Archive for the ‘Aging’ Category

“Celebrate Arts and Aging” Highlights Older Americans Month Artists range from 55 to 101 years old

Philadelphia – Art is in full bloom this May as artists ranging from 55 to 101 years old showcase their work through Philadelphia Corporation for Aging’s (PCA) 13th annual “Celebrate Arts and Aging” festivities. For the first time, Philadelphia’s City Hall will be one of the venues for exhibits of senior art.

Held during Older Americans Month, PCA’s annual senior arts celebration will highlight older adults’ artistic talents with a total of 182 artworks on exhibit at three sites: Philadelphia Senior Center-Main Branch (Center City), Center on the Hill…the place for active adults (Chestnut Hill); and, Philadelphia’s City Hall. As part of the celebration, performing arts venues offer special discounts. There are also workshops and classes where seniors can cultivate their own creativity.

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Today is NATIONAL HIV/AIDS AND AGING AWARENESS DAY

Aging Awareness Day. September 18th.Many federal agencies work to improve the health and well-being of older people in the U.S. Read about the work and goals of the Administration for Community Living.

Here are several more agencies responding to the epidemic:

LOCATE HIV TESTING AND OTHER SERVICES

 

Source: www.aids.gov

Seventh Annual World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

Elder abuse comes in many forms. It is recognized by experts as a public health crisis for which there are no socio-economic borders. Millions of older Americans are abused, neglected, or exploited each year, and estimates suggest that a large majority of these cases go unreported.

To shed light on this problem, June 15th has been designated as World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, with 2012 marking the 7th anniversary of World Day.

Source: Whitehouse.gov

City of Philadelphia and Code for America Launch Textizen

What if City Hall could open its ears to many more people? Textizen asks questions on posters in public places, then collects citizen feedback via text message. Anyone with a minute and an opinion can reply.

Background:

Last Friday, the City of Philadelphia and Code for America began a pilot of Textizen, a new system for gathering community feedback to shape the city’s ongoing Comprehensive Plan, Philadelphia2035.

For four weeks this summer, residents and commuters in Philadelphia’s Center City and Lower Northeast will encounter posters that have been posted throughout the neighborhoods–bus and transit shelters, recreation centers, and other public places–that pose questions about the city’s transportation, recreation, and quality of life. Passersby respond to the questions via text message to a phone number displayed on each poster.

Staff from the Philadelphia City Planning Commission will access the feedback through a web application and use it to help shape recommendations in the Philadelphia2035 District Plans.

“We’re excited to pilot and prototype another civic engagement tool with Code for America,” said Mayor Michael A. Nutter. “Philadelphia is a two-time Code for America city and we have been experimenting with different tools to facilitate participatory and interactive connections between the public and government, including Change by Us Philly, Neighborhow, and now Textizen. Philadelphia has received multiple awards for being one of the most open and transparent city governments in the country, and this demonstrates our continued commitment to increasing citizen engagement.”

Source: PlanPhilly

Queens Botantic Garden’s Intergenerational Garden

Queens Botantical GardenQBG’s Intergenerational Garden & Food Pantry Project brings gardeners of all ages and backgrounds together to grow their own vegetables, contribute to the community, and learn how to be good environmental stewards.

Spearheaded by dedicated volunteers, project members tend their own garden plots and share responsibilities of managing a large section dedicated to growing crops that are donated to local food pantries.

The Intergenerational Garden connects the communities of Queens to showcase our borough’s diversity, with gardeners planting vegetables important in their cultures.  Here you can find not only lettuce and carrots, but also bok choy, okra, and a vast variety of peppers!  And by creating urban gardeners both young and old, plus partnering with local middle and high schools, the Intergenerational Garden lives up to its name.

Interested in starting your own Community Garden? Check out GenPhilly’s Community Garden Tool Kit!

Source: Queens Botantical Garden

Ben Cohen’s “Lakeside” Is Signature Artwork for PCA’s 2012 “Celebrate Arts and Aging”

ImageAsked how long he’s been painting, artist Benjamin (Ben) Cohen, 88, replies, “I guess forever.” Cohen’s painting, “Lakeside,” an idyllic scene of a lakeside house with autumnal trees in the background, is the signature artwork for Philadelphia Corporation for Aging’s (PCA) 10th annual senior arts festival “Celebrate Arts and Aging” http://www.phillyfunguide.com/page/Celebrate.   It will be on exhibit during May at Independence Visitor Center in the city’s historic district and featured on posters, mailings, and electronic media publicizing the citywide celebration.

“My philosophy is that art should be uplifting and thought-provoking and may allow for quite a smile.  There is enough horror and aggravation going on nowadays. If I can make someone smile, I want to do that,” the artist says.

“Lakeside” was inspired by the one of the many outings Cohen has enjoyed with the Rancocas Valley Plein Air painters, a group of more than 30 local artists, who visit a different outdoor site to paint each week, weather permitting. “I bring my backpack with a bunch of pastels and sit and relax and paint,” Cohen explains.”People will see me and ask: ‘Are you an artist?’”

Cohen’s talent was noticed early on. The son of an iceman and a homemaker, he grew up in New York City’s Lower East Side, and attended the Henry Street Settlement http://www.henrystreet.org/, a social service agency there dedicated to “opening the doors of opportunity” to residents in the community through social services, arts, and health care programs. “They were very interested in keeping kids on the right path,” he remembers. “They thought I had talent and sent me to a life-study art class. But at nine years old, I was too embarrassed to look at the [nude] model.”

Ben CohenCohen later studied at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn on the GI bill, after serving in the U.S. army in World War II.

He fought in many of the war’s most famous battles, including the Battle of the Bulge and the Battle of Metz in France that followed the Normandy landings. Earlier this spring, during a special ceremony at the French consulate in New York City, he was one of 18 U.S. veterans presented with the Legion of Honor Chevalier for their services in the liberation of France during World War II.

“War taught me to face reality,” Cohen reflects. “I try to follow my instincts. When I do something, I don’t look back.” That goes for painting too, he says. “When I paint a nose, it’s really a nose, not just a metaphor or a philosophical statement.”

Cohen graduated Pratt with a degree in industrial design and spent 50 years as a commercial artist, designing everything from toys and sweaters to catalogues and displays. It often meant working around the clock. While those demands left little time for fine art pursuits, he squeezed in what time he could to paint in the pastel medium he favors.

After such a demanding work schedule, “I was a little leery about retiring,” he admits of that decision 10 years ago. “I thought, ‘I’ll go crazy. What will I do?’”

The answer came quickly enough. Tuesdays are spent with his fellow plein air painters. On Thursdays, he attends a class at the Philadelphia Sketch Club, where he has helped to organize exhibitions. He taught at the Philadelphia Art Alliance and Fleisher Art Memorial and currently teaches at the Willingboro Art Alliance near his Cinnaminson, New Jersey home. Most of all, life these days is centered on his home studio, “where I still work around the clock. It’s still a crazy, busy schedule.” His expressive landscapes and figure paintings have found homes in many private, corporate and public collections.

In September, the Home Fine Art Gallery in Mt. Holly, New Jersey, will open an exhibition of his work entitled “The Flip Side.” One of these artworks features Santa Claus sitting in front of a window and eyeing the raging snow and ice storm outside. “I titled it ‘I Ain’t Going Out in That,’” the artist says with a laugh.

Cohen now manages to fit in a few hobbies, including gardening. “It’s one of my passions because it’s so relaxing,” he says. “I can dig in the garden and forget the world around me. Art, when it’s on a serious level, is not overly relaxing because you are never satisfied with what you do.”

“Lakeside” will be on exhibit through May at Independence Visitor Center, 1 Independence Mall West, in Philadelphia.

For more information on this exhibit and other PCA “Celebrate Arts and Aging” exhibits and cultural opportunities this month, visit www.phillyfunguide.com/celebrate.

By Marcia Z. Siegal
Source: Philadelphia Corporation for Aging

Community Sites Needed to Conduct LGBT Older Adult Survey

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) older adults often experience unique barriers to community resources that make it more difficult for them to access health resources and to age in place. PHMC is conducting a survey to learn more about LGBT seniors, their health status, and access to services. The survey takes a broad view of health, including health behaviors, emotional health, and connections to other people. It also seeks to gain feedback from LGBT individuals who are thriving, and how success can inform “age-friendly” policy and practices that are also LGBT-friendly. This survey is self-administered and can be completed by mail or online. PHMC is also looking for locations where a facilitator can administer the survey onsite. Locations have been identified in Center City. Additional sites are needed, especially in Germantown, Southwest Philadelphia, and Northeast Philadelphia. Participants are asked to provide space for a few hours and to promote the survey in a newsletter announcement. To participate or for more information, contact Heather Batson at 267-985-6237 or by e-mail to heather@phmc.org

Source: PCA News Bulletin

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