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How Assistance Dogs Can Help Seniors – Edmonton

Assistance dogs take on the roles of aide, helper, friend, companion, and, often, beloved family member. Assistance dogs are dedicated, hardworking, skilled, and capable of meeting the needs of their human partners, to whom they provide an invaluable service that helps to improve quality of life, comfort, and safety. Assistance Dogs can be valuable companions and helpers for seniors who are facing the diverse challenges that can come with growing older. Just the companionship and connectedness that an animal offers can be deeply valuable for seniors’ mental health, but Assistance Dogs can also help some seniors to perform tasks and can also work to keep them safer and more at ease at home and out in the world. In exploring the many different roles that Assistance Dogs can fill in seniors’ lives on top of just being a friend and companion, we can see that Assistance Dogs have a lot to offer seniors as they continue to grow older. Types of Assistance Dogs Assistance Dogs can fill a whole bunch of different roles and provide a diverse array of different services and supports for people facing specific challenges related to their neurological, physical, or mental health, and can also just be wonderful partners and friends. The list of roles and jobs that Assistance Dogs can fill and perform continues to grow, so let’s explore some of the different types of Assistance Dogs that help to enrich the lives of people of all ages, including seniors. Allergy Detection Dogs: With more and more people suffering from allergies, a new category of medical Assistance Dog has become available. Allergy Detection Dogs...

Talking to Seniors About Personal Hygiene– Edmonton

Opening a dialogue about seniors’ ability to manage their own hygiene and personal care is important for ensuring that overall wellbeing and health are properly cared for. It is normal for a decline to occur in the personal hygiene that seniors are able to maintain on their own as they move further into older age, and there are a whole bunch of possible contributors to these changes. The Importance of Hygiene Issues with personal hygiene can impact much more than just seniors’ outward cleanliness. When seniors’ personal hygiene has declined to the point that it becomes detectable or prominent, seniors may notice that friends and visitors might become more reluctant to spend time with them, and this can result in amplified feelings of isolation. Hygiene is also connected to health in a whole host of different ways. Whether poor hygiene itself causes a health issue, or a seniors’ lack of ability or willingness to perform everyday tasks associated with maintaining good hygiene is indicative of a larger overarching health problem, keeping an eye on the state of seniors’ personal hygiene is important for many reasons. Decline in Personal Hygiene A whole bunch of different factors can come into play when it comes to a decline in seniors’ personal hygiene. Physical Challenges: When mobility changes with age or health problems, some personal care tasks become more frequently avoided. Cleaning and tending to some parts of the body can become difficult or uncomfortable, taking a shower may start to become a stressful experience when the risk of a fall increases, and even reaching or bending to grab products and items for...

The Value of Intergenerational Relationships for Seniors – Edmonton

Building and caring for new relationships, as well as strengthening existing ones, is a deeply important thing that adds fulfillment and meaning to seniors’ lives. As we move through different stages of life we come to learn and understand how valuable it is to forge connections with peers that are going through the same things we are at around the same time, because similarities often support an important level of understanding between individuals. For this reason, the vast majority of our friends and close relationships often end up being created within the bounds of our generation or within the same general age group as us. Groups that exist within our communities are often separated by age, but the truth is that there are a whole bunch of positive outcomes that can come from bringing people from different generations and age groups together to learn from one another and build strong, valuable, and fulfilling relationships beyond the boundaries of age or generation. The old and the young have more in common than we might initially assume. Existing at either end of the life course both the elderly and youth live their lives largely outside of the realm of adulthood’s notion of ‘objective productivity’, the basis upon which modern societies in the western world assign so much value. The youngest and oldest members of our societies have the purest opportunity to engage and connect with the essence of being alive, valuing and appreciating each moment and all it has to offer in a special and unique way that separates both groups from the determinedly busy and stressful life of those in...

Strategies for Keeping Seniors Safe from Scams – Edmonton

Nowadays, the fact that contact details and other personal information is easier to access than ever before, means that scams are more widespread and prevalent than they ever have been in the past. Unfortunately, seniors are among the people most often targeted by scammers, so it is super important that seniors and their caregivers come to understand how to best to protect themselves from scams. Why Target Seniors? In widespread discourse, seniors are considered to be a more vulnerable population who are overly trusting, and less technologically-literate than their younger counterparts. While these stereotypes are not always true, they lead people trying to get away with deceit and fraud to believe that seniors are the perfect target. Research has shown that ageing leads to changes in the brain that reduce seniors’ ability to recognise deception and dishonesty, which means that even the most skeptical and distrusting seniors are at a slightly higher risk of falling prey to the ploys of scammers. There are also other features of older age that set up seniors to be accessible for scammers to target. First of all, many seniors are at home a lot throughout the day, which means there is a significant amount of time each day during which seniors can be targeted in door-to-door or telephone scams. The fact that these seniors are also often home alone during the daytime means that scammers can assume that there is no one else to help seniors identify deceit that they themselves may not pick up on. The fact that seniors are often also understood to be less technologically-savvy than younger people, means that...

The Value of Respite Care – Edmonton

The meaningful bonds and connections that can be built and intensified as you care for someone that you love can be incredibly fulfilling and deeply rewarding. While the emotionally enriching and relationally stirring feelings that can come from a caring relationship are undeniable, another reality of caregiving is that it can often be stressful, overwhelming, and draining. The often all-consuming nature of considering needs and delivering care can alter caregiver’s feelings of health and wellbeing in negative ways that impact their capacity to take part in enjoyable aspects of their lives to the fullest extent. Taking on the entire breadth of responsibility for the provision of care at all times requires a great deal of work and sacrifice for one person to carry on their own, and people who are committed to caregiving must also remember that making sure their own needs are met should be made a priority as well. It can be difficult to prioritize your own health and wellbeing when you are so deeply dedicated to pouring yourself in to caring for another person, but exploring the option of Respite Care, which is designed to address this very problem, could be a positive way to bring about a greater sense of balance and ease. What is Senior Respite Care? Respite Care is a service that offers shorter-term care to seniors in order to create the space, time, and opportunity for those who typically deliver their care to take a well-deserved break to recharge, reset, and recuperate. The duration and length of time over which Respite Care takes place can vary based upon the needs of both...

Helping Seniors Deal with Stress

Upon thinking about the stage of life in which seniors find themselves, we may find ourselves imagining calm and relaxing days filled with leisure time and free of overwhelming responsibilities. We tend to think about the later stages of life, during which things tend to be winding down, as pretty much free of stress, but the truth is that there are many features of senior life that can be stressful and difficult to manage without support. On top of the everyday stresses of life that still exist in older age, seniors also face challenges related to health concerns, loss of friends, family, or social circles, reduced levels of independence, and other typical features of older age that can cause immense feelings of stress. In an attempt to help seniors care for both their physical and mental health, it is important that loved-ones and caregivers understand the stresses that seniors may be facing, as well as the negative impacts that can come as a result if feelings of stress remain unaddressed and unattended. What Stress Does In addition to the general anxiousness and feelings of unease that stress can cause, prolonged stress also has the capacity to have meaningful effects upon the health of the physical body. Stress causes the body to release cortisol, which is a hormone that has been proven to negatively impact the area of the brain known as the hippocampus, the functioning of which is imperative for the storing and recalling of memories. Not only can an increase in stress hormones impact memory, it can also result in numerous other health concerns, such as: High Blood...