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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...

Keeping Healthy Kidneys – Vancouver and North and West Vancouver

Our Kidneys work hard for our bodies, so taking care of them should be a priority. With the many healthcare needs that come with advanced age, some important areas of the body can become neglected amidst all of the other things seniors have to take care of, but maintaining health Kidneys is important for overall wellbeing. What to Kidneys Do? Our Kidneys are responsible for a lot of filtration of toxins and waste out of the blood, and also play a role in balancing the amount of water in the body, and regulating blood-pressure. The functions that our Kidneys perform are important for maintaining overall health, so tending to the Kidneys themselves is truly important. Kidney Health Things such as medications, infections, illnesses, and other facets of health in older age can impact and slowly take a toll on Kidneys over time, so there is often a decline in Kidney function with age. The problem with damage to the Kidneys is that there are not often that many noticeable symptoms until things get dire and Kidney function is significantly impaired. It is, therefore, important to tend to Kidney health and keep them in good shape so that problems don’t arise and go unnoticed. Kidney Disease Kidney diseases are most often detected through bloodwork or urinalysis well before any noticeable symptoms become apparent. While Kidney damage is something that is usually sustained gradually over time, there are also instances in which the damage can occur quickly if certain factors intersect to create a problem. There are some warning signs that may indicate Kidney disease and should motivate seniors to consult...

Encouraging Medication Adherence – Vancouver and North and West Vancouver

Seniors often have multiple medications to take that help them better manage their health and wellbeing in older age. Thoughts, emotions, worries, and other barriers exist that can alter seniors’ ability or willingness to take the medications they are prescribed, so it is important that loved-ones and caregivers make themselves aware of the various thoughts, emotions, judgements, and limitations that may get in the way of allowing seniors to stick to their medication plans. Possible Barriers The many cognitive, physical, and practical changes that seniors face as they grow older, along with the challenges that come along with those changes, can add up to create barriers that deter seniors from sticking to the regimens and prescriptions that doctors and specialists recommend to keep them healthy. Many of these barriers can be overcome with care and encouragement from caregivers, loved ones, and support systems that help seniors to better understand, manage, and stick to the routines and practices involved in taking their medications. Some barriers exist as a result of emotional or judgement-based factors that lead seniors to deliberately stray from recommendations related to their medication. The World Health Organization (WHO) notes the following as some possible contributors: Lack of Adequate Information Low Motivation Lack of Confidence in One’s Own Ability (Poor Self-Efficacy) Starting A Discussion Having a senior loved one in your life that is unwilling to take medication as they have been directed by healthcare professionals can be incredibly frustrating and challenging for caregivers, particularly because you know that the medications in question are there with the intent of improving quality of life and health. Despite this, however,...

Travelling with Elderly Parents – North and West Vancouver

For seniors who have a desire to see the world or go visit people and places away from their homes, older age doesn’t dampen the adventurous spirit. Whether your parents want to travel to visit family and friends or just to explore and have the experience of travelling, trips can take seniors to other cities, across the country, or to a different part of the world all together. As is the case with many aspects of growing older, there are some features of older age that can make travelling a little more challenging for seniors or, if not necessarily more challenging, certainly in need of a little more attention in certain areas. Research and Planning There is always a fair amount of researching and planning that goes into organising a trip, but when it comes to seniors there are a few extra points that need to be thought through. The Destination: Thinking about the destination and its suitability for travelling with your senior companion can be an important part of making sure the trip is a manageable and enjoyable one. When choosing a destination, think about how well it fits with what seniors can comfortably and happily do in terms of activities and events, as well as what interests them and what they hope to get out of the experience. Special Services: When it comes to travelling, there are often special accommodations and options available to seniors that can help to make their travel more safe and comfortable. Arrange for a shuttle or wheelchair within the airport to help seniors get from one place to another, take special care...