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Follow these rules for a great night’s sleep

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Sheets and pillowcases ought to be washed once a week. It’s a good idea to do it on a specific day; that way it becomes part of your routine.

A 60C cycle is best for cottons, particularly if you have an asthma-related condition (anything below this temperature probably won’t kill dust mites).

Duvets should be washed once a year. A single size can usually go in the washing machine but anything bigger will have to be taken to the launderette. Make sure it’s completely dried before using again, if particularly down- or feather-filled. And dry quickly because if not the feathers can go mouldy, which will give a nasty smell you’ll never get rid of. Avoid dry-cleaning duvets because the solvent will leave a residue on the feathers.

Pillows will be filled with either feather, down or synthetic material. See the label for wash instructions, but normally you’ll be able to wash two at a time. Once or twice a year will be enough. Again, dry thoroughly and as quickly as possible to avoid mould. You may notice a difference in the weight post-wash! Pillow protectors are well worth using between washes.

Headboards can take on marks where a greasy head has been in contact. If it’s fabric, spot clean with an upholstery cleaner, but don’t overwet or you could end up with watermarks. If veneer or vinyl, wipe with warm soapy water and dry with a clean cotton cloth.

The space under the bed will get very dusty so pull out everything about once a month, and move the bed to one side to vacuum thoroughly. This will keep moths and carpet beetles away, and the dustmites under control.

Mattresses can end up looking pretty nasty. Unless the label says ‘Do not turn’, turn it over every three months to extend its life (and your comfort). Vacuuming it will make a huge difference to reducing the dustmite population. If you don’t have one already, use a mattress protector (waterproof for young children or anyone with incontinence problems). To remove stains, use a foamy mix of hand-wash detergent. Don’t overwet. Make sure it is completely dry before making up the bed again (use a hairdryer to speed things up). If there are any nasty smells there, sprinkle with bicarbonate of soda, leave a few hours then vacuum off.

And if you have a household tip to share with our followers just click here >

And did you know that Aggie Mackenzie is a qualified Yoga Teacher? Join her now for “Aggie’s Yoga!” And would you like a personalised video message for you or a loved one? Just go to https://www.thrillz.co.uk/talent/aggie.mackenzie and Aggie will record one for you.

Or check out Diana Moran’s fitness website at www.keepfitandcarryon.com

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I’m 88 – can you recommend any not-too-violent exercises

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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.

Mary Hyslop.

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.

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My 85-year-old mother suffers from osteoporosis

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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

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Tech Neck Exercises

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.

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Welcome to GetReady4AnyAge.com

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

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How to make tarnished cutlery shine again!

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

Aggie MacKenzie 

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!

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the whites of my eyes have developed a slightly yellowish tinge

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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.

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Diana Moran returns to BBC Breakfast after 40 years and is broadcasting  in Self Isolation

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!

Do you know someone who would benefit from Diana Moran’s free advice – tell them to log on to http://www.getready4anyage.com and subscribe now.

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I get asked …. Comfortable house shoes

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

Answer

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.

Essential;

  • 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
  • Washable

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!

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MENOPAUSE – Self Help Tips

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.

Dishwasher not working properly?

Check for food waste trapped in the filter (which ends up back on the dishes).

Remove and clean with a soft brush under the tap.

Then do this weekly.

And if you have a household tip to share with our followers just click here >

And did you know that Aggie Mackenzie is a qualified Yoga Teacher? Join her now for “Aggie’s Yoga!”

Or check out Diana Moran’s fitness website at www.keepfitandcarryon.com 

Affected by woodworm?

PIRO4D (CC0), Pixabay

Grubs are the culprits as they tunnel through the wood while they feed, then as adults they fly away, leaving behind pinhole exit marks.

If you think your furniture might be affected, treat as quickly as possible with a specialist solution from hardware shops – you don’t want any structural wood in your home to be attacked.

And if you have a household tip to share with our followers just click here >

And did you know that Aggie Mackenzie is a qualified Yoga Teacher? Join her now for “Aggie’s Yoga!”

Or check out Diana Moran’s fitness website at www.keepfitandcarryon.com 

Be careful cleaning your loo seat

Some loo cleaners can damage permanently.

And if it gets colour spots or the wood becomes bleached, there’s no easy remedy.

Clean the seat with plain water and a microfibre cloth (pop in the washing machine afterwards).

And if you have a household tip to share with our followers just click here >

And did you know that Aggie Mackenzie is a qualified Yoga Teacher? Join her now for “Aggie’s Yoga!”

Or check out Diana Moran’s fitness website at www.keepfitandcarryon.com 

Ivory

Ivory needs to be exposed to daylight so it can bleach naturally and stay creamy, so best to use daily.

Hand-wash in soapy water and dry immediately as water can seep into the joints and soften the glue that attaches the handles.

And if you have a household tip to share with our followers just click here >

And did you know that Aggie Mackenzie is a qualified Yoga Teacher? Join her now for “Aggie’s Yoga!” And would you like a personalised video message for you or a loved one? Just go to https://www.thrillz.co.uk/talent/aggie.mackenzie and Aggie will record one for you.

Or check out Diana Moran’s fitness website at www.keepfitandcarryon.com

 

How to treat carpet beetle grubs

Commonly known as woolly bears, they’re quite common in spring. They look like maggots with brown hairs (hence the name). As they hatch they munch through their surroundings, leaving holes in the way clothes moths do.

Check for damage to clothes in wardrobes and chests of drawers, carpets and rugs. Wash or dry clean affected items and vacuum carpets thoroughly (empty the bag straight away).

Buy Rentokil Insectrol Dust for Carpet Beetle from hardware shops. Once you’re rid of them, make sure you clean well, removing fluff and dust from under and behind furniture, and vacuum carpets thoroughly.

And if you have a household tip to share with our followers just click here >

And did you know that Aggie Mackenzie is a qualified Yoga Teacher? Join her now for “Aggie’s Yoga!” And would you like a personalised video message for you or a loved one? Just go to https://www.thrillz.co.uk/talent/aggie.mackenzie and Aggie will record one for you.

Or check out Diana Moran’s fitness website at www.keepfitandcarryon.com

 

A few clever time saving tips

Sweep your front path or porch as part of your regular cleaning routine – trailing in leaves and mud on shoes will only create extra work.

When you apply a cleaning spray, leave it a few minutes while you clean something else – during that time the spray will have started to work and marks will wipe off more easily.

Do a little each day – even 10 minutes extra every morning or evening means you’ll have more chance to keep on top of things and will free up more time at the weekends.

When washing walls, start at the bottom and work upwards so that any dirty trickles will get absorbed by the already wet surface.

And if you have a household tip to share with our followers just click here >

And did you know that Aggie Mackenzie is a qualified Yoga Teacher? Join her now for “Aggie’s Yoga!” And would you like a personalised video message for you or a loved one? Just go to https://www.thrillz.co.uk/talent/aggie.mackenzie and Aggie will record one for you.

Or check out Diana Moran’s fitness website at www.keepfitandcarryon.com

 

Rubber spatula starting to look raggedy around the edges?

Trim the rubber with sharp scissors and carry on using.

And if you have a household tip to share with our followers just click here >

And did you know that Aggie Mackenzie is a qualified Yoga Teacher? Join her now for “Aggie’s Yoga!” And would you like a personalised video message for you or a loved one? Just go to https://www.thrillz.co.uk/talent/aggie.mackenzie and Aggie will record one for you.

Or check out Diana Moran’s fitness website at www.keepfitandcarryon.com