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About The Siuslaw news. (Florence, Lane County, Or.) 1960-current | View Entire Issue (June 27, 2018)
8A | WEDNESDAY, JUNE 27, 2018 | SIUSLAW NEWS
AGING from page 1A
To prevent this fear, Gibson
spoke about the importance of
creating a home and community
environment that is safe for peo-
ple to age.
“This time of life requires a
lot of planning and understand-
ing their services and resourc-
es available that can help older
adults and families adjust to this
age of life,” she said.
One of the most important
aspects of aging in place is re-
adjusting how society views “old
“What do you call ‘old?’” Gib-
son asked. “How do you define
It all depends on one’s point of
To drive home her point,
Gibson showed a video on how
different generations define and
view “old age.”
A group of young adults, with
ages ranging from 19 to 33, were
asked what age “old” starts. Late
40s and mid-50s was the general
However, when Gibson asked
the Florence audience when
“old” begins, 70 was the low, and
100 was the high.
Statistically, the subject is
A 2017 study by U.S. Trust
showed that the older a person
gets, the older “old” becomes.
Surprisingly, Millennials (age
range 22 to 37) gave the most
leeway in what defines “old,”
pegging the age as 59, a 22-year
Generation X, currently aged
39 to 53, defines “old” at 65, a
Baby Boomers, currently aged
54 to 74, see old age at 73.
The numbers are reversed
when asked when youth ends
and middle age begins.
Millennials say the end of
youth is at 40 years old, which is
actually statistically correct. The
average life expectancy in the
U.S. is 78.4 years.
Generation X and Boomers
look back at “losing their youth”
at 31 years old.
While the statistics show a
greater leeway on the exact age
of “old,” there are major differ-
ences on how “old” is perceived.
In Gibson’s video, when mil-
lennials were asked to demon-
strate how an “old” person
would cross the street, it was
a stereotypical slow walk, feet
shuffling at a miniscule rate.
As for doing jumping jacks,
the millennials thought older
generations would have diffi-
culty even getting one off before
running out of breath.
At that point, Boomers were
introduced to the millennials
to show off how active they ac-
tually were. From complex yoga
moves to aggressive push ups,
the Boomers often wore the mil-
lennials out. The Boomers were
as physically fit, or even more so,
than their younger counterparts.
By the end of the video, the
millennials viewed “old” as not a
number, but a state of mind.
“Didn’t I tell you about ‘old’?”
Gibson asked. “Just spend a little
time with people you may think
as ‘old,’ and you’ll change your
Florence is unique in Oregon
when it comes to an aging pop-
Only 16.8 percent of the pop-
ulation is 65 and older in the
state, according to the Unit-
ed States Census Bureau. Lane
County trends a little older, with
18.5 percent over 65.
For Florence, the number is
36.4 percent, per City of Flor-
The numbers of people 65 and
older is steadily increasing in the
U.S. In 1900, only 3.1 million
people fell within that age range.
In 1960, the population was 16.2
million. In 2014, the number
jumped to 46.2 million. Project-
ed numbers for 2060 are expect-
ed to be 98.2 million.
As of right now, 10,000 people
per day reach the 65-year mile-
The reasons for this are mul-
tiple, from advances in med-
ical technology to the natural
progression of population over
There is also a trend of older
generations to remain more ac-
tive and healthier than before,
with more opportunities for rec-
reation than before.
While Boomers may be more
active, it’s possible they may be-
come less healthy over the com-
A 2016 report by NPR showed
that the next generation will be
sicker and costlier to the health
care system. There will be 55
percent more senior citizens
who have diabetes than there are
today, and about 25 percent will
be more obese. Overall, NPR re-
ported that seniors will be 9 per-
cent less likely to say they have
good or excellent overall health.
This will be costly. Health care
pacity to obtain health informa-
tion, process it, understand it
and do something about it.
“How do you do these things?”
Gibson asked. “It’s not all on the
internet, you can’t get all the an-
swers from your child or your
“The first thing to acknowledge is your unmet needs. Seek
community-based services that can help you as you age in place. And
how do you do these things? It’s not all on the internet, you can’t get all
the answers from your child or your neighbor. You can’t age in place if you
can’t control your health. You spend about five percent of your time with
a physician. You spend 95 percent of the time taking care of yourself.”
— Jatunn Gibson
Aging in Place Manager for Habitat for Humanity International
costs for people with diabetes
are 2.5 times higher than those
without. This will also lead to
higher Medicare costs.
That trend could lead seniors
away from aging in place, in-
stead relying on assisted living.
This is not to say that these
facilities are inherently a place
to be avoided. Many individu-
als like the camaraderie found
in the facilities, and the ease of
medical care can also be com-
forting. They can also provide
the much-desired independence
that older individuals seek.
But the cost of assisted liv-
ing in Oregon is high. In Lane
County, the average cost is
$3,721 a month, above the na-
tional average of $3,500.
As of now, Gibson reported
that there are only 32 assisted
living facilities in Lane County.
If the aging population contin-
ues its trend, these facilities will
be filled to capacity, as many al-
“How could 32 assisted living
facilities cover the population?”
Gibson asked. “It doesn’t match.”
To combat this, Gibson
stressed the importance of stay-
ing as healthy and safe in an in-
dividual’s home as long as pos-
This can be done in a num-
ber of ways, first and foremost
taking advantage of using the
network of social services in the
“The first thing to acknowl-
edge is your unmet needs,” Gib-
son advised. “Seek communi-
ty-based services that can help
you as you age in place.”
Doing this helps create health
literacy, which is the degree to
which an individual has the ca-
neighbor. You can’t age in place
if you can’t control your health.
You spend about five percent of
your time with a physician. You
spend 95 percent of the time
taking care of yourself.”
Senior and Disabled Services
offers Oregon Project Indepen-
dence services to residents of
Lane County. It provides limited
in-home services to people 60
and older who need help living
independently in their homes,
promoting quality of life.
The program helps individ-
uals in establishing a care plan
based on individual needs.
These could include a caregiver
providing assistance with bath-
ing dressing, toileting or ambu-
It also includes programs like
Meals on Wheels and money
management. Contact 541-902-
9430 ext. 7831 for the Florence
In addition, the Lane County
Aging and Disability Resource
Connection (ADRC) is a free
service that offers the public a
single source for information
and assistance on issues affect-
ing seniors. It can be contacted
There are also multiple classes
throughout Florence than can
assist in healthy living choices
including the Diabetes Support
group, Better Breathers Club,
Ostomy Support Group, Yoga
for Pain Management and Ease-
ful Body and Points of Grace
The Florence Area Commu-
nity Coalition also has informa-
tion on various service groups,
churches and nonprofits that
can help, as does the Florence
Senior Center and the memory
‘For the Greener Good:’ Woahink Lake annual meeting set for July 8
The Woahink Lake Associ-
ation welcomes anyone inter-
ested in the Woahink Water-
shed to its annual meeting on
Sunday, July 8, at 1 p.m. in the
West Woahink Group Meeting
Hall (Yurt) on Canary Road.
Residents, seasonal visitors
and others interested in issues
related to the area are invited
to join members for this annu-
al free event
Kelly Bell of the Lane Coun-
ty Master Recycler program
will be featured speaker at the
meeting. Members of the As-
sociation will bring a dessert
or favorite snack to share. The
Association will provide a bar-
Contact Linda Yoder at 541-590-0944. She does re-
firstname.lastname@example.org or ceive texts.
The Woahink Lake Associ-
ation was established in 1995
to promote the understand-
ing, protection, and thought-
ful management of Woahink
Lake, its watershed and its
Persons interested in joining
the Woahink Lake Association
will have the opportunity to
enroll at the meeting. Mem-
bers are invited to renew at
this time of year. Annual dues
are a nominal $20.
An RSVP by July 6 would be
• What is LifeMed?
LifeMed is a Membership Program which costs $65
annually, and will cover your Household* for the cost of
any medically necessary* pre-hospital care and ground
transportation within the LifeMed reciprocal areas, that
your current insurance does not pay
(*See Agreement for details)
• Will you bill my insurance?
As part of the Agreement, you give permission for us to
bill your insurance carrier
• Why do I need LifeMed?
Most insurance carriers do NOT cover the total fee for
ambulance services, therefore LifeMed covers any
remaining costs for its members
Renewal Applications are in the mail
and can be dropped off at one of
two secure locations:
2625 Highway 101 or 410 Ninth Street
For Questions or an Application
care respite program that meets
there twice a week.
Gibson also stated that it was
important to help ease the psy-
chological aspects of those who
care of those with health needs.
“Caregiving is providing care
for someone else,” Gibson said.
“It could be a spouse, a child,
a parent. Let people know that
you’re a caregiver and seek help.
Caregiving can cause a lot of
Spruce Point Assisted Living
& Memory Care holds a month-
ly Caregiver Support Group,
specifically for “caregivers deal-
ing with the ups and downs of
any loved one with dementia.”
For more information on the
Spruce Point program, call 541-
Beyond health care needs,
Gibson also spoke of creating a
home that is conducive to aging
Her advice included putting
nonslip mats and grab bars in
showers and walkways, install-
ing nightlights in hallways, mov-
ing furniture to keep space open
and bringing items down from
“We think we can grab items,
but if it’s heavy, it falls and hits us
in the foot or the head. And we
fall,” Gibson said.
She suggested people think of
ramps, widen their doorways,
add a bathroom on the first floor
and put lever handles on doors
as simple and effective changes.
“Some people’s attitude about
aging is a lot different when they
see more elegant home accesso-
ries,” she added.
If you’re going to upgrade
your home for age related issues,
do it in style. Gibson gave exam-
ples of graceful ramps to front
doors that looked more like up-
grades to sidewalks than ramps;
toilet and towel accessories that
also worked as grab rails; lever
door knobs instead of round;
and wheelchair accessible sinks
encased in aged wood.
“Does this look like someone
is aging in place? It’s classy,” she
said. “It changes your attitude.”
Finally, it’s important for those
who are older to remain active
in the community.
Social isolation and loneliness
could be a greater threat to pub-
lic health than obesity, according
to the American Psychological
Association. It’s even a greater
risk than smoking.
“The thing is to stay active. Get
involved in something,” Gibson
said. “Do fun things. Give back.
Volunteer. Join groups.”
The Aging in Place Forum
was presented by the Florence
Area Community Coalition at
the Florence Events Center. It
featured more than 25 exhibitors
who brought information on a
variety of topics related to finan-
cial and estate planning, health
services, community programs
The forum was sponsored by
PeaceHealth Peace Harbor Med-
ical Center, Florence Habitat
for Humanity, City of Florence,
Lane Council of Governments
And always remember, as
Gibson said to the audience,
“We are not old.”
in Our Community.
Hearing Associates of Florence
Bringing people together for over 20 years
Doctors of Audiology
FLORENCE • 1525 12th St, Ste 2
Monday & Thursday, 9am–5pm
Lunch from 12:30–1:30pm
Closed on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday
Scott C. Anderson, Au.D.
Steven G. Anderson, Au.D.
Call today to schedule an appointment!