Lifestyles January 2017
a special publication by
2 - Mature Lifestyles - January 2017 - TheIntelligencer.com
Looking back and looking forward By KENDRA GARNTO
Cambridge House of Maryville
Happy New Year to you! 2017 is finally here and we are so excited! As some of you may know, the Cambridge House in Maryville offers affordable assisted living apartments for individuals 65 & older. We are looking forward to submitting an article throughout the year, and hope that you, the reader, reach out to us with what you are looking to learn from a senior care standpoint. We are often approached with so many questions from families or individuals who are just beginning to look into resources for long term care, and we do our best to listen, offer suggestions, and make recommendations that will help make solutions apparent and the entire transition a little easier. I would like to first off, tell you how important it is for me to recognize my dedicated staff—many of whom have been working at our community since we first opened our doors in May of 2006. Their hard work makes our residents feel at home and each and
every one of our employees supports our mission to treat residents with dignity, integrity, and compassion. 2016 was a great year for the Cambridge House, as we celebrated our 10 Year Anniversary with a ceremonial ribbon cutting and an Open House event. We recognized some of our long term residents and employees, and heard from some of our staff on the occasion. We were able to assist families from all across the country with placement, including residents from as far as New York and Colorado. We are fortunate enough to work with the Illinois Supportive Living Program as an Illinois Supportive Living Facility (SLF). This means that we are able to offer financial assistance to those who meet certain income guidelines. We can also work with private pay families who have concerns over how long finances will last in a long term setting. Realistically, we help those who know they or their family members wish to live independent lifestyles all while receiving assistance with their day-to-day activities and quality services 24 hours per day. Continued from Page 3
A Supplement of o f E D WA R D S V I L L E
117 N. Second Street, Edwardsville 618.656.4700 PUBLISHER Denise Vonder Haar, Ext. 14 email@example.com EDITOR Bill Tucker, Ext. 47 firstname.lastname@example.org AD DESIGN MANAGER Jennifer Potts, Ext. 32 email@example.com CIRCULATION DIRECTOR Melissa Pitts, Ext. 27 firstname.lastname@example.org
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” - Maya Angelo At Cedarhurst Memory Care, loved ones are surrounded by our loving, caring staff, professionally trained by the Alzheimer’s Association. Our residents enjoy the amenities of having their own apartment, healthy homemade meals, and activities focused on their interests and hobbies.
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(opening April 2017)
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Looking Continued from Page 2 2017 has just begun and already we are off to a great start, with a full calendar of events planned through the spring! The colder weather certainly proves to keep our residents indoors as much as possible, so we strive to ensure there is plenty of engaging opportunity for them. We look for what our residents enjoy most and encourage them to participate. When we have a new resident, our Move-In Coordinator Tracy Alfaro sits down with them and their family to find out what kinds of things they enjoy most. After the resident is settled in their apartment, if they have any hobbies or interests, we ask if they would like to share with some of our other residents. For example, if they enjoy watercolor painting, perhaps they can lead an activity and teach other residents how to paint. The opportunities are endless, as we know because we have a lot of talented residents here. Of course, we do have regular social activities that are offered throughout the month by our Resident Services Coordinator Kathy Tammen. Kathy sends out a monthly schedule to all residents and their families. While BINGO is a crowd favorite and has the largest attendance, we also try new concepts like “Horse Racing” which is a friendly betting game. Residents place their bets on “horses” and have the ability to win prizes. Instead of actual dollars, residents bet with their “horsin’ around bucks” that were designed so they don’t need to use their actual pocket change. Another favorite is the “Price is Right” based off of the television game show. One of our community partners, Granite Nursing & Rehabilitation sponsors this event and brings in prizes—usually household items such as paper towels, soaps, snack items. Residents love to “come on down” and guess the price of the items in a chance to take them home. Kathy also works closely with our Marketing Director Kim Zakrzewski to plan events that we can open up to include invitations to the public. There are a few items we would like to share with you—we are offering a “Winter Warm-up Mingle” in our lobby area on Monday, January 23rd from 5:00-7:00pm. We will be serving a hot beverage bar along with some delicious baked treats for anyone who wishes to stop by. An event like this provides individuals or families who are thinking about stopping by the chance to visit with some of our residents and get a good sense of what our community can offer. On Friday, February 3rd, we are hosting our first-ever “Souper Bowl Sunday Kick Off Competition”. While it is a mouthful to say, our residents and the general public are invited to sample soups that have been prepared by our kitchen. The event will be held in our Resident Activity Room from 10:00am through 12:00pm. A voting will take place and we will offer the winning soup during lunch on Super Bowl Sunday. Valentine’s Day wouldn’t be complete without the chance to do a little dancing and enjoy a party. On
Tuesday, February 14th from 2:30-3:30pm, we will offer a “Valentine’s Day Mixer”. Anyone who shows up wearing pink or red is entered to win door prizes at the event. We do have several couples who reside at the Cambridge House. In fact, in February 2016 one of our couples was awarded a “Sweethearts Award” from our corporate office, Gardant Management Solutions. The month of March gets the Cambridge House residents geared up for warmer weather and also gives us the chance to celebrate once again. We will begin the month with a musical performance by local musician Dave Foraker on Friday, March 3rd from 7:00pm-8:00pm. Our residents always appreciate it when they get the chance to sing—and sometimes dance! The public is always encouraged to come, and the singing and dancing is optional for them. If you are feeling a little green, come on by our St. Patrick’s Day Bash on Friday, March 17th from 2:003:00pm. Our residents will be sipping on green beverages and snacks, while enjoying some Irish Celtic tunes and sing-a-longs. We feel strongly the social engagement is a focus for our residents—whether that is the occasion to come out and participate in something fun, or to attend our monthly Resident Council and Food Council meetings. Both of these meetings provide the opportunity for our residents to voice their concerns and suggestions for their apartment community. The Resident Council consists of an elected President, Vice President, and Secretary. Our staff attends both the Resident Council as well as the Food Council in an effort to provide insight, while addressing concerns and ensure the steps are taken in order to provide solutions. The Cambridge House also is very active with the Association of Assisted Living Coalition (AALC), and is working to incorporate many of their activities throughout the year. One major sponsored event is Supportive Living Week, which will take place April 24-28, 2017, with the theme of “Happiness is Ageless”. Our residents will be celebrating this theme all year long, but during Supportive Living Week we will offer themed events and activities, as well as plenty of participation points for the chance to win prizes. With each New Year, our goal is to provide a place to call home for you or a loved one. We want to share that we are your friendly resource when you are looking at options in this area, and that you are never alone when it comes to care planning. I feel that the Cambridge House provides a safe environment for all residents. Our staff looks after the well being of each and every person. Our nursing staff is comparable to none. No matter the situation, you can enjoy peace of mind knowing that you are in great care. As I mentioned, the staff here are tremendous and enjoy creating a home for our residents. I am very proud to be a part of such a caring team, and hope that you will join us for some of the exciting events we have planned. If you would like any additional information on the Cambridge House in Maryville, please feel free to contact me directly. You may call 618-288-2211, visit www.cambridgehouse-maryville-slf.com, or email me at email@example.com. The Cambridge House is located at 6960 State Route 162 in Maryville.
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Raises for home care workers won’t necessarily benefit seniors By JANE GOTTLIEB Kaiser Health News
In recent months, health aides who care for elderly Americans at home appeared at scores of rallies calling for better pay and workplace conditions. President Barack Obama and some of the presidential candidates have pledged to improve the lives of these workers, who often struggle on the poverty-level wages they are paid. Now, thanks to the “Fight for $15” movement hundreds of thousands of home care workers in at least five states will gradually receive significant hourly raises. And as result of a large organizing campaign, tens of thousands who have joined unions can negotiate for paid sick time, health and retirement benefits. “The Fight for $15 and the simultaneous benefits is an amazing, unprecedented thing that I don’t think anyone five years ago would have expected, given our hyper-polarized political environment,” said Laura Dresser, a labor economist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison who studies the impact of low wages. “This is a workforce that’s coming out of the shadows.” People with a deep understanding of eldercare policy say that without improving conditions and raising pay, which hovers at $10 an hour, it will be impossible to meet skyrocketing demand for skilled and devoted workers. But they also argue that bigger paychecks and benefits will not have a significant impact on senior citizens unless their aides and assistants are also better screened, trained and organized. “I think it’s going to take time and a different mindset to professionalize this job and improve outcomes,” said Carol Rodat, New York policy director for the Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute (PHI), which researches ways to transform eldercare. “Achieving better wages is a first step, but there are others that have to follow or you don’t get to the end point — improved outcomes for the clients.” As it stands, the soaring number of Americans who choose home care over nursing homes have no organized national system to count on that guides the hiring, education or oversight of their caregivers. There is little or no data that tracks how well the home care is delivered. And yet, these workers, like those in a hospital, provide a lifeline, not only dressing, feeding, bathing and shopping for clients, but working with their health care providers and noticing when their illnesses progress or relapse. “It’s been a growth industry people can get into with little to no experience and few barriers,” said Rodat, whose organization wants better state and federal oversight. “We have to totally re-engineer home care. It will take a massive change.” In the past 20 years, the Service Employees International Union, which organized nurses, has focused on home care workers, a largely non-white, female workforce that earns as little as $8 an hour and is often unable to piece together a full day’s work. And earlier this year, these workers land-
ed in the national spotlight when they joined the “Fight for $15” minimum wage campaign. As a result, 500,000 home caregivers in 12 states have joined SEIU and can bargain for paid sick time and retirement benefits. And Massachusetts, California, New York, Washington and Oregon, and cities such as San Francisco, Seattle, Los Angeles, New York and Washington D.C., passed laws phasing in a $15 minimum wage or an equivalent indexed to inflation. An estimated 640,000 of the more than 2 million aides hired through agencies or hired privately will see raises. Also, starting this year the federal Fair Labor Standards Act guarantees them minimum wage and overtime. The raises and union protections are concentrated in Northeastern and Western states. And they do not even cover the largest share of workers, the unpaid family members who care for a loved one. Nonetheless, many people who have worked closely on these issues see the changes as an important step in stabilizing what has been a marginal workforce. With an annual turnover of around 50 percent, home care workers now have among the lowest retention of any industry. Labor organizers say even those who wish to stay often leave for better pay and hours. Advocates note that a trusted caregiver can be pivotal to a person’s health and well-being. “When you keep the same worker that individual is going to see changes in the client’s quality of life. They are more likely to say ‘Mrs. Smith usually doesn’t confuse her children,’” said Caitlin Connolly, the Home Care Fair Pay campaign coordinator with the National Employment Law Project. But many people who work in eldercare or study it also say that paying workers more and keeping them on the job will not assure senior citizens a standard of care because of the large gaps in regulation. Currently, not all home care agencies even check applicants’ criminal histories, something not every state requires. In a widely cited study, researchers at Northwestern University’s medical school found that just 55 percent of the 180 agencies conducted a national background check. Only a third tested applicants for drug use, even though the job can mean frequent contact with medications. The study, led by geriatrician Lee Lindquist, showed that many agencies hire unskilled workers off Craigslist and place them in homes of elderly people with physical and cognitive impairments. Lindquist found aides, some of them illiterate, who mixed up medications or neglected to feed or move clients. Supervisors rarely checked in. And training was lax. Federal law requires home health aides, who perform skilled nursing functions such as wound care, to have 75 hours of training. There is no mandated training for the largest, fastest-growing segment, the personal aides who assist with housekeeping and grooming. No continuing education is required.
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What’s being done to prevent falls as incidents rise? By MARK TAYLOR Chicago Tribune
The now retired Spanish and French teacher was talking with students 10 years ago when she caught her foot under her desk, tumbled and fractured her hip. “I could actually hear the hip crack,” Fredman, 77, recalled. “I knew I needed something more than masking tape and Krazy Glue.” After surgery, Fredman spent the next six weeks in a rehabilitation nursing home, followed by intensive physical therapy and further operations. Her husband installed banisters on their stairways and grab rails and nonskid tiles in their bathroom. But the Millburn, N.J., resident said something else has lingered longer than the pain and medical bills. “Now I have a fear of falling,” she admitted. “If I go down even two stairs, I absolutely need a banister. I am always afraid of losing my balance. It’s something in my head that just won’t go away.” Fredman has made adjustments. “My husband’s or son’s arm is always there, and I take a balance class and work on my bone strength. Good balance is an absolute gift.” Fredman is not alone. In spite of growing recognition of the problem, fall rates are rising. And never before has there been such a concerted effort to prevent those falls. One-third of seniors over 65 fall each year, causing more than 2.5 million injuries treated in ERs, leading to 734,000 hospitalizations and more than 30,200 deaths, with an annual price tag exceeding $40 billion, which is expected to rise to $60 billion by 2020, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC predicted a quadrupling of annual deaths from falls by 2030, to exceed 100,000 if nothing is done to improve prevention. This is why unprecedented research into falls and prevention programs is underway. Kathleen Cameron, senior director of the National Falls Prevention Resource Center for the National Council on Aging, said she is seeing greater resources and attention paid to falls. Cameron said the U.S. Health Department’s Administration for Community Living and the Affordable Care Act are financing fall prevention programs along with state public health agencies. “People are hearing more about it because of new money going to it,” she explained, citing last year’s White House Summit on Fall Prevention and the annual Falls Prevention Day. She said the CDC is promoting a program to encourage health care providers to initiate fall risk assessments and interventions. Forty states have fall prevention coalitions. Cameron said nearly 80 percent of the costs of falls among seniors are paid by Medicare, shouldered by taxpayers. “It’s a huge burden for taxpayers and older adults, with the potential for broken bones and traumatic brain injury, as well as the loss of independence and out-of-pocket costs,” she said. “The older adult population is increasing as the baby
boomer generation turns 65. And many older adults also have multiple chronic conditions (diabetes, heart disease, chronic heart failure), which put them at greater risk of falls. Many take multiple medications, some of which cause dizziness and can lead to falls. And many older adults tend to be more sedentary, with weak balance and strength.” She said many physicians don’t screen their patients for fall risks or ask if they’ve fallen recently. She said the most difficult obstacle is the widespread belief that falls are a normal part of aging and cannot be prevented. “We can’t stop all falls,” Cameron conceded. “But we can greatly reduce the rate and severity of falls.” Dr. Thomas Gill, professor at the Yale School of Medicine, is a leader in a clinical trial at 10 sites around the country to test whether interventions can reduce the risk of fall injuries among high-risk older populations. He said the work is based on research by his colleague Dr. Mary Tinetti, a MacArthur Foundation “genius” fellow and fall-research pioneer who developed effective programs to prevent falls. “Falls are a complex geriatric condition that arises because of a confluence of different factors, ranging from visual impairment and balance disorders to medication use that may impair cognition or lower blood pressure,” Gill explained. He said footwear choice and home environment, such as lighting, floor and bathroom surfaces, also contribute. In the study, a nurse fall care manager identifies home and lifestyle risk factors and prioritizes and addresses them. “This is not a one-size-fits-all approach but is tailored to the specific needs of older persons.” Helen Lach, professor at the Saint Louis University School of Nursing, said that, since the 1980s, researchers have studied and explored the causes and risk factors of falling and have determined which interventions work. “We know more about what to do, but we’re not implementing those practices as much as we need to,” Lach said. She said more focus should be on educating insurance plans to pay for proven, evidence-backed programs. “There is a return on investment for providing some of these fall prevention programs.” She said one barrier facing seniors who have fallen is the fear of falling. “Many are worried to bring it up for fear of losing their independence, that they might have to move or end up in a nursing home,” she said. “So providers may not ask and patients won’t tell.” Jean Wyman, a professor of nursing at the University of Minnesota, said she’s seen growing attention to falls from academic and government researchers. “This is the first time we’ve seen such a widespread national effort,” Wyman said. “But we’re a long way from solving this issue.” Jon Pynoos, a professor at the University of Southern California Leonard Davis School of Gerontology and co-director of the Fall Prevention Center of Excellence in Los Angeles, said that if there is one message recent research conveys it is this: Many falls are preventable.
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Seniors suffer amid widespread fraud by Medicaid caretakers By MELISSA BAILEY Kaiser Health News
An Alaska man developed gangrenous toes. A Philadelphia woman froze to death on the street. An Illinois woman died emaciated, covered in excrement. These patients suffered as their government-paid caretakers neglected them, collecting paychecks under a Medicaid program that gives elderly and disabled people non-medical assistance at home. In some cases, the caretakers convicted of neglect were the victims’ own family members. The Personal Care Services program, which exceeded $14.5 billion in fiscal year 2014, is rife with financial scams, some of which threaten patient safety, according to a recent report from the Office of lnspector General at the Department of Health and Human Services. The OIG has investigated over 200 cases of fraud and abuse since 2012 in the program, which is paid for by the federal government and administered by each state. These caretakers, often untrained and largely unregulated, are paid an average of $10 per hour to help vulnerable people with daily tasks like bathing, cleaning and cooking. The report exposes vulnerabilities in a system that more people will rely on as baby boomers age. Demand for personal care assistants is projected to grow by 26 percent over the next 10 years — an increase of roughly half a million workers — according to the U.S. Department of Labor. “This type of industry is ripe for fraud,” warned Lynne Keilman-Cruz, a program manager at Alaska’s Department of Health and Social Services who has investigated widespread fraud. The risks increase because the care takes place out of view in people’s homes, and because neglected patients may not advocate for their own care. The OIG report describes a range of rip-offs, some of which involve caretakers caught up in the nation’s opioid epidemic. In one Illinois case, a woman whose nursing license had been suspended for allegedly stealing drugs at work signed up as a caretaker. She billed Medicaid for $34,000 in caretaking services she didn’t provide — including charges made while she was on a Caribbean vacation. In Vermont, a caretaker on probation for drug possession split her paychecks with the patient’s wife — in exchange for stealing the patient’s prescription painkillers, while he lay in visible discomfort. In other cases, Medicaid beneficiaries colluded in hoaxes, faking disability so they could hire unneeded help. In the worst cases, patients got hurt, sometimes fatally. In Philadelphia, Christina Sankey, a 37-year-old woman with severe autism, froze to death on the street after her caretaker, Hassanatu Wulu, lost her in a crowded Macy’s five miles away. Wulu, 32, pleaded guilty to neglect. In some cases, elderly patients were neglected by their own children, who signed up for caretaker payments. In Idaho, a woman was hospitalized for severe dehydration and malnourishment after her son and caretaker, Paul J. Draine, neglected her. Investigators found the home they shared
littered with drug paraphernalia. Draine pleaded guilty to fraud and abuse or neglect, and was sentenced to a sober home. In Illinois, a woman was found incoherent and covered in feces after her daughter and caretaker, Jessica Teets, of Granite City, failed to show up for over a week. The woman, Susan A. Smith, who loved crocheting and quilting, died seven months later at just 46. Teets was convicted of fraud and sentenced to five years’ probation. Investigators provided no count of how many cases of fraud and abuse involved relatives, but “it’s fairly common for family members to be the attendants, and it’s fairly common for those same family members to be the ones who are abusing, neglecting, or committing fraud,” said David Ceron, an OIG special agent based in Washington, DC. In California, three-quarters of Medicaid-funded personal assistants are relatives, though some states restrict hiring family members. In California, a Kaiser Health News investigation last year revealed widespread problems, as well as a lack of training and oversight, in the state’s program, which is the largest in the U.S. [caption id=”attachment_673091” align=”alignright” width=”270”] Dorothy Cooper of Cahokia, Illinois, died emaciated and malnourished in 2013; her Medicaid-funded caretaker was convicted of fraud in connection to her death by neglect. (Undated family photo)[/caption] In one disturbing Illinois case, a family member found 62-year-old Dorothy Cooper on the floor in her home in Cahokia, Illinois — covered with feces, malnourished, with bone-deep ulcers and open wounds. She was pronounced dead at the hospital. Lisa Luckett, her alleged caretaker, who was disabled herself, had billed Medicaid for Cooper’s care for more than six years using fraudulent names. Cooper’s death in 2013 was ruled a homicide. Luckett, who had a prior child neglect conviction, pleaded guilty to fraud and was sent to prison for four years. At the funeral home, Cooper looked “like she was a malnourished animal, just skin and bones,” her niece, Jacqueline Cooper-Cannon, said in an interview. Luckett “neglected my aunt, and it was a horrible death for her.” The negligence extended beyond the caregiver to the system, which failed to dig into Luckett’s criminal history, notice forged signatures or monitor Cooper’s wellbeing, her niece said. She called on the state to institute mandatory training and background checks. The inspector general’s office, which has documented years of fraud and neglect in the program, urged federal action. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services requires no standard training — nor background checks — for personal care attendants. Fraud can be hard to track, because many states don’t register caretakers, or even identify the worker in Medicaid claims, the OIG report found. In the report, the OIG called on CMS to establish national qualifications, including background checks, and ensure every claim identifies the worker and time of service.
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Study: Elders who use tech tools fell less lonely, more fit By LISA M. KRIEGER The Mercury News
SAN JOSE, Calif. — Forget bingo and shuffleboard. Use of computers and cellphones is linked to higher levels of mental and physical well-being among those over age 80, according to new research. And these elders — dubbed “the oldest old,” a generation typically ignored by the youth-obsessed tech industry — are motivated for the same reasons as digital-savvy millennials: to stay connected. “Using tech to connect with loved ones was related to higher life satisfaction, lower loneliness and general attainment of meaningful goals — being happy, independent,” said researcher Tamara Sims of the Stanford Center on Longevity. Those who used technology to learn new information were in better physical health, her study also found. Expansion of elder-focused tech education and support could help those born in an era of Greta Garbo, Model T cars and vacuum tube radio, said Sims. Americans are living longer than previous generations, and many want to stay at home. With digital tools, they can stay socially engaged — and reach out for help, if they need it. “I couldn’t do without it,” said Sal Compagno, 80, of Berkeley, president of the national World War One Historical Association. “It saves me infinite trips to the library.” Every morning, after his second cup of coffee, he answers emails about the war and his organization. Then he does research, which helps him stay abreast of any newly published academic studies. He also uses his PC to plan upcoming seminars — honoring the centennial of America’s engagement in the war — seeking conference venues, speakers and nearby hotels. He searches the web to find images for his World War I lectures to civic groups and schools, and then puts his presentation on a thumb drive for travel. Ham radio operator Rudy Bahr, 93, of Mountain View uses a computer program that, in an earthquake or other crisis, can communicate radio messages directly to emergency operation centers, hospitals and other critical facilities. Created by the volunteer-run Southern Peninsula Emergency Communications System, it offers a direct connection that is more reliable than traditional email or cell services. In an emergency, his damage reports would “show up on the big screen — telling how many casualties, how many roads are out, if there are any building fires,” said Bahr, a retired engineer. “It is quite an elaborate operation.” Saratoga’s Tsing Bardin, 78, and her husband, 85, use FaceTime with their children and grandchildren in Italy and in New York. “It is free and you can see them as you speak,” she said. Google Calendar is the tool used by 91-year-old Lois Hall, of Palo Alto, to book appointments for one-on-one tech tutoring of other elders at a Computer Learning Center, sponsored by Palo Alto’s senior center Avenidas. She also uses comput-
ers to create informational fliers. She cherishes newsy or humorous emails from her son in San Jose and daughter in Cupertino. She also uses email to plan monthly dinners with friends. She uses Netflix to watch new episodes of the Canadian drama “Heartland.” With the holidays approaching, she’ll use it for shopping. “I find everything in the world on Amazon,” she effused. “I’ve loved computers forever.” Sims didn’t expect to find much of a correlation between technology and well-being in adults older than 80 because these elders were considered to be the most unfamiliar with these technologies and the least likely to use them. Conventional wisdom holds that as people age, they perceive time as more limited — and prioritize meaningful interactions with their loved ones rather than learning new information or meeting new people. “I was going into it a little bit skeptical,” according to Sims, whose research is published in the current issue of the Journal of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences. She conducted the study with Andrew Reed, a former Stanford postdoctoral fellow, and Dawn Carr, an assistant professor of sociology at Florida State University. The research team surveyed 445 people between the ages of 80 and 93, online and over the phone. Elders were asked about their motivation for using cellphones, personal computers, video streaming services and other digital tools. Contrary to stereotypes, most of the adults over 80 said they used at least one technological device regularly, and doing so was related to higher levels of self-reported physical and mental well-being, reported Sims. “The key here is that if you get them using these technologies, we could probably see some real benefits to quality of life in very old age,” she said, in a prepared statement. Interviewed elders said that tech tools could be improved to ease their use. “I wish they would make it easier to comprehend the terms that comprise the Internet,” said Compagno, who avoids unnecessary “bugles and bangles” when using computers. “Computers keep improving, but with improvement comes more language — and you have to keep up with it.” Bahr prefers the efficiency and simplicity of a conventional cellphone over a smartphone, saying the multiple steps are an impediment to use. What’s challenging, he said, “are all the steps you have to go through to operate the latest technologies. You can look up all these steps and do it, then two days later, you forget.” Another common frustration, said Hall, is navigation — for instance, learning how to move photos from iPads and iPhones to the computer. When she sets up tutoring sessions, she matches elders with specific questions to volunteers with that type of expertise. She, too, was initially stumped — but with time, patience and training, improved. “I struggled along and eventually found classes,” she said. “I’m fascinated by computers and wanted to figure it out.”
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14 - Mature Lifestyles - January 2017 - TheIntelligencer.com
Check regulations before spreading a loved one’s ashes By TREVA LIND The Spokesman-Review (Spokane, Wash.
SPOKANE, Wash. — Maybe the spot is a favorite fishing hole. Or you’ve selected a mountain with sweeping views of Spokane to scatter a loved one’s cremated remains. Before heading out with the urn, though, do some research. Depending on where you go for spreading ashes — on public, private, federal or state lands — some rules might apply. Rule No. 1: If you don’t own the land, ask permission first. Generally, if guidelines are followed, it’s fine in many places. Steve Christensen, Mount Spokane State Park manager and ranger, gets the request for scattering of ashes at least two or three times a year. “People are allowed to spread ashes as long as they get permission from the land owners or permission from the park manager,” Christensen said. “I just ask if they have a big group and plan a ceremony, that they don’t block the road and don’t inconvenience other visitors.” People usually notify him, although he acknowledged a few relatives likely make a silent tribute. “I think people also do it on their own and don’t say anything.” The requests don’t surprise him because of Mount Spokane’s draw for years of hiking, skiing, mountain biking and visiting the Vista House for views. “There are a lot of people who are very passionate about Mount Spokane,” he said. “There are a lot of people who consider this their mountain.” But people shouldn’t expect official approval for a favorite location on U.S. Forest Service land. “In the most respectful way we can, we ask that people not scatter ashes or erect monuments,” said Franklin Pemberton, a spokesman for the Colville National Forest. “It’s our Forest Service manual direction.” In an email, a national U.S. Forest Service spokesman said the manual “directs agency actions related to cemeteries.” “Though the manual isn’t specific to ‘scattering ashes,’ the agency recognizes the deliberate ceremonial placement of human remains as establishing a final resting place or burial ground and, therefore, could restrict access or actions on the land.” For Mount Rainier National Park, a permit is required to scatter human ashes. Certain policies also must be followed regarding group size, location, times and actual disbursement. On other lands within Washington, the state Department of Licensing’s website offers guidelines, under “Frequently Asked Questions: Funerals and Cemeteries.” You may scatter cremated remains on: Private land, with the permission of the land owner. National parks, after receiving permission from the chief park ranger. State trust uplands, with permission of the regional man-
ager for each scattering. However, scattering by commercial scattering services isn’t permitted. Public navigable waters under state control, including Puget Sound, Strait of Juan de Fuca, rivers, streams and lakes. Navigable means that a boat, kayak or canoe can flow through the body. The Pacific Ocean beyond the mean lower low-water mark. These scatterings must follow U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s General Permit for Burial at Sea. This includes reporting within 30 days to the regional administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in Seattle. Idaho has fairly open guidelines for spreading ashes, other than to seek permission if the land isn’t your property, said Eli Yates, owner of Yates Funeral Homes in Coeur d’Alene and Hayden Lake. However, one frequently heard request never pans out. “The most common question we get is for golf courses, and the answer would be ‘No,’ “ said Yates. “Most of the golf courses are private, but even public ones don’t allow it.” “When people do scatter ashes in our area, it’s their favorite hunting, fishing or camping spot, or one of our surrounding lakes where the family has enjoyed time,” he added. “We ask that when people do scatter, that it’s actually scattered and not left in a recognizable fashion on an open trail, out of respect to everyone else.” When people ask the Neptune Society Spokane office about scattering ashes, manager Chuck Wetmore said he talks to families about state guidelines along with other considerations. “We advise people to consider when they’re scattering cremated remains what the impact might be,” Wetmore said. “We have had people who have scattered in the backyard, and later, when they go to sell the property, they have to make a disclosure.” He’s also seen problems when people remain at a home. “I know of a family who scattered cremated remains in the garden. When the person decided to remarry, the new spouse was uncomfortable with the fact this person’s remains were scattered in the garden, which this person could see from the kitchen window. The spouse ended up selling the house because of the new spouse’s concerns.” Wetmore warns that people can’t scatter cremated remains over an existing grave in a cemetery. He also will inform people about options for traditional burial or cemetery niche for placement of an urn. “We like to encourage people to select a grave for the ashes or a niche in the cemetery’s columbarium, as another option to scattering,” he said. Veterans can have free options at the Washington State Veterans Cemetery in Medical Lake, Wetmore added. “Neptune Society offers a free scattering at sea for the families we serve.”
TheIntelligencer.com - January 2017 - Mature Lifestyles - 15
Millennials are more conservative than boomers were at their age By DEBORAH NETBURN Los Angeles Times
National polls suggest millennials will vote for Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump by large margins in November, but that doesn’t mean millennials lean further to the left than young people of previous generations. On the contrary, according to a new study, a larger percentage of millennials identified as conservative during their last year of high school than did baby boomers and GenXers when they were the same age. In 1976, when baby boomers were donning their caps and gowns, 21 percent of high school seniors identified themselves as conservative. In 2014, when it was the millennials’ turn to graduate, 29 percent did so, the study authors report. Meanwhile, the percentage of high school seniors who identified as liberal was 35 percent in 1976 and 34 percent in 2014. “In the 1980s, when the GenXers were young, it was considered the height of the young conservative — remember Alex P. Keaton on ‘Family Ties’”? said study leader Jean Twenge, a social psychologist at San Diego State University. “But among millennials, we see a higher percentage of those identifying as conservative than we did then. Considering the reputation of millennials as a very liberal generation, that is pretty surprising.” The study, published this week in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, found that generational groups have traditionally grown more conservative and Republican over time. On average, Americans identify as more politically liberal at age 18 and become increasingly conservative between their 20s and 60s. If the millennial generation — defined as those born between 1980 and 1994 — continues that pattern, “they will not be the highly Democratic and liberal generation many had anticipated,” Twenge and her colleagues wrote. “Right now, millennials look very liberal and more likely to vote for a Democrat, but maybe that’s just because they are young,” Twenge added in an interview. John Della Volpe, director of polling at Harvard University’s Institute of Politics, said he has seen similar trends in his own work surveying the millennial generation over the past several years. “My impression is that too many folks across America and even in the pundit class think of this generation as a monolith waving a socialist flag,” he said. “It is so far from the truth. It is much more nuanced than that.” The new study is based on data from three large and long-running national surveys. That allowed the researchers to track generational differences in both
political ideology and party identification over time. The Monitoring the Future study polls a nationally representative sample of high school seniors. The American Freshman survey interviews a nationwide sample of first-year students at four-year colleges annually. Finally, the General Social Survey, conducted by NORC at the University of Chicago, queries a nationally representative sample of U.S. adults. “The strength of these surveys is it allows us to look at generational trends without having to worry about what is due to age,” Twenge said. The surveys show that millenials, in addition to being more conservative, are more politically polarized than boomers or GenXers were at the same age, and that the rise in polarization has happened mostly on the right. More 12th-graders in the 2010s identified as strong Republican (22 percent) than in earlier decades, while the number of those identifying as strong Democrat (21 percent) has remained relatively flat. Only 23 percent expressed no preference for a political party in 2014, down from 29 percent in 1988. Among college students, 50 percent of boomers identified themselves as middle of the road, compared to 53 percent of GenXers and 47 percent of millennials. One of the biggest surprises for Twenge was the huge jump in the percentage of people identifying as independent across generations. Among all adults, 46 percent identified as independent in 2014, she said. Among those between the ages of 18 and 29, it was even higher — 59 percent. For context, from the early 1970s through the late 1990s, the percentage of all adults who considered themselves independent ranged from 41 percent to 39 percent. Twenge, who wrote a book on millennials called “Generation Me,” said her previous research could help explain why so many of them identify as independent. Among Americans of all ages, confidence in large institutions like government and corporations is at an all-time low, but that is especially true for young adults, she said. “Millennials are very individualistic,” she said. “For them, joining a political party is kind of antithetical to the way they see the world. I think that explains a lot about what happened this election year.” Della Volpe said this new paper and his own work at Harvard suggest that Republicans could do well with millennials, if they can figure out how to talk to them. “The key finding in my last big survey in the spring of 2016 was that young people are indicating they are open to a more nuanced conversation about politics, and listening to views of Democrats as well as Republicans,” he said. “Why hasn’t the Republican Party in Washington and across the country figured this out and tried to take advantage of it?”
16 - Mature Lifestyles - January 2017 - TheIntelligencer.com
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