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Life Extension: The Modern Anti-Aging Movement – Are We Standing at the Threshold of Immortality?

July 17, 2016 by · Comments Off on Life Extension: The Modern Anti-Aging Movement – Are We Standing at the Threshold of Immortality?
Filed under: General 

Why is skincare the focus of longevity research? I guess a cell is a cell, and if you can crack the code for one human cell, it is only a matter of time to solving the puzzle with different types of cell – and skin is without doubt the most visible cells each of us have. And it’s our faces in particular we often judge ourselves and others by, and we are in turn quickly scrutinized, and often opinions reached in a fraction of a second. Our faces often show the most visible signs of aging, and for many in modern society age is by nature “bad” and young or looking young is the ideal. That is why billions and billions of dollars each year are poured by consumers into all sorts of treatments to minimize wrinkles, to push back the effects of gravity, and to turn back the hands of time. And with that much money to be spent by consumers, there are many manufacturers eager to find the next step in arresting Father Time – and at least detaining him until the next stagecoach arrives, where hopefully he can be encouraged to move on before too much damage can be done.

The Entire Issue Explained – In A Pair of Shoelaces

Some time ago a friend gave me a simple analogy that puts this entire issue in perspective. The science may not win a Nobel Prize, but it gave me the necessary ah-ha moment.

The double helix of the DNA strand – our most basic foundation for life – is held together at each end by things that act in the same way as the hard plastic bits on the end of shoelaces do – preventing the DNA from unraveling, and the individual chromosomes scattering across the floor like dropping a string of pearls down a marble staircase. These things are called telomeres.

Somewhere programmed into these tiny telomeres is the entire basis to how long the DNA stays intact – and by inference these are the keys to the length of life of the organism. Somewhere written into the telomere is a great musical score but like all musical scores it has a double bar somewhere to signify the end; but is it to be a minuet or a Wagnerian epic? But sure enough, when the time comes, and the telomeres blow the full time whistle, the DNA strand will unravel and die – and the circle of life begins again. Telomeres govern how often our skin cells are replaced; why a puppy and a child born on the same date may age exactly the same chronologically, but the puppy has become a geriatric before the child reaches puberty.

Telomeres, my friend explained, occasionally go on the fritz (that must have a very specific scientific meaning). One of the ways this occurs is they may forget their programming to release and unravel, and they just hang on, allowing the cells thus affected to multiply again and again without dying. In fact, when this occurs often they become very difficult to kill and to all intents and purposes once the telomeres act in this way, the cell – and those it propagates – are effectively immortal.

This condition has a name which we all know. Cancer.

But, what if we were able in some way to persuade the telomeres within a cancer to behave normally – would that not be the “magic bullet” cure for cancer? And the other side to that equation – if the telomeres in healthy cells could be persuaded to act as they do in a cancer – then is this the recipe for a healthy cell that does not die? Does the cure for cancer and immortality hang on just this one thread?

Whatever your views may be, the reality is that some of the world’s finest research scientists are working on that exact question and some would say it is only a matter of a decade or two before this is neither conjecture nor science fiction, but a reality to face up to. The changes that would take place in society even if life expectancy were to take a leap forward by say 10 or 20 years are enormous, but we should all be thinking that this is a distinct possibility.

From the dab of lanoline a generation ago to what I know hold in my hand as an anti aging skincare treatment is more than just a revolution – and I have no doubt in a few years I will be saying this cream will not just slow the aging process and reduce the visible signs of aging, making your face appear younger – but it will actually be younger.

But before that, let’s look back at how this whole engagement with life extension and anti-aging started. Mankind has always striven for longevity and mused about immortality – but the past 50 years has seen some dramatic steps in reality toward this goal.

Genesis

The thought of extending life has been on the mind of mankind for millennia. References to the search for ways to prolong life can be found as far back as the Epic of Gilgamesh.

Gilgamesh was reputedly the fifth king of the kingdom of Uruk, the modern-day Iraq, around 2500 BC. According to the Sumerian list of kings, he reigned for 126 years. The Torah or Old Testament records Methuselah as living over 900 years, with life spans measured in centuries apparently commonplace before the time of Noah.

Throughout the development of scientific thought from the Reformation onwards, scholars have applied themselves to solving this riddle and these endeavors continue today at the very leading edge of scientific progress.

Unraveling Secrets

As the secrets of our existence are unraveled in ever more minute detail, we are beginning to understand what it is that makes us grow from tiny babies into adults. We now know, for example, that cell functions slow down as the body ages and that production of certain substances required by the body to regenerate decrease or cease completely.

Skin, for instance, needs two substances to retain strength and firmness.
The production of these substances namely collagen (strength, tightness) and elastin (flexibility) decreases with age. The decreases in production together with other factors that include the threat of free radicals make the skin age and become wrinkly. Free radicals are essentially incomplete oxygen molecules causing destructive chain reactions within cells.

The same kind of thing happens in every cell, every tissue and organ around the human body. For example, people develop frown lines, crow’s feet and wrinkles. Nutrients are no longer absorbed easily and vital cell functions, hormones and other substances are produced at decreased rates resulting in the body aging.

A Brief History of the Life Extension Movement

Science has been looking for ways to slow down this process for centuries. The forming of life extension movements, however, did not really begin until around 1970.

➢ In this year, Denham Harman, the originator of the so-called ‘free radical theory of aging’, decided that an organization dedicated to the research and information sharing between scientists working in biogerontology (the field of science concerned with the biological aspects involved in the aging process) was needed. As a result, the American Aging Association was formed.

➢ In 1976, two futurists, Philip Gordon and Joel Kurtzman wrote a book on the research into extending the human lifespan. This popular volume was titled ‘No More Dying. The Conquest Of Aging And The Extension Of Human Life’.

➢ Kurtzman was then invited to speak at Florida’s House Select Committee (HSC) of Aging, which was chaired by Claude Pepper, an American politician and spokesman for the elderly. The aim of this talk was to discuss the impact on Social Security by life extension.

➢ In 1980, Saul Kent, a prominent activist in the field of life extension, published the book ‘The Life Extension Revolution’ and founded the nutraceutical (from ‘nutrition’ and ‘pharmaceutical’, in other words, a nutrition supplement) firm known as ‘The Life Extension Foundation’.

This foundation is a non-profit making organization promoting dietary supplements and publishing the periodical ‘Life Extension Magazine’. Kent was later involved in work relating to cryogenics. He was jailed in the course of this work over a dispute at one point, although charges were dropped at a later stage.

➢ In 1982, American health writer and life extension advocate Sandy Shaw and her co-writer, Durk Pearson, popularized the term ‘life extension’ even further with the bestseller ‘Life Extension: A Practical Scientific Approach’.

➢ Roy Walford, a gerontologist and life-extensionist, published ‘Maximum Lifespan’, another popular book on the subject. He and Richard Weindruch, his student, followed this up in 1988 with their summary on the research they had conducted into the ability to prolong the life of rodents through calorie restriction. The title of this book is ‘The Retardation of Aging and Disease by Dietary Restriction’.

Although this ability to extend life with calorie restriction had been known since the 1930’s, when gerontologist, biochemist and nutritionist Clive McCay did some research into the subject, it was the work of Walford and Weinbruch that gave solid scientific grounding to the McCay’s findings.

Walford’s scientific work was driven by a personal interest in life extension. He practiced calorie restriction as part of his own life and eventually died at the age of 80. The cause of his death was amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a progressive motor neuron disease.

➢ A4M, the ‘American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine’ was founded in 1992 to create a medical specialty for anti aging that was distinctly separate from geriatrics. This allowed scientists and physicians interested in this particular field of science to hold conferences and discuss the latest developments.

➢ The sci.life-extension, a Usenet group, was created by California-born author, philosopher and translator Brian M. Delaney. This represented an important development within the movement of life extension. It made it possible, for example, for the CR (Calorie Restriction) Society to be created.

➢ A more recent development is the proposal of Dr A. de Grey, a biogerontologist at Cambridge University. This proposal suggested that damage to cells, macromolecules, organs and tissues can be repaired with the help of advanced biotechnology. This is evident in hair restoration products, for instance.

More than Books

Although it would appear that most of the work revolving around life extension has been done solely by writing books or founding societies or organizations of some kind or another, the reality is that these books were written in response to or based on very specific, detailed scientific research that have yielded positive results.

They are no longer the works of hopeful minds, but the works of dedicated scientists who have spent their lives working on discovering facts about aging and trying to find ways to slow down, or even reverse the process.

Many breakthroughs have been made, and in many ways, we are already able to extend lives to a certain extent. The average lifespan of a human being is already far greater than it used to be as a result of medical, pharmaceutical and nutritional advances brought about by research and development.

The work continues, and scientists around the world are continually conducting research, comparing results, discussing options and making advances on our behalf.

Driving Forces behind the Development of the Life Extension Movement

What factors are driving this movement into ever greater efforts to find solutions to the extension of Life? The answer to this question actually includes a whole range of factors.

Expectations Have Risen

As the ‘baby boomer’ generation (born between 1946-1964) enters retirement age, expectations of this group are dramatically different from those of the preceding generations. They have greater expectations and desires to enjoy their life as pensioners to the fullest and for as long as is possible. This expectation covers not only length of life, but quality of life as well and this is not a passive request but an active and strident demand in many cases.

Pharmacology

Progress in pharmacology has led to a wide selection of drugs that allow people to live longer and fuller lives being developed over the last two decades or so. The work is still very much in progress and many more drugs are being developed daily.

One of the classic examples of a drug raising the quality of life for older individuals are erectile dysfunction treatments – notably Viagra, Cialis and Levitra. These drugs have dramatically reduced the number of fatalities or serious injury resulting from elderly men rolling out of bed, as well as a number of more qualitative benefits.

Advances in Genetics

Some of the latest scientific research and subsequent advances made in biotechnology and genetics are providing some hope that it may be possible to hold back some of the fundamental causes of aging.

As we outlined previously, chromosomes containing DNA strings are essentially capped with a binding substance known as telomeres. In effect, the telomeres are consumed during cell division and over time, they become shorter and shorter.

This was first observed by a scientist called Leonard Hayflick, and the process of limited cell division was subsequently named the Hayflick Limit. Advocates of life extension work on the thought that lengthening the telomeres through drugs or gene therapy may ultimately extend the Hayflick Limit and thereby fool the cells, and as such the body, into ‘thinking’ it is younger than it actually is.

Developments in Precision Manufacture

Advances made in the fields of nanotechnology, miniaturization, computer chips and robotics also provide hope for potentially life extending solutions.

In the 1970’s, a popular TV series starred Lee Majors as the ‘Six Million Dollar Man’? Science fiction then. Today, it is science fact. Millions of people now walk through life with artificial ankle, knee and hip joints and healthy feet. A generation ago, mass production of this kind of technology was a distant dream.

The same applies to many individuals with artificial limbs. Artificial legs used to be crude wooden contraptions that were just able to keep a person balanced. Today’s artificial limbs are almost fully functional.

The Blessings of Medical Progress

Who would have thought even 50 years ago that it would become possible to bypass a coronary artery, or even replace a heart completely? Yet there are hundreds of thousands, if not millions of individuals enjoying their lives after having this kind of surgery – few of whom would be alive just half a century ago.

Millions of people no longer have to wear glasses, because of the availability of laser surgery. This, too, was science fiction just a few years ago. Today, it is advertised next to shampoo in magazines and on TV.

In other words, science is moving rapidly towards not only extending life, but making the quality of these extra years better as well.

Is it Science, Science Fiction or Lunacy?

What should the average person believe? This question is almost as difficult to answer as finding solutions to extended life. Even among scientists, opinions are divided. Some do believe that extending the quality of life is as possible as extending life in general.

Others brush off the thought as un-scientific nonsense. This is often simply based on the fear of anything ‘new’ disturbing the status quo of established limits. Fortunately, real scientists do keep on looking, because if every single scientist had decided that some of the advancements already in medical, pharmaceutical and technological fields could not be possible, we would all still be dying at 30.

So where does that leave us?

There is no doubt what-so-ever that there are many charlatans out there trying to make a quick buck out of people’s desire to retain their youth. Even today, many products being sold in their millions are essentially non-effective – often given fantastic names and have the most bewildering ingredients to make them look scientific to consumers and justify their cost.

But the facts are while many advancements are being made and research points to the possibility of eventually finding the key to maintaining youth for longer, the scientific community is still warning the public that many of the products being sold today are unreliable to say the least.

➢ Although food supplements may assist in keeping a body healthier – something that can often be achieved by simply adopting a healthier life style and diet – there is as yet no categorical and undeniable proof that they slow down aging as such.

➢ The same goes for many hormone treatments. Although they may have a short term effect of some kind, it is not yet scientifically proven that they will actually work in the long run. The fear that it may not work is based on the fact that taking hormones, a good example is the hormonal acne treatment, will ultimately actually slow down the body’s own production of these hormones.

In addition, many treatments may have potential (and yet unknown) side effects in the long run that could be harmful to the user’s health. This includes the fears that such hormone treatments could increase the risk of cancer, diabetes and other major illnesses.

➢ Other ideas, like the calorie restriction method, are working for rodents. In fact, studies conducted with rats on 30 to 50 per cent restricted diets have shown to almost double the life span of rats.

Similar studies conducted on primates have also shown tendency to extend life to a certain extent and prevent a list of age related illnesses. There are as yet no studies on humans, although some are actually living on calorie restricted diets. Whether this will prolong their lives, however, is a question of having to wait and see.

The theory is that by reducing calorie intake, the metabolism of the body is slowed down, thereby slowing the aging process as well. Nutritionists say there is a certain amount of calories a body of a certain size and weight needs to have to maintain health. Reducing this amount by up to 50 per cent is hardly a good idea in the long term.

Time will tell, as they say, but how will anyone be able to tell the difference? If a person lives to the age of 80, is this because they are on this diet or would they have lived to this age anyway?

Where Will This Lead?

Many believe there is realistic hope and expectation of making significant strides in the area of longevity within the next two decades. This group typically believes the answer will ultimately lie within genetics and biotechnology. It is too early to make definite predictions, but the research so far shows promise and, as mentioned earlier, some of the results of this research are already being used in certain treatments to improve patients’ lives.

At present, overall aging is difficult to slow down, to say the least. Some products indicate they will assist in maintaining overall health/longevity, but the area we are seeing the first commercial products being developed is in the area of skin care and given the size of this market, it is likely that this will continue to be the weather-vane of longevity treatments.

Science or Snake Oil?

It will be difficult to tell these two apart for many years. Charlatans are likely to about, because it is difficult to disprove many theories easily. Equally difficult will be positive proof from those with an ethical perspective on the trail of a real breakthrough, as products based on valid research and using technology or ingredients that will actually have an effect rarely promise overnight results. This is something that anyone looking to find improved youthful looks, etc, will have to bear in mind. None of these products can perform miracles. Even the best of them will take time and regular use in order to achieve the desired effect.

The bottom line is that where we stand now, we can be sure there are some things which are ineffective or even harmful; there are some that show some promise and there are some that are starting to cross the line of being able to demonstrate results – albeit modestly at this point.

In the meantime, it is wise to research products very carefully and to refuse to be baffled by weird and wonderful sounding ingredients or fantastic sounding promises of instant youth. Regeneration will take time – let’s face it, it has taken a lifetime to get to this point, turning back the clock can never be possible over night.

Skin Care and the Life Extension Movement

One may well ask just what all this, and in particular the life extension movement as such, could possibly have to do with skin care, health and beauty products. The fact is, much of the research into life extension is resulting in new approaches to skin care as a kind of by-product.

A greater understanding of how genetics and cellular processes affect the aging and condition of skin allows these research and development teams to investigate different compounds, their compatibility with human cells and genetic make up.

Many compounds found in nature are not just compatible to human skin but in fact the skin cells actually have natural receptors for these compounds. Because life extension research has discovered these receptors, skin care developers can now use this knowledge and create the formulae for their products to provide maximum effect.

Another skin care ‘by-product’ of life extension research is the use of nanotechnology. The use of nanotechnology, or, to be more precise, nanoparticles, has had a huge impact on the way nutrients and other components of skin care products are being delivered to the skin cells. In some ways, nanotechnology has already revolutionized skin care. It is now possible to use active ingredients previously difficult to effectively deliver to the skin, as well as making old, proven ingredients even more effective. Some ingredients used in cosmetics for hundreds, if not thousands of years by certain cultures can now be even more effectively used to improve skin condition and maintain a healthy, youthful look.

Even the moisturizing effect of skin care products can be improved with nantechnology. For this effect, so-called nanosomes are used. Nanosomes are small, pocket-like particles that melt or disintegrate on skin contact. By doing this, the moisturising effect is accelerated, assisting the skin faster and more efficiently.

Nanotechnology plays a key part not only in slowing the aging of skin, but is believed to actively assist in repairing and healing skin cells and tissue.

Another breakthrough in life extension research that is beginning to make itself felt in skin care products is the research into stem cells. Stem cells are elements of all life, plant, animal and human. Stem cells have two properties other cells do not have. These properties are the ability to develop into any kind of cell type and the ability to divide almost indefinitely. The use of plant stem cell extracts in skin care is likely to become one of the next ‘big things’ in the industry. And prepare for the debate when human stem cells are proposed as part of an anti-aging skincare regime, as will inevitably occur!

One thing we can be certain of, is that science will continue to search for answers to the question of life extension, and business will drive the commercialization of discoveries. But whether these lead us to a utopian future or potentially a minefield of strife as we debate who will use and who will benefit from these new godlike powers. In the meantime, at a practical level in the skincare, health and beauty industry we remain hopeful and expectant we will see the emergence of products that not only promise results, but produce them.

David Christensen is a veteran of Asia Pacific business, currently residing in Bangkok, Thailand and heading up the business he was a co-founder of, Royal Siam Natural Health & Beauty – who can be located at [http://www.royalsiam.asia], and the information supporting site at [http://www.royalsiam.info]. Royal Siam was established after careful planning in early 2011, spending 2011 concentrating on building the necessary business infrastructure and concentrating on the domestic Thai market. Early in 2012 Royal Siam launched its international website and online store, and in April 2012 publicly declared the ambition to be among the world’s top 20 premium health and beauty brands by the year 2020. Royal Siam is a unique business, operating in the premium skincare, anti aging, and related fields. At its core, one mission is to commercialize and bring to a global market the immense wealth of knowledge about the healing and beneficial properties of Thai and South East Asian plants – a knowledge base carefully built up over the last thousand years. At the same time, the mission is to bring to market the very latest in scientific advances in the area of anti aging… resulting in the unique position of having a Thai heritage and offering the best of nature, tradition, and science.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/David_D_Christensen/1317312

The Development of Old Age and Related Issues

April 18, 2016 by · Comments Off on The Development of Old Age and Related Issues
Filed under: General 

In traditional Chinese and other Asian cultures the aged were highly respected and cared for. The Igabo tribesmen of Eastern Nigeria value dependency in their aged and involve them in care of children and the administration of tribal affairs (Shelton, A. in Kalish R. Uni Michigan 1969).

In Eskimo culture the grandmother was pushed out into the ice-flow to die as soon as she became useless.

Western societies today usually resemble to some degree the Eskimo culture, only the “ice-flows” have names such a “Sunset Vista” and the like. Younger generations no longer assign status to the aged and their abandonment is always in danger of becoming the social norm.

There has been a tendency to remove the aged from their homes and put them  in custodial care. To some degree the government provides domiciliary care services to prevent or delay this, but the motivation probably has more to do with expense than humanity.

In Canada and some parts of the USA old people are being utilised as foster-grandparents in child care agencies.

SOME BASIC DEFINITIONS

What is Aging?

Aging: Aging is a natural phenomenon that refers to changes occurring throughout the life span and result in differences in structure and function between the youthful and elder generation.

Gerontology: Gerontology is the study of aging and includes science, psychology and sociology.

Geriatrics: A relatively new field of medicine specialising in the health problems of advanced age.

Social aging: Refers to the social habits and roles of individuals with respect to their culture and society. As social aging increases individual usually experience a decrease in meaningful social interactions.

Biological aging: Refers to the physical changes in the body systems during the later decades of life. It may begin long before the individual  reaches chronological age 65.

Cognitive aging: Refers to decreasing ability to assimilate new information and learn new behaviours and skills.

GENERAL PROBLEMS OF AGING

Eric Erikson (Youth and the life cycle. Children. 7:43-49 Mch/April 1960) developed an “ages and stages” theory of human development that involved 8 stages after birth each of which involved a basic dichotomy representing best case and worst case outcomes. Below are the dichotomies and their developmental relevance:

Prenatal stage – conception to birth.

  1. Infancy. Birth to 2 years – basic trust vs. basic distrust. Hope.
  2. Early childhood, 3 to 4 years – autonomy vs. self doubt/shame. Will.
  3. Play age, 5 to 8 years – initiative vs. guilt. Purpose.
  4. School age, 9to 12 – industry vs. inferiority. Competence.
  5. Adolescence, 13 to 19 – identity vs. identity confusion. Fidelity.
  6. Young adulthood – intimacy vs. isolation. Love.
  7. Adulthood, generativity vs. self absorption. Care.
  8. Mature age- Ego Integrity vs. Despair. Wisdom.

This stage of older adulthood, i.e. stage 8, begins about the time of retirement and continues throughout one’s life. Achieving ego integrity  is a sign of maturity while failing to reach this stage is an indication of poor development in prior stages through the life course.

Ego integrity: This means coming to accept one’s whole life and reflecting on it in a positive manner. According to Erikson, achieving integrity means fully accepting one’ self and coming to terms with death. Accepting responsibility for one’s life and being able to review the past with satisfaction is essential. The inability to do this leads to despair and the individual will begin to fear death. If a favourable balance is achieved during this stage, then wisdom is developed.

Psychological and personality aspects:

Aging has psychological implications. Next to dying our recognition that we are aging may be one of the most profound shocks we ever receive. Once we pass the invisible line of 65 our years are bench marked for the remainder of the game of life. We are no longer “mature age” we are instead classified as “old”, or “senior citizens”. How we cope with the changes we face and stresses of altered status depends on our basic personality. Here are 3 basic personality types that have been identified. It may be a oversimplification but it makes the point about personality effectively:

a. The autonomous – people who seem to have the resources for self-renewal. They may be dedicated to a goal or idea and committed to continuing productivity. This appears to protect them somewhat even against physiological aging.

b.The adjusted – people who are rigid and lacking in adaptability but are supported by their power, prestige or well structured routine. But if their situation changes drastically they become psychiatric casualties.

c.The anomic. These are people who do not have clear inner values or a protective life vision. Such people have been described as prematurely resigned and they may deteriorate rapidly.

Summary of stresses of old age.

a. Retirement and reduced income. Most people rely on work for self worth, identity and social interaction. Forced retirement can be demoralising.

b. Fear of invalidism and death. The increased probability of falling prey to illness from which there is no recovery is a continual source of anxiety. When one has a heart attack or stroke the stress becomes much worse.

Some persons face death with equanimity, often psychologically supported by a religion or philosophy. Others may welcome death as an end to suffering or insoluble problems and with little concern for life or human existence. Still others face impending death with suffering of great stress against which they have no ego defenses.

c. Isolation and loneliness. Older people face inevitable loss of loved ones, friends and contemporaries. The loss of a spouse whom one has depended on for companionship and moral support is particularly distressing. Children grow up, marry and become preoccupied or move away. Failing memory, visual and aural impairment may all work to make social interaction difficult. And if this then leads to a souring of outlook and rigidity of attitude then social interaction becomes further lessened and the individual may not even utilise the avenues for social activity that are still available.

d. Reduction in sexual function and physical attractiveness. Kinsey et al, in their Sexual behaviour in the human male, (Phil., Saunders, 1948) found that there is a gradual decrease in sexual activity with advancing age and that reasonably gratifying patterns of sexual activity can continue into extreme old age. The aging person also has to adapt to loss of sexual attractiveness in a society which puts extreme emphasis on sexual attractiveness. The adjustment in self image and self concept that are required can be very hard to make.

e. Forces tending to self devaluation. Often the experience of the older generation has little perceived relevance to the problems of the young and the older person becomes deprived of participation in decision making both in occupational and family settings. Many parents are seen as unwanted burdens and their children may secretly wish they would die so they can be free of the burden and experience some financial relief or benefit. Senior citizens may be pushed into the role of being an old person with all this implies in terms of self devaluation.

4 Major Categories of Problems or Needs:

Health.

Housing.

Income maintenance.

Interpersonal relations.

BIOLOGICAL CHANGES

Physiological Changes: Catabolism (the breakdown of protoplasm) overtakes anabolism (the build-up of protoplasm). All body systems are affected and repair systems become slowed. The aging process occurs at different rates in different individuals.

Physical appearance and other changes:

Loss of subcutaneous fat and less elastic skin gives rise to wrinkled appearance, sagging and loss of smoothness of body contours. Joints stiffen and become painful and range of joint movement becomes restricted, general mobility lessened.

Respiratory changes:

Increase of fibrous tissue in chest walls and lungs leads restricts respiratory movement and less oxygen is consumed. Older people more likelyto have lower respiratory infections whereas young people have upper respiratory infections.

Nutritive changes:

Tooth decay and loss of teeth can detract from ease and enjoyment in eating. Atrophy of the taste buds means food is inclined to be tasteless and this should be taken into account by carers. Digestive changes occur from lack of exercise (stimulating intestines) and decrease in digestive juice production. Constipation and indigestion are likely to follow as a result. Financial problems can lead to the elderly eating an excess of cheap carbohydrates rather than the more expensive protein and vegetable foods and this exacerbates the problem, leading to reduced vitamin intake and such problems as anemia and increased susceptibility to infection.

Adaptation to stress:

All of us face stress at all ages. Adaptation to stress requires the consumption of energy. The 3 main phases of stress are:

1. Initial alarm reaction. 2. Resistance. 3. Exhaustion

and if stress continues tissue damage or aging occurs. Older persons have had a lifetime of dealing with stresses. Energy reserves are depleted and the older person succumbs to stress earlier than the younger person. Stress is cumulative over a lifetime. Research results, including experiments with animals suggests that each stress leaves us more vulnerable to the next and that although we might think we’ve “bounced back” 100% in fact each stress leaves it scar. Further, stress is psycho-biological meaning the kind of stress is irrelevant. A physical stress may leave one more vulnerable to psychological stress and vice versa. Rest does not completely restore one after a stressor. Care workers need to be mindful of this and cognizant of the kinds of things that can produce stress for aged persons.

COGNITIVE CHANGE Habitual Behaviour:

Sigmund Freud noted that after the age of 50, treatment of neuroses via psychoanalysis was difficult because the opinions and reactions of older people were relatively fixed and hard to shift.

Over-learned behaviour: This is behaviour that has been learned so well and repeated so often that it has become automatic, like for example typing or running down stairs. Over-learned behaviour is hard to change. If one has lived a long time one is likely to have fixed opinions and ritualised behaviour patterns or habits.

Compulsive behaviour: Habits and attitudes that have been learned in the course of finding ways to overcome frustration and difficulty are very hard to break. Tension reducing habits such as nail biting, incessant humming, smoking or drinking alcohol are especially hard to change at any age and particularly hard for persons who have been practising them over a life time.

The psychology of over-learned and compulsive behaviours has severe implications for older persons who find they have to live in what for them is a new and alien environment with new rules and power relations.

Information acquisition:

Older people have a continual background of neural noise making it more difficult for them to sort out and interpret complex sensory input. In talking to an older person one should turn off the TV, eliminate as many noises and distractions as possible, talk slowly and relate to one message or idea at a time.

Memories from the distant past are stronger than more recent memories. New memories are the first to fade and last to return.

Time patterns also can get mixed – old and new may get mixed.

Intelligence.

Intelligence reaches a peak and can stay high with little deterioration if there is no neurological damage. People who have unusually high intelligence to begin with seem to suffer the least decline. Education and stimulation also seem to play a role in maintaining intelligence.

Intellectual impairment. Two diseases of old age causing cognitive decline are Alzheimer’s syndrome and Pick’s syndrome. In Pick’s syndrome there is inability to concentrate and learn and also affective responses are impaired.

Degenerative Diseases: Slow progressive physical degeneration of cells in the nervous system. Genetics appear to be an important factor. Usually start after age 40 (but can occur as early as 20s).

ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE Degeneration of all areas of cortex but particularly frontal and temporal lobes. The affected cells actually die. Early symptoms resemble neurotic disorders: Anxiety, depression, restlessness sleep difficulties.

Progressive deterioration of all intellectual faculties (memory deficiency being the most well known and obvious). Total mass of the brain decreases, ventricles become larger. No established treatment.

PICK’S DISEASE Rare degenerative disease. Similar to Alzheimer’s in terms of onset, symptomatology and possible genetic aetiology. However it affects circumscribed areas of the brain, particularly the frontal areas which leads to a loss of normal affect.

PARKINSON’S DISEASE Neuropathology: Loss of neurons in the basal ganglia.

Symptoms: Movement abnormalities: rhythmical alternating tremor of extremities, eyelids and tongue along with rigidity of the muscles and slowness of movement (akinesia).

It was once thought that Parkinson’s disease was not associated with intellectual deterioration, but it is now known that there is an association between global intellectual impairment and Parkinson’s where it occurs late in life.

The cells lost in Parkinson’s are associated with the neuro-chemical Dopamine and the motor symptoms of Parkinson’s are associated the dopamine deficiency. Treatment involves administration of dopamine precursor L-dopa which can alleviate symptoms including intellectual impairment. Research suggests it may possibly bring to the fore emotional effects in patients who have had psychiatric illness at some prior stage in their lives.

AFFECTIVE DOMAIN In old age our self concept gets its final revision. We make a final assessment of the value of our lives and our balance of success and failures.

How well a person adapts to old age may be predicated by how well the person adapted to earlier significant changes. If the person suffered an emotional crisis each time a significant change was needed then adaptation to the exigencies of old age may also be difficult. Factors such as economic security, geographic location and physical health are important to the adaptive process.

Need Fulfilment: For all of us, according to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs theory, we are not free to pursue the higher needs of self actualisation unless the basic needs are secured. When one considers that many, perhaps most, old people are living in poverty and continually concerned with basic survival needs, they are not likely to be happily satisfying needs related to prestige, achievement and beauty.

Maslow’s Hierarchy

Physiological

Safety

Belonging, love, identification

Esteem: Achievement, prestige, success, self respect

Self actualisation: Expressing one’s interests and talents to the full.

Note: Old people who have secured their basic needs may be motivated to work on tasks of the highest levels in the hierarchy – activities concerned with aesthetics, creativity and altruistic matters, as compensation for loss of sexual attractiveness and athleticism. Aged care workers fixated on getting old people to focus on social activities may only succeed in frustrating and irritating them if their basic survival concerns are not secured to their satisfaction.

DISENGAGEMENT

Social aging according to Cumming, E. and Henry, W. (Growing old: the aging process of disengagement, NY, Basic 1961) follows a well defined pattern:

  1. Change in role. Change in occupation and productivity. Possibly change in attitude to work.
  2. Loss of role, e.g. retirement or death of a husband.
  3. Reduced social interaction. With loss of role social interactions are diminished, eccentric adjustment can further reduce social interaction, damage to self concept, depression.
  4. Awareness of scarcity of remaining time. This produces further curtailment of activity in interest of saving time.

Havighurst, R. et al (in B. Neugarten (ed.) Middle age and aging, U. of Chicago, 1968) and others have suggested that disengagement is not an inevitable process. They believe the needs of the old are essentially the same as in middle age and the activities of middle age should be extended as long as possible. Havighurst points out the decrease in social interaction of the aged is often largely the result of society withdrawing from the individual as much as the reverse. To combat this he believes the individual must vigorously resist the limitations of his social world.

DEATH The fear of the dead amongst tribal societies is well established. Persons who had ministered to the dead were taboo and required observe various rituals including seclusion for varying periods of time. In some societies from South America to Australia it is taboo for certain persons to utter the name of the dead. Widows and widowers are expected to observe rituals in respect for the dead.

Widows in the Highlands of New Guinea around Goroka chop of one of their own fingers. The dead continue their existence as spirits and upsetting them can bring dire consequences.

Wahl, C in “The fear of death”, 1959 noted that the fear of death occurs as early as the 3rd year of life. When a child loses a pet or grandparent fears reside in the unspoken questions: Did I cause it? Will happen to you (parent) soon? Will this happen to me? The child in such situations needs to re-assure that the departure is not a censure, and that the parent is not likely to depart soon. Love, grief, guilt, anger are a mix of conflicting emotions that are experienced.

CONTEMPORARY ATTITUDES TO DEATH

Our culture places high value on youth, beauty, high status occupations, social class and anticipated future activities and achievement. Aging and dying are denied and avoided in this system. The death of each person reminds us of our own mortality.

The death of the elderly is less disturbing to members of Western society because the aged are not especially valued. Surveys have established that nurses for example attach more importance to saving a young life than an old life. In Western society there is a pattern of avoiding dealing with the aged and dying aged patient.

Stages of dying. Elisabeth Kubler Ross has specialised in working with dying patients and in her “On death and dying”, NY, Macmillan, 1969, summarised 5 stages in dying.

  1. Denial and isolation. “No, not me”.
  2. Anger. “I’ve lived a good life so why me?”
  3. Bargaining. Secret deals are struck with God. “If I can live until…I promise to…”
  4. Depression. (In general the greatest psychological problem of the aged is depression). Depression results from real and threatened loss.
  5. Acceptance of the inevitable.

Kubler Ross’s typology as set out above should, I believe be taken with a grain of salt and not slavishly accepted. Celebrated US Journalist David Rieff who was in June ’08 a guest of the Sydney writer’s festival in relation to his book, “Swimming in a sea of death: a son’s memoir” (Melbourne University Press) expressly denied the validity of the Kubler Ross typology in his Late Night Live interview (Australian ABC radio) with Philip Adams June 9th ’08. He said something to the effect that his mother had regarded her impending death as murder. My own experience with dying persons suggests that the human ego is extraordinarily resilient. I recall visiting a dying colleague in hospital just days before his death. He said, “I’m dying, I don’t like it but there’s nothing I can do about it”, and then went on to chortle about how senior academics at an Adelaide university had told him they were submitting his name for a the Order of Australia (the new “Knighthood” replacement in Australia). Falling in and out of lucid thought with an oxygen tube in his nostrils he was nevertheless still highly interested in the “vain glories of the world”. This observation to me seemed consistent with Rieff’s negative assessment of Kubler Ross’s theories.

THE AGED IN RELATION TO YOUNGER PEOPLE

The aged share with the young the same needs: However, the aged often have fewer or weaker resources to meet those needs. Their need for social interaction may be ignored by family and care workers.

Family should make time to visit their aged members and invite them to their homes. The aged like to visit children and relate to them through games and stories.

Meaningful relationships can be developed via foster-grandparent programs. Some aged are not aware of their income and health entitlements. Family and friends should take the time to explain these. Some aged are too proud to access their entitlements and this problem should be addressed in a kindly way where it occurs.

It is best that the aged be allowed as much choice as possible in matters related to living arrangements, social life and lifestyle.

Communities serving the aged need to provide for the aged via such things as lower curbing, and ramps.

Carers need to examine their own attitude to aging and dying. Denial in the carer is detected by the aged person and it can inhibit the aged person from expressing negative feelings – fear, anger. If the person can express these feelings to someone then that person is less likely to die with a sense of isolation and bitterness.

A METAPHYSICAL PERSPECTIVE

The following notes are my interpretation of a Dr. Depak Chopra lecture entitled, “The New Physics of Healing” which he presented to the 13th Scientific Conference of the American Holistic Medical Association. Dr. Depak Chopra is an endocrinologist and a former Chief of Staff of New England Hospital, Massachusetts. I am deliberately omitting the detail of his explanations of the more abstract, ephemeral and controversial ideas.

Original material from 735 Walnut Street, Boulder, Colorado 83002,

Phone. +303 449 6229.

In the lecture Dr. Chopra presents a model of the universe and of all organisms as structures of interacting centres of electromagnetic energy linked to each other in such a way that anything affecting one part of a system or structure has ramifications throughout the entire structure. This model becomes an analogue not only for what happens within the structure or organism itself, but between the organism and both its physical and social environments. In other words there is a correlation between psychological conditions, health and the aging process. Dr. Chopra in his lecture reconciles ancient Vedic (Hindu) philosophy with modern psychology and quantum physics.

Premature Precognitive Commitment: Dr. Chopra invokes experiments that have shown that flies kept for a long time in a jar do not quickly leave the jar when the top is taken off. Instead they accept the jar as the limit of their universe. He also points out that in India baby elephants are often kept tethered to a small twig or sapling. In adulthood when the elephant is capable of pulling over a medium sized tree it can still be successfully tethered to a twig! As another example he points to experiments in which fish are bred on

2 sides of a fish tank containing a divider between the 2 sides. When the divider is removed the fish are slow to learn that they can now swim throughout the whole tank but rather stay in the section that they accept as their universe. Other experiments have demonstrated that kittens brought up in an environment of vertical stripes and structures, when released in adulthood keep bumping into anything aligned horizontally as if they were unable to see anything that is horizontal. Conversely kittens brought up in an environment of horizontal stripes when released bump into vertical structures, apparently unable to see them.

The whole point of the above experiments is that they demonstrate Premature Precognitive Commitment. The lesson to be learned is that our sensory apparatus develops as a result of initial experience and how we’ve been taught to interpret it.

What is the real look of the world? It doesn’t exist. The way the world looks to us is determined by the sensory receptors we have and our interpretation of that look is determined by our premature precognitive commitments. Dr Chopra makes the point that less than a billionth of the available stimuli make it into our nervous systems. Most of it is screened, and what gets through to us is whatever we are expecting to find on the basis of our precognitive commitments.

Dr. Chopra also discusses the diseases that are actually caused by mainstream medical interventions, but this material gets too far away from my central intention. Dr. Chopra discusses in lay terms the physics of matter, energy and time by way of establishing the wider context of our existence. He makes the point that our bodies including the bodies of plants are mirrors of cosmic rhythms and exhibit changes correlating even with the tides.

Dr. Chopra cites the experiments of Dr. Herbert Spencer of the US National Institute of Health. He injected mice with Poly-IC, an immuno-stimulant while making the mice repeatedly smell camphor. After the effect of the Poly-IC had worn off he again exposed the mice to the camphor smell. The smell of camphor had the effect of causing the mice’s immune system to automatically strengthen as if they had been injected with the stimulant. He then took another batch of mice and injected them with cyclophosphamide which tends to destroy the immune system while exposing them to the smell of camphor. Later after being returned to normal just the smell of camphor was enough to cause destruction of their immune system. Dr. Chopra points out that whether or not camphor enhanced or destroyed the mice’s immune system was entirely determined by an interpretation of the meaning of the smell of camphor. The interpretation is not just in the brain but in each cell of the organism. We are bound to our imagination and our early experiences.

Chopra cites a study by the Massachusetts Dept of Health Education and Welfare into risk factors for heart disease – family history, cholesterol etc. The 2 most important risk factors were found to be psychological measures – Self  Happiness Rating and Job Satisfaction. They found most people died of heart disease on a Monday!

Chopra says that for every feeling there is a molecule. If you are experiencing tranquillity your body will be producing natural valium. Chemical changes in the brain are reflected by changes in other cells including blood cells. The brain produces neuropeptides and brain structures are chemically tuned to these neuropeptide receptors. Neuropeptides (neurotransmitters) are the chemical concommitants of thought. Chopra points out the white blood cells (a part of the immune system) have neuropeptide receptors and are “eavesdropping” on our thinking. Conversely the immune system produces its own neuropeptides which can influence the nervous system. He goes on to say that cells in all parts of the body including heart and kidneys for example also produce neuropeptides and neuropeptide sensitivity. Chopra assures us that most neurologists would agree that the nervous system and the immune system are parallel systems.

Other studies in physiology: The blood interlukin-2 levels of medical students decreased as exam time neared and their interlukin receptor capacities also lowered. Chopra says if we are having fun to the point of exhilaration our natural interlukin-2 levels become higher. Interlukin-2 is a powerful and very expensive anti-cancer drug. The body is a printout of consciousness. If we could change the way we look at our bodies at a genuine, profound level then our bodies would actually change.

On the subject of “time” Chopra cites Sir Thomas Gall and Steven Hawkins, stating that our description of the universe as having a past, present, and future are constructed entirely out of our interpretation of change. But in reality linear time doesn’t exist.

Chopra explains the work of Alexander Leaf a former Harvard Professor of Preventative Medicine who toured the world investigating societies where people  lived beyond 100 years (these included parts of Afghanistan, Soviet Georgia, Southern Andes). He looked at possible factors including climate, genetics, and diet. Leaf concluded the most important factor was the collective perception of aging in these societies.

Amongst the Tama Humara of the Southern Andes there was a collective belief that the older you got the more physically able you got. They had a tradition of running and the older one became then generally the better at running one got. The best runner was aged 60. Lung capacity and other measures actually improved with age. People were healthy until well into their 100s and died in their sleep. Chopra remarks that things have changed since the introduction of Budweiser (beer) and TV.

[DISCUSSION: How might TV be a factor in changing the former ideal state of things?]

Chopra refers to Dr. Ellen Langor a former Harvard Psychology professor’s work. Langor advertised for 100 volunteers aged over 70 years. She took them to a Monastery outside Boston to play “Let’s Pretend”. They were divided into 2 groups each of which resided in a different part of the building. One group, the control group spent several days talking about the 1950s. The other group, the experimental group had to live as if in the year 1959 and talk about it in the present tense. What appeared on their TV screens were the old newscasts and movies. They read old newspapers and magazines of the period. After 3 days everyone was photographed and the photographs judged by independent judges who knew nothing of the nature of the experiment. The experimental group seemed to have gotten younger in appearance. Langor then arranged for them to be tested for 100 physiological parameters of aging which included of course blood pressure, near point vision and DHEA levels. After 10 days of living as if in 1959 all parameters had reversed by the equivalent of at least 20 years.

Chopra concludes from Langor’s experiment: “We are the metabolic end product of our sensory experiences. How we interpret them depends on the collective mindset which influences individual biological entropy and aging.”

Can one escape the current collective mindset and reap the benefits in longevity and health? Langor says, society won’t let you escape. There are too many reminders of how most people think linear time is and how it expresses itself in entropy and aging – men are naughty at 40 and on social welfare at 55, women reach menopause at 40 etc. We get to see so many other people aging and dying that it sets the pattern that we follow.

Chopra concludes we are the metabolic product of our sensory experience and our interpretation gets structured in our biology itself. Real change comes from change in the collective consciousness – otherwise it cannot occur within the individual.

Readings

Chopra, D. The New Physics of Healing. 735 Walnut Street, Boulder, Colorado 83002,

Phone. +303 449 6229.

Coleman, J. C. Abnormal psychology and modern life. Scott Foresman & Co.

Lugo, J. and Hershey, L. Human development a multidisciplinary approach to the psychology of individual growth, NY, Macmillan.

Dennis. Psychology of human behaviour for nurses. Lond. W. B.Saunders.

[http://www.psychologynatural.com/DepressionBroch.html]

Dr. Victor Barnes is an Adelaide psychologist and hypnotherapist. He has also had three decades of experience in adult education including serving as Dean of a Sri Lankan college (ICBT) teaching several Australian degrees. His overseas experience includes studies and consulting experience in USA, PNG, Poland and Sri Lanka.

Fraudbuster Reports from Fraud Protection Network Can Protect Senior Citizens from Financial Losses

September 14, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Articles 

Fraudbuster Reports from Fraud Protection Network Can Protect Senior Citizens from Financial Losses

New services are designed to offer added protections for the vulnerable senior citizen market and will provide guidance and help for these at-risk individuals.

The launch of Fraudbuster Reports by leading consumer and investor protection services firm Fraud Protection Network (FPN) is designed to help senior citizens avoid falling prey to common scams and fraudulent schemes in the consumer marketplace. Due to the prevalence of these types of crimes, the National Council on Aging has called scams that target seniors “the crime of the 21st Century.” FPN’s full line of services can provide guidance and support for older individuals and couples in avoiding fraudulent transactions and protecting themselves against financial scammers.

 

Each year, older Americans lose billions of dollars to sham investments, dishonest commercial transactions and outright scams.

  • Major insurer MetLife estimates that individuals over 60 years of age experienced losses of nearly $3 billion due to scams, frauds and sham investments in 2010. This represents a 10 percent increase over similar loses in 2009.
  • According to research performed by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, the average amount lost by senior citizens to these fraudulent transactions is $141,000.
  • Figures released by the Federal Trade Commission indicate that older Americans lose an estimated $35 million each year trying to claim fake lottery and sweepstakes prizes.

Senior citizens may be especially vulnerable to certain types of fraud that include the following tactics:

  • Healthcare scams that bill insurers for services not rendered or not needed
  • Counterfeit prescription medications that can actually harm patients when used as directed
  • Fake lottery and sweepstakes prizes that solicit a small advance cash payment to claim a much larger sum
  • Reverse mortgages from disreputable or unknown companies

These fraudulent schemes are among the most common scams that target senior citizens in the U.S. The Fraudbuster Reports service can be used to check out any company that offers services or provides investment opportunities for senior citizens. Fraudbuster Reports from FPN can be used to obtain a wide range of data on potential investments and retirement plans:

Protections for Consumers:

  • Comprehensive identity and background checks on businesses that target the senior citizen market, especially medical insurance plans, reverse mortgage offers and online prescription medication companies
  • Assessment and evaluation of online complaints to verify their credibility
  • Licensing checks to ensure proper federal and state credentials and business licenses
  • Contact with listed corporate references to ensure the authenticity of companies that offer services to older individuals

Senior citizens also receive personalized services from their own personal account executive to streamline the investigative process and ensure a comfortable working relationship.

Protections for Investors:

  • Due diligence investigations that identify primary stockholders and officers for companies and that disclose liens, judgments, pending charges and bankruptcies
  • In-depth evaluation of all information provided to senior citizens regarding the investment opportunities
  • Previous and current employment histories for company officers and board members
  • License checks for brokers to ensure appropriate state and federal licensing and to identify any areas of concern in the brokerage history
  • Reference checks and financial data for brokers and investment advisors
  • Investor protections also include all features available in the consumer protection tier

FPN does not evaluate the likely profitability of investments. However, the services rendered by FPN can help senior citizens avoid fraudulent investment schemes that offer no chance of financial gain.

To promote these new services and the launch of Fraudbuster Reports, FPN has begun a major media push that includes advertising spots on major networks that include CNBC, Fox News, Fox Business, MSNBC, CNN and CNN Headline News and Bloomberg TV. The commercial can also be viewed online at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ocieWK1hDq8.

About Fraud Protection Network:
Since its founding in 2012, FPN has provided advanced investigative services to help clients avoid being taken in by scammers and fraudulent companies. Because senior citizens are especially vulnerable to these dishonest schemes, FPN provides an exceptional range of services that are specifically designed to prevent scammers from preying on older Americans. The newly released Fraudbuster Reports products will offer even more protection for these at-risk individuals and can ensure a brighter financial future for senior citizens.

Contact:
Fraud Protection Network
Raul Martinez, COO
raulm@fraudprotectionnetworkinc.com
855-203-0683
www.fraudprotectionnetworkinc.com

Video with caption: “Fraud Protection Network TV Ads.” Video available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ocieWK1hDq8

Why Are Reverse Mortgages Important to Senior Citizens? by Craig Castle

May 30, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Articles 

In Texas and many other parts of the country, senior citizens are being squeezed. They receive, on average, $965 per month in social security. And, while property taxes vary, a senior in many Texas cities with a home valued at $100,000 will pay more than $200 per month in property taxes alone. Add to that the high cost of necessities like health care, prescription medicine, utilities, and mortgage payments, and the financial picture can be very bleak. It’s no wonder that many seniors face foreclosure or tax liens on their homes.

“Reverse mortgages are important to Texas seniors because they allow them to obtain a loan against the equity in their home—often their single largest asset—without making monthly payments to repay that loan. That means that with a government-insured reverse mortgage, a senior will never lose his or her home to a bank simply because he or she could not make a payment,” said Craig Castle, a San Antonio reverse mortgage specialist for the past four years.

So why don’t more Texas seniors take advantage of this financial product?

Castle says that in his experience, seniors shy away from reverse mortgages for three reasons:
◾1. Fear
◾2. Bad advice
◾3. The availability of other, more well-advertised, loan products

“I have had many clients elect not to complete the reverse mortgage process because of fear,” Castle says. “Usually, the additional cash could have improved their lives significantly.”

Seniors’ fear is not unfounded. They are often the targets of scams and fraud. But, reverse mortgages have one important safe-guard built into them to protect even those who are uncomfortable making financial decisions. In order to obtain a government-insured reverse mortgage, a senior must have counseling by a HUD counselor with the local housing authority or the Consumer Credit Counseling Office. This unbiased person can help the senior determine whether a reverse mortgage makes sense for his or her individual situation.

And, sometimes well-meaning family and friends give bad advice.

“I have had ministers tell clients that they heard that you could lose your home with a reverse mortgage,” Castle said. “It isn’t true, but advice isn’t always based on facts.”

The availability of home equity loans also clouds the picture for many seniors. “Home equity loans can be appropriate for people who have an income, but they often spell disaster for seniors,” Castle said. “I talk to potential clients every week who tell me that they are having problems keeping up with their payments.”

“My experience has been that most home equity clients who are over 65 and have taken the maximum 80% of their home value will eventually lose their house—if they live at least 3-5 years beyond the date of loan origination,” Castle added.

With a reverse mortgage, the homeowner can access from 40-60% of the appraised value of their home, but the loan is not repaid until they die or leave the home permanently. Then the home is sold and the proceeds are used to repay the loan, with any remainder going to the owner’s estate.

To find out more about the benefits and requirements for a reverse mortgage, visit [http://www.SouthTexasReverseMortgage.com] and request the free Federal Trade Commission publication, Facts for Seniors about Reverse Mortgages. Or call Castle at 210-789-3685.

“Misinformation has prevented many seniors from getting a reverse mortgage when it would have provided them with greater financial stability—and peace of mind. That’s why I like to have the family involved and why I often spend several hours at my clients’ home explaining and re-explaining how a reverse mortgage works and how the various pay-out options can make their lives better,” Castle said.

Craig Castle is a Reverse Mortgage Specialist with Financial Freedom in San Antonio and the South Texas area. He holds a BA in Economics from the University of Missouri, is a former Licensed Stock Broker, and has worked with reverse mortgages for the past four years. He is also chairman of the Not Forgotten Coalition, a not-for-profit organization that provides services and advocacy for senior citizens in San Antonio. For more information, visit [http://www.SouthTexasReverseMortgage.com] or phone 210-789-3685.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Craig_Castle

Marketing, Selling, and Serving the Older Adult, Senior Citizens, Family Caregivers by Barbara Mascio

May 29, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Articles 

 

Are your clients pleased by the fine quality service that you provide?  Validating your clients’ endorsement of you through Certification as a Senior Approved Service will increase your client base.  Senior Approved Certification leads a family towards a service like yours side stepping the possibility of connecting with a less than desirable service.

If you serve the older adult, the disabled or those with chronic illnesses you may qualify for an independent consumer-driven survey process leading to certification as a Senior Approved Service.

You will not pay for clients, leads or referrals.  You will not violate HIPAA or the Anti-kickback rulings.  You will not pay for membership or advertising space.

Certifications are offered for medical, non-medical, alternative healing practices, housing, elder-law, and financial planners – virtually any type of business that reaches this population.  “We are building the ultimate one-call solution,” states Barbara Mascio, founder.  “Seniors are need of many kinds of service, including lawn care, handyman services and so on.  We save the headache of shopping around and completely remove the guess work.”

Confident business owners recognize the benefits of being part of an exclusive network of Certified Senior Approved Services.  See [http://www.qualityeldercare.com/senior-services.html]

Jean F. Wales, President of Wales Consulting LLC and Author of “Do It Now! An Organizing Handbook for Families and Senior Citizens writes  Becoming a Senior Approved Service instantly raised the credibility of my book “Do It Now! An Organizing Handbook for Families and Senior Citizens.  [http://www.seniorsapprove.com/organizing.html]

Ester Whitney, owner of Sweet Adeline’s Home writes  I feel I have been given a great opportunity to be the first Residential Home Care Provider to be approved by Senior Approved Services in the Dallas Area … everyone has been impressed …  [http://www.sweetadelineshomes.com/]

Tony Latina and Peggy Schmidt, co-owners of Advanced Laser Solutions writes  We have had nothing but positive feedback from the referrals from Senior Approved Services. They have been excellent to work with and we strongly recommend them.   [http://www.seniorsapprove.com/stop_smoking.html]

Paul Stone, owner of Occasional Help for Seniors a general cleaning and handyman service writes  We are so proud to be Certified as a Senior Approved Service. Putting this on our brochures, business cards and other advertisement pieces has clearly, without a doubt, increased our client base. Barbara is right; seniors need services but are afraid or confused about which one to call. [http://www.seniorsapprove.com/occasional-help.html]

See [http://www.qualityeldercare.com/providers] for details.  Mention Savings Code 0630 when you apply for certification.

Barbara Mascio, Founder of Senior Approved Services – a National Network of Products, Resources and Services Endorsed by Seniors

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Barbara_Mascio

Computing For Senior Citizens by Mike Stancik

May 16, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Articles 

For many people, computing is a tool that allows folks to have a hobby either  directly, for example, by getting information from the internet or indirectly,  i.e. a person likes to cook and therefore visits the Food Channel on line for  recipes. What about computing for seniors? What can a senior do with a computer  and the internet?

First of all, who are senior citizens? Many people are confused by the term  “senior”. Very often we see advertisements saying, for example, “Over 55 senior  discount available”. Others may think of “seniors” as folks at retirement age  which technically would be 62 to 65 years old and some think of seniors as  living in retirement homes. For the sake of this article I’m going to consider  “seniors” as being age 50 and older (in part because one can join American  Association of Retired People at age 50).

For some at any age, using a computer is a frightening undertaking,  unfortunately. It is, therefore, not unreasonable to think that seniors would  have an even more difficult time understanding computers and computing. For  myself (I am 60) I have been involved with computers since the days of the  Commodore 64 (around 1980) and even owned a TRS 80 Color computer from Radio  Shack (with an amazing 16K of memory)! For me using a computer is not so  daunting – not the same for many others however.

The difference between today and years gone by is that modern computers have  so many more applications available than ever. During the 80’s the computer  allowed us to do simple word processing and fool around with spread sheet  calculations as well as game playing. The 90’s gave us the internet and that  changed the way we thought about the usefulness of computers forever. Today we  have cell phones with operating systems that give us the world in a package we  can hold in one hand. Computers are also somewhat easier to use today (not  always!) since many applications are graphically driven and operated with mouse  click

How does this apply to seniors and how can seniors take advantage of the  computer world today? Let’s look at what seniors have available to them through  computing.

Social Networking: Facebook, MySpace or just simple emailing  is out there. They cost nothing, can be fun and informative and can keep seniors  connected with people going back to their high school years.

Blogging: A great way for seniors to express their interests  and spread the word. A blog does not have to be public and can be a great way to  share information with family and friends.

Article Publishing: Article publishing for seniors? (Wait a  minute – didn’t I tell you that I was a senior?!?). Why not is my answer.  Seniors have a life full of knowledge and experience that can be shared over  cyber space.

These are just a few examples why seniors should be involved in computing and  why they should own a computer. I’m sure that there are more reasons than those  mentioned, but, for the sake of space of this article I’ll leave you with  those.

What kind of system would be good for a senior to own? For a suggestion  please visit my website at wesavemoney4u.com/buyers-guide/seniors/

The author, Mike Stancik, has been computing for over 25 years. He also has a  degree in Digital Electronics and has designed and built his website  [http://wesavemoney4u.com]

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Mike_Stancik

Where Can You Find Employment For Senior Citizens? by Raymond Angus

May 15, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Articles 

Are you trying to locate employment for senior citizens? Is it for yourself?  Has the staggering economy scared you?

Are your carefully laid plans for a pleasant tour, although perhaps not  royal, through your golden years seem to be stalling? Will employment for senior  citizens be the answer to your dilemma?

You are not alone? The same feeling is infecting your senior citizen neighbor  next door, your sixty year old friend down at the retirement center, your old  buddy in the bowling league and your aging sister in Buffalo.

The truth is, you have options! We all do. Too often, we seniors tend to feel  betrayed by our government and left to fend for ourselves at the mercy of an  indifferent panicking society. Scrub away those thoughts!

You are no different than the forty old accountant that was cut loose by his  business firm, or the thirty five year old new car salesman who is left to his  own devices. You are just older than them, but you have a lot more going for you  than they do. Most of their experiences and trained talents and skills are still  down the road in front of them. Yours are spread out in a panorama behind  you.

Look back at your life. Now is the best of times for you to make the things  you have learned over the years put you up in front of the growing crowd of  employment seekers. If you were to write down all you have experienced, dealt  with, learned from, overcame, and grown from, it would fill an entire library  shelf.

Do you think that from all of this knowledge and living you can find some  things that would increase the performance and productivity of an employers  business.

Do you realize that the sum of all your hands on training and acquired  talents and skills would be of great value to some employer?

There are wheelbarrow loads of gold nuggets kicking around in your head, my  friend. Grab hold of a few of them and transform them into that perfect job you  are now dreaming about.

It is not as hard to accomplish this as you may think!

Here is a valuable gem of knowledge and fact that should stir up the juices  inside of you.

Most vacant employment positions are not even advertised! Whoa! What does  this tell you?

There is no competition for these jobs outside of word of mouth. Why? There  are many reasons why this is so.

Maybe the job has not been defined by the manager yet, he knows that the need  exists but what will he call it? You can step in and give him a definition. Do  some advance homework.

A harried business owner is overworked and wishing for a fairy godmother to  wave her wand and provide the perfect assistant. Check out the company and tell  him how much easier you can make his life, and earn him more profit as a  byproduct.

You read an item in the newspaper, or saw it on the TV news, about a business  making substantial growth spurts. That is your cue!

Call the company and inform them all the things you can do for them, and let  them know you will be stopping by tomorrow, would he or she have time to spend a  few moments with you.

Where can you look for employment for senior citizens? In your own head! Take  advantage of your own experience and skills.

There are jobs out there waiting for you. Be creative and bold. It will  happen!

Raymond Angus is the author of http://www.TheSeniorsLife.com. He writes about how fellow  seniors find work in today’s economy. Do you want to know where the seniors’  jobs are and how to get one? Go to http://www.TheSeniorsLife.com and click on  employment/jobs/retirees.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Raymond_Angus

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/3637213

Mobile Carwash; Senior Citizens and Mobile Homes by Lance Winslow

May 14, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Articles 

Senior citizens are generally not a large marketing segment for mobile  detailers or car washers, however, they should not be ignored.  You will find in  a near by area a seniors-only mobile home park.  You will also find square dance  clubs and senior centers.  All of these places can be extremely good places to  look for new business.  If you want to accelerate word of mouth advertising, you  should meet with people in these groups.  Wash cars at senior centers while they  play cards.  Hand out flyers, etc.

In mobile home parks you should hand out flyers and put flyers on bulletin  boards in the recreation rooms.  If you wash one mobile home in a mobile home  park, the word of mouth will spread the news of your service like wildfire.   Next thing you know, you’ll be washing every mobile home in the place.   Sometimes a simple visit to the park’s manager who usually lives on-site is  enough to get the ball rolling.

Many senior citizens belong to groups like: veteran’s groups, AARP, Masonic  Lodges, temples, churches, senior volunteer programs, Shriners Clubs, garden  clubs, sewing clubs, antique auto clubs, Audubon Society, arts councils and  various political groups. Many of the more affluent seniors play golf and many  of the local courses have senior discount days where you can meet the senior  crowd.  They are usually members of well-known local clubs and organizations;  great for word of mouth networking.  Many times they will have their cars washed  while golfing.  Usually most municipal or older golf courses have senior day  discounts once per week.  Some seniors simply use the driving range during  senior day.  This is good as it provides good turn over in the parking lot.   Every hour new golfers come to hit balls.

Square dances are very popular amongst the older crowd.  A city with a  population of over 50,000 could have as many as four to five groups.  Each group  may have a membership of fifteen to one hundred people.

Any city or community worth its salt has a senior center.  It is imperative  to develop a good working relationship with the program director.  She (usually  a she) is in contact with all senior groups, activities, field trips and such.   Senior centers usually have racks of pamphlets near their entrance with  interesting information, schedules of upcoming events and lists of names, phone  numbers and addresses of the board of directors of various non-profit  organizations throughout the area.  You will be amazed at the incredible network  seniors have and how fast word of mouth information spreads.  Many seniors are  involved in more than one group or activity.  You may be at a bridge club  meeting washing cars one day and the next day you will get called by the  instructor at the square dance club.  Then the following day you wash cars for a  political action committee while volunteers stuff envelopes.  This can go on day  after day.  You can significantly speed up the word of mouth advertising with  this segment by showing up at various senior centers.

You must also remember that negative word of mouth topics permeate from these  groups too.  Don’t let this happen to you.  Spend an extra minute or two with  each senior customer.  Ask them if they wouldn’t mind giving two or three flyers  to their very best friends.  Usually they will.  Get to know each senior  customers by name; you’ll be glad you did.  Name dropping amongst seniors is  great, a they value relationships with friends with much higher regard than the  younger crowd does.  They will try to help you by offering advise about how you  might attain more business and places you might go to.  Acknowledge these  tidbits even if you think they are ridiculous.  It is sometimes the ridiculous  things that bring you to a new idea.  Even if you don’t want any new business,  listen anyway. Many of the greatest ideas we ever go to help our company  innovate came from talking with seniors with a slightly different perspective  than today’s rat race.

Accept all tips from seniors even if you think they can’t afford it.  This is  one of the greatest compliments they can give you.  It means they accept you.   This is not an easy thing for a senior to do, especially since younger  generations constantly fail to even acknowledge their existence and fail to meet  their work ethic expectations.  The gap has been widened before you got there  and it is your job to close the gap.  By uniting the seniors and your company  and uniting the kids of the multitude of fundraising groups you help, you can  unite the entire community.  You can be something everyone can talk about.   Grandparents and grandkids can all talk about your company.

Too get information on car wash fundraisers, search Google; “car wash  fundraisers”

“Lance Winslow” – Online Think  Tank forum board. If you have innovative thoughts and unique perspectives,  come think with Lance; www.WorldThinkTank.net/. Lance is an online writer in  retirement.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Lance_Winslow

Niche Marketing Strategies For Tutoring Businesses Looking To Attract Senior Citizens by SK Tilton

April 29, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Articles 

For years, we’ve heard about the graying of our population from the baby boom  years. Our current class of senior citizens inductees (the population born  during the Baby Boom after World War II from 1946 to 1964) is going to make up  close to 20% percent of the total US population by 2029 according to the US  Census Bureau. What often goes unmentioned is that this mature population also  controls one of the largest percentages of disposable income. As a group, senior  citizens are and will be for some time the most affluent Americans. They hold  about three quarters of the nation’s financial assets worth approximately $1  trillion in disposable income annually.

Again, that is $1 trillion dollars in disposable income annually.

Many product and/or service oriented businesses have taken the long view and  begun marketing various products and services geared specifically to the older  consumer. Despite this recognition on the part of a few marketers, this  financially secure, mature group of consumers remains largely untapped by  educational companies and services. Take for instance the onslaught of new  technologies that seem to pop up like daisies in the spring, out of all consumer  groups, our seniors, are usually the last to be courted. While it may be true  that certain technologies are better suited for younger tech savvy consumers (I  am reminded of my elderly grandmother who purchased an unlimited text messaging  package on a small phone without text messaging capability and did I mention she  had arthritis), it doesn’t mean that this market is entirely unsuited for those  educational businesses and services that use technology to deliver their product  or service.

For a supplemental education service tutoring provider, this mature consumer  group is wide open with far less competition and minimal requirements in the way  of overhead expenditures. Two of the much-needed services that senior citizens  in particular lack are computer training and technology acclimation. Many of the  services supplemental education companies can provide, are the ones that are  most often overlooked or taken for granted, i.e. using the internet, opening up  an email account, social networking account registration, etc. If you are  reading this article, you can definitely offer those services and more. Suppose  for a moment you feel uncomfortable with your level of competence in offering a  few of these services, let me repeat what I said in my previous article, Niche  Marketing Strategies for Tutoring Businesses Looking To Attract Parents of  Students Taking State Standardized Tests, you do not have to be an expert in the  subject matter in order to provide supplemental services in the subject matter,  you just need to hire people with thorough experience related to the field.

The reason for the lack of competition in this age group is precisely because  this mature audience is a bit more discerning with their spending habits and a  more sophisticated approach is required to gain their attention, loyalty, and  dollars. However, it is for this very reason that supplemental education service  providers should dive into this market with fervor and enthusiasm. Education is,  and has always been a cornerstone for any age group. The value that the 50 and  over age group places on education should not go unnoticed. Along with  education, communication plays an important role in everyone’s lives and its  role only expands as one gets older. In the past, many grandparents would send  letters to their grandchildren and eagerly await their response. Grandparents  yearn to be a part of their grandchildren’s lives. Why not offer the ability to  stay in touch while simultaneously helping an older population learn and acquire  new skills? Imagine grandma’s joy every time she logs on to her e-mail account  and sees a message from her grandchild or when she receives a tweet. It’s truly  a win-win proposition!

Of course that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the type of  services supplemental education providers can offer up in addition to computer  training. Curriculum and/or activities marketed to senior citizens can range  from learning a new language to scrap booking to ballroom dancing. If you’re  looking for ideas on what senior citizens are interested in learning, you can  find a compiled starter list below. Since most of your organized activities and  programs will consist of a variety of group sizes, you will have the ability to  market age specific specials and discounted tuition fees accordingly. Remember,  you run a supplemental education service business that should be able to teach  and tutor in multiple disciplines. You do not need to have any expert knowledge  in any of these areas, just hire someone who does. It is highly unlikely that  Sam Walton knew how to repair the diesel engines of every tractor-trailer that  brought in a load of merchandise to his stores, but his business (Walmart) hired  people who did have that expertise.

The best part about marketing to this age group is that they are fairly  accessible if you know where to look. Putting up postings/flyers at local  community church bulletins, visiting the adult education departments of local  community colleges, and contacting the Facility Director or Onsite Coordinator  at various assisted living facilities to propose your computer training or other  services to their residents, is a good way to start. If interested, there are  plenty of online directories that list full contact information for assisted  living facilities narrowed by zip code or state.

How about the Bingo nights? They are usually held at lodges, halls, churches,  and schools/community colleges.

Hold the presses! Yet another great source that has been largely abandoned by  the younger generation is the newspaper. Here’s a little known fact about the  newspaper industry – 65% of its readers are over the age of 55. By advertising  in this medium you are reaching over half of the newspapers readers – Now that’s  worth another read!

When it comes to reaching senior citizens, let your creativity lead the way,  your opportunities are limitless. For the astute, forward thinking individual,  this is a unique opportunity to service an undeserved demographic and separate  your business from the competition. Remember, thinking outside the box never  gets old!

Activity Ideas for Senior Citizens: · Computer Training  · Dance   · Yoga  · Painting  · Sewing · Journal Writing · Knitting or  crocheting  · Photography · Discussion Groups  · Exercise  ·  Knitting  · Foreign Language Conversation · Needlepoint  · Pinochle   · Quilting  · Tai Chi  · Writing workshops  · Crafts  ·  Bowling  · Bridge

S.K. Tilton has served as a program director, site coordinator, area  director, and as a SES business consultant to various SES (Supplemental  Education Services) tutoring companies across the United States. S.K. Tilton has  written numerous business plans for SES start ups and filed many approved  applications on behalf of SES tutoring companies. As a consultant, S.K. Tilton  has been responsible for presenting and implementing successful marketing plans  and helping first year start ups achieve success normally enjoyed by seasoned  SES veterans. S.K. Tilton’s latest work combines practical experience of the  best and worst SES practices to bring you the only SES success guide book  available. For further information on the SES Made Easy book and the author,  please visit http://www.sestutoringbiz.com.

Stay informed on the latest information regarding supplemental education  service tutoring at http://sestutoringbiz.com/category/Blog/

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=SK_Tilton

 

Senior Citizen Jobs – Great Opportunities Revealed by Abhishek Agarwal

April 25, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Articles 

It cannot be denied that some employees prefer to employ younger people. In  spite of this, job market researches have shown that senior citizens have a wide  range of job opportunities before them.

The following statistics reveal that the number of employers who realize the  potentials of senior citizens, and the benefits of employing them, is on the  rise.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics has shown that from August 1989 to August  2003, the positions of over 380,000 employees aged between 15 and 24 were  replaced by senior citizens. To explain the point further, when a large number  of Australia’s younger workers left their jobs to become full-time students,  their employers preferred to employ older people in their stead.

More than 500,000 employees in Netherlands are aged 55 and above, and the  number has been steadily rising since 1995.

Competing with the Younger Generation

In order to compete with the younger generation, a senior job seeker has to  take the following factors into consideration.

When you are preparing your resume, emphasise on your accomplishments,  without seeming to brag about them. You have one advantage over the younger  applicants and, that is, your experience, along with a list of achievements and  posts held over a long period of time.

Your work history is just as important as your personality. Employers have a  tendency to notice gaps in employment when a person has been unemployed;  however, they also emphasize on how long a person has served each of his or her  previous employers.

Refresh and enhance your skills by reading voraciously and enrolling in a  variety of programs that will improve your expertise. Keep in touch with the  latest developments and trends in your particular field of service.

Continuously research the Internet for fresh opportunities. Several agencies  place advertisements on the Internet, especially stressing their preference for  senior citizens. The availability of a number of search engines and job sites  will definitely make your job easier.

Best Jobs for Senior Citizens

Here is a list of opportunities that do not focus on the applicants age.

Specialized jobs: For example, people applying for the position of a doctor  are hired on the basis of experience and not age.

Lecturers or speakers: Senior citizens are paid to speak on a topic of their  expertise, and here, age does not really matter. What matters, however, is  qualification, knowledge, and experience.

Writers: A writer’s age is irrelevant. All that is required for novelists,  playwrights, or children’s writers is an excellent hold over language. Moreover,  they can work in peace and comfort from their own houses,  a real bonus for  those who are advanced in years.

Abhishek is an expert at conducting interviews and he has got some great  Interview Success Secrets [http://www.Career-Guru.com/4/index.htm] up his  sleeves! Download his FREE 82 Pages Ebook, “How To Ace Any Interview”  from his website [http://www.Career-Guru.com/4/index.htm]. Only limited Free  Copies available.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Abhishek_Agarwal

 

How Senior Citizens Can Sharpen Their Brain – False Rumors and Proven Methods by Carson Hill

April 23, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Articles 

Senior citizens can benefit very much from brain sharpening tips and  techniques today!

In this article, I’m going to eliminate many of the false rumors on how to  stretch ones mind and actually sharpen it. I will then go over some great  options to help senior citizens as far as mind sharpening goes.

There are many misunderstandings about how brain training is best utilized.  Too many programs today are insisting on how fun it is to train your brain.  These programs provide crossword puzzle or colorful story problem type games.  Unfortunately many of these programs do not provide enough stimulation to really  affect neuron connection growth because they are aimed to much for  entertainment.

Your brain, like any other muscle, requires real resistance stimulation to  grow!

If you watch a body builder lifting weights, you realize that the goal of his  lifting is to give his muscles actual resistance. The kind of resistance he has  to work through, not resistance that’s all about fun and entertainment.

If you are stimulating your mind, you should feel a stretch and some real  struggle. It should not be an over-strenuous feeling but it should not be overly  fun and creative either.

The goal should be the workout. Stay centered on the numbers and figures more  than exciting visuals. The left brain work tends to need the most attention. You  can spend five minutes or ten minutes daily to start improving your mind. Number  memorization practice is one example mind exercises optimal for growth.

While there are many other exercises you can do to sharpen the mind, you must  remember that the goal here is not to become smarter. The real goal is to get  your brain to be able to work harder!

That is the key to brain training! Once you keep this in mind, you’ll easily  be able to spot out those false advertisements and mind workout  programs.

I’ve been studying the brain and it’s ability to grow through stimulation for  the past five years. I’ve just explained the false aim of most of the brain  training programs out their.

For the perfect resource regarding brain stimulation and senior citizens  visit http://www.regrowmybrain.info/. Here you will find mind  stimulation information specifically for seniors. You can also access a program  there which is the only one I’ve found that is specifically created for senior  citizens!

Another great resource of brain information for seniors can be found at http://www.squidoo.com/sharper-brain-for-senior-citizens. Here  you will find several links on brain stimulation depending on what your needs or  personal interests are.

I hope you’ve found this article helpful. Good luck with all your brain  training endeavors!

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Carson_Hill

 

 

Senior Citizens Can Become Great Customers by Michael McCann

April 23, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Articles 

If you think the senior citizen market isn’t dynamic, then you’re really out  of touch with marketing. Thirty-five percent of our population is over 55 years  old, and these very affluent seniors control almost 45 percent of the disposable  income of our country.

Neither Madison Avenue nor the advertising agency down the block takes this  group seriously, and as a result, the market is virtually untapped. Here are  four suggestions on how to target your business efforts to penetrate this  market.

o Gain an understanding of this large market… Throw out  everything you ever heard about the over-55 group. These people are vibrant and  full of life. They are looking for new ideas, challenges, and new and innovative  ways to enjoy life. Thanks to Social Security, wise investing and good  retirement plans, they have the money to pay for what they want. Most senior  citizens want what you want: health, happiness and security. Many want  excitement, romance and adventure. They want to maintain close ties with their  children and grandchildren.

o Target products and services… Yes, senior citizens want to  know about cruise ships, vitamins and wheelchairs, but so do thousands of people  under 55.

The difference is that seniors are looking for solutions to problems. They  want to make their life easier and more enjoyable, and they have the money to  pay for the services and products that can help them achieve these goals. If  your product solves a specific problem, you will find this market is for  you.

o How to advertise to seniors… Forget the flowery phrases, cute  word plays and fast-action ads. Senior citizens want to know the facts and what  benefits those facts will provide for them.  Your products and services are just  the carrier of benefits, not benefits in themselves.

Seniors want to know how your offering will make life easier or better or  more fun. Problem solving is high on the list of benefits wanted, and proof of  claim is requirement. Straight talk is appreciated, and as usual, a picture is  worth a thousand words.

Two-step advertising works well in the senior market. Seniors have time, so  snap decisions are seldom made. Advertisements that offer more information work  especially well. Always be positive in your advertising, and never talk down to  your audience. Most seniors are a lot smarter than you or I.

o Things to avoid… It is not a good idea to sell marginal ideas  to senior citizens such as work-at-home projects and get-rich-quick business  schemes. The senior lobby had watchdog groups looking for scam artists, and  these two topics top the list of no-nos. Get on their list and you will find  your business in trouble.

If you’re looking for the best source of information as to how to advertise  to the senior market, read what they read. Buy some of the newsstand magazines  on retirement, vacations, travel, cooking or investing targeted toward seniors,  and read both the articles and the ads. Find copies of Modern Maturity.  This and other magazines and periodicals will provide valuable insight into how  to advertise to this lucrative market.

Make more money faster by easily connecting with hard-to-reach decision  makers who can buy your products and services…NOW! Get started free by getting  Michael McCann’s new Special Report excerpted from his newest edition of his  popular business development book, Connecting with Key Decision Makers (How to  Reach Hard-to-Reach Businesspeople Who Can Say “Yes”)…just for asking at http:/www.GlobalBusinessCafe.com/  http://Twitter.com/MikeHMcCann Go now!

Michael McCann is a 25-year veteran of developing unique and professional  business development programs that create tangible results for individuals and  companies. Let him help you instantly…free!

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Michael_McCann

 

Email Marketing For Senior Citizen Centers by Dan Forootan

April 17, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Articles 

Ads in the phone book and Yellow Pages are a better investment than a  newspaper ad, but senior citizen centers need to provide gentle reminders of  their presence to potential patrons, many of whom are living alone and uncertain  about venturing into something new and unknown. How can they encourage newcomers  to come to the center while reminding regular visitors of all the center has to  offer? The answer is email marketing!

A senior citizens’ center email marketing campaign will achieve a pair of  essential objectives for the center by cutting costs and delivering the message  straight to the target audience. The idea that senior citizens would be relying  on email for news would have sounded ludicrous 15 or even 10 years ago. But with  more senior citizens jumping aboard the information superhighway than ever  before, an email marketing plan is the best way to reach seniors!

Email marketing allows these establishments to provide the type of  interactive advertisement newspapers and even television commercials cannot  offer. In addition to listing the essentials such as address, contact  information and operating hours, an email can include a schedule of upcoming  events, photos of people at the center and even videos of some of the fun  activities that take place at the center. What better way is there to convince  people to come to a senior center than by showing them what they are  missing?

Even those senior citizens who do not use email can be reached via email  marketing efforts. Often times, it is the children and/or grandchildren who  investigate senior centers on behalf of their elders. The “next generation” can  sign up to receive emails from a senior citizen center and then let their  parents or grandparents know the types of events that are taking place there,  from lunches and dinners to movies, card game tournaments and performances by  local music or theatre groups.

In addition, senior citizens who use email but who aren’t the ones checking  out senior citizen centers online can still receive these forwarded messages  from their children, grandchildren or friends. The email marketing software  required for these campaigns makes it very easy to forward messages to other  interested people, which can only help generate further business for the  centers. Just as importantly, this software is inexpensive to purchase and easy  to install and manage. There is no need to add staff to implement and/or handle  these email marketing projects. Add it all up and aemail marketing campaign is a  win-win for those who operate the center as well as those who visit  it!

Dan Forootan is the President of EZ Publishing, Inc., the creator of the  StreamSend Email  Marketing service.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Dan_Forootan

 

What Kinds of Job Opportunities Are There For Senior Citizens? By Stephen Chua

April 12, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Articles 

 

Because of improved health and the desire to stay active more and more senior citizens are looking for job opportunities. Certainly because of this the job market for those that are now over 50 is improving. Certainly projections are showing that by 2010 senior citizens will make up 1/3 of the entire workforce in the United States. So just what types of senior citizens job opportunities are there available to them?

In this article we take a look at a number of different opportunities that are available for senior citizens. Although it can be quite intimidating for anyone who has been out of work for sometime finding a new job there are now employment resources specially dedicated to helping senior citizens make the transition back into the job market. There are many Governmental, private and public organizations which provide assistance to senior citizens in relation to career guidance, education, job training, job placement and resume and interview skills.

However there are some job opportunities available for senior citizens which need little or no qualifications in order to do them.

1. Baby Sitting

Unfortunately there are lots of children out there who do not have Grandparents. Certainly more and more parents would be happy to leave their children with a more experienced and mature senior than a 14 year old. It is quite easy to get set up just place an advert on your local supermarket bulletin board, home owner’s association newsletter or at your church. You will soon be amazed at the responses you will get.

2. House Sitting

Many people are now traveling to see their children or friends. So these people will spend long times away from their home and there are plenty of opportunities now for senior citizens to offer their services as house sitters. Many people will know that their homes will be well cared for by such people.

As you can see from above no longer do senior citizen’s need to stay at home and wile away the hours doing nothing. There are plenty of senior citizens job opportunities available. So why not contact your local senior citizen group or one of the employment resource centers that have been specifically set up to find employment for those senior citizens who want to do more with their lives.

For more information to seniors living [http://seniorselderly.com], please visit [http://seniorselderly.com]

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Stephen_Chua

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August 10, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
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The Nevada Senior Guide is your comprehensive resource directory for seniors and those who support them.

Are you looking for something in particular?  

An assisting living facility in a certain area, perhaps?  

Whatever it is, just let us know by filling in the form you see below and we will do our very best to help!

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The Nevada Senior guide provides information about homes, health, services and leisure activities.

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The print version of Nevada Senior Guide is free and is available throughout Las Vegas, Henderson, Green Valley, Boulder City, North Las Vegas, Pahrump and Summerlin.

 






The Nevada Senior Guide contains the Senior Services Directory including government and non-profit agencies that offer services to seniors in Nevada. These services include food and housing assistance, transportation for medical appointments and other life enhancing services.

A Level of Care Directory is included to assist in the selection of appropriate services in assisted living faculties.

Previously known as the Las Vegas Senior Guide, Mathis began the publication in 2001 because she recognized the need to inform seniors about services that were available to them. It is distributed in Von’s Grocery Stores, Whole Foods Grocery Stores, all libraries and hospitals through-out southern Nevada.

 


 

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Our Mission Statement:  To Publish the most popular, user friendly, visible, results-based, free publication & website

The publication is filled with informative articles that relate to Senior issues including health care, home health and leisure activities.

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“Seniors are a unique group because they have so many needs that aren’t met as easily as those of the younger generations,” Mathis stated. “They are the largest percentage of our country’s population and are always looking for resources and good deals, no matter what their income level. The directory is also useful to baby boomers who can use it to find resources for their aging parents.”

“I do not know of any other advertisement that gives you so much for the price and not only produces results, but also has a staff that goes out of its way to help their advertisers through education and networking. Megan and her staff WANT you to be successful. To not advertise in Nevada Senior Guide is like giving your competition referrals.”  – Mark A. Simmons, QDCS, Exploring Life Transitions, Memory Care Consultant

 

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  • Senior Industry Network Group Events

    Monthly SING Meetings are held the first Thursday of every month at our NEW location below:

    Desert Canyon - HealthSouth
    9175 W. Oquendo Rd.
    Las Vegas, NV 89148

    S.I.N.G. Agenda:
    - Coffee and bagels will be served
    - A time to show gratitude by thanking those who have sent you referrals
    - Announcements around the room
    - One minute commercials
    - Open Discussion on topics of Self Empowerment

    * When? The 1st Thursday of every month. Networking starts at: 8:00am | Meeting starts at: 8:30am

    * How Much? It’s free!