E-News Vol. 5, No. 7, June 13, 2022

ABOUT AGING IN PLACE

Most Americans prefer to stay in our own homes as we grow older, but many have not made arrangements to do so safely, according to a big article in WebMD, https://www.webmd.com/palliative-care/news/20220413/americans-over-50-want-to-age-in-place-at-home-but-many-arent-prepared-poll. Many people interviewed by a University of Michigan researcher believed they could stay because they had a ground floor bedroom and bathroom, but their homes often lacked door frames wide enough for a wheelchair, lever-style door handles, home entrances with ramps or no stairs, and bathrooms with grab bars and and raised-height toilet seats and shower chairs or benches. The president and CEO of the National Council on Aging said that these features could have prevented some of the 3 million injuries from falls last year and that everybody, even young people should conduct a fall-prevention inspection of their home. "A couple of simple questions will help you ensure your space is falls-free. Look at those area rugs. They are the danger zone. Think about how you're using stairs. Make sure you're avoiding wearing socks on those stairs. Can you add some level of rug or grip to make those stairs a little bit more friendly?"

The WebMD article emphasized the importance of making a list of the people, businesses, and organizations that might be able to help out when necessary. (We say you should include a Silver Membership for Village Drive Village.) Another recommendation involved becoming more tech-savvy to take advantage of voice-activated devices to call for assistance, devices which keep grocery lists or reminders of daily activities, stoves that are enabled for Wi-Fi or automatic shutoff or alarms, smart thermostats, doorbell cameras, bath temperature monitors, water leak detectors, smart medication pillboxes, or emergency response systems.

In the near future, newer technology could help us live in Our Own Homes.  As reported in washingtonpost.com/local/johns-hopkins-researchers-work-to-give-elderly-a-better-quality-of-life, 

new research includes a device to promote better sleep and memory retention, tests to see whether levels of the stress hormone cortisol can help predict who will do well after surgery, other tests which could contribute eventually to therapies, and a wearable device that uses music to improve mobility and prevent falling for Parkinson’s disease patients.

For now, we recommend that you check out existing high-tech devices which have been vetted at the “Tech Enhanced Life” website: https://www.techenhancedlife.com/.  (Last month our Village Drive Village E-News told you this: “https://www.nytimes.com/2022/04/21/realestate/best-smart-home-devices-for-seniors.html?smid=em-share.

On a more technical plane, some nursing homes are using robots (https://www.nytimes.com/2022/04/21/realestate/nursing-home-robots.html), and based on what some folks in nursing homes have experienced, robots may be more reliable and pleasant than some human workers.”)

For basic non-tech needs you should order this checklist to make sure your home will allow you to live there for years to come: AARP.org/homefit.  But most urgent,  even if you’re not a boomer, is to fix whatever you can to avoid falling:   https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/prevent-falls-and-fractures

 

MORE STUFF to tell you about

Shady gardeners: get ideas and techniques for growing the best plants in shaded areas here: https://mgnv.org/demonstration-gardens/shade-garden/glorious-shade/  (includes links to plant lists and virtual classes and other resources).

FPOW, Fairfax Pets on Wheels, is recruiting volunteers with friendly dogs or cats or bunnies to visit lonely people at various facilities. To learn more about this pet therapy program, check www.FPOW.org or phone 703-324-5424.

Who counts? Those of us aged 65 or better  are about 16% of the USA population, and federal statistics project an increase to nearly 22% by 2040. Considering that older people are more likely to vote than other adults and that about 20% of the population are too young to vote, politicians should be listening more carefully to us older Americans.

 PROOF of Vaccination:  If you have received your COVID-19 vaccination and are registered with the Virginia Department of Health (VDH), you can get your COVID vaccination record in both PDF or mobile wallet form. The record is compatible with both the Google Wallet and Apple Wallet apps and can be used as a valid record of vaccination anywhere you need to show a vaccine card. All you need to download this record is your name, date of birth, and zip code! https://vase.vdh.virginia.gov/vacapps/f?p=545:HOME

Even if you’re fully vaccinated and boosted, remember to prevent  personal participation in the pandemic caused by 5 P's:  

Protection-free People in Prolonged, Poorly-ventilated Proximity. theatlantic.com/health/archive/2020/09/pandemic-intuition-nightmare-spiral-winter/616204/ 

 

New Parks in Northern VA is one of the interesting articles provided by our Village Drive Village members and realtors here:

https://www.focusonnova.com/hot-fresh-news/ 

Free Concerts at Fairfax County Parks happen every week.  https://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/performances

Get regular detailed updates by subscribing to concert events here:

https://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/e-news 

https://fairfaxcountyemergency.wpcomstaging.com/author/fairfaxcountyemergency/  is a great resource, with recent articles including how to deal with hurricanes and tornadoes and floods and extremely hot weather. It also has some COVID info.

 

 

Please designate Village Drive Village

as the recipient of your charity donation

at Amazon Smile.

Around Our Village Neighborhood

  

The crow has a renovated perch!

Here are some photos of recent Firepit Fridays:

And our Wednesday Walkers

Here are some of our upcoming events:  

WEDNESDAY WALK 9:30 every Wednesday.  We walk about a mile.  Meet at our pondside benches in Brentwood Park Playground and Pond.

BROWN BAG LUNCH BUNCH:   11:30 Thursday, June 23 and every other Thursday when the weather is good.  Bring your own lunch and beverage to hang out with your neighbors at our Village Drive Village benches by the pond at Brentwood Park.  

FRIENDLY FRIDAY  TBA.   Now that the weather is too warm for fire pits, we are asking members with large screened porches to volunteer to host a FRIENDLY FRIDAY, providing some seating, drinking water, cups, plates, napkins, and minimal snacks. Contact news@villagedrivevillage.org to volunteer or offer ideas of other open or large and well-ventilated venues which are safe for older people and other neighbors who want to avoid COVID exposure.  

NATIONAL NIGHT  OUT

 

Don’t forget to check our web page, www.Villagedrivevillage.org, for the latest announcements on events, cancellations, etc.