Leave a comment

The License Plate Game – Florida Style

Remember the old “license plate game” you played as a kid?  It occurs to us that there’s an easy, fun way to play this game with friends as an adult, and Florida’s unique status as “most visited” state makes it easy.  Go for a walk in Naples, or Fort Myers, or any other reasonably-sized city in Florida, and as you go, check out the plates on each car.

Be the first to call out plates from Florida, Georgia or Alabama, and give yourself one point.  For South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee or Mississippi, make that two points.  Three points for Louisiana, Arkansas, Missouri, Kentucky or Virginia.  Four points for Maryland, the District of Columbia, West Virginia, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, or Texas.  Five points for Delaware, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Colorado, or New Mexico.  Six points for New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Montana, Idaho, Utah, or Arizona.  Seven points for Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, Washington, Oregon, Nevada, and California.  Eight points for Rhode Island, New Hampshire, or Maine.  Nine points for the Canadian Provinces, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia.  And, finally, ten points for the three Canadian Territories, Nunavut, Northwest Territories, and Yukon, and for Alaska and Hawaii.  If, by some miracle, you spot a plate from one of the five US Territories, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands, Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, or American Samoa, you just win automatically!

If you call out one that’s already been called, or you mistake a plate for another, you lose the amount of points the ACTUAL plate is worth.

Pick a street to walk the length of, an area of a street to walk, or maybe even an entire neighborhood, and tally up your points at the end to see who won!

Need a primer on what all of those plates look like, to give yourself an advantage?  Or need the points handy?  Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered!

4KNWz6G

canadian plates

1 POINT: AL, FL, GA

2 POINTS: MS, NC, SC, TN

3 POINTS: AR. KY, LA, MO, VA

4 POINTS: DC, IA, IL, IN, KS, MD, NE, OH, OK, TX, WV

5 POINTS: CO, DE, MI, MN, NM, PA, SD, WI, WY

6 POINTS: AZ, ID, MT, ND, NJ, NY, UT

7 POINTS: CA, CT, MA, NV, OR, VT, WA

8 POINTS: ME, NH, RI

9 POINTS: AB, BC, MB, NB, NL, NS, ON, PE, QC, SK

10 POINTS: AK, HI, NT, NU, YT

AUTOMATIC WIN: AS, GU, MP, PR, VI

And, don’t forget to check the backs AND fronts of cars!

plate rules


Leave a comment

Travel Tips for Seniors

Travel Tips for Seniors

travel tips for seniorsThe Thanksgiving and Christmas/New Year’s holiday periods are among the busiest long-distance travel periods of the year. During the 6-day Thanksgiving travel period, the number of long-distance trips (to and from a ­destination 50 miles or more away) increases by 54 percent, and during the Christmas/New Year’s Holiday period the number rises by 23 percent, compared to the average number for the remainder of the year. And although heavy media attention focuses on crowded airports and bus and train stations on the Wednesday before and Sunday after Thanksgiving, when personal vehicle trips are added to the mix the National Household Travel Survey (NHTS) reveals that Thanksgiving Day is actually a heavier long-distance travel day than Wednesday.

But, getting older doesn’t mean you have to stop traveling. Now is probably the best time for you to get out there and see the world. There are many discounts you can take advantage of at museums and other attractions. Traveling through the airport is now easier than ever, especially with the added convenience of wheelchair assistance. You can book your whole trip online or contact a travel agent to assist you. Here are some travel tips for seniors on how to maximize your experience other cities, states, and countries.

  • Check out elderhostel.com. This is a budget friendly site offering affordable rooms during your travels.
  • Utilize sites like Kayak and Hipmunk. These sites allow you to compare different airline costs, getting you the best deal for your flight.
  • Medication. Be sure you are well-stocked for your medication.
  • Rolling luggage. If you are worried about lugging bags through the airport, make sure you get one on wheels.
  • Request a wheelchair. If you have a hard time walking long distances, it is a good idea to request a wheelchair at the airport. Wheelchairs also have the added benefit of allowing you to skip security lines.
  • Ground-Floor room. If you have difficulty walking up and down stairs, request that your hotel put you on the ground floor when you make your initial reservation.
  • Take advantage of discounts. Many activities like museums, plays, and tours offer discounts for seniors. See if you can snag some for your trip.
  • Don’t overexert yourself. You just got to a new country and already want to see and do everything. Pick your top three or four activities and focus on them first. This way you won’t tire yourself or your companion(s) out just on the first day. If you feel weak, be sure to sit and rest for a while
  • Drink water. It is important to stay hydrated while you travel. In other countries, the water may not be as safe as you’d like. In these instances you should purchase only bottled water.
  • Travel Insurance. If you want to be extra cautious, you may want to invest in travel insurance. This can be a lifesaver in the event of an emergency. Some of these plans will pay for emergency evacuation by air back to your home country. Without insurance this evacuation can put you in debt.

If you have some travel tips for seniors feel free to share!


Leave a comment

Driving for Seniors

imagesAre you or a loved one starting to feel the effects of aging? The aging process can have an effect on your driving skills. There are no age limits for older drivers, but it is recommended to get your eyesight tested, be certain your loved ones aren’t worried about your driving, and make sure driving doesn’t make you nervous or overwhelmed.
All of these concerns should be taken into account when you consider whether or not to give up your ability to drive. It may seem hard to give up that independence, but the safety of yourself and other drivers and pedestrians needs to be taken into consideration.
Eyesight
Have you noticed it is difficult to read signs? Is the headlight glare at night bothersome? Are you able to properly navigate at night? Be certain that your seat is high enough so you can see over the steering wheel. If you wear glasses, make sure the prescription is up to date and get prescription sunglasses if needed. It is also recommended if you are over 60 to visit the eye doctor each year.
Control of the Vehicle
Be certain you are able to physically control the vehicle. Is it difficult to look over your should when you change lanes? Is walking a concern? Do you get pain or out of breath walking up or down stairs? Answering yes to any of these questions should prompt you to consult your doctor. Be sure when you drive that you are comfortable, that mirrors and your seat are in the proper positions so you can see.
Feel Safe Driving
Have you had any dizzy spells recently? Has your vision become blurry? Be sure to wait a while before driving, or have a friend drive you if you have been feeling dizzy. If you recently took medicine it may cause you to become fatigued, so it is best if you do not drive right after. Try to avoid driving during busy times of the day, plan your outings for during the day.
Loved Ones Concerned
If your loved ones have expressed concerns over your driving it may be a good idea to enroll in a mature driving class. These are offered by AAA and AARP. It is also smart to give your loved ones a call or text when you plan to go out and when you return home, so they know you are safe. If it becomes a major concern, ask them to provide rides for you or set up rides with a transport service.
If you ever need a ride to a doctors appointment, event or you just need help running errands, call Just Like Family Concierge Transport Services 


1 Comment

Celebrating our Seniors

This May we are celebrating Senior Citizens at Just Like Family Home Care as May is Senior Citizens Month. The history of Senior Citizens Month goes back half of a century.

According to the Administration on Aging, when Older Americans Month was established in 1963, only 17 million living Americans had reached their 65th birthdays. About a third of older Americans lived in poverty and there were few programs to meet their needs. Interest in older Americans and their concerns was growing, however. In April of 1963, President John F. Kennedy’s meeting with the National Council of Senior Citizens served as a prelude to designating May as “Senior Citizens Month.”

Thanks to President Jimmy Carter’s 1980 designation, what was once called Senior Citizens Month, is now called “Older Americans Month,” and has become a tradition.

Historically, Older Americans Month has been a time to acknowledge the contributions of past and current older persons to our country, in particular those who defended our country. Every President since JFK has issued a formal proclamation during or before the month ofMay asking that the entire nation pay tribute in some way to older persons in their communities. Older Americans Month is celebrated across the Coun
try through ceremonies, events, fairs and other such activities.

The older population–persons 65 years or older–numbered 39.6 million in 2009 (the latest year for which data is available). They represented 12.9% of the U.S. population, about one in every eight Americans. By 2030, there will be about 72.1 million older persons, more than twice their number in 2000. People 65+ represented 12.4% of the population in the year 2000 but are expected to grow to be 19% of the population by 2030. 

At Just Like FamiImagely, we see the growth first hand and we know many of our local Seniors are in need of more than just caregivers. They need everyday toiletries, clothing, cards and more. Join us Wednesday May 14 from 5-7:30 p.m. for a Celebrity Bartender Night at Noodles Italian Cafe & Sushi Bar in Naples to celebrate Senior Citizens Month. A $20 donation at the door will provide you with a drink ticket and food.

 


Leave a comment

Mapping Aging (Again)

Not too long ago, we poured over some really interesting maps about aging trends in the United States.  Those maps showed county-by-county trends, and essentially brought us to the conclusion that we are slowly aging as a country, especially in Florida, and less-so in the Mountain West.  But how do we stack up against the rest of the world?  The answer says a lot about where we’re going as a country.

Here’s the median age in each state as of 2010.

0YJXFYeJust like before, the trends are obvious.  Older, more developed Northeastern states are more aged, the rugged, relatively unpopulated Mountain West is younger, and New England, Pennsylvania and Florida are the oldest areas in the country.  Let’s parse this down further, and look at a big county-by-county map.

6Oce7na

It’s very interesting to see it this way.  The county maps from last time showed trends into the future, this map shows the age of each county right now.  It’s very unexpected that Maine is the overall oldest state by median age, though!  But less surprising is the presence of the country’s oldest county, Sumter County, in Florida.

Now, let’s look at trends for the entire world, with the under 30 percentage in each country in 2005, and the projection of the same in 2025…

world_age_structure_2005_2025It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see where the shift is occurring there.  The more “developed” countries are getting older, while the less “developed” countries are getting younger as their populations explode.  The reasons are pretty easy to guess: easy access to birth control in the “Developed World” alongside far greater longevity and more comprehensive healthcare services in those countries letting more people live longer.  The areas of the world that are healthiest are understandably becoming the oldest!

Let’s take a look at two specific examples to make this more clear…

1280px-Australian_Census_2011_demographic_map_-_Australia_by_SLA_-_BCP_field_0109_Median_age_of_persons.svg

This is the average age in each Australian Land District.  Australia is a country very similar to the United States, with a colonial heritage derived from the British Empire that started on a vast, untamed continent, with an even more untamed West and interior.  The main differences are that the country is younger, and that the continent in question is a bit more inhospitable than North America was (to put it mildly).  The demographics reflect that, with a pattern similar to the United States’, but more extreme.  The giant Great Victoria and Gibson Deserts have extremely young populations, just like the American Mountain West and Alaska do, as does the relatively unpopulated Northern Territory.  The older, major coastal cities and their sprawls, Gold Coast, Brisbane, Newcastle, Sydney, Canberra, and Melbourne, make a line along the country’s southeast coast that fills the area with an older population, just like the American Northeast Corridor.  Additional splotches of red surround the other large cities, Adelaide and Perth.  You can see the trends developing that in a few more decades will make Australia’s age map will look a lot like ours does now as the continent fills-in with more people,.  So this is where we were around 50 years ago.  Where will we be 50 years from now?

Let’s look to an unlikely place for the future…

Naselja-median_starostiWeren’t expecting that, were you?  Croatia is a prime example of where the US is going in regards to aging, as it’s a very developed European country, but not as extreme an example as countries in Western and Northern Europe, thanks mostly to the relatively recent wars in the region.  As you can see, even the youngest areas bottom out at an average of around 35 years, with huge swaths of the country averaging in the mid-50s in age.  This is where we are going, as our health improves, and our lives get longer, and our birth rate slows.  Essentially, while we still think of ourselves in terms of our cultural and political competitors, like Russia, China and Brazil, we’re actually slowly turning into the United Kingdom and Japan in terms of demographics.  It will be extremely interesting to see how that affects our character as a country moving forward.


1 Comment

Aging Maps

Viewing information, especially numbers, can be trying.  It’s hard to get a good feel for what, exactly, is happening, when you’re looking at a wall of numbers.  Displaying that info as maps makes it much easier to digest, and can be a great way to get informed about a specific subject.  And what better subject for us, than one that comes close to our hearts: aging in America.  It’s common knowledge which states are the “oldest,” but about what counties are the oldest?  Well…

map_65plusInteresting, isn’t it?  You have the obvious I-4 Corridor, Naples area, Fort Myers area and West Palm Beach areas there, but what’s going on with that wide band of elderly that roughly parallels Tornado Alley?  Or the Port Angeles area of Washington State?  And that one bright red county on the Jersey Shore?

If this is what the distribution of elderly looks like, what about elderly in need of care?

map_aged_disabilities

Wow.  Florida suddenly looks like a spring chicken, while broad swaths of the South, especially Eastern Kentucky, are in intense need of care.  We wouldn’t be surprised if this map overlaps with a map of poverty levels.  Lack of access to proper care frequently has more to do with income than age.

But what about how things are changing going forward?  Are some areas getting older and some younger?  Glad you asked.  These are changes in median ages from the 2010 Census to 2012 Census estimates, on a county-level.

NESENWSWAKHIIn short, most of the country is getting slowly older, while that same elderly corridor in the Midwest from earlier is getting younger!  Let’s take a look at our local two “core” counties.

CollierLeeA gradual uptick in both, but not a strong one.

In short, it’s very interesting to look at maps like these, and get a “big picture” view of aging in America.  And, as anyone can see, issues related to aging and lack of care for the disabled elderly will only become more serious as time goes on, with a universally greying population.

 

 

 


Leave a comment

American Flag Evolution

We all know what tomorrow is, so we thought it would be fun to take a quick look back at all of the variations over the past 237 years of those gorgeous stars and stripes, the American flag!

But there’s a few funny things to be aware of.  First off, the first American flag was NOT the “Betsy Ross Flag” with a circle of thirteen stars.  It was a flag with the familiar stripes, but instead of a field of stars, there was a British Union Flag in their place.  This “Grand Union Flag” was very, very similar to the flag of the British East India Company.  It wasn’t until June 14th, 1777, that an official design was declared by the Continental Congress, and the familiar stars and stripes came into use, but not as a national flag, as a navy ensign, to be flown on naval ships.  And, even more interesting, the resolution passed by Congress was not specific about how the stars and stripes should be arranged, resulting in a wide variety of shapes and arrangements of stars over the years.  Arrangements weren’t made official until the 48-star flag in 1912!  Even the colors weren’t officially locked down until 1934!

In 1795, with fifteen states in the union, the number of stripes was increased from thirteen to fifteen along with the stars.  This could have gotten messy (imagine a flag with 50 stripes!), and, thankfully, they went back to thirteen stripes representing the original Thirteen Colonies in 1818, which was also when the notion of adding a star for each new state was created.  Officially, the flag’s new number of stars (and, now, the official design) becomes official nationwide on the first July 4th after a new state is admitted.  This is why there was a 49-star flag for one year, even though both Alaska and Hawaii became states in 1959, since Alaska became a state in January 1959, causing a 49-star flag to be adopted that July, but Hawaii didn’t become a state until August 1959, causing the current 50-star flag to become official on July 4th, 1960.

And, there are, believe it or not, designs already in stand-by with 51, 52, 53, 54, 55 and 56 stars on them, just in case (one for each of the five U.S. Territories and DC, probably,  in case they become states).

Whew!  Really, we could go on forever (did we mention the Betsy Ross story is probably a legend, and that New Jersey’s Francis Hopkinson probably was the actual designer of the 1777 flag?), but we’ll stop now, let you get back to your fireworks and cookouts, and let you take a look at this gallery of flags through the years!