"Senior Years Newletter"

Your newsletter of information, inspiration and education for seniors, boomers and caregivers on Pre- and Post-Retirement matters.(Published by Hoffmann-Rondeau Communications - Seniors Services)

- May 2012 Issue -

Hello and welcome to this May issue of the "Senior Years Newsletter". Summer is just around the corner -- unless you're "down under".

As usual I trust you will find this edition to be as informal, inspirational and educational, as promised it would be. Your comments are always welcomed and interesting to me, so do write -- because I care to hear from you.

Blessings and good health to you,

Diane M. Hoffmann, CPCA
(Certified Professional Consultant on aging)

Issue Article of the Month

Elder Abuse - Myths and Reality"
by Diane M. Hoffmann, CPCA

Click on this link.

(The following articles are reproduced with permission
from the CPCA ‘Maturity Matters Newsletter’)

1. Feature article:

Travel: It's Good For You

Saint Augustine once said, “The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.” Seniors dedicated to a lifestyle of continued learning, personal health and general well-being are definitely not content to stay on the same page. For those people, travel is essential.

At the risk of oversimplification, quality of life as a person ages is directly related to quality of health. Good health means sound mind and useful body. Maintaining good health means exercising and stretching mind and body, keeping them fit and working, plus feeding both the right materials and making the ground fertile for growth. Travel can provide all these things.

Travel is good for the brain. It allows the brain a chance to stretch and grow by constantly being challenged by the unfamiliar. The brain is presented with new perspectives, thereby creating new connections. You meet people and form relationships based on an unfamiliar foundation. You develop new skills by challenging yourself with new tasks and activities.

You expand your sensory experience by trying new foods, listening to different music, and seeing varied landscapes. All of these stretch and enhance the brain.

A lifestyle that incorporates constant learning is also important to good health. Travelling beyond the familiar and into the greater world provides a source of education that cannot be found elsewhere. Firsthand knowledge is gained in economics, politics, history, geography and sociology.

Travel allows you to truly live in the moment. When the packing and planning is done and you hit the road to discovery, leaving the familiar in the rear-view mirror, you truly are in the zone. New stimuli force you to use your brain in new and unfamiliar ways so that you truly are living in the here and now, which is good for your sense of well-being.

Living in the moment is great for the body as well. Focus on the here and now releases the stresses of daily life and ongoing concerns, which allows the body to relax. Reduced stress can be linked with better blood pressure, increased concentration, reduction of headaches, and the improvement of digestive disorders.

Activity levels also increase during travel. Without familiar modes of transportation readily available, you’ll rely on the most primitive and convenient form of transportation: your feet. Being outdoors for long periods, you’ll also soak in healthy doses of vitamin D and vitality.

Travel is also an ambassador to world peace. As the great author Mark Twain once said, “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness.” Every time you connect with people that live and work in different countries or cultures or even neighbourhoods, you make a connection.

Increased connections between people mean increased understanding. And when you increase understanding, the world becomes a smaller and more peaceful place. Making the world a better place is conducive to feeling good about yourself, which is, of course, good for your health. So, what are you waiting for? Travel – it’s good for you!

Article by, Dawn Rueckl, Reprinted with permission from Senior Living Magazine, www.seniorlivingmag.com

2. Ask the Experts:

How Can I Improve my Sleep?

A. - Follow a regular sleep schedule: One should go to bed at the same time each night and, more importantly, get up at the same time each morning, even on weekends.

Follow a bedtime routine: A regular pattern of activities - such as walking at a relaxed pace, listening to soft music, brushing teeth, washing the face, and setting the alarm can set the mood for sleep. This routine should be followed every night, at home or away.

Make the environment conducive to sleep: The bedroom should be kept dark and quiet and not too warm or too cold. If noises disturb sleep, wearing ear plugs, using a white-noise machine or a fan, or installing heavy curtains in the bedroom (to block out outside noises) may help.

Use the bedroom primarily for sleeping: The bedroom should not be used for eating, reading, watching television, paying bills, or most other activities associated with wakefulness.

Avoid substances that interfere with sleep: Food and beverages that contain alcohol or caffeine (such as coffee, tea, cola drinks, and chocolate) can interfere with sleep, as can appetite suppressants and diuretics. These substances should not be consumed, especially near bedtime. Quitting smoking may help. Drinking a large amount of alcohol in the evening causes early morning awakenings.

Use pillows: Pillows between the knees or under the waist can make one more comfortable. For people with back problems, lying on your side with a large pillow between the knees may be helpful.

Get up: When falling asleep is difficult, getting up and doing something else in another room may be more effective than lying in bed and trying harder and harder to fall asleep.

Exercise regularly: Exercise can help one fall asleep naturally. However, exercise late in the evening can stimulate the heart and brain and keep you awake.

Eat a snack: Hunger can interfere with going to sleep. A light snack, especially if warm, can help.

Source: Living Assistance Services, www.laservices.ca

P.S.: It's Diane here: I just want to add here about the paragraph above that says not to use the bedroom for eating, reading, watching TV, etc...

Many senior folks live in a bachelor apartment. My Mom did. This means that the bed is in the same room as your living and kitchen area. So, the key here is to place your bed somewhere to the end of the partment with something that divides it from the rest of the area. This way you will not be tempted to use it for those activities. The idea is to keep it as a place to retire at the end of the day in order to make it easier to have a separate place to sleep.

3. Heart Healthy Recipe:

Indian Spiced Plum Fool

This dessert is light and cool for a warm summer’s evening. The kids will love it, too!

Makes 8 servings.

Ingredients -

1 ½ cups (375 mL) plain non-fat yogurt (no gelatin),

6 ripe plums,

¼ cup (50 mL) sugar,

¼ cup (50 mL) water,

1 tsp (5 mL) cinnamon,

1 tsp (5 mL) ground cardamom,

1 tsp (5 mL) ground ginger,

1 can (425 g) low-fat prepared custard.

Directions -

Line a fine sieve with cheesecloth or a paper coffee filter and place over a bowl.

Add the yogurt and place in the fridge to drain for at least 1 hour. Makes 1 cup (250 mL) of yogurt cheese.

Meanwhile, roughly chop the plums and remove the pit. Place in a large sauce pan and add the water, sugar, and spices.

Bring to a boil and then simmer over medium heat for 25 minutes. Stir frequently and mash the plums as they cook. Let cool.

Purée in the food processor or blender. In a large bowl, mix together the plums, yogurt cheese and the custard. Pour into 8 dessert cups, cover and chill for at least 1 hour or up to 2 days.

Nutritional Information Per Serving (½ cup / 125 mL) - Calories: 111, Protein: 4 g, Total fat: 1 g, Saturated fat: 0 g, Dietary cholesterol: 3 mg, Carbohydrate: 23 g, Dietary fibre: 1 g, Sodium: 48 mg, Potassium: 220 mg

Developed by Nadine Day, RD. ©The Heart and Stroke Foundation

4. Quote or Joke of the Month:

Do the Uncommon

"When you do the common things in life in an uncommon way, you will command the attention of the world."

George Washington Carver

5. Did you know?:

Mythbuster - Vitamins Part 2

Myth: Supplements are safe otherwise they would not be on the market.

Fact: Despite common speculation, your body actually can't tell the difference between synthetic and organic foods. Organic food does, however, provide other nutrients such as fiber which synthetics lack.

Myth: Taking vitamins is the best way to ensure health for us and our children.

Fact: As mentioned before, living a healthy lifestyle is the best way to ensure health. Exercise and eating monitored meals is the best way to give your body all the essential elements it needs.

Myth: Herbal supplements cannot be harmful because they are natural.

Fact: Herbal supplement can many times be harmful to your body and can contain deadly substances such as Arsenic and fungus. Do your research and ask a health professional for correct dosage before trying any natural substances as some may be very potent.

Myth: We can eat very little food if we take vitamins.

Fact: Vitamins are meant to be a boost to our bodies and not the main fuel it runs on. Vitamins are not useful if there is no energy generated from food such as carbs and fats. The best way is to eat healthy and add on vitamins as additional support.

Myth: Vitamins are best taken on an empty stomach for maximum absorption.

Fact: Most vitamins and supplements are best taken with meals or snacks. Food will help absorb the vitamins (ie: fat soluble vitamins, such as A,D,E, and K, are best taken when fat is present) and also prevent upset stomachs that certain supplements can cause.

Always be sure to contact a health professional before taking any health product, including vitamins or supplement, as it may be harmful to your health or conflict with previously prescribed treatments.

We will have Part 2 of 'Mythbuster: Vitamins' in our next issue of Maturity Matters in May 2012.

Source: By Steffany Gundling All information was provided and is directly sourced from: VitaFaq at http://www.vitafaq.com/facts-and-myths/, Reprinted with permission from Senior Living Magazine, www.seniorlivingmag.com

6. Seniors Tip:

Gardening Tips for May

After our last frost date has passed (hopefully the May long weekend!), plant warm-season annual flowers, herbs, and vegetables such as tomatoes, peppers, basil, marigolds and petunias.

This includes plants for containers, pots, window boxes, and planters. Remove any cool-season flowers you may already have there. Work in a slow-release fertilizer. If there are plants overwintering in the container and you're keeping them, simply work the slow-release fertilizer into the top inch or so of soil.

Plant tender summer bulbs including gladiolas, cannas, dahlias, and tuberous begonias. Once the soil has warmed to 15 degrees C (warm enough to walk on comfortably barefoot), plant seeds for corn, green beans, squash, cucumbers, okra, melons, sweet potatoes and other heat-lovers.

Continue to plant container-grown trees, shrubs, perennial herbs, and perennial flowers. You can try planting bare-root trees and shrubs now, but at this late date, they may not thrive.

Continue to deadhead. Continue feeding roses, either with chemicals or organic fertilizers, such as compost or fish emulsion. Keep new plantings of trees, shrubs, and others well-watered. Stake plants that will grow tall now, while they're just a foot or so high.

Source: Reprinted with permission from Senior Living Magazine, www.seniorlivingmag.com

- End -


See you next month !

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Issue Article of the Month
by Diane Hoffmann

Feature article

Ask the Experts

Heart Healthy Recipe

Quote or Joke of the Month

Did you know?

Seniors Tips