Aging

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    West Nile in South Dakota: Expect cases into the early fall

    As a mosquito-transmitted virus, West Nile Virus is usually thought of as a summertime problem. While it’s true that in South Dakota, most West Nile Virus cases occur during August, new human infections are detected well into September in most years.

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    Retrofitting for Lifelong Independence

    Retrofitting in housing is the practice of adding features in the design of the home that were not included during the initial construction. Retrofitting is necessary because much of our existing housing stock is missing universal and accessible design. Incorporating these features may require us to make significant changes to the home to fully implement universal design.

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    Universal Design for Lifelong Independence

    At its core universal design seeks to create products and environments that can be used comfortably by all people with minimal adaptation or specialization. What this means is that a home can accommodate changes we experience over time or a disability that is the result of an accident or disease. In contrast, homes that are not designed for all people often require expensive modifications to accommodate the needs of ourselves or loved ones with disabilities.

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    How Will Emergency Responders Know Who to Call?

    We all have that person we trust most when we don’t feel well. Whether a spouse, parent, or friend, this person knows us better than anyone. They know our preferences and wants. If we were not able to speak for ourselves, how would emergency responders know how to contact the person we trust most? A great solution is to display this information from the lock screen on our phones. It is important that the information is accessible when the phone is locked so that emergency responders can see it without having to unlock the phone.

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    Strategies to Advocate for Aging Issues

    In “Change in Public Discourse on Aging Recommended” we discussed a report released by the FrameWorks Institute. We learned that much of the public discourse on aging is fragmented and incomplete. To reduce the gap between public discourse and scientific knowledge on aging, national aging organizations and funders set out to explore the narrative on aging issues and provide strategies to bridge the gap. The report from their efforts was released in February. 

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    Workforce Shortages: Beyond the retirement crisis

    A crisis is looming: the baby boomer generation is reaching retirement age. Fears of their mass exodus from the workforce paints the headlines of many media outlets across the country. Many of these stories are missing a significant historical event underlying challenges our businesses and organizations are experiencing: the demographic transition. The image below shows the different phases of the demographic transition.

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    Keeping Your Financial Records Secure

    When a family emergency or disaster occurs, having quick access to important financial documents is essential. These documents include banking information, insurance cards and policies, wills and power of attorney documents, household inventory, and birth and marriage records. This article will address what are the important financial records, where to keep financial records secure, how long to keep records, and how to create a Grab and Go box.

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    Retirement Saving Strategies

    Since people are living longer than ever, retirement savings need to last longer and work harder. It is more important than ever to make smart financial decisions. There are four standard sources of retirement income, Social Security, retirement plans and/or employer sponsored pensions, investment income, and earned income from part time employment.

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    Starting a Conversation about Medical Decision Making

    Have you ever had a hard time making a decision? Most of us can agree that decision-making can be difficult –even simple, everyday decisions like deciding what to eat for lunch! But what about making medical decisions? What feelings come up when thinking about making decisions about medical care? We often feel uncertain, overwhelmed, or even avoidant. These feelings are valid. Understanding and “owning” our feelings can help us move forward in feeling more comfortable starting a conversation about medical decision making.

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    Getting the Most out of Your Healthcare

    It’s safe to say that most of us have experienced a visit to the doctor. We may go to the doctor to get treated for a health condition, to manage a chronic health condition, or to get a yearly physical. Some of us have experienced a surgery or hospitalization. Interaction with the Healthcare system is a common human experience—we need it and use it to stay healthy. Yet, sometimes navigating the system can be a challenge.

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