Sufficient Hydration is vital for health at all ages, but is especially important for seniors. A great many seniors do not drink nearly enough water, often because aging causes the sensation of thirst to occur significantly less frequently, while the water reserves in the body also decrease with age. Dehydration is among the top 10 causes of hospitalization for seniors, and failing to maintain a proper level of Hydration by getting in enough water can be detrimental to various facets of seniors’ health.
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.
Having someone you love pass away is incredibly difficult and intensely upsetting no matter what stage of life you find yourself in, but for seniors experiencing the stages of mourning and grief can be particularly harrowing. The emotional anguish and devastating sadness that accompanies a loss can influence both the mental and physical health of seniors in substantial and important ways. As we continue to grow older, dealing with death and bereavement becomes something we have to do more and more often as the loss of loved-ones and friends happens more and more frequently when those loved-ones are also growing older and moving into the later stages of their lives. We all know that grief and loss are feelings and experiences that are hard to work through, but it is important to be aware of the particular ways in which seniors can be touched by the emotions, feelings, and thoughts that accompany the loss of someone they love.
An important and valuable aspect of growing older is building and strengthening connections with people who share similar experiences, and caring for relationships based upon common ground is deeply important. As we move through different stages of life we come to learn and understand how valuable it is to forge connections with peers that are going through the same things we are at around the same time, because similarities often support an important level of understanding between individuals. For this reason, the vast majority of our friends and close relationships often end up being created within the bounds of our generation or within the same general age group as us. Groups that exist within our communities are often separated by age, but the truth is that there are a whole bunch of positive outcomes that can come from bringing people from different generations and age groups together to learn from one another and build strong, valuable, and fulfilling relationships beyond the boundaries of age or generation.
Just the simple little act of listening to a few bars of a familiar song can be so magical that our minds are taken to other places and feelings of nostalgia are sparked, calling up memories of the past, and evoking powerful emotions. Listening to music, especially music that is connected to memories in one way or another, can be a pleasant hobby for seniors, but it can also be an important tool for stimulating memory in seniors who are facing the challenges of Alzheimer’s and the symptoms that accompany it.
As they work their way through the process of ageing and learn to navigate the many changes that come with growing older, many seniors find value in considering forms of treatment that exist outside of the traditional biomedical model. Among the options that are available through the diverse world of alternative medicine is Acupuncture, which is a practice that has the potential to present great benefits for seniors attempting to manage a whole host of different health concerns and symptoms. As the benefits it can provide have become better known, Acupuncture has become increasingly available and accessible to people all over, including those living in Kingston.
The health of our feet in incredibly important for our continued mobility and comfort in older age. Properly attending to one’s own feet and carrying out sufficient practices of monitoring and care can become challenging for seniors as they grow older, so it is particularly important that strategies and support systems be put in place that work to help seniors avoid uncomfortable or harmful conditions and diseases that can affect the health of their feet.
While working our way through the aging process and learning to better manage and navigate the challenges and changes that come along with growing old, finding little sources of comfort and calm is deeply valuable for our mental health and, by extension, our overall wellbeing. Each of us finds their comfort in different places, whether it be reading, art, music, or other hobbies, and one incredible option worth exploring is the therapeutic effect of animals. Animal Assisted Therapy is a unique type of therapy that can be deeply enriching and beneficial for seniors in any condition, and can be a fun and calming way to work towards a better state of wellbeing.
As seniors continue to grow older and experience the array of physical changes that come as part of the aging process, it can become discouraging to think about participating in physical activity when the body no longer feels like it can function in the same ways it once did.
While remaining attentive to feelings and sensations within the body that indicate limitations is important, continuing to engage in some form of physical activity to keep up a degree of fitness remains deeply important for seniors. While seniors must often go through a process of adjustment as they start to experience new changes in mobility and physical ability resulting from the natural physiological changes and health issues that come along with growing older, there are always ways to integrate some degree of physical activity and movement into daily life that can be hugely beneficial for both the physical and mental health and wellbeing of seniors in Kingston.