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Each week, Dr. Mauk shares thoughts relevant to Baby Boomers that are aimed to educate and amuse.

Guest Blog: 5 Helpful Tips to Get Better Sleep at Night for Older People

A good night’s sleep is a cure for many physical and emotional ailments for everyone. It is vital for older people also to get deep sleep for 7-8 hours every night. They fell asleep early but wake up early too. As you get older, you generally start suffering from some illness, side effects of medicines, pain, or insomnia. These factors contribute to sleeplessness at night and waking up early. Lack of sleep can cause serious issues like depression, irritation, concentration loss, and memory loss.

Canadian Sleep Society surveyed senior citizens – they found out that 70% of older people face insomnia. Looking at the magnitude of this problem, we bring you 5 helpful tips to sleep better at night.

 

  1. Create an Environment for Sleep

It’s all about how you create the right sleeping environment. There are a few things that will make your bedroom more cosy and comforting. Switch off maximum lights. Keep the room temperature to a lower level. Keep your surroundings as quiet as possible. Sound, bright light, and warm temperature hampers sleep quality.

Don’t try to stay awake because you want to watch a game or party. These habits can prove to be costly. Don’t rely on sleeping pills for sleeping. And no scrolling or checking notifications on the phone before an hour of bedtime.

  1. Let’s Talk About Fabric

The fabric you surround yourself with while sleeping plays a vital role in your sleep quality. Wear loose nightclothes. Use fabric like cotton and other skin-friendly fabrics. You should feel comfortable while sleeping. The fabric of bed sheets and pillows should also be of natural materials that don’t irritate you.

Some of the wise choices are copper bed sheets and pillowcases. They are soft and contain antimicrobial properties. They are hygienic and safe as they are anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-odour, etc. One more advantage of using copper-bedding and pillows is that they come with a self-cleaning feature.

  1. The Golden Health Rule: Diet & Exercise

A diet high in sugar and carbs will hamper your sleep, mostly if you eat them for dinner. White bread, rice, and pasta should ideally not be on your plate. Caffeine is also not a sleep-friendly drink. Avoid caffeinated beverages in the evening times.

Exercise regularly! It produces chemicals and hormones in your body, which induces sleep. But make sure you exercise at least 3-4 hours before your bedtime. Otherwise rise in your body temperature will make it difficult to sleep.

  1. Follow One Schedules

Going to bed at the same time and in the same place helps to fall asleep quickly. Changing sleep timing frequently sends confusing signals to your body. Making some good habits as your pre-sleep routine will enhance your sleep quality.

Reading and listening to music are examples of relaxing things to do before going to sleep. On the other hand, watching TV, drinking alcohol, and heated arguments before bedtime will mess up your ability to fall asleep.

  1. Preserve Your Peace of Mind

It is naturally challenging to fall asleep if you are stressed or feeling anxious. Thus it would help if you learned to manage your emotions well. Worrying about sleep will only keep you awake at night. Develop the ability to keep all your disturbing thoughts aside before bedtime. Try breathing exercises and meditation.

Conclusion

The tips mentioned above are proven for improving sleep quality. Try implementing them if you are facing a problem falling asleep. If you can’t see improvement, consult your trusted physician. They can help you if you have insomnia or any other health condition.

 

Author Bio:

Rory is the R&D Director and passionate entrepreneur, fascinated by the workings of the human body and natural solutions for common health problems. He’s single-minded in his aim to make Copper Defence a brand that’s recognized across the globe, by partnering with global brands to make these high-tech materials easily accessible for everyone. If you’d like to get in touch, email Rory at Rory@copperclothing.com or visit copperclothing.com for copper-infused clothing, pet accessories and more.

 

By |2021-03-06T18:15:05-05:00March 8th, 2021|Dr. Mauk's Boomer Blog, News Posts|Comments Off on Guest Blog: 5 Helpful Tips to Get Better Sleep at Night for Older People

Grandparents Raising Grandchildren: A Growing Trend

A Profile of Older Americans (2012) revealed that over 480,000 grandparents had primary parenting responsibility for their grandchildren who lived with them.  AARP cited that over 2.5 million grandparents are helping with the responsibility of raising their grandchildren, and 7.8 million children live in homes owned by their grandparents. These statistics represent a growing trend in American culture.

I have several friends who have raised or are raising their grandchildren in their own home. Some have formally adopted their grandchildren. Others share parenting responsibilities with one or both parents. All of them share the common feeling that this is a blessing, not a burden, but that raising grandchildren in later life does have its challenges.

Whatever the circumstances that brought grandchildren into the home of their grandparents to be raised, it can come as a shock to the older adults who find themselves in this situation.

Here are some beginning considerations to raising your grandchildren in your own home.

Impact of aging

Older adults who are assuming primary responsibility for children should “cut themselves some slack”. Don’t feel that you have to do everything as if you were a first-time parent in your 20’s. Remember that you may be parenting, but your body knows that you are still a grandparent. You may have to limit the children’s activities because keeping up with the driving and multiple schedules is too difficult. The good news is that many grandparents in this situation are retired, so both Grandma and Grandpa can help with the kids. This teamwork might not have been possible with your own children because one or both of you were working, but now you can share the duties such as driving kids to school or sports practices, helping with homework, and taking them to doctor appointments. If the children are school age, allow yourself extra time to rest and relax during the day so that after school you have the energy required for these new-again activities with the grandkids. If needed, enlist the help of other family members or friends to help by giving you a break on occasion.  Keep in mind that maintaining your own health is especially important if you have young ones depending on you.

Expenses and Education

Many older adults are on a fixed income and may not have planned to care for grandchildren. Your financial plan for retirement might need an overhaul with additional family members in the household. Several organizations have worked cooperatively to compile resources for grandparents in this situation. National and state fact sheets have been developed to link grandparents with key resources in their area. You can find out about resources available to help you at http://www.aarp.org/relationships/friends-family/grandfacts-sheets/ .These helpful fact sheets list local programs, public benefits, key state laws, and contact information for national resources. There may be funding or tax breaks to help with living or educational expenses.

Records and immunizations

It’s important to keep important documents together in one safe place. This includes birth certificates, legal papers, report cards, baptismal papers etc… Keeping a log or journal of important events is also a good strategy, especially when caring for multiple children. There are a number of immunizations for children today that were not available or required when you parented your own children. Immunizations are often free at your county health department, but can be very expensive at the doctor’s office. The health department can tell you what your child needs and when, and will help you by providing an immunization record that will need to be kept up for school. The CDC has a helpful chart of recommended immunizations for birth to 6 years that can be found at http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/parents/downloads/parent-ver-sch-0-6yrs.pdf  A summary of vaccinations for birth to age 18 can be found at http://www.immunize.org/catg.d/p2010.pdf

Enjoy your Grand Family

Despite the obvious challenges of raising grandchildren in your older years, most grandparents describe the many joys that come with this new adventure. Grandparents share a special bond with their grandchildren, and when sharing a home together, that bond can be strengthened. Grandparents can share the wisdom of their experience with this younger generation and have the opportunity to shape their lives for the better. If you are new to this second round of parenting, AARP offers a helpful guide with tips to GrandFamilies, as they call them. These can be found at Grandparents Raising Grandchildren: A Growing Trend

 

 

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By |2021-02-26T11:20:08-05:00March 4th, 2021|Dr. Mauk's Boomer Blog, News Posts|Comments Off on Grandparents Raising Grandchildren: A Growing Trend

Guest Blog: Four Ways to Make Travel Easier for Seniors

Traveling is stressful for everyone, but traveling as a senior citizen comes with its own unique challenges. In order to make your next trip as easy and enjoyable as possible, be sure to keep these four easy tips in mind.

1. Prepare for Security Checkpoints

If you have to go through a TSA checkpoint before your trip, make sure you plan for it ahead of time.

TSA agents typically try to make things as easy and efficient as possible for seniors, especially those who are in wheelchairs or have other mobility limitations.

To help them do their job properly, make sure you let the agent know about any medical conditions — like pacemakers or implants — that might set off alarms. You should also try to get a physician’s statement verifying your implant to avoid delays.

2. Invest in Quality Pillows

Hotel pillows are often not as comfortable as the ones you have at home. Either bring one with your or invest in a quality pillow before you go to make sure you sleep comfortably at night.

You’ll also want to invest in a neck and back pillow for car and plane rides. This way, you won’t have to deal with any pain on your way to your destination.

3. Pack Light

Try to fit everything you need in a roll-aboard suitcase and a medium-sized carry on bag. Don’t bring more than you can carry — otherwise, you’ll be setting yourself up for a lot of discomfort.

If possible, bring both your bags on the plane and stash one in the overhead rack. This will make things easier when you land since you won’t have to hang around the baggage claim area.

4. Manage Your Medication

Make sure your medications are safe and accessible throughout your trip. Store them in a zip-lock bag and keep that bag in your carry-on. Keep copies of your prescriptions and physician statements in the bag as well.

When you get to your destination, you may want to ask for reminders from the hotel or cruise staff to help you take your medication at the same time each day. You can also set an alarm on your watch or cell phone so you stay on top of everything.

Traveling as a senior doesn’t have to be stressful. Keep these tips in mind to stay safe and comfortable throughout your trip.

 

By |2021-02-26T11:19:54-05:00March 3rd, 2021|Dr. Mauk's Boomer Blog, News Posts|Comments Off on Guest Blog: Four Ways to Make Travel Easier for Seniors

Guest Blog: Should We Be Saving for Our Care in Old Age?

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‘Carpe diem’ is a phrase that you’ve no doubt heard before. Your grandchildren might be announcing instead that ‘YOLO – you only live once’. The message is simple – live each day as though it’s your last, you never know what’s around the corner. According to those phrases, saving for old age might be a waste of money. We never know if we’ll make it to retirement, or how far into our retirement years we’ll get. Aren’t there more important things to be spending our money on than our old age care? Should we be saving at all?

What are your future prospects?

As much as you might convince yourself that you never know what lies ahead, the reality is that you can assume that you’ll live to see old age. Thanks to medical advances, more and more people are living full and healthy lives past an age that would previously have been considered to be ‘old’. After those healthy years, in many cases, come the not-so-healthy years when medical costs and care costs increase.

If you’re trying to convince yourself that saving isn’t worthwhile because you might not ever be ‘old’, bear in mind that by 2030 it is expected that 1 person out of 5 in the U.S. will be 65 or over.

Should you save for old age?

Your future is unknown. A majority of people pay a small fortune in costs for their care when they reach old age. The amount of support available could increase by the time you’re there, or it could dramatically decrease. It is far better to assume the latter and be prepared for every eventuality than to assume that you’ll have financial support and then discover later on that you don’t.

As you age, you may become less able to earn money and may be less capable of making your own decisions. If you don’t prepare in advance, then the eventual burden of your old age care will fall to your loved ones. By saving for old age, you are able to ensure that you get the best place to live, the best support and the best medical treatment, without impacting on the finances and livelihoods of younger family members.

Ecuva is an online health and wellness store where customers can purchase daily living aids, disability aids and items that can make old age easier, more comfortable and more independent.

By |2021-02-26T11:19:31-05:00March 1st, 2021|Dr. Mauk's Boomer Blog, News Posts|Comments Off on Guest Blog: Should We Be Saving for Our Care in Old Age?

Guest Blog: 5 Ways Families Can Pay For Long-Term Care

Long Term Care Word Cloud

Depending on what long-term care option your loved one chooses, prices can vary. Many families may be surprised to find out that Medicare and private health insurance policies don’t typically cover the cost of care. Learn how you can pay for long-term care by reading on!

1. Long-Term Care Insurance

In addition to your health insurance, families can purchase an additional long-term care insurance policy for their loved one. Policies generally cover most services offered by a home care agency, nursing home, or assisted living facility. It’s best to purchase a long-term care insurance policy when your loved one is in good health as they may not qualify if there are any pre-existing conditions.

2. Life Insurance

If your loved one already has life insurance, they may be able to add a long-term care rider to their policy. An accelerated death benefit allows your loved one to get a tax-free advance on their policy while they are still alive to pay for the cost of care. If your loved one doesn’t require long-term care, their beneficiaries receive a tax-free benefit as long as the policy is in effect.

3. Reverse Mortgage

A reverse mortgage allows the homeowner to draw on their home’s equity to pay for long-term care. Your loved one can receive a lump sum or monthly payment and even open up a new line of credit. In the event of their death, heirs are left with the remainder of the home equity after paying off the amount owed. There are both pros and cons of having a reverse mortgage.

4. Annuities

An immediate annuity and deferred long-term annuity can usually be purchased through your loved one’s insurance company. A single premium payment for an immediate annuity means they receive a specified amount of monthly income for a designated period of time. With a deferred long term annuity, they will have two sources of funding—one fund that is specifically for long-term care and another fund to use however they would like.

5. Out-of-Pocket

For seniors who don’t have an insurance policy or qualify for Medicaid, they must pay out-of-pocket. Planning for long-term care way before it’s needed can prevent stress and financial burden. This can benefit those who don’t want to pay high insurance premiums. However, only 1 in 4 adults over the age of 45 are actually prepared for the cost of care.

About the Author: Peter Kang is a writer for eCaregivers. He is inspired by his caregiver experience with his late grandfather and role model, a Korean War veteran, to help families find affordable care for their loved ones. Follow Peter on Facebook and Twitter.

By |2021-02-26T11:19:25-05:00February 28th, 2021|Dr. Mauk's Boomer Blog, News Posts|Comments Off on Guest Blog: 5 Ways Families Can Pay For Long-Term Care