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Occupational Therapy for Seniors – Vancouver and North and West Vancouver

Occupational Therapy can help seniors make the adjustments required to live their best lives Occupational Therapy can help seniors to better deal with challenges and make arrangements that support them as they continue living independent and enriching lives.  What is Occupational Therapy? Occupational Therapy (OT) is a type of therapy that helps individuals continue to live full, productive, and independent lives by strengthening their ability to perform important activities or ‘occupations’. Occupational Therapy differs from Physical Therapy because OT focuses on cultivating and strengthening the ability to perform daily tasks or activities, while Physical Therapy (PT) focuses on improving physical mobility. The overall goal that exists in Occupational Therapy is to help in the process of building up better self-reliance by working through physical challenges and making environmental adjustments to provide seniors with the best opportunities to continue to take part in the everyday activities that give them a sense of independence, empowerment, and fulfillment in their lives.  How Seniors Can Benefit from Occupational Therapy Every senior has their own personal set of needs, goals, and challenges that differ based on their personal circumstances. Occupational Therapy involves a process of identifying areas of need and working with the Occupational Therapist to determine how best to build and support independence. The following are a few examples of the areas of seniors’ lives that Occupational Therapy can target: Fall Prevention: Falls are some of the most prevalent causes of injury for seniors, and Occupational Therapists can help seniors to find the best tools, practices, and strategies to help prevent falls. Whether this be through home adjustments or physical practices, Occupational Therapy...

The Magic of Music for Seniors with Alzheimer’s – Vancouver and North and West Vancouver

Listening to music can help with memory stimulation in seniors with Alzheimer’s. Just the simple little act of listening to a few bars of a familiar song can be so magical that our minds are taken to other places and feelings of nostalgia are sparked, calling up memories of the past, and evoking powerful emotions.  Music Has Magic Research that has been performed in recent decades offers deeper insight into the nature of Alzheimer’s, and this research has been able to show that music can yield positive outcomes for brain activity and memory in seniors. The following list is made up of some of the reasons researchers think music aids the minds of seniors dealing with Alzheimer’s: Evoking Emotion and Memory: Music can bring on emotions that come with powerful memories. Incorporating music into activities throughout the day can help to facilitate the formation of new memories and associations through hearing and making connections to new songs, while familiar songs can provide seniors the chance to reminisce. In this way music can help both to call up happy memories from the past, and improve cognitive ability and daily rhythm over time. Positive Emotions: Music can change people’s moods in ways that can help to minimize feelings of stress or anxiety, and increase happiness. Hearing a song that has an upbeat tempo or one that is connected to a positive memory can bring joy into a senior’s day, while soothing songs can have an equally powerful calming effect. Bringing People Closer: Feelings of connectedness can be more challenging to reach when Alzheimer’s is involved, but when seniors still have some...

Preserving and Sharing Memories – Vancouver and North and West Vancouver

Seniors have so much they can share with their loved ones. Growing older also, however, creates a greater chance that the wisdom, knowledge, stories, and lessons that seniors have to share will become lost before they can share it. Whether it be as a result of memory loss, cognitive and mental changes, or death. Thinking ahead and encouraging our senior loved ones to take steps to record their wisdom and stories not only creates an everlasting connection to them after they are gone, but can also be a positive exercise for seniors to participate in as they remember their lives and know that the things that they have to share are valued and important by those they care about. Recording Wisdom Stories and wisdom can come from many different areas of lived experience, and what one senior sees as their most valuable or important contribution may be entirely different from that of another person their age. Thinking through what is most important to seniors and to the loved-ones that want to remember them can help you to work out which means of recording things will be best. The following are some ideas of ways in which seniors can pass-on their memories, stories, wisdom, and lessons learned to those they care about: Make a Family Tree: Organizing and creating a family tree can show loved-ones how everyone is connected and can allow for seniors to reflect on how their family members have been part of their own lives. On top of just showing the connections between people, family trees can be made to include memories about people and important information...

The Negative Health Impacts of Boredom for Seniors – Vancouver and North and West Vancouver

Boredom can be frustrating and annoying, but it can also have tangible impacts on seniors’s wellbeing. Being bored is a natural part of life. We all have moments in our day or times in our week where we don’t have anything interesting to do or just can’t find anything that grabs our attention enough to keep us stimulated and engaged. Occasional boredom is alright, but some seniors who find themselves feeling more bored in their older age than they ever have before may find themselves beginning to worry that boredom will become a staple of their everyday lives as they grow older. There are many ways that seniors can banish boredom and keep themselves interested and happy in the goings-on of their everyday lives, it just takes a little exploration and planning to find the things that work for them.  The Harm of Boredom Some studies have indicated that individuals who experience an excess of boredom in their lives are at an increased risk for heart attacks, stroke, and earlier death than those who are stimulated and content on a regular basis. Boredom itself can be an uncomfortable state to be in for extended periods of time and seniors who are bored too often may become at a greater risk of experiencing the following: Anxiety Depression Substance Abuse Anger and Mood Problems Social Withdrawal Lower Cognitive Function  Seniors and Boredom The phase of life in which seniors find themselves involves many factors that can put them at risk of experiencing boredom more often. Shifting family roles, retirement, and general life changes can often result in seniors no longer being...

How Fun and Games Can Benefit Seniors’ Wellbeing – Vancouver and North and West Vancouver

Games can be fun, challenging, relaxing, stimulating, and great overall activities for seniors. Free-time can be difficult for some seniors to adjust to, having been busy with work, family, and other roles all through their lives, an abundance of leisure time can feel disorienting. Many seniors grapple with the notion of productivity, and what counts as a productive use of time and energy when the days spread out before them are completely in their own hands. It can be difficult to adjust to thinking about activities and hobbies that have always felt like a luxury amidst the hustle and bustle of a busy life as good uses of time throughout the day. The reality is, however, that many of these hobbies, activities, and games are productive and helpful for promoting mental wellbeing and brain health in ways that seniors can feel good about. Playing games, for example, may once have seemed only like a leisure activity to be reserved for times when everything on the to-do list had been checked off, but these games can actually play a role in helping to keep seniors’ minds fit and healthy, and their spirits lifted. Why Games are Great Apart from the simple fact that games can be a fun activity for seniors to enjoy, there are other benefits to seniors’ health and wellbeing that can be reaped through playing different kinds of games. First of all, games are excellent for exercising the brain and keeping the mind fit and healthy. Depending on the types of games involved, seniors can make use of different ways of thinking, can explore new thought processes,...