Archive for the 'senior center' 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. http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/growingolder/

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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Alaska day program first national center of excellence (not Bethel)

This is outstanding and goes along with our nationally certified senior center in Kodiak.

Salvation Army center lauded for dementia care program

The Salvation Army Serendipity Adult Day Center in Anchorage has received the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America award as an “Excellence in Care Dementia Program of Distinction.” The Salvation Army center is the first adult day care to receive the national honor. The center offers meaningful activities daily to about 30 adults with special needs, the foundation said. The award “validates what I feel is the culmination of years of hard work constantly trying to be on the cutting edge of new and innovative ideas in working with individuals who live with dementia and their families,” said Jesalyn Stanton, the center’s executive director. […]
Published: January 1st, 2008 http://www.adn.com/money/story/251697.html

Press release

NEW YORK, NY – The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA) recently awarded its “Excellence in Care Dementia Program of Distinction” status to the nation’s first adult day center and three more assisted living facilities that have achieved AFA’s nationwide standard of excellence for facilities that provide care to individuals with Alzheimer’s disease or related illnesses. The Salvation Army Serendipity Adult Day Center, Anchorage, AK, is the first adult day center to receive the distinction. Also awarded Excellence in Care status are the memory care units within these facilities: Warwick Forest, Newport News, VA; The Catholic Care Center, Bel Aire, KS; and The Birches, Clarendon Hills, IL. […]

For more information about Excellence in Care, visit www.excellenceincare.org or call 866-AFA-8484.

In Bethel, we’ve made some progress. Those in the day program are no longer segregated to the loft upstairs. It also seems that older people are no longer forced to enroll in the program (in order to bring in more Medicaid money). The same old puzzles and BINGO are available for everyone.

The assisted living home is still promised by the Yukon Kuskokwim Health Corp. — to open in 2005 next to the assisted living home built in 1997 by AVCP Housing and never used as such (then promised to start construction in 2006 for 2008 opening https://theelderlies.wordpress.com/2007/01/21/bethels-assisted-living-home-construction-2006/) and now promised for 2nnn Bethel senior day center sign

In the meantime, the City of Bethel raised the sales tax by 20% starting next week– not to fund senior programs or public transportation or disaster preparedness or public infrastructure or to keep the utility rates from going up, but for annual maintenance of a not-yet built swimming pool. As one local elite stated, the poor and elders won’t feel the regressive tax because they get food stamps.

The tax increase won’t go towards any improvement in “community policing” either. Bethel relies heavily on the police to do the things neighbors, family, and friends would rather not. There are now 3 police officers, instead of 12. The elder abuse hot line [1-800-478-9996] was forewarned last August when this became obvious. Unfortunately, the State of Alaska elder abuse hotline is just one person, although assisted by one or two field investigators.


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Alaska senior center blogroll addition

Thank you to Charles Osborne for letting us know about the Anchorage organization for older people. Mr Osborne is their Programs Coordinator and invites everyone to stop by to visit when in Anchorage.

There are several interesting things about the non-profit compared to Bethel’s–

  • the senior center is run by the organization which is composed of those over 55 years of age

In Bethel, older people were not allowed to participate in the senior center transfer from City to tribe (both groups said elders are unable to run their own center).

  • their operating budget is about half of Bethel’s

Their By Laws and Policies are on-line as are the extensive membership benefits, staff list, events, dance bands (including KOLIGANEK RIVER BAND), etc. They even have a nonagenarian club.

Anchor-Age Center is a non-profit corporation. Anchor-Age Center was incorporated effective August 31, 1981 with the State of Alaska.

Mission Statement

Anchor-Age Center is a non-profit organization that operates the Anchorage Senior Center. The Anchorage Senior Center enhances the quality of life for people 55 years old and older in the Anchorage Bowl and serves as a resource:

1. To encourage independence through socialization and the promotion of healthy lifestyles;
2. To assure that all seniors in the Community are aware of the various services for seniors at the Center and in the community; and
3. To provide a central meeting place for senior organizations and others.

Operations

Anchor-Age’s purpose is to improve living conditions for elderly. To advance that purpose Anchor-Age Center operates the Municipality of Anchorage’s Senior Center by providing seniors with access to services and information key to senior living, health and housing. Anchor-Age members enjoy other benefits such as instruction in crafts, arts, computers, and fitness. Members can also take advantage of recreational pursuits such as billiards, cards, dancing, monthly birthday party, and other social events.

A voting member of Anchor-Age must be 55 years old or more. Associate members can be any age. Dues are paid annually.

Anchor-Age Center must engage in fund raising activities to cover the approximately $350,000 annual operating obligation. Anchor-Age operates a restaurant, a gift shop, catering services, individual room and facility rental as funding raising tools. Anchor-Age also sponsors fund raising with annual community events such as the fall bazaar, spring plant sale, book sales, raffles, and monthly events such as dances.

http://anchorageseniorcenter.org/aacpage.htm

Vibrators and exercise for strength among the frail

There has been additional research into vibrating platforms as a means to improve bone and muscle health. An earlier post is here,

  • Vibrating beds as osteoporosis exercise
  • These platforms may be similar to one manufactured by Soloflex and one about to come out by Nintendo Wii. The Wii will have a game console attached for using video games as an exercise on a balance board. The news reports don’t mention how the human tests are done.

    Other Wii games mentioned earlier–

  • Ideas to exercise in small cold places
  • The SoloFlex would be easy to set-up as a study in a senior center. See the news story (Boston Globe) Vibrating machines are studied for health benefits. A home machine called Soloflex Whole Body Vibration Platform is smaller and less powerful, generating more of a massage sensation at the lowest setting. More and stronger vibration doesn’t mean faster results and could be dangerous as the article points out. There would have to be modifications for those with balance problems. However, measures of muscle strength, balance, and coordination are easy enough to set up.

    Here’s a cautious review from epinions.com– It is considered a class 1 Medical Device by the FDA. Those who shouldn’t use this are recovering from surgery, have heart disease, neurological conditions, pre-existing deep vein thrombosis, joint implants or are pregnant.

    No one has yet tested vibrating motel beds (don’t forget your condom amulets http://www.alittleredhen.com/a_little_red_hen/2007/09/safe-sex-alerts.html or http://www.alittleredhen.com/a_little_red_hen/2007/10/jenna-bush-wear.html

    Vibrations Shown to Build Bone, Reduce Fat (National Public Radio)

    Morning Edition, October 29, 2007 · Standing on a gently vibrating platform for 15 minutes a day can build bone mass and reduce fat in mice, according to a new study. The changes are due to a stem cell in bone marrow that can become muscle, bone or fat. Testing has begun in humans…. Scientists are about to launch a similar study in humans. Douglas Kiel works at the Institute for Aging Research at Hebrew Senior Life in Boston, where subjects will soon get 10 minutes of jiggling a day.

    Funding for start-up day programs

    Brookdale Foundation Group Issues RFP for Start-Up Dementia Day Programs
    Deadline: July 6, 2007
    The Brookdale Foundation Group

    has issued a Request For Proposals for start-up social model group respite programs for people with Alzheimer’s disease and their family caregivers.

    notice from the excellent BHIC (see sidebar)


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    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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    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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    Old age isn't a disease.

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