John Wenzlau and Millie Oakeson

“Successful Aging” is a lifestyle worth pursuing. That is exactly why hosts John Wenzlau and Millie Oakeson of Friendship Retirement Corp. do a weekly broadcast on Independent Talk 1100 KFNX. They focus in on what it means to live well and love life by bringing in experts to discuss aging successfully. This week, they spoke with Officer Jason Glenn, a Scottsdale crime prevention officer, on tips to keep from becoming a victim and to Tina Ferguson, owner of Artsy Smartsy, which provides art classes for seniors in Arizona and Minnesota.

Glenn spends his time providing seniors with available resources and education to keep them informed and safe both in their homes and with their personal identity. Officers from police and fire departments are available to visit adult senior centers as well as senior living facilities to make sure the physical property is hazard free. They have fresh eyes to walk around and look for obvious hazards hidden in plain sight such as extension cords, loose rugs or misplaced furniture that can cause falls. They can also do free residential surveys to make sure windows, doors and entrances are as secure as possible and make sure smoke detectors are functioning properly.

Identity theft is also a worry for the older population. They tend to not be as computer savvy as the baby boomers and more likely to fall prey to the many scams. It’s a good reminder for all of us to follow some simple safety tips: don’t mail outgoing mail from your home mailbox but, instead use an official U.S. Postal Service blue mailbox; check your bank account online often; make your password difficult enough to not be easily hacked; and don’t give your Social Security number to anyone you haven’t verified first. It is always best to pause, think about the situation and call back to verify the source.

The conversation switched from safety to the positive benefits of art classes for the senior population. Ferguson shared success stories of the positive impact art brings to residents living in senior living facilities. Ferguson’s passion to teach art to seniors began with the art projects she did with her grandparents, she said.

“The most profound results are the positive impact of art class on people’s health both physically and mentally,” Ferguson said.

Art classes provide the socialization platform that is imperative as seniors age and lose the ability to live on their own, she said. She told stories of residents who prior to her art classes were completely non-verbal and non-responsive but blossomed as the art classes created camaraderie and friendships. For information on her art classes, call 651-334-3997.

For more information on these topics or to ask a question, visit Tune in from 11 a.m. to noon every Tuesday to Independent Talk KFNX 1100 as we continue to explore “Successful Aging.”