Social Day Programs

Painting Outside the Lines: IOA’s Graffiti Project

Most cities are built with a certain geometric order in mind. They have a plan, and a system—all hard angles and neat lines. Streets blend into each other, and one block flows to the next: orderly, structured, and sensical. Graffiti, then, is a delirious blow against that order, an explosion of color and chaos. It’s an eruption against our long-held assumptions.

How Movement Therapy Can Benefit Those With Dementia

When Alfred began showing early signs of dementia, his family was deeply concerned about what to do. How quickly would his mental condition deteriorate? Would they be able to communicate with him for much longer? These questions swirled in their heads, as 70-year-old Alfred began to struggle with speech and memory. He gradually became more and more withdrawn, his interaction with family diminishing as time went on.

The Best Activities for Keeping Extroverted Seniors Engaged and Energized

Elizabeth had always been an extrovert. Whether she was starring in school plays as a kid, leading the debate team to state championships, or cutting it up on the dance floor in college, Elizabeth knew how to have a good time. Her outgoing personality was like a magnet; never short of friends, she was always doing something exciting.

How to Get Your Aging Parents Assistance When You Live Far Away

Having my mom live far away from me is tough. We chat on Skype a few times per month, but it never feels like it’s enough. Although we catch up and share laughs, I used to feel concerned that I wasn’t doing as much as I should; I’d been able to figure out what she needed, but wasn’t sure how to get it when I lived far away. When she mentioned trouble hearing or back pain, I tried suggesting that she see a doctor—yet I knew that wasn’t the same as me actually being there to take her. I’d also discovered that she needed encouragement to exercise regularly and be more social. To ensure my mom had the right support, I began looking into the best ways to do this from a distance.

How to Navigate the Transition from Nursing Home to Assisted Living

When my grandmother was in a nursing home, she really struggled to enjoy her time there. She resented being taken away from her home, where she’d lived for most of her life. My grandmother was a very creative and highly intelligent woman who wanted to live out the rest of her days on her own terms, in her own way—and in her own home. Aside from her children, her home was the last remaining connection she had to her late husband.

Take Time Out From Being A Caregiver To Be a Loved One

A common literary trope says that we all become the masks we wear. Choices can mold our personality, as much as personality shapes our choices. If, for instance, someone starting at a new cutthroat office thinks, “I’m not a backstabber, but I just have to act like one for a little bit,” then inevitably, that mask will become who they are. This same dynamic impacts our interpersonal relationships as well, and in few instances is that truer than when a relative becomes the primary caregiver for an aging loved one. By some alchemy of routine and expectation, the individuals become not loving relatives, but caretaker and patient, a dynamic that can overshadow the bond that brought them together.

How Group Activities for Older Adults Foster a Sense of Unity and Purpose

A solo voice cuts through the darkened theater, a powerful soprano that is soon joined by two more in perfect harmony. At the end of a line, their voices are picked up by others, at different registers, and then more: like a burst dam the voices come rushing forth, intermingling, a sea of individuals working as one to create something beautiful. Something powerful and meaningful is born, something that lasts far beyond when the last note falls silent and is replaced by applause.

When Eating Alone Leads to Elderly Depression

Lauren’s mom died in late summer, leaving her father a widower, and living alone for the first time since he got out of the Navy after Vietnam. In the first flow of grief and sympathy, relatives and friends brought over food, as people do. People from the church made casseroles. Soups and stews filled his fridge and freezer. But as the leaves began to fall, life intervened for most people, as it does. The food dwindled as the days grew shorter, and Lauren became more and more worried for her father.

From San Francisco to Walnut Creek: The Best Bay Area Spots for Active Older Adults to Stay Mobile

After a somewhat strange winter, there are signs that spring is poking its head around the corner. This is exciting for anyone in the area who loves to get outside. After all, the Bay Area is known for its natural beautiful vistas and its endless hills and valleys. Here nature and development blend together to create some of the most jaw-dropping sights in the country. This rugged beauty certainly makes for great living and some spectacular postcards, but it also means that active older adults have to work a little more to find places to stay mobile. Part of living independently with at-home care means getting out, and there is enough to do in the Bay Area that being cooped up doesn’t have to be your only option as the spring sun starts to warm the land.