Making Martha's Vineyard an Aging-Friendly Island
August 2016                                                                           Volume 7            

Photo courtesy of the Martha's Vineyard Times.
Courtesy of the Martha's Vineyard Times
Dear Healthy Aging Readers:
It's just past Labor Day Weekend, so still August in my book - in the midst of heavy winds and unfortunately no rain.
But we have some very exciting high points to share with you in this issue, as the summer turns into fall. As always, we are grateful for you and your interest in and support of elders on this island.
My quote for the next few months from Margaret Mead:
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever does. "
So renewed thanks to you all - you thoughtful, committed citizens who are helping change our world.

Paddy Moore, Chair, Healthy Aging Martha's Vineyard
Senior Advocates and Housing Needs                                                                                                
Come Help Healthy Aging  Prepare for Town Hearings on Housing Needs
HA-MV will sponsor a meeting to prepare advocates to speak up about the housing needs of island elders. The meeting will be held on Tuesday September 13th from 3:00 to 4:30 p.m. at the MV Film Center in Vineyard Haven.  The purpose of the meeting will be to prepare for the new town-by-town process to define and develop Housing Production Plans for our island.

What is a Housing Production Plan?
A Housing Production Plan ( HPP) details a community's strategy to meet it's affordable housing needs while fulfilling the state's required minimum for qualifying affordable housing units.  Each town's HPP will include target goals and strategies for affordable and community housing, including elderly housing. 
With help from a state grant and MV Commission staff, the all-island Planning Boards are holding a series of three meetings in each of our towns - in September, October, and November. These meetings will produce for each town a Housing Production Plan (HPP) which will detail the community's strategy to meet its affordable housing needs.

At the first meeting, community members will have input into the types of housing needed; the second will determine the numbers and possible location of the housing to be built; the third will define the strategies and timetable for getting to the goals.
In collaboration with some members of the All-Island Planning Boards and Affordable Housing committees, Healthy Aging wants to meet with YOU to answer your questions about the upcoming process, and to share with you information about what the Senior Survey told us about the housing needs of island seniors and of those in the workforce to care for us.  
We believe that if Senior Advocates attend these meetings, speak from your own experience about housing needs and how best to meet them, these Housing Production Plans in each town will move a long way toward developing the housing we know our community so desperately needs.
The schedule for the first of the three meetings in each town follows:

Workshop 1
Monday September 19, 2016
  • West Tisbury 4:00, Public Safety Building
  • Aquinnah 7:00, Old Town Hall (Community Dinner at 6:30)
Tuesday September 20, 2016
  • Edgartown 5:30, Menemsha Room at the Harbor View Hotel
Wednesday September 21, 2016
  • Oak Bluffs 4:00, The Loft
  • Chilmark 7:00, Chilmark Library
Thursday, September 22, 2016
  • Tisbury 6:00, Tisbury Senior Center

Please come join Healthy Aging on Tuesday September 13th to prepare for these meetings. See you at the MV Film Center in Vineyard Haven from 3:00-4:00.

Just for Fun!                                                                                                   
Millennials Show Us What 'Old' Looks Like
Great video about perception of Elders 

Millennials Show Us What 'Old' Looks Like
Millennials Show Us What 'Old' Looks Like
September 22 is National Falls Prevention Day                                                                                               
HA-MV Forms a Coalition for Falls Prevention

One of our four Work Groups - Challenges in Health and Mental Health, which is co-chaired by Robt Laskowski, M.D. (retired geriatrician) and Jay Ferriter, Director of Physician Practice at MV Hospital --- is taking on the challenge to reduce the number of falls on Martha's Vineyard over the next year. We are developing a coalition of island organizations and interested citizens to work together on this important issue. So far, the coalition includes representatives from the VNA of Cape Cod, the MV Hospital, the four island Councils on Aging, Town Health Agents, the YMCA, and some of the town libraries. We expect membership to keep on growing. 
HA-MV is kicking off the year long effort on Thursday, September 22nd, building on our previous efforts to help seniors improve balance.
 Watch for announcements and community events to draws attention to this important effort.


Some national facts about Falls and People Over 65:
* Falls are the fourth highest cause of death  among Seniors over 65 
ยช Falls are the leading cause of injuries and injury deaths among Seniors 
* 27,000 die each year from a fall - one every 19 minutes
* Every 11 seconds an older adult is treated in an Emergency Room for a fall
* $34 billion is spent on direct medical costs related to falls
* Among people who fall, less than half talk to their healthcare provider about it
* Falls have a huge impact on quality of life

In the 2015 Senior Survey, 37% of respondents had fallen in the last year - totally consistent with national figures.

This Month's Resources                                                                                                   
The Stress-Strength Connection
March 2016 edition of Health Wire in Consumer Reports
Major stress such as financial loss can negatively affect health, but may also bring benefits. A North Carolina State University study found that those who experienced a major stressor in the past year coped better with daily stresses such as disagreements. (That was measured by how old the participants felt and thought they looked).   When small problems cropped up, those who'd had recent major stress thought they looked 20 years younger and felt only slightly older than their age-but the rest of the study subjects felt and thought they looked at least 10 years older.

Even a Little Exercise May Help Stave Off Dementia

Couch potatoes have a higher risk of developing dementia in old age, a new study reports.

Seniors who get little to no exercise have a 50 percent greater risk of dementia compared with those who regularly take part in moderate or heavy amounts of physical activity, the researchers found.

Moderate physical activity can include walking briskly, bicycling slower than 10 miles an hour, ballroom dancing or gardening, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"It doesn't require intensive physical activity to decrease risk of dementia," said senior researcher Dr. Zaldy Tan. He is medical director of the Alzheimer's and Dementia Care Program at University of California, Los Angeles. "Even moderate amounts are fine." Read more from this article by the HealthDay News.
HAMV In The News                                                                                                  
HA-MV Accepted into the Global Network of Aging Friendly Communities

Courtesy of Martha_s Vineyard Times
Courtesy of Marthas Vineyard Times
HA-MV and our six island towns have been accepted into the Global Network of Aging Friendly Communities! In a wonderful ceremony, attended by Selectmen from five of the six Island Towns and held at the Tabernacle on August 11th, AARP President JoAnn Jenkins presented us with the certificate of membership. Click here for the article in the Martha's Vineyard Times.

You will hear much more about what this means to HA-MV and the island's senior community as the year moves on.

First Stop Calendar                                                                                                  

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