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What's new: The business case for wellness programs in senior living.

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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.

Aging with grace: Jane Friedman models a wonderful way to live by Maestro David Dworkin, MA-6328

Aging with grace: Jane Friedman models a wonderful way to live by Maestro David Dworkin, MA

I am honored and humbled to have served as an ICAA Master Champion since 2011. Through my national and international travels presenting the Conductorcise program, I champion ICAA's mission of "Changing The Way We Age." I have had the opportunity to meet elders across the ranges of age and health status--all amazing human beings in their own unique ways. And as I converse with those in their 80s, 90s, and 100 and beyond, I find they have many commonalities that make them all champions in successful aging. In December 2017 I viewed a YouTube video featuring Jane Friedman, a resident of R.H. Myers Apartments at Menorah Park, Beachwood, Ohio, whose attitude inspired me. In the video Jane sings a Hilarious Song about Getting Old. I felt compelled to reach out.

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Rebranding aging

Sleep power: Everyone needs their

Sleep power: Everyone needs their "zzzs" to function at their best

There's no question that getting a good night's sleep regularly is good for you, your staff and your constituents. "Sleep is a necessity, not a luxury," said M. Safwan Badr, MD, a past president of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM), at the 2014 launch of "Sleep Well, Be Well," a campaign of the National Healthy Sleep Awareness Project. Yet many people--more than half in a recent AARP/University of Michigan national poll--believe that poor sleep is a normal part of aging, and as a result, they don't seek information on how to improve sleep. But experts agree that many sleep problems--even chronic ones--can be helped by nondrug strategies and behavior changes.

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Physical wellness

The Mediterranean Diet: A way of eating for the ages and for the aging by Sara Baer-Sinnott, MA-6323

The Mediterranean Diet: A way of eating for the ages and for the aging by Sara Baer-Sinnott, MA

It seems fitting that as the Mediterranean Diet Pyramid celebrated its 25th anniversary in January 2018, it was also honored as the number one overall diet in America by US News & World Report's annual ranking (tied with the DASH diet). It wasn't always that way. In the early 1990s Americans were clamoring for "no-fat" or "low-fat" foods created by food manufacturers anxious to capitalize on the United States government's low-fat dietary policy. To provide a healthy, research-backed alternative to the US Department of Agriculture's food pyramid, Oldways brought together nutrition scientists, public policy experts, chefs, and food writers for the 1993 International Conference on the Diets of the Mediterranean. The outcome was the ?rst Mediterranean Diet Pyramid, introduced in 1993. Since that time, the diet has become one of the most widely recommended in the world, supported by physicians and nutrition professionals alike. Best of all, it is easy to follow, as it celebrates rich flavors and delicious recipes.

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Physical wellness

"Stepping Up Your Nutrition": Highlighting the impact of nutrition for falls prevention

Good nutrition is vital to healthy aging--that's one of the foundational beliefs in active aging. Among the ways in which a nutritious diet contributes to healthy aging, falls prevention is one that active-aging professionals may overlook and older adults may not realize. A public-private partnership has created Stepping Up Your Nutrition(TM), a program to educate individuals ages 50 and older about nutrition and its impact on fall risks.

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Program profiles

Voyaging via virtual reality by Marilynn Larkin, MA-6317

Voyaging via virtual reality by Marilynn Larkin, MA

Excited by growing scientific evidence that virtual reality (VR) is a useful tool for cognitive and physical rehabilitation, I was eager to look at VR programs that are being marketed directly to the active-aging industry for use with residents. While none have yet undergone rigorous large-scale studies, one in particular has been piloted in multiple settings, and will soon be tested in a Harvard University-led study. Rendever, said to "give older adults a window to parts of the world that they're missing," is notable in that it was developed by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) students who won a USD$25,000 Healthcare Innovations prize for the program in 2017. Maplewood Senior Living, which owns and operates 14 senior living communities in Connecticut, Massachusetts and Ohio, is among the first to pilot Rendever. I recently talked with Maplewood's Brian Geyser, APRN-BC, MSN, vice president of Clinical Innovation and Population Health, about the program, why he decided to deploy it and what the outcomes are so far.

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Technology

Nutrition for healthy aging by Lisa Powell, MS, RDN-6315

Nutrition for healthy aging by Lisa Powell, MS, RDN

"Mens sana in corpore sano"--this Latin phrase translates to "healthy mind in a healthy body," surely a universal goal for aging gracefully and well. Many assume that decreasing fitness levels, failing health, frailty and decline in cognitive function are unavoidable with aging, but people can do much to help maintain healthy function into their 70s, 80s and beyond. Nutrition is a key factor in healthy aging. While calorie needs decrease with age, nutrient needs typically do not--in fact, the need for some nutrients, such as protein, appears to increase. Good choices can provide the body with the best nutrients and fuel for optimal wellness at any age.

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Physical wellness

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