Boomers Recovering From A Serious Illness Alone

Boomers recovering from a servious Illness alone may benefit from these tips.

There are many Boomers that live alone and may not have close family or friends.  When an illness strikes, such as heart surgery, they may find it difficult to do a lot of things that normally would be routine.  This happened to me this year.  I am going to share the things that I learned from my own personal experience.

  1. It is important to keep a , I can do this, positive attitude.
  2. Do not over do because you are recovering.  Follow your doctors orders but do not give up.
  3. You may find that some people that you thought would be there for you, are not there.  Try not to let this interfere with your recovery.  Thinking about it or stressing out will only make it more difficult for you to do the things that you can.  Keep a forgiving attitude.  Everyone has reasons for what they do.  Remember that you are number one while recovering.
  4. Take rest periods as needed.
  5. Play relaxing music to DE-stress.
  6. When you are able,per your doctor’s orders, walk.  Every little bit helps.  Yes, it may hurt but eventually the pain will leave and you will recovery much faster.  Do all the exercises that the hospital personnel that instructed you to do.  It will hurt but do it!  You will be weak but this is how you get better.  If there is a problem do not hesitate to call your physician.
  7. If you know in advance, stock up on healthy foods that are easy to prepare.  If it is a sudden thing like a heart attack, you might want to call your senior center and have meals on wheels delivered to your home.
  8. Have a safety device rail in your bath tub area.  A shower chair also will help.  When you are able to bath, you will not have the strength that you once had to get out of the tub.  It is important not to slip, so be careful.
  9. If you have a cell phone, make sure you have it with you at all times.  Should you fall or need help dial 911 immediately.
  10. Organize your medicines so that you do not forget to take them at the correct times.  Your thinking may not be as alert as it was before the illness and it is very important to take those medicines correctly.
  11. Do not drive until the doctor says that it is okay.  Remember, it is not only your life in danger but the life of others on the road.
  12. If you are not suppose to lift, a lot of task such as laundry, grocery shopping, cleaning house and etc. may be difficult for you for awhile.  A nice rolling cart with wheels makes it much easier to carry bags and laundry.  Keep a disinfectant spray on hand.  If you find in difficult to change your bedding as you did before, use the spray,as long as your bedding is not soiled.  Just make sure everything is sanitary.  Alcohol can also be used to wipe over things.  Be careful with alcohol.  You do not want it to get into open wounds.  WASH YOUR HANDS ALL THE TIME!
  13. Have the proper soaps to use at home, such as Dial without perfume.  You do not want to get your wound infected.  Use that Soap and Water!
  14. Use heat and ice for minor pain.  Your doctor can instruct you on which to use.  Take your pain medications if needed.  Do not mix over the counter medicines with prescription medicines without informing your doctor.  This could have serious side effects.  Your doctor will know when it is time for you to stop taking prescription pain relievers.  Do your exercises and etc. so that you are prepared for this time when it happens.
  15. You may find that you are weak. Picking up items that you drop may be difficult.  Believe it or not, I used spaghetti tongs to pick up small things.  Hey, it worked for me.  Be creative and figure out new ways to do things that will keep you from stressing or being overly tired.  Paper plates worked well too. I did not have to stand long periods of time at the sink washing dishes.  Then there is that dreaded full trash can that needs to go to dumpster.  Instead of waiting until it is full,  fill it half full.  Then when the weather is nice, use this as an excuse to walk.  Oh and by the way, I dragged it instead of carrying.  It worked!
  16. When you find yourself getting frustrated, which you will, sit down, close your eyes, count and deep breath.  Everything will be okay.  It just takes time and a new way of doing things.  Pat yourself on the back and say at -ta boy or girl.  Do not give up! Remember, there are others, such as myself, that have had to do it alone too.
  17. Hopefully, you will have some great reading material near you.  If you have access to a computer then use it!  There are many support groups on line such as Heart Sisters; the one that I joined.  Use your FB friends as much as you need to use them.  They might not be there in person but it sure feels good to know that they care.  My FB friends gave me so much encouragement.  I am so grateful for them.
  18. Share at your doctors office.  If he does not have time to be supportive or caring then you might want to consider looking for another physician, depending upon your given circumstance.  Take full advantage of what your insurance company has to offer if you have medical insurance.  Some offer physical therapy, rehabilitation, visiting nurses, sitters and etc.  Use them if needed!
  19. If you are employed, it will do no good to sit at home worrying about when you can get back to work.  I know times are rough.  I was there myself.  Take the necessary time to heal before going back to work.  I must admit, I did not do this.  Now I am having to do some of the things that I should have done before starting back to a full time job.  You might be thinking,”Yes, this is easier said than done. I need a pay check.”  I understand, I did too.  Now I regret not fully getting well before going back to work.  Even though Dave Ramsey says, tear up those credit cards, I believe that sometimes a person needs one.  When my emergency fund ran out, I used the credit card.  Being frugal is good but doing without the necessary things that you need when sick is NOT  the time to save money.  Your life is much more important than money.  When you are well then you can work and pay that credit card off.  It is working for me!
  20. If you have a pet while sick love on it.  Pets seem to have a way of knowing when you need love too.  No, they are not human, but wow, are they great company!
  21. Now for the big one that is difficult for some of us to do; ask for help.  I know you might get rejected then again you might not.  Ask the grocery man to carry your groceries to the car.  Let him return the cart.  Let the neighbor help you with that door.  Make it an opportunity to meet a neighbor and get their phone number.  You might need to use it and in addition you might get a time later on down the line to return the favor.  You might even make a friend. If you have a place where you worship, sometimes they are willing to help.  Ask, Ask and use that telephone and computer.  It does not mean that you are a weak person because you ask for help.  Always thank the person or send them a thank you card.  Actually doing something for you is not only helping you but is a way that they are being rewarded by giving.

Take time to adjust to being alone and enjoying it.  Let things go if you are tired.  It will get done when you feel better.  Take this time to pamper and love yourself.  You will find that when you come out of all of this that you will be a much stronger person than you were before.  At that time then tell your story.  Help someone else.  That is how it works.  Do not give up hope,  Each day that you try gives you one more chance to be an inspiration to others in the journey of life.

I heard something that inspired me a few weeks while watching the television program NCIS, by Gibbs.  He said, “Family is more than just DNA.  It’s about people that care and and take care of each other.”  Boomers, we are family!  Reach out and touch someone today.  Your aloneness will be less and your awards greater!  Be good to yourself!  By giving you will receive!

Originally posted 2011-10-22 16:31:49.

Boomers: Losing Weight After 50

Losing weight after 50 tips: Simple sugars, like the infamous whites (white rice, white bread, etc.) are known trigger foods. But did you know that some fruits can be a problem too, because of the fructose content? You still need fruits as part of a healthy diet; just choose fruits higher in fiber.

Weight Loss After Age 50

What’s so hard about losing weight after 50? From the commercials and ads you’ve on TV and in magazines, it looks like it ought to be easy enough. Just take this wonder pill and you’re trim practically overnight.You probably already know – getting rid of that extra weight isn’t that easy! If it really was, you’d be slim already, right?

But there is good news — it is possible to lose weight after you’re 50 (or even 60). You just need a different strategy. Your body is adjusting and re-adjusting to aging, and weight loss probably won’t happen quickly (sorry).

The Menopause Factor and Weight Loss

What can you do about it? Weight loss after (and during, for that matter) menopause is harder now than it was at any other time during your life. Maybe you could lose 10 pounds fairly easily, now three pounds seems like an impossible goal.

Realize that your hormones are working against you; you therefore need to take charge of your diet and cut out foods that spell trouble for you.

Simple sugars, like the infamous whites (white rice, white bread, etc.) are known trigger foods. But did you know that some fruits can be a problem too, because of the fructose content? You still need fruits as part of a healthy diet; just choose fruits higher in fiber.

Here’s one you’ve heard before, but it’s still true — don’t skip meals. It spells trouble when your blood sugar falters, as it makes you more likely to snack.

Bones that are frailer bones, muscle loses mass and you metabolism goes south; and there are still issues. For example, you may have stress bladder problem and your body loses flexibility as well.

Losing Weight After 50 Tips

It seems like you’ve got the deck stacked against you, doesn’t it? Is there anything you can do to help with losing weight after 50?

If you’re eating a balanced diet, exercise is the next most important thing you can do. Without it, your bones will continue to become frailer and your muscles continue to weaken. This weakening, and accompanying loss of mass, means it will be even harder to lose weight!

You don’t need to worry about walking miles or heavy cardio routines; in fact they may hurt more than help at first. Even if you should have mobility problems, you most likely can still work with hand weights, wrist weights and/or resistance bands. These help to re-build muscle mass, and therefore increase your metabolism.

Yes, it’s possible to lose weight after 50, and you can do it. It’s just a matter of taking it one day at a time, and know that with every pound you lose, you’re increasing your health!

Originally posted 2013-12-10 08:36:51.

Dental For Seniors

Good oral hygiene is important to our over all health. According to an article that I read from the Mayo Clinc

Good oral hygiene is important to our over all health.  According to an article that I read from the Mayo Clinic , bacteria in the mouth can contribute to heart disease, Alzheimer’s, osteoporosis and other illnesses.  We can take simple steps that will help prevent bacteria by brushing, flossing, changing our tooth brushes, and regular visits to our dentist.

This brings me to another subject.  What about those that suffer from dental stress and anxiety?  Yes, I admit it.  I fit into that category of baby boomers who suffered from fear due to some very unpleasant experiences in my early years at the dentist office.  I have written blogs about how to over come fear but when I entered a dentist office I could feel my blood pressure rising.  After the trauma associated with heart surgery last year, I chose to avoid any more fear or pain.  As life has it, sometimes this is not possible.

On one of my visits to my medical doctor, I noticed a dental office in O’fallon, Missouri that was next door to my medical doctor.  There was a sign in front that said, “Dr. Logan is accepting new patients.”  With shaking hands, I decided to just step into that office and look around a bit.  I was greeted by a friendly person who I really liked at first glance.  The office was clean and very pretty.  Now most of you that have read my blogs know that I try to be positive and choose to believe in good things.  I took a card and told the nice lady that I would be calling.  I already knew then that my last dentist, prior to my heart attack, stated that I needed a deep cleaning on my teeth.

It took months for me to make that call since I was allowing fear to come before doing what I needed to do for my health.  I looked up the office on face book.  I watched the neat things that they posted rolling through my face book stream.  Finally, I did it!  I called to make that dreaded appointment.  Now with my dental fear, I once again started to panic.  I was very relieved when I received a call from the office on my telephone recorder asking if I would be able to reschedule for a different time.  My head was so grateful that I didn’t bother to call back.  Fear won again!

Then the day came that I saw another nice post on my face book screen from the dental office.  I got a little courage and called.  This was almost a year later.  Can you believe it?  Not only that, the person that answered the phone remembered me.  I started telling her about my heart attack and fear.  She was kind, understanding and encouraging.  Also she made my appointment for the next week with no months of waiting to think about it.

The day arrived.  It was time.  I suited up in my big girl baby boomer pants and just did it.  My hands were sweating, my legs were wobbling but I got there and walked right in.  Again, I was met by a group of people with nice smiles who welcomed me to the office.  Of course I had to fill out that dreaded paper work with a questionnaire.  The last question made me giggle.  It said something like this.  How would you want your teeth to be in twenty-five years.  I drew a smiley face and answered, ” In my mouth.”  After all ,may I remind my readers that I am a sixty-three year old senior baby boomer.  🙂  Another question was, What can we do to help you with dental stress and anxiety?  I answered, “Listen, be compassionate, caring and understanding.”

The staff and dentist gave me everything that I asked for when I answered their questionnaire.  I am proud to say, I had a deep scale cleaning with no pain.  With the knowledge of these find people, they helped me to overcome my dental stress and anxiety.  Here are some of the things that they did for me.

  1. They gave me an appointment right away and did not make me wait in the office.
  2. They were friendly, understanding, considerate, caring, gentle and LISTENED.
  3. The office was clean with a pleasant view out the window with relaxing music in the background.
  4. The equipment was modern and up to date.
  5. They took the time to explain what I needed to know and showed me a nice picture of my teeth.
  6. There was no high sales pitches nor did they put me down in any way or lecture me on good oral hygiene.
  7. They showed RESPECT by focusing on ME.  They took the time to explain the procedures plus answered my questions without rushing.
  8. They had a cost sheet worked up before beginning so that I had no hidden surprises of a bill that I could not pay.  They gave me choices again without high pressure sales pitches.
  9. The staff, showed interest in me as a person, a REAL HUMAN BEING.
  10. Most of all,their kind and caring attitude, created an atmosphere of relaxation, stress reduction and a feeling of well being.

If you suffer from dental stress and anxiety, I encourage you to find the right professional dental people that understand as these people did.  I now have nice clean teeth, a different attitude about dentists, and an over all good feeling about dental care.  Say good bye to dental stress and anxiety by finding great people that understand and help you to overcome dental fear.  Trust your health to those professionals that take the time to treat you with the respect that you deserve.  It is important!  You are important!  It is as important as exercise and good eating habits.  Remember, as boomers we want to enjoy life and can with the help of others that understand.

Originally posted 2012-05-02 19:04:21.

Life Insurance and Health Issues

Life Insurance and Health Issues

Typically, life insurance is most often associated with the protection it offers financially upon the event of death. However, most people don’t take into account that health complications can occur randomly and at a moment’s notice at that. Did you know though, that some life insurance policies are equipped with certain options that facilitate this?

What Happens if a Health Issue Arises?

With some policies there is the option that allows the policy holder to obtain part or all of the death benefit in the event of certain ailments. This enables not only you, but your loved ones as well, to divert the full brunt of the financial woes associated with treatment.

In fact, the expedited payments can be used for a number of financial implications including:

1.) The overall care of yourself. In other words, the advance payment can be used to cover the costs of paying a professional or even a family member to tend to your needs and care.

2.) Tending to life events. Money from your policy can be used towards paying somebody (usually a family member) to assist you in attending certain events, regardless of distance.

3.) Home modifications. Last but certainly not least, the money can also be used to help you remain where you are. In other words, modifications made to the home to make it more accessible.

As with any “perks” or policy changes, restrictions do exist in most cases. Aside from restrictions, policy holders must also meet specific qualifications in order to receive the death benefit prematurely. Therefore, it is absolutely vital that you make sure your decision is the right one as it can have potentially-detrimental impact financially on your family, as well as yourself.

Can I Still Obtain Insurance After a Health Issue?

Encountering a health issue—minor or major—does not necessarily mean that you are uninsurable during or after the fact. Surprising yes, but most affordable health insurance companies, such as Health Net, are ready and willing to assist potential clients even if they suffer from major ailments such as cancer. However, because someone suffering from certain health issues presents more of a liability than say, a person with a clean bill of health, the insurance coverage will cost more.

While it may surprise some people, many insurance companies will provide life insurance to people who suffer from hypertension, Alzheimer’s, and even cancer. Naturally, coverage will cost more than it would for a person without such conditions. The Prudential Insurance Company of America and its affiliates has been underwriting life insurance policies for breast and prostate cancer survivors for more than 80 years so if this is a concern for you, they may be right for you.

Originally posted 2014-08-18 20:00:10.

Georgia Golden Olympics | Warner Robins GA

Georgia Golden Olympics
Warner Robins GA

This past week I went down to Warner Robins GA to the Georgia Golden Olympics games to participate in the 1500 meter race walk in hopes of qualifying for the National Senior Games in Minneapolis MN in July 2015.

The Georgia Golden Olympics are held every year in September down in the middle Georgia city of Warner Robins, home of Robins Airbase.

This year those who participate and come in at the top four positions qualify for the National Senior Games which are only held every other year. 2014 is the qualifying year at the state level for the 2015 National Senior Games.

We only spend Thursday PM and left Friday PM but did get to see several events.

On Thursday our first stop was the Warner Robins Senior Activity Center where we registered and saw the list of people who would be competing in my event on Friday. We got a T-shirt and other items in a welcome package.

Next we headed over to Robins High School’s McConnell-Talbert Stadium on nearby S. Davis Drive where a lot of the Track and Field events were being held.

Track and Fields Events
Track and Fields Events

We spent some time watching the high jump where both male and female contests had a friendly but competitive match. It amazed me how high they were jumping.  I saw more than a few ace bandages and ice packs.

High Jumpers at Georgia Golden Olympics
High Jumpers at Georgia Golden Olympics

I got to check out the impressive track where I would be race walking the next day.

On Friday morning I got up early and was one of the first ones to arrive at the stadium for Jim Norvill’s race walking seminar.

Jim Norvill Race Walk Clinc
Jim Norvill Race Walk Clinc

I stayed to watch and photograph the 5K race walk. There were about 11 contestants ranging from seasoned veterans to a new comer or two.

5K Race Walk - Georgia Golden Olympics
5K Race Walk – Georgia Golden Olympics

These race walkers really put a lot in to the contest which is about 3.1 miles or little over 12 times around the track. Several of the same race walkers would be coming back at 1pm for the 1500 meter race walk that I had signed up for.

Race Walkers pass by Judge Jim Norvill
Race Walkers pass by Judge Jim Norvill

I stopped by the Senior Activity Center again to check things out and met Ms. Vicki Pilgrim who was directing these games and doing an excellent job keeping track of so many things going on with the events and people.

After picking up my wife Mary Ann, checking out of the Hampton Inn on Watson Blvd and getting a bite to eat,  we headed over to the stadium to watch the 100 meter dash. I ran in to a fellow I had met back in Alpharetta training at the Old Milton High School.  He is 80 years old and had won the 50 meter dash the day before and I watched him win the gold in the 100 meter race too.  He did it faster than I could have and I am only a baby at age 68. He’s the gentleman at the top right in while shirt in the photo below.

100 Meters Race at Georgia Senior Games
100 Meters Race at Georgia Senior Games

Mary Ann’s brother Mike and wife Diane were nice enough to come watch me compete at 1pm in the 1500 race walk. I was uncertain as to how it would be going since I had only been race walking for two months and had hurt my hip a week before.  I did good and came in second in my age group winning the silver and qualifying myself for the National Senior Games. I think I may just make the trip to Minnesota for the National’s next year.

Robert Fowler Silver Medal 1500M Race Walk
Robert Fowler Silver Medal 1500M Race Walk

While getting my medal engraved back at the senior activity center I stood in line with other medal winners and we shared our excitement and stories.  One lady (pictured below) had won several medals in shot put, discuss, race walking and others and is also planning on going to the nationals.

Medal winner Georgia Golden Olympics
Medal winner Georgia Golden Olympics

 

“Others won medals in swimming, cycling, golf, pickleball, basketball, table tennis and horseshoes.”

We made the ride back to Atlanta tired but happy that I had won a medal. I would have loved to stay longer and participated in and viewed more of the competitions. Maybe next year I will stay two nights instead of one.

The registration is not open yet for the Nationals but when they do open this Fall, I will be planning my trip. This will be a great incentive for me to continue my race walking hobby and really improve my technique,  speed and endurance.  I plan to enter the 1500 meters and the 5K race walks. They are on two consecutive days so that will work out fine.

I have been to Minneapolis before to attend a conference but my wife never has been there. Attending the Nationals will be a good excuse to have a vacation getaway for us.

For more information on the National’s, visit their web site at National Senior Games Association.  For more information on Race Walking, visit Jim Norvill’s excellent site eRaceWalk.com.

Boomers Participate in Senior Games

1500M medal winners all categories
1500M medal winners all categories

Originally posted 2014-09-21 22:33:55.

Eye Strain And Ways To Deal With It

Eye strain is uncomfortable but we must continue to look for ways to continue to learn, relax, work, and play without allowing eye stain to deter us from doing the things that we need to do. As wise boomers, we will find the ways to deal with eye stain and any other obstacles that we need to overcome!

Some people suffer from eye strain.  Eye strain is defined as anything that causes discomfort while viewing something.  Your eyes become fatigued due to over use of eye muscles.  One can develop eye strain from reading, using computers, and driving.  My job requires that I  drive during the night shift which is a defiant source of eye strain.  As one ages our eye sight appears to not be as good as it use to be, therefore it is important to use every resource possible to take care of our eyes.

We must go for our periodic eye exams which may require that we wear glasses or contact lens.    Eye glasses are available with glare proof coating and tint.  There are many types of lubricants and eyes drops on the market that will help to ease the discomfort.  An eye specialist can recommend what is best for each individual.  Also there are computer screen devices that can be used to decrease glare.  Sunglasses are very helpful during the daylight hours.

But what about those of us that have to drive and use computers to make a living?  At the end of a day or night our eyes are stained.  If we like to read, watch television, or use the computer we are setting ourselves up for even more eye strain.  I have found that driving while it is raining irritates my eyes due to the glare on the streets.  Watching television has become very difficult due to the glare.  Unfortunately eye strain can interfere with many of the activities that we like to do during our relaxation time.  As a boomer, reading, writing, watching television and using the computer are things that I enjoy doing.  As with many other things, I have had to search out alternative methods to continue to enjoy things that I use to do.  Here are a few ways that I deal with eye strain.

  1. Reading is very difficult with eye strain.  There are many audio books at the library.  Amazon.com. has a wide variety of audio books for purchase. While driving one can put the CD in the car Cd player and continue to learn.  I found this very helpful during a heavy rain storm recently.  It was very enlightening to listen to the audio book, The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle, while continuing my night driving during the storm.
  2. While using the computer, I find it helpful to take breaks away from the screen frequently to relax my eyes.  I can save my material then go back to it for completion.  It is a good time to use the eye drops and lubricants that are available.
  3. When I intend to watch a good movie on television, I find it helpful to wait until I have rested my eyes for a few hours.  Sometimes it helps to put a cold wash cloth across my eyes and just relax them for awhile.
  4. Getting the proper sleep also helps with eye strain.  When using an I pad it is good to increase the writing for easier viewing.
  5. Also there is the age old magnifying glass that is useful for reading fine print.

Eye strain is uncomfortable but we must continue to look for ways to continue to learn, relax, work, and play without allowing eye strain to deter us from doing the things that we need to do.  As wise boomers, we will find the ways to deal with eye strain and any other obstacles that we need to overcome!

Originally posted 2011-03-03 07:50:42.