Using a medical alert system, also known as a personal emergency response system, is a great way to make living alone less stressful. Here’s what you should know.
What are they?
Medical alert systems are subscription-based services that allow you to contact an emergency response center with the press of a button. Basic models connect to your landline and include a portable alert button as well as a base unit that acts as a speakerphone. The alert button is usually worn as a pendant or a bracelet and some types can detect falls.
How do they work?
What are the different types?
There are two types of systems: in-home and mobile. In-home systems are ideal if you tend to stay at home and can either work with your landline or a cellular network. Mobile models are better for those with active lifestyles.
How expensive are they?
Most service providers offer no-contract monthly subscriptions, although you can often get a discount for making a longer commitment. In-home services are the most affordable option and run between $25 and $45 per month, depending on the features selected. Mobile systems range from $65 to $75 per month and sometimes require a one-time activation fee. Some insurance policies cover the costs of medical alert systems, and there are charitable organizations that may help seniors who can’t afford them. You should also consult your tax professional, as these systems are considered medical expenses by the IRS.
Winter veggies: the virtues of parsnips
Parsnips are a sweet, cream-colored root vegetable that can be enjoyed raw or cooked. Closely related to carrots, this vegetable is packed with nutrients and associated with numerous health benefits. Here’s a look at the perks of parsnips.
Parsnips are rich in antioxidants such as vitamin C and polyacetylenes, which can help protect against cancer and other chronic conditions.
Parsnips contain several B vitamins including folic acid (B9), which is essential to the proper development of the fetal nervous system during pregnancy.
Potassium, magnesium, manganese, and other minerals found in parsnips promote good oral health and proper bone development. They also help protect against free radicals.
Parsnips contain nearly twice as many carbs as carrots, which makes them an excellent source of energy.
There are plenty of ways to enjoy the benefits of this tasty vegetable, from a roasted parsnip soup to a shaved parsnip salad. Look for mouthwatering recipes online or flip through cookbooks at your local bookstore.
If you’re allergic to pollen, ragweed, or nuts, you might also be allergic to parsnips.
5 ways to help someone with Parkinson’s
If someone you care about has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, you may be wondering how to offer your support. Depending on the severity of their condition, there are several ways you can help.
1. Encourage them to regularly engage in physical activities such as walking and stretching.
2. Remind them to correct their posture. A rounded back or slumped shoulders can affect their ability to breathe and eat.
3. Assist them in sorting through their clothes and taking them shopping if needed. Every piece should be comfortable and easy to put on.
4. Help them adapt their home to reduce their risk of falling. This can include removing carpets and installing handrails.
5. Give them challenges to maintain their communication and writing skills. For example, suggest that they read a magazine article out loud or write in a journal every day.
For more ideas about how you can support and encourage a loved one with Parkinson’s disease, speak with a health-care professional, or consider joining a support group.
Movember : How men can take control of their health
Did you know that around the world, life expectancy among men is six years less than it is among women? This is due in part to the higher rate of suicide in men. The incidence of prostate and testicular cancer also plays a role. So does physical inactivity among men, with its attendant medical risks, notably heart disease.
It’s against this backdrop that Movember takes place every year. This month-long event aims to encourage men to take better care of their physical and mental health.
Here are some ways men can be healthier:
1. Remain in touch with family and friends and seek out new connections.
2. Talk with people you trust about important personal issues (breakups, fatherhood, financial problems, and anything else that’s going on).
3. Learn more about your family history to assess your level of risk for developing serious medical conditions such as cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.
4. Stay active. Run, cycle, go to the gym, participate in team sports, and find other ways to keep moving.
5. Consult your doctor right away whenever you have a health concern.
For more information about Movember, visit movember.com.
How to avoid feeling stuffed over the holidays
While it might be hard to resist that second helping of turkey and mashed potatoes, overeating can leave you feeling sluggish, bloated, and even nauseous. Here are a few tips to help you enjoy just enough of your holiday meal.
• Eat a balanced breakfast. If you sit down for a big meal feeling famished, you’re more likely to overeat. Opt for filling foods like oatmeal with berries or scrambled eggs on whole-wheat toast. Depending on when the feast will be served, you might want to have a healthy snack later in the day to tide you over.
• Start small and go slow. You can always go back for seconds but start with a tiny portion of each dish you want to taste. Chew slowly and take time to fully enjoy your food. Put down your utensils between bites and converse with the people around you. This gives your brain time to signal satiety.
• Finish with a mug of tea. Rather than sip a liqueur (which can actually slow digestion), brew a pot of herbal tea at the end of your meal. Peppermint, ginger, or fennel infused in boiling water are particularly effective at soothing an upset stomach and promoting digestion.
Finally, it’s a good idea to take a walk after you’ve eaten. The fresh air and movement will restore your energy and allow you to work off your meal.
5 creative ways to keep busy this winter
Making art can contribute to your overall health and well-being by helping to improve cognition, concentration, self-esteem, and more. If you want to reap these benefits and stave off boredom this winter, here are five creative activities to try.
If you don’t feel comfortable starting with a blank canvas, a paint-by-numbers kit is an ideal way to familiarize yourself with this hobby. In addition to improving your dexterity, painting provides a chance to put your worries aside and create beautiful artwork.
Whether you prefer to belt out your favorite lyrics in the shower, car, or kitchen, singing is a great way to let loose and express your emotions. Even if you don’t think you have a good voice, this pastime can boost your confidence and reduce your stress.
Adult coloring requires concentration and precision as it usually involves filling in mandalas and other complex patterns. In addition to reducing stress, this activity stimulates both the logical and creative sides of your brain.
This art form can help you gain a new perspective of the world. Plus, it’s a great way to hone your observation skills and express yourself. From magnificent vistas and bustling cityscapes to portraits of your pets and family members, you can use any type of camera to capture moments that fill you with joy.
If you want to add a social element to your creative activities, find out if your local community center, library, or retirement home offers classes. Alternatively, you can plan weekly art sessions with friends and family members.
7 tips for achieving your fitness goals
Have you decided to start going to the gym? If so, here are seven tips for following through on your exercise goals.
1. Find a gym you like
Visit the gyms in your area and choose the one that suits you best. Some things to consider are the price, equipment, services, opening hours, clientele, and amenities (in particular, the locker room). You should also assess a facility’s cleanliness and find out how busy the place is during the times you plan to exercise.
2. Get a gym buddy
3. Gear up
Having the right clothing and equipment will help you feel more comfortable at the gym. At the minimum, get a good pair of shoes, breathable exercise attire, and a decent gym bag.
4. Get expert advice
Consider hiring a trainer or other fitness professional to help you create a personalized exercise plan. This will help you make the most effective use of your time at the gym.
5. Track your progress
By regularly noting your weight, body measurements, blood pressure, and other progress markers, you’ll be able to see how much your hard work pays off. This will help keep you motivated.
6. Challenge yourself
To make progress, you need to keep pushing past your comfort zone. For example, if you continue to curl 15 pounds when it’s no longer heavy for you, you won’t make further gains. Bump up to a higher weight or harder type of exercise when you’re ready.
7. Celebrate your achievements
Have you been regularly working out for a month? Have you lost 10 pounds? Reward yourself when you reach milestones. You could buy that tech gadget you’ve had your eye on, get a massage, or enjoy a night out with your exercise buddy — whatever you choose.
Lastly, when you’re at the gym, avoid comparing yourself to others. No two people are the same, and the guy doing 300-pound deadlifts also had to start somewhere.