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Vision from the Heart

My sister and I always take turns arriving bright and early on Sunday mornings at the care home where mom lives, to help her get into her ‘Sunday Best.’ Mom’s been donning her ‘Sunday Best’ for over 80 years now, which really means she takes the time to put some colour on her cheeks, add a bit of lipstick, and make sure her blouse matches nicely with her slacks. Oddly, we know this to be a Sunday ritual, but have never thought to question the reason behind it. This Sunday, as I helped mom choose just the right outfit, I asked her … “Who are you dressing up for mom?” “For my little sister,” she said with a coy smile. Read More...

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Meaningful Engagement – Top of Mind in AgeCare’s Vibrant Communities

This month, as we observe World Alzheimer's Day on September 21, we are proud to showcase the incredible efforts and great strides we are making to ensure those living with dementia, or any form of cognitive decline, are living their best possible lives in our communities. Below is an example of how Walden Heights has implemented a vital component of our Dementia Strategy by creating meaningful spaces for residents.    For some, home is a place. For others, home is a feeling. At AgeCare, we think it’s both, and we are undertaking an exciting initiative to make our spaces even more meaningful and therapeutic.   Providing residents with warm and welcoming spaces that promote dignity and independence is part of the Engaging Vibrant Communities pillar of our dementia model. With mindful attention to sight, sound, and smell, the dementia neighbourhood at  Read More...

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Waste Not, Want Not

AgeCare has introduced a new method of meal planning and serving that is helping reduce the amount of food we waste, while offering residents more freedom to choose food items and control their portions. The process involves careful planning and tracking the amount of food consumed at mealtime. By applying simple math, food services can track how much food is being consumed and how much is going to waste. An important part of the equation is serving our residents tableside rather than plating their food. This gives them the opportunity to opt in or out of food items and choose their preferred quantity. At the same time, our dieticians are conducting regular food-plate audits, to monitor changes in appetite that may indicate a health concern, and to help inform the quantities of food production. “This new system keeps food waste  Read More...

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Seniors on the Move: Discussion on Downsizing

For some, the idea of making a move to retirement or seniors’ communities holds great appeal, but the thought of downsizing has a paralyzing effect. It’s easy to understand why. Some have spent decades in their homes, raising their families, harvesting memories, and amassing great collections of meaningful keepsakes. Sifting through these sentimental treasures is sure to stir up longings for days gone by. Others have moved more frequently throughout their lives and perhaps done plenty of downsizing. Some even enjoy paring down their belongings at regular intervals. However, as age becomes a factor, the process of downsizing can become overwhelming especially for those experiencing challenges such as diminished strength, ailing health, and/or waning energy. Moving at any stage of life can be stressful. How does one manage such a feat when first you have to reduce the contents of  Read More...

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Everyday Activities = Exercise!

You hear it all the time… exercise is key to maintaining good health. It is important for your physical, mental and emotional wellness. It makes you stronger, improves balance, controls weight, and can boost your energy and your mood. Research shows exercise can even ward off disease, reduce the symptoms of chronic illness and possibly even extend your life expectancy. These are all good reasons to exercise! However, logic and compelling arguments don’t necessarily add up to incentive for seniors who may be contending with the aches and pains of arthritis and experiencing diminishing strength, energy and appetite. If this is you, don’t despair. Exercise doesn’t have to be all or nothing; there are reasonable alternatives in between. Here is an approach that might work for you. Change your perception! With a goal of working up to a feasible (age  Read More...

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Vision from the Heart

My sister and I always take turns arriving bright and early on Sunday mornings at the care home where mom lives, to help her get into her ‘Sunday Best.’ Mom’s been donning her ‘Sunday Best’ for over 80 years now, which really means she takes the time to put some colour on her cheeks, add a bit of lipstick, and make sure her blouse matches nicely with her slacks. Oddly, we know this to be a Sunday ritual, but have never thought to question the reason behind it. This Sunday, as I helped mom choose just the right outfit, I asked her … “Who are you dressing up for mom?” “For my little sister,” she said with a coy smile. I thought for a moment, a little worried that mom’s mind might be slipping. “But you don’t have a little  Read More...

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The Price of Isolation and Loneliness

We often hear that people are living longer these days, but the reality is, for some, those later years in life can be a lonely time, especially for seniors who find themselves isolated. According to a recent report published by Canada’s National Institute on Ageing, social isolation and loneliness have become a public health concern in Canada and globally; as these two factors are proven to have a negative impact on the health and well-being of older adults. The report outlines the differences between loneliness and isolation, but highlights that both can play a role in declining health, and studies have shown specifically that these factors can lead to increased risk of stroke, coronary heart disease, and cognitive decline, as well as heightened anxiety and depression. A similar study conducted in 2019 by the US-based National Institute on Aging also  Read More...

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Staying on the UPside

Sunny summer days can go a long way toward boosting our moods, but there are still those days when work challenges, health issues, relationship difficulties, and all kinds of other ‘life stuff’ can take a toll on our mental and emotional disposition. If you are finding that challenges in your daily life coupled with distressing world events are taking a toll on your peace of mind, consider taking these steps for self care: Refrain from doomscrolling – a word that made its way into the English lexicon in 2020 when the global pandemic hit. In short, limit the amount of time spent searching for and reading negative news stories. Studies show that continuous viewing of traumatic events can cause anxiety and depression. Move your body as much as you are able, every day. Studies show that even a 10-minute walk  Read More...

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ABBY – an Interactive Friend for Residents

Residents at four BC AgeCare communities are delighted to engage with their new friend, ABBY™; an interactive board designed to provide meaningful stimulation, as well as fun and games, for those who choose to engage. “ABBY™ is a wonderful tool that is fun and easy for residents to interact with,” said John Nocon, Executive Director at AgeCare Mount Ida Mews. “It is kind of like an old familiar friend. It brings nostalgic and familiar memories back to our residents, allowing them to re-live experiences they found pleasant and enjoyable.” ABBY™ can play pre-selected personal and familiar pictures, videos, and songs. Residents can engage independently when they choose, or with the guidance of staff and family members. “They can do things like recall pet memories by patting a cat, engaging with mechanical programs, or listen to old radio stations by turning  Read More...

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World Happiness Happens Day

In celebration of World Happiness Happens Day on August 8, here are a few thoughts on factors that can elevate happiness in our lives. From The Harvard Gazette, an 80-year study (one of the longest studies to date on adult life) shows that embracing community, experiencing joy, and cultivating positive relationships are among the most important keys to finding happiness and living longer. For a 13-minute summary of this extensive Harvard study, watch the TEDTALK: What makes a good life? Lessons from the longest study on happiness. According to an article published by Forbes Magazine, Gratitude is Key to Happiness. This philosophy is echoed by many other authors, including The Psychology of Gratitude and Happiness, which explains … “gratitude moves people to experience more positive emotions, to thoroughly enjoy the good experiences, better their health, face adversity, and develop and  Read More...

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More Sleep Please

With our never-ending list of daily responsibilities, family obligations, and leisure activities, sleep can sometimes fall by the wayside. In some cases, this is not an easy fix, for instance, when lack of sleep is due to pain, a sleep disorder, or insomnia. Whatever the cause, researchers urge us to change habits and seek solutions, as more and long-term studies show that lack of sleep is a detriment to our health. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, adults over the age of 18 require at least seven hours of sleep per night, and those over 60 would benefit from closer to eight hours of sleep. Sleep serves a multitude of functions that renew and restore every cell in the human body. These tips might seem basic, but if you’re not getting enough sleep, they may hold the  Read More...

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