Aging in Place

Posted on March 31, 2017 at 11:57 am

aging in place

BY SUSAN NOACK, CHAIR, TUALATIN AREA AGING TASK FORCE

Part of the mission and goals of the Tualatin Area Aging Task Force is to ensure the highest quality of life for the over 50 population, be a resource to support health, independence and wellbeing, and promote safety and social services.

We all know aging is inevitable but we can control how we age.

Health authorities state that older adults are more likely to experience social isolation, depression, obesity, drug dependency and pain. Did you know that arthritis is the leading cause of disability, and causes pain, aching, stiffness and swelling of joints? Over 20 million adults over the age of 65 have some form of arthritis, and 1 in 3 are inactive. About half of the adults with arthritis have heart disease, diabetes or obesity and limitations of their normal activities.

How do you combat these ailments and become more active? You can take advantage of the resources offered in our community and being informed how to monitor and improve your own health conditions.

Some of the answers are: walk at your own pace at least 15 minutes a day; eat healthy; take an exercise class; participate in a brain health workout class (ways to support daily thinking skills and reduce your risk of memory loss); socialize with others; participate in community activities and events; volunteer.

The Juanita Pohl Center for Active Aging Adults is becoming cutting edge in offering a variety of classes, experiences, day trips, a healthy lunch every week day provided by Meals on Wheels People, and a variety of ways to socialize with others. Check out the Explore Tualatin Spring Guide for all the activities at the Center.

Many levels of exercise classes are offered: Gentle Yoga, Tai Chi for Better Balance, SilverSneakers and Silver&Fit, and two different programs in April to exercise your brain (it needs a workout too). Two new programs coming in April that will be fun, informal, social and informational are: Walk with Ease supported by the Arthritis Foundation to get outside, walk with a group in Community Park (a program designed and proven to reduce pain and improve overall health and socialize) and have fun. The second program is in the classroom called Active Every Day Living, designed to help sedentary people become and stay physically active. You will learn the tools needed to become active in your own home and out.

All of the above are presented as options for the 65+ crowd to combat the loneliness, isolation, lack of movement and every day routines that we all feel sometimes. You can call the Center at 503-691-3061 for more information.

If you don’t drive or have access to public transportation, problem solved! Contact Ride Connection at 503-226-0700 to register yourself and have access to transportation where you need to go in Tualatin.

Their vans are handicap accessible with trained drivers and the best part – it’s free!

The next meeting of the Tualatin Area Aging Task Force will be on Monday, April 10, 3 pm, Juanita Pohl Center. Our guest will be Rachael Duke, Executive Director of CPAH (Community Partners for Affordable Housing). Please join us. For comments/questions, contact susancnoack@hotmail.com.

Susan Noack
Susan Noack
has lived in Tualatin for 15 years. Before retirement, she was a development director/ event planner for non-profits. Now as an “Aging in Place” senior, her passion is being an advocate for seniors and giving back to the community. She is a member of both the Meals on Wheels People and Juanita Pohl Center advisory committees and chair the Tualatin Area Aging Task Force committee.

Aging in Place

Posted on March 2, 2017 at 10:09 am

aging in place

BY SUSAN NOACK, CHAIR, TUALATIN AREA AGING TASK FORCE

The first two columns for 2017 spoke to the goals of the Aging Task Force and our long term interest in making sure affordable housing is addressed by the City staff and City Council. We are concerned about any new and/or amended programs and policies which may affect our diverse 50+ population, their desire to live in place and increase their ability to remain independent, insuring the highest quality of life.

At our February meeting, the Aging Task Force welcomed our three guests, Aquila Hurd- Ravich, City Planning Manager, Karen Perl Fox, City Senior Planner, and Angela DeMeo, member of the City Planning Commission. The purpose of the meeting was a presentation on the process and progress of updating the city’s Development Code. What ensued was an hour long discussion between the task force and our guests regarding the needs of our senior citizens and the city’s vision for making it possible to age in place and stay in Tualatin.

It is important to note that the city’s vision is the product of extensive work by many citizens on the Tualatin Tomorrow Advisory Committee over the past several years. It is a very informative document and I encourage everyone to go to the city’s website and read how this hard working group envision Tualatin’s future. Several members of TT are also members of the Aging Task Force and we strive to partner together to continue to make this vision a reality.

Housing planning and policy are integral functions of an inclusive, diverse and economically vibrant city and a basic need for every individual. As a task force, we feel the city should be stretching beyond today’s best practices to ensure that our housing element, vision and planning policy statements preserve, promote, improve and expand housing options. This means incorporating quality and environmentally friendly designs, with emphasis on location, diversity, adequate supply of housing, affordability, and healthy and safe housing choices for every resident.

To do this, there is a concept for designing, building and sustaining a healthy community called “The 5 D’s of Development:” density, diversity, design, destination accessibility and distance to transit, which affect the physical, social and mental health of a community. The 5 D’s influence whether a community is attractive and walkable, can support transit, and has convenient destinations that support quality of life and reduced auto dependency.

The Aging Task Force is very appreciative of the planning staff giving us their time to educate and update our committee on the future of the Development Code. We look forward to working together to revitalize Tualatin and create a future that includes a healthy, sustainable community to ‘age in place.’

It’s YOUR turn to get involved! As advocates for our senior community and issues affecting seniors, we are being heard. We continue to ask for and need your input. We want to hear your ideas and concerns. Please join us at our next meeting on Monday, March 13, 3 pm, at the Juanita Pohl Center.

If you have questions or want more information, please contact susancnoack@hotmail.com.

Susan NoackSusan Noack has lived in Tualatin for 15 years. Before retirement, she was a development director/ event planner for non-profits. Now as an “Aging in Place” senior, her passion is being an advocate for seniors and giving back to the community. She is a member of both the Meals on Wheels People and Juanita Pohl Center advisory committees and chair the Tualatin Area Aging Task Force committee.

Aging in Place

Posted on February 3, 2017 at 2:32 pm

BY SUSAN NOACK, CHAIR, TUALATIN AREA AGING TASK FORCE

What is ‘Aging in Place’? What does it mean to our senior community in Tualatin? The Tualatin Aging Task Force perceives aging in place as seniors wanting to live in place which means staying in Tualatin. It means being able to downsize and afford to continue to live in Tualatin. It means living close to accessible transit, shopping and medical facilities. (Please be sure to read the Letter to the Editor written by one of our Task Force members, Beverly Phelps, to learn more.)

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Aging in Place

Posted on November 3, 2016 at 10:42 am

aging in place

BY SUSAN NOACK, CHAIR, TUALATIN AREA AGING TASK FORCE

Last month’s column was on social isolation. It is such an important topic, it is worth repeating.

Social isolation is on the rise – one out of three adults over 65 years old lives alone. Reducing senior isolation is being able to get out of the house and interacting with other people. Isolation can lead to depression, poor health, loss of mobility or cognitive decline. The secret to reducing isolation is to start somewhere.

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