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Dealing with Seasonal Allergies in Spring and Summer– Kingston

Dealing with seasonal allergies is often a part of the spring and summer months. While the warm weather brings with it a fresh season of beauty, warmth, and sunshine, things like pollen and other common allergens also pop up during this time of year.  Seasonal Allergy symptoms don’t discriminate based on age, so seniors are just as likely as their younger counterparts to have to face the symptoms of Seasonal Allergies. When coupled with existing health conditions and symptoms from other health problems, Allergies can often feel especially difficult to deal with for seniors, but there are some ways to try and reduce exposure to allergens and keep Allergy symptoms to a minimum. Seasonal Allergy Symptoms Everyone who suffers from Seasonal Allergies experiences their own combination of symptoms, and the things they experience can vary from year to year or even from day to day. The following are some common symptoms of Seasonal Allergies that seniors can look out for to signal that they need to start taking steps to address the things that might be causing a problem. Sneezing Coughing Itchy Eyes Aches and Pains Runny or Stuffy Nose Itchy Nose Itchy Throat Watery Eyes Fatigue Trouble Sleeping Facing Seasonal Allergies Seasonal Allergies impact many people in spring and summer, but seniors don’t just have to accept the uncomfortable symptoms. There are steps that can be taken to either reduce exposure to allergens or deal with the problem in a way that will be most effective so that seniors can carry on and not be stifled by Seasonal Allergy symptoms. Talk to a Doctor: When it comes to...

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...

Identifying and Tending to Stress in Seniors – Kingston

Stress can quickly become overwhelming if we try to deal with it alone and without strategies to make things a little easier. Along with the normal stresses of life that carry through to older age, seniors also face hardships related to health concerns, loss of friends, family, or social circles, reduced levels of independence, and other aspects of older age that can cause intense feelings of stress. In an attempt to help seniors care for both their physical and mental health, it is important that loved-ones and caregivers acknowledge the stress that seniors may be facing, as well as the negative impacts that can result if feelings of stress go unaddressed.  What Stress Does On top of the typical worries and feelings of unease that stress can cause, prolonged stress can also have significant impacts upon the health of the physical body. Stress causes the body to release cortisol, which is a hormone that has been proven to negatively impact the area of the brain known as the hippocampus, the functioning of which is imperative for the storing and recalling of memories. Not only can an increase in stress hormones impact memory, it can also result in other health concerns, such as: High Blood Pressure Heart Disease Weakened Immune System Seniors are at an elevated risk of facing the negative effects that can come as a result of stress hormones because the body becomes less efficient at regulating hormones in older age.  Identifying Stress The ways in which stress is manifested differ for every person, which means it can be hard to identify and address if seniors don’t bring...

Discussing Mental Health with Seniors – Kingston

Talking about something as personal as our Mental Health can be a vulnerable and difficult thing. While the subject may feel a little challenging to broach at first, making sure seniors feel able and willing to talk about any struggles they may be having with their Mental Health is important. When combined with all the other cognitive and physical changes and adjustments that seniors are facing as a part of older age, mental health problems, if left unaddressed, can have a significant and meaningful impact on seniors’ lives. Opening A Dialogue The common discourse associated with mental illness makes it hard enough to feel comfortable disclosing mental health concerns, but seniors may be even more likely to withhold feelings and challenges with their mental state for fear of troubling or burdening families and caregivers, or because they may assume that the negative impacts of mental health problems are natural or unavoidable aspects of ageing. The fact that seniors are often inclined to avoid discussing their own mental health means that family members, friends, and caregivers need to be proactive about keeping track of changes in mood or behaviour, and need to open a dialogue to make sure seniors do not feel ashamed of discussing emotional challenges. Starting a conversation about mental health can be challenging, but talking to seniors openly with respect and understanding can be healing, productive, and beneficial for health and wellbeing. Seeking Help Seniors may feel unenthusiastic about seeking the professional assistance and support that they need to address troubling feelings and challenges because of the same barriers that prevent them from disclosing their difficulties to...

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...