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GROW YOUR OWN FOOD YEAR ROUND: For many of us, September is a time of new beginnings and new learning. Thanks to two women from New York City, you can now grow a garden’s worth of plants and vegetables inside your own home and enjoy delicious veggies all year round. Want to learn how? Check out the website of widow farms for all the details.


WHAT DO VOLUNTEERS WANT? According to a new study, older adults look for three things in a volunteer program: choice, training and ongoing support.

Choice: Researchers led by Fengyan Tang (University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania), found that volunteers want to make choices about their activities and schedules.

Training: They want training to improve their skills and boost their confidence.

Support: Volunteers are attracted to organizations that provide feedback, build on their skills and integrate their work into the organization. They also want to be recognized for their contributions.

Source: The study appeared in The Gerontologist (Advance Access, March 8, 2010).


NEW YORK BECOMES AGE-FRIENDLY: In just two decades, the number of New Yorkers age 65 and older is expected to hit the 1.35 million mark, up 44 per cent from 2000. In an effort to make New York City more age-friendly, the city has launched several initiatives, including the following:

  • Signals have been retimed at more than 400 intersections to make it safer for older citizens to cross the streets. For example, pedestrians now have 29 seconds to cross at intersections like Broadway and 72nd Street, four more than before.
  • Artists have been offered studio space and supplies in senior centers in exchange for giving art lessons.
  • The city’s yellow school buses are used during nonschool hours to take residents on dozens of runs to grocery stores.



HOUSING OPTIONS: ABBEYFIELD HOMES: The Abbeyfield concept was born in London, England, over 50 years ago. Today there are 1,100 Abbeyfield Houses around the world. In 1987, the first Abbeyfield House in Canada opened in Sydney, B.C. There are currently 29 houses in Canada.

Abbeyfield homes offer affordable accommodation for 10 to 15 residents in a family atmosphere. Individuals have their own private suites, and are free to come and go as they wish. Home cooked meals are provided.

The Abbeyfield Houses Society of Ottawa has transformed an old Victorian home on Parkdale Avenue into a charming 10-suite residence. Open houses are held on the fourth Wednesday of every month.