Tag Archives: Jayne Hobbs

BODY & SOUL: Creative Therapies

BODY & SOUL: Creative Therapies

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BODY & SOUL: Creative Therapies

by Jayne Hobbs

Develop natural coping mechanisms

Stress is a normal response to life’s demands, and it’s not limited to specific ages. Although a small amount of stress can, in fact, motivate us, constant pressure can push us beyond our natural means of coping – physically and psychologically. The American Psychological Association (APA) reports that 75 to 90 per cent of physician visits are for stress-related ailments.

It’s important that we find a way to release stress from our daily life. Natural creative pursuits, like art, music and pet therapy are proven to be effective.

PET THERAPY

Any pet owner will tout the benefits and therapeutic joy that they experience with their pets – even Cleopatra found solace in her snake. The Dog’s Guide to Your Happiness: Seven Secrets for a Better Life from a Man’s Best Friend by Gary McDaniel, talks about what we can learn from our pets, as it relates to loyalty, playfulness and unconditional love. Playing with, and petting, pets can help to relieve stress.

Animal therapy is used to treat PTSD (Post-traumatic Stress Disorder), behavioural problems, anxiety, depression, loneliness and isolation. Medical patients often experience a speedier recovery from serious health issues when in contact with a pet (mayoclinic.org). Freud often kept his pet dog present when he treated his patients, as he noticed that they became more relaxed.

The Pet Therapy Program has been so successful at CAMH (The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health), they are looking to increase the number of therapy dogs with the help of grants from PetSmart Charities of Canada.

Photo: bigstock.com
Photo: bigstock.com

ART THERAPY

Often held in professional settings, art therapy encourages self-discovery and emotional growth by using a dual process of creating art, which includes painting, writing, sculpting, etc., combined with interpreting its meaning. (medical-dictionary.com, arttherapy.org)

As a natural, therapeutic way to relieve stress, people of all ages are enrolling in recreational art programs. The Art Gallery of Ontario, the Gardner Museum and adult learning programs offer a variety of classes.

We all know that self-expression and listening to music within our own environment are wonderful ways to relax, but in this fast-paced, technological world, we have to take conscious steps to slow down – and to heal.

Anne Sophie Roy, creator of Motion Reflexion Photo: courtesy of Angela Kourtes
Anne Sophie Roy, creator of Motion Reflexion Photo: courtesy of Angela Kourtes

MUSIC THERAPY

To purposely use music within therapeutic relationships helps to support health, development, and physical and emotional well-being. Music Therapy is an accredited profession, and it can benefit people of all ages living with such issues as emotional trauma, substance abuse and visual impairments, as well as mental and developmental disabilities.

Music can also be used on a daily basis as a natural, therapeutic means to relieve stress and to help with physical, emotional and psychological healing. Some drop-in centres in Toronto, such as the one at St. James Cathedral, include a version of music therapy, where guests listen to a variety of musical renditions on the piano, and often gather around for a sing-a-long.

Canadian music composer and pianist, Anne Sophie Roy, not only donates her time at St. James, but is the creator and founder of Motion Reflexion, providing motion reflexion and music healing sessions at Gilda’s Cancer Support Centre. An innovative exercise program, Motion Reflexion promotes relaxation by way of soft, creative exercise routines that don’t require previous training or excessive effort, and are based on fundamental music principles.


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Body & Soul: What to Look for in a Retirement Residence

Body & Soul: What to Look for in a Retirement Residence

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Body & Soul: What to Look for in a Retirement Residence

HOUSE CALLS – Where experts answer questions on beauty, health and wellness.

In this issue, Grace Pastore, Sales and Marketing Manager of Verve Senior Living, discusses…

What to Look for in a Retirement Residence

Q – My husband and I are both in our 70s, but are very young at heart, healthy, active and extremely independent. We plan to sell our family home in the near future and hope to settle in a place where we can stay as we age. My husband feels that it is too early to live in a senior’s residence. What are the benefits of moving into a retirement residence at our age, and what should we look for?


A – There are many things to consider when looking for that special place that will meet all the requirements that both you, and your husband, are looking for.

Health & Wellness

We all want to remain in good health, and feel our best – physically, mentally and socially. At Evergreen Retirement, a highly-skilled group of healthcare professionals are available 24/7 – if required.

Dining

For many of us, the kitchen was always the heart of the home. Our meals are made with fresh, local ingredients, and are prepared from scratch by a professionally trained culinary team. We take care of everything so that you can enjoy your time with friends and family – we’re at your service.

Safety & Security

At Evergreen Retirement, our 24-hour concierge and 24-hour emergency response system are just the beginning. All of our staff are trained in specific safety and security procedures.

You are surrounded by people who genuinely care about your well-being and peace of mind.

Life Enrichment

It’s all about individual preferences. You can be as active and as social as you choose to be. We offer daily recreational activities and wellness programs, in addition to live music twice a week. Transportation to medical appointments and shopping excursions, as well as trips to Stratford, the Shaw Festival, Ripley’s Aquarium, boat cruises, etc., are all chauffeured by Evergreen’s personal van/bus driver.

Amenities

There are no shortage of things to do at Evergreen Retirement to keep you stimulated and having fun. Get a team together for the on-site, five-pin bowling alley, play a game of bridge, join a walking club, exercise in the pool, or treat yourself to a spa day at Sterling Silver Spa & Salon. As the day winds down, relax with friends for a tea or coffee in our cafe, or enjoy a cocktail during happy hour in Evergreen’s Windows Bar, while listening to live music.

Location

Located in a gorgeous setting in Mississauga, Evergreen Retirement is conveniently located with easy access to Toronto, all major highways and the airport, as well as a plethora of shopping and dining options. This well-appointed retirement community offers a full range of lifestyle alternatives. You can choose to be completely independent, independent with assistance or, if required, assisted living – all in a secure environment. With these types of options, it makes Evergreen the ideal choice for aging in place in an inspired, senior living environment.

Live a life filled with verve at Evergreen Retirement. verveseniorliving.com

Email questions or concerns for our beauty, health and wellness specialists to jayne@homesmag.com


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Body & Soul: Live with Ease - Home adjustments for barrier-free living

Body & Soul: Live with Ease

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Body & Soul: Live with Ease

by Jayne Hobbs

Photography, bigstock.com

Home adjustments for barrier-free living

In a definition from Medical-Dictionary. TheFreeDictionary.com – barrier-free refers to structural or architectural design that does not impede use by individuals with special needs. Currently, there are more than four million Canadians living with disabilities. Aging is one of the biggest contributors – and as the boomer generation ages, this figure is expected to snowball.

It’s increasingly important to adapt our living space in a barrier-free manner. An annual physical will keep us in tune to our body’s requirements – both physically and mentally. Being aware of changing needs will help us to stay safe, and reduce the risk of falls. Often the self-imposed barriers that we put on ourselves can be can be improved. With adaptations to our homes, we can enjoy our retirement in an environment that’s conducive to our changing needs.

HOME SAFETY TIPS

Each of us has unique needs as it relates to barrier-free living. Accessibility and safety are the main concerns as we age. Our mobility is often affected, making us more prone to falling.

As we enter our elder chapter of life, its often difficult to speculate future needs. If renovating and redesigning your existing home, or purchasing a new home for your retirement, factor in these safety tips.

  • DECLUTTER: Remove items that may cause falls, such as scatter rugs, electric cords, bedspreads that may drag on the floor (many falls occur by tripping on bedding in the middle of the night), as well as items on the stairs, stacks of paper and anything that impedes you from moving around safely.
  • LIGHTING: Luminous lighting should be placed evenly throughout the house. Include night lights or motion detector lighting in halls, stairways, bathrooms and poorly lit areas.
  • FLOORS: Use only slip-resistant throw rugs and bathmats, and avoid high-shine, slippery flooring.

  • STAIRS: Consider placing a hand rail on both sides of the stairs, as well as a secure runner if the stairs are slippery. Again, remove any clutter, and when necessary, install an electric lift.

  • DOORS: Change doorknobs to lever handles, and use pull-outs on cabinets for easier access.

  • GRAB BARS: These are one of the most useful, and safety conscious, items that you can install. Ideal for bathtubs, showers and beside the toilet, they can also be installed anywhere in the house where extra support is needed.
  • COUNTERTOPS AND CABINETS: In both the kitchen and bathroom, keep them tidy and only have necessary items within reach. Consider pull-out shelving and adjustable countertops.
  • FAUCETS: Touch faucets are fairly new on the market, and are definitely worth investing in.
  • BATHROOMS: Walk-in tubs and showers that include seating are highly recommended. Other considerations include, higher toilets or raised safety seats that help with aging knees, as well as slip-resistant flooring, and re-setting the water to a lower temperature in order to prevent scalding.
  • ACCESSIBILITY: Transitions from one flooring surface to another should be level, as well as all walkways for easy access. It might be necessary to install a ramp or railings where you enter your home. Likewise, widening door openings may be a future requirement.

Inside your home, everything you need on a regular basis should be easily accessible. Use a mobile phone, and ensure that all important numbers have been programmed in.

These helpful suggestions can be adapted to your existing home environment to help prevent accidents – making aging-in-place a realistic reality.


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Body & Soul: Urinary Incontinence

Urinary incontinence is a treatable inconvenience

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Urinary incontinence is a treatable inconvenience

by Jayne Hobbs

Photo: bigstockphoto.com

Have you ever sat for four hours in gridlocked traffic during a snow storm with no bathroom in sight? Or maybe you coughed so hard from one of this year’s bronchial viruses, that urine leakage occurred. Most of us have experienced some form of urinary incontinence (loss of bladder control) in our lifetime.

Urinary incontinence effects one-in-five women, as well as many men. It is a common, and often an embarrassing, problem that for too many years was considered a taboo subject – often claiming the very existence of one’s lifestyle.

We no longer need to hide from the condition, or change our daily activities. Simple lifestyle changes or medical treatments can help with discomfort or urinary incontinence.

TYPES OF URINARY INCONTINENCE*

  1. Stress incontinence happens when urine leaks as a result of pressure that is exerted on the bladder by coughing, laughing, exercising, lifting something heavy or having a full bladder.
  2. Urge incontinence is a sudden, intense urge to urinate, followed by involuntary urine leakage. You may need to urinate often and throughout the night, and this may be caused by a minor infection or a more severe illness.
  3. Overflow incontinence is the frequent or constant dribbling of urine. The bladder does not empty completely.
  4. Functional incontinence is due to a physical impairment, such as arthritis, when you cannot make it to the toilet in time.
  5. Mixed incontinence simply means that you experience more than one type of incontinence.

* Visit your doctor if you are experiencing any type of incontinence that is frequent.

Causes

  • Temporary urinary incontinence can be caused by certain foods, drinks and medications that act as diuretics, such as alcohol, caffeine, carbonated drinks, sugar or acidic foods, heart and blood pressure medications, muscle relaxants and sedatives, in addition to treatable urinary tract infections.
  • Persistent urinary incontinence is caused by physical problems, or changes, such as pregnancy, aging and prostate gland issues in men.

Increased Risk Factors

  • Gender: Women are more likely to have urinary incontinence due to pregnancy, childbirth, menopause and normal female anatomy. However, men with prostate problems are at an increased risk.
  • Age: Muscles in the bladder and urethra lose strength as we age, and the bladder cannot hold as much urine.
  • Weight: Increased pressure on the bladder and surrounding muscles are weakened.
  • Diet: Certain foods, drinks and medications can act as diuretics.
  • Disease: Diabetes or neurological conditions.

Treatments

  • Diet management: Maintain a healthy weight and avoid trigger foods.
  • Bladder training: Try to delay urination when you get the urge, or double void to completely empty your bladder.
  • Exercise: Strengthen pelvic muscles by contracting the muscles used to stop urination and hold for two to five seconds, then relax the muscles for three to five seconds. Increase time to 10 seconds and try to repeat 10 times per day.
  • Medications: See your doctor.
  • Absorbent undergarments or pads: Use core products that absorb bladder leaks and odours, which also help to relieve anxiety.
  • Lifestyle changes: For urge incontinence, use a night light, and remove rugs, furniture or anything else that you might trip over when rushing to the bathroom.

For more information visit mayoclinic.org, emedicinehealth.com, healthline.com, webmed.com.


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Body & Soul: House Calls - Aging in Place

Aging in Place

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Aging in Place

Photography: (interior) courtesy of Evergreen Retirement Community; (bottom) bigstockphoto.com

HOUSE CALLS – Where experts answer questions on beauty, health and wellness.

In this issue, Barbara Perinot, RPN and General Manager of Evergreen Retirement Community (verveseniorliving.com), discusses…

Aging in Place

Q – I am an active sixty-eight-year-old woman and my husband, seventy-two, has just been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. We have decided to sell our house and move to a retirement residence that will give me the independence that I need, and the assistance that my husband might require in the future. Do you have any suggestions as to what to look for?


A – When searching for your future home in a retirement living community, it’s important that the home tries to incorporate your personal, spiritual, physical, social, intellectual and emotional needs through their daily programming.

A retirement home should allow you to live in a comfortable home environment, while enjoying its various amenities and services. A supportive life enrichment program will keep you as busy as you choose to be, while maintaining your independence.

The key to a healthy lifestyle

Quality food is important to a healthy lifestyle, as good food triggers positive memories that are associated with happiness and social interaction. When choosing a retirement home, it’s important to sample the food from the menu.

Aging in place

Supportive care options are very important, and will allow you the freedom to know that your loved one is cared for within the retirement home while you participate in quality programs inside, and outside, of the community. A retirement home that has the option of an assisted living floor will allow for an easier transition when medical, or cognitive, needs change. Aging in place is what retirement homes should strive for, and it’s imperative that wellness initiatives focus on keeping the mind stimulated and engaged.

Healthy mind and body

Physical programs promote a healthy mind and body. Move long and live strong – there’s much to be said for being as active as possible for as long as possible. Physical programs should be able to accommodate people of all abilities and provide a variety of focused programs.

Email questions or concerns for our beauty, health and wellness specialists to jayne@homesmag.com


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