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ICYMI: Why taking care of yourself should be your top resolution of 2018

We’re into the second week of 2018, and some of us are struggling to maintain our resolutions. It’s easy to say that we’ll eat better, or exercise more, or be kind to others. Putting all of this into practice can be, to put it lightly, tiring. If you are a caregiver for your aging parent, or a disabled dependent, you may be putting your own needs aside to focus on others. While it’s important to temper optimism with practical or frugal thinking, we know that being in a constant state of worry or difficulty can result in depression and anxiety. Being selfish about your own health is one way to make 2018 better for yourself and the people you love. Tips for approaching situations with a positive attitude There are so many things we can do for ourselves to help our mental well-being. Here are some of the ways our team has resolved to put some positivity into our lives. It’s time to shake off feeling guilty for not having time for everything. Be aware of stressors like not having enough time to accomplish your to-do list, or trying to cram too much into one day. Get an agenda or app for your phone to help you visualize your time management. Eat less processed or fast food. It’s so tempting to indulge in tasty treats, especially when it means you don’t have to plan or prep your meals. Eating good food can really affect how your brain processes emotions and your overall well-being. Colourful, fresh food is as tasty as it is pleasant to look at! We love keeping busy, and following through...
2018 is the Year of Positive Thinking

2018 is the Year of Positive Thinking

We’re into the second week of 2018, and some of us are struggling to maintain our resolutions. It’s easy to say that we’ll eat better, or exercise more, or be kind to others. Putting all of this into practice can be, to put it lightly, tiring. If you are a caregiver for your aging parent, or a disabled dependent, you may be putting your own needs aside to focus on others. While it’s important to temper optimism with practical or frugal thinking, we know that being in a constant state of worry or difficulty can result in depression and anxiety. Being selfish about your own health is one way to make 2018 better for yourself and the people you love. Tips for approaching situations with a positive attitude There are so many things we can do for ourselves to help our mental well-being. Here are some of the ways our team has resolved to put some positivity into our lives. It’s time to shake off feeling guilty for not having time for everything. Be aware of stressors like not having enough time to accomplish your to-do list, or trying to cram too much into one day. Get an agenda or app for your phone to help you visualize your time management. Eat less processed or fast food. It’s so tempting to indulge in tasty treats, especially when it means you don’t have to plan or prep your meals. Eating good food can really affect how your brain processes emotions and your overall well-being. Colourful, fresh food is as tasty as it is pleasant to look at! We love keeping...
Prevention and a Healthy Lifestyle for Aging Well

Prevention and a Healthy Lifestyle for Aging Well

Prioritizing your health is often one of the things we don’t do because we’re so busy with everything else going on. That is, until our bodies begin to whisper little reminders like: “Did you get your flu shot?” or “Maybe you shouldn’t eat that?” because we do know that maintaining a healthy lifestyle and prevention is often the best way to reduce the occurrence of major health issues, whether chronic or acute. Chronic vs Acute conditions A chronic health condition develops over time. Osteoporosis, asthma, ALS, diabetes, and arthritis are a few examples of chronic conditions that can worsen as we age if we don’t take steps to help our bodies. Learn more here. Acute conditions are often severe and develop suddenly, like broken bones or skin burns, or the flu. They eventually go away, but it’s important to see your health professional to determine whether there is an underlying cause for these occurrences, such as genetic predisposition or lifestyle choices such as diet and physical exercise. How are you aging? Aging is something we, unfortunately, cannot prevent. Getting older has always been something that I’ve looked forward to. As each year passes, I feel more at ease with myself, and as a result I enjoy life more. I do notice, however, that I need to spend more time choosing foods that have certain nutritional value for any one of my ailments (whether you have diabetes, liver disease or high blood pressure, there are tasty foods for you!) I also go to the doctor more often to monitor potentially serious issues, and I’ve found that recovering from illness or...
Incredible Assistance Dogs – Retire-At-Home Oakville, Burlington, Halton

Incredible Assistance Dogs – Retire-At-Home Oakville, Burlington, Halton

Today, August 4th, marks Assistance Dog Day, a day dedicated to recognizing the noble and hardworking efforts of service dogs who help and support people all over the world with varying needs and life circumstances. Assistance dogs are dedicated, hardworking, skilled, and attuned to meeting the needs of their human partners, to whom they provide an incredible service that helps to improve quality of life, comfort, and safety. Assistance dogs fill the roles of helper, aide, companion, friend, and are also considered by many to be a loved and respected family member. Days like Assistance Dog Day have been set aside to create an opportunity to raise awareness regarding the incredible work that Assistance Dogs do every day, and also to acknowledge the hard work and devotion of those who raise and train the Assistance Dogs that provide such an honourable and deeply appreciated service to people facing a whole host of different unique circumstances. Assistance Dogs can be valuable companions and helpers for seniors who are facing the diverse challenges that can come with growing older. Just the companionship and connectedness that an animal offers can be deeply valuable for seniors’ mental health, but Assistance Dogs can also help some seniors to perform tasks and can also work to keep them safer and more at ease at home and out in the world. In exploring the many different roles that Assistance Dogs can fill in seniors’ lives on top of just being a friend and companion, we can see that Assistance Dogs have a lot to offer seniors as they continue to grow older. Types of Assistance Dogs...
Addressing and Managing Chronic Pain for Seniors – Oakville, Burlington, Halton

Addressing and Managing Chronic Pain for Seniors – Oakville, Burlington, Halton

Chronic Pain is a concern that a great many seniors must contend with on a daily basis. Having to deal with persistent and sometimes debilitating pain can lead seniors to withdraw from activities and relationships, and to cease participation in elements of life that are enriching and important to them. A lot of seniors just accept pain as a part of growing older and don’t pursue support and treatment that could help them to address the issues they are facing, so it is important that caregivers and loved-ones remain attentive to changes in behavior so that they can encourage seniors to care for their health and incorporate treatment strategies that can help them to uphold better physical and mental health as they manage chronic pain. What is Chronic Pain? Chronic Pain, in contrast to acute pain, is pain that lasts for a prolonged period of time. This form of persistent pain is often rooted in a larger chronic condition in the body, but there are some circumstances in which no direct cause of pain can be identified. In these cases, the chronic pain is described as an illness in itself. Chronic pain can be overwhelming and can feel as though it is taking over seniors’ lives, but there are behaviours and treatments that can be incorporated to help provide some relief from pain and break the existing patterns of discomfort. Signs of Chronic Pain Many seniors tend to simply accept pain as a part of their aging process, and might try to just deal with it rather than seeking help. It is, however, important that seniors talk to a...
Why Puppy Love Matters: animal therapy

Why Puppy Love Matters: animal therapy

I recently came across an intriguing article about animal assisted therapy. Click here to read it, so you can get some context on what is going to follow. As I read what Mark (a doctor in Oregon) wrote several years ago, I related to some of his skeptical opinions regarding the place of animals in a hospital, but I’ve also witnessed how people can benefit from them as well. It’s a timeless topic because there will always be a healthy debate. What is animal assisted therapy? Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT) is the utilization of animals as a therapeutic modality to facilitate healing and rehabilitation of patients with acute or chronic diseases…Animal Assisted Therapy is when animals are used in goal directed treatment sessions. These goals can be physical, mental, emotional and/or social. I was never allowed to keep pets, except some unfortunate goldfish which kept dying for some reason. My father begrudgingly allowed me to bury them in our vegetable garden, despite his attitudes towards animals. We grew up on a farm, and were discouraged from forming an emotional bond with any animal, including the horses that would faithfully and stoically transport anything from bales of hay to pesky children who would tug on their manes, shrieking “go horsey, go!” My cousin, who is on the autism spectrum and cannot speak clearly or control her emotions at times, showed me that there is, in fact, something to animal therapy. We often go to a stable to see the horses and give them carrots. When she finds out that we’re paying them a visit, she immediately collects herself and smiles....
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