60 and Wondering What to Do with Your Life? Start a Blog!

How many blogs do you read in an average week? Have you ever wondered whether you should start a blog of your own?
I can help you answer that question with a resounding, “Yes!”
There are blogs about every conceivable topic. You can find blogs dedicated to everything from ant farming to Zumba!
Why Blog?
There are many motivations for blogging.
To Share an Interest
Some bloggers are passionate about a topic and want to share their enthusiasm. For example, craft bloggers can share their projects with others and receive great satisfaction from doing so.
To Teach a Topic
There are blogs to teach every conceivable skill, from electric guitar to how to give a business presentation. If you have a dormant teacher inside of you yearning to share whatever it is you know, start a blog.
To Provide Encouragement
Have you encountered and endured some life difficulty? One sure way to redeem pain is to use it to encourage others.
You can find blogs about surviving cancer, raising difficult children, and bouncing back from bankruptcy. What life experience do you have that you can use to provide encouragement to others?
To Tell Your Story
Want to write your memoir, share your travel adventures, blog about your lifelong career in teaching? Writing a blog can be a perfect vehicle for this!
To Make Money
Some bloggers make a business out of their blog and are able to earn an income. We have all visited fashion or home improvement blogs that feature products and services for sale.
Do you see yourself in any of these categories? You might be a perfect candidate for blogging!
How Do I Get Started?
It is very easy to succumb to blog envy. There are so many beautiful, professionally designed blogs out there and trying to reach that ideal can be discouraging, and maybe even stop you from trying.
It is valuable to study and enjoy the work of others, but don’t let that stop you from dipping your toe into the blogging water!
You can get started with a simple blog, for free, and spiff it up as you grow – if you choose to grow!
What Do I Do?
Blogs live on the Internet. They have an address, called a URL, like www.sixtyandme.com.
Then the blog functions on a platform, the most popular being WordPress.
You can start a blog for free on wordpress.com or blogger.com. These sites will give you free hosting. You can sign up, provide limited customization to your URL, pick a free theme, and start blogging!
If you want more control over the design and capability of your site, you need to educate yourself. You will need to purchase a URL (your own web address) and hosting, then use a free or custom theme.
If it seems like a lot, it can be. If you merely want to try this out, take the free route and see if you like it. You can always upgrade and shift things around later.
How Do I Learn More?
If you google the phrase, “How to start a blog,” you will be amazed at the number of free resources available out there. Some are free offers that may invite you to join a course later.
Like anything else on the Internet, some resources are really good, others – not so much.
My personal advice is to spend some time looking around and find a few successful bloggers you might like to follow. If you try to follow everyone, you will become overwhelmed! Trust me, I speak from experience. Pick a few and read all their stuff – then take action!
If you get completely captivated by blogging, as I have, and want to up your game, the Elite Blog Academy is the Cadillac of blogger education.
I wouldn’t take this course as my first blogging course, but if you are already on the blogging path and want to significantly up your game, there is no better course.
I took the EBA course a few years ago and thanks to it have grown a significant mailing list and generate increasing affiliate commissions. It was well worth my time and investment.
So, what are you waiting for? Want to share your knowledge, your words, your encouragement? Are you interested in jumping in full speed and building a business?
Blogging is the perfect way to do it!
How many blogs do you follow? What is your experience with blogging? Do you think you have something to say to the world? Would you consider blogging a possible means to share your voice? Let’s have a discussion in the comments below!

The post 60 and Wondering What to Do with Your Life? Start a Blog! appeared first on Best Homecare Tips.

Source: CareTips

The Battle Against Senior Loneliness: 5 Ways to Make New Habits That Keep You Engaged

Senior-Loneliness

Loneliness is a funny thing; it can sneak up on you when you least expect it. Have you found that you’re not socializing as much at this point in your life?

Maybe you’ve stepped away from your full-time job where people were only a fingertip away, and now you have to stretch much further to make connections. If you’re retired or working independently from home, loneliness is a real problem with significant side effects.

When I thought about loneliness and did research on this topic, I assumed that being lonely would create people eager for connections and wanting to seek friendships. But the opposite is what I found out to be true.

Loneliness is draining, upsetting, and distracting. Loneliness is NOT the same as wanting to be alone which can often bring positive attributes such us solitude, peace, and renewal.

It turns out that loneliness is a significant reason for unhappiness, and it’s important to know why we’re lonely to address it.

In fact, according to Elizabeth Bernstein’s Wall Street Journal piece, “Alone or Lonely,” the rate of loneliness has doubled in the past 30 years. I’m not too surprised by this statistic, especially when you think of how life and communities have changed.

Many Different Types of Loneliness

  • If you just moved to a new city, it makes sense that you’re lonely.
  • If you feel different than other people, you may feel isolated.
  • If you have family and friends but no deep intimate relationship, you may still feel lonely.
  • Maybe you’re too busy or lack trust in others or want some peace after a hectic and full life.

The Solution Depends on the Situation

Luckily there are many ways to change your habits so you can combat the situation. According to a study published in the PLOS Medicine journal people with social relationships are not only happier but live more than 50 percent longer that the rest of us!

This alone is a great reason to change some habits! One thing is for certain, they all take a level of motivation, strength, and willingness to break old habits and establish new ones.

Get Better Sleep

Quality of sleep is detrimental. Yes, sleep. One of the most common indicators of loneliness is poor quality sleep, including taking a long time to fall asleep, waking up a lot during the night, and feeling sleepy during the day.

Sound familiar? Lack of sleep makes you grumpy, lowers your energy, and increases your likelihood of getting sick.

Create an Engaging Social Environment

Connect with other people. Join a book club, sign up for Pilates class, chat with the check-out person. Make a people connection during the day, every day.

Make a Difference in Your Community

Nurture others, including animals and plants. Volunteer, teach a class, attend a class, babysit, get a pet, fill your house with plants, tend the garden. There are so many ways to nurture in this world, and the love returned is twofold.

Open Up Your Heart and Mind

Unfortunately, loneliness can make people feel cynical, judgmental, and critical of others. It’s important to be aware of these traits in case you see them developing in you. It turns out that lonely people are less accepting of others.

Try Something Entirely New

Have you considered going to a retreat where you would meet like-minded women? A safe place to explore new ideas and to feel empowered? Why not inspire your well-being through unique experiences designed just for you? There are many events just for women like you.

Meditate

Meditation is your best friend. The sheer act of meditating makes us feel connected to everything and everyone. Meditation cancels out the mental, emotional, and physical effects of loneliness. Even though our friends may walk in and out of our life, meditation is always here to stay.

Finding a retreat of likeminded women to spend some time with is fun and beneficial. The sheer act of participating with others in activities to nourish your soul will and does change your life forever – not to mention the lifelong friends you can make.


If you’re interested in finding some fantastic life changing and beautiful retreat opportunities, contact me HERE.


Most of us at some point in our life have suffered from loneliness. Have you found any good habits that worked for you to combat this dreaded feeling? Which habits were easy to achieve, and which required more work on your part? Please share with our wonderful community!

The post The Battle Against Senior Loneliness: 5 Ways to Make New Habits That Keep You Engaged appeared first on Best Homecare Tips.

Source: CareTips

Make Stretching a Part of Your Daily Routine: Your Mature Body Will Thank You!

Stretching-Daily-Routine-Mature-Body

Do you remember doing calisthenics in your gym class? You might recall the part where you had to try to touch your toes by bending over from a standing position or while sitting on the floor with your legs extended.

You probably did these stretches at or close to the start of the class or after playing field hockey or some other sport.

The theory behind all that stretching was that it was a good way to avoid muscle cramps or pain after exercise. In reality, stretching to maintain or increase your flexibility as you enter your 60s and beyond is very important for your health.

This is true whether or not you regularly exercise. Many boomers make it a point to try and walk 10,000 steps a day or eat healthier foods but ignore stretching.

Stretching to maintain flexibility is especially important for boomers since joint flexibility tends to decrease as you age. There is some evidence that after 71 men show an accelerated decline in both upper and lower bodies, while women tend to have a constant rate of decline in the lower body.

How much of a decline are you looking at? Well, flexibility may decline by up to 50 percent in some joints. Since the decrease is very gradual, you may not even notice it until you need to do something that requires good flexibility such as bending over to pick up something you dropped.

The Benefits of Stretching and Staying Flexible

The first thing to keep in mind is that good flexibility is necessary for almost all your daily activities – from the most mundane, such as getting out of bed and self-care, to more complicated tasks such driving and dancing.

For example, some flexibility is required when you reach for something on a high shelf or turn the steering wheel. If you’re not flexible, both of these everyday tasks could be challenging and even threaten your ability to live independently.

Another very important benefit of stretching and staying flexible is the reduction of falls. Stretching may help with balance. After the age of 60, the number of falls tends to increase. In fact, falls are responsible for a high rate of disability and even death if you are over 65 years old.

With almost 70 percent of falls resulting in death among boomers, it’s important to do whatever you can to not become a member of this group!

Other benefits of stretching and flexibility include:

  • Increased blood flow, which can help you better control your blood pressure;
  • Reduced muscle tension, which can help you feel less tense and stressed;
  • Better muscle coordination;
  • Higher energy levels;
  • Improved mood by aiding the release of “feel good” endorphins;
  • Improved posture which can help reduce back and arthritis pain.

Stretching 101

Even though healthcare professionals recommend stretching every day, if you’ve not done any stretching for a while, your best bet is to ease into it by starting slowly. A couple of times a week is a good start.

Also, be sure to talk with your doctor to ensure that you’re in good enough health and shape to start including stretches in your daily routine. Actually, this is also a good idea for any physical activity you may be thinking about.

Before you begin, you need to know that there are two kinds of stretching. One is called dynamic since you’re using movement to stretch your muscles. Some examples of this type of stretching are swinging your arms, doing shoulder circles, and swinging your legs or doing half squats.

The other form of stretching is called static, because you are not moving any body parts at all. You basically ease in to the stretch and hold it for 30 seconds or so while breathing.

Good examples of this kind of stretching are touching your toes to stretch your back and crossing one leg over the other leg’s thigh to stretch your hips. Be sure to warm up before doing static stretching. Some walking in place – or around the block – is good for this.

If you enjoy spending time with like-minded people, consider participating in classes that focus on flexibility. These include yoga, Pilates, Tai Chi, and even walking. You can improve your flexibility and make new friends at the same time.

Nutrition and Flexibility

You can enhance your flexibility and ability to do stretching exercises by making sure your body is getting enough of the right nutrients.

Stretching involves your joints, bones, and muscles, so it makes sense to eat foods that have the vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients they need to function at their best. Include the following in your diet as a complement to your stretching:

Plenty of Water to Keep Hydrated

Set a goal of at least eight glasses of water a day and keep it handy when you do your stretching and other exercises. Water helps to lubricate your joints and helps nutrients get where they need to be in your body.

Foods with Anti-Inflammatory Properties

Anti-inflammatory foods include:

  • green leafy vegetables such as collard greens, spinach, and kale;
  • nuts, such as almonds and walnuts;
  • fish, especially salmon and tuna;
  • fruits, including berries, oranges, and cherries;
  • spices, including cinnamon, ginger, and turmeric.

Foods That Support Connective Tissue

Don’t undermine the importance of foods that help maintain your bones as well those that promote collagen production such as fish, red, green, and orange vegetables, berries and garlic.

By watching your diet and adding stretching exercises to your daily routine, you can help ensure that you enjoy good flexibility and all its benefits at any age.

How often do you stretch and what kind of stretches do you do? What kinds of benefits have you experienced as a result of stretching? If you don’t stretch, have you thought about it or is there a reason you don’t? Tell us all about it. Please join the conversation.

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice. Please consult with your doctor to get specific medical advice for your situation.

The post Make Stretching a Part of Your Daily Routine: Your Mature Body Will Thank You! appeared first on Best Homecare Tips.

Source: CareTips

Entertaining Seniors at Home: Watch Free Live Nature Cameras

entertaining seniors at home

Enjoy nature from the comfort of home

Preventing boredom in seniors is a great way to improve mood, reduce agitation and anxiety, and improve quality of life overall.

But finding new activities that your older adult enjoys and is able to participate in can be a constant caregiving challenge.

Many people enjoy nature scenes and observing animals in their natural habitat, but are limited by mobility or what’s near their window or home.

We found a wonderful website called Explore.org that has live camera feeds from places all around the world. The best part is that it’s completely free for anyone to watch.

Seniors can sit in their favorite spot at home and watch horses in Kentucky, a tropical reef aquarium in California, the Northern Lights in Canada, pandas in China, beautiful sunsets in Hawaii, and more!

We explain how to use the Explore.org website and share some of our favorite live camera feeds.


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How to watch free live nature cameras

Watching these live nature cameras is completely free, doesn’t require creating an account, and there are dozens of different animals and nature locations to choose from.

Visit the Explore.org website’s Livecam section and browse the categories shown in the menu across the top section of the page. When you see something that interests you, click on it.

After clicking on a category, you’ll see a scrolling strip of images directly underneath that menu. Hovering over each image shows how many unique livestreams (live camera feeds) are available.

Clicking on a selection in the scrolling strip takes you to one of the livestream cameras. To see the other livestreams in that selection, look for them below the main video player area.

Here’s an example:

  1. Click the category “Ocean”
  2. Click the section “Underwater” from the scrolling strip underneath the category menu
  3. In the main video player, you’ll see a live feed or highlights if the camera is not active at that time. Note: What is automatically shown in the main video player may change over time. Currently, it’s “Tropical Reef Aquarium,” which is one of our favorites – beautiful and soothing.
  4. Scrolling down to the area below the main video player shows the additional live camera feeds available in the “Underwater” section. Labels will show which feeds are currently live and which are showing highlights of previously recorded footage
  5. Below the section of additional live camera feeds is an area with more information about what’s showing on the main video player

 

Explore the site and see our favorites

Get a feel for the variety of animals and locations available by clicking around the various categories and scrolling through the image strip.

Because these are live feeds, what you’ll see depends on when you tune in. Animals may be sleeping, not in camera range, or gone for the season. Some cameras will show highlights during times of no activity.

The Explore.org website also offers free documentary films and live chats on different nature topics.

With so many different choices available, it’s easy to click around and explore the website until you find something interesting.

Our favorites include:

 

Next Step  Explore dozens of free live video feeds of amazing wild animals and beautiful natural settings at Explore.org

 

Recommended for you:

 

By DailyCaring Editorial Team
Image: Locky News

 

This article wasn’t sponsored and doesn’t contain affiliate links. For more information, see How We Make Money.


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The post Entertaining Seniors at Home: Watch Free Live Nature Cameras appeared first on Best Homecare Tips.

Source: CareTips

6 Steps to Restoring Balance After Retirement

After Retirement

Many of us have the tendency to head towards the finish line at work, telling themselves that they are going on an eternal holiday and the well-deserved rest they have earned over 40 years in the  labor force.

But the morning after the retirement send-off brings with it a major shift in routine and structure that few people think through and plan carefully.

We all know what we give to our work, but what is it that work gives us? It gives us:

  • Routine
  • Security
  • Challenge and stimulation
  • Identity
  • A sense of belonging with people who speak the same ‘language’
  • Opportunity to grow
  • Opportunity to contribute to the world around us.

In my coaching practice I refer to the “Model of 6 Human Needs” to unpack what actually occurs at retirement. I then use it to help my clients re-structure and balance their lives.

This model is presented in the New Insights life coach training programme and is based on the original model conceptualized by Anthony Robbins.

In the coaching context, we look at how to balance these human needs in your everyday life.

Certainty

Certainty is about having routine and structure that give your life predictability and security. If you were to have too much certainty, you would become bored because everything would be planned to the last minute.

For some people, certainty after retirement comes with the routine of gym classes, walking or hiking that start the day; for others it may be Tuesday golf and Friday bridge.

For yet others, it may be a part-time job, mentoring or volunteering. If extra finance is what is going to give you security, finding an income will be a major aspect of building your certainty.

Variety

The challenges that stimulate you both physically and mentally give you variety. These would include meeting new people, learning new things, stepping outside your comfort zone.

A little bit of adrenaline is good for the body! Too much variety and you find yourself in crisis or stress management mode. That’s why we need to balance variety with a measure of certainty for a healthy lifestyle.

Significance

For around 40 years your identity has been rooted in your role at work. When people meet you in a social setting they tend to ask what you do as a means to starting the social chat.

This, therefore, becomes your identity – when I say I am a retirement coach people can then put me in context, and they have an idea of which questions they can ask next.

This becomes my identity and differentiates me from the person standing next to me and, by implication, gives me significance. When you retire it is important to take on a new identity to replace the one you had when working full time.

Love and Connection

In any profession there is a jargon you learn in order to fit in. Finding love and connection is more about feeling you belong than a hippie-style feeling of love. Having originally trained as an occupational therapist some 40 years ago, I left the profession at 35, but today I can still ‘speak the language’!

Even though I have not treated a patient in 30 years, I still feel that I fit in and belong when I meet other occupational therapists because I understand what they are talking about.

In retirement, you need to find people who are in the same position as yourself, who are experiencing the same challenges, in order to feel you ‘belong.’

Too much significance and we start to lose the love and connection, and vice versa.

Growth and Contribution

In your job and career you were learning new things all the time. If it was not attending structured courses or training, simply keeping up with the changing technological environment kept you on your toes.

In retirement, if you do not actively seek out opportunities to grow and contribute they probably will not come to you. Opportunities are all around. These could include volunteering or mentoring, starting an encore career, or simply re-structuring your regular working environment to suit your new lifestyle by consulting or working part-time.

But you need to actively seek them out. I find myself with no shortage of opportunities to grow because of the new and evolving concepts of digital marketing and networking in my coaching practice. To feel I am contributing I have signed up to mentor someone for the year.

I find this model a good place to start the process of replacing what you left behind at work when you retired.

What are some opportunities you have found in retirement? Do you feel more or less busy now than when you were working? Please join the conversation below.

The post 6 Steps to Restoring Balance After Retirement appeared first on Best Homecare Tips.

Source: CareTips

Stomach for Brains! How Probiotics Can Help You with Your Memory

fermented food probiotics memory

Unless you have been living under a rock, you’ve heard about the many benefits of probiotics. They are good for just about everything – from your sinusitis to irritable bowel. But, did you know they could be beneficial for your memory?

How, you ask? Reasonable question. Probiotics live on our mucous membranes, mostly in the gut. It’s quite a ways from there to our brains.

What is “Brain-gut Axis”?

It turns out that there might be a connection between the bowel and the brain in the form of the “brain-gut axis.” What is this?

It is analogous to other teams of organs cooperating together, like the pituitary-adrenal axis, responsible for our stress response.

But, unlike its older equivalents, the brain-gut axis is a hot new term. There are almost 500 research articles related to it, all of them published just in the last 5 years.

The idea that there is a two-way communication between the gut and brain is not a new one. Even in our vernacular, we sometimes talk about “thinking with the gut,” “gut feelings,” etc.

However, we had no good explanation as to how these two rather distant organs talk to one another. Enter “good bacteria.” Well, now we may be getting somewhere.

You Contain a Vast Community of Little Helpers

It is a sobering and humbling thought that you have 10 times more bacterial cells in your body, than you have your own cells. Admittedly, they are much smaller – adding up to about 3% of your body weight – and scientists now consider them another body organ, called “macrobiota.”

Macrobiota includes beneficial bacteria such as Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium as well as pathogenic ones like Escherichia coli or Clostridium difficile (which you may know by their shorter nicknames: E. coli and C. diff).

The composition of the bacterial “community” differs widely from person to person and depends on many factors such as (obviously) diet, but also others, for instance whether or not you were born naturally or via C-section, breast-fed or on baby formula and were you exposed to antibiotics in your life (it is precious few of us who weren’t).

Antibiotics were a wonderful victory of modern medicine, but as it often happens, there was a hidden downside. Disruption in our gut bacteria is the price we paid. At this point, we still don’t fully comprehend the extent of the damage.

Dysbiosis (another term for gut bacteria imbalance) is likely responsible for a surge in irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel diseases like ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease and the now wide-spread food intolerances.

There is a possible link to the increase in diabetes and obesity. But there are more and more voices connecting dysbiosis to depression, anxiety and memory loss.

How Do Bacteria Help Our Brains?

Gut macrobiota is responsible for helping with food digestion and production of certain vitamins, like vitamin B12. Thus they may have a part in our immune response.

We only are beginning to understand how deeply their metabolism is interwoven with ours. It should then come as no surprise that probiotics can influence our nervous system and more specifically, our brains.

In one study, mice – after they were artificially infected with a bacterium – displayed signs of memory loss. Interestingly, the control group that was treated with probiotic did not manifest the memory loss.

So far, researchers have found out several fascinating facts about how these little guys connect our brain and guts.

The bacteria can, for instance – through various mechanisms – activate our adrenergic (“fight-or-flight”) and parasympathetic (relaxation) nerves.

They have particular connection to the vagus nerve, which is widely represented in our gut and can directly activate its endings in the gut.

More recently we found that bacteria are capable of actually producing neurotransmitters, which are the very means through which our brain cells communicate.

For instance, Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium produce short chain fatty acids (SCFAs), like butyric and proprionic acid.

They can directly influence brain function as well as behavior. SCFAs are neuroprotective. In research, they have improved age-related memory decline.

Escherichia, Bacillus and Saccharomyces can produce norepinephrine and Lactobacillus – acetylcholine (deficiency of which has been implicated in Alzheimer’s disease).

They have also been shown to affect the levels of BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor – a substance that stimulates the brain to grow new cells and form new connections).

In turn, the release of stress hormones, such as cortisol, even for such a short time as 2 hours (to say nothing of chronic stress), can change the composition of macrobiota.

Dysbiosis, a.k.a. gut bacteria imbalance, is responsible for overproduction of lipopolysaccharides. These are toxic byproducts which can increase stress hormone levels and decrease the levels of mood enhancing neurotransmitters, resulting in anxiety, depression and memory loss.

I have seen probiotics in operation most notably in one of my first patients, a lovely but quite demented lady whom I followed at a nursing home. Her dementia was at the stage where she did not recognize anybody and stopped talking altogether.

Imagine my surprise and delight, when – after a course of probiotics I ordered for a bout of diarrhea – she started talking again and recognized her husband!

A recent study on 52 patients with Alzheimer’s disease confirms that taking Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium for 12 weeks significantly improved their cognitive status.

What Can You Do to Help the Good Bacteria Protect Your Brain?

To help the good bacteria protect your brain you can start with eating more fermented foods. And I am not just talking about yogurt, which often has a lot of sugar.

Consider kefir instead. Check the label to make sure that it contains live bacterial cultures. Or make your own (you can get freeze-dried starter bacteria at health-food stores).

Don’t forget about such staples like sauerkraut or pickles. The store-bought products often are pasteurized, but they still seem to be beneficial, even if to a lesser extent.

Another good idea is to feed your good bacteria foods they like – complex sugars called prebiotics. Some common foods that contain them are: garlic, onions, leeks, legumes, oatmeal and bananas.

Stay away from excess sugar, as it feeds the wrong kind of bacteria. Avoid “hidden” antibiotics in meat and dairy. If possible, chose the organic equivalents.

Consider occasionally taking a probiotic supplement. It is definitely a good idea after you’ve taken an antibiotic course, to crowd-out the “bad bacteria” and re-establish balance.

There are multiple good brands available out there. In choosing a probiotic, lean toward products with variety of strains (Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, Saccharomyces, etc.).

Pay attention to the CFU number (number of colony forming units – the higher the number, the stronger the product). I tend to use products with at least 2 billion of CFUs for maintenance. If I work with an active problem, I may use higher doses.

What has been your experience with probiotics? Do you have any success stories you could share? Please join the conversation below!

The post Stomach for Brains! How Probiotics Can Help You with Your Memory appeared first on Best Homecare Tips.

Source: CareTips

How to Use the Power of Chatting to Create Meaningful Connections After 60

Meaningful-Connections-After-60

I like to chat. I chat first thing in the morning about any problems I faced in the night. Then I chat at lunch about events of the morning, and I chat in the evening about the rest of the day.

There is so much to chat about – some small disturbance in the local supermarket, family news from my children, problems with the computer, the characters in the book I am reading, a programme seen on TV. The list goes on and on.

Chatting seems so inconsequential, you might well ask how anyone could even think of writing about it. Yet have you ever stopped to think about how important it is?

The Significance of Chatting

I chat a lot with my husband, but also with other family members and friends, not to mention neighbours. Chatting is the glue that holds people together.

We live with someone or a set of other people, we live near neighbours and we keep in touch with a much wider circle of friends and family. What makes us feel a part of one another is chatting, talking about everyday mundane matters. It’s probably one of the more intimate things we do, aside from the obvious.

Spending such apparently inconsequential time with close friends and family allows us to keep abreast of the texture of their lives – what they are thinking about, excited about or, indeed, worrying about. We also get to tell them about ourselves. It is a key way of creating connections.

Even a brief moment talking to a neighbour over the proverbial garden fence can lead to a cup of tea, the discovery of shared interests, and, eventually, the possibility of helping each other in some way.

Chatting can take place over the phone or Skype or even texting, I suppose, although I don’t text except for sorting out plans. It may be at the dinner table, lying on a sofa or even in bed. Those early morning chats, before even getting up, are a lovely way to start the day.

Other Conversations

Of course, we have much more significant discussions with people we are close to. You can call such discussions chat or not. I probably wouldn’t, on their own. But, in the course of such conversations, we move quickly from issues which are important to ones that are less important and back again.

In some circles, the concept of chatting has a rather bad press. It can be seen as synonymous with ‘gossip,’ ‘chatter,’ ‘jabber,’ ‘babble’ or the like. And we all know people who tend to go on and on until we want to scream.

But it is quite wrong, in my view, to conflate these concepts. Chatting is, above all, talking and creating a sense of connectedness to other people.

The Absence of Chat

The opposite of chatting is having no one to talk to, or, in a word, loneliness. I don’t need to tell you how difficult that is. A recently widowed friend told me how the day-to-day chat about matters of no great significance was what she missed most in life on her own.

You can be lonely because you live on your own and never see anyone. But you can also be lonely when you live with one or more people who won’t – or don’t want to – talk to you. Whatever the reasons, it leads to a terrible sense of isolation.

And then there are the couples you see everywhere these days, sitting at a table over a coffee or a drink, each glued to their own telephone.

For years, loneliness was seen as something to be ashamed of, and few people were willing to admit to it. It is now slowly coming out of the closet as an issue to be taken seriously, with growing media attention and efforts to overcome it. Long may they thrive.

There is a need for more chatting in the world.

Do you like to chat? Who do you chat to? Do you wish you had more people to chat with? What do you like to chat about? Let’s have a chat!

The post How to Use the Power of Chatting to Create Meaningful Connections After 60 appeared first on Best Homecare Tips.

Source: CareTips

Improve Caregiver Sleep with 5 Relaxing Guided Meditations for Deep Sleep [Video]

guided meditations for deep sleep

Daytime caregiver stress can cause restless nights. You may have trouble falling asleep or having good quality sleep. To get a good night’s rest, Alisa Paliano from Nestmaven.com recommends 5 relaxing guided meditations for deep sleep. Place your mobile device or laptop on your bedside table (ideally with a sleep timer set) and let the soothing sounds calm your racing mind and ease you into a tranquil sleep

 

Incorporating meditation into your bedtime routine is a great way to quiet your mind and relax your body to prepare for sleep. In fact, even leading sleep experts advocate the benefits of this practice for both reducing the amount of time it takes to fall asleep and improving the quality of sleep.

Finding the right guided meditation for you can be a bit of a cumbersome task: What works for one person may be absolutely grueling for another. With a search turning up thousands upon thousands of options – where does one even begin?

We’ve rounded up 5 of the best free guided meditations for sleep that YouTube has to offer. Simply choose one that speaks to you, get comfortable, and go to sleep.


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5 relaxing guided meditations for deep sleep

1. Sleep Guided Meditation (Spoken) For Sleeping, Deep Relaxation (With Rain & Fire Sounds) Hypnosis​ – 22 minutes
Jason Stephenson invites you to come spend an evening inside a log cabin deep in a relaxing wood, cozy up next to a crackling fire and allow yourself to be guided into a deep state of calm and peace.

This 22-minute video also boasts that it will help you enhance your productivity tomorrow, thanks to getting the much needed rest you deserve.

 

2. Yoga Nidra – Meditation & Guided Relaxation – 16 minutes
Yoga nidra is often called “yogic sleep,” which is a state of being between sleep and consciousness that encourages deep emotional and physical healing. It’s a great way to switch gears from a hectic day into a restful sleep.

A soothing female voice guides you through the transition from waking to sleep, passing through a deep stage of complete relaxation in which the mind is still and filled with a sense of peace and inner awareness.

 

3. Into Sleep A Meditation – 9 minutes
Quiet Mind Cafe offers up this guided meditation for full muscle relaxation and deep restorative sleep. By guiding both your body and mind into a state of complete relaxation before falling asleep, you will be able to fall asleep faster and enjoy a more sound sleep.

 

4. Guided Meditation – Blissful Deep Relaxation​ – 10 minutes
TheHonestGuys produce a variety of high quality guided meditation videos which they provide for free on YouTube.

This practice, designed to guide you into a state of deep relaxation, is perfect for a pre-bedtime cooldown. It includes approximately 10 minutes of speech, then – once fully relaxed – you can simply enjoy the soothing sounds of the beach until you drift off to sleep.

 

5. Guided Meditation For Anxiety & Stress, Beginning Meditation, Guided Imagery Visualization​ – 30 minutes
This guided visualization from Jason Stephenson will help you release tension in your body and mind and to learn to better cope with anxiety and stress that comes your way. This will not only enable you to fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly, but over time can reduce sleep problems.

 

Variety is the spice of life

Many of these meditations are designed so that you can listen to them over and over again. But if you find one losing effectiveness, try switching between different ones to keep things fresh.

 

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Guest contributor: Alisa is the editor in chief at Nestmaven.com where she writes about all things sleep related – from useful tips to help you sleep to helpful sleep products. She has a Bachelor of Honors in information science, loves yoga, healthy food and chocolate (and is totally fine with that contradiction).

 

Image: Aging Free World

 

This article wasn’t sponsored and doesn’t contain affiliate links. For more information, see How We Make Money.


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The post Improve Caregiver Sleep with 5 Relaxing Guided Meditations for Deep Sleep [Video] appeared first on DailyCaring.

The post Improve Caregiver Sleep with 5 Relaxing Guided Meditations for Deep Sleep [Video] appeared first on Best Homecare Tips.

Source: CareTips

Forcing Bulbs: A Quick and Easy Way to Brighten a Winter’s Day

Gardening is good for the mind, body and spirit. But you don’t need a large garden, strong back or 365 days of beautiful weather to add some fresh greenery and color to your life.
All you need is a bit of time, some spring flowering bulbs like daffodils, hyacinths and crocus, a container with drainage holes and quality potting mix.
Plant Your Flowering Bulbs
You may still find spring flowering bulbs at your local garden center, on-line through bulb retailers or left over from this fall’s outdoor planting season. And if you can’t find any spare bulbs I bet one of your gardening friends has a few they’d be willing to share.
Here’s how to create a simple planting in a shallow container deep enough to cover the bulbs. First, cover the bottom of the container with an inch or more of potting mix. Pack it full of bulbs, pointed side up.
Place taller bulbs like tulips, hyacinths and daffodils in the center. Position shorter ones like crocus and grape hyacinths toward the outer edge of the pot and scattered in between the taller ones. Place the flat side of tulips towards the outside of the pot for a better display.
Next, cover the bulbs with potting mix and water thoroughly. Place them in a cool location with temperatures between 35 and 45 degrees for 15 weeks. This allows them to form roots and initiate flowering.
Give Them a Chill
So, where do you find a suitable spot to give them a chill? A spare refrigerator works well. A friend of mine said “Every gardener needs a spare refrigerator for their bulbs and beer.” After all, I live in Wisconsin.
Those gardening in colder climates can sink the pot in a vacant part of the garden. Once the ground lightly freezes, mulch with evergreen boughs to make removing the pot easier. A gardening friend used to empty his prefab water feature for winter. He set the planted pots inside, mulched and covered the opening with a plywood board. The pots received the needed chill without freezing solid and it as was easy as lifting the plywood lid to remove the pots.
You can also set the container in an unheated garage. Add a bit of insulation if needed to prevent the soil and bulbs from freezing. You can store them in a bag of mulch or potting mix, storage containers or other similar items that seem to accumulate in all our garages; these all work well.
Create a Spring Garden
To extend your enjoyment, go big and create a long blooming spring garden in a deeper and wider container. Select a variety of bulbs with early-, mid- and late-spring bloom times. You will enjoy the changing beauty of these colorful flowers over a longer period of time.
Begin by covering the bottom of the pot with several inches of soil. Set the largest bulbs like daffodils, hyacinths and tulips on this layer. Add just enough potting mix to cover the bulbs. Now add the medium sized bulbs like smaller tulips and alliums when planting three layers. Cover with soil and fill the top layer with crocus, squills and grape hyacinths. Cover with potting mix and water thoroughly.
Give these a 15-week chill as well. Check the containers and water as needed to keep the soil moist but not soggy. After they receive their 15-week chill you can begin bringing your potted containers out of storage and into a cool, sunny location indoors. It takes about four weeks for the bulbs to sprout and bloom.
Or, wait until the worst of winter has past and place a few pots outside on your patio, deck or front steps. You and your visitors will enjoy the spring color indoors and out.
Where have you been able to find the best bulbs and greatest variety? What are your favorite bulbs for planting? Do you have chilling and storage tips to share? Please join in the conversation.

The post Forcing Bulbs: A Quick and Easy Way to Brighten a Winter’s Day appeared first on Best Homecare Tips.

Source: CareTips

5 Situations Where Hiring a Geriatric Care Manager Is Worth It

hiring a geriatric care manager

Experts help families solve senior care challenges

Caring for an older adult can be overwhelming, confusing, and incredibly stressful.

To get some help and relief, consider hiring an aging care expert. They’re typically called geriatric care managers (GCMs) or aging life care professionals.

Their experience and knowledge about senior care issues and local resources can be especially helpful when you’ve run into a difficult or complex situation with your older adult.

Even if you don’t need one full-time, a few hours of consultation could make a world of difference in solving a tricky problem.

We share 5 situations where hiring a geriatric care manager could help solve tough problems and get better care for your older adult.


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What is a geriatric care manager?

A geriatric care manager (or aging life care professional) is an experienced professional whose goal is to improve your older adult’s quality of life and reduce family stress.

They can help you navigate the senior care system, advise you on caregiving decisions, connect you with helpful resources, supervise your older adult’s care, and help resolve family issues.

 

5 situations where hiring a geriatric care manager makes sense

1. You need help solving a complex behavior issue
When older adults develop serious behavioral issues (typically in dementia), like constant verbal abuse or physical combativeness, it can be difficult to pinpoint the true cause of the problem.

Unless you have an experienced geriatrician (geriatric doctor) who’s committed to figuring it out, you may need a GCM to connect you with the right specialists who can solve it.

 

2. You need help solving problems in a senior living community
Caring for an older adult almost often complicated problems. Sometimes, you run into a brick wall trying to solve them.

When that happens, hiring a geriatric care manager can be a big help.

For example, your mom lives in an assisted living community and you feel that she needs more care than their regular staff provides. However, they won’t let you hire a private aide for her. You’ve negotiated and argued with the administrator until you’re blue in the face, but aren’t getting anywhere.

A geriatric care manager understands how these communities really work, what the relevant state laws are, and will negotiate on your behalf. Because they’re industry insiders, they’re more likely to reach a solution that’s in your senior’s best interests.

 

3. Your older adult refuses to talk with you about their health
Many seniors don’t want to burden adult children with problems or worries.

If you suspect that your older adult is not telling you about things that affect their health or well-being, you could hire a geriatric care manager to check on them.

Some people are more likely to share their concerns with an expert outside the family.

 

4. You live far away
It’s difficult to manage your older adult’s care when you don’t live near them. There’s no substitute for having someone there in person to make sure they’re well cared for.

When it’s impossible for you to visit frequently, a GCM could supervise their care, alert you to any issues, and work with you when decisions are needed.

 

5. You’re really not sure what to do
At some point in your older adult’s care, you and your family might feel completely lost and unsure.

If you’re stuck and don’t know what to do, a geriatric care manager can help you understand the available options, tradeoffs, and costs.

 

Next Step  Find a geriatric care manager in your area

 

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By DailyCaring Editorial Team
Image: Live Life Care

 

This article wasn’t sponsored and doesn’t contain affiliate links. For more information, see How We Make Money.


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Source: CareTips

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