we approach our 50th birthday (in three years), I look forward to all we can do together -volunteers, staff and Board!


Only two weeks until Silver-A Night to Remember.


Only two weeks until Silver-A Night to Remember. We hope you will join us at Elders in Action‘s annual fundraiser at the Tiffany Center, 
1410 Southwest Morrison Street, Portland, OR 97205, on
May 8th, 2015 from 5:00-7:00 p.m.
If you haven’t yet purchased your tickets then you can click here.
(a portion of the ticket is tax deductible)
Need a little extra impetus to push that button?
Check out some of the wonderful packages that will be available at the Live Auction.

One week in the South of France 

  • Apartment in Sanary-sur-Mer, in an off the beaten path location – where the French vacation!
  • Three one hour French lessons
  • One hour trip-planning to France with former headmaster of the French School

3 Days at Cannon Beach

Three nights at Hutchins House, a house on the National Historic Register.
~ A Cottage on Dream Street ~
One house back from ocean front at Cannon Beach


Holiday Party for 14

A fully hosted party for 14 friends and family members during the holiday season in December with wine, beer, spirits and catering.
Join in with your friends to purchase a night of elegant culinary delight!

Hesitate no longer! Get your tickets today to begin enjoying many memorable days and nights with Elders in Action.

All Proceeds Benefit Elders in Action’s Programs and Services

Role Models Matter

Message from Elders in Action Blog Editor, Barbara Schuetze

I was fortunate to have grown up with a mother who was vibrant, loving and engaged with her family, friends and community. Couldn’t have asked for a better role model.

My mother, Miriam Friedlander, lived life to its fullest until the last week of her life in 2010, when she passed away at the age of 86. She overcame many obstacles, experienced much joy and had many interests and passions including social action, politics, education, the arts, cooking, writing poetry, volunteering and travel.

My interest in being fully engaged in life and in the community — and my affinity for writing was inspired by my mother. And so was my positive attitude about aging. When I decided to devote more time to volunteering, I searched for an organization in the community that would be a good match. Elders in Action was a natural. After meeting with staff, I realized that one way I could contribute was by collaborating with the Elders in Action team to help write and edit their blog.

To keep the content in our blog interesting and relevant, we’ve added new forums, including personal essays, poetry, etc. (500 words or less) by older adults. We look forward to receiving personal writing from you that speaks to personal, community and societal issues facing older adults.

Please send us feedback so we can provide you with the type of information you want. We encourage you to email us at or call Mark Noonan at 503-235-5474. Our mailing address is: Elders in Action, 1411 SW Morrison St., Suite 290, Portland, OR 97205

To launch our new “personal writing” feature, we’re including a poem written by my mother that expresses her positive attitude on aging.


Barbara Schuetze

Miriam and Barbara circa 1984

Miriam and Barbara circa 1984

Vintage People Unite

I’m a woman who has lived 60 years. My hair is gray, almost white.

I have liver spots and some wrinkles and I don’t care. I’m not buying that Madison Avenue “garbage”.

I’ve been working from within. Aging is not a disease — it is a natural process. I have found that I am unique, authentic and rare, as we all are.

I am not an old, elderly, senior citizen, over-the-hill, retired, aged, menopausal, decrepit, crotchety, senile, sundowner person — as some people like to refer to “vintage people.”

Just think, I have lived through being born breach, two older sisters, two marriages, the death of both parents, birthing three children, one hurricane, an earthquake, the depression, two operations, one heart attack, some awful teachers, driving on freeways, thousands of miles of air travel, the flu, some enemies and as Yul Brenner would say, “Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.”

I have been going through my tape. You know, the one in my brain, that plays back all I’ve ever learned, and I’m making erasures of negative attitudes toward “vintage people.”

I realize that people will pay $150 for a vintage bottle of wine to be guzzled in one hour. Travel miles to find antiques, vintage clothing, rare vintage books. Go to the corners of the earth for cheese that has ripened, perhaps even molded, and sigh with ecstasy upon eating it.

Going through important attitudinal changes is important. I’m going through my third stage of life and am grateful that nature has afforded me this time. Nature has been good and plentiful to me. I’m reaping my harvest. I have helped nurture the seeds by fertilizing them with love and watering them with tears of sadness and joy.

I’m grateful for my harvest of loving family and friends.

I invite you, vintage and prospective vintage people, to join me.

Listen to you internal tapes. Become aware!

© Miriam Friedlander 1984

New Forum for Sharing Your Ideas, Personal Stories and Accomplishments

Barbara Bernstein Interim Executive Director

Barbara Bernstein
Interim Executive Director

Greetings!  Elders in Action is about sharing experience and creating a vibrant community for all ages through the active engagement of older adults.

We’re introducing some new features on our blog in order to recognize the accomplishments of older adults in our community and provide an outlet for you to publish your thoughts and feelings on aging. We’ll also be including informational articles on matters relating to aging and advocacy.

Our new blog forums will include: 

  • Profiles of older adults who have made a difference and continue to be actively involved in our community
  • Personal essays, short stories, poetry, etc. (500 words or less) that speak to the personal, community and societal issues facing older adults.
  • Articles related to advocacy for older adults and other aging issues to help inform everyone in our community

We’ve also added an experienced editor, freelance writer Barbara Schuetze, to help us write and edit the blog. Our goal is to keep the content relevant to older adults and their advocates in the community.

Please email or mail us your questions, personal writing to consider for inclusion, as well as suggestions for exceptional older adults in the community to potentially recognize.

Write to us at:

Elders in Action, 1411 SW Morrison St., Suite 290, Portland, OR 97205.  Or you can email us at

Feedback is the best way for us to give you the type of information you want. We encourage you to email us or call Mark at 503-235-5474.

Also, you can help spread the word about the services that Elders in Action offers and introduce others to our new, enhanced blog. We hope you’ll take a minute to email the following URLs to friends and colleagues:  (Elders in Action Blog)  (Elders in Action Home Page)

Stay in touch and let us know what you think.

Thank you!

Barbara Bernstein