Image of elderly man alone for the holidaysThe “Most Wonderful Time of the Year” may seem to be anything but when you’re an elderly person who spends a lot of time alone during the holidays.

Senior citizens who have lost spouses, friends and loved ones over the years are particularly susceptible to feelings of depression, loneliness, and isolation at this time of year. Perhaps feeling pressure to enjoy the season, they may remember past holidays spent with loved ones and lament the passing of those days.

Image of patient during physical therapy session after surgeryRecovering from a surgery can be a challenging task for a senior citizen who may feel uncertain about whether they can physically withstand the process.

It’s important for the patient to have a positive mindset going into rehabilitation and for them to have strong support from family as well as staff at the care facility.

Image of elderly nursing patient walking in the park with family.The progression of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia may make it impossible to have the same relationship with loved ones as we once did, but we can still have valuable connections with them.

Many people delay visiting family members with dementia, unsure of what to do or say. The key is to put the hesitancy aside and just visit them. Once you see where they are cognitively, you can begin to work on ways to communicate and connect with them.

Image of elderly woman who prevented infection.Infections are a growing concern as we age, with one-third of people over the age of 65 dying from an infectious disease.

Senior citizens are more prone to infections, which occur when microbes (viruses, bacteria, fungi or parasites) invade the body. This can lead to illness, disease or organ damage. We can get infections through water, air, food, and soil. Open sores on our skin also subject us to infections, because our skin serves as a barrier to microbes.

Image of Woman driving safely on medication.Driving requires a responsibility to oneself and others on the road to be conducted in a safe manner.

The natural aging process and medications can compromise the safety of older drivers, their passengers and motorists and pedestrians on the road.

Under The Influence Of Medications

Medications can have a number of side effects that can make driving more dangerous, especially when they are paired with multiple drugs taken by many seniors. These medications include those for anxiety, anti-depressants, pain, allergies, and muscle relaxers. These risks include:

Image of elderly couple riding bikes with arthritis.Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) can make it challenging to live your best life, but there are plenty of ways you can handle symptoms and learn to not let it keep you from many of the things you love.

RA is an inflammatory and autoimmune disease in which your body’s immune system mistakenly attacks healthy cells, causing pain and swelling in affected parts of the body, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. RA often attacks joints in the hands, wrists and knees, damaging joint tissue in the process. It can cause chronic pain, a lack of balance and deformity in affected joints.

healthy eating 300 x 200Diet can go a long way in managing diabetes and its complications for seniors living with the chronic disease.

What is Diabetes?

The body is designed to break down food into sugar (glucose), which makes its way into the bloodstream. The pancreas produces insulin, a hormone, to help the body convert it into energy. Diabetes causes the body to either not produce enough insulin or not use it as effectively as necessary.

anxiety 300 x 200While up to a quarter of people experience anxiety in unhealthy amounts, the elderly can be particularly at risk.

As people age, they’re confronted with more stressful situations: deaths of friends, spouses and family; more physical pain from health issues and chronic conditions; decreased mobility or independence; increased reliance on medications that may intensify anxiety; and suffer from ailments such as Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

vitamin d 300 x 200It’s important for people to get enough vitamin D as they age to ward off a number of health problems.

Vitamin D helps the body absorb the calcium it needs to develop bone strength. As a result, a deficiency of vitamin D may lead to arthritis, osteoporosis, hip fractures, diabetes, heart disease and overall poor health in seniors, according to the Age and Ageing journal.

Estimates show that only one-third of Americans get enough vitamin D in their diet.

pet therapy 300 x 200Incorporating animals into a therapy plan can be a highly effective way of reaching patients in a way that is difficult to achieve in more traditional format.

Pet therapy – a guided interaction between a trained animal and a patient – is designed to help an individual cope with or recover from a mental disorder or physical health issue. While dogs and cats are the animals most frequently used, pet therapy can also include fish, horses, guinea pigs or other creatures.