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Caring for The Health of Seniors’ Bones – Edmonton

Our bones are some the areas of the body that are most greatly altered by the process of growing older, and more than half of seniors will face bone-related health issues like Osteoporosis and Arthritis. The weakening of bones that takes place because of these diseases can cause numerous negative outcomes like fractures, breaks, and falls that can lead to further damage to the body. These diseases can make everyday life uncomfortable, painful, and tough for seniors, so it is important to stay attentive in order to detect early warning signs and intervene promptly and appropriately to help avoid or minimize the impacts of bone diseases on seniors’ lives. Osteoporosis and Arthritis Osteoporosis and Arthritis are among the most common bone diseases that seniors encounter, but it should be noted that the two are different from one another. The impact of Osteoporosis is to weaken bones to the point that they start to break easily by reducing bone-density over time, while Arthritis is considered a more general condition that impacts the joints and tissues that surround them. Both diseases impact the body in their own unique ways, creating different symptoms and outcomes, but there are some lifestyle choices and behavioural measures that can be taken to attend to bone health in ways that can help to identify or protect against both Osteoporosis and Arthritis. Promoting Bone Health Keeping seniors healthy and working to avoid bone diseases requires a combination of both lifestyle changes and meetings with a health care professional to talk through risk factors or identify problems as promptly as possible. Perform Tests: There are a whole host...

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...

Encouraging Seniors to Take Their Medication – Edmonton

Being prescribed various medications is very common for seniors, and while just taking the medications recommended by medical professionals may seem like a no-brainer, the reality for seniors can be more complicated. Thoughts, emotions, worries, capacities, and other barriers exist that impair seniors’ ability or willingness to take the medications they are prescribed, so it is important that loved-ones and caregivers make themselves aware of the various thoughts, emotions, judgements, and limitations that may get in the way of allowing seniors to stick to their medication plans, in order to help seniors take proper care of themselves while also being respectful of their points of view. Possible Barriers The many cognitive, physical, and practical changes that seniors face as they grow older, along with the challenges that come along with those changes, can add up to create barriers that deter seniors from sticking to the regimens and prescriptions that doctors and specialists recommend to keep them healthy. Many of these barriers can be overcome with care and encouragement from caregivers, loved ones, and support systems that help seniors to better understand, manage, and stick to the routines and practices involved in taking their medications. Some barriers exist as a result of emotional or judgement-based factors that lead seniors to deliberately stray from recommendations related to their medication. The World Health Organization (WHO) notes the following as some possible contributors: Lack of Adequate Information Low Motivation Lack of Confidence in One’s Own Ability (Poor Self-Efficacy) Starting A Discussion Having a senior loved one in your life that is unwilling to take medication as they have been directed by healthcare professionals...

The Importance of Proper Nutrition for Seniors – Edmonton

As we grow older and our bodies evolve and change with the process of aging, nutritional requirements change too. Seniors have a different set of nutritional needs in their older years than they did when they were younger, and many seniors’ diets are not properly altered to meet their bodies’ needs. To promote the best possible state of health and wellbeing, seniors and their caregivers should make themselves aware of what their bodies require in terms of vitamins, nutrients, and types of food. Ageing Brings Changes The changes that take place within the body in older age necessitate that seniors consider their food choices and make intentional decisions about the foods they are putting into their bodies. Seniors need to make sure that they are caring for themselves properly, and that their eating habits promote better health. Many aspects of older age, including changes to the physical body, daily routines, abilities, and perceptions, mean not only that the body needs different things, but also that new obstacles are present that might get in the way of a lifestyle of healthy eating. Environment/Situation: Multiple factors related to environment and lifestyle can come into play to alter eating habits. Lack of ability to go out and buy or transport healthy food, as a result of lack of transportation or anxieties related to venturing outside the home, might lead seniors to depend on less healthy convenience foods or not to eat enough at all. Similarly, worries about finances may mean that seniors buy smaller amounts of food or choose cheaper, but also less healthy, options. Loneliness can also lead seniors to avoid...

The Therapeutic Power of Animals – Edmonton

Finding little sources of comfort, calm, and joy is deeply important for seniors as they navigate the challenges and changes that come with older age. While everyone finds peace and calm in different places, a wonderful avenue worth exploring is the therapeutic power that time spent with animals can have. Animal Assisted Therapy is a unique type of therapy that can be deeply enriching and beneficial for seniors in any condition, and can be a fun and calming way to work towards a better state of wellbeing. What is Animal Assisted Therapy? Animal Assisted Therapy, also known as Pet Therapy, is a unique form of therapy that uses the calming effect of animals in a purposeful and directed way as a means of treatment. The overarching goal of Animal Assisted Therapy is to help seniors experience a better quality of life, emotionally, socially, psychologically, and cognitively. How Animals Can Help Time spent with animals has been seen to be truly beneficial for many seniors in ways that can work to improve both mental and physical health. Studies have shown that even a short amount of time spent interacting or bonding with an animal can instantly improve mood and lower blood pressure. Among some of the many benefits that have been associated with spending some time with animals are: Decreases Anxiety and Stress Decreases Feelings of Isolation Improves Motor Skills or Mobility, from petting or walking animals Increases Levels of Engagement, drawing reserved individuals out of their shells Lessens Symptoms of Depression Lowers Blood Pressure and Heart Rate Provides a Sense of Comfort and Calm Releases Oxytocin, which has a...

Strategies for Communicating with Seniors with Dementia – Edmonton

The experience of receiving a diagnosis of Dementia can be deeply disheartening, concerning, and life-altering for seniors and their families alike. Along with the realities that accompany Dementia are the disheartening and upsetting facts that friends and family must often face related to the changes in seniors’ ability to interact, communicate and, connect in the same way as they could earlier in their lives. Despite this, it is important not to abandon hope or assume that trying to communicate effectively is a lost cause. Even the smallest or most fleeting of moments during which a sense of connectedness is experienced can be so incredibly meaningful, and there are strategies that can help facilitate and nurture better communication with seniors who have Dementia that can help to bring those special moments to fruition. Even as new challenges present themselves, remember that there is always room for hope. How Dementia Makes Communication Difficult Dementia alters seniors’ functioning in numerous important ways, many of which can create barriers that make communication a lot more difficult and challenging to navigate. The following list outlines some of the behaviours that may come into play with Dementia that can inhibit seniors’ ability to communicate as effectively as they once did: Describing people or objects rather than calling them by name Difficulty ordering words and formulating coherent sentences Forgetting or being unable to find a word Losing train of thought easily Making up new words to replace lost ones Repeating words or phrases Relying on gestures rather than speaking verbally Reverting to a mother-tongue or first language learned The extent to which seniors display these behaviours...