NEW: Strengthen your brain and combat memory loss with IMEP™ AT HOME!

COA’s Integrative Memory Enhancement Program, IMEP™, is a dynamic and innovative response to memory loss. A structured, research-based program, IMEP integrates the mind, body, and brain connections to boost cognitive reserve and minimize the progression of memory loss or dementia. IMEP employs specific cognitive and physical exercises designed for seniors, and utilizes healing modalities that support overall brain and body function.

Now it is easier than ever to participate in this powerful program which addresses memory health, early memory loss and dementia with IMEP™ AT HOME!

For more information, visit our IMEP™ page by clicking here: https://www.coasjc.org/imepsjc/. Individuals and couples who would like to participate in IMEP™ AT HOME may contact Michele Sanchez at msanchez@coasjc.org or 904-209-3700.

To find out how your organization can implement IMEP™ at your facility and begin helping those experiencing early memory loss and dementia, visit www.imeprogram.com.



Hybrid Design

Kerry Tustin (904) 814-7790,


Laura Smith (904) 540-4220,




St. Augustine, FL (April 20, 2020) –

Local marketing firm Hybrid Design was recently awarded a contract with St. Johns County to administer the county’s public transportation advertising program. Through the paratransit COA (Council on Aging) buses and the Sunshine Bus fixed route public transportation system, St. Johns County maintains a fleet of more than thirty vehicles to serve county residents with rides as far north as the Avenues Mall and as far south as DuPont Center. The new advertising program expands the bus advertising efforts that were currently in place and will generate significantly more revenue for the St. Johns County Council on Aging.

“Transit advertising is an extremely cost-effective and powerful medium for advertisers,” said Hybrid Design President and Founder Kerry Tustin. “When advertisers place their messages on these buses, they are essentially getting roaming billboards that are consistently visible to the thousands of locals and visitors on our roadways each day. Transit advertising is a growing trend both regionally and nationally. It offers exceptional visibility at lower costs than traditional billboards. We are thrilled to work with the county to maximize the use of its robust bus fleet and generate solid income for the Council on Aging.”

“We are very happy to work with Hybrid Design on this effort,” said Becky Yanni, Director of the Council on Aging. “I was delighted to learn that Hybrid had won the contract with the county. The advertising program will grow significantly under their administration, and the increased income we will see through new advertising contracts is coming at a very welcome time. This contract is good news.”

For information on advertising opportunities on St. Johns County COA or Sunshine buses, visit www.hybridstudios.net, write kerry@hybridstudios.net or laura@hybridstudios.net, or call (904) 814-7790 or (904) 540-4220.

About Hybrid Design

Founded in 2002 by Kerry Tustin, Hybrid Design has served satisfied clients in local, regional, and national markets for nearly two decades. The firm offers advertising, marketing, graphic design, digital media, and public relations. Hybrid Design also manages a large inventory of billboard and transit opportunities for advertisers to share their message with our county’s many residents and visitors. For more information, visit www.hybridstudios.net.

Senior Stressors and What You Can Do About Them

By: Sharon Wagner, SeniorFriendly.info

As we age, we face new and different stressors with each passing year. For the most part, stress in our senior years is a product of one of two categories. These are physical discomfort (health changes) and lifestyle changes brought about by things like a limited income. The trick to living your best life after retirement is to know how to adapt to these various changes.

Physical Discomfort

There are many physical changes that come with age. Some you can see, such as wrinkles and gray hair. Others, you can’t see but you can feel. Issues with your digestive system, for example. As we get older, it’s a little harder to enjoy our favorite foods. For one, we may not taste them the way we always have. Further, digestive secretions began to decline. And as News Medical Life Sciences notes, this can leave us with a smaller appetite, followed by constipation from the foods we do eat.

You can offset many dietary woes by eating plenty of fiber and drinking enough water to keep you hydrated. Both of these will keep things flowing while providing your body with some of the nutrients it needs to thrive.

Another issue that creeps up on many seniors is back pain. Advent Health Medical Group explains that older adults are at risk of degeneration of the spinal joints. Unfortunately, back pain is not only irritating, but it can also affect a critical part of your day: getting enough sleep.

There are two primary ways to alleviate back pain. These are through exercise and by changing your mattress. Lower back exercises include bent knee raises, curl ups, and leg extensions. Do make a point to talk to your doctor before you begin a new exercise routine.

As far as your mattress goes, pay attention to your sleep position (side, stomach, back, etc) and match that to a mattress that provides the right amount of support. If you find yourself spending most of your night on your side, a Purple mattress, which is both soft and firm, may do the trick. For those of you that spend the night on your back, a supportive brand like Winkbed may keep you in alignment through the overnight hours.

Lifestyle Changes

Lifestyle changes that may leave you pulling your hair out include things like having to care for a sick spouse and learning to live on a limited income.

If you find yourself suddenly having to take care of your wife or husband, you may find that you sleep less, make poor dietary choices, and experience pain and strain more often than ever before.

There are a few tools that might make your burden a bit less physically demanding. One piece of furniture that can help with mobility issues is a lift chair. Starting at around $550, these are electric recliners that can lift and tilt so that your loved one can get up using mostly their own strength.

Living on a limited income is another issue that, with planning, you may be able to adjust to without a huge change in your day-to-day routine. A few ideas are to pay off your house so that your Social Security or pension checks are not going toward an expensive mortgage each month.

You may also consider swapping your personal vehicles – and the insurance and upkeep – for public transportation if you don’t venture out that often. And if you have had to quit your job to care for a spouse, you may be entitled to be paid for this labor of love if you live in one of the 15 states that pay spousal caregivers.

New issues will pop up every day. The trick is to get ahead of the worst parts of change and to embrace them. Doing things like switching your mattress and reducing your monthly bills are just a few examples of ways that you can respond to changes without reducing your quality of life.

Image via Pexels

Subaru Share the Love Supporting Seniors through Meals on Wheels

Share the Love with Vulnerable Seniors This Year


Exciting news! For the 12th year running, the Meals on Wheels network is participating in the 2019 Subaru Share the Love Event. Over the past eleven years, Subaru and its retailers have helped Meals on Wheels to deliver more than 2.2 million meals nationwide to seniors in need.


Why does Subaru support Meals on Wheels? Too many seniors are struggling to stay independent and healthy. One in four seniors lives alone in isolation and one in seven seniors might not know from where their next meal is coming. This is simply unacceptable, which is why Organization Name provides the nutritious meals, friendly visits and safety checks to the seniors of area. This vital support keeps seniors in their own homes, where they want to be.


We’re incredibly grateful to Subaru and its Retailers for supporting our organization and the seniors we serve. With that in mind, we thought you might want to learn a little bit more about the Subaru Share the Love Event.




This November 14, 2019, through January 2, 2020, for every new Subaru vehicle purchased or leased, Subaru will donate $250 to the customer’s choice of participating charities.* Meals on Wheels is one of four national participating charities and has been since the inception of the event. Through this event, as a member of Meals on Wheels America, Organization Name will receive a share of the donation from Subaru vehicles sold at participating Subaru Retailers.


You might not be in the market to purchase a new car, but if you are, please look into the Subaru Share the Love Event to learn more. If you’re not shopping for a new vehicle, you can still help by spreading the word to your family and friends. A few quick and easy ways to do that:

– Share this blog post/article!

– Share our posts about the Share the Love Event on Facebook: PROVIDE LINK. You can also do this on Twitter (@HANDLE) or Instagram (@HANDLE).


And remember: this holiday season you can ensure our senior neighbors are not forgotten, when you purchase or lease a new Subaru and select Meals on Wheels as your charity of choice.


Subaru Share the Love Is Helping Seniors Through the Meals on Wheels Program

*Disclaimer: Subaru will donate $250 for every new Subaru vehicle sold or leased from November 14, 2019, through January 2, 2020, to four national charities designated by the purchaser or lessee. Pre-approved Hometown Charities may be selected for donation depending on retailer participation. For every new Subaru vehicle sold or leased during the campaign period, participating retailers will donate a minimum of $50 in total to their registered Hometown Charities. Purchasers/lessees must make their charity designations by January 15, 2020. The four national charities will receive a guaranteed minimum donation of $250,000 each. See your local Subaru retailer for details or visit subaru.com/share. All donations made by Subaru of America, Inc.Share the Love with Vulnerable Seniors This Year.

How Seniors Can Get Serious About Healthy Aging

Could simple changes be the key to improving senior health? If you’ve spent some time researching senior health online, you’ve likely found advice telling you to make easy changes to take more control of your health and wellness. And it’s true that some of the simplest changes can have the greatest impact on your physical and mental health.


What all of those articles don’t tell you, however, is that before you can successfully change your habits, you need to ask yourself some tough questions. Because if you want to get serious about your health, you have to be willing to get serious about assessing your current lifestyle choices. Start with these questions:


Is Driving Becoming Too Dangerous for You?


This is one of the most difficult questions for older Americans to answer, because the ability to drive is often equated with the ability to live an independent life. Still, older drivers need to be aware of some common issues that can prevent them from driving safely, and could even result in senior drivers being involved in deadly car accidents. Reduced vision, medical problems and stiff joints can all make operating an automobile hazardous for older adults, so consider assessing your capabilities at least once a year. The good news is, even if you can no longer drive yourself safely, there are plenty of transportation options that can help you maintain your independence and quality of life. You can opt for public transportation, volunteer driving programs, paratransit service, hospital shuttles or even rideshare services.


Is Your Home Becoming Too Much of a Burden?


Regular physical activity can help seniors stay healthier as they age, but you don’t need to rely on the state of your home to keep you constantly on the move. Maintaining and paying for a larger home can often become overwhelming for older adults, so you could consider downsizing your home. Aside from providing financial benefits to seniors, a smaller home can alleviate stress, therefore reducing the risk of stress-related illness. Too much stress can lead to heart disease, high blood pressure, depression and many other serious health conditions that could reduce your life quality, or even result in premature death. So think about your housing options, and also think about whether you may need more care, and whether assisted living may be the best way to stay in control of your mental and physical well-being.


Is Sticking to Bad Habits Harming Your Health?


Adapting your daily habits can be difficult, especially as you age. The longer you have held onto a less-than-healthy habit—whether that’s tobacco use, poor diet choices, or a sedentary lifestyle—the more conditioned your mind and body will be to those routines. If you really want to improve your health and happiness with age, you have to be willing to let those bad habits go.


Start with small changes, and then build up to creating bolder self-care and health practices in your daily life. For example, if you want to make healthy eating easier, try adding one serving of vegetables to a meal the first week, another the following week, and so on until you reach the recommended serving amount (six to nine per day). Need some motivation to get moving? Start with short, 10-minute walks to get your heart pumping, and increase your workout time and variety from there. No matter what type of lifestyle change you are trying to make, sticking to baby steps is always a better idea than making drastic changes that are less likely to stick and more likely to cause harm to your health.


Change is rarely comfortable, especially when it comes to your health, but discomfort isn’t always a bad thing. So long as you know that discomfort is leading you to better health and better aging in retirement, you can stay motivated to make simple, yet challenging, modifications to your lifestyle to improve your life quality. Honestly, it takes a lot of courage to answer these tough questions about yourself, and it takes even more courage to change your life for the better. But it will all be worth it when you have more control over your health, happiness and peace of mind.


Author: Jason Lewis

Photo Credit: Unsplash

Home Safety for Seniors When it Matters Most

If you’re like most seniors, you likely want to stay at home after you retire. But, there are hidden dangers lurking in plain sight, and you may not have considered how your house can affect your ability to stay safe down the road. Even when you are in good health, a few simple modifications can reduce the chances of accidents and injuries and improve your quality of life. Making these changes now will give you a better chance of aging place.
Adjustments for aging
As you get older, your body naturally undergoes changes that can make even familiar surroundings feel like a foreign land. One place this is glaringly evident is the stairs. Eye diseases, cataracts, glaucoma, and other vision problems common among older people make it easy to misjudge height and distance. When this happens, you may take a step expecting solid ground only to find open air. This can result in broken bones and a bruised body. If your home has stairs, make a point to move your primary living and sleeping areas to the lowest level of your home to reduce the number of trips you make up and down each day. Increased lighting and visual markers on the stair treads can also help.
The bathroom is another area that tends to trigger slips and falls, as slick surfaces make the bathroom a dangerous place. Preemptive planning can help you negate many of the issues that could cause a serious injury. Refinishing your bathtub to include a non-slip surface or adding safety bars to help you in and out are just a few examples. Angie’s List also recommends adding a zero-entry shower, which is one that will allow you to bathe even if you are in a wheelchair or cannot step over a bathtub wall.
After the bathroom and stairs, the kitchen poses the next greatest risk. If you have mobility issues, lowered countertops and more accessible storage can help you avoid reaching over your head or out of your comfort zone. This is another area where added lighting can increase safety and livability, especially if your eyes aren’t quite what they used to be.
Lifestyle changes matter
Having the ability to stay at home may require more than a simple remodel. You can also make lifestyle changes to improve your environment. One of the most important, which also happens to be the easiest, is to clear out clutter. Throw rugs, unnecessary furniture, and excess personal belongings can all get in the way. By removing unneeded accessories, you will have less to clean and fewer obstacles in your way as you navigate from room to room.
As you get older, your daily routine should also include exercise, and nutrition must be a priority. Both of these actions work together to keep your body strong and your mind alert. Philips Lifeline further asserts that low-impact aerobic activities can even help prevent joint injuries. When you exercise, you also give your body the oxygen it needs to heal minor injuries like bumps and bruises. Similarly, eating foods that are high in calcium – sardines, kale, yogurt, etc. – can slow bone loss, meaning you will be less prone to fractures.
Your home safety checklist won’t be complete until you have evaluated your entire property, including the bedroom and yard. If you find that you are overwhelmed with this new responsibility, your adult children and grandchildren may be able to help. Ask them to come for a visit and simply spend the day with you. They can make notes of places where you appear to have trouble and together you can come up with an aging-in-place plan that will put you all at ease.

Author – Lydia Chan

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