Art therapy

art therapy
noun
  1. a form of psychotherapy involving the encouragement of free self-expression through painting, drawing, or modelling, used as a remedial or diagnostic activity.

I love art therapy! I actually love anything that is considered creative.

Sounds silly? Well it is a very important for all ages – especially the elderly.

  1. Art therapy can positively improve a person’s mood.
    The elderly sometimes feel frustrated by their loss of mobility, hearing, or the physical changes due to the aging process. Taking time to do some art therapy can relieve the feelings of anxiety and stress.
  2. Art therapy can be a new form of expression for the elderly with difficulty in verbal communication or for those who have difficulty in writing. Those with memory loss will also benefit from art therapy. Art allows for a new way of communication and expression.  It opens up a whole new world for the elderly with limitations.
  3. Art therapy can reduce the feelings of depression.
  4. Art therapy has been known to assist in encouraging socialization in the elderly. It is hard to think of topics to talk about if you are not learning anything new, if you can’t read or even speak. Art therapy makes opportunities for talking and discussions.
  5. Art therapy gives the person a increased feeling of self – esteem. They are proud of their latest creation. People will admire and discuss the latest handiwork.
  6. And lastly, art therapy will reduce the feelings of boredom. It will help the day to pass in a short time. Sitting all day and looking at the 4 walls of the room can really be boring and depressing. I can say from the experience of being in hospital a lot of my childhood, the walls can start to feel like they are getting closer and closer. It is not a pleasant feeling. Don’t forget to display the finished project in the best possible way. It can be on the wall, on a bed or couch, or even hung up to move in the breeze from an open window. Please make sure that the art is visible to the creator.

The types of art therapy:

  • painting
  • line drawing
  • collages
  • pastels
  • chalk
  • stenciling

Art therapy can also benefit you as the primary caregiver. It gives you time to connect to your creative side. And art therapy can help relieve the stress that caregiving brings.  And you don’t need to be highly gifted to participate in art therapy. If I may, I strongly believe that if you can paint or draw lines, you are creative. There is no manual to creativity. Give it a try, you are creative in your way.

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Valentine’s day

Yesterday it was Valentine’s Day.

It is a day where loved ones will buy roses, chocolates or write letters to their loved ones. I got a Valentine’s wish from a friend. It felt so nice to see on my phone that I had received a message. I opened the message and lo and behold it was a wish from a lovely friend.

I hope everyone can show love to their loved one all year round and not only on 1 day a year. Don’t wait for the designated day, it might be too late. Say “I love you” everyday. Show your love everyday by caring and giving to the person you are caring for. Actions are great, but sometimes we also want to hear the words.

And don’t wait for that special occasion to say those important words. It might be too late and you will never ever get to say the words to that special person. Love everyday. Life is too short.

Love!

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Tissue Salt no. 5

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It’s time for our next tissue salt…Kali mur. – Kalium Muriaticum

This tissue salt is a decongestant, a second stage inflammation reduce and a waste eliminator.

I need to add that I always used this when I got a cold and my nose and sinuses became very congested. It worked like a bomb. It’s more effective than pharmaceutical decongestants and without the side affects.

When you have the flu, your nose is all congested and there is a thick mucus discharge, your throat is sore, your eyes are having a discharge, your tonsils are swollen with pustules or you are experiencing crackling noises in the ears then Kali Mur is for you.

If you are experiencing heartburn, burping, take 2 tablets 3 to 4 times a day.

Kali mur. aids the skeletal system and the joints in numerous ways. If you are experiencing backache, shoulder pains, stiffness and arthritis pains take Kali mur. to sooth the pain.

Information taken from:
Tissue Salts for healthy living by Margaret Roberts
https://allisone.co.za

Flowers and Elderly People

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Flowers come in so many colours and fragrances and when they start to bloom, we know spring is here. Flowers bring life and colour to a room. The elderly will benefit from having flowers in the house. Flowers can boost a person’s mood and reducing the risk of depression, and flowers can have a positive effect on a person’s physical health. When a person receives a flower or bunch of flowers, they are filled with joy and happiness. Flowers have also been known to improve a person’s social interaction. Certain fragrances of flowers can have an effect on a person just as much as the sight of them.
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  • Rose can have anti-depressant effect on a person and it calms or uplifts the mood.
  • Lavender has a relaxing fragrance. It has been known to improve sleep quality.
  • Jasmine is a great favorite among many people. The fragrance has calming effects and it will reduce blood pressure and stress levels. It is also known to reduce the heart rate and breathing rate.
  • Lilies are lovely flowers to look at and admire. The benefits of the lily’s fragrance are numerous: they reduce stress, reduce anxiety, and reduce drepression. They also provide positive effects on the human body and health by enhancing and encouraging relaxation, boosting energy and encouraging positive feelings.
  • Frangipani helps with fighting depression.
 
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Flowers are important to have on display in the home, whether they are artificial flowers or real, they will benefit you and the elderly person you care for. The real flowers have fragrances and that is an added bonus. Work with the elderly person when arranging the flowers in a vase, or include them in the choosing of the flowers when you go buy from a store. And if you are going to hand pick flowers from the fields, farm or your backyard, include the elderly in the choosing of the varieties. It will be a lovely way to spend time together.  

Ocean

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I love the ocean. I enjoy swimming a few laps and then just lay in the water looking at the sky. Not everyone loves the ocean and not everyone can stand the cold water on their skin. The elderly are no different. Some may enjoy the cool water on their ankles and others may not. If your parent used to enjoy swimming, why not take them to beach? Let them enjoy the cool water on their skins. The benefits of ocean water will also benefit them. Note: One can mix their own salt and water at home and add a little epsom salt if you are too far from the ocean or landlocked.

Just be cautious and observant with your parent’s balance when walking on the sand. It is not a firm or solid ground and they might lose balance often and falling might result in twisted ankles or fractured hips. 

But don’t let this fear stop your elderly parent from having fun. Let them also experience the benefits of ocean water on their skins. Just be careful with mobility.

The ocean has many benefits on the human body:

The salty ocean water provides minerals that benefit the skin. Here are a few minerals found in the water: magnesium, calcium, and potassium. These all help to treat skin infections, absorb toxins in and on the body, encourages the skin to heal and works to treat eczema.

Ocean water helps to soothe itchy, flaky or dry scalp.

The ocean sounds can help to reduce stress and encourages a person to relax. There is that calm quiet and peaceful feeling oceans bring to a person.

Ocean/sea air is very beneficial for the respiratory organs. The air causes the mucus in the lungs and bronchiole tracts to loosen and this makes coughing easier and it will encourage the airways to become clear. The sea air is also free of pollution and this makes it free from harmful particles.

Ocean air improves circulation in the body.

Ocean air improves sleeping habits.

One way that the ocean can indirectly benefit an elderly person, is that you get bonding time together. You have a chance to get a change of scenery and spend time together while you sit on the beach, or in the car. You both will benefit from the outing together.

I do understand that not everyone can get to the ocean or seaside, so if that is the case for you here is what you could do to set the ‘seaside’ scene. Play some ocean sounds on a ipad, tablet, laptop or CD, sit together and let the sounds flow over you. You can enjoy a cup of tea, or a cold beverage while listening to the ocean sounds. One can even get some builder’s ‘white’ sand and put your feet into it. There are a few ways to set up your own home beach. Don’t forget sunscreen if you sit outside.

I hope you enjoyed this article.

Laughter is a Medicine

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I love the sound of people laughing and being happy. I can’t go through my day without laughter. Laughter is the best medicine in the world for the human body and the best thing about it is that it’s free. The human body cannot distinguish between a real laugh or a fake laugh. Laughter stimulates the motor region of our brain to become active and that produces the physical reaction – the sound of laughing.

Laughter has many health benefits:

Laughter boosts our heart rate.

Laughter boosts the production of certain antibodies that are responsible for boosting our immune systems.

Laughter reduces stress hormones – cortisol and epinephrine

Laughter releases endorphines which are responsible for relieving the body of physical pain.

Laughter protects the human heart by improving the function of the blood vessels and increasing the  blood flow. This will lower your risk of a heart attack and other heart problems.

Laughter can burn unwanted calories. 13 minutes of laughter burns around 40 calories.

Laughter can calm anger. It is the hardest benefit of laughter as one needs to laugh when they feel angry and that is not easy. Great news about the human body: it can’t distinguish between a real or fake laugh. So when you feel angry, fake laugh and you will start laughing for real and the anger will subside.

Laughter is great medicine for cancer victims. It has been noted that those suffering with cancer who laugh are able to cope better with pain and it provides them with a better sense of wellbeing.

 

Resourses:
https://www.helpguide.org/articles/mental-health/laughter-is-the-best-medicine.htm
https://www.medicalbag.com/lifestyle/laughter-therapy-shown-to-boost-immune-function-in-cancer-patients/article/472627/
https://www.sciencealert.com/watch-here-s-what-happens-to-you-brain-when-you-laugh

 

 

Hacks and Tips for all

The elderly sometimes struggle with the basic everyday activities, equipment and routines. It is very frustrating to not to be able to do what you need to do and to not be able to do it in a reasonable time frame.

There are a few things that one can do or use to make life a little easier for the person involved.

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Zippers: Zippers can be very fiddly and small. This makes it difficult for people with arthritis or shakes to close and open them. If you thread a piece of twine through the zipper easier to grab. You can also use can opener rings or a keyring.

Canes: Keep a cane or walking frame in every room in the house. This might sound strange, but people who need a walking stick or frame, forget that they are needing the aid to move around safely. Keep the cane or frame in a noticeable spot by the door.

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Notices: Keep a white board in a prominent place in the house. On the board, you can write the day’s agenda or important events that are to happen during the day. Keep the information simple and straight to the point, put the date and times next to relevant information and use clear font.

Dressing: If the person is still able to dress themselves, but seem to have a problem getting the order of the clothes right or leaving off garments, here is a tip. Put the clothing out the night before and put it in the order that one will put them on to dress. Also leaving sticky notes with numbers on for the order of dressing, will be very helpful.

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TV remotes: All those little buttons are very confusing to the elderly. Mark the buttons that are needed to change the sound, channel and power button with a marker. Or you can do it in reverse and mark the buttons that are not needed to change channels, change volume or power on or off.

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Drinking glasses: Glass or plastic drinking cups can be very slippery to hold. This problem can be solved by using a few rubber bands. Put 2 or 3 rubber bands around the glass and this will help with the slipperiness of the cup.

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Doorknobs: Round doorknobs are not easy for arthritic hands to grab. They can make opening and closing doors very hard and frustrating for those people who have limitations to their finger joints. Try using foam tubing and a cable tie to improve the grip of the doorknob.

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Clothing Hangers: Clothing hangers can be a little tricky for those who don’t have their full balance or if they are a little on the shorter side. Hang a hanger on a hanger in the cupboard. It is not the neatest way to arrange your cupboard, but it will make it easier to take a hanger down and then re-hang it.