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Celebrating the Holidays with Seniors- Barrie

The traditions and memories of the holidays can continue to bring joy and light to our lives, no matter how old we are. A great deal of preparation and planning go into the holidays as a whole, but celebrating with ageing family members and loved ones requires some special attention. Thought needs to be directed towards determining how best to structure and navigate holiday gatherings, traditions, and activities that seniors will attend. The emotional and physical needs of seniors that need to be monitored and tended to don’t simply disappear when holiday cheer comes knocking, so some purposeful thought about all pertinent factors needs to take place in the process of planning holidays that will be spent with seniors. Keep Health in Mind There are some fundamental elements relating to the physical health and well-being of seniors that need to be consulted and considered when planning holiday gatherings and events. Essential practices and aspects of care that seniors receive in their day-to-day lives should be incorporated into holiday celebrations, in order to ensure that health is not compromised or forgotten in the excitement of the festivities. Logistically speaking, try making arrangements in advance that will help to create and foster comfortable environments and transitions for seniors attending holiday celebrations. This will prevent them from feeling isolated, or as though they are a burden. Create a comfortable space, arrange transportation, respect physical limitations, and create options for places to seek rest or quiet if things get too overwhelming. A little planning ahead can make all the difference. Navigating the food-oriented nature of many holiday gatherings can be challenging for many...

Seniors and Shingles – Barrie

Shingles is uncomfortable and difficult for seniors, but with support and help seniors can better manage the experience until they feel better. As is the case with any illness, it can be challenging and stressful to care for a loved-one who is dealing with Shingles. An understanding of the basics of Shingles and how it impacts the body can help caregivers to know what their loved-ones need as they work to feel better.  What is Shingles? Shingles is related to the Chickenpox that so many of us had as children. The varicella-zoster virus that causes the Chickenpox can remain within the body and can become active again in adulthood causing Shingles. Shingles impacts nerves throughout the body and causes a rash on the skin. Common symptoms of Shingles are as follows: Fever Achy Body Itchiness Headache Rash/Blistering Burning Sensation Nerve Pain The pain that comes with Shingles can be severe and hard to deal with, and older adults often experience more extreme cases of Shingles. A case of Shingles can stick around for a few weeks (often between three and five). It is important that seniors and their caregivers keep a close eye on how things are going to make sure they can detect any changes that might indicate the development of complications and can seek the help of a medical professional should trouble arise.  Having Shingles When a case of Shingles is active, there are some measures to take to protect others and to ease the discomfort a little bit until it is over. In terms of preventing the spread of Shingles to others, it is important to...

How Aromatherapy Can Help Support Seniors’ Wellbeing – Barrie

The smells that surround us can alter the way we feel and experience a moment or an environment. When it comes to self-care, there are certain forms of soothing things that we know can help us feel better. When we want to feel a certain way, we make use of things that help us get there. A favourite song, a warm cosy blanket, a beautiful view; these are all things that tap into our senses and make us feel better. Sense of smell is a powerful sense, and surrounding oneself with different scents can really contribute to creating a certain mood or feel. Aromatherapy takes the knowledge of how powerful scent can be, and channels it into a form of therapy for the body, mind, and soul. What is Aromatherapy? Aromatherapy is an alternative therapy that makes purposeful use of various aromatic plant properties in the form of essential oils. Aromatherapy aims to improve a person’s state of wellbeing through bettering their mood or helping to sooth certain symptoms of ill-health. Aromatherapy is an incredibly accessible way to engage in self-care and work towards promoting a better state of wellbeing. While there are many specialized places to receive Aromatherapy treatments and services, incorporating Aromatherapy into seniors’ lives can be as simple as using candles at home or choosing bath and shower products with the rights scents and oils in them. When we think of Aromatherapy, relaxation is often the first thing that comes to mind. It is absolutely true that Aromatherapy is an incredible tool for promoting relaxation and an overall sense of calm, but different smells do different...

Seniors and Eczema – Barrie

Eczema can be uncomfortable, but there are strategies that can help seniors to ease it. Our skin deals with a lot throughout our lives, and various things can impact the feel, look, and overall health of our skin. One particular condition that many seniors deal with is Eczema.  What is Eczema? Eczema is a skin condition that results in dry, flaky patches of skin that can cause some discomfort. The dryness associated with Eczema comes from a loss of lipids (insoluble fatty compounds) on the skin that help cells to hold on to water. With a reduction of these important lipids, the skin loses moisture and becomes dry and irritated. Eczema can occur on different parts of the body and can also come in different forms (Atopic Dermatitis and Stasis Dermatitis).  Eczema Triggers There are various lifestyle and external factors that can trigger bouts of Eczema in seniors. Being aware of the factors that come into play and how they contribute to Eczema flare-ups can be helpful so that seniors can learn to adjust their behaviours and minimize their interaction with things that trigger Eczema to cause them discomfort. The following are some examples of things that might cause Eczema troubles: Excess Heat: Heat dries out the skin and removes healthy natural oils that the skin needs. Lack of Moisture: The skin requires moisture from outside sources to keep things from becoming dehydrated. Harsh Detergent and Soap: Chemicals can irritate the skin and dry it out further. Irritating Fabrics: Clothing and linens that are too rough for sensitive skin can cause dryness and irritation. Certain Foods: Some people notice...

The Wonders of a Simple Walk – Barrie

The act of Walking can be great for the mind, body, and soul. The list of activities that seniors can take part in to keep themselves busy, engaged, and interested throughout the day is unending. There are so many possible ways to spend time that can meet any interest and can accommodate any level of ability. Walking is one of those activities that is generally accessible for seniors, whether it be a lovely stroll outside, a walk around the mall, a jaunt around any favourite area, or just a walk through the house. Getting out for a walk is something that seems simple, but can be beneficial for seniors in multiple meaningful ways.  How Walks Are Magic When it comes to the ways in which walking can be beneficial, the list is long and the things that resonate will differ from person to person. The wonderful thing about walking is that it can benefit seniors on many levels, from the physical to the emotional. The following are some of the ways in which a walk can help seniors feel better. Increases Balance and Stability: Walking helps the body to become more efficient and capable of keeping balanced and stable. This can be helpful to give seniors extra tools to help prevent falls or to catch themselves if they begin to tumble. Improves Sleep: Walking around is a form of exercise and can help to tire out the body in a healthy way that can help promote a more restful sleep. Walking outside in fresh air can be especially beneficial as the combination of movement and outdoor air can lead...

Seniors and Celiac Disease – Barrie

Celiac Disease impacts the lives of many individuals. Celiac disease is something that has gained a great deal more attention over recent years, with the gluten-free diet becoming more common now than it ever has been before. While most of the attention and literature surrounding Celiac Disease is centered around children and young adults, seniors facing the symptoms of the disease, whether diagnosed or undiagnosed, can encounter various harmful health concerns. For this reason, developing an understanding of Celiac disease, its symptoms, and how to address associated concerns is important for seniors and their caregivers.  What is Celiac Disease? Celiac Disease is a condition of digestion that causes an immune reaction within the small intestine whenever a person eats foods containing the protein gluten. This immune reaction causes damage to the inner surfaces of intestines and prevents them from absorbing important and vital nutrients. Some common gluten-containing foods are bread, pasta, pizza, baked-goods, and any other food containing wheat or certain other grains. Gluten is also present within a lot of processed food.  Potential Signs of Celiac Disease There are a variety of symptoms associated with Celiac Disease that can cause problems. Seniors who are facing a combination of the following symptoms on a regular basis should consult their doctor to discuss possible causes and whether Celiac Disease may be the culprit. Abdominal Pain Muscle Cramping Diarrhea Joint Pain Tingling in Extremities Mood Changes (i.e. Irritability, Depression, etc.) Fatigue Anemia Vomiting Constipation Weight-Loss Atypical Stool  Diagnosing Celiac Disease Celiac Disease is not always easy to identify, and it may take a while to arrive at the right diagnosis. The...