Caregiver Holiday Stress Guide: 6 Top Tips for Managing Stress

caregiver holiday stress

Have a more pleasant holiday with our best caregiver stress tips

Holidays are stressful enough, but when you add caregiving to the mix, the combo can send your stress levels through the roof.

To improve your holiday experience, we’ve chosen our 6 top articles that help you reset holiday expectations, reduce emotional stress, cope with feeling unappreciated, and reduce overall stress and anxiety.


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6 top articles help you reduce caregiver holiday stress

1) 3 Ways to Reduce Caregiver Holiday Stress and Enjoy the Season
When you’re a caregiver, it’s important to remember that holidays don’t have to be the same as they were in the past.

Get 3 tips to help you eliminate unrealistic expectations, reduce guilt and stress, and get a well-deserved break.
3 tips to boost your holiday enjoyment

2) 2 Tips for Managing Difficult Caregiver Emotions: Advice from a Social Worker
Emotional issues in caregiving, like guilt or sadness, can intensify during the holidays. These strong feelings add to your stress, but are often pushed aside when things are hectic.

Get tried-and-true advice to help you manage these caregiver emotions from a social worker with decades of experience.
Get expert advice for dealing with caregiving emotions

3) 5 Techniques That Quickly Relieve Caregiver Anxiety
Caring for an older adult is a tough job. The stress can build up and suddenly come to a point where the anxiety and emotions intensify until you feel completely overwhelmed.

To quickly break out of a panicked negative spiral, we’ve got 5 simple techniques that stop caregiver anxiety in its tracks.
Get fast anxiety relief with 5 simple tips you can use anytime, anywhere

4) 11 Ways to Cope with Feeling Unappreciated as a Caregiver
Feeling unappreciated when you do so much to care for your older adult is a common issue in caregiving – and that feeling can be intensified during the holidays.

Not feeling valued increases resentment and stress, eventually leading to burnout. What’s important is to learn to manage the negative feelings to keep yourself as healthy as possible.
Get 11 tips to help you cope with feeling unappreciated

5) 25 Quick Journal Prompts That Reduce Caregiver Stress and Improve Health
The stress of holiday caregiving can really wear you down. A quick, inexpensive, and effective way to reduce caregiver stress and improve health is to write in a journal.

Writing down thoughts and feelings is proven to have a long list of benefits like reduced stress and depression, improved ability to withstand stress, infection, and disease, and improved sleep.

We share our 10 favorite prompts that make journaling quick and easy and explain how to use them.
Get journal prompts that help you quickly release stress and think positively

6) 5 Mobile Apps That Instantly Relieve Caregiver Anxiety
When you’re feeling overwhelmed by anxiety, worry, fear, or anger it can be difficult to interrupt the negative cycle and shake ourselves free of those feelings.

We rounded up 5 wonderful (and free!) mobile apps that instantly lower your blood pressure, help you focus on positive thoughts, and bring you back to a calm state.

That lets you relax enough to take a break, make decisions with a clear head, or continue to be patient with your older adult despite a frustrating situation.
Get fast, free anxiety relief from 5 helpful mobile apps

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By DailyCaring Editorial Team
Image: Home to Home


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Source: CareTips

Tips for Including Older Loved Ones in Holiday Conversations

This time of year is considered special by many, and it’s with a reason. The holiday season is upon us. During this time, friends and family gather to celebrate various festivities and enjoy time spent together. Over the holidays, it is essential to be around your elderly loved ones and dedicate some of your time to them. But the issues that arise when you try to do this is from the difference in age and interests. Sometimes younger family members don’t know how to approach their senior loved ones and directly talk to them. At the same time, the seniors often feel like they are left out the conversation. The first thing that you can do to improve your communication with an older family member is to understand what’s causing the issue. Here we are going to talk about different communication tactics that can help to overcome this problem.

Some of the Best Known Are:

  • Put Yourself in Their Shoes
  • Be Mindful of Loss of Hearing
  • Offer Choices and Recognize Their Independence
  • Ask Open-Ended Questions, Listen, & Follow Up
Tips for Including Older Loved Ones in Holiday Conversations

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Put Yourself in Their Shoes

It can be difficult for a person to sit at the dinner table and feel like they are left out of the conversation. In your senior’s case, this can be even more difficult to handle. It often makes them feel as though they are treated as kids all over again, despite their vast life experience and wisdom. In some situations, the elderly who suffer from dementia or Alzheimer’s are often entirely left out of the conversation. The best way to change this scenario is to imagine yourself in their shoes and start thinking how would that make you feel. The first step is understanding, and you have already begun to change things around.

Be Mindful of Loss of Hearing

You don’t need to be a doctor to understand that the loss of hearing, or even some other senses such as vision, that come with old age can make it difficult to follow conversations. Luckily medicine has advanced enough so that we can make life easier for our older loved ones with various assistive devices that can improve their hearing or vision. But even without them, you can be aware with your own part of the conversation by merely speaking slower or louder—the minor limitations that elderly people have don’t need to be the reason for them being left out from family gatherings even when they are physically present.

Offer Choices and Recognize Their Independence

With old age, there will undoubtedly be physical limitations that the elderly will have to face, but that doesn’t mean that they want to be utterly reliant on you or that they are ready to fully accept the new order of things. This is something you need to take into account when talking with your older loved ones.

The difference is in the simple way you say things. For example, instead of saying, “Here, Grandpa, take this glass of water,’’ you can say, ‘’Would you like a glass of water, Grandpa?”

It is essential to make seniors feel like they are an equal partner in a conversation like they should be. This will make them feel good about themselves and create a positive atmosphere all around.

Ask Open-Ended Questions, Listen, & Follow Up

The best way to start a conversation is to remember first grade English lessons. All you need to do is to start a discussion with an easy question. When it comes to the elderly during the holiday season, the easiest way is to ask them about past holidays and how they did things back in the day.

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Source: CareTips

Holiday Tips for Older Adults and Their Caregivers

It’s the holiday season!

First, there was Halloween, and then we had Thanksgiving. However, the best is yet to come.

Christmas is the favorite part of the year of many people living in the US. There’s nothing like Christmas, when the whole family gathers to celebrate one of the biggest Christian holidays. We celebrate peace and family.

On the other hand, the holiday season can be stressful for both caregivers and older adults and has its issues.

In this article we will discuss the following tips:

  • Keep your senior healthy during the holiday season
  • Keep your senior on both feet
  • Gift ideas for seniors
  • Caring for caregivers during the holidays

Keep Your Senior Healthy During the Holiday Season

Autumn and winter are the seasons when people easily get the flu or catch a cold. Older adults are particularly vulnerable since their immune system is usually weak.

Everyone wants to avoid being sick for Christmas and Thanksgiving. There’s nothing worse than having a fever and being in bed while your family gathers around the table.

Keeping your loved one healthy through the holiday season should be among your top priorities.  Read more on how to make sure your older adult won’t get sick during the holidays.

Keep Your Senior on Both Feet

Not only do we need to keep our older adults healthy, but we need to keep them from falling.

Falls are common in winter when the ground is frozen. Only one wrong step can result in a disaster.

Muscles and bones lose their strength over the years. Bones become fragile, and one fall can be too much. Healing can take a very long time, and it’s not fun having a broken leg, especially for Christmas. Unfortunately, some seniors never recover from a fall.

Therefore, staying on both feet is a priority. Learn what you should do to prevent seniors from falling.

caregiving during holidays

Gift Ideas for Seniors

Many people dislike holidays for one reason—not knowing what to give their loved ones as a present.

After so many holidays in a year, and all the years and gifts that have passed, people struggle to find a unique present that will make their loved ones happy. Finding a perfect present for everyone can be quite stressful.

Older adults may be even more difficult. Even if the say they don’t want anything, a small gift will warm their heart.

Not sure what to give to your older adult? Read more to get an idea of a perfect present.

Caring for Caregivers During the Holidays

Holidays can be stressful for numerous reasons. It is the time when everyone should relax and spend quality time with their families.

However, holidays can cause even more stress to caregivers. They usually need to prepare everything for the upcoming celebrations and take care of an older adult as well.

Instead of having a relaxing time with their family, it can be the opposite.

Don’t forget to take care of yourself and think about your needs. Holidays should be a time everyone should enjoy.

Read tips on how to make caregiving easier during the holidays and how to handle caregiving during the holidays.

The holiday season is in full swing. Let this be a relaxing time that you will enjoy with your family. Go through these articles and follow the tips to prepare yourself. Don’t let anything surprise you, and keep in mind you should take care of yourself as well. If you aren’t entirely content, then your family can’t be truly happy.

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Source: CareTips

3 Reasons Why Weight Training Is Recommended for Seniors

Working out is an activity that divides people and opinions. Some claim that women who exercise look bulky and overly masculine, while others argue that you aren’t doing it right if you feel no pain in your muscles. While these claims have little truth to them, even bigger misconceptions exist regarding older adults and exercise.

When recommending exercises for seniors, many people suggest easy workouts that only slightly raise their heartbeat. The most frequent choices are walking, dancing, and other low impact exercises. Most of them don’t even think about lifting weights, but they should. This activity is often associated with the younger population but for no particular reason. Lifting weights is an ideal workout for the elderly too. Seniors don’t have to focus only on lifting weights, but they should put strength exercises into their workout regimen. Why? Well, there are many reasons, and in this article, we are going to talk about some of them. After reading this, we hope you consider weight training or recommend it to your elderly loved one.

3 Reasons Why Weight Training for Seniors is Recommended

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Three Key Reasons to Consider Weight Training

  • Daily Living Activities
  • Independence
  • Balance
3 Reasons Why Weight Training for Seniors is Recommended

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Daily Living Activities

Luckily for older adults, almost all daily activities require them using strength. Even getting up out of bed or standing up from a chair requires a certain degree of force. One of the most popular activities among seniors is walking. While walking is undoubtedly healthy, it is not strength training.

With age, our muscles get weaker and we lose strength, so in order to slow down the atrophy, we should do some weight training. Unfortunately, many seniors don’t include strength training in their exercise routine. Because of this, they lose strength with every passing year, and in some time they find themselves having issues completing daily tasks.

3 Reasons Why Weight Training for Seniors is Recommended

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Independence

When this happens, loss of independence follows. Seniors who lack strength become unable to shop for groceries, do some heavy lifting around the home, and in more severe cases they can’t climb the stairs. Seniors who manage to maintain their strength can care for themselves even later in life. The best way to be one of those seniors is to incorporate strength training into your exercise routine.

3 Reasons Why Weight Training for Seniors is Recommended

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Balance

Balance comes with strength. The more strength you have, the easier to maintain your balance, which will prevent you from having falls that could lead to severe injuries. By working out, you can strengthen your core, postural muscles, and legs—all of which are essential for maintaining balance. Lifting weights and doing squats will do this for you.

How to Incorporate Strength Training

  • Use your body
  • Try using household items

Use Your Body

Even if you don’t have access to weights, your body still weighs something. Lunges, push-ups, and squats are just some of the exercises that will give you strength, and they require no additional load. Your body will be enough resistance for your muscles in most cases.

Use Household Items

Even cans of food can serve as weights and will be ideal equipment for strength exercises for your arms. This might sound funny, but dedicate some time to it, and you will see results in no time.

These are just some of the choices you have for adding strength exercises to your workout regimen. If you try, you will find numerous others. In the end, you will find out that there are many ways that will help you stay active, give you strength, and in the long run provide you with years of independence.

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Source: CareTips

Different Types of Manual Wheelchairs

Do you know that wheelchairs come in various sizes and types? They can also have additional features and accessories to make the ride as comfortable as possible.

If you’ve never been in need for one, you probably have never paid attention. However, if you think that a wheelchair would be a good solution for your loved one, then you need to know which one would be the most suitable.

There is a massive difference between an older adult who’s mobile and needs a chair only for longer distances, and a senior who needs it for permanent use.

These are the basic types of manual wheelchairs:

  • Standard
  • Lightweight
  • Heavy duty
  • Tilt and recliner
  • Transport
  • Other types

Here are the overviews of every one of them.

Standard Wheelchairs

Manual standard wheelchairs usually have large back wheels, while the front ones are noticeably smaller. This type is the most common, and people typically opt for the standard version.

A person using this kind of wheelchair can push themselves easily, since all of them have gripped handles. There are also handles at the back of the chair so a caregiver can push them.

The only problem with a standard wheelchair is that it’s a bit heavy. This doesn’t make it suitable for traveling, since it is difficult to lift.

Lightweight Wheelchairs

Lightweight wheelchairs are very similar to the standard type with one huge advantage. As the name suggests, they weigh less and so are more appropriate for traveling. Being light (typically between 25 to 40 lbs), it is easy to lift it and put in the trunk without any difficulties.

This type of wheelchair is lighter thanks to the particular materials they are made from. They are usually constructed with aluminum or titanium, or even carbon steel.

Like the standard model, lightweight wheelchairs have one pair of large wheels and one pair of small ones.

older adult in a wheelchair

Heavy Duty Wheelchairs

Heavy duty wheelchairs are designed for people who are overweight. They can usually support a person up to 700 lbs.

When compared to the standard type, a heavy duty wheelchair has a larger seat. The frame is also stronger.

It is designed so that, despite a substantial weight, a caregiver can push them easily.

Tilt and Recliner Wheelchairs

A tilting or reclining seat is of great help when getting out of or into bed. It also makes things easier when an older adult goes onto the toilet.

With these wheelchairs, you can safely lean them towards the ground and then lift your older adult.

Transport Wheelchairs

Transport wheelchairs are often used in hospitals and less so in a home environment.

They are significantly different than the other types. This type features wheels of all the same size. There are no large and small wheels.

For short outings, they are great, since these wheelchairs don’t weigh much. However, for long and outdoor use, types with large back wheels are preferable.

The problem with these chairs is also the inability for a person to push themselves. There always needs to be someone to propel a transport wheelchair.

Other Types of Wheelchairs

The other types are specifically designed for specific purposes.

sports wheelchair

For instance, there is a particular type of wheelchair for children. Also, athletes with disabilities need a wheelchair designed according to their needs. The list goes on.

Talk to your loved one and decide which type would be the best for them. If none of these types fits them, think about contacting a producer and ordering a personalized wheelchair.

 

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Source: CareTips

4 Dementia-Friendly Winter Activities

Winter is the part of the year where people spend most of the time indoors. It is too cold to go on long walks, and we look for ways to entertain ourselves during these short days and long nights.

Luckily, winter season means a lot of holidays: Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, New Year, etc. These holidays are synonyms for giving presents, baking cookies, making delicious dishes, and singing songs. You, your older adult, and the entire family can participate in these activities.

However, the problem is what to do in between?

We’ve already discussed some winter activities for seniors. However, this time we will pay more attention to dementia-friendly activities.

  • Cook with your loved one
  • Knit
  • Exercise
  • Stay in touch with friends and family

Cook with Your Loved One

Cooking can be fun! Make delicious meals together, and spend some quality time with your family.

Ask them about their favorite recipes. Let them show you the way they used to prepare a certain meal in their youth.

Not only will they have fun, but it is a great cognitive exercise, too. Reading recipes, remembering what goes first, measuring the ingredients, and cooking requires the brain to be engaged all the time.

Being in a wheelchair doesn’t mean an older adult can’t participate. Let them read the recipe or stir the ingredients. You can find a task for everyone.

Knit

Knitting is not as popular as it used to be. However, it is a creative hobby an older adult can enjoy.

Teaching your senior how to knit has numerous benefits. Even if you don’t know how to do it, learning it together will bring you closer to your loved one.

They can create gloves, hats, or sweaters for their grandchildren and have a new sense of purpose. Donating the creations to the Red Cross or other humanitarian organizations is also an option.

Seems complicated to you? Watch this tutorial on YouTube to learn the basics.

Exercise

Performing exercises may not be on the top of the list of favorite activities. Nevertheless it is essential for seniors to be active. They usually don’t go out of the house often in winter, especially if they suffer from dementia.

senior performing yoga

Suggest your loved one exercise regularly. Even the simplest exercises can help. Try yoga, tai chi, or even seated exercises. Any type of activity will have numerous health benefits for your older adult. This especially refers to reduced blood pressure, decreased back pain, and improved mood.

Regular fitness is important for maintaining balance. Exercising strengthens bones and muscles so seniors will reduce the risk of falling.

Stay in Touch with Friends and Family

Winter is the time of year when we see our family and friends less than usual. It is too cold to go outside often, so we prefer to stay indoors.

This means we have less contact with the people we care about. Loneliness in the elderly is particularly pronounced during this season.

Although it is winter, it doesn’t need to be that way.

Luckily technology has progressed so we can now talk to and see our loved ones even if they are on the other side of the planet.

Organize a video chat for your loved one with people they care about. Although a face-to-face meeting would be much better, even a video call can decrease the sense of isolation.

Winter is coming, so prepare yourself and your older adult ahead of time. Think about how to prevent them from falling and how to engage them in different activities. Winter may be boring and depressing, but there are ways to beat it.

Learn more about how to keep seniors warm during winter.

 

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How to Combat Loneliness for Seniors During the Holidays

The holiday season is the part of the year when everyone tries to be happy and spread positive energy. But for some seniors, it’s hard to hide that they are feeling lonely and isolated. Despite the holiday season being one of the most joyous times of the year, there are individuals that feel alone. The sad fact is that the group of people who think like this is quite large. According to statistics, 45% of Americans don’t enjoy the holiday season because of feelings of loneliness and isolation. Even more dreadful statistics claim that they feel like this during the entire year. Because of stats like this, it is essential to address loneliness as a medical condition that plagues the elderly population and make our elderly loved ones feel loved once again.

How to Combat Loneliness for Seniors During the Holidays

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What Does Loneliness Feel Like? What Are the Signs?

It is not easy to recognize loneliness in the elderly. Most people consider seniors lonely when they are living far from family in an assisted living facility and nobody comes to visit them. But in the majority of cases, feeling lonely has nothing to do with being physically isolated. It is about feeling like you are alone in the world even when you are surrounded by people. It is about not feeling like you belong.

For example, the spouse of an individual who is battling dementia can feel lonely as he watches his other half fading away. For people who are looking at their partners changing to the point they no longer recognize, it can make them feel like their spouse already passed away. The emotions that accumulate during this process are usually negative ones.

In situations like this, it is hard to see what consequence this situation has on the healthy partner. So if your loved one is not his usual self, you should look for signs that point to loneliness. The most common ones are too much sleep and lack of interest in activities they previously enjoyed. If you notice this in your loved one, it’s the right time to talk to them about what’s happening and how they are feeling.

How You Can Help a Lonely Older Loved One

Once you have talked with your loved one and had them express their feelings, the right move would be from you to fully acknowledge them. In most cases, it is hard to deal with negative emotions. It is especially difficult to handle them in situations where the elderly are not entirely willing to receive help from their children because they are younger individuals.

But even in a situation like this, you need to be patient and work with them, as you can provide the much-needed help. If you approach them without judgment and give them space, they will start discussing their negative feelings. It is essential that at first you remove all the stigma that surrounds this topic.

In most situations, it is hard to discuss the loss of a loved one with older adults, but it is essential to address this subject head on. If you do this, seniors will understand that their feelings are respected and that they are being heard. Many seniors will appreciate if you talk about their loss when you gather together or if you keep pictures of them in places where they can be seen. Others, at the same time, can feel more comfortable if you avoid speaking of them and spend time together without mentioning the subject.

If you talked with your loved one about how they would like to handle situations like this, you can make family gatherings much more enjoyable for everyone. Regardless of what they want, talking to them is the first step to full understanding and gaining the ability to help them further.

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Source: CareTips

How Art Benefits Seniors

Many humans describe their enjoyment in the arts as the most fulfilling life experience. According to various studies, practicing the arts can be very beneficial to the elderly. By becoming engaged with art, many seniors can spend their time in a more meaningful way, and it can also have therapeutic properties. By becoming a person that does art, older adults can share their talents with others, become valuable members of their respected communities, and also have their brains running on all cylinders. For seniors who already have some type of degenerative disease, the benefits of practicing art can have an even greater consequence on their lives.

Art Therapy

According to scientists, art therapy has a positive effect on both psychological and physiological aspects of human life. In addition to affecting one’s well-being, art will also have an immeasurable effect on a person’s cognition. It was proven that art therapy has the most positive effect on those who already have degenerative diseases. Patients with Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s are those who can reap the most significant benefits and help lower the impact of these conditions on their lives. By enjoying art, older people not only find a way to spend their time doing something useful, but they will also put their brain to work. Through art, seniors can improve their cognitive function and even create new neural pathways. All patients who have engaged themselves in art have seen improvement in their cognition.

How Art Benefits Seniors 1

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Art Therapy for Seniors with Dementia

There are many therapies that are highly beneficial for people with dementia, and art therapy belongs to that group. Its effectiveness lies in the fact that practicing art engages both hemispheres of the brain. People who work with art and create it benefit greatly. By creating something meaningful, we physically change our mind, which can have a significant effect on degenerative diseases such as dementia or Alzheimer’s.

Socialization

Creating art was a social activity in our early ages, and it remains like that to the present day. It allows those who practice it to not only create art but to give others the chance to express themselves by communicating about the work of art they are seeing. Many seniors who start making art find themselves re-engaged with their community. Furthermore, many get recognition from their peers and loved ones that they didn’t have before by merely expressing themselves. All of these things combined make a person feel good about themselves, which is highly beneficial for their well-being.

In some cases, the elderly find that they have talents they weren’t even aware of. There have been cases of world-renowned artists who have discovered their skills in the later stages of their lives. For example, we have Grandma Moses who started painting at the fragile age of 78. In the next two decades, she created some of the most famous folk paintings in American history.

These days we even have seniors who engage themselves in street art. In Europe, more precisely in Portugal and Germany, there are programs that connect the elderly with young graffiti and street artists so that they can engage in this type of art.

The benefit that many see is the socialization. Elderly adults who engage themselves with other people are less prone to fall into depression. This condition is becoming more and more common among seniors. Because of this, it is essential for seniors to engage in activities such as art. Seniors who socialize through art can facilitate relaxation, reduce anxiety and depression, improve cognitive function, increase self-esteem, and alleviate boredom.

How Art Benefits Seniors 2

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With art, older adults can have fun while at the same time reaping the health benefits this activity provides.

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Alternative Treatments for Arthritis

Even the simplest of tasks will become hard if you have joint pain. Most people that suffer from this condition already undergo some sort of treatment, but if your current one isn’t doing enough for your pain, maybe it’s time to consider some of the available alternative therapies. Continue reading our article to see the three most common alternatives to standard joint pain treatments. We are going to talk about their effectiveness and what professionals say about their use and purpose in medicine. Of course, we suggest that you consult your doctor before trying any of the alternatives for arthritis treatment we offer below.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is a remedy that has been recommended by folks for all kinds of treatments from the common cold to warts. Many will doubt its use as medicine because it’s a folk remedy, but it is proven that apple cider vinegar can be used for treating arthritis.

Regardless of its already broad use in treating arthritis, many medics still have divided opinions on it. Those who believe in it claim that apple cider vinegar alters the body’s pH balance by dissolving the harmful crystallization in the joints. It also provides healthy nutrients that are necessary for joint health. But many doctors, such as Professor Robert Moots, who is a rheumatologist at Liverpool’s University Hospital, say that these claims are unfounded.

While opinions remain divided, many people will try out apple cider vinegar to treat their joint pain. If you are one of those who would love to try it out, there are many ways you can do it by yourself at home. The best way is to mix one cup of apple cider vinegar with five cups of warm water and then soak your joints in the mixture. Also, you can mix it with olive oil and rub it directly into your skin. Some people even recommend drinking one or two tablespoons combined with water or juice.

Alternative Treatments for Arthritis

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Reiki Healing

Have you heard of reiki? It is based on the belief that there is a healing energy that flows through every person’s body. Those who practice reiki try to make the body vital and to heal it if needed by redistributing the energy in our body. Those who have been to reiki therapy say that it lasts between one hour and ninety minutes. During the treatment, a patient lies or sits in a comfortable position while the reiki practitioner infuses energy in particular places with their hands.

Unfortunately, there isn’t much research that shows the connection between reiki and arthritis. Many patients that have chronic joint pain claim that they felt better after reiki treatments. But regardless of their claims, no medical studies have confirmed that reiki is good for arthritis patients.

Alternative Treatments for Arthritis

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Acupuncture

This Chinese healing skill is based on the premise that all people are blessed with energy called chi, which is an essential part of our well-being. According to those who believe in chi, the imbalance in this energy is a cause of illness. Acupuncture consists of needles being inserted into a patient’s skin while he lies on the table. This process can last more than 40 minutes. The balance in chi is attained by adequately distributing needles across the body.

Many studies have proved that acupuncture is an effective way to treat chronic pain. So, unlike reiki, acupuncture is recommended by doctors. But many of them believe that acupuncture only works because people want to believe in it. This means that it works only because of the placebo effect. Regardless of this being true or not, it has had a positive impact on many patients.

Alternative Treatments for Arthritis

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The Grumpy Old People Stereotype

The term grumpy is often used when someone describes older people, especially older men. When an old person is irritable, people often don’t ask why but instead conclude that it’s because they are old. This conclusion is based on an idea that all older people are irritable. Which prompts a question: Will you be more irritable in your old age if you already are in your 30s? Many people wonder whether personality changes with age. This question is one that also interests scientists, and many studies are working on discovering just how our personality changes with age. Most of them agree on one thing. People don’t get grumpy with time. The truth is entirely on the opposite end of the spectrum.

The Big Five

If you are not into psychology, you probably haven’t heard of the term ‘’the big five.’’ Most studies in contemporary psychology revolve around this term. According to these psychology studies, the big five are extraversion, agreeableness, openness, conscientiousness, and neuroticism.

The Grumpy Old People Stereotype

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Extraversion

This term, according to studies, is used for measurement of expressiveness, excitability, or sociability.

Agreeableness

Psychologists use this term to measure traits such as affection, trust, altruism, or kindness.

Openness

Insight and imagination are covered by openness. More specifically, it’s used to measure one’s openness towards new relationships. Middle-aged and elderly people usually have lower scores compared to their younger counterparts.

Conscientiousness

Impulse control, organization, goal-setting, and thoughtfulness are included in this term.

Neuroticism

Most types of emotional instability are measured with this term. It includes anxiety and moodiness, together with many other types of emotional instability.

Let’s Look at the Studies

According to a study from NIH (National Institutes of Health), 75% of our personality traits will change as we grow older than 65. This proves that not only our personality changes with age, it varies quite a lot. Research conducted by the American Psychological Association showed that most traits named in the big five change through our life starting in our 30s and on up to our old age. But unlike the common belief, they don’t change for the worse but for the better. This means that people don’t become grumpy with time.

This prompts the question, where from does this belief comes from? Well, a trait that changes for the worse with old age is openness. Old people are generally less prone to forming new relationships. They also lose the desire to explore and have new experiences, and this is where from the idea of grumpy old men comes from. One thing that this points to is that as we get older, we choose to spend more time with the people we already know rather than look for new relationships.

More Studies

NIH also conducted a global study on this subject and found out one interesting thing. The stereotype that young people are impatient while old ones are not flexible is present all across the globe in all cultures. In the United States, these stereotypes are exaggerated. Because of this, while it’s true that our personality does changes with time, it does not reach extreme changes.

All studies on our personality reach the same conclusion. While it’s true that changes will occur, they are not a consequence of our age but more of our life experience. It is also important to note that people who have Alzheimer’s or some other type of dementia will experience personality changes because of their disease.

 

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