How to Age Well and Stay in Your Home

She knows that the most common response of aging parents to their children’s concerns is, “I’m fine” when they insist, “You’re not fine.” She’s found that things usually can work out if the parties are willing to meet in the middle.

“Spend a few days in the house with your parents, watch how they get around and identify changes that can make things safer and easier,” Ms. Shrager suggests. “It’s a win-win situation to make the home safe and parents can stay there. Then everyone’s happy.”

Her book navigates the aging person’s dwelling room by room, starting with how the home is entered and ending with the basement, and for each offers many tips on issues that often put seniors at risk and how to orchestrate the needed adjustments.

Ms. Shrager, who lives in Slingerlands, N.Y., outside of Albany, is well aware of weather-related hazards like snow and ice, which may make it difficult to pick up the mail or get to the street for a ride. The entryway, for example, may need a resurfaced path to reduce trip hazards, improved lighting, railings on the stairs, or a ramp and wider doorway for a wheelchair.

Once inside, is the furniture designed and situated to accommodate someone with mobility issues? Identify trip hazards like wires on the floor or furniture legs that protrude, even pets with a habit of lying on the stairs or in the middle of the floor. Get rid of items long unused, piles of magazines and other forms of clutter, a problem I desperately need to tackle myself. Clutter collects dust, creates stress, and takes up space better used, say, to place a phone or a hot pot.

I plan to use Ms. Shrager’s approach: “Categorize items into five groups: (1) keep, (2) give away, (3) sell or garage sale potential, (4) charitable donations, and of course (5) the all-important throwaway pile.” There is no “maybe” pile, no postponing a decision for any item. To avoid feeling overwhelmed by this task, tackle it piecemeal, a room, closet, shelf, drawer at a time.

Kitchens are a special challenge for seniors with physical issues. When mine was built 50 years ago, I was nearly three inches taller and my husband (now deceased) was a foot taller than I. We wisely had cabinets built with pullout drawers. I store most-used items on lower shelves, but now reaching even the bottom shelf of some cabinets is a challenge for me. I often use a grabber, but sometimes I need a stool. Ms. Shrager suggests one with wide steps and treads and perhaps even a safety bar handrail. “Avoid folding stools that have the potential to collapse,” she warns.


Morocco’s D.I.Y. Dance Crews – The New York Times

Morocco and Algeria have the richest hip-hop scenes in the Middle East and North Africa region, Mr. Aidi said, in part because of their connection to the immigrant communities in the French urban peripheries where hip-hop is very popular.

“As break dance — or ‘le smurf,’ as it was called — took off in France in the 1980s, the styles would trickle down to North Africa, carried by European-born youth bringing cassettes, sneakers and tapes of ‘H.I.P.H.O.P,’ the pioneering French TV show which began airing in 1984, four years before ‘Yo! MTV Raps,’” he said.

According to Mr. Aidi, the form developed during a tense political period in Morocco when the government was cracking down on street protests, after the riots of 1984 prompted by hikes in food prices. While protesters and outspoken artists were targets, dancers flew under the radar because they were seen as apolitical. When a second generation of Moroccan B-boy crews emerged in the early 2000s, their art really began to flourish.

“The government also began supporting hip-hop in earnest in the mid-2000s, after the Casablanca bombings of 2003, seeing music as a way to keep youth away from extremism,” Mr. Aidi said, referring to a terrorist attack that killed 45 people. “The Moroccan regime keeps a fairly tight grip over the hip-hop scene, showcasing pro-regime rappers and isolating or arresting oppositional ones.”

Now, a new generation of B-boys, and B-girls, is forming in Morocco.

Hajar Chaiboub, 21, started break dancing at the age of 13. She saw a group of peers rehearsing near her apartment in Temara, a city close to Rabat, the capital of Morocco. They made her feel welcome and taught her the basics.

“It wasn’t like any other sport or even like dancing,” she said. “I felt comfortable. I knew all the guys, I was like a sister to them.”