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The Value of Emotional Support for Seniors – North Shore – North Vancouver, West Vancouver

With all the focus on physical and mental health as we get older, it is easy for emotional health to get overlooked or neglected. However, emotional wellbeing is an extremely factor for overall health. For instance, if emotional health is lacking, it can be very detrimental to finding the motivation to keep up with physical health and regular tasks and activities. Emotional wellbeing is directly tied to social activity. Older adults that don’t experience regular social interaction are more susceptible to social isolation and depression. As you can probably guess, once the symptoms of depression begin to manifest, the will to maintain physical fitness, personal hygiene, and general housekeeping tasks drops off considerably. Like with most ailments that affect the elderly, preventative measures are the most effective approach. Nipping potential problems in the bud, and correcting unhealthy behaviors before they become unmanageable is absolutely crucial. Also, aside from the widely known physical and mental effects of aging, there are emotional changes associated with aging as well. How does aging affect emotional state? There are some positive emotional effects of aging, such as emotional stability. We tend to become more emotional stable with age as we become more secure with who we are, and less affected by what others think. However, age also tends to bring with it an increase in anxiety levels due to the growing vulnerability to illness and injury. The increased risk of injury due to falls, and developing chronic health problems, typically result in rising anxiety. By recognizing the root cause of this anxiety, it makes it much easier to reduce or eliminate it. Cognitive decline...

Winter Safety Tips for Seniors – North Shore – North Vancouver, West Vancouver

There are many aspects to the Canadian winter that can make it a particularly hazardous season for older adults. Many seniors have chronic health conditions which are exacerbated by the cold temperatures and harsh weather conditions of the winter months. Seniors that require some assistance with daily living, will likely need even more help and support during the winter season. Why is Winter more Difficult for Seniors? The cold weather is actually more taxing on people of all ages, but seniors tend to experience the most severe strain. Not only does the cold weather make it harder on existing ailments like arthritis and osteoporosis, it is also prime time for cold and flu season when a variety of new viruses and illnesses are introduced. Weakened immune systems make seniors more vulnerable to infections, influenza, and pneumonia. Then there are other issues like lack of exercise, insufficient nutrition, and social isolation that can also contribute to deteriorating mental and physical health. Winter Risks for Seniors Some of the most serious risks for seniors during the winter, tend to include: Slips and falls Frostbite and hypothermia Shoveling injuries Car accidents Poor indoor air quality Lack of exercise and nutrition Isolation and depression Slips and Falls This is undoubtedly the most serious risk for seniors in the wintertime. It is estimated in Canada that every year 1 in 3 people over the age of 65 will experience injury due to a fall. Falls are one of the leading causes of hospitalization for seniors. The winter makes this risk of sustaining an injury from falling even greater. Regular exercises to maintain strength and...

Coping with Aphasia and Dysarthria for Seniors – North Shore – North Vancouver, West Vancouver

Communication and language problems are an issue that many older adults face, and they can occur as the result of stroke, brain injury, or progressive neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. Conditions that affect the ability to understand language and formulate speech can create numerous problems in daily life, and can threaten seniors’ independence. These issues can also lead to inner struggles for the individual, sparking feelings of confusion, frustration, anger, anxiety, depression, and can even result in social isolation. We generally take the ability to communicate easily and freely for granted until it becomes a struggle, and then it can be debilitating without the right assistance and support. What is Aphasia? Aphasia is defined as an acquired communication disorder that impairs an individual’s ability to process, utilize, and understand language. This can include the capacity to comprehend both written and spoken words. The emergence of this disorder and has nothing to with intelligence, and typically varies in severity from case to case depending on area of the brain that is affected, and the extent of the damage incurred. Types of Aphasia Instances of aphasia can generally be put into one of two main categories or classifications: Expressive aphasia Receptive Aphasia Expressive Aphasia This type of the disorder is characterized by the ability to understand what others are saying to you, but not being able to properly form a response. For example, speech might be jumbled with mixed up words, the incorrect message may be conveyed, or attempts at communication come out as nonsensical gibberish. Expressive aphasia typically involves slow and deliberate speech, with challenges delivering...

Diet & Activity to Prevent Cognitive Decline in Seniors – North Shore – North Vancouver, West Vancouver

Two very good lifestyle practices to make a part of your daily routine are a balanced, nutritious diet and mentally stimulating activity. This probably comes as no surprise, as these are fairly standard practices for health and wellbeing. The problem is that the majority of seniors could be doing more in both of these areas. Diet Studies show that a diet based in whole foods, and rich in nutrients, can help lower the risk of dementia. One good example of this is how the Mediterranean diet has been shown to help preserve memory and prevent cognitive decline. Brain Games Games that help keep the mind active and sharp are another good approach to help preserve cognitive function. Studies have also supported ‘brain training games’, to keep the brain healthy and nimble. Mediterranean Diet Linked to Brain Health A diet consisting of plant-based foods, as well as quality fish and poultry, has been shown to have positive effects on overall health. A nutritious diet of this nature has been associated with reduced risk of stroke, cardiovascular disease, and cognitive impairment. What is the Mediterranean Diet? The name makes it sound like a specific diet that is prevalently eaten in southern Europe. However, the original Mediterranean diet spans across southern Europe, west Asia, and north Africa, and there are a range of foods that are common in these regions. The Mediterranean diet is more of a lifestyle, that has been adopted by many people all over the earth. What does the Mediterranean Diet include? There is a loose guideline that can be followed for people looking to implement the Mediterranean diet,...

6 Approaches to Healthy Aging – North Shore – North Vancouver, West Vancouver

There are many challenges that come with aging, but it is how you deal with those challenges that has an impact on your overall happiness and well being. There is such a stigma against getting older in the western world, and many people feel that life goes downhill after reaching the age of 40. However, it all about the attitude of the individual. With a positive attitude, the second half of life can be just as fun and enjoyable as the first. Every single person on the planet is getting older right now. So why are so many people trying to fight it? This backwards way of thinking is western phenomenon, whereas in the far east age is celebrated for its experience and wisdom. Seniors are respected and even revered. This enlightened attitude helps people ease into getting older and embrace the inevitable. A positive outlook can have an influence on health as well as contentment. 6 Tips for Healthy Aging There are several lifestyle practices and useful tips that can help people age gracefully and peacefully. Some suggestions for healthy aging, might be: Embrace it Exercise Eat right Keep your brain sharp Stay social Sleep well Embrace Getting Older Aging is not an optional event. There is no sense fighting it. Hollywood movie stars are a good example. Especially the ones that are getting older and decide to have all this plastic surgery to try to appear more youthful. There is nothing dignified about turning your face into a terrifying, motionless, plastic mask. Aging should be embraced. People get wrinkles on their skin, and their hair turns grey...

Tips for Choosing a Caregiver for your Loved One – North Shore – North Vancouver, West Vancouver

When it comes time to look for outside assistance for your home care situation, it can seem like an overwhelming task if you are not sure where to start. One of the most effective ways to find the right caregiver for your aging loved one, is to employ the services of a professional home care agency, like Retire-At-Home. A home care agency will already have done all the vetting for all their caregivers, so you don’t have to. They have already done background checks, and hired caregivers based on qualifications and experience. This can save you a lot of time and hassle. It also provides the bonus of safety and security, which you may not get if go the private route. Retire-At-Home can help match your loved one with a compatible caregiver based on home care needs, as well your personal preferences. Factors to Consider to Get an Ideal Caregiver Match Providing the right information and asking the right questions is the best way to find a suitable caregiver match. Here are some things you may want to address to get you on the right page. What is a PSW, and what do they do? A personal support worker is someone who provides care for the ill or elderly, by assisting with daily tasks and activities. They offer physical and emotional support to help improve safety, wellbeing, and quality of life. What duties and tasks will you need assistance with? It is a good idea to make a list of all the things your loved one could use some help with. For example, will they need assistance with personal...