Home Modification Working Group
In an effort to foster communication between its members, NAIPC is in the process of forming discussion groups comprised of people who share a specific occupation. Each group will be a NAIPC forum for peer groups to have in-depth quarterly conversations about the unique experiences of their profession and gain insights from colleagues around the country. Our first discussion group, Home Modification Working Group, consists of Universal design and home modification providers.
We will be developing groups for other services as well. If you would like to have a discussion group for your occupation please send your requests to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will set up a meeting.
To participate in the Home Modification Working Group on September 29 at 2pm EST please call 712-432-3900 access code 1214921#. This is a great chance to speak with other professionals about the topics that matter most.
Finding Love at any age
After the death of his father, Steve Loring watched as his mother learned to face life alone. Then when his 78- year old uncle met and fell madly in love with a woman, Loring was inspired to learn more about the emotional needs of his aging loved ones. In a touch of serendipitous fortune the “healthy aging” coalition in Rochester, NY announced they were conducting a speed dating event exclusively for 70-to-90 year olds. Loring began to wonder how age affects our desires for companionship and affection. So, he set out to create “The Age of Love” a documentary with one question at its core, “Do decades of life and loss constrict our hearts, or might time develop them in unexpected ways?”
Marked by humor and rife with emotion “The Age of Love” chronicles 30 seniors in Rochester, NY as they experience a first-of-its-kind speed dating event for 70-to-90 year olds. Audiences witness seniors open their hearts to new love and dare to dream that intimacy and companionship are not a thing of the past.
After being married for more than half of their lives many seniors find that the loss of a spouse leaves a loneliness and isolation only sated by companionship. Like Loring, NAIPC Greater Charleston and Lowcountry Senior Center strive for the same goal, to spread the word that love can be found at any age.
On June 30, 2015, after hearing about Loring and his documentary the NAIPC Greater Charleston chapter partnered with the Lowcountry Senior Center to bring this inspiring documentary to Charleston, SC. The film was a big hit and had close to 200 attendees. Since the screening was such a success NAIPC Greater Charleston and Lowcountry Senior Center decided to co-host a speed dating event with a kit provided by the filmmakers. Elizabeth Bernat, executive director of Lowcountry Senior Center, said, “It’s a trendy event you see in the community for 20/30-year-olds. Why can’t it be applied to people who are older?”
So, the first of several speed dating events with Lowcountry Senior Center and NAIPC Greater Charleston was held on July 29, 2015 for 23 seniors (11 men and 12 women). Each “date” lasted five minutes before a bell signaled for the gentlemen to move along to the next lovely lady. While some participants were looking for love, others were only interested in companionship. Lisa Zobel, Director of Leisure and Learning, with Lowcountry Senior Center said, “We believe it is a great way to help older adults, many of whom have not dated in decades ease into dating in a safe, comfortable environment.”
Speed dating is an avenue that younger generations have embraced, but the older generation remains tentative. Like many seniors Josefine Joyce was cynical about speed-dating but she was pleasantly surprised, “I really liked the film but was very reluctant and skeptical about participating in a speed dating program. As it turns out I have met a very nice man.” Two dates in and things are going well.
Greater Charleston representatives are pleased to report that 11 matches were made and the over-all consensus was that this was a safe place to try something new. Barbara Franklin, chair of NAIPC Greater Charleston, said it best, “We have always considered “’supportive relationships’ a key element of successful aging in place but welcomed the opportunity to highlight and foster personal relationships in this way.” With any luck these seniors will develop relationships to combat loneliness with someone to talk to, going to dinner, or having a movie date.
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grandPad partners with Lifesprk on senior-friendly tablet
Technology company grandPad recently announced its partnership with Lifesprk, a senior care agency providing Life Care Management and in-home services, to launch a customized tablet that is individually designed for older Americans to help avoid isolation and associated health risks. Scott Lien, CEO and co-founder of grandPad, says their partnership with Lifesprk is the perfect marriage of technology that allows caregivers to “virtually” care for their loved ones 24/7, while keeping seniors engaged.
The grandPad is a secure 7-inch tablet for seniors that connects them with friends, family, and activities. The device is customized to each user and facilitates interactions through photo/video sharing via social media, listening to music, playing games, watching videos, and email. Video calling is available by simply touching the picture of the desired contact, there is no complicated login or password setup, and the device is lightweight with a senior-friendly user interface and stylus that “allows users to embrace new technology in a non-threatening, easy way.”
On August 17, 2015 grandPad announced their partnership with Sesen Elder Care extending the grandPad’s user base to the San Francisco Bay area. Sesen is providing grandPads to its residents and to assist in-home care providers in the Bay Area, merging grandPad functionality with elder care education and in-home care management.
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"The Baltimore Experience Corps Trial"
“The Baltimore Experience Corps Trial” is a large-scale experimental program that links older adults with elementary school students to provide academic and social support to the next generation. According to a new USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology study the intergenerational civic engagement program allows seniors to engage and have a sense of purpose. The program is touted as a win-win helping communities and older adults concurrently.
The USC study followed Experience Corps volunteers and non-volunteer subjects for two-years, evaluating the participant’s impressions on mentoring younger members of the community. Upcoming BECT analysis will examine the academic, behavioral, and social benefits for the children, as well as, look closely at the psychological and physical benefits to older adults. Professors involved in the study hope that the results of the BECT will lead to the development of more intergenerational civic programs and scientific support for those programs.
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Retirement Villages of the Future
A recent article by Ann Brenoff, The Huffington Post,
reported on an AARP prediction that the Baby Boomers wish to age in place will likely lead to some unique retirement villages where seniors can maintain their strong relationships, friendships and communities. Beth Baker, author of “With a Little Help from Our Friends – Creating Community as We Grow Older,”
says ten years from now retirement villages or NORC -Naturally Occurring Retirement Communities- will be the communities created and built without packing a single moving box. These will be communities were the older residents simply agree to stick together.
Baker mentions a fluctuation in boomers shying away from traditional retirement villages and an increase in creative ways of living in retirement. Future NORCs will contain homes with technological upgrades and universal designs that make it easier for seniors to age in place and age in community.
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8/20/15 OC Monthly meeting
8/25/15 NAIPC Council of Chapters Conference call
9/2/15 Tri County of Greater LA Chapter meeting
9/16/15 Greater Charleston Quarterly meeting
9/29/15 NAIPC Council of Chapters Conference call