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When the Time Comes to Stop Driving – Edmonton

Independence and the ability to drive are two things that often feel intertwined, and the notion of losing the freedom that comes with being able to drive can be sad and scary for seniors. Being able to drive around means that seniors can take themselves to their appointments, go on enjoyable outings whenever they want, visit friends and family without a great deal of fuss, and really just navigate their time without having to consult with other people about how to get where they want to go. With all of the changes that take place for seniors in older age, many individuals feel as though they are slowly losing aspects of their independence and self-sufficiency but by bit, and the notion of not being able to drive anymore can come as a devastating blow. For this reason, many seniors want to keep driving as long as possible, even if they are noticing that driving is becoming more challenging. For family members, friends, and caregivers of seniors, it can be challenging to determine when the time has come for them to stop driving and how best to navigate the discussions and arrangements that must follow when that point has been reached. Why Growing Older Can Impact Driving The truth is that many seniors can be still be very safe and capable drivers well into their 80s and 90s, and age alone is not a determinate of someone’s capability as a safe driver. It is also true, however, that there are a great many features of seniors’ lives that can culminate to make driving more challenging for them and, therefore, less...

Dealing with Joint Pain in the Cold-Weather Months – Edmonton

The cold-weather can alter on the way our bodies feel and how we function in our everyday lives When the weather is cold, everything feels a little different than it does when the sun is blazing and the air is warm. When it comes to joints, many people who experience pain in these areas report that they notice a meaningful difference when the weather is colder. Whether it be because of differences in air pressure that take place in the cold-weather months, or whether it is the chill in the air itself that causes a change, fall and winter can be more challenging times for seniors’ joint pain. Managing Joint Pain For seniors who experience joint pain, there are some considerations and strategies specific to the cold-weather months that can help to mitigate their pain and make movement a little more comfortable. Keep Moving: Making sure that some degree of movement or exercise is a part of seniors’ everyday lives is important all year round, but can be especially helpful for helping to deal with joint pain. Keeping active and moving around can help to keep the body more flexible and loosen joints that are experiencing pain and stiffness. There are a whole host of accessible exercises for seniors that can take place indoors when venturing out in the cold seems unmanageable. Even something as simple as a little stroll can help make a difference. Eat Well: A healthy diet is always important for overall health and wellbeing, but making sure that seniors consume important nutrients, minerals, vitamins, proteins, and fibers that help to keep the body in balance...

Supporting Seniors Through Loss – Edmonton

The emotional anguish and devastating sadness that accompanies a loss can influence both the mental and physical health of seniors in significant ways. As we continue to grow older, dealing with death and bereavement becomes something we have to do more and more often as the loss of loved-ones and friends happens more and more frequently when those loved-ones are also growing older and moving into the later stages of their lives. We all know that grief and loss are feelings and experiences that are hard to work through, but it is important to be aware of the particular ways in which seniors can be touched by the emotions, feelings, and thoughts that accompany the loss of someone they love. The Health Implications of Grief The thoughts, feelings, and emotions that we face when we lose someone important to us can be debilitating, devastating, and overwhelming, extending to impact numerous aspects of health as well as our ability to engage fully and joyfully in everyday life. Research has shown that seniors’ immune systems can be compromised in notable ways when they are experiencing grief, as important white blood cells responsible for fighting off bacteria are weakened, making seniors in mourning more susceptible to infections and illnesses. In terms of mental and emotional health, depression is often a natural companion of grief, and seniors may face feelings of hopelessness and sadness that feel as though they will never end. Taking part in even the most routine and mundane of tasks can feel overwhelming and difficult to manage. The list that follows are some other symptoms, feelings, and experiences that may...

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...

Showing Appreciation for Our Parents and Grandparents – Edmonton

Most of us feel a great amount of respect and appreciation for our parents and grandparents, valuing the roles they have played in our lives. But how often do we really take the time to express those feelings by telling or showing our parents and grandparents how much they mean to us and how deeply special they are? There are so many little ways we can remind our parents and grandparents not only that we love them, but also that they are valued and appreciated each and every day. The following list is made up of just a few ideas of things that can nurture our relationships with our parents and grandparents and show them how important they are: Visit When You Can: With distance, busy routines, and the daily goings-on of everyday life, getting together in person isn’t always possible but when it is, make it a priority. Your parents or grandparents will value the time you have taken to go their way for a visit, or to invite them to your place for a while. These visits are great opportunities for simple catch-ups on life, for important conversations, or just for some quality time in one another’s company. Keep in Touch: One of the most basic, but also deeply resonant and valuable, things you can do to show your parents and grandparents that they are important to you is just to take the time required for keeping in touch and making sure they know they are priorities in your life. Writing letters, calling on the phone, sending e-mails, or even just writing texts on a regular basis...

Anxiety Disorders in the Elderly – Edmonton

Anxiety is a normal and important aspect of life that has a useful and necessary function for our safety and wellbeing. When Anxiety becomes such a recurrent and dominant aspect of day-to-day life that it begins to overpower everything else and stops people from living happy, fulfilling, and enriching lives, however, it starts to become cause for concern. Anxiety Disorders can have a huge impact upon how people are able to live their daily lives, and can be really challenging to manage. While anyone can be faced with an Anxiety Disorder, certain aspects of life that are features of older age make seniors vulnerable to experiencing Anxiety Disorders. Worries associated with personal health, lower self-confidence, chronic pains, the loss of social connections as a result of death or isolation, and numerous medical conditions can all add up to create a web of worries that fill seniors’ daily lives with fears and anxieties. Cultivating an awareness of the types of anxieties that seniors may face, and learning how to identify and address them can help seniors and their loved-ones to work towards better managing Anxiety Disorders. Types of Anxiety Disorders Not all seniors who deal with Anxiety Disorders will face the same issues or have the same experiences. Numerous forms of Anxiety Disorders exist, one or many of which might come to impact seniors at one stage or another: Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD): Among the most commonly experienced forms of Anxiety Disorders, GAD is characterized by constant or unyielding feelings of worry that seem to exist without an identifiable trigger, reason, or cause. Seniors experiencing GAD will be constantly anxious...