Days filled with golf, hobbies, and taking it easy would seem something to aspire to during one’s career span. However, for some seniors retirement is just not an attractive lifestyle option – at least not yet.
When Charlottetown PEI couple Bob and Donna DesRoches received their 2012 tax notice, they never imagined that they would be facing a raise more than what their pensioned income could afford. With the cost of owning a home ever on the rise, elderly homeowners especially are having to tighten their already-tight financial belts.
Countless senior Canadians across the country live under-stimulated, isolated lives in their homes. As a result, their families watch in hopelessness and despair as their elder loved ones deteriorate. Yet, hope is on the horizon. In Alberta, services such as Ray of Sunshine bring recreational therapy into seniors’ homes and empower them to lead active, engaged lifestyles.
For many age groups ill-managed stress is a leading factor in the development of failing health and chronic disease. While the young tend to be more resilient in coping with it, the senior population face a more challenging struggle.
As we zoom into yet another year in the twenty-first century while facing the inevitability of the aging population of baby boomers, technology is playing an increasing key role in senior care and health. Though assistive technology does not eliminate the need for a human caregiver, it can be a helpful tool in assisting the elderly who wish to remain living at home and forego a care facility.
Between the light speed pace of technology advancement and super busy grandchildren seniors, recognising the need to learn in order to stay connected with family and friends, find themselves overwhelmed and lost where computers and internet is concerned. Sure, there are online tutorials available on sites such as YouTube, but how does one get online in the first place? Furthermore, how on earth does one turn the computer on???
How would you feel if your smartphone or computer could immediately receive an instantaneous notification that your elderly loved one had fallen down or was in distress in their own home? Two Albertan cities are currently participating in a pilot project involving the installation of cameras and sensors in homebound seniors’ homes, providing round-the-clock support to the seniors without losing their independence.
The next time you find yourself exasperated about the length of time a senior citizen takes to perform a task and wondering about their mental acuity, think again. Current studies have shown quite the contrary: the fact that an elder requires more time to respond or complete a task can actually demonstrate a healthy cognitive acuity.
Last year a leading Toronto geriatric research organization, the Baycrest Centre, and 45plus multimedia entity ZoomerMedia joined forces in a content and co-branding partnership to develop projects and initiatives to appeal and tap into the 50plus market. One of their projects was revealed at the 2011 Zoomer Show in October: a cognitive screening test to determine the early signs of dementia and Alzheimers, in an effort to eliminate the current trend in delayed diagnosis and treatment. By providing a more proactive approach to detecting brain disease, the partnered duo hope individuals suffering from brain diseases can improve their odds for a better quality of life.
When centenarian Betty Love Goodykoontz was born in 1910, the world and how people communicated with each other was very different. She has been witness to tremendous change in almost mindboggling proportion: from horse and buggy and telegraph to high speed trains and instantaneous email and cell phones. Rather than be intimidated by all the changes and technological advancements, the retired schoolteacher has joined the growing ranks of aging adults in learning about computers and how they can be used to maintain a connection with the world around them – specifically via social media.