An interesting study in 2014 out of Uppsala University in Sweden showed that, independent of increased physical activity, reducing sitting time resulted in increased telomere length. The study measured telomere length in blood cells of 49, 68 year old, sedentary, overweight individuals. After a 6 month physical activity intervention researchers found that telomere lengthening was only significantly associated with reduced sitting time. Clearly more study with larger groups is warranted, but evidence is mounting that simply standing more than sitting in your day pays significant health dividends.
A Senior Housing Forum post brought an issue forward that I’ve been yelled at in conferences for even bringing up! Resident prejudice against those with disabilities and the SL Industries complacency. It’s far past time for senior living to just say NO to disability discrimination. Besides being an ADA issue for communities (lawsuits are being filed and won), it underscores a prejudice that SL has enabled for fear that potential residents won’t move in if the “see” frail residents. You would not allow residents to insist that no-one of a different race or religion should be allowed in the dining room so why allow disability discrimination? I know residents can be very vocal about this issue, but the world has changed and age is no excuse to be inappropriate!
SL can drive change when it: 1- invests in strategic initiatives to create not just socialization, but connection and community among residents of all abilities/disabilities (i.e. working together on purpose-projects in the broader community), 2- makes it clear from DAY ONE that every resident is valued equally and treated equally (i.e. marketing professionals proudly declare how inclusion supports their mission statements), 3- embraces the disability movement model of providing adaptive strategies to overcome disabilities and live fully in-spite of challenges (rather than strategies to merely “cope” with disabilities), 4-confronts disability discrimination head-on with residents, families, and staff (have policies in place to address issues).