The Knowledge Fountain LogoThe latest entry in the rapidly-evolving distance learning education market is a new online education service geared exclusively to people who work for nonprofit organizations. The Knowledge Fountain, which launched today, is offering a spectrum of courses online covering fundraising, communications, organizational development, social media, and productivity software.

The site pitches its product as “just in time” online learning for adults. “We’re delivering very practical information to employees of nonprofits who need it to do their jobs better,” explains co-founder Marco Kathuria.

Online seminars are delivered live, in installments of 60 to 75 minutes. The courses will also be available as archived video streams for students who register but miss the live class. “This way, if a situation comes up and you can’t attend the class on schedule, you still get the information,” Kathuria says.

Both Kathuria and co-founder Don Akchin have consulting practices serving nonprofit clients – Kathuria principally in video production and community media, and Akchin in communications strategy and implementation. The Knowledge Fountain, they say, fills a largely unmet need for a centralized online learning center in the nonprofit community.

“If you’re a nonprofit that needs help reaching your audience on Facebook, for example,“ Akchin says, “you once had three choices: classes aimed at for-profit businesses, a free webinar that attracts hundreds of attendees and stays very high level, or a semester-long college course that devotes about a week to social media. We’re filling the gap with solid information, specific to your need and specific to the world of nonprofits.”

Kathuria noted that The Knowledge Fountain faculty are both experienced practitioners and proven teachers. All online course designs are built on current research and best practices in online learning. “We’re only hiring instructors who have a proven track-record of working with small groups of students, either face-to-face or online,” he said “We’re maximizing personal interaction online,” says Akchin. “Classes are small, so there’s ample opportunity to ask questions.”

Another unique feature of The Knowledge Fountain is a private social network, “The Water Cooler,” whose members are limited to participants in The Knowledge Fountain classes. “Not only can you learn from the online course,” says Kathuria, “but you can learn from peers long after the class has ended. I think people in nonprofits will see that as an important added value.” Membership in the social network is included with class registration.

For more information about The Knowledge Fountain online learning center, visit the website at or email the co-founders. The Knowledge Fountain can also be found on YouTube and on Twitter at @TheKFountain.


| Category Announcements, Community, Education: General, How-to, Marketing, Nonprofit, Online Learning, Press Release, Webinars | | Comments Off

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Join Us For The inaugural PechaKucha Night In Baltimore On October 24th

PechaKucha Graphic

Join us at a unique event organized by Sidas Saulynas, Hillel Glazer, and Marco Kathuria in Baltimore later this month.

It’s called, “PechaKucha”. You may have heard of it. It’s the art of concise presentations. If not, you may have heard of “Ignite“? They’re similar, but Ignite has a different goal to that of PechaKucha.

The event is Thursday, October 24, 2013, 7:00pm – 10:00pm (doors open at 6PM), at Midtown BBQ and Brew, 15 East Centre Street, in Mt. Vernon, Baltimore. There’s no cost, so please let your family, friends, and colleagues know about it. The venue is truly a treat. There’s a great selection of beer and wine, and the food is really special. Tony Harrison, co-owner, does amazing things with locally-sourced ingredients giving his veggie platters, sausages, and BBQ a tasty twist!

Details for the event can be found at the Baltimore PechaKucha site here.
FAQs about PechaKucha are here.

By the way, we’re also looking for presenters with passion. We want them to speak on topics about which they’re passionate and can authentically deliver a short presentation to inspire ideas — from wherever they may come.

The format is fairly strict: 20 slides, 20 seconds each (the slides automatically advance). Yes, you’re only “on” for 6 minutes 46 seconds!

We’ll be recording the audio and archiving the presentations on our PechaKucha web page. Interested? If so, we will need your PowerPoint or Keynote presentation at least 5 days in advance. Want to present a series? That’s fine. Consider the upcoming event as the first installment in your series.

If you are interested in presenting, please be aware that the talk isn’t to promote your work or business directly, but to promote ideas about which you are passionate that can resonate with others. Even if they happen to also coincide with what you do for a living. Tinker with classic cars? Just got back from a significant archaeological dig? Working on an awesome social justice project? Concerned about the city’s tree canopy? What to share your passion for community gardening? You get the picture.

Reach out to the PechaKucha organizers on Twitter @PKNBaltimore or send an email to pechakuca (at) mkcreativemedia (dot) com if you’d like to present.

See you October 24th!


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Don Akchin Leads Workshop for Members of Maryland Nonprofits

Maryland Nonprofits Logo

Don Akchin, a charter member of Nonprofit Marketing 360, led a workshop for members of Maryland Nonprofits on Tuesday, May 14 on “Tell Your Story So People Care (and Give!)”

Everyone ought to know about the great work your organization does, but how do you get their attention – or better yet, their support? You begin by telling your story well. This interactive session will show participants how to convert the mission, vision and accomplishments of their organizations into compelling stories that spark the interest of media and prospective donors.  In addition, this class will examine ways to frame stories effectively for different audiences.

For more information about Don, his work with nonprofits, and future workshops, please visit Don Akchin Strategic Communications.

| Category Communications, Cross-Post, Education: General, Nonprofit, Storytelling | | Comments Off

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#URBANFARMING: 2013 NYC Youth Internship Applications Now Available

Photo of Fresh TomatoesThe folks at East New York Farms are now taking applications for the 2013 Youth Internship program. ENYF are looking for youth ages 13-15 who live or go to school in East New York and are interested in making a difference in their community.


| Category Community, Internships, Urban Farming | | Comments Off

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#Development: Should You be Focused On Donor Retention Rather Than Acquisition?

| Category Advice, Blogs, Case Study, Communications, Cross-Post, Crowdfunding, Development, Donor Acquisition, Fundraising, Grants, Major Gifts, Marketing, Measurement, Nonprofit, Research, Resource, Storytelling, Study | | Comments Off

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#Aging: Bill Thomas – Elderhood Rising: The Dawn of a New World Age (Video)

As a followup to an article written by Dr. Ronch, Interim Dean at the Erickson School for Management of Aging Services (and an MKCREATIVE client) — where he discusses the paucity of Gerontologists in the USA — I thought it useful to post a link to a compelling video presentation made by another Erickson School faculty member, William Thomas, MD, at TEDx San Francisco recently.

In the early 1990’s, Dr. Thomas and his wife Judith Meyers-Thomas developed the Eden Alternative. Dr. Thomas’ groundbreaking work in person-directed care also led him to imagine a new approach to long-term care that became known as the Green House.

In the video, Dr. Thomas argues that a new lifestage might well evolve out of the growing number of baby boomers in our ranks so that the human lifecycle may soon come to be defined as “Childhood”, “Adulthood” and “Elderhood.”

Thomas suggests that the obsession with “Adulthood” is misplaced and that our elders are “disappeared” into retirement communities simply because they don’t fit the model of existence that has been defined for the “rest of us”. One could also argue that relocation is foisted upon many seniors because they are perceived as having nothing “new” to contribute to society, they are “unproductive”, and consume goods to a lesser degree than other members of the community. This argument is false, argues Thomas (as does this blogger).

Thomas suggests that the Baby Boomers will redefine aging in the same way, and to the same extent, that they redefined adolescence and youthful rebellion.

Watch this amusingly presented, but ultimately, sobering talk by the self-appointed ambassador of “Elderhood.”


| Category Adult Kids, Aging, Assisted Living, Communications, Community, Grandparents, Independent Living, Nursing Home, Retirement Living, Reviews, Seniors Life, Storytelling | | Comments Off

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#Aging: Getting Older and Still Consuming

Image representing New York Times as depicted ...

Image via CrunchBase

The New York Times reports that a new marketing effort by AARP will promote the baby boom generation, as it ages, as a viable consumer target for advertisers. The campaign, which includes print and digital ads, will run in trade publications like Advertising Age starting Monday.

“Our sense is that we’ve reached a tipping point,” said Patricia Lippe Davis, the vice president for marketing at AARP media sales. “People are really recognizing the value of the audience that we speak to.”

The campaign is intended to reach what Ms. Davis calls “thought leaders,” senior marketing executives who tend to be middle-aged, and “media mavericks,” media planners and buyers who tend to be younger. She said she hoped it would debunk myths about older Americans.Joseph Perello, a managing partner of the marketing and advertising agency Catch New York, which created the campaign, said its tone was intended to show that baby boomers, the generation born from 1946 to 1964, were “still very energetic, still active, still working.” Many media buyers “are probably under 35, and they have a very outdated notion of what AARP is and certainly an outdated notion of what it means to be over 50,” Mr. Perello said.

In addition to print advertisements in AdAge, ads will run in two of the trade magazine’s e-mail newsletters and on the Adweek‘s AdFreak blog. Digital ads will be featured on, e-mail newsletters from, and other industry trade communications.

Ads will also run on the Web site LinkedIn. The ability to reach users by job title, location, company and through groups on LinkedIn made it ideal for the ads, Mr. Perello said.

| Category Adult Kids, Advertising, Aging, Campaigns, Independent Living, Marketing, Press Release, Retirement Living, Seniors Life, Social Media | | Comments Off

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#Social Networks: How to Block Facebook’s Face Recognition & Tighten Other Privacy Settings

Fast Company magazine cover: June 2010

Image by karen horton via Flickr

Facebook continues to push the edge of the envelope when it comes to making inroads into what users can consider “private” or not. The latest foray into this porous arena is face recognition technology.

I quote heavily from a Fast Company magazine article:

“By adjusting its interface, Facebook has now enabled “tag suggestions” to many more of its users around the world, which means your friends will get an alert if someone uploads a photo that Facebook thinks contains your image. They’ll be invited to tag it, and then your ID’s associated with that image. … [the] system is actually turned on by default–which is Facebook’s privacy boundary creep in action.

Here’s how to turn it off, with a reminder of how to enable other privacy measures.”

On a somewhat related note, The Guardian newspaper continues its exposure of Rupert Murdock’s News Corporation illegal eaves-dropping and reselling of personal information gleaned from a variety of politicians, celebrities, and law enforcement figures in the UK (See: Phone-hacking scandal widens to include Kate Middleton and Tony Blair).

Personal privacy, whether online or off, continues to erode as we firmly embed ourselves in the “Cloud.”

| Category Advice, Facebook, Facebook, News and Current Affairs, Opinion, Permission Marketing, Resource, Social Media, Technology | | Comments Off

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Study: UMBC Seeking African American Women Age 65+ for Research Project

UMBC logo

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The Retirement Living Sourcebook reports that researchers at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County are conducting a study on older women and want to be sure the study is representative of our diverse population. You are invited to help by participating in the study (if you are eligible) and by sharing this invitation widely with your friends, family and networks.

“African American Women, Age 65 and older who do not have children and are willing to share their experiences and views on later life are asked to take part in a research project to discuss the lifestyles of older women and the joys and challenges of later life.”

This study is funded by the National Institute on Aging (NIA). Participation will involve three (3) private interviews in your home (or at another place, if you prefer) and each interview will last approximately 90 minutes. All information will be kept confidential.

All participants will be paid $100 for their time.

If you are interested in participating, please contact:

Amanda Mosby
Department of Sociology and Anthropology
University of Maryland, Baltimore County
Office:  (410) 455-5935

| Category Measurement, Research, Resource, Study | | Comments Off

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How-to: 7 Tips to Set your Slide Presentations on Fire

Keynote (presentation software)

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We’ve been providing PowerPoint and conference support for many of our clients since the early 1990s (some recent examples of our work can be found here) and while the technology may have changed, the core elements that make a good presentation great still remain: compelling content, a good “story”, professional coaching, and speaker practice — lots of it.

Shonali Burke at posted a great article reminding us how to best approach not only putting a slide presentation together but also how to deliver it. I can attest to the fact that many speakers still don’t “get it” and continue to assail us with dreadful content, awful presentation skills, and horribly-designed slides. Shonali’s article, once read and absorbed, should guarantee that “Death by PowerPoint” will be a thing of the past in your organization.

Click here to read the article.

| Category Advice, Branding, Communications, Design, Marketing, Marketing Skills, Slide Presentations | | Comments Off

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Development: Do Your Donors Call You?

The Agitator blog posted a great article on how one corporation re-wrote the rulebook on relationship building and saw a sizable increase customer loyalty and retention. What does this have to do with nonprofits? Well, if your organization relies on telephone outreach and fundraising, there are some useful nuggets for you to take away.

“What percentage of your donors or members call your nonprofit … for any reason? What’s the overall volume? And what about ‘over-the-transom’ calls from people not yet connected to you?

Naturally, the numbers vary hugely from nonprofit to nonprofit, and across types of nonprofits.

Do you treat these calls as a cost (i.e., a nuisance) to be managed and minimized?

Or as an opportunity to build relationships? Increasing loyalty amongst existing supporters and winning new ones.”

Read the relationship management case study about American Express in the Financial Times (free registration required).

| Category Development, Donor Acquisition, Fundraising, Nonprofit, Resource, Study | | Comments Off

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Sustainability: The Ultimate Guide To Green Conferences

The helix of sustainability - minimum environm...

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Kerry Given, a writer with Green Marketing TV, has published a very useful list of conferences focusing on sustainability and green issues that will take place in 2011.

Kerry writes that, “with [the] many different green conferences to choose from, how can you decide which are most important for your business to attend? Choosing wisely will not only save your business time and money, it will also reflect your commitment to green principles.”

Check out the comprehensive listing here.

| Category Climate Change, Community, Conference/Congress, Environment, Events, Greening, Nonprofit, Research, Resource, Revitalization, Sustainability | | Comments Off

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Resources: Nonprofit Report, White Paper & eBook Round-up

Lori Halley at the The Wild Apricot Blog provides a useful summary of six recently published research reports, white papers, e-books and guides that might be of interest to non-profit and membership organizations.


  1. 2011 Millennial Donors Report
  2. Pew Internet and Family Life Project
  3. 2010 Nonprofit IT Staffing & Spending Report
  4. Social CRM for Associations
  5. Social Media for Your Nonprofit:Take Charge!
  6. How to Set up a Microvolunteering Project

| Category Advice, Case Study, Communications, Development, Donor Acquisition, Fundraising, Grants, Major Gifts, Marketing, Marketing Skills, Measurement, Nonprofit, Permission Marketing, Report, Research, Resource, Social Media, Study | | Comments Off

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Aging: Study Reveals Being Homebound is Linked to Alzheimer’s

PET scan of a human brain with Alzheimer's disease

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Steve Gurney (ProAging Information Network) reports on a new study that looks at the incidence of Alzheimer’s in “housebound” seniors. The study suggests that being housebound nearly doubles the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

The new study, published online April 15 in the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, looks at something known as “life space.”

“[Life space] is actually a measure that has come into vogue with gerontologists lately,” said lead investigator Bryan D. James, a postdoctoral fellow at Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Center in Chicago. “Mostly it’s been a measurement of mobility, figuring out whether people are getting around their environment, how much they’re seeing that’s different from their couch or bedroom or living room.”

“The research doesn’t prove that being confined to the house causes dementia, and other factors could explain the association. Still, the findings raise questions about the possible cost of isolation,” said James.

Read the full article here.

| Category Adult Kids, Aging, Assisted Living, Grandparents, Health, Healthcare, Independent Living, Nursing Home, Report, Resource, Retirement Living, Seniors Life, Study, Wellness | | Comments Off

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Communications: A Beginners Guide to the Social Networking Services


Image by Getty Images via @daylife

Leading Age (formerly the American Association for Homes & Services for the Aging) has published a useful guide on their website: it’s a quick look at what social networking is, why you should use it to connect to others and share resources, what the various services do for organizations/individuals, and why one would prefer one service over another. It’s a quick read and will help young and old alike know the difference between a “Tweet” and a “Twit.”


| Category Adult Kids, Advertising, Aging, Assisted Living, Branding, Communications, Direct Mail, Facebook, Geo-Location, Grandparents, Independent Living, Marketing, Nonprofit, Nursing Home, Permission Marketing, Public Relations, Research, Resource, Retirement Living, Seniors Life, Social Media, Twitter | | Comments Off

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Aging: Baby Boomers – A New Way to Grow Old

Merrill Lynch & Co.

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Baby boomers won’t grow old the old-fashioned way, experts say.

It looks like the baby boomers, who used to urge each other to “do your own thing,” will do precisely that when it comes to retirement, write Tom Valeo and Sylvia Davis at

Some will imitate their parents and drop out of the work force as early as possible to begin a life of leisure, continuing a trend that began more than a century ago.

More than 80% of boomers, however, plan to work beyond the age of 65, according to the Merrill Lynch New Retirement Survey. Most will do so to supplement their Social Security checks, since at least one-quarter of boomer households have failed to save enough for retirement, according to the Congressional Budget Office. “They appear likely to depend entirely on government benefits in retirement,” the CBO report states.


| Category Adult Kids, Aging, Assisted Living, Grandparents, Independent Living, Nursing Home, Report, Resource, Retirement Living, Seniors Life, Study | | Comments Off

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#Communications: Postal Rates Up? No Worries: Direct Mail Still Makes Sense.

USA 10-cent postage stamp, 1973: "It all ...

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We’re firm believers that direct mail is not dead, its merely entering the final stages of a metamorphosis into the perfect solution to support:

So when our friends at Ecoprint reminded us that postal rates will change on April 17 AND we needed to update our The Intelligent Mail (IMb) barcodes for new designs of reply envelopes, we took notice.


| Category Advertising, Communications, Direct Mail, Marketing, Marketing Budget, Measurement, printing, Resource | | Comments Off

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Aging: The Business & Strategy of Seniors Housing & Care (Classes)

The Erickson School, at University of Maryland, Baltimore County, is hosting an entrepreneurial seniors housing and care executive education course at the UMBC Technology Center, May 17-20.

Led by Mark Erickson, and featuring a diverse lineup of instructors, Business and Strategy provides 3 1/2 days of intensive education on strategy, positioning and trends, and the unique nature of the seniors housing and care sector.


| Category Adult Kids, Aging, Assisted Living, Community, Conference/Congress, Education: General, Grandparents, Independent Living, Nonprofit, Nursing Home, Resource, Retirement Living, Seminar, Seniors Life | | Comments Off

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Event: Youth Media Festival Performance Day, April 30th

Event Poster










Wide Angle Youth Media is a Maryland non-profit that provides Baltimore youth with opportunities to tell their own stories using video technology, public speaking, and critical thinking skills. Through after school programs, community events, their annual Who Are You? Youth Media Festival, and a youth-run television show, Wide Angle strives to make media make a difference.

Join Wide Angle in celebrating the accomplishments and creativity of over 300 Baltimore youth. See youth produced videos, experience performances by young people, hear original music and see the Youth Dreamers Fashion Show!

Festival Performance Day
Saturday, April 30th, 2011 at Centerstage
700 Calvert Street, Baltimore, MD 21202

Tickets: Suggested donation of $10. Reservations are required.

Call Centerstage for tickets at 410-332-0033.

| Category Community, Event, Events, Fundraising | | Comments Off

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#Development: Survey – Donors Concerned About How Money is Spent

Sophie Hudson, a writer for, summarized a recent FRSB survey which found that many donors were concerned that their donations went on administration and fundraising, rather than on programs and outreach. The FRSB is the independent self-regulatory body for UK fundraising.

Sophie states that, “more than two-thirds of donors say they are concerned about how their donations to charities are spent, according to new research commissioned by the Fundraising Standards Board.

A survey carried out by the research company TNS OnLineBus, which polled more than 1,000 nationally representative donor adults aged between 16 and 64, found that 68 per cent of respondents were concerned about how donations were spent.

Fifty-nine per cent said they were concerned that charities spent donations on administration and fundraising.

Older age groups were more likely to have a higher level of concern about charity donations. Resondents aged from 16 to 24 were particularly concerned about charities not respecting the people who supported them, with 57 per cent citing this as a concern.

Alistair McLean, chief executive of the FRSB, said it was crucial that charities made more effort to communicate with donors.

“Donors need to understand how it all works: where the money goes, that it costs money to raise money and that that is all right,” he said.

“If we are to alleviate donors’ concerns and build trust and confidence, we need to educate the public, conveying just how committed charities are to best practice, professionalism and accountability.”

| Category Development, Donor Acquisition, Fundraising, Grants, Major Gifts, Resource, Study | | Comments Off

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Media: Defunding Public Media Would Stifle Digital Innovation

Jessica Clark argues that it’s time to change the conversation about public media from “one of scarcity to one of abundance.” A fixture on the webspace, MediaShift, Ms. Clark suggests that ” if not a single dollar ends up being stripped from public broadcasting appropriations, the current battle threatens to strangle innovation in a sector that was just gaining new media sea legs.”

Click here to read the full article.

| Category Advocacy, Public Media | | Comments Off

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Nonprofit: Job-Seeker Resources

LogoWe’re subscribers to the NonProfit Times and have always been impressed by their nonprofit job-seekers database and online tool found here.  In addition to being able to search by category, job-type, state, city, etc. one can also download annual salary surveys and job-trend reports to aid in one’s job-search. is another favorite destination of ours as it lists jobs, volunteer opportunities, internships, and more.

We’ll be posting a comprehensive compendium of nonprofit job-seeker resources in the next week or so, so be sure to re-visit the MKCREATIVE blog once the Tweets and Facebook postings appear on the MKCREATIVE “InterWeb”.

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Health: Would You Recognize a Heart Attack?

St. Louis fire department ambulance. Missouri,...

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AARP recently published a great article on how to recognize whether or not you’re having a heart attack (women tend to wait longer to call 911 than men) and what to do if you think you’re having one.

Here’s what AARP advise: Don’t waste valuable time questioning the signs of a heart attack if you think you’re having one — call an ambulance first. Be prepared and learn the signs and symptoms now…

Clicking on the link above will take you to the AARP site where you can learn how to recognize the (many) symptoms of a heart attack in progress.

| Category Health, Report, Wellness | | Comments Off

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Aging: The Graying of Chicago

Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower) in Chicago...

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This article slipped through the cracks but we’re sure glad we spotted a reference to it on the Senior Housing News’ website: it’s a Crain’s Special Report asking whether an aging population affects a city’s economic future.

It is a great question and Crain’s Chicago Business ran an in-depth story (Feb 7) examining how Chicago’s senior population will impact business opportunities for the next 20-30 years.  The article, according to Senior Housing News, is “a great example of how cities may want to look at the future profile of their city.”

| Category Adult Kids, Assisted Living, Grandparents, Independent Living, Nursing Home, Report, Resource, Retirement Living, Seniors Life | | Comments Off

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Aging: Playtime helps bind generations

A new study has confirmed an old adage: A family that plays together stays together. Researchers from Concordia University and Wilfrid Laurier University examined the ways grandparents can maintain close ties with their adult grandchildren. True to the old maxim, recreation emerged as the glue sealing intergenerational bonds.

Here’s a link to an article about the study and to the study itself.

| Category Adult Kids, Aging, Assisted Living, Grandparents, Independent Living, Nursing Home, Resource, Retirement Living, Seniors Life, Study | | Comments Off

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