Seniors

Social Media for Elderly

According to a study by the University of Sydney in Australia, is good for seniors to use social media because this helps them to fight loneliness and the feeling of isolation.

Foto tecnologia-redes por cooldesignBy María Eugenia Fanti

Technology is a priority for the humans of our twenty-first century. An important part of new technologies are social media that can be defined as a set of services within the web that allow people to communicate, interact, share content and form virtual communities. Examples of social media are: Facebook, Twitter, Skype, LinkedIn, Pinterest, to name a few.

According to a study by the University of Sydney, Australia “Connecting Older Adults Project” social media helps elderly to combat loneliness and other feelings of isolation. In the study, 150 seniors were trained in the use of social media and every 6 months were assessed on its progress.

Mila Pinka, a 67 years old Australian, who participated in the study admits: “it is very good, I am not feeling alone, I do not feel depress, the use of social media has made me feel part of the community again”. This project also enforced that the participants remained involved in the learning of new technologies, in fact, most used social media on a daily basis, after completing the study.

The study showed that the use of Skype helps seniors to maintain in contact with their loved ones who live far from them. With Facebook, many of them reconnect with old friends and could share videos and pictures of their lives.

It should be noted that “Connecting Older Adults Project” demonstrated the therapeutic use of social media for elderly and created a precedent not only in Australia, but in the whole world of the importance of training seniors in the use of technology, as well as defend their right to have access to the Internet.

Photo by Cool Design / Courtesy of Freedigitalphotos

This article was published at Leon Medical Center 


 

The joy of living those moments in life

Some elderly feel lost; they miss their past, friends and work. How to fight against these feelings? The Third Age is an opportunity to perform those activities that always you dreamed accomplish and probably you couldn’t because you didn’t have money or time.  Never is late to do what you love, dreams have not limits.

Pareja viejitos Photo by Stock ImagesBy María Eugenia Fanti

Aging involves physical, emotional and psychological changes that we have to live with a positive attitude. Some psychologists admit that we must learn to live without regrets, because it involves guilt, how many times we hear ourselves say: “If I had done this, I will have other position, another couple, another life”. Past is the past. Present is a gift and the only thing certainty. The future is unpredictable. So we must ask ourselves daily what am I doing today to be happy?

If you practiced sports when you were youth, this is a good idea to start again, maybe you won’t run a marathon, but you can go for a walk 15 to 20 minutes every day and feel better with yourself.  You always dream to become a painter? Well, this is a good time to take Art classes. Do you always liked to write? Have you thought about writing a book? The latest Nobel Prize for Literature (2013) was Alice Munro at the age of 82 years old. Never is too late to succeed in what you love, as well as Mother Teresa wrote:

Always keep in mind that wrinkled skin

hair turns white,

day years become …..

But the point does not change,

your strength and conviction are not old.

Your spirit is any cobweb duster.

Behind every day of arrival, there is a game.

Behind every success, there is another challenge

While you’re alive, feel alive.

If you miss what you did, do it again.

Photo not live yellow …..

Follow although everyone expects you to leave.

Do not let the iron oxide in you.

Do that instead of pity, I have respect.

When the years you can not run, jog.

When you can not jog, walk.

When you can not walk, use the stick …

But never stop!

Mother Teresa of Calcutta

Photo by Stock Images / Courtesy of Freedigitalphotos

This article was published at Leon Medical Center 


 

Elderly in love

Today is Valentine’s Day and it is the perfect moment to write about love, many poets have written about it, this is an universal feeling that gives us hope and joy of living, being in love at the old age improve quality of life, so are you dare?

ID-10041115By María Eugenia Fanti

The Mexican poet Jaime Sabine’s recites: “I say it cannot be said the love. Love is eaten as a bread, is drunk like a spring”. Everybody needs love and someone to love.

According to Wikipedia:“In romantic relationships, falling in love is mainly a Western concept of moving from a feeling of neutrality towards a person to one of love. The term is generally used to describe a (eventual) love that is strong. The use of the term “fall” implies that the process is in some way uncontrollable, risky, irreversible, and that it puts the lover in a state of vulnerability, in the same way the word “fall” is used in the phrase “to fall ill” or “to fall into a trap”.

A British study published in British Medical Journal and carried out by doctors John and David Gallaher, of the University of Cardiff in Wales, showed that married people live longer and have better physical and mental health. This study also confirmed that have a relation of long-term partner also improves the quality of life.

Elderly people still believe the myth that they cannot love in the same way as when they were young and the reality is that as said the famous Venezuelan singer/songwriter and composer Simon Diaz: “love does not have daylight savings time, or date in the calendar”

The Uruguayan poet Mario Benedetti reinforces the idea of couple love, regardless of age, when he writes:

” If I love you is because you’re my love my accomplice and everything and in the street elbow to elbow we are much more than two.”

If you are in love with take advantage of this Valentine’s Day to fall more deep in love with your partner if you are single don’t miss the hopes to regain the love, it can be around the corner.

Photo by Ambro/ Courtesy of Freedigitalphotos.net

This article was published at Leon Medical Center 


 

Benefits of elderly owning pets

For elderly who live alone and feel loneliness studies have shown that owning a pet has therapeutic benefits, because pets can help reduce stress and make up the emotional vacuum that may occur to senior’s citizens

Perrito by PhotokanokBy María Eugenia Fanti

Affinity, a Spanish non-profit Foundation carried out several studies about benefits of seniors owning pets. According to them having animals offer tenderness, loyalty, joy, makes our home a place full of love. This affection makes up loneliness that may feel a senior citizen.

According to the studies of Affinity elderly people who own pets are happier, feel that they have company and have a more positive attitude toward life. In addition to the emotional benefits, according to Affinity having a pet also brings physical benefits. The responsibility of caring for a pet requires to walk around, forced to leave home, which increases the physical mobility. At the same time, the tours help seniors to related with new people, neighbors, or other elderly with pets. This brings with it a psychosocial benefit.

In summary the benefits of owning a pet according to Affinity are: increased physical mobility, have more friends and an improvement in social life, use less medication, increase of wellbeing, control of loneliness and depression, entertainment, relaxation and a greater emotional balance. Having a pet is a source of joy for all, but certainly senior-owning pets may involve up to live longer and with a greater quality of life.

Photo by Phoyo Kanok / Courtesy of Freedigitalphotos.net

This article was published at Leon Medical Center 


 

Caffeine wake up your memory

A recent study published by the Johns Hopkins University showed that caffeine helps not only to wake up in the mornings and to remain active, but also improves our memory

Cafe by  by emptyglassBy María Eugenia Fanti

Before people believed caffeine was very bad for health, but a new study made by Professor Michael Yassa, an assistant professor of psychological and brain sciences at Johns Hopkins University, and his team of scientists showed that caffeine is not so bad, because it helps to improve our memory.

The study about how “caffeine has a positive effect on our long-term memory” was published by the journal Nature Neuroscience, Yassa commented about it on the website of the Johns Hopkins University: “We’ve always known that caffeine has cognitive-enhancing effects, but its particular effects on strengthening memories and making them resistant to forgetting has never been examined in detail in humans,” said Yassa, senior author of the paper. “We report for the first time a specific effect of caffeine on reducing forgetting over 24 hours.”

The study included a sample of more than 100 people who did not consume coffee often. “We chose people who were taking less than 500 milligrams of caffeine a week. The majority did not drink coffee, only taking a drink once or twice a week” said Yassa.

According to the study 200 mg of coffee are sufficient to help the memory to run better. This was demonstrated with a simple experiment in which the individuals who participated in the study were shown various images of objects, after five minutes was given to a group coffee and another group was given placebo. After that they show them again similar types of images of various objects. The participants who took caffeine identified better images similar to the original, and those who had taken the placebo were more likely to do so incorrectly.

“The next step for us is to figure out the brain mechanisms underlying this enhancement,” Yassa said. “We can use brain-imaging techniques to address these questions. We also know that caffeine is associated with healthy longevity and may have some protective effects from cognitive decline like Alzheimer’s disease. These are certainly important questions for the future”; said Yassa on John Hopkins University Website.

Sources consulted: John Hopkins News Network, National Institute of Health of the United States and Healthday.

Photo by Empty Glass / Courtesy of Freedigitalphotos.net

This article was published at Leon Medical Center 


Have you ever dreamed about having a robot?

The science and technology are developing very fast. In Japan and Europe scientists have been design robots for helping elderly in order to improve their quality of life. The future is now.

Robot By luigi diamantiBy María Eugenia Fanti

In Europe, EU-funded Company offers to elderly the possibility of having a robot that help them with: household chores, remembering the time to take their medicine, offering them their favorite drink and invite them to walk and to visit friends.

But not only Europe is making robots. Japan is developing various technologies to help seniors. Panasonic created a robot with 24 fingers that is an expert washing heads, very useful for a person with impairs. It should be noted that this robot has already been tested in Japanese beauty salons. Another very popular robot in Japan is “Paro”, who helps elderly to wash the dishes, load heavy things and administer medications.

Our country is not far behind in technology. Recently at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Ooma Company showed a new wearable and smart phone to help elderly. For example, if you fall or if you have an accident, this device automatically calls the authorities and your family. So in an emergency you don’t even have to dial the number.

These are just small examples of how technology is advancing. Luckily, the companies have between their priorities developed products to help seniors. Dream is good and it doesn’t cost a thing, so what do you think is going to be the name of your robot?

Photo by Luigi Diamanti / Courtesy of Freedigitalphotos.net

This article was published at Leon Medical Center 


 

Grandparents by Skype

Many elderly have relatives living in other countries. Those who are living in Miami have family in Cuba and Venezuela, countries that may be difficult to travel, so how can you keep contact with your grandchildren and   other members of the family?

Global internet by renjith krishnanBy María Eugenia Fanti

If something has been achieved by new technologies is to improve communication. There are several programs that allow you to make long distance calls and at same time you can watch your relatives, such as: Face Time, Google Hangout @, ooVoo, Ekiga, among others. But, without a doubt one of the most easy to use and popular for the third age is Skype.

“I Live in Venezuela and I am a grandmother by Skype, I talk to my grandchildren and I watch them on screen, I speak with them at least one hour every week. I read stories and sing songs to them, I don’t know what I will do without Skype,” says Mrs. Maribel Medina.

It is important to note that in order to use Skype both people must have the program installed on their computer. To install it, we recommend you to visit this web site: http://www.aulaclic.es/articulos/skype.html

Once the program is installed you can use it. For user’s instructions we recommend this site: https://support.skype.com/es/faq/FA11098/como-comenzar-a-usar-skype-escritorio-de-windows

If you do not want to install programs on the computer, don’t worry, ask your friends, children, grandchildren, they’ll surely has Skype and can help you to connect with your relatives, especially now that holiday season arrived. Do not be afraid of new technologies, if others can use it you also can. Don’t be shy to ask how new technology works, you will see that lot of people will be happy to help you.

Photo by Renjith Krishnan / Courtesy of Freedigitalphotos

This article was published at Leon Medical Center 


Christmas presents for Grandparents

December is here and also Christmas. It is time for joy,  for sharing with family and also it is time for exchanging presents, but what are the best gifts for grandparents?

Regalos Navidad By María Eugenia Fanti

The main ingredient that must have any present should be love. The person of the third age requires more than ever feel loved and appreciated. So here below, there are some ideas of what presents you can give to them this Christmas:

1) Give them a photo album made by you. Put pictures with emotional moments you have lived together, like travels and also grandchildren’s stories.

2) Give to Grandpa or to Granny a photo of the whole family in a big and beautiful portrait, then, they can place it in their room and always remember that their family love them so much.

3)Make a cup or a mug  with their favorite grandchildren’s photo. Every morning when they drink their coffee, they will have a nice souvenir.

4) Make a feast this Christmas in honor of grandparents. This is a good opportunity to be thankful for everything they have given to us.

5) Give them a good book, especially one of their favorite authors.

6) The music is also a beautiful present. You can give them a CD or take them to the theater and watch together a musical. Remember  the most important thing is always telling grandparents how much you love them.

Photo by Grant Cochrane /  Courtesy of Freedigitalphotos

This article was published at Leon Medical Center 

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