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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...

Recovering from Hip Replacement Surgery – North Shore – North Vancouver, West Vancouver

The prevalence of hip replacement surgery has increased considerably over the last decade or two, some reports indicating that the occurrence of the procedure has almost doubled in number since 2000. Reasons for this massive influx can be contributed to a variety of factors, including longer life expectancy, technological advancements, and people over 65 living a more active lifestyle. Total hip replacement surgery is generally a last resort when it comes to treating chronic hip joint problems, only after flexibility and strengthening exercises, medications, and cortisone injections are no longer cutting it. Hip pain and stiffness can be debilitating, and along with hip replacement surgery, osteoarthritis of the hip is also on the rise. Osteoarthritis is the most common joint disorder, and it is typically caused by a combination of age and repeated wear and tear on the hip joint. When hip pain and stiffness become unbearable, hip replacement surgery often becomes the only effective of means of restoring mobility to the joint, and alleviating chronic pain. So, once you have decided that hip surgery is the best option, you likely want to know what the recovery process looks like after the operation takes place. Recovery Process After Hip Replacement Surgery The road to recovery begins almost immediately after waking up from the surgery. The same day, after the procedure takes place, you will be encouraged to get up and walk around with the aid of an assistive device and the supervision of a physical therapist. The process can be broken down into 3 general stages for ease of clarification. Acute recovery Early recovery Extended recovery Acute Recovery This...

How to Avoid a Return Trip to the Hospital After Release – North Shore – North Vancouver, West Vancouver

Getting out of the hospital can be huge relief after an extended stay, and in most cases people will do whatever they can to avoid a return trip. So, why do so many older adults require another visit to hospital far too soon after their discharge date? The need for hospital readmission can happen for a variety of reasons, most often those include poor planning and an inadequate recovery program. Having a practical plan in place before even going to the hospital can be extremely beneficial, providing it is a scheduled trip for something like surgery or treatment. Even if the trip to the hospital is an unexpected one, there are still options to help ensure a smooth transition back home. Common Factors that Lead to Hospital Readmission Some of the most common reasons seniors have to make a premature return to the hospital, may include: Failure to consider post-discharge needs Lack of follow up Medication issues Poor nutrition Lack of dedication to rehab process Fall injuries Inadequate support and assistance Neglecting Post-Discharge Needs An effective release plan can make a huge difference in the success of post-release healing. The recovery experience can be a very delicate process, and any disruptions can result in significant setbacks. Ideally, upon release from the hospital, the home will be optimally prepared for healing. This includes removing any hazards that increase the risk of falls, and arranging the support needed for a quick and full recovery. Hospital discharge services can be obtained from a professional home care agency, to help facilitate the operation and help make all the preparations, from transportation to home...

Useful Medical Tests for Seniors – North Shore – North Vancouver, West Vancouver

The frequency required for routine medical exams rises concurrently as we get older. Physical changes, like a diminished immune system, make older adults more susceptible to certain illnesses and diseases. The prevalence of several health conditions also tends to increase with age, making preventative approaches to health more important than ever. the risk of contracting different illnesses varies with specific ages, but generally it as around the age of 60 that regular medical tests should not be ignored. Often, catching a health problem in its early stages makes all the difference for treatability and healing. Essential Medical Exams for Seniors There are several routine health assessments that older adults should undergo on a regular basis. Some of the most critical exams, may include: Blood pressure test Cholesterol screening Eye exams Hearing tests Dental exam Blood-glucose assessment / diabetes check Bone density scan Blood Pressure Test High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is a very common health condition in adults. Studies show that 1 in 3 adults of all ages test for elevated blood pressure, and that number goes up to around 2 in 3 after the age of 65. Hypertension is frequently referred to as the silent killer because symptoms may not be noticeable until a stroke or heart attack occurs. Seniors should have blood pressure checked at least one a year, so steps can be taken to lower blood pressure levels in the case of hypertension. Cholesterol Screening Cholesterol levels in the body can be determined as a result of blood work, so technically this could fall under the blood test category. High cholesterol is another very...

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...

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...