Community News
Aging Well Expo – June 19, 2024

The Volunteer Cowichan Aging Well Expo which will take place in the Cowichan Community Centre in Duncan on Wednesday, June 19, 2024. The Expo is open to the public with free admission. Whether you are an older adult, a young adult, a caregiver, or someone interested in learning more about the healthy aging resources available in the community, you are encouraged you to attend this exciting event. The Expo will feature 35+ vendors, offering information about health, financial, legal, and physical-care services and products available in the Cowichan Valley. It will also offer workshops and door prizes.

Caring for a Loved One with Alzheimer’s

These tips will help you provide the best care for your loved one while maintaining your well-being: *Educate yourself: Learn about the disease’s progression, symptoms, and treatments to better understand and support your loved one. *Create a Safe Environment: Remove hazards and establish a predictable, organized space. *Effective Communication: Use clear, patient communication, maintain eye contact, and listen actively, even when their words are unclear. * Establish a routine: Consistency provides comfort; set a daily schedule for meals, activities, and bedtime. * Seek Support for Yourself: Seek help from support groups, respite care, or other family members or caregivers.

Are You Having Fun?

As an older adult, you’re likely aware of the importance of staying active for optimal mental and physical health. Amidst all your activities, it’s crucial to ask yourself: Are you truly having fun? Fun and joy are essential components of a fulfilling life, making us feel alive, engaged, and connected to others. When we embrace laughter and play, the world becomes more vibrant and inviting. Every senior deserves to pursue enjoyable pastimes that transport them, making them lose track of time or feel like a carefree kid once again. The good news is that many of the best activities for senior citizens are low-cost or even free. So, why not explore activities that reignite the youthful spirit within you?

Benefits of Pet Therapy

Pet therapy is a great form of compassionate care that has been popularized over the years, primarily on school campuses and across communities. The research on pet therapy’s effect on our aging population is remarkable. Pet therapy has been shown to decrease stress and anxiety. By providing connection and comfort through animals, pet therapy is extremely beneficial for feelings of stress and anxiety. Some studies even show positive results on mental functioning through pet therapy. Playing with animals is also a fun way to increase mobility as we age.

Make Self-Care a Priority

Stress is a natural part of everyday life. But are you aware that stress is among the number one causes of all kinds of health concerns, including sleep deprivation, changes in appetite, illness, anxiety, and depression? One of the greatest ways to combat these stress symptoms is to implement a self-care plan that is done regularly in your life. Self-care strategies include doing activities that you enjoy regularly. Like when a flight attendant does the safety brief and asks you to put on your oxygen mask first before helping others, it is important to ensure your health and wellness are a priority.

Words To Live By

“By being yourself, you put something wonderful in the world that was not there before.” – Edwin Elliot

Music and Dementia

The effects of dementia are devastating to individuals and their families. Researchers are keen to find ways to ease its symptoms and restore abilities and memory. Studies on music and dementia have shown promising findings. Did you know that the area of the brain associated with musical memory tends to be least affected by dementia? Music therapy may help reduce cognitive decline while improving the memory of people with dementia. In one study, test subjects performed better on memory tests when they listened to music. It has also been found that the emotional content of music can bring back emotional memories.

Live a Good Life

Here is some advice on how to live a good life. *Concentrate on what you can do rather than on what you can’t do. *Ask for the senior’s discount. It is always great to save money. *Stay in touch with friends and family. Never complain that they don’t come to see you or call you often enough. *Keep learning. It will help your brain stay healthy. *Let go of that grudge. It only hurts you. *Make your life bigger than your aches and pains. *Appreciate the little things in life and laugh as often as possible.

Make Social Interaction a Priority

Maintaining relationships and spending time with others is essential to our emotional and mental well-being. It can help prevent depression which affects 20 percent of the population over 70 years of age. Socializing also keeps the mind active and improvements are greater when the person is involved in fun interests with other people. Plan regular get-togethers with friends, such as a weekly lunch date or coffee with another senior or loved one. Scheduling social interactions give us something to look forward to on a regular basis. For those who are truly adventurous you can enjoy new experiences and meet new people by signing up for travel tours, book clubs, and much more at your local community centre.

Medication Safety Week

April 1–7, 2024, is Medication Safety Week. It promotes safe and responsible medication use and is a reminder to follow your doctor’s instructions when taking prescribed medications. Following directions carefully can lower your risk of serious side effects and potential dangers such as interactions with other drugs or incorrect dosages. It is important to take the correct dosage at the right intervals and to finish the medication that is prescribed. Using a blister pack, available from your pharmacy, can help keep medications organized and ensure that they are taken on the correct day and time.

Search for Meaning

Depression and anxiety are experiences for many individuals. These conditions can create challenges that feel overwhelming and insurmountable at times. One way to approach this is through existential approaches to counselling. In Victor Frankl’s book Man’s Search for Meaning, he writes how we can fill our lives with meaning by incorporating three main pillars: 1) the freedom to will—choosing your own path to follow; 2) the will to meaning—finding what is personally meaningful; and 3) the meaning to life—one’s personal meaning brought forward by the work or deed and their connection to others.