Don’t be an accident waiting to happen. Accidents do happen you know, and not just to the other guy. “What if” it happens to you?
Bathtub safety is a big “what if,” and a pretty scary one at that. My husband found that out last week, when for the first time in his life he couldn’t get out of the bathtub. I must admit that the idea of calling 911 entered my mind, but fortunately we were able to problem solve on our own, but “what if”? What if I hadn’t been home? What if he had hurt himself?
There is a reason why researchers compile data about trips and slips and falls; older people really do have trouble getting into and out of tubs and showers.
My husband swears he will never use the tub again, but is that the answer? Do you really want to deny yourself the pleasure of a relaxing bath or a revitalizing shower?
Why do tub and shower accidents happen? Researchers watch and record. People, young and old, instinctively grab on to whatever is closest to them when they start to fall. It doesn’t take long to realize that the shower curtain, glass tub or shower door, or the towel rack is not strong enough to support your weight.
You can make bathing safer:
• Nonstick mats and treads to provide traction.
• Grab bars, properly installed, to give you something to hold on to. Install all around the shower, bath and toilet areas.
• A sturdy shower bench will allow you to sit and shower in comfort. Learn how to use a tub transfer seat to ease in and out of your tub.
• Do not bath when alone in the house.
• Consider replacing your old tub or shower with a walk-in model.
Take bathroom safety seriously. Young or old, you can’t be too careful. Ask your doctor for an Occupational or Physical Therapy Consult if you have any doubts about your bathroom safety.
Exercising can be difficult, if not impossible, for seniors with health problems. Popular aerobics classes, line dancing, zumba, and even Yoga can be daunting for those suffering with sore muscles and stiff joints.
Would you reconsider if you knew that there was a place where you could move around freely and exercise without pain? Exercising in the water might be just the thing for you. In the water you will experience a sense of buoyancy that will allow you to work out effortlessly (weightlessly).
Lap swimming is the first thing that comes to mind when you think “water exercise,” and lap swimming can be pretty boring. You will be pleased to know that you don’t have to be a Master’s Level Swimmer to enjoy a good a good workout in the water.
Let’s look for something a little more fun than lap swimming. No need to be afraid of the water; you don’t have to know how to swim and you don’t have to know what you are doing (no experience required).
The water will support your body and provide enough resistance to assure that you get an amazing workout. Try walking in waist high or chest high water if you don’t believe me. You can walk, jog or do jumping jacks. Try yoga stretches, tai chi forms, Pilate’s routines, or even dance in the water. Relax, enjoy the music, and play/exercise at the same time. Don’t worry about how you look in a swimsuit or whether you have “two left feet” because nobody can see what you are doing under there.
You will love the camaraderie and the social support of fellow exercisers; you will probably giggle more than you have in a long time (this means you just might be having fun).
YMCA, community centers, recreation centers, senior center and fitness centers that have pools all offer a variety of water based classes. All you have to do is show up, dip your toe in the water, and get ready to have the time of your life.
Happy New Year! It’s time to make New Year Resolutions again. Let’s find an exercise class for you!
You are not alone if the thought of exercising already painful muscles and joints causes you to break out in a cold sweat, but you can do it.
Save your joints by signing up for a water aerobics class. Local pools offer a variety of water classes that range from aerobics to zumba. Yes, A to Z and everything else in between.
So, what’s holding you up? It’s the swim suit isn’t it?
Nobody wants to bare all anymore, but you can hide under a robe or wrap yourself in a big towel until the last possible minute. You will be fine.
The real obstacle is the swimsuit. Trying to squeeze yourself into a tiny scrap of spandex is more daunting than anything you will ever face in class.
It is easier for men. You may want to hide beneath a big towel too, but you have to admit that swimsuit manufactures have been a lot kinder to men then to women.
For the ladies, well my heart goes out to you. It is bad enough that you have to be a contortionist to get in and out of a sports bra much less a swim suit. The last time I had a swim suit on the strap configuration was so complicated that I had to pull it off and start over three times.
Needless to say I was delighted when I stumbled across an ad for a swimsuit designed for the rest of us.
Seriously, Speedo beware, there is a company out there with a real heart. Stepin2now suits (www.stepin2now.com) are designed for people who are serious about exercising but need a little help. A quick trip to the website will answer all of your questions.
Instead of a separate top and bottom you get a suit that is actually two half’s that come together to form a whole. Have I piqued your interest? This suit has the look, coverage and support of a traditional swimsuit. The difference is that is easy to get into and you will be the “bell of the locker room.” So, no more excuses…right?
How is that Christmas shopping going? What are you going to give mom, dad or the grand’s for Christmas this year? I know, you are busy and just the thought of going to the mall one more time is almost more than you can stand. Your “old dears” all told you that they didn’t want or need anything, but you have to get them something.
Faced with the challenge of finding the perfect gift for the ones you love can be daunting, and you always come away feeling that you could have done better.
It isn’t too late, even if you are still wracking your brain. I can help you.
Promise yourself that you will not buy candy, fruit baskets, bath powder, perfumes, robes or jewelry. There is a reason why they tell you that they don’t want or need anything.
I promise you that this year you can and will rediscover the art of gifting. Think practical and think thoughtful. Gifts that you make yourself are always appreciated, but it is getting a little late for that, especially if you can’t sew, paint, or cook. The one thing you can still do is give them a little of your time. Offer to house sit, dog walk, help with bill paying, letter writing, or mastering the phone or computer you gave them last year.
A few more last minute ideas: A massage, taxi-scripts, catered meal service deliveries, gift packets (not of fruits and sweets, but of healthy food items) or delivery service from a favorite grocery store. All these suggestions are just a phone call away.
More ideas: think hobby supplies (water colors, papers, yarns, ergonomic cookware or even gardening tools). Cover life’s basics; whether they relate to cooking, gardening, gym or senior center memberships or classes. Everyone needs a helping hand and you can give the gift that will be loved and appreciated all year long.
What will you get for Christmas this year? Seniors have a self effacing habit of telling everyone that they don’t need or want anything, and then feel slighted when they don’t get the “good stuff” they want or deserve. You have nobody to blame but yourself if the fancy wrapped packages under the tree contain candy that you don’t like, bath powder that you don’t need or another ugly tie that you will never wear.
You could hint that you might like to try one of those “new fangled” gadgets (the very ones you have been that you have been bad mouthing for years), and get something useful and fun instead.
I know you despair that kids these days spend too much time under the influence of their electronic gadgets, but what if you could use these very same gadgets to bridge the generation gap. If you really want to connect with your children and your grandchildren you need to get used to the idea that technology is here to stay.
If family and friends are scattered around the world you will soon discover that distance isn’t as much of problem. Thanks to technology you can share files, music, letters, photographs, and visits via your computer; the next best thing to being together.
Put things in perspective by thinking about you what it is that you want to accomplish. No idea? Let me throw out a few ideas to you:
Would you like to see pictures of your grandchildren on Facebook, write an e-mail letter, read a hometown newspaper, visit via a video conference, or just shop without leaving home?
Now is the time. You can learn how to write, teach or even play games with everyone in your family. Interacting and playing together is a great way to connect, even when you live far away.
Sign up for classes and plunge right in. The fact that you can learn anything, at any time, and at any place should be exciting. Technology is a great equalizer; you will no longer be defined by your age.