Top Health Tips for the Elderly to Start You Off in the Right Direction

1. Don’t begrudge spending money on your own comfort, health and quality of life. You deserve it!

AND FOR THE OVER-60’S –

The government’s annual fuel allowance of £200 is meant to be used for our warmth and comfort, and to ease the worry of the increased heating bill.

The Winter Fuel Payments Help line is 0845 9 151515
If you are receiving a disability or income-related benefit, you may be able to claim a grant of up to £2,500 for insulation and heating improvements. Call Home Energy Efficiency Scheme 0800 952 0600.
If you receive disability and income-related benefits you can claim Cold Weather Payments if the temperature falls below 00 C for 7 consecutive days.

There is also the Staywarm scheme. For a fixed charge you can use as much gas or electricity as you need. 0800 1 694 694
Finally, if you are unable to pay your winter fuel bill, in the first instance contact your supplier explaining your problem and informing them that you are a pensioner. Good news worth remembering, is that electricity companies and British Gas have a policy of not disconnecting pensioners between 1 October and 31 March – so keep warm and don’t panic.

AND DO YOU NEED REMINDING – DON’T WASTE YOUR MONEY AND HEALTH ON CIGARETTES.
RESEARCHERS TELL US THAT THE AVERAGE BRITISH SMOKER WILL SPEND £91,832.43 ON CIGARETTES IN A LIFETIME.
(Now, I’ve never smoked so I wonder what happened to my £91,OOO?)

2. Keep your mind active, crosswords, sudoka, hobbies, etc. NEVER STOP LEARNING. If you have an interested mind, people are more likely to enjoy your company and be interested in you.

3. Keep your body active. As the saying goes, if you don’t use it, you’ll lose it
Walk in the fresh air if possible. If you enjoy company while you are walking then join a rambling group. (Often ‘rambling clubs’ for the retired are more socially inclined ‘ambling clubs’). Gardening combines the benefits of fresh air, exercise and the results can give you immeasurable pleasure. Dancing; particularly formation or line dancing exercises the memory also. Swimming, is a particularly good exercise for all parts of the body with the added advantage that the water is supporting you and therefore there is no weight on the joints.

4. Feed your body with the correct foods. You wouldn’t expect your car to work efficiently if you fed it the incorrect fuel. So feed your body with nutritious foods that contain the necessary vitamins and minerals in order for it to return optimum performance. With winter approaching we need to build up our immune system, so in addition to a well balanced diet of fresh fruit, fresh vegetables and nourishing protein (laced with the benefits of virgin olive oil and garlic), we should add a few supplements to help us on our way. In addition to a good multi-vitamin tablet, you’ll probably benefit from extra Vitamin C, Echinacea, EPA fish oils, selenium, ginko biloba to aid circulation, particularly to the extremities, and glucosomine to help with those aching joints.

Don’t forget your flu jab and the jab against pneumonia for the over 70’s.
There is also really excellent news on the common cold front. At long last there appears to be something that stops a cold developing. Vicks First Defence is a spray that you use at the first sign of a cold and it stops the cold virus in its tracks. This miracle goes on sale during October 05.

5. Socialise. Possibly I don’t have to remind you about this as the majority of retired folk I meet complain that they are busier now than ever they were, that there are not enough hours in the day, and they wonder how they ever found time to go to work.
There are so many clubs and groups to join. To name a few popular ones, U3A (University of the Third Age) for both sexes and with interesting speakers, and offering numerous sub sections for specific group interests and hobbies, Women’s Institute, (has gained a new image after the film Calendar Girls), Townswomen’s Guild, Gardening Clubs, Art Clubs, etc., and many clubs aimed specifically at the retired.

If transport is a problem, remember most local authorities offer free or reduced bus fares for senior citizens and travel tokens for the disabled. There is a Senior Railcard for reduced train fares for the over 60’s. National Express have a Routesixty Scheme which enables over 60’s to travel nationwide very cheaply (Tel 08705 808080). Also, occasionally, National Express offer their ‘go anywhere for £5 scheme’.

If you have difficulty in getting around the town, then there is Shopmobility where you can hire mobility scooters (various models and sizes available) and electric and manual wheelchairs. Shopmobility is usually manned by helpers who will be only too pleased to instruct and allow you to practice before you are let loose on the town. Also there is the added advantage that there is usually a free car park attached to Shopmobility for clients’ convenience. If you have difficulty in using public transport, often local authorities provide a ‘dial-a-ride’ service from your home to the shopping centre.

Well, whatever you do – ENJOY IT! We were always told that laughter is the best medicine and now we know it to be true – it raises the serotonin levels in the brain and gives you that ‘feel good’ factor.

Men’s Sexual Health Tips

Men’s sexual health is extremely important but often overlooked and for that reason not many men know much about what to do to specifically for that part of the body to run smoothly. Here we will discuss a few sexual health tips to make sure that everything is moving smoothly for you down there.

Obviously the first two tips are a healthy diet and plenty of exercise. By eating more fruits and vegetables, you will have the nutrients that play an active role in your performance and your feelings afterward. By exercising more not only do you increase your sexual stamina but you also keep the workings of that area running smoothly which will have a big effect on your sexual health. Quitting smoking is important also as men who smoke are 85% more likely to experience difficulties with impotence. The next big step in the right direction is reducing your alcohol intake. Most people enjoy the feeling of inhibition leaving when they drink alcohol, but it is that which also lowers your libido and makes arousal and orgasm less likely and more difficult to achieve. Stress and anxiety can also create problems with sex, and is the primary cause of premature ejaculation.

These tips may all seem rudimentary and cliché, but they are thus because of how significant an effect they will have on the sexual performance and overall well being on the person. There is no reason to not do these things and experience the overall improvement of health that is experienced when one begins a new lifestyle.

35 Health Tips For First Time Dads

Four years ago the National Fatherhood Initiative surveyed more than 700 U.S. dads about their perspectives on fathering.

A scant 54 percent of the dads said they had felt adequately prepared for the role.

This one’s for you first time dads feeling less confident: 35 health tips for the first year of fatherhood. Brother, can you spare some butt paste?

Debrief the delivery. “We think we’re doing a good job in the labor-and-delivery room of explaining things, but we deliver hundreds of babies,” says Kaiser Permanente Colorado OB/Gyn Kim Warner, MD. “Our explanations may not sink in the first time.” Follow up on any and all lingering questions about the birth process.

Carry car seats close to your body. When lugging junior around in his baby seat, hold the seat as close to your torso as possible. This will engage your back muscles in addition to your arms, and you won’t tire as quickly.

Limit your child’s exposure to the sun. REALLY limit exposure until the infant is at least 6 months old. After 6 months, limit direct exposure to 20 minutes-and not without a hat, pants, long-sleeved shirt and sunscreen (SPF 15 or higher). Sunburn is not the only concern. Dehydration and heat exhaustion also are possible.

Don’t overthink Rover’s affection. “I’ve never really heard of a child getting sick from a dog licking them on the face,” says Kaiser Permanente Colorado pediatrician, Scott Zimbelman, MD. “It won’t cause any harm if it happens once in a while.” Also: that whole thing about Sudden Infant Death Syndrome as a result of cats sleeping with babies? Old wives tale.

Fan the baby’s room. A 2008 Kaiser Permanente research study found infants sleeping in bedrooms with fans ventilating the air had a 72 percent lower risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome compared to infants sleeping in bedrooms without fans.

Go to the six-week OB/Gyn appointment. “There’s so much going on at that point, and it’s good validation that you’re doing a good job,” Dr. Warner says. “The can-we-have-sex-yet conversation is particularly valuable. Having both partners there makes for a better discussion.”

Beat barrier No. 1 to losing the sympathy weight: Ignoring the calorie count.

Hold the baby. The research on parent-baby bonding historically has focused on the mother-baby bond. The attachment between father and baby also takes nurturing. Be present. Change diapers. Talk to your child. “It’s good for the child, and it builds your confidence and competence as a parent,” says Joe Barfoot, licensed clinical social worker with Kaiser Permanente Colorado. “The only thing dads can’t do is breastfeed.”

Know the signs of post-partum depression. Mood swings, tears, feeling overwhelmed-expect she’ll experience all of it after welcoming your newborn into the world. This is the so-called (and common) baby blues. If the emotional bouts last beyond two weeks, and those feelings turn toward deep sadness, and trouble bonding with the baby, it could be post-partum depression.

Resist putting dropped pacifiers and utensils in your mouth. Doing so can increase your baby’s risk of infections and cavities. Clean dropped pacifiers and utensils with soap and water.

Lift with your legs. When moving the wife’s 200-pound heirloom dresser, you know to keep your back straight and bend your knees (rather than your back) to lift. Same rule applies when lifting and putting down your child. “Repetitive bending can lead to injury, muscle strain, or a disk herniation,” says Gregory Mills, PT, Kaiser Permanente Colorado’s clinical service director for rehabilitation services.

Get your child vaccinated. Studies from Kaiser Permanente’s Institute for Health Research have found clear links between illnesses (including whooping cough and chicken pox) and children whose parents refuse vaccinations. “Every one of these immunizations that we want to give your child I had no qualms about giving my kids,” Dr. Zimbelman says.

Use birth control for at least nine months. If you and your partner want more children, don’t rush right back into pregnancy. Her body isn’t ready. She needs time to rebuild vitamin and mineral stores, and resume a normal menstrual cycle. If she’s breastfeeding, it’s best that she continue as long as works for her and the baby. Her uterus also needs time to regain strength.

Beat barrier No. 2 to losing the sympathy weight: Taking seconds (and thirds).

Note: your child may have reactions from vaccinations. The four main side effects your child may experience: low-grade temperature (100 to 101 degrees), pain at the site of injection, tender red skin around the vaccination spot, and general fussiness.

Step into the car when installing car seats. Placing a baby seat in the car can be surprisingly awkward. You duck, twist, lift and lunge-all in one motion. That takes a toll on your back, neck and shoulders. Minimize strain by stepping one leg into the car and positioning the seat using a forward motion-rather than twisting from the side.

Ask stay-at-home moms, ‘How was your day?’ You’re back at work. If she’s not, that probably means her 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. arrangement has fundamentally changed. Yours hasn’t. Showing interest in how it’s going, at the very least, acknowledges the shift.

Avoid sling-style baby carriers. Look for carriers with dual strap systems instead of those that rest on one shoulder. Distributing the baby’s weight to both sides of your body will decrease the chance of a neck injury.

Keep a house calendar. “If you’re disorganized, you’ll be more frustrated, more stressed out,” Barfoot says. “When you’re more frustrated and stressed, it’s more likely to show up in your relationships. The more organized you are, the lower your stress level.”

Babyproof your living space a.s.a.p. This includes covering outlets, gating stairs, moving cleaning chemicals to higher shelves-addressing all possible hazards within reach (and mouth) of a curious toddler. Why a.s.a.p.? Between sleep deprivation and adjusting to new routines, the seven(ish) months between birth and crawling pass quickly.

Beat barrier No. 3 to losing the sympathy weight: Restaurant food.

Go easy on antibacterial soaps. These soaps are much harsher than their non-antibacterial brethren, and they tend to pull moisture from the skin. Baby soaps are much milder. And, the evidence suggests friction is what removes most bacteria when washing hands.

Enjoy the low dirt factor. Sponge bathe newborns until their umbilical cords fall off. After that, infants need only two or three baths per week. Enjoy the low frequency while it lasts. Because it won’t last.

Say, ‘I’m here. I want to be involved.’ “A lot of new dads feel like the mom knows everything, and they don’t have a place, so they back off,” Dr. Warner says. “What that feels like to the woman is the dad doesn’t want to be involved.” Note: your involvement may include doing laundry, washing dishes, or taking the 2 a.m. diaper shift.

Don’t make your own list. Related to Tip 24, when offering help, prioritize what she says she needs, not what you think she needs.

Make time for yourself. Same goes for your partner. (Not yet for the baby.)

Strengthen your core. Whether by way of pilates, yoga, or plain-old sit-ups and pushups, there’s no better preparation for carrying your child than improving your core stability.

Beat barrier No. 4 to losing the sympathy weight: Going easy on exercise.

Help moderate her drive to exercise. It’s good for your partner to start walking as soon as possible after giving birth, but play it smart. “If it hurts, don’t do it,” Dr. Warner says. “If it causes bleeding, don’t do it.” Usually it’s six weeks before she can resume full exercise. Gradually increase the walking distance, and no swimming for at least that first six weeks.

Reprioritize date night. Carve out at least one night per month to nurture the relationship with your partner. Start making time for each other while still staying at home. Look toward date night out once you have identified a babysitter you are both comfortable with.

Read up on the baby’s first year. Note the broad definitions of “normal” child development. “You’re preventing parenting anxiety by knowing some things to expect,” Barfoot says.

Communicate with the grandparents. If you’re thinking where are they? They may be thinking Where’s my invitation? If you’re thinking Can we get some space? They may be thinking I’m getting older… I need to spend time with my grandchild? “It’s all about communication,” Barfoot says.

Accept that babies sometimes cry for no reason. New babies may cry as many as 3 hours per day. Sometimes they’re too hot. Sometimes too cold. Maybe hungry or lying in a messy diaper. And sometimes it’s just unexplainable. Good news is it’s not because you’re doing a bad job.

Target seven hours of sleep per day. The rule of thumb is adults need between seven and nine hours of sleep a day. You’ll probably come up short in the first few months of your child’s life. But long term, getting too little sleep will decrease your alertness, increase your risks of auto accidents and lead you to eat poorly. Consider this as justification for midday naps. This goes for mom, too.

Beat barrier No. 5 to losing the sympathy weight: No support system.