aging in place

What I dislike about other submission blogs

There is another blog that has been around for a long time which really annoys me (I won’t mention which one) and it’s actually the reason why I started this blog. It is badly run and the admin refuses to allow other admins to come onboard. 

The admin doesn’t monitor the submissions well so girls end up selecting all of the tags, which means it’s pointless trying to search for someone of a certain age or from a certain place because you get the same girls coming up for every tag. 

And a lot of them don’t leave any contact info, which is fine if they’re logged into tumblr. It just means you need to click on ‘notes’ and then see who submitted it. But if they weren’t logged in then it just says “anonymous submitted this to xblog.’

Also, the admin will go for weeks or months without doing anything. No posts are being put up but the submissions are still open, so there are 100s of pictures waiting in the queue. Then when she does get back, she still only posts a max of 50 per day, which means it can be months before your picture even shows up. 

And even then, she’ll post her own pictures while there’s 100s of people waiting for their own to go up. She doesn’t even follow back or want to talk - she just wants followers. 

Sorry for the rant! I’m just annoyed that so many people still follow her blog when there are much better ones out there - and I don’t just mean GLFG - check out the blogs in my links list. 


Places in Dragon Age: Inquisition - Val Royeaux

Val Royeaux. Any resident, a “Royan,” will say it is the greatest city in the world. Many take such pride for arrogance, but they do so through smiles as they nod in agreement, for such is the cost of doing business in the capital. Val Royeaux is, in every way, a world leader–in commerce, culture, and its own exaggerated beauty.

Tbh, for all the posts I make about KilluGon and how gay they are, my headcanon is closer to that Gon currently doesn’t have much of a romantic interest in Killua or anyone else. He was so chill with the idea of dating Palm, but more because it didn’t actually affect him one way or the other. Obviously he loves Killua, but like. He’s twelve. Fourteen at most by the time the series left off. And he’s busy saving/hunting shit, he don’t got time for that. Plus I wouldn’t be surprised if he discovers that he’s aro/ace somewhere down the line.

Killua though? Wow. What a gay baby lightning bug. There is so much gay with this child. His homo/bi/pansexual game is strong enough that it blipped pretty loudly on Hisoka’s gaydar (election arc anyone?)


Renovating for Accessibility

On our last blog post, we looked at some of the myths of accessibility renovations. If I’ve convinced you that you should incorporate some accessibility renovations into your next home renovation project, here are some ways you can make your home more accessible.

Low Profile Thresholds

You might not notice it, but quite often, the entry doors to your home have a sill at the bottom that can be difficult for some people to negotiate. A typical front entry door might have 2 or more inches on the inside and 6 or more inches on the outside. For a person in a wheelchair or someone with reduced mobility, this can make getting into and out of a home a nightmare. A low profile threshold is a door that is set into an opening so that is nearly flush with the inside floor and outside porch, thus making it much easier to get over the door’s threshold.

Wider Doorways

Still on the topic of doors, let turn to the width of the interior doors in your home. In a lot of older homes, standard doors are around 30 inches wide. It’s also common to see 28 inch doors for things like ensuite bathrooms. At 30 inches, it’s difficult to navigate a walker or a wheelchair through these openings. Try to install doors that are a minimum of 32 inches wide. They allow for easier navigation in your home.

Lever Hardware

Yet another door change, your doors should have handles that are levers, not knobs. For people with arthritis or reduced mobility, turning a door knob can be a difficult task. A lever is much easier to push down, and in my opinion, they look a lot classier too. Just be wary that levers are also easy for toddlers to turn as well. Every door in my home has a levered handle and occasionally I find my 16 month old son in the bathroom playing in the toilet.

Plugs and Switches

Switches are usually set around 4 feet off the ground and plugs are around 16 inches off the ground. Lowering yours switches so they sit at about 3 feet off the ground and raising your plugs to 24 inches puts them in easier reach for someone in a wheelchair or someone with reduced mobility. Moving your plugs higher, however, means paying more attention to dangling cords, which can get in the way of wheelchairs and walkers.


Consider installing a high mount toilet. High mount toilets are, on average, 2 inches taller than a regular toilet. Two inches might not sound like a big deal, but for a person with arthritis or reduced mobility, it’s a lot easier to get into a seated position. If you doubt me on this one, head off to the gym and do a work out of nothing but squats and lunges. The next day, you’ll wish you had a high mount toilet.


Hard surface flooring is the key to making your home more accessible. Carpet provides a lot of resistance and therefore is not a good choice for someone in a wheelchair. Linoleum is not the best either. It’s not that difficult to navigate, but it can take a real beating from wheelchair wheels and walkers. Hardwood Floors are a good choice. The aluminium oxide finish on most hardwood floors today can stand up well, but the floor may need to be refinished from time to time. The winner for flooring is tile. A properly tiled floor can stand up to a lot of wear and tear. Porcelain is a better choice than ceramic because it’s harder. Just remember that tile can get slippery when wet.

Grab Bar/Hand Shower

A lot of fixture manufacturers now make a hand shower that also comes with a grab bar. They are fully adjustable and provide a secure place in the shower to grab onto. Not only that, but hand showers are great for giving your kids or your pet a bath. Just make sure that the model you select is ADA (American Disabilities Act) compliant.


Walk in, barrier free, tiled showers are all the rage in upscale home nowadays. And guess what? They are also great for accessibility. These showers are tiled from top to bottom and are sloped so that water naturally runs towards the drain. They don’t have, however, a lip, or a barrier upon entering the shower. As I said, they are also great looking showers that would go well in any home. Throw in a couple of grab bars in strategic locations and bench to sit down on, and your shower is accessible. Oh and if you’re envisioning a bench that looks like something you’d find in a hospital, think again. A lot of these showers have a bench incorporated into the shower design. It’s tiled to look like a natural feature of the shower.

Keyless Lock Entry Sets

Yep, another door tip. Fumbling for your keys to your front door when it’s -20 C outside is not a fun experience. For a senior, it can be harrowing. Instead, install a Keyless Lock Entry System on your front door. Just like out of a spy movie, you punch in a secret code into a panel and the door unlocks. If you’re thinking about installing one of these, do a little research first. The one at my home is fantastic. It’s easy to operate and it locks and unlocks with ease. The one at Robert’s home sometimes takes a few tries before the deadbolt moves into the correct position. Also be aware that a lot of these keyless lock systems run on batteries and need to be changed every so often. If you forget to change the batteries, you might be digging for your keys after all.

Window and Door Blinds

Earlier this year, Robert and I attended the Pella Pro Expo in Calgary. On the show floor, we met with a representative from Lutron, a company that has developed an app for your iPad that controls the lighting, the locks, and even the blinds in your home (I didn’t ask about Android support, sorry). The lighting and locks are an easy concept to understand, but the cool feature that we saw involved the blinds. High end windows already have blinds between the sheets of glass, but they’ve gone a step further and added small motors that can move the blinds up and down through a remote device. For a person with reduced mobility, being able to draw the shades, turn on the lights, and lock the doors from your sofa would be handy indeed.


Whether we’re talking about your kitchen cabinets or the vanity in your bathroom, the options for better accessibility are endless. Adjusting counter top heights, adding pull out shelves, or adding a island with clearance for a wheelchair underneath are just a few things you can do to make your kitchen or bathroom more accessible. A good custom cabinet designer can look at the needs of the entire family living in the home and come up with a design that can work for everyone.

Michael Breault is a project coordinator for Nord Alta Construction. You can find the company website at You can also find Michael and Nord Atla Construction on facebook at, on twitter at, and on LinkedIn.

Robert Breault is the president and owner of Nord Alta Construction. You can find the company website at You can also find Robert and Nord Alta Construction on facebook at and on LinkedIn.


“Your place is here with me.”

I couldn’t let you go.

He comes to me as though the Fade were just another wooded path to walk without a care in search of wisdom.We share the ancient mysteries, the feelings lost, forgotten dreams, unseen for ages, now beheld in wonder.In his own way, he knew wisdom, as no man or spirit had before.
Trying out some new brushes and playing with textures. Didn’t come out the way I wanted, but when does it ever? xD


(WoZoCo apartments for the elderly, Amsterdam. Photo credit: Inthralled)

A lot of people in Chicago were murdered this year.  A lot more lost their homes or businesses to the recession’s persistence.  Chatham, a working class South Side neighborhood, has seen its fare share of both.  Yet, as the NYT suggests, neighbors who talk / gather / lobby / play / struggle  together pull through together.  

“A neighborhood’s character shapes its economic future at least as much as more obvious factors like income levels and foreclosure rates.”

Mentioned in passing is how older / oldest residents in a neighborhood contribute in important ways to strong neighborhood character and cohesion.  

“The big change going on is that the grandparents are moving out, and some of the younger kids coming in here are picking up behaviors that you would never have seen in Chatham before.”

Wondering if anybody has looked at social isolation of elders in neighborhoods, or the effect of seniors leaving on the health of a community, I Google-Scholared ‘neighborhood cohesion social residents’.  

Social Capital and Successful Aging: The Role of Senior Housing stresses the need for socially relevant senior housing.  The paper opens with the July 1995 Chicago heatwave, in which 75% of the 700 who died were over 65, and of those elders, many were physically or socially isolated.  In short, making sure seniors live in places where they can be seen and heard.  In the US, they rarely are.  

“U.S. zoning regulations often result in the geographical isolation of assisted-living facilities, thereby thwarting the goal of community integration.”

In stark contrast, the people of Northern Europe have got it together much better.  Promising models of senior housing exist in the Netherlands and Finland, featuring senior residences built within active neighborhoods, next to pedestrian-friendly public transportation centers, involve senior volunteers in neighborhood organizations, and open senior center facilities like bars and cafes up to the public. 

I hit Google pretty hard looking for more documentation about the listed senior housing models: the Jan van der Ploeg development in Rotterdam, the Flesseman Centrum in Amsterdam, the Old People’s Home and Health Center of Oitti, and the Kuselaan Pavelukoti project – to no avail.  Virtually no good photos, and a couple websites in Dutch about the Flesseman project.  

Given the difficulty of finding out more information about progressive senior housing models, I’m thinking more and more about researching and creating a senior care / housing version of the Whole Earth Catalog.  Good ideas which are already in place and improving the lives of seniors and caregivers should be made much more visible and accessible.  Wouldn’t it be fantastic if social workers, care providers, and policymakers had a live, clear, and actionable collection of good practices to guide planning within their own communities?

I read this criticism of the WoZoCo elderly apartments in Amsterdam as too youthful for a population closest to death:

Old people must live in grim structures; buildings that point not to this world of positive things but to the underworld of negative, annihilating forces. As being young is about leaving birth, being old is about going to death.

That some people don’t believe the elderly deserve thoughtful products, moments of delight, and meaningful experiences inspires me to prove them wrong – with thought, delight, and meaning.

4Sum Micro Communities – A New Concept For Senior Living?

This is a post by Stephen Johnston, reblogged from Aging 2.0

4sum is the working name for an approach to senior living that we’ve been talking about for few weeks now, and would like to explore in more detail. It’s a concept that involves communal living with shared services and support staff, but at a micro-scale.  Matthias Hollwich first proposed the idea to me during our conversation, based on the work of one of his colleagues, with the idea being to move beyond the trauma-driven downscaling that is the default model now.  We now that most people would prefer to stay in their homes as they age – this idea makes the home something that is fundamentally more senior friendly than today’s single family dwellings. This post builds on that with some of the brainstorming that has happened since then, most notably with Emily [Lutzker] during theFlorida trip. This is one of the many ideas and concepts that came out of that trip that we’ll be introducing in future blog posts.

Few images are more evocative about the problems of aging alone than “I’ve fallen and can’t get up!“. Stranded and immobile, the helpless senior lies there motionless and incapable, with only sophisticated and expensive technology standing between them and an (offscreen) lonely demise. And while it is great to have technology help out, and wireless connections with call-centers around the world are a triumph of engineering and technology, sometimes a simpler alternative can do the trick; other people. Enter 4sum.

4 couples living together in a unit with shared amenities…
The idea at the core is a communal house or flat with four separate living units. 4 units seems like the optimal number, given that one conversation around a dinner table for 8 is manageable. In the unit there are four self-contained units attached to shared living and dining areas. The idea is that people have their own space to sleep, bathe and relax/study, but have the option of regular social interaction over meals or at other times. However good technology becomes it will be a while, if ever, before it can take the place of real people. As people live longer, it stands to reason that they will be living alone for longer too, and having other people around to interact with, and help each other out on basic tasks, such as fixing stuff, sewing, reading the fine print or playing games.

…the most important of which is a professional care-taker
The key thing here is that there’s a fifth unit, for the live in care provider. That can be just a student to help around the house if everyone is fit and healthy, or a progressively more advanced standard of care as the needs evolve. There is likely not a fully-featured medical facility, but a primary care triage approach.

A modular unit that can scale to hundreds or thousands if necessary
One of the venture firms I’ve been speaking with has been asked by a foreign government to assist in putting together a green-field retirement village for 40,000 people.  This kind of scale is unimaginable compared to most US-based communities, which don’t often go above 1000, and would require a large measure of self-management in order not to result in logistical chaos. Think of atoms, or a beehive.

Base it near a university
Emily’s particularly good idea was to locate this near a university, so that it would provide employment and accommodation to the university students and maintain a good mix of young and old interactions, in order to avoid what can be a problem of senior ghettos.

Apparently people are already using a similar model with care facilities for people with disabilities which has proved successful, and is reimbursable by the insurance companies. I’d like to find our more about this. Lots of work still to be done, but if this has a chance to become a new model for innovating senior lifestyles around the world, then it’s worth having the conversation. Meanwhile, here are a few obvious challenges and first responses.

Picking the people to share your life with will be hard
“Picking a wife or husband is hard, picking another 6 people to share your life with sounds nigh on impossible”. True, but within that hard choice comes shares commitments and bonds that provide the informal services. All parties are incentivized to make it work. It’s easier to pick your living mates (a new term would have to be made for this) than your family, and so the answer to this will be, that it will vary. If successful, it will develop into a cultural phenomenon and people will develop mechanisms and processes around picking living mates that may echo some of the pageantry of marriage, and online match making services will proliferate, easy to believe given that today up to 50% of singles use online dating. Meanwhile, there’s no reason why people wouldn’t move in and out as they do today.

Shared ownership sounds complicated
There seem to be 3 ownership models that could be involved. First, outright ownership of the units among the 4 couples. Second, time-share concepts, that exist in many senior care facilities today, would allow people to own units of the overall facility, while not owning a particular apartment. That would make it easier to move around. And third would be a simple rental model.

Co-incidental service requirements
The challenge here is that 8 people of the same age are living together, all will presumably start off fairly healthy, and as they age will then call for more support at the same time, stressing the shared help model. The solution to this is to include a variety of different ages in the setup.

Given that men tend to die earlier, this will be filled with colonies of women
Maybe younger men will find the company of older women appealing, or maybe they’ll get along just fine without the guys; the Golden Girls showed us how.


“A lot of actors either go too alpha male or soppy romantic. I needed someone who was actually rather shy in personal matters but also incredibly ahead of his age in understanding his place in the world. Roland had no doubts that he would make his mark, and so our Roland needed that certainty combined with great sensitivity. I think that’s what viewers see in Kit as Jon Snow - underneath that shaggy cloack, a reservoir of sensitivity.” - James Kent on Kit Harington in Testament of Youth

And then Blackwall and Lavellan adopted a small army of baby griffons and lived happily ever after, the end. 

…My headcanon that Blackwall acquires a baby griffon is so strong that it doesn’t even feel like a headcanon anymore. 

Any people living in this day and age feel out of place. The values of this world make them angry. Your unending want to love is squashed by your need to protect yourself and loved ones in this world. Whether you identify as a #starseed, #indigochild, #rainbowchild, or #crystalchild, the #universe has put you here for the specific purpose of helping bringing our world to #enlightenment!

So, live the life you dream everyday!
Manifest your reality!
Love unconditionally!
Except and include everybody!
Remember you are a part of a vast #consciousness that is ever expanding!

#conscious #agape #future #hippie #meditation #family #love #galaxy #luna #quotes #awake #thirdeyetribe #thirdeye #awake #wanderlust #wanderwear #openmind #openheart

Aging in Place by Jay Sacher

Aging in Place by Jay Sacher

Always wallowing in fictional fantasies? Try out some hardcore reality. Click over to Jay’s place for a short illustrated story of relatable whimsey and regret. Jay opens with:

When I was a sophomore in college, I got it into my head to do a fanzine. Fueled by a steady diet of pizza and ginger-ale from Captain Nemo’s Pizza in Boston’s Kenmore Square, I became giddy with thoughts of the…

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It Just Keeps Getting Better

It Just Keeps Getting Better

I have written several posts recently about our experience applying the Music & Memory program to our home care services at Support For Home In-Home Care. I continue to smile and appreciate what our Home Care Aides are doing with our clients, and it just keeps getting better.

Today one of our Home Care Aides gave us another report concerning a client with dementia we have been using Music &…

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Nursing Homes Costs Skyrocket, Adult Day Program Excellent Alternative for Older Adults

Nursing Homes Costs Skyrocket, Adult Day Program Excellent Alternative for Older Adults

Nursing homes are an expensive—starting at approximately $84,000 a year—for those who need services. But we’ve found many older adults may not need the intensive services provided by a nursing home.

For example, only 10% of the older adults who participate in InnovAge’s adult day programs are admitted to a nursing home even though 100% are eligible. This demonstrates it is possible for an older…

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Stay Socially Engaged As You Age

Stay Socially Engaged As You Age

Staying socially active as you age not only makes life more fun, it can be good for your health. Researchers with the Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Center conducted a study that found that seniors who were highly social had a rate of cognitive decline 70 percent lower than less-social seniors. Interacting with others and keeping your mind stimulated can help ward off depression and dementia in some…

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