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.
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.
Occupational Therapy can help seniors to better deal with challenges and make arrangements that support them as they continue living independent and enriching lives.
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.
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.
As cold weather and shorter days set in, we are forced to deal with the many things that come along with cold weather seasons. We ensure that we, and our loved ones, have appropriate clothing and comforts available to combat and manage the colder temperatures, both within the home and outside, and we make appropriate upkeep and safety arrangements to deal with rain, snow, and ice.
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.
Diogenes Syndrome, also referred to as Senile Squalor Syndrome, is a behavioural disorder faced by some seniors that manifests in hoarding and other behaviours related to lifestyle and cleanliness that can be harmful to seniors’ safety and wellbeing as well as their physical and mental health.