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Memory Problems Should Not be Ignored – North Shore – North Vancouver, West Vancouver

Many older adults are hesitant to visit a doctor about memory issues because they feel it just a normal part of aging. While some degree of memory loss is typical as we get older, memory failure that impacts daily living may be a symptom of the onset of Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia. The cognitive decline associated with dementia is often quite gradual, so it can be tough to recognize as it is happening. A lot times when memory lapses occur is just chalked up as a “senior moment”. Minor lapses like misplaced keys, or forgetting to pay a bill may seem insignificant, but they could be an indication of a larger, developing condition. Just like the rest of our bodies, our brains begin to deteriorate slowly as we age. Age-Related Memory Loss Mild memory impairment associated with aging, is associated with 3 main elements: Hippocampus Hormones Circulation Hippocampus The hippocampus is the area of the brain associated with memory. This region of the brain actually shrinks as we get older, and so too does the frontal lobe which is involved with high level cognitive function. Hormones Hormone production also tends to decrease with age, and in particular the hormones and proteins responsible for protecting, repairing, and stimulating new neurons, generally decline. Circulation Blood flow often decreases with age as well, as you may have noticed many seniors experience chronic pain or coldness in feet and hands from lack of blood and oxygen. Seniors that don’t get enough physical exercise may have more serious circulation problems that can result in reduced blood flow to the brain, leading to...

Improving Sleep Quality for Seniors – North Shore – North Vancouver, West Vancouver

It would seem reasonable to think that by the time you reach retirement, and there is no longer a need to set an alarm and stress about the next day of work that sleep would come easy, right? Well, that is unfortunately not the case for many seniors who struggle with sleep disorders, or have difficulty getting regular, quality sleep. Extensive research into sleep and its effects, has shown that our sleep patterns tend to transform as we get older. Many older adults find that their sleep patterns become more fragmented and erratic with age. They report having difficulty falling asleep, and once they are able to finally fall asleep, they have trouble staying asleep. These inconsistent and unpredictable sleep patterns are thought to occur for a variety of reasons, like chronic pain, persisting medical conditions, mental health issues, and an assortment of medications. Conditions of the sleep environment itself can also contribute to poor sleep habits, with things like uncomfortable bed, outside noise, lighting, and other distractions playing a role. Effects of Poor Sleep Lack of sleep can have a number of detrimental effects on the body. For one thing, after a night of tossing and turning you are not likely to wake up feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. Not enough sleep often results in insufficient energy to get through daily tasks and activities. Inadequate sleep can also contribute to more serious health conditions like anxiety, depression, cognitive decline, and severe illness. Sleeping Medications Many times, people that have tremendous difficulty sleeping get frustrated and turn to sleeping pills as a solution. This is not a recommended practice as...

Effective Methods of Stroke Recovery – North Shore – North Vancouver, West Vancouver

Recovering from a stroke can be a long and challenging road. It takes dedication and commitment, and depending on the severity of the stroke, it can take a considerable amount of time. Helping a loved one recover from a stroke can be difficult to manage alone, but help is available through caregivers and professional home care agencies. Extensive research has been done on successful stroke recovery to uncover the most effective techniques for dealing with the aftermath of a stroke. Motor function and mobility are of great importance in the recovery process, and are a major focus in the rehabilitation plan. Risk of Repeat Once a person has suffered a stroke, the risk of a second one increases significantly without an effective recovery plan. Time is of the essence when it comes to stroke rehab, and it is crucial to get a plan in place as soon as possible. Stroke becomes about 40% more common after the initial episode, but focus on physical and cognitive healing help reduce that risk. Some common effects may include confusion, depression, and PTSD in the period following a stroke. Any assistance that can be given to help stroke survivors deal with these issues is extremely helpful. What is a Stroke? There are two main types of stroke: Ischemic Hemorrhagic Ischemic This type of stroke is the most common, and it occurs when the arteries to the brain become obstructed, blocking the flow of blood to brain cells. Hemorrhagic A hemorrhagic stroke takes place when a blood vessel in the brain becomes ruptured or bursts, and begins bleeding into the brain. A brain aneurism...

Chair Exercises for Senior Health – North Shore – North Vancouver, West Vancouver

Maintaining a good level of physical health can be challenging for adults of all ages, but it often becomes even harder after the age of 60. Limited mobility can make physical activity seem like a daunting task, but even just light activity on a regular basis can make a big difference. Adding some exercise to your daily routine is the best way to make a habit of it. The more you do it, the less painful it becomes. Physical health problems can have a significant impact on the ability to live independently. For seniors that wish to continue living at home, consistent physical activity can help provide the strength and mobility to keep up with daily tasks and chores. Chair Exercises for Seniors An excellent physical activity for older adults is chair exercises. This is becoming a very popular exercise routine for seniors because there are variety of maneuvers that can be done to get a full body workout. The chair provides a little extra support to help with balance and technique. These exercises can be done at your own pace and to your own level of comfort. A comprehensive and versatile chair exercise routine for seniors can be found here. Muscle Groups to Target It is important to get a balanced workout that covers all the basic muscle groups. This helps contribute to overall physical health and wellbeing. Ideally your chair exercises should include: Shoulders Biceps Triceps Chest Back Core Legs Starting of with at least one exercise for each muscle group is a good way to start. More can be added later once you begin to feel...

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...

Vision Care for Seniors – North Shore – North Vancouver, West Vancouver

Changes in eye health and quality of vision are a natural, and inevitable, part of aging. You may have noticed a very large proportion of people over 40 requiring bifocals or reading glasses. This is called presbyopia. What is Presbyopia? Presbyopia is caused by the thickening and loss of elasticity in the lens of the eye. This makes it harder for the eye to focus on nearby objects. You may have noticed someone in the early stages of presbyopia holding a food package at arm’s length and squinting trying to read the ingredients. While presbyopia is a natural part of aging, there are several other eye conditions that can have a more severe impact on vision for older adults. Regular eye examinations and paying attention to possible warning signs of deeper vision problems can be very helpful in preventing serious eye conditions. Signs of Developing Eye Conditions Being aware of symptoms that may indicate the beginnings of vision issues can help recognize the problem before it has a chance to get out of control. Some common symptoms and warning signs to watch out for, are: Chronic dry eyes Problems reading small print Lengthy adjustment period for going from light to dark or vice versa Oversensitivity to bright lights or glare Reduced night vision Trouble distinguishing colors and contrasts Impaired depth perception Difficulty judging distances Persistently watery eyes, consistently tearing up Involuntary twitching or uncontrollable eye movements While these symptoms can be associated with anything from mild irritations to severe eye conditions, it is a good idea to get checked out by a doctor or healthcare professional if you or...