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Normal Aging vs Dementia

Many people over the age of 65 experience some type of memory loss not related to Dementia. Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias are not a part of normal aging. . If you don’t have an underlying medical condition like dementia causing this memory loss, it is known as “Age-Associated Memory Impairment”. This is considered a normal part of the aging process and a form of dementia. Brain diseases like Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias are different. Age-associated memory impairment and dementia can be told apart in a number of ways. Dementia is a disease that must be diagnosed by a medical professional. It is important to consult a medical professional for a proper diagnosis.        Normal Aging      Dementia Not being able to remember details of a conversation or event that took place a year ago Not being able to recall details of recent events or conversations Not being able to remember the name of an acquaintance Not recognizing or knowing the names of family members Forgetting things and events occasionally Forgetting things or events more frequently Occasionally have difficulty finding words Frequent pauses and substitutions when finding words You are worried about your memory but your relatives are not Your relatives are worried about your memory, but you are not aware of any problems . If you are worried about your memory, talk to your family doctor. Your family Doctor or a Geriatrician would be able to test you. Is it Dementia or Normal Aging? See your doctor about memory concerns; it’s important to know that forgetting someone’s name doesn’t necessarily mean that you are getting...

Dementia

What is Dementia? Dementia is a progressive and generally irreversible condition of memory impairment. It is often associated with losing your mind and people find that very scary. There is a change in personality, lack of motivation and or loss of emotional control E.g.: disorientation of time, asking repeated questions, loosing things, forgetting, lying, and evading questions. Dementia works in reverse as it often affects the most recent memory and works its way back. The best way to describe Dementia is: imagine a pile of paper (metaphorically being your memory) sitting by an open window. As the wind blows, the top sheets of paper fly away as would the memory. As the disease progresses the pile of paper continues to shrink. How is Dementia and Alzheimer’s different or the same? Dementia is the onset of symptoms and Alzheimer’s is the diagnosis There are over 100 types of dementia and they are often associated with old age and we don’t want to mix natural aging with Dementia Alzheimer’s (the most common) unravelles the brain in reverse order as the brain in a child develops and effects approx 60% Vascular Dementia is caused by multiple mini stokes and effects 20-30% Dementia with Lewy Bodies is when trouble sets with initiating movement and effects approx 15-20% Early Onset Dementia effects under the age of 50 and is brought by diseases such Huntington disease or Korsakoff’s syndrome or other neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s. Different stages Early Stage need for supervision in their daily life and are aware of their situation Middle Stage need for daily care and the dementia is more profound...

How to Help Avoid Seniors Isolation

Feeling alone and isolated is very tough for anyone at any age. It is especially tougher for seniors. Seniors Isolation can have serious effects on their health, both mentally and physically. In Nicholas R. Nicholson studies from “A Review of Social Isolation”, he observed that “social isolation has been demonstrated to lead to numerous detrimental health effects in older adults, including increased risk for all-cause mortality, dementia, increase risk for re-hospitalization, and an increased number of falls.” There are many ways you can help your senior. Avoid the risks and complications associated with isolation. Here are a few suggestions that can help.   Avoid Seniors Isolation – Make transportation more accessible When seniors are no longer able to get around for themselves or no longer have access to either public or private transportation; this becomes the largest cause for Seniors Isolation. Seniors need a method of transportation to run errands, visit friends or family, or even attend a community event. They need to be able to just see people or spend some time with them. Ensure they have access to transportation, invest in a mobility assistance device, spend a day with them or figuring out a carpooling method with trusted neighbors or friends. By giving them mobility it will help them maintain social connections, and stay engaged with the world outside their home. Avoid Seniors Isolation – Give them something to take care of Experts have noted that feelings of Seniors Isolation can be avoided by the act of nurturing. Engaging in a hobby or adopting a pet from the local shelter. Pet therapy has been known to lower anxiety and blood pressure;...

The Importance of Art Therapy for Seniors

How Art Therapy Can Have a Lasting Impact with Seniors’ living in Etobicoke Art therapy has always been a very strong and powerful tool for self-expression, but for seniors in particular, it can be vital to address a number of physical and mental health ailments. Art therapy has been a positive benefit for seniors that suffer from illness or trauma. Caregivers at Retire At Home Etobicoke have increased the use of this program for seniors and applied it to their daily living activity to help them cope with the large range of challenges that comes with aging. What are some of the benefits of art therapy? With a Variety of Mental Health Benefits Art therapy provides each senior the opportunity to work through anxiety and negative feelings. The calming nature of creating something with your own hands helps take their minds off of stress, and builds confidence and self-esteem – this can improve a senior’s quality of life. Art therapy is very common treatment used for seniors’ with dementia and Alzheimer’s, with focusing on reducing anxiety and increasing attention. For many seniors, the unseen or unknown is dangerous to them for fear of isolation. When the communication has become difficult for seniors with dementia, the feeling of isolation can only increase as it progresses. Art therapy can be a powerful method for seniors to communicate and express themselves – and can diminish the feelings of depression and anxiety which isolation can cause. Pain Relief With the relaxing nature that art therapy offers it helps seniors take their mind off of chronic pain. It has also been known that with...

Benefits of Aqua Fitness for Seniors

What is Aquafitness? Aquafitness refers to aerobic exercises, which are performed in water.  Aquafitness can be defined as physical exercise that increases the heart rate and increases the body’s intake of oxygen long enough to benefit the condition of the human body. There are many benefits associated with Aquafitness. With the buoyancy and resistance of the water it allows you to use every muscle and every joint in the body all at the same time to get a workout, which helps improve overall body tone. There are so many other health benefits associated with Aquafitness, with weight loss, lower blood sugar levels and lower blood pressure and so much more. It can also improve your cardiovascular fitness, flexibility, coordination, along with muscular strength and endurance. With the massaging effect water has on the body it makes Aquafitness exercising very soothing and therapeutic, the cool temperature of the water prevents you from sweating while you workout. Most community pools and fitness centers will offer general or senior-specific Aquafitness classes to suit your needs. During a typical class, an instructor guides participants in performing a number of movements that increase your heart rate and work your muscles. How is Aquafitness so ideal for seniors? With exercise physical activity increases your flexibility and balance, it helps to improve mobility, prevents injury and disease. With a good work out it helps you get a good night’s sleep. It also provides a number of emotional benefits, such as reducing stress and anxiety. Exercise is the key to a healthy and happy retirement. Aquafitness is an excellent form of exercise for seniors, for the simple...

7 Ways Music Therapy Can Benefit Seniors

A famous European orchestra conductor once said, “Music comes from heaven. You just have to pull it down.” If you’re a senior living at home alone, and you have access to a radio, tape player, television, DVD player or even an old record player, you can pull some down! Then, you’ll discover many benefits of music therapy for seniors. Locked in the memory of every person is a connection to rhythm and melody. Music has a way of easing mental strain and can alter a person’s mood. Rhythm and melody are at the core of music’s beneficial magic. How Music Therapy is Beneficial to Seniors? Music therapy can promote better physical and mental health in a variety of ways by: Relieving boredom Motivating movement Rekindling positive memories Shifting negative thinking patterns Calming nervousness Encouraging happy thoughts Promoting social interaction 1)  Relieving Boredom As seniors become less physically active, they can become lost in the silence of their minds from day to day. For some, impaired hearing can contribute to a sense of social disconnection, loneliness and boredom. For seniors with a hearing loss, the music volume may need to be louder. In some cases, headphones may be the appropriate method to make it possible for them to enjoy the benefits of music. Adjusting bass and treble sounds can make a difference in what they are able to hear. Listening to music will add variety to the day. 2)  Motivating Movement It has been found that even such minimal movement as tapping a foot or clapping hands is enough activity to release pent-up mental and physical stress, and bring a little...
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