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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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As our older family members age and become less mobile we are often faced with a difficult dilemma; do we help them to maintain their independence by struggling on at home with as much assistance from us as we are able to give or do we suggest alternative living options? It’s a tricky situation and requires cooperation from all sides, no matter which option is chosen. Most seniors, given the choice, would usually cling firmly to their own home even if it means being isolated and struggling with day to day living. It’s their environment, their possessions and, crucially, their independence. Unfortunately, circumstances can intervene, possibly an illness or accident, which means that a long-term solution must be found quickly. These are the options usually considered…

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It’s a fact of modern life that families are becoming more and more fragmented and our elderly are the most likely to suffer in these circumstances. If we don’t have close family living nearby as we age we are more likely to suffer from loneliness, depression, insomnia, dementia and even high blood pressure; all serious health issues which are seemingly on the increase. As we age and retire from the workplace we are likely to spend increased numbers of hours within the confines of our homes and this is the point at which we are going to start to suffer from the onset of loneliness. The more time we spend alone the more likely we are to smoke, eat and drink more and get less exercise,…

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Despite the fact that people are living much longer and healthier lives in the 21st Century, there seems to a huge rise in the number of elderly who are living their final years feeling lonely, undervalued and often estranged from their family. Although we have ever increasing ways of communicating with each other, several generations of one family spending regular and quality time together seems to be an unusual occurrence – a sad casualty of the modern world. Yet there are very strong and compelling reasons why it is essential that we try and melt that gap and begin to actively seek out intergenerational contact; for the sake of ours, our seniors and our children’s wellbeing. Here are a few simple reasons why keeping a close…

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Did you know that seated exercise is becoming very popular? Neither did I until very recently! Yet it seems that there are a whole host of excellent seated exercises which hold their own when compared to many more conventional exercise regimes which are usually performed on foot. Having taken a look at some of the chair exercises possible, it would seem that they would be suitable in a wide range of circumstances and not just for seniors with mobility or balance issues. They can also work equally well for someone recovering from an injury or surgery and for those of us who sit for a living and, by default, spend a great deal of our time moving very little aside from our fingers. A seated workout…

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There are plenty of things you can do you keep yourself healthy, active and using your little grey cells. Many of us find that as we age it is very difficult to avoid the natural wane of our brain function but nonetheless, it is sure to help if you do as much as possible to ensure that you retain as many faculties as possible for as long as possible. In our previous blog on the same subject we shared five important tips on maintaining and improving your memory. Read on for five more!  Reduce your stress levels Stress is bad for your brain: Over time, chronic stress destroys brain cells and damages the hippocampus, the region of the brain involved in the formation of new memories…

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We know that our memory can gradually wane as we head into our senior years. For many people, this loss begins with the odd moment of forgetfulness. However, these can soon develop into more frustrating and upsetting episodes of significant memory loss which can have a serious effect on our quality of life. There is much evidence to suggest that our lifestyle choices and how much we exercise our brain can have a major influence on the level at which we maintain our cognitive skills. With this in mind, we have put together a short list of ways in which to care for our memory. Below we share five crucial points that will help to maintain and boost your memory… Take care of your health If…

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Even minor hearing loss can have a huge impact on normal life to the extent that many sufferers become withdrawn and isolated. A slight change in hearing levels can affect the ability to participate in conversation leaving the sufferer struggling to communicate effectively with others. Equally, being unable to hear traffic noise, reversing alarms or even pedestrian crossings could put a person in direct danger. The level of hearing loss can be relatively mild and only restricted to the high pitched sounds but on the other end of the scale, the loss could be significant enough that understanding speech is impossible without the use of a hearing aid. For anyone with a substantial hearing loss, their ability to communicate is directly related to their responses with…

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The World Wide Web has changed so much over the past couple of decades, and yes I did say ‘decades’. Back in the early days, it was pretty rudimentary and most people had little use for it, assuming of course that they even knew what it was! Now, of course, everything known to mankind can be found at the end of our fingertips and the majority of us utilise the web for information, shopping, banking and communication and many of us for our work. The issue for some of us less technically savvy users is realising that we need to keep our private information safe because we don’t necessarily understand how the internet works. With this in mind we have put together ten tips on internet…

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Most doctors will tell you that high cholesterol is very bad for you; it clogs your arteries and eventually may lead to heart disease or stroke. What they don’t always tell you is that there are two types of cholesterol: LDL (Low-density lipoprotein) and HDL (High-density lipoprotein). LDL is usually referred to as ‘Bad’ cholesterol. It can build up on the walls of your blood vessels (plaque) narrowing them and blocking blood flow to and from the heart and other organs, hence causing heart disease or stroke. Conversely high levels of HDL cholesterol can lower your risk of heart disease and stroke! HDL absorbs cholesterol and carries it back to the liver. The liver then flushes it from the body. As we age we are far…

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Most of us will require some level of help in later life as we age and become less sprightly. Fortunately, many of us can rely on our children for both companionship and, increasingly, for physical help, as we age. We hopefully have the comfort of knowing that we have close blood relatives to lean on in our hour of need. But what happens to those seniors who have no children to rely on? There are ever-increasing numbers of older adults who never had children, either through choice or circumstance.   They may be married, widowed or single but often they are much more fiercely independent than their counterparts with children. This could simply be because they have lived alone, or as just a couple, for all of…

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As we age many of the day to day bodily functions that we take for granted in our youth can begin to fail; our eyesight, our hearing, our limbs and our vital organs can all let us down and affect our ability to manage many normal and everyday tasks. Being mobile is one of the most crucial ways that we maintain independence and particularly if we are able to drive. Unfortunately, it is possible that we may eventually have to concede that our eyesight and even our reactions are no longer adequate for driving ourselves around, particularly in light of the number of vehicles on the road these days. Losing the option of independent travel is one of those losses that many people are hugely concerned…

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Deciding to take on the job of caring for anyone, especially someone you are close to, is not something which anyone should take lightly. Initially, you probably only need to provide assistance rather than total care but eventually, that situation is likely to progress. It may be a gradual transition from helping with the housework and shopping to a loved one needing you more and more until you find yourself providing 24-hour care. Unfortunately, as people age, they often become increasingly irritable and difficult to reason with. This often due to the frustration that their bodies can no longer function as well as they had previously or painful ailments which are also causing tiredness and bad temper. Therefore, however much you adore and want to help…

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In order to overcome ageism, first, we have to have a clear idea of exactly what the term means to us as individuals. If you are a teenager you could argue that you suffer from ageism because of the number of things you are prevented from doing by both the law and your elders, whereas an older person is far more likely to focus on the negative perceptions of becoming elderly. In reality, the laws and restrictions held against youngsters are mostly about their safety and wellbeing and will naturally disappear with age! Conversely, the older we get the more likely we are to suffer from a more permanent form of marginalisation which often begins to invade our lives from around the age of 50 and…

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Although caring for someone, particularly if it’s someone you love and respect, is a very rewarding experience it can also be extremely demanding. Whether you are caring for your own parent(s), a partner or anyone else, you are probably already struggling with the pressure. Many carers are literally on call for their charge 24/7 which means that regular breaks from the responsibility are an absolute necessity. If you are a carer, taking regular breaks will help you to avoid burnout which can manifest in a number of ways, and could leave you feeling exhausted, ill, depressed, guilty or even angry. No one should try to be a super-hero because taking care of yourself first is crucial; you will struggle to care for someone else if you…

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Human beings seem to be far more inclined towards amassing possessions these days! Even those who sway towards minimalism have far more possessions than their ancestors. Obviously, there are more varieties of things available to covet and collect in the 21st century than there would have been for those who came before us. Whilst having too many kitchen appliances or evening gowns is entirely a personal preference, collecting or hoarding can become a problem, particularly for the elderly. As we age many of us have a tendency to cling onto items which hold fond memories even when those items are well past their functioning life, and it can be very hard for your loved one to agree to let go. If you feel that you may…

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For a long time, many of us have been under the misconception that dementia is an illness which only strikes elderly adults.   Unfortunately, it is becoming increasingly clear that this couldn’t be further from the truth. In reality, many sufferers begin to show signs of early onset dementia well before they could be considered to be old, often in their 40s or 50s. Unfortunately, the condition can be easily misdiagnosed because medical professionals are rarely looking for the signs in someone younger. The symptoms of early onset dementia are pretty much the same as later onset but they tend to appear more suddenly, progress far more quickly and have a much more devastating effect on the life of the sufferer and on close family simply because…

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At some point or another many of us will have experienced lower back pain! There are many reasons why; something as simple as lifting a heavy object in the wrong way can cause excruciating pain which lingers for weeks or it could be that you are suffering from a degenerative condition, like arthritis. Irrespective of how or why you are suffering lower back pain, once you have the problem it can be difficult to get rid of. Whilst currently there is no absolute and certain cure in most instances there are, fortunately, a few simple ways to both alleviate and then avoid a repetition of the pain. SEEK MEDICAL ADVICE If your back pain is the result of a sudden injury never try to treat it…

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Most of us find it difficult to sleep at some point in our lives and for a variety of reasons. We may work irregular shifts which can mess with our sleep patterns or we may have a few underlying worries which suddenly turn into gigantic issues once we try to rest. Plus, our sleep patterns change as we get older; perhaps less mobility or lack of mental stimulation is making us less tired at night. Whatever the reason for the problem, either getting to sleep or remaining so can become increasingly problematic. The more we worry because we can’t sleep the harder it becomes to find a way to switch off and relax. Whilst we have to recognise that, for some people, insomnia will remain a…

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As a child, many moons ago, I noticed that most of my elderly relatives and neighbours had dentures, so much so that I automatically assumed that losing your teeth was part of the natural aging process. In fact, it has come to my notice recently that all of my current elderly relatives, many of which are not actually millions of years older than me, still have most or all of their teeth, therefore, I have to conclude that actually we don’t have to resort to dentures as we age. In reality good tooth and gum health is mostly a result of better oral hygiene, a good diet and access to regular dental care, much of which was not so readily available to my late ancestors. It…

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