Archive for May, 2013

Did you know? NJFA is celebrating our 15th Anniversary this year!

Monday, May 13th, 2013

Did you know?

Did you know that NJFA is celebrating our 15th Anniversary this year! Yes, NJFA was incorporated in 1998. It’s got us thinking, “what have we accomplished in all that time?” Well, the answer is, quite a lot. And we’d like to tell you about it.

When NJFA was established in 1998 it was formed with a mission to promote innovative approaches in the delivery of services that enable older adults to live in the community with independence and dignity through grant making to address unmet needs and through increasing society’s awareness to influence public policy. NJFA still seeks to hold true to that mission today, 15 years later.

Here’s how we’ve been doing so far:

NJFA has provided 44 grants to programs serving NJ Seniors.

Those 44 grants total $380,000 given to programs that serve more than 25,000 seniors across NJ.

NJFA provides public awareness through, Renaissance Magazine with 100,000 readers and Aging Insights, a public access TV program with 400,000 viewers, now on NJFA’s YouTube channel at http://www.youtube.com/njfoundationforaging

Public Policy- NJFA’s 2012 NJ Elder Economic Index Update Project is a continuation of Policy Work that began in 2009 with the first Elder Index report. The 2012 report adds demographic information to the cost of living report. Data is available in for all 21 Counties.

NJFA also continues to make transportation a priority, following the policy report, “Safe Mobility at Any Age” in 2005, we continue to work with partners like the Voorhees Transportation Center, Motor Vehicle Commission and AAA Automobile Club.

Professional Development-  15th Annual Professional Conference, June 12, 2013 Conference, Jamesburg, NJ. A day-long conference for professionals in  the aging network. Over 200 attendees will hear Nationally recognized key note speakers and be a able to chose from sessions on evidence based best practices and new initiatives for seniors and caregivers in NJ.

So you see, NJFA has really done a lot in 15 years and we hope to continue being a leading force in promoting “Aging Well” in NJ. Visit us at www.njfoundationforaing.org to learn more.

How can you help? When you visit our website, click on the donate here page to make a donation online or print out a donation form and mail it to us at 176 West State St, Trenton, NJ 08608.

Have questions or want more info? Call us at 609-421-0206 or email us at office@njfoundationforaging.org, we’d be glad to tell you all about our work!

After all, none of NJFA’s work would be possible without the support of our donors, partners, funders and of course our Board of Trustees and Senior Executive Council members!

 

 

 

8 Numbers You Need to Know . . . for Life

Thursday, May 2nd, 2013

The following is a great post from Barbara Hannah Grufferman from The Best of Everything After 50. We found it interesting and think you might too! Enjoy! And be sure to check out Barbara’s other posts.

8 Numbers You Need to Know . . . for Life

Hi. My name is Barbara and I’m 56.

Is this meaningful to you? More importantly, is it meaningful to me? My age, I mean. Should this number have any impact on how you view me, or how I view myself? In the ideal world, it would not. You would throw me in the same box along with everyone else and look at me through the same lens.

But, our world is imperfect, filled with all kinds of complicated and unfair ways to measure a person’s skills, talents, character, abilities, and worth. Age is just one aspect of the human measurement stick.

After turning 50, I made a decision that changed my life: I would never again focus on those measurements that were irrelevant to my happiness, health and well being, and only embrace those that are. My age, for example, is a measurement of my life of which I make note, of course, and celebrate (with joy!) each year. However, it does not define me, as it once did. It is, as it turns out, just a number.

Another is my weight. I knew as I approached 50 that I had gained more than what was considered reasonable for a woman who had been pretty much at “normal weight” for most of her life. After going through menopause and not making the necessary changes to what I ate or how I moved my body, not surprisingly, I gained 15 pounds. After taking control and losing all of it (which took six months), I threw out my scale. I have no idea exactly how much I weigh because it’s irrelevant. What’s meaningful is that I feel good, fit and healthy. Weight, for me now, is all about health and less about looks.

However, there are measurements essential to our well-being, and these are numbers we should truly care about — and know — especially as we age:

Waist size: Visceral fat is a sneaky, evil kind of fat that you can’t see. It worms its way around your internal organs, and is metabolized by the liver, which turns it into cholesterol in the blood. Having excess belly fat (even if you’re in the “normal weight” category) puts you at much greater risk for all kinds of health issues: metabolic syndrome, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, stroke, dementia, and even sexual dysfunction in men. How do you know if you have it? Skip the scale and bring out the tape measure: your waist size should be less than 35 inches (less than 40 inches for a man). The best way to get rid of belly fat (which is actually much easier to shed than the extra padding around your bottom or thighs) is to move your body by walking (see below) or running at least 30 minutes every day. And cut back on foods your know are not good for you.

Daily steps: It’s been established by many sources and studies that walking 10,000 steps every day, not even all at the same time, is essential to good health and overall fitness. And, it will help shed the evil visceral fat for good. Buy a simple pedometer and put it on in the morning and check periodically to make sure you’ll reach your goal by evening. Remember this: every single step puts you one step closer to better health.

Blood pressure: Simply put, blood pressure is the force of blood against artery walls when the heart beats and then rests. The ideal blood pressure for women is less than 120/70. BP of 140/90 or higher indicates hypertension (high blood pressure), which means your heart is working a lot harder than it should. Hypertension is directly linked to lifestyle — smoking, not moving your body, too much belly fat (see above), and eating too much salty processed food. If you make small changes in your life, you can naturally bring your pressure down, however, sometimes genetics plays a part, and meds might be necessary.

Cholesterol: The ideal cholesterol level for women is under 200 total. The HDL (known as the “good” cholesterol) should be higher than 60, and the LDL (“bad”) should be under 100. If a woman has a total cholesterol level of over 240, that is considered high. Again, lifestyle plays a major role, but genetics can also influence your number. We know that having high cholesterol levels in your blood, and especially if the LDL level is high, puts you at risk for heart disease and stroke.

Triglyceride: Your triglyceride level is another strong indicator of potential cardiovascular disease. Triglycerides are a type of fat (similar to cholesterol) found in the blood. The acceptable numbers for women are lower than those for men. Even though the American Heart Association says that the acceptable level is under 150, recent studies conducted by the AHA and the Women’s Health Initiative suggest that a post 50 woman’s risk for cardiovascular disease increase after her level goes beyond 50, and most women (and many doctors) are not familiar with these latest studies. This should be an essential part of the discussion you have with your primary care physician at your next annual checkup.

Blood Sugar (Glucose): Your ability to regulate blood sugar is harder once you’re over fifty. The ideal level is under 100. Blood sugar levels normally go up and down during the course of the day. If you’re taking good care of yourself — eating well and moving your body — the shifts are minor. However, if you’re not, blood sugar levels can spike and crash, wreaking all kinds of havoc with your body and your brain, and can precede diabetes. The single most effective way to regulate blood sugar is — drum roll, please — by eating healthy foods and moving your body every day.

Vitamin D: Vitamin D’s importance in promoting bone health and reducing risk of osteoporosis by helping with the absorption of calcium is well established. But there’s ongoing evidence that the “sunshine vitamin” can reduce the risk of other diseases, as well. The ideal level of vitamin D is 34 mg/ml or higher. Women over 50 should take between 1,200 and 1,500 IU every day. However many doctors I interviewed confided that they personally take at least 2,000. So do I.

Sunscreen on the skin: We know that too much sun can cause wrinkles, brown spots, and most importantly, skin cancer. Experts recommend applying sunscreen to all exposed areas of the body, rain or shine and all year long, with a minimum of SPF 30 and preferably 50. However, the benefits of going higher than 50 are marginal. Look for broad spectrum sunscreens with the following ingredients: Mexoryl, titanium dioxide, and Parsol 1789.

What’s on your measurement stick? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below. The more we share, the more we learn. And remember this: we can’t control getting older . . . but we can control how we do it.

Connect with Barbara on Facebook, Twitter and read my weekly column–Best of Everything After 50–on aarp.org. For more tips on living your best life after 50 visit www.bestofeverythingafter50.com.

This article originally appeared on aarp.org as a post for Barbara’s column, Best of Everything After 50.