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

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Targeting elder abuse by Alice Steinfeld, MEd, MA, LPC

With the age 60+ population predicted to nearly double worldwide by 2050, the potential for mistreatment of older adults will increase exponentially along with their need for care and support. That's because individuals may become a target of abuse and exploitation as they grow more dependent due to frayed community connections, inadequate social support for families, and ageism that sees older people as less than equal. Whether care comes from family members, professionals or self-care, laws are needed to protect older adults from possible abuse or neglect and ensure they are treated fairly. Often, elder abuse goes unreported because the individual depends greatly on the abuser, or a lack of clarity exists concerning what constitutes such abuse. In fact, elder abuse is a serious and growing challenge. Like other types of domestic violence, elder abuse is complicated. Contributors include a mixture of psychological, social and economic factors, along with the mental and physical conditions of both survivor and abuser. As professionals dedicated to quality of life for older adults, we all have a responsibility to participate in attempts to stop elder abuse, despite the inherent difficulties. So, how do we prevent or end something so complex?

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Prevent, treat, survive: Eating well through the continuum of cancer by Lori S. Kiker, MS, RDN, LD, CSO

Research reflects progress in the fight against cancer over the past decades. In the United States, overall age-adjusted death rates declined 27% between 1991 and 2016, largely due to fewer people smoking and improved early detection and treatment, says a recent American Cancer Society report. Most new cancer diagnoses occur in adults 50 and over; specifically, 80% of new diagnoses in the US and about 90% in Canada are in the 50+ age group. As a result, cancer cases will continue to rise in line with a growing older population. By staying physically active and maintaining good nutrition, adults diagnosed with cancer in later life may better tolerate cancer treatments and get the most from their therapies. Individuals often have questions about nutrition throughout the disease journey and may come to you-as an active-aging professional-for help. This article provides the answers to many common questions people have asked me as a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist specializing in oncology. It also tackles some widespread myths about nutrition and cancer.

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Deconstructing 'old': Implications for society and the active-aging industry by Marilynn Larkin, MA

It's no secret that people today are living longer, healthier lives than in any previous generation. From a longevity standpoint, the world was home to nearly half a million centenarians in 2015, more than four times as many as in 1990. Projections suggest there will be 3.7 million centenarians across the globe in 2050. The number of people 80 years and older is projected to increase steadily as well, tripling from 143 million in 2019 to 426 million in 2050. From a health and wellness standpoint-and more to the point for the active-aging industry-that longevity is accompanied by changing expectations not only of what it means to grow older, but what needs and aspirations will change along with these demographics, notes International Council on Active Aging founder/CEO Colin Milner. "We're at a crossroads in the field of aging where our perceptions and reality are finally catching up to what science shows-namely, that we are much more capable than was previously thought," Milner states. We have a new normal, a first step towards deconstructing a concept of aging built on stereotypes of dependency and decline. What it means for the active-aging industry is change."

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Digital health privacy in active-aging settings: Will the law let you age well? by Tara Sklar, JD, MPH; Richard Carmona, MD, MPH, FACS; Kathie Insel, PhD, RN; and Christopher Robertson, JD, PhD

What is privacy and how are our interpretations of it changing with advances in technology? This question, and concerns around potentially violating a person's right to privacy, have been emerging across industries around the world. Senior living providers have increased their exposure to privacy risks with the shift to implementing sensors throughout their communities. Typically located in digital health devices that can be worn on the body or placed in the environment, these sensors are capable of collecting and tracking data relevant to a person's health and well-being on a continuous monitoring basis. There are privacy laws and a growing public awareness that this type of 24/7 surveillance-and the unprecedented detailed level of data it generates-should be accompanied by measures that support personal data protection. It is important to note that these privacy risks also apply outside the housing context. This article describes the current legal landscape around digital health privacy and proposes possible solutions for organizations to be forward-looking with the evolving laws and consent practices

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Shining examples: ICAA and NuStep name 25 "Best in Wellness"

Twenty-five communities have been recognized with the 2019 ICAA NuStep Beacon Award honoring their "Best in Wellness" achievements. The Beacon Award was created as a joint venture between the International Council on Active Aging (ICAA) and NuStep, LLC, a longtime partner of ICAA and a manufacturer of recumbent cross-trainers used in healthcare, senior living and fitness settings. Launched in 2019, the ICAA NuStep Beacon Award program is awarded to communities that successfully foster a wellness culture and an environment that supports wellness for all who live and work there. Among the Beacon Award winners, the top five communities have also received the ICAA NuStep Pinnacle Award for their particularly exceptional contributions. "It is a pleasure to honor the top 25 wellness communities," says Jane Benskey, marketing communications specialist at NuStep, LLC. "Their recognition of the value and importance of creating cultures where wellness is not a program in a room, but rather a way of life, is having a lasting and positive impact on many lives."

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Meet Moorings Park: The #1 wellness-based community in North America by Sally Abrahms

Creating an outstanding wellness culture in senior living takes a lot of heavy lifting, vision and commitment. And, as industry experts see it, it is something critical to cultivate. The International Council on Active Aging's 2019 ICAA State of Wellness Survey queried 305 senior living communities about the value of having services, programs and environments that support a wellness culture. They say it improves the well-being of residents, keeps their community relevant in a changing industry, differentiates them from competitors, attracts younger adults and garners extra income through wellness programs. Another ICAA survey, conducted in 2018, reveals that 59% of senior living communities plan to have a wellness lifestyle-with-options-for-care model (versus a healthcare-first-with-wellness-features) within the next five years. Currently, 64% of industry leaders believe wellness is a "must have." In its first year, ICAA and NuStep, LLC, a leading manufacturer of recumbent cross-trainers, have given the ICAA NuStep Beacon Award to those that best foster, and imbue, wellness into their senior communities. And the number one wellness-based community in North America went to Moorings Park, a life-plan community in Naples, Florida.

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What is wellness? Defining and acting upon a clear and comprehensive vision (with accompanying guidelines "Creating your blueprint for a wellness-based community," based on ICAA Forum 2019 recommendat

What is wellness? How you answer this question has a direct impact on everything your organization does--from your mission statement, to programming, to the built environment, to staffing, to educating your team. Perhaps you are among the nearly 60% of senior living staff and management who said in a 2018 International Council on Active Aging survey that they expect their community to transition to a wellness-based model with care by 2023. Whether you intend to change your business model or to create or evolve a wellness culture, everything you develop will reflect your view of wellness. ... Clarity in what wellness means to your organization bolsters everything you do to create, implement or evolve a business model whose primary focus is wellness. ICAA's new definition of wellness offers you a starting point. The accompanying guidelines ["Creating your blueprint for a wellness-based community"] will help you implement it.

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Hearing care for aging well: How and why to address hearing loss by Marilynn Larkin, MA

On February 28, 2019, to coincide with World Hearing Day, one of the world’s leading medical journals introduced a commission to address the global burden of hearing loss. This Lancet commission launch followed a 2017 review on the topic, which noted that, globally, hearing loss is the fourth leading cause of years lived with disability. Perhaps even more significant for the active-aging industry, the review stated that hearing loss “reaches far beyond the sensory impairment…and is strongly associated with dementia and other health conditions among people in the sixth decade of life and older.” Therefore, constituents and in some cases management and staff may be affected, with impacts to overall wellness and quality of life as well as health. ..."Everyone is complaining about healthcare costs and talking about what they want to do to keep people healthy longer,” says Charlotte Yeh, MD, chief medical officer for AARP Services, Inc. “Hearing is the one thing all of us can and should address right now.” The Journal on Active Aging talked with Yeh about how the active-aging industry can mobilize to promote hearing care and address hearing loss, plus why it’s important to take action now.

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"Thriving with dementia": Innovative efforts to support quality of life by Sally Abrahms

Older adults are getting even older. Thanks to better health, science and technology, many more people are living into their 80s and 90s. Because advancing age is a risk for dementia (a syndrome that includes symptoms such as memory loss and impaired thinking), the World Health Organization predicts that people with dementia will triple in number worldwide within three decades-from about 50 million today to 152 million by 2050. Currently, up to 70% of dementia cases may involve Alzheimer’s disease. While there is no cure for Alzheimer’s, senior living providers, adult day centers, and Alzheimer’s and dementia experts are increasingly approaching the disease (and other dementias) differently. “Dementia is about thriving, not just surviving” is the new mantra. ... From supportive environments to creative programs, innovative efforts help individuals thrive as they navigate this life passage.

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Older women traveling solo by Gwen Hyatt, MS

Curiosity, wanderlust, personal growth, retirement, an empty nest, lack of a travel partner: Older women travel alone for many reasons. Today, with more opportunities to make the most of this longer “third age,” more women are adventuring into the world of solo travel. No longer willing to stay marginalized by stereotypes, these women are helping shape the contours of a more mobile aging lifestyle....Solo trips now offer everything from women-only ski camps in the Alps, walking holidays in Scotland, cultural trips in India and yoga retreats in Costa Rica, to painting workshops in Greece and cooking weeks Italian style....The possibilities for program planning are increasing exponentially for fitness instructors, wellness and activity program directors, senior living tour operators, travel divisions in seniors centers, concierge/resident services, travel clubs and sales and marketing personnel.

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