Make Certain Your Shoes Fit Right

Incorrectly fitting footwear is common in older adults and is a risk factor not only for foot problems but also for falls.

When I look at the footwear that many of the BASC members have on, it concerns me – especially when I see shoes that I know were purchased during the first Bush administration. Many older adults do not wear the best footwear, and inappropriate footwear can impair balance and alter gait.

According to one study, muscle weakness, gait deficits and balance deficits accounted for three of the top five risk factors for falling among older adults.

Having run half marathons for years, I’ve always prided myself on having the right footwear. However, as I recently learned, as you age, your feet can continue to evolve and change.

I had the opportunity to have a 3D scan conducted of my feet, and it was eye opening. I discovered that my left foot was a full size larger than the right. One foot had a high arch and instep and the other was as flat as Fred Flinstone’s.

Another blow to my self esteem, my size 11 foot is a 4E width.

WILLLLLMMMAaaaaa!

My doctor even told me to wear shoes when I’m at home. I’m used to kicking off my shoes when I walk

in the house, but studies have made it clear that older adults walking barefoot or only in socks at home have a significantly higher likelihood of falling.

I have the right shoes now, and I know there’s really a lot to learn about your feet.

Our Transportation Program: Don’t Keep It A Secret

The BA Senior Center provides an environment for older adults to stay physically active and socially engaged.

For seniors, maintaining their independence is crucial for healthy and active aging. The Center also helps older adults avoid the loneliest number – One.

Social isolation is a big problem for seniors who don’t drive. Having access to affordable transportation keeps older adults connected with family, friends and their community and has many other life-prolonging benefits.

More than 40% of seniors regularly experience loneliness, according to a University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) study. The loneliness epidemic in older adults is serious, and the statistics are compelling:

  • Nearly 30% of adults over the age of 65 live alone.
  • 45% of older adults are divorced, separated or widowed.
  • 42% of older adults have some form of disability.
  • Loneliness increases the likelihood of mortality by 26%.
  • Lacking social engagement is as damaging to your health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day.
  • 4 Isolated individuals have a 64% better chance of developing clinical dementia.

Don’t Keep it a Secret

The BA Senior Center has a transportation program to help older adults get to and from the Center daily. If needed, our bus has a lift to accommodate wheelchairs and other mobility devices.

Every morning, we pick up older adults in our defined service area and take them to the Center. While at the Center, members can participate in more than 50 activities a week (bingo, pool, crafts, dominoes, bunco, guitar, quilting, Zumba, tai chi, yoga and others). Participants can have a hot lunch, visit with friends, participate in health screenings and attend our monthly health and wellness lectures provided by Hillcrest South.

In the afternoon, our members are safely transported back to their homes after a full day of enjoyment.

Older adults without transportation need assistance with other personal errands that are essential for healthy and active aging, so this summer we are adding scheduled trips to the grocery store and pharmacy.

If you know of a relative, loved one, neighbor, friend or co-worker who could benefit from attending the BA Center and/or riding our bus, please ask them to contact us. We have the capacity to impact the lives of dozens of older adults every day who do not have transportation but want to be active members at the Center.

Please help us help as many older adults as possible to break free of the bonds of loneliness and isolation. Give us a call today at 918-259-8377.

Change: You Have To Break A Few Eggs

Most mornings during the week, I make breakfast for my wife and me.

I start with butter or olive oil in the pan, add some meat or vegetables or both, then crack some eggs and add some cheese, salt, pepper and spices. The finished product is an omelet that is cut in half – and breakfast is served.

A few weeks back, we watched a cooking show and saw the chef crack eggs into a bowl and beat them vigorously for three minutes. While they were cooking, he folded them in on themselves. The result was fluffy, restaurant-quality eggs.

I was determined to make better eggs, so I tried his method. The eggs were good, but they did not look like those on TV. The next day it was my wife’s turn, and the results were the same. The day after that was my turn again. I was closer to the mark, but my eggs were still not the same as on TV.

“Enough,” my wife said. “Just make them the old way.”

We didn’t anticipate that the outcome of changing the way we make eggs would be anything less than perfect.

Seriously: It’s eggs, not a lunar landing. We took a risk, and, having failed, quickly reverted to what was comfortable – the ways things have always been. Now I switch back and forth between recipes.

The BA Senior Center has grown over the past year, and it will continue to grow if we are to remain the best place for active adults in Broken Arrow and Eastern Tulsa County.

However, lots of questions arise every day. How can we expand the space currently used by quilting, crafts and crochet? What happens if we reach the room capacity of our weekly poker activity? Can we build a parking garage out of spare parts (probably not)? Would people attend a presentation on end-of-life issues and advanced directives? Is the time right to offer a seminar detailing the benefits of CBD oil and explaining the recently passed medical marijuana laws?

I spoke with a member the other day, and she told me that she had a great vision for the Broken Arrow Senior Center. She had plans to grow the Center and have us ready to occupy two buildings. The only part of the plan that didn’t gel in my mind was that “nothing would change,” because “older adults don’t like change. So just keep things moving the way they’ve always been.”

Fear of change is a very real thing. It’s not limited to older adults, younger adults, adolescents or infants. It affects everyone and everything. Very few people don’t feel anxious at the prospect of a minor adjustment or a significant upheaval, and the problem becomes much worse when fear of change keeps them from making rational decisions.

Every organization changes over time and the BA Senior Center is no exception.

We hope you’ll be with us for every leg of our future journey. Some things might be hard to embrace immediately, but, together, we’ll be stronger if we’re united with one clear vision – having a safe place for older adults to stay physically active and socially engaged.

If You Give – The Miracle Can Happen To You

If You Give – The Miracle Can Happen To You

In the 1988 movie “Scrooged,” Bill Murray’s character, Frank Cross, is a miserly, closed-hearted man who reinvents himself. Frank is transformed into a person with an open heart who embraces the world around him rather than withdrawing from life.

He does this by listening, by learning and by leaving his worst parts behind. Rather than focusing on himself, he recognizes the life that’s happening around him. He experiences personal growth that affects how he treats others.

Yes, I know it’s May and I’m writing about a holiday movie. I actually find it odd that emphasis is placed on being nice to everyone only one time of the year. As someone who doesn’t really “do” holidays, this movie serves as a valuable lesson in the spring as well as during the yuletide season.

“We all act a little nicer; we smile a little easier; we cheer a little more,” according to Frank. “For a couple of hours out of the whole year, we are the people that we always hoped we would be.”

We are blessed with having the absolute best members here at the BA Senior Center. We have leaders who volunteer so others can enjoy activities and programs. We have a Master Gardener who takes care of our garden and flower beds. We have people who help set up and break down rooms for programming. We have several nurses who’ve stepped up in times of medical need. We even have a civil engineer who can create scaled drawings. We have member after member who has helped when needed.

“You have to do something,” Frank explains at the climax of the movie. “You have to take a chance. You do have to get involved. There are people who are having trouble making their miracle happen. If you give, then it can happen – then the miracle can happen to you!”

Thank you to everyone who volunteered to make the Senior Health and Resource Fair a success for the 29th straight year. Thank you to the volunteers who work in the kitchen every day to feed 100 people for lunch. Thank you to the person who makes the popcorn for the movie when I can’t make it on Wednesdays.

Volunteers help us advance our mission. They help us to deliver more than 50 programs a week. They assist with providing a safe place with activities to help people 55 and over stay physically active and socially engaged.

Thank you all for the help you provide.

 

Sean Simpson

President/CEO