Assisted Living

International Seniors Day- How Can YOU Celebrate?

Did you know that there is a national holiday dedicated to seniors, celebrated across the world? In 1990, the United Nations designated October 1 as the International Day of Older Persons and many countries have joined in to recognize the important contributions of this special group of individuals.

In 2017, this annual celebration is still going strong; this year’s theme is “Tapping the Talents, Contributions and Participation of Older Persons in Society,” and will acknowledge the important roles that seniors play within their families and communities.

Celebrate National Seniors Day

According to the UN, the contributions of seniors are “often overlooked and under-appreciated” and as a society, it is important that we engage our seniors and tap into their incredible pool of knowledge and experience. Not only for their wellbeing, but for the wellbeing and betterment of our communities

This October 1st, why don’t you celebrate an important senior in your life?

Celebrate Them!

Throw a backyard barbecue, dinner party or family gathering to honour the important seniors in your life and show them how much they are appreciated.

Sometimes it can be difficult to open up to someone and tell them that they are loved and valued, however gathering your family and throwing a party to celebrate National Seniors Day will show the seniors in your life just how special they are to you.

Learn a Skill

Many seniors have amassed impressive skills over their life span and are more than willing to share their expertise with you.  Why not try your hand at baking, sewing, painting or woodworking?

Learning a skill from a senior allows them to share their talents and pass down this knowledge to future generations.

Share in Their History

You can learn a lot about a person and their life story by simply asking! Seniors offer a unique, yet deeply personal perspective on life based on their experiences and the events they have lived through.  Chances are, there are amazing stories and family legacies hidden within the heart of your beloved grandparent.

As human beings, we are defined by our experiences and where we come from; passing down family stories from generation to generation is an amazing way to learn about your ancestry and connect in a common history.  Consider starting a family history project, where family stories are shared and recorded.  Preserving family stories helps to connect one generation to another and binds family members through time and space.

Volunteer

Volunteering is a great way to share your passion and abilities, while supporting an important cause in your community.  Volunteering with a senior can be an incredibly rewarding experience for both of you – connecting with someone who has walked a much different path in life than you can help you to better understand issues that seniors’ face.

Learning about the health, economic, and social issues that affect seniors can help you become an advocate and support their rights, as well as rethink your preconceived notions about older persons in society.

Don’t let the International Day of Older Persons pass you by this October.  Take the opportunity to thank and celebrate an important senior in your life; you will both reap the benefits!

Three Low-Impact Sports for Seniors

Piggybacking off our last topic of the importance of senior mobility, this week we decided to look into three sports that are safe and fun for seniors to play. All of these sports help build social relationships and can be played with teams or by individuals together. We try to incorporate as many fun activities like this as we can into our Member’s lives at Renaissance. You can check out our monthly activities calendar here.

Bocci Ball

Bocci Ball is a fun communal activity that increases social engagement and has positive health benefits for seniors. Originating in ancient times, the Romans considered it a sport of rulers and statesmen. It’s played by throwing a black or red ball onto the court and then each team throwing their own set of balls trying to get their colored ball as close to or touching the first ball thrown. It’s traditionally played on a hard surface but it can be played on any surface that is level.

The sport helps increase senior mobility and challenges the mind to come up with new strategies. This simple but engaging game is a great go-to for something low impact but high fun!

Shuffleboard

Shuffleboard originated in England from a game known as shove groat. It evolved over time and has turned into the game today that we know as shuffleboard. It made it’s way over to the United States with the colonists and turned into a sport enjoyed by people across the entire US. Shuffleboard is played on either a smaller inside court or on an outside one, making it ideal for seniors. The rules are simple and can be learned in minutes but the strategies and skills needed can continually evolve.

This is great for keeping seniors moving and socializing. The sport can be played in teams or one on one which also makes it very versatile. The sport continues to challenge your mind while also giving you light exercise and health benefits.

Pickleball

Pickleball combines the best of badminton, ping pong and tennis into a sport that can be enjoyed by people of all ages and athletic abilities. Pickleball was born in the mid-60’s when three friends from Bainbridge Island, Washington, were unable to find their badminton equipment so they improvised with the equipment at hand. Although the name is odd, the game has nothing to do with pickles but was named after pickle boats in crew racing. The game uses a paddle comparable to a large ping pong paddle and a ball that is similar to a whiffle ball.

Communicating With Loved Ones With Dementia

Understanding how to connect and communicate with our loved ones through this time is of the utmost importance. Learn more from these communication strategies for dementia. Here are 5 tips on how to effectively communicate with someone who has moderate to severe dementia.

  1. Recognize what you’re up against. Dementia inevitably gets worse with time. People with dementia will gradually have a more difficult time understanding others, as well as communicating in general.

  2. Avoid distractions. Try to find a place and time to talk when there aren’t a lot of distractions present. This allows your loved one to focus all their mental energy on the conversation.

  3. Speak clearly and naturally in a warm and calm voice. Refrain from ‘babytalk’ or any other kind of condescension.

  4. Refer to people by their names. Avoid pronouns like “he,” “she,” and “they” during conversation. Names are also important when greeting a loved one with dementia. For example: “Hi, Grandma.  It’s me, Jeff,” is to be preferred over, “Hi. It’s me.”

  5. Talk about one thing at a time. Someone with dementia may not be able to engage in the mental juggling involved in maintaining a conversation with multiple threads.