Essential Conversations with Dr. Amy: Talking to your parents about staying socially active

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Many older adults who decide to remain in the family home may find their world getting smaller as the years go by. I frequently talk with older adults about the potential for the home they have thought of as their “palace” to turn into a place that becomes less and less accessible they age. A health challenge or mobility issues can make it harder to get out and enjoy the things they love to do. Difficulty driving may also make it harder to get out and socialize. And, of course, our Canadian winters can add to these challenges!

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How to prevent or make life easier with arthritis

Close Up Of Senior Man Suffering With Arthritis

More than 4.6 million Canadians are living with arthritis, with 43% of those individuals being 65+. Research shows that some modifiable risk factors, such as not being active, poor diet and excess weight, contribute to or worsen arthritis. Regular exercise, healthy eating and maintaining a healthy body weight can help reduce pain, improve mobility and enhance quality of life for people with arthritis.

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Chartwell Raises over $165,000 for Canadian Charity


MISSISSAUGA, ON. May 12th, 2017 – Chartwell Retirement Residences (“Chartwell”) announced today the result of its 2016 efforts to raise funds for their charitable partner, Wish of a Lifetime Canada (WOLC). In total, the company raised over $165,000 in 2016 to support WOLC’s mission of shifting the way society views and values our oldest generations by fulfilling seniors’ dreams and sharing their stories to inspire those of all ages.

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Wish of a Lifetime Canada: James Takes Flight

James Wish Collage

James Long, 94, has always admired the miracle of flight. As a young man growing up in Ontario, he would watch planes soaring overhead and dream of one day experiencing the thrill of aviation for himself. James eventually became a pilot later in life, an achievement that allowed him to fly to places like Prince Edward Island and California dozens of times. This alone was a dream come true for James, but there was one piece of the puzzle missing.

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Knitting to stay brain fit—and three more reasons why the hobby is good for you

ball of yarn and knitting at home

There’s a reason why knitting has been around since 1000 AD—knitters not only produce warm items of clothing, but also receive a host of other surprising health and wellness benefits. Creative pursuits like crocheting, quilting, sewing and knitting are no longer just considered “busy work,” but are now being touted as hobbies that can make you happier and healthier at any age.

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Spring is in the air (plants)

Macro closeup of tiny plant in terrarium

Spring is here and many of us may feel an urge to grow something green. If you don’t have a garden to tend at your house, condo or even retirement community, there are still options at your disposal. Indoor “air plants” are a hot trend in the houseplant world, and, as research has proven, growing them can offer a host of health benefits, from a more positive outlook to improved breathing.

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Eight ways for older adults to enjoy better sleep

Senior couple sleeping on bed

About half of older adults complain about sleep problems, which can potentially affect your health and daily functioning. Although certain age-related changes in sleep are normal, it’s important to identify and treat common underlying causes of sleep problems like obstructive sleep apnea, pain conditions and depression. Practicing good “sleep hygiene” by being active, getting sunlight exposure and reducing stress before bedtime can help you sleep more soundly.

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Dr. Amy Case Study: Advantages of aging in a retirement residence

Portrait of happy senior man and woman

I recently worked with a family whose parents were still living in the home they’d been in for over 45 years. Like many people, Ben and Margaret* felt strongly that they wanted to stay in their family home forever. They were not open to considering other options. Then, Margaret fell and broke her leg. It was a serious break and she wasn’t going to be able to navigate stairs for several weeks, and possibly even months. In addition, Ben was not able to manage all the household responsibilities without his wife’s help. After considering their situation, they decided to move to a retirement residence while her leg was healing, with the intention of returning to their home as soon as possible.

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Essential Conversations with Dr. Amy: Caregiving Spouses

Happy senior couple hugging in park

I often talk to caregivers about the need to recognize that it may not be reasonable for them to provide all of their loved one’s care alone. And I have found that the hardest people to convince that they don’t have to go it alone are often caregiving spouses! Sometimes they feel that needing help caring for their spouse means they have failed. Actually, I think the best thing a spouse can do is ensure their husband or wife has the best care available, and sometimes that means asking for help.

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