The Happiness Equation: How to be happy in old age!

Active social life – whether this is going to a museum or a movie, or taking a walk, social activity reduces isolation and loneliness which is very destructive for older people.
Who you live with – connecting with younger generations, being socially engaged and having good cognitive skills are determining factors in wellbeing in later life. Social interaction is ranked more important than health and money.
Physical activity – keeping active is a big contributor in boosting wellbeing.
Positive attitude – being up for trying new things and having a positive view on engaging in life are important for mental health.
Be protected – a device such as Around the Clock Medical Alarms is not only life saving, but also peace of mind for you and your loved ones.

During the Holidays, Help Protect the Elderly from Falls

Older adults’ risk of falling may have increased during the pandemic due to declines in physical activity and mobility.  Along with increased isolation, a University of Michigan poll shows that many also became more fearful of falling, which, in turn, can increase the risk.

“Taking steps now to reduce fall risk in their homes could prevent catastrophic injury and hospitalization,” said Geoffrey Hoffman, a fall researcher and assistant professor of nursing at the university.

Older people whose mobility declined during the first part of the pandemic were 70% more likely to say they’d had a fall in that time.  Additionally, they are twice as likely to express a fear of falling, the poll revealed.

“Even if an older adult has gotten more active since getting vaccinated, their risk of falling could still be higher than it would have been if the pandemic hadn’t increased their inactivity or isolation,” Hoffman said in a university news release.

He offered some tips on fall-proofing older adults’ homes:

11 Ways to Prevent Falls during the Holiday

Rugs and mats: Cut pieces of non-skid material to fit underneath small throw rugs and mats. If they already have non-skid material, check that it still grips the floor. Throw rugs/mats should only be used on bare floors, not on top of carpet. Make sure bath mats have rubber backing in good condition.

Furniture placement: Offer to help move furniture and other objects to create wider walking paths.

Bathrooms: A grab rail in the tub/shower is a good idea.  In addition, a rubber mat with suction cups or a stool with non-skid feet is also good. If possible, a walk-in shower is much better than a tub.

Lighting: Dark hallways, stairways, closets with high shelves and outdoor steps are fall risk areas. Install brighter light bulbs or new fixtures that take multiple bulbs. Also, add motion sensors so lights come on automatically when someone enters the area.  You might also consider night lights that come on when it gets dark or have a motion sensor.

Safe reaching: Encourage use of a folding step stool that has multiple steps and a high hand rail instead of a small stool or chair.   When seniors want to reach things on high shelves or change a light bulb, clock or smoke/carbon monoxide detector batteries, they need to have a sturdy base.

Sensible storage: Occasionally, help them reorganize storage to place items on lower shelves.

Railings and steps: Check railings on stairways and porch steps to make sure they’re securely anchored. If steps can become slippery, add stick-on traction strips.

Seasonal decor: Offer to bring holiday decorations and lights from the attic, an upstairs room or basement, and to help put them up.

Ice problems: Make sure older adults have a good supply of de-icer or sand to use on steps, walkways and driveways. For those who can’t easily lift a heavy jug, transfer the de-icer or sand to a container with a lid and add a scoop so they can scatter it more easily.

Snow removal: Make sure their snowblower is in good working order and that shovels, car scrapers and brushes are close at hand and in good shape. If an older person uses a shovel, it should have a back-saving handle to provide more stability when shoveling and prevent muscle strains.

More outdoor hazards: Make sure outdoor lights work and have automatic sensors. Check doormats to make sure they won’t slip. Clean gutters above entrances so melting snow doesn’t collect on steps and form ice.

More information The U.S. National Institute on Aging has more about falls and fall prevention

Get in the Know!

3 Fun Instragram Accounts for Seniors

If you’re interested in the idea of bite-sized content with interesting pictures and videos, but you’re not sure where to start on Instagram, don’t worry. We’ve created a list of seven accounts from people of all ages, backgrounds and niches for you to check out. From a young family living the RV travel life even during the COVID-19 pandemic to an older British couple relishing the romance of everyday life, you’ll find plenty of options on our list.

1. Pauline & Geoffrey Walker

This lovely British couple has been married since 1951. The account, @geoffreywalk, is mostly run by Geoffrey, who gives short Bible and faith talks, shows off his garden and talks followers through making easy recipes such as jacket potatoes. He often features Pauline, who might be crafting something clever or enjoying an outing with him. 

2. Jerry Rosenblum

This 98-year old is living a vibrant life singing, performing and writing a book. He also calls on others to be kind to each other. You can follow him at @jerry_rosenblum to see what he gets up to thanks to Katie, who helps him run his Instagram account.

3. Belinda Donner

Belinda is 52 years old, so she’s technically not yet a senior citizen. But her @younglikeb Instagram has something for people of all ages. “You’re never too old to be young,” reads her profile. She shares captions and images from her life and links to posts on her blog with recipes, health information and other tips.