A man meets with a woman who is an occupational therapist. They sit at a table with colorful objects spread out between them.

“As occupational therapists, we often hear our older clients say they are retired, so they don’t need our services,” says Carol Stoolmiller, O.T.R./L., C.O.S.-C., corporate director of rehabilitation operations for Erickson Living.

A man in a brown sweater laughs with another man, who is wearing a purple button down. Both are wearing glasses

The ancient proverb “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones” has changed to “laughter is the best medicine.”

Someone in blue scrubs holds a plastic model of a kidney.

You know how to keep many major organs in your body healthy. Your heart, brain, and lungs are among them. But do you ever think about your kidneys? According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), about 10% of adults in the U.S. have at least some kidney damage. 

The kidneys’ job

A cartoon of a grey haired man looking distressed while counting sheep

You feel as if you’ve tried everything, but a restful night’s sleep still eludes you.

You are not alone. “In one study, 57% of older Americans complained of sleep difficulties and only 12% actually reported normal sleep,” says Matt Narrett, M.D., chief medical officer for Erickson Living.

Interest in sex and intimacy doesn’t just evaporate as people get older.

It’s difficult to determine seniors’ opinions about sex and whether they are having more sex or less. That’s because there’s no objective way to measure, and answers are obtained through surveys. For instance, a survey by an online dating social network for seniors found that that 97% of older adults believe that a sexual relationship is good for health.

Using the major senses, like touch, smell, and taste, can be calming to someone with dementia as well as help them to focus.

Research has provided insights into making life easier for caregivers of people with dementia. Here are more tips for making your day run smoother.

Stimulate the senses

An interesting fact about the course of dementia is that some of the major senses tend to stay intact for a long time. This can work to everyone’s advantage.

A hand runs a round hairbrush through thin white hair

It’s inevitable—you go gray and your hair thins as you get older. Grayness is determined by genetics, and thinning or baldness occurs because of genetics, a slowing rate of hair growth, or follicles that stop producing hair altogether. 

A daughter puts her hand on her mother's shoulder. Her mother looks away and seems a bit confused.

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, seven million people in the U.S. are living with Alzheimer’s disease. That number is projected to double by 2050. 

With an increasing prevalence of any condition comes more research, and much dementia-related research is focused on ways to improve quality of life for people suffering from the disease and ways their caregivers can help.

A woman works with a music therapist

Music therapy as a professional specialty didn’t come about until after World War II, when musicians visited veterans hospitals to entertain the patients who were dealing with physical and emotional trauma. Hospital staff noticed the significant positive responses by patients—both physically and mentally—and requested that the musicians be hired as employees.