September 17th, 2010

Table of Contents:

Happiness Is Growing Old at Home (A valuable resource)

Ah, the Memories (Brain fitness links)

Pounds and Your Portfolio (Health and personal finances)

Who’s Who in Senior Fitness: Featuring Laura Gladwin (Industry leader)

SFA Workshops and Graduation (Excellence in San Francisco)

Home Sweet Home (Reflection)

Happiness Is Growing Old at Home

by American Senior Fitness Association

American Senior Fitness Association (SFA) member Maria Tadd has penned a practical and timely book addressing an important, contemporary issue. Published by the Terrapin Press of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, it is titled Happiness Is Growing Old at Home and subtitled Discover New Ways to Help Your Aging Parent Remain Independent.

The publisher’s description, reprinted below, provides a good overview of the 269-page book’s contents:

  • Innovative options provide quality and compassionate care, many at reduced costs.
  • New, easy-to-use, high-tech devices facilitate independent living.
  • Living a healthy lifestyle will help your parents age in place.
  • Detailed questionnaires will assist you in evaluating health care agencies and rehab facilities before you sign on the dotted line.
  • Sample flowcharts, schedules and logs will help keep you and your parent organized and will make sure that all caregivers are on the same page.
  • An extensive, annotated list of websites provides volumes of information.
  • Maria Tadd, a freelance medical writer, is a graduate of the New England School of Acupuncture and a life-long student of holistic health, meditation and nutrition. For more information about Happiness Is Growing Old at Home, click on


    Ah, the Memories

    by American Senior Fitness Association

    Enjoy some memorable mental stimulation by checking out SFA’s September 17 entries on “In the News” (which accompanies this newsletter). The two entries of note concern memory fitness. One is a short report on an interesting scientific study, and the other is just for fun as singer-songwriter Tom Rush performs a tune sure to spark your humor neurons!



    Pounds and Your Portfolio

    by American Senior Fitness Association

    SFA author Jim Evans is a 42-year veteran of the health and fitness industry and an internationally recognized senior fitness consultant. Today he explores the relationship between healthy lifestyle choices and retirement security.

    DEAR JIM: My wife and I just returned from a meeting with our financial advisor, and we were surprised when he suggested that we both should lose weight, exercise more and take better care of ourselves. At first we were offended and thought perhaps he was overstepping his bounds, but after he explained himself it began to make sense. We hadn’t thought of it before, but our health affects the cost of our life insurance, health insurance and even our long-term care insurance — all of which are major factors in our retirement planning. Are other financial advisors offering the same kind of advice or is ours just ahead of the curve? ENLIGHTENED IN ESCONDIDO

    DEAR ENLIGHTENED: Your advisor is definitely ahead of the curve — not necessarily because he is smarter than the rest but because he had the courage to bring up the subject of your lifestyle in the first place. I’m sure you can understand why some advisors might be reluctant to talk about such a personal issue for fear of losing a client. After all, it can be a sensitive subject to many clients who are expecting only to discuss the usual "black and white" facts and figures of retirement planning and are suddenly thrust into reconciling their lifestyle with their long-term retirement goals.

    But it makes sense, doesn’t it? Fortunately, it is happening with more frequency. "In my experience, it happens more often than not anymore," says San Diego’s Michael Howland, a certified public accountant in private practice since 1991.

    "I usually start out discussing, in general, how long my clients plan on living and how they plan on getting there," says Howland. "I don’t start out discussing lifestyle changes, but we talk about such things as:

  • How long do they expect to live?
  • How do they foresee their lifestyle after retirement?
  • How long do they expect to work?
  • How have they planned for their later years?
  • How do they expect to support their future lifestyle?
  • How much do they project their future lifestyle might cost?
  • "But then I start getting more specific," he continues:

  • Do they intend to live fast, die young, or plan life as a marathon?
  • Do we calculate in assisted living, long-term care, and/or children support?
  • Do their lifestyle, work, savings, and retirement objectives meet realistic expectations?
  • "I’ve never thought of it as personal," explains Howland. "It has always been simply a question of how long they expect their machine — in this case, their body — to keep working. If they find that uncomfortable, sometimes I back off, sometimes I don’t. With couples, I usually find one partner grateful for the discussion and one apprehensive. I have never had anyone become angry or indignant, but I probably wouldn’t push that hard unless I know them well."

    "Basically it’s a risk/reward decision," says Howland. "If they have an unhealthy lifestyle and expect to live a long life and haven’t planned on long-term care, we need to talk."

    In short, your health should be an integral part of your financial planning for retirement, and to ignore it is foolish and unrealistic. While unexpected illnesses and tragedies can happen to anyone — even those with a healthy lifestyle — many of the causes of disability and mortality in this country are preventable (e.g., heart disease, smoking, etc.). Your weight, your cholesterol, your blood pressure, your body mass index (BMI), your resting heart rate — all of these things and more should be factors in your planning. Your financial advisor is "right on the money" on this one — literally.


    Who’s Who in Senior Fitness: Featuring Laura Gladwin

    by American Senior Fitness Association

    SFA National Advisory Board charter member, Laura Gladwin, MS, MAFP, has a strong record of making things happen in the field of senior fitness. Her profile will soon be joined by others on SFA’s Who’s Who in Senior Fitness website page.

    Laura Gladwin earned her bachelor’s degree in physical education from Michigan State University and her master’s degree with specialties in gerontology and exercise physiology from California State University, Fullerton (CSUF).

    A respected author, presenter and mentor, Laura is the owner of LGA Consulting in Marana, Arizona, specializing in wellness educational program development and implementation. As chair of the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America (AFAA) Education Advisory Board, she oversees all of AFAA’s educational programs. She is the editor-in-chief for the AFAA textbooks Fitness: Theory & Practice (3rd, 4th and 5th editions) and Personal Fitness Training: Theory & Practice (1st and 2nd editions).

    In addition to serving on SFA’s National Advisory Board, Laura is a fellow of the National Board of Fitness Examiners and a coalition member of the National Standards for Preparing Senior Fitness Instructors and the International Curriculum Guidelines for Preparing Physical Activity Instructors of Older Adults.

    Previously, Laura served as an advisory board member for ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal; associate professor at CSUF; and special advisor to the California Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports. She currently teaches exercise classes at Heritage Highlands, an active adult community located in the Dove Mountain community of Marana, Arizona.

    On a personal note, Laura and her husband Steve enjoy visiting their son Ken in California — and, in Oregon, their daughter Lindsay and son-in-law Dave, who are the parents of four-year-old Tyler and two-year-old Lily. Laura says, "I am a grandmother of two fantastic children!"


    SFA Workshops and Graduation

    by American Senior Fitness Association

    Nineteen activity professionals and volunteers from 10 different senior service organizations came together for two weekends at the Aquatic Park Senior Center in San Francisco for SFA’s third annual Senior Fitness Instructor workshops.

    These sessions were led by University of San Francisco’s Dr. Christian Thompson, a member of SFA’s National Advisory Board, who has been educating the community on older adult fitness leadership for more than 10 years.

    Participants learned how to structure safe and effective exercise programs for older adults and had the opportunity to practice effective exercise leadership strategies including how to provide appropriate cueing, feedback, and how to track progress through regular assessment. This year participants got additional training on leadership through Dr. Thompson’s Falls Prevention Exercise Program, a 12-week program for older adults who have sustained recent falls. This program has been recognized as a best practices exercise program for falls prevention and has been featured at several national fitness conferences.

    The 19 participants are now actively involved with leading exercise as a part of the Always Active program — a citywide program in San Francisco that provides exercise and health promotion classes at nine senior centers throughout the city. The Always Active program, funded through a generous grant by the City of San Francisco, has served more than 1,000 older adults since its inception in 2007.

    As a part of the Always Active Spring Celebration on May 28, 2010, the 19 course participants were honored as graduates of SFA’s Senior Fitness Instructor program.

    More than 200 seniors attended the celebration held at the Aquatic Park Senior Center on the beautiful waterfront in San Francisco. Participants were treated to a Wellness Walk along the waterfront, lunchtime dance entertainment, a keynote talk by Dr. Christian Thompson, and a raffle with some great prizes. Following a light snack, Dr. Thompson presided over the graduation ceremony for SFA’s graduating class. The graduates were saluted by the large crowd and presented with their SFA certificates by the Director of Aging Services for the City of San Francisco, Ms. Anne Hinton.


    Home Sweet Home

    by American Senior Fitness Association

    The English poet Robert Montgomery, who lived from 1807 to 1855, captured the feelings of many in these lines:


    "Home, the spot of earth supremely blest,

    A dearer, sweeter spot than all the rest."

    – Robert Montgomery