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Senior Citizens and Depression

Senior Citizens and Depression

  We all have those down periods from time to time – the ones where you wonder what happens to optimism and happiness. In the aging process, depression can actually have a radically negative effect on the health. Elders are especially prone to depression because they often live alone and may not have a structured daily routine. Just as laughter and being happy have positive health effects, depression can have just the opposite. Depression is actually a brain disorder in which the brain functions differently. For this reason, it can bring about a wide range of different health effects. Symptoms Some of the symptoms of depression: Insomnia Lack of interest in activities that normally excite someone Appetite changes Reckless behaviour Anger or frustration, abnormal outbursts Feeling helpless   When it comes to physical symptoms, depression can lead to chronic fatigue and insomnia. In addition, sex drive – yes, even in seniors – can be more limited, and aches and pains are often exacerbated. When abnormal amounts of serotonin flood the brain, the body becomes more sensitive and susceptible to pain, particularly back pain. Lack of so-called feel-good hormones can effect sleep and limit energy. Worrying about health in particular is a symptom associated with depression in elders and should be monitored daily.     What are the risks associated to suffering from depression?   Aside from all the physical symptoms, depression actually increase the chance for new diseases to develop – something anyone would clearly want to avoid. Depression can make it much harder to fight off infection due to higher levels of cortisol and adrenaline in the brain....
Signs of Alzheimer’s Disease in Seniors

Signs of Alzheimer’s Disease in Seniors

  When it comes to our loved ones and elders, one of the most challenging prospects is having to face Alzheimer’s Disease. Today, over 747,000 Canadians are living with Alzheimer’s and the statistic is growing.   When someone is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, their family is also affected. The person you once knew is regressing at various stages, to the point where they may not recognize you any longer. This debilitating disease is complicated, and requires an immense amount of patience in order to manage it. How do you know if you or a loved one might have this condition? Let’s take a quick look at some of the most obvious and common signs of Alzheimer’s in seniors. A clinical diagnosis can only be made by a doctor. If you notice these symptoms, make an appointment to see your family physician.     Memory loss   If your loved one is experiencing memory loss on a daily basis, this may be one early symptom of the disease. When it comes to forgetting recently learned information and forgetting dates, events, etc. the member has previously known, these are some of the common symptoms in Alzheimer’s patients. If the member is continuously asking for the same information time and time again, they may have Alzheimer’s.   Following through on everyday chores   Many patients will have trouble following through with plans at work or home. This could include anything from following a simple recipe to keeping track of bills. Taking more time than usual to complete tasks is also a warning sign for Alzheimer’s.   Daily tasks such as driving to a...
Staying Active Can Prolong Life for Seniors

Staying Active Can Prolong Life for Seniors

  You’ve probably heard that staying active is good for you, no matter what your age. Being active and doing regular exercise is one of healthiest things you can do for yourself.   Research studies in Canada have shown the exercise boasts numerous benefits and aging adults can gain more by staying active. Even moderate physical activity and exercise can greatly improve the health of seniors who are frail and those suffering from diseases and conditions accompanied by aging.   Watch these informative videos to learn more about how physical activity can help you lead a better life! Thank you, Western University . Be as Active as Possible   Always consult with your family doctor before beginning a new exercise routine. You might consider physiotherapy services if you have difficulty moving around on your own. If you have experienced heart failure recently, do not attempt any strenuous exercise until your doctor gives you permission.     While there are some exceptions, regular exercise and remaining physically active can produce a host of long-term benefits as well as even improve the health of some elderly citizens already faced with disability and disease. This is why may health professionals insist on the elderly being as active as possible. It also helps avoid early senior homecare.   Regular physical activity and exercise can improve your mood and help manage stress as well as possibly help reduce feelings associated with depression.   Keeping active can also help you stay fit, keep your joints healthy, maintain muscle strength and prolong your life. Making physical activity and regular exercise an essential part of your daily...
The Effects of Stress When Caring for Older Parents

The Effects of Stress When Caring for Older Parents

  Growing old is a part of the cycle of life. Many cultures include their elders as part of the household and do not question where they will go once they become unable to care for themselves. Many situations, however, require additional help when older people cannot bathe on their own, have trouble with mobility or simply cannot be left alone in their home. Alzheimer’s patients present a unique situation for families who want to keep their loved ones at home, but cannot afford to take a leave of absence from their jobs to stay with them.   Nursing homes offer an alternative solution for families who are unable to care for their parents or grandparents, however there are some disadvantages to consider. If the nursing home is understaffed, there is a risk that your family member may be neglected or their condition may worsen at a faster pace because their environment is unfamiliar. Each situation has a unique characteristic, and alternative care options that are readily available can offer the help you need to maintain everyone’s quality of life.   What does stress do?   Let’s talk about how stress can have adverse effects on your life, and the lives of those around you. Family members caring for their older parents have encountered stress and fatigue from trying to manage too many tasks and responsibilities. Some of the mental signs are easily noticeable, such as fatigue, while others take more time to manifest, such as depression, anxiety and social isolation. People who become consumed with taking care of their parents in their old age often become negligent of...
Why Laughter IS the Best Medicine: little-known facts about giggling

Why Laughter IS the Best Medicine: little-known facts about giggling

  We all have that something funny that really makes us laugh, but it’s not every day that we find ourselves laughing a big, joyful belly laugh. As we get older, we learn when to laugh, and when to hold back as a matter of etiquette. Seniors may find it difficult to find the good in life during certain situations – and we know it isn’t easy! But let us tell you why it is so important to keep laughing in our lives as part of the aging process.   There are actually many health benefits to laughter in both seniors and younger people. Did you know that laughter helps to lower blood pressure? You can reduce your risk of stroke and heart attack with just one giggle!   Learn about the science   A study showed that participants that watched a drama actually had more stagnant blood cells than those that watched a comedy. For more on this study, click HERE>>>       The benefits of laughter It’s no surprise that laughter in general helps lower stress. Your body literally stops producing stress hormones as you laugh and it also increases immune system performance. You activate T-cells in your system that will immediately begin to fight off sickness. That goes for everyone from toddlers to elders.   Did you know that laughing is actually considered an exercise? Laughter is a great cardio workout for those who might have trouble working out on a regular basis, especially elders. That means no running marathons – just laugh up a storm instead! It burns just as many calories at walking at...
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