Archive for February, 2007

Senior Center Self-Assessment

The Joint Committee on Senior Centers is comprised of members of the Pennsylvania Association of Senior Centers, the Pennsylvania Association of Area Agencies on Aging and the Pennsylvania Department of Aging. They have a number of other resources, Learn about items of Special Interest

The following checklist has been designed to help you think about your Center from the “first impression” perspective. These are some of the things you could be looking at in your Center to prepare to make a positive, lasting impression on those who come to your Center.

If you are answering “no” to questions, you may want to look at modifying or improving that item. For best results, have a person who is unfamiliar with the Center complete the survey. Problems that we see on a daily basis can sometimes become “invisible” to our eyes.

This checklist can help prepare your Center to be in the best position possible for welcoming the new seniors who respond to the Senior Center Marketing Initiative of June 2002. Prepared by the Joint Committee on Senior Centers, February 2002.

The checklist is available as a pdf file here,

Compare this checklist with the one for the Bethel senior center, When you visit the senior center https://theelderlies.wordpress.com/2005/08/06/when-you-visit-the-senior-center/ and try it out, Grabbing public toilets https://theelderlies.wordpress.com/2006/10/24/grabbing-public-toilets/ or Visit Bethel Alaska’s Eddie Hoffman Senior Center

1 OUTSIDE AREAS

1. Is there clear signage identifying the location of the Center from the road?
2. Is a sign posted next to or above the entrance door to the Center so participants can easily find it upon approach to the Center?
3. Is the building exterior free from peeling paint or other repairs?
4. Is the parking lot free from debris and weeds?
5. Is the walkway and parking lot adequately lighted?
6. Are the shrubs, outside plants and lawn well maintained?
7. Are outside walkways free of hazardous objects, including debris, weeds and uneven or broken steps?
8. Is outdoor furniture clean and in good shape?
9. Is there easy access for individuals with disabilities?
10. Are rails leading to the doors secure and well maintained?
11. Are curbs painted to signify distinction of levels?
12. Is the outside of the Center attractive and inviting?

2 INSIDE AREAS

1. Is there adequate lighting in rooms, corridors, elevators and stairways?
2. Are guests acknowledged promptly when they enter your Center?
3. Would the atmosphere be characterized as pleasant?
4. Is there a pleasant smell when entering the Center?
5. Is the Center clean enough to meet your personal standards?
6. Is the area inside clutter free, not only on the floor, but also in the space surrounding it?
7. Is the furniture attractive and easy to get in and out of?
8. Is the furniture arranged to promote interaction and conversation?
9. Are magazines, books or other materials for activities neatly stacked and out of the path of travel?
10. Are curtains and window treatments clean and in good condition?
11. Is there an easy to find and easy to read bulletin board with activities, meal schedules and other current information?
12. Is the activity board or other written materials hanging at a readable level for elderly persons of different heights?
13. Are certificates and licenses posted, if required?
14. Is the lighting adequate for older persons?
15. Is the dining area attractive and inviting?
16. Are participants able to sit where they want during meal times without being assigned?
17. Is the kitchen clean and inviting?
18. Is the meal contribution policy, sign-in sheet, and contribution box easy to locate?
19. Does the noise level allow for conversations and quiet activities?

3 SAFETY

1. Are changes in floor levels or coverings distinct enough to prevent tripping?
2. Are carpets free from wear and frayed ends?
3. Are small rugs and runners slip-resistant and non-moving?
4. Are lamp, extension and telephone cords placed out of the flow of traffic?
5. Are chairs sturdy and not easily tipped?
6. Are there handrails in hallways and grab bars in bathrooms?
7. Are written emergency evacuation plans with center floor plans posted throughout the Center?
8. Is a fire extinguisher easy to find and do participants know how to use one?
9. Are emergency numbers posted near the phone?
10. Are smoke detectors properly located and in working condition?
11. Are hallways, passageways between rooms, and other heavy traffic areas equally well lit?
12. Are exits and passageways free from clutter?
13. In the kitchen area, are towels, curtains, and other things that might catch fire located away from the range?
14. Are all extension cords and appliance cords located away from the sink or range areas?
15. Are emergency exits clearly marked?
16. Is emergency lighting functional and adequate?

4 PROGRAM AND SERVICES

1. Are the Center hours and days of operation posted for participants?
2. Can Center hours be changed or altered if requested?
3. Is access to computers and the internet available?
4. Does the Center offer a wide variety of activities for different interests?
5. Are fitness activities offered regularly?
6. Are participants involved with planning activities?
7. Are costs for activities known to individuals?
8. Are other community groups or non-profits involved with Center activities?
9. Are you conducting marketing/advertising activities in your local area?
10. Are you making use of internet technology for advertising?
11. Are newsletters listing activities and menus given or sent to participants on a regular basis?
12. Is there a posted calendar of activities or a newsletter available for people who enter the Center?
13. Are new participants given an orientation to the Center?
14. Is there a welcoming committee made up of current participants to help make newcomers feel comfortable?


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Grants for Retirement Research

“Senior” and “junior” in research funding contexts usually means time since PhD was granted, often less than 5 years for junior. There is an implied age barrier which is sometimes not so implied with cutoff ages of 35 or 40 years old.

Many people are trapped in the in-between. Support for new scholars or scientists is a recent phenomenon, needed but nothing is available for those who struggled without assistance trying to establish a career. And, most grants are available only to those established at an academic institution or with an established non-profit. There is a real need to support good and valuable ideas outside these limitations, too.

Application deadline: 3/31/2007

The Boston College Center for Retirement Research is soliciting proposals for the Steven H. Sandell Grant Program in Retirement Research. The Sandell Grant Program provides opportunities for junior scholars from a wide variety of academic disciplines and senior scholars working in a new area to pursue cutting-edge projects on retirement income issues. Topic areas include: (1) Social Security and retirement; (2) macroeconomic analyses of Social Security; (3) wealth and retirement income; (4) program interactions; (5) international research; and (6) demographic research.

Up to five grants of $40,000 are available to researchers with a Ph.D. or comparable credentials affiliated with an academic institution or research organization. Successful applicants are required to complete the research project outlined in their proposal and to present the results to U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA) in Washington, D.C. within one year.

Grant guidelines can be found at: www.bc.edu/crr/sandellguidelines.shtml. All applications must be submitted through the online system. The application deadline is March 31, 2007.

For more information or questions about the Sandell Grant Program, please contact Paige Eppenstein at e-mail: eppenste AT bc DOTedu or 617.552.1092.

The program is funded by a grant from the U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA).

http://chronicle.com/jobs/id.php?id=0000497368-01&pg=e

Web Site : http://www.bc.edu/crr/application.cgi
Center for Retirement Research, Boston College


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Ideas to exercise in small cold places

The first story uses a computer game and the second uses school corridors. Both instances, require little funding, enhance neighborliness, and beats the old “jigsaw puzzle = elders” baloney [ Jigsaw puzzles Stave off ageism ].

The bowling story has great possibilities, especially for smaller communities or those without funding or space for analog infrastructure. It can also involve the entire family. Even though the little controller isn’t weighty, the need to control one’s swing and other movements should improve balance, hand-eye coordination, and muscle tone, as well as be fun.

Too bad Bethel never wanted the computer center that was granted, First Neighborhood Networks Center in Native Alaskan Community Opens (not)

[Look at the decent furniture! — furniture [ES&H] and ES&H Avoid dangerous furniture design principles ]


revised–2007-10-02 Boing-boing.com has very interesting stuff they find on the Internet. Here’s a photo of the use of Nintendo Wii in England. The Wii games are not only social but give immediate feedback for hand-eye control, balance, flexibility. I suppose the next trick would be to have the power for the TV and console generated by spectators. Whatever happened to shuffleboard? In England and New Zealand they play lawn bowls. I wonder if Nintendo designs other types of games?

Oldsters Help Propel Wii to Number 1
Elder gameplayers using Nintendo Wii console

Wii bowling knocks over retirement home

By Dave Wischnowsky, Tribune staff reporter
Published February 16, 2007, http://tinyurl.com/2a6nt2

At the Sedgebrook retirement community in Lincolnshire, where the average age is 77, something unexpected has been transpiring since Christmas. The residents, most of whom have never picked up a video game controller in their life, suddenly can’t put the things down.

“I’ve never been into video games,” said 72-year-old Flora Dierbach last week as her husband took a twirl with the Nintendo Wii’s bowling game. “But this is addictive.”

…With an easy-to-use wireless controller that translates a player’s motions onto the screen, Nintendo believes it has found the answer with the Wii…. “This is pretty realistic. You can even put English on the ball,” Hahn said after connecting on a strike with the Wii. “I used to play Pac-Man a little bit, but with this you’re actually moving around and doing something.

“You’re not just sitting there pushing buttons and getting carpal tunnel.”

North Pole’s senior citizens invited to take a walk
Published February 24, 2007
http://newsminer.com/2007/02/24/5468/

The … North Pole Middle School … has offered the use of their upstairs hallway for the seniors to walk while classes are in session. The classes are an hour long, giving walkers ample time to complete several rounds.

The reason for the offer is twofold: to give seniors a place to get some exercise and also to have a senior citizen presence in the school… Walkers need to check in at the front desk. There are elevators to the walking area and any student can give directions. School starts at 8 a.m. and ends at 2:30 p.m. Classes end on the hour and lunch is from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m.


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Mahala Ashley Dickerson

By JULIA O’MALLEY, Anchorage Daily News, Published: February 21, 2007

Dickerson
Rosa Parks, left, visited Mahala Ashley Dickerson. Photo by ERIK HILL / Daily News archive 1996

1913 to 2007

“I remember one lawyer telling me one time, he said, ‘Rex, you see those mountains out there?’ He said, ‘Those mountains are littered with the bones of lawyers who underestimated M. Ashley Dickerson.’ ”

Mahala Ashley Dickerson was Alabama’s first black female attorney admitted to the bar in 1948; Indiana’s second black female attorney admitted in 1951; and Alaska’s first black attorney of either sex admitted in 1959. She was also the first black president of the National Association of Women Lawyers in 1983-84…. She was also the first black homesteader in the Mat-Su.

…at age 71, she was still working 12-hour days at her Fairview law office. “Whenever there’s somebody being mistreated, if they want me, I’ll help them.”

Dickerson grew up in Alabama on a plantation owned by her father. She attended a private school, Miss White’s School, where she began a lifelong friendship with Rosa Parks, who would become a hero of the civil rights movement.

…In 1995, she was awarded the Margaret Brent Award from the American Bar Association, an honor also given to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sandra Day O’Connor, a justice of the nation’s top court who has since retired.

She continued to practiced law until she was 91. […]

She evidently drove the Al-Can Highway up in 1958 by herself and her triplet sons.

Delayed Justice For Sale 1998, is the astonishing life story of Mahala Ashley Dickerson.


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Vibrating beds as osteoporosis exercise

There’s no detail about this study. It has possibilities but it requires reasonable balance reflexes. An earlier news article points out some of the dangers in using just any old vibrator.

Public release date: 19-Feb-2007, Research Australia
Good vibrations: Aging bones may benefit from a good shaking

While running and jumping are some of the best ways to maintain or improve bone strength and help prevent fractures, they aren’t the safest activities for the frail, elderly or physically impaired.

Dr Belinda Beck, senior lecturer at Griffith University’s School of Physiotherapy and Exercise Science, said there was some evidence that low intensity loading performed at a sufficiently high frequency may also improve bone mass.

She has recently received funding to test the effects of a whole body vibration device – a platform that participants stand on while it vibrates at up to 30 cycles per second. “Bone generally responds to exercise that is high intensity but older people can’t do that without the risk of hurting themselves. We need a stimulus that is effective on bone but does not cause damage.”

Dr Beck said the device was originally designed to enhance muscle strength in athletes as the vibration forces muscles to contract more. It was also likely to help improve balance.

“Whole body vibration offers an opportunity to improve bone strength, muscle strength and balance – three of the known risk factors for hip fractures in the elderly.” The vibration device will be installed in a retirement village on the Gold Coast, providing easy access for women over 65 years of age who choose to participate in the study.

Osteoporosis-related fractures are most common in older women, particularly those with other risk factors such as low body weight, a history of low calcium intake, and little or no physical activity.

“This is a simple, low intensity alternative that is perfect for people who can’t do more strenuous physical activity,” Dr Beck said.
###”


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Pablita Velarde exhibition

Ms Velarde’s work, like Ms Martinez’
https://theelderlies.wordpress.com/2006/09/18/american-indian-linguist/ remained controversial even late into their lives for many people [a sign of living tradition].

David Collins | For The New Mexican, February 19, 2007

A yearlong exhibition that opened Sunday at the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture memorializes Santa Clara Pueblo artist Pablita Velarde the way she wanted to be remembered.

“I want the Earth to remember me through my works,” Velarde says in a DVD presentation that offers museum guests a posthumous first-person explanation of her work.

A collection of 58 paintings from the 84 works that Bandelier National Monument officials commissioned Velarde to produce between 1939 and 1945 went on display on Museum Hill. The collection is recognized as a premiere documentation of Pueblo life at that time. …

“It was because of the WPA that many artistic traditions survive today,” museum director Shelby Tisdale said.

Born in 1918 at Santa Clara as Tse Tsan, or “Golden Dawn,” Velarde’s father sent her to St. Catherine Indian School in Santa Fe when she was 5. In the eighth grade, she transferred to Santa Fe Indian School. There, she studied with Dunn, who was renowned for training a generation of American Indians for careers in art.

At the Cerrillos Road school, Velarde’s art developed in a direction that defied tradition, even as she documented and interpreted the traditions she learned from elders. …

Velarde’s work for Bandelier includes traditional motifs but relies on illustration styles and materials typical of the era. Later in her life, Velarde experimented with natural media until she perfected her own rendition of media used in ancient petroglyphs. Velarde called them earth pigments.

By her own account, Velarde battled a stigma as a woman working in a medium traditionally reserved for men until 1953, when she became the first woman to receive the prestigious Grand Purchase Award from the Philbrook Museum of Art in Tulsa, Okla.

Tisdale said the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture started negotiating an exhibit of Velarde’s work for the Bandelier monument a few months before her death Jan. 10, 2006, at age 87.


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Dad deserves a say about his life, even if he’s wrong

Liz Taylor has an important column–

My impression of what went wrong is that you and your family — with the best intentions — decided what was best for your dad, but he never gave his consent. Just because he’s in a safer, nicer, cleaner, prettier place with meals, privacy, people and housekeeping, he doesn’t have to like it or understand why you like it for him. It’s his life.

He had the right to say no.

read the entire article at


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Old age isn't a disease.

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