Do you enjoy spending a Saturday morning at the Davidson Farmer’s Market but have trouble finding parking? According to the Town of Davidson there is designated parking with wheelchair accessibility next to the Police Dept. Additional parking for everyone is located on Jackson Street behind the Fire Station. So come on over and enjoy what our local farmers have to offer! http://www.davidsonfarmersmarket.org/index.php
Change in floor elevations can be unexpected and dangerous. Entry steps, stairs between floors, steps between rooms, steps into tubs and steps at showers are all potential risks. More people in the United States die from falling on stairs than in any other country. Fortunately, falling on stairs or tripping on steps are largely preventable. Proper stair design, focused attention, good housekeeping, and wellmaintained health can all contribute to fall prevention.
Proper stair design is the leading factor in fall prevention. Handrails are provided on each side of a stairway, especially a winding stairway where rectangular and tapered treads require users to move from larger to smaller tread depths. Handrails run the complete length of the stairs with no interruption and extend beyond the top and bottom of the stairs by 12”. A tactile indicator at the end of the handrail indicates when the end of the stairs is near. Contrasting handrails provide better visibility. Stairs should be checked for non-uniform steps – repair risers to be the same height, treads to be the same depth.
Stair treads should be distinguishable from one another. Stair nosings may be painted or stained a different color from the treads (never taped) or have metal/resilient nosings installed to contrast with the tread floorcovering .
Treads may be covered with a nonpatterned, low-pile carpet firmly affixed to the tread with no cushion underlayment.
3-way light switches are to be located at the top and bottom landings to ensure available lighting at all times. Glare-free motion sensors should be at all entry steps. All entry steps should be protected from inclement weather with overhangs or awnings.
One entry into your home can be a no-step entry minimizing the number of falls while carrying groceries or fumbling for keys. Shower thresholds can also havB no-step entries removing tripping factors and barriers. Steps accessing whirlpools are dangerous and should be clad with small slip-resistant tile. Grab bars or handrails should be at all wet locations regardless of the number of steps.
If building a new home or addition, locate the master suite and laundry on the first floor minimizing the use of stairs. If your home has several stories, install a toilet on each floor or research the installation of an elevator.
When using stairs, be focused and take your time. Use the handrails and encourage visitors to use the handrails. Avoid carrying something with both hands. Don’t carry bulky objects that block your vision. Wear suitable footwear. Remove your reading glasses or adjust your bifocals. Don’t talk on the phone or run down stairs to answer a doorbell. Install an intercom instead.
Keep stairways and landings free of all obstacles, spills and debris. Remove loose area rugs from top and bottom landings. Glare on stairs can distort visual perception and result in momentary blindness. Reduce glare from stairwell windows with shades or sheers. Prevent glare on treads with matt finish cleaners. Keep stairwells evenly lit and burned bulbs replaced. Stairwell photos and artwork displays are not a good idea. Attention brought to these items can result in loss of balance and falls.
Be aware of medications and their effect on your body. Eyesight, judgment and balance can be greatly compromised and falls may occur. Maintain an active lifestyle. Keep all eye prescriptions current. Should You Stop Using Stairs? Don’t necessarily avoid stairs, but let your doctor advise you of any special health problems that might limit stair use. According to Health Canada’s Stairway to Health Program, climbing stairs significantly contributes to the 30 minutes of physical activity you need every day and increases your leg power to help reduce falls.
written for the Metrolina Falls Prevention Coalition
by Carolyn Cook, LiveSmart Design
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina
Dialogue for a Healthier Community
Monday, April 1, 2013
“Fitting Into Your Genes: The New Paradigm for Healthy Aging”
Scott E. Gordon, Ph.D.
Professor and Chair, Department of Kinesiology
UNC Charlotte College of Health and Human Services
6:00 p.m. Registration
6:15 – 7:00 p.m. Keynote Lecture and Activities
Opening Remarks by Brad Wilson, President and CEO, BCBSNC
7:00 – 8:00 p.m. Health Assessment Activities and Reception
Event is free and open to the public
Heavy hors d’oeuvres, beer, and wine will be served
UNC Charlotte Center City Building, 320 E. Ninth St.
Parking is complimentary at 707 N. Brevard Street: Parking Map for UNC Charlotte Center City Building
To register, click here and scroll down to the bottom of the page.
The DavidsonCommittee on Aging (DCOA) is hosting a Home for a Lifetime Symposium on May 18th, 2013 at the Davidson Town Hall from 1:00-5:00 pm.
The goal of our Symposium is to educate Davidson homeowners on how to safely and independently remain in their homes for as long as they choose, implementing the principles of Universal Design.
There will be a 45 minute power point presentation on Universal Design for the home, followed by a panel discussion group that will include two aging-in-place contractors and vendors (zero step showers, lifts, elevators, ramps, tubs, fixtures).
There will also be 10 small tables set up for information regarding ‘staying safely in your home’ and two mobile display vehicles with showers, tubs, grab bars, etc. set up for viewing. All displays are geared strictly toward the home and making it safe and livable.
Opening the whole event will be Mary Anne Hammond giving a quick talk on the DCOA and our Vial of Life Program.
For more information, contact Mary Anne Hammond at email@example.com
The LIST of Parks & Recreation activities is up! Check out the local events for seniors in Davidson. Some highlights include:
Come and spend your Wednesday morning in a relaxing and social environment! Meet old and new friends. Coffee, games, newspapers and pastries provided. No registration required, just show up!
This class will give step-by-step instructions for using native shrubs, annuals and perennials to filter roof runoff and create a beautiful addition to the landscape. Rain gardens can clean thousands of gallons of water before they reach our streets or storm drains. They also attract many types of wildlife and are great family projects. Costs, size and plant selection will be discussed.Mike Jones has a BS and MS from Auburn University. His career includes more than 35 years with 4 major colleges and universities in Horticultural research, Extension, and classroom instruction. He is also a private consulting Horticulturist specializing in landscape design and employee training.
Come learn ‘hands free’ ways to massage your partner without fatigue or hurting your hands. These simple techniques teach you how to work ‘smarter’, not harder, and rub your Valentine the right way. Bring 2 regular bed pillows.
Want to know more about the rich history of northern Mecklenburg County? You may be surprised at the many historical changes that have transformed acres of rural farmland to the thriving communities we have today. Applying historic preservation procedures, you will investigate significant sites that mark the early development of this area. You will also learn how certain landmarks are identified and designated as “historic.” The format is interactive and includes guest historians who will emphasize the growth of Davidson, Cornelius, and Huntersville.
Why not try something new this season? Who knows, maybe you will meet new acquaintances along the way!
By CAROLYN COOK
with LiveSmart Design in Charlotte, NC for Davidson Committee on Aging, 2011
Placing a microwave on or under a counter is a practice in Universal Design
Most of us live in “Peter Pan” homes thinking we will never grow old. The sweeping stairs to the front door, the second floor master suite, the basement laundry room, the Jacuzzi, the floor-to-ceiling kitchen cabinets—all the things we love most about our homes are slowly becoming obstacles in our daily lives.
Studies show that most of us choose to age independently in our homes as long as health allows. We want to remain vibrant in our communities and live in close proximity to family and friends. To age in place successfully, we must look carefully at our homes. Homes are probably the single most expensive investment in our lives, yet they are ill-designed to sustain us when we need them most. As aging adults, we must carefully analyze our present and future needs to determine if, and how, our existing homes can adapt to our changing needs.
Universal Design may well be our solution. Conceived 20 years ago by Ron L. Mace at North Carolina State University, Universal Design is the design of homes, products and communication systems that work for people of all ages and abilities. Simply stated, Universal Design is “good design” and is completely invisible. When referring to homes, Universal Design is also known as Inclusive Design or Aging in Place.
Single-lever faucets, raised washers and dryers, glass-front cabinets and motion-sensor lighting are some of the Universal Design features that are now standard in many homes.
The cost of new homes with comprehensive Universal Design features is approximately 4 percent more than conventional homes. The cost of new homes with minimal UD features (zero-step entrance, 32-inch minimum door openings, accessible first floor bathroom) is approximately $600 more than conventional homes. The cost of retrofitting can be minimal. The cost of doing nothing can be enormous.
Here are some examples of Universal Design elements and costs.
NEW HOME CONSTRUCTION
- Zero-step entrance on concrete slab—add $100.00
- Zero-step entrance over crawl space or basement–add $300-$600
- 34” door—add $2 to the cost of a 32” door
EXISITING HOME RETROFIT
- Add zero-step entrance –$3300
- Widen interior doorway—$700 per door ($22 for a swing-away hinge)
- Nursing Home (option no one wants)
- Individual for a year—$70,000 ($192 per day)
Remember that Universal Design homes look like any others—the difference is in functionality and livability. UD features simply provide us with options as we age and enable us to remain in our homes as long as we choose. Little changes can have big effects.
UNIVERSAL DESIGN FEATURES
Below is a list of Universal Design features that can be incorporated into any home.
Entrance and Site Design Features
- Level access into home.
- Minimum of one wheelchair accessible no-step entry.
- Entry doors 3’-0” wide.
- Covered entry for inclement weather.
- Motion sensor light at all entries.
- 9’ high garage door—van height option.
- Adequate lighting at the large-and-easy-to-read street address.
- Package bench at front and back entry.
- Door lever handles.
- Peep-hole at seated and standing height.
- Automatic garage door opener.
- Accessible ramp can be located in garage.
- Dual cuing (both visual and audio indicators) for doorbell, security and smoke alarm.
- Easily maintained plantings in yard.
- 32” minimum clear opening for all passage doors.
- Wider hallways, minimum 42”W.
- 18” minimum provided on pull side of doors.
- Bedroom and accessible bath on first floor.
- Open floor plan for mobility and daylighting.
- Adjustable rods in all closets and half of storage no more than 54” high.
- Glare free floor surfaces and countertops.
- Non-slip floors or low pile carpet with level thresholds.
- Casement windows (easiest to open) instead of double-hung.
- Glass interior doors for better daylighting.
- Handrails on both sides of stairs and extend 18” at top and bottom landings for safety.
- Door lever handles throughout.
- Electrical outlets located 18”, switches 42” and environmental controls 48” above finished floor.
- Lighting and interior finishes reinforce way-finding
- Touch or rocker luminous light switches.
- Programmable thermostat with easy-to-read numerals.
- Wide stairway to accommodate future chair lift.
- Sink has lever handle faucet and basin 6-1/2” deep for easy reaching.
- Clear knee space of 29” minimum allowed at sink for seated person.
- Varying heights of work surfaces for seated or standing use.
- Cooktop with controls up front and open space below for seated person.
- Rolling storage below cooktop.
- Wall oven located beside cooktop, use open space under cooktop for seated person.
- Microwave drawer or locate on counter (never above range).
- Countertops with contrasting beveled edge for vision impairment.
- Accessible electrical outlets on sides of the island and in front of the counters or base cabinets.
- Raised dishwasher for easy reaching.
- Hands-free faucet.
- Glass doors or open shelves in upper cabinets
- Ample, even lighting.
- Under cabinet task lighting (halogen too hot).
- Lighted interior upper cabinets for viewing product.
- Upper cabinets 15” above counter for easy reach. Pull down shelves available for seated person.
- Fewer wall cabinets and more base cabinets with drawers and pullout shelves—easier to reach.
- Fewer wall cabinets allow more windows.
- Drawers with full extension, self-closing hardware and open loop pulls.
- Base cabinets with 9” kick space for wheelchair clearance.
- Large pantry with pullout shelves.
- Window treatments to cover black windows at night and reflect light into kitchen.
- Pullout drawers for waste and recyclables.
- Side-by-side refrigerator (prefer 24” deep).
- Refrigerator drawers.
- Grab bars as dish towel bars.
- Safety shut-offs and dual cuing (where available) on appliances.
- Quiet range hood.
- Electric radiant floor below tile. Lack of moving air can be advantageous for people w/ asthma.
- No suspended pot rack if hearing or visually impaired.
- Laundry located on first floor.
- Laundry sink and countertop 34”H with open space below for seated use.
- Front loading/ raised washer and dryer eliminate bending. Front loading machine more energy efficient.
- No-threshold walk-in shower 4’D x 5’-6”W.
- Shower door pivots in both directions.
- Water controls offset toward front of shower opening with an anti-scald/pressure balance control.
- Adjustable handheld shower unit on sliding pole/grab bar.
- Fold-out or built-in shower seat.
- ½” plywood sheet installed around bathtub, toilet and shower for grab bar reinforcement.
- 5-foot wheelchair radius. Allow 3 feet in front and beside toilet for wheelchair transfer.
- Toilets centered 18” from side wall, 19”H.
- Electrical outlet located at toilet for temporary bidet.
- Bathroom door swings out of room.
- Ample, even lighting and ventilation provided.
- Quiet ventilation.
- Sconces with up-lighting on both side of mirror.
- Pullout laundry hamper and waste container in base cabinets.
- Lever-handled faucets (no knobs).
- Heated floor or heat lamp.
- Non-slip floor—small mosaic tile or sheet vinyl.
- Color contrast floor with toilet, walls and countertop for visual impairment.
- Wall and floor finishes should be easily maintained.
- Cantilevered or wall-mounted sink for easy access.
- Color contrast sink with countertop for visual impairment.
- Walk-in or soaking tub.
- Grab bars as towel bars.
- Master vanity with two heights—one 34”H with open knee space for seated user, another 36”H with full-extension hardware.
- Home wired for security.
- Direct wired to police, fire and EMS (as option)
- Flashing porch light and/or 911 switch (nighttime house identification for emergency personnel).
Two Universal Design bathrooms with curbless showers provide easy access for mobility devices. Balanced lighting allows for proper visibility without shadows. Lever-handle faucet provide easy use for arthritic hands. Double pocket doors create ample opening for mobility and wheelchair clearance.
‘Natural’ retirement communities: An idea that works
Neighbors caring for neighbors to let seniors age in place
By CAROLYN COOK
with LiveSmart Design in Charlotte, NC for Davidson Committee on Aging, 2011
Some retirement communities are planned, others just happen. The latter are sometimes referred to by urban planners as NORCs – “naturally occurring retirement communities.” They’ve emerged as an attractive way for seniors to age successfully in their homes by tapping into community support services and volunteer programs.
The AARP estimates that there are thousands of these naturally occurring retirement communities across the United States, and that approximately 27 percent of our senior citizens live in them. So what are NORCs?
AGING IN PLACE
These are communities or neighborhoods where residents have lived and aged together long enough for a naturally occurring retirement community to evolve. Residents have either aged in place by living in their homes for several decades, or older adults have migrated into the same community where they intend to spend the rest of their lives.
NORC is a demographic term used to describe a community not originally designed for seniors, but one that has grown naturally to have 40 to 65% of its residents over age 60. These communities were originally built for young adults and were never intended to meet the particular health and social service needs of seniors.
The term NORC was first coined in the 1980’s by Michael Hunt, a professor of urban planning. NORCs were originally identified in urban settings, but are now found in all geographic locations. They are usually small by design and span a few square miles with a base of 1000 to 3000 people. They can be as small as a city apartment building or as large as a suburban neighborhood with single family homes.
NORCs can be categorized into three types:
- Classic NORC
This is a single age-integrated apartment building, a housing complex with multiple buildings under common management or a number of apartment buildings clustered together.
- Neighborhood-Based NORC
This is an age-integrated neighborhood of one- and two-family homes.
- Rural NORC
This is a large geographic area with a low population density, typically comprised of one-and two-family homes.
Designing and Implementing a NORC Program
NORCs are privately developed and managed, and relatively new, so there is no centralized listing of programs. The best place to find information on NORCs is online. Listed below are a few good sources to help in determining if there’s an existing model that suits your community:
The United Hospital Fund at www.norcblueprint.org
United Jewish Communities at www.norcs.org http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/content/RSC/midcounty/pdfs/legoversightreport.pdf
Aging Agencies in many states have information on NORCs
Each NORC is different and focuses on local needs and individual communities. Funding, staffing and services should reflect a specific community and the staff may consist of full-time and part-time employees and numerous volunteers. NORCs may be largely supported by member dues of $500 or more per year or seniors may pay little or nothing, with the bulk of the support coming from local foundations, charity-supported agencies and government funds. The key requirement is a healthy mix of private and public funds.
Seniors should play a central role in the development of the NORC program. They are clients with diverse needs and interests, and residents with a rich network of relationships, knowledge and expertise. Effective programs will enable seniors to take on new roles in their communities as leaders and project developers. There is the evolving realization by large numbers of seniors that their participation is required in the building of their later lives. Retirement can extend 25 to 30 years and without a community support system, seniors run the risk of health challenges and isolation.
Naturally Occurring Retirement Community Supportive Services Programs
Some organizations and local governments have brought together social services, health care, transportation and residents to develop a NORC supportive services program (NORC-SSP). This program receives funding from private sector contributions; charitable donations; resident membership or activity fees; and federal, state, and local grant funding. NORC-SSPs directly service seniors in the Naturally Occurring Retirement Communities and may provide:
- Social work case management
- Mental health services
- Social and cultural events
- Home care
- Bereavement support
- Home repair and maintenance
- Exercise classes
- Continuing Education programs
There is another type of community that has evolved and may be confused as a NORC; but based on the concentrated percentage of seniors required to be called a NORC, these communities are called neighborhood villages instead. These communities are grassroots movements providing services and programs for their aging population. Some villages provide services and programs for members only who pay annual membership fees, while others charge nothing for services. Some set a minimum age for membership. All rely heavily on neighborhood volunteers. Services provided may be:
- Social and educational programs
- Friendly visits or phone calls
- Assistance with household repairs and maintenance
Neighborhood villages face constant challenges with funding, and some charge annual membership fees. Others seek funding from other sources. The first neighborhood village was organized in Boston, Massachusetts in 2001 and is called the Beacon Hill Village.
An Alternative Idea
Naturally Occurring Retirement Communities are the new alternative for aging in place in the neighborhood where you raised your family and made lifelong friends. Options for organizing this type of community may seem overwhelming and complex, but the underlying principle is simplicity: neighbors caring for neighbors in a close-knit community.
Communities Attracting Retirees
By Carolyn Cook, LiveSmart Design
In 2008, the North Carolina General Assembly created a Certified Retirement Community Program to be administered by the NC Department of Commerce. This is a community development program for those towns who want to attract retirees to their area as an economic and community development strategy.
The program designates a town as having a quality of living that the older community desires. The potential benefits for making a town attractive to retirees is substantial: accumulated wealth brought into the area, developers attracted to build affordable housing and senior facilities, existing retirees remain in the community.
Texas has been very successful with their Certified Retirement Communities (CRCs)and estimates that each retiree household who moves to the state creates 1.5 jobs. The GO TEXAN Certified Retirement Community Program has been in place since 2006 and is currently updating information on the impact of CRCs on member communities. The town of Cuero, Texas has had their CRC designation for two years. Randall Malik, the Executive Director for the Cuero Development Corporation, accredits his town’s newly built assisted living and adult daycare facility to the active marketing of Cuero as a Certified Retirement Community.
To be considered for certification, a local government must submit an application to the Department of Commerce’s Community Development Division. The town is evaluated on criteria important to retirees: affordable cost of living, low taxes, low crime rate, quality medical care, recreation, educational and cultural opportunities, and a welcoming community. Size of the population does not deter certification, nor does a rural or urban setting. The lack of affordable senior housing is also not an issue because, if certified, developers could be influenced to build. The designation has a five-year life, after which communities will need to consider re-certification at the end of the five-year period.
The Department of Commerce has established qualifying criteria for a Certified Retirement Community.
- Be located within 30 miles of a hospital or emergency medical services (does not have to be within the city limits).
- Gain support of churches, clubs, businesses, media.
- Remit an application fee to the 21st Century Communities program of $10,000. If the town does not receive certification, the $10,000 will be returned.
- Submit a completed marketing and public relations plan designed to accomplish the purpose of the Program to the Department of Commerce.
- Submit a long-term plan outlining the steps the community will undertake to maintain or improve its desirability as a destination for retirees.
- Establish a retiree attraction committee which must be in place for six months before the town can apply for certification. Applications are received twice a year in January and June/July, and several months are needed for review. The committee:
- Assesses the community and submits a report to the Department.
- Sends representative of committee to State training meetings conducted by the 21st Century Communities program.
- Raises funds necessary to run the Program, organizes special events and promotes and coordinates the Program with local entities.
- Establishes a community image, evaluates target markets & develops a marketing and public relations plan designed to accomplish the purpose of the program.
- Develops a system that identifies and makes contact with existing and prospective retirees who will provide tour guides when prospects visit the community, invite prospects to special community events and maintain continual contact with prospects until the prospect makes a retirement location decision.
Communities selected for certification will receive inclusion in state-level marketing efforts, technical assistance, networking opportunities and grant funding to support their program.
WHAT’S IN IT FOR RETIREES?
When retirees look for a Retirement Community, a large part of the vetting process has already been completed by the state of North Carolina’s certification process. The retiree can rest assured that the town will be welcoming and have a minimum level of facilities and services.
At the time of this article, Lumberton, NC was the only Certified Retirement Community in North Carolina, developed in 2010. Connie Russ is the Downtown Development Coordinator/Retiree Recruiter for Lumberton and was instrumental, along with her committee, in developing the certification program for North Carolina. Today there are three other North Carolina towns certified as retirement communities: Asheboro, Marion and Sanford.
For more information, you can visit:
www.nccommerce.com and look under Tourism. Programs & Services
In my junior year of college, my grandmother and I became pen pals. What started as sending a Thank You note here, a holiday card there resulted in us sending each other updates on life by way of mail.
You can imagine my surprise when, one Tuesday night, I got a call from my grandmother. “Hello Anna!” I recognized her warm tone instantly. “How are you?” she asked.
My grandmother and I are still pen pals, but now we talk on the phone more. And, while I love receiving letters form her-love running my fingers over the black monogrammed IKB at the top of the stationary–I enjoy conversing freely with her too.
If you are separated by many states from your family–as my grandmother is from us– a cell phone is probably an important device in your life. It keeps you connected, informed, and gives you peace of mind. But many cell phones are overly technological, and a hassle to use. So, here are a few great phones for senior citizens.
Great additional featues (Bluetooth, Caller ID, Speakerphone, Yes/No Options)
-Powerful sound, hearing aid compatible
This phone, however, doesn’t offer many features(i.e. no apps)
-Bluetooth feature available
While it has large text, the display is a little smaller. The SOS button is also less easy to use than the Just5.
Time to take advantage of your discounts!
Here is a great blog that lists available discounts to senior citizens. Granted, each location may vary.
Some discounts that may be of particular interest to seniors in the Davidson community include:
Harris Teeter: 5% Every Thursday for 55+
Ben & Jerry’s: 10% for 60+
Chick-Fil-A: 10% or free small drink/coffee for 55+
Our Town Cinemas: $7.50 for 60+
Great Clips: $3 off on haircuts for 60+
Remember that not all stores advertise senior discounts, so be sure to ask next time you’re at the checkout counter.