Blog

As a child, many moons ago, I noticed that most of my elderly relatives and neighbours had dentures, so much so that I automatically assumed that losing your teeth was part of the natural aging process. In fact, it has come to my notice recently that all of my current elderly relatives, many of which are not actually millions of years older than me, still have most or all of their teeth, therefore, I have to conclude that actually we don’t have to resort to dentures as we age. In reality good tooth and gum health is mostly a result of better oral hygiene, a good diet and access to regular dental care, much of which was not so readily available to my late ancestors. It…

Continue reading...

As a family, we play an awful lot of games at our gatherings, whether it’s a quick quiz, a game of rummy or a long and drawn out evening of Monopoly. These evenings are often loud and rambunctious because we are all very competitive and noisy people. We each have a huge variety of games in our individual homes and I can even boast that we own a personalised Monopoly game kindly gifted by my well-travelled son. Now, I don’t know if my family are particularly normal with their obsession for shouting out answers or gesticulating wildly because it’s not really something that comes up in conversation with outsiders.   All I know is, it’s something that we, as a family, do and I don’t imagine it’s…

Continue reading...

Sadly, isolation in old age is extremely common and is likely to continue to increase as the ageing population grows. The main issue with social isolation is the way in which it impacts on the health, quality of life and associated well-being of the elderly. Unfortunately, as the problem grows so too does the reluctance to admit to feeling isolated, mainly because the majority of people suffering live alone and they are fearful of being forced to leave the familiarity of their own homes. Plus it isn’t just the elderly who struggle with feelings of isolation; research is making us increasingly aware that family caregivers are also at a high risk of feeling social isolation. The way forward, to help to alleviate this increasing issue, is…

Continue reading...

There is no doubt in my mind that owning a pet can be a great boost to the emotional and physical well-being of the majority of humans. During the past few years there have been a great number of incentives which encourage therapy based upon the interaction between senior citizens and pets, and in particular dogs, due to their potentially calming effect. Dogs can make wonderful companion pets for a senior, simply by providing that unconditional love which staves off loneliness and depression; dogs are quite unlike any other animal with their capacity for loyalty and empathy. An added bonus to having a dog rather than a cat is that they promote social interaction simply by needed to be walked regularly. This, coupled with the responsibility…

Continue reading...

Allergies can creep upon us as we age, mainly because our immune systems diminish which in turn makes us more prone to various ailments and illnesses. For some, the symptoms of an allergy can be as simple as a runny nose, rash or a persistent cough but for others, an allergy can result in anaphylactic shock and a real life-threatening situation. Given that many allergies can be dangerous, whether living alone or in an assisted living facility, there are a number of factors to be taken into consideration. If you suspect that either you or your loved one has developed allergy type symptoms, follow these few simple steps: Confirm the Diagnosis If it seems likely that you or a loved one is displaying unmistakable food allergy…

Continue reading...

Parkinson’s disease is a brain disorder that causes a gradual loss of muscle control. The average age for a diagnosis is around the age of 62 and an individual diagnosed before the age of 50 would be considered to be suffering from young-onset Parkinson’s disease. The symptoms of Parkinson’s are both physical and mental but tend to be mild initially which means that diagnosis is often delayed. If you do have any concerns, look out for the following symptoms: Tremors Tremors or shaking usually begins in the upper limbs (hands or fingers). One characteristic of Parkinson’s disease is a tremor of the hand when it is relaxed (at rest). A back-and-forth rubbing of the thumb and forefinger, which is known as a pill-rolling tremor, is a…

Continue reading...

Man sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived. The 14th Dalai Lama None of us ever want to grow old, yet the alternative is hardly something to wish for, is it? As you age, rather than dwelling on the negative aspects, it is important embrace your age with pride because, as an elder, you are old enough and wise enough to know what you like or dislike and can make…

Continue reading...

There is a distinct chill in the air and leaves are beginning to turn a wonderful russet colour so we must be right on the cusp of autumn, in the northern hemisphere at least! The onset of winter can be a challenging time for our senior loved ones, particularly those who live independently, because a change in the weather means some basic preparations will be necessary. At this time of the year, a little help will go a long way towards making sure your loved one can remain comfortable and happy no matter what mother-nature throws their way. I have put together a short checklist of things that need to be addressed. Whether you instigate or merely make suggestions and offer assistance and guidance is entirely…

Continue reading...

I think, by now, that we all know that we need to keep ourselves fit and healthy, both mentally and physically for many reasons, but how do we ensure that we remain active as we age? After all, many of us find running and cycling out of the question and even walking can be painful, particularly if we have aching joints and weak muscles. One thing we can all do is swim because water helps to support our weaker areas and enables us to exercise more areas of our body than a thorough workout at the gym can even achieve. Not only does swimming exercise our bodies, it also helps our mental health too. Here are a few good reasons to take up swimming: Swimming is…

Continue reading...

Keeping fit and healthy is vital as we age, both for our mental and physical well being, but it can, of course, be more challenging to remain active when our bodies start to feel the pressure of old age. The good news is that recent studies have shown that a great way to thwart any decline is simply to dance. Thankfully we don’t all have to become budding ballroom dancers or master the Merengue to enjoy and benefit from this excellent form of exercise. It’s absolutely still of benefit to just lose yourself in some great music and shake your booty. So why is dancing so great? Here are three excellent reasons: Physical Fitness Regular dancing can help to maintain a healthy weight which in turn…

Continue reading...

Finding love in later life is a bit of a tricky subject for some people. I know lots of really kind hearted and wonderful people who have lost their loved ones and would absolutely love to find that close companionship again but are fearful of offending family members. At the other end of the scale, several of my friends actually enjoy the freedom of being single in later life and feel no desire to pursue love. According to statistics the largest percentage increase in marriage was for people between the ages of 65 and 69 which would suggest that there are certainly plenty of people who are looking for, and actually finding, love in later life. Feeling loved by another person is very important for everyone’s…

Continue reading...

Mobile phones are viewed as an essential tool in the modern world. We use them for almost everything from taking photographs through to keeping ourselves abreast of current events and catching up with friends and family on social media. I even use mine as a spirit level on occasion! For older people, they can be a vital line of communication; a way of staying in touch with family and friends on a daily basis and as reassurance that they can reach help should it become necessary. Unfortunately, not everyone finds mobile phones easy to use. Your loved one could be from an older generation who are mistrustful of modern technology, they may feel nervous about learning the correct functions or simply find it hard to see…

Continue reading...

The modern world can be a very strange place to grow up in, with many children spending much of their free time watching life on a screen or growing up in a virtual world, talking on social media with people they don’t really know in the real world. Spending time talking to and playing with older adults can help to alleviate some of the more negative influences of technology and bring reality back into their lives whilst also giving them a sense of purpose. The benefits of Intergenerational relationships for the young Talking to adults can help the young to develop essential life skills: The ability to converse, listen and empathise – all important skills which will help during the journey to adulthood. To recognise mood…

Continue reading...

Life has changed dramatically over the past century, including within family groups and relationships. The traditional version of the close knit nuclear family is becoming a historical factor rather than a fact in the modern world. Clearly, life evolves over the years and traditional values can’t exactly be expected to remain the same forever. In fact, we can celebrate some obvious improvements in the accepted diversity within families, but unfortunately, there are some areas of family life that seem to have suffered immensely from some of the changes.   Intergenerational relationships are one area, in particular, that appear to have diminished during the past several decades. Seeing extended families living under the one roof or even in the same geographical area seems to be a relatively…

Continue reading...

Can you imagine suddenly suffering from something that feels very much like a particularly extreme panic attack?   Unfortunately, a Ménière’s attack can occur in exactly that way with no warning and, until diagnosis, no way of knowing what on earth has hit you! So what exactly is Ménière’s Disease Ménière’s Disease is a chronic degenerative disorder of the inner ear. The symptoms usually strike suddenly at random and manifest as attacks which can last anything from a few minutes up to as long as 24 hours and every single person’s experience is different. Nobody seems to know what actually causes it and there is currently no known cure. Medication provides very limited long-term relief and surgery, although a cure for vertigo, usually results in permanent deafness….

Continue reading...

Most of us have long been aware that spending time outdoors is good for our wellbeing but increasingly human beings seem to spend more and more time inside staring at a screen rather than going outside and enjoying the benefits of fresh air and open spaces. Our obsession with spending time indoors seems to be becoming more prevalent as we head towards our senior years. It could be that as our body’s age we find ourselves less mobile so we tend to relax in a chair in front of the TV rather than dashing around exercising etc. Yet this is the time of our life when we have more time to enjoy the outdoors and gain heaps more health benefits, which can only be a positive…

Continue reading...

As we grow older there is a multitude of reasons to take care of both our physical and psychological selves in order to live a long, enjoyable and healthy life. But for many people, growing old can mean years of loneliness; not everyone has a family to fall back on for companionship and increasingly our friends and colleagues could be diminishing over the years leaving us feeling a little lost and alone in the world. However much we exercise and maintain a healthy diet, these things alone will not keep us happy and healthy mentally. However, there could be a solution that would suit many people because new research suggests a firm link between pet ownership and various health issues, both physical and mental. Below you…

Continue reading...

Actually accepting that you might need help is a difficult thing for anyone to come to terms with and openly admitting it can be problematic in old age. Most of our elderly folk have managed a lifetime of independence leaving them feeling like they are giving in too easily when they start to feel that they are unable to manage alone. The responsibility of realising that our loved ones are not managing as well as they had previously usually falls to family members. So how would you recognise the signs that an ageing loved one may need more support than they are currently getting? There are a few key changes to watch out for in your elderly relatives: Sleeping for most of the day Difficulty keeping…

Continue reading...

During the summer months, one of the best parts is having the lovely warm weather to relax in and enjoy. However, dealing with a sudden and unexpected heatwave can be difficult, particularly when we are in our senior years; because the older we get the harder it is to regulate our temperature. Unfortunately, when the body gets too hot we can succumb to hyperthermia (not to be confused with hypothermia which literally means the opposite) which could result in life-threatening conditions such as heat stroke. Here are a few key symptoms to look out for: Dry skin with no sweat Nausea or vomiting Headaches Fainting Breathing difficulties Moody behaviour If you do notice any of these signs, in yourself or in a friend/companion, it’s time to…

Continue reading...

Long term commitment to an elderly loved one can become very stressful, resulting in you feeling exhausted and depressed. Caring is often a relentless and intensive task with seemingly no respite. For this very reason, many long term carers suffer symptoms of burnout without even realising it. Caregiver burnout is physical, emotional, and mental fatigue that is often accompanied by a change in attitude. These are the signs to look out for: Long-term ailments Stress can wreak havoc with your immune system. Illnesses that last longer than they usually would are a sure sign of a compromised immune system.   Getting sick more often. If you seem to be catching tummy bugs and colds frequently this is a sign of stress – take particular note if…

Continue reading...
Page: 1 2 3 10