Active-aging association honors community’s environmental wellness efforts
(VANCOUVER, BC)—The International Council on Active Aging® (ICAA) is pleased to announce that RidgePointe Senior Apartments, an active, independent community for older adults located in Minnetonka, Minnesota, has won the 2014 ICAA Innovators Green Award. ICAA, a professional association that leads, connects and defines the active-aging industry, presents its annual Innovators Awards to those that are leading the way in active aging, setting new standards, and making a difference in the lives of older adults. The Green Award category recognizes organizations for their environmental wellness efforts. RidgePointe is receiving this award for its Nature Club for Adults 60+.
Created by Resident Service Director Paula Frakes, RidgePointe’s Nature Club engages older adults in environmental research, learning, physical activity and enjoyment. The monthly program involves “Nature-Based Activities” such as “green” exercise, gardening activities, environmental education, and nature excursions. A Phenology Trail provides opportunities to observe seasonal changes in plants, animals and birds on the property.
“I have always been fascinated and drawn to engage in the natural world,” says Frakes. “Ever since taking an environmental biology course in college, I have dedicated my life to helping others experience the benefits of interacting with nature. At RidgePointe, this involved starting the Nature Club for Adults 60+.” Frakes has come up with five areas of Nature-Based Activities that she feels older-adult communities should include in their programing—-“the Nature Club is one aspect,” she adds. “It is my hope that these activities become the ‘norm’ in senior housing.”
Among members and allies, environmental wellness efforts have increased significantly over the last five years, according to ICAA Founder and CEO Colin Milner. “From walking trails and meditation gardens, to green building and recycling initiatives, to nature programs and outdoor adventures, organizations are focusing more on the environmental dimension and its impact on older-adult health and quality of life,” Milner states. “In 2010, we expanded our wellness model to include environmental wellness, because we recognized that the environment, whether built or natural, is an integral piece of the wellness puzzle. The Green Award was launched that year to honor organizations that excel at environmental wellness.”
Milner congratulates RidgePointe Senior Apartments on winning this year’s ICAA Innovators Green Award. “The Nature Club for Adults 60+ offers creative activities that expose older adults to the health-promoting natural environment. These activities encourage participants to learn, be physically active and socialize, as well as to discover meaning in the natural world—and enjoy a fuller life doing it.”
As a 2014 ICAA Innovator, RidgePointe will receive a crystal award of recognition at this year’s ICAA Conference, November 13–15, in Orlando, Florida, along with a free pass to the event for a community representative. A profile of the organization and its award-winning efforts will appear in ICAA’s flagship publication, the Journal on Active Aging®, in 2014.
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About the ICAA Innovators Awards program
The ICAA Innovators Awards honor those in the active-aging industry that are leading the way, setting new standards and making a difference in the lives of older adults. Established in 2003, this awards program showcases excellence and creativity in three categories: ICAA Innovators Achievement Award, for programs and concepts that advance active aging; ICAA Innovators Practical Solutions Award, for creative products and services for active older adults; and ICAA Innovators Green Award, for environmental wellness efforts. By recognizing cutting-edge programs, products and environments as well as those who developed them, ICAA highlights wellness solutions for industry leaders and governmental organizations to consider.
About the International Council on Active Aging (ICAA)
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. These include 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, among others.
About RidgePointe Senior Apartments
RidgePointe is an active, independent senior community located in Minnetonka, Minnesota. The inviting atmosphere and numerous social opportunities allow RidgePointe residents to participate in as much activity as they wish. The community occupies six acres complete with mature trees, planned green space, and terraced gardens, encouraging residents to enjoy nature. RidgePointe’s glass roofed “Atrium” also affords residents the benefit of natural light and spectacular views year round. The Nature Club for Adults 60+ is one more way in which the community seeks to encourage residents to lead an active lifestyle. Various “Nature-Based Activities” help individuals to thrive in their daily lives, including green exercise, horticultural opportunities, a Phenology Trail (where people learn about changes in nature and wildlife throughout the four seasons), and many other educational and hands-on nature options.
For interviews or more information about ICAA, the ICAA Innovators Awards program or aging-related issues, contact:
Colin Milner, CEO, International Council on Active Aging
Toll-free: 1-866-335-9777 (North America only)
Telephone: 604-734-4466; cell: 604-763-4595
To learn more about the Nature Club for Adults 60+ at RidgePointe, contact:
Paula Frakes, Resident Service Director, RidgePointe Senior Apartments
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