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Why is Nutrition so Important for Seniors? – North Shore – North Vancouver and West Vancouver

Good nutrition is important for any adult that wants to maintain their health, but nutrition becomes even more critical for us as we age. Many seniors suffer from malnutrition or are at risk of being malnourished. This can occur for a variety of reasons, such as:         Loss of appetite No desire to cook Lack of education regarding nutrition Eating the wrong foods Existing health conditions Medications Depression Physical disabilities These are just a few of the factors that may lead to malnutrition in seniors. Especially for seniors that live alone, getting the daily recommended vitamins and minerals can be a bit of a challenge. If you have an aging family member that you are concerned about, there are certain signs and symptoms to look out for that may indicate a nutritional deficiency. Symptoms of Malnutrition There are several indicators that can point to potential health problems due to a poor diet. Some of the warning signs to be on the lookout for, can include: Easy bruising and slow wound healing Dental problems Weight loss/gain Daily eating habits Contents of fridge and cupboards Medications and dietary restrictions Increased visits to hospital or doctor Without any assistance or support, it is easy for seniors to get stuck on the path to malnutrition. To ensure that your loved one is getting the nutrition they need, there are some nutrients that hold a special significance for seniors. Important Nutrients for Seniors Seniors should try to focus on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy protein, while avoiding processed foods that are high in fat or sugar. Some nutrients that are...

Ways Seniors Can Feel More Energetic – Vancouver and North and West Vancouver

Changes in levels or energy tend to come along with the process of ageing and growing older. As we grow older, the many changes that our bodies and lives are going through can result in differences in how our bodies feel and function. For many seniors, it is difficult to navigate the changes that come to impact their energy levels. It can be discouraging to have your body seem to force you to slow down when you are still so ready and willing to get out and do things every day. While outside factors can never entirely override the need for rest and relaxation that the body requires to maintain a state of health and wellbeing, it is possible to make a few lifestyle choices that can help to allow seniors to feel more energetic so that they can continue to participate in all the things they love.  Boosting Energy Everyone’s body works differently, and the things that work well for one person will likely be a little bit different than the ones that work for someone else. Generally speaking, the following are some great things to try that can help seniors to feel more energetic and less sluggish and fatigued throughout the day: Sleep Well: Many seniors deal with sleep problems, and it can be hard to have energy during the day when it hasn’t been replenished throughout the night. Having a good nighttime routine and setting things up in a way that is more conducive to a good night’s sleep can make all the difference. Routine and environment are one thing, but if sleep is a persistent...

Benefits of Swimming for Seniors – Vancouver and North and West Vancouver

Swimming can be a way for seniors to get their bodies moving as they work to keep themselves in healthy shape. Swimming is an incredible form of exercise that many seniors enjoy year-round. Whether it be indoor swim sessions, water-aerobics classes, or outdoor fun in the sun, swimming is an accessible way for seniors to get their bodies moving and keep active. With the many physical changes that come with growing older, many seniors begin to find it more challenging to engage in all the same forms of exercise or activity that they may have enjoyed when they were younger, but water exercise remains manageable and enjoyable for many seniors, even as they adapt to their changing bodies. There are many reasons that swimming is great for seniors, the following is a list of a few: Low Impact = Less Pain: The buoyancy involved in exercising in water puts less strain and impact on the joints and can therefore provide a great opportunity for movement without pain. Stronger Muscles: Movement in water involves natural resistance that makes it a strength training activity. Faster movement creates greater resistance and, therefore, more muscle work. Through swimming, water aerobics, and other water sports seniors can grow stronger without having to use things like weights and can take it at their own pace. Bone Health: Training the body in ways that increase strength can help to keep bones strong and maintain healthy bone density. This can help to reduce the risks and progression of conditions like Osteoporosis. More Flexibility: The lower-impact nature of moving around in the water can allow seniors an opportunity...

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,...

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...