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Inspirational Stamps Teach History of Civil Rights

January 27, 2014 by · Leave a Comment
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11725_A(Family Features)  The influence of family can be a powerful thing. When asked who inspired her as a child, Rosa Parks, an extraordinary American activist, answered, “My family, I would say, my mother, and my maternal grandparents. I grew up with them.”

 

On December 1, 1955, Parks was arrested in Montgomery, Alabama, for refusing to give up her seat on a municipal bus to a white man. Her arrest sparked a boycott of the Montgomery bus system that lasted longer than a year, posing an ultimately successful challenge to racial segregation and inspiring others to similar action.

 

Rosa Parks’ lifelong dedication to civil rights has influenced generations of Americans. The U.S. Postal Service wants its 2013 Civil Rights set of stamps to continue to educate and inspire. It released the Rosa Parks Forever® Stamp this year, along with a stamp commemorating the day 50 years ago when nearly a quarter of a million people came together in Washington, DC, to participate in the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. A third stamp in the Civil Rights set celebrates the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation on Jan. 1, 1863, by President Abraham Lincoln.

 

Parents looking for ways to teach their children about historic American events like these can turn to stamps for fun, interactive ways to discuss national milestones and iconic figures with their children outside the classroom. Since 1893, the U.S. Postal Service has issued limited-edition stamps that honor prominent people, places, icons and events of contemporary American life. These miniature works of art serve as excellent resources for teaching about our country and our culture in a new and exciting way that reaches beyond a textbook.

 

In addition, the U.S. Postal Service has developed a worksheet to help guide exploration into civil rights and equality. The worksheet features a “how to” guide for making a family tree, as well as a coloring sheet and exercise that empowers children to think about what equality means to them. Download the worksheet and find other resources at http://blog-stampofapproval.com.

 

Educators will want to explore the U.S. Postal Service’s Community Connection website, found at www.uspsconnection.com, which brings the history and heritage of the Postal Service’s 238 years into elementary grade classrooms, using stamps as a catalyst to spark conversations and learning opportunities for students.

 

Twelve civil rights pioneers, including Mary Church Terrell and Mary White Ovington, have also been honored in the past with their own postage stamp. Every year the Postal Service commemorates notable leaders and cultural milestones through other stamp collections, such as the Black Heritage series and the American Treasures series.

 

Photos courtesy of Daniel Afzal/United States Postal Service

U.S. Veterans Honored by Encore.org’s 2013 Purpose Prize

November 29, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
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Seven Awards for People Over Age 60 Solving the World’s Toughest Social Problems

The Purpose Prize has become a “MacArthur genius award for people who develop a second career as social service entrepreneurs.” – The New York Times.

A veteran of the U.S. Navy organizes a network of volunteers across the country to teach disabled veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan how to combat stress — through fly-fishing.

A public relations executive helps wounded warriors find and renovate foreclosed homes – and transforms lives and neighborhoods in the process.

These are two of the seven winners of the 2013 Purpose Prize, awarded by Encore.org, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting people who translate decades of skill and experience into “second acts” that contribute to society’s greater good.

Now in its eighth year, The Purpose Prize is the nation’s only large-scale investment in people over 60 who are combining their passion and experience for the social good. Created in 2005 by Encore.org, the prize is aimed at those with the passion to make change and the wisdom to know how to do it, showcasing the value of experience and disproving the notion that innovation is solely the province of the young.

Two winners will receive $100,000 each and five winners will receive $25,000 each.

This year’s winners:

* Vicki Thomas, Purple Heart Homes, Weston, Ct.
Thomas rallies communities around wounded soldiers, providing them with adapted foreclosed homes that improve quality of life for veterans and whole communities alike. ($100,000 winner of The Purpose Prize for Future Promise, sponsored by Symetra)

* Ysabel Duron, Latinas Contra Cancer, San Jose, Ca.
Duron taps into her own experience as a cancer survivor to shine a spotlight on cancer for Latino communities across the United States. ($100,000)

* Edwin P. Nicholson, Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing, Inc., Port Tobacco, Md.
Nicholson mentors disabled veterans, healing emotional wounds through the power of relationships and the great outdoors. ($25,000)

* Carol Fennelly, Hope House, Washington, D.C.
Fennelly runs a unique summer camp behind bars that is transforming federal prisoners into involved parents. ($25,000)

* Elizabeth Huttinger, Projet Crevette, Pasadena, Ca.
Huttinger’s project is on a path to eradicate human schistosomiasis, a disease infecting millions of the world’s poorest. ($25,000)

* Reverend Violet Little, The WelcomeChurch, Philadelphia, Pa.
Little is redefining the concept of “church” as she pastors Philadelphia’s homeless in a church without walls. ($25,000)

* Barbara Young, National Domestic Workers Alliance, New York, NY
Young’s rise from immigrant nanny to passionate advocate gives her a powerful voice in the fight for domestic workers’ rights across the United States. ($25,000)

The Purpose Prize winners will be honored on December 5, 2013, at an awards ceremony in Sausalito, Ca. NBC’s Jane Pauley will emcee the event for hundreds of Encore leaders and the Purpose Prize winners.

Twenty-one judges – leaders in business, politics, journalism and the nonprofit sector – chose the seven winners from a pool of more than 1,000 nominees. Judges include Sherry Lansing, former CEO of Paramount; David Bornstein, author and New York Times columnist; Eric Liu, writer and founder of CitizenUniversity; and Sree Sreenivasan, Chief Digital Officer for the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

Funded by The Atlantic Philanthropies and the John Templeton Foundation, The Purpose Prize is a program of Encore.org, which aims to engage millions of boomers in encore careers combining personal meaning, continued income and social impact in the second half of life.

This year, Symetra is sponsoring the $100,000 Purpose Prize for Future Promise, which recognizes an individual whose approach for helping society has the potential to grow steadily over the next five years. The company plans to sponsor another Purpose Prize for Future Promise in 2014.

“While Purpose Prize winners are helping to solve a wide range of pressing social problems, they have one thing in common,” said Marc Freedman, CEO and founder of Encore.org and author of The Big Shift (PublicAffairs Books). “They – and millions of others in encore careers – are turning personal passions and decades of experience into invaluable contributions across sectors, continents and generations, often through entrepreneurship.”

Short summaries for all winners follow. Photos are attached. Longer bios and higher resolution photos are available.

Vicki Thomas, Purple Heart Homes, Weston, Ct.
Thomas, winner of this year’s Purpose Prize for Future Promise, sponsored by Symetra, rallies communities around wounded soldiers, providing them with adapted foreclosed homes that improve quality of life for veterans and whole communities alike. Following a 35-year-career as a fundraising and marketing dynamo, she became the director of communications at Purple Heart Homes in 2008 in an effort to provide greater services for veterans who have service-connected disabilities. In just three years, Thomas helped take the fledgling nonprofit to new heights. She has raised millions for Purple Heart Homes in financial contributions and material donations. Revenue shot up 600% in her first year with the startup. She’s developed an innovative program that matches veterans with foreclosed homes donated by banks, then raises the funds to renovate a home for the individual veteran’s needs. It’s a win-win for all generations—and communities too. It helps veterans to grow assets, towns to recoup lost taxes and neighborhoods that have struggled with foreclosures to stabilize.

Ysabel Duron, Latinas Contra Cancer, San Jose, Ca.
Duron is an award-winning journalist with more than 42 years in television broadcasting. She tapped into her own experience as a survivor of Hodgkin’s lymphoma to shine a spotlight on cancer for Latino communities across the United States. To focus on the plight of low-income Latinos fighting the disease, Duron founded Latinas Contra Cancer (Latinas Against Cancer), an organization committed to educating, supporting and providing essential services to low-income Spanish speakers often overlooked by the health care system. Latinas Contra Cancer has offered a range of programs that have taught more than 3,000 men, women and teens about the disease, resulting in more than 300 preventative cancer screenings. The group has provided psychological and social support to over 100 patients per year. However, the call to action Duron answered has had an impact far beyond the Bay Area. Her passionate commitment is helping Latino communities across the U.S. gain access to cancer support, information and treatment. Her great empathy for cancer patients has made her utterly clear on her bigger purpose in the second stage of life.

Edwin P. Nicholson, Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing, Inc., Port Tobacco, Md.
Nicholson mentors disabled veterans, healing the emotional wounds of battle through the power of relationships and the great outdoors. A cancer survivor and war veteran himself, Nicholson was impressed by the fortitude of disabled veterans at the Walter Reed military hospital, where he was treated for prostate cancer in 2005. It spurred him to found Project Healing Waters, a program dedicated to helping disabled soldiers and veterans recover from the trying aftermath of war through the sport of fly-fishing. One-on-one connections have been key to Project Healing Waters’ approach since the beginning. Nicholson knew there were fly-fishing groups and facilities all over the country. His innovation was to convince them to start, manage and lead fly-fishing instruction and outings with veterans through military and Veterans Administration facilities. The quiet bonds forged over fishing lines began to transform lives. Again and again Nicholson heard from family members who said their loved ones had returned from war withdrawn, angry, and difficult to be around. But after fly-fishing with Project Healing Waters, they’ve become happier, more open and engaged. Project Healing Waters works closely with VA Recreational and Occupational therapies to identify those who would most benefit from the program. Many are in wheelchairs or using prosthetics. A few are blind. Participants reflect of full spectrum of disabled veterans and include all ages, genders, ethnicities and disabilities. Nicholson says the impact “goes well beyond the mechanics of fly-fishing.”

Carol Fennelly, Hope House, Washington, D.C.
A lifelong social activist who ran homeless shelters in the District of Columbia for 17 years, Carol Fennelly abandoned her plans to retire in 1998 when she learned that D.C. inmates had been transferred to Youngstown, OH. One woman made 10-hour round-trip drives twice a week to visit her son. Moved to answer a social need, Fennelly thought about opening a hospitality house in Youngstown for family members visiting inmates. She soon learned that while 93% of the federal inmate population is male, in sheer numbers there are more programs for mothers in prison than there are for fathers. She decided she had what it took to change things. “I had spent years organizing, dealing with government, making change happen, and that emboldened me to think I could go into prisons and start all these radical programs,” Fennelly says. So she launched an encore career with Hope House, an innovative organization that helps prison inmates stay in regular contact with their children. In the past 14 years, Hope House has hosted 200 video teleconferences, 18,000 personalized book readings by fathers and 31 week-long summer camps, which allow kids to spend time with their fathers free of the usual restrictions that come with visitor hours and family chaperones. California recently decided to implement the Hope House model in its 33 state prisons. Prisons in Texas, Idaho and New Hampshire may follow. In 2013 Fennelly was honored at the White House as a Champion of Change.

Elizabeth Huttinger, Projet Crevette, Pasadena, Ca.
International public health expert Elizabeth Huttinger spotted a big idea in shrimp, and launched an encore career that could eradicate a disease infecting millions of the world’s poorest. Huttinger’s project – founded in 2006 – is targeting human schistosomiasis, an infectious parasite carried by river snails. Understanding that the population of prawns that eat those snails had precipitously declined, Huttinger, 63, has devoted her encore career to restoring the prawn population in the SenegalRiver Basin. Projet Crevette’s mission is multifaceted: the restoration of the prawn population diminishes the spread of schisto, provides new economic opportunities to afflicted communities and heals families infected by the disease. Today, Projet Crevette is a prawn-farming microenterprise, operated by locals at public watering holes. It has brought social innovation, new microbusinesses, environmental restoration and improved health to communities. Huttinger is confident Projet Crevette will meet its bold goal to fully restore the indigenous prawn population—and improve countless lives in the process.

Violet Little, The WelcomeChurch, Philadelphia, Pa.
Reverend Violet Little is redefining the concept of “church” as she pastors Philadelphia’s homeless in a church without walls. After 14 years as parish pastor trained in psychotherapy, Little left behind her traditional congregation to create a religious refuge for the homeless on the streets of the city, which became the “WelcomeChurch.” The church relies mostly on word of mouth, and services can pop up in a city park or on a sidewalk. No questions are asked, and everyone is welcome. The WelcomeChurch coordinates medical services through local universities, helps people get into rehab or jobs, and offers educational services to the public on the causes of homelessness. Little estimates 40 percent of her congregants have moved off the streets into permanent housing and the WelcomeChurch celebrates each and every one of them, many of whom stay connected with Little through their transition. Little’s congregation has grown to include hundreds of homeless as well as non-homeless volunteers in the EvangelicalLutheranChurch in America.

Barbara Young, National Domestic Workers Alliance, New York, NY
An immigrant from the West Indies who built a meaningful life on meager income, Young’s gritty rise from nanny to passionate advocate gives her a powerful voice in the fight for domestic workers’ rights across the United States. She’s encouraged thousands to stand up for their right to earn a living wage, and counsels and trains others to become leaders themselves. In 2004, Young began building a movement to legislate a Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights in New YorkState, which would make overtime, paid time off and rest days mandatory. In 2009, when she heard then Governor David Patterson say on the radio that he’d sign the bill if it made it to his desk, she put on a full court press, becoming the engine behind passage of the law in 2010. The law is the first of its kind in the country, but Young is committed to making sure it isn’t the last. She’s now a key player in the NDWA’s expansion from 11 to 44 affiliated organizations with 15,000 members, up from 5,000 in 2007. Young’s passion for serving her community has only just begun.

Read More About Encore’s Purpose Prize at www.encore.org/prize.

About Encore.org

Encore.org is a national nonprofit that promotes the idea that people in their second acts have the talent and experience to solve some of society’s greatest problems.

About The Atlantic Philanthropies

The Atlantic Philanthropies are dedicated to bringing about lasting changes in the lives of disadvantaged and vulnerable people. In keeping with the Giving While Living philosophy of founder Charles “Chuck” Feeney, The Atlantic Philanthropies believes in making large investments to capitalize on significant opportunities to solve urgent problems now, so they are less likely to become larger, more entrenched and more expensive challenges later. The Atlantic Philanthropies also seeks to encourage others of significant wealth to engage in major philanthropic pursuits in their lifetime.

About The John Templeton Foundation

The John Templeton Foundation serves as a philanthropic catalyst for discoveries relating to the Big Questions of human purpose and ultimate reality, supporting research on subjects ranging from complexity, evolution, and infinity to creativity, forgiveness, love, and free will. We encourage civil, informed dialogue among scientists, philosophers, and theologians and between such experts and the public at large, for the purposes of definitional clarity and new insights.

About Symetra

Symetra Financial Corporation (NYSE: SYA) is a diversified financial services company based in Bellevue, Wash. In business since 1957, Symetra provides employee benefits, annuities and life insurance through a national network of benefit consultants, financial institutions, and independent agents and advisors.

 

CONTACT: Sara Ying Rounsaville, srounsaville@encore.org, 415-952-5121, or Russ Mitchell, rmitchell@encore.org, 510-969-0801

Virtual Life After Death: Why Digital Assets Should Be Included in Estate Plan

November 25, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
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Who would answer your Facebook “friend requests” if you were no longer around?

That depends on whom you determine – or don’t – in your estate plan. October 21 through 27, 2013 is National Estate Planning Awareness Week, and one web service is using the time to bring attention to the preparation digital assets require.

Digital assets include a variety of web and computerized documents and accounts, including social media accounts, photos, videos, websites, blogs and financial accounts.

Currently, only seven states have legal protocol for what happens to these items and accounts if their owner dies without including them in final wishes.

Bill Simpson is the Founder and President of Life Document Storage, an online storage bank for family documents and vital records including estate and digital asset plans. He said many people don’t realize how important it is to include digital assets in their estate plans.

“Digital assets are new to estate planning. Many people die without knowing they should have included these items in their plans. This makes it difficult for family members to access or delete online accounts. Depending on the site, sometimes impossible,” he said.

Life Document Storage allows people to upload important documents such as estate plans, trusts, wills and other documents. Selected relatives are able to view documents, or access them when necessary, such as the death of a relative. The company launched earlier this year.

Simpson said he came up with the idea for a family-centered document storage company from his experience as a funeral director.

“I’ve helped thousands of people make funeral arrangements. And I noticed that many of their families weren’t prepared to handle final wishes and affairs,” he said. He hopes Life Document Storage will prompt family discussions and end of life planning.

Simpson said there are several ways to begin including digital assets into estate plans.

“It’s as simple as creating a list of what online accounts you have and writing down account information. You can take it further by deciding what should happen to those accounts upon your death,” he said.  “But no matter how you store your information, electronically or on paper, make sure your family can find it if something were to happen to you,” Simpson concluded.

For more information on digital asset planning or document storage, visit www.LifeDocumentStorage.com.

Contact:

Bill Simpson – Email – 1-800-377-7341

Eye Drops And Ultraviolet Light — U.S. Clinical Trial Has Potential To Dramatically Change Landscape For Patients With Keratoconus And Corneal Ectasia

November 20, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
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San Leandro, California Ophthalmologist One of Few Doctors Offering Treatment in Clinical Trials  

An exciting new treatment option for patients suffering from Keratoconus and Corneal Ectasia is in U.S. Clinical trials right now.  Corneal Cross-linking is a non-invasive treatment that has the potential to halt the progression of Keratoconus and Corneal Ectasia, possibly saving patients from the need for corneal transplant.

Keratoconus and Corneal Ectasia

Keratoconus and Corneal Ectasia cause the cornea (the clear front part of the eye) to thin and become weak, to bulge and protrude outward thereby causing visual problems. Keratoconus occurs naturally, while Corneal Ectasia can occur when the cornea is weakened by LASIK or PRK procedures. Both conditions can severely compromise eyesight and may lead to legal blindness and corneal transplant surgery.

Corneal Cross-linking

The Corneal Cross-linking treatment being investigated in the clinical study is Avedro’s VibeX eye drops (Riboflavin) and KXL device (Ultraviolet light). Corneal Cross-linking may help improve vision by stabilizing the cornea and reducing astigmatism.  Traditional treatments include Rigid Gas Permeable contact lenses, corneal implants, or corneal transplant.

The study was initiated to investigate an alternative way to treat Keratoconus and Corneal Ectasia in patients after LASIK and PRK.  Only a small percentage of patients who have the surgery develop the sight-threatening condition, however, it frequently leads to corneal transplant or loss of vision.

Nicholas Batra, M.D.

Dr. Nicholas Batra, Medical Director of Batra Vision Medical Group in San Leandro, California, is one of only a handful of clinical investigators nationwide enrolling patients in this study.

“As a cornea specialist, I see this therapy has the potential to dramatically change the landscape of treatment for patients with Keratoconus and Corneal Ectasia. The United States is the only western industrialized nation where Corneal Cross-linking is not approved for use outside of clinical trials.”

Corneal Cross-Linking therapy is offered to patients in Mexico, Canada and Europe and other countries around the world. Dr. Batra is currently accepting US patients for the post-LASIK and Keratoconus segment of the Cross-Linking study.

Dr. Batra was awarded his Doctorate of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), and completed his ophthalmology residency at the University of California, San Francisco. In addition, Dr. Batra received a fellowship from UCSF/Proctor Foundation in Cornea and Refractive surgery and a Fellowship with the prestigious Heed Foundation.

(www.batravision.com)

For media interviews contact:
Zanides Public Relations
Linda Zanides
O:   415.456.8171
M:   415.342.1648

Checklist Helps Seniors Through Medicare Open Enrollment

November 20, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
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Older adults can follow a few simple tips to avoid uncovered expenses in the upcoming year.

With Medicare open enrollment beginning Oct. 15, now is the time to start preparing for future health care needs.

(Logo:  http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130710/CG45364LOGO-b)

Frank Nelson, program manager at the Central Coast Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program, regularly educates Medicare beneficiaries about the importance of open enrollment. He urges seniors to use this period to reevaluate their Medicare Part D coverage and make the most of their policies.

In an interview with MySilverAge.com, Nelson said many beneficiaries feel overwhelmed or have questions about their plans: “It can be a complicated maze. There are a lot of ways you can get tangled up in the nuances.” To avoid the headaches that often come with health insurance, Nelson advises seniors to:

  • Check changes to Medicare Part D. Part D plans should be specific to an individual’s medication needs. Seniors will need to make sure their prescriptions are still covered each year during open enrollment.
  • Request local pharmacy pricing. Open enrollment is a good time to check pricing of prescriptions, as each pharmacy can differ.
  • Purchase a supplemental policy. Older adults might consider Medigap to cover health care costs that aren’t already covered by Medicare.

The steps outlined in this checklist help readers successfully navigate the complexities of Medicare open enrollment and stay on top of their health care plans. Read the full checklist here: http://www.mysilverage.com/medicarechecklist.

About MySilverAge
MySilverAge is a website and online resource center, brought to you by be.group, that is designed to help seniors enjoy “what’s next.” MySilverAge brings together thought leaders on the subject of successful aging, leading intelligence on healthy aging and senior living, and expert tips and advice for creating the home, community and relationships in which seniors can thrive.

About be.group
As one of California’s largest nonprofit providers of senior living communities, be.group is committed to creating communities and services that make the lives of older adults more fulfilling. be.group’s dedicated, well-trained staff is devoted to helping its residents and clients discover new ways to embrace life’s possibilities and new options for exploring their potential. Follow @begroupliving on Twitter.

Contact:
Jackie Gibson
Content Director
Imagination
312-382-7862
jgibson@imaginepub.com

“Aging in Place” is the focus of a multi-platform report by the PBS NEWSHOUR

September 14, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
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“Aging in Place” is the focus of a multi-platform report by the PBS NEWSHOUR

Report is the latest in TAKING CARE: a 6-part series the challenges of long-term care

 NewsHour Online offers tips for seniors, profiles a pilot program in Baltimore, and shares personal stories

As Americans live longer, more-productive lives, many seniors are seeking ways to “Age in Place” – to grow old in their own homes rather than move in with family or to traditional retirement facilities.  As part of its ongoing reporting on the challenges of aging and long-term care, Ray Suarez reports from Boston on a non-profit membership organization that helps seniors grow old in their own homes.  The broadcast report airs Thursday, August 08, 2013 on the PBS NEWSHOUR (check local listings.)

The group, Beacon Hill Village, was founded by Susan McWhinney-Morse and 10 of her friends and neighbors who wanted to find a way to grow old in their homes without having to depend on their children for help.  For an annual membership fee, the group offers transportation, social events, and other low-cost services for seniors. The organization has become a model for the nation – there are now over 100 villages across the country and over 200 in development.

Produced with support from The SCAN Foundation, the report is the second in TAKING CARE: a 6-part series on long-term care that will continue throughout the year with reports that show the magnitude of the problem, the challenges faced by individuals and governments, and some of the models for change being tested.

PBS NEWSHOUR’s reporting on “Aging in Place” continues online:

  • 7 simple repairs to help seniors safely age in place  and an opportunity to share your own tips;
  • a “quilt” of photos and anecdotes of living alone, submitted by seniors and their relatives;
  •  an extended interview with one of the founders of Beacon Hill Village;
  • And on Friday –a video showing the work of CAPABLE, a Johns Hopkins-run, Baltimore-located organization that fixes up homes to increase mobility and function.

The SCAN Foundation is an independent, non-profit public charity devoted to advancing a world where all of us can age with dignity, independence, and choice.

PBS NEWSHOUR is seen by over 5 million weekly viewers and is also available online, via public radio in select markets and via podcast. The program is produced with WETA Washington, D.C., and in association with WNET.org in New York. Major corporate funding for the PBS NEWSHOUR is provided by BAE Systems and BNSF Railway with additional support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and public television viewers. www.pbs.org/newshour

Convenience and Product Selection Encourage More People to Manage Incontinence Online, Parentgiving.com Survey Reveals

July 29, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Articles, Press-Media Releases 

Convenience and Product Selection Encourage More People to Manage Incontinence Online, Parentgiving.com Survey Reveals

For the first time in its five-year history, the senior wellness site Parentgiving.com conducted an opinion survey on incontinence, reaching out to nearly 5,000 of its customers who shop for self-care products in this category. The focus was to learn how people best cope with incontinence and if a greater awareness about it as a medical issue has erased its stigma and prompted more people to talk to their doctors about treatment. Respondents were also asked to share both their frustrations and their strategies for maintaining quality of life.

(Logo:  http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130724/PH51806LOGO)

Results show that progress is being made. Slightly over 70 percent have talked to their healthcare provider about incontinence—many of them are taking or have tried medications, and a few have had surgical procedures.

But nearly 30 percent of respondents have still not sought medical attention. Reasons are varied. A few people still feel too embarrassed to bring it up, even in front of a doctor, while some assume it’s just a normal part of old age (it’s not!) or don’t know that there are treatments that might help. Others say they have more life-threatening medical issues, from diabetes to stroke recovery, that take precedence when they’re at the doctor’s office. For a few, the possibility of yet another medication to add to their existing regimen would be financially out of the question.

More Key Points From the Parentgiving Survey

* Fear of accidents is the top concern.
Two-thirds of respondents ranked this as their number one worry. The lack of product selection came in second at 21%. People want more product choices, which will, in turn, help them feel more secure about avoiding accidents.

* Online is the way people want to buy products.
Nearly 46% buy products online where they can get the widest selection and have anonymity.

* Absorbency is the key feature in choosing products.
An overwhelming 81% ranked this first. Information on a product’s absorbency should be front and center on product descriptions, say the respondents. Comfort ranked second and the ability to buy a product online ranked a strong third at 36%, above both cost and anatomical design of items.

* Many people are satisfied with their incontinence products. In fact, 40% are very satisfied. However 44% are only somewhat satisfied—there’s room for better education about products to help people find those that are more effective for them and the respondents had numerous suggestions for incontinence product manufacturers to improve styles.

For complete survey results, go to http://www.parentgiving.com/elder-care/incontinence-survey-results/. There is also a companion article, “Survey Says: 50 Top Strategies for Managing Incontinence,” featuring respondents’ experiences and suggestions at http://www.parentgiving.com/elder-care/survey-says-50-top-strategies-for-managing-incontinence/. For more information, please contact Julie Davis, Chief Content Officer at 203-984-4424 or email.

About Parentgiving. Parentgiving.com is the online destination dedicated to the health and wellness needs of seniors and their caregivers. A comprehensive website, Parentgiving offers hundreds of informative articles on eldercare, plus Q&As with experts on healthy aging. The Parentgiving Store sells find thousands of products from medical supplies to practical tools for the activities of daily living. Everything can be ordered by phone or online with fast shipping right to the senior. For more information please visit www.Parentgiving.com or follow us on Twitter.

Betty White’s “Off Their Rockers” TV Show Is Demeaning to Older People, Says Octogenarian Anti-Aging Expert Barbara Morris

June 5, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
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Betty White’s “Off Their Rockers” TV Show Is Demeaning to Older People, Says Octogenarian Anti-Aging Expert Barbara Morris

ESCONDIDO, Calif., May 2, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — While everyone loves Betty White, not everybody loves her TV show, “Off Their Rockers” according to octogenarian anti-aging expert Barbara Morris, editor, and publisher of the online Put Old on Hold Journal and e-Magazine.

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130502/PH05987-a )
(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130502/PH05987-b )

Morris, author of Put Old on Hold, a book acclaimed by Florence Henderson and other celebrities for its non-traditional approach to aging, says that while she admires Betty White’s energy and creative ability, the premise of “Off Their Rockers” is so distasteful that Morris doesn’t understand why Betty can’t see that she is not doing old people a favor with the show’s premise of seniors pulling pranks on unsuspecting folks. The “unsuspecting folks” are usually embarrassed young people. “The whole idea is embarrassing to a lot of us older folks, too,” says Barbara Morris.

“Why did Betty decide to do this show?” asks Ms. Morris. “Is it because she is so confident and so vibrant that she can’t understand that most of her audience doesn’t grasp that she is trying to spoof the pathetic stereotype of “old” and see it as confirming it instead? Maybe she is so focused on getting a laugh that she doesn’t see the damage she’s doing.”

“Regardless of her reason to create this misguided show and no matter how good her reason, it’s still damaging to all of us who ever get old enough to fall prey to the ‘old people eventually lose it’ stereotype,” asserts Morris. “She is undoing the very thing that we love her for–being vibrant and funny and “with it” in her 90’s.”

Morris continued, “We appreciate and applaud Betty White. But she needs to give us respect in return. Participating in a show that’s demeaning to older people is simply not the right thing to do. In so many ways Betty could use her talent, energy, and experience to choose projects that more accurately reflect the caliber, talent and continued competence of old people.” In the meantime, says Morris, “It’s time to retire “Off Their Rockers.” It never belonged on the air in the first place.”

Barbara Morris, 84, is a pharmacist, writer, and anti-aging expert who lives the productive lifestyle she advocates. In addition to her monthly Put Old on Hold Journal and e-Magazine her books include Put Old on Hold, No More Little Old Ladies, Why, Boomer Women Become Their Mothers, and I’m Not Goin’ There!  Click here for the full critique of “Off Their Rockers

Caring.com’s New Referral Program Supported by Leading Assisted Living Operators

June 5, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
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Caring.com’s New Referral Program Supported by Leading Assisted Living Operators

Caring.com Named Preferred Provider by Assisted Living Federation of America (ALFA)

SAN MATEO, Calif., May 6, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — A group of the nation’s largest senior living providers — including Brookdale Senior Living (NYSE: BKD), Emeritus Senior Living (NYSE: ESC), Benchmark Senior Living, and Senior Star — have chosen Caring.com as their agency of record for national buying of Internet leads for families looking for housing and care for their elderly loved ones. Separately, the Assisted Living Federation of America (ALFA) named Caring.com as its preferred partner for Internet marketing services.

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20070921/AQF020LOGO)

With surging demand in the U.S. senior housing market, more Americans than ever before are turning to the Internet and online word of mouth to find and select the best senior living providers for their senior loved ones. About 30-50% of the senior living industry’s leads are coming from the Internet and that number is expected to rise, as tech adoption among baby boomers and seniors alike continues to increase. Whether seeking independent livingassisted living, or memory care, about two million consumers every month turn to Caring.com to find expert guidance about their options, research local providers, and get help in making well-informed selection decisions.

The country’s top senior living providers have chosen Caring.com to increase visibility of their senior living communities, optimize inquiry-to-visit rates, and leverage Caring.com’s resources to better nurture leads from the moment the search begins, through the research and decision-making phases, all the way to community selection and move-in.

In Q4-2012, Caring.com expanded its service offering with the launch of a new toll-free referral help line. Available seven days a week to those seeking senior housing, Caring.com’s family advisors explain different types of senior living options, help identify local senior communities matched to the prospective resident’s needs and preferences, schedule tours, share and encourage consumer reviews, and answer a range of senior living questions. With this added consumer support infrastructure, as well as other new and expanded capabilities for lead qualification and nurturing, the group of senior living community partners announced Caring.com as the agency of record for lead qualification and development, starting January 1. The help line is now referring nearly four thousand prospective residents per week.

“Caring.com has been great to work with as they’ve added the referral model to their business,” said Jayne Sallerson, executive vice president of sales and marketing at Emeritus Senior Living. “Emeritus wanted to consolidate our Internet lead buying with a company we could trust, and Caring.com has demonstrated their commitment to consumers, to us, and to the industry. Their new program is showing positive signs of increased tours and conversions.”

“Caring.com has proven themselves to be a strong partner for Brookdale,” said Jim Pusateri, senior vice president of sales at Brookdale Senior Living. “Working with fewer Internet lead sources has improved our operational efficiencies, lowered our marketing costs, and improved consumers’ experience with Brookdale Senior Living.”

Separately, ALFA, the largest national association of providers of professionally managed communities for seniors, signed Caring.com as its preferred provider for Web-based lead services as well as to power the organization’s new ALFA Senior Living Community Directory.

“Caring.com is our preferred provider of Web-based services because they are an exceptional online resource,” said Richard P. Grimes, president and CEO of ALFA, which is the largest national association exclusively dedicated to professionally managed, consumer-driven senior living communities. “Caring.com’s high-quality content, easy-to-use directory, and online reviews help prospective residents and their families find the right solutions for their needs — this is good for consumers and good for senior living.”

“From the beginning, we’ve focused on building the most comprehensive and most credible online resource to help those caring for a senior parent, spouse, or other loved one,” says Andy Cohen, co-founder and CEO of Caring.com. “Unlike some other Internet resources that will only share information about those providers who pay them, we’ve stayed true to our social mission and help connect consumers to a variety of quality resources for their needs. Working with ALFA and the leading senior living communities helps enable our ability to best serve those in need of senior care — and we continue to offer referral to free and low-cost support resources as well.”

More information for senior living providers interested in partnering with Caring.com is available here: http://providerinfo.caring.com/ProviderGetListed.html Consumers can begin their search for senior housing here: http://www.caring.com/local

About Caring.com
Caring.com is the leading website for family caregivers seeking information and support as they care for aging parents, spouses, and other loved ones. Caring.com provides helpful caregiving content,online support groups, and the most comprehensive Senior Care Directory in the United States, with 35,000 consumer ratings and reviews and a toll-free senior living referral line (1-866-824-8174). In January 2012, Caring.com launched the Caring Stars award program recognizing America’s best assisted living communities based on consumer reviews. This year, 383 communities in 40 states were named the Caring Stars of 2013. Based in San Mateo, California, Caring.com is a private company funded by DCM, Intel Capital, Shasta Ventures, and Split Rock Partners. Connect with Caring.com onFacebookTwitterGoogle+, PinterestLinkedIn and/or YouTube.

CONTACT: PR@caring.com, 650-762-8190

Top 10 steps to prepare for a remodel

June 5, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Articles 

Top 10 steps to prepare for a remodel

NARI offers tips in honor of National Home Improvement Month.

  

Des Plaines, Illinois, May 8, 2013—In honor of National Home Improvement Month this May, the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) advises homeowners of the 10 most important steps to take before the remodeling project starts.

“The planning and researching phases of a project are the most critical steps in the remodeling process,” says NARI National President Art Donnelly, MCR, CKBR, Legacy Builders & Remodelers Corp., based in Mount Sinai, N.Y. “The more knowledgeable and prepared a homeowner is, the more they protect themselves.”

What can a homeowner do to prepare for a remodel? NARI provides a top 10 list of steps homeowners should take before breaking ground on their next remodel.

  1. Research your project. Taking time to research projects on the Internet and NARI.org will provide a good sense of what is involved such as price, scope of work, return on investment and new product/material options. Also, research property values in your neighborhood to make sure your project is in line with other homes in the area.
  2. Plan project around the long-term. How long do you plan to stay in your home? How might your family structure change over time? Life can change quickly—these questions should be answered early on to ensure your project will fit your lifestyle long after it’s complete.
  3. Set your budget. Deciding on a realistic budget and arranging finances to support your project are essential. This number needs to include everything—the project, products, contingencies, etc. Don’t be afraid to share this with your remodeler; professionals are respectful of a client’s budget and will create a plan around it, not over it.
  4. Use advanced search for professionals. The online world makes it easy to gather information about strangers. Ask friends, family and neighbors for referrals and then spend time researching that person online. Professional remodelers take their reputation seriously and hold credentials beyond licensing, such as certifications, memberships in trade associations and additional training. Look for examples of press coverage or involvement in industry presentations or events. Check online reviews and social media to see how they interact with past clients and peers.
  5. Ask the right questions. Time and cost are important, but getting the right information requires the right questions. Ask your professional remodeler about his educational background, training, specialties or past issues with clients. Ask about how the remodeling process will work.
  6. Verify your remodeler. Don’t take their word for it. Check the information given to you such as references, license numbers, insurance information and certifications by calling providers to verify. Request a visit to an active client’s jobsite. Make it known that you are checking on him—a true professional considers that as a positive sign to working with a homeowner.
  7. Review contracts word-by-word. A remodeling contract protects you and your remodeler. Homeowners should review this carefully. Professional remodelers have done this before, and know what should go in a contract. Homeowners are not as familiar with remodeling and should ask about terms if they don’t understand. Pay attention to details about change orders, payment, additional fees, timeline and responsibilities. If it’s not in the contract, it doesn’t exist.  
  8. Keep design in mind. Your design guides the entire project. Think about what you dislike about your current space and the intended use of the new space. Use Websites such as Pinterest.com and Houzz.com to gather design ideas. Make sure you can articulate specifically what you like about that design when talking to your designer. Professionals don’t recreate a photo—they incorporate accessibility, functionality, ease of modification, style and value into your design.
  9. Make your selections. Deciding on products and materials is a larger process than most imagine. With so many options to choose from, product selections are one of the primary reasons for project timelines to get extended. Base decisions on quality, function, price, style and availability. Include selections in the contract to lock down pricing and keep your budget intact.
  10. Create a communication plan. A common downfall in remodeling is lack of communication between homeowners and remodelers. Your remodeler should lay out a communication plan at the beginning of the project. If not, ask them to do so. This plan should clarify roles of everyone involved, communication methods, availability, and frequency of communication that is expected.

As an industry that struggles with a persistent negative perception of remodeling contractors, these tips serve both the industry and consumers in elevating real professionals from the pack.

The first step to hiring a professional is through NARI, whose members are vetted and approved by industry peers to ensure they live up to the professional standards that NARI sets. “NARI members are proud of their affiliation and commitment to professionalism, and it’s a reputation they work hard to protect,” Donnelly says.

Consumers may visit www.NARI.org to find a qualified professional who is a member of NARI or call NARI National at (847) 298-9200 and request a free copy of NARI’s brochure, “How to Select a Remodeling Professional.”

Click here to see an online version of this press release.

EDITOR’S NOTE: NARI can provide hi-res digital photos of award-winning projects to accompany your story. Contact NARI with your photo request at marketing@nari.org or ask for Morgan Zenner at (847) 298-9200.

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About NARI: The National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) is the only trade association dedicated solely to the remodeling industry.  The Association, which represents member companies nationwide—comprised of 63,000 remodeling contractors— is “The Voice of the Remodeling Industry.”™ To learn more about membership, visit www.NARI.org or contact national headquarters, based in Des Plaines, Ill., at (847) 298-9200.

ConnectMyFolks iPad App Offers New Way For Tech-Resistant Seniors To Connect With Family, Friends

April 22, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Events 

ConnectMyFolks iPad App Offers New Way For Tech-Resistant Seniors To Connect With Family, Friends

EUGENE, Ore., April 18, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — A new iPad app that’s free to download and use will keep technologically challenged seniors in safe, simple and easy electronic touch with their friends, children and grandchildren. ConnectMyFolks delivers email, texts, photos and videos instantly to technophobes of all ages, although it’s designed to be used by people 65 and older. It is now available in the App Store.

Email and texting have replaced letter writing and phone calls for most people, and that leaves seniors out of the loop, says ConnectMyFolks co-founder Steve Lee. “If someone’s not able to get email or texts, they can end up isolated from their own family,” Lee says. “These days if you’re not receiving emails or texts, you’re left behind.”

Although the nation’s tech-savvy population is aging and bringing its expertise with it, the 85-year-old and up age category is the fastest growing demographic in the United States . Many of these seniors never acquired tech skills and are often intimidated by computers and smart phones.

ConnectMyFolks is simple and secure. Only people on the senior’s approved list can communicate through the app. That eliminates spam, scammers and other threats. “Whether it’s a nephew who’s always asking for money, or it’s a random phishing attempt, those emails won’t get through,” Lee says.

Housed on the intuitive iPad, ConnectMyFolks is designed for people easily overwhelmed by traditional tech devices. It launches with three big buttons – one for mail, one for pictures and one for videos. Forward, back and home buttons make navigation simple. “You absolutely cannot get lost in this app,” Lee says. “You can’t break it. When it doubt, just ‘go home.'”

A key feature is the simple web-based admin panel, where a designated friend or relative can set up the senior’s approved ConnectMyFolks sender list, select reply options based on the senior’s needs (pre-set replies, typed emails or voice recordings) and make adjustments to font sizes and other interface settings.

The app is expected to be popular in part because families are so geographically scattered. Even grown children who take care of their folks are often helping from afar, according to the US Census Bureau, which reports 7 million to 10 million adults care for their aging parents long distance.

ConnectMyFolks was developed by In the Loop, a Eugene , Oregon , company devoted to the use of technology to solve everyday challenges faced by modern families. Learn more at www.connectmyfolks.com.

Senior Citizen Dating Sites – Why They Are Your Best Ticket to Finding Your Dream Partner by David N Kamau

April 18, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Articles 

Senior citizen dating has entered a brave new world. It comes in the form of  senior citizen dating sites and these sites open the door for getting back out  into the relationship game.

And no, the ‘rules of the game’ really have not changed. All that has changed  is the fact that it is easier to meet a compatible new person. It is easier  because the internet has removed a number of the problems in the face of those  that wish they could find a new paramour but are at a loss for how to meet  someone new.

Now, some seniors will wonder if they can get the proverbial hang of an  online dating site. Here is some positive info: it is not all that tough to get  the hang of such a site. These sites have been designed in such a way that it is  pretty easy to get the most out of them. All you need to know is the basics of  navigating the internet and you can take part in effective senior citizen  dating.

Sure, some may be wondering if they can handle the profile creation  component. Really, this is little more than typing text into the profile and  uploading a few photos. Again, the process is not a tough one and you can  develop a solid profile with little effort. Well, it may require some effort but  nothing you can’t handle!

In order to boost the ease of finding someone new, it would be best to sign  on with senior citizen dating sites. This is not to knock the quality of the  general dating sites. Many of the general sites are quite excellent. However, to  improve the ease of finding someone new, you would be best served looking  towards a dating site that specifically caters to seniors.

Why is this so? Basically, you can feel completely assured that the people on  the site are seniors looking to meet other seniors.

When the site is crowded with scores of people who are not seniors, it can  prove be difficult to find the right person. This is not because anyone is  running interference. It just means you will have to navigate through the  various different people that are not seniors. That can be time consuming and  unnecessary.

So, look towards those sites that are catering to seniors. This will prove to  be the best option to follow when you are interested in senior citizen  dating.

Just be sure to look towards a site that charges a subscription fee. Free  sites a tendency to be lacking in various respects. Paid sites will generally  have better customer service and larger serious memberships. They just  make a better choice for those looking to meet someone new.

Now find reputable free basic membership senior dating sites and choose the right one for you. David  Kamau is offers dating service  reviews at his website and blog.

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

  • 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!