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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...

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...

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...

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...