Why Reading is Good for the Soul at Any Age

It can be hard to dive head deep into a book, especially if you’re not someone who has ever had any interest in books for most of your life. The key to finding a good book that pulls you right in, is research. Sometimes its as simple as a google search to find what your interested in. Once you find that one book, it can transport you into a whole new world. It’s like being in the narrator’s shoes. You feel what they feel and live through what their living through at the time of the storyline. It can be so refreshing to take a break emersed in a good book when going through harder times in your own reality.

I guarantee that once you find your style, you’ll be a reader for life! At MLP, we have our own little library with all kinds of books for our residents to borrow. Being in a retirement home has its perks. You have all this extra time to get lost in a book when you don’t have to worry about the cooking and the cleaning. Seniors seem to have a lot more time on their hands after retirement. Reading is a great way to pass the time, and a different way of travelling through time and space. There are so many books out there, but if I had to recommend one, I would recommend Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt. It is a story of friendships and family and shows us just how small this world truly is.

Winter Safety Tips for Seniors

Living in Canada means the snow is going to fly eventually. Even kids and adults find walking on the cold snowy ground more challenging than it is in the warmer months. Theres so many unknowns underneath that fresh carpet of snow. Many seniors can have difficulty finding their footing on dry ground, let alone wet, snowy, or icy grounds. Before going out to brave the cold this winter, go over these quick tips to help you keep safe during the winter season.

  • Make sure to always wear boots with a good grip to avoid slipping and falling.
  • Always be aware of your surroundings before walking outside in bad weather.
  • Expect hazards, so you can be prepared no matter what comes up.
  • Learn how to walk on ice and snow – keep hands out of your pockets and take smaller steps or shuffle your feet while walking to always keep yourself steady.
  • When entering and exiting vehicles, always hold onto the vehicle with both hands when stepping in or out.
  • Avoid short cuts through the snow. Always use the cleared designated path to walk on when going to your destination.
  • Approach any snowy surface with caution. You never know if you could be walking into a pothole or icy patch hiding under the freshly fallen snow.

Try to keep these quick winter safety tips in mind while on your travels and you’ll be more confident about walking in the snow while out and about this winter season.

Tips on Self-Care for Seniors

When you're on an airplane, the flight attendant tells you that if the oxygen masks drop, you should put yours on before attempting to help others. They're not telling you this because they want you to be selfish. They inform you of this because if you run out of oxygen, then you won't be able to help anyone at all. It is human nature to want to help people, but you must care for yourself physically and mentally before attempting to care for others. Try these tips to help you ease into a self-care routine that will keep you going.

Try to eat healthier foods. Many foods these days are chalked full of preservatives and things you can't even pronounce in the ingredients list. Make it a weekly task to go to your local market and get some natural fruits and vegetables for cooking healthy, hearty meals.

Be proactive about your physical and emotional health. There are other ways you can exercise if you're not used to working out. A nice walk around your community can be enough to get that blood flowing, and the fresh air can do wonders for a troubled mind.

Meet up with friends regularly. Humans naturally crave human connection. Set a weekly lunch or coffee date with a close friend or a neighbour. Communicating and laughing with others is good for our souls. Take a nap. If you're tired, take a nap. Your body knows when you need to rest, and it is good to listen to it. As age catches up with us, we tend to get tired more often. Take that nap so you can wake up feeling refreshed and ready to conquer the rest of your day.

How Technology can Enhance Quality of Life for Seniors

Technology has come a long way over the past few decades. It's one of those things that most seniors find very difficult to navigate, but once they learn, it can be a great asset to their lives. The most common technology seniors use is smartphones, tablets, and smartwatches.

Tablets are great for providing entertainment and informing you about all the latest news and trends. You can also use the tablet to connect with friends and family through a messenger app or Skype if you wish to video chat. It can provide access to transportation and food as well. Many places have an online shopping app with the option of delivery, so you can have groceries delivered right to your door. Grocery delivery apps are great for seniors without a driver's license.

Smartwatches like a Fitbit or Apple watch can monitor your health and wellness and alert caregivers if something is irregular. A medical alert watch on the market can detect if someone has fallen and automatically sends a signal to emergency services. These apps can provide peace of mind for the family.

Smartphones can connect you with friends, family, and healthcare providers. Many virtual doctors have been out there since COVID-19 hit our streets in 2020. If you are without a family doctor, a virtual doctor is a great way to see a professional when something unexpected happens with your health. You can do all this without leaving home

Thanksgiving at MLP

When you look around the county this time of year, you can see many signs of fall. The beautiful leaves are starting to fall off the trees and the fields are turning yellow. You can see pumpkins and corn stalks on front porches and little scarecrows and mum flowers decorating the yards of county folk. As Thanksgiving comes around in Canada, there’s talk of family turkey dinners with stuffing and gravy and you can’t forget the pumpkin pie!

At MLP Residence, we like to celebrate Thanksgiving with our residents. We’ve done something new this year. We had our residents, staff, and visitors write down what their thankful for on a colourful paper leaf and hang it on our Thankful Tree. Our tree sits in the Grande Lounge for three weeks leading up to Thanksgiving Day for all to admire as it slowly fills up with thanks from our MLP community.

The day before Thanksgiving, we come together around the thankful tree, and read off all the leaves to learn what our community is thankful for. This year, we had many thankful for their families, their homes, and for the staff at MLP. Some were thankful to be alive and healthy and able to live in such a wonderful home. Reading the leaves is a great way to get people to come together and socialize. Once all the leaves were read out loud, we had long conversations about old family traditions. Traditions that went back from when our residents were children and having thanksgiving in their old family homes. We heard about many different meal traditions and different desserts that you don’t see today. It was a pleasure being able to reminisce about past holidays with our residents and learn what they did in their childhood.

The kitchen also plans a wonderful turkey dinner for the residents on Thanksgiving Day. This is important to do at retirement homes because not all seniors can travel to see their families on the day of thanks for that big hearty family meal. We like to make sure that everyone gets to celebrate and eat with family because at MLP we are like one big family.

Senior Friendly Fall Activities

Have you ever looked around at all the gorgeous scenes there are in the fall? Especially around our beautiful Prince Edward County. The colourful leaves are exquisite and the reflections they show along the water in the many lakes we’re surrounded by are just breathtaking. Every fall we make sure to have a Fall Leaves Bus Tour for our residents here at MLP Residence. The bus has big wide windows, so you can see out easily without walls in your view. The residents love it, because its relaxing and the views are beautiful. There are also many different crafts you can make with all the colourful fall leaves, pinecones, and acorns. Many of our residents have beautiful fall wreaths on their doors that are easy to make with these items. You can find these items on the ground outside. All you need is a glue gun and gather up those supplies on a nice fall walk through a nearby park. You can also easily make little table centerpieces and all it would cost you is the price of a glue gun and some glue sticks that are easy on the wallet at your local dollar store.

Swimming in your Golden Years

Many seniors think that swimming is just not in the cards for them when they start to age but guess again! The indoor hydrotherapy saltwater pool at MLP is the perfect place to relax or get your body moving while having the minimalist impact to the joints. Our residents use the pool for multiple reasons. One of our residents at MLP have their own aqua fit routine that they perform independently. Others like to walk laps to help with their walking abilities or just sit in the corner seat to relax and enjoy the warm water on their skin.

The most challenging part of going for a swim here at MLP is getting into your swimsuit and walking down the stairs into the pool. We always have a staff member in the room to assist residents in and out of the pool and stay in the water with the residents to make sure they feel safe and secure during their time in the pool.

Fun Crafts to do With Seniors

We have many residents that love to take advantage of the extra time they have available during retirement. If you’re ever looking for something to do with your senior loved ones, try one of these fun hobby ideas to do with them.

Wreath Making –One of our residents here at MLP uses bed sheets to create beautiful colourful wreaths. All you need is a metal wreath frame, scissors, and coloured sheets to cut up into strips. Tie your strips onto the frame and let the colours blend into a beautiful creation.

Needle Point Name Tags –Another resident here has created name tags out of her needle point hobby. She uses plastic canvas, scissors, yarn needles, and different coloured yarn to weave in and out of the canvas to create colourful name tags for other residents in the building.

Hanging Clove Apple –We have another resident that spends some of her time each day putting cloves into an apple to give to people as gifts. You can hang these anywhere in your home for a nice fresh fall scent. All you need is an apple, some cloves and a piece of rope or ribbon. Push each clove into the apple wherever you’d like and glue a rope or ribbon on the top so you can hang it up.

Keeping exercise fun with seniors

One thing we do at MLP that keeps them coming back is our FUN 5-minute cool down at the end of each 30-minute exercise session. Our residents work hard at keeping themselves in good health by attending daily and doing the 25-minute routine. After they’ve put in the work, we put on music of their era and do fun challenges for our cool down. Laughter is always the best and biggest part of our cool down routine.

We start with stretching in all areas, then move into range of motions and work our way up to a strength building exercise that alternates daily between weights and resistance bands. One of our resident’s favorite 5-minute cool down challenge is Noodle Ball. This is inexpensive and definitely a favorite at MLP! The balloon flies all over the room as the residents laugh and hit the balloon back and forth with their friends, using their reflex skills to keep it off the ground for as long as they can. Sometimes we switch hands, challenging them with their non dominant hand to make it more interesting.

The residents of MLP are always saying just how much fun it is to come to exercises and how much they enjoy it. Next time you think exercise isn’t for you, just remember all the fun you could have in a social gathering where everyone is working towards a healthier version of themselves.

Laughter is the Best Medicine

We don’t always think of laughing to be a treatment for any type of medical condition, but did you know there are many benefits of laughter in older age. Some of the benefits are listed here:
  • Laugher releases endorphins. Endorphins are chemicals in the body that help relieve stress and even physical pain.
  • It reduces high blood pressure. If stress can cause high blood pressure, and laughter reduces stress, then laughter can also reduce high blood pressure.
  • Helps fight depression. Laughter can help shift your focus from the unpleasant things and gear your thoughts back towards the positive as endorphins flow through your body.
  • Laughter increases blood flow.It helps to make your blood vessels function better which in turn creates a better blood flow and circulation throughout the body.
  • Laughter promotes fitness. When you laugh, you use almost all the body’s systems, muscles, and nerves especially. It boosts your energy and gives those abdominal muscles a good workout.
  • Laughter can help soothe tension in your body. With better blood flow and less stress, your circulation is better, which can help ease the tension in your body.
Laughter isn’t a fix all of course, but it definitely helps boost the mood and energy of a person at any age. At MLP, we promote laughter in all aspects of life to keep our residents in good spirits and feeling good.