When you are caring for older family members, it is a good idea to know about useful aids for elderly relatives. Although your loved one may hold out against such things initially, they can make a positive difference to their quality of life. That is why it really is worth sitting down and discussing what might make their lives that little bit easier. Sometimes it is kinder to raise an issue and give them the opportunity to share how they are feeling about any particular struggles. Then you can make an action plan together about what useful aids for elderly people will be best for their individual needs. They will probably really appreciate your help in researching where to get those items too.

Stairlifts

A stairlift is a useful aid for elderly family members who are finding it increasingly challenging to manage the stairs. Often people have fond memories in their own homes so do not want to leave. A stairlift can make such a difference meaning they can stay at home and not be restricted to only part of the home.  If you install a stairlift also means you will worry less about them taking a tumble down the stairs.

Useful aids for elderly people on outings

Getting out does our physical and mental wellbeing so much good.  Sometimes elderly relatives start limiting their outings as they feel unable to walk far. There are so many useful aids for elderly people who want to get out and about. They range from simple walking sticks through to options such as scooters and motorised wheelchairs. If your relative drives a car, there are accessories that can help them continue to do so for longer. When your elderly relative gets out they are that much more likely to keep up with hobbies and friends.

Personal hygiene

It’s not easy to retain a sense of dignity when you struggle to keep clean. Your relative may be scared of slipping in the bath or shower. Falls are a major worry and do happen more as we get older. Useful equipment that can help your relative wash safely include shower stools and bath seats as well as rails. Be aware that your relative may have continence issues and they may be embarrassed to raise these with you.  Whilst conversations about such topics can be challenging there are so many products that can help.

Personal safety

A lof of older people have a real fear of crime. Look into things like personal alarm call systems. There are lots of different choices available. You might want something that is worn by your relative. They can be quite clever and let you know the things that you need to know for your individual relative. That might be that you are alerted if they have a fit or if their room is a dangerous temparature. If your relative might wander off, an identity bracelet can be a good option.

Sitting and lying down

Your elderly relative may spend a long time sitting in one place or resting in bed. They need to be comfortable when doing so. You can help them look into chairs where you can adjust the height. Many people find recliner tilt chairs easier as they get older. Be aware of the danger of pressure sores. Pressure cushions and pressure care mattresses are available.

If you care about or for an elderly relative, always talk to your local authority and carers’ charities to ensure they are getting support and so are you.

 

 

Musings Of A Tired Mummy

I am looking for perfect Spring shoes as I realise there is a new season on the way. It is time to put my boots away for another day. It’s important to find something comfortable and flat. I love a bit of colour when it come to footwear too so I was thrilled to hear about the Tara shoes from Hotter. Even better, these shoes help support the Marie Curie. Marie Curie are there at the times when you need someone to support you through the toughest of times.

Perfect Sprng Shoes

Generous charity partnership

For every pair of Tara shoes sold, £20 will go to Marie Curie helping to fund an hour of Marie Curie nursing care for someone living with a terminal illness. The shoe is now available to buy for £55 from all Hotter stores nationwide and from Hotter.com. Since Marie Curie teamed up with the footwear brand in January 2018 Hotter have raised more than £75,000 for the charity. I love that there is a really good percentage of the sale price going to such a good cause.

 

The Tara – perfect Spring shoes

The Tara is the 3rd daffodil-inspired shoe following the hugely successful Daffodil Mabel and Daffodil Pixie. The daffodil version of Tara is easy to wear and perfect for spring. Made from lightweight, breathable canvas with a supportive, comfortable sole, Tara means you are ready for some fun Spring activities knowing your feet won’t be sore at the end of the day.

How Marie Curie supported my family

When my mum was in her last days, Marie Curie were a huge help to our family. They provided care for mum allowing my brother and dad to get some much-needed rest and respite. Marie Curie nurses are so lovely working with your individual family and their particular needs. I remember getting a text from my brother telling me to telephone my Dad urgently. I knew what it meant. When I telephoned, it was a Marie Curie nurse who answered the phone in such a safe and steady voice which is just what you need when you are facing such devastating news. She gave the phone to my Dad and he explained Mum had passed away. It was so reassuring when I was miles away to know that Dad was not alone. He was facing the loss of his partner of more than 60 years.

A couple of years, Marie Curie would be there again supporting my Dad in his last days. It’s a rotten time but they make it bearable.

The Daffodil Appeal

Daffodils are lovely in our gardens or on the perfect Spring shoes. At this time of year you can celebrate the daffodil and help Marie Curie at the same time. Did you know that every five minutes someone in the UK dies without getting the care and support they need at the end of their life? I am a big believer that if we get anything right as a society it should be how people enter the world and how they leave it.

Marie Curie provides much-needed expert care to people with terminal illnesses, as well as supporting their families. They did it for mine twice. They may well do so again in the future. They may have helped your family and sadly you may well need them even if that moment currently seems a long time off.

By donating and wearing your daffodil whether via the Tara perfect Spring shoes or one of the badges on sale on your high street, you are raising money so Marie Curie can plug that gap in care for more people with a terminal illness.

 

 

My Random Musings
Musings Of A Tired Mummy

A woman training for triathlon made me reflect on how women are often  juggling so many competing things in life. We often juggle parenting, employment and caring for elderly relatives. We might also be helping charity or involved in community activities. Perhaps it is therefore not actually surprising that women are at the forefront of the popularity of triathlon. Before you write yourself off as a potential triathlon participant, read and be inspired by Rosie’s story.

Woman Training For Triathlon

Taking on a triathlon

If you are thinking of taking up a new sport or activity, triathlon is very likely to be at the bottom of your list of ideas. With its swim, bike and run elements it can seem daunting and has a reputation of requiring hours of training. However, the popularity of the sport has sky-rocketed in recent years, and it’s not just down to the Olympic-winning Brownlees brothers.

Woman have been at the forefront of the increase in popularity and statistics published last year show a 230 per cent increase in female membership to Triathlon England.

One reason could be the Go-Tri series where participants take part in a triathlon with significantly reduced distances. Four lengths of a swimming pool, followed by a 10k bike ride and finishing with a 2.5k run are the usual distances.

Woman training for triathlon

I signed up for one last year and as a steady runner, better swimmer but nervous cyclist I had mixed feelings about taking part. My training had to fit in with a full-time job, commuting and childcare and I wondered how I would do it all.

I spent around eight weeks doing one swim and one run each week which I was easy to squeeze into my schedule.
The bike aspect was a different beast entirely and I have to admit I really did struggle. I live in Yorkshire where I can’t leave my house without facing an eye-watering incline that fills me with fear. My tactic for bike training was to get on my bike the week before the race, cycle to the bottom of my road and keep my fingers crossed on the day; not advisable!

Before the race I was really nervous but found the swim easy, the bike a struggle and the run somewhere in between.It was by no means a breeze, but it was manageable, a lot of fun and gave me a huge confidence boost. I later went on to do an open water swim and I have more triathlons in the pipeline.

I can’t recommend triathlon enough, three disciplines rather than one means you never get bored, there is always something new to learn and you really feel like you achieved something great.

Essential equipment 

Tri-suit: I did my first Go-Tri without one as I was self-conscious but unless you have Brownlee at the end of your name you’re not going to look good in one. Face up to that and get on with it. I bought one from eBay for £10 and would not be without it now.

Bike: They can be hugely expensive but a decent road or hybrid bike can be bought second hand for a reasonable amount.

Footwear: If you can, spend a bit of money on trainers. Running is the last of the three disciplines and you really do not want to be uncomfortable.

Top tips for woman training for triathlon

Swimming: Most people worry about the swimming, you don’t necessarily have to do front crawl. Many people do breast stroke particularly at the Go-Tri events.

Transitions: It’s worth practising these. Going from the bike to the run is very strange on the legs and takes a bit of getting used to.

Running: If you’re completely new to running try the Couch to 5k, find a club or a Park Run – the distance is perfect and it is great to run with others in a supportive atmosphere.

Useful links for woman training for triathlon

Go Tri

Couch to 5k
Park Run

Extreme fatigue is so debilitating. It can be dangerous for us physically and has a negative impact on our spirits too. We all get very tired from time to time perhaps when we have young children or when we are working hard in our job. However, for some people extreme fatigue is part of their medical condition. I am so impressed with Phillipa Claire who struggles with M.E. and has generously shared her tips on fighting back when extreme fatigue comes calling.

Extrme Fatigue

Living with extreme fatigue

It’s no secret that I struggle with M.E. It’s one of the first things I tell people when I meet them, because I want to be open about the fact that I am tired.

If I forget things, or struggle to pay attention, I want them to know why. I’m not a bad person, I’m just tired.

For the last three years, I have been battling with excessive tiredness, and how to get through the trials and challenges of daily life when I struggle to even get out of bed in the morning. So, I thought I would share some of my wisdom with you – because low energy can affect us all, and it’s important to know how to tackle it.

Move About to fight extreme fatigue

I know that exercise is recommended by everyone, everywhere, for everything. You’re probably as sick of being recommended it as I am, but I’m not here to recommend exercise. Instead I suggest just moving.

If you’re tired all the time, it’s hard to find the energy to do any exercise. I REALLY find this difficult. Unlike other people I can’t just go for a run or go to the gym. Not only am I too tired to from the offset, it also worsens my symptoms the next day. I end up with sore muscles and joints, and a foggy head. Exhaustion in all senses of the word.

I have to be strategic. Most of my exercise nowadays comes from walking, because it’s just about the only thing I CAN do without negative consequences. Even when I am at the brink of exhaustion, I try to do some form of walking – whether it be walking around the corner to the shops, walking to work, or even just walking around my flat. I’ve now got a little step machine in my living room to help with this, so I can still get a little bit of exercise even when I can’t face going outside.

The effects of this small amount of moving are endless. Not only does it release all those ‘feel-good’ hormones your doctor keeps talking about, but it helps build up a bit of resilience to the tiredness. Ever heard of the phrase ‘use it or lose it’? If you don’t use your body, and move about, then it can be harder to do this when it is needed.

I’m not telling to run a marathon or go to the gym every day. All I am advising it about 5-10 minutes minimum of movement a day to keep your body going.

Hobbies help

I used to spend a lot of my day sat on the sofa watching TV, which in a way was good for my energy levels.

On the other hand, it was terrible for my mental health, which then had a negative effect on my tiredness. I would feel more tired and more miserable because all I’d done all day was sit there watching TV and scrolling through social media. I was so unmotivated that it was hard for me to do anything at all, even things that I liked.

It’s no secret that ‘doing things’ is good for your wellbeing, even when you don’t feel up to it. Now I can’t always get up and do things like housework or go out for coffee or any other number of things people do to make themselves feel good and useful. Instead I have a list of hobbies that I CAN do that take little energy and help me feel productive and more energised after a long day.

One of these is writing (can you tell?) I can write for hours on end and feel fine. In fact, writing makes me so happy that I try to start my day with it, so I then have the energy and positivity to get on with my day whatever it may hold.

I also enjoy things like knitting, crochet, playing computer games and drawing. While I do all these things, my go to right now is writing. Your hobbies and preferences will change over time, the important thing is to always find the things that make you happy. That happiness will get you through each day, and through the less fun things that you need to do.

Positivity

I bet you’re thinking ‘if you’re tired all the time, how do you find it in yourself to be positive?’

The simple answer is that I have to. If I didn’t, I would be sat wallowing in self-pity all day over something I have no control over. I wasn’t always able to, I’ll admit. It’s something that needs to be worked towards. But you do need positivity to keep you going when you have low energy, otherwise you’ll get nowhere.

One very good way of doing this is surrounding yourself with positive and supportive people. I have some amazing friends who I try very hard to see regularly, and who energise me through their own energy. These friends are like my own caffeine patches. In fact, even when I am not able to see them, I am energised simply by a WhatsApp from them. It’s that simple.

Not to mention my supportive partner, who does a wonderful job at keeping me happy and positive. He keeps me going.

If you have just one person in your life who you feel supports you, is always there to listen to you, and who makes you feel better about yourself, utilise them. Talk to them when you feel down – you don’t even have to tell them you feel down, just talk to them. That socialisation will boost you, and that boost will help you get through the day. I promise. And if you don’t you have me!

Extrme Fatigue

 

So, there we have it, three ways I keep myself going in the midst of low energy. It is by no means easy, but it is important to me to try and live as normal a life as possible and I do that by utilising my energy and doing the things I’ve listed here.

Do you have any other tips or tricks for fighting extreme fatigue?

 

 

 

 

Easy dinners become second nature to busy parents. We all have our favourites some of which we are proud of and some of which might  sometimes fall into the ready meal or less than healthy varieties. I love to cook but find the pressure to come up with something interesting night after night a bit of a challenge. I have just discovered an amazing tool from  HelloFresh. It’s called ‘Recipe Matchmaker’ and I highly recommend it.

How it works

You enter what you fancy  easy dinners wise perhaps protein, rice or pasta and then you decide if you want something quick and easy, adventurous or child friendly. Then there’s an option to include any dietary options so you know for sure that you family are eating safely. The matchmaker then offers up some of HelloFresh’s delicious recipes. The only challenge I had is that the recipes sound so tempting that it can be difficult to just pick one. That’s good though as it means with some clever meal-planning we can have amazing meals night after night.

Easy Dinners

Easy dinners with the help of my son

My teenage son would like to be a chef in the future. He is happier in the kitchen than he is when gaming and he loves video games! As part of our home education journey, we cook together at lot from easy dinners to more complex affairs. There is so much learning in cookery from mathematics  and science to food history. Reading recipes is good for literacy and sometimes we mix it up with foreign recipe books so we can learn a different language too along the way. Ramsey decided that we should try a special chicken stir fry as our first attempt at recipe matching with HelloFresh.

Easy Dinners

Learning through stir-frying

We learned some practical things as we cooked. Ramsey worked out that a large saucepan of water can be very heavy. He decided to empty some of the water out and to use a jug to add more water once the pan was on the stove. We boiled the water and cooked our noodle nests. We loved the tip about cooling the noodles so that they do not continue to cook in the warm water after you turn the heat off.

We always love using my late mum’s mixing bowl. It brings back memories of her and special times together. It is very old and we treat it carefully. We prepared the chicken and added Chinese 5 spice. Again the recipe was good as it gave a warning that this addition can be strongly-flavoured so to add with caution according to taste.  It was also very good to have the  reminder about washing hands when dealing with raw meat. That gave me another opportunity for incorporating learning with a bit of a health and safety lesson.

We prepared onion, red pepper and garlic. We don’t cook with ginger often so we bemoaned the shapes it comes in and decided we would look up how to peel it easily. We grated the ginger and the smell was utterly delightful.

It was good as we added different ingredients to the our new wok to discuss the different cooking times for different sorts of food. We did make a slight error when some of the peppers and onions got mixed up together but we know we learn from when things go wrong as much as from when they go right. It was not the end of the world.

Easy Dinners

Healthy and tasty chicken stir-fry

The meal was fun to make and we learned so much along the way. The easy dinner tasted superb and I loved the ginger coming through. The meal did not feel at all oily and felt perfectly balanced. It was great to know that some really healthy food options were in what effectively is a one-wok cookery project.

Recipe Matchmaker

You can see I am impressed with the Recipe Matchmaker from HelloFresh. It gives inspiration on those days where I am feeling tired or lacking in motivation. It is useful every day of the week especially as we are now using it as a tool for building our meal plans and accompanying shopping lists. This means we are eating healthily, cutting down on food waste and saving money. I work from home and am using Recipe Matchmaker as an educational tool with my  children.  Recipe Matchmaker would help people who commute to work often dashing in later in the evening without a clue what to cook. I can also see students finding it helpful. Although it helps with easy dinners ,it can also be used for special events such as date nights and dinner parties.

What is your favourite easy dinner on the Recipe Matchmaker?