The Advancements of Telemedicine

What has taken years, suddenly has evolved in a matter of weeks. Telemedicine has been a work in progress for almost a decade, however, due to Coronavirus, the government has loosened restrictions allowing for many medical practices to quickly adopt the practice. Everything from dermatology to family practice doctors are quickly taking their work online.

In a recent article from MedicineNet they speak with Ivy Lee, MD, from the University of California, San Francisco, who is past chair of the AAD telemedicine task force and current chair of the teledermatology committee at the American Telemedicine Association. Lee states: “As we’re all practicing social distancing, I think physicians and patients are rethinking how we can access healthcare without pursuing traditional face-to-face interactions.”

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Social Distancing Advice for Seniors

With more restrictions being put in place on a weekly, and sometimes daily, basis it is hard to stay up to date on what we can and can’t do anymore. Unfortunately, many seniors are either not hearing of the restrictions and many are not observing them. This is causing many adults to worry for their senior parents or grandparents. If your parent or grandparent is resisting the CDC’s advice on coronavirus precautions, a recent article from Healthline has FIVE tips to help us navigate through these uncertain times and help you have an effective and respectful conversation with them.

1. Make sure you’re the right person for this conversation

It’s the nature of the child-parent relationship that a child — no matter their age — might not be the right person for a conversation with parents about changing habits related to the new coronavirus, according to Jenn Leiferman, PhD, director of the Rocky Mountain Prevention Research Center and associate professor of community and behavioral health at the Colorado School of Public Health.

“Sometimes seniors still see their adult children as kids. If that is the case, I’d encourage the adult children to figure out who that trusted messenger is for that parent that they’ll listen to.”

Think about people your parent is comfortable with and trusts, such as a family friend, sibling, or pastor.

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Fighting Loneliness During Coronavirus

Studies have shown that loneliness as a senior can have the similar impacts of smoking 15 cigarettes a day. So, how can we ensure our health when social isolation has been mandated upon us? The Coronavirus pandemic has thrown the world as we know it to turn upside down. Many seniors who are typically active or social have been forced indoors with limited or no contact with friends or loved ones.  According to a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, social isolation has been linked to a 50% increased risk of dementia, a 29% increased risk of heart disease, and a 32% increased risk of stroke.

A recent article from the New York Times asked the question: What can people do to minimize the risk of being lonely when cut off from direct human contact? Loneliness is the subjective feeling that you’re lacking the social connections you need — the feeling of closeness, trust and affection of genuine friends, loved ones and community.

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Pets Provide Seniors Numerous Health Benefits

There is no questioning the fact that pet ownership for seniors provides numerous health benefits. From increased activity to companionship, owning a pet if you are a senior will increase your quality of life. As friends and family move away throughout life, a pet will always be there providing their unconditional love.  Additionally, dogs and cats live in the NOW, never worrying about what tomorrow will bring, sometimes a scary thought for many seniors.

In a recent article from Aging Care they give tips on finding the right pet for you. “While the advantages of pet ownership are undeniable, there are some drawbacks and consequences to be aware of before going out to adopt a furry friend for an aging loved one. Dr. Donnenfeld encourages seniors and caregivers to work through the following questions before welcoming a pet into the family.”

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New Davis Neighborhood Will Feature Innovative Public Art and Sculpture Trail

Davis, CA —Bretton Woods, the new active adult housing community to be built in Davis has released a Request For Proposals (RFPs) for 10–11 sculptures for the neighborhood’s art and poetry trail. The pieces will be installed along the 1.5-mile trail through the arboretum-like setting. Developer Dave Taormino is commissioning the pieces. Proposals should be submitted to CODAworx by March 24. 

“Public art is part of the fabric of what makes Davis such a special place to call home and we wanted to infuse this spirt into Bretton Woods. These sculptures will help define our unique art and poetry trail and inspire both residents and visitors to the new neighborhood. “I’m excited to see the proposals and find pieces that truly connect with the vision of our community,” said Taormino.  

Voters approved Bretton Woods in November 2018 as a neighborhood that comprises numerous, greenways, paths and trails with 345 homes in a range of sizes and options. It also includes 150 affordable senior apartments. Located north of Covell Boulevard and just west of Sutter Davis Hospital, the one-story homes will be “right-sized” for active aging adults who are interested in being part of a new community in a home that fits their life stage. Although 80 percent of the units will be for individuals who are 55 and older, 20 percent will be open to younger buyers. The new neighborhood will also contain an Activity and Wellness Center with a homeowners’ clubhouse, restaurant and fitness facility with a coffee bar and medical offices. 

Inspired by the UC Davis Arboretum, Bretton Woods will feature 2.6 miles of walking paths that include the innovative art and poetry trail. The neighborhood will be bordered on the north and west sides with an oak tree forest and the interior trails will be lined with native plants, trees and shade structures. The trail will have 10–11 sculptures and close to two dozen poetry stops with shade and seating available so residents and visitors can stop, picnic and connect with neighbors. 

The RFP calls for sculptures that relate to nature and animals, appeal to a wide range of ages, reflect the community and elicit contemplation and whimsy. Two of the selected pieces will be specifically for children with the idea that they will climb, play and have fun. These pieces should make a great spot for photos.  Because oak trees are integral to the Davis environment, two sculptures will be selected that incorporate oaks or acorns. Pieces should be constructed in highly durable, low-maintenance materials that are suitable for outdoor display and can handle the Davis climate. 

Davis has a community of artists and art enthusiasts and Taormino is looking forward to submissions from local artists. To ensure the farthest possible impact locally, Bretton Woods Partners distributed the RFP to the numerous arts groups in Davis, as well as the City and UC Davis. It is also available on the Codaworx website so any interested artist can determine if their work is a possible fit for the neighborhood. 

For more information about the RFP process, please contact CODAworx at (608) 467-3040 or email team@codaworx-rfp.com. 

To learn more about Bretton Woods please visit https://brettonwoodsdavis.com.

Article published by the Davis Enterprise on Sunday, March 15, 2020: https://www.davisenterprise.com/business/developer-puts-out-call-for-artists/

New Senior Living Community in Davis

The Seniors Guide To Downsizing

Have you or a loved one recently made the decision to downsize your home? In addition to saving money on energy costs, downsizing can help you live clutter-free and simplify your lifestyle.

Downsizing can often be a stressful and tolling process, both emotionally and physically. But it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. If you have made the decision to downsize your home, there are probably a million questions going through your mind on what should stay and what should go. Here are some tips from MYMOVE to make downsizing easier.

Tips to make downsizing later in life easier

1. Start early.

Give yourself plenty of time for this process, because it will inevitably take longer than you expect. Take your time, and don’t try to sort through your entire house in one day or weekend. A couple of weeks to a month is a more realistic timeline. Take it one room at a time, and take breaks throughout.

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Right-Sizing Without the Fear of Losing Space

Both millennials and baby boomers are starting to be drawn to a similar type of home, a smaller one. These smaller “right-sized” homes are attracting millennials to help keep the clutter out and less yard maintenance. Baby Boomers are also finding themselves moving into “right-sized” homes now that their children have grown and moved out. One problem that this second group is finding, however, is clearing the clutter that they have amassed over the years.

In a recent article from Realtor Magazine, they write that “idea of moving to a smaller space can scare people at first. Once they do, time and again, people used the word ‘liberated’ to describe their move to a smaller space, with homes requiring far less time and money to maintain.”

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Voter-Approved Bretton Woods Neighborhood Just a Few Months 
Away from Groundbreaking

Exciting changes will begin in Davis by early summer when the first shovels break ground on a new neighborhood that will become home to primarily people 55 and older who are looking for a right-sized house with easy access to important amenities. 

Formerly known as the West Davis Active Adult Community, developer David Taormino renamed the community Bretton Woods in honor of the location of the famous economic conference held in 1944 to establish post-World War II monetary policies. His vision is that Bretton Woods will now set the Gold Standard for an aging in place neighborhood. Taormino has designed the subdivision with features that will serve residents as well as become a destination that regularly attracts visitors of all ages to enjoy its unique offerings. 

“We are changing the concept of a traditional senior neighborhood so that it complements the Davis ethos of strong community and active lifestyle,” said Taormino.  

Bretton Woods, situated north of Covell Boulevard and just west of Sutter Davis Hospital, will ultimately become a community of 13 streets with 345 homes in a range of sizes and options as well as 150 affordable senior apartments. The self-contained neighborhood will have a health club that will be open to the public, restaurant and office space. It will also have an assisted living and memory care facility at the corner of Risling Court and Covell Boulevard.

The City of Davis currently lacks such a neighborhood for independent aging in place, and as the homes become ready, the city’s tight housing market will ease. Local realtor Kim Eichorn is excited to see this neighborhood added to Davis. “The new subdivisions in recent decades are largely two-story homes, densely built and targeted towards young families. Bretton Woods will create resale homes in Davis, which allows more options for individuals and families who want to buy here or move to larger house.”

Right Sized Homes Offer Something for Everyone  

Many people find aging into their 80s and 90s isolating and lonely. Children move away, neighborhoods change, and it can be challenging to build new friendships. As people age, they may no longer want or need the larger floorplan and yard of the house they bought to raise a family. Bretton Woods housing is based on the idea of the “right sized” home for individuals and couples in a new phase of their life — space enough to live and entertain friends and family, but not more than they can enjoy and maintain.

Taormino is working with award-winning homebuilder K. Hovnanian Homes on a range of one-story options from 1,160 square foot cottage style duplexes to 1,200–1,400 square foot bungalows to 1,400–1,800 detached homes. A selection of 51 custom home sites will be included in addition to the 150 affordable senior apartments.   

Brian Foster with Cunningham Engineering is the project manager for Bretton Woods. “You have a wide range of product types to fit the variety of needs people have in housing at this phase,” said Foster. “There is a right size home for everyone interested in the neighborhood.”

Although Bretton Woods is geared towards active aging adults, 20 percent of the community will be available to those under 55. It is this mix of housing styles and age ranges that will help foster a strong connection between residents.  

Innovative Features Will Create Strong Community Ties, Build Friendships and Encourage an Active Lifestyle

A significant portion of Bretton Woods homes will be built along 45–60 foot wide shaded greenways. Houses will be oriented so that their front doors do not open on to the street like in a traditional neighborhood. Instead, the front doors will be located on the opposite end of the house and open on to the neighborhood’s greenways. Intentionally moving the front door away from where people park their cars and towards the rear of the home will help residents more naturally connect with their neighbors. 

“As people age, the likelihood of loneliness increases, and we want residents to have serendipitous opportunities to meet each other,” said Taormino about his inspiration for this new community.  

Bretton Woods will have a total of 2.6 miles of paths. The almost 1-mile exterior trail will meander along the north and west portions of Bretton Woods with arterials that run east and west throughout the neighborhood. Along the 1-mile art and poetry trail, residents and visitors will find 11 individual pieces of public art with adjacent shade and seating designed to compel people to stop, rest, congregate, enjoy a picnic or watch the sunset. Signage will explain the meaning of each piece in the artist’s own words. Upwards of two dozen poetry stops will be placed along the path reflecting different aspects of nature. 

The drainage area will also include 400 oak trees in the 100–150 foot wide buffer on the north and west sides. A linear orchard of fruit trees along the trail will provide residents with edible landscape with much of the produce going to the Yolo County Food Bank to help with food scarcity in the Yolo and Solano communities. California native plants will line the trail and will be placed in the channels to attract pollinators such as bees, butterflies and birds. There will be raised planter beds for residents to grow herbs and vegetables. 

Bretton Woods will center around a 3-acre Activity and Wellness Center that comprises a homeowners’ club house, health club and restaurant. Both the health club and restaurant will be open to the public. The club house will include meeting space for lectures and educational offerings. Residents will have access to state-of-the-art health club and a heated swimming pool. Eventually this section of the neighborhood will house a restaurant with outdoor patio seating. 

What Must Happen Before Construction Can Start? 

The groundbreaking later this year is the final step in a process that began long before voters approved Measure L in November 2018. Approval of this measure led to the annexation of the 75 acres into the city’s and set the project description and features. That election followed 37 city commission and council meetings where elected and appointed officials along with the public reviewed the proposal neighborhood that compliments Davis and addresses an important unmet need — a dynamic neighborhood geared towards active adults who want to remain in Davis and age in place. 

In the coming months, numerous city advisory commissions will hold additional hearings to make additional comments to the Davis Planning Commission and Davis City Council. This spring the City Council will vote on the final neighborhood maps, lot borders and maintenance agreements. Once this process is complete, shovels will hit the ground and the land will be graded for construction. The first residents can expect to begin moving into their new Bretton Woods home by late 2020 or early 2021. 

“Building homes in Davis is quite arduous and slow, but the City’s Planning Department staff is working towards enacting a more efficient process that is intended to move projects like Bretton Woods more expeditiously,” said Taormino. “All this happens before shovels hit the ground and homes available to nearly 300 individuals and couples already committed to purchasing a home.”

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Pet Therapy Gaining Increased Interest

It’s no surprise that pets offer a type of comfort and love you can’t find anywhere else. As more senior homes begin to offer pets to live with their residents, there is a new type of therapy that is evolving beyond what a typical caregiver can offer. Pet Therapy has been shown to provide immense value both emotionally and physically for some seniors.

Home Care Daily reports: “Pet therapy can assist people in reducing anxiety, bolstering memory for those who may be struggling with certain diseases like Alzheimer’s, and provide comfort for the lonely. Some research has also indicated a possible drop in blood pressure for those who simply stroke a pet sitting next to them.

There are different types of pet therapy available and as in-home care agencies and providers recognize the value this may offer, it may simultaneously inspire other seniors and disabled adults to begin looking into home care, perhaps for the first time.”

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How To Downsize Successfully

Downsizing is one of the hardest things you will have to do. What should stay and what should go? Then when you finally narrow it down, you find you need to narrow it down even more. In addition to the larger items like furniture, there is all the memorbilia, clothes, heirlooms, dishes… The list goes on!

In a recent Wall Street Journal article they intereviewed, Deborah Miller Lakoff who was a top Hollywood talent agent for over 40 years. She represented big names like William Devane, Ned Beatty, Bob Uecker and Julio Iglesias. For proof, one could just look in her garage.

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