Tag Archives: Senior

Shakin’ it up …

Shakin it up

 

I don’t know about the rest of you octogenarians but I find that I have less and less of an appetite the older I get.  Living alone just exacerbates the situation.  I knew that I needed to keep up my strength if I wanted to stay well but food, or at least the right things to eat, seemed to elude me.  It took a loving daughter to get me on the right track.

She introduced me to Protein Shakes and now it is my breakfast of choice every morning.  It is an easy way for me to get the essential vitamins and nutrients that I had been missing.  (Before I continue I want to caution that shakes may not be for you.  If you are still eating a balanced and whole food diet that will suffice. Obviously I was not.)

My daughter was careful to choose just the right combination of ingredients for me. She knew that I was on a restricted diet that did not include soy, milk, whites (such as white potatoes, white rice etc.) and cut way back on sugars.  The 4 items that you see in the picture are the ones she chose and they work well for me.

Here is my recipe.  I take the juice of one orange, ½ large banana and one tablespoon each of the Vegan Rice Protein, the Aloe Vera juice, the Flax Oil and the Source of Life Liquid and combine them all in my blender.  I then add about ½ cup of unsweetened Silk Almond milk and 4 ice cubes.   When it’s all mixed together this is what I get:

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I have to admit that it took me a few tries to get used to the flavor but now it is part of my morning routine and I look forward to it.

I owe my daughter a lot for doing all the research and thought I would show my thanks by featuring the Protein shake in this cute glass that promotes the business that she and her husband have in Stanfordville, New York. If you are ever in the vicinity searching for antiques or used items drop in to Bowen Barn and tell them “Ginnie sent me.”

Arthritic hands … mixing it up.

MX N TILTAbout 6 months ago I received this email from my friend Ellen. She knew that I was looking for ideas for my Unlimiters blog. It reads: I do have a suggestion …I have arthritis and find that when I cook or bake, holding a bowl in one hand while attempting to get the ingredients into a pan…as in brownies this afternoon, I have such difficulties scraping everything out.

I held on to it until she found an answer and now I can share it with you. She is thrilled with her 3 piece tilt ‘n mix bowls by Wilton. They are a lightweight plastic and the five little rubber feet stop the bowl from sliding around and they also allow the bowl to tip at different angles. This is perfect for Ellen.

Here is her technique. She puts her ingredients in the largest bowl and then tips it slightly, feeling confident that the bowl won’t slip. This makes it easier for her to stir with her arm instead of her wrist and that relieves the arthritis in her hands. She then puts her baking pan on the table in front of the bowl (that is held in place with the rubber feet) and leans in so that her body keeps the pan in place. It’s then an easy thing to simply tip the bowl further and scrape the contents into the pan.

So there you have it. A simple product but one that makes life easier for those with arthritic hands.

Never too early …

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… to get this handy tool out of the shed, or at least that’s what my  friend Bud says.  He is an avid gardener but he’s also 84 years old and to put it in his words, “this old body just doesn’t have the bending parts where it used to”.  That’s why he bought this Long Handle Weeder and Cultivator by Cobra Head a few years back and he says it’s one of the best purchases he’s ever made.

He lives in a nice two bedroom connected townhouse that overlooks a golf course (another thing that he is avid about) but it gives him a very small area for gardening.  As a matter of fact many of his neighbors just leave their spots grassed in … but not Bud.  He took it as a challenge and now they all reap the benefits.

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 In our area of North Carolina we seldom have freezing weather but the ground still gets hard and crusty.  Bud tells me that this tool is perfect for breaking through this.  He also loves the fact that this 62” tool does a great job of weeding and fits into tightly spaced areas.  He can dig deep and get those pesky (and unattractive) weeds out while not damaging his valuable plants and he doesn’t have to bend over to do it.

“…and one last thing”, laughs Bud.  “The blade is replaceable !   I’ve never had to do that but the option is always there if I run over the tool with my golf cart.   I’ve been known to do that, you know!”

All hail to ….

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DUKE’S mayonnaise? Yes, I can’t say enough about this wonderful product and let me explain why.

Over a year ago I was diagnosed with SIBO (Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth) and it completely changed the way that I had been eating for over 80 years. Perhaps the biggest challenge was the elimination of sugar. I had no idea how much sugar I consumed in a day and cutting it out of my diet seemed like an impossible challenge.

White flour and milk products were also “no-no”s so that eliminated all cream based recipes. I was frustrated to say the least so when I finally met with a nutritionist and she mentioned that Duke’s mayonnaise was OK because it is sugarless I almost hugged her.  It has made it possible to simulate so many of the old recipes that I’ve relished since my youth.

Chicken salad with nuts and dried cranberries is delicious when mixed with Dukes and served on a bed of lettuce. Salmon brushed with the mayo and fresh lemon juice before broiling takes on a tantalizing flavor and, of course, a combination of Dukes and either beef or chicken broth simulates a cream base that works for hundreds of main dishes.

No matter what age we are it is a good thing to cut back on sugar but it is critical in our senior years when a sedentary life style is so often the case. Now when I invite my elderly friends to share a meal they are amazed at how good it tastes and I give Duke’s the credit.

I hope you will try Duke’s mayonnaise too and perhaps you will share your favorite recipe with us.

Students … a great resource for the elderly

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This is one view of the lovely Community College in my area. It is not only a beautiful place to take a walk but is a wonderful source for obtaining inexpensive cosmetology services.

I have a few friends who don’t think twice about paying $40 for a haircut and wash … or $30 to have their nails cut and painted. However, I live on my social security monthly check and this is more than my budget can handle.

Not to worry. I’ve found that there is a great alternative to those costly beauty salons and I’ll bet there’s one in your area too. It’s at the Cosmetology Department at our Community College.

The students are very anxious to please the customers so they try extra hard.

It’s usually a hodge-podge of customers … elders, like me, and then a lot of their fellow students in the teens.  It’s a fun mix and I enjoy listening to them as they work.

I’ve been very happy with the cost and the results. A shampoo, blow dry and style costs just $7. Of course I include a tip but it’s still only $10 and that’s $30 less than what my wealthier friends pay. If I add a manicure to that it would be an additional $5.00.

Speaking of tending the nails I know that so many of us in our senior years find cutting our toenails a real chore. It’s very important that we keep our feet and toes in good shape so, at just $12, I can well afford to do that.

Check out the Colleges in your area.  I would bet they would have the same services.

Hanging on…

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I have a good friend who seems to have the best of all worlds.  She is living independently in an adorable cottage that is on her son’s property.  Although she is an octogenarian she still drives and does not rely on others to shop for her or to take her to appointments.

However she did have one concern.  She was still spry but found that her balance was not as good as it had been and that could become a big problem when it came to her staircase.  She worried that she might fall but there was no way that she could switch to ground floor living as so many of us do as we age.

Her home, although delightful, is very small …consisting of a combination living/dining room, tiny kitchen and half bath on the main floor and two bedrooms and a full bath upstairs.   If she were to stay where she was she needed to make an adjustment and her son had an easy answer.

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He purchased an inexpensive banister, painted it with a heavy duty gloss paint that repels hand prints and adhered it to the wall.  She loves it and now, instead of gingerly maneuvering the stairs twice a day as she had been doing, she actually includes it in her daily exercise regimen !

WHITE VINEGAR …the indispensable product!

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I challenged a group of my friends recently. I asked them to write down the kitchen products that they felt they could never live without. Hands down the winner was WHITE VINEGAR with BAKING SODA coming in as a close second.

Most of them also included the ways that they used these products and I’ve listed my favorites here:

WHITE VINEGAR: (besides the one that everyone knows, using it as an excellent glass cleaner…)

* Cover rusted tools with white vinegar and soak for 24 hours. The next day scrape clean with brillo. (I tried this and it is amazingly effective.)

* Use ½ teaspoon of white vinegar in place of 1 teaspoon of lemon juice in savory recipes.

* Degrease oily hair.  Shampoo hair as usual, rinse, then pour ¼ cup over it and rinse again.

* Clean a coffeemaker by filling the reservoir with a mixture of white vinegar and water and run it through a brewing cycle. Follow with several cycles of water to rinse thoroughly.

* To kill weeds between cracks in paving stones and sidewalks…fill a spray bottle with straight vinegar and spray multiple times on them.

* Deodorize your refrigerator. Use equal parts white vinegar and water and, after taking everything out of the fridge, wash down the interior.

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BAKING SODA :

* Erase crayon, pencil, and ink from painted surfaces by sprinkling baking soda on a damp sponge, rub clean and rinse.

* Unclog a drain. Pour 1/2 to 1 cup of baking soda down the drain, then slowly pour 1/2 to 1 cup of white vinegar after it. Let sit for five minutes (covered, if possible). Follow with a gallon of boiling water.

* Settle a stomach during occasional indigestion. Stir 1/2 teaspoon baking soda into 1/2 cup of water and drink for a safe and effective antacid.

* Brush teeth using a paste of baking soda and water.

These are just a few ways to use WHITE VINEGAR and BAKING SODA. Do you know of any others? Please share them with us.

ONCE AGAIN …

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…a senior friend came through for me. She knows that I am always looking for products or ideas that will ease the aging process so she sent me this recommendation. It’s the Omron HEM-712C blood pressure monitor.

She writes that her doctor has been after her for a long time to keep track of her blood pressures at home. She’s always pooh-poohed the idea until this past month at her half-yearly checkup. Her blood pressure was well above the acceptable figure and when she tried to laugh it off by telling her doctor that “I always get nervous in front of a handsome man” he told her, in a very stern manner, that this was nothing to laugh about.

She said it embarrassed her but it also made her stop and listen as he explained that she has Hypertension (High Blood Pressure.) He told her that it’s dangerous because it makes the heart work harder to pump blood and it contributes to hardening of the arteries, development of heart failure and is closely linked to some forms of dementia in the elderly.

Poor diet, obesity and just plain aging are factors that contribute to high blood pressure and since she has all three of these (as do many seniors) she is triply anxious to get hers under control. She did a bit of research and felt that the Omron HEM-712C would be her best choice. She is definitely happy with it and surprised that it was so affordable and easy to use.

Her unit sits right on the kitchen table which is perfect for her since she can rest her arm while taking her pressure. She says that the instructions are very easy to follow and the writing on the read-out panel is BIG… a nice feature if you have some visual limitations. It can be plugged in or run on batteries too, which means she can use it while traveling.

All in all my friend is thrilled with her new-found medical expertise and wishes that she’d started it years ago.  Now her biggest regret was making a fool of herself in front of her doctor!!

Seniors blogging …

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Back in 2006 my interest was piqued when I read an article in the AARP magazine stating that few seniors took advantage of blogging as a line of communication. I had heard the word, BLOG, of course but I figured it was just another part of the vast internet world that would forever elude me. How wrong I was!

I was 73 when I launched my blog.  I named it Goldendaze-ginnie and my initial idea was to write about the parts of my long life that I thought would be of interest to my children.  I posted a blog entry almost daily from July to December and then I printed it in book form and presented it to my three children as a Christmas gift.

I thought that it would end there but blogging had opened up a new world to me and there was no way that I wanted to let that go.  It’s turned out to be one of the best decisions I’ve ever made! I found that as a senior I had a world of experience to share and that there was a huge global community that wanted to share it with me.

Withdrawing from the world is something that often comes with retirement but becoming a part of the blogosphere saves you from that.  I love the fact that I have blogger friends from Australia, India, Canada, Sri Lanka, England and beyond.  It’s exhilarating to see how we can close age and ethnicity gaps with the written word.

Now I post a new blog entry every 5th day.  I think of them as little vignettes and try to share memories or everyday items that capture my attention.  This time schedule is a commitment that keeps me on my toes.  I need that because when I last looked at my stats I found that I’ve accumulated 83,990 page views in 8 years.  This is extremely humbling to me and I strive to keep each entry as authentic and informative as possible.

So to all you seniors out there looking for an interesting hobby I say “START A BLOG”.  It’s FREE,  it’s  EASY and it will enrich your life.

STOP THE NOISE…I need my sleep!!!

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I know some people who can sleep through any sort of noise.  I am not one of them.  I have tinnitus which is generally called  “ringing in the ears” but the sound that I hear is much more like a steady high pitched buzz that never lets up and it’s extremely annoying.

To add to this I have a neighbor who puts her dog out every night around 9.

She doesn’t walk the dog.  She just lets the animal out to do it’s business and roam a bit.  The problem is that the dog wants to go back in and it will bark constantly for the next hour until that happens. (I’ve often wondered if the owner has a favorite hour long TV program at that time and she just ignores his barking !)

And, to top it all, I live on a main thoroughfare that never lacks for traffic. This includes 18 wheelers, motorcycles, hopped up cars and just about anything else on wheels.   Even though my bedroom is at the back of the house and away from the street it is still near impossible to block out the noise.

So, guess what I’ve done?  I’ve added more noise to my bedroom !   That may sound counter intuitive but it comes in the form of a wonderful little machine called the Marpac Dohm-DS.

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The whirring sound that is generated by the internal fan actually masks the sounds that are bothering me. The Marpac Dohm-DS is a variant of a design that has been around for over 50 years. There are no fancy electronics, the noise is generated by a fan and you can change the tone by adjusting the air vents on the side.

So now when I go to bed I simply turn on my Dohm-DS and the soothing sound of rushing air blocks out those annoying other sounds. I sleep deeply and wake up relaxed and ready to face the day.  I highly recommend it.

A “Puzzling” Dilemma …

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I was the youngest of 5 girls and, in 1942, when I was 9 we moved from New Jersey to Massachusetts. Our house was very large and, although it was far from elegant, it was a fun and comfortable place and I remember that we always had at least two jigsaw puzzles in progress.

In those days the fully interlocking puzzles were new and fairly expensive so it would be birthdays or Christmas when we got new ones. We would stock up and then trade with our friends and if that wasn’t available we’d just repeat a favorite one of our own.

Over the years my interest in jigsaw puzzles has never abated but recently an odd and discomforting thing happened. I was given the lovely 1,000 piece puzzle of Monet’s Garden at Giverny that you see in the picture.

Assembling the four edges was fairly easy but the monochromatic coloration and the small puzzle pieces made it near impossible for me. When my daughter and her husband came by they didn’t seem to have the same limitations and I had to finally admit to myself that old age was taking a toll on my eyes, not to mention my concentration and patience!

It wasn’t long after that that they presented me with the puzzle that is pictured here and I think I made some sort of derogatory remark such as “I’m not in kindergarten, you know” … only to find out that a good friend of theirs, a 90 year old retired judge, had given it to them to pass on to me.

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I was embarrassed because I know the judge to be a brilliant man who had led a distinguished career and I figured if he enjoys the large piece puzzles who am I to turn up my nose at them.

I swallowed my pride and gave them a meek “thank you” … and, guess what?  I found out that the puzzle was fun to assemble, the picture was lovely and I didn‘t have a headache when it was all put together!

Thanks, Matt …

About 6 years ago North Carolina, where I live, was going through some rough weather. We hit a period where our electricity seemed to be off more than it was on.  I had a good stack of candles that I kept on hand so I wasn’t too worried. However, when my son Matt came by and saw that I had 3 or 4 candles lit on the kitchen table he was less than happy. “You’re just asking for trouble”, he said.

It was just a few days later that he came by and presented me with a Coleman battery run table lamp.

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I loved it and couldn’t wait for the electricity to be off so I could try it out. I wasn’t disappointed.

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That was years ago and it’s still the first thing I reach for when the need arises. It’s a safe way to “turn on the light” and, although it’s not bright enough to read by it is still very comforting.

When I decided to write about this for UNlimiters I did a little research and realized that Coleman no longer makes this lamp that I own. However, they have a CPX™ 6 Rugged XL LED Lantern that is much brighter than mine and runs on four D cell batteries.

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Although I love the shape of my older lantern I have to admit that being able to read by this lantern is a huge plus and I think I’ll purchase one as a backup!

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