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The Benefits of Gardening for Seniors – Kingston

Taking care of a garden and engaging in all of the practices of nurturing and helping things grow can be wonderful for seniors. Gardening is an activity that allows for creativity, physical movement, interaction with nature, and a whole host of other positive features. Spending time outside working in the garden is a hobby that many seniors enjoy in the warm-weather months, but it can be more than just a fun way to pass the time. The fact that gardening requires planning, knowledge, time, care, and creativity means that it is an activity that incorporates many facets that exercise the mind and body. Benefits of Gardening: Gardens are beautiful places that are full of life and wonder. The act of gardening itself can be beneficial for seniors in multiple ways: Physical Activity: Gardening involves different levels of physical activity that can be beneficial for seniors’ physical wellbeing. Working outside and moving around to care for the garden can help seniors exercise their bodies and can help them get better sleep as a result of the combination of movement and fresh air. Self-Esteem and Mastery: Gardening can be an empowering activity in which seniors can plan and control the outcome of the task. Learning to nurture a garden provides a sense of purpose and can afford seniors a great sense of self-worth and mastery. Relaxation: The rhythm and work required for gardening has a slow and calm pace that makes it an ideal activity for relaxing and relieving stress. Some seniors even use gardening as a form of meditation. When things are overwhelming and a little stress relief is required,...

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...

Keeping Seniors Safe from Falls –Kingston

Trips and falls are among the most common causes of injury for seniors. Keeping on top of the potential risk factors and dangers associated with falls, and taking steps to put preventative measures in place can help keep the seniors of Kingston safer and more comfortable within their homes. Consequences of a Fall The more vulnerable state of health that comes with older age means that something like a fall can cause significant damage that can impact seniors’ independence and quality of life in powerful ways. A fall can possibly result in brain injuries, fractures, and other physical injuries, and can also cause greater feelings of anxiety concerning the possibility that another fall might happen, and these feelings can discourage seniors from walking around at all, causing them to spend more time in a sedentary state. For these reasons among others, something as apparently simple as one little fall has the potential to alter both the physical and mental health of seniors in a significant way. Keeping Seniors Safe An important part of the process of putting practices into place that can help to keep seniors safer from the risks of falling is detecting and making ourselves aware of the vulnerabilities and risk factors that are present in each seniors’ individual case. A whole bunch of different elements, such as medications, chronic health problems, visual impairments, lack of physical fitness, and environmental factors can all contribute to the cause of falls if they remain ignored or unchecked.  Being aware of possible risk factors can help in the process of arranging strategies that can help reduce seniors’ risks of falling....