Essential Conversations with Dr. Amy: Proactively pursuing a fulfilling social life during your retirement

Spending Day with Friends

Here is the surprising thing about loneliness: it actually has an upside! According to Dr. Abraham Palmer, a professor of psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego, “Loneliness may be a warning sign that motivates people to try to develop social links, in the same way the pain of a burn motivates people to move away from a hot flame.” Dr. Palmer is suggesting that instead of viewing loneliness as something inevitable that we just have to endure, we can see it as a signal that we need to do something different.

Continue reading

7 ways to lower your blood pressure

Skillful elderly lady measuring blood pressure at home

High blood pressure affects more than one in five Canadians and is the most common reason to see a doctor. Hypertension increases the risk of stroke, heart attack, dementia and other serious illnesses. It’s important to check your blood pressure regularly and if detected, you can lower it through lifestyle changes such as consuming less salt, eating healthy foods, being physically active and reducing stress.

Continue reading

Dr. Amy Case Study: Engaging Long-Distance Siblings in Caregiving

senior women

I asked Ginette about other family members that might be able to help her in providing support to her parents. She told me she had one sister, *Marta, who lives several hours away. Ginette said she and Marta had a good relationship, but she was getting increasingly frustrated that the whole responsibility of caring for their parents was falling to her.

Continue reading

6 tips to help communicate with someone living with Alzheimer’s disease

Elderly man

More than 550,000 Canadians and one in three people over 80 are living with dementia. By learning how Alzheimer’s disease affects a person’s language abilities, you can adopt effective strategies to maintain and improve communication with them at each stage of the disease. Reducing distractions, speaking warmly and calmly, using gestures, and tuning into the person’s feelings can help you communicate and connect with a family member or friend living with the disease.

Continue reading

How to maintain a healthy weight as you age

Mexican doctor weighing elderly patient

Older adults often gain weight with age because more food energy gets stored as fat, they lose muscle and are less active. Making small lifestyle adjustments by being more physically active and eating healthy, nutritious foods will help you lose weight and gain big health benefits. Being underweight brings health risks too, which you can offset by eating smaller meals more often or choosing foods that are easier to chew.

Continue reading