Posts Tagged "social"

Healthy Eating for the Elderly

Posted by on Mar 1, 2011 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Healthy food choices for those in mid-life and senior years may not be as straightforward as for younger people. If the joy of food isn’t what it used to be, or if you’re concerned about a family member’s nutrition, it’s worth noting that healthy eating might be affected by: Physical changes associated with aging Social factors, such as living alone Mobility and transportation Decreased energy and functioning  Older persons may need fewer calories, making it more challenging to ingest enough nutrients. Physical activity may be curtailed, leading to reduced appetite levels. Taste and smell senses alter with age, so food might have less appeal. Medical conditions can change energy level or increase digestive problems, causing some people to start avoiding meals altogether. If this reflects your situation: New spices and recipes may add interest to food. More than ever, choose brightly colored foods over “whites”. Set regular meal times, and create a social aspect around meals.  Reduce portion sizes. A smaller plate can be more attractive and easier to handle.  If time pressures, transportation or mobility are issues, consider grocery delivery services. Online services allow you fill your cart from home and have the food delivered to your door. (Many offer organic food products.)  If you prefer to choose your own produce, some stores offer home delivery. In many communities, cooked meal delivery and other services are available. Learn more about Meals on Wheels, and related organizations offering seniors’ meals with a social component, across Canada at http://www.mealcall.org/canada/index.htm   Vol.2, No. 5; © ElderWise Inc. 2006 You have permission to reprint this or any other ElderWise INFO articles, provided you reproduce it in its entirety, acknowledge our copyright, and include the following statement: Originally published by ElderWise Inc., Canada’s go-to place for “age-smart” planning.  Visit us at http://elderwise.memwebs.com and subscribe to our...

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Volunteering: Benefits for Seniors

Posted by on Feb 24, 2011 in Health Signals | 0 comments

Why do Canadian seniors volunteer? A survey of senior volunteers in Canada finds that 95% volunteer for a cause they believe in.  Seventy percent said they volunteered for a cause that had personally affected them. Some volunteered as a way to use their skill base and years of experience (81%). Others were looking for a way to explore their own strengths (57%).  What else motivates seniors to volunteer? Developing new skills and staying connected to their own passions inspires many seniors to volunteer.  Volunteering leads to meeting new people, staying active in the community, and serving others. It can help keep cultural or religious traditions alive.  Some older persons also find the chance to fulfill lifelong dreams and create new ambitions through volunteering. Seniors who volunteer report feeling very satisfied with their lives…AND they report that sentiment at a higher rate than seniors who do not volunteer. What can volunteering do for YOU? Volunteering can improve your health.  It can enhance self-esteem, coping abilities, and feelings of social usefulness.  Volunteering increases social activity. Research into health benefits of volunteering suggests that forming these social relationships acts as a buffer against stress and illness. Some experts even conclude that social relationships may be as important to overall health as avoiding risks such as smoking and high blood pressure. How can you find the right organization? The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) suggests asking the following questions to help define the best volunteering opportunity for you: Why do I want to become a volunteer? What are the benefits I am looking for from volunteering? What skills and abilities can I offer? What do I enjoy doing? What do I dislike doing? What issues are important to me? How much time can I give? What times are most suitable for me? Reasons for volunteering may be as profound as feeling an ethical pull to help change Canadian society – or as lighthearted as wanting to get to know people in the community. But getting involved, on any level, not only benefits society. It also benefits the volunteer. Everyone wins. Vol.2, No.12; © ElderWise Inc. 2006 You have permission to reprint this or any other ElderWise INFO articles, provided you reproduce it in its entirety, acknowledge our copyright, and include the following statement: Originally published by ElderWise Inc., Canada’s go-to place for “age-smart” planning.  Visit us at...

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Warning Signs Your Aging Parents Need Help

Posted by on Sep 8, 2010 in Health Signals | 0 comments

When you first suspect that your aging parents may be experiencing health or mobility issues, it can come as a shock both to you and to them.  Knowing some warning signs and steps to take can help you all prepare to handle the changes that are coming.  Many seniors can still manage the activities of daily living with little or no assistance.  But advancing age can mean that some will need help with housekeeping, home maintenance, and transportation. Others may need more attention because of acute or chronic health problems. The PARENT acronym may help draw your attention to how your parents are functioning in their everyday lives. P  hysical. Do Mom or Dad still have enough energy for daily activities? Have you noticed any changes in their gait or balance? Weight loss? A  ppearance. In particular, notice hygiene. If Dad was always a sharp dresser, but his tie is now stained with soup, his vision could be affected – or he might be having more serious problems that need medical attention. R ambling.  People at any age can ramble in conversation. But if you notice that your mother is not making sense, or your dad loses track easily during a chat, it could be an early warning sign of depression, reaction to medications, or other serious disorders, such as dementia. E nvironment. When you visit, note whether the house is as clean or tidy as usual. Is there food in the fridge and cupboard?  This can mean they have poor nutrition or are ill, or are having trouble coping with housekeeping and cooking. N = eNgaged.  Are your parents still pursuing their favorite activities and attending church or social functions?  Or do you notice them withdrawing socially? If so, use this observation to open a conversation about their daily lives and what you both may be noticing.  T  ransportation. Are your parents able to get around easily? Are you seeing poor driving skills? If they are not driving, are public transport or other options available to get them where they want or need to go? Taking a drive with them gives you a chance to notice their reflexes, and how they handle parking and traffic in general. This is a sensitive topic, so you may want to seek advice on how to approach the subject. Adapted  from “Boomers and their aging parents” by Maureen Osis in Expert Women who Speak – Speak Out. (Vol.  3), 2003   Vol. 4, No. 8 © ElderWise Publishing 2008. You have permission to reprint this or any other ElderWise INFO article, provided you reproduce it in its entirety, acknowledge our copyright, and include the following statement: Originally published by ElderWise, Canada’s go-to place for “age-smart” planning. Visit us at www.elderwise.ca and subscribe to our FREE...

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Keys to Enjoying Later Life

Posted by on Sep 7, 2010 in Staying Active | 0 comments

Guest author: Patricia Morgan Fred, the oldest known goldfish, lived to forty-one years of age. It’s a mystery how he did it. But, unlike Fred, we don’t need to live inside a fishbowl to enjoy a long, full and vibrant life. Certainly a sense of playful humor seems to be a key ingredient for seniors who live an energetic and meaningful life. For people like my mother, it’s true that aging bodies disintegrate or rust out and health challenges may minimize some choices. Yet an attitude of optimism, good humor and passion can ease the day. Mom’s passion for gardening excites her each morning. Rising to the edge of her bed, she wraps, straps and bandages various body parts before heading out the back door. Her garden has a ceramic bunny village nestled under a bush and one particular flower species is called “stolen”. She secretly stole a snippet at the local park and sprouted it in a glass of water. A fake hand peeks out from her front porch foundation. She declares. “My doors are unlocked and I’ve never been robbed. They think the axe murderer lives here.” Yet, one summer, Mom reported experiencing sexual harassment in her garden. While kneeling down to clean her ornamental pond a jumping frog “came less than an inch from landing in my bra!”  Although many seniors fuss over a failing memory, others lament that “I have a beautiful, young wife and I’m grief stricken because I don’t know where I left her.” One evening Mom sensed she was supposed to be somewhere else. The next morning her friend Peggy called saying her dinner guest did not arrive but she couldn’t remember whom she had invited. Mom asked, “Was that me?” They still don’t know who was supposed to be where. While memory can weaken, an inquiring mind can strengthen. My mother keeps on eye on world events and has sharpened her opinions. “What’s with President Bush’s zeal for war? He needs to be given some estrogen (female hormone) to settle him down.” Many successful seniors have learned that while they have little control over the aging process they do have control over their attitude. Needless worrying and trying to control others is fruitless. Some seniors discover that sinking their teeth into a steak means they stay there. But real staying power comes from a lighthearted approach. As our eighty-something old neighbor and friend, Izora says, “Aging isn’t for sissies or the humorless.” As the years pass we can consciously choose to embrace social activities, maintain an inquiring mind and indulge our passions – silly or serious. One day we will have our own brand of senior smile and feel grateful to live outside the fish bowl. Patricia Morgan, a certified counsellor, speaker and author, helps individuals and organizations lighten their load and strengthen their resilience. For more information visit http://lightheartedconcepts.com   Vol. 4, No. 10 © Patricia Morgan 2008. You have permission to reprint this or any other ElderWise INFO article, provided you reproduce it in its entirety, acknowledge the author’s copyright, and include the following statement: Originally published by ElderWise, Canada’s go-to place for “age-smart” planning. Visit us at http://elderwise.memwebs.com/ and subscribe to our FREE...

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