Helpful Info

Have Great Posture As You Age

Have Great Posture As You Age Having good posture minimizes stress on your back by keeping your muscles and bones in their natural positions as well as making your movements more fluid and efficient. Poor posture, on the other hand, can create a variety of health problems. It can impede breathing, blood circulation, digestion, organ functions and overall alertness. Slouching creates 10 to 15 times extra pressure on the spinal cord. It can generate neck pain, headaches and limited joint movement. Problems may even result in the legs and feet. Here are 8 helpful tips to keep you standing tall at any age. Open up Now that many of us spend our days hunched in front of a computer, “it's very important for us to be able to stretch and open up and improve our range of motion,” says Jonathan F. Bean, MD, MS, MPH, an assistant professor in the department of physical medicine and rehabilitation at Harvard Medical School in Boston. Easy exercises To stay limber, try to get up for a couple minutes every half hour and stretch,…

The Benefits of Social Media for Seniors (and Family Caregivers)

The Benefits of Social Media for Seniors (and Family Caregivers) Seniors are jumping on board Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and more as they realize it is fun and provides real benefits. Are your senior loved ones participating?  Here are five ways social media is beneficial for seniors. 1. Social Media Keeps Families Close “I wish I heard more often from my children/grandchildren” is a common refrain of seniors. You’d think that with seemingly everyone carrying their own phone, calls to senior loved ones would be more common than ever. However, those phones are used less for making phone calls than for connecting by other means, particularly social media. More and more seniors are realizing that going where their family members are going, most frequently Facebook, makes it easier to link up and keep up with what is going on in the lives of loved ones. It also makes for more frequent and comfortable conversations between generations than most would experience through calls. 2. Family Photo and Video Sharing With the overwhelming majority of photographs…

Seniors Are at Risk When it Comes to Driving

Seniors Are at Risk When it Comes to Driving Every time an incident occurs on the roads that involves a senior, the question arises again whether or not people of a certain age should have to pass their driving test again, or have special restrictions for operating a vehicle. Chances are, if you have a senior loved one, this has been a topic of conversation, or you have at least thought about his or her safety behind the wheel. If you have concerns about a senior in your life driving, consider a few things, and speak with them about driving. If the family agrees driving is still an option, take advantage of a few safety tips, which are listed below. Risk Factors While everyone ages differently, and accidents on the road can be caused by anyone, some seniors suffer from health issues that make them more likely to be involved in accidents. A variety of risk factors cause crash rates to be higher among seniors. Sometimes, the accidents are caused by careless mistakes. Distractions can lead to running red lights and stop signs. People…

Palliative Care – letting your senior loved one pass at home

Palliative Care – letting your senior loved one pass at home Palliative care is a special kind of health care for individuals and families who are living with a life-threatening illness, usually at an advanced stage. This information sheet answers some of the questions seniors frequently ask about palliative care (sometimes called hospice care). It also suggests where seniors can learn more about the services available. What is palliative care? The goal of palliative care is to provide the best quality of life for the critically or terminally ill by ensuring their comfort and dignity. Many cancer patients receive palliative care, as do others coping with advanced heart, respiratory and kidney disease, Alzheimer Disease, AIDS, multiple sclerosis, etc. An important objective of palliative care is the relief of pain and other symptoms. Palliative care is planned to meet not only physical needs but also the psychological, social, cultural, emotional and spiritual needs of the ill person and his or her family. Amy’s Helping Hands provides palliative…

Hearing Loss in Seniors

Hearing Loss in Seniors Hearing loss is a disability that frequently goes unnoticed. It is the most common sensory impairment in adults over the age of 65, affecting more than 30% of Canadians in this age group. Hearing loss is serious: not only does it affect the physical sense of hearing, it affects overall well-being. Because of the communication difficulties it creates, hearing loss can lead to withdrawal from family, friends and social situations.

When it’s time to Die: Home is Where the Heart is

When it’s time to Die: Home is Where the Heart is Ten days after bringing him home from the hospital, Irene Geley watched her father, Stefan Kuszper, die. The last 15 minutes were terrible, she remembers – his breathing changed, his face was jerking and his chin was twitching. The last shot of morphine, to ease his pain, was injected by her hands. “I have no regrets about anything” she said recently, adding: “My regret is that we did not bring him back [home] sooner.” Ms. Geley had watched her 86-year-old father, a truck driver whom she described as a tough guy, try to pull out his IV and refuse to take his medicine at Toronto’s Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. Mr. Kuszper suffered from dementia, but still had a firm grasp on one fact: he did not want to die of cancer in the hospital. In fact, most Canadians say they would want to die at home, acknowledged a Royal Society of Canada report on end-of-life decision making, released earlier this month. Yet it’s a rare feat: Canada ranked ninth in an international Quality of…

A Caregiver Gave Our Parents What We Could Not

A Caregiver Gave Our Parents What We Could Not By: Kate Girard Guilt and gratitude are common companions. I should know. They have been on either side of me in the past three years, my escorts, ever since a woman called Hermie began to care for my elderly parents. My mother died a few months ago, after an illness of five years. My father, who is still living, has also had serious health challenges. In the first years of my parents’ decline, my three siblings and I pleaded with them to move from their home in a small southwestern Ontario village. None of us adult children lived nearby, and we grew increasingly worried as my father’s dementia worsened. One day, I got an e-mail from my eldest sister, saying she had been in contact with an agency that hired caregivers from the Philippines. In fact, she had interviewed a potential caregiver on the phone. What did I think, she asked. Well, I had strong misgivings about the Live-In Caregiver program. It seemed to me, and still does, like a form of indentured servitude. The program strikes…

Father and Twin Sister are turning 95

Father and Twin Sister are turning 95 By: Suzanne Taylor My father celebrates his 95th birthday this Dec. 10. He is a fraternal twin to a sister, who was born first. The two of them still argue about why she was born first. She says it'’s because he was so bossy, while he says it'’s because she was so pushy that she pushed her way around him and out into the world. Being the more reticent twin, my father came out with the help of forceps. He casually mentioned it to me during a visit a few years back, guiding my hand to the bumps on the back of his skull where the instrument left its permanent mark. They have always been like this - –him deferring to her more dominating nature when he goes to visit her in Edmonton, eating another slab of her excellent apple pie even though he is full –- and not that keen on pie to begin with. Being hard of hearing, the twins yell at each other in conversation, yet lean in conspiratorially as if no one else can hear them. We leave them to their privacy, trying our best not to listen…

My Fathers Alzheimer’s gave us unexpected gifts

My Fathers Alzheimer’s gave us unexpected gifts He stares straight ahead, not acknowledging me. He’s having a bad day. After a while I start again. I stick my face directly in front of his and say a little more loudly, “It’s Pat, Dad.” A low voice speaks at last: “We all know who Pat is.” That’s my Dad having a moment of lucidity, a gift. I haven’t lost him totally yet; his wit and humour are still in that brain somewhere, remnants of his true self. When I was growing up, of my two parents, Dad was the tough one, the disciplinarian who wielded the hairbrush as a threat and a tool of correction. The one who, on viewing my report card, asked “What did Karen get?” The one who yelled at me during driving lessons to go faster and faster backward in circles in a field. The one who baited me about women’s issues. My father had been the breadwinner and decision-maker in our home. Against my will he arranged with the principal of my high school that I study Latin. He sent me to the university of his choice. He was stern…

Foot Care Info Sheet for Seniors

Foot Care Info Sheet for Seniors Foot Care Info Sheet for Seniors Most people are born with healthy feet. But three out of four people develop serious foot problems as they age – putting their independence and well-being at risk. Healthy feet contribute to your safety and health. How? • Feet that are healthy and pain free help you keep your balance. Good balance can prevent falls, a major cause of injury and hospitalization; some falls result in disability or death. • Healthy feet also allow you to stay active. When your feet are too sore to walk, you loose strength and become at greater risk for falls. Walking is the perfect exercise to keep your weight down, prevent blood clots and keep your bones and muscles strong. • Keeping an eye on your feet can even give you an early warning about serious health problems such as diabetes, arthritis, nerve damage and poor blood circulation.

Protecting Seniors From Falls

Protecting Seniors From Falls One of  the major causes of injuries for seniors is falling. While accidents happen, a number of falls could be avoided by taking a few extra precautions and planning ahead. Falls that may not be serious for someone who is young or middle aged could be serious for a senior. As we age, bones become brittle and even the slightest fall could cause serious injury. Recent statistics have shown that ¼ of seniors over the age of 75 that experience a fall will not survive past 1 year. In order to avoid the inconvenience and pain of falling, take measures to avoid the danger. Sometimes, avoiding a fall can be as simple as relying on the assistance of a helper. Amy’s Helping Hands provides qualified helpers to help seniors in navigating their lives without accidents. Fitness Helps One of the best way to lessen your risk for falling is by staying in shape. Getting up and about keeps your body nimble and your coordination sharp. Instead of dealing with stiff joints and sore muscles, you will stay…

Excessive Clutter In A Senior's Home Can Be An Accident Waiting To Happen

Excessive Clutter In A Senior's Home Can Be An Accident Waiting To Happen Caregivers can help you or your loved one deal with the hazard of over-accumulation. After a lifetime of living in one location, things can accumulate, leaving the family home packed tight with items from the lives of many people. Seniors may find themselves overwhelmed with all the memories and souvenirs in their homes. This is especially true when the time comes for them to move. Perhaps they have chosen to move to an assisted living facility or they are moving in with another family member. Maybe they have not reached this point yet, but they want to make their personal surroundings more inviting. If they are now living in an “empty nest,” it may be time for them to let go of some things from the past and enjoy their homes as all their own. If you are a senior and you need assistance sorting through a lifetime of household goods, you can call on the services of a companion aide, or caregiver, like those from Windsor Ontario’s Amy’s Helping Hands, to help you with this kind of…

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