COPING WITH A HOUSE MOVE TO ANOTHER AREA IN YOUR SENIOR YEARS…

As some of my readers will know we decided to move from the East Midlands to Brighton to be nearer our married siblings. Our daughter is having her first baby in mid-August which is our first grandchild and a bonus to us, as we had planned to move before we even knew she was pregnant.

My father passed away last October after spending 3 months in hospital 80 miles away from where we live at the moment. At the ripe age of 93, myself and my twin sister felt we could never leave Dad alone while in the hospital and worked out our itinerary for those 3 months. It was totally exhausting and we decided we could not put our children through what we had been through and so the best thing was to move closer to them.

It was a big decision to make as all our friends are here. We have lived in this house for over 30 years and have a bucket load of memories but we still felt the time was right.

Of course, moving further south meant a much smaller house but they say when you get older you should downsize. We eventually found some lovely new houses being built in a lovely village only 15 minutes from our daughter and set our heart on one of these. Getting both the selling and the buying of a new home at the same time was quite an ordeal but we have managed to get there in the end. This pretty little (half the size we have now) house is just so adorable it made me cry when we decided to buy it. And the best thing is that everything is new which is what I really wanted.

The move once we have exchanged (fingers crossed) should be in the next month so we have been busy deciding what pieces of large furniture we want and what we think will or won’t fit. The whole process since the beginning of this year when we put our house on the market has been both therapeutic and also emotional. We would come across pictures that we had forgotten all about, baby items we have kept forever, letters from loved ones tucked away in a desk and an abundance of friends saying they will miss us.

We decided right from the beginning that we would have packers do it all for us as I would not be able to manage it but as we are moving into a smaller house it will be an easy move for the professionals.

Last week a good friend organised a lovely surprise lunch for me. There were 12 of us and yes my tears did fall when I opened the card from them all with vouchers in it for a garden centre. We are moving a long way from where we live to the south coast but I have told all my friends that I have done it many times on the train on my own (to go and see my daughter) and that it is a doddle. I just told them to always remember to take their stick as there really are some very kind people out there who will offer you a seat or help if you need it.

 

Even my Doctor was a tad emotional but she could not emphasize what an amazing thing we were doing and she wished some of her elderly patients could do the same as us. My pain consultant gave me the name of someone in Brighton he wants me to see as he does the same treatments as him. We decided to keep the same dentist as we will be popping over to see friends and can tie it in with that so I’ve no worries about who and where I go for my treatments.

The new house will be a doddle to keep clean, the small garden is adequate for us and the perfect size for hubby to look after. I have seen on the village’s website that there are lots of clubs and other activities if we could join them but my priority my first grandchild due in a few months time so I think I will just relax until he/she arrives.

What has astounded us most is what you collect and just pop into a cupboard or in your garage and there it stays until probably your family have to deal with it like we did with Dads. We have not only downsized in our house size but we have also downsized in the bits we kept which are really just junk. We have both felt ‘better’ for sorting things out and I have already decided that when we settle into our new home that once a year I will go round my small home and throw anything away that is of no use to me. It is actually quite liberating.

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SEW AND WRITE YOURSELF HAPPY…

Let your needle and thread give you a whole new sense of calm with this fabulous new book, The Little Book of Sewing by Karen Ball.

The author mixes no none sense sewing tips with essays, quotes and anecdotes to help you change your passion for fashion into something amazing. Available from Amazon for £7.46 and other good book shops.

Or, start writing in calligraphy which has made a massive come back this year. You could make a start with The House of Cards, Calligraphy Craft Kit, which is also available from Amazon for £11.74. The kit offers the perfect introduction to this style of writing and a lovely hobby to enjoy.

SUFFERING FROM SAD AND LACK OF ENERGY DURING THE WINTER MONTHS….

We all lack energy from time to time but if it doesn’t improve then you should see your GP.

There are a number of conditions that can leave you feeling lethargic. Iron levels are one of the first things that can affect energy levels and cause tiredness.

An under-active thyroid is another cause of tiredness and the falling hormone levels that occur at the menopause.

Fatigue can also be a sign of diabetes.

If you are suffering from SAD (Seasonal Effective Disorder) this can also cause fatigue.

As well as the above, some medications can also cause lethargy, including beta blockers, some antihistamines, codeine-based painkillers and also some antidepressants. Also some sleeping tablets may help to get you through the night, some can cause daytime fatigue.

Of course, anxiety, stress and depression are also triggers for sapping energy levels. The best course of action is to go and visit your GP.

At this time of year one in eight of us can suffer from winter blues and one in 50 of us suffer from SAD through lack of sunlight.

Symptoms of SAD include fatigue and depression.

Its the sunlight that tells your brain to produce serotonin, which is needed to boost our mood and energy. Lack of it as autumn turns to winter causes an increase in the production of melatonin (which makes us sleepy) and a reduction in serotonin is what can cause depression.

One of the most obvious ways to treat SAD is to get outside in the daylight for at least 20 minutes a day but you can also invest in a light box. Light therapy is the most effective way of decreasing the symptoms. Also it is believed that eating foods rich in an amino acid called tryptophan increases the amount of serotonin in the brain.

Also they say that Australian research found that taking vitamin D supplements for only five days in late winter improved the mood of people with SAD. It can also prevent osteoporosis, support immunity and regulate weight. Of course the best way to get Vitamin D is through the effects of sunlight on bare skin. Amazingly they say that Vitamin D lasts for 60 days in the body so if you’ve been away for your annual holiday in the summer, it will mean your levels should be fine until November.

Other sources of Vitamin D can be found in oily fish and eggs, cheese and poultry.

Research also suggests that eating carb-rich foods helps the brain take up tryptophan. You can also find supplements and The Food Agency recommends taking 10mcg a day.

2019 NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION TO WALK MORE FOR BETTER HEALTH…

Walking for health encourages people to get active by arranging health walks up and down the Country for all levels of fitness.

Walking will improve stamina, help keep weight gain at bay and reduce your risk of major diseases. 20 minutes of walking can burn up 100 calories.

It is also beneficial for SAD sufferers who feel low and lathargic due to the lack of sunlight in the winter months. At this time of year one in eight of us can suffer from winter blues and one in 50 of us suffer from SAD through lack of sunlight.

Its the sunlight that tells your brain to produce serotonin, which is needed to boost our mood and energy. Lack of it as autumn turns to winter causes an increase in the production of melatonin (which makes us sleepy) and a reduction in serotonin is what can cause depression.

One of the most obvious ways to treat SAD is to get outside in the daylight for at least 20 minutes a day but you can also invest in a light box. Light therapy is the most effective way of decreasing the symptoms. Also it is believed that eating foods rich in an amino acid called tryptophan increases the amount of serotonin in the brain.

Also they say that Australian research found that taking vitamin D supplements for only five days in late winter improved the mood of people with SAD. It can also prevent osteoporosis, support immunity and regulate weight. Of course the best way to get Vitamin D is through the effects of sunlight on bare skin. Amazingly they say that Vitamin D lasts for 60 days in the body so if you’ve been away for your annual

Walking for life was set up in 2000 and now has over 600 local schemes with 66,000 regular walkers nationwide.

For more details of walks in your area go to the Walking for Health website.

HEAT PADS FOR NECK, CERVICAL OR SHOULDER PAIN…

If, like me, you suffer from any form of neck, cervical or shoulder pain you can understand how uncomfortable this can be. Everyone reacts differently to either a treatment or a product they try to alleviate the pain. For me personally heat wins every time.

I have a few different types of heat pads for this type of pain which I have written about before. Thermacare Heat Wraps are available from just about every chemist with only a slight variation on cost. They are clinically proven to be as effective as six ibuprofen tablets and it works for 8 hours.

I think the best cushions that you put in your microwave are the ones from Pain Relief. Cushions who have a great one to wrap around your neck that are called Horseshoe Neck Wheat Cushion . This is the horseshoe wheat bag, which sits well round the neck, not needing to be held in place. Holds the heat well as the body of the wearer recharges the cushion. Wonderful for whiplash pain, neck strain and trapped nerves. This wheat bag measures Approx. 10.5″ x 10.0″ on offer at the moment for £17.19

Sweet Dreams Neck, Shoulder and Upper Back Electric Heat Pad available from Amazon is the perfect fit and great to use at home, in bed or sitting in a chair. The one below is on Amazon at the moment for £33.95

Sweet Dreams Luxurious Soft Neck & Shoulder Electric Heating Pad - Therapeutic, Soothing Pain Relief Therapy for Neck, Shoulders and Upper Back

What works for one does not work the same for another, but this simple graphic from Cleveland Clinic on Pinterest explains the difference between heat and ice for pain.