Mr and Mrs 50 Plus https://mrandmrs50plus.com Celebrating Being Over 50 Tue, 15 Jan 2019 13:17:12 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.0.3 https://mrandmrs50plus.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/cropped-favicon50plus-32x32.jpg Mr and Mrs 50 Plus https://mrandmrs50plus.com 32 32 5 Surprising Things You Didn’t Know About Fibre https://mrandmrs50plus.com/5-surprising-things-you-didnt-know-about-fibre/ https://mrandmrs50plus.com/5-surprising-things-you-didnt-know-about-fibre/#respond Tue, 15 Jan 2019 11:42:28 +0000 https://mrandmrs50plus.com/?p=36643 ‘Fibre and diabetes’ along with ‘fibre and weight loss’ have been in the headlines for a while now. Below are…

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‘Fibre and diabetes’ along with ‘fibre and weight loss’ have been in the headlines for a while now. Below are a few more facts about fibre which may surprise you though!

The part of carbohydrate foods indigestible by our digestive enzymes is described as dietary fibre. In general, insoluble fibre binds with other waste products in the gut.  The fibre then provides bulk to stools and we excrete it via the colon. Soluble fibre on the other hand is more likely to be fermented by the bacteria in the colon to either provide nutrients for themselves or for absorption by the body.

fibre rich vegeatables

Fibre and Diabetes

Fibre can help prevent blood sugar imbalances and conditions such as diabetes type 2 by slowing down the release of sugar into the blood stream! A meta-analysis, showed psyllium husk fibre to significantly improve fasting blood glucose concentration in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus,.  Another study resulted in significantly lower insulin and cholesterol levels in overweight or obese adults.  Even short-term consumption of a high fibre paleolithic type diet improves blood pressure and glucose tolerance, decreases insulin secretion, increases insulin sensitivity and improves lipid profiles. A pre-agricultural paleolithic type diet comprised of wild meat, fruits, vegetables and nuts, and excluding or limiting non-paleolithic type foods, such as cereal grains, dairy or legumes.

apples and weight lossFibre Helps Weight Loss

Evidence has shown that soluble dietary fibre slows gastric emptying, increases perceived satiety and plays a significant role in appetite regulation.
Glucomannan in particular, a water-soluble dietary fibre from the konjac mannan plant, has been proven to contribute to weight loss in the context of an energy restricted diet. Studies have shown glucomannan to increase satiety, reduce the hunger hormone grehlin, improve stool movements and slow down the conversion of carbohydrates into glucose.

Lepicol Lighter is a unique new high fibre food supplement, especially designed to help aid weight loss. Within its specifically selected ingredients are 7 strains of live bacteria to keep your gut healthy and balanced, glucomannan, which acts as a prebiotic and psyllium husk which is a gentle fibre.

Fibre as a Detox

Fibre may bind to and remove environmental toxins from the gut!
Dietary fibre is well known to help keep our bowels movements regular helping us feel lighter and more energised. Insoluble fibre has the potential to bind to and remove waste products including environmental toxins and pathogenic bacteria from the body.  This ensures they don’t get absorbed into the blood stream. So ideal to include as part of our daily cleaning process.

Eat More Fibre

It’s a fact that our hunter gatherer ancestors used to consume 4 times our current government recommended amounts of fibre!
The current European recommendation for the daily intake of fibre is 25g.  However they are currently reviewing recent recommendations to increase this figure to 30g a day. The average Briton consumes approximately 12g a day. Eating closer to nature naturally involves eating more whole foods including fruits and vegetables which are naturally high in fibre. Our ancestors’ fibre consumption was substantially higher at perhaps 100 g per day.

Natalie Lamb Nutritional Therapist

Approximate examples of fibre quantities in foods:
½ cup vegetables = 2-4g
1 piece of fruit = 2-4g
½ cup cooked legumes = 4-6g
1 slice whole wheat or rye bread = 1.5g
1 tbsp flaxseeds = 3g
½ a cup of rolled oats = 9g

Grow Your Own Dietary Fibre

You can grow fibre-rich foods easily in your back garden.
Dietary fibre is naturally abundant in fruits, salads and vegetables, especially in the skins so try not to remove them. If grown at home organically there are fewer  pesticides or residues on the skins of fruits and vegetables.  This means you don’t need to peel them. Many gardeners wouldn’t worry if  they left a tiny bit of soil behind, you could be increasing your good bacteria levels too! If you eat vegetables raw or lightly steamed then you retain a higher fibre content. Even the current trend of a high fat low carb (HFLC) diet can be high in vegetables, it’s just the white carbs like refined pasta, bread and pasties that you may want to limit.

by Nutritional Therapist Natalie Lamb from Lepicol Lighter


fibre references

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What Pacing Can Do For Your Health https://mrandmrs50plus.com/what-pacing-can-do-for-your-health/ https://mrandmrs50plus.com/what-pacing-can-do-for-your-health/#respond Thu, 10 Jan 2019 15:19:03 +0000 https://mrandmrs50plus.com/?p=35009 Tired all the time? Chronic pain? Fibromyalgia? Stressed? Below Ingebjørg Midsem Dahl looks at what pacing can do for your…

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Tired all the time? Chronic pain? Fibromyalgia? Stressed? Below Ingebjørg Midsem Dahl looks at what pacing can do for your health …

Do you find that fatigue and pain stop you from doing the things you want to do? Pacing is a method that can help you lead a richer life, without worsening your symptoms. It’s usually recommended in illnesses that give fatigue and pain, such as autoimmune disease and ME, but it can also be used to treat and prevent burn-out. Even healthy people can get more out of their energy levels by pacing themselves. Pacing is essentially a method of self-regulation. It’s based on the principle that the body sends out signals, both when it wants less activity, and when it wants more activity. When we learn to read these signs and act upon them, we can find an activity level which gives optimum health. It should be noted, that poor self-regulation is not the cause of chronic illnesses. However, even people who previously were good at self-regulation typically find that they need new and more advanced techniques when they get ill, because their bodies’ needs have changed. In the case of burn-out, lack of self-regulation skills may be the main cause of the problem, in which case better self-regulation skills will help you get back into balance.

What is Pacing?

Pacing involves splitting activities into smaller bits, which either don’t cause an increase in symptoms, or cause as small a flare-up as possible. It also means alternating activity and rest, to recharge the batteries regularly. Switching between different activities, which require different body parts to avoid wearing out the same body part all the time, is another important tool. Throughout this process, you listen to your body to make sure your body gets both the activity, and the rest it needs.

How Pacing is Done

What Is Pacing

How then, do you do this in practice? In many illnesses which cause low energy levels or pain, symptoms vary depending on your activity level. You may find that you don’t feel too bad at the start of your activity, but after a while you reach your limit, and symptoms will then increase, until you’re forced to stop. This is what is shown in figure 1, where a person keeps going for an hour, which leads to a huge increase in symptoms. The person then has to rest for a long time, to bring the symptoms down again. This is a good example of what happens when you don’t pace yourself. This pattern exists in several sizes. It can be observed on a small scale throughout the day, doing a lot one hour and having to rest the next. It can also be seen from day to day or week to week. You may do a lot on a good day, and then feel worse for several days afterwards because of it, or have a few good weeks followed by some bad weeks.

How Pacing is Done

In either case, the strong flare-ups of symptoms will cause a lot of suffering. Figure 2 shows what happens when pacing. In this case, the person breaks of the activity after half an hour, when the symptom level has only risen by one notch. The symptoms go away much more quickly, and soon the person can handle another round of 30 minutes of activity, and still only get a small change in their symptom level. This reduces suffering significantly. The shorter rest breaks also help reduce feelings of boredom and hopelessness.

pacing and pain

Figure 3 shows an even more thorough approach to pacing. In this case, the person stops before there is any change in symptom level at all. Both of these approaches to pacing can lead to gradual improvement of background symptom level over time.  In some illnesses such as ME, the more thorough approach may also be more effective. You need to experiment to find out what suits you best, and consult with a healthcare professional, if in doubt.

How Do You Achieve Pacing in Real Life?

There are two main approaches. The first is to learn to recognise an increase in symptoms, as a warning sign. As soon as you notice an increase in symptoms, break off and have a rest. This approach can work very well when you’re alone, but may be difficult when you are doing things with other people. It’s also very easy to get so absorbed in things that you don’t notice the increase in symptoms until it’s gone rather too far. In this case the second approach may be more effective. In the second approach, you plan in advance how long you are going to stay at the activity. You can even use a timer to remind yourself that it’s time to stop.

Know How Much Energy You Have

older woman pacing

Base your plans on what you already know about your activity level. If, for instance, you usually start to get symptoms after half an hour, you can plan to switch to another activity after twenty minutes. Giving yourself a few minutes of safety margin is always a good idea, because life has a fantastic tendency to throw unexpected events at us. If you knock over a glass of milk during a meal, it’s nice to have the extra energy to mop it up. The only way to plan for that type of event is to make sure you have a bit of extra energy left over. When planning, take into account that some activities are physical, others are mental and yet others are social, and some may be all three at the same time. Activities also use different body parts.

Switch Activities

If you switch between different types of activity, you can usually keep going for longer before you need to rest. For instance, you might empty the dishwasher and then sit down and read for a few minutes. You can then go for a walk, before lying down and listening to an audio book. After that, you can lie down and have a proper rest before you do another round of the same or other activities. You’ll need to experiment to find out how long you can go on, and which activities you can do in a row. Once you find the combination that works best for you, you’ll likely discover that you’ll feel less ill and get more done.

Rest

I’ve already mentioned rest several times in this article, but what exactly does rest mean? That depends on your state of health. For healthy people, light activity usually counts as rest, since healthy people can rest one part of the body while using another. For instance, they can rest their legs while watching TV, and rest their heads while going for a walk. When you’re ill, this switching method usually enables you to get more out of your energy reserves, but many need total rest in order to properly recharge their batteries. Total rest means lying down in a quiet room, with either soft lights or an eye mask. Some people may be able to rest sitting up.

Know How Much Rest You Need

Planned, short and regular rests help keep symptoms to a minimum because your batteries are recharged regularly throughout the day. Try taking five or ten minutes of rest every hour.  This is better than going on for several hours until you feel bad, and then having to rest to recover.  How much rest you need, will obviously depend on your state of health. Some people will need to add longer rests in addition to the short ones. Those who are very severely ill may need 50 minutes of rest and ten minutes of activity per hour. You’ll need to experiment to find a balance which keeps symptoms caused by over-activity down to a minimum, while not provoking symptoms of under activity, such as stiffness or loss of muscle mass.

woman with her feet up

Since resting is not fun, many people find that the risk of over-activity is greater than the risk of under activity. Be aware, though, that spending most of your energy on light mental activity to prevent boredom may sometimes spend the energy which could have been used for some small, physical activities. A friend of mine found that doing a bit less mentally and resting a bit more enabled her to do more physically. With time, the increase in rest and the improvement of activity balance led to noticeable improvement in her health. When that’s said, it’s important to keep rest breaks pleasurable, to maximise quality of life. Those who can enjoy light activity during their rest breaks, without adversely affecting their health, should do so. When this is not possible, finding a good balance between light activity, more strenuous activity and total rest, will still make your day as pleasant and productive as possible.

Deep Relaxation

The most efficient and restorative type of rest is deep relaxation. Half an hour deep relaxation has been shown to be just as effective as several hours of sleep. It also helps reduce pain. It can bring some much needed wellbeing to a suffering body. Relaxation also helps to reduce boredom during rest breaks, because it gives you something to do. Using relaxation techniques during at least one of your daily rest breaks can help you get the maximum benefit out of resting. If you are lucky, you may even find that you can get away with a bit less rest. The easiest ways to learn relaxation from home is to download a free app on your phone or get a CD. The free app “Insight Timer” is useful because it has several thousand free sessions in a number of different languages. If you prefer a CD, I can recommend the one that comes with the book “Mindfulness for Health: a practical guide to relieving pain, reducing stress and restoring well-being” by Vidyamala Burch and Danny Penman. This book is an excellent introduction, and because Vidyamala Burch has chronic pain herself, it’s both friendly and non-judgemental.
the absolutes

Structure and Planning

Pacing becomes considerably easier if you combine it with planning strategies and have some structure to your day. Some professionals advocate strict, detailed schedules which tell you exactly what to do at a particular time of day. Although useful for some, many find that an approach which allows for a degree of flexibility is easier to combine with life. Thinking of your day in terms of blocks of activity and rest can be very useful. In this approach, activities such as meals and personal care are considered absolutes. You plan the rest of the day around them. You can move the absolutes but you can’t drop them.

Around these absolutes, you plan a number of rest breaks which allow you to get through the day with the least amount of discomfort and no crashes.Absolutes and Rest

Plan Rest Breaks

Between these rest breaks and meals, you fit in your activities. Again, you plan an amount of activity which does not cause flare-ups of symptoms. The activities have a length and distribution which allow you to get through the day. This means that somebody who is working part-time will have an entirely different framework for their day than somebody who is bedbound.  A demanding activity for the first person might be 6 hours of work, and a demanding activity for the second person might be having their hair washed in bed. Let’s say you can cope with two light activities between breakfast and lunch, and one demanding and two light activities between lunch and dinner. You can then plan suitable activities to fill these blocks. These could be a practical activity around the house, followed by mental activity like reading. The demanding activity could be grocery shopping, followed by a craft activity and a phone call.

Variety Helps

Variation is useful to avoid wearing down particular body parts. Planning for variation is a lot easier when you think in terms of blocks of activity. You can plan different activities every day and still get a sensible distribution fairly easily. There is also room for some flexibility in that you can move the activity periods around. If necessary, you can do the demanding activity in the morning and move the small morning activities to the afternoon. Sometimes you might substitute a demanding activity for two small ones or vice versa. This will keep the total amount of activity stable. What you can’t do is choose a demanding activities instead of a light activity, as this would cause over-activity. You can use the block strategy  to plan weekly activities.

Spread Out Your Chores

pacing chartIt’s particularly helpful to spread survival activities out evenly. These would be activities like grocery shopping, laundry and bill paying. If necessary, split them in smaller chunks and spread them out.  This way you can do them without flare-ups of symptoms. The reason it’s so helpful to plan survival activities is because it saves you a lot of thinking. If you follow the weekly routine, you know that you will do all the completely necessary things. In the event that something out of the ordinary happens, you can swap things around so that the most necessary things get done anyway. This means that if you have to drop something, you know what didn’t get done.  And so you’ll be able to prioritise it next week. When your energy levels are low, it’s nice to be able to do some things on autopilot. One of the most important benefits of this type of forward planning is that it gives you the opportunity to plan some pleasant events in-between the more work related activities.

Pacing Can Improve Your Life

Make sure you get the chance to enjoy yourself a bit every day. This is incredibly important in order to maintain quality of life. That’s the whole point of pacing – improved quality of life.Between these rest breaks and meals, you fit in your activities. Again, you plan an amount of activity which does not cause flare-ups of symptoms. The activities have a length and distribution which allow you to get through the day. This means that somebody who is working part-time will have an entirely different framework for their day than somebody who is bedbound.  A demanding activity for the first person might be 6 hours of work. A demanding activity for the second person might be having their hair washed in bed.

Mix Up Light and Demanding Activities

Let’s say you can cope with two light activities between breakfast and lunch, and one demanding and two light activities between lunch and dinner. You can then plan suitable activities to fill these blocks. These could be a practical activity around the house, followed by mental activity like reading. The demanding activity could be grocery shopping, followed by a craft activity and a phone call. Variation is useful to avoid wearing down particular body parts. Planning for variation is a lot easier when you think in terms of blocks of activity. You can plan different activities every day and still get a sensible distribution fairly easily. There is also room for some flexibility in that you can move the activity periods around. If necessary, you can do the demanding activity in the morning and move the small morning activities to the afternoon. Sometimes you might substitute a demanding activity for two small ones or vice versa. This will keep the total amount of activity stable. What you can’t do is choose a demanding activities instead of a light activity, as this would cause overactivity. You can use the block strategy to plan weekly activities.

Greater Stability – the Key to Quality of Life

One of the greatest benefits of pacing is the increased stability it gives. When your health is fluctuating wildly, it’s difficult to plan.  So you frequently face the disappointment of having to cancel appointments. When pacing reduces the number of flare-ups of symptoms, you stand far greater chances of actually being able to carry out that café trip you have planned on Thursday. There may still be fluctuations, but they tend to be milder and may not force you to cancel things. Stability enables you to split large projects into smaller bits and build them up in stages. This in turn makes it possible to achieve things you could never have done in one go.

Open University

A friend of mine, who is severely ill, is currently studying for a degree through the Open University. She studies for 20 minutes three times a day. Another friend published a small literary journal for five years by working in similarly short periods. She has also completed a crochet blanket by crocheting only one row of stitches per day. A man I know managed to build a raised flower bed for his and his wife’s garden. He got the shop to cut the planks to the right length and then carried the planks to the car in stages. At home, he left the planks in the car for several days to recover properly before he carried them to the garden in stages. Assembling the flower bed was done little by little over a period of two weeks. This way he managed to complete the project without any harm to his health, which made the whole project a lot more enjoyable.Classic Pacing For A Better Life With ME

Pacing Helped Me Publish My Book!

Personally, I dictated a book about pacing whilst bedbound and very severely ill. I dictated most of the book in one minute sessions. I edited it by having it read out loud to me for a few minutes at a time. It took ten years before the book was published, but during this period my health improved very considerably. I was so ill I couldn’t do anything in the normal way, and it would have been very easy to think that I couldn’t achieve anything. Instead, pacing gave me the opportunity to accomplish something while enhancing my health at the same time. This is proof that perfect health is not a necessary part of an enjoyable life. With methods like pacing you can live a rich and fulfilling life in spite of health challenges. Pacing can simply give you your life back.

About the AuthorIngebjørg Midsem Dahl, born 1979, lives in Oslo, Norway. After coming down with ME in early childhood, she has taken a profound interest in coping and management.  She has contributed to the newsletters of ME associations in several countries, especially in Norway, Denmark and Great Britain. Her book, Classic Pacing for a Better Life with ME, was published in Norway in 2015, and the English version was published in late 2018.

For more info: www.pacinginfo.eu and www.facebook.com/pacinginfo

© Ingebjørg Midsem Dahl 2018

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Handle Your Hands With Care https://mrandmrs50plus.com/handle-your-hands-with-care/ https://mrandmrs50plus.com/handle-your-hands-with-care/#respond Fri, 07 Dec 2018 13:06:34 +0000 https://mrandmrs50plus.com/?p=31917 Today our Beauty Expert Kim Jones looks at the best hand creams out there … Chapped, cracked and dry hands…

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Today our Beauty Expert Kim Jones looks at the best hand creams out there …

Chapped, cracked and dry hands can go hand in hand with wintry weather.

The skin at the back of our hands has few sebaceous glands so is really vulnerable to dehydration.  Even more so when the temperature drops!

Pop a hand cream next to every washbasin in the house and keep one in your handbag, too.

Lavishing on some cream before you go outdoors can help protect your paws from the elements so they don’t get dry and chapped. Plus, moisturising your hands through the day stops wrinkles from developing or deepening.

We’ve rounded up seven of the best hand creams and balms.

odylique lemon butter balmBest Hand Creams and Balms

LA ROCHE POSAY CICAPLAST BARRIER REPAIRING CREAM, £6.50, https://www.laroche-posay.co.uk/

Great for sensitive skin and damaged skin,  this non-sting formula contains pure ingredients such as Thermal Spring Water. It sinks in quickly but leaves an invisible glove-like barrier on your hands that protects from the onslaught of winds and icy temperatures.

ODYLIQUE LEMON BUTTER HAND SMOOTHIE, £12,  www.odylique.co.uk

It may be winter outside – but you can summon up memories of summer days (and summer-soft hands!) with this hand cream infused with a medley of Mediterranean scents including essential oils of lemon and lemongrass. It also contains hydrating coconut butter and healing aloe-vera.

NEOM NOURISH, BREATHE & CALM HAND BALM, from £8, https://www.neomorganics.com

Rub a pea-sized amount of this balm into your hands and breathe in the 24 essential oils – including calming lavender, jasmine and Brazilian rosewood – to help you destress. Cocoa and shea butter help soften your hands. This may be one to use at bedtime.

Roger & Gallet hand creams

ROGER & GALLET HAND & NAIL CREAMS AND BALMS, £6.50 each, pharmacies and Marks & Spencer

Prettily fragranced – and packed with nourishing, replenishing and protecting ingredients such as Aloe Vera, argan oil and extracts of antioxidant fruits, there are six varieties to choose from, all of which come with complementing products such as hand wash, shower gel and perfumes. The perfect size for your handbag, too.

Medic Designed Hand Creams

FILORGA HAND-ABSOLUTE, £20 from Debenhams and Marks & Spencer

As well as nourishing the skin with repairing butters, this hi-tech formula is packed with active anti-ageing ingredients including lipopeptides and collagen to plump up the skin. Sea Lily extract works on keeping age spots at bay.

BIODERMA ATODERM HANDS & NAILS , £4.90, Boots

Rich and creamy, this hypoallergenic formula helps repair and protect very dry skin or damaged hands (and even hands susceptible to eczema) with a mix of ingredients such as softening shea and glove-like glycerine. Regular use can help strengthen your skin’s hydrolipidic film, its natural form of hydration and protection.

QMS MEDICOSMETICS HAND CARE, £20, https://www.qmsmedicosmetics.com

Super-user-friendly, this cream melts instantly into your hands – no greasy residue whatsoveer – so you can get back to typing or cooking or eating, or whatever it was you were doing before you applied it – instantly. Medic-designed, it has loads of lipids to boost your skin’s natural moisture and revive dry, chapped hands. Smells fresh and light and lovely.

Neom Nourish and Breathe Calm Hand Balm

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Dealing With Family Conflict After Death https://mrandmrs50plus.com/dealing-with-family-conflict-after-death/ https://mrandmrs50plus.com/dealing-with-family-conflict-after-death/#respond Wed, 05 Dec 2018 10:44:17 +0000 https://mrandmrs50plus.com/?p=31772 Having to deal with family conflict after death of a loved one is the last thing anyone needs at such…

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Having to deal with family conflict after death of a loved one is the last thing anyone needs at such a sensitive time.

From end of life care and funeral arrangements, to deathbed confessions and new relationships, arguments following the death of a loved one are commonplace. According to research[1] by charity Independent Age, one in three are on non-speaking terms with family following arguments over relative’s death. What’s more, just over two in five ended up not speaking for more than a year and shockingly over a third (36%) are still in the middle of a family fallout.

While is understandable that emotions run high in these situations, surely some of these arguments could be avoided? Especially when you consider many of the conflicts were materialistic, with over a quarter of arguments concerning money or a person’s estate. Well, the charity also found that almost a fifth of those who have experienced a family feud think arguments could have been avoided, if they had just talked about final wishes with their relative before they died.

To help break the taboo around death, and support families in opening up about the subject, Independent Age has prepared some top tips to help circumvent any conflicts that might occur following the death of a loved one:

Dealing with family conflict after a death

Remember the Context

Grief can be overwhelming, and affect thoughts, feelings and behaviour. When a group of you are trying to cope with this at the same time, it can inevitably bring challenges. You might expect to feel sad, but other feelings are also common, including anger and irritation. Emotions can be complex and sometimes frighteningly strong.

sadness

In addition, dealing with practical matters like the funeral can put you all under stress. Arguments with family are upsetting, but this is normal when everyone is grieving and under pressure.

Communicate

It’s important to talk openly to family members and give everyone a chance to express how they’re feeling. Don’t make assumptions about what your relatives think. It might seem obvious to you that the funeral will be organised in a particular way, but others may not share your views. Discuss big decisions before you act.

Remember that everyone needs to grieve in their own way. Try not to expect your family to feel a certain way or judge them if their reactions are different to yours.

Ask for Help

It can help to talk to someone outside your family who has some distance from the situation. Cruse Bereavement Care offers emotional support, advice and information (0808 808 1677, cruse.org.uk). You could also speak to your GP, who can monitor your health and provide reassurance. They may be able to refer you for talking therapies such as grief counselling. If the conflict feels impossible to resolve yourselves, you could also consider family mediation. National Family Mediation (0300 4000 636) has more information about this.

Plan for the Future

Making plans for the end of your life can help to prevent family conflict. If the person who died made their preferences for their end-of-life care, funeral, and estate division clear, this might have reduced the burden on the family to try to work this out. You might want to think about your own plans, or the plans of older family members. Would your family know what you wanted?

For more help and advice, visit independentage.org/TalkAboutDeath

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Better Self Care – Look After Yourself https://mrandmrs50plus.com/better-self-care-look-after-yourself/ https://mrandmrs50plus.com/better-self-care-look-after-yourself/#respond Tue, 04 Dec 2018 10:53:23 +0000 https://mrandmrs50plus.com/?p=31754 Below, Ellen Bard writes about better self care and how to look after yourself….  After all we all need a…

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Below, Ellen Bard writes about better self care and how to look after yourself….  After all we all need a bit of Me-Time!

Do you make a little time in your life just for you?

Or do you spend your time running round after others to make sure everyone’s needs are met but yours? Your partner, children, grandchildren, boss, colleagues, friends?

Better Self Care

Six years ago, I was definitely in the latter camp. My main focus was work.  Despite two chronic health conditions I was determined to excel in my high-flying consulting career. I loved my job, but I forgot to have a life as well. Any time and energy that I wasn’t investing in work, was needed to rest, or have the doctor, consultant and wellness appointments that kept me going.

It wasn’t sustainable. It took a lot of soul searching to realise that the job I loved was no good for me. Then, what I intended to be a few months’ break to travel turned into five years of travel, until I finally met and settled down with my life-partner in Bangkok, Thailand. I’m still a consultant (internationally, now, with work in twenty countries under my belt), but I’m freelance and I control my own schedule. I’m also an author, with a thriving, full and wonderful life.

Bangkok

This Is For You

Why this book? Why now?

So why did I write ” This Is For You: A Creative Toolkit For Better Self Care” ?

Working with clients in businesses and through my self-care website, I realised that despite the fact that we need self care more than ever in this chaotic, pressured, overstimulated modern age,  it’s something few of us pay attention to. We don’t make time to stop and check in with ourselves. We’re so busy rushing around from one thing to the next that we don’t pay attention to what’s going on inside ourselves.

We’re disconnected from our body, mind and soul. We feel feelings, but we can’t always identify what they are. We feel sluggish in our body, but we’re not always sure why.  Something’s missing in our lives, but we don’t know what it might be. And this means our attempts to find solutions for these things – numbing out with television, putting yet more activities in the diary, working with the latest diet fad – rarely work.

self care

Self-care is about paying more attention to our physical, mental and emotional needs  Self care is taking care of your self as a whole person. The book is the culmination of many years as a workplace psychologist.  Of seeing the impact of not taking enough care of ourselves not only on us, but on others. When we’re tired or stressed or burnt out, it’s hard for us to make good decisions or take good actions. That doesn’t only impact on us, but it ripples out from our little corner of the world to our relationships at home and in work.. From there it ripples into society. Taking care of ourselves can actually make a wider difference to the world as we are able to show up as our best self.

Body, Mind & Emotions

The book makes concrete some of the many ideas, tips and strategies I’ve shared with clients in person and through the website.  The core of the book are the Body, Mind and Emotions sections.  Most of us would benefit from investing some time and attention in these areas. I’ve also included some less intuitive areas where we could benefit from being kinder to ourselves.  This includes our Time, Work, Creativity and Relationships. A chapter on Change provides exercises to help us build resilience in a world that no longer stays the same from one day to the next.

The book isn’t there to tell you what to do, rather, it’s a list of 101 small behavioural experiments you can do at your leisure, and in the order that works for you. The tone is warm and gentle, like the kind advice and suggestions of a friend, but with the rigour and robustness of a psychologist behind it.

relax

Which doesn’t mean I haven’t had to – and still do have to! – work hard on my own self-care. I’ve worked to make more conscious decisions about how I spend my time.  After all, our life is nothing more than the many small actions we take every day combined. Every moment truly counts. I’ve learned that self-care isn’t something you tick off a list. It’s a work in progress, something that you do a little of every day to stay in the best shape.

Self care is a life’s work. But it can make for a life that’s truly worth living.

by Ellen Bard

Ellen Bard is the author of This Is For You out on January 3rd available in Waterstones and in all good book stores. Ellen is a work psychologist, writer and digital nomad. She is on a mission to bring practical,  personal improvement ideas to those who are short on time. Ellen is an Associate Fellow of the British Psychology Society, and registered with the Health Professions Council in the UK.

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What Is A Hip Replacement? https://mrandmrs50plus.com/what-is-a-hip-replacement/ https://mrandmrs50plus.com/what-is-a-hip-replacement/#respond Mon, 03 Dec 2018 22:18:30 +0000 https://mrandmrs50plus.com/?p=31650 If you’re due to have a hip replacement – here’s what you need to know … Let’s face it, being…

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If you’re due to have a hip replacement – here’s what you need to know …

Let’s face it, being told you need to undergo a hip replacement procedure isn’t exactly good news!  However, for about 160,000 people in the UK each year – booking in for a ‘hip op’ is a necessary task.

Unfortunately, the procedure is often associated with very invasive/painful techniques, weeks in bed, and a ‘one size fits all’ approach by Doctors. This naturally leads many to feel anxious about the prospect of joint replacement..  Patients tend to worry about the impact it will have on their day to day lives.  Historically hip replacement operations have had a reputation for being very uncomfortable.  Today however, there are several advanced treatment techniques which offer a much more tailored, minimally invasive experience for patients.

hip op

Mr Panos Gikas, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon at The Lister Hospital believes it’s very important that everyone understands hip replacement surgery.   Patients need to recognise there are different options available.  With this in mind,  we asked Mr Gikas to talk through some of the key facts all prospective hip replacement patients need to know.  Hopefully this will dispel some of the most common myths . Also patients can find out what happens before, during, and following their surgery.

Is There a Typical Hip Replacement Patient?

“People most commonly associate hip replacement surgery with old age and arthritis. However, whilst it is true that the majority of patients are of advancing years, joint replacement surgery can also be necessary for younger age groups as the result of sporting injury or over usage.

In the UK, most patients who undergo hip replacement are over the age of 60.  However, it is also not uncommon for those in their 40s and 50s to need surgery too depending on their background. We sometimes treat patients who are even younger than this.”

group of people

Is It The Same Technique For Every Patient?

Today, Doctors use several different techniques for hip replacement. These include robotic techniques, custom-made prosthetics, biological techniques, and minimally invasive techniques which may significantly speed up recovery times. Our knowledge and understanding around the topic have moved on a lot and technology in this space has also advanced significantl
This is such an advantage for patients as it means they can carefully research and identify which surgeon & technique is going to be best for them as an individual. It provides an element of choice which historically patients haven’t had.

One of the most effective techniques, in terms of speed of recovery and minimal pain, is anterior hip surgery. The anterior approach involves accessing the hip joint from the front of the hip.  This avoids the need to cut through the muscles around the hip.  So patients are able to get up and start walking much quicker than in other approaches to the hip.
This means less pain for the patient, and a quicker discharge from hospital.. It also means that they’ll be back walking more quickly.  And there is no risk of dislocation or any limitations/precautions post-operatively. Implants may be custom templated before surgery to ensure the optimum fit with minimal bone loss and improved range of movement afterwards.
This technique is very popular across many parts of Europe and the rest of the world however, in the UK it is still relatively new.

How Long Does Hip Replacement Surgery Take?

Typically, a traditional hip replacement operation will take 60-90 mins with patients going under general anaesthetic for the procedure. In experienced hands an anterior hip replacement may take as little as 50 minutes to complete.  Increasingly it can be done with a spinal anaesthetic to numb the leg, instead of general anaesthetic. This means patients can be awake during surgery and so can be up and mobile very quickly after surgery, once the spinal anaesthetic has worn off.

hip surgery

How Long Do You Have To Stay In Hospital After A Hip Op?

The length of hospital stay for hip replacement patients will vary depending on the technique used. With a traditional posterior operation, patients may need to stay in hospital for anywhere between 3-10 days. This obviously depends  on their recovery. However, with the anterior approach patient’s stay in hospital is significantly less.  The average length of stay is between 48-72 hrs.. In some cases patients have gone home as quickly as day 1 after surgery.

How Long Does It Take To Get Back To Normal After A Hip Replacement Operation?

This will vary from patient to patient depending on the patient’s specific circumstances and the type of surgery.  However, across the board the primary goal for healthcare professionals is to get patients up and walking again asap. If patients undergo a minimally invasive procedure like anterior hip surgery some people will be able to walk on the same day as their procedure, or the day after.

It’s important for patients to recognise that, whatever type of surgery they have had, they will feel tired and uncomfortable to begin with. When they first start to walk again,  the body has to get used to their new hip joint and heal. However, physiotherapy is very beneficial and enables patients to learn exercises to get themselves moving more comfortably again and get back to normal life as quickly as possible.

We anticipate that patients who have anterior hip surgery will be ‘back to normal’ within 2-4 weeks.  This includes driving, going to work, and carrying out your usual day to day activities. For other traditional techniques this can take anywhere from 6-12 weeks.  This is because of precautions that need to be observed postoperatively to reduce the risk of dislocation which the traditional techniques carry.

For more information see The Lister Hospital HCA Healthcare Group UK

 

 

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Over 50s Age Discrimination https://mrandmrs50plus.com/over-50s-age-discrimination/ https://mrandmrs50plus.com/over-50s-age-discrimination/#respond Mon, 03 Dec 2018 18:48:01 +0000 https://mrandmrs50plus.com/?p=30630 Four in 10 over 50s have experienced age discrimination! It really does seem that 50 plus ageism is on the…

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Four in 10 over 50s have experienced age discrimination! It really does seem that 50 plus ageism is on the increase …

Age Discrimination

A study of 50,000 Brits aged 50 plus found one in 10 have felt ‘isolated’ and left out of team bonding exercises, social events and meetings at work. And 62% believe they have lost out on jobs due to their age.

One in 10 people of 50 plus have even faced negative remarks about how old they are from their colleagues or manager.

age discrimination workplace

The survey by SunLife comes as the Government announces a review of whether hate crime offences could include ageist attitudes and behaviour.

It also found that as well as experiencing age discrimination themselves, almost a third of over 50s have witnessed someone else being subjected to it.

Age discrimination and ageist language continues to be a challenge for many people. The average age in the UK is higher than it’s ever been and there are more people over 50 in the UK – around 24,440,415 – than ever too.  So, it’s pretty disheartening to think that in 2018 so much ageism still abounds. It’s also very odd to see how some people discriminate against a group they hope to one day join.”

Ageism On The Up

Fifteen per cent of those polled also claim to have experienced discrimination in the health sector by being refused referrals because of how they old they were.

A further one in five believe their insurers have discriminated against them and they’ve had to pay higher rates due to their age. And this figure increases to one in three, once people reach 75 years or older. Travel insurance  for the over 65s is particularly hard to get.

age discrimination man

The research also found a vast swathe of over 50s say they are under-represented in TV shows and films, with two thirds believing there should be more older people on the box.

72% of those surveyed think the representation of their age group in the media is negative, and gets worse the older you get. And 59% feel ignored by brands and advertisers.

More than a third of respondents believe the fashion industry don’t cater for their demographic, 24 per cent feel ignored by tech brands and around one in six feel neglected by health and beauty firms.

Read:  Ageism – Are Women Invisible After 50?

However, despite perceived ageism in the UK, 78% ‘couldn’t care less’ what others think of them since turning 50. And after hitting the age milestone, around six in 10 say they enjoy life more and believe it gets better the older you get.

ageism women

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Stress and Meditation – Tony’s Monday Moan https://mrandmrs50plus.com/stress-and-meditation-tonys-monday-moan/ https://mrandmrs50plus.com/stress-and-meditation-tonys-monday-moan/#respond Mon, 03 Dec 2018 18:09:08 +0000 https://mrandmrs50plus.com/?p=31900 So this Monday, Tony is talking about stress and meditation.  Meditation is good for stress as we all know and…

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So this Monday, Tony is talking about stress and meditation.  Meditation is good for stress as we all know and in 2019 Tony resolves to do a lot more meditating …

Good day to all moaners.  This the last Moan until the New Year. I’m committed to the following:

  • meditating
  • publishing my next novella

In the 1960s, the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi purchased Mentmore Towers in Buckinghamshire, not far from where the Great Train Robbery took place on 8 August 1963. He established a world centre for the Transcendental Meditation Movement (“TM”) with the express wish to create world peace.

He met the Beatles in 1967: John Lennon later said: “TM was like dipping a cloth into gold.”

I was living, at that time, in Leighton Buzzard quite near to Mentmore Towers. The Maharishi’s followers started giving classes and I enrolled. We were taught all about TM and eventually there was a ceremony which concluded when the leader whispered a word into my ear. This was my personal mantra from the Maharishi. I had previously given my word that I would never reveal the word and I never have.

The actual technique we were taught was to make available, each day (ideally twice) a twenty-minute session, close one’s eyes, allow two minutes to pass, and then to silently keep repeating the mantra. More often than not it led to a deep, unconscious state of mind. On one occasion I returned back to my first ever flat in Birmingham and flew round the rooms.

Stress and Meditation

The health benefits of meditation are said to include lower blood pressure, relaxation and spiritual wellbeing. At the time I was commuting into London and the journey from Leighton Buzzard to Watford was twenty-minutes. It was ideal for TM.

The initial enthusiasm finally wore off but I have continued to use the technique if I experience any stress.

On that subject I sometimes wonder why I decided to become an author. Alcoholism (not me, I’m relieved to state) is rampant amongst writers and I’m not surprised. Every step is fraught with tension. The editors are so rude to me. One once suggested I should stop writing and read “some decent authors”. The world seems against you and, even when the day of publication arrives, the reviewers then get their teeth into you.

author

I counter these challenges by remembering I am here by choice. Nobody asked me to write. I am therefore happy to submit my work to you, the reader. The joy of a good review is indescribable.

We are developing a Novella Nostalgia series which I have written about before.  Remember Gloriana?  Well novella number six will be published on 1 January 2019.

Here’s the cover of my new novella ‘A Search For The Truth’ which has been inspired by the film ‘A Gentleman’s Agreement’.

Tony Drury new novella

Over the next four weeks we will be planning the marketing of our title. The City Fiction team comprises ten of us and they keep the faith: I am so grateful.

So, until 2019, may I please wish you and yours a great Christmas and a healthy New Year.

Merry Christmas

 

 

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Win A Longway Prime Stunt Scooter For The Kids https://mrandmrs50plus.com/win-a-longway-prime-stunt-scooter-for-the-kids/ https://mrandmrs50plus.com/win-a-longway-prime-stunt-scooter-for-the-kids/#respond Wed, 28 Nov 2018 01:38:44 +0000 https://mrandmrs50plus.com/?p=30378 Mr and Mrs 50 Plus have teamed up with Skates.co.uk to give you the chance to win an amazing Longway Stunt…

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Mr and Mrs 50 Plus have teamed up with Skates.co.uk to give you the chance to win an amazing Longway Stunt Scooter

The Longway Prime Complete Stunt Scooter is perfect for all young beginner riders. Although the suggested age range is 11 to 13, it will suit many younger and older children. It’s all a question of height really!  All wannabe stunt riders will love that the bars spin 360 degrees for tricks.  At 3.8kgs, it’s nice and lightweight but solid too.  The Longway Prime is a one-piece stunt scooter and isn’t foldable.  The handlebars are fixed but they can be cut to suit after purchase.

Win a Longway Prime Complete Stunt Scooter

So if you’d like to win a fab new Longway scooter, see below …

Enter Now

(If you can’t see the form, please click here)

The competition will close on the 21st January 2019. We will notify the winner by email after the closing date.  They will then also be shown on our winners page.
T&Cs apply


Skates.co.uk is a family-owned company.  They sell a variety of different scooters including the Madd, Slamm, Grit and Razor brands.

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How To Avoid Pension Scammers https://mrandmrs50plus.com/how-to-avoid-pension-scammers/ https://mrandmrs50plus.com/how-to-avoid-pension-scammers/#respond Tue, 27 Nov 2018 08:30:49 +0000 https://mrandmrs50plus.com/?p=30217 We’ve heard the scare stories, now you can find out how to avoid pension scammers before it’s too late.  After…

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We’ve heard the scare stories, now you can find out how to avoid pension scammers before it’s too late.  After all, no-one wants to be the victim of a pension scam!

  • Pension scam victims are losing an average of £91,000
  • How to use the FCA register and why you should check it
  • Pensions advice specialists, Portafina, offer tips on how you can avoid scams and check legitimacy to prevent being a victim to a pension scam

Pension Scam

Recent TV advertising from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Pensions Regulator has highlighted how easy it can be to fall victim to a pension scam.

With new figures revealing that victims are losing an average of £91,000 per person due to pension scams, FCA approved pensions advice specialists, Portafina, has highlighted the one thing to do to ensure protection against a pension scammer, and five other things to look out for before it’s too late.

Check if they’re registered and authorised by the FCA

If you fear you may be falling victim to a scam the best course of action is to check the FCA register. Checking this database is the easiest way to see if a financial company or individual is regulated.

woman on phone
Simply search for the company or adviser’s name and you will be able to see whether they are listed and check that their information is correct. For a step by step guide on how to check the register, please visit www.portafina.co.uk/blog/how-to-stay-safe-and-not-fall-for-the-pension-scam-tricks

Watch out for ‘red light’ words

There are a couple of terms that are important to look out for when relating to pensions.
A few words and phrases that should raise warning signs are:
Pension liberation
Cashback
One-off investment
Limited time offers
Loophole

Avoid anyone who promises ‘guaranteed returns’

A company which promises to deliver ‘guaranteed results’ (especially a high guaranteed rate of return) is likely to be a scam. There’s a chance that the investment may be overseas where there is no consumer protection, so if it looks too good to be true, it probably is!
You should be wary of any company that says you can take out your pension before the age of 55. It’s not possible to access your pension before you are 55 without facing a huge tax bill, except for a few very specific circumstances such as terminal illness.
If you transfer your pension with a company who promises early access you could face a tax penalty that could cost you your entire pension pot!

Don’t make a quick decision

Never let anyone pressure you into making a quick decision, be cautious. If a company is pushing you to make a quick decision, it’s is likely to be a scam, so don’t rush and take your time.  And if you’re ever unsure, it’s best to contact a different independent financial adviser to get some more advice.

older man

Ask questions

Asking questions will help you to identify whether the company is legitimate, so ask as many questions as you have.
Some good questions to ask are:
What is your FCA  number?
Can I call you back? Reputable pension companies will be happy to do this whereas scammers tend to be more reluctant to give out contact details
How long have you been a financial adviser or company?
Can I visit your offices?

Pension advice specialist, Jamie Smith Thompson said: “Making decisions involving your hard-earned pension is never a decision you should rush, and the fact that there are people actively trying to scam people out of their pensions shows that we should all be exercising extreme caution.

“The new FCA and Pensions Regulator campaign has really got people thinking and talking more about pensions. Yet, our experience is that it has resulted in people complaining about the government’s dealing with the State Pension, rather than tackling the pension scams at hand. It’s clear that we need more action.
“Having said that, the campaign is a positive starting block and a step in the right direction when it comes to creating more awareness about scams.
“If you do decide you want to make a change to your pension pot, make sure you’re speaking to someone who knows what they’re doing, can clearly explain your options to you and will give you the time you need to make the right decision. Most importantly, check that they are a regulated specialist by making use of the FCA register!”


To find out more about identifying scammers from legitimate financial advisers, visit: https://www.portafina.co.uk/scam-awareness

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