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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,...

How Volunteering Can Enrich Seniors’ Lives – Vancouver and North and West Vancouver

Volunteering can provide seniors with purpose, sense of self, confidence, and the knowledge that they are helping and contributing to their communities. When we think of Volunteering, we think about dedicating our time and energy to helping to support others in our community. The act of Volunteering is itself motivated by kindness and dedication to doing all we can to help others, but it can also have impacts on our own lives that are beneficial for mental and physical wellbeing. Volunteering can be a wonderful opportunity for seniors to fill their time and to feel like they are making a meaningful contribution to causes or areas of their community that are important to them. With so many options available in places like animal shelters, children’s hospitals, food banks, homeless shelters, community events, workshops, museums, churches, and so much more, seniors can find somewhere to Volunteer their time no matter what their interests, passions, or values are. The Benefits The following are some examples of the many ways in which Volunteering can benefit seniors. Physical Activity: In many Volunteer environments, there is some degree of movement involved that can help to keep seniors active and strong. Cognitive Health: A lot of Volunteering involves learning skills, following directions, thinking through things, and planning. All of these behaviours, among others, are great for exercising the brain and supporting cognitive function in seniors. Social Connection: Getting out of the house and into a Volunteer setting can help to combat senior isolation and create connections that are so important for wellbeing. Seniors can meet people with common interests and values, and can work together...

What’s So Important About Vitamin D? – Vancouver and North and West Vancouver

Enough Vitamin D is essential and important for our bodies and health. When it comes to managing health and wellbeing, there seems to be an unending list of things to keep track of. Keeping seniors healthy and happy as they continue to grow older is a process with many facets, and it can become easy to let some things fall by the wayside in the midst of everything. Amid all the larger scale health concerns that seniors may be dealing with on a daily basis, things like Vitamin Deficiency often get ignored or forgotten about; but not having enough of essential Vitamins and nutrients can cause a real problem for seniors’ health and wellbeing, so it is worth prioritizing a focus on making sure seniors have enough of the Vitamins they need. Vitamin D Among the Vitamins that are incredibly important for seniors and their health is Vitamin D, which is required for bone strength and health. The body produces Vitamin D in response to sunlight, and this important Vitamin is required for the body to perform essential functions. Vitamin D allows for Calcium absorption, helps regulate cell growth, helps muscles move, fights infection, and carries messages through the nervous system. Without sufficient Vitamin D, the body is more prone to muscle weakness, bone pain, and other significant problems. General exposure to the sun is often enough to provide most people with the amount of Vitamin D they need to keep things running properly, but for seniors who don’t spend a lot of time outside, it can be hard to get enough from the sun alone. Seniors and Vitamin...

Dancing Your Way to Health – Vancouver and North and West Vancouver

Dancing can be a wonderful activity through which to explore physical activity, self-expression, social connections, and much more. When it comes to keeping active, there are a whole host of possible activities that seniors can take part in to get their bodies moving. Dancing is a great way to get active and take part in physical exercise while also challenging the brain, promoting positive emotions, and engaging in self-expression. How Dancing Can Promote Wellbeing Seniors can reap many benefits from taking up dancing and can use dance as a tool to keep physically, mentally, and emotionally healthy. Mood and Emotional Health: Dance is an activity that is about more than just movement. Studies have indicated that seniors who make dance a part of their lives have less anxiety and stress and are less likely to feel depressed. Physical Strength: The various forms of movement involved in dancing are an incredible form of exercise that can help seniors to increase their physical strength and balance. Stretching: Many seniors experience a great deal of stiffness and discomfort in areas of their body that have sustained wear and tear over their lifetime. Dance is a relatively low-impact form of exercise that can increase flexibility and decrease stiffness. Many seniors who dance regularly and stretch out their bodies feel less pain. Heart Health: The aerobic exercise of dance is great for heart health and can help with cardiovascular health overall. Cognitive Health: The thinking and quick decision making involved in dance make it a good form of exercise for the mind as well as the body. Learning to dance, remembering routines, and choosing...

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...

The Health Benefits of Tea – Vancouver and North and West Vancouver

Tea is a drink that is part of fond memories for many, and it can also be a part of better health. Tea has an incredible history and, for many, is associated with comfort and traditions. The act of sitting down with a cup of tea can be relaxing, grounding, and comforting for many seniors who have enjoyed tea throughout their lives. On top of the positive emotional and calming impacts that drinking tea can have for those who enjoy it, tea itself can also have health benefits that are great for various areas of seniors’ bodies and minds. The Benefits Tea can impact the body in many ways, and some of the benefits are specific to particular kinds of tea. The list that follows are some areas in which tea has been generally shown to create positive impacts for health. Calm: Some of the elements contained within the tea plant itself (like the amino acid L-Theanine) have been shown to impact the brain in ways that promote relaxation. Tea can also help to physically relax the tightness and stiffness that often comes with a stressful event. Drinking tea can help both the body and mind to ease up and become more relaxed. Weight-Loss: Seniors who need to work on regulating their weight to promote health and wellbeing can benefit from integrating tea into their routines. Teas (such as green tea) can help the body to metabolize fats, and switching to tea or iced tea in place of processed beverages that are higher in sugar can help seniors to consume less sugar and calories. Memory and Concentration: Tea has...