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Meditation Can Help The Elderly

Joseph Coupal - Friday, July 23, 2010

Practicing meditation everyday can help elderly people by connecting with their spiritual self and deriving immense happiness in its purest form. Elderly people practicing meditation can experience pain relief as well. Our thoughts and emotions are reactions to pain. With experience, meditation can help you separate the feeling from the actual pain. When we become aware of the pain, and acknowledge it, we can control our reaction to it. Through meditation, we can change our perception, and cope effectively with pain. Since meditation also reduces stress, it relieves the tension in the muscles and decreases blood pressure. Meditation improves circulation of blood within the body, consequently alleviating body pain.

Meditation can help cure a variety of old age diseases such as cancer, chronic illness, heart disease, high blood pressure, emphysema, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, ulcers and insomnia. It can reduce depression, anxiety, stress and pain. Meditation can significantly increase life expectancy. It helps to balance the physical, mental and spiritual states and is simple to perform. It has been proven to reduce the body's core temperature, which in turn can prolong life expectancy. Moreover, meditation can strengthen the immune system, and reduce harmful hormones and biochemical compounds present in the blood stream. This alternative therapy should therefore be practiced by elderly citizens, to bring happiness, relaxation and health in their life, without the burden of any side effects.


Potassium Is Important For Elderly

Joseph Coupal - Thursday, July 22, 2010

There are many important vitamins and minerals the elderly should eat such as vitamin D. One of the more important minerals is potassium. It is important then for the elderly to eat food rich in potassium and everyone who takes care of them should be knowledgeable about it.

An average-sized body may contain about 5 ounces of potassium. With the help of sodium and calcium, potassium helps keep your heart healthy as it maintains the normal heartbeat, aids in maintaining the normal balance of water in the body, and as a result, it helps conduct nerve impulses and muscle contraction. Kidneys are responsible in controlling the blood levels of the minerals and help the body get rid of excess urine.

Potassium deficiency is also easy to prevent because this mineral is present in almost all foods. Potassium rich foods include whole grains, lean meat, beans, green leafy vegetables and fruits such as bananas and oranges. Eating these foods will help the body gain the needed amount of potassium and help you stay active and healthy.


A Fun Pastime That Never Gets Old

Joseph Coupal - Friday, July 16, 2010

Arts and crafts has been a favorite of many seniors, even in their younger days. And for the elderly that enjoy arts and crafts, the opportunity to learn a new hobby is often appealing. Others prefer to continue activities they enjoyed during their earlier years. Most arts and crafts activities can be modified or adapted so the elderly with physical limitations can still enjoy a favorite pastime. One of the most popular arts and crafts activities for the elderly are ceramic projects. Many ceramic activities only need light sanding and painting, resulting in a beautiful and rewarding finished piece. This type of project is a wonderful way for seniors to pass the time either at home or at senior centers while creating a lovely keepsake or gift for a loved one.

Depending on personal preferences and physical abilities, the following arts and crafts are favorites of many senior citizens.

  • Painting
  • Drawing
  • Sewing
  • Knitting
  • Crocheting
  • Photography
  • Scrap-booking
  • Making greeting cards
  • Sponge painting stationary
  • Woodworking projects such as building birdhouses or making clocks
  • Making foam magnets
  • Flower arranging

Walking Is A Good Exercise And Has Great Benefits For Elderly

Joseph Coupal - Wednesday, July 14, 2010

It's best to start doing easy exercises without putting any undue strain on your body. Starting exercises with great intensity can put excessive pressure on your muscles and ligaments with a chance of strain. Among the simple exercises, walking is the best and most suitable for all categories of older people. You can start walking at a comfortable pace for a short distance. After few days, increase the length of your walk and your intensity to brisk walking. There are similar exercises also, which can help maintain your overall health. For the elderly, the benefits of exercise include lower incidence of depression, reduced chance of dying prematurely, increased alertness, improvements in blood pressure and other cardiovascular benefits, and reduced risk of diabetes. Seniors who exercise regularly typically remain independent for a longer period of time.

An ideal session should start with a warm up session of five minutes. Slow walking and stretching prove to be good warm-up exercises. Thereafter, exercise briskly for a good thirty minutes. Finish off with a cooling session of five to ten minutes. It is best to exercise on all days of the week. If possible and your health permitting, you could do strength training or resistance exercises twice each week. Strength training has been shown to keep the bones strong, besides of course, the muscles. However, not everyone can do these, for each individual is different. Make sure you speak to your physician before doing any new exercise.


Videogames: How They Have Helped My Father's Memory

Joseph Coupal - Thursday, July 08, 2010

I was reading an article the other day about videogame systems and how they help people with memory disorders. One game in particular, the "Brain Training" game, was developed at the Uchida Hospital in Kyoto.  The game system offers a host of number games, word puzzles and reading exercises. I dug further into it and found that the Uchida Hospital (who specializes in all forms of dementia research) made the gaming consoles available to patients. Within one year, patients realized on average a 42% increase in brain activity.

So video games aren't just for children.   I suggested to Dad that we give video games a try.  He balked at first, but has come to really appreciate video games.  Computer cross word puzzles have become his favorite.  He finds the computer screen easier to read than paper and he no longer has to wear our pencil erasers.  Best of all, he's now spending less time idly watching T.V. in lieu of meaningful mental exercise.  And that's good medicine for all of us.   


Early Indicators of Alzheimer's Disease

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Alzheimer's Disease is a tragic illness that robs victims and their families of years of happiness by slowly destroying the mind and personality of the person afflicted. This illness afflicts more than 5 million Americans each day. Although there is no cure yet, there are professional care facilities and drugs available to treat symptoms and delay progression of Alzheimer's if it is diagnosed early. According to the Alzheimer's Association, the ten warning signs are:
 
o Memory loss
o Difficulty performing familiar tasks
o Problems with language
o Disorientation to time and place
o Poor or decreased judgment
o Problems with abstract thinking
o Misplacing things
o Changes in mood or behavior
o Changes in personality
o Loss of initiative

Of course anyone can have a bad day and suffer one or more of these afflictions.  It is frequency, degree, and multitude of such signs that serve as a genuine warning sign and create the imperative to seek professional medical evaluation.  Luckily, with the increasing concern and awareness of Alzheimer's Disease, early detection is on the rise and to the direct benefit of the patient.  Early detection is the single most contributing factor in protecting quality of life.  

The professionals of Spring Arbor Living and The Oaks Residential Assisted Living centers take great pride in preserving the quality of life of our residents who suffer from Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia.  We humbly consider ourselves to be on the cutting edge of care.  We are truly thankful for the opportunity each day to celebrate the lives of every resident we serve……regardless of circumstance.  


My 82-Year Old Dad, Fireworks, and the NFL Combine

Joseph Coupal - Thursday, July 01, 2010

I’m getting prepared for the annual argument with my 82-year old Dad.  Once again he’ll make a play to be the one to light the “monster” roman candle while celebrating this 4th of July. I honestly believe he pictures himself at the NFL combine, running “the 40” for time, in a tee-shirt that identifies his playing position…..”GGP”…..Great Grandpa.  He’ll admit (once again) that although he’s “lost a step”, he’s still  “faster than me running from a Waiter with the dinner bill”.  

Once again I’ll shame him about wanting to “steal a thrill from one of the older kids”.  He’ll mumble under his breath, clearly communicating to me…..”KILL JOY”!.  And I’ll laugh…..even louder than last year….…….  


Our National Anthem – All Four Verses

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Have you given recent thought to the other three powerful verses of our National Anthem? Each is genuinely inspiring poetry.  To us here at Spring Arbor Living, the entire song is particularly meaningful because we have the honored privilege to have so many Veteran war heroes under our care.

Now we’ll make a deal with you.  Find someone with a singing voice (or even someone who simply tries hard), have them learn one of the lesser known verses, and sing it to the Veteran hero of your choice.  If you do that, we’ll supply the tissue.

Below, for your reading pleasure, is our National Anthem in its entirety.    


Oh, say can you see by the dawn’s early light
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars thru the perilous fight,
O’er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming?
And the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

On the shore, dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
Where the foe’s haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o’er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning’s first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines in the stream:
‘Tis the star-spangled banner! Oh long may it wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion,
A home and a country should leave us no more!
Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps’ pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved home and the war’s desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heav’n rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: “In God is our trust.”
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!


A Simple Game Sure To Get Everyone Laughing

Joseph Coupal - Thursday, June 24, 2010

The best gift is simply focused time of the entire family with your senior loved one.  Here's a game the young and old alike will love.  It's called…"What's in Grandma's Handbag".  Everyone sites in a circle or at a table.  The first person to begin (it can be anyone) says, "I looked in Grandma's handbag and I found…insert a word here…..(i.e. an apple).  Then next person says, "I looked in Grandma's handbag and found an apple and a cookie". And so on.  The point is to remember the entire list and then add your own item.  Each time a person forgets an item, the last person wins a prize (a snack, coins, whatever!).  Then the game starts over. 

You'll all die laughing at the things kids imagine within Grandma's handbag.    


Schools Out So Enjoy Summer Fun with Your Senior Loved Ones

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, June 22, 2010

As you consider how to spend quality summer time with you loved one, don't forget that their activity schedule is available to you 24/7 out on each Spring Arbor and Oaks individual location page.  Simply click "Our Locations", choose your loved one's specific residence page, then click the box that says "Click here for the Newsletter and Calendar of Events".  We post new schedules each and every month.

You can almost hear the smile on the other end of the phone when you call and say…"Hey Dad, how about we join you for Bingo on Friday"?