Did you know that new surveys over the last year show that the 'ability to cope' improves with age?
Because of the pandemic this last year has certainly been a challenge to our mental health. However, there is a consoling truth: that age and emotional well-being tend to increase together, as a rule, even as mental acuity and physical health taper off!
People aged 50 and over score consistently higher (and more positively) on a wide variety of daily emotions. The older crowd tend to have more positive emotions in a given day rather than negative emotions. This is independent of income or education in national studies.
Dr. Laura Carstensen led a research team that studied the reality of prolonged stress. Older people have been at a much higher risk both of getting sick and dying of Covid-19 than younger people.
“This was, from the beginning, a threat to older people that they simply could not avoid — and, crucially, it was prolonged stress,” said Dr. Laura Carstensen, a psychologist at Stanford University’s Center on Longevity.
In April, after the potential scope of the pandemic was apparent, the team recruited a representative sample of some 1,000 adults, aged 18 to 76, living across the country. The participants answered surveys with detailed questions about their emotions over the previous week, including 16 positive states, like relaxed or amused, and 13 negative ones, like guilt or anger.
“Younger people were doing far worse emotionally than older people were,” Dr. Carstensen said. “This was April, the most anxiety-producing month, it was novel, cases went from nothing to 60,000, there was lots of attention and fear surrounding all this — and yet we see the same pattern as in other studies, with older people reporting less distress.”
In a similar study, psychologists at the University of British Columbia exhaustively surveyed some 800 adults of all ages in the first couple of months of the pandemic — and found the same thing.
A "take away" from these studies indicate: Older age was associated with less concern about the threat of Covid-19, better emotional well-being, and more daily positive events.
Also, after middle age, people become more aware of a narrowing time horizon and, consciously or not, begin to gravitate toward daily activities that are more inherently pleasing than self-improving. Source...
You might enjoy this recent post: Aging in Place
Design Your life – Healthy living for Grandparents
Looking into the mirror at your grayed out hair and wrinkled skin, you probably reminisce about those blissful moments when you held your bundle of joy in your arms for the first time. Now, a couple of decades later, your bundle(s) of joy have flown the nest and you are back to thinking about what makes your life worth living. It is just a matter of time before you receive an answer to that question.
Grandkids not only let you relive your life’s greatest moments but also make it much more fun to do so! Somehow looking after grandchildren is a lot more enjoyable and much less demanding affair. But to keep pace with those young and energetic hearts and to maximize your fun quotient, it is necessary to build up your strength and sustain it. Healthy living is not a fad that is meant for the younger generation.
As archaic as it sounds, life definitely starts after 40 and it is in your hands to make it worthwhile. Here are a few pointers for you to become the healthiest and the most involved grandparents ever.
Keep close tabs on your health
The best way to keep your body healthy is to know what you are up against. Keep close tabs on your health by drafting regular check-up plans and sticking to it diligently. Getting screened for ailments that are common after the 50 age mark, everything from diabetes to heart, kidney ailments and cancer, should be in your top priority list every few months. Identifying your problems on time helps greatly with the treatment and its success.
Watch what you put into your mouth
Age transforms the way you and your body look at food. From changes in metabolism to modifications in taste buds, you need to adapt your lifestyle to suit your body and its demands. While minimizing sodium and sugar intake, it is necessary to maximize intake of fruits, vegetables, fibers, lean protein etc, Ensure that you always stay hydrated with water and other fluids. Cooking and eating need not be a lonely affair. Socialize and get more involved with people around you to make it more interesting.
Bring in that zing
Age is all the more reason to stay lively and active. Add some physical and mental activity into your daily routine. Take an hour of your time to invigorate your body through simple workouts like walking, jogging, yoga and fight your heart and bone ailments much more effectively. It is best to consult your physician and health advisor before starting any physical activity. As you age your mental acumen declines and that is not a secret but there are ways to reduce its effect. From books, simple puzzles, crosswords and small games to hobbies that motivate you, spare some time to bring back the zing in your routine.
Get some shut-eye
Sleep issues like insomnia are some of the major causes of physical ailments in older people. Though your sleep patterns might undergo changes as you age, simple practices like transforming your bedroom to look and feel more dark and comfortable, changing your bedtime, taking a bath before bed, avoiding television etc, can significantly boost the chances of getting a good night’s sleep.
You are the one person in this world to know what brings you happiness. Be it long forgotten hobbies or contributing for worthy causes or participating in community development programs, be it socializing and finding new friends and connecting with your family or bonding with pets, pick your source of joy and work on it to peel away any discontent and depression from your life.
By choosing to be healthy and happy you are transforming yourself into fantastic role models for your grandkids to follow. As much as grandchildren would like to hear stories from you, you should remember that the greatest story that you share with them will be that of your life.
For More: Healthy Living Tips for Grandparents
A Neat & Tidy Post: A Less-Cluttered Bedroom
Healthy Living for Grandparents – A Must to Age Well and Enjoy Life!
Have you had your eyes tested recently? Many of us take our eye health for granted.
What can we do as we age to keep our eyes healthy?
Here are 5 Simple Steps to take:
1. Get tested at least annually! Diseases of the eye can be spotted and then referred to a specialist. Pay attention to symptoms like blurred vision, light flashes, eye pain, swelling or irritation near the eye or eyelid.
2. Wear Sun Glasses. Protect your eyes from bright sunlight and its UV rays. UV extended exposure increase the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration.
3. Quit smoking! Your risks are increased for cataracts, optic nerve damage and macular degeneration.
4. Eat the right foods and nutrients. Omega-3 fatty acids, lutein, zinc, and vitamins E and C have been shown in studies to reduce the risk of eye diseases.
5. Use safety glasses or protective goggles when participating in work tasks and various sports activities. Shield your eyes to protect them!
Another concern in our present-day world is the relation of technology and eye health.
As we continually rely on technology, we increasingly have incidents of eyestrain. How can we protect our eyes in this digital age?
Make sure you blink frequently when working on the computer. On average, we blink about 18 times per minute. However, when we stare at a screen this slows the blink rate. Not blinking enough will lead to itchy, dry and burning eyes.
Here are a few additional ways to protect yourself from eyestrain:
Other contributing factors to developing eyestrain include devices with small print held at non-ergonomic angles too far from the eyes. Also, the blue light emitted from digital screens can cause eye strain and keep you awake at night!
People who wear glasses or contacts are also susceptible to eye strain. Their prescriptions might not be ideal for mid-range viewing of electronics.
Maintain Good Eye Health As You Age!
Yes, only 15 minutes to a less cluttered bedroom!
Wouldn’t you agree that your bedroom should be a haven for peace and tranquility? Hopefully, yours is! If not, keep reading!! We know you want a less cluttered bedroom.
If you are sick and tired of a cluttered bedroom, you can actually spend only 15 minutes a day to get it well on its way to being organized and functional.
While you may only use the bedroom for a few hours of sleep each day, nothing feels more restful and relaxing than going to bed at night in a clean and clutter-free bedroom.
If you have time in the morning to spend on decluttering, great! If that time of day doesn’t work for you, when you get home from work or are done running errands for the day may work better. Be creative, you can squeeze in 15 minutes sometime during your busy day!
Start by making the bed…this must be done every morning…without fail! If you can change the sheets in less than 5 minutes, then go ahead. Otherwise, pull up the sheets and comforter or bedspread, fluff up those pillows and it is done!
Now it’s time to address the clothes situation. Are they tossed all over the place? If so, put the dirty ones into the hamper. Hopefully, the hamper is in the bedroom, make sure it has a lid. If the hamper is in the closet, a lid is nice but not necessary. If you have clothes that aren’t dirty but need repair, designate an area in your closet for these items. A basket to put them in would work fine, that way they are easy to distinguish from your other clothes. For clothes that don’t go in the closet (such as undergarments) and are clean, give them a quick fold and put them in a dresser drawer or attractive storage unit.
It is now time to remove or straighten up all the miscellaneous items. Remember the daily rule – if you don’t use it daily then it needs to be put away. So, put those items away. Just a note here: this ISN’T the time to clean out the nightstand drawers. It is a natural tendency to put something away in a drawer to get it out of sight with the intention of finding a home for it later. Then, when you open the drawer and see the mess, you are inclined to clean it. That is a task for another day when that is your main focus.
Just think – only 15 minutes and you made great strides to your goal of having a peaceful and tranquil bedroom. Another day and another 15 minutes…do this over and over until you reach your goal!
Hurray! Enjoy Your Less Cluttered Bedroom!
Did you know? Jigsaw puzzles help you exercise both the right and left side of the brain. Working a jigsaw puzzle helps keep your brain young!
Your left brain thinks logically and follows sequence while the right brain is creative, intuitive and emotional. When working a jigsaw puzzle, you harness both sides of the brain.
Jigsaw puzzles engage the brain to retain information on shapes and colors in order to choose pieces that will fit together properly.This hunt for pieces requires your brain to memorize what each piece looks like or should look like and what kinds of pieces you are searching for in order to complete the picture. Doing this repeatedly reinforces short-term memory.
This engaging activity:
Here are two jigsaw puzzles for you to work and enjoy!
Click link beside each photo…
Interesting facts about jigsaw puzzles!
They were first created by an English mapmaker by the name of John Spilsbury in the late 1760’s. He made a puzzle by gluing a map of the world on a piece of wood and cut out the countries. Children would put the pieces together to learn to identify individual countries and their relation to one another. This was much like our puzzles of the United States that we all worked on when we were growing up.
Thus, jigsaw puzzles were originally invented for education instead of entertainment. Jigsaw puzzles are now loved by people of all ages. Jigsaw puzzles became a form of daily amusement and activity for adults in the early 1900’s. However, they were quite expensive ($5 for a 500-piece puzzle in 1908). By the time of the Great Depression in the early 1930’s, they became more reasonable in price. In fact, 10 million puzzles were sold per week during this time in history. This was an escape from the troubles of the Depression years. Source...
Want to keep your heart healthy? Finally! We’ve been looking for a valid reason to justify the afternoon nap and now we have it. This is especially helpful for the Over 50 population.
Researchers at the European Society of Cardiology conference in London stated that that an hour or more nap has important health benefits. It can cut blood pressure and lower the chance of a heart attack or stroke. It also contributes to people taking fewer blood pressure medications. What a great way to keep your heart healthy!
Lead researcher, Dr Manolis Kallistratos, a cardiologist at Asklepieion Voula General Hospital in Athens, Greece, said, “Two influential UK prime ministers were supporters of the midday nap. Winston Churchill said that we must sleep some time between lunch and dinner while Margaret Thatcher didn’t want to be disturbed around 3pm. According to our study, they were right because midday naps seem to lower blood pressure levels. They may also probably decrease the number of required anti-hypertensive medications.”
He added: “Μidday sleep is a habit that nowadays is almost a privileged due to a nine to five working culture and intense daily routine. However the real question regarding this habit is: is it only a custom or is it also beneficial?”
The findings of the study suggest that midday sleepers have less damage from high blood pressure in their arteries and heart,” according to Dr Kallistratos.
The study showed that midday sleep is associated with lower blood pressure. It also found that longer ‘sleeps’ are even more beneficial. It’s interesting that the midday sleepers had greater dips in blood pressure while sleeping at night. This is associated with better health outcomes.
Patients who slept during the midday were under fewer anti-hypertension medications compared to those who didn’t have their midday nap.
The conclusion was that the midday nap is associated with lower 24 hour blood pressure as well as a fall of BP at night. This results in less damage to the arteries and the heart.
The longer the midday nap, the lower the systolic BP levels and probably fewer drugs needed to lower BP.”
Of course, there is balance in all things. You should still make daily exercise and healthy eating a priority. But, it’s nice to know we can reward ourselves with some rest on a daily basis!
So, if you can, make naps a priority in your daily schedule, and if you really need an excuse, tell people you are doing it for your health!
Over 50? Indulge in a nap to keep your heart healthy!
Gotta love those Winter Workouts! No matter what time of year it is, exercising in the cold weather has many benefits. Many people use exercise for weight control which is great but don’t forget the myriad of other benefits. Just to name a few:
*Keeping your spirits bright during the short days of winter.
*Combating “cabin fever” by getting out of the house and into the fresh air.
*Controlling stress and keeping balance in life.
Walking and running are good ways to exercise outside in the winter. The key to sticking with an outdoors workout in cold weather is by layering with adequate and appropriate clothes for the weather.
You will definitely want to invest in winter weather gear like a headband to cover your ears, gloves with special smart phone-compatible ﬁngers, even “yaktrax” to put over your shoes to run on ice and snow without slipping. One of my favorite pieces of cold weather running gear is a neck warmer…absolutely love it!
Layering up is the key to working out in the winter weather. And, don’t be afraid to modify your workout. If you normally run a bit longer but are worried about getting cold or it getting dark, go for quantity not quality.
Maybe start a running streak where you run every day, even if it’s just a mile, but at least you get out and get moving regularly.
Where are other places to workout?
1. School bleachers
2. School track, football field or public park
3. Park fit trail
6. Your yard
If all else fails, head to the gym for a spinning or “Zumba” class. Another suggestion is walking or running on the treadmill. If the treadmill seems too boring, try downloading some new fast-paced music to put a “spring in your step.” An Arc Trainer or elliptical are also great pieces of cardio equipment for a great workout!
For more details, Click Here
Winter Workouts Can Be Invigorating As Well As Enjoyable!!
Most people enjoy the holidays, because it’s generally a festive and fun time of the year! It’s also one of the busiest! There are lots of parties to attend, social events to plan, family get-togethers, shopping to be done, and cookies to be baked. Add seasonal weather to the mix, finances, cold and flu season and a super long “to-do” list and this time of year can also take a big toll on our health. With all the fun and celebrating it’s easy to forget ourselves sometimes, but it’s so important to remember to take good care of yourself and remain heart healthy during these stressful and busy weeks!
Here are some easy tips to lessen the stress, strengthen your heart and be heart healthy this holiday season.
1. Don’t sweat the small stuff (or the big stuff)
No doubt, all of us have long to-do lists this time of year. Sometimes you can plan way ahead and still not have things work out like you planned. It’s ok! Learn to be gentle on yourself, and when things get overwhelming, force yourself to simplify. Scale back your to-do list. Delegate some errands to your partner, children or friends. Space out your shopping and baking, and don’t overbook your schedule with events and social gatherings. Take deliberate time out of your day to relax and regroup. Force yourself to take a nap! What’s important is that you aren’t stressing yourself out needlessly. Sometimes we have to remind ourselves that less is more!
2. Sneak in some exercise
Just because you’re “busy” doesn’t mean you’re staying active. Sometimes the cold weather keeps us from our regular exercise routines, and the stress of the holidays can also cause us to overeat and hibernate on the couch a little too long! Park a little farther when you’re out shopping to add some steps to your day. Walk around the mall a little longer than you have to. Dance in the kitchen to Christmas songs on the radio while doing the dishes. Stressful day? Pull out the yoga mat and do some deep breathing and stretching in the evening. Just be sure that you are mindful about moving your body through the Winter months. Your heart will thank you!
3. Be wise about portion control
We are literally surrounded this time of year by rich food and alcohol. Sometimes it’s easy to justify a little gluttony when you’re “celebrating”, but when you’ve been celebrating for 2 months, you can come out the other side 15 pounds heavier and with a higher cholesterol count if you’re not careful! Treating yourself is ok, but always make sure the bulk of your calories are coming from real, unprocessed foods. Fill up on the healthy stuff first, and you’ll feel less inclined to eat a sample of every dessert.
4. Make sure you’re getting enough rest
Insomnia and sleepless nights can take their toll on our bodies when we constantly have lists of things we need to do going through our brains. Sometimes it feels impossible to shut it off. One good tip is writing down everything you need to do the next day. If you have it on paper, sometimes it’s easier for the brain to let it go. Take time to relax each evening with a good book, a warm bath or a warm drink. Try to stay away from electronics in the late evening, and make sure you’re room isn’t too warm. These are helpful for a good night’s sleep. No matter how busy you are, always aim for 7-8 hours of sleep each night. A well rested body is a healthy body and helps keep the heart healthy! According to Dr. Mercola, there are definitely consequences of not getting enough sleep!
5. A joyful heart is a happy heart
There’s a lot to be said about having a positive outlook and being of good cheer. Not only can a good attitude benefit those around us, but it can keep our blood pressure from rising and keep stress away too! There’s a direct correlation between mental and physical health, so keep your mind positive. Look for ways to serve others, and look for the good in every situation and your whole body will thank you!
Stay heart healthy and ‘heart happy’ during the holidays!
So many of us look forward to Thanksgiving with anticipation of friends and family gathering around for a delicious meal as well as good, lively conversation.
However, some people may actually dread the holiday, especially this year and see it as a lonely and disappointing time because they are going through a bad time in their life. Tough times don’t take a holiday! For them, Thanksgiving may be the beginning of a long string of “holiday blues” because Christmas is close behind.
Here are ideas to shed a different light on the holiday season and calm the Thanksgiving blues for others and will make you feel good as well.
Write a card or note of thanks. We all would love to hear words of thanks! Write a quick note, send an email, or make a phone call. Simply say “Thanks for being you!” or “Glad you’re in my life!” Thanksgiving is the perfect time to let them know!
Share your Thanksgiving meal if you are comfortable during that this year. An invitation to Thanksgiving dinner is a great way to include others. Do check to see if they have food preferences or restrictions. Extend the invitation ASAP. Sometimes, just anticipating the fun is as enjoyable as the real event.
Deliver a Thanksgiving meal. If a person is too sick or too sad to join you for Thanksgiving dinner, deliver the meal to them. This can be for one person or rally others to contribute to a Thanksgiving dinner with a side dish or dessert and deliver meals to several people. Deliver the meal with a caring note and heating instructions. If time doesn’t allow for this, just deliver a piece of your favorite pie.
Plan something fun to do over Thanksgiving weekend. Take some of the loneliness out of the weekend by going shopping, seeing a holiday blockbuster movie, or going skiing or ice skating. Each town has its own fun activities so check online or in the newspaper for ideas.
Involve the kids. Help them create a Thanksgiving Day greeting card for a shut in. Provide craft supplies and let the kids create them and have them deliver their homemade cards or send them in the mail.
Help with holiday decorations. Make someone’s home a bit cheerier by helping with Thanksgiving decorations. Don’t forget to help take them down at the end of the season.
Illness and accidents don’t take a break just because it’s Thanksgiving. Think of visiting someone who is ill (not with COVID) and home bound with a noncommunicable illness, or a person who had an accident who is home bound. If appropriate (especially this year), provide something fun to do, or if time allows, watch a game, movie, or parade. A short visit will be appreciated as well.
A little extra time and effort will bring a smile to someone going through a rough time. It might just help to ease their Thanksgiving blues. And, it will make you feel better, too!
Source & Additional Info...
Help to calm the Thanksgiving Blues during this COVID-19 year!
It goes without saying that we need to sleep in order to function at optimal levels. Sleeping well improves your appearance, brainpower, memory and other vital body functions. It also reduces your risk of gaining weight, feeling fatigued or developing chronic health conditions. Both adults and children need 6 or more hours of sleep every night for optimal health. However, just because you’re getting the recommended hours of sleep each day does not mean that your body is getting the rest that it needs. A lot of people toss and turn all night, don’t feel like getting out of bed in the morning and drink plenty of coffee to avoid drowsiness during the day. If you’re suffering from such sleep problems, then you need to improve the quality of your sleep. Here are a few top tips on how to boost your sleep quality.
1 – Sleep in a Cool, Dark & Quiet Room
Sleeping with the lights on is one of the major causes of sleep deprivation. When your eyes are exposed to light, neurons are aroused and this disrupts your sleep. Research has also shown that light exposure before sleep suppresses the production of melatonin – the hormone that controls your sleep and wake cycles. A reduction in this hormone at night normally leads to varying levels of sleeplessness. To avoid sleep disruption due to nighttime exposure to light, always sleep with all the lights off. This includes the light emitted from electronic devices, so make sure your computer, phone, tablet and other light producing equipment are either turned off or stored outside the bedroom.
Too much heat can also disrupt your sleep quality. To keep cool while you sleep, make sure you keep the window open and ensure the room is well ventilated. If you still find that you’re too warm after doing this, go to bed wearing lighter clothing and consider investing in a lighter duvet or even sleeping on top of the covers.
Noise is yet another thing that can have a detrimental impact on the quality of your sleep. To minimize the amount of noise in your room, make sure there’s nothing in the bedroom that could potentially make noises while you sleep. If it’s noisy outside your bedroom, try sleeping with earplugs.
2 – Avoid Caffeine In The Evening
As you probably know, coffee is a rich source of caffeine. This chemical changes the brain’s chemistry by binding with sleep inducing receptors known as adenosine in order to keep you awake. The stimulating effects of caffeine can wreak havoc on your sleep because they take hours to wear off. Therefore, if you are an avid coffee drinker, you might want to avoid your favorite beverage a few hours before going to bed.
3 – Get Comfortable Before You Sleep
There are many ways to get comfortable before going to bed and these can improve the quality of your sleep. For instance, taking a hot shower raises your core body temperature and this helps to improve sleep. Alternatively, having a hot bath can relax your muscles and help you have a soothing night of sleep.
4 – Try Essential Oils
Essential oils such as cedar wood, roman chamomile, sandalwood, valerian or lavender oil are all natural relaxants and can help you have an amazing night’s sleep. If you’re having a bath before bed, try putting a few drops of your favorite essential oils from the above list into the bath and then allow the aromas to work their magic. Alternatively, you can add a few drops of these essential oils to a diffuser, place it in your bedroom and let the relaxing scents slowly spread around the room while you sleep.
5 – Unwind Before Bed
One final way to maximize your sleep quality is to start unwinding and getting ready for bed a few hours before you sleep. You can do this by disconnecting from the Internet, switching off the TV and your other electronic devices and then spending the last few hour of the day doing a relaxing activity. Then for the last 30 minutes of the day, stop everything, empty your mind and focus fully on getting ready for sleep.
The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) recently released the key indicators of good sleep quality, as established by a panel of experts.
The key determinants of quality sleep are included in a report published in Sleep Health. They include:
If you’ve been struggling to get a good night’s sleep, I hope the advice in this article helps to enhance your sleep quality. These 5 tips are very simple to implement but surprisingly effective. So give them a try today and start enjoying the best sleep of your life.
Colorado Springs Over 50
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