There is a societal mindset that many people share in that I believe can interfere with making good decisions about where and how to live as we age, both now and in the future. This is the idea that the best place for someone to live as they age is the home they are already in—the home they may have been in for most of their adult lives.
To 92-year-old Chartwell Rouge Valley resident Jim Dornan, the Avro Lancaster bomber is more than just a warplane. It’s a historic symbol of his personal experience in the Royal Canadian Air Force during the Second World War. Jim enlisted when he was only 18 years old and began training to become a flight engineer. Just as Jim was gearing up for the last part of his training to eventually be part of a crew, WWII came to an end, taking with it Jim’s dream of flying as a crew member in a Lancaster bomber.
More than 30% of Canadians 75 and older experience chronic pain, which can limit activities and contribute to unhappiness. New national guidelines for treating chronic pain recommend using evidence-based non-drug therapies as a complement or alternative to pain medications like aspirin and ibuprofen. Tai chi, yoga, mindfulness-based stress reduction and moderate exercise have been shown to help ease chronic pain.
As the days get shorter and the weather turns cooler, it’s important for older adults to stay socially engaged with friends and family and not let factors like inclement weather foster feelings of loneliness—especially as such feelings are shown to be detrimental to our health, even more so than smoking, obesity and inactivity!
The proposed guiding principles for a new version of Canada’s Food Guide follow a nutrition-based approach, which advises people what to eat, what not to eat and how to eat. The emphasis is on eating more plant-based foods, while allowing for healthier, leaner animal foods. It’s important to limit reliance on processed foods high in sodium, sugars or saturated fat, and enjoy meals with family and friends.
Studies show that older adults who are socially isolated have a higher risk of developing depression and anxiety. People who are socially connected are less likely to develop physical and mental health problems, and they live longer on average than those who are socially isolated. Retirement communities offer older adults, whose social networks often get smaller, many ways to socialize each day through activities and broaden their social networks.
Thanksgiving is a time when many of us will be reflecting on how much we have to be thankful for in our lives. But feeling grateful shouldn’t just be limited to Thanksgiving; there’s plenty of evidence to show why we should be practicing gratitude all year round.
Most adult children want to be supportive of their older parents as they decide what they want as they age. Should they stay in their own home? Should they live with a family member? Should they move to a retirement residence? There is much to consider about this next chapter of life, and the significance of these decisions can contribute to family members having strong opinions about what is best—so much so, adult children may find themselves at odds with each other, or with their parents. Worse, our aging loved one may not feel they are being listened to or respected.
This summer, three players from the Hamilton Tiger Cats came roaring into Chartwell Brant Centre Long Term Care in Burlington, Ontario, for a special meet-and-greet event with residents and staff. The retirement community’s celebration room was decorated in black and gold for the occasion, as were the many residents who couldn’t wait to shake hands, receive autographs and take photos with players Aaron Crawford, Sergio Castillo and Kay Okafor.