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Housekeeping Challenges for Seniors – North Shore – North Vancouver, West Vancouver

Many routine tasks become more strenuous and unmanageable with age. Keeping up with everyday household chores is typically one of the first things older adults need some assistance with, in order to continue living at home comfortably and independently. Very few people actually enjoy the process of cleaning and maintaining a home, but when strength and mobility start to diminish, housekeeping can become draining and overwhelming. Perils of an Unclean Home When keeping up with housework becomes unmanageable, it is not recommended to let it go by the wayside because neglecting cleaning duties can lead to a variety of health issues. Some of the health problems an unkempt home can present, may be: Unchanged bed sheets Dander, hair, and pet fur Old vacuums Contaminated HVAC filters Mold and mildew Hazardous cleaning products Bathmats and towels Spoiled food Unchanged Bed Sheets Bed sheets need to be washed and changed on a regular basis to prevent the mass accumulation of dead skin and dust mites. It’s not overly pleasant to think about, but the average human discards approximately an ounce of dead skin a week. This shed skin lingers in your bed sheets and becomes a feeding and breeding ground for dust mites and bacteria, which can then become embedded in the sheet fibers. These microbes leave behind fecal matter and other waste that can cause: Fungal, bacterial, and viral infections Aggravated eczema Skin irritations, lesions, and rashes Allergies Pneumonia Asthma and other respiratory ailments It is recommended to wash your sheets once a week. Studies show that sheets left unchanged for just one week have upwards of 25,000 more bacteria...

Memory Problems Should Not be Ignored – North Shore – North Vancouver, West Vancouver

Many older adults are hesitant to visit a doctor about memory issues because they feel it just a normal part of aging. While some degree of memory loss is typical as we get older, memory failure that impacts daily living may be a symptom of the onset of Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia. The cognitive decline associated with dementia is often quite gradual, so it can be tough to recognize as it is happening. A lot times when memory lapses occur is just chalked up as a “senior moment”. Minor lapses like misplaced keys, or forgetting to pay a bill may seem insignificant, but they could be an indication of a larger, developing condition. Just like the rest of our bodies, our brains begin to deteriorate slowly as we age. Age-Related Memory Loss Mild memory impairment associated with aging, is associated with 3 main elements: Hippocampus Hormones Circulation Hippocampus The hippocampus is the area of the brain associated with memory. This region of the brain actually shrinks as we get older, and so too does the frontal lobe which is involved with high level cognitive function. Hormones Hormone production also tends to decrease with age, and in particular the hormones and proteins responsible for protecting, repairing, and stimulating new neurons, generally decline. Circulation Blood flow often decreases with age as well, as you may have noticed many seniors experience chronic pain or coldness in feet and hands from lack of blood and oxygen. Seniors that don’t get enough physical exercise may have more serious circulation problems that can result in reduced blood flow to the brain, leading to...

Improving Sleep Quality for Seniors – North Shore – North Vancouver, West Vancouver

It would seem reasonable to think that by the time you reach retirement, and there is no longer a need to set an alarm and stress about the next day of work that sleep would come easy, right? Well, that is unfortunately not the case for many seniors who struggle with sleep disorders, or have difficulty getting regular, quality sleep. Extensive research into sleep and its effects, has shown that our sleep patterns tend to transform as we get older. Many older adults find that their sleep patterns become more fragmented and erratic with age. They report having difficulty falling asleep, and once they are able to finally fall asleep, they have trouble staying asleep. These inconsistent and unpredictable sleep patterns are thought to occur for a variety of reasons, like chronic pain, persisting medical conditions, mental health issues, and an assortment of medications. Conditions of the sleep environment itself can also contribute to poor sleep habits, with things like uncomfortable bed, outside noise, lighting, and other distractions playing a role. Effects of Poor Sleep Lack of sleep can have a number of detrimental effects on the body. For one thing, after a night of tossing and turning you are not likely to wake up feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. Not enough sleep often results in insufficient energy to get through daily tasks and activities. Inadequate sleep can also contribute to more serious health conditions like anxiety, depression, cognitive decline, and severe illness. Sleeping Medications Many times, people that have tremendous difficulty sleeping get frustrated and turn to sleeping pills as a solution. This is not a recommended practice as...

Effective Methods of Stroke Recovery – North Shore – North Vancouver, West Vancouver

Recovering from a stroke can be a long and challenging road. It takes dedication and commitment, and depending on the severity of the stroke, it can take a considerable amount of time. Helping a loved one recover from a stroke can be difficult to manage alone, but help is available through caregivers and professional home care agencies. Extensive research has been done on successful stroke recovery to uncover the most effective techniques for dealing with the aftermath of a stroke. Motor function and mobility are of great importance in the recovery process, and are a major focus in the rehabilitation plan. Risk of Repeat Once a person has suffered a stroke, the risk of a second one increases significantly without an effective recovery plan. Time is of the essence when it comes to stroke rehab, and it is crucial to get a plan in place as soon as possible. Stroke becomes about 40% more common after the initial episode, but focus on physical and cognitive healing help reduce that risk. Some common effects may include confusion, depression, and PTSD in the period following a stroke. Any assistance that can be given to help stroke survivors deal with these issues is extremely helpful. What is a Stroke? There are two main types of stroke: Ischemic Hemorrhagic Ischemic This type of stroke is the most common, and it occurs when the arteries to the brain become obstructed, blocking the flow of blood to brain cells. Hemorrhagic A hemorrhagic stroke takes place when a blood vessel in the brain becomes ruptured or bursts, and begins bleeding into the brain. A brain aneurism...

Importance of Self-Care for Caregivers – North Shore – North Vancouver, West Vancouver

Self-care has become a hot topic of conversation recently, as it seems people are finding it more and more difficult to manage daily stress. Being a caregiver can be a time consuming and challenging endeavor, especially for family caregivers that are trying to juggle caring for an aging loved one and their own lives and responsibilities. Chronic stress can have a damaging affect on both physical and mental health, and if not properly managed can result in a variety of health conditions. Family caregivers that do not have any support or assistance to give them regular breaks and time to take care of themselves, can eventually fall victim to caregiver burnout. What is Caregiver Burnout? Caregiver burnout is a condition that refers to a state of emotional, mental, and physical exhaustion. This state of exhaustion can occur because of caregivers trying to take on more than they can handle, or possibly they are feeling overwhelmed, underappreciated, and unsupported. Whatever the cause of caregiver burnout, it is no good for the health of the caregiver or the individual they are providing care for. Caregivers can avoid burnout by engaging in healthy lifestyle practices, and making sure there is a support system in place to help share the responsibility. How can Caregivers practice Self-Care? One of the greatest contributing factors to caregiver burnout is guilt. Family caregivers may start to feel guilty if they feel they could be doing more, and then end up taking on too much. Caregivers often feel guilty about making time for themselves because they believe they are depriving a loved one of needed care and support....