Quote of the Month
"Happy people do a great deal for their friends."
AARP Selects Top 10 Affordable Places to Live In U.S.
Each year, AARP The Magazine puts out their best places to live for
Americans 50+. This year's focus was on affordable housing,
low cost of living AND a low cost of reasonably-priced luxuries: Museums, cultural offerings,
hiking and biking trails, and other amenities that enrich life as
you age. All for $100 a day, or an annual income of $36,500.
"Each year we strive to highlight lively, low-cost cities that offer
rewarding environments, and that specifically appeal to the 50+
audience," said Nancy Perry Graham, Editor-in-Chief of AARP The
Magazine. "There are quite a few really wonderful cities where $100
a day goes a long way and buys not just a spacious home in a
thriving neighborhood, but loads of culture, lively entertainment,
and recreational opportunities."
In determining its list they looked first at
affordability, in particular housing, cost of living, taxes, and
economic stability. Then the editors added some livability criteria:
number of sunny days per year, access to parks and recreation, arts
and culture, health care, and local flavor, from the coolest scenery
to the hottest local restaurants. The result is a diverse list of
outstanding cities, perfect for older Americans.
The following is a taste of why each city rose above the rest to
make this year's list:
Eau Claire, Wisc.
Median home price: $121,100
Sunny days per year: 200
Vibe: Family-friendly values with a progressive twist
Local flavor: Cozy up to the bonfire and munch on Cheese
Curds ($7) made from the region's famed cheddar at the
Livery, a converted stable downtown.
Median home price: $125,500
Sunny days per year: 205
Vibe: Funky hippie meets world traveler
Secret affordability sauce: The country's sixth largest
college—The University of Florida—fuels an economy more
durable than most Southern cities.
Grand Junction, Colorado
Median home price: $159,800
Sunny days per year: 214
Vibe: Contemporary arts meet Western charm
Impress friends and family with: The views of the Grand
Mesa, one of the world's biggest flat-top mountains.
Las Cruces, N.M.
Median home price: $148,000
Sunny days per year: 287
Vibe: A sunny cocktail of Old Mexico, the Wild West and
high-desert casual living
Local flavor: Head to the patio of De La Vega's Pecan Grill
& Bar, and nibble on the stuffed green chiles ($9).
Median home price: $168,900
Sunny days per year: 185
Vibe: Small college city combines Appalachian roots with a
strong local economy
Local flavor: Tip back a cold Blue Moon beer ($4.50) at
Mario's Fish Bowl. Originally a candy store, the restaurant
has been serving beer in fishbowl-size glasses (yep, made
right here) since 1950.
Median home price: $123,500
Sunny days per year: 193
Vibe: Midwestern cozy with a high-tech spark
Impress friends and family with: The area's many start-up companies,
which earned it the nickname "Silicon Prairie."
Median home price: $106,500
Sunny days per year: 194
Vibe: Green not grimy, the city's 88 distinct neighborhoods create a
Secret affordability sauce: Stable, diverse economy—since 2008, only
Austin and Houston have added jobs faster.
Median home price: $151,500
Sunny days per year: 217
Vibe: A bustling small city, amid the magic of the Blue Ridge Mountains
Local flavor: Grab a $1.25 hot dog at the legendary Texas Tavern, a
24-hour fixture since 1930.
San Antonio, Texas
Median home price: $135,000
Sunny days per year: 263
Vibe: Old West urban flair
Best daytime lark: El Mercado (which the city claims is the biggest
Mexican marketplace outside Mexico) in Old Market Square.
Median home price: $145,000
Sunny days per year: 176
Vibe: Lush green beauty meets smart urban planning
Impress friends and family with: Its stunning Riverfront Park and
its historic downtown.
Tablet use is exploding and becoming embedded in people's
lives. The user base is trending older and about equal in terms of
use between men and women ~Center For Media Research
Creating Accessibility Awareness
Barrier Free is Living with Ability
Ronnie Wiskin, President Reliable Independent Living Services
By the year 2030, it's estimated that "half of all people will be
affected by a disability within their lifetime." Because of this
statistic, advertisements like walk-in baths, stair-lifts and
mobility scooters are being recognized as common safety and
accessibility solutions in and around the home.
Barrier Free Solutions
Creating this type of awareness addresses the reality of the need to
improve our private and public spaces to remain independent and
active in society. Additional benefits from increased awareness
include more education about health and wellness, finance and
personal care options to help plan for the future.
Accessibility is more than independence.
Accessibility is commonly
recognized as wheelchair ramps in front of buildings, grab bars in
bathrooms and devices that swing doors open for wheel friendly
access. It's much more than this.
A cane or a walker makes maneuvering through physical barriers safer for those of us with fragile bones or problems with balance.
Indicator signals that notify someone's at the door or that the
telephone is ringing are examples of adapting the environment to overcome sensory barriers.
Reducing clutter is another way to make
life more manageable around the home.
Re-organizing household belongings and creating usable storage solutions are all that's needed to remove your barriers.
What can be done to make an environment accessible to people of all abilities?
The first step
towards achieving barrier free living should be to have an
assessment by an occupational therapist or other professional with
experience in adaption to perform functional activities of daily living.
The environmental barriers & physical needs for all
occupants should be determined and a report with recommendations be
created, this should include all possible future needs as well.
Designing the environment to meet all users' needs is the next step
prior to planning the renovation and this should be done by a
qualified "universal design" or "barrier free design" specialist.
Before tackling any type of barrier free renovation, it's important
to fully understand the scope of work in relation to access, safety,
independence and comfort. Recommendations can be simple, such as
installing grab bars, raising a toilet seat or converting a fixed
shower head into a hand held shower wand. More elaborate
improvements can be made by creating a new two or three story
elevator, a barrier free washroom, accessible kitchen or modifying
existing structures to accomplish a barrier free living space.
Barrier-free public environments
There is a growing awareness about the need for accessibility within
the larger community to help make life more manageable for those of
us living with disabilities. For example, there are many more ramps,
automatic doors, traffic lights that make sounds so that people with
visual impairments can cross the streets with greater independence
and safety. Many movie theatres are more accessible and we can
negotiate for accessible seating when we go to the concert hall,
ballet or opera.
New strategies are beginning to surface, creating an inclusive and
accessible path for people of all abilities. Contributing towards
developing long term success for our future begins by creating
sustainability for ourselves now. By enhancing the possibilities for
achieving independent living, we can greatly reduce the long term
costs and effects associated with assisting a large number of people
not able to navigate through barriers created from our past. Making
our own environments welcoming and accessible will certainly enrich
the lives of everyone, enhancing the abilities of all.
Ronny Wiskin is the Founder & President of ReliAble Independent
Living Services®, a company established in 2003, which provides
complete access solutions for residential and commercial
environments. ReliAble's core values are listening to the customer
and enhancing quality of life with integrity and honesty. The
company's vision is 'to continually strengthen the social fabric by
keeping families together'. Visit them online:
did you know...
Sleeping with a TV on at night can lead to depression. Researchers at the Ohio State University Medical Center
discovered that hamsters exposed to dim light at night exhibited signs of depression within a few weeks.
Negative effects were reversed after a couple of weeks of normal lighting.
Video: Which Is The
Just for fun! Guaranteed to instantly change your mood.
Click here to watch.
One in four smartphone owners admit to checking their phones while
driving, one in five immediately after sex, and two in five while on
the toilet. Three in five say they don't go an hour without checking
their phones. ~ Time.com
Campaign: Get Home
Time to "Get Home Smart"
The ability to live independently while managing a chronic condition from home
has enormous benefits. In addition to the necessary medical equipment needed, it's important to know what
types of home construction, furniture and furnishings are available to make lives as
functional and comfortable as possible.
We invite you to
join our campaign
to help people "Get Home Smart"
featuring the Chairs & Cares Model Accessible Home (4600 square foot
demonstration center for independent living) as our primary filming location.
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