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That special bond that exists between a dog and its owner should never be underestimated. However, for older people, the benefits go far beyond the usual simple enjoyment that their pet can bring. For seniors, dog ownership can be an actual lifesaver, particularly for those who are living alone. Of course, it is always vitally important that certain considerations are taken into account. There is little point in offering a giant or a highly active breed to someone frail or with limited mobility or gifting an eight-week-old puppy to someone with no prior pet experience or with no outside space available. However, if the right breed and age of the dog are matched well to the individual, the experience can be extremely enriching for both the…

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Gardening is one of the UK’s favourite leisure outdoor activities with hundreds of thousands of people enjoying tending to their outside space regularly. Sadly as we age and begin to suffer from arthritis or other physical limitations, our gardening activities can turn from a pleasure to a pain. Thankfully, there are any number of gadgets and aids on the market which can prolong the enjoyment by taking away the strain of some of our most common outdoor tasks. Here are just a few samples of the items available:   Gloves There are a number of specially designed gloves that have extra padding in the palm and finger joints to help improve your grip and protect your hands, causing fewer calluses and blisters, while you work.  …

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Most people arrive at a time in their lives when they need some extra help around the home, usually due to an going health issue or because they simply can’t get around as easily as before. The majority of seniors would prefer to remain in their own familiar surroundings and remain mostly independent. Unfortunately, it is not always possible for close family members to step in when this situation arises; because of work pressures or commitments, physical distance or simply because a little daily help is not sufficient for the recipient. Fortunately, there is an option outside of having to move into an assisted facility. With live-in assistance, your loved one can remain in the comfort of his or her home and still receive all of…

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I recently came across an article with the title “The More Time You Spend With Your Mum, the Longer She’ll Live”. The article was based on a recent study which concluded that loneliness is a significant factor in the decline of quality of life in older adults. The article pointed out that we should make an effort to spend time with our parents, (not just our mothers), because many seniors are at serious risk of developing health problems simply because they are lonely. These conditions include the risk of depression, cognitive impairment and health problems like coronary artery disease, all of which can lead to premature death. This article certainly got me thinking. What about those older folk (both men and women) who have no loving…

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Getting your daily quota of exercise doesn’t have to be difficult or complicated. As a general rule of thumb, a minimum of 30 minutes physical activity each day is enough to keep you fit and healthy and this can even be broken down into smaller increments if that is the only way you can fit it into your daily routine. Believe it or not, you don’t need to hit the gym to get fit. Even a brisk walk is sufficient exercise for your body’s needs. One thirty minute session every day is enough to help you to do all of the following: Maintain a healthy weight Strengthen your bones and muscles Improve your balance and coordination Improve your mood Help you to sleep better Prevent or…

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Suffering with grief following the death of a loved one is likely to be the most life-changing loss anyone will ever suffer whether it’s a partner, spouse or, in certain tragic circumstance, a child. Following bereavement, a whole range of emotions, from sadness, loneliness, anxiety and helplessness, are likely to overwhelm anyone and may leave us feeling isolated and incapable of functioning. Two emotions that many of us also unexpectedly feel are anger and relief; anger at being left to cope alone or relief because we have suffered through our loved ones decline, often as the primary caregiver. These particular emotions are often swiftly followed by feelings of guilt simply for feeling that anger or relief. Going through such an emotional rollercoaster is complicated and varies…

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As we age one of the biggest fears most of us are likely to face is gradually losing our flexibility and mobility and eventually becoming a burden to those we love. We all yearn to remain independent and manage our lives successfully. Equally, it is also of great importance to our families. Nobody wants to watch their ageing loved ones struggling to manage normal everyday tasks. However, it is still very important to encourage independence in seniors and to provide the opportunity for them to maintain a better quality of life for themselves. Whether your loved one remains in their own home or moves into an assisted living facility there are a wide variety of items available which can help them retain their independence for as…

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It’s a recognised fact that consciously exercising your brain can help you to remain mentally sharp, increase your focus and concentration, give you far faster thinking and reaction times, boost your motivation and productivity and sharpen your vision and hearing. However, an even greater bonus could be the fact that regularly performing memory exercises can help to protect you against future memory loss and cognitive decline. When the brain is passive it tends to atrophy and this is far more likely to occur if you occupy all of your leisure time in a sedentary or passive manner. There may be all manner of brain games available either to buy or download, however, many experts suggest that too much time spent using electronics is detrimental to our…

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“You don’t stop laughing when you grow old; you grow old when you stop laughing.”  ― George Bernard Shaw The key to ageing gracefully is not only to accept the changes that life has wrought but also to embrace them. Whatever your age, life has much to offer if you take the time to look around you and enjoy every experience. If you are not entirely sure how to achieve this philosophy why not take a look at the following ideas.   Positive Mental Attitude Negativity is ageing: Think positively about both your own attributes and those of the people around you. If you have nothing good to say, say nothing. Don’t let other people’s negativity affect your mindset. Never agree with others just to please them…

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Human Beings are by nature sociable creatures with the majority of us living and working in close proximity to others. Unfortunately, as we age and leave the workplace we can find that we have less activity with which to occupy ourselves, less reason to interact with others and our circle of friends and colleagues can begin to diminish leaving us struggling to maintain an active social life. Yet this period of our lives is exactly when we need to be socially active. Clearly sitting alone at home is unlikely to keep our little grey cells vigorous and alert and will more often than not leave us feeling lonely and isolated. Scientific evidence indicates that these conditions could be almost as harmful to our health as smoking,…

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As our older family members age and become less mobile we are often faced with a difficult dilemma; do we help them to maintain their independence by struggling on at home with as much assistance from us as we are able to give or do we suggest alternative living options? It’s a tricky situation and requires cooperation from all sides, no matter which option is chosen. Most seniors, given the choice, would usually cling firmly to their own home even if it means being isolated and struggling with day to day living. It’s their environment, their possessions and, crucially, their independence. Unfortunately, circumstances can intervene, possibly an illness or accident, which means that a long-term solution must be found quickly. These are the options usually considered…

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It’s a fact of modern life that families are becoming more and more fragmented and our elderly are the most likely to suffer in these circumstances. If we don’t have close family living nearby as we age we are more likely to suffer from loneliness, depression, insomnia, dementia and even high blood pressure; all serious health issues which are seemingly on the increase. As we age and retire from the workplace we are likely to spend increased numbers of hours within the confines of our homes and this is the point at which we are going to start to suffer from the onset of loneliness. The more time we spend alone the more likely we are to smoke, eat and drink more and get less exercise,…

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Despite the fact that people are living much longer and healthier lives in the 21st Century, there seems to a huge rise in the number of elderly who are living their final years feeling lonely, undervalued and often estranged from their family. Although we have ever increasing ways of communicating with each other, several generations of one family spending regular and quality time together seems to be an unusual occurrence – a sad casualty of the modern world. Yet there are very strong and compelling reasons why it is essential that we try and melt that gap and begin to actively seek out intergenerational contact; for the sake of ours, our seniors and our children’s wellbeing. Here are a few simple reasons why keeping a close…

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Did you know that seated exercise is becoming very popular? Neither did I until very recently! Yet it seems that there are a whole host of excellent seated exercises which hold their own when compared to many more conventional exercise regimes which are usually performed on foot. Having taken a look at some of the chair exercises possible, it would seem that they would be suitable in a wide range of circumstances and not just for seniors with mobility or balance issues. They can also work equally well for someone recovering from an injury or surgery and for those of us who sit for a living and, by default, spend a great deal of our time moving very little aside from our fingers. A seated workout…

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There are plenty of things you can do you keep yourself healthy, active and using your little grey cells. Many of us find that as we age it is very difficult to avoid the natural wane of our brain function but nonetheless, it is sure to help if you do as much as possible to ensure that you retain as many faculties as possible for as long as possible. In our previous blog on the same subject we shared five important tips on maintaining and improving your memory. Read on for five more!  Reduce your stress levels Stress is bad for your brain: Over time, chronic stress destroys brain cells and damages the hippocampus, the region of the brain involved in the formation of new memories…

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We know that our memory can gradually wane as we head into our senior years. For many people, this loss begins with the odd moment of forgetfulness. However, these can soon develop into more frustrating and upsetting episodes of significant memory loss which can have a serious effect on our quality of life. There is much evidence to suggest that our lifestyle choices and how much we exercise our brain can have a major influence on the level at which we maintain our cognitive skills. With this in mind, we have put together a short list of ways in which to care for our memory. Below we share five crucial points that will help to maintain and boost your memory… Take care of your health If…

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Even minor hearing loss can have a huge impact on normal life to the extent that many sufferers become withdrawn and isolated. A slight change in hearing levels can affect the ability to participate in conversation leaving the sufferer struggling to communicate effectively with others. Equally, being unable to hear traffic noise, reversing alarms or even pedestrian crossings could put a person in direct danger. The level of hearing loss can be relatively mild and only restricted to the high pitched sounds but on the other end of the scale, the loss could be significant enough that understanding speech is impossible without the use of a hearing aid. For anyone with a substantial hearing loss, their ability to communicate is directly related to their responses with…

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The World Wide Web has changed so much over the past couple of decades, and yes I did say ‘decades’. Back in the early days, it was pretty rudimentary and most people had little use for it, assuming of course that they even knew what it was! Now, of course, everything known to mankind can be found at the end of our fingertips and the majority of us utilise the web for information, shopping, banking and communication and many of us for our work. The issue for some of us less technically savvy users is realising that we need to keep our private information safe because we don’t necessarily understand how the internet works. With this in mind we have put together ten tips on internet…

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Most doctors will tell you that high cholesterol is very bad for you; it clogs your arteries and eventually may lead to heart disease or stroke. What they don’t always tell you is that there are two types of cholesterol: LDL (Low-density lipoprotein) and HDL (High-density lipoprotein). LDL is usually referred to as ‘Bad’ cholesterol. It can build up on the walls of your blood vessels (plaque) narrowing them and blocking blood flow to and from the heart and other organs, hence causing heart disease or stroke. Conversely high levels of HDL cholesterol can lower your risk of heart disease and stroke! HDL absorbs cholesterol and carries it back to the liver. The liver then flushes it from the body. As we age we are far…

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Most of us will require some level of help in later life as we age and become less sprightly. Fortunately, many of us can rely on our children for both companionship and, increasingly, for physical help, as we age. We hopefully have the comfort of knowing that we have close blood relatives to lean on in our hour of need. But what happens to those seniors who have no children to rely on? There are ever-increasing numbers of older adults who never had children, either through choice or circumstance.   They may be married, widowed or single but often they are much more fiercely independent than their counterparts with children. This could simply be because they have lived alone, or as just a couple, for all of…

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