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The Benefits of Gardening for Seniors – Edmonton

Planting and growing things outside in a garden can add a little life and beauty to the world, but can also be beneficial for seniors in other ways. Gardening is an activity that allows for creativity, physical movement, interaction with nature, and a whole host of other positive features. Spending time outside working in the garden is a hobby that many seniors enjoy in the warm-weather months, but it can be more than just a fun way to pass the time. The fact that gardening requires planning, knowledge, time, care, and creativity means that it is an activity that incorporates many facets that exercise the mind and body. Benefits of Gardening: Gardens are beautiful places that are full of life and wonder. The act of gardening itself can be beneficial for seniors in multiple ways: Physical Activity: Gardening involves different levels of physical activity that can be beneficial for seniors’ physical wellbeing. Working outside and moving around to care for the garden can help seniors exercise their bodies and can help them get better sleep as a result of the combination of movement and fresh air. Self-Esteem and Mastery: Gardening can be an empowering activity in which seniors can plan and control the outcome of the task. Learning to nurture a garden provides a sense of purpose and can afford seniors a great sense of self-worth and mastery. Relaxation: The rhythm and work required for gardening has a slow and calm pace that makes it an ideal activity for relaxing and relieving stress. Some seniors even use gardening as a form of meditation. When things are overwhelming and a...

Activities for Seniors in Springtime – Edmonton

There are a whole host of activities that become available to seniors when the warmer weather arrives. Spring can be a wonderful season here in Canada, with buds growing back on trees, robins starting to visit again, longer days, and milder weather. Spring is a time where those who find the cold and dark of winter difficult can take a sigh of relief and step out into the fresh, colourful season. After a winter spent doing activities that keep themselves out of the harsh cold, seniors are often excited to take part in the many activities that become more accessible and available when the milder spring weather hits. Taking time to engage with hobbies, games, nature, and general fun is incredibly beneficial for cognitive, physical, and emotional wellbeing on many levels. Here is a list of a few suggestions of ways seniors can get out and start to celebrate spring with activities that are fun, engaging, and manageable. No matter what is of interest or what physical capabilities are at play, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Try Birdwatching: Birds are beautiful, interesting, and lovely to observe. Seniors can go out to special birdwatching spots or can just try putting out a bird feeder in their back yards to see what shows up. Seniors who find birds interesting can then learn more about birds and take it on as a new learning experience and hobby. Explore Outdoor Walks: There are so many beautiful places to go for a walk out in nature to enjoy the new life of the spring season. Trails with wheelchair accessibility and ample resting...

Caring for Seniors with Parkinson’s Disease – Edmonton

The challenges that come with Parkinson’s Disease can impact many areas of seniors’ lives. Parkinson’s Disease is a degenerative neurological disease that is progressive in nature. Parkinson’s is more common in men than in women, and is also more common among older adults than younger ones. Genetics is also a risk factor when it comes to Parkinson’s, as individuals with a family member with Parkinson’s are more likely to develop the disease themselves. The impacts that Parkinson’s Disease can have upon a seniors’ life are widespread and significant. Navigating the many changes and challenges that come along with this disease can be emotionally taxing, so support from loved-ones and caregivers is essential for seniors as they adjust to their new realities with Parkinson’s.  Being Prepared When it comes to Parkinson’s Disease, becoming aware and prepared for the changes that are coming can make a significant difference to how the adjustment process plays out. Symptoms of Parkinson’s can vary from one person to another, so research and consultation with healthcare professionals is incredibly important so that seniors and their caregivers have a good base of knowledge and aren’t overly surprised by the things that might come up as the disease progresses.  Keeping Connected Making sure that you remain connected as you navigate the challenges that come with Parkinson’s Disease is important from a care perspective, but it is also important to hold on to strength of relationships. Some of the cognitive and speech changes that can come in later stages of Parkinson’s can make communication a little more challenging for some, but learning to adapt and keeping a healthy line...

Using Colour as a Tool for Wellbeing – Edmonton

Colour is more than pleasing to the eye, it can actually create tangible changes in how seniors feel. When it comes to seeking a better state of emotional health and wellbeing, there are so many possible avenues to explore both within the bio-medical realm and outside of it with more alternative therapies and techniques. Colour Therapy, also referred to as Chromotherapy is a practice that makes use of colour to promote feelings of wellbeing and help seniors address different areas of their emotional health. While there is not a great deal of scientific evidence to speak to the direct impacts that colours have upon how seniors feel, it isn’t hard to imagine that interacting with certain colours can create certain feelings, emotions, and outcomes. Most of us already associate certain colours with different feelings; we may find loud, bright, fun colours make us feel one way, and calmer, more subdued shades make us feel something entirely different. This is the basis of colour therapy, that colour itself can have some impact upon how seniors feel as they navigate their day. The Colours In colour therapy, the different colours each are each able to help seniors connect to different feelings that can help guide their mood or emotional state. Red: Vibrant colours like those in the Red family (ie. Shades of Red and Orange) are meant to stimulate and provide a boost of energy or strength. Yellow: This bright, fun colour is often associated with happiness or a positive outlook, but can also help increase concentration. Green: The connection that the colour Green has with nature and the outside world...

Seniors and Stroke – Edmonton

Stroke is among the most common causes of serious injury or death among seniors. A Stroke, and the changes that may come as a result of this health event, can cause meaningful changes in seniors’ lives. Understanding what a Stroke is and what steps you can take to minimize your risk can be important, especially when moving up in age. Stroke? A Stroke takes place when a blockage of blood-flow to the brain occurs suddenly, and the impacts that a Stroke has upon the body are largely determined by which areas of the body receive blood from the blocked vessel. Risk Factors A Stroke is something that can happen to anyone at any time in their lives, but the risk does significantly increase with greater age (particularly after the age of 55). For this reason, seniors are generally at a higher risk of stroke simply because of their age, but there are also other lifestyle and health related risk factors that seniors should be aware of so that they can modify their lifestyles and tend to their wellbeing in ways that address these potential problems. High Blood Pressure Obesity ( and Poor Diet/Lack of Activity) Diabetes Smoking High Cholesterol What are the Signs? Getting medical attention immediately is essential when it comes to a Stroke. The following are some signs that you can look out for that signal a need for immediate medical attention: Droopy Face Inability to Raise Both Arms Slurred Speech Because the areas of the body impacted by the Stroke may vary depending on the blood vessel that has the blockage, there is variation in the...

Health Benefits of Chocolate – Edmonton

Many of us love chocolate, but there is more to this yummy treat than just great taste. If you have been looking for a good excuse to eat some chocolate, look no further. It turns out that dark chocolate has a whole host of positive health benefits that can be great for seniors and their overall health. The Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate Chocolate in its purest and healthiest forms is high in antioxidants and can be great for health in the following ways: Promotion of Heart Health (Lowering of Blood Pressure, Clot and Stroke Reduction, Improved Circulation) Potential Cancer Fighting Abilities (As a result of Flavonoids) Good for Cholesterol Levels (Cocoa Butter has Healthy Monounsaturated Fats) Better Cognitive Function (Flavonoids can be great for Brain Health) Blood Sugar Balance Skin Health (Protection from Sun Damage) Better Mood (Releases Endorphins) On top of these great benefits to health, chocolate also just tastes great, and seniors can feel good about an indulgence that is also great for their bodies and minds. Moderation is Key As is the case with many of life’s great joys and pleasures, moderation is key. Even with all of the wonderful health benefits that chocolate can offer seniors, eating an excess can have its downsides. Chocolate can be high is both calories and caffeine, so while seniors should allow themselves to enjoy some chocolate, they should also use some discretion and try not to go overboard. The problem with chocolate is that many of the processed treats and chocolatey junk foods are full of additives, sugars, dairy, and various other ingredients that overshadow the healthy aspects...