Archive for the 'housing' Category

Liz Taylor takes comments

One of the best reads ever on aging deliberately is Liz Taylor–
Her series has been mentioned previously –

I just discovered that the columns published at Kitsap Sun Stories: Liz Taylor: Aging Deliberately allow comments (registration required) and have an RSS feed . This is so much more convenient and useful than the Seattle Times venue. I’m not sure which is the primary home for Liz’s work, however, and Kitsap may not carry all her columns. At the Seattle Times I have to subscribe by E-mail to their health series (once a week e-mail, all health stories which are interesting) to get notice of her columns. Otherwise I have a Google News Alert for Liz Taylor+ aging, which sometimes brings in notice of National Velvet. [the colors behind some items below mean nothing except straightening out the code remains to be done.]

Liz Taylor began her career as a federal consumer-fraud investigator and was appointed by Elizabeth Dole in 1976 to direct a nationwide investigation of the nursing-home industry. She’s worked in the aging field ever since.

In the 1980s, Liz became one of the first geriatric care managers in the Pacific Northwest, working with thousands of families and older adults to find high-quality services. In 2000, she founded Aging Deliberately, a business that teaches people how to prepare for their aging so they’ll have more control over what happens to them. In 2005, she served as a delegate to the White House Conference on Aging. She’s won the American Geriatrics Society’s 2007 Aging Awareness Media Award and the Washington Association of Homes and Services for the Aging’s Excellence in Media Award.

It’s relatively easy to age successfully if you’re wealthy. Money can’t buy happiness, but it certainly allows you to buy the things that make life more comfortable at any age. 1/26/2008 11:00 PM
In my last column, I wrote about a growing problem: what to do when an older person who has dementia hasn’t named anyone she trusts to make decisions for her. This week I’ll tackle a tougher issue: what to do when the person she names does a poor job. 11/17/2007 11:00 PM
My e-mail has had a repeated theme recently: An older person with dementia, such as Alzheimer’s disease, isn’t paying bills, preparing meals, bathing, and other important tasks — but refuses to allow anyone to help.
11/3/2007 09:00 PM |
There’s a certain uniformity to finding a physician under Medicare these days. Rich or poor, if you’re 65 or older, you’re likely to have similar slim pickings (more so if you’re poor and on Medicare and Medicaid). 10/20/2007 11:00 PM |
Most of us want to live a long time, but nobody wants to grow old. The irony is, most of us will — live a long time and grow old. It’s easy to do — all it takes is letting the days roll by. As long as you’re healthy, getting old is a piece of cake.
10/6/2007 11:00 PM |
It’s easy as pie to age well when you’re healthy. The friction comes when you become frail. Sometimes it’s self-inflicted, the product of isolation, poor eating habits, lack of physical activity and falls — all common problems for people who age in their homes but don’t plan it correctly. 9/22/2007 11:00 PM |
A woman in her late 70s, a good friend, is pondering her options. Her home is two stories (or three, including the basement), with many stairs to her bedroom, bathroom and the washing machine. 9/8/2007 11:00 PM
Dad is 87, fun and funny, with moderate dementia. He lived “on the edge” in his own home for years while we kids worried sick. 7/28/2007 11:00 PM
When I was growing up in the 1950s and ’60s, cars were sort of round and later sort of square. My dad wore a hat to work and took the bus.
7/14/2007 11:00 PM
I’m 75 and have lived in an assisted-living facility for a year.
7/8/2007 02:00 AM
Older people are not simply younger people with wrinkles our bodies change dramatically as we age, both inside and out; some parts wear out before others, sometimes several at once.
6/17/2007 02:00 AM
Whether you live at home, in a retirement community, or in a yurt on top of a mountain, as you age, you want to do it consciously.
6/3/2007 02:00 AM

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Winners 2007 Building Healthy Communities for Active Aging

Seven winning communities and government agencies from around the country are the recipients of the first-ever Building Healthy Communities for Active Aging awards. The award program recognizes outstanding community planning and strategies that support active aging and smart growth, thereby improving the quality of life of older adults.

By adopting smart growth principles, communities can design places that increase mobility and improve quality of life for older adults. Pedestrian-friendly, level walkways also increase access to these amenities and encourage older residents to walk to the doctor’s office or local stores. By providing a range of housing opportunities, communities can enable residents to move within their neighborhood as their housing needs change. Such life-long residents help to establish a strong sense of place within a community. The benefits of building healthy communities for active aging are being realized in communities across the country.

There are two award categories: the Commitment Award recognizes communities that have developed and begun to initiate a specific plan to implement smart growth principles and active aging concepts; the Achievement Award recognizes overall excellence in building healthy communities for active aging.

The 2007 Achievement Award winners are the Atlanta Regional Commission and the City of Kirkland, Washington. The 2007 Commitment Award winners included: City of Rogers Adult Wellness Center, Arkansas; Carver County Public Health, Carver County, Minnesota; Town of Scarborough, Maine; Queen Anne’s County Housing and Community Development, Maryland; Brazos Valley Council of Governments, Texas. For information about the winners see awards booklet at:

from February 2008 U.S. EPA Aging Initiative List Serve,

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Nonagenarian passion for solar

The problem with being ahead of one’s time is that it isn’t conducive to ever getting caught up. There must be a better way.

By Elizabeth Douglass, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
November 10, 2007

Forty years ago, Harold Hay came up with a way to heat and cool homes using water and the sun….

Now 98, Hay is making what he knows will be his final push.

The retired chemist promotes his cause by funding research. He vents his frustration in letters, e-mails, phone messages to anyone who will listen, and on his own website,

“The main point that he’s trying to make now is that all of our hopes are pinned on all of these complicated technologies, and it’s not that complicated. We could solve a lot of the problems by building our buildings correctly.”

Hay calls his invention the Skytherm system, and it was a wonder in the 1960s because it used the sun to heat and cool a home. The earliest version operated without any electricity, making it a purely passive solar technology.

Skytherm was the first of what’s known today as a roof-pond system….

Hay says he spearheaded the creation of the St. Louis Progressive Party, which helped get him labeled a communist. He came up with a chemical to purify drinking water, and he found a way to chemically toughen fiberboard to broaden its use. During World War II, the self-proclaimed pacifist worked on the development of synthetic rubber to avoid military service and jail. Along the way, almost as a hobby, Hays did groundbreaking research in the origins of medicine. […]

Read the very interesting article here,0,3607880.story

His website is
This series of Needles is written by Harold R. Hay, Trustee, H.R. & E.J. Hay Charitable Trust, Los Angeles, CA. at the age of 97. Fifty years of dedicated research in solar energy, plus prior successes in government, industry and academia permit a broad evaluation of reasons why solar energy (not renewable energy – a culprit) is not more uniformly accepted. The fault is with all involved – including me.

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Funding and planning resources

from the RAC Health listserv a service of the Rural Assistance Center. For additional services and information, see the RAC web site at or call 1-800-270-1898.

Assisted Living Conversion Program

Application deadline Jun 7, 2007
The purpose of this program is to provide grants for the conversion of some or all of the dwelling units in an eligible project into assisted living facilities (ALFs) for frail elderly persons.

Sustainable Communities for All Ages: A Viable Futures Toolkit

Aimed at designing solutions to meet the needs of older generations that will also meet the needs of younger generations. Examples from around the country include developing new school curricula that encourage young people to go into health care fields, designing walkable communities that improve the health of all generations, and having after school programs share sites with senior centers. A user guide complements the toolkit.
Organization: Blue Moon Fund
Date: 2007

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How to fall-proof your body and your home

Liz Taylor has a review of two complementary books

Geared to older people and their families, rather than professionals in the health-care field, both books are highly readable with large print and no medical jargon, amply illustrated and easy to understand.

Read more here–

No room for seniors

No room for seniors
By Chris Eshleman and Margaret Friedenauer, Fairbanks Daily News Miner Staff Writer
Published January 21, 2007

Ruth Grounds, 85, is No. 42 on the list for a spot at Fairbanks Pioneers’ Home after waiting two years. That experience has prompted her son, Barney McClure to take a proactive step in anticipation of his own golden years, even though he’s only 65. “I’m in the process of signing up for the Pioneer Home right […]

According to Alaska Housing Finance Corp. Senior Housing services, there are 356 assisted and independent living units for seniors in the Fairbanks North Pole area for about 7,400 seniors, age 60 and older….

In an attempt to fill that niche, the organizers of a Fairbanks nonprofit have spent three years planning their proposed retirement “community.” The nonprofit Retirement Community of Fairbanks’ proposed project aims to create a new living option for seniors still strong and healthy enough to live with some degree of independence and who don’t need round-the-clock help….

Southwest Alaska isn’t anywhere near to being as ready as the proposed Fairbanks facility. It doesn’t help when the local elite state publicly that older people aren’t capable of running their own programs or ban them from participating in the decisions about senior services.

Grabbing public toilets

The comment left here

pointed out that generic grab bars in public toilets were not best suited to individuals at home.

Here are examples from our publicly funded senior center. Click on the pictures below to see a larger version. Try the frailty simulation with either toilet [When you visit the senior center – when-you-visit-the-senior-center/]

Place one hand behind your back and stand on one foot. Now, sit down. Then, stand up.

I think each wall tile is 4 inches square (on a side, a.k.a., 4 by 4 inches).

This bathroom is as it appears after (and before) the $280,772 Alaska state community development block grant for senior center improvements. [Bethel Senior Center Building Grants]

This first photo is of our “handicapped” toilet (one of two women’s toilets in the Bethel senior center ground floor.) There are 2 bars, to an elder’s right and back (as seated). Click on each photo to see a larger view.

EHSC “Handicapped” toilet

Here’s the only other woman’s toilet on the first floor. For both, note the grab bars, the extra stall width, the floor to seat height. We fortunately have a variety of older body-types (and abilities) so having just the one standard inflexible set of fixtures levels the playing field and provides equal opportunity aches, pains, strains, ligament tears, fragility fractures.

EHSC Second women’s toilet, 2006

How well did you do on the tests?

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O’Folks (off their rocker)

Old age isn't a disease.

Arctic sunset

© header image

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