Helping the Elderly Feel Young Again

QueenOften, feeling old, is just a matter of that…feeling it.  So if one makes a mental switch to feeling young again, sometimes that can be very positive.  One thing that is proving to be helpful to people moving into their golden years according to a study by Optegra Eye Health Care, is seeing famous people continue to lead full lives despite their age.

Some of those such individuals who are seen as inspiration today include: The Queen of England (approaching 90), David Attenborough (approaching 90), Dame Judi Dench (81), Dame Helen Mirren (70) and Joanna Lumley (70).

Indeed a survey found that 68 percent of adults feel younger than their age and are not letting old age or retirement stop them from living full, active lives.

And for those who need a little more help in the way of feeling younger, there is always Alfierobot. This “robot” is currently being created in an effort to help elderly people stay independent and active for longer. Nicknamed by those trying it out as Alfie, ENRICHME  (ENabling Robot and assisted living environment for Independent Care and Health Monitoring of the Elderly) is developing this in conjunction with the UK’s University of Lincoln.  Research is being undertaken to develop and test robots’ capacity to support seniors with ‘smart home’ technology to provide 24/7 feedback to seniors, caretakers and health professionals.

New Insights into Casts & More

bandageIn recent news, the AO Foundation, a medically guided nonprofit led by surgeons, has a new book for surgeons and others to use. Professor Geoff Richards is the Director of the AO Research and Development and Editor in Chief of the eCM Journal.

Called Casts, Splints, and Support Bandages—Nonoperative Treatment and Perioperative Protection, the book offers an overview of the history, techniques, methods and principles for applying modern plaster and synthetic casts. It has three sections about casting and guidelines for non-operative treatment.

The book also has a step-by-step instructions for 55 individual cast, split and bandaging techniques. This text and instructional video project will certainly be of interest to a large range of people in the medical community.

AO Education Institute is certainly proud to have been part of the project. Members like Professor Geoff Richards work tirelessly to help with the efforts of the AO Foundation and to assist surgeons in every way possible. As they say on their website, “It is the ideal resource for any busy hospital or orthopedic/trauma practice.”

Arts Assisting Elderly

man-378052_1280A couple of years ago a documentary came out entitled, ‘Alive Inside,’ showing what hugely positive impact music can have for the elderly. Places like the Dry Harbor Nursing Home and other facilities for the elderly have been using different art outlets for their patients for a long time. They are already very well away of the benefits. But this documentary educated the masses; it showed how an elderly lady had not been responding more than ‘I’m sorry I don’t remember’ to any question posed, until she was fitted with an iPod, that literally changed her life.

Music, dance, movement, and any artistic outlet can really be a huge benefit to the elderly and to their quality of life. Initiatives such as the Music and Memory Project (which provides iPods to the elderly) and Dances for a Variable Population Program (led by Naomi Goldberg Haas) in New York City are great examples of how artistic outlets can be of huge benefit to seniors.

Then there is the Movement Speaks initiative. This provides free sequential dance instruction classes to individuals in low income communities. A 75-minute session is comprised of warm-up, dance exercises, individual and group dance improvisation, memorization of basic movement phrases and cool down. Participants get the opportunity to create their own movement styles that can be used for performances that occur at the end of the course, in the presence of the surrounding community.

In Queens, seniors can benefit from a programs at the SFY Neighborhood Senior Center. Funded by the New York City Department for the Aging, seniors can enjoy educational programs, recreation activities and more. There are also a variety of artistic workshops on offer, ranging from ceramic making, drawing, jewelry making and sketching.

And seniors should not be concerned if they don’t always do great the first time. As Stephen Richards noted, “the only time you fail is when you fall down and stay down.” Just get up and try again!