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#FUNDRAISING: Outreach Tactics & Technologies Need To Adjust To Demographics

With the texts and tweets and the touchscreens and with those crazy(-cool) Google goggles and whatnot, a nonprofit would be daft to send those old-fashioned appeals by mail. The cost of printing and stamps, the hassle of upkeep of a database of address, the imposition of making potential donors find their checkbooks buried ever-farther into their desk drawers… who would bother?

But an extensive whitepaper from the folks at Convio makes it quite clear that not only is the traditional through-the-snail-mail appeal still a great way to solicit support for your charity, it is the hands-down winner over all media outreach. As the chart to the left reveals, outreach by mail achieves incredibly high response rates. That said − and unsurprisingly − the impact of mailers fades as one moves down the age groups, as Generations X and (especially) Y choose to respond to other media as well. What media will carry the donation message into the future?

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| Category Advice, Advocacy, Aging, Campaigns, Cause Marketing, Civics, Communications, Community, Cross-Post, Development, Direct Mail, Donor Acquisition, Education: General, Fundraising, How-to, Marketing, Marketing Skills, Measurement, Mobile, Nonprofit, Permission Marketing, Planned Giving, Public Relations, Publications, Resource, Social Marketing, Social Networks, Study, Technology, Technology for Aging, Technology for Nonprofits | | Comments Off

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#GRANTS: Verizon Foundation Offers Support For Environmental & Educational Nonprofits

The Verizon Foundation supports educational and sustainability programsCountless members of nonprofit and charity staffs use Verizon as their cellular and/or internet (and/or cable) provider. But did you know the Verizon Foundation also supports such nonprofits and charities with grants in money, kind, and service? The Foundation focuses on issues pertaining to K-through-12 education, health care, and sustainability/environmentalism, so if your organization is involved in any of these fields, you should reach out and touch them (Er, wrong service. And century.). Here’s how.

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| Category Civics, Community, Education: General, Environment, Fundraising, Grants, Grants and Funding, Healthcare, How-to, Mobile, Nonprofit, Technology for Aging, Technology for Nonprofits, Tools | | Comments Off

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#PROAGING: Technology Can Encourage Socialization & Longevity

Perhaps the greatest gift of life is the ability to share many its aspects with others. We have communication skills and empathies that can enliven mundane tasks and reinforce the greater joys and tragedies of the human experience. As social beings, we seek out these shared experiences from our earliest infancy to our later golden years. For many aging citizens, though, physical limitations and technological impositions can reduce opportunities for socialization, which in turn has been shown to decrease both life quality and life expectancy.

Most aging Americans want to live in their own homes as they age, but that desire also increases the likelihood of growing isolation and falling life quality. How might recent technological innovations keep seniors connected to their peers and their younger family members?

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| Category Advocacy, Aging, Boomers, Civics, Communications, Community, Grandparents, Healthcare, Independent Living, Major Gifts, News and Current Affairs, Newsletter, Nonprofit, Resource, Retirement Living, Seniors Life, Social Media, Social Networks, Technology, Technology for Aging, Technology for Nonprofits | | Comments Off

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#PROAGING: Olympics & Social Media Suggest Shrinking Digital Divide

The Social Olympics in LondonNBC might have gotten some bad press for giving away results before showing them tape-delayed in the lucrative hours of prime time. These Olympics have both been the ‘first Social Olympics’ and the first to struggle to understand what such instantaneous communication can mean to corporate and sporting interests. And, as it turns out, most of the griping is coming from the world of social networks. According to the Pew Research Center, 76% of Americans find the NBC communications conglomerate’s coverage excellent or good.

What are the numbers when age is taken into consideration?

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| Category Advocacy, Aging, Boomers, Civics, Communications, Grants and Funding, Independent Living, Internet, National/International, News and Current Affairs, Nonprofit, Politics, Report, Seniors Life, Site Administration, Social Media, Social Media, Social Networks, Technology, Technology for Aging | | Comments Off

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#SOCIALMEDIA: How Young Is Too Old To Have Communications Expertise?

Why don’t you all fade away, and don’t try to dig what we all say
I’m not trying to cause a big sensation, I’m just talkin’ ’bout my generation

The Who, “My Generation,” My Generation (1965)

Well, I’ve already dated myself. But I’m going to press on with this post anyway. Catherine Sloan, a recent graduate from the University of Iowa who already has byline credit with USAToday, posted an opinion blog at NextGenJournal.com with the title “Why Every Social Media Manager Should Be Under 25“. It has caused something of a ruckus − a sensation, if you will − and commentators and flamers have been debating her post for the last 10 days. Now that some of the heat has dissipated, we wanted to see if she cast any light on the generational and communications experiences of Millennials.

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| Category Advice, Advocacy, Aging, Blogs, Civics, Communications, Facebook, Facebook, Marketing, Marketing Skills, Media Review, News and Current Affairs, Nonprofit, Opinion, Public Media, Public Relations, Social Marketing, Social Media, Social Media, Social Networks, Storytelling, Technology, Twitter, Twitter | | Comments Off

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#PROAGING: Majority Of Senior Citizens Online & Many More Using E-Readers

The Pew Internet and American Life ProjectThe fine folks at the Pew Internet and American Life Project marked a notable milestone in the history of electronic communications this past spring: “53% of American adults ages 65 and older use the internet or email. Though these adults are still less likely than all other age groups to use the internet, the latest data represent the first time that half of seniors are going online.” The crossing of the 50% mark means marketers and fundraisers really need to develop strategies to reach our retirees and senior citizens online. The percentages will only increase, of course, as ever more people who used the internet for work and/or play, and then those who grew up knowing few other means of communication, move toward 65. What else does the latest Pew report show us about Boomers and the internet?

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| Category Aging, Boomers, Communications, GI Generation, Grandparents, Independent Living, Internet, iPad/Tablet, Marketing, Report, Resource, Retirement Living, Seniors Life, Social Media, Social Media, Technology, Technology for Aging | | 1 Comments

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#COMMUNICATIONS: Is Your Organization Moving At The Speed Of Mobile?

With the rise of the smartphone and its ability to be the computer for millions of people around the world, mobile technology is becoming more powerful and less expensive every few months. And with those technological changes come changes of habit and expectation. One of the changes we and many others have commented on is the rise of text messaging as a medium not only to spread-the-word but also to raise funds for nonprofits and charities. The response to the American Red Cross’s texting campaign to deal with the horrors of the Haitian earthquake of 2010 is usually seen as the watershed event.

How has the nexus between cell-phone use and fundraising been strengthening over the last couple of years?

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| Category Advice, Advocacy, Boomers, Campaigns, Case Study, Cause Marketing, Communications, Crowdfunding, Development, Fundraising, iDevice, iPad Apps, iPad/Tablet, iPhone Apps, Marketing, Mobile, Mobile, Newsletter, Newspaper Article, Nonprofit, Public Relations, Report, Resource, Social Marketing, Social Media, Social Networks, Technology, Technology for Aging, Technology for Nonprofits, Volunteerism, Writing | | 1 Comments

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#PROAGING: Republican Budget Realigns Medicare But Ignores Long-Term Care

The macro-economics of aging over the next 40 years do not look great: the first Baby Boomers reached the age of Social-Security eligibility 15 months ago, but the crest of this so-called ‘Silver Tsunami’ will not come until about 2030. It will not recede for another couple of decades. The issue is not the number of people so much as the economy’s ability/preparation to deal with the number. According to the Employee Benefit Research Institute, “The baseline 2010 Retirement Readiness Rating™ finds that nearly one-half (47.2 percent) of the oldest cohort (Early Baby Boomers) are simulated to be “at risk” of not having sufficient retirement resources to pay for “basic” retirement expenditures and uninsured health care costs. The percentage “at risk” drops for the Late Boomers (to 43.7 percent) but then increases slightly for Generation Xers to 44.5 percent.”

The combination of retiring Boomers with lengthening life expectancies with a general political trend to cut taxes for all while reducing services only to the poor has meant that the costs of long-term care are growing, while the will to adjust expectations or fund federal programs is shrinking. The FY2013 budget proposed by Senators Rand Paul (R-Kentucky), Jim DeMint (R-South Carolina), and Mike Lee (R-Utah) earlier this month has not much quelled fears of how Medicare will deal with the spread between long-living retired  Boomers and the costs they will impose on an already stressed healthcare ‘system’.

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| Category Affordable Housing, Aging, Assisted Living, Boomers, Community, Independent Living, National/International, News and Current Affairs, Newspaper Article, Nonprofit, Opinion, Politics, Retirement Living, Senior Housing, Study, Technology for Aging | | Comments Off

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#PROAGING: Social Tech Rewiring Social Connections For Millennials

The Pew Internet Trust LogoEach generation seems predisposed to believe the next generation will be materially better off but intellectually or spiritually weaker. Whether it’s Socrates complaining about writing over memorizing, John of Salisbury lamenting the rise of law schools in twelfth-century England, or Grandpa Simpson opining about how much better everything was in his day, thinkers tends to lament the technologies their children develop.

We might now have lived in a internet-connected world long enough to get a meaningful sense of how connectedness might be changing the ways be think and interact with information and with each other. On this year’s Leap Day, Elon University’s School of Communication and the Pew Internet and American Life Project released a report entitled “Millennials will benefit and suffer due to their hyperconnected lives” – a report meant to see how the Millennials see their own world and its future.

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| Category Advice, Aging, Civics, Communications, Marketing, Nonprofit, Publications, Report, Resource, Social Media, Strategic Marketing, Technology, Technology for Aging, Technology for Nonprofits | | 1 Comments

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#PROAGING: Technology Improves Exercise of Body And Brain

Exergaming improves physical and mental fitness - Photo from TheAtlantic.comLast week we introduced an AARP report encouraging the development of ‘Technology for All,’ namely, technology that includes the interests, expectations, and needs of Baby Boomers. Here is an example of how technology makes a common exercise machine that much more interesting and beneficial: a computer screen offering a virtual tour for a stationary biker.

Hans Villarica of TheAtlantic.com presented a report found in The American Journal of Preventative Medicine that brings computer screens and visual stimuli to recumbent bikers in elder-care homes. The experiment was to encourage exercise among residents on incumbent bikes – some used bikes with screens that monitored their effort and presented a ‘tour’ while others simply rode the bikes for the same amount of time.

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| Category Aging, Assisted Living, Boomers, Fitness, GI Generation, Health, Healthcare, Independent Living, News and Current Affairs, Newspaper Article, Nursing Home, Resource, Retirement Living, Reviews, Seniors Life, Software Review, Study, Technology, Technology for Aging, Wellness | | Comments Off

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#PROAGING: AARP Explores Benefits & Challenges of ‘Technology For All’

With much fanfare, the first babyboomers moved into the official era of retirement last year as they celebrated 65 years of life. They were the first ripples of a ‘Silver Tsunami’ of Boomer retirees who will bring changes to entertainment, to Social Security, medical services, to retirement life. The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) released a report calling on entrepreneurs, developers, and service providers to take on the challenges of bringing the myriad technologies (some of which were built by the Boomers) to everyone – including those over 50 who want to use those technologies but might need them modified. Is your organization developing its strategy for the near future?

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| Category Aging, Boomers, Community, GI Generation, Health, Independent Living, Internet, Marketing, Marketing Skills, Report, Resource, Retirement Living, Seniors Life, Social Media, Social Media, Technology, Technology for Aging | | 1 Comments

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#ProAging: CES Highlights Tech For Boomers On-The-Move

The Consumer Electronics Show for 2012 just wound up

This past 10 through 13 January saw the annual International Consumer Electronics Show present some of the up-and-coming technologies for the next year(s). The CES “is owned and produced by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), the preeminent trade association promoting growth in the $186 billion U.S. consumer technology industry.” Most of the news pertains to the latest smartphone or smart TV, but for the past three years the CES has also supported the ‘Silver Summit.’ This exhibition-within-an-exhibition focusses on technology for older citizens. It also awards ‘Silver Choice Awards,’ a couple of which we wanted to relay to our readers – along with video access to a round-table on the future of technology for retiring Baby Boomers.

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| Category Aging, Apple, Boomers, Community, Design, Events, Health, iDevice, Independent Living, iPad Apps, iPad/Tablet, iPhone Apps, Marketing, Nonprofit, Reviews, Seniors Life, Software Review, Strategic Marketing, Technology, Technology for Aging | | 3 Comments

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#SocialNetworks: Senior Living Communities See ROI On Social Media

Outreach to older Americans through social media might have once seemed a bit like trying to create an oasis in a desert: a great deal of effort lost in the sand. But survey after survey has demonstrated how use of social media has become an important part of the lives of millions of seniors. Which means numerous businesses that target seniors and their families have begun to develop strategies to reach out to those ever-growing constituencies and markets.

The folks at Glynn Devins Marketing have shared a keynote address that traces a case study they did with a local (Kansas) retirement community demonstrating the success of a drive on Facebook to increase ‘Likes’ and to offer donations as ever more people share their contact with that retirement community.

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| Category Advice, Aging, Blogs, Campaigns, Case Study, Cause Marketing, Communications, Facebook, Facebook, How-to, Marketing, Measurement, Public Relations, Report, Resource, Retirement Living, Senior Housing, Seniors Life, Social Media, Social Media | | Comments Off

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#ProAging: GAP Index Highlights Global Challenges Of Care For Aging

Global Aging Preparedness Index IconThe fact of the aging of the global population is something our readers are likely at least acquainted with. The phenomenon has arisen as life expectancy has lengthened even in developing countries and populations in developed countries often are not having enough children even to replace themselves. The result is that most national populations whose citizens or subjects are over 60 are quickly moving toward 30%. To put that number in historical perspective, The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) posits that, before the Twentieth Century, the percentage of inhabitants over 60 was 5-8%.

The CSIS released a sobering report earlier this year that measured the ‘Global Aging Preparedness’ (GAP) Index. The report stresses the demographic facts of the so-called ‘Silver Tsunami’ (a tide that can not now be turned, even if we all started having larger families) and the current economic situations of a number of countries both rich and poor, both developed and developing. So how did the US do?

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| Category Aging, Banking & Finance, Boomers, Civics, Community, GI Generation, Health, Healthcare, Healthcare, National/International, Nonprofit, Politics, Publications, Report, Resource, Seniors Life | | Comments Off

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#Tech: Hidden Features Of iPhone Show A Caring Side Of Apple

The AssistiveTouch homescreen on an iPhoneApple‘s lack of interest in supporting charitable organizations either with money or with allowing apps on its mobile platforms has gotten the corporation some bad press. And Steve Jobs continues to inspire some rancor for his leadership style, even after his death from cancer. Yet, defenders of Steve Jobs and/or Apple are quick to point out that Apple’s products have revolutionized the ways nonprofits work, and that influence is surely the more important in the long run.

Last month, Steve Pogue of The New York Times uncovered further evidence that Apple might not be one of the philanthropic giants (or even minnows), but its directors and engineers do indeed have hearts.

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| Category Apple, Communications, Hardware Review, How-to, iDevice, iPad/Tablet, iPhone Apps, Newspaper Article, Reviews, Software Review, Technology, Technology for Aging | | 2 Comments

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#ProAging: A Few Gift Ideas For Older Family Members

Graphic from blog, Scraps of my Geek Life: Holiday Gift GuideEarlier today we posted a story concerning DoSomething.org’s drive, ‘Grandparents Gone Wired.’ In the process of working up that story we came across this brief list of gift ideas for some of those same grandparents: A Grandparents’ Tech Gift Guide. The blogger who is developing the list is Michele McGraw of northern Virginia, and her site, ‘Scraps of My Geek Life’, is one of the cuter and more engaging tech blogs we’ve come across.

The list for grandparents seems to be growing, and she also has Tech Gift Guides for Moms, young teens, and Bloggers (I’d like the iPhone 4S, please). All of these lists include her brief comments/reviews and she solicits reviews from her readers. Well worth a look, and it’s refreshing to see a site savvy to technology in its various guises with a fun and family-focused aura.

| Category Aging, Blogs, Fitness, Grandparents, Health, Media Review, Resource, Reviews, Seniors Life, Technology, Technology for Aging | | Comments Off

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#ProAging: Spending Time With Grandparents This Holiday

Looking for a way to spend time with your (grand)parents this holiday season, whether you are seated in the same room or across the continent? The folks at DoSomething.org are launching a new program for this holiday season: ‘Grandparents Gone Wired‘. The program is designed to encourage (grand)children to spend time with their elder family members by helping their (grand)parents get settled into a Facebook account or by setting up video chat via Skype.

The program has the added benefit of encouraging a little face-to-face-in-the-same-space time during the holiday season as you negotiate the accounts and tinker with the hardware together. Registration via email or mobile phone is all it takes, and DoSomething promises to start sharing ideas and stories beginning today (the program runs through the 30th). Participants with the best advice enjoy the opportunity to win a new iPad, iTunes Gift Cards, and even a $500 academic scholarship.

Though the pitch is clearly thrown toward teens and their grandparents, the program could be just as helpful for adults wanting to connect technologically with their parents. I have registered and will report on the first few notices. True, the use of social-networking platforms by older Americans has exploded in the last couple of years, but everyone can use some help honing skills or learning new tricks.

We’ll share some of our ideas and experiences at DoSomething, and we hope you do too. And we hope you will share them here as well. We’ll certainly share them over the next couple of weeks.

 

 

| Category Aging, Boomers, Communications, Grandparents, Independent Living, Internet, Nonprofit, Resource, Seniors Life, Site Administration, Technology, Technology for Aging | | Comments Off

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#ProAging: Celebrating The Senior Games As Winter Approaches

Doctors, teachers, and athletes encourage us all to get more exercise. For many of us, our springtime means the energy to start a program to get fit and overcome the initial discomforts. As we enter our summer months, the foundation of better health has been set, and we begin to push some of our boundaries. The shortening days of fall might dissuade some of us, but the weather remains warm enough to keep us moving. Besides, winter could prove a notable setback, so we better give an extra push now.

But what about the seasons of our lives? Are we building a solid foundation in our earlier decades to encourage an active and engaged senior life? Many seniors are even competing in an Olympic-style festival that can inspire us all.

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| Category Aging, Boomers, Events, Fitness, Health, Independent Living, Nonprofit, Retirement Living, Seniors Life, Silent Generation, Storytelling, Video Interview | | Comments Off

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#ProAging: SM Savvy Encourages Cross-Generational Connection

With Thanksgiving a mere 36+ hours away (30 of which might be spent in a ticket line or sitting on a runway or hoping the traffic finally gets moving), we are all thinking about re-connecting to family and old friends. That we do so via social networking platforms has become the assumption among the Millennials and the Gen-Xers, whether in the holiday season or not. The social networking demands of these generations encourage them to keep up with the latest technologies as well – not a bad thing for the economy.

What happens to the previous-generation phones and laptops as younger Americans buy the latest-and-greatest? One thing that happens to them is they become ‘hand-me-ups’.

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| Category Boomers, GI Generation, Independent Living, Internet, Interview, Media Review, Nonprofit, Report, Resource, Retirement Living, Reviews, Site Administration, Social Media, Technology, Technology for Aging, Web and Print | | Comments Off

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#Health: Study Shows Advantages Of Conversation No One Wants

Remember Obama’s Death Panels? No, they didn’t exist. But like ‘cooties,’ the scared and the immature just kept repeating that they were waiting to snatch us up. What the Healthcare Reform Bill wanted to institute was the opportunity – nay, the expectation – for families to have regular consultations with their doctors about end-of-life/palliative care that would per force be covered by insurance.

Healthcare Reform became law in the early days of 2010, and we have been litigating it ever since – and no one has found any mention of a death panel. But even requiring insurance companies to pay doctors for these end-of-life consultations has proven to be a political hot potato – even though evidence of their efficacy is mounting.

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| Category Aging, Community, Dementia Care, Health, Healthcare, Healthcare, National/International, Newspaper Article, Politics, Publications, Report, Seniors Life, Silent Generation | | Comments Off

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#ProAging: AARP Busts Some Social Security Myths

As we enter ‘crazy time’ in the electoral calendar (a calendar that now runs from the Friday after the last election to the day of the next one), we will hear ever more about the desperate need to balance the federal budget and pay down the national debt. Few will strongly argue against these budget-balancing ambitions. The arguments are over just how to do that.

Social Security card arguing against privatizationSocial Security payouts make up some 20% of the federal budget, tied with national defense and one percentage point behind Medicare/Medicaid. Yet Social Security is usually singled out as one of the three federal line items that must be trimmed (Social Security, Medicare/Medicaid, and … um … oops.). The American Association of Retired Persons challenges five of the most commonly-stated myths about the state of Social Security, even in the midst of the economic malaise we continue to struggle with.

Myth Number One? Not surprisingly: Social Security is going bankrupt. According to AARP, that scary claim is untrue no matter how you divvy up the dollars. “Even in the unlikely event that nothing changes and the program’s entire surplus runs out in 2036, as projected, checks would keep coming. Payroll taxes at current rates would cover 77 percent of all the future benefits promised. That’s true for young and old alike, and includes inflation adjustments.”

Read the other four myths and the facts that refute them at AARP’s site. Then you can make an informed decision about how to vote in 2012, and how to plan for your retirement after that.

 

| Category Aging, Banking & Finance, Boomers, Civics, Community, eNewsletter, Healthcare, Independent Living, National/International, News and Current Affairs, Nonprofit, Politics, Resource, Retirement Living, Seniors Life | | 1 Comments

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#ProAging: Bringing Ballots To Nursing Homes Via The iPad

When the people of Oregon needed to replace Congressional Representative David Wu this week, the state Board of Elections used the opportunity to develop means to get ballots to older citizens in nursing homes. The traditional means to do so were to send absentee ballots out, but such ballots waste a great deal of payer, any way – and many do not get returned anyway. As we have noted on this blog, the iPad is a convenient and stimulative way  for retired Americans to access information. And now it is being used as a way for retired Boomers and those of the GI Generation to cast their votes.

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| Category Aging, Civics, Events, GI Generation, Hardware Review, iDevice, Independent Living, Internet, iPad Apps, iPad/Tablet, National/International, News and Current Affairs, Newspaper Article, Nonprofit, Nursing Home, Politics, Retirement Living, Seniors Life, Silent Generation, Site Administration, Software Review, Technology, Technology for Aging | | Comments Off

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#ProAging: Mandated Cuts In Medicare Stifle Expansion Plans

Pie chart of expected job cuts to comply with the CMA's 3% reductions

Click to enlarge

This past October 1st, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) put into effect new regulations concerning the payment or reimbursement of services to skilled nursing facilities and certain types of housing for older Americans. The reductions in payments were targeted at 3-4%. As the regulations were being finalized late this summer, we posted reactions from many facilities saying they would have to cut staff and/or services to comply with the ruling.

How are the cuts now playing out in the planning of elder care in America?

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| Category Aging, Assisted Living, Community, Health, Healthcare, National/International, Nonprofit, Nursing Home, Politics, Report, Resource, Retirement Living, Senior Housing | | Comments Off

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#ProAging: How Might The 7 Billion Humans Age?

Graphic of changing distribution of world population by age

From the NIA/NIH report - Click to enlarge

Earlier this week, the human race passed the 7-billion mark, and continues to expand. Much of the attention given to that milestone as focused on the many thousands of births that take place each second all around the world, but especially in India and subsaharan Africa. Yet, the other side of the demographic story must also be taken into account: people live longer. They remain productive later into longer lives, and – as an aggregate – technology helps them live well beyond a few years of retirement.

Which means, despite the many births, the world’s population over 60 will be over 22 percent by 2050. Are we prepared?

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| Category Aging, Civics, Communications, Community, Health, Healthcare, National/International, Politics, Publications, Report, Resource, Seniors Life | | Comments Off

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#ProAging: Which US Cities Offer The Best Lifestyle To Their Older Citizens?

Dave Letterman offers only a “Top 10″ list, but Bankers Life and Casualty has just published its Top 50 “Best US Cities For Seniors 2011″ and the list contains a few surprises – though, admittedly, not so many laughs.

The list was drawn up with an effort to establish some stable criteria that were, in turn, weighted to reflect the importance of each issue with older Americans. For example, healthcare opportunities are weighted to 10 at the top of the scale, whereas housing was weighted at 5, because many kinds of housing arrangements can be made for many kinds of seniors, whereas healthcare is a priority for all older people.

The good side about a weighted standard is that readers can judge for themselves if a certain concern outweighs other issues. For example, the city noted as having the lowest crime and the safest urban environment for seniors is Nassau-Suffolk County, New York (Long Island), yet the area did not quite crack the top 10. But if security/low crime is most important for you, you now know where to retire.

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| Category Affordable Housing, Aging, Boomers, Community, Environment, Health, Healthcare, Healthcare, Independent Living, Marketing, Report, Resource, Retirement Living, Seniors Life, Wellness | | Comments Off

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