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AIP Bulletin July 2012

Quote of the Month

"Happy people do a great deal for their friends."

Willa Cather

Money:  AARP Selects Top 10 Affordable Places to Live In U.S.

Each year, AARP The Magazine puts out their best places to live for Americans 50+. This year's focus was on affordable housing, low cost of living AND a low cost of reasonably-priced luxuries: Museums, cultural offerings, hiking and biking trails, and other amenities that enrich life as you age. All for $100 a day, or an annual income of $36,500.

"Each year we strive to highlight lively, low-cost cities that offer rewarding environments, and that specifically appeal to the 50+ audience," said Nancy Perry Graham, Editor-in-Chief of AARP The Magazine. "There are quite a few really wonderful cities where $100 a day goes a long way and buys not just a spacious home in a thriving neighborhood, but loads of culture, lively entertainment, and recreational opportunities."

In determining its list they looked first at affordability, in particular housing, cost of living, taxes, and economic stability. Then the editors added some livability criteria: number of sunny days per year, access to parks and recreation, arts and culture, health care, and local flavor, from the coolest scenery to the hottest local restaurants. The result is a diverse list of outstanding cities, perfect for older Americans.

The following is a taste of why each city rose above the rest to make this year's list:

Eau Claire, Wisc.

Median home price: $121,100
Sunny days per year: 200
Vibe: Family-friendly values with a progressive twist
Local flavor: Cozy up to the bonfire and munch on Cheese Curds ($7) made from the region's famed cheddar at the Livery, a converted stable downtown.

Gainesville, Florida

Median home price: $125,500
Sunny days per year: 205
Vibe: Funky hippie meets world traveler
Secret affordability sauce: The country's sixth largest college—The University of Florida—fuels an economy more durable than most Southern cities.

Grand Junction, Colorado

Median home price: $159,800
Sunny days per year: 214
Vibe: Contemporary arts meet Western charm
Impress friends and family with: The views of the Grand Mesa, one of the world's biggest flat-top mountains.

Las Cruces, N.M.

Median home price: $148,000
Sunny days per year: 287
Vibe: A sunny cocktail of Old Mexico, the Wild West and high-desert casual living
Local flavor: Head to the patio of De La Vega's Pecan Grill & Bar, and nibble on the stuffed green chiles ($9).

Morgantown, W.V.

Median home price: $168,900
Sunny days per year: 185
Vibe: Small college city combines Appalachian roots with a strong local economy
Local flavor: Tip back a cold Blue Moon beer ($4.50) at Mario's Fish Bowl. Originally a candy store, the restaurant has been serving beer in fishbowl-size glasses (yep, made right here) since 1950.

Omaha, Nebraska

Median home price: $123,500
Sunny days per year: 193
Vibe: Midwestern cozy with a high-tech spark
Impress friends and family with: The area's many start-up companies, which earned it the nickname "Silicon Prairie."

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Median home price: $106,500
Sunny days per year: 194
Vibe: Green not grimy, the city's 88 distinct neighborhoods create a European atmosphere
Secret affordability sauce: Stable, diverse economy—since 2008, only Austin and Houston have added jobs faster.

Roanoke, Va.

Median home price: $151,500
Sunny days per year: 217
Vibe: A bustling small city, amid the magic of the Blue Ridge Mountains
Local flavor: Grab a $1.25 hot dog at the legendary Texas Tavern, a 24-hour fixture since 1930.

San Antonio, Texas

Median home price: $135,000
Sunny days per year: 263
Vibe: Old West urban flair
Best daytime lark: El Mercado (which the city claims is the biggest Mexican marketplace outside Mexico) in Old Market Square.

Spokane, Wash.

Median home price: $145,000
Sunny days per year: 176
Vibe: Lush green beauty meets smart urban planning
Impress friends and family with: Its stunning Riverfront Park and its historic downtown.



did you know...

Tablet use is exploding and becoming embedded in people's lives. The user base is trending older and about equal in terms of use between men and women  ~Center For Media Research

AIP Pro:  Creating Accessibility Awareness

Barrier Free is Living with Ability

Ronnie Wiskin, President Reliable Independent Living Services

By the year 2030, it's estimated that "half of all people will be affected by a disability within their lifetime." Because of this statistic, advertisements like walk-in baths, stair-lifts and mobility scooters are being recognized as common safety and accessibility solutions in and around the home.

Please visit:

ReliAble Independent Living Services

Barrier Free Solutions

Creating this type of awareness addresses the reality of the need to improve our private and public spaces to remain independent and active in society. Additional benefits from increased awareness include more education about health and wellness, finance and personal care options to help plan for the future.

Accessibility is more than independence.

Accessibility is commonly recognized as wheelchair ramps in front of buildings, grab bars in bathrooms and devices that swing doors open for wheel friendly access. It's much more than this.

  • A cane or a walker makes maneuvering through physical barriers safer for those of us with fragile bones or problems with balance.

  • Indicator signals that notify someone's at the door or that the telephone is ringing are examples of adapting the environment to overcome sensory barriers.

  • Reducing clutter is another way to make life more manageable around the home.

  • Re-organizing household belongings and creating usable storage solutions are all that's needed to remove your barriers.

What can be done to make an environment accessible to people of all abilities?

  • The first step towards achieving barrier free living should be to have an assessment by an occupational therapist or other professional with experience in adaption to perform functional activities of daily living.

  • The environmental barriers & physical needs for all occupants should be determined and a report with recommendations be created, this should include all possible future needs as well.

  • Designing the environment to meet all users' needs is the next step prior to planning the renovation and this should be done by a qualified "universal design" or "barrier free design" specialist.

Before tackling any type of barrier free renovation, it's important to fully understand the scope of work in relation to access, safety, independence and comfort. Recommendations can be simple, such as installing grab bars, raising a toilet seat or converting a fixed shower head into a hand held shower wand. More elaborate improvements can be made by creating a new two or three story elevator, a barrier free washroom, accessible kitchen or modifying existing structures to accomplish a barrier free living space.

Barrier-free public environments

There is a growing awareness about the need for accessibility within the larger community to help make life more manageable for those of us living with disabilities. For example, there are many more ramps, automatic doors, traffic lights that make sounds so that people with visual impairments can cross the streets with greater independence and safety. Many movie theatres are more accessible and we can negotiate for accessible seating when we go to the concert hall, ballet or opera.

New strategies are beginning to surface, creating an inclusive and accessible path for people of all abilities. Contributing towards developing long term success for our future begins by creating sustainability for ourselves now. By enhancing the possibilities for achieving independent living, we can greatly reduce the long term costs and effects associated with assisting a large number of people not able to navigate through barriers created from our past. Making our own environments welcoming and accessible will certainly enrich the lives of everyone, enhancing the abilities of all.

Ronny Wiskin, President Reliable Independent Living ServicesRonny Wiskin is the Founder & President of ReliAble Independent Living Services®, a company established in 2003, which provides complete access solutions for residential and commercial environments. ReliAble's core values are listening to the customer and enhancing quality of life with integrity and honesty. The company's vision is 'to continually strengthen the social fabric by keeping families together'. Visit them online:

did you know...

Sleeping with a TV on at night can lead to depression. Researchers at the Ohio State University Medical Center discovered that hamsters exposed to dim light at night exhibited signs of depression within a few weeks. Negative effects were reversed after a couple of weeks of normal lighting.

Video: Which Is The Guilty Dog

Just for fun! Guaranteed to instantly change your mood.

Which Is The Guilty Dog?

Click here to watch.

did you know...

One in four smartphone owners admit to checking their phones while driving, one in five immediately after sex, and two in five while on the toilet. Three in five say they don't go an hour without checking their phones.  ~

Campaign: Get Home Smart

Support the Campaign For Indpendent Living

Check out its google earth location:

Time to "Get Home Smart"

The ability to live independently while managing a chronic condition from home has enormous benefits. In addition to the necessary medical equipment needed, it's important to know what types of home construction, furniture and furnishings are available to make lives as functional and comfortable as possible. 

We invite you to join our campaign to help people "Get Home Smart" featuring the Chairs & Cares Model Accessible Home (4600 square foot demonstration center for independent living) as our primary filming location.

Sponsored in part by:



MidState Independent Living Consultants




Lifeline Coordinating Services, Inc.

Midstate Independent Living Consultants


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