Archive for the 'usability' Category

HEALTHY COMMUNITIES FOR ACTIVE AGING GRANTS

I would love to help develop this, but grants aren’t made to individuals.

from WHAT’S UP – October 15, 2008
Compiled Weekly by Peg Tileston On behalf of the Alaska Women’s Environmental Network (AWEN), Alaska Center for the Environment (ACE), and Alaska Conservation Alliance (ACA)

*November 21
Deadline for proposal submission for THE EPA BUILD HEALTHY COMMUNITIES FOR ACTIVE AGING GRANTS. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency plans to award in early 2009, two grants for $100,000 each to train older adults to be environmental leaders and demonstrate how greenways and sustainable streets can improve the environment, human health and the quality of life for persons of all ages. Building Healthy Communities for Active Aging Training and Demonstration Projects must include a strategy that either 1) trains older adults to be environmental leaders on local planning decisions that affect their community’s built environment; or 2) demonstrates how greenways and sustainable streets can improve the quality of life for persons of all ages while improving environmental quality. For purposes of this RFP Greenways and Sustainable Streets are defined as follows: Greenways are linear corridors of open space. They include natural corridors (e.g., along a stream, river, or ridge), canals, rail road rights of way converted to recreational use, and trails. They link places together, inviting city and community residents to experience a connection with the natural environment. Greenways connect neighborhoods, downtowns, schools, community centers, and other important public places. They can include waterfront walkways, stream corridors and other natural ecological reserves, as well as off-street biking and walking paths. Sustainable Streets are a multimodal rights-of-way designed and operated to create benefits to mobility, community and ecology. They are streets that use sustainable design principles that promote safe, least-polluting ways to connect people and incorporate natural, landscape-based methods that infiltrate, reuse, or evaportranspirate (allow water to evaporate back into the air) stormwater runoff, and mitigate the “urban heat island effect” (the additional heating in the air over a city as the result of replacement of vegetated surfaces with those composed of heat-retaining, man-made materials such as asphalt and dark colored roofing). Eligible entities include States, or state agencies, the District of Columbia, territories, American Indian Tribes (federally recognized), and possessions of the U.S. It is also available to public and private universities and colleges, hospitals, laboratories, other public or private nonprofit institutions, and 501(c)(3) organizations. For more information, go to http://www.epa.gov/aging/grants/index.htm#2008_1121_grant_1.


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Amenities for those in LTC

Maya’s Granny (see sidebar) unfortunately had a heart attack recently and is struggling back. While she isn’t blogging as regularly as before, she does explain why. In addition, her children have also helped everyone keep up with news. This is an excellent although unplanned use of a web log.

Today she posted a list of items from the expert’s perspective (recipient) that we all too often forget or wished we knew when a friend or family is in care.

Amenities:
If you know anyone staying for a while in a hospital or extended care facility, among the things that will make life good for them, are: […]

I would add a flannel shirt or some other easy to use coverup. Add your suggestions to Maya’s Granny or below.


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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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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: 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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Accessible jails

Good news. See previous
Nonagenarian: prison care
A say in one’s or other’s life?

Source: Reuters TOKYO, Jan 4 (Reuters) – Faced with a prison population ageing as rapidly as the rest of the country, Japan is to build new jails with disabled access, including elevators, slopes for wheelchairs and grab-bars in toilets and baths.

The three new penal facilities will offer healthy meals and may also have specialists in nursing and rehabilitation on staff […]

http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/T173848.htm


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More on computer accessibility: let your uvula do the browsing

The notice of the Vocal Joystick for accessibility comes from

Opera browser uses voice commands. Now I’ll have to actually test it to see how well it works. The Vocal Joystick would work on all software that uses a mouse device. I thought something like Dragon Naturally Speaking can command more than the voice recognition software? Somewhere in the back of my mind is a little piece of software I’ve seen that also does voice commands ➡ not a mouse substitute but nevertheless slick and free (for Firefox) (originally noted at Paul Hamilton’s FREE online resources and downloadable programs for learners and their teachers.

University of Washington researchers are developing a new “Vocal Joystick” interface to make software more accessible for people who don’t have use of their hands or arms. The software converts simple vowel sounds and other intonations into cursor movement. The louder the sound, the faster the cursor moves. Saying “K-Ch” represents a mouse click and release….

“A lot of people ask: ‘Why don’t you just use speech recognition?'” (electrical engineering professor Jeffrey) Bilmes said. “It would be very slow to move a cursor using discrete commands like ‘move right’ or ‘go faster.’ The voice, however, is able to do continuous commands quickly and easily.” Early tests suggest that an experienced user of Vocal Joystick would have as much control as someone using a handheld device…

“The tool’s latest developments will be presented this month in Tempe, Ariz. at the Assets Conference on Computers and Accessibility.

Vocal Joystick detects sounds 100 times a second and instantaneously turns that sound into movement on the screen….

Versions of Vocal Joystick exist for browsing the Web, drawing on a screen, controlling a cursor and playing a video game. A version also exists for operating a robotic arm, and Bilmes believes the technology could be used to control an electronic wheelchair.” […] http://uwnews.org/article.asp?articleID=37134

Video demonstrations and publications are available on the group’s Web site,


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Why blog? Who, me?

Lorelle VanFossen who advocates for blogs as accessible tools (and not as look-at-me! toys) tells this interesting story of another Tolstoy’s Bicyclist. Click below to read the entire post and then visit her other work.

When a friend turned 80, she announced that she was going to buy her first computer. I asked her what she was going to do with it. She didn’t know. “Everyone was talking about it, so I thought I should get one to see what all the fuss is about. Now that I have one…” I could see her mind grinding away at the possibilities as she confronted this more-than-a-television thing….

A woman who once traveled by horse and buggy and lived the first 10 years of her life without electricity wasn’t going to let anything stop her now, not even the learning curve of new technology. […]
http://lorelle.wordpress.com/2007/06/04/are-you-blogging-your-passion-or-blogging-to-blog/

[see earlier posts, Blog readers feedback needed]

Add this to Bookmarks:

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O’Folks (off their rocker)

Old age isn't a disease.

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