Archive for category Senior Older Adult and Elderly

Live Life to the Fullest

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A Beautiful Gift

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This was a very touching story of a young man named Chris (aged 31), who took in an elderly neighbor named Norma who was dying from Leukemia.  He credited her with “changing his life for the better and helping to teach him to be a kinder, gentler and more compassionate person”.  After she died, he posted her photo on Facebook and he wrote this message:

“To love another is not about living struggle free or never experiencing hurt or loss, but to fully and deeply open our hearts to one another without fear. Each of us is lovable even with all of our differences. Love has no boundaries”.

http://www.foxnews.com/health/2017/02/16/ailing-89-year-old-who-moved-in-with-actor-neighbor-dies.html

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Doll Therapy

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Have you considered doll therapy when working with individuals with memory loss?  This article lists the pros and cons.  Overall, I think the benefits can be tremendous.  I have observed elderly women in long-term care who talk to their doll and care for it.  The doll is very comforting and provides great joy to the patient.

I just recently watched a documentary on adults- both men and women who are serious doll collectors (Barbie dolls and Reborn dolls) and they have no memory loss.  Some women even bring their Reborn dolls out in public and push them in strollers.

I think it’s a great idea.

http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2016/10/03/495655678/doll-therapy-may-help-calm-people-with-dementia-but-it-has-critics

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Eugenia Smiled

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Do you work with seniors who have end-stage (or advanced) Alzheimer’s?  Have you found it challenging to connect to them in a meaningful way?  It can be difficult without knowing something about what they used to enjoy.  Below is a story of Eugenia, a senior who was 100 years old and was told that she didn’t need a volunteer.  Not only did she have an advanced case of Alzheimer’s, she was partially blind and had hearing difficulties.

A volunteer coordinator decided to place a volunteer with Eugenia every day of the week.  Each day volunteers read to her.  Volunteers also oriented Eugenia to her surroundings and the time.  Week after week, Eugenia continued to be unaware of the companionship she was receiving.  But one day, a young volunteer sang his university’s fight song.  Then it happened- Eugenia’s feet began to tap.  She bobbed her head and lifted her eyes.  With all eyes on Eugenia, she looked up and spread her lips and smiled.

It took time and patience.  It took finding what Eugenia needed to connect to the outside world.  Her smile meant so much to those volunteers- they had finally made a connection.  What she needed was music!

http://seniorsmiles.org/about-us/stories

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98 Year Old Yoga Instructor- Still Teaching

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This woman in this article below has had a very interesting and long life.  She has been a model, an actress, and once as a child she even took place in Ghandi’s Salt March.  At one time she was married, but she has no children.  She says her yoga students are her children.

https://www.yahoo.com/news/tao-98-old-poster-child-yoga-wellness-035323584.html

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Sitting Too Long Speeds Up Aging Process

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Research published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, shows that elderly people who sit for most of the day age quicker than their more active contemporaries.  According to James Goodwin, head of research at Age UK says, “people don’t realize that if you sit down all day it can undermine all the exercise you do”.  It is recommended that people stand up and move around every 20 minutes throughout the day.  For more about this interesting topic, see below.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2017/01/18/sitting-hours-day-speeds-ageing-new-research/

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Hospice and the Need For Community Education

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According to this 2015 article from New York Times, federal statistics showed that “nearly half of white Medicare beneficiaries enrolled in hospice before death, compared with only a third of black patients”.  The article said that black Americans are far more likely than white Americans to choose life-sustaining interventions.

Black Americans tended to have more mistrust for the medical community and a lack of education as to the benefits of hospice care.  In this regard, it is imperative for hospice workers to reach out to this community through education (Hospice 101) and the sharing of how the program has positively impacted the lives of African-Americans in particular.

http://mobile.nytimes.com/2015/08/25/health/a-racial-gap-in-attitudes-toward-hospice-care.html

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