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COVID-19: Older people’s stories

HelpAge International is working with older people and network members around the world to respond to the threat of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Click on the link below to find out about their experiences and how they are responding to the spread of the virus. https://www.helpage.org/newsroom/covid19-older-peoples-stories/

An ‘Awe Walk’ Might Do Wonders for Your Well-Being

Older men and women who took a fresh look at the objects and vistas around them felt more upbeat and hopeful.

Consciously watching for small wonders in the world around you during an otherwise ordinary walk could amplify the mental health benefits of the stroll, according to an interesting new psychological study of what the study’s authors call “awe walks.”

In the study, people who took a fresh look at the objects, moments and vistas that surrounded them during brief, weekly walks felt more upbeat and hopeful in general than walkers who did not. The findings are subjective but indicate that awe walks could be a simple way to combat malaise and worry. They also underscore that how we think and feel during exercise can alter how the exercise alters us.

There already is considerable evidence, of course, that exercise, including walking, can buoy our moods. Past studies have linked increased physical activity to greater happiness and reduced risks for anxiety, depression and other mental ills.

Feeling a sense of awe also seems to up our overall feelings of gladness and improve health. A somewhat nebulous emotion, awe generally is defined as the sense that you are in the presence of something larger and more consequential than yourself and that this something is mysterious and ineffable. In past studies, people who reported feeling awe also tended to have less emotional stress and lower levels of substances related to body-wide inflammation.

Aging Well

Staying healthy and feeling your best is important at any age. These tips can help you cope with change and live life to the fullest.

Healthy aging means continually reinventing yourself as you pass through landmark ages such as 60, 70, 80 and beyond. It means finding new things you enjoy, learning to adapt to change, staying physically and socially active, and feeling connected to your community and loved ones. Unfortunately, for many of us, aging also brings anxiety and fear. How will I take care of myself late in life? What if I lose my spouse? What is going to happen to my mind? However, many of these fears often stem from popular misconceptions about aging. The truth is that you are stronger and more resilient than you may realize. https://www.helpguide.org/articles/alzheimers-dementia-aging/staying-healthy-as-you-age.htm

Focus on the things you’re grateful for. The longer you live, the more you lose. But as you lose people and things, life becomes even more precious. When you stop taking things for granted, you appreciate and enjoy what you have even more.

THE BEAUTIFUL HARMONY OF CARING AND COMPASSION FOR ELDERS

We all like to think that we have compassion for others don’t we?   After all, we give care, so we must have empathy.  Is there a difference between caring and true compassion?

Caring for another person is is an act of displaying kindness and concern for others.  It is the work or practice of looking after those unable to care for themselves, especially sick or elderly people.

Compassion is a form of emotional engagement that is beneficial to patient care.  Compassion involves the  sharing of feelings of another as a means of coming to an understanding and appreciation for how they feel.

Can we provide adequate care to someone else without being compassionate?  Unfortunately I believe our standards of care for elderly, disabled and sick individuals have focused on care without the importance of compassion, empathy and understanding.

If empathy involves emotional engagement with someone else, it also involves understanding their world.  We can care for someone by providing for needs but not necessarily moving into their world, walking in their shoes and sharing in their struggles, joys and challenges.

When compassion and caring merge, care partners build trust, form deeper and more meaningful relationships and go beyond physical needs to digging deeper in understanding and meeting emotional and spiritual needs, these are the values at Luxcare Senior Care.

Compassion training, especially for those caring for someone with dementia, chronic illness, pain and end-of-life can empower both care partners, families and communities in which they live.

Educating families and professionals in understanding and helping those they care for cope with their challenges starts with empathy, compassion and understanding for what that person is dealing with.  When a care giver gains empathy, their world merges with those they are caring for in new and wonderfully positive ways for everyone involved.

Take time to learn the art of compassion and mover from a caregiver to a compassionate caregiver.   Leaders, embrace compassion training for staff and families.  Everyone is better served with more compassionate caregivers.

Luxcare Senior Care, Victoria BC

Coronavirus and COVID-19: Caregiving for the Elderly

Keep yourself well

First and most important, as a caretaker you should take all the precautions you can to avoid becoming infected yourself. Here are the basics:

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before and after providing care, preparing food, using the bathroom, or touching surfaces in public places. 
  • Avoid crowds, and if you cough or sneeze, do so into the bend of your elbow or into a disposable tissue. 
  • Keep your hands away from your face.
  • Clean frequently touched surfaces in your home often, including mobility and medical equipment used by your loved one, such as walkers, canes and handrails.

Keep elders involved

Arbaje recommends giving home bound older adults a project they can work on. “Think about going through and organizing old photos and memorabilia together, and enjoy the stories and happy memories they inspire. It can be a good time for an elder to demonstrate cooking a favorite family recipe or share favorite songs or movies with other people in the household.”

Minimize the risk of COVID-19 infection



Keep in mind that many older people, especially those living with chronic illness, have important relationships with their caregivers. To help them stay in touch, ask their doctors’ offices if they offer telemedicine, which enables doctors and patients to communicate over video, email or other means rather than face-to-face.

Avoid travel. Older adults should put off non-essential travel, particularly cruises or trips with itineraries that would expose them to crowds. 

Symptoms or exposure? Call ahead

If you or your loved one learn that you might have been exposed to someone diagnosed with COVID-19 or if anyone in your household develops symptoms such as cough, fever or shortness of breath, call your family doctor, nurse helpline or urgent care facility. Here’s what to do when you feel sick.

For a medical emergency such as severe shortness of breath or high fever, call 911. 

Helping a senior can transform their life – and yours too

As we age, one of the biggest threats to our independence is social isolation. And the need to keep seniors mentally engaged in their communities has never been greater. Janie Apostolakos, the Founder and Ceo of Luxcare Senior Care is a company dedicated to helping senior citizens with day-to-day tasks so they can continue to live independently in their own homes, says there are close to 900,000 seniors in British Columbia alone, and by 2031 one in four of us will be an older adult. “No one wants to be forced to leave their community because they can’t access the services they need,” says Jane. “But this is something we see happening in communities across the province.” That’s where the rest of us come in. Connecting with seniors provides a meaningful—and mutual—learning experience—and it doesn’t take much. “We’ve seen CAREgivers and clients build lasting friendships, and we’ve seen transformations in communities, too,” says Jane.

Here are three things you can do to connect:

1. Be a good neighbour

Jane recommends becoming part of a “natural system of social support,” which means you’re getting involved not because it’s your job, but because you genuinely care about your neighbours. For instance, if you’re going to the grocery store, pop by to check in on a senior down the street to see if he or she could use a carton of milk. “It’s a way for neighbours to monitor the health of older adults in the community,” says Jane.

2. Leverage your skills

Think about what you do best and use your skills as a way to get involved. Great at knitting? Start a club at a local seniors’ residence or community centre. If you’re an accountant, set up a financial planning clinic for older people. Using your own interests as a starting point for volunteering makes the experience more meaningful for everyone. “It’s a great opportunity to bring your understanding, knowledge and skills to the community,” says Jane.

3. Strike the right balance

It’s not always about doing things for seniors; it’s about doing things with them, says Jane. Often the best relationships start with providing a service (such as shopping, yard work, minor repairs or transportation) in order to develop a more meaningful relationship. “Providing these types of services is a place from which to build a rapport,” says Jane. “Then it can be about having a cup of tea, playing cards or going for walks together.”

Want to help the seniors in your neighbourhood? Check out www.luxcarelifestyle.com to find an opportunity near you.

Aging in place, or aging in the community

A person’s ability to continue living independently at home and/or in their community through the provision of necessary supports and services.

Aging in place is often the first choice for older adults. It can prevent the emotional and physical hardships associated with leaving home to live in institutional settings. It can also help older adults be active, engage in social participation and maintain their social networks with family, friends, and community members, thus supporting their mental health and maintaining their personal identity.

In order to meet their care needs, older adults often rely on home and community care programs and services, provided by governments and service organizations. “Home and community care” services help people receive care at home, rather than in a hospital or long-term care facility, and to live as independently as possible in the community. These services not only allow older Canadians to age in place, but also save governments money, as they are less expensive than providing institutional care in retirement residences or long-term care facilities. Regulated health care professionals (for example, nurses), non-regulated workers, volunteers, friends and family caregivers deliver home and community care.

The goals of home and community care are to:

  • help people maintain or improve their health status and quality of life,
  • assist people in remaining as independent as possible,
  • encourage people to remain physically and socially active,
  • support families in coping with a family member’s need for care,
  • help people stay at or return home and receive needed treatment, rehabilitation or palliative care, and
  • provide informal/family caregivers with the support they need.

Core Community Supports include:

  • Home care services : health-related supports that include a wide range of services including personal care, therapy and rehabilitation and nursing care;
  • Home supports: including meal provision, housekeeping, home maintenance, meal services, transportation, as well as social participation and companionship programs, and physical activity and educational/recreational programs; and
  • Financial supports: income subsidies, as well as grants and subsidies to defray housing costs and fund home renovations designed to improve accessibility.

The purpose of this report is to inform policy reflection by providing information regarding how well older Canadians are served for the purposes of aging in place and community, by the home and community support services currently available. This will be achieved by:

  • describing the home care services, home supports and financial supports that help older adults age in place, as well as the roles and responsibilities of the federal, provincial and territorial governments in delivering them;
  • determining how the needs of Canadians older adults aging in place are being met by identifying gaps, challenges, trends, best practices and innovative approaches in the provision of these supports;
  • identifying best practices and innovative approaches used in Canada and internationally.

Home Care

Consider hiring a companion or in-home caregiver.

Eventually, you will probably need extra support in order to remain in your home, such as help with household chores or personal care. Companion care can be a good solution for seniors who need more social interaction or who require help with tasks like cooking, cleaning, getting to appointments, or shopping for groceries. And home care services can provide assistance with bathing, dressing, taking medications, and more. Using these types of services can give you the support you need to remain in your home safely.

http://www.luxcarelifestyle.com

81 Top Games for Seniors and the Elderly: Fun for All Abilities

Get ready to play! It’s time to learn about the best games for seniors so that you can reap the benefits of having fun. After all, joy, amusement, and mental stimulation are necessary for every senior’s overall well-being. And we all have days when we just want to pass a little time by doing something engaging.

Games provide convenient ways to have fun, either alone or as part of a group. They eradicate boredom, relieve stress, and make parties and other social engagements easier, more enjoyable, and less intimidating. They also help exercise our brains. For some people, playing certain types of games might be beneficial for things like mood, memory, concentration, reasoning, and imagination. Games might be especially helpful for your brain if they require you to learn something new.

Plus, countless games can be modified for seniors or elderly people who have physical or cognitive limitations. For example, it’s easy to find or create games that have large type, which is good for older people who have vision problems. And if time or attention spans are a concern, many games can be played and completed in less than 30 minutes.

The variety of senior-friendly games that are now available is astonishing. So to help you narrow down the possibilities, we’ve provided some of the best examples within seven main categories:

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