Thursday, September 29, 2016

The Best Ways For Seniors To Stay Active And Safe

Helping Seniors To Stay Active And Safe

After retirement, it’s important for seniors to remain active and social, to keep their independence, and to be able to maintain their living environment safely. Because seniors are at risk for falls, health issues, and heat exhaustion, it’s imperative to be informed about the best ways to stay active in a way that isn’t harmful.

One of the best ways to remain active in senior years is to find something enjoyable and do it with a spouse or friend. Walking, swimming, and light sports such as golf are all great ways to get in a workout and be social at the same time. However, no matter what the activity is, it’s always important to keep precautions in mind. Think about where you will be during the activity, what the temperature will be like, what you’ll wear, and hydration. If you’ll be doing something fairly intensive, such as playing a sport or jogging outdoors, map out a route at a local park or trail and make sure there are places you can sit down and rest. Bring a water bottle to ensure you will be able to stay hydrated, and consider a light snack such as fruit or a granola bar. Keeping up your energy is a must, and replacing any water you’ve lost is key to feeling good while you’re active.

Because seniors are more at risk for heat exhaustion than others, it’s also important to wear light, breathable clothing in layers. Hats and sunglasses, sunblock, and bug spray are also considerations depending on where you will be spending time. If you begin to feel dizzy, nauseous, or have cramps, stop what you’re doing immediately and find a cool or shady place to rest. Get a drink and sit for a while, and don’t be afraid to call for help getting home if you don’t feel comfortable driving.

Of course, remaining active means you need to think about your home safety situation as well. Seniors are more at risk for falls than the general population because there is a higher risk for circulatory issues, drug interactions, and problems with the nervous system which can all cause dizziness or balance issues. If you suffer from low blood pressure or take medication and experience problems with balance, speak up to your doctor and find out what can be done about it. You can also take measures at home to prevent falls, such as removing clutter from walkways and wearing sturdy shoes at all times. Regular exercise is also helpful, as is having vision checked regularly.

There are lots of ways to get in a workout, and they don’t all have to involve a gym. Some of the best and most fun things to do include:

  • Swimming

  • Dancing

  • Bowling

  • Gardening

  • Bike riding

  • Playing video games

Yes, you read that right. Nintendo Wii is a wonderful game system that allows you to play various sports with a wireless controller, meaning you can move around as much as you need to. Double plus bonus: your grandkids can use it when they visit, so you can make exercise a family affair.

Staying active and fit is important at any age, but seniors can get maximum benefits from it that include having more energy and making fewer trips to see the doctor.

-By Lisa Gonzalez

Lisa Gonzalez has had years of experience with volunteering in nursing homes and organizing local senior activities. Realizing that this was her passion is what got her involved with ElderCorps.org, a resource geared towards the care and well-being of the aging population.


Sources

"5 Fun Ways For Seniors To Stay Active," AlertOne Services LLC

"Home Design for Fall Prevention for Seniors," HomeAdvisor Internationa

"Prevention Is Best Way to Reduce Fall Risks," Home Instead Senior Care

"Top 5 Wii Fitness Games To Get Into Shape From Home," MakeUseOf

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

2016 CSA Conference Highlights - Ashton Applewhite

Ashton Applewhite's keynote speech at the 2016 International Conference on Positive Aging in Washington D.C.

Why does the fact that people are happiest at the beginnings and the ends of their lives take so many people by surprise? Why do only 3% of American social work students concentrate in gerontology, and only 1% of medical school students choose geriatrics—even though geriatricians, over and over, report the highest job satisfaction? The reason is ageism—discrimination and stereotyping on the basis of age— the last socially sanctioned prejudice.

Ageism is emerging as a pressing human rights and social justice issue, and Ashton has become a leading spokesperson for a movement to mobilize against it. As an author and activist, Ashton Applewhite has been recognized by the New York Times, National Public Radio, and the American Society on Aging as an expert on ageism. She is the author of This Chair Rocks: A Manifesto Against Ageism. Ashton’s work is a call to wake up to the ageism in and around us, embrace a more accurate and positive view of growing older, and push back against the forces that frame it as decline.

“All practitioners working with older adults need to be informed about the pernicious influences of ageism. Nobody does this better than Ashton Applewhite. Her thinking is deep, her passion infectious, and her cogent message is spot on: we urgently need to have a national conversation about ageism to raise awareness about it and to stop it.”

— Risa Breckman, Executive Director of the NYC Elder Abuse Center

2016 CSA Conference Highlights - James Firman

James Firman's keynote speech at the 2016 Certified Senior Advisor Conference in Washington D.C.

For more than 30 years, James Firman, EdD, has been a leading force for innovation in services, programs, and public policies for older persons. Under his leadership, the National Council on Aging (NCOA) has developed many nationally acclaimed programs to improve the health, independence, and economic security of older adults. NCOA has also developed core competencies in collaborative leadership, fostering and scaling evidence-based innovations, and advocacy.

In 2015, NextAvenue named James Firman to their inaugural Influencers in Aging list. He was one of 50 thought leaders, innovators, writers, advocates, experts and others recognized for their work changing how we age and think about aging. At the 2016 CSA Conference, James enthralled audience members with an impassioned speech against giving into preconceived social norms on what it means to age. James argues that a lack of expectations for an entire generation of older adults is the worst form of ageism.

Throughout his speech, James Firman challenges the conventional notions surrounding what it means to grow old:

  • What will baby boomers and older adults do with their gift of longevity?

  • What is the purpose of this phase of life?

  • What do baby boomers and older adults want? What do they need?

  • What do we expect of them?

  • How can we help them to be healthier, more financially secure and to get more out of life?

  • What will it take to transform individual lives as well as community and societal approaches?

2016 CSA Conference Highlights - Dr. Roger Landry

Dr. Roger Landry's keynote speech at the 2016 Certified Senior Advisor Conference in Washington D.C.

Dr. Roger Landry is a preventive medicine physician, author of award-winning Live Long, Die Short: A Guide to Authentic Health and Successful Aging and President of Masterpiece Living, a group of multi-discipline specialists in the field of aging who partner with organizations to assist them in becoming destinations for continued growth and Centers for Successful Aging. Trained at Tufts University School of Medicine and Harvard University School of Public Health, Dr. Landry specializes in building environments that empower older adults to maximize their unique potential.

Over a decade ago, a landmark ten-year study by the MacArthur Foundation shattered the stereotypes of aging as a process of slow, genetically determined decline. Researchers found that 70 percent of physical aging, and about 50 percent of mental aging, is determined by lifestyle, the choices we make every day. That means that if we optimize our lifestyles, we can live longer and ''die shorter''--compress the decline period into the very end of a fulfilling, active old age.

Dr. Roger Landry and his colleagues have spent years bringing the MacArthur Study's findings to life with a program called Masterpiece Living. In Live Long, Die Short, Landry shares the incredible story of that program and lays out a path for anyone, at any point in life, who wants to achieve authentic health and empower themselves to age in a better way.

Reshape your conception of what it means to grow old and equip yourself with the tools you need to lead a long, healthy, happy life.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Successful Aging Innovators Workshop

If you enjoyed Dr.Roger Landry's keynote speech at the 2016 CSA Conference be sure to attend his upcoming speaking engagement at the Successful Aging Innovators Workshop:

Do you work with older adults? If so, the Masterpiece Academy Successful Aging Innovators Workshop is for you! For the first time, the Academy will open its doors to all professionals to learn from the brightest minds and researchers in successful aging. What you will take away from this experience:

  • Your personal innovation toolkit to become a change agent in the aging field.

  • Best practices to incorporate successful aging into your organization.

  • The leadership skills to stay ahead of the curve in this rapidly evolving field.

  • An action plan to guide your personal and professional development.

  • 10 NAB Continuing Education Units.

Roger Landry

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Protesting for the Right to Sit

Baby Boomers Protest Sitting at Concert

A 3-day festival featuring 1970s rock stars bans blankets and chairs. Will baby boomers stand up for their rights?

When a concert promoter sold tickets to an October 2016 music festival aimed at baby boomers, it promised customers that they could bring their own seating. The Desert Trip festival’s stars include Bob Dylan (who just turned 75), Paul McCartney (73), the Rolling Stones (Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, both 72), The Who (Roger Daltrey is 72 and Pete Townshend 71) and Neil Young (only 70). After customers paid $424 each for tickets to the 3-day Desert Trip, in Indio, Calif., they received notice that neither blankets nor chairs would be allowed. For those with creaky knees, aching backs and/or sore feet, this festival wouldn’t be any Woodstock.

Writing on Alternet, author Peter Dreier has called the no-seating policy a form of age discrimination and is urging baby boomers to protest by staging a sit-in, a popular type of protest from the 1970s, at the home of Jay Marciano, chairman of concert promoter AEG Live.

Although AEG Live later announced it would refund money to those who didn’t want to stand for three days, it wouldn’t back down on its ban on chairs. Will baby boomers take this latest affront sitting down? Will those who protested the Vietnam War and demonstrated for civil rights now stand up for their right to sit?

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Use Your Smartphone to Pay at the Store

Are mobile wallets safe?

Storing credit cards on your phone is safer, experts say, than in your wallet, which can be lost or stolen.

Most of us grew up writing checks to make purchases, which can be a laborious task when you’re standing at the checkout counter writing in longhand (and then noting the transaction in the checkbook), and feel especially stressed if there’s a long line behind you.

When debit and credit cards replaced the checkbook for most retail transactions, it was a welcome and efficient step. But a new technology could make using debit and credit cards as antiquated as a checkbook. Mobile wallets or payments, as they are known, let you tap or wave your smartphone at a credit card terminal to make a purchase at your favorite store or restaurant.

You start by loading your credit and debit card accounts onto your phone, so they are stored on your phone instead of in your wallet. At the checkout counter, you verify your identity with either a fingerprint or pass code, choose the credit card you want to use and waltz out of the store with your purchase.

Amazingly, this new technology—in the form of Apple Pay, Android Pay or Samsung Pay—is touted as being more secure than physical credit or debit cards. Transactions use near-field communication (NFC) wireless connectivity, and the connection’s short range makes the transaction an unlikely target for hackers. On top of that, mobile payments have several security layers that make this option far safer than using a traditional credit or debit card that can be stolen or the information swiped by a store clerk or waiter.

A forerunner of the mobile-payment trend is Starbucks. Its mobile app lets you load money onto a Starbucks digital gift card, pay for items with your smartphone and accumulate rewards for free food or drinks. You can even use the app to order your mocha latte before you get to the store, so it’s ready when you arrive.

Not all merchants are set up to accept mobile payments, so check first to make sure. Your phone must also have an NFC chip, so your older phone may not be able to make mobile payments.

Apple Pay

One of the earlier and influential movers in the field of mobile wallets, Apple Pay can be used on iPhones, iPads and Apple Watches. To make a purchase, hold your Apple device near the reader with your finger on the Touch ID. Or, double-click the Home button when your device is locked to access Wallet.

Your card number is never stored on your device, and when you pay your debit or credit card, numbers are never sent to merchants. Apple Pay assigns a unique number to each purchase, so your payments stay private and secure. To make the transaction even more secure, if you lose your iPhone or iPad, you can put your device in Lost Mode (using the Find My iPhone app) to suspend Apple Pay, or you can wipe your device completely clean. You can also stop payments from your credit and debit cards by logging into iCloud.com.

Android Pay

Unlike Apple Pay, Google’s version of a mobile wallet doesn’t use fingerprints to authenticate your identity, but accepts a PIN code, password or pattern. To complete a transaction, tap your phone on the payment terminal and enter your pass code. Like Apple Pay, Android Pay uses “tokenization,” which replaces your payment cards’ real numbers with alternative numbers that are used just for that transaction. So, your credit card information is secure in case of a data breach.

Samsung Pay

Unlike Apple and Android Pay, you can use Samsung Pay at any checkout terminal that has a magnetic-stripe credit card reader because it’s not limited to NFC. Samsung Pay uses a technology that mimics the credit card swipe. This means you can use it almost anywhere. However, you must have service with a participating wireless carrier, including AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile or Verizon Wireless.

Like the other two options, Samsung Pay uses encrypted software to hide your card numbers. To launch the app, swipe your phone, secure the transaction with your fingerprint or enter your pin, and hover your phone over the card reader to pay.

PayPal

Although not a phone, PayPal lets you access your credit and bank accounts without needing to use a credit or debit card. PayPal customers can make purchases at credit card terminals using their phone number and a PIN code. Like its online transactions and like Apple, Android and Samsung Pay, in-store purchases using PayPal are tokenized and encrypted.

PayPal has recently added an app for Apple, Android and Windows that lets you store loyalty cards (like those used at grocery stores) on your phone. With the new app, you can order ahead from a restaurant that partners with PayPal and pay with your phone, so when you arrive, all you need to do is pick up your pizza and get it home while it’s hot.

Not all stores have signed up for the PayPal partnership, so make sure you check for participating locations on your app.


Sources

10 Ways to Pay with Your Mobile Phone,” March 31, 2016, Fueled.com.

Easier Ways to Make Payments With Smartphones,” July 30, 2014, New York Times.

New Ways to Pay With Your Phone,” February 2016, Kiplinger.

Can a phone replace your wallet? I went shopping to find out,” December 16, 2014, c/net.

Why Mobile Wallets are Safer than Physical Wallets,” July 27, 2015, Capterra .

Are mobile wallets safe?,” Feb. 24, 2016, KLS.com.

Blog posting provided by Society of Certified Senior Advisors
www.csa.us