Archive for July, 2009|Monthly archive page

IT’S NEVER TOO LATE TO LEARN HOW TO USE A COMPUTER

In ever increasing numbers seniors are embracing technology and they are currently the fastest growing group of computer buyers and Internet users. A recent study by the Canadian Internet Project reports that 51% of Canadians aged 60 and over are now online. This is great news because research shows that computer use has a positive influence on the overall outlook and mental health of seniors. According to the American Psychological Association, seniors who use computers show fewer depressive symptoms than others. Nursing homes with computer facilities have reported improvements in the residents’ feelings of self-esteem and life satisfaction. At the Yee Hong Centre for Geriatric Care in Scarborough, Ontario seniors surf the Internet, Instant Message friends and family, and learn to blog in the computer lab, and they are loving it.

Computers can enrich the lives of seniors in many ways. Most importantly they contribute to a greater sense of independence and decreased isolation. Regular computer use can keep the mind active and sharp. The Internet is a life line for seniors who may have restricted mobility and find it increasingly difficult to get out and about. With families spread out all over our global village, the Internet offers a cost effective and convenient way for seniors to keep in touch with family and friends. Think of the marvelous things that you can do online

  • Stay in touch with friends and family via email
  • Send online greeting cards
  • Post and view photographs
  • Shop
  • Pay bills
  • Listen to music
  • Research health related information
  • Search government websites for information
  • Play games
  • Do genealogical searches
  • Keep up with news and current events
  • Make travel plans
  • Buy tickets for concerts, theatre, and special events

Don’t be afraid of computers. Everyone can learn how to use a computer. The costs of owning a computer have really come down in recent years, but if a new computer is beyond your budget, consider purchasing a used computer. If you are mobile the Government of Canada offers the use of computers and the Internet for free.

For help in finding public access to computers and training near you call:

1-800-268-6608
TTY: 1-800-465-7735

THE IMPORTANCE OF STAYING ACTIVE

Seniors can and should remain healthy, active, vital, independent, and sexy. These qualities are ageless. In fact seniors who live an active lifestyle – are physically active, exercise regularly, and participate in leisure activities – can help to prevent or delay many diseases and disabilities.

According to the Public Health Agency of Canada:

* 60% of older adults are inactive.
* Sitting or lying for long periods is a serious health risk.
* Inactivity leads to declines in bone strength, muscle strength, heart and lung fitness, and flexibility.
* Inactivity is as harmful to your health as smoking.

The one thing that most seniors fear is giving up their independence, yet the numbers of seniors who are inactive is alarming. Mobility is essential for independent living – bending, carrying, and lifting are necessary in the course of everyday living. It’s never too late to get active. In a recent study by the Buck Institute, Simon Melov, PhD, and Mark Tarnopolsky, MD, PhD, of McMaster University Medical Center in Hamilton, Ontario, found that exercise, particularly resistance training, actually rejuvenates muscle tissue in healthy senior citizens.

Start today. Keep as active as possible. Just 30 minutes of physical activity a day will improve your health and quality of life. Walk, dance, garden, golf, go shopping, take the dog for a walk, volunteer, cycle, do your housework, take yoga and Pilates classes, play with your grandchildren, and have sex. Yes sex! It’s great exercise. In winter, you can still keep active by walking in shopping malls, going to your local community centre, or joining a gym.

Seniors who exercise regularly enjoy:

* Improved quality of life
* Vitality
* Prolonged independence
* Increased energy
* Stronger muscles and bones
* Fewer aches and pains
* Better posture
* Reduced risk of falls and injuries, obesity, high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes, osteoporosis, and depression

Exercise is good for all seniors, even those with medical conditions including heart conditions, osteoporosis, and arthritis. Please consult your doctor for a medically recommended exercise program.