ElderCarelink Blog

Hardcore brain training may not be all that helpful

by Carol Bursack
January 25th, 2011 at 3:12 am

It’s no surprise to most people over 30 that a trend toward brain games has become nearly an obsession with many competitive boomers. The availability of such games can be a source of guilt for boomers like me who, well, hate games.

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Memory fitness plan for independent senior residences

by Kathryn Kilpatrick, M.A. CCC/SLP
January 24th, 2011 at 3:12 am

Successful aging includes challenging your brain and moving to a community of older adults offers many opportunities to do that. In addition to making the many choices involved in changing your residence, you are adapting to new surroundings, learning a new schedule and meeting many new people. What are some other ways you can enhance and upgrade your memory fitness plan?

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Memory fitness plan: Pulling it all together

by Kathryn Kilpatrick, M.A. CCC/SLP
January 21st, 2011 at 3:11 am

Now that you have an entire 7 day memory fitness plan, you can start by focusing on only one strategy for each day of the week. Totally overhauling all your habits at the same time is not usually very successful. Since repetition is one of the keys to retaining information, this plan was created to break up each area related to memory fitness into doable parts.

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Eldercare’s marital bliss announcement

by Isabel Fawcett, SPHR
January 21st, 2011 at 2:52 am

This is an eldercare marriage announcement, not a traditional blog. Historically, in some Western cultures, when some individuals are not invited to weddings (or, graduations) they may receive a formal marriage announcement of the milestone life event after the date of the wedding ceremony and/or reception. A copy of the eldercare marriage announcement I received straight from the wedded rapidly aging couple has been forwarded to all of us caregivers who may not have been invited to the eldercare wedding. Something tells me this marriage is a match made in eldercare heaven. I, for one, wish the happy couple the very best!

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Winter weather: friend or foe?

by Sue Lanza
January 20th, 2011 at 3:12 am

Greetings from New Jersey, the garden state or should we rename it the snowy state? Don’t even get me started on the weather here lately!

As I am writing this, we are in the midst of one of our many (read: weekly) storms/blizzards/national weather service alerts. Today’s version is a delightful ice storm that features heavy snow and freezing rain. Can you say “where’s spring” with me?

All this “fun” with the weather had me thinking about how weather impacts us, especially as we age (right there with you!). I’ve had many people ask me the obvious question about weather, “why do you still live in New Jersey if this is what it is like”?. By the way, they also wonder how I can live in the same place that features the Jersey Shore and Sopranos shows–hey, I just live here people! But to answer the “weather” question, I think I don’t know any other way of living and I am used to the seasons changing, which is wonderful. Except for winter….

So how does weather impact us? Let me count the ways! Talking just about health factors alone, there are so many health changes that can occur during winter that we need to be aware of as we age. Here are two; see if you recognize yourself:

  • Seasonal affect disorder (SAD). This condition involves mood changes as the winter season approaches with up to ten percent of the entire United States population experiencing these “winter blues”. Typical symptoms of seasonal affect disorder include depression, over-sleeping, fatigue and lack of energy or interest in normal activities. Researchers suggest that the symptoms may be a result of decreased exposure to the sun so adding opportunities to bring in light naturally or with light boxes can help. I’ve often thought of the time of winter approaching as a slow shutting down of everything, almost like a wet blanket being placed over my life. If you do have any of these aspects that could suggest SAD (interesting acronym, eh?), you should see a health professional to see how you can manage the disorder.
  • Safety problems. Working in a sub-acute unit connected to a hospital, I can clearly see how wintery weather increases the frequency of falls with injuries, sprains and strains of backs from exertion and all kinds of misery. Preventing injuries is a game of being prepared (bring the shovel near the front door and have plenty of help with shoveling) and paying attention. Many accidents occur because people did not anticipate the scope of storms or just were doing other things when they should be focusing on getting from point A to point B.

And remember, they didn’t make the expression “feeling under the weather” for nothing–don’t let it get you.