Mature Market Experts Stat of The Day: Mature Market Working Longer and Claiming Unemployment

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Mature Market Experts: more mature market news and stats more often – Mature Market Working Longer and Claiming Unemployment– Whether it is driven by need or the desire to stay connected; more of the mature market is working longer. “The number of unemployed workers 75 and older increased to more than 73,000 in January, up 46% from the prior January. Among workers 65 and older, the jobless rate stands at 5.7%. That’s below the national average, but well above what it was in previous recessions, including the recession of 1981, when it reached at 4.3%.

unemployment-rate-65-plus1 mature market experts

The growing numbers reflect, in part, an increase in the number of older workers. The percentage of people 65 and older who are in the work force rose to 16.8% at year end, from 11.9% a decade earlier. Among people 75 and older, the increase was even greater — to 7.3%, from 4.7%.”

Source: Wall Street Journal

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Mature Market Experts Stat of The Day: What Does The Mature Market Cut In A Bad Economy?

Mature Market Experts: more mature market news and stats more often – What Does The Mature Market Cut In A Bad Economy?- AARP’s research  “A year-end look at the Economic Slowdown’s Impact on Middle-Aged and Older Americans,” which was a review of 2008 provides some interesting insight on what changes the mature market makes during a recession. The three sectors that were effected the most (not counting essentials) were entertainment, dining, and travel.
how-have-recent-changes-in-the-econ-affected-you

Source: AARP’s research  “A year-end look at the Economic Slowdown’s Impact on Middle-Aged and Older Americans”

Mature Market Experts Stat of The Day: Multiple Chronic Diseases On The Rise

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Mature Market experts: more mature market news and stats more often: Multiple Chronic Diseases On The Rise- “The percentage of mature market Americans with three or more chronic illnesses rose even more sharply.

It jumped from 13 percent in 1996 to 22 percent in 2005 for ages 45 to 64, to 45 percent for ages 65 to 79, and rose from 38 percent to 54 percent for those 80 and older. Among all ages, it went from 7 percent in 1996 to 13 percent in 2005.”

Source: MSNBC

Note: Why do I believe that chronic diseases are on the rise? Because our lifestyles are becoming more unhealthly EVERY day and because we practice reactive medicine rather than preventive. Or as my TR Mann Consulting teammate Dr. Gary Applebaum says, “in the U.S. we practice sick care.”

Gardening and Exercise: Healthy Aging for Older Adults

CBR003130 mature market gardening

Mature Market Experts: more mature market news and stats more often: Gardening and Exercise, Healthy Aging for Older Adults – More often than not, the outdoor environment of a senior ‘retirement’ community is ignored and people focus on the attributes of a building’s interior. However, the activities that can be offered on the outside of a building are almost limitless, constrained only by the imagination, and not by a person’s age. We should encourage people to explore how the exterior environment can provide avenues for older adults to participate in physical activities that benefit them in many different ways. The stereotype, unfortunately, that older persons over the age of 65 are for the most part ill, dependent, mentally incompetent, unproductive and unattractive is alive and well. Nothing could be further from the truth, and fortunately this is changing thanks, in part, to the “Baby Boomers.” In actuality, those persons aged 65 and older represent one of the most diverse population segments, with everyone aging differently. While some of the oldest cohort (85 years and older) are frail and experiencing multiple chronic conditions, others are active and rate their health status as “good”.

In order to encourage older adults to exercise, active lifestyles need to be created in and around senior residences. Ultimately this will result in greater independence in the daily lives of a majority of the older adult population. There are a great number of programs—such as bike riding, hiking, birding, canoeing, etc.—that can be implemented to encourage older adults to become more involved in the outdoor environment.

Among these activities, one of the more personally rewarding programs is gardening. Gardening is the number one leisure activity in America, today. Studies have shown that many people 65 years and older are interested in gardening as a hobby. Everyone has had some interaction with gardening, whether it was tending to a house plant on a fire escape, blueberry picking along the side of the road or sharing fresh grown vegetables from the garden with family and/or friends. The percent of seniors interested in gardening and related activities has increased significantly over the past years and the number is expected to continue to increase as the “Boomers” age. That generation is more inclined to expect organic vegetables, health foods, and other natural products as part of their daily living.

There are reasons why gardening should be a natural part of a senior living community. It is a highly visible hobby in which everyone can participate, either passively or actively. And there is always one person that is a ‘resident expert’ who has had previous gardening experience and can lend advice. If a person has never experienced the joy of raising a plant, they can be encouraged to start small and build up gradually. The senior can begin with one tomato plant in either a container or in a small garden space. What person has not delighted in raising and ultimately sharing a fresh grown vegetable from their garden with family and/or friends?

Development of activity programs can be designed to meet the various needs of the seniors. Higher-functioning individuals who are physically active will be able to participate in a wide range of activities. Gardens can be located on-grade or at ground level, in order to take advantage of the larger growing areas. There can be minimal costs associated with the construction of smaller raised planting beds. Seniors residing in Assisted Living Residences may require a higher level of support. There can be garden spaces for Community Gardens located throughout the complex. However, there should be provisions for raised planters located closer to the residence. This will enable seniors who utilize wheelchairs and walkers to experience the joys of gardening nearer to the building. And seniors who are not able to actively participate can watch from windows or on a porch.

Accommodations for handicapped seniors should be incorporated into the overall design of garden activities in order to allow everyone to participate and feel a part of the program. Various levels of gardening can be introduced to encourage individuals to take part. Containers or raised planting beds are more easily accessed for people in wheel-chairs. Vegetable plants with brightly colored fruit and with a fragrance are good for the visually impaired. Ergonomically designed tools that are lightweight and have long handles make the job easier, especially for arthritic and wheelchair-bound seniors. Each person needs to experience his or her own unique sense of accomplishment. After all, the purpose of participating in an activity program is to promote better health, increase agility, maintain a sense of independence and feel better about oneself.

Gardens for special needs residents, Alzheimer’s and other memory-impaired patients, are another very specific level of programming. Gardens should be designed to meet the needs of the people at each stage of the disease. For example, plant material should be nontoxic for stage-three Alzheimer patients. Plants can be a wonderful tool for remembrance therapy. The tomato plant is widely recognized, has a very distinctive odor and the red fruit is attractive. Vegetables offer stimulation to almost all of the senses, therefore, they should be readily utilized in the garden.

The key to success in developing any activity program is achieving a level of motivation that stimulates a personal interest. There should be opportunities to interact with other people. We all like to meet friends in various settings. Education regarding the benefits of gardening can also be an important part of the program. Guest lecturers, how to/educational videos, magazine subscriptions, walking tours and classes can be part of the gardening program.

Individual goals should start small and be realistic. A person should not try to do more than they are able to the first few days. Moral support is also very important. Remind the senior of the benefits of physical activity and how participating will personally reward them. The same logic that motivates a person to participate in a group also motivates a person to pursue individual interests. Help the person set goals that can be achieved on a daily basis. Keep track of their progress so they can see the results of their efforts. Socialization, the enjoyment of nature and education all contribute to the success of any activity program.

Gardening involves many small tasks that encourage physical exercise. Bending, reaching, pulling, stretching are just a few of the movements that are required. A study conducted at Tufts University in Boston discovered a “threefold increase in muscle strength among frail, elderly nursing home residents aged 86 to 96 who exercised their legs on a weight machine over an eight week period.” (DiGilio1994) Seniors who have never been exposed to an exercise program continued even after the program has been concluded. They realized the importance of being physically active. As a result of their consistent efforts, they now have increased mobility, agility and energy and are experiencing increased independence.

The following list offers insight into just how beneficial exercise and physical activity can be:

• The risks of cardiovascular disease decrease dramatically
• Mental acuity increases, as more oxygen is available to the brain
• Proper weight is maintained
• Neurotransmitters are regulated, resulting in less depression and anxiety
• Digestion and gastrointestinal mobility is increased
• Flexibility and balance is improved
• Self-esteem is enhanced
• Individuals experience an increased emotional resiliency in response to life’s changes and losses
• A perception of positive health status contributes to an overall satisfaction with life

The ability to be outdoors and interact with nature also has been proven to have its own unique benefits. The natural production of Vitamin D occurs with exposure to sunlight. There are psychological benefits to interacting with the environment. Watching a beautiful sunset or experiencing the sunrise has a profound effect on mood and emotion. All of the senses are activated when you are outside. The smell of Lavender angostifolia (lavender), the sound of a bird’s song, looking at a chipmunk scurrying about for food, as well as touching the soft leaf of a plant such as Stachys byzantina (lambs ear) are all activities that excite the senses. Research supports the preceding findings and the results are significant.

It is also important to be needed. The act of gardening not only maintains a connection with nature, it creates a sense of dependency. When a senior raises a plant and is responsible for its care, that person develops a bond. Both need food, air, light and water as a basic minimum. A person also gains positive reinforcement from growing plants. We feel better about ourselves when we have accomplished a talk, such as growing a plant or harvesting vegetables.

Another indirect benefit of gardening is the promotion of quality sleep through natural means. Older adults suffer from a decreasing production of melatonin, the hormone that regulates sleep. Many older adults tend to get sleepier in the early evening, around 8 pm, and then wake up at 4 am. This can be very frustrating because it offsets normal routines and disrupts schedules. Daily activities and regular exercise regulates hormones and bright natural light resets our biological clock. Exercise promotes peaceful, uninterrupted sleep and diminishes episodes of insomnia.

Senior residences should be designed to meet the needs of older adults who want to use the exterior environment. Some residences may offer a walking path and/or a few benches. The plant material, exterior furniture and other amenities must be suited to a specific use by the older resident. Whether creating a new project or upgrading an existing residence, it is important to incorporate the professional expertise of a Landscape Architect and a Gerontologist. These two professionals need to be involved from the onset, along with the Architect and Engineer, in the development of a new residence. The Landscape Architect is experienced in the selection of a site, including the placement of the building in a location that enhances the views to and from the building, minimizing impact on the existing environment and presenting a realistic construction budget. The Landscape Architect understands how to create environments suited to a person’s specific needs and is experienced in the art of problem solving. Functional and aesthetic perspectives are equally important to the success of any building. The Gerontologist understands the aging process and how to meet the needs of a particular age group when designing a senior residence. The physical, emotional and social aspects of the aging person must be considered. The Gerontologist works with the staff to tie together the multiple needs of a person successfully “aging in place”. The psychosocial dynamics of stimulating a person’s interest and engaging them in an activity is very important. The Gerontologist and Landscape Architect are vital links to the success of a project and are therefore integral parts of a design team.

An exciting aspect of the creation of outside areas that stimulate physical activity is envisioning how these spaces will evolve over the coming years. In the future, residents who participate in various activities will not resemble the residents today. The Baby Boomers, many of whom are currently caregivers for their parents, will demand a different set of standards for themselves in years to come. They are an active, mobile, environmentally conscious generation that will face today’s challenges in new and exciting ways. Comfortable exercise outfits and sneakers will replace walkers and orthopedic shoes. Health food and environmental programs will become industry standards. These predictions help to challenge our imagination and keep us focused on how we will create the living environments we ourselves will expect tomorrow.

About the Authors: Nancy Norton Carman, M.A. Gerontology, CMC and Jack Carman, FASLA, RLA

Jack Carman, owner, founder and president of Design for Generations, LLC, has over 20 years experience as a landscape architect. He is a nationally recognized expert in the design of therapeutic gardens, particularly Alzheimer’s gardens and outdoor environments for senior living communities. http://www.designforgenerations.com/

Note from Tom Mann: Gardening is America’s #1 hobby. Guess who makes up the biggest percentage of gardeners?

Mature Market Tip: Start Saving Now – Assisted Living Crunch Predicted

<MED2097 Mature Market Experts

The mature market . . .  boomers . . . seniors, we write about them every day. Why? Because Americans are getting older – in fact, way older. We are on our way to a profound shift in our population; one which will have costly impacts on our nation. The U.S. Census Bureau projects  that by 2030, when all of the nation’s 76 million surviving baby boomers will be 65 and older, nearly one in five U.S. residents will be 65 and older. This age group is projected to double by 2050, increasing to 88.5 million from the 38.7 million we currently have in 2008. The Census Bureau projects that the 85 and older population growth will be even bigger, tripling from 5.4 million in 2008 to 19 million in 2050.

On the one hand it is pretty clear that there will soon be a lot of older Americans. So the next question is, how many of them will require assistance, and what type? Lest you think the impact will be small, consider this comment from the Dartmouth geriatrician, Dr. Dennis McCullough: “…nine out of ten people who live into their 80’s will wind up unable to take care of themselves, either because of frailty or dementia.” According to Dr. McCullough, “Everyone thinks they will be the lucky one, but we can’t go along with that myth.”

The International Longevity Center’s Caregiving Project for Older Americans is very concerned that older Americans are not doing enough planning now. The Center estimates that about 1.4 million older Americans currently live in nursing homes, nearly 6 million receive care at home, and significant numbers go completely without needed help. They report that “…the growing disparity between the demand and supply of care giving services will only worsen with the aging of baby boomers in this country.”

The National Clearinghouse for Long-Term Care Information says that “…at least 70 percent of people over age 65 will require some long-term care services at some point in their lives, and over 40 percent will need care in a nursing home for some period of time.”The Clearinghouse cautions that contrary to most people’s opinions, “Medicare and private health insurance programs do not pay for the majority of long-term care services that most people need – help with personal care such as dressing or using the bathroom independently.”

It doesn’t take much imagination to figure out that the coming demographic tsunami will overwhelm our assisted living, independent living, home care, and nursing homes infrastructures. Currently most assisted living facilities in this country report occupancy rates at 90% or higher. The New York Times reported recently that after several years of overbuilding followed by soft markets, “The National Investment Center found fewer than 23,000 units under construction in the 100 biggest metropolitan areas.” If you take an arbitrary average about 1.5 persons per unit, our future residential shortfall looks to be severe.

In another New York Times article Kathryn A. Sweeney, a managing director for United States Senior Housing for GPT Group, an Australian real estate company, was quoted in a similar vein about the eventual housing shortage: “If you plan to be a resident, you need to be saving your pennies now,” she said.”

About the Author: John Brady is publisher of www.Topeldercares.com.  Visitors to that site will find a directory of eldercare facilities, a Forum, and helpful articles on dealing with eldercare.

Mature Market Experts Stat of The Day: Hip Replacements

Mature Market Experts: more mature market news and stats more often: Hip Replacements —Between 2000 and 2005, the number of hospital discharges for patients 85 and older who had  total or partial hip replacements rose from about 52,000 to 56,000, according to the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

Source: MSNBC

So what do you think? Should society be limiting the amount of expensive procedures the 85+ mature market is undergoing?

Addressing Employment and Active Engagement Beyond 50

Reinventing Retirement Conference Examines the

Needs of an Older Workforce in the Asian Context

 

(Mature Market Press Release) Singapore – A longer lifespan is one of the great successes of the 21st century. But along with that success come challenges. Living longer means having to work for longer in order to have saved enough for retirement, since right now, someone retiring at age 62 can expect to live for another 20 years or more. The recent problems in the international finance system and stock markets also demonstrate the importance of long-term planning in work, savings, and investment to insure a long and prosperous life.

 

Longer life spans also mean that employers have to be prepared for the challenges of an ageing workforce. The issue is global – the United Nation’s Population Division indicates that the number of people aged 60 and above in the world is expected to triple by 2050. In Singapore, the urgency is especially imminent, since UN projections indicate that by2050, the median age in Singapore will rise to 54 years, making it the 4th oldest population in the world.

 

To address those concerns, the Council for Third Age (C3A), which promotes active ageing here, together with AARP, the US-based organization representing the 50+population, will organize and co-host the Reinventing Retirement Asia Conference in Singapore on January 8 and 9. This is the first time that the conference, which was last held in Japan in March 2007, will be held in Singapore.

 

Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong will deliver the keynote speech for the conference, which will provide a global platform for policy makers, entrepreneurs, business leaders and academics to come together to exchange ideas, innovations and solutions to these emerging issues.

 

The objective, ultimately, is to be able to define a new set of age-friendly employment policies that will benefit the economy, society and older individuals, and to promote long-term financial planning for all as we age.

 

“Singapore is ageing. By 2030, one in five Singaporeans will be aged 65 or above. This poses the challenge of developing appropriate policies and programs to accommodate this changing age structure and its impact on the labor force. The retention and engagement of older workers is an important issue, especially when a high percentage of economically-active Singaporeans expect to work beyond the current retirement age of 62,” said C3A Chairman Gerard Ee, citing a recent study on the future of retirement.

 

“From AARP, a leading authority in ageing policies and issues, we can learn ideas and best practices that can put Singapore at the forefront of ageing issues,” he added. AARP is by far the largest membership organization for people 50-plus in the world, with more than 40 million members.

 

Bill Novelli, AARP’s CEO, emphasized the importance of sharing best practices and lessons from countries around the world. “AARP has explored ideas from around the world in an effort to share our experience and learn from other countries in an effort to ensure financial security for all. There is no magic formula, but one thing AARP has learned, especially in a shaky, global economy, is that economic growth is clearly linked to the employment of older workers. That is why we are so pleased to be working with C3A in January to further explore these critical issues for the future well-being of older people.”

 

Highlights of the conference will include the Singapore Roundtable, which will bring together Mr. Gan Kim Yong, Acting Minister for the Ministry of Manpower, Mr. Heng Chee How, Deputy Secretary-General of the National Trades Union Congress, and Mr. Stephen Lee, President of the Singapore National Employers Federation, to share their insights on the nation’s experience in dealing with senior workers. An Asia-Pacific Roundtable will similarly bring together regional leaders from Australia, Japan, and South Korea.

 

Notable speakers who will present at the inaugural conference include Mr. Kenneth Apfel, former Commissioner of Social Security in the United States; Dr. Sarah Harper, director of the Oxford University’s Oxford Institute of Ageing, Dr Flore-Anne Messy, Administrator of the OECD’s Directorate for Financial and Enterprise Affairs, as well as corporate age management expert Mr. Mirko Sporket and Vice-President of International Consortium for Intergenerational Programs Dr Thang Leng Leng. The conference will cover the following areas:

 

· Financial Education & Literacy

· HR Strategies for Engaging/Retaining Older Workers

· Lifelong Learning & Training of Older Workers

· Workplace Design for the Ageing Workforce

· Opportunities of an Ageing Population

· Cultural Change and Intergenerational Cooperation

· Media & Messaging: Changing Attitudes & Perceptions

 

The recent winners of the inaugural AARP International Innovative Employer Award – Alexandra Hospital and Singapore Health Services Pte Ltd (SingHealth) – will also share some of their innovative HR practices which have helped them engage senior workers meaningfully.

 

The Reinventing Retirement Asia Conference is particularly relevant given that it comes ahead of Singapore’s enactment of re-employment legislation by 2012, to enable more people to continue working beyond the current statutory retirement age of 62.

 

“This Conference with AARP will help both employers and employees to prepare themselves for the 2012 legislature. Beyond financial security, continued employment beyond retirement will contribute to the vocational wellness of seniors, which is in line with the six dimensions of wellness that C3A promotes,” said C3A Chief Executive Officer Henry Quake.

 

Reinventing Retirement Asia 2009 will be held on 8 & 9 January 2009 at the Pan Pacific Singapore Hotel. For more information, visit www.c3a.org.sg/conference

 

About Council for Third Age (C3A)

Set up in May 2007, Council for Third Age is an independent body that promotes active ageing, so that seniors can achieve a better quality of life in all the six dimensions of wellness – social, intellectual, physical, vocational, emotional and spiritual. The Council plays a leadership role in driving the thrust towards creating an active ageing culture in Singapore, and partners businesses and community organizations to develop products and services that fulfill the aspirations and interests of seniors.

 

About AARP

AARP is a non-profit, nonpartisan membership organization that helps people 50+ have independence, choice and control in ways that are beneficial and affordable to them and society as a whole. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to either political campaigns or candidates. We produce AARP The Magazine, the definitive voice for 50+ Americans and the world’s largest circulation magazine with over 33 million readers; AARP Bulletin, the go-to news source for AARP’s 40 million members and Americans 50+; AARP Segunda Juventud, the only bilingual U.S. publication dedicated exclusively to the 50+ Hispanic community; and our website, AARP.org. AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors. We have staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.