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It can be difficult to witness the signs of ageing in our parents and it can seem very intimidating to talk about it. Those who took care of us when we were young now begin to need support and we wonder how this transition will progress. With a little forethought and preparation we can make this transition much easier to manage.   Prepare for the Conversation Your first port of call in your supporting role is to research what options are available. The better informed you are, the more easily you can present options as your discussion about care evolves. Consider what services are available in your area, from simple help with chores via daily visits, through to full time at-home care options and residential care…

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Most of us can recall a night of disturbed sleep. You’ve been tossing and turning for hours. It’s 4am and you find yourself staring at the alarm clock while your mind spins over all sorts of things that should be left in place until morning! Sleep disturbances can be so very frustrating. In our senior years this can become a reoccurring problem and while your instinct might be to chalk it up to ageing, don’t be too hasty. Healthy sleep is deeply important for our well-being and sleep deprivation will likely have a cause and can certainly be addressed. When we sleep we are in fact entering into a cycle of different sleep stages. We will move between stages of lighter sleep, very deep sleep and…

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As you or your loved ones grow older, it important to keep in mind that the elderly are a demographic that is highly targeted by scams. Often in our later years we have savings, property and other assets which make us tempting targets for those with bad intentions. It is sad to think that we cannot always trust those around us, especially those who present themselves in a trustworthy way, but some cautious savvy can protect us from what can be a traumatic and costly experience. A scam refers to a type of fraud that can come in many forms, but ultimately describes a scheme in which a scammer or scammers will attempt to dupe or coerce their victim into volunteering money or personal information for…

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Early Onset Alzheimer’s is classified as the onset of Alzheimer’s disease before the age of 65 and accounts for only 5-10% of cases diagnosed. Both Alzheimer’s and Early Onset Alzheimer’s are still very little understood. While a genetic predisposition can be passed through family in many cases the cause of the onset of this condition is unknown. If you have concern for yourself or a loved one you can consider the following symptoms as alert signals but be aware that many of the early symptoms of Alzheimer’s overlap with the symptoms of stress. If your instinct of concern persists, pursuing medical advice and assessment is always the best choice, allowing you to eliminate concerns or, in the unlikely case of a diagnosis of Early Onset Alzheimer’s,…

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When a parent or elderly relative begins to show signs of struggle it can be a difficult decision to seek help. It may feel like we are letting our loved ones down, however is important to remember that it is perfectly normal to require help at this stage in life and seeking that help can be liberating both for the person in need of care and those around them. When supporting someone into old age, the amount of assistance we provide tends to evolve gradually over time. It is important to assess how much of an impact this has on our own lives and how well equipped we are to offer the help that is needed. When looking after others, our own self-care becomes more important…

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Most of us have a bucket list of things that we’d love to try, but so often in life we sell ourselves short with the notion that we’ve let the moment pass, or missed the boat. Novelist and poet Margaret Deland once wrote: “As soon as you feel too old to do a thing, do it.” These inspirational Elders of past and present will show you that Deland was on to something – it’s never too late to begin a new adventure, and life is more fun when we jump in and live it fully!   Betty Goedhart “Maybe I can influence someone that would never dream of doing something they never thought they could by just saying, ‘If she can do it, so can I.’”…

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As we meander through life we accumulate numerous possessions, sometimes heaps of them! These personal effects could be household items that simply never got thrown out, the result of years of avid collecting or they could be the precious reminders of a lifetime’s worth of living, loving and belonging, with some items holding enormous sentimental value. In many cases, having a home chock full of possessions can become problematic; particularly if you find yourself in a position whereby you need to rethink your living space to accommodate a life change. You may need to dispose of, or re-home some items in order to continue to manage living independently or you could even find that too much clutter is becoming a danger, particularly if you become impaired…

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Planning our finances for retirement is something that many of us put off. Ok, there are lots of sensible people out there who do begin putting money away into pensions once they start work. However, there are also the rest of us who find it all too easy to delay saving for our old age and fail to give it any serious thought until our retirement is actually imminent. Unless you are literally retiring tomorrow, there are several ways to accumulate a little extra into the retirement pot. Perhaps not enough to traverse the world in splendour but certainly enough to help keep the wolf from the door!   Reduce Or Eliminate Your Debts Have a clear and concise action plan to reduce and eliminate debt….

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As we age there may come a time when we need some help in order to care for ourselves. Even the most independent of individuals can find themselves struggling with declining mobility or loss of eyesight, post-operative health concerns or diminishing mental acuity. A residential nursing home may seem the obvious choice when an elderly relative declines until they are unable to adequately manage alone at home. However, there is another option which could be the answer to ensuring that our loved ones receive excellent care, but in their own home rather than having to move to a care facility; the option of employing a live-in carer. If we take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of opting for either system, it could make the…

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The number of older adults living independently has increased hugely during the last couple of decades. Whilst it’s very important that everyone feels safe and secure in their home environment, many do worry about becoming the victim of a burglary or the target for criminals specifically aiming at seniors and other vulnerable adults. If you are an older adult living independently, you are the carer of an older person or you are simply concerned that you may be vulnerable in your own home; the following are a few simple and largely inexpensive ways to safeguard yourself against becoming the target of burglars or scammers.   Door and Window Security Front door – fit the following: A good quality five-lever mortice deadlock. A night latch (traditionally called…

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That special bond that exists between a dog and its owner should never be underestimated. However, for older people, the benefits go far beyond the usual simple enjoyment that their pet can bring. For seniors, dog ownership can be an actual lifesaver, particularly for those who are living alone. Of course, it is always vitally important that certain considerations are taken into account. There is little point in offering a giant or a highly active breed to someone frail or with limited mobility or gifting an eight-week-old puppy to someone with no prior pet experience or with no outside space available. However, if the right breed and age of the dog are matched well to the individual, the experience can be extremely enriching for both the…

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Gardening is one of the UK’s favourite leisure outdoor activities with hundreds of thousands of people enjoying tending to their outside space regularly. Sadly as we age and begin to suffer from arthritis or other physical limitations, our gardening activities can turn from a pleasure to a pain. Thankfully, there are any number of gadgets and aids on the market which can prolong the enjoyment by taking away the strain of some of our most common outdoor tasks. Here are just a few samples of the items available:   Gloves There are a number of specially designed gloves that have extra padding in the palm and finger joints to help improve your grip and protect your hands, causing fewer calluses and blisters, while you work.  …

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Most people arrive at a time in their lives when they need some extra help around the home, usually due to an going health issue or because they simply can’t get around as easily as before. The majority of seniors would prefer to remain in their own familiar surroundings and remain mostly independent. Unfortunately, it is not always possible for close family members to step in when this situation arises; because of work pressures or commitments, physical distance or simply because a little daily help is not sufficient for the recipient. Fortunately, there is an option outside of having to move into an assisted facility. With live-in assistance, your loved one can remain in the comfort of his or her home and still receive all of…

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I recently came across an article with the title “The More Time You Spend With Your Mum, the Longer She’ll Live”. The article was based on a recent study which concluded that loneliness is a significant factor in the decline of quality of life in older adults. The article pointed out that we should make an effort to spend time with our parents, (not just our mothers), because many seniors are at serious risk of developing health problems simply because they are lonely. These conditions include the risk of depression, cognitive impairment and health problems like coronary artery disease, all of which can lead to premature death. This article certainly got me thinking. What about those older folk (both men and women) who have no loving…

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Getting your daily quota of exercise doesn’t have to be difficult or complicated. As a general rule of thumb, a minimum of 30 minutes physical activity each day is enough to keep you fit and healthy and this can even be broken down into smaller increments if that is the only way you can fit it into your daily routine. Believe it or not, you don’t need to hit the gym to get fit. Even a brisk walk is sufficient exercise for your body’s needs. One thirty minute session every day is enough to help you to do all of the following: Maintain a healthy weight Strengthen your bones and muscles Improve your balance and coordination Improve your mood Help you to sleep better Prevent or…

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Suffering with grief following the death of a loved one is likely to be the most life-changing loss anyone will ever suffer whether it’s a partner, spouse or, in certain tragic circumstance, a child. Following bereavement, a whole range of emotions, from sadness, loneliness, anxiety and helplessness, are likely to overwhelm anyone and may leave us feeling isolated and incapable of functioning. Two emotions that many of us also unexpectedly feel are anger and relief; anger at being left to cope alone or relief because we have suffered through our loved ones decline, often as the primary caregiver. These particular emotions are often swiftly followed by feelings of guilt simply for feeling that anger or relief. Going through such an emotional rollercoaster is complicated and varies…

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As we age one of the biggest fears most of us are likely to face is gradually losing our flexibility and mobility and eventually becoming a burden to those we love. We all yearn to remain independent and manage our lives successfully. Equally, it is also of great importance to our families. Nobody wants to watch their ageing loved ones struggling to manage normal everyday tasks. However, it is still very important to encourage independence in seniors and to provide the opportunity for them to maintain a better quality of life for themselves. Whether your loved one remains in their own home or moves into an assisted living facility there are a wide variety of items available which can help them retain their independence for as…

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It’s a recognised fact that consciously exercising your brain can help you to remain mentally sharp, increase your focus and concentration, give you far faster thinking and reaction times, boost your motivation and productivity and sharpen your vision and hearing. However, an even greater bonus could be the fact that regularly performing memory exercises can help to protect you against future memory loss and cognitive decline. When the brain is passive it tends to atrophy and this is far more likely to occur if you occupy all of your leisure time in a sedentary or passive manner. There may be all manner of brain games available either to buy or download, however, many experts suggest that too much time spent using electronics is detrimental to our…

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“You don’t stop laughing when you grow old; you grow old when you stop laughing.”  ― George Bernard Shaw The key to ageing gracefully is not only to accept the changes that life has wrought but also to embrace them. Whatever your age, life has much to offer if you take the time to look around you and enjoy every experience. If you are not entirely sure how to achieve this philosophy why not take a look at the following ideas.   Positive Mental Attitude Negativity is ageing: Think positively about both your own attributes and those of the people around you. If you have nothing good to say, say nothing. Don’t let other people’s negativity affect your mindset. Never agree with others just to please them…

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Human Beings are by nature sociable creatures with the majority of us living and working in close proximity to others. Unfortunately, as we age and leave the workplace we can find that we have less activity with which to occupy ourselves, less reason to interact with others and our circle of friends and colleagues can begin to diminish leaving us struggling to maintain an active social life. Yet this period of our lives is exactly when we need to be socially active. Clearly sitting alone at home is unlikely to keep our little grey cells vigorous and alert and will more often than not leave us feeling lonely and isolated. Scientific evidence indicates that these conditions could be almost as harmful to our health as smoking,…

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