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Living Proof That Pets Enhance Life as You Age

Millie Jameson lost her husband of 49 years suddenly at age 75.   After months of feeling paralyzed with shock and distress, what finally helped her grief subside, was adopting a cat from a local rescue agency. (more…)

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Today I felt like my young self

We all want it – that feeling of independence; that sense of pride and purpose; the feeling of being seen and heard.   This doesn’t change with ageing, in fact, for some it amplifies. Such is the case with Hazel Peterson.   “All my life I’ve felt smart and capable. Now, just because I’m old and wrinkled, everyone decides it’s their business to mind my business,” said Hazel. “I just want to remind everyone; my eighty-three-year-old brain has learned a thing or two … I’m still pretty sharp!”   Hazel is a friend of my mom’s, living in the same retirement community in south Calgary. Whenever I’m visiting over the dinner hour, I love to seek her out and soak up her insight of the day. Her political knowledge is spot on, and her views on most other current affairs  Read More...

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4 Ways to Simplify Financial Affairs

It can become increasingly difficult to manage financial affairs, as we age. For many seniors, diminished ability to deal with money and personal business is a concern. If possible, the best solution is to engage a trusted family member in the process of paying bills and tending to financial obligations early on. This step, along with other actions, can bring much-needed resolve to the stress of managing finances. If your loved one is coming to a stage where they need this kind of help, the following measures are also worth considering:   1)    Lend a Hand If your loved one is still relatively independent but is expressing concern about staying on top of bills, taxes and other aspects of their financial affairs, this is your cue to lend a hand. Consider scheduling a monthly sit down with your loved one  Read More...

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Tips on Proper Eating and Nutrition as You Age

Bread for the Journey As we prepare to head into fall it is the perfect time to reinforce the importance of eating well. This can be especially challenging for seniors who live independently and alone and are not inclined to put the thought and time into preparing a proper meal just for themselves. If poor appetite or disinterest is your problem, here are some tips that might help: Set the stage Choose a comfortable place to have your meals and create an inviting eating space with flowers, nice music, and a favourite place setting. Alter the venue If the kitchen or dining table seems drab try having meals outside on the deck (temperatures permitting), or in front of a favourite TV program. You can also improve your mealtime by perusing paper or reading a favorite novel while you eat. Work  Read More...

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Taking the STRESS out of a Senior’s Move

Often the thing that keeps seniors from considering a move from their home to a Retirement Living community is the daunting task of …. well everything to do with moving!   This is understandable, given that a move can take a huge toll on any of us at any age.   According to 79-year-old Mary Gunther in Calgary, there is absolutely no question in her mind, the best choice she ever made was to hire a company that ‘does it all for you’.   Mary’s kids were in all different cities, with full plates of their own. Mary hated the thought of tasking anyone – family or friends – with the hours that it would require to empty out her bungalow (her home of 27 years) and help her relocate to a retirement living community.   “I said to the  Read More...

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15 Tips for Traveling with Seniors

Planning a trip with (or for) an aging parent can be a wonderful way to grant a wish, or give a gift of immeasurable joy. Perhaps you have a parent who is longing to see a special friend or distant relative or to visit a land that holds special memories or appeal. Whatever the circumstances, here are some tips for planning a trip with a senior.   Research and plan extensively: Yes this is a given with any travel plans, but when it comes to traveling with a senior, thoughtful organization, careful planning and pre-emptive measures are mandatory. Also, once you have created an itinerary, it’s important to sit and go through it with your parent/s so they can ask questions and mentally prepare for the trip. This can help ease any anxiety and give them a chance to vocalize  Read More...

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Seniors and Mental Health

We’ve come a long way when it comes to identifying, accepting and treating mental health issues. In fact, nowadays it is common for family doctors to incorporate mental health-related questions in routine patient appointments. This is good news for all of us, considering that stats indicate that everyone will be impacted by mental health issues on some level and at some point in our lives.   For seniors, there is often talk of depression, given the dramatic lifestyle changes, losses, and stressful life events they are faced with. For some, depression is a very real condition that needs to be addressed, but for others, the lows they are experiencing are normal feelings that come with the ups and downs of living.   Regressing After Retirement “I thought retirement was going to kill me,” said 92-year-old Ed Jamison, retired chemical engineer.  Read More...

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Meals Matter to Seniors

If you ask most people, a good meal matters. Seniors are no different. In fact, as you get older many people say that food becomes increasingly important since you are less able to enjoy other pleasures that you once took for granted.   “I used to spend a lot of time hiking, biking, exotic travel, long drives with my wife in the country. Now I can’t do any of those things, but I can still eat just fine and I don’t mind saying, I look forward to every meal,” said George Sinclair, a Calgary senior.   The problem is, says George, he is not exactly enamored with the menu at the place he chose to reside, but at the age of 80, he is reluctant to move.   At AgeCare, when it comes to food, listening is top of mind.  Read More...

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Music Tunes Up the Wellness of Seniors

Music is magic.   It is a soothing balm for old wounds, a creative tool for self-expression, a profound elixir for any number of medical conditions, and a potent mood booster for anyone, any age, any day.   For seniors, music is particularly golden. It can help improve their attitude and it paves the way for important socialization. It requires little effort, skill or cost and provides boundless entertainment and joy.   At AgeCare, music is a highly prized activity, offered in various forms at all locations.   AgeCare Orchard Manor in Brooks, Alberta offers regular music programs including acapella sing-alongs, and musical entertainment featuring singers and instrumental performers.   “I read somewhere that music is the glue that holds our memories together - it helps, even people with cognitive impairments, to recall memories that might otherwise be lost,” said  Read More...

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The Art of Engagement — Bringing Seniors into Focus

In retirement residences across the country, recreational staff are busy innovating and planning - striving to create just the right complement of programs and activities to entice the residents who call the facility home. No doubt it can be a bit of a challenge, hitting the mark with such a diverse array of people from all walks of life.   For Rosal Yade, Activities Coordinator at AgeCare’s Governor’s Walk in Ottawa, the formula is simple: “We look at each resident as a whole and unique individual, taking into account their full life up to retirement and bringing their background and life experiences forward into the next phase of life,” said Rosal. She adds, “I make it my mission to get to know everything I can about each one of them, beyond their needs, preferences, medical requirements. To really make someone  Read More...

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Seniors Flourish in the Company of Kids

It’s not rocket science. When you put seniors in the company of kids there is an instant connection … joy abounds.   “I can’t describe it,” says 87-year-old Louise at Calgary’s Kirby Centre program that invites seniors and kids to do art together. “Just being around these little people lifts my spirits.”   This vital connection is the subject of many news stories from coast to coast and is the basis of a nation-wide government initiative pronouncing June 1 as Intergenerational Day Canada.   As noted on the BC government website: “Research shows that intergenerational programs increase self-esteem and feelings of well-being for older and younger participants. Friendships between older and younger people help make communities stronger.”   At AgeCare Walden Heights in Calgary, the concept of uniting kids and seniors is highly prized.   “In our view, our multi-generational  Read More...

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