Close

Archive for category: Seniors Health

by

Aging in Place: Making the “Stay or Go” Decision

This great resource provides some helpful advice to seniors that face the difficult decision to “stay or go” when it comes to housing as they age:

McMaster Optimal Aging Portal: Should I stay or should I go? Factors influencing older adults’ decisions about housing

The “Bottom Line” as outlined in this link is helpful, but I have added some other thoughts relating to the important “stay or go” decision:

The Bottom Line

Older adults’ loss of independence and declining capacity often lead to a decision to move to safer housing where care will be provided.

It is true that one of the most important factors in staying or going from the home includes the ability to get care.  Homecare from the public sector is not usually sufficient and private care is costly.  Friends, family and neighbors can only do so much.  But what if there was a way to delay the need for care by being proactive and addressing declining health actively by making changes to promote safety and independence BEFORE care needs become significant?  Occupational therapy can help people to be safer and more independent at home, and should be one of the first people you consult with if you are facing declining function.

The most important factors when making this decision are usually social and psychological considerations, not merely practical or economic considerations.

This is also true.  Isolation and reduced ability to self-motivate, engage and activate important self-care and home tasks greatly impact if someone can manage with or without supports.  Often the loss of a spouse or partner creates isolation and quickly forces people to have to adapt to a new way of living and managing alone.  This can often be the catalyst that determines if a home is too much to manage, or if a person can remain where they are.  Many seniors have the economic resources and family support to make changes to their home or living situation, but often they resist using these resources to manage their own needs.

Having a better understanding of the range of factors influencing older adults will help family members and professionals better support them in the decision-making process.

Also a great point.  However, I would argue that solving issues related to senior housing and living needs to be a customized approach.  “Understanding seniors” does not create a roadmap of how to help people through their unique challenges.  There is no cookie cutter solution and getting input and help at the actual home (i.e. not in an office or clinic) is the ideal approach to develop the most appropriate solutions.

Consider occupational therapy if this can help you or a loved one to stay home safely, independently and for as long as possible.

Learn more about factors to consider when looking to Age in Place in our post, Occupational Therapy and Aging in Place.

by

The A to Z of OT: M is For… Modifications

The foundation of the profession of Occupational Therapy is creating Person-Environment-Occupation fit.  We call this our PEO model.  What it means is that optimal function arises from the best interaction of the person, their environment, and those “occupations” that are the daily tasks they need to complete.

So, if someone is struggling to complete daily activities, feeling that they need more support to manage at home, or are worried they might get injured falling in or around their house, perhaps they need to consider home modifications. 

There is a misconception that home renovations for safety or disability need to be expensive.  While this can be true for large-scale projects, there are some quick-fix modifications that are small, but pack a punch.  Learn about these modifications and more in our previous post, An OT Knows Home Modifications that Won’t Break the Bank, also available below in video format.

October is Occupational Therapy Month and to celebrate we will be sharing a new series called the A to Z of OT.  In our attempts to further educate the public about what Occupational Therapists do we will be highlighting twenty-six of the awesome ways OTs provide Solutions for Living.  

We encourage you to follow along and to add to the discussion by highlighting other awesome things OTs help with for each corresponding letter!

by

The A to Z of OT: I is For… Injury Prevention

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”  Benjamin Franklin

Did you know that in Canada falls are the leading cause of injury amoung older Canadians?  And that 20-30% of seniors experience one or more falls each year?  Falls are also the number one cause of both brain and spinal cord injury in seniors.  How can we put a stop to injuries caused by falls?  PREVENTION. Really, it is the best medicine.  Learn how Occupational Therapists help to prevent falls in the following episode from our OT-V video series.

 

 

October is Occupational Therapy Month and to celebrate we will be sharing a new series called the A to Z of OT.  In our attempts to further educate the public about what Occupational Therapists do we will be highlighting twenty-six of the awesome ways OTs provide Solutions for Living.  

We encourage you to follow along and to add to the discussion by highlighting other awesome things OTs help with for each corresponding letter!

 

by

The A to Z of OT: A is For… Aging in Place

Occupational therapists are trained to assess the person, their environment and the tasks they need to complete in the places they live and work.  Therefore, when it comes to helping older adults make the decision to age in place or move, Occupational Therapists are the experts. 

Learn some of the ways occupational therapy can be involved in the aging well and aging in place process in our post, Occupational Therapy and Aging in Place.

 

October is Occupational Therapy Month and to celebrate we will be sharing a new series called the A to Z of OT.  In our attempts to further educate the public about what Occupational Therapists do we will be highlighting twenty-six of the awesome ways OTs provide Solutions for Living.  

We encourage you to follow along with The A to Z of OT and to add to the discussion by highlighting other awesome things OTs help with for each corresponding letter!

by

Computerized Cognitive Training – Does it Help?

How do you stay “mentally fit?”  In our previous post, Working up a Cognitive Sweat, we suggested some online ways to provide a “workout” for your brain through computer “brain training” programs or computerized cognitive training.  The following care of the McMaster Optimal Aging Portal discusses research which confirms that these training programs do provide benefit, even to those who with mild cognitive impairment.   Learn more about this research below and take a look at our OT-V episode, Cognition and Aging — Keeping the Mind Sharp, for more ways to keep your brain cognitively fit!

The McMaster Optimal Aging Portal:  Computer brain games for treating cognitive impairment

 

by

Innovative New Medication Management Solutions

We love to share new and innovative technology that can assist in day to day living.  Managing medications for yourself or someone you care about can often be tricky, especially if cognitive deficits are present.  A great new product, Memo Box, is a smart technology that can vastly improve how medications are managed.  Memo Box is a digital pill box that syncs with multiple devices to track, remind, and send alerts to family members about medications and more.  Take a look and ask your health professional if you think this device might be helpful for you or your loved one.

Memo Box

 

by

How to Handle Difficult Conversations as a Caregiver

Julie Entwistle, MBA, BHSc (OT), BSc (Health / Gerontology)

My grandmother always used to say “once an adult, twice a child”.  She was referring to the fact that we start life dependent, and through the aging process, tend to end our life that way as well.

So, what happens when the grown-up “child” needs to become the caregiving adult in a relationship with an aging parent?  It leads to many tough conversations about some pretty big topics.  Recognizing that some conversations are not only difficult, but could cause relationship-changing outcomes, we created this video to give some pointers for handling the big ticket items adult children might encounter with their aging parents.

 

by

Sleep: Does it Change with Age?

Sleep is one of the most important determinants of health.  Proper sleep helps to restore our minds and bodies so that we are able to effectively tackle another day.  Sleep supports growth and development, and helps with the body’s healing process.  However, knowing how many hours a person actually needs each night is difficult as this differs from person to person and can change with age.

Learn more about sleep and how it can change as we age in the following care of the McMaster Optimal Aging Portal.

McMaster Optimal Aging Portal:  Sleep and aging: How many zzz’s are optimal to stay healthy?

If you struggle with sleep take a look at our OT-V Episode, Improving Sleep, for some solutions that can help.