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Tactile Stimulation for Seniors with Dementia–Kingston

Our experience of the things around us is heavily informed by our senses, one of which is the sense of touch. The practice of Tactile Stimulation is something that can help seniors with Dementia to connect to their sense of touch and, therefore, to elements of the world around them in a way that can be helpful psychologically, emotionally, and cognitively. What is Tactile Stimulation? Tactile Stimulation is, in essence, simply making a purposeful use of physical things to foster a connectedness to the sense of touch. Interaction with items of different textures, shapes, sizes, and feelings can help individuals relate to their sense of touch and to things that surround them in their everyday lives. Tactile Stimulation and Dementia Individuals living with the realities of Dementia often face sensory difficulties that can impact their experience of daily life in meaningful ways. Using Tactile Stimulation to help seniors with Dementia better connect with their sense of touch can help play a role is adjusting to some of the facets of life that come along with Dementia. The Benefits Many seniors with Dementia face things like isolation, anxiety, nervousness, sadness, confusion, and other negative emotions that can take their toll. The integration of Tactile Stimulation into seniors’ routines has the potential to help to address and ease the intensity of some of these problems in various areas. Emotional: Tactile Stimulation can foster a boost in mood and a chance to interact and express oneself in a way that can help to improve emotional health and self-esteem. Engaging with things in a tactile way can also help to create a sense...

Benefits of Swimming for Seniors – Kingston

Swimming can be a fun and accessible form of exercise that seniors can use to keep themselves active and fit. Swimming is an incredible form of exercise that many seniors enjoy year-round. Whether it be indoor swim sessions, water-aerobics classes, or outdoor fun in the sun, swimming is an accessible way for seniors to get their bodies moving and keep active. With the many physical changes that come with growing older, many seniors begin to find it more challenging to engage in all the same forms of exercise or activity that they may have enjoyed when they were younger, but water exercise remains manageable and enjoyable for many seniors, even as they adapt to their changing bodies. There are many reasons that swimming is great for seniors, the following is a list of a few: Low Impact = Less Pain: The buoyancy involved in exercising in water puts less strain and impact on the joints and can therefore provide a great opportunity for movement without pain. Stronger Muscles: Movement in water involves natural resistance that makes it a strength training activity. Faster movement creates greater resistance and, therefore, more muscle work. Through swimming, water aerobics, and other water sports seniors can grow stronger without having to use things like weights and can take it at their own pace. Bone Health: Training the body in ways that increase strength can help to keep bones strong and maintain healthy bone density. This can help to reduce the risks and progression of conditions like Osteoporosis. More Flexibility: The lower-impact nature of moving around in the water can allow seniors an opportunity to...

Preserving and Sharing Memories – Kingston

Passing on parts of ourselves to share with others can be a beautiful experience. While they may previously have been caretaker, breadwinner, disciplinarian, co-worker, partner, or a whole host of other things, many seniors in older age now find themselves filling the role of guide, storyteller, or purveyor of wisdom. With a long life behind and many stories and experiences to share, grandparents, older friends, and elderly relations have a great deal to tell us about how they lived their lives and about how we might live ours as we go forward. Growing older also, however, creates a greater chance that the wisdom, knowledge, stories, and lessons that seniors have to share will become lost before they can share it. Whether it be as a result of memory loss, cognitive and mental changes, or death. Thinking ahead and encouraging our senior loved ones to take steps to record their wisdom and stories not only creates an everlasting connection to them after they are gone, but can also be a positive exercise for seniors to participate in as they remember their lives and know that the things that they have to share are valued and important by those they care about. Recording Wisdom Stories and wisdom can come from many different areas of lived experience, and what one senior sees as their most valuable or important contribution may be entirely different from that of another person their age. Thinking through what is most important to seniors and to the loved-ones that want to remember them can help you to work out which means of recording things will be best. The...

How Fun and Games Can Benefit Seniors’ Wellbeing – Kingston

Games are more than just fun, they can be beneficial for seniors in many ways. Free-time can be difficult for some seniors to adjust to, having been busy with work, family, and other roles all through their lives, an abundance of leisure time can feel disorienting. Many seniors grapple with the notion of productivity, and what counts as a productive use of time and energy when the days spread out before them are completely in their own hands. It can be difficult to adjust to thinking about activities and hobbies that have always felt like a luxury amidst the hustle and bustle of a busy life as good uses of time throughout the day. The reality is, however, that many of these hobbies, activities, and games are productive and helpful for promoting mental wellbeing and brain health in ways that seniors can feel good about. Playing games, for example, may once have seemed only like a leisure activity to be reserved for times when everything on the to-do list had been checked off, but these games can actually play a role in helping to keep seniors’ minds fit and healthy, and their spirits lifted.  Why Games are Great Apart from the simple fact that games can be a fun activity for seniors to enjoy, there are other benefits to seniors’ health and wellbeing that can be reaped through playing different kinds of games. First of all, games are excellent for exercising the brain and keeping the mind fit and healthy. Depending on the types of games involved, seniors can make use of different ways of thinking, can explore new...

The Healing Powers of Laughter – Kingston

Laughter can be healing for the spirit, but also for the body and mind. Laughter is more than just an outward expression of happiness, and is actually connected to numerous processes within the body that can help to improve overall feelings of wellbeing, health, and wellness in terms of mind, body, and spirit. Seniors can reap great benefits from taking part in activities, interactions, and experiences that make them laugh, because the very act of laughing has the power to help add some light to the day and ward off worries and negativity. How Laughter Heals Laughter can really be a powerful tool for healing and dealing with worries, and there are numerous positive outcomes related to health that seniors can experience by finding ways to add a little more laughter into their lives: Reduction of Stress, Depression, and Anxiety: The heightened levels of dopamine and other hormones that help to manage stress and anxiety that come along with laughter can be truly helpful. Also, the feelings of joy that come along with laughter can help to minimize feelings of depression. Higher Endorphin Levels: Laughter increases levels of endorphins, which support pain relief and promote feelings of pleasure. Management of Pain: Along with the increase in endorphins, known as the body’s natural painkillers, laughter can also offer a distraction, and laughing can often help to redirect attention away from pain, thereby minimizing its effects. Lowering of Blood Pressure and Cholesterol: The increase in vascular blood flow that occurs during laughter, along with increase in oxygenation of the blood, solidifies laughter as a powerful tool for lowering or regulating high...

The Benefits of Time Outdoors for Seniors – Kingston

Nature has so much to offer us with beautiful sights, sounds, and smells, but it can also be a source of healing that benefits mental and physical wellbeing. The Benefits of Being Outdoors Going outside might not be the first thing that we think of when we consider health-promoting activities, but the reality is that the outdoors can provide a whole host of benefits that can help seniors as they pursue balance and wellbeing in mind, body, and soul. The following are some of the benefits that seniors can enjoy from being outside and spending time with nature: Strengthened Immune Function:Studies have suggested that being outdoors improves immune function by increasing the count of white blood-cells that fight off illnesses. Vitamin D:Without spending time outdoors in the sunlight, it can be challenging to get enough vitamin D, which is crucial for the health of the physical body and the mind. Spending some time outside with healthy exposure to natural sunlight can help to foster better mood and help protect against the development of issues with areas of the body such as the bones or heart. Social Opportunities: Taking part in outdoor activities creates more opportunities for various forms of social interaction and relationship building. Whether it be sitting out in the garden with a loved one, going for a walk with friends, or participating in an outdoor interest group or sport, there are many social activities accessible for that take place outside. Attentiveness:Taking a little break from everything else that is going on in life and directing focus solely onto being outdoors can offer the mind a break from...