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The Journal on Active Aging brings articles of value to professionals dedicated to older-adult quality of life. Content sweeps across the active-aging landscape to focus on education and practice. Find articles of interest by searching the article archives in three ways: Enter a keyword in the articles search bar; click on search by topic; or type a keyword or phrase in the general search bar at the top of the page.

Purchasing new technology: Overcoming vendor overload by Marilynn Larkin, MA-6008

Purchasing new technology: Overcoming vendor overload by Marilynn Larkin, MA

"Like most companies, we receive a constant flow of pitches from vendors who come to us with new technology solutions," Brookdale Senior Living's Andrew Smith, PMP, MEd, director of innovation and strategy, told me recently in an interview. "We love the idea that so many innovators are creating products with seniors in mind," he adds. "The truth is we often have to turn them away because the product is not at the right stage of development." I had reached out to Smith, who deals with this issue almost daily, because International Council on Active Aging CEO Colin Milner has said that many ICAA members struggle with making the right technology purchasing decisions for their organizations or communities--and that for some, fear of making the wrong decision often keeps them from making any decisions at all. Happily, Smith agreed to share the process he implemented with his team at Tennessee-based Brookdale to help readers who are grappling with similar concerns.

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Technology

Spiritual health and active aging: A perspective by Stephanie Ludwig, MDiv, MA, PhD-6006

Spiritual health and active aging: A perspective by Stephanie Ludwig, MDiv, MA, PhD

Each morning 67-year-old John gets on his road bike and cycles through the northern foothills of Tucson, Arizona. Each year he gets slower, he says, but he always returns home from riding with a sweaty, relaxed, smiling face that radiates joy. John has ridden solo and with other cyclists for decades, and continues to do so because it brings him peace in body, mind and spirit as well as a sense of community. It also inspires him to be of service to others. Over the years he has found creative and meaningful ways to share his passion for cycling and bike-friendly communities through volunteerism and philanthropy. The physical, emotional and mental benefits of an active lifestyle are documented by researchers, and well known through direct experience by people like John. Far less considered are the benefits of an active lifestyle for spiritual health--especially approaching exercise and movement as spiritual practice.

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Spiritual wellness

Five Meal Plan: Quincy Village reimagines food services-6004

Five Meal Plan: Quincy Village reimagines food services

Quincy Village in Waynesboro, Pennsylvania, focuses "on providing older adults with quality service and a meaningful experience." Set amid the mountains, forests and farmlands of Franklin County, the not-for-profit continuing care retirement community provides four levels of living--independent living, personal care, assisted living and skilled nursing--and serves approximately 450 residents ages 55 and older. ... "Quincy Village is always looking at how we can raise the bar and deliver and support the best engaging services and culture, and in doing so, enhance the quality of life for our residents," says Director of Community Life and Volunteer Services Laura Glass. "For example, we determined a need to enhance the dining experience within our community." Quincy Village staff researched and designed a new meal program that they believed would work best for residents in nursing care. "This plan breaks away from the traditional tray service found in nursing homes and replaces it with fresh, made-to-order food five times a day (instead of three)," Glass says. Called the Five Meal Plan, the new dining program "has truly allowed us to provide quality resident-centered care," she adds.

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Management

Communicating culture change: Taking stock of one journey's challenges and successes by Kelly A. Stranburg, MEd, CEP, CSCS-6001

Communicating culture change: Taking stock of one journey's challenges and successes by Kelly A. Stranburg, MEd, CEP, CSCS

It is nearly a year since I last shared with Journal on Active Aging readers the journey to become a culture of vitality and well-being at Sharon Towers, our not-for-profit life-plan community located in Charlotte, North Carolina. As a recap, we are focusing on repositioning our community as a center of vitality and well-being in the region. A destination that not only breaks stereotypes and stigmas that often exist with a retirement community or nursing home, but also inspires more positive views of aging. Throughout 2016, I wrote a column in the Journal highlighting and documenting steps we took, challenges we faced and lessons we learned along the way, to provide a potential culture-change roadmap for readers. ... So, how have we progressed with our communication efforts and what hurdles have we faced in the last 12 months as we continue to focus on changing our culture? Let's catch up.

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Marketing

Earth-friendly endeavors: Wake Robin nurtures a healthy, sustainable community-5999

Earth-friendly endeavors: Wake Robin nurtures a healthy, sustainable community

In June 2015, the New York Times published an article in its "Business Day" section delving into the growing demand for--and expectations of--green retirement communities. Writer Constance Gustke also mentioned some of the benefits of these "eco-conscious" communities, such as a healthier living environment for older adults and a reduced carbon footprint and financial incentives for providers. Among the communities profiled was Wake Robin in Shelburne, Vermont. Named for the deep-red trillium flower that grows in the northeastern United States, Wake Robin is a life-plan community that overlooks scenic Lake Champlain. Core values include respect for residents' dignity, independence and goals, exemplified by a "resident-powered" community life. ... Environmental stewardship is the other core value at Wake Robin. "We are committed to responsible stewardship of resources, to the beauty and accessibility of our community and surroundings, and to nurturing the environment for a sustainable future," its website states.

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What an "ignited" older adult will look like in 2035 by Richard H. Carmona, MD, MPH, FACS

Mark Twain said that life would be better if we started at 80 and worked down to 18. George Burns said as he smoked his cigar, "If I had known I was going to live this long, I would have taken better care of myself." He lived vigorously for 100 years. Being the comedian he was, when asked what he would like for his 90th birthday, he said, "A paternity suit"! Both Mark Twain and George Burns were "ignited" seniors in their time who lived twice their life expectancy and thrived through their last days. Based on their birthdates, they were anomalies not only for their longevity, but also due to their profound productivity through their entire long, ignited life spans. They indeed preserved and enhanced their brains' neural networks and cognitive ability. Today, the world is facing disruptive change without precedent. We will soon have more older people than children, and centenarians are becoming commonplace. Many questions arise from these seismic demographic shifts. Can we maintain or enhance health and cognitive ability as we age? How will society address these issues? What roles will technology and science play in supporting our seniors to stay ignited? ... Let's briefly look at the demographics and science of aging before addressing the concept of an ignited senior, how society must adjust, and the impact of technology and science on the ability of our older adults to "ignite."

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