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Archive: September 2013

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DC and AARP work together to make DC "Age-Friendly" city

posted Fri, Sep 27, 2013   by Washington Times

Following an announcement by Mayor Gray in October 2012, the District has teamed with the AARP Network of Age-Friendly Communities and the World Health Organization to make DC an Age-Friendly city. The Age-Friendly DC Initiative is part of an international effort started by the World Health Organization (WHO) to respond to the twin trends of urbanization and an aging population. Office of Aging Executive Director Dr. John Thompson said, “This forum will produce the second round of data that will produce a Strategic Plan by the spring of next year after the DC Age-Friendly Task Force review the results and present a progress report”.

The Conversation Project: A crusade to talk about end of life care

posted Fri, Sep 27, 2013   by US News

Started by journalist and columnist Ellen Goodman, in collaboration with the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, the Conversation Project is a Boston-based public education project to get people to talk about end of life care.

Best cancer care isn't always most expensive, most aggressive

posted Mon, Sep 23, 2013   by Washington Post WONKBLOG

Washington Post blogger Harold Pollack names Amy Berman, program officer for the John A. Hartford Foundation and Stage IV breast cancer patient, to his "all-time real-life Madden team" for her courage and wisdom in pursuing the care she wants for her disease. The article explores Berman's choice to pursue palliative care, the high amount of "futile" care that cancer patients receive, and the new Institute of Medicine report that argues that cancer is primarily a disease of older people and that more focus should be put on preserving quality of life.

Recommendation No. 1 for a secure retirement: "age in place"

posted Thu, Sep 19, 2013   by PBS NewsHour

There are many benefits to owning an age-in-place home in retirement, says Lew Mandell, the author of ""What To Do When I Get Stupid: A Radically Safe Approach to a Difficult Financial Era," on the PBS NewsHouse website. You can plan to live the rest of your days in a comfortable, familiar environment. You can also remain in a cherished neighborhood. However, few people planning for retirement (or their advisers) recognize all of the financial reasons why it is essential to live in an age-in-place home and why that home should ideally be owned free and clear.

St. Louis to join AARP age-friendly community network

posted Wed, Sep 18, 2013   by Fox2 Now

St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley announced on Monday, that the county will be joining AARP’s Age-Friendly Communities Network in a 5 year partnership to address the needs of county’s aging baby boomers population.

Poetry project helps dementia patients live in the moment

posted Tue, Sep 17, 2013   by PBS NewsHour

As this story from the PBS Newshour explains, the Alzheimer's Poetry Project was part of a project that now operates in 24 states, as well as Germany, Poland and South Korea. In New York, it operates out of the New York Memory Center, a community-based nonprofit organization that's designed a rigorous day program for people experiencing memory disorders, including yoga classes, computer skills instruction and poetry. It's a performance, a kind of game, and something more, for these are men and women at various stages of dementia, now participants in the Alzheimer's Poetry Project created by poet Gary Glazner almost a decade ago.

Elderly homeowners targeted by tax lien purchasers

posted Tue, Sep 10, 2013   by Washington Post

A Washington Post investigation found that the D.C.'s new tax lien program has morphed into a predatory system of debt collection for well-financed, out-of-town companies Houses were taken from a housekeeper, a department store clerk, a seamstress and even the estates of dead people. The hardest hit: elderly homeowners, who were often sick or dying when tax lien purchasers seized their houses. Fortunately, some cities and states have taken steps to curb abuses, such as capping the fees, safeguarding houses owned by the elderly or scrapping tax sales altogether and instead collecting the money themselves.

For Some With Alzheimer's, Occupational Therapy Brings Relief

posted Tue, Sep 10, 2013   by HealthDay News

According to HealthDay News reporter, Serena Gordon, putting mirrors in unexpected places and keeping old photo albums handy might just make life a bit easier for people with Alzheimer's and those who live with and care for them. Occupational therapy can help people with Alzheimer's and their caregivers by: helping the person with Alzheimer's do things independently, keeping the person with Alzheimer's safe, preventing falls and other injuries, safeguarding against wandering, and helping families maintain an emotional connection. As the article states, occupational therapy isn't just for the person with Alzheimer's but, for the caregiver as well.

Wireless network detects falls by the elderly

posted Tue, Sep 10, 2013   by Eurek Alert

Most fall-detection devices monitor a person's posture or require a person to push a button to call for help. However, these devices must be worn at all times. A 2008 study showed 80 percent of elderly adults who owned call buttons didn't use the device when they had a serious fall, largely because they hadn't worn it at the time of the fall. The University of Utah electrical engineers have developed a network of wireless sensors that can detect a person falling. This monitoring technology could be linked to a service that would call emergency help for the elderly without requiring them to wear monitoring devices.

As Population Ages, Hospital Nurses Increasingly Finding their NICHE

posted Fri, Sep 6, 2013   by ElderBranch

Based at New York University’s College of Nursing and supported by the John A. Hartford Foundation and the Atlantic Philanthropies, the Nurses Improving Care for Healthsystem Elders (NICHE) program’s vision is sensitive and exemplary care for all patients 65-and-over. To accomplish this goal, NICHE provides interested hospitals with state-of-the-art training, tools, and resources to educate nurses and to stimulate a change in the culture of healthcare facilities to achieve patient-centered care for older adults.

NYTimes: Online lessons in dementia management

posted Thu, Sep 5, 2013

The New York Times "New Old Age" story reports that Johns Hopkins Nursing professors Laura Gitlin and Nancy Hogson will offer a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on dementia management. Enrollment is open now, to anyone.

Playing for time: can music stave off dementia?

posted Thu, Sep 5, 2013

As scientists race to figure out how to promote healthy aging of the brain, and prevent dementia, their preliminary advice for senior citizens has become a chorus of voices: "Stay active! Have hobbies! Be socially engaged!" Playing music, for some people, is a natural answer to all of those recommendations. But does music playing in particular stave off dementia? What about just listening to music? How many years do you need to engage in music before it benefits your brain? Researchers are exploring these questions in the face of staggering statistics about the aging population. The annual cost of dementia in the United States in 2050 will be $1.2 trillion, according to the Alzheimer's Association. Early research suggests keeping the brain active -- such as by speaking two languages -- may hold back dementia symptoms by up to five years. Scientists are hoping to find that the same is true for music playing, said Brenda Hanna-Pladdy, assistant professor of neurology at Emory University, who studies cognitive functioning among musicians.

8 things your city should be doing to help you age well

posted Thu, Sep 5, 2013   by PBS NewsHour

Age-friendly New York City helps the city become more prepared for the growing elder population, in this story from the PBS NewsHour. Also offers a list of 8 things every city should be doing to help its residents age better.

Boomers need to figure out who will care for them

posted Tue, Sep 3, 2013   by Miami Herald

As this Miami Herald article describes, AARP released a report about the looming shortage in caregivers for older people. In “The Aging of the Baby Boom and the Growing Care Gap,” the study’s authors projected that, by 2030, there will be only four potential caregivers available for each person 80 or older, down from more than seven in 2010. This drop comes at precisely the wrong time, when my generation, those born between 1946 and 1964, will most need it. Researchers have defined it as the “2030 problem.” Of the 78 million baby boomers now living, 60 million will still be alive by 2030 and about 20 million by 2050. But because we had fewer children, divorced more, sometimes never married and are living longer than other generations, many of us will likely not have any back-up in our dotage. “It’s a wake-up call for aging boomers,” AARP’s Lynn Feinberg told The Washington Post. “We’re really moving toward an uncertain future as…relying on our family and friends to provide long-term care isn’t going to be realistic anymore.”

 

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