Archive for April, 2011

Study shows aging in place preserves seniors’ independence, reduces care costs

Friday, April 29th, 2011

As we get older and are no longer able to do some of the things we used to, we have to consider whether or not we’re in the best living environment for our situation. Should we “age in place” and live in our own home, or should we move to assisted living or a nursing home.

Researchers at the University of Missouri’s Aging in Place project have found that seniors have better outcomes when they receive care in their preferred place of living rather than moving from place to place as their needs change.

According to Marilyn Rantz, a professor at the school of nursing and project director of TigerPlace, an elder housing project, “Traditional long-term care often diminishes seniors’ independence and quality of life.” Residents at TigerPlace receive care when they need it in the privacy of their own apartments. In addition to costs that were significantly lower than assisted living or nursing homes, the TigerPlace residents had improved mental and physical health outcomes and very high satisfaction with the program.

(By the way, we love this advertisement for TigerPlace.)


Never too old to play softball

Friday, April 22nd, 2011

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Designers suit up to see what suits the elderly

Tuesday, April 19th, 2011

Product designers are using special suits that help them better understand the loss of mobility, strength, vision and dexterity that we incur as we get older. MIT’s AgeLab has designed AGNES, which stands for Age Gain Now Empathy System. And Ford Motor Company has built the Third Age Suit which it uses to design cars that are more senior-friendly. Now architects are also using these suits to help them design homes that are better adapted to the needs of the elderly.

Can Facebook help the elderly prevent memory loss?

Monday, April 18th, 2011

People of every age are using Facebook these days to stay in touch with friends old and new. According to the Pew Internet and American Life Project, as of May 2010, one in four adults aged 65 and older are using social networking sites. Nearly a year later, that number is likely much closer to one in three.

We’ve heard all the reasons why you might not want to connect online, but a recent study points to a very good reason why you should: Facebook and other Internet activities stimulates memory and attention span. The study by the Italian Association of Psychogeriatrics gave laptops and Internet instruction to residents of two senior facilities. According to the site, All Facebook:

Those folks who got the knack of it and were successful at using the social networking sites demonstrated better cognition and were more on-the-ball than those who chose to remain detached from Internet use.

It’s important to note that the participants were given tutorials on getting around the internet. Sites like Facebook can be a great place to interact, but they can be overwhelming for the uninitiated. If you’re new to the web and social networking, try to get some formal or informal instruction to help you make the most of the experience.

(Photo by Photocapy via flickr)