Guest Blog: Celebrating the accomplishments of successful individuals age 50+

 

 

By Ann Hossack and Marylou Hilliard

What do Cher, Steven Spielberg and William J. Clinton have in common? They are among the first baby boomers to turn 70 during 2017. Unlike previous generations who saw milestones such as retirement or turning 70 as indicators they were approaching the end of their life; today’s boomers are vibrant, engaged and continue to make positive contributions in their professions and to society.

According to The Globe & Mail – “The Boomer Shift – January 5, 2017, “As of this year, for the first time, Canada has more people over the age of 65 than under 15. The age group that now encompasses the boomer generation – 50 to 69 – makes up 27 per cent of the population, compared with 18 per cent in that age group two decades ago”.

This aging population is changing the fabric of society; so why is it that society is still obsessed with youth – just think about all those Top 30 under 30 and top 40 over 40 lists. Traditionally, innovation and “change-making” has primarily been recognized to be within the sphere of the young.

However, individuals who are mid-life aged and beyond represent an incredible source of talent, experience and wisdom that provides them the opportunity to make a difference in their lives and to the world. They have a desire to follow their passions, fulfill lifelong dreams and improve the future for generations to come. Moreover they are among the largest group of individuals to keep philanthropic efforts and volunteerism, which are critical to societal progress alive and well.

That’s why AGEWORKS has chosen to publicly acknowledge successful accomplishments of people aged 50+; to raise awareness for this inequity and to demonstrate that older people offer a variety of innovative solutions to an array of important societal issues.

The AGEWORKS Top 50 Over 50 Awards celebrate Canadians who know who to dream, create, contribute and achieve in many different areas. Winners will be acknowledged at the inaugural Top 50 Over 50 Awards Gala being held in Toronto in November 2017.

The recipients, and their stories, will serve as inspiration to others with a message that you’re never too old to make significant changes in your career or your life via reinvention, pursue a long-held dream or redefine what it means to be successful. These amazing stories will be publicly leveraged to help combat some of the ageism myths, like over 50 means over the hill, that still exist.

Success will be measured on a variety of criteria, including finding purpose, social change, innovation and inspiring others, by a panel of independent judges who have significant expertise and involvement within the 50+ category. Selected judges recognize the importance of these awards and will bring their objectivity and enthusiasm to this essential role.

For more information or to nominate someone go to:  http://www.ageworks.co

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Marylou Hilliard has over 25 years of advertising expertise and has earned a reputation as a brand champion. She has worked with a broad range of clients targeting an “ageing population” including the development of a new brand identity and design of several research reports for International Federation on Ageing and volunteer work for the Consumers Council of Canada and Psychologist Foundation of Canada.

Ann Hossack has held senior database marketing roles and has communicated effectively to consumer and business-to-business markets including those 50+ across a wide variety of industries. She believes that companies have yet to fully embrace this target group and is determined to promote the value of 50+ individuals as employees, entrepreneurs, volunteers or consumers.

Guest Blog: Tub tips for aging in place

file000975936314Bathtubs are a mixed blessing for those of us who wish to age in place. From the time we’re young, soaking in soothing hot water is associated with relaxation, stress reduction and quiet contemplation. There’s nothing like a good soak at the end of the day, as my mother always said. But as our mobility decreases, and we become less and less steady on our feet, the traditional bathtub with its high sides and slippery surfaces may become less user friendly. In fact, it may even become down right dangerous! For those older adults who would like to continue to enjoy a bath even though it has become more challenging to do so, and for those who have been prescribed bathing as a recommended part of a therapy program, selecting a safe, cost-effective and aesthetically pleasing accessible bathtub can seem overwhelming. There are just so many choices. In this article we will look at some basic tips on how to choose the right bathtub for your long-term bathing needs.

First it is important to understand that bathtubs are generally more expensive to install than a shower, and any option that requires the use of a contractor will not be cheap. According to the website homeability.com, accessible tubs may be defined by: the door type (no door, inward, outward, upwards or sideways opening doors); the entry style (walk/step-in, slide-in, lift-in); and whether the user sits or lies down inside. Below are some options to help you to refine your search:

Option 1: A “walk-in” tub: Just as the name implies, a “walk-in” tub features a side opening that swings either inward or outward and the bather walks into the tub through a very small opening by stepping over a low threshold while the tub is empty. If you are steady on your feet, this tub type reduces the chances of falling as the low threshold eliminates the need to step over the raised tub side of the traditional 30” x 60” bathtub found in so many Canadian homes. To use the tub, the bather sits on a built-in seat, closes the door, and adds hot water. The advantages afforded by this tub-type include the very low entry threshold, the molded raised seating within the tub, and the aesthetic appearance of the finished product. Of the options discussed here, this is the most aesthetically pleasing. However it is also the most expensive as units can cost between $7,000 – $20,000 to install. Why so costly? Because the contractor must remove and discard the old tub, new equipment must be purchased, and installation may require plumbing upgrades, a new tile surround and new flooring. Also consider the renovation hassle as the installation of this type of tub can take from several days to several weeks, leaving you without access to the bathroom during that time.

And then there’s the bathing experience. Bathers must enter the tub when it is empty so that the door may be secured properly. Filling and draining times can take 10 minutes or more (these tubs hold between 40 and 80 gallons of water). This can mean a very cold start and finish to your bath. Bathers are required to sit rather than recline leaving shoulders and chest exposed. And finally, for taller users, closing the door can be difficult as the space within the tub is generally very tight when sitting down.

Option 2: Modifying an existing tub: The “tub cut” alternative is particularly well suited to situations where one or more in the household wish to bathe while others wish to shower. For this option, a contractor cuts a door into the side of an existing bathtub (tub cutters can accommodate any type of tub material from cast iron to plastic) creating a low threshold for entry. The door insert may or may not swing but when sealed allows and the tub to be used as a regular bathtub. This is a much more cost-effective alternative than the walk-in tub (prices for modification start at around $1,500 and work is completed the same day) but the end result is not as aesthetically pleasing. Anyone who visits the home will immediately know that the bathroom has been modified. And many of the same issues that confront the walk-in tub user will also apply with the tub cut. This tub type also presents an additional safety hazard as the bather must raise and lower themselves into the water. Grab bars will need to be installed to ensure safety. The bottom line: the tub cut option is probably best suited for people who prefer to shower.

Option 3: Motorized bath chair: This is by far the most inexpensive, safest and easiest of the three options discussed here. The motorized bath chair is placed inside your existing bathtub. At the push of a button, the seat lowers the bather down into the water and it raises them back up at the end of the bath. There are a wide variety of tub chairs on the market, ranging in price from $200 to $500 or more (Amazon.ca has a good selection). Look for a motorized chair that ensures there is sufficient power to both lower and lift the bather before beginning the bath. Best of all, there is no need for a contractor or for any alternations to made to the bathroom. The chair can be removed and taken with you to a new location or when the time comes to sell the home.

In summary, before buying, do your research. Ask friends who have been through the experience what they have found works best, do a web search to see what others are saying about specific products, and whenever possible, try to use the product first hand before making your investment. For a more comprehensive overview of bathing solutions, including images, visit homeability.com.

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Mary Jane Carroll is a professor in the Bachelor of Interior Design program at Sheridan College. She developed a specialized post-diploma program at Sheridan called “Aging
in Place Design Specialist”. Mary Jane was published in “Universal Design: Creating Inclusive Environments,” and has presented her papers on Universal Design in England and the USA.

The New Language of Aging

By now, we have all heard the term ‘boomer’ used to describe the generation of individuals born from 1946 to 1964. It appears that the aging population is giving birth to a new vocabulary, used to characterize everything from their spending habits to their personality traits. Below are some examples that have recently appeared in the media.

The Elastic Generation
The London, England branch of J. Walter Thompson Advertising, released the results of their “Intelligence report on 50- to 69-year-old Britons which identifies a compelling new consumer group: “The Elastic Generation”. Full of potential energy and wielding unprecedented financial power, these trailblazers are unapologetically shattering stereotypes of what it means to be 50+ today.”

Right Sizing
A recent article in The Financial Post commented on a survey that revealed older Canadians are increasing their debt load. “They just don’t have enough money,” said Yvonne Ziomecki, senior vice-president of marketing and sales of HomEquity Bank, of the new lifestyle seniors are aspiring to. “We have a new term we have been using, right sizing. They are not downsizing. They don’t really need bigger homes, but they move into a house that has all the upgrades”.

Seniorpreneur
As we discussed in a past blog the moniker Seniorpreneur has been coined to describe older adult entrepreneurs.

Silver Surfers
Silver Surfers has become a term used to describe the growing number of older adults who spend considerable time on the Internet.

As the population ages, the language used to represent their uniqueness will continue to build. What jargon have you heard recently related to the older adults demographic?

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Business of Aging: Information Exchange Network (BA:IEN)
Quarterly Meeting Wednesday, October 28, 2015

We are excited to present our first BA:IEN afterhours event at the Marquee Pub. Join us for a unique opportunity to mix and mingle over appetizers with business and industry leaders whose focus is on the flourishing older adult market.

To further showcase your business at this event we are offering attendees the option to reserve a display table. In exchange, we ask that a gift draw (minimum value $50) be supplied for the event. The number of display tables are limited and reserved on a first come first served basis. Reserve a table now by contacting kathryn.warrennorton1@sheridancollege.ca.

See flyer for details.

BAIEN mtg July 29_15 v1

Aging in a Foreign Land

There are two population trends that are changing the social landscape of Canada and are going to have an impact on how programs and services are delivered.

As in other parts of the world, the Canadian population is aging – with the number of Canadians age 65+ expected to double to 10.4 million by 2036. In addition, Canada’s population is also becoming increasingly diverse, with many older adults also being immigrants. On the 2006 census, while 20% of the overall population was immigrants, the corresponding figure among older adults was 30%.

A working paper from Ontario-based network CERIS (Centre of Excellence for Research on Immigration and Settlement) sought to explore the aging experiences of older immigrants in Canada. The key findings from this study include:

  • Older immigrants, especially those who have recently arrived, are more likely to live in the top 3 Canadian CMAs (Census Metropolitan Areas) – Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver
  • Home countries of older immigrants have changed in the past 30 years, with almost half of older immigrants now arriving from South Asia and East Asia rather than Western Europe
  • Slightly more than half of the older adults who arrived recently did not have knowledge of the official languages of Canada, however they were more likely to have post-secondary education than their Canadian-born counterparts
  • Recent older immigrants were more prone to ill health in the long-run because of limited social networks, inadequate knowledge of the official languages and relatively low income

The Centre for Elder Research has recently completed a project looking at the health and social service use and needs of older South Asian immigrants in the regions of Peel and Halton. With support from local ethno-specific community organizations, over 300 older South Asian immigrants participated in the project and shared their unique experiences of aging and accessing services in Canada.

Aging away from their country of origin and in many cases, away from extended social networks, can have physical, cognitive, social and emotional impacts on older immigrants. For this reason here is a need for continued research in this area, particularly research that can inform policymakers and community organizations on how to best meet the unique needs of older immigrants living in Canada.