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topLoving Arms Elder Care NewsletterWinter 2013

In This Issue
Mind - Brain Games
Body - Digestive Health
Spirit - Winter Blues
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Greetings!

I am so happy we finally got some snow this winter! It wasn't the 12" that my kids were hoping for but it was enough to force us to change our evening plans and sit as a family in front of the fire and watch a movie. Times like this really brighten my day and raise my spirits. What are some of the things you do that brighten your day? What are the ways you know to raise your spirits? It is important to think about and make a mental note so that you are prepared to act should you find yourself in a funk this winter. I have provided you with some ideas in the article titled "Keeping Your Spirit Alive - Winter Blues - Fact or Fiction". snowman
 
Happy reading!

Aimee Read 
Loving Arms Elder Care
Keeping Your Mind Active 
Playing "Brain Games"
 
Brain games have been shown to help maintain cognitive abilities as people age. Along with reducing the risk of dementia, research suggests that playing mind games can help promote brain health and strengthen critical thinking. Brain games are fun, keeping us entertained and interested. Aside from the obvious brain-stimulating benefits that are the result of playing brain games, many on-line game sites offer opportunities for social interaction through forums and chats. When played over a certain period of time, brain games help seniors retain their cognitive abilities longer. The results are different for each person and are designed as an aid rather than a cure for anything.

Here are some examples of games you might find of interest:

    *  Word Puzzles - Crossword Puzzles or Word Search
    *  Number Games - Sudoko
    *  Strategy Games - Chess or Checkers
    
Many games can also be found online. Please feel free to check into these
crosswordssites.
Lumosity
AARP

Real Age
Braingle
Your Life Choices

So take a few minutes out of your day and play a "brain game". Its fun and there are actually benefits from doing it!
 
Keeping Your Body Healthy 
Digestive Health water

Constipation and irregularity are among seniors' top complaints for many reasons. It can make you feel miserable, and may lead to problems like hemorrhoids, anal fissures or even intestinal blockages.

There are many reasons why seniors may be more prone to constipation.

    *    Diets lacking in fresh fruits and vegetables
    *    Less active lifestyles
    *    Prescription medications that can cause constipation as a side effect
    *    Hurried eating - improper chewing of food puts undue strain on the
          stomach
    *    Lactose intolerance - milk sugar is not thoroughly broken down in the
          small intestine and arrives in the colon intact.
    *    Gluten sensitivity - the small intestine reacts against gluten proteins
          found in wheat, rye, barley, and oats.

Your digestive system is vital to your health. It processes the food you eat, absorbs its nutrients and turns it into energy your body needs and eliminates the waste that you don't need.


To learn more about digestive health, click here.

Spirit Keeping Your Spirit Alive
Winter Blues - Fact or Fiction 

sun
As the days get shorter, daylight becomes scarce and the nights get colder, it is natural to feel a little down. The winter months might even have a more pronounced impact on seniors who live alone and experience the frigid weather and icy sidewalks making it more difficult to get out and socialize, run errands, shop, and even maintain regular routines. This may all lead to the "winter blues". The "winter blues" (also known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)) are characterized by mild depression, fatigue, sleeping more, changes in activity level, not wanting to engage in regular activities and changes in appetite.

Luckily, there's a lot you can do to prevent the blues from coming on and get yourself back to normal. 

     *  Light Therapy        pillows                          

     *  Eat a Healthy Diet

     *  Participate in a Physical Activity

     *  Stay Involved in Community Activities & Relationships 

     *  Get a Good Nights Sleep

     *  Avoid Binge Drinking

     *  Treat Yourself to Lunch out with Friends 

     *  Surround Yourself with Vibrant colors

     *  Keep the Mind Active by Playing Brain Games 

     *  Medication

 

For those who have been independent and able to do things on their own, now might be a good time to utilize the services of Loving Arms Elder Care. Our specially trained caregivers can provide assistance and companionship to help you get through those "winter blues". So remember, keep moving, eat healthy and stay involved, because spring and summer will be back before you know it.

To learn more about preventing the blues, click here.