5 Tips to Downsizing

Downsizing. It’s inevitable. At some point in all of our lives we are going to need to clear out the clutter and downsize our homes. But what exactly do you keep and what do you toss? It is a very difficult undertaking to take on. Cleaning a home full of clutter, furniture, memories, and photos can be exhausting (and intimidating) but it doesn’t need to be.

In a recent article from Daily Caring we learn five handy tips to help you downsize.

1. Pace yourself
Going through a lifetime of important memories isn’t something you can get done in a weekend or even a week. Be realistic and take the time to make thoughtful decisions.

Pick one box or collection of items and go through piece by piece without rushing. After you finish with that box, then start on another.

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Aging at Home or Move to a Senior Living Facility?

One of the hardest decisions you’ll have to make when you get older is where you want to live. Where you live not only affects your wellness but your longevity as well. Taking the steps and having the conversation with your family ahead of time makes things so much easier for your family when it comes time to think about assisted living. Go into this difficult conversation with an informed choice about where you want to live as you start to age.

A recent article from Where You Live Matters gives us a few questions to consider when making this difficult decision.

Questions to consider before deciding to age in place:

  • Would you rather be alone most of the time, or do you want easily available access to companions and social activities? While aging in place can be a solitary experience, a retirement community minimizes solitude. Choose which you’ll be most comfortable with over the long term.

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6 Ways Pets Help Seniors

Many things get better with age and owning a pet is one of them. Research has shown that pet ownership for seniors is beneficial for a healthy heart.

Market Watch reports that “Researchers studied just under 1,800 people between the ages of 25 to 64 who had healthy hearts, almost half of which (42%) owned a dog. And those with canine companions were more likely to practice heart-healthy lifestyle habits such as exercising, eating well and having ideal blood sugar levels than those without a dog.”

The National Poll on Healthy Aging surveyed 2,051 adults aged 50 to 80 last fall, more than half of whom reported owning a pet. And 88% said that their pets helped them enjoy life, and 86% said their pets made them feel loved. The poll sponsored by the AARP and the University of Michigan also reported that 79% of senior pet parents said that their four-legged (or feathered, or finned) friends reduced stress.

Here are 6 ways that having a four legged friend can improve your health:

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Seniors with Pets are seeing Health Benefits

Research is showing that not only is dog man’s best friend, seniors who are pet owners are seeing an increase in health benefits. It’s not just dog’s that are beneficial either. Studies are showing that seniors can form especially meaningful bonds with just about any four-legged companions and are reaping many life-enhancing rewards.

A recent article from CapTel lists FIVE different benefits seniors are seeing when they own a pet. Continue reading to discover more about how your pet can help you live a healthier life.

1. Lowers blood pressure

Seniors with pets tend to have lower blood pressure than non-pet owners, which is a key component in reducing the risk of coronary heart disease. In fact, research suggests that simply touching or petting a dog can lower blood pressure rates.

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Seniors looking for room in Davis


By Bill Powell and David Thompson Special to The Enterprise April 15, 2018

“Each day I get five calls from low-income seniors looking to find housing in Davis,” says Susan at Shasta Point Retirement Community. “And each day at least one senior arrives at Shasta Point anxious to get housing and hoping by turning up they may have a better chance than just calling.” They don’t.

Every day there are five to 10 emails or phone calls from low-income seniors to the two staff members at Eleanor Roosevelt Circle. At ERC about three seniors per day walk through the door hoping to get a place. They can’t.

In 2018, there is a waiting list of 441 seniors for the four largest Davis senior communities; Davisville (70), Shasta Point (67), Eleanor Roosevelt Circle (59) and Walnut Terrace (30). In 2017 there were a total of 14 turnovers. Only 14 of the 441 waiting in line got in. At that rate, it would be 31 years before the last of those seniors get housed. The actual wait for an extremely low-income senior can be from three to five years.

It is 16 years since the last affordable senior-housing development was given the go-ahead in Davis. Without citizen approval of the West Davis Active Adult Community, there is no other affordable senior housing community planned for Davis.

When it works

ERC was developed by a partnership of Davis Senior Housing Communities and Neighborhood Partners. The city of Dixon saw the ERC model of housing and social services and asked us to replicate it in Dixon. In a short time, a developer donated 5 acres of land for Heritage Commons to meet their inclusionary requirement.

A first phase of 60 apartments was built. Three years later a second phase of 54 were built and next year another 44 will be built creating a total of 158 apartments. Earlier this year, the city of Woodland approved a 4-plus-acre site for DSHC/NP to build a similar affordable senior campus of about 120 apartments. The senior affordable campus with social services is a very effective way to serve many seniors with a range of needs.

After 33 Community Meetings and 18 Commission Meetings and since July of 2016, Neighborhood Partners in partnership with Davis (Delta) Senior Housing Communities are proposing a state-of-the-art, 150-apartment, senior affordable housing campus at the West Davis Active Adult Community. The location is great, being adjacent to Sutter Hospital, Communicare, medical offices and not far from the Marketplace.

However, at the last minute, some are calling for the affordable land to be divided into two different uses, and that might mean losing up to 75 senior apartments out of the 150. After two years of planning and community review that would scuttle all the work done by Davis Senior Housing Communities to build a 150-apartment senior campus for Davis seniors most in need.

NP and Delta are most grateful to David Taormino and his family for their generous gift of land for affordable senior housing. It all began when David and his wife saw an anguished senior downtown that had missed the last bus to Eleanor Roosevelt Circle and did not know how she would get home. David and his wife gave her a lift and in doing so he learned about the value of ERC for low-income seniors in our community.

When he began thinking of WDAAC, David realized that finally he could do something about that problem. Donating triple the land required land to create an affordable community of 150 apartments with services for seniors is a godsend.

We are facing a tsunami of seniors. And without the WDAAC proposal passing there will be no affordable homes for tomorrow. Sheila Allen, Executive Director of Yolo County Healthy Aging, has shared with us the statistics about the future for Davis seniors. In five years time, when the first phase of DSHC’s senior housing opens its doors at WDAAC there will be over 16,000 seniors in Davis over 55.

Using Eleanor Roosevelt Circle as a laboratory we have learned a great deal. ERC was the first in the region to have a social services coordinator on site to help seniors who benefitted from services and programs. Of the ERC population 25 percent of the seniors are 80 years or older, and 60 percent of our residents have an average income less than $12,100 and are regretfully far below the extremely low-income number. Seniors of that income get immense health benefits from having access to social services.

Cost savings

The DSHC campus at Dixon proved to us that building 150 affordable senior apartments in one senior campus created savings in the construction stage and additional savings later, in the management-and-operation stage. For example, needing to build just one community building creates a savings of about $1 million dollars. With one architect, one set of plans, shared infrastructure and the same builder we gain savings for the second phase.

But, in particular, the critical human value is in having a large enough senior campus to increase the type of services we can provide on site such as social service coordinators and working links to the programs of the county agencies and nonprofits. By having a campus community we can use the very limited resources to serve one of the most at risk populations in Davis. Lonely seniors scattered around Davis are the least likely to be helped and most likely to be neglected.

Robin Affrime of Communicare told us, “that in the last five years the low income senior population using the Davis Clinic has doubled from 3 percent to 6 percent.” More importantly, she recounted, “there is a wave of senior poverty just around the corner, ages 45-64 has risen to being 19 percent of their 26,500 Davis patient visits.”

The Davis City Council will make the final decision next month. If you would like to help us get our 150-affordable senior campus approved, contact Bill Powell at willpowell123@yahoo.com or David Thompson at dthompcoop@aol.com.

 Bill Powell is president of Delta Davis Senior Housing Communities and David Thompson is with Neighborhood Partners. The two groups have already developed three local senior communities with a fourth starting construction next year. See our plans for DSHC at WDAAC at https://westdavisactive.com.

The Keys to Super Longevity

Psychologist Susan Pinker presents fascinating evidence on the keys to living a long, healthy life. Researching the Italian island of Sardinia, home to more than six times as many centenarians as the mainland and ten times as many as North America give insight to what it takes to live to 100 and beyond. Here’s the TED Talk: