Older adults generally report higher levels of contentment and well-being than teenagers and young adults. Research shows older adults are happier when they focus on their abilities, rather than limitations, and accentuate the positive. Life is more satisfying when you are active and engaged physically, socially and mentally, and learn each day.
Researchers are developing new tools that harness technology to improve quality of life for older adults in different ways. Innovative tools like PostureCoach help caregivers to prevent back injuries, while social digital games can strengthen an older adult’s brain and social network. Assistive technologies, such as a smart glove, reduce tremors in people with Parkinson’s disease, and smart wheelchairs help people with mobility issues avoid collisions.
Researchers located five small areas globally, known as “Longevity Blue Zones,” where people live the longest and are the healthiest. They found that people shared nine specific lifestyle traits that contributed to their good health and longevity. You can create your own personal Blue Zone by moving naturally, living with purpose, relaxing, eating moderately, putting family first and building strong social networks.
Nearly two-thirds of Canadians over 65 take five or more prescription drugs. Taking more medications than necessary increases the risk of adverse side effects and harmful interactions. A review of current medications with your doctor and pharmacist could help to eliminate some unnecessary or inappropriate medications. To manage chronic conditions and stay healthy, it’s also important to take the medications you do need exactly as prescribed.
‘Tis the season of showing loved ones how much we care—including those companions that come with four legs, two wings or even a few scales. For many older adults, pets are the love of their life—right up there with spouses, family and friends.
Just a few weeks ahead of Valentine’s Day—when some individuals may experience heightened feelings of loneliness over love—the U.K. government appointed the country’s first Minister for Loneliness to manage what has been called an “epidemic” of lonely people in the country.
Heart disease affects about 2.4 million Canadians and is the most common cause of disability worldwide. Nearly 80% of heart disease and stroke can be prevented through healthy lifestyle choices. Keep your heart strong by staying physically active, eating healthy foods, reducing stress, managing high-risk medical conditions, and drinking in moderation.
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.
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.
No matter what your holiday celebration looks like, chances are music is an important part of the festivities. Singing in a choir, playing traditional favourites on the piano, listening to popular seasonal tunes on the radio, or dancing in the New Year to a big band orchestra are all great ways to enjoy the season.