The CCAAA would like to dedicate this issue of the Lifespan to the memory of Bob E. Day, staunch supporter and dear friend to us all. Your kindness, your generosity and your voice will be sorely missed by all who knew and loved you. Rest in Peace.
From the CEO...
Dr. Bill Thomas’ Robotic Housing Startup Minka Partners Clearfield County Area Agency on Aging For World’s First Arts-Based Intergenerational Dementia Friendly Community
Project combines advanced manufacturing and local participatory design to empower people with dementia and their neighbors to create engaging community for all ages and abilities.
Clearfield, Penn. -- A vacant elementary school and 23 acres of woodland in rural Pennsylvania purchased in October by the Clearfield County Area Agency on Aging (AAA) will be transformed into dementia-friendly pocket neighborhoods for people of all ages and abilities featuring Dr. Bill Thomas’ robot-built Minka homes and a schoolhouse repurposed into a mixed-use commercial and arts engagement center.
The Clearfield AAA partnered with Dr. Thomas’ New York-based advanced home-manufacturing company Minka and its Denmark-based architects, AJGA, to develop the 60-home “Village of Hope” project based on Dr. Thomas’ intergenerational MAGIC model -- Multi-Ability, multi-Generational, Inclusive Community -- co-created with the University of Southern Indiana. Minka and MAGIC build off Dr. Thomas’ near 30 years of innovation as founder of The Eden Alternative global non-profit, The Green House Project, the Senior Emergency Room and the ChangingAging movement.
“Our families are devastated by skyrocketing rates of Alzheimer’s disease because our communities, quite frankly, are not designed to include them and help them thrive,” said Clearfield County AAA director Kathleen Gillespie. “We’re partnering with Dr. Thomas to build the Village of Hope to give families hope that people living with dementia can participate and enjoy life when they live in a community that welcomes and includes them.”
The Village of Hope will include a mix of single family and multi-family homes featuring smart home technology, universal design accessibility and Minka’s rapid robotic manufacturing process. In order to create places where people living with dementia can thrive, Dr. Thomas says “we must build communities that embrace people of different ages and abilities, rather than putting them in institutions just because they are frail or forgetful.
“I spent decades fighting to make the long term care system better and created innovative alternatives such as The Green House” Thomas said. “But I’ve also learned that people want real communities, not facilities.” The project also includes repurposing the Girard Goshen Elementary School, closed since 2010, into a community center featuring a mix of retail, health services and local creative arts engagement programs designed with community participation for both young and old, Gillespie said.
The emphasis on arts engagement was determined in August 2018 in the first of a series of participatory design workshops led by Dr. Thomas’ team to invite the community, including people living with dementia, to lead design of the dementia-friendly community elements that would help them thrive.
“Each person lives with a unique set of physical and cognitive abilities and every one of us needs to use those abilities to their fullest extent. The creative arts offer some amazing pathways for building relationships and communities,” said Thomas, who launched Minka after spending four years touring North America with a theatrical production called the ChangingAging Tour that has performed in 128 cities. The Tour was sponsored by AARP and uses theatrical arts and participatory design to support age-friendly and dementia-friendly community development in the U.S. and Canada.
The Village of Hope draws on ChangingAging Tour’s mission to support people living with dementia, and their families, to overcome the social stigma associated with dementia, said Minka director Kavan Peterson, who co-founded ChangingAging and leads its age and dementia-friendly programs.
“For decades, the only dementia story we’ve heard is one of loss and despair,” said Peterson. “But there is a new dementia story being told. It is a story of connection, expression, joy and growth. It is a story being told by people living with dementia who want you to know they are alive and they love life.”
The purchase of the school grounds and partnership with Dr. Thomas was approved by the AAA’s governing board of directors and will be developed and operated under its nonprofit subsidiary Mature Resources Inc, which specializes in innovative housing solutions, and support for services for the consumers of the Area Agency on Aging. “Alzheimer’s Disease has directly affected 400,000 Pennsylvanians and dementia has impacted all of us, directly or indirectly,” Gillespie said. “What the Village of Hope represents is not something new, it’s the oldest invention humans have created – community.” Additional information is available at myminka.com.
Providing supportive affordable housing for seniors is about innovation and collaboration to offer options to individuals in need of support and services. We are excited to make this vision become reality in our service area and are grateful for the support of the community, Advisory Council and Governing Board of Directors.
Kathleen Gillespie, CEO
14 PRACTICAL, ECONOMICAL GIFT IDEAS FOR SENIORS
Gift cards for meals out, grocery stores, hair salons or gas
All-occasion greeting cards and stamps
Blankets or throws
Order a custom-photo book from a website or, even better, create one yourself!
Tablets and iPads--- These all-in-one devices are in many ways tailored for seniors, with touch-screen technology and large print options. Good for entertainment, medication management and brain-exercising fun.
Electronic picture frames, loaded with your best family photos
Custom gift baskets filled with things like personal toiletry items, home-made soaps, lotions, slippers or a robe
Books, magazines, CD’s or DVD’s
Calendars: The CCAAA 2019 Lottery Calendar makes a great Christmas gift! (see page 7)
Wireless headphones to enhance TV viewing or listening to music
Puzzles, puzzle games or board games
Shopping cart trolleys, designed for people who walk to the corner grocery store, can also be used to move things (such as laundry) from one room to another.
Craft items, such as yarn, or patterns they can use to crochet or knit
The Gift of Time and Companionship: A day out for a meal and a trip to their favorite shopping mall or store is valuable to seniors who find themselves unable to drive anymore. If the senior has a favorite place to visit, such as a museum, a library, maybe a concert or a movie, take them out to enjoy that. Consider making a plan to take them to their favorite place a couple of times throughout the year
On October 23, Governor Tom Wolf signed House Bill 270 which authorizes enhancement to the Pharmaceutical Assistance Contract for Elderly Needs Enhancement Tier (PACENET) program, making the program available to an additional 17,000 seniors.The PACENET program administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Aging has not had an income eligibility increase over the past 15 years.The bill provides a $4,000 increase for both single and married Pennsylvanians 65 years of age and older.Total income for a single person can now be between $14,500 and $27,500. For married couples, combined total income can be between $17,700 and $35,500.PACE and PACENET, Pennsylvania’s prescription assistance program for older adults offer low-cost prescription medication to qualified residents, age 65 and older.
PACE and PACENET eligibility is determined by your previous calendar year’s income. Since 2014, Social Security Medicare Part B premiums are excluded from income.
You must be 65 Years of age or older.
A Pennsylvania resident for 90 days prior to date of application
You cannot be enrolled in Department of Human Service’s Medicaid prescription benefit.
Income for a single individuals cannot exceed $27,500 a year.
For a married couple, combined total income cannot exceed $35,500.
For more information call The Clearfield County Area Agency on Aging APPRISE Program at 814-765-2696 or 1-800-225-8571.
Fun at the Centers for Active Living
Center managers Connie Harris, Mary Ellen Osterhout, Judy Hugney and Sally Hurd have been working hard to develop new activities to meet the interests of older adults attending our Centers for Active Living in Clearfield, Coalport, Karthaus, Kylertown, and Mahaffey. Each month they find something unusual or different to feature and programs are attracting large numbers of new participants.
Certified instructors lead health and wellness programs at each center. These classes are designed to help seniors live a healthier lifestyle by learning to self-manage chronic conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, ALS, symptoms of depression, COPD, arthritis, cancer and chronic pain. Proven to improve quality of life, the evidence-based approach of transferring skills to individuals managing their chronic health conditions supports older adults in making lifestyle changes to improve overall health.
Consumers attending the centers are able to participate in various classes, including: Chronic Pain Self-Management, Healthy Steps in Motion, A Matter of Balance (plus a number of new evidence-based classes being scheduled for 2019), AARP Driver Safety, Creations of the Heart painting, holiday cooking, jewelry-making, how to perform hands-only CPR, instructions on using a cell phone or tablet and entertainment by dulcimer players. Special events held outside of the centers include bird-watching classes, bus trips, Summer Celebration, and others.
Contact your area center or stop by to pick up a program schedule and monthly menu of meals served. Schedules and menus are also available on our website www.ccaaa.net – Services – Centers for Active Living. You might be surprised who you will meet! It is often like a reunion of friends you haven’t seen for a long time!
Find a Center for Active Living
Clearfield CAL: 116 S Second St., Clearfield 814-765-9319
Center Manager: Connie Harris
Coalport CAL: Glendale Med Ctr Complex,
850 Rear Main St, Coalport 814-672-3574
Center Manager: Mary Ellen Osterhaut
Karthaus CAL: Shepherd of the Hills Church,
3637 Main St.,
Karthaus 814-762-9644 (Wed only)
Kylertown CAL: 70 Senior Drive,
Kylertown 814-345-6338 (Closed Wed)
Center Manager: Judy Hugney
Mahaffey CAL: 958 Market St.,
Center Manager: Sally Hurd
TREE OF STARS HOLIDAY APPEAL BEGINS!
The Clearfield County Area Agency on Aging’s annual Tree of Stars Holiday Appeal is now underway. All of us know and appreciate older family members, friends, and neighbors. Tree of Stars is an opportunity for you to honor or remember these special elders through a monetary gift. Funds raised through the Appeal provide support for AAA programs such as Meals on Wheels & More and in-home services. Your gift will go far in serving others with a meal or an hour of personal care.
For each donation given, a personalized white star with the donor’s name is hung on the holiday tree displayed at the corner of Front and Locust Streets in Clearfield. A gold colored star will be hung on the tree for those donors who give $50 or more. In addition, donors at the $50 level will receive a 2018 Wendell August hand-forged Christmas ornament.
Thanks to our sponsors, Action Graphics Printing & Sign Making and wOKw-FM, for their continued support!
Where can I find it…?
Who does it?
Who is it?
Call the CCAAA
and ask for
Memorial & Honorarium Fund