Placeholder canvas

Grand World

Fitness motivation for Elders 

(Please consult a doctor before adopting any of the methods or techniques suggested in this blogpost)

Introduction:

Fitness has immense health benefits and everyone knows it. You are a new you once you start. Oh my, the dreaded word “start” and another one “fitness” in the same sentence! Scary! The thought of exercise brings about a mind-block to many people. One wonders why? Is it because most people think fitness is serious, it must be at least 45 minutes long, it has to work out all parts of the body or concentrate heavily on a few parts, if it’s cardio it has to be a certain length of time where you lose a certain number of calories! Phew, sounds serious indeed! Just the thought of it makes one shudder and think of what’s next on TV or about that video you wanted to watch on YouTube. Let’s postpone fitness to another day when I am more motivated! Guess what? First fitness can be light, short and a lot of fun and one more thing – you are most likely not going to be motivated enough to continue fitness when you search for motivation! Let’s not make something dependent on motivation. Let’s try to make it a habit!

The best way to go about it is to

Make it easy to start and Make it fun to do

Now if I challenge you to walk 5000 steps at least 3 times a week this month would you be sure you to do it? Maybe or maybe not. You may have the confidence to do it but are you going to be motivated to do it? Maybe not! What if I told you to wear your exercise clothes and shoes at least 3 times a week for this month and go to the place of your exercise for 10 minutes. This is a challenge! Would you be able to do it? I think you would ace it! Easy! Done! Now whether you exercise or not is up to you as it is not even part of the challenge. Remember, the challenge is not for you to walk 5000 steps 12 times this month. The challenge is to only wear your fitness clothes and be at your place of exercise for 5 minutes, twelve times this month. What would your obstacles be for this? Maybe you must buy another pair of exercise clothes or two. Maybe your exercise clothes are your normal clothes in which case you do not have to buy clothes too. Perfectly fine! Keeping the clothes ready is the obstacle. Try this challenge and please do reply in the comment section of this blogpost. If you have exercised all your life and are not regular nowadays, the same challenge applies to you.
One question arises! “What would happen if we do this?” the answer is you are most likely to exercise a bit on all days. Again, the trick is to only keep the challenge in mind and not the fitness part of it. Hopefully in the long run, you develop a habit of some sort which involves fitness.

This is one of the best methods to start working on your goals where you make the challenge easy and unique, which invariably will lead you to start on your journey.

Pro tip: Have an accountability partner who you must give Rs.10 every time you don’t complete the easy challenge!

Fun

One shouldn’t suffer through the process. One should do what one’s body allows one to do. The process or activity of fitness should not be resentful to do. Now you may enjoy the difficulty of it which is absolutely fine, however do not make it resentful for you.

Lets look at dance as a form of fitness. Dancing has great benefits for seniors including an increase in endorphins which is the happy drug of the body. There are several dance routines available on the net. There are 20 minutes routines which are great for elders. Check out one example https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E6lsGDntAEM by a popular channel for fitness for elders

Chair Yoga: Just performing a few yoga poses from the comfort of your chair for 15 minutes can bring a number of benefits for seniors. Some of the best chair yoga poses are the overhead stretch, seated cat stretch, seated mountain pose and seated twist. Check out the link at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1DYH5ud3zHo by independent yoga instructors

Some simple body weight workouts for elders are classics and proven for decades to give many benefits. Both upper body and lower body routines are to be included. Please check the link from the national institute of aging USA: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ev6yE55kYGw

Fitness has immense benefits from improving your cardiovascular strength to improving functions of the brain to improving mood. Its overall benefits cannot be ignored by us at any age, let alone our senior years.

Things to Remember

Grand World Elder Care dealing with memory problems.

As we grow old, it gets more and more difficult to remember things. Memory loss as we age is common. Losing keys, forgetting where the spectacles are kept, losing rack of conversations, grappling with words (it is on the tip of our tongue), forgetting faces, finding it difficult to learn new skills and so on. But sometimes, it could be an indication of something more serious, like dementia. Dementia is not a specific disease but an overall term that describes a wide range of symptoms associated with a decline in memory or other thinking skills severe enough to reduce a person’s ability to perform everyday activities.

So how can one tell? In order to find out get in touch with a geriatrician or an elder care specialist who can examine a patient by using simple but validated tests to identify normal and abnormal memory problems. Sometimes with the aid of these tests and treatment, the onset of dementia can be reversed or at least delayed.

Signs of Dementia

Memory impairment interfering with daily life: Inability to recollect learned information. For example, paying electricity bills on time, forgetting to pump water to overhead tank, etc.

Difficulty completing familiar tasks at home, at work or at leisure: Forgetting rules of a board game, losing one’s way in a familiar route or difficulty in managing expenses…

Confusion with time and place and inability to keep track of them

Trouble understanding visual images and spatial orientation: Inability to read, judge distances, etc.

Trouble communicating through writing or speaking: A struggle with vocabulary. Losing track of a conversation mid way.

Misplacing things: Forgetting keys is common but most often one can recollect ultimately. But it is abnormal when one has driven to the supermarket and returned by bus, forgetting completely about the car.

Withdrawal from social activities: Becoming isolated and unsocial. This is often put down as signs of depression.

Mood and personality changes: They can become anxious, suspicious and easily upset

Keeping your brain in good health

Keep physically fit: If you can, walk at least 45 minutes daily, five days a week. Exercise: If you can’t walk outdoors, do some exercise at home.

Stay social Engage in social conversations and activities. It stimulates the brain. Our body follows the rule of “ use it or lose it”. Friends circle should be sensitive to persons with memory problems.

Watch what you eat: Stay on a balanced nutritious diet rich in fruit, vegetables and nuts. Anti-oxidants available in plenty in fruits, and omega 3 fatty acids found in fish oil and flax seeds have been found to be effective in boosting memory and preventing cognitive decline.

Manage stress: Involve in activities to de-stress the body. A body massage, music, breathing exercises and yoga can help to relax your mind. Staying social and travelling too can help.

Drink less fluids after four in the evening: This will save you frequent bathroom trips at night.

Get plenty of sleep: Five hours of uninterrupted sleep is what the brain needs to re-boot itself.

Avoid day time naps and avoid caffeinated drinks after 4 P.M. Sleeping pills are notorious for causing memory impairment and confusion. Talk to your doctor before taking any sleeping aids. A warm glass of milk before bedtime is a good sleep

Avoid smoking and alcohol

Far Away Yet Being There

Far Away Yet Being There

It’s been 5 years since I left my city and settled here abroad. The worry to leave my parents behind has always been at the back of mind. My father is 70 and my mother is 61 both are quite independent but still they are ageing which means there are problems that will appear eventually.

This is the story of all households where families are staying apart

This is the story of all households where families are staying apart in different cities for various reasons. According to citymetric.com, around the world, near 3 million people migrate to another city every week, seeking fortune. It is also stated that by 2050 around 66% of people will migrate to another city increasing the urban population. The world migration report of 2015 says it’s a policy to shape urbanisation. The primary reason for migration is to have a better lifestyle but there are several other factors that play a crucial role. Along with the excitement of new life, they also carry the baggage of worry and tension with them, especially for their parents.

Though parents these days are very much capable of taking care of themselves, still one cannot change the fact that they are ageing. Caring for elderly or ageing parents is a tough task. We all face the struggle and we all are seeking the best possible way to help them. As you browse the internet, looking for ways to care for your parents, you will find there are many ideas and information but what really matters most is being present which cannot be replaced by anything. As we move forward in life we often forget that elderly people also face serious mental and emotional issues which are equally important as their physical problems, sometimes it is much more. Physical comfort can be looked after and can be taken care of but it is important to delve deep into the emotional aspect.

You can try different tips and tricks but they don’t always work and therefore you need to settle in for something that will bring a permanent resolution. The stress of caregiving often puts strains on families and relationships, but here’s a thing you are not alone in this. As much as you are fighting, maybe the elderly person is fighting the same feeling of change. Living alone is not easy though people are compelled to do it. The Institute of ageing in America says around 40% of people above 65 years of age live alone, it is scary, but the truth. There are so many ways and things to do but with distance, it brings limited access. To the start here are certain things that you can primarily do to help the situation.

Education and training

Technology is evolving every day, from phone to mobile and all other latest gadgets which helps to stay connected all the time. Yet, you have to keep in mind that an elderly person is still new to this world. Depending on technology is good in some ways where you can have some assurance provided you also teach them how to use it.

  • Making them familiar with technology and training them to use
  • Practising with them using the technology
  • Helping them understand the procedure in an easier way

Following these can help you supervise and keep a track on them. It will also help you address their needs, learn about them and also communicate with them very easily.

Research before making a decision

In most cases, word of mouth and family references work, yet it is always better to do your research and then jump into the decision making process.

  • Always have a thorough understanding and knowledge of the person you are hiring.
  • Pay attention to small details and note down of necessary information.
  • Make a smooth transition and arrangements that will help your elderly in the best way possible.

It is your responsibility to make sure everything is going smoothly and this will only happen once you assess your choice rightly.

Monitoring their health

With age comes a lot of difficulties and slowly people lose their flexibility and that brings a lot of pain.

  • To help them active, always encourage them to do exercises
  • Maintain their diet and medicine intake
  • Keep a track of their dosage
  • Engage them in a social or recreational activity which will help them relax
  • Boredom can bring a lot of trouble, make sure they are happy.

It is important to make a note of their mental health properly. Happy minds will have a healthy body.

Arranging for the right care

When you are in need to find the right place of care for your elderly person, assisted living can be one of the options to think of. Assisted living is an exclusive facility for elders who need residential care and the comfort of a homely environment while enjoying all the benefits of professional caregivers. This is a place where rehabilitative and restorative care, respite care and many other services are provided to give the elderly a happy life. From physical support to emotional support all are provided with utmost care. Constant attention to every detail and needs are addressed so that the elderly person is cared for. You must understand all the options and then decide which way to go.

There are many ways but which is suitable for you and your parents is up to you. You can get as much information as you want, but taking the right decision is crucial for a happy future life.

Should I see a Geriatrician after 60?

Should I see a Geriatrician after 60?

Just like there are pediatricians for the young, there are specialized doctors for the elderly. Medical concerns that elders face are very different from those that a young adult would face. Since the problems are very different it calls for a different approach.

Most elders have multiple co existing health problems or complex conditions. The geriatrician not only cares for them but also coordinates between various specialist who may be involved .The geriatrician understand that often not all conditions can be treated, so the focus is to alleviate the condition, and help them live to the best of their capabilities- physical and mental. Switching to a geriatrician from their long-time doctor can be a big step for the elder, however this leap of faith has to be taken to serve oneself better

Who are geriatricians?

They are doctors who specialize in the health care needs of the elderly says “Vishnu Vittel, Director, Grand World Elder Care”.

Why does an elderly person need a geriatrician? Just like there are pediatricians for the young, there are specialized doctors for the elderly. Medical concerns that elders face are very different from those that a young adult would face.

Since the problems are very different it calls for a different approach. Most elders have multiple co existing health problems or complex conditions. The geriatrician not only cares for them but also coordinates between various specialist who may be involved .The geriatrician understand that often not all conditions can be treated, so the focus is to alleviate the condition, and help them live to the best of their capabilities- physical and mental.

What can I expect

Unlike a physician who addresses specific problems most of the times , a Geriatrician in addition to addressing specific problems goes through the entire check up as co- morbid conditions are more in the elderly.

Preventive medicine, psychology and physiotherapy, rehabilitative medicine are a huge part of geriatric care as elders are more prone for falls, dementia, osteoporosis, arthritis, incontinence, depression etc.

The nursing faculty also makes an important part of the geriatric team as very often elders require care–ranging from occasional help to complete help for day to day activity

Research before making a decision

In most cases, word of mouth and family references work, yet it is always better to do your research and then jump into the decision making process.

  • Always have a thorough understanding and knowledge of the person you are hiring.
  • Pay attention to small details and note down of necessary information.
  • Make a smooth transition and arrangements that will help your elderly in the best way possible.

It is your responsibility to make sure everything is going smoothly and this will only happen once you assess your choice rightly.

Monitoring their health

With age comes a lot of difficulties and slowly people lose their flexibility and that brings a lot of pain.

  • To help them active, always encourage them to do exercises
  • Maintain their diet and medicine intake
  • Keep a track of their dosage
  • Engage them in a social or recreational activity which will help them relax
  • Boredom can bring a lot of trouble, make sure they are happy.

It is important to make a note of their mental health properly. Happy minds will have a healthy body.

Arranging for the right care

When you are in need to find the right place of care for your elderly person, assisted living can be one of the options to think of. Assisted living is an exclusive facility for elders who need residential care and the comfort of a homely environment while enjoying all the benefits of professional caregivers. This is a place where rehabilitative and restorative care, respite care and many other services are provided to give the elderly a happy life. From physical support to emotional support all are provided with utmost care. Constant attention to every detail and needs are addressed so that the elderly person is cared for. You must understand all the options and then decide which way to go.

There are many ways but which is suitable for you and your parents is up to you. You can get as much information as you want, but taking the right decision is crucial for a happy future life.

Are You Forgetting dementia?

I have memory loss!! Do I have Dementia??

This is the question that lingers around in the minds of young senior citizens. By young, I mean the population who have just got retired and entered the 60s. The general idea is that as we grow old we lose our memory and we end up in dementia.

It is not entirely correct. Yes, the chances of getting dementia increases as you age, but that does not mean your habit of losing keys around is always related to dementia.

So what exactly is dementia?

Dementia is progressive loss of cognitive functions affecting your daily life and not just memory loss. Cognitive functions

include memory, comprehension, reading, writing, speech, abstract thinking, judgement and execution. So to diagnose dementia, we doctors require more than just memory loss

So in order to find out whether your memory loss has is begin as such or more serious disease like dementia, your Doctor use validated cognitive tests to find it out. No amount of blood or imaging investigations can pin point the diagnosis without these validated tests from your Geriatrician/ Elder care Physician.

Is there anything between Dementia and benign forgetfulness?

Yes, the mild cognitive impairment (MCI). Mild cognitive impairment is diagnosed when you have little hard time getting through the cognitive tests but you are otherwise normal. By normal, I mean you are able to move around independently, carrying out your routines, helping others and basically your forgetfulness is not interfering with your way of life.

So will MCI progress to dementia?

Sadly yes. The chances are around 50% progress to dementia in their next 10 years! Quite alarming isn’t it.

Is there a way to stop it?

Though the progress cannot be stopped entirely, it can be significantly slowed by early diagnosis, modifying potential risk factors thereby keeping you independent as far as possible. Few things to keep up a healthy cognition are being physically fit and active; being stress free; taking healthy diet; getting adequate sleep; learning new skills; being social; and regular physician visits.

So go to your Physician and get your COGNITION assessed!

Dr.Flora Alex is a Consultant Geriatrician with Grand World Elder Care, Coimbatore He can be contacted at info@grandworldeldercare.com or +91 76677 11111.