Archive for the 'mods, how-to, DIY' Category

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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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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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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chop-stick mod

via Boing-boing

is this interesting site which shows how to make a chopstick closer from a clothespin.

[There is an illustration for making ear trumpets out of plastic flowerpots which don’t look very useful. However, combined with the plastic fork fake teeth might make an interesting Hallowe’en costume.]

Eye-Catching Images of Nature

Eye-Catching Images of Nature, Made With a Common Machine
Published: October 10, 2006

For the past half century, Dr. Eisner, now an emeritus professor at Cornell, continued his travels in the fields of entomology, evolutionary biology, chemical ecology and conservation. Some of his best-known research was on the explosive chemical outburst of the bombardier beetle, which he and his colleagues analyzed and photographed.

Dr. Eisner became known not only for his research but also for capturing the natural world in astonishing images… Recently, however, the limitations of Parkinson’s disease led Dr. Eisner to explore the capabilities of a new tool for capturing the natural world: the color copier…

How did these images come to be? “…There were only two provisos. Parts had to be laid out upside down on the copier’s stage, because the copier ‘sees’ the stage from beneath, and the arrangements, once composed, had to be covered with a black velvet cloth to exclude ambient light from the picture.”

Copiers, he suggests, might be useful for children, for adults in nursing homes, or for anyone who has limited mobility and access to the natural world. They can produce stunning images. At a cost of a few hundred dollars, he said, every nursing home could have one.”

Eisener copier flowers

Universal Design grant

Speaking of engineering needs, usability and Seating–modify, buy, or build

here’s an opportunity to find funding to design a way for locals to design and build adequate seating for local people (appropriate technology).

4) Universal Design

The National Endowment for the Arts requests proposals for the Universal Design Leadership Project. Work would include creating greater public awareness of and demand for universal designed environments. The intent of universal design is to simplify life for everyone by making products, communications, and the built environment more usable by as many people as possible at little or no extra cost.

$50K expected to be available, 1 award anticipated. Responses due 11/2/06 [ deadline]. For more info, contact William Hummel at contracts AT arts DOT gov or go to:

Notice of this comes from Solicitations an E-mail list.

If anyone you know would like to sign up to receive these funding newsletters, have them send an e-mail request to laurie DOT brown AT ceepinc DOT org. Include subscriber’s e-mail address in the body of the message.

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another engineering project needed

Here’s a description of why a better walker and cane are needed. (Let’s hear it for perceptive participant-observation!) One thing I’ve noticed locally is that almost no one has a cane of the proper length. How can one be assisted by, much less weaned off of, a device which is incorrectly sized? Worse, ill-fitted and ill-designed devices can cripple.

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O’Folks (off their rocker)

Old age isn't a disease.

Arctic sunset

© header image

Comments how-tos

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