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

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Making exercise part of healthcare by Jenifer Milner WITH: ICAA issue brief--ACSM's Exercise is Medicine(R): Bridging healthcare and physical activity for older adults--Prepared by experts from the Ol

Since 2001, the International Council on Active Aging (ICAA) has worked with members, partners and allies to encourage adults over 50 to adopt a healthier, more active lifestyle and to live as fully as possible in all of life's dimensions. Recently, members of the American College of Sports Medicine and the ICAA Advisory Board worked on an issue brief that connects Journal on Active Aging readers with ACSM's Exercise is Medicine(R) initiative. Exercise is Medicine(R) aims to make physical activity a standard in healthcare. By linking healthcare providers with physical activity resources and professionals, such as exercise physiologists, physical therapists and fitness specialists, the initiative promotes networks and environments that support physical activity.


Portraying wellness: An invitation to participate in a virtual exhibit by Lisa Kiely, BFA, CPT, CAD, CEHA

There's an African saying, "If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together." In Atlanta, Georgia, active living fans are excited about a new project connecting people of all ages and stages of life. Now, in time for Active Aging Week 2019, we invite International Council on Active Aging members and others hosting this campaign to join us in a virtual portrait project. ... Our new nationwide project, "Wellness In One Word," challenges everyone to define wellness in the moment by connecting it to self-portrait photography. We are inviting people to take portraits and "selfies" while answering the question, "What's on your mind right now--in one word?" and to submit their photos for virtual display. Trying to capture individual ideas about wellness in one word and one picture is a fun way to bring us together and see what gives us well-being.


Active Aging Week: "Redefine active" with engaging life experiences

If your organization has yet to register as a host site for this year's Active Aging Week, why not get involved? Active Aging Week is the annual celebration of aging and active living that we all look forward to each year. It's the activities you provide that promote wellness, fun and friendship in your neighborhood or community. And it's the spotlight you shine on how to live well at any age by staying positively engaged in all aspects of life. Started by the International Council on Active Aging (ICAA) in 2003, Active Aging Week has grown with your help from a grassroots initiative into a global movement. ... The experiences of Active Aging Week remind us that every generation contributes to a vibrant, strong society (see the sidebar for an overview of what some hosts did last year). In 2019, Active Aging Week will take place October 1-7. This year's theme, "Redefining Active," highlights the fact that aging actively is about so much more than physical activity.


Practices to optimize skin health by Amy Henderson, RN, BSN

The changes in physical appearance are subtle at first: a softer jawline, a fuller neck and a few persistent smile lines around the eyes. A sideways glance in the mirror reveals a silhouette that resembles someone older--perhaps your mother, your father. You realize, however, that indeed it is you. And your appearance has changed with the passage of time. Our clients likely have experienced many such moments over the years. With age, several intrinsic and extrinsic factors--including decreased hormone levels, genetic history, lifestyle choices and environmental surroundings--contribute to changes in the skin's quality. ... In a society that still attaches a stigma to aging and a double standard that affects women in particular, physical changes to the skin can have a significant impact on a person's overall self-image and feelings of self-worth. These physical changes also increase the risk for skin conditions. ... Skin care [and lifestyle] practices...not only promote healthier skin, but also support wellness and graceful aging.


Reality check: What you need to know about products promoted for Alzheimer's disease by Marilynn Larkin, MA

About 50 million people worldwide are living with dementia, making it a "global epidemic," according to the Chicago, Illinois-based Alzheimer's Association, whose mission focuses on Alzheimer's care, support and research. And yet, as nations ramp up efforts to support those with Alzheimer's, many people have misperceptions about the disease. For example, the Association found in a 2014 survey that 59% of individuals around the world incorrectly believe that Alzheimer's disease is a "typical part of aging" or that you have to have a family history of the disease to be at risk. The reality is, scientists are still not sure what causes the disease, though much research in this area is underway. Other misperceptions have to do with treatments. Currently, there are no treatments that can prevent or cure Alzheimer's disease or slow its course. Answers are coming, but we're not there yet, according to Heather Snyder, PhD, senior director of medical and scientific operations for the Alzheimer's Association.


Telomeres: Are they the Fountain of Youth, or markers for the benefits of living well? by Cindy Geyer, MD, ABIM, ABOIM, ABLM

Since ancient times, explorers have sought the restorative powers of the proverbial Fountain of Youth. In more recent times, clinical research on cellular longevity is targeting a genetic substance called the telomere, which is entering the spotlight as a potential key to slowing-or even preventing-the more common health challenges of aging. ... [T]elomere length could provide significant clues to healthy aging, not only helping to predict and forestall diseases such as cancers, but also motivating lifestyle changes that might delay senescence [or cell aging].


Dance fitness: Older adults give it a whirl by Mary E. Sanders, PhD, CDE, ACSM-RCEP, FACSM

We don't have to be on "Dancing with the Stars" or an elite athlete to have a great time getting in the groove. From simple to advanced choreography, social dance-type moves are being incorporated more and more into fitness programs for older adults, promoting popular and proven health benefits for mind, heart, body and soul. Dancing styles of all kinds-including waltz, tango, folk dance and salsa-along with physical fitness types of fun movement like Zumba are all providing opportunities for participants to reap the rewards of enjoyable activities that also promote balance, movement quality (like walking or stepping forward and backward) and better sensory and motor perceptions.


Disruption-proof your senior housing business by Chip Conley, MBA

At a time when the "silver tsunami" should be a huge boon for senior housing developers in the United States and beyond, occupancy rates have trended downward for the past 10 quarters. There are countless examples of industries, from railroads to retail real estate, that fell into a slump exactly when consumer demand was spiking. Why? Often, they were too product or process oriented, and not enough consumer oriented, while their core customers' needs evolved over time. How does this rationale apply to the senior housing industry? Beyond well-known operational challenges like labor expenses and construction costs, even some newer, more innovative models may not be addressing the critical larger question: What do today's older customers really want in a housing environment? ... Maybe it's time we reimagine the senior housing model by using the lens of a serial disruptor in the hospitality industry.


MusicGlove: New robotics facilitate hand rehabilitation in stroke survivors by Marilynn Larkin, MA

As authors of a recent editorial ... report, the increase in older adult numbers will be accompanied by an anticipated 55% increase in the total number of annual stroke cases by 2030. In the United States alone, more than 700,000 people sustain a stroke each year; importantly, about two-thirds of these individuals survive and require rehabilitation, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Yet six months after stroke, about 65% of patients still cannot incorporate the affected hand into their usual activities. Authors of a recent review of hand rehabilitation robotics for stroke survivors note that "recovery of hand function is one of the most challenging topics in stroke rehabilitation," largely because of the flexibility and complexity of the hand and the brain's motor cortex. ... [S]ome researchers are turning to technology for solutions, developing devices that motivate people to do the required exercises while helping to ensure that those exercises are performed correctly. One such device is MusicGlove.


Teaching for eyes, ears and hearts: The multidimensional languages of fitness by Lawrence Biscontini, MA

As active-aging movement coaches, we communicate on three levels. Although our volume, style, language, demographics, culture and tone can change our meaning by the minute among various classes and clients, we can divide all of our communication strategies into visual, auditory and kinesthetic camps. Even though current research reveals that some people prefer one of these three types, we may wish to consider aspects of teaching for each of these strategies in order to be effective communicators in active-aging environments. Including all three languages of fitness offers a rich, dimensionalized approach to cueing, thereby helping us connect with a larger active-aging market.

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