The things that lead people to keep on smoking vary depending upon personal circumstances and motivations, whether smoking is nostalgic, a coping mechanism, a stable habit, or a deep-seated addiction. No matter what drives a person’s smoking habit, the act of smoking is a very hard behaviour to quit. In order to achieve a better state of overall health and wellbeing, it is vital that seniors make moves towards quitting smoking. While the task of letting go of a well-cemented habit or addiction is daunting and will undeniably be difficult, with the right support, strategies, and encouragement, seniors can work towards smoking cessation and can better their health in important ways.
The emotional anguish and devastating sadness that accompanies a loss can influence both the mental and physical health of seniors in significant ways. As we continue to grow older, dealing with death and bereavement becomes something we have to do more and more often as the loss of loved-ones and friends happens more and more frequently when those loved-ones are also growing older and moving into the later stages of their lives. We all know that grief and loss are feelings and experiences that are hard to work through, but it is important to be aware of the particular ways in which seniors can be touched by the emotions, feelings, and thoughts that accompany the loss of someone they love.
We’ve all heard laughter referred to as “the best kind of medicine”, but most of us don’t know how true it is that laughter can help our bodies and minds. Laughter is more than just an outward expression of happiness, and is actually connected to numerous processes within the body that can help to improve overall feelings of wellbeing, health, and wellness in terms of mind, body, and spirit. Seniors can reap great benefits from taking part in activities, interactions, and experiences that make them laugh, because the very act of laughing has the power to help add some light to the day and ward off worries and negativity.
Anxiety is a natural feeling that performs a useful and necessary function for our safety and wellbeing. When Anxiety becomes such a recurrent and dominant aspect of day-to-day life that it begins to overpower everything else and stops people’s from living happy, fulfilling, and enriching lives, however, it starts to become cause for concern. Anxiety Disorders can have a significant impact upon how people are able to live their everyday lives, and can be really challenging to manage. While anyone can be faced with an Anxiety Disorder, certain aspects of life that are features of older age make seniors vulnerable to experiencing Anxiety Disorders. Worries associated with personal health, lower self-confidence, chronic pains, the loss of social connections as a result of death or isolation, and numerous medical conditions can all add up to create a web of worries that fill seniors’ daily lives with fears and anxieties. Cultivating an awareness of the types of anxieties that seniors may face, and learning how to identify and address them can help seniors and their loved-ones to work towards better managing Anxiety Disorders.
Starting a conversation about mental health can be difficult, but these thoughtful conversations can give seniors an opportunity to express themselves, and can help to make sure that all possible matters of concern are sufficiently tended to. When combined with all the other cognitive and physical changes and adjustments that seniors are dealing with as a part of older age, mental health problems, if left unaddressed, can have a significant and meaningful impact on seniors’ lives.
The deeply meaningful bonds and connections that can be forged and strengthened as you care for someone that you love can be incredibly fulfilling and deeply rewarding. While the emotionally enriching and relationally stirring feelings that can come from a caring relationship are undeniable, another reality of caregiving is that it can often be stressful, overwhelming, and draining. The often all-consuming nature of considering needs and delivering care can alter caregiver’s feelings of health and wellbeing in negative ways that impact their capacity to take part in enjoyable aspects of their lives to the fullest extent. Taking on the entire breadth of responsibility for the provision of care at all times requires a great deal of work and sacrifice for one person to carry on their own, and people who are committed to caregiving must also remember that making sure their own needs are met should be made a priority as well. It can be difficult to prioritize your own health and wellbeing when you are so deeply dedicated to pouring yourself into caring for another person, but exploring the option of Respite Care, which is designed to address this very problem, can be a positive way to bring about a greater sense of balance and ease.
While working their way through the process of growing older, there are many different factors and facets that seniors need to consider as they determine how best to live out the rest of their lives. Part of this process of figuring out what will help seniors to live happily, healthily, and with a positive state of overall wellbeing involves looking into different activities, behaviours, practices, and priorities that can potentially help seniors to build a fulfilling and positive lifestyle for themselves. Personal and individual circumstances, interests, and levels of ability mean that varying activities will be appealing, enjoyable, and accessible for each individual, but one activity that remains consistently available and always valuable for seniors is spending time interacting with the healing powers of nature in the great outdoors. Time spent outside, especially with a sense of connectedness to nature, is something that has the ability to improve the state of both mental and physical health that seniors experience, and setting aside just a bit of time to go outdoors can be deeply valuable for seniors’ in North and West Vancouver.
Maintaining a sense of connectedness is deeply important for our health and wellbeing, and an important part of upholding connections is having the opportunity to interact socially with valued companions, friends, and acquaintances. Caring for these social relationships is deeply important for avoiding isolation and the negative emotional impacts that prolonged solitude can have upon how we feel about ourselves, our circumstances, and the world that surrounds us. Everyone is deserving of meaningful and reciprocal relationships that fill them with feelings of joy and remind them that they are loved and appreciated by others. The unfortunate reality for a great deal of seniors, however, is that isolation and loneliness are feelings that are often common within their lives. The impacts that isolation, and the feelings that it creates, have upon seniors mental and physical health can be significant, so it is deeply important that seniors and those who care for them work to ensure that socialization and connectedness remain priorities in seniors’ daily lives.
As we continue to grow older and move through the numerous stages that make up our lives, we accumulate an array of material belongings to which we may become emotionally attached through casual fondness or nostalgic association. The items that we have in our possession can become incredibly valuable to us in one way or another, but it is also possible for people to take their tendency to collect and hold onto things to an unhealthy extreme. Diogenes Syndrome, also known as Senile Squalor Syndrome, is a behavioural disorder encountered by some seniors that manifests in hoarding and other behaviours related to lifestyle and cleanliness that can be harmful and damaging to seniors’ safety and wellbeing as well as their physical and mental health.
Between medications, health appointments, exercises, eating well, and keeping on track with healthy lifestyle choices, aging can feel like it involves an unending list of decisions, behaviours, activities, and tasks that seniors and their caregivers need be managing and taking care of on a consistent basis. As more and more things pile up, it can become easy for some things to get forgotten or pushed to the side in favour of prioritizing practices that feel more urgent or imperative for the maintenance of health. One of the things that is deeply important, but is rarely attended to as thoroughly as necessary, is the practice of ensuring that seniors hydrate themselves sufficiently throughout the day. Proper hydration is absolutely imperative for the body’s functioning, so seniors should be proactive about implementing strategies and making choices that keep them hydrated at all times.
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