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Keeping Busy When it is Cold Out – Vancouver and North and West Vancouver

When the weather outside is cold and wintery, seniors often need to get a little creative with ways to keep themselves both warm and engaged. There are so many things to do outside when the weather is warm, and seniors often find themselves more motivated to participate in activities out of the house when they don’t have to bundle up in layers of clothing just to get in the car. That being said, there are actually a whole host of reasons to enjoy the wintertime, despite the challenges it may present. The winter provides a nice excuse to get cozied up inside with blankets, a roaring fire, and a nice hot drink and also creates an opportunity for seniors to explore new games and hobbies to try inside. Indoor Activities for Seniors While the winter doesn’t strictly prevent seniors from spending time outside, it can make things a little more challenging in ways that motivate seniors to seek out more indoor activities, such as the following: Board and Card Games: Sitting at the kitchen table with friends or family playing a game of cards or a board game you all enjoy can be a great deal of fun. Just sitting around chatting, and playing a fun game can be a great social opportunity for seniors and can bring people together to enjoy an activity that is manageable for everyone in the winter. Bowling: Bowling can be a great activity to do with friends that allows for ample chatting time, some good physical activity, and an indoor setting that helps shut out the winter cold. Yoga: Yoga is a great,...

What to do with the Cold-Weather Blues? – Vancouver and North and West Vancouver

The coming of the cold-weather months of autumn and winter can create new challenges for seniors to manage. Making sure that seniors remain safe and comfortable within their homes through the fall and winter seasons requires that attention be payed to some important factors. As cold weather and shorter days set in, we are forced to deal with the many things that come along with cold weather seasons. We ensure that we, and our loved ones, have appropriate clothing and comforts available to combat and manage the colder temperatures, both within the home and outside, and we make appropriate upkeep and safety arrangements to deal with rain, snow, and ice. It is important also, however, to make sure that we recognize and direct attention to the impacts that these colder and darker seasons can have upon mental health and wellbeing of our senior loved ones. Seasonal Affective Disorder Seasonal Affective Disorder, often referred to as “SAD”, is a mood disorder that cycles with the seasons. It is a form of depression that is related strongly to seasonal changes in light, and affects most people in the late fall and winter when days are shorter and sunlight is limited. It is speculated that the shorter days disrupt our bodies’ circadian rhythms, as well as change levels of serotonin and melatonin. Symptoms of SAD can often begin to manifest in late autumn and carry right through to the end of winter. Basically, Seasonal Affective Disorder is, in more colloquial language, an intense case of the “winter blues”. Why Seniors? While instances of Seasonal Affective Disorder are not limited to a particular...

Sun Protection for Seniors – Vancouver and North and West Vancouver

Proper protection from the sun is important for keeping seniors healthy and safe. The spring and summer bring about warmer weather and longer days all aided by the wonderful sun which graces the skies with its bright presence. Taking advantage of the sun whilst it is out is great for seniors, especially those who find darker drearier days more difficult to deal with from an emotional standpoint. There are so many wonderful activities that can get seniors out being active, social, engaged, and happy when the sun is out all of which can be incredible for both physical and mental health. The flip side of the wonderful impacts of the sun is that there is a little extra planning that needs to take place to make sure seniors are properly protected and don’t end up harmed by things like burns and sunstroke when they are out enjoying the sun.  Protection from the Sun Sun protection is incredibly important for everyone, but when it comes to seniors there is often an extra vulnerability at play as a result of advanced age and some of the health problems that seniors may be experiencing. Senior skin is more vulnerable to damage, and a sunburn can have a more severe impact on seniors than it might have on younger skin.  The following are some simple things to keep in mind that can help seniors avoid any damage or problems as a result of exposure to the sun. Be Aware of Risk Factors: Aspects of genetics, lifestyle, medications, and other health problems can all culminate to create a higher level of risk for certain...

Seniors and Technology Use – Vancouver and North and West Vancouver

Technology is something that seniors can harness to make their lives easier and more efficient. While it may be true that some seniors have a harder time adjusting to using forms of technology in their lives than those of younger generations, recent years have seen a greater number of seniors learning to use numerous technological tools and resources in their lives. Whether it be to help stay connected to the people, activities, and tasks that are valuable and fulfilling within their lives, or to better manage productivity and behaviours concerning personal care and wellbeing, more seniors than ever are learning to understand and value the contributions that technology can make to helping them live a positive, engaging, and healthy lifestyle. Supporting seniors as they work towards building a better sense of mastery in terms of their capacity to use technology can help to promote feelings of empowerment and can offer the opportunity for seniors to feel a sense of control over their ability to socialize, connect, learn, play, and keep track of the numerous aspects and facets that make up their lives. Tools and Gadgets The emergence of new technologies continues to take place along with the ever-occurring developments and advancements in the technological realm, and an incredible number of gadgets and tools are made available that can contribute positively to seniors’ lives by improving, simplifying, or introducing various things. Whether it be for entertainment, communication, knowledge and skill building, or management of personal health responsibilities, there are innumerable technological tools that seniors can use in their lives to help increase efficiency or ease of various aspects of life....

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 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...