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: http://www.epa.gov/aging/bhc/awards/2007/index.html
from February 2008 U.S. EPA Aging Initiative List Serve, http://www.epa.gov/aging/resources/
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Published 2007 November 10
housing , nonagenarian
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
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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from the RAC Health listserv a service of the Rural Assistance Center. For additional services and information, see the RAC web site at http://www.raconline.org 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
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Published 2007 January 21
housing , safety
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
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.
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 –
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.
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.
How well did you do on the tests?
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