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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...

Digital Life Skills for Seniors – North Shore – North Vancouver, West Vancouver

                      A common assumption many people have is that seniors are afraid of, or uncomfortable with, technology. That is no longer the case for a growing number of older adults. Seniors in general have really begun to embrace technology in the last few years and all of the benefits that go with it. Benefits of Digital Literacy for Seniors There are many advantages for seniors that want to become a little more tech savvy. Some of the biggest benefits of improving computer skills, might be: Health Entertainment Transport and Travel Finances Education Staying Connected Health Health is obviously a major concern for a lot of older adults, and technology can help with a variety of health issues. The first major advantage is all the health information available on the internet. Of course, you will want to make sure you are getting your information from a credible source, but the option is there to find out everything about various health conditions, symptoms, causes, and treatments. Aside from a wealth of information, there are also a range of technological devices that can be used to monitor health and help prevent injury and illness. There are wearable sensor systems to monitor posture to treat back issues and reduce the risk of back injury. There are sensors being developed to help predict and prevent falls in the home. Medical alert systems are available to send immediate alerts in case of a fall or injury. There are also general health monitors that can track blood pressure and other vital signs throughout the day. Entertainment...

Travel Tips for Seniors – North Shore – North Vancouver and West Vancouver

                      For a lot of people, the senior years are when they plan to get out and see the world and do some traveling. Many people have families and careers that prevent them from visiting the places they would like to see because there is just not enough time. So, when retirement age rolls around, and the kids have all moved out of the house, aspirations for travel can finally be explored. The downside to this plan is growing health concerns for people as they age. This can cause problems for seniors, especially if problems arise while out of country. However, there are many precautions older adults can take before traveling to decreased worry and stress. Helpful Traveling Suggestions for Seniors Good preparation is key for any trip abroad, and many seniors could benefit from a little extra careful planning. Here are a few recommendations for seniors wishing to travel: Book your trip far in advance Do your research Discuss plans with your doctor or health care professional Make arrangements with the airline Make a packing list Don’t forget insurance Stay connected Advanced Booking Booking your trip well in advance makes sense for several reasons. It helps ensure you get the itinerary and accommodations you are looking for. It removes the stress of scrambling last minute. It will also likely result in much less expensive trip. Many hotels, B&Bs, and resorts offer exclusive bargains for seniors. This might include things like discounted rooms, complimentary meals, additional perks, and special activities. Senior travelers can benefit from going through a travel...