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Orthopedic Care Tips for Seniors – North Shore – North Vancouver, West Vancouver

Orthopedic care is intended for people experiencing health concerns caused by problems with the musculoskeletal system. For example, back or joint pain typically stems from complications in this area. Issues with the musculoskeletal system include:   Joint pain – such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, gout Bone deterioration – such as osteoporosis, osteopenia, fractures Muscle pain and decline – such as sarcopenia Spine, back, and neck pain or stiffness Chronic inflammation Body system dysfunction or disorders If you or your loved one is recovering from orthopedic surgery, or may be looking for ways to help manage back or joint pain, there are some helpful practices and methods to employ to help alleviate pain and stiffness. Symptoms of Orthopedic Conditions Since orthopedic health problems span such a wide spectrum, symptoms will vary depending on the source and nature of the affliction. Some symptoms to be aware of include: Joint pain or swelling Joint deformity or peculiar appearance Chronic fatigue Limited range of motion Stiffness and inflexibility Muscle weakness Numb or tingling sensations Redness or feelings or warmth on the skin Pain may be dull or acute These symptoms may be sporadic or part of everyday life. It is critical to begin treating and managing these issues as soon as possible to help maintain independence and mobility. Risk Factors for Orthopedic Conditions There are general risk factors that may make people more vulnerable to developing orthopedic problems, such as: Age Weight – obesity puts added pressure on bones and joints History of physical injury Years of intense physical activity Improper exercise techniques Existing health conditions Unhealthy habits – smoking, excess...

How do Headaches and Migraines Affect Seniors? North Shore – North Vancouver, West Vancouver

There is often a lot of confusion surrounding migraines and headaches and whether one is just a more painful and intense version of the other. While both afflictions can cause pain in the brain, there are also some fundamental differences between the two. Migraines are frequently described as excruciating and can even be debilitating. You can think of a headache as a symptom of some types of migraines. Migraines can also trigger other unfavorable symptoms. Let’s take a look at some similarities and differences between the two, and some helpful suggestions that help explain how to recognize, manage, and try to prevent migraines. Comparing Headaches and Migraines Migraines are a chronic condition and unpredictable neurological disorder that often result in headaches for the sufferer. Migraines are typically described as a throbbing pain, while a headache is frequently more of a dull ache. Migraines often occur right behind the eyes or are located on one side of the head. Headache Disorders This is a blanket term that includes a wide range of nervous system conditions that cause head pain. The World Health Organization reports that approximately 50% of adults worldwide are affected by headache disorders. People that experience headaches generally have symptoms involving pain in the upper neck, face, or head with varying degrees of intensity. Types of Headaches Headaches have been divided into two main categories based on causes and symptoms: Primary headaches Secondary headaches Primary Headaches These are typically caused by independent conditions that result in head, face, or neck pain. A migraine would be an example of a primary headache. Another type of primary headache is a...

How Seniors can Cope With Sarcopenia – North Shore – North Vancouver, West Vancouver

Sarcopenia refers to the muscle loss that is associated with the process of aging. Sarcopenia typically leads to a reduction in physical strength as well as mobility. More severe cases can result in extreme frailty and even disability. Most adult humans tend to reach their peak physical strength between the ages of 35 and 40. After the age of 40, muscle mass starts to decline. This trend continues into old age and can have detrimental effects on the lives of older adults. How can sarcopenia be slowed down or effectively managed? Research shows that after reaching the age of 30, people that lead a sedentary lifestyle can lose anywhere from 3% to 5% of muscle per decade. Active individuals will also experience muscle loss as the natural effects of aging continue to take their toll, just not at such a high rate. While there is no way to outright stop the decline in muscle mass and strength as we get older, there certainly ways to manage it. Symptoms of Sarcopenia The signs and symptoms of sarcopenia will vary based on the severity of the case and other physical factors. Some of the recognizable symptoms of sarcopenia include: Reduced muscle mass Frailty or feebleness Poor balance or stability Lack of flexibility Low stamina and endurance Difficulty going up and down stairs As muscle mass and strength continue to decline, the results can be quite serious. It increases the risk of injury from falls and can directly impede the ability to lead an independent lifestyle. Causes of Sarcopenia Old age is definitely a heavily contributing factor for sarcopenia, but there are...

Importance of Dental Care for Seniors – North Shore – North Vancouver, West Vancouver

Diligent oral care is a part of essential maintenance for any adult, but it becomes even more important with age. Healthy teeth and gums contribute to an individual’s overall health level. Good dental hygiene is a positive step toward preventing oral health problems such as:     Root decay Tooth discoloration Loss of taste Dry mouth Tooth loss Plaque build-up Root Decay Quite common in seniors, root decay occurs when the root of the tooth becomes exposed as the gums recede. When roots are exposed they are vulnerable to the acids in foods causing decay because the roots don’t have enamel for protection. Tooth Discoloration As tooth enamel wears over time, the dark yellow bone-like tissue underneath called dentin begins to show through. Also, lifelong consumption of strain-inducing food and beverage can contribute to discoloration without attentive oral hygiene. Loss of Taste A gradual loss in taste sensitivity tends to happen as we age, but oral diseases, dentures, and medications can also play a role. Dry Mouth Many older adults are taking an assortment of medications, some of which may have the effect of reducing the saliva flow. The saliva helps protect the teeth from bacteria and viruses, so dry can leave teeth susceptible to infection. Tooth Loss Dental care is crucial for keeping gums healthy and strong. Gum disease is the number one cause of tooth loss. Tooth loss can also result in an uneven jawbone. Plaque Build-Up Neglecting oral hygiene leads to an accumulation of plaque on your teeth. This plaque hardens as yellow or brown deposits known as tartar, which breaks down tooth enamel. These are...

Caregivers Can Help Seniors Adjust to the New Normal – North Shore – North Vancouver, West Vancouver

As things start to open back up after the Covid-19 lockdown, it can be challenging and even a little confusing when trying to navigate back to some semblance of normalcy. It is pretty clear things won’t be going back to being exactly the way the were anytime soon, if ever. So, what is next for older adults that require daily assistance with tasks and activities? Family Caregivers Family caregivers have been stepping up big time to provide help for elderly relatives during these trying times. Many of the security measures put in place to combat the spread of Covid-19 have adversely affected care programs and services that seniors have come to rely on for regular support. Senior Care Programs Programs like adult day care have been forced to close due to social distancing restrictions and have left many older adults struggling to fill in the gaps. Adult day care programs support seniors in a variety of ways, like: Offering fun and engaging activities Mental stimulation Physical exercise Learning opportunities Nutritious snacks and meals Health checks and monitoring Medical services Dementia care With services being limited or unavailable, many older adults have been searching for viable alternatives. Family Caregivers of British Colombia The Family Caregivers of British Colombia is an organization dedicated to helping family caregivers manage the demands and concerns of caring for a loved one. The Office of The Seniors Advocate BC has just provided this organization with $500,000 in funding to help deal the strain Covid-19 has had on the senior community. Both caregivers and seniors can visit the Family Caregivers of British Colombia website for information...