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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...

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...

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...

The Benefits of Gardening for Seniors – Vancouver and North and West Vancouver

Setting up and watching a garden grow can do great things for seniors. Gardening is an activity that allows for creativity, physical movement, interaction with nature, and a whole host of other positive features. Spending time outside working in the garden is a hobby that many seniors enjoy in the warm-weather months, but it can be more than just a fun way to pass the time. The fact that gardening requires planning, knowledge, time, care, and creativity means that it is an activity that incorporates many facets that exercise the mind and body. Benefits of Gardening: Gardens are beautiful places that are full of life and wonder. The act of gardening itself can be beneficial for seniors in multiple ways: Physical Activity: Gardening involves different levels of physical activity that can be beneficial for seniors’ physical wellbeing. Working outside and moving around to care for the garden can help seniors exercise their bodies and can help them get better sleep as a result of the combination of movement and fresh air. Self-Esteem and Mastery: Gardening can be an empowering activity in which seniors can plan and control the outcome of the task. Learning to nurture a garden provides a sense of purpose and can afford seniors a great sense of self-worth and mastery. Relaxation: The rhythm and work required for gardening has a slow and calm pace that makes it an ideal activity for relaxing and relieving stress. Some seniors even use gardening as a form of meditation. When things are overwhelming and a little stress relief is required, seniors can step out into the sun and just focus...

The Importance of Proper Nutrition for Seniors – Vancouver and North and West Vancouver

Along with the many changes that come with older age is a change in what our bodies need to keep themselves healthy and working efficiently. To promote the best possible state of health and wellbeing, seniors and their caregivers should make themselves aware of what their bodies require in terms of vitamins, nutrients, and types of food. Ageing Brings Changes The changes that take place within the body in older age necessitate that seniors consider their food choices and make intentional decisions about the foods they are putting into their bodies. Seniors need to make sure that they are caring for themselves properly, and that their eating habits promote better health. Many aspects of older age, including changes to the physical body, daily routines, abilities, and perceptions, mean not only that the body needs different things, but also that new obstacles are present that might get in the way of a lifestyle of healthy eating. Environment/Situation: Multiple factors related to environment and lifestyle can come into play to alter eating habits. Lack of ability to go out and buy or transport healthy food, as a result of lack of transportation or anxieties related to venturing outside the home, might lead seniors to depend on less healthy convenience foods or not to eat enough at all. Similarly, worries about finances may mean that seniors buy smaller amounts of food or choose cheaper, but also less healthy, options. Loneliness can also lead seniors to avoid meal times, as cooking or eating alone emphasizes feelings of solitude and isolation. Gastrointestinal: Some of the most valuable foods for seniors’ nutrition, like fruits and...