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With warmer temperatures creeping in, the natural urge is to spend more time outdoors enjoying it. Everyone wants to feel the sun on their face, tend to their gardens, go for walks, and have those sweet summer moments. While being outdoors and spending time in the warmth and fresh air is good, there are some things that should be considered for seniors spending continual time in warm summer weather. Listed below are some tips and precautions for staying safe while enjoying the summer sun and warmth.

Optimal Time of Day: The best times of the day to be outside are those when the sun will not be shining down directly onto you. For example, if you plan to have an outdoor activity, have it be in the morning, or evening times.

Taking Breaks to Cool Off: If you plan to spend as much of your day outdoors as possible, make sure you have an air-conditioned area close by that you can pop into for breaks to bring your body temperature back down. This will prevent over-heating, dehydration, and exhaustion.

Stay Hydrated: It’s important to remember to stay hydrated if you’re spending prolonged time in the heat. Drinking things like water, clear juices, and other liquids that do not contain alcohol or caffeine. Liquids with caffeine and alcohol are diuretics, they will cause you to urinate more and dehydrate you. For this reason, it is crucial to stick to clear liquids without these contents when spending time in the heat.

Choosing the Proper Attire:  When spending time in the heat, it is important to dress accordingly. This means wearing light, airy, light-colored clothing. This will prevent heat absorption. In addition to this, it is best to wear a wide brimmed hat to shield yourself from the sunrays.

By combining these tips, you will be prepared to safely spend time in the summer sun. Just remember, if after spending prolonged periods of time in the sun and/or summer heat, you feel unwell, please seek medical attention.

As we grow older, maintaining a healthy mind is just as important as maintaining a healthy body. With Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month upon us, there’s no better time to explore the different ways we can keep our cognitive health in check. Aging may bring about a number of changes, but with the right tools and mindset, we can ensure a healthy aging process and prevent cognitive decline associated with Alzheimer’s disease. In this blog, we’ll discuss five simple ways to boost your cognitive health and promote healthy aging and Alzheimer’s prevention.

Control Your Cholesterol and Blood Pressure Levels

High cholesterol and high blood pressure increase your risk of heart disease and stroke, which can contribute to the development of memory loss, or even different types of dementia. Good cardiovascular health (healthy blood sugar, cholesterol, blood pressure levels) as well as maintaining a healthy weight is associated with increased cognitive function. This is a key factor in Alzheimer’s prevention.

Eat a Healthy Diet

The things you put into your body make a big difference in your cognitive and remembering abilities. Vitamin-rich foods will maintain and improve cognitive function, while foods that are high in saturated fats can negatively impact memory and other brain function. Following diets such as the MIND (Mediterranean Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay) Diet could maximize the positive effects on brain function, and in turn, prevent Alzheimer’s. This diet includes foods from 10 brain-healthy food groups: green leafy vegetables, nuts, berries, beans, whole grains, fish, poultry, olive oil and wine. It also limits five unhealthy food groups: red meats, butter, cheese, pastries, sweets, fast and fried foods.

Get Regular Exercise

Through regular physical activity, blood flow to the brain is maintained, and in turn, reduces your risk of conditions such as high blood pressure which is associated with developing dementia. By promoting a physically active lifestyle in older adults, one-third of dementia cases worldwide could potentially be delayed. For this reason, it is important to continue an active lifestyle throughout your life, and into the years when dementia is a possibility.

Stimulate Your Mind

Keeping your mind busy through a mentally stimulating job or hobby could help your brain to build up a cognitive reserve; meaning that even if you develop a brain disease or other challenges, your brain will still have the ability to function properly. Another way to stimulate your mind is by consistently learning new things and teaching yourself new skills and hobbies. Continuing to adopt new skills and technologies has the potential to reduce or delay the cognitive decline and changes that come with aging.

Socialize More

Staying in touch with, and actively engaging and seeing friends and family has positive impacts on the brain. The stimulation that comes with discussing life and seeing people outside of your immediate circle is beneficial to delaying cognitive decline. Seniors who experience consistent social engagement will have a lower risk of dementia than those with consistently low social engagement.

Carefor offers various programs and services that can assist your loved ones in all the above categories, especially with exercise, socialization, and brain stimulation. Some of these programs include the Adult Day Programs, the Vince Malette Functional Fitness Program, and the Let’s Get Together Program to name a few. To learn more about our programs visit https://carefor.ca/services/respite-services.

These healthy aging tips do not definitively guarantee that by following these guidelines, you will not develop Alzheimer’s. However, if you implement these practices into your daily lives, the chances of Alzheimer’s progression is much slimmer.

Caregiving can have its pros and its cons. On the positive side, you are caring for someone you love, and assisting them to navigate a challenging chapter of their life. On the negative side, you may become so consumed in being a caregiver that you forget to take care of yourself, and in turn, burn yourself out. For this reason, it is important to consider ways to combat and prevent caregiver burnout.

5 ways to prevent caregiver burnout:

Take advantage of local and online supports. There are numerous programs and services in the community and online (through social media) that can help you. Here are just a few:  

Know your limits. Identify what makes you feel uncomfortable or distressed – these feelings are often an indicator that we are pushing our boundaries. If you continue to overextend and overcompensate, it can lead to burn out, which is worse than just having a conversation to set clear boundaries.

Set realistic goals and accept that you may need to reach out to others for assistance. There is nothing wrong with seeking help where it’s needed. One person cannot do everything alone. If you feel that the care load is becoming too much, it could be a wise idea to consider things like home care, or a visiting companion. Carefor has many services to support you with your caregiving journey in home and in the community.

Stay healthy by eating right, exercising, and getting enough sleep.

Join a caregiver support group, either in person or online.

By implementing these 5 tips into your life as a caregiver, you’re taking necessary steps for yourself to avoid burning out from your caregiving role.

Your feet carry you where you want to go in the journey of life. For this reason, it is important to keep them clean, healthy, and taken care of. Keeping an eye on your feet is crucial, especially with seniors as it your foot health can give you early warnings of serious health concerns such as diabetes, arthritis, and poor blood circulation.

Signs of unhealthy feet may include, and are not limited to…

  • Dryness and Cracking: which can lead to skin infections, as well as corns and calluses.
  • Constantly Cold Feet and Toes: circulatory problems, potentially caused by diabetes.
  • Swelling: infection, neuropathic arthropathy, deep vein thrombosis, and arthritis.
  • Thick and Discoloured Toenails: nail fugus, injury, and anemia.

Let us help you keep them healthy along the way! Carefor’s foot care clinics are now accepting new clients across Ottawa! There is one location in the East end, and one in the West end.

Our specially trained foot care nurses provide personal foot care including…

  • Comprehensive Foot Assessment.
  • Cutting and filing of toenails.
  • Treatment of ingrown nails, thickened nails.
  • Paddings as necessary to improve comfort and mobility.
  • Preventative foot care for high-risk clients with diabetes, arthritis, and circulation problems.
  • Referral to doctors, podiatrists, chiropodists, or other health professionals as necessary.
  • Health teaching.

With foot health, being proactive is essential. This is why we encourage seniors to seek out foot health, and visit Carefor’s foot care clinics, to ensure ultimate safety and health.

 

Locations:

West End Clinic 2580 Carling Avenue, Ottawa, ON K2B 7H5

East End Clinic 760 Belfast Rd, Ottawa, ON K1G 6M8

 

Contact to schedule an appointment:

Clerical District Coordinator

833-922-2734 ext. 2158

clerical@carefor.ca

carefor.ca

The process involving the transition to retirement living has its complexities. There are multiple variables that require in-depth consideration. To make things a little simpler, here are three key points to pay attention to when considering different retirement home options.

  1. Location: Whether you are choosing a retirement home for yourself or a loved one, location is a very important thing to consider. Transitioning into retirement living can be a challenging time, however choosing a home in an area that is familiar or close to family and friends can help to bring ease to the situation.
  2. Costs and what they mean: Cost is one of the most important factors to investigate when choosing a retirement home. When discussing costs and various packages, it is a smart idea to review exactly what is covered in the outlined costs. Ask what is not included in the cost and what services may have additional fees. Once the cost break-down is clear, compare it to your monthly “living at home” expenses to properly formulate the decision if the home is a responsible choice financially.
  3. Recreation and Socialization: When moving a senior out of their home and into a new environment, it can be natural for them to withdraw and isolate as they may not feel comfortable around new people. Choosing a home with various activity and recreation options that align with your/ your loved one’s hobbies and interests can help encourage socialization and in turn keep you or your loved one from becoming lonely and isolated.

Carefor has three retirement/care homes in the Ottawa region that are in great locations, prioritize affordability and value the importance of recreational activities in the home. The Carefor Civic Complex and MacKay Centre are situated in the heart of Pembroke and the Ottawa Valley. These retirement homes have all the amenities of home with paved walkways, a courtyard, and flower/vegetable gardens at the most affordable prices in the Ottawa Valley.

Richmond Care Home is a unique retirement home for women living with dementia. It is a bungalow style 16-unit home that offers a quiet home-like setting where your mom will get the care and attention she deserves. All around, Carefor has your loved one’s best interests at heart and will ensure they feel at home. To learn more visit: carefor.ca/retirement.