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Fun Family Day Activities for Seniors – North Shore – North Vancouver, West Vancouver

With the Family Day long weekend upon us, family members and caregivers may be looking for some interesting things to do to bring a little joy to seniors and elderly loved ones. There are a wide range of activities and events to consider, both indoors and outdoors and out, that can be enjoyable for people of all tastes and preferences. Depending on weather, and physical and cognitive limitations, it can be a good idea to have a few options ready, just in case the original plan does not work out. There all kinds of fun activities to choose from in Vancouver and the North Shore. A few ideas to consider, might include: Walks or hikes Share a meal Board games Hobbies Museum or Aquarium Yaletown Trout Lake Festival Rec Centre Activities Walks or Hikes Getting outdoors for some fresh air and a little physical exercise is a great way to spend a day this Family Day weekend. Of course this activity depends on what the weather is like, and the strength and mobility of seniors looking to participate. The beauty of going for a walk though, is that it can be easily catered to the specific abilities of just about anyone. For older adults with mobility issues, even just a light walk around the neighborhood can be a good way to get some exercise. For seniors with a little more strength and mobility, it can be fun to choose a hiking trail in the area and head out for a winter walk. Walking and hiking are a couple of the best low impact activities for seniors that can be...

Holiday Tips for Seniors and Caregivers – North Shore – North Vancouver, West Vancouver

The Christmas holidays are meant to be a fun time for all, but in some cases the holidays cause more stress and anxiety than enjoyment. A surprisingly large portion of older adults, report feeling the effects of the “holiday blues” around Christmas and New Year’s. Aside from stress and anxiety, many seniors find themselves feeling lonely, sad, or depressed over holidays, reminiscing about better times when they were surrounded by family and friends. In many cases, feelings of stress and anxiety around the holidays come from individuals putting too much pressure on themselves, and worrying about things they have no control over. That goes for both caregivers and seniors. Trying to relax and enjoy the occasion for what it is can help alleviate some of this undue pressure. Tips for a Stress-Free Holiday Season Here are some tips for caregivers that are looking after a loved one or an older adult over the holidays, and for seniors as well, to help make the most of the festivities. Make a realistic schedule Consider home safety Don’t stress too much about gifts Try to avoid overeating or consuming too much alcohol Watch for signs of depression Ensure there is sufficient support and assistance Make a Realistic Schedule Keeping your holiday plans realistic is one of the best ways to alleviate stress and worry at this time of year. Too often people try to do too much during the holiday season, which is generally packed with parties, events, and get togethers. Try to choose activities that are the least stressful with the most potential for fun. Seniors may only have the energy...

Remembrance Day Activities for Seniors – North Shore – North Vancouver, West Vancouver

We all begin learning about the importance of Remembrance Day, November 11th, at a very young age. Starting as early as kindergarten there are a variety of activities, poems, stories, and songs to help remind us of those who fought bravely for our country and gave their lives for the hope of a better future. But, after those school days are finished, many of us lose sight of the true reason behind November 11 activities and events. Caregiver and Senior Activities on Remembrance Day As a caregiver, Remembrance Day offers a great opportunity to honour our country’s veterans, and for seniors that have served in the military to be appreciated for their contribution. Some activities that caregivers can take part in with seniors, might be: Parades Arts & crafts Poems, books, songs Remember friends and family involved Learn some history Support Royal Canadian Legions Visit a soldiers’ cemetery Volunteer Parades Going to a parade is an excellent tradition to take part in November 11th. Attending a Remembrance Day parade shows veteran support, while getting out for a bit of exercise and social activity. It also offers a good reminder about our country’s commitment to peace to provide a safe environment for children to grow up in, and the harsh brutality of war. In Vancouver, there is the main parade downtown at Victory Square, and for residents in the North Shore, there is also a parade that starts at the Armoury at Forbes Ave & 15th Street, beginning around 9:30 AM. If you are heading out to the parade in North Vancouver, it can be followed up with a picturesque...

Health Benefits of Dancing for Seniors – North Shore – North Vancouver, West Vancouver

It is probably no surprise that dancing is a great source of physical exercise, but did you know it can also be a mentally stimulating activity? Dancing is such a helpful and healthy activity for older adults because it has positive effects on strength and mobility, balance, cardiovascular health, social skills, and even cognitive function. Plus, there is the bonus of listening to music which can elevate the mood and lift the spirits! How does dancing impact cognitive health? Extensive research has been done to demonstrate that physical exercise has a positive effect on cognitive health. Dancing adds an extra level to the physical benefits because it involves memory, pattern recognition, and anticipation. Examples of the challenges involved in dancing are: Recognizing the beat to follow Remember the steps Executing turns Anticipating and accommodating partners movements Bringing it all together in time with the music These are what are known as sensorimotor demands, which involve receiving sensory input and formulating an appropriate response. Reducing the Risk of Dementia A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine reported that of the 11 physical activities examined in the study, only dancing showed signs of reduced risk of dementia. Additional activities analyzed in the study were golf, tennis, swimming, and cycling. Other studies have been done on seniors with minor cognitive impairment to find that after 10 months of ballroom dancing, improvements were made in memory and cognitive abilities. Dancing has also been known to reduce severity of Parkinson’s symptoms, such as balance, coordination, tremors, and stiffness. Areas of the Brain Vital to Cognitive Health There are various areas in...

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,...

Activities of Daily Living for Seniors – Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge

What is an ADL? An ADL, Activity of Daily Living, is a phrase that is predominantly used in health care. It is applied to essential tasks and activities one must take care of on a daily basis. These tasks are routine for people in peak physical health, but may be more burdensome for seniors with health issues. Some examples of activities of daily living, are: Functional mobility – the ability to get out of bed in the morning and get to the bathroom, and navigate around the house Toileting Personal hygiene Bathing or showering Oral care Skin care Grooming Hair care Dressing – choosing suitable attire and the ability to put on clothes, with the ability to operate zippers and buttons Nourishment – independent eating You can think of an ADL as an activity that is typically included in the process of getting ready for a regular day. With age, ADLs may begin to become more challenging and time-consuming, and in some cases impossible. Caregivers from a professional home care agency, like Retire-At-Home, can assist your loved one with any help they need carrying out typical ADLs. On top of straightforward activities like ADLs, there is also another level of tasks called IADLs. What is an IADL? IADL stands for Instrumental Activities for Daily Living. An IADL is much like an ADL, except it is generally a bit more complex in nature. IADLs are often not essential for survival, but are required for independent living. These tasks frequently require higher levels of functioning like organizational skills, problem solving and judgement, as well as a certain degree of physical strength...