ADVICE FOR YOUR BUCKET LIST

Do you know what a bucket list is? Most people think it is a list of things you want to do before you die. A typical guess is people want to visit a particular place before dying. Based on an unscientific poll about bucket lists, that is not a bad guess. Travel appears to be a frequent bucket list ambition.  Anne is an American who is proud her ancestors lived for centuries on the group of small islands in the English Channel between the southern coast of England and mainland Europe.

REDUCE STRESS, INCREASE ENJOYMENT FOR A HAPPY 2018

Family caregivers provide practical assistance and enhance the quality of life for frail seniors who might otherwise require placement in a long-term-care facility. Typically, caregivers are spouses or adult children, many of whom are seniors themselves. Their role involves physical, psychological, emotional and financial demands. It can be a heavy load.  If you are a caregiver, consider the following strategies for not only surviving but thriving in the year ahead.

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DISCOVER A LOVE OF LIFELONG LEARNING

Curiosity, exploring interests and engagement are a few crucial ingredients to healthy and happy longevity. Enrolling in a class just for the love of learning is a great way to do this. The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at the University of Kentucky offers educational and enrichment courses, forums, shared interest groups, trips and more for adults age 50 years and older. Membership for the full year is $25; summer programs are at a prorated fee.

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get a flu shot. Seniors tend to overeat and move less during the holidays, which can compromise heart health and increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, so help them modify their diet and eat meaningfully. The holidays can be busy times as well. Seniors need to make sure they take the time to rest and get enough sleep.


And there’s another danger you won’t find hanging on the tree or in the lights adorning the house. According to the CDC, 15 of every 100 adults over the age of 65 years are affected by depression.


“Although the holiday season is typically a time of celebration and joy, this time of year can create a sense of nostalgia that may produce melancholy amongst the senior population,” said Sharon Roth Maguire, chief clinical officer for BrightStar Care. Watch for signs of depression in your loved ones and be ready to give them a helping hand to get through the holidays.


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The holiday season is a time for celebration, fun and joy. However, if you have seniors in your family, you need to be more careful of the many dangers that can crop up during the family get together. Here are some tips you can use to ensure the health and safety of seniors in your family:


Fire Hazards. Some holiday decorations are made of very combustible materials such as flammable cotton and tissue paper. Keep these materials away from fireplaces, candles and wires so they don’t ignite. Choose artificial trees that are labeled “fire resistant.” If you do choose to set up a real tree, pick one that has green needles that don’t break easily and water it frequently. Additionally, use only indoor lights on it. LEDs burn cooler than conventional lights, reducing the risk of fire. Do not use lights with frayed or damaged cords. The National Safety Council advises using only lights that have been tested by Underwriters Laboratories (they should have a UL label). In case of fire, have an emergency plan of action. Having a smoke detector in each room in your house is the best option for preventing a fire. Also, have at least one fire extinguisher in your home. According to the National Fire Protection Association, unattended cooking is one of the leading sources of home fires that occur around the holidays. Always keep an eye on food you’re cooking.

HOLIDAY SAFETY TIPS FOR SENIORS

Floor Hazards. Some people set up elaborate arrangements in their homes for the holiday season. However, you need to be sure they are kept out of the way. Decorations such as these may impede your elderly loved ones’ walkers or canes and their ability to walk, increasing their chances of falling. Floor rugs can conceal electrical cords and cause your loved ones to trip and fall.


Snow Hazards. Hire someone to shovel snow from your driveways and walkways. If you plan to do it yourself, work in small increments of time and snow, rather than trying to remove it all at once. Bundle up your entire body and face, leaving no exposed skin, in order to prevent frostbite.


Power Outages. Keep a good supply of candles, dry matches, food, extra blankets and medications on hand. During power outages, caregivers and family members should check on seniors to make sure they have everything they need.


In addition to accidents, seniors also need to be more mindful of their health during the holidays. Older adults are more prone to seasonal influenza and colds, so the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends seniors

HARLEENA SINGH

Harleena Singh is a professional freelance writer and blogger who has a keen interest in health and wellness. She can be approached through her blog (www.aha-now.com) and Web site, www.harleenasingh.com. Connect with her on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.

more articles by harleena singh