Aging

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    What is Accessibility?

    Accessibility refers to considering the needs of people with disabilities during the design process. Often we think of ramps and automatic door buttons for people who use wheelchairs. While important, these items are only two examples of accessibility. Accessibility includes features that enhance a person’s ability to interact with the home, community, and technology. For example, people with visual impairments may use a screen reader when interacting with technology. A screen reader converts text on the screen to audio.

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    Do You Have an App for That?

    “Do you have an app for that?” is a valid question to ask now days due to the fact that there are so many different apps out there created to help make our lives easier. According to a report, more than 8,700 medical-related apps have been developed and around 9% of mobile users have apps to help them track their conditions or manage their health.

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    Workforce Shortages: Technology Modifications

    A common stereotypes is that older adults cannot learn to use technology. Nothing could be further from the truth. I suspect many of the challenges older people face as they attempt to learn technology has more to do with poor usability than inability to learn. Usability refers to the ease with which a person can learn to operate a product and remember its operation upon subsequent uses.

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    Implementing Workplace Modification Strategies to Retain Workers

    Modifying the workplace is an essential strategy to retaining workers of all ages. The goal is to reduce injuries caused by the physical strain created by repetitive activities. Achievement of this goal increases employee longevity, helping to reduce workforce shortages. Additional benefits include reduced absenteeism, injuries, and errors.

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    Workforce Shortages: The BMW Solution

    In 2007, leaders at a BMW power train plant in Germany were concerned about declines in productivity as their workers aged. They anticipated the average age of workers would rise from 39 to 47 by 2017. When sick, older workers were gone for longer periods of time. In addition, older workers had to work harder to maintain their output. Moving older workers into less physically demanding jobs was not an option because there were not enough younger workers to take their place.

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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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    Age-Friendly Communities

    Older adults overwhelmingly report they want to remain in their home as they age. This is commonly called “aging in place”. As we envision making this dream a reality, we think of remodeling our home by updating the bathroom for accessibility or moving a bedroom to the main floor. While all of these changes can help a person to remain in the home, additional factors outside the home may influence a person’s ability to age in place.

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    Business Owner Resources

    Adults over 65 are vital members of the community, as employers, employees, and as consumers. As average ages of America’s workforce and consumers continue to rise, businesses will have to conscious of and respond to the demographic changes to remain viable. For example, most people will experience age related vision decline in their forties and half of South Dakotans are expected to be age 40 or older. This suggests a website designed with the needs of people with low vision in mind will be good for business. SDSU Extension has compiled some resources to help business owners in South Dakota respond to population aging.

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    Chronic Constipation

    Most of us can agree that constipation is not the most pleasant topic to discuss. Yet, if you are one of the many who suffer from the symptoms of constipation on an ongoing basis, is very important to discuss this with your healthcare team. Successfully managing the symptoms of chronic constipation is critical because the long term effects can have a profound impact on your well-being and ability to function.

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    Understanding Diet and Inflammation

    Inflammation is a natural healing process in which our body responds to an injury or exposure to a harmful substance. For example, skin healing from a cut; however inflammation can be debilitating. Chronic inflammation is when the immune system attacks healthy tissue over an extended period of time. Inflammation can be associated with several chronic diseases including heart disease, arthritis, type 2 diabetes, etc.

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