There are over 100 different types of arthritis and one in every three people, suffer from some sort of it. It is a disease of the musculoskeletal system, specifically the joints, and it is the main cause of disability among people over fifty-five years of age in industrialized countries. And although there is no cure for arthritis, as a caregiver you should know that there is a lot you can do to minimize its overall painful effects every day in the life of the senior you care for.

As we age, we lose (some of us more gradually than others) physical and mental capabilities essential to safe driving, such as vision, hearing, mental acuity, muscle strength and dexterity. There likely will come a time when, for safety’s sake, we have to give up driving. Until then there are ways to compensate for some of the changes that come with aging and to continue to drive safely.

The importance of exercise for seniors: many research studies prove that seniors can improve their health and extend their longevity and time of independent living by extending their arms and legs in regular physical activity.

Approximately 15% of Canadian seniors live with some form of dementia, and caring for those afflicted creates significant stress on family caregivers. In addition to the time and cost impacts, caregivers suffer emotional, psychological, and social impacts as a result of their caregiving responsibilities.

Helping seniors stay safe and independent. By increasing seniors’ safety, they can not only experience better health and wellbeing but also stand a greater chance of living in their own homes independently for as long as possible. Two areas to consider are home and vehicle safety.

Seniors are at a higher risk of dehydration than younger adults. In fact, one study showed that up to 48% of seniors were dehydrated upon admission to the emergency department for other issues. Staying hydrated keeps the cardiovascular system healthy. Proper hydration positively affects both blood pressure and heart rate.

One of the best actions seniors can take to combat chronic disease is to get moving. Today almost 92% of seniors have at least one chronic condition and 77% have at least two. Chronic conditions are costly and are major contributors to disability and loss of independence.

If a senior you know is experiencing blurred or double vision, or if he or she needs more light than usual to read, it may be time for a cataract exam. Cataracts are the most common eye disease in older adults, and the leading cause of blindness, with more than 2.5 million people in Canada struggling with it.

Why choose an in-home care option for elders and senior loved ones? In 2009, the average out-of-pocket monthly cost for a senior to age in his or her own home was $928 versus $3500 for that same senior to live in an institutional setting. In-home care offers a cost-effective option for aging in a comfortable, loving environment.

In Canada alone, approximately 60,000 senior knee replacements are performed annually. Unfortunately, because complications can arise during recovery, there is substantial risk that older adults who have undergone total knee replacement will end up back in the hospital. The good news is that there are actions these individuals can take to reduce this risk.

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