When the winter weather hits and cold weather is in full force, seniors may find it more daunting to think about venturing out to the grocery store on a regular basis to get fresh produce, and might find themselves resorting to more prepared and packaged convenience foods. On top of this, there is a tendency for people to find themselves wanting just to eat comfort food when the weather is cold, which is absolutely fine as long as there is some balance and seniors are making sure that, along with those comforting foods that maybe aren’t the healthiest, they are also getting in ample fruits, vegetables, and nutrients.
When the weather is cold, everything feels a little different than it does when the sun is blazing and the air is warm. When it comes to joints, many people who experience pain in these areas report that they notice a meaningful difference when the weather is colder. Whether it be because of differences in air pressure that take place in the cold-weather months, or whether it is the chill in the air itself that causes a change, fall and winter can be more challenging times for seniors’ joint pain.
When Anxiety becomes such a recurrent and dominant aspect of day-to-day life that it begins to overpower everything else and stops people from living happy, fulfilling, and enriching lives, however, it starts to become cause for concern. Anxiety Disorders can have a huge impact upon how people are able to live their daily lives, and can be really challenging to manage. While anyone can be faced with an Anxiety Disorder, certain aspects of life that are features of older age make seniors vulnerable to experiencing Anxiety Disorders. Worries associated with personal health, lower self-confidence, chronic pains, the loss of social connections as a result of death or isolation, and numerous medical conditions can all add up to create a web of worries that fill seniors’ daily lives with fears and anxieties. Cultivating an awareness of the types of anxieties that seniors may face, and learning how to identify and address them can help seniors and their loved-ones to work towards better managing Anxiety Disorders.
In this day and age, there is greater openness and willingness to have important conversations regarding sexuality, sexual expression, and sexual health than there was even just a decade ago, and a great deal of attention has been placed upon shaping understandings and discussions of sexuality to better promote safe, healthy, and fulfilling sexual relationships. The reality is, however, that these efforts are most often directed towards those in adolescence and adulthood, and very little emphasis has been placed upon working to promote a willingness to talk about the sexualities of older members of the population. Popular discourse tends to support the notion that seniors and older adults lack any form of sexual drive or desire. The common understanding, influenced in large part by the taboo that still accompanies discussions of seniors’ sexualities, is that older individuals no longer take part in sexual activity or have the same degree of sexual desire as younger members of the population. Contrary to these beliefs, however, sexual intimacy continues to be an enriching and important aspect of life for many seniors.
Being able to drive around means that seniors can take themselves to their appointments, go on enjoyable outings whenever they want, visit friends and family without a great deal of fuss, and really just navigate their time without having to consult with other people about how to get where they want to go. With all of the changes that take place for seniors in older age, many individuals feel as though they are slowly losing aspects of their independence and self-sufficiency but by bit, and the notion of not being able to drive anymore can come as a devastating blow. For this reason, many seniors want to keep driving as long as possible, even if they are noticing that driving is becoming more challenging. For family members, friends, and caregivers of seniors, it can be challenging to determine when the time has come for them to stop driving and how best to navigate the discussions and arrangements that must follow when that point has been reached.
Despite this, it is important not to abandon hope or assume that trying to communicate effectively is a lost cause. Even the smallest or most fleeting of moments during which a sense of connectedness is experienced can be so incredibly meaningful, and there are strategies that can help facilitate and nurture better communication with seniors who have Dementia that can help to bring those special moments to life. Even as new challenges present themselves, remember that there is always room for hope.
Assistance dogs fill the roles of helper, aide, companion, friend, and are also considered by many to be a loved and respected family member.
Assistance dogs are dedicated, hardworking, skilled, and capable of meeting the needs of their human partners, to whom they provide an invaluable service that helps to improve quality of life, comfort, and safety.
Assistance Dogs can be valuable companions and helpers for seniors who are facing the diverse challenges that can come with growing older. Just the companionship and connectedness that an animal offers can be deeply valuable for seniors’ mental health, but Assistance Dogs can also help some seniors to perform tasks and can also work to keep them safer and more at ease at home and out in the world. In exploring the many different roles that Assistance Dogs can fill in seniors’ lives on top of just being a friend and companion, we can see that Assistance Dogs have a lot to offer seniors as they continue to grow older.
The more vulnerable state of health that comes with older age means that something like a fall can cause significant damage that can impact seniors’ independence and quality of life in powerful ways. A fall can possibly result in brain injuries, fractures, and other physical injuries, and can also cause greater feelings of anxiety concerning the possibility that another fall might happen, and these feelings can discourage seniors from walking around at all, causing them to spend more time in a sedentary state. For these reasons among others, something as apparently simple as one little fall has the potential to alter both the physical and mental health of seniors in a significant way.
The common cold often starts to make its way around during this time of year, and while everyone can catch a cold, the more vulnerable state of health in which seniors find themselves means that special care and attention needs to be directed towards trying to prevent seniors from catching a cold, or at least towards managing their symptoms accordingly to help them get back on their feet and bounce back from a cold as quickly as possible.
Mindfulness involves the pursuit of the mindful mental state that is achieved when one focuses and directs their attention to the current moment, while also accepting and acknowledging the thoughts, judgements, sensations, and feelings that are at play, without any form of judgement. Mindfulness is a technique individuals can use to connect with their surroundings, as well as with the feelings that are happening in reaction to what is going on around them. Rather than ignoring or pushing away thoughts or feelings that may be negative or difficult to deal with, Mindfulness encourages people to focus on those emotions and see them for what they are. Through this, it becomes more possible to quiet and calm the mind. Rather than allowing your mind to fixate on the past or rush ahead to the future, the art of Mindfulness is to be fully aware and mindful of what is going on in the present moment, outside of ourselves, in our bodies, and within our minds.