The “Commons Way” of Living Can Help Us Adjust to Changing Times

The “Commons Way” of Living Can Help Us Adjust to Changing Times

I was reading about the role of the “commons” around the world when I learned that Canada is warming up at twice the speed of other countries, and the Arctic is warming up three times faster.

You’d think that would be good news for Canadians who like to head south for the winter, but it’s not.

The reason Canada is warming faster is because our northern permafrost and sea ice are melting. The result is less ice to reflect the heat from the sun. The ground absorbs more heat, causing temperatures to rise.

Times Have Changed

This made me think back on the changes I’ve seen since childhood. From about age nine, I would pack a lunch and hike with my friends through the woods and up what we called Mount Baldy. Once on the other side, we made our way to a place we called Blueberry Falls.

It was a fast-moving stream that tumbled down over a series of rocks. We would dip our reusable jam jars into the stream for a cool, refreshing drink. I wouldn’t do that today. The stream is too polluted.

Back in the day, I’d think nothing of walking or riding my bike the two miles between my house and our local lake. I think the road is now a major highway and much too busy for kids to cycle.

We roamed the forests surrounding my town freely – as if they belonged to all of us. It was our backyard “commons.”

What’s a Commons?

“Commoning” refers to a way of living, working, sharing, and playing together on common land. Historically, it meant participants in the commons of the Earth defending the common good.

It’s where the term, “commoners” originated. It is community members sharing their knowledge to help each other.

Sixty and Me is a community of mutual support and can be considered an “Online Commons.” It’s a place to share information, ideas, and resources.

Nature Is More Unpredictable Today

Rising sea levels are leading to soil erosion along the shoreline. Friends of mine who have a waterfront property spent $50,000 last year to put in a rock wall under their cliff to prevent further erosion.

In the past few years, Canada has experienced widespread wildfires that have destroyed homes and entire communities. Last summer, the smoke from the interior wildfires blanketed the coast and kept many of us indoors for days.

Where I live, we experience drought conditions in the summer and many residents need to get water delivered to their homes, as wells are known to run dry.

In the winter, we rely on the rains to fill cisterns. We didn’t get much rain this winter and summer-like temperatures began in March. I’m already seeing water trucks pass by my window several times a day.

The hot summer drought conditions often seem to be followed by torrential rains that cause mudslides. This winter, the Artic outflow sank further south and dumped extra-cold, snowy conditions, while the north was warmer than normal.

Lately, we’ve had a few surprising, intensive windstorms. We had one at Christmas that took down lots of tall trees and power lines. Most of the island was without electricity for days.

Luckily, we are well prepared for such events. Our city friends back east are having a harder time. April has brought them freezing rain, downed power lines, and left them without heat or hydro. They’re not prepared for these conditions.

There are similar weather stories worldwide. I don’t think most of us are really prepared for dramatic changes in the weather. But it’s happening – ready or not.

Market Mindset vs Commons Mindset

The Market Mindset is all about what can be bought and sold. It’s about humans maximizing benefits for themselves. It’s based in competition and monopolies.

Workers often feel like an unfulfilled cog-in-a-wheel working in large companies. Powerful corporate lobbyists tend to control the government.

We are not yet doing enough to clean up the gigantic plastic island of garbage floating in the Pacific Ocean – even though much of it ends up in the bellies of whales and other sea life.

A Commons Mindset is centered around the resources we need to live.

It is based on humans being co-operative, social beings. It’s based on collaboration and a belief that locally-owned businesses can employ more people in meaningful work.

Networks of communities work together for the common good. Planet Earth is the collective commons that needs our urgent attention.

Women Are Most Vulnerable

Due to lower income, women are more likely to live in poverty, making it difficult to cope with extreme weather conditions. Older adults are also vulnerable to climate-related health issues, as they are highly susceptible to heat stroke.

What Can We Do to Help?

Below is a list containing a few suggestions we can all do to help ease the burden on our planet:

  • Bike, walk, or use public transportation.
  • Shop local – especially at Farmers’ Markets.
  • Recycle and re-use items.
  • Spend more time outside appreciating nature, perhaps alongside children.
  • Replace plastic bags with reusable cloth bags.
  • Reduce the amount of packaged foods consumed.
  • Join a nature restoration project.
  • Have a conversation with others about what to do.

Jane Goodall, whose life work is saving chimpanzees, has said, “More and more people are beginning to realize that we want to die knowing we’ve made a difference.”

Everyone deserves to breathe clean air, drink clean water, and eat healthy food. If you are looking for purpose and meaning in retirement, and want to leave a world that’s healthy and safe for your grandchildren, taking steps to heal the Earth is a good legacy to leave behind.

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Source: CareTips

Vitality and Energy: Why You Need Them Both After 60!

Vitality-and-Energy-After-60

We all want to maintain our health and age well. Whilst energy levels can dip and dive, did you know that vitality will always sustain you?

I’ve learned that what separates a vitality-person from an energetic-person is that it’s not about dashing here, there and everywhere. Rather, it’s much more about mindfulness and soulfulness.

I’d like to share why vitality is so important as we age. I’m 63 now and confident in navigating my energy and vitality, but it hasn’t all been plain sailing through those waves!

At 36 I underwent early menopause resulting in clinical depression with huge energy dips and dives alongside a breakdown in my immune system.

I resolved from then onwards to understand how to manage my energy levels and age well, rejecting the medical practitioner’s prediction I would be “Old before my time” and my sex life was over. That was a red rag to a bull, let me tell you!

Through my journey I discovered vitality. But first, here is a question for you.

Are You a Lark or an Owl?

I’ve learned that I’m wider-awake with more energy in mid-afternoon into the evening. I’ve always been like that, so in charting my energy dips and dives I began looking for patterns. It turns out our birth time can effect our more productive energy times.

So I’m an owl. I was born in the evening and I’m more alive in the evening. If you’re born early in the morning you may well be a lark. Is this you – up with the lark early in the morning?

Do You Have an Energy Dip Between Midday and Mid-Afternoon?

After my surgeries, I learned that if you want to even out your energy patterns, it’s a good practice to take a nap or rest in the afternoon.

Giving myself ‘time out’ reduced my stress intake and increased my ability to relax at will. It is a vital skill for moving through the ups and downs of life and a step on the way to living on the inside of my beautiful mind where I could open up to vitality.

In fact, why don’t we all take a leaf out of the kindergarten’s book where everyone had cookies and milk and rest after midday? Imagine how different the world might be if everyone had an afternoon nap together? The world would be offline between midday and 2pm every day!

Unlocking the Door of Vitality

There’s something different about people with vitality.

You can’t help but notice when they enter a room. There’s an aura around them, they seem to glow, whatever the time of day or night.

They’ll take challenges in their stride, moving through life’s gateways, including the inevitable ageing threshold, with alacrity.

They exude inner strength and inner peace. There are no dips or dives in vitality, it’s with them all of the time.

Nothing to Do with Age and Everything to Do with Transition

People with vitality move through the ups and downs of life, whilst others get stuck, or simply can’t or won’t move on. In my toughest times so far, I was stuck in the memories, thoughts and experiences and needed to learn a way to let go of what hadn’t worked so well for me.

I had to do this because my outlook on life and physical wellbeing were suffering. I needed to understand and accept that change is part of life. When we transition well through our personal challenges our payback is vitality.

Inevitable Change in Our 60s and Beyond

After we hit 60, our roles change, many things shift and I’m not just talking about gravity! Of course, it can be difficult to accept that life isn’t like it used to be, and that “We aren’t like we used to be.”

Why Is Vitality Important as We Age?

The choice becomes vital because every choice you make may be crucial to your imminent wellbeing. If you choose to take even one small step toward moving through any stuck part of your life, your transitions in life will be easier.

What’s worked well for me – and over 10,000 hours working with clients – is creating a timeline to help free up what’s holding us back from having the time of our lives. I learned how to let go of what has gone before including holding onto past memories that were no longer serving me well.

Most importantly, I learned how to reflect, release, repair and reset my mind at will. It’s less painful than remaining stuck and unable to go with the flow! A lighter hearted approach ensues whatever and whenever life throws a curved ball. Vitality steps in.

How Will You Know Your Vitality Is Growing?

On the outside the years will continue to show changes in your physical body, and energy levels will dip and dive. But on the inside, in your beautiful mind, the soulful and mindful ‘you’ continually glows because it’s here where vitality exists.

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Source: CareTips

Too Much Sitting? Health Consequences Are Comparable to Smoking!

Too-Much-Sitting-Health-Consequences-Are-Comparable-to-Smoking

Is sitting the new smoking?

A 2014 article in the New York Times described research by Dr. Levine of Mayo Clinic identifying sitting as a “lethal” activity with many of the same health consequences as smoking. That led to headlines such as Sitting Is the New Smoking,and a public health push to get moving more throughout the day.

Since then some researchers have pushed back saying, yes, sitting is harmful to health, but comparing it to smoking is irresponsible. Smoking is quite simply the most harmful lifestyle habit to health, period.

I think a big difference is that people who smoke know without question they are damaging their health and choose through habit or addiction to do it anyway. Sitting, on the other hand, is fully ingrained in modern life and seems so benign.

Research Findings

So, let’s take a look at the research. Sitting for long periods of time (8+ hours per day) has been linked with metabolic syndrome, a term for a cluster of symptoms including increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess abdominal fat, and abnormal cholesterol levels.

Prolonged periods of sitting – whether it’s at a desk, in a car, or in front of a screen – seem to also increase the risk of death from cardiovascular disease and cancer. Some studies even equate that risk to the risk of dying posed by obesity and smoking.

A real eye-opener in this research was that twice-weekly aerobic exercise classes don’t offset sedentary time as much as we would all like to believe. Sitting, as it turns out, is an independent pathology.

As Dr. Levine puts it, “being sedentary for 8-9 hours a day at the office is bad for your health whether you go home and watch television afterward or hit the gym. It’s bad whether you are obese or thin.”

Marc Hamilton, an inactivity researcher at Pennington Biomedical Research Center, found that electrical activity in the muscles goes silent while seated, causing a cascade of harmful metabolic effects.

These include a drop in insulin effectiveness, lower ability to break down lipids and triglycerides, and reduced levels of HDL (good cholesterol).

Hamilton even studied young, fit, and thin subjects, and recorded a 40 percent reduction in insulin uptake after only 24 hours of being sedentary.

Programmed for Movement

Digging further into the research shows that the body’s response to sedentary behavior is genetically programmed. As it turns out, back in cave-dwelling days, being sedentary was a signal that something was terribly wrong – an injury or illness that could spell death.

So, the body responded with short-term metabolic changes (like increased cortisol) designed to get the body up and moving and healing. The key word is short-term.

When these metabolic changes become long-term through prolonged sedentary behavior then health starts breaking down. The value of periodic movement breaks (at least 1 per hour) signal to the body, “Hey, I’m fine here, no need to panic!”

Making Movement “Deposits”

Make a pact with yourself to create movement breaks throughout each day. Get up every 30-60 minutes and move about, take the stairs, stand up when you talk on the phone or read a document.

Seek opportunities to ingrain movement into every hour of the day – and then hit the gym or go for a walk to support cardiovascular health. Don’t compound a day of sitting with more sitting at home! Keep movement on your radar and be willing to take action.

My husband thinks I’m a bit weird, but if we’re watching TV, I often get up during commercials and do knee lifts, small kicks, stretches, etc. I’ve even been known to break into a dance of some sort (picture a lot of strange looks and head shaking from the other side of the room).

It is a bit silly perhaps, but I know from experience that it makes a big difference in how I feel at the end of a program.

For my new website, I have launched several Vitality Spotlights® movement minutes filmed outside in Montana, Hawaii, and Yellowstone National Park! These include exercises you can do anywhere. Please let me know what you think! If you like these videos, I can share more in my future Sixty & Me blogs!

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Source: CareTips

4 Everyday Bad Habits You Don’t Know You’re Doing (That Can Wreck Your Health!)

Everyday-Bad-Habits-You-Don’t-Know-You’re-Doing-That-Can-Wreck-Your-Health

I admit, I love people-watching. Not peeking around corners, creepy-stalking but waiting in line or hanging out and watching my fellow humans being themselves.

In addition to the airport and Starbucks, observing people at the gym ranks high on the best people-watching places.

It’s even more interesting because everyone’s occupation is hidden behind a T-shirt and shorts. Or spandex.

In other words, you don’t know a person’s True Identity unless they tell you.

The woman next to you on the stationary bike could be a CEO, flight attendant – or she may be an auto mechanic. Ditto for the guy in the ripped tank top and hoodie.

I especially enjoy seeing my fellow over 50/60-year-olds working out.

I observe the exercises they choose, their form, and how they move about the gym. It gives me ideas for areas in which I see people either struggling or doing things incorrectly.

Besides that, I’m nosy.

But I recently noticed people doing less obvious sabotaging practices that could do damage over time. Here are my top four.

Leaning on Things

I first noticed the habit of leaning on furniture and equipment when people sign in at the gym (the cardio section of the gym sits directly in front of the check-in desk, so I have a bird’s eye view of people coming and going).

Instead of simply punching in their code on a small keypad, many boomers (people my age, so no hate mail, please!) lean on the counter while entering their info, supporting themselves on their forearms.

At first, I wasn’t sure why anyone would use this posture. Then I realized this position takes the pressure off the lower back. So, if your back hurts, supporting yourself this way eases the discomfort.

But here’s the thing: It’s lazy. Plus, if your back is weak, so is your core. Nothing good will come out of that combo.

And if you continue to rely on countertops for balance instead of actively engaging your core muscles, guess what? Yes! Your core and your back will only get weaker. Use it or lose it, as they say.

Engage those abs, pull your shoulders back, and stand up!

Pushing Off

I’ve caught myself pushing off because I have osteoarthritis in both knees and they can get cranky. Getting up out of a chair by pushing off the armrests is easier on the knees, for sure.

But once again, it’s a bad habit that leads to more weakness over time.

Because you’re not only taking the easy route, but you’re missing out on an opportunity to strengthen your quadriceps muscles which, ironically, can help your knees.

So, the next time you’re about to get up from a chair, think for a second.

Focus on and squeeze your quadriceps muscles (fronts of your thighs) and use them to help you stand up from your seated position. Count it as a “one repetition squat.” Sending you a virtual high-five!

Overall Poor Posture

Poor posture is a rampant problem among all ages, but its effects hit home after 60.

Nearly everything we do involves forward motion, such as sitting hunched over a desk. Since your body shape is the result of what you do all day, sitting with a rounded back for weeks, months, and years achieves the posture of a bay shrimp.

Aside from looking as if you’re headed up the tower to ring the bell and alert the townspeople of their impending demise, a rounded spine wreaks havoc on other body parts – namely, the shoulders.

This position compresses the shoulder joint and can, over time, lead to rotator cuff problems (shoulder stabilizers), frozen shoulder, and other issues. Shoulder injuries become more common with age, even if you’re not practicing tennis serves every weekend.

So, be sure to strengthen your back muscles by performing rows, and pay attention to your posture throughout the day. Ears, shoulders, and hips should align when sitting. Add knees and ankles, if you’re standing.

Hanging on to the Treadmill Rails

Using the treadmill rails for support is a bad habit not limited to us 60 and over people.

By hanging on to the treadmill you burn fewer calories because you’re supporting part of your body weight (ditto for any other cardio such as the elliptical).

Plus, when you hang on while walking on an incline (as most people seem to do) you negate the benefits of walking uphill.

Think about it. When you hold on and lean back, your body becomes perpendicular to the platform. So, you’re basically walking on flat ground. On the other hand, if you lean forward as you would walking up an actual hill – without holding on – you’re kicking in those hamstrings and glutes.

Afraid of losing your balance? That’s even more reason to let go – if you can walk on your own normally.

But if you’ve been holding on, slow down the machine and start by holding on with only one hand. Then progress to letting go completely.

If you’re unsure of yourself, switch to a machine that doesn’t run by itself.

For example, I use a stair stepper machine at my gym because I like being able to stop on a dime without worrying about the machine taking off on its own.

The stationary bike or elliptical trainer are other good choices, for this same reason, if you’re a bit unsteady.

Having said that, however, if you don’t work on your balance by safely challenging yourself, the situation will only get worse, not better.

If you don’t have a balance problem, great! But if you do, start by raising your awareness so you can stop and adjust your exercise position. The key lies in catching yourself and fixing the habit before it becomes a real issue.

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Source: CareTips

How Volunteering Can Enrich Your Life After 60

How Volunteering Can Enrich Your Life After 60

What improves your quality of life? What do you need to feel content and satisfied? Researchers asked retirees what was most important to their quality of life. There were four key answers:

  • Having something to do;
  • Having relationships;
  • Having a stake in the future;
  • Having a sense of continuity.

Volunteering your time and expertise is a nice way to gain all of the above. When volunteering, you have something to do in a social situation, while working for the common good and contributing to your family, community, or society.

Governments, non-profits, and society encourage retirees to volunteer. Many consider volunteering a time honoured and valued activity for everyone – but especially for retirees.

There are several reasons why volunteering is good for you from the responses of the brain to meeting your own goals.

The Neuroscience of Altruism

Researchers have looked at altruism’s effects on your brain. Altruism is doing something positive for someone else with no expectation of a return, as in volunteering.

When someone acts altruistically, different portions of the brain show activity. One portion of the brain is associated with rewards. This reward response occurs whether one is voluntarily or involuntarily altruistic. Your brain rewards you for altruism whether you expect it or not.

Research has shown that cultivating positive emotions is good for your health and can even improve it. It decreases stress and increases pro-social behaviour and personal well-being, along with raising self-esteem.

Baby Boomers Already Volunteer

Long-term social studies on volunteering predict that baby boomers will continue to volunteer at rates higher than the previous two generations.

A large number of baby boomers offers a deep source of expertise and knowledge for non-profits and communities. But retired baby boomers have their own goals as well. Many want to take part in productive activities and remain physically and mentally active for years to come.

Volunteering can fulfil retirees’ quality of life criteria and meet their social and emotional needs. Very often it results in productive and vigorous activity.

Fulfilling Your Own Goals Through Volunteering

Volunteering enhances our quality of life because of the effects of altruism on the mind and body. Hence, it can provide productivity, connectedness, and legacy. But if volunteering doesn’t also fulfil your needs, then it does not improve your quality of life.

For example, I wanted to volunteer at a school, because I missed my grandchildren. I applied to work with the students but ended up cleaning and doing kitchen work. Since I can do the cleaning at home, I quit – the volunteer work wasn’t meeting my needs.

Planning for Volunteering

Friends or acquaintances may ask us to volunteer. Deciding first on what type of activities you would like to perform in a volunteer capacity is important. On receiving those requests, you will know whether they fulfil your goals.

Volunteering can be part of your legacy to your society as well as meeting your definition of “productiveness.” It can involve giving away your millions like Bill Gates, or it can be something much simpler.

Andrea Putting discusses her volunteer efforts in a recent podcast episode. She organises annual events for people of different religions where they drink coffee and eat chocolate together.

Called Chocolate and Coffee Day for Religious Harmony, this event promotes the similarities we share regardless of our individual religions. It is a simple idea, but it is true to Andrea’s beliefs and ethics.

There are many ways to be altruistic. Volunteering time or donating money can be very positive. Your brain rewards you and enhances your mental and emotional state.

For baby boomers, improving your quality of life through altruism can also fulfil your goals for a productive and active retirement.

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Source: CareTips

25 Quick Journal Prompts That Reduce Caregiver Stress and Improve Health

Journaling is a fast track to stress reduction

Caring for an older adult is stressful and can easily wear you down. To help you keep going, stay positive, and protect your health, it’s essential to have plenty of good coping techniques at your fingertips.

A quick, inexpensive, and effective way to reduce caregiver stress and improve health is to write in a journal.

Writing down your thoughts and feelings on a regular basis has been proven to have a long list of mental and physical benefits. These include reduced stress and depression, improved ability to withstand stress, infection, and disease, and improved sleep.

To help you cope with caregiving stress, we found 25 fantastic journal prompts at Odyssey. We explain how to use them and share our 10 favorite prompts for caregivers.

How journal prompts help caregivers

journal prompts

Sometimes it’s challenging to think of what to write about or it feels intimidating to get started. When that happens, journal prompts are a great solution.

They’re short questions that focus your thoughts. The questions help you practice healthy, positive ways of thinking and jump start the process of writing, which releases stress.

Odyssey’s journal prompts are excellent ways to add some self-care into each day. You could even use them as a 25-day challenge or just choose a question to answer anytime you’d like a quick way to get started.

10 wonderful journal prompts for caregivers

All 25 prompts are great and we recommend trying them all. We’ve also chosen the 10 that we think caregivers would benefit from most.

  1. List five good things about today.
  2. What is one thing you can improve on (time management, communication, etc.), and how can you do this?
  3. What is one adjustment you would like to make to your morning routine?
  4. What is one adjustment you would like to make to your nighttime routine?
  5. Make a list of twenty things that make you happy.
  6. What is a new skill that you would like to learn and how can you learn it?
  7. What is one long-term goal you wish to work towards?
  8. Was today a difficult day? If so, what made it difficult and what can you do to prevent from having days like this in the future?
  9. What is one problem you had today, and what was your solution to this problem? Was is the best way you could have handled it?
  10. Are you taking time to care for yourself? Do you allow yourself time to relax and breathe? If the answer is no, what can you do to give yourself this time?

The post 25 Quick Journal Prompts That Reduce Caregiver Stress and Improve Health appeared first on Best Homecare Tips.

Source: CareTips

7 Priceless Tips for Retiring Abroad (#2 Could Save Your Sanity!)

7 Priceless Tips for Retiring Abroad

International moving is not for sissies! It’s a jolt to every cell in your body. I know – I just did a reverse commute!

Whilst many of my compatriots are finding their new retirement havens abroad, I recently moved back to the U.S. after living for 25 years in Merida, Mexico. (Why did I make that decision? Well, that’s a topic for a future post!) Today I want to share with you my hands-on experience in international moving.

If you were, at some time in your life, a corporate person who moved internationally, you know that you didn’t have to lift a finger, your company did all the work and paid the bill. But when you have to move yourself, that’s a whole new learning curve. Here are some things to consider.

Early Investigation of Options Puts You in Control

Do the work. Start early with researching your options for moving and the companies that can move you.

Who will be your freight forwarder? Will you ship by container or pallet? Air or sea? What are the different costs and time frames? Take the car or sell it? What about the animals? So many new things to learn, different variables, costs, pros and cons to consider.

Don’t Even Think of Packing Yourself

I always packed by myself when I moved locally or in the country. But now my things were going to be stored, jostled, and crane-lifted. I hired international packers who knew what they were doing and how to cushion the blows.

They used stronger boxes of different sizes for different things. They knew how to pack paintings and fragiles. Moreover, they knew how much to pack in a box.

Brilliantly, my international packing company arranged for customs agents to be present, so I didn’t have my boxes opened later for inspection without me being there.

Do You Really Need to Take Your Furniture with You?

I owned beautiful pieces that I had custom designed and cherished for years. But they served a tropical climate and a big house lifestyle. I was going to move into a one-bedroom flat in a big city.

Moving furniture and cars is pricey! So, I sold all my furniture and made the decision to move only things that had emotional value in my life – 41 boxes worth!

When I arrived at my new flat, I bought a bed, a dining table and a couch. Now I’m unpacking and seeing what my new lifestyle is like before I buy anything.

Garage Sale Early and Often

There’s no such thing as one garage sale. You will have many. Have the first one earlier than you think you should have it, and sell things you can totally live without and haven’t used in ages…the extra serving bowls, brooms, linens you don’t like anymore, etc.

As you get closer to your packing date, you can start paring down to your essential stuff. At the very end, after packing, you’ll also find huge quantities of stuff you can’t believe you own that you’ll need to get rid of fast.

Closing Your Accounts

Start early (earlier than I did!) to investigate how and when to close your existing household accounts: cable or satellite TV, mobile, landline, internet, and utilities.

I learned the hard way that some companies require a month’s lead time to terminate accounts, and by then, you may be gone. Dealing with things long distance is never fun.

Plan a Refuge

Arrange for a place to stay (with friends, preferably, but a hotel is fine too) when your house becomes too barebones to sustain you.

I stayed in my house a bit too long, sleeping on the couch in the living room with no curtains on the windows. Staying with friends is comforting in a time of great disassociation and stress.

Stick Around!

Don’t think you can wave to the moving truck and then go to the airport. Plan to stay at least one week after your things ship. My final week in town was crucial, with customs paperwork, taxes, closing accounts, banking, seeing doctors, and farewell lunches.

It also gave me a much-needed rest from packing and all the associated stress. I caught up on sleep before I flew, knowing that I’d need strength to start the unpacking process.

Bonus Tip: Call in Your Tribe and Ask for Help

When friends know exactly what you need, they’re only too happy to help out. So, be specific: Can you come over and sit with me? Can you feed me dinner? Can you take me to the doctor? Will you have lunch with me?

Moving is a stressful shakeup of the soul. Let’s benefit from all our experiences.

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Source: CareTips

Take Good Care of Your Joints Now – They Will Thank You Later!

Take-Good-Care-of-Your-Joints

I am a firm believer in the adage that an “ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” when it comes to my health. That’s why I usually don’t wait for symptoms to tell me whether I need to do something to take better care of myself.

Even when it isn’t always possible, such as in the case with the changes our bodies go through as we enter our 60s and beyond, we can still take proactive steps to minimize the impact on our ability to live a healthy life.

This is especially true when it comes to the 360 joints in our bodies – yes, we really do have that many! We don’t need to wait for stiffness or pain – or the onset of arthritis – to minimize the effects of aging and to keep our joints as healthy as possible.

What Are Joints?

And while it is true that joint pain tends to increase as we get older, it doesn’t have to be inevitable. To know how to best protect our joints, it’s important to have a basic understanding of what they are and how they work.

Simply put, joints hold our bones together – mechanically speaking, of course. Most joints are vital intersections or links that allow us to bend, stand, sit, jump, and walk. Surrounding these brilliant evolutionary “links” is cartilage.

Cartilage acts as a cushiony lubricant allowing the joints to easily move without the bones rubbing directly on one another.

When you hear of people experiencing joint pain, it is sometimes a symptom of reduced or compromised cartilage in their joints. Overall joint health may rely heavily on the amount of healthy cartilage we have in between our joints.

Joint pain occurs inside or around a single joint connecting two bones, and it can have a multitude of causes. Some things that can impact our joint health, in addition to the normal wear-and-tear of aging, are:

Seemingly Minor Joint Injuries That Turn into Chronic Joint Pain

A good example of a minor injury turned chronic is the famous “tennis elbow” that people develop. But it also could be something as seemingly innocuous as a sprained ankle, a whiplash from a fender-bender, or a bruised shoulder from playing softball with the grandkids.

These are all injuries, and the thing that they all have in common is that they tend to heal initially, but the residual damage can add up over time with wear and tear on the cartilage, ligaments, and muscles.

Inflammation in the Body

Joints may not only be affected by injuries and excessive overuse, but also by inflammation caused by illnesses like rheumatoid arthritis, gout, and infectious and autoimmune diseases. This is frequently accompanied by accumulation of fluid leading to puffiness and limited range of motion.

Nutrient Deficiencies

Water is one of the six nutrients we need to remain healthy, and although bones and cartilage appear to be solid, they also contain water. If we do not drink enough water, our joint surfaces may get drier and porous, and this decreases tissue elasticity and cushioning.

Keeping Our Joints Healthy

I recently wrote an article pointing out the importance of stretching for keeping our joints limber, but there is a lot more that we can and should be doing to promote joint health. While joints may be impacted by various factors, two important ones that we can control are our diets and our lifestyle choices.

Even if we are genetically disposed to not having the best joint health, or if we already have some joint damage, making sure our joints get the nutrients they need and doing what we can to keep them strong can make a big difference.

Diet and Joint Health

First, let’s talk about diet. Our joints are very susceptible to whatever inflammation we may have in our bodies in general. So, it only makes sense that a diet packed with the nutrients necessary to reduce inflammation will do wonders for our joint health.

While this may sound complicated and laborious, it’s actually very easy. If you eat a well-balanced diet based more on fresh fruits and vegetables rather than on processed foods, you’re already doing a lot to help your joints. Try to limit the amount of fried foods and foods that contain trans fats.

Some foods that are well-known for their anti-inflammatory benefits are:

  • Cherries, blueberries, blackberries
  • Pomegranates, pineapple, tomatoes, papayas
  • Red peppers
  • Citrus fruits
  • Turmeric (a wonderful spice), ginger, and cinnamon
  • Oatmeal, quinoa, brown rice, and barley
  • Walnuts and canola oil
  • Broccoli, bok choy, kale, collard greens

Having healthy bones is also a key for having healthy joints and perhaps no vitamin is more essential for this than vitamin D.

The bottom line is that having a vitamin D deficiency, though often overlooked, increases our risk for joint pain. Great sources of vitamin D are salmon and green leafy vegetables.

You should also be aware of your calcium and magnesium levels, as these minerals are critical for healthy bones.

Certain conditions and medications can cause mineral loss and lead to weaker bones. A few, in particular, that require consultation with your doctor include steroid medications, diuretics, kidney diseases and even drinking cola soda drinks.

Lifestyle Choices

In addition to diet, there are other things we can do to help our joints do their job and stay healthy. Some of these include being aware of, and working on, our posture. Standing and sitting up straight, like we were told to do back in the day, helps keep our joints flexible and strong.

Other behaviors include maintaining an ideal weight to reduce pressure and workload on our joints (our knees, for example, bear the brunt of 1.5 times our body weight); making sure to lift with our legs and not with our back; and only stretching after we’ve done some warm-ups.

Also, be sure to see your doctor if you have any joint injury, such as spraining your ankle.

Last, but not least, make sure to include some form of exercise in your daily routine. And, it goes without saying that if you still smoke, plan to quit as soon as possible. In addition to all its other health risks, this habit also can negatively impact your joint health.

Finally, if you would like to try supplements such as SAM-e, which have a lot of research behind them, talk with a competent healthcare practitioner to see if it may be right for you.

The post Take Good Care of Your Joints Now – They Will Thank You Later! appeared first on Sixty And Me.

The post Take Good Care of Your Joints Now – They Will Thank You Later! appeared first on Best Homecare Tips.

Source: CareTips

15 Enjoyable Mother’s Day Activities for Seniors

Celebrate Mother’s Day with quality time together

Spending quality time with the important woman (or women) in your life is a wonderful and thoughtful way to celebrate Mother’s Day.

To help you plan something special, we rounded up 15 fun Mother’s Day activities for seniors.

7 activities for seniors who like to go out

mother's day activities for seniors

These 7 activities are perfect for older adults who enjoy getting out of the house. They can be done together with family and friends or one-on-one for quality time together.

  1. Share a relaxed meal at their favorite restaurant. It doesn’t have to be a fancy place, just somewhere they really enjoy.
  2. Visit a nearby park to enjoy a picnic or a leisurely stroll.
  3. Stroll through a shopping mall. Outdoor malls are fantastic in good weather. Indoor malls are temperature controlled and have ample seating for taking breaks, plenty of snacks and drinks, and lots of bathrooms. Plus, it’s fun to window shop and people watch.
  4. Visit a botanical garden to see some beautiful flowers. If the weather is nice, you could also bring a picnic lunch.
  5. Art lovers may enjoy visiting a nearby museum. A good conversation starter is to ask them open ended questions about the pieces they like best.
  6. For someone who is really excited about a hobby (like art, gardening, music), do the activity with them or join in a class they take.
  7. Take a sports fan to watch a live game – whether it’s a local or national team, it’s sure to be a good time.

8 activities for seniors who like to stay in

These 8 activities are perfect for older adults who enjoy staying home. Many are great for a group of family and friends and some are just as fun one-on-one.

  1. Cook their favorite meal or get takeout from their favorite restaurant. Arrange the food on nice plates and decorate the table. You might even want to go all out with candles, flowers, and fancy china.
  2. Throw a casual potluck party where everyone brings a dish and spends time relaxing, chatting, and eating together.
  3. Bake cookies or cook a favorite dish together. Depending on their abilities and interests, they could work side-by-side with you, prep a few simple ingredients, or observe and be your taste tester.
  4. Enjoy a sparkling non-alcoholic “cocktail” as way to fancy-up afternoon snack time. Add sparkling juice or bubbly water to lemonade, juice, or iced tea and put it in a pretty cup.
  5. Play their favorite music and have a sing-a-long or just sit and enjoy the tunes together.
  6. Read aloud from a book of their choice. Some may even enjoy taking a turn at reading!
  7. Do a puzzle or play cards or a board game together.
  8. Relax together while watching a favorite movie or TV show.

The post 15 Enjoyable Mother’s Day Activities for Seniors appeared first on Best Homecare Tips.

Source: CareTips

Do You Know Your Own City? 5 Benefits You Can Gain from Taking a Walking Tour

benefits walking tour

I love to travel. Yet because I have someone at home undergoing medical treatments, it’s been hard to leave town. Instead, I’ve been booking walking tours in my hometown of Los Angeles.

It gives me a chance to get away, explore the city, and learn more about its history and culture. It doesn’t really matter how big or small your town may be, there’s always something to see and discover.

So far, I’ve taken a tour of street art and graffiti in the LA Arts District, an inner-city neighborhood tour, a Victorian homes tour, and an old restaurants tour. All have been fascinating and fun.

I especially love quirky tours. They’re usually not as tourist-centric and are much more affordable. Below are a few of the benefits of taking walking tours that I find irresistible.

It Gets You Away from Home

It’s easy to find yourself attached to your computer but that can be isolating and takes you away from the real world. You may have a ton of friends online but never see them in real life. When you take a walking tour it’s a fun way to meet new people and make live connections.

Walking Is an Excellent Form of Exercise

Depending on your physical condition, you can book tours that are either challenging or easy. I love to walk, so the more walking that’s involved, the better for me. I always track my steps using an app on my phone, and you’ll be surprised at how many steps you’ll take on a walking tour.

If walking is a challenge, there are tours or lectures you can book that don’t require walking at all or are handicapped accessible. Always do your research beforehand to get the details in that regard.

History Is Always Fascinating

I love learning about the history of a location and stories that revolve around it. The Los Angeles Conservancy regularly conducts tours of historical locations in the city.

I get a kick out of hearing about shady happenings that may have gone on or colorful tales of people who used to live at the location I’m touring.

For instance, Los Angeles has a whole system of tunnels that were used to shuttle liquor during Prohibition as well as speakeasies that are still operating as trendy nightclubs today. I once attended a lecture all about the history of drinking in LA. It even included tasting vintage cocktails.

The Culture of a City Comes from Its Diverse Inhabitants

Los Angeles is a melting pot of immigrants that have come from all around the world. There are pockets in the city where people of various cultures have made homes. It has an impact on the art that’s created, the food, and the way people live.

When you learn more about an area in your town, it gives you a better understanding of how it came to be, the challenges people faced, and how they overcame adversity.

You Get to See Parts of the City You Wouldn’t Normally See

If you do your research, you can find walking tours that will show you locations that you would normally never see on a tour geared for tourists.

The LA Arts Tour I took was given by an actual graffiti artist who lives in the neighborhood. He was able to give us insight into the area from an artist’s point of view, while explaining the lingo and how the artwork was created.

Sometimes large tour companies get kickbacks from vendors when they take tourists to certain locations and urge them to buy something. You’ll rarely ever see that happen on a small group walking tour.

What If You Live in a Tiny Town?

There’s always something of interest to learn even if you live in a small town, or you may find a walking tour in a nearby location. Some people who are retired have even started businesses as walking tour operators – like a friend of mine who moved to Innsbruck, Austria, from the U.S A.

The post Do You Know Your Own City? 5 Benefits You Can Gain from Taking a Walking Tour appeared first on Sixty And Me.

The post Do You Know Your Own City? 5 Benefits You Can Gain from Taking a Walking Tour appeared first on Best Homecare Tips.

Source: CareTips

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NewVision understands that navigating our healthcare system is complex for clients and families alike. That is why we also offer a comprehensive care management program that is strictly run by our advanced level nurses who are well-versed in the complexities of the healthcare system. Our approach is team-based and patient-centered, it is designed to make healthcare simple.  Services include but not limited:

  • Assess and develop individualized plan of care
  • Implementation of a comprehensive plan of care
  • Conduct ongoing assessments to monitor and implement changes in care
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As clients transfer from acute and/or post acute care settings back into the communities, the process can be fragmented and as a result this can be detrimental to clients with complex care needs. Transitional care is there to prevent the care gap that exist between the “handoffs” from the hospital to the outpatient care teams. Our well trained and experienced advanced level nurses and nurse practitioners will connect the pieces from the acute and/or post acute care settings accurately. Our goal is to safely link clients back into the communities in a safe manner through coordination with inpatient, outpatient care teams along with family members. Our comprehensive plan of care is design to prevent unnecessary readmissions.

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