7 articles Tag care

Hair – Five Ways to Care for Your Mane

How to Care for your HairPhoto by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

For a lot of us, our mop is something we take for granted. It’s there, on the tops of our heads, an we don’t think about it much beyond washing it and getting it cut occasionally. However, for some people, hair can be a problematic issue and it can cause problem with self esteem. With that in mind, I’ve put together a few tips for things that you can do to look after your mane, to keep it in tip-top condition:

Invest in Good Products

You might be tempted to go for the cheapest shampoo and conditioner you can find, and you wouldn’t be alone in this, but investing in good quality products like Nanogen hair products will help to ensure you’re not using unneccessary chemicals which could damage your hair in the long run. The issue with cheaper products is that they may leave your locks in worse condition due to harmful chemicals that strip the hair of its natural oils.

Use Protection

There are so many things that damage your hair on a day to day basis, from the UV rays of the sun to your hair straighteners, so using some form of protection is essential. Get yourself a heat protection spray for use before styling your ‘do, and find a good UV protection product for daily use. The absolute best way to protect your hair from the sun, besides completely avoiding it, is by wearing a hat or cap.

Think About Brushing

While we were once advised to do the whole “100 strokes before bedtime” thing, the current wosdom suggests that you should be brushing your hair twice a day, once in the morning and once before bed. This prevents matting and keeps the natural oils of your head distributed evenly through your hair. You should also buy a good brush – a mixture of mylon and boar bristles is currently thought to be the best combination to keep your hair strong and healthy.

Treat Yourself to Weekly Treatments

If style your hair with heat, you will already know the benefits of using deep hydrating treatments to replenish any lost moisture. The same effect can also be achieved by using an oil high in vitamin E, such as olive or avocado oil. To get the best results, gently warm the oil in a pan on a low heat and apply to your whole head. Wrap in a warm towel and wash out after fourth five minutes. The heated oil allows it to be more easily absorbed into the cuticle, boosting its effective qualities.

Turn the Shower Down

Rinsing your head with cold water helps with closing your cuticle after your hair is washed. Open cuticle is good while shampooing or conditioning your hair but after you’re done, you want to seal the cuticle. This way, your hair doesn’t get damaged too easily. If you use cold water for your final rinse then there’s a much better chance that your tresses will stay shiny, healthy and frizz-free for a longer period of time.

5 Tips for Getting a Stairlift on a Budget

It can be a huge worry if you have an elderly parent or relative who is starting to have mobility difficulties and is struggling with their stairs. Getting a stairlift installed could enable them to use their stairs safely again, without the risk of injuring themselves in a fall. However, although buying a stairlift can work out significantly cheaper than moving house or having building work done to adapt the ground floor, the price can still be daunting for people on a low income. Here are some ideas on how to make getting a stairlift more affordable.

1. Consider a Reconditioned Stairlift

Purchasing a reconditioned stairlift can be a much cheaper option than buying a brand new one. Reconditioned stairlifts are second-hand models that have been pre-owned by someone else and then refurbished to ensure they are in full working order. Many stairlift companies sell reconditioned straight and curved stairlifts at a significant discount. With this option you can save money but still get the benefits of a guarantee and professional installation on a new track. A word of caution though – be wary of buying a used stairlift from a private seller, as you will have no guarantee it is safe to use.

2. Look at VAT Relief

Older people aged over 60 can get a stairlift at a reduced rate of 5% VAT (compared to the standard rate of 20%). This can help lower the price. If the person who needs the stairlift meets HMRC’s criteria of being “chronically sick or disabled” and is buying it for their own personal use they may be eligible to pay no VAT at all (0%). To benefit from this saving, it is important to ask the stairlift supplier for a “User VAT Declaration” form before making your payment, to make sure they apply the zero rating.

3. See if You Can Get a Disabled Facilities Grant

Disabled Facilities Grants (DFGs) are means-tested grants for home adaptations that are provided by local councils in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The amount of money that the stairlift user might get as a grant towards the cost of a stairlift will depend on their household income and savings. Not everyone will qualify for a DFG and you will need to contact your relative’s council to apply. If they live in a rental property, they can request that their landlord applies on their behalf. Bear in mind there are certain conditions to being awarded a DFG and it can take several months to find out if your application has been approved or not.

4. Investigate Financial Assistance from Charities

Another source of financial aid that you may be available to your relative is a grant from a charitable organisation. Turn2us is a nationwide charity that can check which welfare benefits your relative is entitled to and help find any grants they are eligible for to finance a stairlift. There is a useful Grants Search tool on their website. Other charities that can help those in financial need include Independence at Home and the ACT Foundation, so you may also want to contact them for advice.

5. Consider Renting a Stairlift

In some situations, it can be more economical to rent a stairlift rather than buy one. Several companies offer rental stairlifts for which the user is charged a monthly fee. It really depends on your circumstances as to whether hiring a stairlift is a cost-effective option. Generally, renting a stairlift only works out cheaper if the user will only require a stairlift for a short time, such as during recovery from an operation or illness.

A stairlift can make a big difference to a user’s independence by enabling them to move freely between the floors of their home and keeping them safe on the stairs. As you can see, there are various ways to reduce the cost of installing a stairlift for people on a tight budget. If you’re concerned about an elderly relative struggling with the stairs, it is worth exploring all the options to see if a stairlift is an affordable solution.

Senior Care Center’s Things to Remember When you are a Caregiver

Caregivers often have a lot of work on their hands. It can become tiring, but there are ways to get through each day without feeling so stressed and overwhelmed. You should know that many resources are available.

Senior Care Center have a lot of experience in the area of care giving and they have come together with us to create a piece of content on caregiving.

Make Sure You Have Support

There is no reason to handle the caregiving alone when you have loved ones that do not mind helping out when they can. While you do not want to depend on loved ones to do the job for you, you can expect to receive some assistance from time to time from your siblings, children, and possibly even some of your closest friends. If you feel like you do need extra help, you can always search for a company that provides in-home care services or contact a Senior Care Center for the elderly and the disabled. These professionals can handle some of the tasks that you would normally need to take care of, such as doing laundry and making meals.

Getting Help from Long-Distance Relatives

While long-distance relatives may not have the ability to do much because they are living several hours away, they can always call your elderly loved one to talk to him or her. Simply making a phone call and having a good conversation could make a huge impact on an older person.

Apply for Welfare

The government offers different programs that would make various services much more affordable or possibly even free for the elderly. You can find out more information about the benefits that are available before applying for them.

Be Prepared Before Heading to the Doctor’s Office

Always make sure you are attending appointments with your aging loved one. You can prepare ahead of time by writing a list of medications that your loved one is currently taking while also writing down a list of questions that you might want to ask the doctor. Always listen to what the physician has to say because then you can relay the information to your aging parent if he or she does not understand everything during the visit to the doctor’s office.

Be Careful

Unfortunately, there are some scams out there. Some of these scam artists prey on the elderly and the disabled. You do not want your loved one to lose out on his or her hard-earned money, so always be careful and do extra research before making any investments or joining any programs that claim to be useful for seniors.

Get a Good Insurance Policy

Finding a good insurance policy is a must. It will give your aging parent peace of mind while providing a bit more financial security.

Encourage Healthy Eating and Exercise

Try to engage in physical activities with your elderly loved one, such as going for brisk walks in the morning or doing some light yoga at home. Participating in these activities gives you a chance to spend some quality time with your loved one while making sure that he or she is staying active, especially since exercise helps to keep people feeling both physically and mentally healthier. You should also focus on preparing healthy meals that are good for your loved one to eat rather than providing fast food or unhealthy food that is greasy and loaded with empty calories.

See What the Community Has to Offer

Most communities have organizations where they are offering different resources to help patients who need it. Some of these programs include providing transportation for the elderly when they need to get to appointments, dropping off meals, and even helping individuals understand the paperwork that they receive in the mail. Make use of these resources because they can benefit the person that you are providing care for each day.

Caring For Elderly Parents: Ready For The Responsibility?

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It’s important that we all face up to the fact that one day our parents won’t be able to do much for themselves anymore. As they age, they will start to get quite frail and weak, which will make some tasks quite a bit harder for them. They might not be able to drive anymore or do something that we take for granted, such as climb the stairs. It’s always best to be prepared in life, so you might want to think about how you and your family will cope when the time comes to start taking care of your elderly parents.

You will need to think about the responsibility involved with caring for aging parents, and how you can give them all the care and attention that they will need. Read on to find out more!

Hold A Family Meeting

If you have one, two, or even more siblings, it’s important that you share the responsibility of looking after your parents and thinking about their future. So, it’s worth holding a family meeting. This gives you all the chance to sit down together and consider the pros and cons of all the options available to your parents. It’s essential that you have your parents at this meeting too as they should have a say in their own care.

Consider What Your Parents Need And Want

Of course, you always need to put your parents’ needs and wants first when you are coming to a decision. If one of them has a long-term health condition, then you need to give that priority. It might require you to find some extra care for your parents so that they can enjoy their later years in comfort. It’s also important that you ask your parents about what they want from their care and support. They deserve an input in this after all!

Think About How Much Money Is Available

If you are considering moving your parents into a care home, it’s necessary to think about how much money there is to put towards this. If you can’t afford this, you might have to move in with them and care for them yourself. Don’t worry if this is the case, though, as there are plenty of benefits to home care that will be really advantageous for your parents.

Are You Prepared To Be A Caregiver?

If you and your siblings do decide to care for your parents yourselves and share the responsibility between all of you, you need to make sure you are all prepared for the role of caregiver. It will be a big change for everyone, especially as you will all undergo a role reversal. You will now be responsible for your parents, and they might need to take some time to adjust to this change in your relationship. After a while, though, you should all settle into your new roles and will all benefit from them.

Hopefully, these tips make it easier for your family to care for your elderly parents.

The Golden Years: Helping Your Parent Retain Their Independence

Seeing your parents grow old is one of the strangest experiences you’ll ever go through. For a large chunk of our lives, they’re the person we lean on for a roof over our heads and food on the table. Even after you fly the nest, you know that you can always call mom or dad for help. When they reach their senior years, the tables turn. Naturally, we want to take care of our parents, but it’s also important to let them retain their independence. Here’s how to do both.

Source: Wikimedia

First of all, introduce your parents to cell phones. More and more seniors are becoming just as tech-savvy as our kids these days, but if your parents still struggle with phones it may be time to give them a crash course. When they have a phone and need any kind of assistance, they can call the person or service without having to bring you into the picture. Obviously good families are there for each other, but having to rely on your child all the time obviously doesn’t feel great. Having a constant way to communicate will help them retain their independence a little more, and can be a big help if you opt for senior companion care.

Making sure they have a regular social circle is another great way to help your parents feel independent. They’ve worked their whole lives to provide for the people they love, and now that they’ve hit retirement it’s important for them to be able to enjoy it! It’s unfortunately common for people to hit their senior years, and become hostile to the idea of going out or seeing anyone. While going out can present more of a challenge when you’re getting on in years, having some kind of social life is good for our health, and I’m not just talking about mental health. Try and re-ignite their passion for a hobby, or try and introduce them with some of your friends’ parents. At the very least, you should make a point to bring them over for dinner with the family once or twice a week.

Finally, don’t overstep the mark when you help them with paying bills. This is a pretty tough one. Taking over anyone’s financial dealings will immediately make them feel like they’ve lost their independence. On the other hand, any mistakes with paying bills and banking can be extremely serious. If your parent has an illness which means it’s harder to cope with paying the bills, then you need to find a good middle-ground. When you suspect they’re not competent enough to take care of their financial matters themselves, bring it up in passing the next time you see them. Groan about how complicated this or that process is, and maybe they’ll join in by talking about their own responsibilities. Offer to help, or simply just to look at their bills for them. If you see they’re doing something wrong, tell them, but don’t become too involved. As long as you’re not taking over completely, they’ll still feel independent.

 

Caring For an Older Dog

FullSizeRender (3)Having an older dogs brings with it added responsibilities. When Sausage was born, Chuck was a spritely boy of just 4, whereas when Burrito Baby came along, he was getting on slightly, closer to the age of ten, which meant that we made sure we gave him extra space and also a little extra love when the girls weren’t around as our attentions were so divided during the day that he sometimes missed out.

Nutrition is extra important, now that he’s older, as his joints are feeling the wear of age so we tend to opt for food which has added glucosamine, chondroitin and green-lipped mussel as it helps to bolster his joint health. He also has issues with a sensitive gut, which means that hypoallergenic food is better and gentler on his tummy. Luckily, there are some great brands out there which cater for all of these aspects.

Exercise is equally important as he needs to remain mobile whilst maintaining a healthy weight – it’s so common to see older dogs getting fat, which just adds extra pressure to their joints. Instead of taking him on long walks, which potentially cause him pain, we tend to take him on shorter walks but more often to give him the level of exercise he requires, with plenty of rest in between.

Sleep and rest is also all-important and we ensure that he has a bed which provides him with adequate padding and warmth. We also place his bed on a large memory foam pad, which we also add a heat pad to in the winter to ensure that he doesn’t get too cold as he’s short haired and his joints also seize up when he’s too cold.

In time, we’re also planning to build a set of steps for our old boy – he’s never been the sort of dog who isn’t allowed on the bed or sofa and we don’t want to stop him as he gets older, so a set of steps will enable him to get up onto high things without jumping and causing himself harm.

Keeping stress to a minimum is something we also find hugely important as he gets older. He’s never left alone for long as Husband works from home and I’m always in and out, but if we know we’re going to be away for a few hours, we’ll also ask my MIL to check in on him to make sure he has plenty of water.

Lastly, the most important thing to give them is plenty of patience and understanding. He’s not able to walk quite as fast any more so we make sure we allow plenty of time even for shorter walks and on the VERY rare occasion that he’s had an accident in the house, we remember that it’s not a behavioural issue, just that he can’t cross his paws for quite as long these days!

Hopefully if we carry on with all these things, we’ll have many years to come with our lovely fur baby and see him grow old in health and happiness.

Lest We Forget

As with most people, I have a love/hate relationship with Facebook. I love how it can spark and nurture debate and communication, I love how it can bring people together and I love how easy it is to find a friend when you need it most, long nights with colicky babies or times when you just need to click the ‘like’ button to know you aren’t the only one and someone out there does relate.

I don’t know if it’s just indicative of the way the world is at the moment, or maybe it’s just because of who I choose to follow, but my timeline has become a lot more politcised of late. I see a lot of meme-style photos and captions which make a point in a funny way and I share a lot of them too as I think other people will appreciate them. The cost in doing this is that everyone has the right to share and not everyone shares my politics, so there’s an element of tolerance all-round (unless you just hide people…).

In the last week, since the death of Margaret Thatcher, Facebook has been awash with hyperbole and opinion from all sides of the debate, but I’ve noticed a growing number of people using the “You weren’t even alive” argument with regards to other people’s opinion on her. I know I’m probably going to upset people I know by saying this, but I’m aghast at this attitude.

At the risk of going all Godwin’s Law on your asses, you have an opinion on Hitler, right? Were you born after 30th April 1945? I know using Hitler as an example is real ‘lowest common denominator’ stuff, but he’s as good an historical figure as any to use to make a point.

I thought that the point of teaching history was to observe and learn from the past? Do we now just teach things to kids and expect them to have no opinion on them? Fine, the people in your timeline weren’t standing on the picket lines with the miners, they weren’t the first in the dole queue and they may not have punched a copper in the poll tax riots, but if the passing of the most divisive British political figure is what it takes to make people give a shit, shouldn’t this be commended?

As a person in their late twenties, I like to think that I’m not SO far off the planet in terms of ‘the kids of today’, and I can say that I genuinely worry about the disenfranchised generations that are bringing up the ranks behind me. The majority of them may never vote because they feel that NO political party understands them or has their interests at heart. What these young people need is something to make them realise that a change needs to be made. They need to be able to look at our history and feel passionate about something and while it may seem like bandwagon-jumping to people in their 40’s and 50’s, these are important times and things could be headed right back to where they were in the 80’s, unless we do something about it.

The phrase ‘Lest We Forget’ comes from the poem ‘Recessional’ by Rudyard Kipling and is generally used in reference to the soliders who were lost during the First World War, urging younger generations to remember the sacrifice made by these brave men and women, but it is something that should be applied here too. The sentiment is the same; learn from the mistakes of others and be grateful for sacrifices made on your behalf.

So, just for the record, I was born in 1984. I wasn’t politically conscious when Thatcher was in power but I sure as hell have an opinion on it, and of that you should be glad.