I am 88, in fairly good health (apart from fading eyesight and hearing!). Had a hip replacement last year and did the exercises they recommended every day for six weeks.
Just wanted to know if you can recommend any not-too-violent exercises as I am not attending a keep fit class at present (although the new hip has not given me any problems) I walk every day to the shops -about 10-15 minutes. Many thanks.
It’s important to stress that we need to be individually responsible for ensuring how suitable an exercise is for us, since everybody’s health issues, especially those in the over 80’s age group are variable. Some people will be fitter than others, some stronger, others less flexible or less stable. But it’s a fact too much sitting can result in slack abdominal muscles and slumped posture which encourages cramp and indigestion. Inactivity is bad for our hearts and circulation, and often results in swollen legs and feet.
Good circulation is important in preventing problems and walking as you do Mary is excellent whole body exercise. Blood that flows into the lower leg is helped back to the heart by the calf muscle acting as a pump, and the one way valves. Walking helps revitalize your body, re-oxygenate your system and improves your circulation and digestion
Simple exercises can add quality to your life. To improve the mobility of your shoulders and upper back stand with feet apart. With your right hand reach up and over your head as if climbing a rope (relax left knee if standing). Bring arm down and reach up and over with left hand (relaxing right knee). Repeat 10 times.
My 85-year-old mother suffers from osteoporosis. She recently fell and broke her hip and is in danger of losing her physical independence. I’ve heard that osteoporosis can run in families. Is this true? If so what can I do to avoid it? Anne D – Berkshire
Dear Anne, I’m sorry to learn of your mother’s accident. Osteoporosis – fragile bone disease affects 3 million people in the UK. 1 in 2 women and 1 in 5 men will break a bone mainly as a result of poor bone health.
However, in many cases it is a preventable disease, and not just a consequence of growing older. Look at your lifestyle. Does it include a well-balanced diet containing plenty of calcium plus vitamin D to build strong bones, and regular weight bearing exercise? This changes have been found to help prevent the disease. Some women are more at risk genetically and you need to be aware of this. So, Anne, please consult your doctor.
He may recommend a change in lifestyle, HRT (hormone replacement therapy) or specialized drugs to slow down bone loss and maintain bone density. Talk to your Doctor about your bone density. It can be monitored with a bone scan (Dexa) screening although it’s not always available on the NHS. Alternatively, you could contact a private clinic that would perform a bone scan for a fee. Good luck Anne and for more information www.ros.org.uk
With everyday use of techie gadgets we all end the day with a serious ‘crick’ in the neck!! Here’s my solution
Ex 1 Shoulder Shrugs
To mobilise your shoulders and release tension, sit or stand and simply shrug up both shoulders towards your ears. Now relax and simply drop your shoulders pushing down with your arms. Repeat 10 times.
Ex 2 Forward Neck stretch
To release neck tensions sit or stand upright. Carefully bend your head forward, lengthen your neck and tuck in your chin until you feel a stretch at the back of your neck. Hold for 5 seconds and relax. Repeat 5 times.
Ex 3 Side Neck turns
To release neck tension sit or stand as before, looking straight ahead. Turn your head and look around to the right side as far as possible. Feel the stretch and hold for 5 seconds. Bring head back to look centre, and then turn head on and around to look left, and hold for 5 seconds. Repeat turning and stretching both sides, 5 times.
Ex 4 Shoulder and Chest stretch
To stretch out tight chest muscles sit or stand, place hands behind your back on your bottom. Carefully pull your neck in and back, pull shoulder blades together and back and stretch out your chest. Hold for 5 secs and relax. Repeat 5 times.
Hello, I’m Diana Moran and welcome to GetReady4AnyAge.com.
As the CoronaVirus hits the most vulnerable in our community, I’ve created a resource to help those of us over 70, who the Government has now asked to self isolate.
I was 81 this year and decided to self isolate myself at my home in Surrey. Over the next few weeks I’ll be sharing exercises with you which can keep you healthy at home – and a video blog of how I managed under lock down. I’d love to hear from you too so please go to our contact page and tell us what you’re up to and share any tips with our followers here.
Keep checking back here and I look forward to hearing from you soon.
I hope you saw me on BBC Breakfast with some exercises which you can do at home. If you didn’t, then you can see the video at our home page http://www.GetReady4AnyAge.com
Hello, I’m Aggie MacKenzie – and I run a sister site to Diana Moran’s called www.aggiestips.com
Each day I share my tips with subscribers – free. And if you have a household tip you want to share with my community – I want to hear from you. So go to www.aggiestips.com and join me there. In the meantime,
See you soon
How to make tarnished cutlery shine again!
If you’ve been storing away stainless steel cutlery for a while, it may have tarnished.
And guess what – vinegar won’t shift the tarnish!
What you need is special metal cleaner such as Maas Metal Polish from Lakeland. It’s not cheap (£12.99) but a tube will last for ages and, most importantly, will work!
During a recent holiday to Crete my husband noticed that the whites of my eyes had developed a slightly yellowish tinge. That was a month ago now and my eyes still haven’t returned to normal. My sight hasn’t been affected and the colour change is minimal but noticeable to me. I am 51; could this be a side effect of the menopause?
Rona Gower, Cheltenham
Well Rona, by co-incidence I have just read the result of a small study claiming a link between yellow eyes and Menopausal 50-59-year-old women who had been taking Hormone replacement therapy, or Prempro. I will look out for further studies.
But normally the whites of eyes or sclera are white in colour, but one can get yellow sclera (also called scleral icterus) caused by a high level of bilirubin in the bloodstream. Bilirubin is made in the liver and is yellow in colour. If a person suffers from liver disease, the liver can no longer process the breakdown of red blood cells and bilirubin, its natural metabolic product, and no longer enters the bile. Instead it builds up in the blood and tissues, including the sclera of the eyes.
One of the first signs is yellowing, probably caused by blocked bile ducts, leading to a backup of bilirubin. More seriously it could be a sign of Cirrhosis of the liver due to an excess of alcohol damaging the liver. Or Hepatitis, caused by toxins – but most commonly by a virus that infects the liver, resulting in its dysfunction. Bilirubin backs up and the individual will suffer from jaundice. Rona, since your eyes have been affected for over a month I would advise you to drink plenty of water and to talk to your GP mentioning any medications you may be taking.
Diana Says: – “I am 80…in the high risk group. And I am self isolating. I am writing regular updates for people over 70 on my website… www. Getready4anyage.com There is already a lot of general info and advice for older folk up there but will now be adding videos and updates. It’s important to be informed and to get advice if we are to endure the Governments advice to self-isolate for 4 months! And….its most important to keep well….both mentally and physically. • And, it gives us time to tackle those chores you’ve been putting off for months. • Clear out cupboards, wardrobes and drawers. • This is an excellent opportunity to get tech savvy… • Things on your phone like WhatsApp and Skype… helping you keep in daily touch with friends and family. • Try to get out and keep active at times when there are less people about…first thing in the morning or later evening. • Simple walking is an excellent form of exercise. • Some shops are planning to open early for we older ones when there are less shoppers. Our age group have faced difficulties before and come through smiling. So a bit of flu isnt going to stop us! Look on the website….Ready4Anyage.com….for more information and advice Finally… .KEEP FIT AND CARRY ON!
Dear Diana, I work from home and spend a good part of my weekdays around the house. I’m also a fidget so leave my desk 100 times a day to do little jobs around the house, up and down stairs, etc. I tend to wear slippers for comfort but I’m realising this is not good for my feet. My home is cool, even in summer, so I’m looking for a recommendation for a ‘house shoe’. Here is my wish list. Kind regards, Anna Everitt …. Bristol
Phew! Anne this is a bit of a tall order but I have a few suggestions. Like you I work from home spending my time at the PC and taking regular breaks to do a few chores around the house and garden. Consequently, my requirements are somewhat similar to yours so I look for shoes made of natural, supple, durable leather with a fabric lining. Leather allows the foot to breathe and can provide long term comfort and gentle support. Shoes need to have a generous space in which to be able to spread your toes naturally, with soles that are shock absorbing, non-slip and provide underfoot cushioning. Probably like you I don high heels and dress up for special occasions or conversely fall into the habit of slopping around the house in non-supporting “ballet type” light, flat shoes.
Comfortable – for all day wear
Supportive – for all day wear
Suitable to wear socks with
Nice to have;
Modern style (neutral and inconspicuous)
Light outdoor use for taking bins out
Neither shoe is good for feet if worn over long periods and both can cause back pain, so look instead for comfortable shoes with posture correct heel height to encourage a good walking position. Feet vary in both length and width, but happily many of the great shoes around this season have adjustable Velcro fastenings or laces to ensure a great fit. These comfort shoes are no longer just practical and fuddy duddy, but come in exciting colours and designs to suit most tastes and can look great with both trousers and skirts. The best selection of shoes and sandals I have discovered recently are by Padders, Hotters and Clarks. Happy ambling!
One advantage of being older is not having to cope with menopausal problems such hot flashes, disturbed sleep and mood swings anymore! But what can be done to manage symptoms if they’re bothering you? Simple lifestyle changes can help, although some symptoms will go away on their own. Distressing hot flashes may be triggered by spicy foods, alcohol, caffeine, stress, or hot environment. So avoid when possible, dress in layers you can remove and take slow, deep breaths when you feel a flash starting.
Help sleeping problems by cutting out caffeine after lunchtime. Don’t smoke, avoid large meals and stop working on your computer several hours before your bedtime. Be more physically active in the daytime but not just before bedtime, because exercise isn’t conducive to sleep. Keep your bedtimes regular and avoid napping during the day. Sleep in a dark, quiet, cool bedroom and use it for sleep and sex only. If you can’t get to sleep read until you’re tired.
Getting a good night’s sleep and being physically active helps avoid mood swings, but if they really trouble you consider seeing a therapist or joining a support group. Talk to your doctor if you are depressed or are experiencing memory problems, like forgetfulness. HRT can be effective in helping regulate hot flashes, mood swings and other menopausal symptoms. HRT is not suitable for everyone, but your doctor may prescribe medications used for other conditions like epilepsy, depression, and high blood pressure, that may help with symptoms.If you still have periods, low-dose oral contraceptives (birth control pills) may help. If vaginal dryness is your problem a water-based, over-the-counter vaginal lubricant like K-Y Jelly can help make sex more comfortable.
Be aware that lower oestrogen levels brought about by the menopause lead to bone loss, and weak bones break easily. To keep your bones strong and to avoid osteoporosis (fragile bone disease) do weight-bearing exercises, such as walking, climbing stairs, or using weights. For bone health eat foods rich in calcium and vitamin D, or consider taking calcium and vitamin D supplements. After the menopause with changes in oestrogen levels plus ageing and possibly gaining weight or developing other health problems, there can be an increased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). If possible have your cholesterol and blood pressure levels checked. Not smoking, getting regular exercise and following a healthy diet are paramount to keeping you healthy and active in your postmenopausal years.
I have not been taught to paint animals but maybe my natural love of all creatures great and small helps me depict them. Ella, a dear horse adored by her owner Lucy, one of my granddaughters, was my first nervous attempt. I was very pleased with the result which spurred me on to paint my own cat Maisie and other people’s pets.
If you’d like to know more – head over to http://www.goddessart.co.uk and sign up [free] for more of my paintings and let me know what you think of them!
“Ever since I was a little West Country girl I’ve enjoyed drawing and painting. At my Bristol Grammar school I proved to be a competent artist and later obtained entry into the West of England College of Art with the intention of becoming a full time student. However my very strict father would not consent to my being an Art Student! I had to get what he called – a “proper job”!
Subsequently, in the following years, as and when my work allowed, I regularly attended Evening Art Classes. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and viewed painting as my hobby and relaxation. I mostly painted in oils, on a board or canvas. Later on, and as a result of my BBC TV and media work, I was fortunate enough to be invited as a regular Guest Speaker on major cruise lines. Whilst at sea and when not speaking, I had the time and opportunity to attend painting classes aboard. I was introduced to watercolours, this medium being convenient to both pack and paint with whilst travelling. However, 4 years ago out painting landscape with a local group of amateur artists, here in Surrey, I was introduced to Acrylics and discovered the convenience of quick drying! Acrylics are now my preferred medium. I enjoy the intensity of colour, ease of handling and the ability to “correct” things immediately – when they don’t go according to plan!
Covid has been a miserable experience for most of us, but personally I have found that with extra time on my hands I‘ve had more opportunity
to devote to painting. My conservatory has become my studio with its excellent natural light.
Having spent much of my time in the past painting still life, flowers and landscapes I have now broadened my horizons to painting birds, animals, fish and….people!”
ankylosing spondylitis – a long-term inflammatory condition that mainly affects the bones, muscles and ligaments of the spine, leading to stiffness and joints fusing together. Other problems can include the swelling of tendons, eyes and large joints
cervical spondylosis – also known as degenerative osteoarthritis, cervical spondylitis affects the joints and bones in the neck, which can lead to pain and stiffness
fibromyalgia – causes pain in the body’s muscles, ligaments and tendons
lupus – an autoimmune condition that can affect many different organs and the body’s tissues
gout – a type of arthritis caused by too much uric acid in the body. This can be left in joints (usually affecting the big toe), but can develop in any joint. It causes intense pain, redness and swelling
enteropathic arthritis – a form of chronic inflammatory arthritis associated with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), the 2 main types being ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. About 1 in 5 people with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis will develop enteropathic arthritis. The most common areas affected by inflammation are the peripheral (limb) joints and the spine
reactive arthritis – this can cause inflammation of the joints, eyes and the tube that urine passes through (urethra). It develops shortly after an infection of the bowel, genital tract or, less frequently, after a throat infection
secondary arthritis – a type of arthritis that can develop after a joint injury and sometimes occurs many years afterwards
polymyalgia rheumatica – a condition that almost always affects people over 50 years of age, where the immune system causes muscle pain and stiffness, usually across the shoulders and tops of the legs. It can also cause joint inflammation
Symptoms of arthritis
There are lots of different types of arthritis.
The symptoms you experience will vary depending on the type you have.
This is why it’s important to have an accurate diagnosis if you have:
joint pain, tenderness and stiffness
inflammation in and around the joints
restricted movement of the joints
warm red skin over the affected joint
weakness and muscle wasting
Arthritis and children
Arthritis is often associated with older people, but it can also affect children.
In the UK, about 15,000 children and young people are affected by arthritis.
Most types of childhood arthritis are known as juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA).
JIA causes pain and inflammation in 1 or more joints for at least 6 weeks.
Although the exact cause of JIA is unknown, the symptoms often improve as a child gets older, meaning they can lead a normal life.
The main types of JIA are:
Oligo-articular JIA is the most common type of JIA. It affects up to 4 joints in the body, most commonly in the knees, ankles and wrists.
Oligo-articular JIA often goes away without causing long-term joint damage.
But there’s a risk that children with the condition may develop eye problems, so regular eye tests with an eyecare specialist called an ophthalmologist are recommended.
Polyarticular JIA (polyarthritis)
Polyarticular JIA, or polyarthritis, is the second most common type of JIA and affects 5 or more joints.
It can affect a child of any age and may come on suddenly or develop gradually.
“Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it” W.H.Murray – The Scottish Himalayan Expedition
Over the past year whilst researching for this book, I have spoken to many of my contemporaries about the plans they have for the rest of their lives. Did they see their older age as a time of retirement and well-earned rest, or did they view it as a time of opportunity and challenge? As the Millennium drew nearer I sensed from their responses that the traditional image of ageing was being shaken off, and was being replaced by a far more encouraging picture. I discovered that most of my friends were feeling very positive about growing older, particularly my women friends. I enquired further as to what they wanted to achieve in their final years. Many women friends had a practical approach to the future, which they perceived with a positive mental attitude. They were realistic about their limitations and many were busy making preparations as to how best to enjoy the rest of their lives. Most were determined not to waste the predicted extra years of longevity, which they all viewed as a bonus. This optimistic approach appears to be keeping many older folk young at heart.
Speaking personally I find that being involved with younger people helps me to have a youthful outlook on life. I try to listen to my offspring, their children and their friends, in order to keep an open mind and to avoid getting too set in my ways. I sense that it pays to keep up to date with current trends, fashions and attitudes in order to understand the aspirations and frustrations of youth. It enables us to help youngsters sort out their problems, although we don’t necessarily have to agree with them!
Notice how older men and women who have regular contact with young people have a more relaxed and accommodating way about them when dealing with youngsters. Many of these people are teachers or organisers who are active in their social life, running youth clubs or sport or hobby orientated events. They appear to be more satisfied and fulfilled in their own lives than other older folk, many of whom have become bigoted and disillusioned with the antics of a some of today’s youth. Taking a broader well-informed overview of life creates a healthier mental attitude. Surely it’s better to live for the day, to take an interest in current affairs and to be generous in your opinions. When dealing with youngsters, it can go a long way to bridging that generation gap. Young people have a lot to learn from the experience and wisdom of older people, and many are prepared to respect their seniors, so long as they are not bigoted, opinionated and dismissive of youth!
Let’s now concentrate on the positivity of growing older, and here I believe that women are faster in learning how to control the march of time than most men are. For example women take more care of their physical appearance by looking after their general health, and their hair and skin. Women today are well informed and encouraged by books and specialist magazines. Many seek advice from health and beauty consultants. From advertisements and advertorials, older women have been made aware that with a little help from skin care and beauty products, and by making slight changes in their diet and exercise, they can effectively delay some of the visible signs of ageing. However, an increasing number of women are resorting to plastic surgery, which they see as the most positive method of superficially holding back the years. Many others less fortunate would love to be able to afford it, while others won’t admit to wanting it. Many women just cringe at the thought of cosmetic surgery and rely on nature being kind to them!
With this dramatic change in the attitude to ageing, the thought of “retiring” becomes more attractive. Retiring from work, and retiring from the traditional concept of ageing, leaves us free from the constraints that have bound and gagged previous generations, particularly women. With no written criteria or acceptance of being old, we now have the unique opportunity to break with traditions and re-write the rules! It’s exciting, and we must grasp the unique opportunity presented to us. If we have good health and adequate financial provision, we could find to our pleasant surprise, that the world is our oyster.
Over the past few years the words used to describe older people have changed too – for the better. Today words such as “retired”, or “mature” or “older person” are commonly used, whereas in my youth any person over 60 years of age was described as an “old age pensioner” or ” a senior citizen”. The changes are encouraging, but for me the most amusing label is one I heard at a celebration of older people in Gloucester Cathedral, when an elderly gentleman described himself as being “chronologically advantaged.” To date this is still my favourite – or do you have a better one?
Now dear reader, in the sincere hope that you have benefited from the advice given in previous chapters, this could be the moment to take control of the rest of your life. Remember “It’s never too late to be what you might have been”
The 50 plus group is fast becoming a group to be reckoned with both socially, economically and socially. As a group it’s numbers are increasing rapidly. It’s group members are healthier, more active and involved in society than previous generations, and have a disposable income estimated at £155 billion pounds a year. Far from sitting down taking life easy, women (and men) in this group are likely to be on the move. Many are off to seek adventures abroad, others are going back to university to improve their education, whilst others are contemplating setting up a new business venture.
There could be something far more interesting and rewarding. Even though I exist on my pension I manage toand live within my means and my voluntary work gives me a sense of pride that I am putting something back into society.
You have a responsibility to yourself and your family to look after yourself. Who wants to be a burden to others?
Families can try to be supportive but early on I decided to take a conscientious effort to look after myself as best I can
What’s wrong with spoiling yourself a little? Why not have an aromatherapy, massage etc
Redundancy is devastating I felt numbness and incredulity and an initial sense of isolation – it affected my self esteem
I hadn’t expected it, I was so shocked. I felt disappointed and cheated.
Going from two wages to one is very hard for any family. Redundancy can put a strain on any family but if you have been together a long time it may be easier to understand each other and work the problems out. Not being a person who can sit still, the idea of sitting around the house for hours on end is horific. Having worked conscientiously for 30 years or more the thought of signing on for unemployment benefit horrified me
One of our biggest worries is whether or not we will have enough money to survive. The only person who can rebuild your ego is you. There is still a huge bias against older people when it comes to employment.
It seems grossly unfair that the Government spends billions of pounds helping young people find employment and only a fraction to assit older people who really do need help to find another job. These people are desperate to work, they have family and commitments and yet employers shun them. Younger bosses should be discouraged from shunning older job seekers. They need to realize they are turning away experience and knowledge, both valuable assets. Maybe it’s time for the Government to bring in legislation to outlaw age disrimination by employers.
Local Education Authorities cater for every need from DM TO EXPAND ON THE FOLLOWING;
Wonderful new found freedom
Time to travel
Maybe it’s time to search for your inner self
Time to explore religions of the world and to take comfort from you new discoveries
Religion and Faith
Activities addresses etc
Many of your new found activities could benefit your health as well as providing you with social contact which can help lift your spirits. Let’s look in more detail at how some of these activities will improve your strenght,stamina and suppleness and help you retain your physical independence. For example:
For further information contact;
?The Ramblers Assn,
1-5 Wandsworth Road,
London SW8 2XX
Tel 0171 582 6878
For further information contact;
?The Amateur Swimming Assn,
Harold Fern House,
Tel 01509 230 431
EXERCISE TO MUSIC
For further information contact;
Fitness Industry Training
112 Great Russell Street
London WC1B 3NQ
020 7343 1850
For further information contact
The Bicycle Assn
A5 SAE please,
Tel 01203 553 838
For further information contact
?The Badminton Assn of England,
National Badminton Centre.,
Bucks MK8 9LA.
Tel 01908 568 822
For further information contact
?The Lawn Tennis Assn
The Queens Club
London W14 9EG
0171 381 7000
For further information contact
?Veteran Squash Raquet Club of GB
26 Leatherhead Road
Surrey KT22 8TL
Tel 01442 232 222
A personal trainer can encourage you to look after your body and motivate you to be more active in the privacy of your own home. The National Register of Personal Trainers (NRPT) has over 1,000 teachers on their list and refer enquiries to fully qualified and insured Personal Fitness Trainers throughout the country. After an initial assessment a plan of action is drawn up and varies greatly from person to person. Dependending on physique, ability, and personal requirements. The advantage of having a personal trainer is the total flexibility, they will fit into your timetable and come to your home. You can have the programme tailored to your level of fitness and physical abilities, go at your own pace, and under supervision you can confidently build up your level of fitness.
For further information contact
The National Register of Personal Trainers
London SW19 4NG
Tel 020 8944 6688 USEFUL NAMES AND ADDRESSES
The Open University
01908 653 231
University of the Third Age (U3A)
26 Harrison Street
London WC1H 8JG
020 7692 5440
Local Education Authority
Contact your Local Adult Education College
Workers Educational Association
17 Victoria Park Square
London E2 9PB
020 8983 1515
National Institute for Adult Continuing Education
Learner of the Year
Older and Bolder
0116 204 4258
Feeling good is about having a positive attitude to life. We should never look back and dwell on our failures or have regrets We must always look forward with optimism. It’s never too late to ajust your lifestyle. You’re never too old to change your habits – or to help yourself to better health. Take good care of your body and your looks. Be more active and eat a well blanced diet. Be aware of your finances. Nuture your relationships, love and respect your family and friends. Continue to listen and learn, and always keep an open mind. Enjoy the rest of your life!
“We can’t beat Old Father Time… no – but some women drive a mighty close bargain with him”