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All "Senior Independent Living" Articles

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8 Ways to Help Improve Your Brain Health
Research is ongoing to determine the causes of Alzheimer's disease. Still, scientists agree that the causes probably include several factors like changes in the brain related to aging, the environment, and lifestyle. This tells us that a host of factors beyond genetics may play a role in the development and course of Alzheimer's disease.
Managing Mobility Problems in Seniors
Problems associated with aging can affect a person’s ability to move around, or mobility.
10 Activities for Seniors with Dementia or Alzheimer’s
10 activities seniors with Dementia and Alzheimer's can do with caregivers or loved ones to bring joy and consistency into their everyday lives. In these routines, there are plenty of ways for family caregivers to cherish great moments and memories together.
Nutrition That Nourishes the Heart and Mind
No matter our age, eating food that nourishes is important for our bodies, minds, and quality of life. But as our bodies change with age, so does what we need to stay healthy. When older adults choose the food that nourishes them, they have the energy to do the things they love every day.
50 Ways to Bring Seniors Comfort and Joy this Season
This holiday season promises to look different than any before it for many families. But it can be refreshing and fun to shake up the routine by incorporating new ideas, especially when some of the go-to activities may not be possible this holiday season.
The Respiratory System: Age-Related Changes & COPD
The respiratory system, like many of the other human systems (e.g., cardiovascular, digestive), is a wondrously complex and sophisticated arrangement of organs working together to maintain homeostasis.
Finding Your Source of Joy
As we celebrate our third annual National Day of Joy, I took a moment to reflect and consider the true impact joy has on our lives. Science proves that attaining daily doses or joy – big or small – works wonders on our overall wellness, including our physical and mental health.
Keeping Seniors Safe in the Bathroom
Bathrooms can be quite hazardous ─ especially for seniors. Bathrooms typically have slippery surfaces, and nothing dependable to grasp in order to prevent falls.
How to Help Seniors Safely this season
Even though this holiday season is different from years past, there are still plenty of ways you can make sure people get the support they need to take care of their seasonal tasks and experience more joy.
Holiday Safety With Seniors
To plan safe holiday gatherings with the seniors in your life this year, Comfort Keepers is here to offer advice and tips for senior safety and well-being.
Monday, October 6, 2014

Herbal Gardening and Its Benefits

You don't need a green thumb or a huge plot of land to reap the benefits of growing fresh herbs. Not only are herbs versatile and capable of lending great flavor to foods, and as natural remedies that benefit personal health and beauty, but the specific act of growing an herbal garden itself helps in many ways, especially for seniors.Herbal Gardening and Its Benefits

Planting an herb garden is a wonderful way to enjoy the sights, smells and tastes of a wide variety of plants. Fresh herbs are often easy to cultivate and can grow in a small garden in the back yard, in pots on an outdoor patio or sunroom, or even in a window box inside a kitchen. Gardening is a terrific hobby and allows your senior loved one an opportunity to show his or her creativity. It is a great activity that can be shared with others like grandchildren, with friends in a club as a social activity, or even alone. Not only is gardening relaxing but it also improves hand-eye coordination, motor skills and self-esteem.


Herbs have many values but a few of the most common uses include aromatherapy, medicinal, as seasonings and flavorings in foods and beverages, and in salads. Many herbs are chockfull of cancer-fighting antioxidants, valuable nutrients, fat-free flavor, and more. Before beginning any herbal treatment, caregivers should check with their senior's doctor to make certain that it does not interfere with medications that he or she may already be taking.


The word Aromatherapy is derived from 'aroma' meaning fragrance or smell, and 'therapy' meaning treatment. This ancient herbal art can enhance health in many ways. It is a stress reliever and mood enhancer and can be successful in treating minor disorders. Some examples are to stimulate the immune system and strengthen your body's ability to resist disease and infections, to alleviate digestive problems like constipation and abdominal spasms, to enhance the respiratory system to treat coughs, sinusitis and tonsillitis, to ease muscular pain by promoting relaxation and toning, improving circulation and lowering blood pressure, combating stress-related disorders like insomnia and tension headaches, and even in treating anxiety, depression, and grief. Think of growing and using relaxing herbs such as chamomile, lavender or mint, rosemary, oregano, thyme, chive and sage for this purpose. The herbs can be dried and used in potpourri, simmered in pot on the stove to release their fragrance, hung upside down and used as natural air freshener, wrapped in a gauze bag and used in a bath or even dried and steeped to make herbal tea.


In the medicinal world, herbs have been used for centuries to help with a variety of ailments. (Again, it's important to check with your senior's doctor before using any herbs for medicinal purposes.) 'Old fashioned remedies' are for the most part herb based and have been used for generations to help with conditions from upset stomachs to anxiety and even strengthening the immune system. The first apothecaries (pharmacies) were stocked with botanical ingredients. Garlic is considered to be good for the heart and cholesterol conditions and has been shown in studies to possess anti-bacterial an anti-viral properties effective in boosting the immune system and fighting all types of infections. Lemon balm, lavender, and marjoram can calm nerves and reduce anxiety. And peppermint is soothing and settling to a 'sour stomach.' 'The wise, old herbs,' as sage and rosemary are known, have been shown in studies to enhance brain function and may help to ward away Alzheimer's disease.

Seasonings are of course the most common uses of herbs found in any herb garden. Herbs add a lot of flavor to recipes besides providing various health benefits. No herb garden would be complete without basil, oregano, sage, thyme, chives or mint to season up dinner each and every night. Consider planting some lemon basil, lemon thyme, Thai thyme or another variation of any number of great herbs that offer different flavors. Use the herbs in cooking. You can add delicious, healthy herbs to marinades, sauces and soups. Herbal vinegars are not only decorative but mineral-rich as well.


Salads can be made with many herbs and are a special treat during the spring and summer months. Consider a borage with some mesclun lettuces topped with some chives, dill, oregano and basil. It doesn't have to stop there, many herbs lend themselves to being eaten in their raw form and add great flavor to any salad.


When looking for a healthy remedy to help your senior stay engaged, active and healthy, a small herb garden can be just what the doctor ordered in more ways than one!

References
'Health Benefits of Gardening', by the editors of PureHealthMD, DiscoveryFit&Health.com
'Health Benefits of Planting an Herb Garden', By Marc Courtiol, Natural Health Journals,
NaturalHealthJournals.com
'Therapeutic Benefit of Aromatherapy' by Angi Kocsi,
spasincanada.ca
"To grow old and healthy eat those old brain-favouring herbs', by Angi Kocsi,
spasincanada.ca
"Aromatherapy - a World of Fragrance', by Angi Kocsi,
spasincanada.ca
"The Multitude of Benefits from an Herb Garden', by Linda L. Kinyon, Yahoo! Contributor Network, May 28, 2012,
Yahoo!.com




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