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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.

Topic- Environmental wellness

 

Growing a gardening program for older adults: case study and lessons learned by Barbara Denson, BA-2066

Growing a gardening program for older adults: case study and lessons learned by Barbara Denson, BA

Giving back to the larger community has long been part of the mission of the Bon Secours New York Health System. Therefore, a project proposed in 2006—to create a community garden at the organization’s Schervier Nursing Care Center in the Bronx, New York—was a natural. Funded by an internal grant from the Bon Secours Mission and brought to life under the guidance of Patricia Leo, who served as coordinator from 2006 to 2009, the garden’s mandate was to be multicultural, multifaith, intergenerational (though geared mainly to people 65 years and older) and 100% organic. Additional funding from a Douglas J. Schwartz Greenhouse Grant supported the construction of a greenhouse on the community garden site.

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Environmental wellness

How to bring green dining to scale by Laura Lukas, BA-2061

How to bring green dining to scale by Laura Lukas, BA

Going green. Some say it’s easy; others say it’s hard. I don’t think I could qualify it either way—it’s probably best to say that it’s a journey. When you decide to make your organization more eco-friendly, it can be quite an undertaking, especially if you are strongly rooted in unsustainable practices. The transformation won’t happen overnight and your decisions will not always be simple. However, making the transition to eco-friendly practices is definitely doable.

When you start to look at your organization through “green” eyes, the first challenge often is deciding where to begin. Green dining is a good starting point; you can save money while clearly doing good for the environment. In addition, your customers—be they residents in active-living communities, visitors to seniors centers or health clubs, or guests at special functions and events—will appreciate the difference.

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Environmental wellness

Nature deficit: what it means for older adults, and how to address it among your constituents by Nancy Ceridwyn, MS, MEd-2059

Nature deficit: what it means for older adults, and how to address it among your constituents by Nancy Ceridwyn, MS, MEd

Richard Louv’s seminal work, Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature Deficit Disorder, sparked a movement that seeks to reconnect children to the natural world, with the goal of healing emerging mental and spiritual health effects and promoting physical activity.1 In this and subsequent work, Louv takes a close look at the cultural outcomes of a generation of children growing up indoors and in smaller spaces.

But what about the effects on older adults?

While nature deficit is not a medical diagnosis, Louv sees the term as a way to think about a problem for the entire population. Although the term is not found in the Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders published by the American Psychiatric Association, research over the past two decades on nature confirms negative effects from the loss of—and positive outcomes from engagement in—green spaces.

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Environmental wellness

Valle Verde Retirement Community wins inaugural ICAA Green Award-1835

Valle Verde Retirement Community wins inaugural ICAA Green Award

Valle Verde Retirement Community, located in Santa Barbara, California, is the winner of the first-ever ICAA Green Award, a new category in the International Council on Active Aging®’s Innovators Awards program. The Green Award, which was conferred in November, specifically recognizes organizations that encourage environmental stewardship by creating and/or implementing eco-friendly products, services, processes, designs or programs in their settings.

An American Baptist Homes of the West continuing care retirement community (CCRC), Valle Verde (www.valleverdesb.com ) has made changes that are resulting in reduced electricity use, decreased waste and increased recycling. The nonprofit community is also generating solar electricity, using reclaimed water and buying food from local farmers. A measure of its success are utility cost savings that average more than $210,000 annually.

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Environmental wellness

Access to nature boosts physical activity among older adults, saves staff time by Susan Rodiek, Ph.D., NCARB-1832

Access to nature boosts physical activity among older adults, saves staff time by Susan Rodiek, Ph.D., NCARB

On September 13, 2010, my colleagues and I were gratified to receive a professional award from the American Society of Landscape Architects at the society’s annual meeting in Washington, DC. That award, and the recognition our team has received from numerous organizations that provide long-term care to older adults, reinforced the value of the time and effort we put into developing an instrument that makes environmental evaluations of assisted living communities more quantifiable and reliable, and enables providers to compare satisfaction-related outcomes associated with physical environments.

We developed the instrument based on seven key principles that evaluate specific environmental qualities in assisted living communities (For more information, see Principles for outdoor areas that encourage resident participation on page XX). We then identified up to 10 ratable items that appeared to be the main components of each principle, resulting in a total of 63 individual items, which we used in the evaluation tool. After evaluating 68 randomly selected communities in various parts of the United States, and surveying 1,560 residents and staff, we identified a number of landscape features that were strongly associated with outdoor usage.

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Environmental wellness

Data pinpoint noteworthy trends at the intersection of green, active aging-1822

Data pinpoint noteworthy trends at the intersection of green, active aging

The Natural Marketing Institute (NMI; www.nmisolutions.com) is a marketing consulting and research firm that focuses on health, wellness and sustainability, including the Baby Boomer market and their attitudes and behaviors with respect to green products and services. NMI also developed the LOHAS [Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability] segmentation model, a way of looking at the adult green market that is being used globally (See the figure on page XX).

Broadly, with respect to Boomers, NMI has found that “consumption and possession are being replaced by sustainability and purpose, which are revealed in Boomers’ growing understanding of the fusion of personal and planetary health – that in fact, one cannot be healthy without the other.”1 How does that growing understanding translate into action, and what are the implications for the active-aging industry? ICAA’s Green Guide spoke with Steve French, NMI’s managing partner, to find out.

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Environmental wellness

Total items: 34

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