For most of our lives, eating brings us great pleasure. We have our favourite dishes, our staples, our nutritional considerations, our comfort foods and our treats. This love affair with food tends to be a world-wide phenomenon, and everywhere you go, people enjoy a multitude of rituals involving the planning, preparing and eating of food.
Tech-savvy seniors may be not the norm, but nor are they necessarily hard to come by. For some, it depends greatly on how adventurous and technically adept they were in their younger years; while for others, it has more to do with the influences around them. For example if they have kids and/or friends encouraging them to be e-interactive, and these tech enthusiasts are willing to provide sufficient technical support, seniors will often embrace the challenge. On the flip side if they tend to isolate or have little interest in learning new things, new technology may have no appeal.
For years scientists have explored the relationship between diet and brain development and within the plenty decade there has been plenty of research aimed at understanding how specific foods affect brain function. For instance, a 2014 study conducted by Rush University Medical School in Chicago found that cinnamon can positively impact degenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.
The brain is a well-studied organ. With its whopping 100 billion neurons, 100,000 miles of blood vessels, and copious amounts of white and grey matter… the brain’s capabilities and complexities are quite literally mind-boggling!
Many of us love our daily rituals and routines; they help us to feel a sense of control and manageability in our lives. Older adults tend to be especially attached to their routines, mainly because many of them find that as they age they are less able to juggle different events and keep track of information. To cope with these challenges and maintain their independence, seniors find it necessary to create precise patterns (e.g., where they keep their important things and what time they get the mail), and often they resist the idea of changing their daily routines.
We all know the brain is incredibly wondrous and intricate, but what we don’t always consider is that it is also high-maintenance. We need to nurture it with positive thoughts and pleasant images to counter all that is negative and unpleasant in the world around us. We need to feed it a steady stream of new information and give it plenty of water, rest and stimulation. We need to try our best to filter what goes in and optimize what goes out. And, especially as we get older, we need to look for ways to keep it sharp.
As we progress into our senior years it can be difficult to alter lifelong patterns – especially those that we associate with freedom and independence. Driving is one such activity that many aging adults are hesitant to give up. When is the right time to become a passenger?
By Paula Anderson, General Manager at Harmony Court Estate & Care Centre
Consider the 3 Es: Experiences, Expressions and Edibles
’Tis the season of joy and of course, you want to spoil your favourite senior! The question is… what can you give your loved one that they will cherish, without overwhelming them or adding clutter to their simplified living space?
If you are going home to visit family over the holidays, you may notice a change in your parents’ mental or physical condition. Perhaps your father is more forgetful, or maybe your mom is struggling with household tasks. If you suspect things are beginning to change, the holidays may present the perfect opportunity to ‘check in’ with them. In fact, if you haven’t found the right opportunities in the past, it may be time to have a conversation with them about inevitable issues related to aging. Specifically: health, finances, driving and living arrangements.