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Spring Cleaning Tips and Assistance for Seniors – North Shore – North Vancouver, West Vancouver

A lot of people tend to get on board with spring cleaning tasks on an annual basis to clear away the clutter and grime from the previous year. Spring is a perfect time to tackle such a project because it also typically brings warmer weather, and new leaves and flowers to boost the spirit and energy levels. The average individual is not thrilled with the prospect of cleaning their entire house, so any extra advantage is heartily welcomed. Aside from the result of a cleaner home, there are also many other benefits spring cleaning can bring for older adults. Benefits of Spring Cleaning for Seniors There are several advantages to living in a clean home, which is why taking the time to do some spring cleaning is highly recommended for seniors living at home. Some useful benefits of spring cleaning include: Physical exercise Reduced stress Getting rid of clutter Mood and productivity booster Removing germs and allergens Immune booster Sleep and nutrition Safety Physical Exercise An excellent bonus of engaging in spring cleaning activities is the side effect of physical exercise. Spring cleaning makes for a great workout and provides the means for physical activity you may not have even realized you were getting. Since you will be moving all around the house it offers good cardio and uses muscles you may not use on a regular basis. Reduced Stress The physical aspect of spring cleaning is a great stress reliever, just as living in a clean and comfortable environment can lower stress and anxiety levels. Repetitive, mindless tasks like cleaning are effective for shutting the brain off to...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Hoarding and Diogenes Syndrome in The Elderly

As we continue to grow older and move through the numerous stages that make up our lives, we accumulate an array of material belongings to which we may become emotionally attached through casual fondness or nostalgic association. The items that we have in our possession can become incredibly valuable to us in one way or another, but it is also possible for people to take their tendency to collect and hold onto things to an unhealthy extreme. Diogenes Syndrome, also known as Senile Squalor Syndrome, is a behavioural disorder encountered by some seniors that manifests in hoarding and other behaviours related to lifestyle and cleanliness that can be harmful and damaging to seniors’ safety and wellbeing as well as their physical and mental health. Why Seniors? The intersections that can exist between varying biological, environmental, and situational elements of older age mean that a greater number of seniors are increasingly more disposed to taking part in hoarding and other behaviours connected to Diogenes Syndrome. Physiologically speaking, some health conditions, such as dementia and impairment of the brain’s frontal lobe, can contribute to hoarding behaviours, as can certain genetic predispositions. On the other hand, diverse factors such as traumatic events, feelings of isolation, lack of stimulation, and aspects related to elements of day-to-day life, can create or amplify these behaviours and the ways in which they come to impact seniors’ everyday lives. Behaviours Connected to Diogenes Syndrome Diogenes Syndrome can be manifested through numerous behaviours in varying degrees and levels of intensity contingent on the personal circumstances of the senior in question. Some of the harmful behaviours that can be...