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.
Over the span of my career I’ve had the pleasure of speaking with thousands of Canadians about their retirement years. For many, this period of their lives lasts about 20-30 years—sometimes longer!—and what I have noted is that people usually have big plans for their first few years of retirement. Traveling more is the number one thing people say they are going to do. Other common early retirement plans include volunteering, pursuing a hobby or activity they haven’t had time for in the past, spending more time with their family, and even working part-time.
November 6-12 is National Senior Safety Week in Canada, an initiative of the Canada Safety Council (CSC). As part of its mandate to keep mature Canadians healthy, independent and safe, the CSC raises awareness on a series of topics of concern to seniors, including fall prevention, drug safety, elder abuse and driving.
Research studies show that older adults can gain a wide range of health benefits through engagement in the arts. Seniors who participated in Vancouver’s Healthy Aging Through the Arts project experienced better physical health, stronger social connections and less chronic pain through participation in creative activities. Other studies have shown additional health benefits including fewer falls and doctor visits, lower stress and lessened depression.
For Jean Perdue, 93, of Chartwell Scarlett Heights in Etobicoke, Ontario, writing poetry began as a way to express her feelings. As she gained independence and began rediscovering herself later in life, words flowed freely in the form of hundreds of poems. Jean dreamt that one day she would see her large collection of poems published in a book; that wish was granted in June thanks to Chartwell’s partnership with Wish of a Lifetime Canada.
Arthritis affects more than half of Canadians by age 70, and a higher proportion of older women than men. You can help reduce and relieve common arthritis symptoms such as pain, stiffness and swelling by doing regular, low-impact exercise, losing excess weight and using heat and cold treatments appropriately. Relaxation techniques, aquatic therapy and assistive devices can also help seniors to live well with this condition.
Imagine living the first 16 years of your life being able to see colours, shapes and all of nature’s splendour, only to have your vision fade into darkness. It’s a difficult reality for anyone to manage—yet one that Florence, a resident of Chartwell Robert Speck in Mississauga, Ontario, faced with strength, perseverance and a positivity the likes of which few possess.
Seniors choose to move to a retirement residence for many different reasons—and all expect to enjoy a worry-free lifestyle with the freedom to live the way they want. What many don’t realize, however, is that beyond their initial expectations, making the move to a seniors’ home can actually have surprising health benefits too.
Canadians are living longer than before and researchers have identified a number of lifestyle factors that make those extra years worth living. Regular walking and other physical activities, socializing and lifelong learning each contribute to healthy, active aging. A nutrient-rich diet, a positive outlook on aging and regular sleep patterns also promote a long and healthy life for older adults.
If you find you’re the person providing the most care to your parent, you may want to engage your siblings and come up with creative ways they can also provide support—but what do you do if you have a sibling who is unwilling to help out with mom or dad?