ICAA reveals winners of the 2012 ICAA Innovators Awards

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Award recognizes programs and concepts that advance active aging

ICAA Changing the Way We Age

International Council on Active Aging

These initiatives engage older adults in programming that enriches people’s lives and enhances their overall wellness.

The International Council on Active Aging® (ICAA), an association that leads, connects and defines the active-aging industry, has selected five programs to receive a 2012 ICAA Innovators Award. ICAA’s annual awards program spotlights creativity and excellence in active aging, recognizing those that are leading the way, setting new standards, and making a difference in the lives of older adults. Award-winners target any or all of the seven dimensions of wellness promoted by the association—social, emotional, vocational, spiritual, intellectual, physical and environmental—to support age 50-plus adults in living well.

The Innovators Award, one of three ICAA award categories, specifically highlights programs and concepts that advance active aging. For 2012, the winners in this category include:

  •     Ageless Spirit (Brookdale Senior Living, Brentwood, Tennessee)—this spiritual wellness campaign offered through Brookdale’s Optimum Life initiative included educational and health promotion programs.
  •     Gourd Fest (Alexian Village, Elk Grove Village, Illinois)— residents of this Pathway Senior Living community plant and grow gourds (colorful fruit with hard rinds) throughout the year, which become the centerpiece of an annual fall festival featuring artisan exhibits, drumming, storytelling, and more.
  •     Expressions (Prestige Senior Living, Vancouver, Washington)—rooted in knowledge of each resident’s life story, this revamped memory care program focuses on five core elements: Healthy Expressions (physical exercise), Tasty Expressions (food), Educational Expressions (lifelong learning), Artistic Expressions (arts, poetry and music), and Spiritual Expressions (inner peace and spiritual journey).
  •     Seabury Spirit Week (Seabury, Bloomfield, Connecticut)—created by Seabury’s Balance Life Team, this community-wide initiative offered a week of friendly, playful competition guided by the seven dimensions of wellness for residents, members and staff.
  •     Culinary Educational Series (Atria Campana Del Rio, Tucson, Arizona)—since introducing these interactive culinary workshops, the Atria Campana community has educated residents on a wide range of topics using hands-on demonstrations, lectures, guest presentations, slideshows, field trips and food samples.

“Older adults today are transforming outdated concepts about aging and later life,” says Colin Milner, ICAA’s founder and CEO. “Increasingly, people realize that they don’t have to accept society’s stereotypical views of later life as a time of decline and diminished worth; they can continue to grow and learn, contribute to society, and live well and fully despite any health challenges they may face. For many, having opportunities and support for active living can make all the difference.” Milner notes that active-aging organizations “provide programs and environments that encourage older adults to optimize health and well-being throughout their lives. The ICAA Innovators Award recipients are inspiring examples,” he adds. “These initiatives engage older adults in programming that enriches people’s lives and enhances their overall wellness. On behalf of ICAA, I congratulate all the winners on their efforts.” Each ICAA award-winner will receive a crystal award of recognition, plus an in-depth profile in ICAA’s flagship publication, the Journal on Active Aging®, in 2013.

The winners of the ICAA Innovators Awards were selected based on the following five criteria:

  •     Innovative. Is the program/initiative/plan different than what is currently being done in the field? Or, does it take a standard procedure and add an interesting new angle?
  •     Pervasive. Did the program/initiative/plan expand into a comprehensive approach that engaged an entire organization or community?
  •     Ambitious. Does the program/initiative/plan break new ground, achieve a stretch goal or represent a paradigm shift?
  •     Measurable. Are there specific actions, numbers or other measures that demonstrate success?
  •     Dazzling. Did the application contain information that is so unique or powerful that the judges respond with great appreciation?

Separately, ICAA will name the recipients of an additional two Innovators Award categories. These are the ICAA Innovative Solutions Award, presented for creative products/services that improve wellness for active older adults; and the ICAA Green Award, presented for organizational efforts that encourage environmental stewardship. For more information, go to http://www.icaa.cc.

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About the ICAA Innovators Awards program
Website: http://www.icaa.cc/awardsprogram.htm
Established in 2003, the ICAA Innovators Awards program honors excellence and creativity in the active-aging industry. ICAA’s awards are presented in three categories: ICAA Innovators Award, for programs and concepts that advance active aging; ICAA Innovative Solutions Award, for products and services that improve older-adult wellness; and ICAA Green Award, for environmental stewardship efforts. By recognizing cutting-edge programs, products and environments as well as those who developed or nurtured them, ICAA highlights solutions for industry leaders and governmental organizations to learn from. Award-winners work on inspiring new directions in older-adult health and wellness. Not only do they give us a glimpse into the trends shaping the future of active aging, they also show us that with the right opportunities and environments, older adults can live as fully as possible throughout the life span.

About the International Council on Active Aging (ICAA)
Website: http://www.icaa.cc
ICAA, an association that leads, connects and defines the active-aging industry, supports professionals who develop wellness facilities, programs and services for adults over 50. The association is focused on active aging—an approach to aging that helps older adults live as fully as possible within all dimensions of wellness—and provides its members with education, information, resources and tools. As an active-aging educator and advocate, ICAA has advised numerous organizations and governmental bodies, including the US Administration on Aging, the National Institute on Aging (one of the US National Institutes of Health), the US Department of Health and Human Services, Canada’s Special Senate Committee on Aging, and the British Columbia ministries of Health, and Healthy Living and Sport.

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