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Creature Comfort … Aging with Pet Love

For centuries, humans have enjoyed deeply nurturing and enriching bonds with their pets. Creatures of all kinds can lift our spirits, comfort us, shower us with affection, and surround us with boundless love. For some seniors, their furry or feathered friend might be the best part of their day. Their pets might be the reason they get out of bed; the reason they still venture out for a daily walk; one of the few things that makes them smile. If you have an aging parent or loved one with a devoted pet, chances are it’s heartbreaking to think about having to separate them from one another, down the road. At AgeCare we believe that having pets in senior homes can 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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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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Heart to Heart

Kristy Thackeray, a social worker at AgeCare in Calgary, is grateful to be turning 40 this May. She has a message to share with others, as Canada observes National Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness Week. “If you are willing to receive an organ, you should be willing to donate one.” Kristy was 13 years old when she was diagnosed with a rare genetic heart condition called restrictive cardiomyopathy. For months she faced the dire possibility of imminent death if a donated heart did not become available to her. On May 26, 1996, while enroute to Texas to realize her dream of meeting Reba McEntire – a wish granted by the Children’s Wish Foundation – Kristy’s family received word that a heart was available. Immediately the teen and her family were rerouted back to Edmonton where doctors performed a successful heart  Read More...

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What’s Right in the World

It easy to get swept up in fear and disillusionment … given all the tragedies dominating the news, but your distress isn’t likely going to make things better. So why not turn your attention to some of the good things happening in the world? Here are some examples of good news to boost your morale this week! In cities across the world, a volunteer organization called Cycling Without Age delights seniors by taking them out for spins on special tricycles with comfy seats, so they can enjoy the great outdoors and feel a part of their communities. Founded in Scotland, the group has caught on worldwide and after a break due to the pandemic, many chapters are back in action. In Canada, there are Cycling Without Age chapters in most provinces and there are several in Alberta and BC. Scientists  Read More...

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Dementia Care – The AgeCare Way

AgeCare’s vision to provide exceptional care for residents with dementia has been a three-year labour of love, and today it is a vital part of our operations, with more training and innovations on the way. “More than 75 percent of our residents have some form of cognitive decline,” said Marilyn Willison-Leach, AgeCare Senior Vice President, Operations – Clinical Services. “Our vision is to ensure those living with dementia are enjoying the best quality of life possible, and that they are seen and appreciated for who they are.” AgeCare Dementia care initiatives currently include a myriad of calm and peaceful environments as well as themed spaces such as workshops, a nursery, and a homemaking area, to spark connections with the residents’ hobbies and past experiences. There are also multi-sensory rooms that are relaxing spaces with activities and tools to help reduce  Read More...

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