The holidays are almost here! For many adult children who don’t live nearby their aging parents or perhaps don’t get the chance to visit often, this can be a wonderful time to catch up and enjoy cherished family traditions with mom or dad; however, it can also provide an opportunity to assess how they’re doing in terms of their physical, mental and emotional health.
The holiday season is a time to be joyful with family and friends, but for some older adults it can be stressful or socially isolating. You can reduce potential holiday stresses by reaching out to others, being physically active and enjoying treats in moderation. Pacing yourself and asking for help when you need it can also make the season less stressful and more festive.
Falls are the leading cause of injury among older Canadians, causing 85% of injury-related hospitalizations and 95% of all hip fractures. You can prevent falls by doing activities to improve your balance, strengthening your bones and wearing sensible shoes. Using appropriate mobility aids, if needed, bathing safely and reviewing medication side effects can also reduce the risk of falling.
Have you recently moved into a retirement residence? For some, it can take a while for a new place to feel like home; however, the holidays are the perfect time to enliven your new space with the holiday décor you look forward to putting out each year, as well as bring forward those old seasonal traditions that give you a sense of warmth, peace and happiness—that “at home” feeling. You may even find your new retirement community provides the chance to make new holiday memories.
Writing is an ancient and powerful form of communication and self-expression that also provides many physical, mental and emotional health benefits. Research studies have found expressive writing can help wounds heal faster, lessen symptoms for people with asthma and rheumatoid arthritis, and boost heart health. Writing about positive experiences can lift your mood and improve sleep too.
One in four Canadians develop irreversible vision loss by age 75, but 75% of vision loss is preventable or treatable. You can prevent or lower the risk of vision loss by protecting your eyes from sunlight, eating healthy and keeping active. An annual comprehensive eye exam is also essential for early detection and treatment of leading causes of vision loss such as AMD, cataracts, glaucoma and diabetes-related eye disease.
When I meet with my clients I always encourage them to think about how they will maintain choice, control and independence as they age—key aspects of life I believe all of us want to preserve. In order to do that, I suggest we ask ourselves this question: If there were a change in my health or mobility, what would I do differently? When answering this, we need to consider where we might live, how we might manage the tasks associated with living and caring for ourselves, what type of transportation we might use if we are currently dependent on driving, and with whom and how we would spend our time.
Jacqueline L’Heureux Hart, 80, of Chartwell Monastère d’Aylmer in Gatineau, Quebec, knew by the age of 15 that she wanted to become a professional writer. Her dream eventually became a reality, and she has since successfully published 10 books, but it didn’t come easy. During the many years leading up to her writing career, Jacqueline applied her passion for telling stories to a career as a teacher. As a result, she made some lasting connections with her students, particularly with Stéphane, who she taught in 1977.
While many people subscribe to the notion of performing random acts of kindness, there’s actually an official World Kindness Day, celebrated November 13. Launched 20 years ago by The World Kindness Movement, and now with 28 nations officially participating, its goal is to make our world a kinder place by inspiring individual and collective efforts.
One in five Canadians 65 and over is living with diabetes. An active, healthy lifestyle significantly reduces the risk of developing type 2 diabetes for older adults. Being active each day, eating healthy foods and losing excess weight can help prevent or control type 2 diabetes. Managing blood sugar based on individual needs, regular check-ups and daily foot care can also prevent or reduce diabetes-related complications.