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ICAA honors five programs with its 2013 Innovators Achievement Awards

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Association highlights excellence and creativity in older-adult wellness

[VANCOUVER, BC]—The International Council on Active Aging® (ICAA), an association that leads, connects and defines the active-aging industry, is pleased to announce the winners of the 2013 ICAA Innovators Achievement Award. Presented in three categories, ICAA’s Innovators Awards highlight creativity and excellence in active aging, recognizing those that are leading the way, setting new standards, and making a difference in the lives of older adults. The Achievement Award (formerly the ICAA Innovators Award category) specifically recognizes programs and concepts that advance active aging. Award-winning offerings target any or all of the seven dimensions of wellness promoted by ICAA—social, emotional, vocational, spiritual, intellectual, physical and environmental.

Recipients of the 2013 ICAA Innovators Achievement Award include:

GIVE in All Directions (Seabury, Bloomfield, Connecticut)—Over an eight-week period, this vocational wellness initiative provided formal volunteering opportunities for individuals at all levels of function who reside in Seabury’s active life-care community.

Goodman-Rotary 50+ Fitness Program (Madison School & Community Recreation, Madison, Wisconsin)—This program attracted new participants and offered more fitness opportunities by launching programs focused on activities in three areas: outdoor adventure, wellness education, and community involvement.

Improvisational Murder Mysteries Senior Theater (Sarasota Bay Club, Sarasota, Florida)—Removing the intimidation of memorizing lines, the murder mysteries theater program at this independent-living community are created by resident actors who become characters through a process of creative writing and group improvisation.

Brain Fitness Club (Brain Fitness Club, Winter Park, Florida)—Serving those with mild cognitive impairment and early dementia, this community program provides a therapeutic environment for individuals to take part in brain healthy activities, including cognitive stimulation, socialization and physical exercise.

IntergenSational (Plymouth Park Senior Living, LaGrange Park, Illinois)—Plymouth Park’s partnership with a local high school has grown over time into a collaborative and purposeful program linking students with residents in a wide range of intergenerational experiences.

“As ICAA’s Innovators Awards program enters its second decade, we are thrilled by the continued growth and creativity of programs that foster health, wellness and quality of life for older adults,” says Colin Milner, ICAA’s founder and CEO. “In fact, we changed the name of the award category this year to emphasize that winning programs are inspiring achievements in active aging. We can all celebrate and learn from these initiatives.”

When evaluating the 2013 award entries, the judges especially looked for themes that reflected the industry’s development and maturation. “They found many excellent submissions for the Achievement Award,” Milner says. “And for the first time, they suggested we include an Honorable Mention designation.”

The following four initiatives achieved Honorable Mention:

• Liberty Lifestyles wellness program development (Liberty Lutheran, Ambler, Pennsylvania)—recognized for comprehensiveness and reach into assisted living and nursing care

• Bean Bag Baseball (CareLink, North Little Rock, Arkansas)—honored for collaboration and growth

• Rocketry with John (Atria Valley Manor, Tucson, Arizona)—recognized for uniqueness and successful launch

• Discover True North (North Hill, Needham, Massachusetts)—honored for extensive collaboration and benefit to the local community

“On behalf of ICAA,” adds Milner, “I congratulate the winners of our 2013 Innovators Achievement Award, as well as those receiving Honorable Mention. Thanks also to everyone who entered this year’s awards contest.”

Award-winners were selected based on the following five criteria:

Innovative. Is the program/initiative/plan different than what is currently being done in the field? Or, does it take a standard procedure and add an interesting new angle?

Pervasive. Does the program/initiative/plan expand into a comprehensive approach that engages an entire organization or community?

Ambitious. Does the program/initiative/plan break new ground, achieve a stretch goal or represent a paradigm shift?

Measurable. Are there specific actions, numbers or other measures that demonstrate success?

Dazzling. Does the application contain information that is so unique or powerful that the judges respond with great appreciation?

This year the judges also paid particular attention to submissions that:

• included partnerships and inclusions of different groups (e.g., older adults, staff, children, neighbors, businesses/charities)

• represented different dimensions of wellness

• provided outcomes, so it was clear if the program/initiative succeeded

• were replicable (that is, did not rely on a single person or location that others cannot duplicate)

All five Achievement Award recipients will receive a crystal award of recognition. In addition, each will be profiled in ICAA’s flagship publication, the Journal on Active Aging®, in the 2014 calendar year.

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About the ICAA Innovators Awards program

Website: www.icaa.cc/awards.htm

The ICAA Innovators Awards honor those in the active-aging industry that are leading the way, setting new standards and making a difference in the lives of older adults. Established in 2003, this awards program honors excellence and creativity in three categories: ICAA Innovators Achievement Award, for programs and concepts that advance active aging; ICAA Innovators Practical Solutions Award, for creative products and services for active older adults; and ICAA Innovators Green Award, for environmental stewardship efforts. By recognizing cutting-edge programs, products and environments as well as those who developed them, ICAA highlights wellness solutions for industry leaders and governmental organizations to consider.

About the International Council on Active Aging (ICAA)

ICAA, an association that leads, connects and defines the active-aging industry, supports professionals who develop wellness facilities, programs and services for adults over 50. The association is focused on active aging, an approach to aging that helps older adults live as fully as possible within all dimensions of wellness; and provides its members with education, information, resources and tools. As an active-aging educator and advocate, ICAA has advised numerous organizations and governmental bodies. These include the US Administration on Aging, the National Institute on Aging (one of the US National Institutes of Health), the US Department of Health and Human Services, Canada's Special Senate Committee on Aging, and the British Columbia ministries of Health, and Healthy Living and Sport, among others.

For interviews or more information about ICAA, the ICAA Innovators Awards, or aging-related issues, contact:

Contact: Colin Milner, CEO, ICAA
Toll-free: 1-866-335-9777 (North America)
Telephone: 604-734-4466; cell: 604-763-4595

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