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Seniors and Sexual Health – Kingston

For many seniors, sex remains an important aspect of their lives in older age, but social taboos often prevent us from having important conversations about seniors’ sexuality. 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. Yes, Seniors Are Still Having Sex Sex is an uncomfortable topic for a lot of people, and even with the attempts made over recent years to reduce the negative connotation and taboo previously associated with notions of sex and sexuality, most of us aren’t quite comfortable casually discussing sex in everyday conversations quite yet. Throw in the added variable of talking about sex amongst...

Helping Seniors Manage Knee Pain – Kingston

Our knees endure a great deal carrying us around for so many years, so they tend to become a more troublesome spot as we reach older age. Gravity, time, and general wear all have an impact on the state of our knees, and all of these elements in combination with one another over the course of the many years that seniors have been walking, add up to create issues that can interfere with seniors’ mobility. Things That Contribute to Knee Pain In addition to the general wear and tear of the knees that occurs over the course of many years, there are also other conditions and factors that can cause occasional or persistent knee pain for seniors. These can include, but are not limited to: Obesity Trauma or Injury History of High-Impact Use (Such as sports or exercise) Osteoarthritis (cartilage breakdown) Overuse Alleviating Knee Pain There are many ways to help manage the knee pain that seniors may begin to face, and the best options for each senior are dependent on the personal circumstances of their health and lifestyle. Some seniors may have to have surgery in the form of a knee replacement, a procedure that removes damaged bone and cartilage and replaces it with a synthetic joint. Others will not need to go as far as surgery, and will be able to alleviate or manage their discomfort through physical therapy, or appropriate pain killers prescribed by a healthcare professional. Talking though all concerns and options with a healthcare professional is the best place to start, so schedule an appointment with a doctor should pain start to cause concern...

Considering Seniors’ Nutrition in The Winter – Kingston

When it comes to good eating habits, the winter can add some barriers that make it harder for seniors to get all the vitamins and minerals they need to keep healthy and balanced. 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. Keeping Things Healthy and Balanced Eating lots of fresh fruits and vegetables seems easier in the summer months, when produce is plentiful, so many fresh things are in season, and things just seem more available. Fruits and veggies are, however, just as important in the winter as they are when the weather is warm, there might just need to be a different approach that makes healthy food remain accessible to seniors when it is cold out. Stock Up: If one of the issues at play is that seniors are finding it more challenging to make their way to the store to buy fresh foods to eat with their pantry staples, make veggies easier to stock up on. Try buying frozen fruits and vegetables or produce that will last...

When the Time Comes to Stop Driving – Kingston

Independence and the ability to drive are two things that often feel intertwined, and the notion of losing the freedom that comes with being able to drive can be sad and scary for 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. Why Growing Older Can Impact Driving The truth is that many seniors can be still be very safe and capable drivers well into their 80s and 90s, and age alone is not a determinate of someone’s capability as a safe driver. It is also true, however, that there are a great many features of seniors’ lives that can culminate to make driving more challenging for them and, therefore, less...

Considering the Needs of Seniors with Autism – Kingston

For seniors with Autism, the intersections between Autism and the many changes that come along with growing older can often create unique needs and challenges. In an attempt to appropriately consider and tend to the specific care needs of seniors with Autism, it is important that loved-ones and caregivers work towards building a comprehensive and conscious understanding of how Autism can impact the lived experiences of seniors, how Autism can interact to create differences or exaggerations in the experience of age-related health concerns, and how best to be behave and conduct oneself in a respectful and compassionate way as decisions are made concerning how best to address care. What is Autism? In the briefest of terms, Autism can be characterized as a cognitive condition that can manifest in difficulties with communication and use of language, social interactions and relationships, and the understanding of abstract concepts. Autism exists as a spectrum, and the severity of the symptoms faced by each individual person is unique to their own experience. Autism is most frequently diagnosed in early childhood but, for numerous reasons some Autistic individuals can grow older without ever having received an Autism diagnosis. Autism in Seniors An overwhelming majority of research related to Autism relates specifically to children in earlier stages of life, and a distinct lack of research exists that explores Autism in seniors and the needs of older adults with Autism. This lack of information has often been attributed to the fact that, as little as 50 years ago, Autism diagnoses were rarely assigned, and individuals who exhibited the symptoms now commonly associated with Autism were often assigned...

Creativity as Therapy: Art and Music for Seniors’ Wellbeing – Kingston

When caring for an ageing loved one, we direct a lot of attention towards making sure that their physical and medical needs are met and attended to. We arrange medical visits, monitor medications, and help with physical and mental exercises prescribed by health-care professionals, all in pursuit of the ultimate goal of maximizing and maintaining the health of the seniors we care about. While these medically focused activities are undoubtedly of pivotal importance, there are also many other forms of non-medical engagement and creative therapies that can have incredibly meaningful impacts upon seniors’ well-being. Alternative and Creative Therapies Alternative and creative therapies are often overlooked because of the fact that they exist largely outside of the bio-medical realm, but looking into creatively driven therapies involving art, music, games, animals, and other hobby related activities can yield huge benefits for many of the seniors who take part in these forms of therapy. The extensive array of alternative and creative therapies that have been made available to seniors over recent decades, including in the Kingston area, is as diverse and varied as the people for whom these therapies were designed. Among some of the more popular creative therapies are those that are art based, such as those that involve music and visual art. Music Therapy Music Therapy is founded on the notion that music can be used as a powerful tool to improve the well-being of seniors by engaging all facets of their being. Listening to, or being part of the creation of music has the ability to awaken and engage emotional, mental, spiritual, social, and physical aspects of identity, and...