Margie Sigman

Tai Chi
“It’s funny where a little research can take you,” AARP volunteer Sara Knapp mused recently. “Like all volunteers, I wanted to make a difference and have an impact in my community. In my case, I began by searching through Transylvania County health data and ended up becoming a Tai Chi instructor! Never in my wildest dreams,” she laughs.
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ASHEVILLE, NC -- With summer in full swing, you may be looking for ways to tiptoe back to normalcy after a tough year of COVID. You would probably prefer to continue staying outdoors as much as possible and avoid big crowds. Here is a sampling of possibilities from our partners around the Western North Carolina region, each chosen to highlight one of the eight domains of livability for residents of ages.
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BOONE, NC -- Imagine living in an area where four clinically approved wellness assessments are offered free of charge to seniors, while the same tests might cost hundreds of dollars if ordered by a doctor somewhere else? What’s not to like? This is the situation at Appalachian State University, where the Interprofessional Clinic uses the free tests to help train both undergrad and graduate students. But during the pandemic there’s been a hitch, there's not enough seniors signing up for the tests.
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ASHEVILLE -- Broadway Street, in downtown Asheville, follows an ancient Native American trade route , so it is entirely fitting that a new kind of outdoor meeting place will be coming to this street in 2021. The Center for Craft is working in collaboration with members of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (ECBI) to create a public art parklet “to preserve and advance the important craft legacy of western North Carolina.”
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“Aging in place” is a popular concept among seniors these days. A 2018 AARP poll showed 3 in 4 older adults (50+) want to live at home as long as they possibly can. That’s great for people with homes, but what about homeless seniors, or homeowners threatened with foreclosure, or renters facing eviction?
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What does “aging in place” mean to you? The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines it as "the ability to live in one's own home and community safely, independently, and comfortably, regardless of age, income, or ability level." AARP supports aging in place as one of eight domains that make a community age-friendly.
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“We Had to Get Creative Very Quickly”
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If you’ve been home-bound for a while, your indoor scenery may be getting old. You’ve probably cleaned out a closet or two by now, but what about amending your home environment to make it safer? A tip sheet from the RL Mace Universal Design Institute (UDI) can help you with that. “These few simple changes can make a difference,” explains Richard Duncan, Executive Director of UDI. “They can get you thinking more about home safety and might very well result in a plan for more substantial changes later.”
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Smack dab in the middle of bustling West Asheville is a four-acre “preserve” that is dedicated to a different kind of group living. Called Westwood, it is a co-housing community of about 50 people ranging in age from 3 to 95. Residents live in homes that are clustered together on part of the property, leaving plenty of shared open spaces for gardens, woods, paths and play and sitting areas. A large, shared Common House contains meeting and dining rooms, a large kitchen, guest rooms, co-working spaces and laundry facilities.
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