How Is Tai Chi Healthy for the Elderly?

Tai chi is an ancient Chinese practice that involves making slow, focused movements while breathing deeply. This exercise has several benefits for seniors because it can help alleviate a number of health issues. Kitchener caregivers want to share a few of those benefits with you and your senior loved one.

Counters Depression

Many seniors are prone to depression, often because of loneliness, underlying medical conditions, or the loss of a loved one. Tai chi helps fight stress, boost mood, and promote sleep, eventually relieving depression. When this low-impact exercise is done in groups, it helps the elderly interact and form new relationships with others, which combats loneliness.

Increases Balance

Seniors are often vulnerable to falls and injuries, which is mostly due to poor balance. Studies indicate practicing tai chi reduces falls in seniors by up to 45 percent. Tai chi shifts the body from one side to the other, using muscles that are normally dormant and increasing range of motion. This ancient practice strengthens leg muscles and reflexes, which tend to weaken with age, increases balance, and reduces the risk of trips and falls.

Lowers High Blood Pressure

Most seniors are concerned with their blood pressure levels, which can lead to life-threatening diseases if not controlled. The gentle, slow movements of tai chi increase blood circulation and pulse pressure and aid in reducing anxiety and stress, both of which are associated with hypertension.

Treats Arthritis

Studies have shown more than 34 percent of people who are at least 65 years old develop osteoarthritis, which is normally associated with lack of movement. Tai chi strengthens muscles, facilitates movement, loosens joints, and increases physical capacity, all of which can help treat arthritis. Enhanced range of motion aids in knee flexibility and helps stretch muscles in the upper body, and eventually alleviates pain in bones, joints, and muscles.

Regular exercise is essential for your loved one’s physical, emotional, and mental wellbeing. If he or she needs help maintaining an exercise routine, reach out to Home Care Assistance. Our caregivers can ensure your loved one remains safe during physical activities and make sure he or she is reaping the full benefits of each exercise. For more information on in-home care Kitchener families trust, call one of our knowledgeable Care Managers at (519) 954-2111 to request a no-obligation consultation.

How to Care for an Elderly Parent Who Wasn’t Caring Toward You

Caring for an aging parent can be challenging, and it can be even harder if your parent wasn’t the most caring person toward you in the past. However, feelings of resentment or anger only make the situation more difficult. While you are doing the best you can to make things work, these strategies can help soothe negative feelings so you can continue to do the right thing.

Consider Counseling

Over the years, negativity can add up and continue to affect your relationship. Family counseling can help you and your parent finally settle issues that happened long ago. If you feel your parent wouldn’t benefit from counseling, consider visiting a therapist yourself. Sometimes, having a nonjudgmental person to share your emotions with is all it takes to look at the situation in a different light.

Focus on the Moment

As a caregiver to an aging parent, it can be easy to get caught up in memories from the past. For example, sharing a meal with your parent could remind you of a painful event from your childhood. To avoid dredging up past hurts, try to practice mindfulness. By focusing only on the moment before you, it may be easier to avoid reliving things your parent said or did when you were younger.

Accept Change

Providing Waterloo home care for your parent offers many opportunities to renew your relationship, and it is possible he or she has changed. It is also possible a health condition like dementia has further altered your parent’s ability to show he or she cares. Choosing to understand that people change throughout the course of their lives can help you take control over how you view your relationship.

Ask for Help

Addressing your parent’s daily care needs may become too overwhelming at times. Knowing when to ask for help is a sign of strength, and it can help you let go of guilt you feel regarding your relationship. By having an hourly or live-in caregiver in Waterloo take over your responsibilities, you will have time to take a deep breath, knowing your loved one has everything he or she needs to remain healthy and happy.

At Home Care Assistance, we understand how sensitive familial relationships can be. If you need help caring for an elderly parent, our part-time and 24-hour caregivers are trained to provide high-quality care for seniors. We offer comprehensive Parkinson’s, dementia, and Alzheimer’s care in Waterloo, all of our care services come with a 100% satisfaction guarantee, and there are no hidden fees in our contracts. For more information on our in-home care services, call (519) 954-2111 to request a no-obligation consultation.

Unique Ideas for Making Your Elderly Loved One Laugh

We all know aging isn’t a laughing matter. However, tickling an elderly loved one’s funny bone can promote his or her emotional wellbeing. Kitchener at-home care experts want to share some interesting ways to coax a laugh and keep senior life pleasant.

Enroll Your Loved One in a Laughter Yoga Club

Laughter yoga is an exercise routine of guided techniques performed in a group setting. Developed by an Indian doctor approximately 20 years ago, laughter yoga has been proven to lower cortisol by 28 percent and blood pressure by 6 percent. Exercises include breathing, clapping, singing, dancing, and playing. Since laughter is contagious, being part of one of these groups can easily summon joy.

There are three ways your loved one can practice laughter yoga:

Play Charades

This pantomime game nearly always elicits laughter. The object is to communicate a phrase, person, or thing without using words. One person acts out clues while others guess. Here are brief instructions:

  • You can start the game as the leader. Think of a movie, song, book, saying, or famous person your loved one is likely familiar with.

  • Pantomime the phrase using nonverbal clues. For example, you and your loved one can pretend to sing, turn the pages of a book, or crank an old movie camera.

  • Indicate the number of words by holding up your fingers. For the first word, hold up one finger. For the second, hold up two fingers, and so on.

  • Tug on your ear to indicate a word rhymes with another.

Attend a Comedy Show

Visit a comedy club with your loved one for guaranteed laughter. If you and your loved one have never been to one, here are two of the most common formats for comedy shows:

  • Headliner – Three performers will entertain you: a Master of Ceremonies (MC), a feature, and a headliner. The MC makes announcements, warms up the crowd, introduces other performers, and interacts with the audience. The feature is typically a 15-minute act, and the headliner is the star of the program, performing for a longer period.

  • Showcase – The show is introduced by an MC, followed by several comedians who perform for equal lengths of time.

Laughing is a wonderful way to keep your loved one emotionally healthy. For other solutions to promote your loved one’s emotional wellbeing, reach out to Home Care Assistance. Our caregivers make wonderful social companions and can help your loved one perform a variety of daily tasks that make it easier to remain independent at home. We also offer specialized Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and stroke home care Kitchener families trust. For more information and to schedule a free consultation, call (519) 954-2111 today.

4 Tips for Alleviating Aggression in Seniors with Dementia

The cognitive decline associated with dementia can cause aggressive behavior in seniors. While this behavior can be challenging for family caregivers to manage, there are some ways to help reduce it. The staff at Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of at-home care Waterloo families trust, has some tips designed to alleviate your elderly loved one’s aggression.

1. Determine the Underlying Cause

Figuring out what causes the aggressive behavior can help you determine an effective way to manage it. Potential causes of your loved one’s aggression include his or her living situation, lack of contact with others, medical conditions, and depression or other psychological complications. With the help of a physician to rule out medical or psychological problems, you can determine the underlying cause and discuss appropriate management.

2. Encourage Social Interaction

When a senior has dementia, boredom and a lack of regular socialization can result in aggressive behavior. Social interaction, whether it’s chatting one on one with a friend or caregiver or attending a social function, can help prevent boredom. It can also lower the risk of depression and other psychological problems that can cause aggression.

3. Adjust the Environment

Seniors with dementia can become aggressive due to the environment they’re in. Being in a noisy environment, a room that’s too bright, or a space that’s too cold or hot can bring out this behavior. Making simple changes, such as adjusting the thermostat, dimming the lights, or keeping noise levels low can make the environment more comfortable for your loved one, which helps prevent frustration that can result in aggression.

4. Seek Support for Yourself

If managing your loved one’s aggression becomes too difficult, seek help from others. Whether the help is from your loved one’s doctor, a support group, or friends, or whether you need a break from caregiving and hire Waterloo respite care, a little help can go a long way. Handling your loved one’s aggression can take an emotional and physical toll, but getting support from other people can ease this burden. The more comfortable and relaxed you are, the better chance you have of providing effective care for your loved one and making sure he or she feels the same way.

Proper planning after a dementia diagnosis can help ensure greater comfort and a higher quality of life for your loved one. At Home Care Assistance, all of our caregivers are trained in the Cognitive Therapeutics Method, an activities-based program designed to help seniors with dementia better manage the condition. For more information on dementia care Waterloo seniors can rely on, call one of our experienced Care Managers at (519) 954-2111 to schedule a complimentary consultation.