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Unwrap Joy: Fun and Engaging Holiday Activities for Seniors
The holiday season is a wonderful time for seniors to embrace the spirit of joy, togetherness, and celebration. It offers an opportunity for them to participate in various activities that not only bring happiness but also foster engagement and connection with loved ones.
Whether residing in aging care facilities or retirement living communities, seniors can enjoy a wide array of activities tailored to their interests and abilities. Here are some engaging and enjoyable holiday activities specially curated for seniors:
Holiday Crafting Sessions: Engage seniors in festive crafting activities. From creating handmade greeting cards, ornaments, and decorations to assembling personalized gift baskets, crafting provides a creative outlet and a chance to express holiday cheer. These crafts can be shared with family, friends, or other residents, spreading joy and warmth.
Holiday Movie Screenings: Host movie nights featuring classic holiday films. Set up cozy spaces with comfortable seating and screen beloved movies like "It's a Wonderful Life," "A Christmas Carol," or other favorites. Encourage discussions afterward, reminiscing about holiday traditions or sharing fond memories related to the movies.
Baking and Cooking Workshops: Involve seniors in baking or cooking sessions to prepare holiday-themed treats. From baking cookies, making gingerbread houses, to whipping up traditional recipes, these activities promote social interaction and the joy of creating delicious delights together.
Festive Music and Sing-Alongs: Arrange musical performances or sing-along sessions featuring holiday tunes. Music has a powerful way of evoking emotions and fostering a sense of nostalgia. Encourage seniors to share their favorite songs or musical talents, creating a heartwarming atmosphere.
Storytelling and Memory Sharing: Create a storytelling session where seniors can share their favorite holiday memories. Encourage them to recount stories from their childhood or share traditions they cherish. This not only sparks conversations but also provides an opportunity for intergenerational bonding if younger family members or volunteers are involved.
Holiday Décor Contests: Organize a friendly competition for the best-decorated spaces or doors within the community. Encourage seniors to showcase their creativity by decorating their rooms or communal areas with festive themes. This fosters a sense of community spirit and friendly camaraderie.
Holiday Excursions and Tours: Plan outings to local holiday displays, markets, or festive events. Seniors can immerse themselves in the joyous atmosphere while exploring holiday lights, decorations, or seasonal markets. Ensure accessibility and accommodations for those with mobility issues.
Virtual Gatherings with Family: For seniors who may not be able to visit their families in person, arrange virtual gatherings. Set up video calls or virtual parties where they can connect with loved ones, share holiday wishes, and feel the warmth of familial bonds.
Charitable and Giving Activities: Engage seniors in charitable endeavors such as making care packages for those in need, participating in toy or food drives, or crafting items for charitable organizations. Contributing to the community fosters a sense of purpose and fulfillment.
Relaxation and Wellness Sessions: Offer relaxation sessions, such as gentle yoga, meditation, or spa days. The holiday season can be bustling, so providing opportunities for seniors to relax and rejuvenate is essential for their well-being.
The holiday season presents a myriad of opportunities for seniors in aging care or retirement living to engage in meaningful and enjoyable activities. These activities not only infuse the spirit of the season but also promote social connections, creativity, and overall well-being. By incorporating these diverse and engaging activities, we can ensure that seniors have a festive and fulfilling holiday season, filled with joy, laughter, and cherished moments.
Odorgon® Odour Eliminator
Odorgon is a premium odour destroyer that eliminates rather than masks undesirable odours, leaving a fresh scent (or no scent at all if you buy unscented).
Its a water-based, non-toxic, non-staining, non-irritating, biodegradable and eco-friendly spray that's safe to use anywhere odours occur for people, pets, and the environment.
Odorgon works at peak performance at full strength but also as an odour control additive for many cleaning products (max dilution 1:3) and is reccommended for:
• Household: Garbage and compost bins, diaper pails, bathrooms, carpets, upholstery, footwear, clothing, smoke and more!
• Pets: Litter boxes, bedding, blankets, crates, vomit, urine and feces, and can be safely applied and combed directly into your pet's fur!
• Sports: Protective equipment, skates, cleats, ski/snowboard boots, gloves, equipment bags.
• Vehicles: Musty mildew odours, body odours, tobacco smoke, car seats, floor liners and more!
• Medical: Odorgon is used in hospitals across Canada for ostomy care, cancer treatment odours, deodorizing hospital rooms and more.
It's made by a company called Paxton Industries (https://www.paxtonindustries.com/)and I found it on C6.ca (http://C6.ca)- a Canadian owned online Medical Essentials company.
Your Retirement Financial Checklist
I found a this great checklist from the Canadian Government:(https://www.canada.ca/en/financial-consumer-agency/services/retirement-planning/retirement-checklist.html)
1. Update your budget as a retiree
Your spending habits and expenses may be different than they were before you retired. It’s important to regularly review your budget as your needs and lifestyle change.
Get tips on budgeting during retirement.(https://www.canada.ca/en/financial-consumer-agency/services/retirement-planning/budgeting-during-retirement.html)
2. Decide when to apply for public pension benefits
Most Canadian seniors and retirees are eligible to receive income from Old Age Security (OAS) and the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) or the Quebec Pension Plan (QPP).
Lower income seniors may qualify for the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS).
The age at which you apply can affect how much you get.
Find out more about public pensions.(https://www.canada.ca/content/canadasite/en/services/benefits/publicpensions.html)
3. Consider the tax credits you may be eligible for
You may be eligible for tax credits even if you’re getting a public pension.
Find out about tax credits for seniors for which you may be eligible.(http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/tx/ndvdls/tpcs/ncm-tx/rtrn/cmpltng/ddctns/pnsnddctns-eng.html)
4. Review and update your insurance coverage to make sure it meets your current and future needs
You may need to check your insurance coverage in retirement to make sure that it suits your current needs and lifestyle.
Find out more about the different types of insurance.(https://www.canada.ca/en/financial-consumer-agency/services/insurance.html)
5. Consider what might happen to your pension if you continue to work
Learn about working while collecting a pension.(https://www.canada.ca/en/financial-consumer-agency/services/retirement-planning/working-collecting-pension.html)
6. Consider pension income splitting and/or pension sharing with your spouse or common-law partner
Pension income splitting may lower the amount of tax you have to pay in retirement.
Find out about pension income splitting.(http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/pensionsplitting/)
You may be able to share your CPP retirement benefits, which may result in tax savings.
Find out about pension sharing.(https://www.canada.ca/content/canadasite/en/services/benefits/publicpensions/cpp/share-cpp.html)
7. Protect yourself and the people you love against financial fraud and abuse
• What every older Canadian should know about Financial Abuse.(https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/corporate/seniors/forum/financial-abuse.html)
• What every older Canadian should know about Frauds and Scams.(https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/corporate/seniors/forum/fraud-scams.html)
8. Plan for a possible loss of financial independence
At some point, you may become mentally or physically unable to manage your finances. You may need to give somebody Power of Attorney to manage your money for you.
Learn more about Powers of attorney.(https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/corporate/seniors/forum/power-attorney-financial.html)
9. Make or update your will
Making a will is a good way to make sure that your wishes are honoured after your death. It’s a good idea to get professional legal help when preparing a will to make sure all your documents are prepared and witnessed properly.
Learn more about wills and estate laws in your province or territory.(https://www.canada.ca/en/financial-consumer-agency/services/living-disability/named-attorney/resources-estate-law.html)
10. Consider where you will live when you retire and how much it will cost
Find out about housing options for seniors.(https://www.canada.ca/en/financial-consumer-agency/services/retirement-planning/cost-seniors-housing.html)
11. Consider the costs of living or travelling outside of Canada when you retire
There may be financial implications of travelling outside of Canada for long periods of time after you retire. This may include tax, benefits or insurance implications.
Find out about living and travelling abroad when you retire.(https://www.canada.ca/en/financial-consumer-agency/services/retirement-planning/travel-abroad-retire.html)
What other tips do you have that haven't been included here? Please let me know in the comments.
Aging Parents & a Full Plate of my Own
Hello Kore Life Members, my name is Jennifer and I'm so pleased to join a group focused on the ups and downs of the aging process - I hope to share some of my experiences, as well as lean on the membership to support my journey as a daughter of aging parents.
My parents are in their mid-70's and live in a gated community more than 2 1/2 hours away from me and 4 hours away from my only sibling. While they are still relatively self sufficient, my father is dealing with chronic health issues that impede his ability to safely take care of himself; putting a lot of added stress on my mother.
I also have 3 children spanning from 11 years old to 22, and a full time job; so from a financial and a time standpoint, I'm stretched to near capacity. I have some guilt in feeling I should better support my parents with the reality of their aging, but am not sure how or when to step in.
While they aren't there yet, I anticipate that my parents will not be able to stay in thier current home for too much longer and am starting to explore the many alternate options availalble to them. I look forward to inspiration and learning from other members!
Caregiver Cinema: Movies that Illuminate the Challenges and Joys of Senior Care
Caring for seniors can be a rewarding yet challenging responsibility, and sometimes caregivers need a break to relax and unwind. Watching movies can be a great way for caregivers to take some time for themselves while still staying engaged in caregiving themes.
Here are some movie recommendations for senior caregivers:
1. "The Notebook" (2004): This heartfelt love story explores the challenges of memory loss and caregiving while celebrating the enduring power of love.
2. "Still Alice" (2014): Julianne Moore's powerful performance as a linguistics professor diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's disease offers a poignant look at the impact of dementia on both patients and caregivers.
3. "Away from Her" (2006): This film tells the story of a husband dealing with the admission of his wife into a care facility for Alzheimer's patients. It sensitively portrays the emotional complexities of caregiving.
4. "Iris" (2001): This biographical film follows the life of British novelist and philosopher Iris Murdoch, who developed Alzheimer's disease. It explores her relationship with her husband, John Bayley, who becomes her caregiver.
5. "The Intern" (2015): This heartwarming comedy-drama features Robert De Niro as a senior intern at an online fashion retailer. It emphasizes the value of seniors' wisdom and experience, offering a different perspective on caregiving.
6. "The Descendants" (2011): George Clooney stars as a father dealing with family issues while caring for his daughters after his wife falls into a coma. It touches on themes of family, responsibility, and unexpected challenges.
7. "The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" (2015): This charming comedy-drama focuses on a group of seniors living in a retirement hotel in India. It explores love, friendship, and the pursuit of happiness in later life.
8. "Elsa & Fred" (2014): A heartwarming romantic comedy about two seniors who find love and adventure later in life, reminding caregivers that life's adventures can continue at any age.
9. "The Leisure Seeker" (2017): Helen Mirren and Donald Sutherland star as a couple on a cross-country road trip in their vintage RV, despite the husband's Alzheimer's diagnosis. It's a story of love and the pursuit of happiness.
10. "Amour" (2012): This emotionally intense French drama depicts the challenges of caring for a spouse with deteriorating health. It's a deeply moving exploration of the complexities of love and devotion.
These films can provide caregivers with a mix of entertainment, inspiration, and emotional release while shedding light on the unique challenges and rewards of caregiving for seniors.
Do you have any movies to add to the list? Please share in the comments
Enhancing Quality of Life with Tech
Technology can greatly enhance the quality of life for seniors by providing tools and devices that promote safety, connectivity, and convenience.
Here are some types of technology that are particularly useful for seniors:
• Smartphones and Tablets: These devices offer a wide range of functionalities, from communication (calls, text messages, video chats) to entertainment (e-books, games, streaming services). They also support various apps designed to help with medication management, health tracking, and memory enhancement.
• Wearable Health Devices: Smartwatches and fitness trackers can monitor vital signs, track physical activity, and send alerts in case of irregularities. They are especially valuable for seniors who want to maintain an active and healthy lifestyle.
• Medical Alert Systems: These systems come in the form of wearable devices or home-based units with a button that, when pressed, connects the user to a 24/7 emergency response center. They provide peace of mind for seniors living independently.
• Voice-Activated Assistants: Devices like Amazon Echo and Google Home can help seniors with various tasks, including setting reminders, answering questions, and controlling smart home devices, all through voice commands.
• Telehealth and Telemedicine: Virtual healthcare appointments have become increasingly popular, making it easier for seniors to access medical consultations without leaving home. This is especially valuable for those with mobility issues.
• Smart Home Technology: Smart thermostats, lights, robotic vacuum cleaners, and security systems can enhance convenience and safety. For example, smart locks can be controlled remotely, and smart thermostats can be programmed to maintain comfortable temperatures.
• Tablet-Based Cognitive Games: Brain-training apps and games can help seniors maintain mental acuity and memory. These apps offer enjoyable ways to exercise the mind.
• Video Calling and Social Media: Staying connected with loved ones is crucial for seniors' emotional well-being. Video calling apps like Zoom and social media platforms allow seniors to keep in touch with family and friends.
• Automatic Medication Dispensers: These devices dispense the correct medication dosage at the scheduled times, reducing the risk of medication errors and missed doses.
• GPS Trackers: GPS-enabled devices can help family members or caregivers track the location of seniors with cognitive impairments, such as dementia or Alzheimer's disease, enhancing their safety.
• Elderly-Friendly Phones: Some companies offer simplified smartphones with larger buttons, easy-to-read screens, and emergency call features tailored to seniors' needs.
• Online Shopping and Delivery Services: E-commerce platforms and food delivery services make it easier for seniors to access essential items and groceries without the need to leave their homes.
• Robotic Assistants: While still emerging, robotic companions and caregivers are being developed to provide companionship, assist with tasks, and monitor the well-being of seniors.
• Home Monitoring Systems: Security cameras and sensors can be used to monitor for falls, unusual activity, or emergencies and send alerts to caregivers or family members.
• E-books and Audiobooks: These digital formats are a great way for seniors to continue enjoying reading when physical books become challenging to handle.
When adopting technology, it's important to consider the individual needs and comfort level of the senior in question. Many seniors may require assistance with setting up and using technology, so family members, caregivers, or tech-savvy friends can play a crucial role in facilitating the adoption of these useful tools.
Traveling in Your Golden Years
Retirement is the perfect time to indulge in your wanderlust and explore the world. Traveling as a senior can be a rewarding and enriching experience, offering a chance to create lasting memories and discover new horizons. In this short blog post, we'll share some valuable tips to help seniors make the most of their travel adventures.
Plan Ahead: The key to a successful senior travel experience is meticulous planning. Start by creating a comprehensive travel itinerary, including details like accommodations, transportation, and activities.
Research your destination thoroughly to understand its accessibility and attractions.
Consider Health and Safety: Before embarking on your journey, consult your healthcare provider. Ensure your vaccinations are up to date, and discuss any health concerns or medications you may need during your trip. It's also wise to invest in travel insurance for added peace of mind.
Pack Light and Smart: Packing efficiently is crucial for seniors. Choose versatile clothing and comfortable shoes for varying weather conditions. Remember to pack any necessary medications, a first-aid kit, and essential documents like passports, identification, and a copy of your medical records.
Travel Companions: Traveling with a companion can enhance your experience, providing both emotional support and assistance when needed. Consider joining a group tour or traveling with family and friends who share your interests.
Accessible Accommodations: When booking accommodations, prioritize accessibility. Look for hotels, resorts, or vacation rentals that offer features like ramps, elevators, and rooms designed with seniors in mind. Read reviews from fellow travelers to get a sense of the property's suitability.
Stay Active: Don't let age deter you from exploring. Plan activities that cater to your interests and physical abilities. Whether it's a leisurely stroll through a historic city or a relaxing day at the beach, choose activities that keep you engaged without overexerting yourself.
Local Cuisine and Culture: One of the joys of travel is sampling local cuisine. Savor the flavors of your destination by trying regional dishes. Immerse yourself in the local culture by attending cultural events, visiting museums, and interacting with locals.
Stay Connected: While disconnecting from the digital world can be refreshing, it's essential to stay connected for safety. Carry a charged mobile phone with you, share your itinerary with a trusted contact, and familiarize yourself with local emergency numbers.
Budget Wisely: Create a travel budget to ensure you don't overspend. Seniors often have access to discounts on accommodations, transportation, and attractions, so be sure to inquire about senior rates.
Embrace Slow Travel: Consider a more leisurely pace of travel. Allow yourself time to relax and savor each destination fully. Slow travel allows you to appreciate the beauty and culture of a place at your own pace.
Traveling as a senior can be a fulfilling and enriching experience that adds excitement to your retirement years. By planning carefully, staying mindful of your health, and embracing the joys of exploration, you can make the most of your travel adventures. Remember that the world is full of incredible destinations waiting to be discovered, so don't let age hold you back from exploring new horizons.
I'd love to hear about some of your favourite travel destinations. Please share yours in the comments.
Brain Games & Dementia Prevention
Dementia, especially Alzheimer's disease, affects almost 600,000 Canadians, with 124k new diagnosis’ in 2020 alone. And while it is not picky in whom it chooses to affect, a whopping 61.8% of those with dementia are women. By 2030, projections estimate that case number will rise to near a million!
While there is no cure, many studies have been conducted to indicate that patients that keep the brain stimulated and engaged, see a slow down of symptoms and progression.
In fact, these studies suggest that keeping the brain active can help delay dementia onset.
1. Combined physical and cognitive game training improves working memory and executive function.
2. Computerized cognitive training enhances gray matter in the brain, preserving cognition.
3. Board games reduce cognitive decline in the 70-79 age group.
4. Games including board games, video games, and VR games, also enhance short-term memory, problem-solving, and more.
So, what kind of games are recommended?
Engaging in brain games is beneficial for cognitive function, especially in older adults. Here are some effective options:
1. Word Puzzles like crosswords, word searches, and Wordle stimulate word-related skills.
2. Jigsaw Puzzles preserve memory and reasoning.
3. Card Games like Bridge and Uno boost reasoning and concentration.
4. Dice Games such as Yahtzee and Backgammon improve numerical and calculation skills.
5. Board Games like Trivial Pursuit, LIFE, Chess, Checkers, and Monopoly combine various elements and reduce cognitive decline.
In the face of rising dementia cases, it's crucial for physicians to explore strategies to combat this issue. While no foolproof method exists, engaging in brain games significantly contributes to maintaining cognitive function in older adults.
Encouraging patients to incorporate these games into their daily routines can enhance their quality of life and potentially mitigate dementia's impact. Embracing games as a preventive measure is a significant step toward a healthier future."
211central.ca - Directory of Services for Seniors & Caregivers in Toronto
211 – City of Toronto is a resource to help seniors and caregivers find the services they need in Health, Housing, Food, Pets, Recreation, Caregivers, Legal, and many more areas. Translation details available inside. For questions, contact email@example.com.(mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org)
To view/download the Directory click here(https://211central.ca/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/Directory-of-Services-for-Seniors-and-Caregivers_WEB-Oct-2021-1.pdf)
Creating a Safe Haven: Home Modifications for Seniors
As we age, our homes should evolve to meet our changing needs, especially when it comes to safety. Making modifications to your home can help create a safer and more comfortable environment for seniors, reducing the risk of accidents and promoting independence. In this blog post, we'll explore essential home modifications that can enhance the safety and well-being of seniors.
Good lighting is fundamental for safety at any age, but it becomes even more critical as we get older. Seniors should consider the following lighting modifications:
• Install motion-activated lights in hallways, bathrooms, and stairwells to prevent falls during nighttime trips.
• Increase the wattage of light bulbs to improve visibility.
• Add task lighting in areas where you perform specific activities, such as reading or cooking.
Slips and falls are a major concern for seniors. To minimize the risk, consider these flooring modifications:
• Replace slippery flooring materials with non-slip options like carpeting, rubber, or textured tiles.
• Use anti-slip treatments on existing tile or hardwood floors.
• Secure area rugs with non-slip rug pads.
The bathroom can be a hazardous place for seniors. Make these changes to ensure bathroom safety:
• Install grab bars near the toilet and in the shower or bathtub.
• Consider a walk-in shower or tub with a low threshold for easier access.
• Place a non-slip bath mat or adhesive strips in the tub or shower.
• Seniors may benefit from these accessibility modifications:
• Widen doorways to accommodate wheelchairs or walkers.
• Install ramps or a stairlift if your home has multiple levels.
• Replace round doorknobs with lever-style handles for easier gripping.
Make cooking and meal preparation safer with these kitchen modifications:
• Lower countertop heights to reduce the need for reaching or bending.
• Install pull-out shelves in cabinets for easy access to pots, pans, and dishes.
• Place non-slip mats near the sink and stove to prevent spills.
Bedroom Comfort and Safety
Ensure a secure and comfortable sleeping environment with these bedroom modifications:
• Adjust bed height for ease of getting in and out.
• Use a bed rail or grab bar for added stability.
• Keep essential items within reach to reduce the need for stretching or bending.
Emergency Alert Systems
Consider investing in a reliable emergency alert system that allows you to call for help quickly in case of a fall or medical emergency.
Handrails and Railings
Install handrails and railings along staircases, both indoors and outdoors, to provide extra support and stability.
Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Ensure that smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are present and functioning correctly throughout your home. Test them regularly.
Lastly, don't forget to keep up with regular home maintenance to address any potential hazards promptly. This includes fixing loose handrails, repairing uneven flooring, and addressing any plumbing or electrical issues.
Creating a safe and comfortable living space is essential for seniors to maintain their independence and quality of life. By implementing these home modifications, you can significantly reduce the risk of accidents and enjoy peace of mind in your own home. Remember to assess your unique needs and consult with professionals when necessary to make the most effective modifications for your situation. Your home should be a place where you feel secure and supported as you age gracefully.
Safely Staying Active - Exercise Guidance for Seniors
Staying active and maintaining a regular exercise routine is essential at any age, but it becomes even more critical as we get older. Exercise for seniors offers a plethora of physical and mental health benefits, including improved mobility, strength, balance, and mood. However, it's crucial to approach exercise with care, especially if you're a senior. In this blog post, we'll explore the dos and don'ts of exercise for seniors to help you stay active safely and enjoy a healthier, more fulfilling life.
• Consult Your Doctor: Before starting any new exercise program, it's essential to consult your healthcare provider. They can offer personalized recommendations based on your health status and any underlying medical conditions.
• Start Slowly: If you haven't been active recently, start slowly and gradually increase the intensity and duration of your workouts. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity each week, such as brisk walking or swimming.
• Include Strength Training: Incorporating strength training exercises into your routine can help maintain muscle mass and bone density. Use resistance bands, free weights, or your body weight for exercises like squats, lunges, and wall push-ups.
• Prioritize Balance and Flexibility: Balance exercises, such as standing on one foot or yoga, can help prevent falls, a common concern for seniors. Stretching exercises improve flexibility and range of motion.
• Stay Hydrated: Dehydration can exacerbate the effects of aging, so make sure to drink plenty of water before, during, and after your workout.
• Listen to Your Body: Pay attention to how your body feels during and after exercise. If you experience pain, dizziness, or shortness of breath, stop immediately and seek medical advice if necessary.
• Use Proper Equipment: Ensure that you have appropriate footwear and any necessary assistive devices, like canes or walkers, to support your exercise routine safely.
• Avoid Overexertion: Don't push yourself too hard, especially if you're just starting or have pre-existing health conditions. Overexertion can lead to injuries.
• Skip Warm-ups and Cool-downs: Always start with a warm-up to prepare your muscles and finish with a cool-down to gradually lower your heart rate and prevent post-exercise dizziness.
• Neglect Safety Measures: Ensure a safe exercise environment. Clear clutter from your workout area, use proper lighting, and exercise with a buddy if possible.
• Ignore Pain: If you experience pain that persists or worsens with exercise, stop immediately and consult your doctor. Pain is your body's way of telling you that something isn't right.
• Focus Solely on One Type of Exercise: While it's essential to find activities you enjoy, don't limit yourself to just one type of exercise. A variety of activities can prevent boredom and work different muscle groups.
• Forget to Breathe: Proper breathing is essential during exercise. Don't hold your breath, as it can increase blood pressure and strain your heart.
• Rush Through Exercises: Take your time with each exercise, ensuring proper form and technique. Rushing through movements can lead to injuries.
Exercise is a valuable tool for seniors to maintain their health and quality of life. By following these dos and don'ts, you can enjoy the many benefits of physical activity while minimizing the risk of injury. Remember that it's never too late to start exercising, and with the right approach, you can stay active, strong, and healthy well into your senior years. Always consult with your healthcare provider to tailor an exercise program that suits your unique needs and abilities.