In childhood, play is practically a way of life. It’s how kids relate to one another, how they spend their free time, how they discover the world around them. As we age, however, play seems to become less and less of a focus in our everyday lives. Work and responsibility begin to take center stage, and play is often relegated to a tiny corner of our minds. The truth is play remains as valuable and important as ever, regardless of age. In fact, learning to reprioritize play can bring about major benefits for seniors in terms of health and wellbeing.
Lately, we’ve been talking a lot about the importance of human connection in seniors’ lives. Socialization seems to be a major gateway to overall health and a longer lifespan, and curating a sense of community can have immense benefits with regard to a senior’s ability to thrive. One interesting byproduct of this human connection piece is the opportunity for laughter.
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It’s been just about a year and a half since the pandemic first reared its ugly head and began reshaping the “normal” we’d been accustomed to living. Now, with vaccine distribution in full swing, as well as declining numbers of severe illnesses from COVID, we’re seeing the beginnings of recovery from such a challenging time in our lives.
There’s no shortage of challenges seniors face when it comes to staying connected to the larger community. From diminished mobility and lack of transportation options to the inevitable loss of family and friends in their social circle, it can be difficult to maintain a strong base of human relationships and a wide sense of community. But these aspects of a senior’s life are critical to healthy aging and the capacity to thrive.
Strong bodies are healthy bodies. Unfortunately, many older adults experience a decline in strength, flexibility and overall physical ability due to the aging process.
We can all remember the “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!” commercial from the 1980s. While the phrase may have since become a humorous pop culture reference, the fact remains that this is a very real problem for many older adults.
Approximately 87 percent of older adults have at least one foot problem, according to data from the Institute for Preventive Foot Health (IPFH). “Wiggle Your Toes Day” -- celebrated on August 6th -- offers an important reminder to check in with aging loved ones about their foot health.
Depression is common among the elderly. However, it’s not a normal part of healthy aging. A major problem that stands in the way of treatment for seniors is that families often confuse the disease with signs of grief, which is natural in the face of major life changes. For this reason, it is not uncommon for seniors to struggle with depression and receive no medical attention. Or if they are seen by a physician, depression can often be misdiagnosed for a similar reason altogether and no treatment is administered.
Every year in the United States more than 20 million units of red blood cells, platelets and plasma are transfused to treat conditions primarily in the area of: anemia, leukemia and sickle cell disease. Blood saves lives; it cannot be manufactured in a lab that’s why blood donors all over the world are given honorable mention.