Wildcat Connection May 2018 - Page 4

Tara Solomon-Smith

Adult Development and Aging

ften we take our five senses, touch, hearing, sight, smell, and taste, for granted. As we age, sensory challenges may come into play. Gray for a Day is a full hands-on experience of these sensory challenges and functional decline some older adults face.

I was able to share this knowledge this month with students in Family and Consumer Sciences Education at Pittsburg State University and the Southeast Kansas Senior Safety and Wellness Coalition meeting in Independence, which is made up of seniors and working professionals.

Participants actually gain sensory and functional decline such as eye impairment, decline in smell, arthritis, and breathing issues. Throughout this process, participants work on daily activities such as putting on a coat or tying your shoe, identifying a healthy meal while diabetic, attempting to find a medical specialist close to a rural area, and communicating with someone who has had a stroke. The presentation encourages developing the skills necessary to effectively interact and support someone who is experiencing these challenges and identifying steps that can be taken to improve or maintain health now in order to age well into the future.

A common theme on the evaluation was the surprise of how many older adults experience some level of arthritis and just how difficult daily life can be with these challenges. Below are some of the many comments received about the most important things learned from Gray for A Day:

I need to make better choices to prevent some of these issues

To be more patient and empathetic with those with some of these struggles

How difficult daily tasks can be and how frustrating

Highland Meadows Senior Apartments—A Fun Group to Know!

One of our FCS PDC members, also an Age Well partner, introduced me to this senior living community in Pittsburg and I am so thankful she did! I have had a great time sharing two programs a month with this active and knowledge seeking group.

April was Fair Housing Month and celebrated its 50th year of the Fair Housing Act. Everyone deserves safe and fair housing, the Highland Meadows Coordinator requested a presentation on this topic. We learned though Fair Housing BINGO and the Healthy Homes App created by Department of Human and Housing Development (HUD), what is housing discrimination, how to file a complaint, and steps to keep your home safe.

I look forward to continued interaction with this group monthly by going through the Keys to Embracing Aging curriculum with them!