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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 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...

Detecting Substance Abuse in Seniors – Vancouver and North and West Vancouver

Substance Abuse is a problem that is difficult for seniors to address alone. With the many changes and challenges that come along with growing older and entering the later stages of life, seniors may struggle to manage the emotions and feelings that come along with this time in their lives. As families change and move away, social circles get smaller and connections become lost, and normal aspects of life become more challenging than they once were, some seniors find themselves feeling lost for a way to deal with things and turn, instead, to something they feel can numb the pain. Substance abuse is a coping mechanism that we might not always notice in our senior loved ones if we aren’t tuned in to the behaviours and changes that come along with it, but with the more delicate state of health in which seniors find themselves, the impacts of a substance abuse problems can be incredibly severe. Older age makes the body more susceptible to the harmful impacts of these substances, and their interaction with other medications or health problems that seniors may be facing can be dangerous. In working towards the goal of improving seniors’ quality of life and ensuring that they are as healthy, happy, and well as can be, it is important to be aware of the possible signs of substance abuse so that support can be offered to help seniors discuss their struggles and better tend to their health as they continue to grow older and face life’s challenges. Some Signs It may be more difficult, in some cases, to detect signs of substance abuse in...

Preventing Hypothermia – North and West Vancouver

Colder temperature bring more considerations for keeping seniors safe and healthy. The cold temperatures create a higher risk for seniors to become hypothermic, so it is important for seniors and their caregivers to remain aware and vigilant of the ways they can work to prevent Hypothermia. Hypothermia? Hypothermia is a dropping of the body’s temperature to a dangerous level, which can lead to various problems within the body, or even death in severe circumstances. There are some ways to identify Hypothermia in its early stages so that medical assistance can be sought promptly. The following are indicators of a hypothermic state: Cold Skin Blueish Tinge to, Fingertips, Skin, and Lips Slurred Speech Confusion Lack of Alertness It is important to note that individuals entering a hypothermic state will not necessarily be shivering or complaining of feeling cold, so keeping an eye out for these other symptoms can help family members and caregivers to spot the issue. Should you suspect Hypothermia, seek medical assistance and make sure your loved one has somewhere dry, warm, and comfortable to wait for help that will help to warm up their body as much as possible. The Risk for Seniors As a result of more advanced age, seniors’ bodies are less efficient in the processes of temperature regulation, meaning they are not always able to feel the full severity of a temperature drop. This biological factor coupled with the possible impacts that medications or symptoms of other chronic conditions or health problems can have upon seniors’ bodies makes them at a greater risk of becoming hypothermic in the cold temperatures of Canadian winters. Preventing...

Managing Cholesterol – North and West Vancouver

Keeping an eye on our Cholesterol levels and making sure they are on track with what is healthy for our bodies is important for our overall state of health and wellbeing. For this reason, it is deeply important that seniors and those who care for them keep themselves aware of the concerns that exist related to Cholesterol so that they can implement healthy lifestyle practices that aim to prevent the development of issues, or can better manage any concerns that have already started to impact seniors’ lives. Cholesterol: The Basics Cholesterol is a substance produced by the liver that also exists within certain foods. It is a fat-like waxy substance that travels through the bloodstream and is involved in the functioning of the body in its own unique ways. There are two different types of Cholesterol, High-density lipoprotein (HDL) and Low-density lipoprotein (LDL). The former assists the body by taking part in the prevention of heart attack and stroke, while the latter is the primary source of the high levels of Cholesterol that can negatively impact the body. For these reasons, the two types are known as “good Cholesterol” and “bad Cholesterol” respectively. It is also worth noting that about 75% of Cholesterol in the blood is made by the liver to perform specific functions, while the last 25% comes into the body through food (primarily from animal products). Talk to a Doctor The fact that not many outwardly detectable symptoms tend to accompany high Cholesterol to the extent that they interfere with people’s capacity to engage in their lives means that seniors with high Cholesterol might not be...

Smoking Cessation for Seniors – North and West Vancouver

Most of us know that smoking is harmful for our bodies, but the facts alone aren’t always enough to get us through the process of quitting. 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. Impacts of Smoking on Seniors Health The harmful impacts of smoking are widespread and effect multiple organs and systems within the body. Seniors are particularly vulnerable to experiencing negative health concerns from smoking because ageing bodies are weaker in their abilities to fight off disease and heal themselves from harm. Along with multiple other outcomes associated with individual experience and vulnerabilities, smoking increases the risk of the following: Low Blood Pressure Cancer Heart Disease Respiratory Problems Mental Decline Working to Quit Stopping any behaviour that has been a routine and dependable aspect of day-to-day life for an extended amount of time cold-turkey is very challenging, and smoking is no different. Many seniors have held on to their smoking habit for decades, and learning to live without smoking can be super challenging. This...