Health

Managing Caregiver Stress

blood pressure

At some point in our lives, many of us will find ourselves stepping into the role of a caregiver. We may not give ourselves that title, but a caregiver can be anyone who provides support to an ill or disabled person, including aging relatives. According to Mayo Clinic, informal caregivers, like a person’s spouse or children, provide over 80% of long-term care.

No matter how much we love the people we care for, being a caregiver is not always easy. It’s not just the pain of watching a loved one suffer that causes stress. The role-reversal of taking care of your mother, father, or grandparents can be very jarring and frustrating for both parties. It often results in a loss of privacy for both as well. Tensions can brew between you and your loved one, giving rise to pointless arguments and criticism.

As a caregiver, communication is one of your most important stress management tools. Sharing your emotions with others can provide an immediate measure of relief. Unfortunately, being a caregiver often means you spend little time out with friends and people you can vent to. This can lead to feelings of loneliness and isolation.

Set aside time to talk to someone about your role of a caregiver at least once a week. Find time to leave the house or ask your friends to come to you. You can also communicate by phone or by internet.

If you aren’t comfortable sharing your thoughts with friends, seek comfort in a private setting instead. Contact your local public health organization here to find out if there are support groups for caregivers in your area, or get in touch with a counsellor who can talk one-on-one. There are also online forums for caregivers to discuss their common concerns.

When you’re focused on someone else’s health, it can be easy to forget about your own. Don’t lose sight of your own personal health goals. You should always be sure to fuel your body with healthy foods, drink plenty of water, and establish a good sleep schedule.

Though you may not have time for an extensive workout, you can still find little ways to get your 30 minutes of exercise per day. Take the dog for a walk or a romp around the backyard. Get outside and tend to the garden. Do simple exercise moves while you’re watching TV.

Caring for your loved one is important, but it’s just as important to take care of yourself. After all, you can only do your best if you make time to ensure you’re well.

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Health

4 User-Friendly Health Apps for Seniors

smartphone

Tech isn’t just for the young crowd. Many senior citizens use smartphones, iPads, and other devices to make their lives easier (and more fun). Smartphone apps can enable seniors to better communicate, organize, and live their lives independently.

We’ve identified some useful and user-friendly apps that help empower seniors to monitor and improve their health.

BP Watch

BP Watch lets you record your daily blood pressure, pulse, and weight so you can track it over time. It displays the information as an easy-to-read graph so you can spot trends and fluctuations in blood pressure. This information can reveal insights that help you to better manage your condition. You can also set up notification reminders to check your blood pressure at the certain time of day.

Medisafe Meds & Pill Reminder

It’s easy to forget to take a pill, especially when you have more than one treatment on the go at once. The Medisafe app helps you stay on track by sending reminders to take medication, supplements, and vitamins at a scheduled time. You can set daily or weekly reminders, and label medications with different shapes and colours to help you tell them apart.

MedWatcher

It’s important for seniors who take medication to stay up to date on any changes or notifications from the manufacturer. The MedWatcher app was developed with the help of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to inform people about recalls, side effects, and other drug-related information. You can research information about your medication or sign up for notifications about important developments. Americans users can also report side effects to the FDA through the app itself.

Mayo Clinic App

The Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit medical practice and research group that provides a wealth of free medical information online. While it’s no replacement for medical advice, it can be a useful source of information for those who wish to learn more about their health. You can access the Mayo Clinic’s library of information from the convenience of your phone from the Mayo Clinic app.

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Exercise, Uncategorized

5 Great Summer Activities for Seniors in Barrie

seniors

Our summers are short here in Canada, but that doesn’t mean we don’t know how to enjoy them! The warmer months provide great opportunities for seniors to leave the house and get some healthy exercise. Here are some activities you can enjoy with your loved ones here in Barrie.

Take a Walk

Seniors who are able to walk should take advantage of the warm weather. Walking is great exercise for people of all fitness levels. You can visit the farmer’s market, take in the sights and sounds of one of Barrie’s public walking trails, or head to Bayfield Mall for an leisurely, air-conditioned stroll.

It’s best to walk in the morning or the evening, not in the middle of the day when the summer sun is at its hottest. Check the weather before you go, and be sure to pack a bottle of water to drink, put on plenty of sunscreen, and don your favourite sun hat.

Garden

Not only is gardening rewarding, it’s a great source of exercise. If the gardener has trouble bending over, you can plant in raised flowerbeds or pots instead of in the ground, and purchased tools that make the job easier.

Go Fishing

What could be more peaceful and relaxing than a day on the lake? Barrie’s own Kempenfelt Bay is home to an abundance of Perch, Smallmouth Bass, Whitefish, and Lake Trout. Fishing is an easy sport to pick up at any age, and those who were avid fishers in their day will enjoy dipping their toes back in.

To ensure your trip is safe and stress-free, be sure to pack a lunch and know where to find public washrooms. You can fish all along Barrie’s waterfront except for public beaches, the Bayfield St. docks, and Southshore Community Centre.

See a Movie

Looking for an activity you can enjoy in the comfort of the indoors? Barrie’s three movies theatres are cool and air-conditioned. The grandkids will be happy to join in as well.

Celebrate Together

Seniors enjoy a summer BBQ as much as anyone! The summer is a great time to bring your loved one along to a get-together or a public celebration.

Barrie hosts annual Canada Day celebrations, with the downtown featuring live entertainment and family-friendly activities. Browse the local vendors, check out the free exhibits, and finish off with a spectacular fireworks show along Kempenfelt Bay. When you’re attending with seniors, it helps to arrive early and bring comfortable lawn chairs.

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