Thursday, May 31, 2018

Older and Younger Adult Immigrants Adjusting to American Life (Research, Video 2:21)

Much has been said about immigrants in America. This post addresses older and younger adult immigrants who have settled here in recent years. Many older adults followed their adult children here, not knowing if they would ever find a sense of home that they left behind in a foreign country.

This older adult Chinese immigration study based on 21intensive interviews and 107 surveys reveals that they find a sense of home through comfortable living conditions and being around family members. Unfortunately, they struggle with not knowing the English language. This inability to communicate well with those outside the family can be unsettling for them as they try to maintain more independence from relying on their adult children. Social policies toward older adults, such as Medicare, Medicaid, low-income housing, and social services play important roles in easing their transition and quality of life a foreign land.

As this video demonstrates, young adult immigrants can build service bonds with older adults who are not immigrants. This kind of interaction could lead to jobs in the senior care field. For the past three years, adult immigrant students from the Crystal Learning Center have been visiting Covenant Retirement Village in Golden Valley, Michigan. In the usual win-win spirit of good service, students improve, not only their language skills, but also their knowledge about life in America from experts born and raised here.

The memory quilt in the photo above captures students' unique memories about a place or a person they want to memorialize on their small square on the quilt. Guess what immigrant students find most incredible about the older residents born in America? This video below has that answer.

Frances Shani Parker, Author
Becoming Dead Right: A Hospice Volunteer in Urban Nursing Homes is available in paperback and e-book editions in America and other countries at online and offline booksellers.
Hospice and Nursing Homes Blog

Monday, May 21, 2018

Walking: Motivating Older Adults (Research, Video 2:58)

Walking. There is a great deal of evidence supporting the health benefits of regular walking for adults. Still, many have not embraced the practice and appear to need more outside motivation. In this study on motivating older adults to walk more, outside incentives included money and donations to charity. The effects of both of these incentives in terms of their improvement and retention in levels of walking were also evaluated. Participants included 94 older adults aged 65 and older living in a Philadelphia-area retirement community.

Using digital pedometers, participants kept tract of increasing their walking progress by 50% in daily steps. Weekly progress was recorded. Participants were randomly selected for these four groups:

1) Control Group: received weekly feedback only.

2) Financial Incentives: received payment of $20 each week walking goals were met.
3) Social Goals: received donation of $20 to a charity of choice each week walking goals were met.
4) Combined: received $20 each week walking goals were met that could be received by participant, donated to a charity of choice, or divided between the participant and charity.

At the end of this 16-week experiment, conclusions indicated that donations to a charity of choice, personal financial incentives, or a combination of the two can each increase older adults' initial uptake of increased levels of walking. People the world over are living longer, and now a new study shows who is likely to live the longest. The information could help doctors and others, including the elderly, plan goals for treatment and care.

Based on this experiment, do you think older adults in need of more motivation should be paid to walk? In this video, walking speed is associated with longevity because it often reflects how well many body systems operate. However, even slower walking is encouraged if that is the walker’s preference.

Frances Shani Parker, Author
Becoming Dead Right: A Hospice Volunteer in Urban Nursing Homes is available in paperback and e-book editions in America and other countries at online and offline booksellers.