The largest and most comprehensive study on Canadians aged 45-85 just released its first report on how we’re aging. The good news? Between 86% and 90% of the 50,000 participants self-reported good, very good or excellent health.
Canadian men have an average life expectancy that’s four years less than for women. Men are more likely to die from diabetes, kidney disorders and liver disease, and twice as likely to suffer a heart attack. Although over 80% of older men have at least one chronic condition, 70% of men’s health conditions are preventable with lifestyle changes such as healthy eating, being physically active, limiting salt and alcohol consumption, and social stimulation.
More than 400,000 Canadians are living with long-term disability from stroke. While similar numbers of women and men are living with effects of stroke, women suffer greater disability and more women die from stroke. Raising awareness about risk factors and warning signs, and more research on heart disease and stroke in women, can help to prevent stroke and improve health outcomes for women.
There are several reasons that the gap between how old we feel and how old we are increases as we age. Some of it may have to do with society’s negative stereotypes of aging and our recognition we don’t fit that stereotype, and don’t want to fit that stereotype! And some of it may be due to the fact that it is often hard to recognize some of the changes we are experiencing as we age: changes other people may see before we notice them, and changes we may easily see in other people.
According to the National Day Calendar organization, June 6th is National Gardening Exercise Day. In the almost 1500-strong list, this is probably one of the more obscure days to observe—however, it is nonetheless a fun way to remember that Canada’s gardening season is upon us. It’s also a great time to prepare our bodies for some happy digging, planting and pruning.
For some, heritage can play an integral part in reaching one’s goals throughout life. Recently, Chartwell Eau Claire Care Community did something truly special for a resident with a strong connection to her Aboriginal heritage through Chartwell’s Moments that Matter program.
Spring is here, the sun is shining and it’s the perfect time to put away your cold weather clothing and go for a walk. Now that the ice and snow have disappeared, the risk of falling doesn’t seem as high; however, for seniors falls can happen regardless of the season. Statistics show that between 20 and 30 per cent of Canadians over 65 experience falls every year—and they are the leading cause of hospitalization for seniors.
New research shows that 30 minutes of low-intensity physical activity a day can help older adults live longer. Low-intensity exercise can also improve flexibility, balance, muscle strength and depression, while reducing the risk of injuries. Low-intensity, low-impact activities like walking, tai chi, yoga, aquatics and dancing offer multiple health benefits, and are safe, accessible and sustainable for seniors.
Older adults are more likely to get dehydrated due to a decreased sense of thirst, kidneys that no longer work as well or medications that cause fluid loss. Dehydration can lead to falls and dangerous complications, such as a rapid or irregular heart rate, or fainting. You can prevent dehydration by sipping water regularly, drinking before you feel thirsty, and consuming extra fluids in warm weather and during physical activity.
Over half of Canadian seniors have hypertension and five of the top 10 drugs used by older adults are for treating high blood pressure. Healthy lifestyle changes can reduce the risk of developing hypertension or help lower high blood pressure and the amount of medication needed. Losing extra weight, being physically active, eating lots of fruits and vegetables, and reducing stress all help keep blood pressure down.