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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.

Better together: Covenant Living navigates COVID with community and communication by Jana Decker by BS-8682

Better together: Covenant Living navigates COVID with community and communication by Jana Decker by BS

Covenant Living Communities and Services is rooted in ministry. Our Illinois-based organization has served older adults as an outreach ministry of the Evangelical Covenant Church since 1886. That year, our flagship community, Covenant Home of Chicago (known at the time as the Home of Mercy) was founded to provide care "to the sick, to orphaned children and to the frail elderly." Today, as a nonprofit provider of senior services and among the largest seniors housing providers in the United States, Covenant Living serves 5,400 residents at 17 retirement communities in 9 states. Our continuing care communities offer independent living, assisted living, skilled nursing, memory care and rehabilitation services. In March 2020, after more than 130 years of growth and change (and 100+ years since the Spanish Flu), our organization suddenly and unexpectedly found itself on the brink of a pandemic. We kicked into action immediately as COVID-19 shutdowns took place, knowing that the health and safety of our residents is the highest priority. Initially, that meant residents sheltering in place with no access to the many amenities that were part of normal life. Days turned into weeks, and like many other organizations, we realized this crisis situation was not a passing storm. The pandemic was not going away any time soon. It was clear our organization urgently needed to redirect focus to long-term solutions for supporting and engaging residents within the parameters of COVID.

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Business profiles

A time to build: Now is the time to reclaim wellness (includes

A time to build: Now is the time to reclaim wellness (includes "ICAA Call to Action: Reclaim wellness for older people")

As the world's populations cautiously emerge from a year of restrictions and lockdowns, no one believes that life will return to the way it was before COVID-19 shifted reality. But during this transformative time, organizations and agencies can seize the opportunity to move beyond crisis management and develop a new, vibrant model to meet the needs and lifestyles of today's older adult. "Now is the time that we can come together to reclaim our lives and businesses," says Colin Milner, founder and CEO of the International Council on Active Aging. ICAA has issued a Call to Action to inspire this transformation, urging its members, associates and society at large to heed the call. Just as in October 2001 when ICAA set out to lead, define and connect the active-aging industry, the association encourages everyone to embrace these opportunities and advance a model that fosters the strength and resilience to live well.

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ICAA initiatives

For Brain Fitness Academy, the pandemic led to a new, successful product by Sara Woodard, MHSA, and Annette Kelly, PhD, ARNP-8588

For Brain Fitness Academy, the pandemic led to a new, successful product by Sara Woodard, MHSA, and Annette Kelly, PhD, ARNP

In March 2020, Brain Fitness Academy (BFA) program sites, like so many others, were forced to close due to COVID-19. The Florida nonprofit's familiar in-person model became unavailable to its members almost overnight. Unbeknownst to the organization at that point, the closure would lead to quick, agile thinking and creativity, which combined to spark development of a new product that is now a permanent part of BFA's offerings. Headquartered in Winter Park, Florida, BFA strives to maximize the lives of individuals with mild cognitive impairment/early dementia living in the community through a curriculum- based program that highlights capabilities and focuses on success in a safe, supportive environment. Having heard many times from members that BFA is the highlight of their week, we recognized immediately that closing or interrupting the program was not an option. The team, with the guidance of cofounder Peggy Bargmann, RN, immediately went to the drawing board to come up with a solution to keep the members engaged and connected. Our research included seeking advice from our trusted academic partners as well as other experts. We worked collaboratively to explore the best solutions for delivery of our program in a virtual format.

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Cognitive health

Casa Dorinda's

Casa Dorinda's "Meet Your Neighbor" initiative introduces residents to each other via video by Marilynn Larkin, MA

When the pandemic struck and effectively isolated Casa Dorinda's on- and off-campus residents from the surrounding communities and from each other, the entertainment committee cochairs of the Montecito, California-based life-care community sprang into action. They came up with an innovative and compelling video project, Meet Your Casa Dorinda Neighbor, which has had a positive impact on residents, staff and sales, and will be part of the organization's array of services going forward, according to Director of Life Enrichment Melissa Gill Hausz. Pre-pandemic, the community's entertainment committee members were in part responsible for greeting new residents, inviting them to dinners and social events, and introducing them to current residents. As it became clear in March 2020 that social activities would effectively shut down, the committee's cochairs proposed the video initiative. "The Life Enrichment team felt it would be a wonderful way for residents to not only see each other, but to learn about each other at a time when they couldn't meet in person and have conversations face-to-face," Hausz says. "The plan was approved, and everyone got to work!"

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Program profiles

Embracing nature, parks and outdoor spaces to age well: COVID-19 and beyond by Pazit Levinger, PhD, and Keith Hill, PhD-8576

Embracing nature, parks and outdoor spaces to age well: COVID-19 and beyond by Pazit Levinger, PhD, and Keith Hill, PhD

As the United Nation's Decade of Healthy Ageing (2021–2030) commences, active-aging advocates may look back on 2020 as a year that illuminated the real-world importance of healthy aging. Older people have been adversely impacted by the current coronavirus pandemic, with a high proportion of deaths reported in those ages 65 and over. A new study from Kaiser Permanente, a California-based integrated healthcare system, suggests that physical activity levels are a significant factor in COVID-19 outcomes. Physical activity is a key lifestyle factor that positively impacts health and well-being across the life span, including in older age. Further, being physically active in the outdoors offers mental, physical and social health benefits for all age groups. In light of the pandemic, being outdoors also offers a safer option to engage in physical activity due to the lower transmission risk for the virus. Parks and outdoor leisure spaces are often designed...with little focus on the older demographic. It is timely to make sure the needs of older people are catered for in any future park refurbishments or new outdoor design. Seniors centers, retirement communities and other organizations that serve this population may also increase use of their outdoor spaces for activity through improvements.

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Community design

Pandemic innovations boost wellness-8571

Pandemic innovations boost wellness

Among the earliest consequences of the pandemic lockdown were loss of mobility and loss of social connectivity. In-person classes were banned. Gyms and recreational facilities were closed. Residents and members were urged to stay at home. Even daily walks fell by the wayside. Like many active-aging organizations, the following trio of providers used both creativity and ingenuity to find ways to engage, connect and support their constituents, including through the use of technology. WesleyLife embraced the broader community; Acts Retirement-Life Communities personalized fitness participation; and Encore Community Services engaged members with a virtual show.

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Business profiles

Total items: 1179

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