Ahhh the summertime and outdoors beckons. From golf to gardening, there is no lack of excuses to get outside and soak up some sun. There are so many activities that not only offer a great workout, but are fun to boot – and we all know that exercise is key to aging well, right?
At the same time there are precautions that you should take when participating in outdoor activities to make sure risks don’t outweigh the benefits. Here are ten tips to get you on the right track:
1. Consult your doctor before beginning any exercise program, even if it’s billed as an easy exercise for seniors.
On a gentle spring morning, the Charles River winds and flows its way through the 100-acre nature preserve on the NewBridge on the Charles campus, quiet but for frogs on the shore and birds in the air at this time of year. Then the sounds of chatter from an adventurous group of NewBridge residents and friends rise over the river as, along with their guide from the L.L.Bean Outdoor Discovery School, they help each other don water safety vests as they prepare for a morning kayak trip on the river.
At Hebrew Rehabilitation Center (HRC), an integral part of Hebrew SeniorLife, we provide high-quality, person-centered care that meets the special needs of our patients. Within our post-acute care services, our person-centered approach to care ensures patients and their families take an active role in their treatment and recovery. Our staff is committed to getting to know each patient and developing a one-on-one relationship that improves care and facilitates recovery.
While many may perceive senior living communities as places where older people go to put their feet up and watch the world go by, Hebrew SeniorLife believes that seniors have far more potential to accomplish exciting things in their later years. The residents of Hebrew SeniorLife communities are people who are learning, growing and achieving full, healthy and vibrant lives. One major reason for this is Vitalize360 TM, an award-winning, innovative, centered wellness coaching and assessment system that originated at Orchard Cove in 2003.
Nursing students begin their careers with the understanding that caring for ill and frail people will include having a large population of seniors as their patients. And while caring for them in times of greatest need is vitally important, they often never have the opportunity to get to know patients as people and relate to their more specific medical needs associated with aging.
Identifying and effectively treating older patients who suffer from depression continues to be a challenge. Primary care providers (PCPs) tend to screen for and treat depression, and although well-intentioned, treatment in a primary care setting does not always yield the best outcome for older patients.
PCPs actually now screen patients for depression more often than they used to, however increased screening has not always led to better treatment. Depression in older adults can present differently than in younger patients, and PCPs who aren’t aware of that may underestimate the severity of depression in their older patients.
One thing not up for debate is that nutrition is an important part of overall good health. But that’s where agreement seems to end – at least according to reports in the media. Eat more protein; but all red meat is risky. Eggs send bad cholesterol levels through the roof; no wait, now it’s OK to eat them again. And recently, news about whether supplements, including calcium and vitamin D, protect us or actually cause harm has been fodder for headlines. So how do you parse the contradictory messages?
About 90 percent of people with Parkinson’s disease have trouble with their speech. Thanks to Lee Silverman Voice Technique, a voice therapy offered at Hebrew SeniorLife, Helene “Honey” Deutch, a Hebrew Rehabilitation Dedham patient living with Parkinson’s disease, has seen remarkable improvements in her ability to communicate with others. Along with being able to speak, Honey has regained her confidence and enjoys all that life has to offer.
What is good health? I think it’s safe to say that the answer to that question is not the same for everyone. To some it may mean the absence of disease. For others it may be effectively managing a chronic condition. But for many of us, good health involves a combination of physical, psychosocial and emotional well-being and the interplay between all three.