Managing Arthritis Pain in Seniors

Painful inflammation and stiffness in joints are caused by a condition called arthritis, which can significantly impact your daily life. While there's no cure, managing arthritis pain is possible. Here are some effective strategies to alleviate discomfort:

  • Maintain a Healthy Weight: Excess weight strains joints, exacerbating arthritis pain. Losing some weight through regular exercise can help ease the burden on joints, reducing discomfort.
  • Exercise Regularly: Low-impact activities like swimming, cycling, or walking help improve joint flexibility and strength without causing further damage. Consult with a physiotherapist for personalized exercise routines.
  • Hot and Cold Therapy: Applying heat packs or taking a warm bath can alleviate stiffness and promote blood circulation, while cold packs reduce inflammation and numb sore areas.
  • Use Assistive Devices: Utilize supportive devices like braces, splints, or canes to reduce joint strain and provide stability during daily activities.
  • Mindfulness and Relaxation Techniques: Practices like meditation, deep breathing, or yoga can alleviate stress and promote relaxation, easing arthritis-related discomfort.
  • Healthy Diet: Incorporate anti-inflammatory foods, like fruits, vegetables, and nuts, into your diet daily to help reduce inflammation and alleviate arthritis symptoms.
  • Medication and Supplements: Consult a healthcare professional for appropriate pain-relief medication or supplements like glucosamine and chondroitin, which may help alleviate arthritis symptoms.

To effectively manage arthritis pain and improve quality of life, incorporate these strategies into your daily routine. Always consult with healthcare professionals for personalized advice and treatment options.

Springtime Activities to Enrich Seniors’ Lives

As the sun shines bright, it's the perfect time to embrace outdoor activities and soak in the new warmth. For seniors, staying active and engaged is essential for physical health and mental well-being. Here are a few delightful spring activities tailored to get seniors up, moving, and enjoying the season to the fullest.

  • Gentle water aerobics is a low-impact exercise that offers many benefits for seniors. MLP Residence has an indoor hydrotherapy pool for our residents to use at their own pace. The water provides a buoyant environment that reduces strain on joints while providing resistance for muscle strengthening. If you don't reside with us, find a local community center or gym offering water aerobics classes designed for seniors. Invite a friend or join a group class for added motivation!
  • Immerse yourself in the breathtaking beauty of nature with leisurely walks and picnics in the lush outdoors. At MLP Residence, you can stroll through our fields and enjoy the vibrant greenery. Alternatively, explore a nearby park, botanical garden, or nature reserve. Opt for a walking trail or path with gentle slopes and shaded areas, ensuring a comfortable and safe experience for seniors. Remember to pack water and nutritious snacks to keep you refreshed and energized.
  • Uncover the serenity and vitality of tai chi or yoga in the great outdoors. These ancient mind-body exercises are not just about physical health, but also about promoting balance, flexibility, and relaxation, making them perfect for seniors seeking holistic well-being. The deep breathing and mindfulness aspects of tai chi or yoga enhance their meditative qualities, fostering inner peace and stress relief. Remember, maintaining proper posture and alignment is crucial for injury prevention and physical stability, especially for seniors with mobility concerns.

These engaging summer activities promote physical health and offer social interaction and enjoyment opportunities. Seniors can bask in the joys of sunshine, movement, and connection as they embrace the season with vitality and enthusiasm. So, grab your swimsuit, lace up your walking shoes, and embark on a summer adventure filled with health, happiness, and memorable moments!

Making your Home Dementia Friendly

Dementia, a prevalent condition among seniors in the 21st century, is a progressive neurological disease that impacts memory and abstract thinking. The encouraging news is that we, as family members and caregivers, hold the power to assist our loved ones in their battle against this disease. By implementing strategies and support systems, we can enable our loved ones to maintain their independence, ensuring they live their daily lives without feeling like a burden to those they cherish.

Leave reminders in common areas

Seniors with dementia often struggle with memory, a key area affected by the disease. To assist them in their daily routines, consider placing reminders in areas they frequent, such as the bathroom or their favourite sitting chair. These practical reminders can prompt them to engage in activities they enjoy but may have forgotten.

Provide seniors with brain games to work on

We can educate our loved ones on what they can do to give their brains a good workout. Stimulating seniors' brains with word puzzles and brain games may help prevent and slow the progression of cognitive decline in those who have been diagnosed with dementia.

One thing we do at MLP to help our residents who have been diagnosed with the beginning stages of dementia is offering printouts of their mealtimes to place on the inside of their doors so that when they leave their rooms, they will see them and remember what time their meals are. These little reminders are great for helping our seniors with their independence.

Benefits of Journaling as an Older Adult

Journaling has many benefits for every person, young or old, male or female. It is something our seniors can do that they can't get wrong because it's all based on their own opinions and experiences. Journaling has many benefits when practiced regularly, and there are various options for journaling. Technology in our day has made it easier to accommodate people who may have limited abilities. You can write with pen and paper or use voice to text on a computer or smartphone if arthritis has made it too painful to write manually. Three great benefits of journaling are as follows.

One of the most significant benefits of journaling is its stress-reducing effect. By writing about your thoughts or recent and past experiences, you can effectively purge negative thoughts from your system. This process not only brings better awareness to a situation but also helps you find meaning in the challenging emotions you face daily.

Journaling is not just a therapeutic activity; it's also a cognitive workout. The process of writing involves visualization, speech, memory, learning, and coordination, all of which help maintain brain function. As you jot down your thoughts and experiences, you're essentially helping your brain maintain neural connections, which are crucial for cognitive functioning and memory recall.

Journaling is an activity you can do to practice mindfulness. Mindfulness helps with emotional regulation and can bring you back into the present moment instead of dwelling on the past, giving us a more positive view of life. Journaling can help you understand why you have the opinions you do and can even help you empathize with other people's perspectives as you start to question why others may react a certain way about different situations.

Senior Activities in The County

The County is a great place to live, particularly when our seniors can age in place. That's why so many seniors come to the County after they retire. They look for a quiet little town where they can relax yet still have opportunities to be social and active. Prince Edward County is a treasure trove of activities for seniors, catering to a diverse range of interests. From golfing at the prestigious Picton Golf and Country Club to indoor walking paths for those who prefer a leisurely stroll, there's something for everyone.

The Wellington Lehigh Area offers indoor walking paths to keep our seniors active in the winter months. You can also walk the many paths at one of our local parks and trails. Seniors can participate in curling at the Picton Curling Club, cycling or swimming indoors at the Prince Edward Fitness and Aquatic Center, or walking and cycling outdoors on our millennium trails throughout The County.

There are also many excellent eateries around the area where you can socialize and meet up with friends. Even the volunteer opportunities in The County are endless. You could join the hospital auxiliary. At MLP, many new residents come to reside with us and end up reuniting with old friends years after working together at the auxiliary.

Specialized Transit in the County offers seniors door-to-door transportation to and from medical appointments, social events, and other outings. Make sure to call ahead to register. To use door-to-door service, you must be eligible for the specialized county transit services through Quinte Access.

Senior Activities for Mental Health

Mindfulness is the human ability to be in the present moment and being aware of what we're doing and who we are. Sometimes, it can be easy to allow little details of the day to cause all sorts of overwhelming emotions. It's good to take a step back and try to centre ourselves daily so we don't allow an abundance of emotions to overwhelm us and take over our thoughts, which could result in unwanted reactions. Mindfulness can help us stay positive.

Here are some easy, low-cost mindfulness activities you can do alone or with a group:

  • Colouring—You're never too old to colour, and many fun adult colouring options exist. Colouring requires focus and concentration and is relaxing for any age group.
  • Spend time in nature – Go for a nice walk on a local trail. Listening to the breeze blowing through the tree branches and the birds singing is relaxing. Sometimes, just listening to the waves crash on the shore can make you feel at ease.
  • Bingo – When playing bingo, you're focused on the numbers being called and looking to see if you have the right ones on your card. This is being in the present moment as you focus on what's happening around you.

Travelling over 60

Travelling over 60 can be quite an adventure for those who haven't seen the world yet. You don't have to worry about keeping the kids safe if they stay home, wondering if they're behaving for the babysitter or if the babysitter is taking good care of them. It can be a relaxing, worry-free experience because your kids are all grown up and typically have their kids to worry about. You've done your time, and now it's time to relax with a drink in your hand and your feet in the sand!

If you're feeling the need for a getaway, try travelling solo. Before you decide to jump foot-first into your solo adventure, talk to your doctor about any possible health concerns that may be a risk to your health. As with everything, there are many pros and cons to travelling alone.

The great advantage of solo travel is that it allows you to pursue your own interests at your own pace. Theres no need to worry about other people's schedules and missing out on an excellent opportunity to see parts of the world that interest you most. It can also be a great way to find yourself again after a challenging life experience. But travelling alone can also be risky. There are many people out there who take advantage of older people, so if you decide to travel alone, do your research before taking that leap. Many cruises specifically for seniors bring you to many different places around the world. There are also particular vacation locations for seniors that you could look into or ask a family member to help you find a place to make you feel safe and secure during your time away.

Empowering our Seniors

When people retire, their lives aren’t quite as busy as they once were, and they have much more time to do the things they take pride and pleasure in. Whether they live in their own home or in an assisted living facility, there are things we can encourage seniors to do to keep them busy and feel empowered. Helping them find a purpose or giving them an opportunity to help others can make them feel good. It gives them a reason to get up, get dressed and have a good day. Seniors are more likely to stay happy and healthy if they have something to look forward to daily.

One idea to suggest to a loved one is knitting or crocheting scarves, hats, and mittens for children in need. This gives our seniors a reason to pick up a new hobby and give back to the community. Many local churches in most areas would be happy to accept donations for warm winter items to give to kids and adults in need throughout the community. You could also ask the senior in your life to do something realistic within their abilities to help the family or the community and help them feel needed. Many seniors are usually happy to help.

At MLP, we have a seasonal garden that needs tending to. One of our residents always takes time from her weekend to ensure the garden gets watered daily. This helps our activities coordinator and the other residents who reside here who may not have the same capabilities, as they don’t have to worry about the garden drying up. She also loves to harvest the crops when they are ready for picking, keeping her busy with things that need to be completed in those warmer months.

Tips for our Aging Gardeners

Our bodies get older; it's inevitable, but that doesn't mean you have to stop doing what you love. It's that time of year again when we start thinking about what we want to plant in our gardens. No matter what age you are, gardening can be for anyone! Here are a few tips for seniors or anyone who may have difficulty bending and kneeling. These simple tips can help make gardening easy to start and even easier to tend to throughout the growing season.

  • Use raised garden beds or elevated planters to reduce the need for bending over. You could also grow plants vertically to help avoid bending or kneeling. Vertical planters are also a great option for those with minimal space for gardening. At MLP, we have raised garden beds so our residents can easily access the gardens for planting and harvesting.
  • Avoid using large, heavy bags of soil. Try using lightweight pre-mixed soil to avoid back injuries. If you have a lot of gardening and need a large quantity of soil, consider hiring a local gardener or landscaper to help with the heavy lifting.At MLP, our residents are assisted with the heavy lifting so that gardening can be enjoyable and relaxing.
  • Choose plants that require minimal pruning. If you choose plants that need pruning, wear protective gloves to protect your hands from thorns or prickly branches. At MLP, we provide our residents with gardening gloves and lightweight tools so they can garden with ease.

Random Facts on Aging

  • Gerontology is the name for studying aging's social, cultural, psychological, cognitive, and biological aspects.
  • Cataracts in the eyes (most common in seniors) are among the most common causes of blindness worldwide. This is due to a need for better vision care in our senior communities. Cataracts cause a progressively cloudy spot in the eye, which blocks light from passing through the lens to the retina at the back of the eye. Fortunately, with proper vision care, doctors can find and surgically remove the cataracts before it takes over your vision.
  • Researchers have named these five places: The Italian Island of Sardinia, Okinawa, Japan; Loma Linda, California; The Nicoya Peninsula, an isolated part of Costa Rica; and Ikaria, an isolated Greek island, the five "blue zones." Where people live similar lifestyles and, on average, tend to live longer than the rest of the world. We must note how these five communities have thrived over the years to live such long, healthy lives.
  • The average human life expectancy has almost doubled since the 1800's. Before scientific medical research evolved our world into what it is today, our life expectancy was sitting at about 45 years of age. Life expectancy began to rise, first with knowing how to use and access clean water, sanitation, and medicine, and now we've come so far as to have preventative vaccinations for terminal illnesses that have killed millions. In Canada, our life expectancy is, on average, 82 years old, but some live to be 100 years or more!