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How to talk to an elderly relative about their driving

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Do you have an elderly family member whose driving has become dangerous? If so, telling them you fear for their safety can be difficult. Here are a few tips to help you broach this sensitive subject.

Give examples
Prepare a list of your relative’s risky driving activities. For example, not coming to a complete stop at an intersection or driving the wrong way down a one-way street. You can use these examples to gently question your loved one and determine whether they’ve forgotten the rules of the road or if their vision, hearing, or reflexes have deteriorated with age. If needed, you can suggest they consult their doctor.

Be compassionate
Losing the ability to drive can be frightening for someone who’s been doing so for decades. Therefore, approach the subject gently, and choose your words carefully. You don’t want to infantilize your loved one. Above all, be empathetic when expressing your concerns.

Offer solutions
Instead of telling your loved one, they must stop driving immediately, and suggest ways they can get behind the wheel more safely. For example, ask them to avoid driving in poor weather conditions or stressful situations like rush hour. This will help them maintain some of their independence.

If your relative is in complete denial and their driving is out of control, you may want to consider anonymously reporting them to your local driving authority.

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Health

Five benefits of stretching

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Regular stretching provides numerous health benefits as you age, and when combined with other types of exercise, it can add years to your life. Here are five reasons to stretch regularly.

1. Improve flexibility
As you age, your muscles shorten and lose elasticity. Stretching keeps you flexible and helps you maintain your mobility.

2. Avert injuries
Stretching improves your balance and strength, which can reduce your risk of falling. This will likely help you feel more confident when moving around and performing your daily tasks.

3. Boost blood circulation
Stretching stimulates blood flow and increases the oxygen supply to your muscles.

4. Prevent diseases
Maintaining an active lifestyle and stretching regularly can reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke, and certain cancers.

5. Reduce soreness
Stretching can help minimize aches and pains. Ask a health professional for advice on which exercises to perform to target specific areas of your body.

To reap these benefits, stretch at least several times a week or as much as every day to reap these benefits.

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Mature Living

Reduced mobility: Four tips for choosing a walk-in bathtub

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Walk-in bathtubs are designed for people with mobility issues. They come with a watertight door and tend to be equipped with a bench and grab bars. Here are four tips to help you choose the right model for your needs.

1. Consider how it opens
The door to a walk-in bathtub can open either inward or outward. If you’re in a wheelchair or use a walker, look for a model with a door that swings outward.

2. Think long-term
When choosing a bathtub, keep in mind that your mobility may further diminish as you age. Therefore, you may want to select a model with safety features that will come in handy later.

3. Discern your needs
Determine whether you’ll use your bath daily or only occasionally. If you plan on using your tub often, ask yourself if you prefer sitting or lying down and if you want jets for a therapeutic experience.

4. Reflect on the filling system
Walk-in bathtubs often take a long time to fill and must be completely emptied before you can get out. Consequently, you may want a model with a quick-fill system and two drains.

Before making your choice, consult a professional to help you evaluate your needs.

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Mature Living

Five winter hazards seniors should know about

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Seniors are at risk for injury and illness in winter, and as the days get colder, it’s important for them to be aware of potential hazards. Here are five threats the elderly face in winter.

1. Hypothermia and frostbite
Seniors lose body heat more quickly than younger adults. Plus, thyroid issues, diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, and some medications make it difficult for them to detect when they’re getting too cold. Therefore, seniors should make sure to bundle up before heading out¬doors and avoid being in the cold for long periods.

2. Falling
Seniors have a high risk of falling, and it’s essential they take extra precautions in winter. They should avoid walking at night, wear boots with non-skid soles, ensure steps and sidewalks are clear of snow, and place an ice pick or rubber tip on the end of their cane.

3. Car accidents
Roads can be treacherous in winter. If driving, seniors should have winter tires on their vehicles. In addition, they should keep a charged cell phone in their vehicle as well as an emergency kit with jumper cables, blankets, and first aid supplies.

4. House fires
Using space heaters, candles and fireplaces increase the house fire risk. To prevent this, ensure heaters are placed sufficiently away from furniture and curtains and never leave a fire unattended. Additionally, smoke alarms should be inspected regularly.

5. Carbon monoxide poisoning
Turning on your furnace could trigger a carbon monoxide leak. It’s a colorless, odorless gas, so you need a carbon monoxide detector. Symptoms of CO poisoning include a dull headache, dizziness, shortness of breath, and nausea.

Seniors can stay safe throughout the season by being aware of winter hazards and taking steps to prevent mishaps.

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Health

What’s dysphagia?

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Dysphagia is a health condition that affects many seniors. Here’s what you should know about it.

Symptoms
People with dysphagia have difficulty swallowing. This may lead to:

• Gagging
• Choking when trying to swallow
• Feeling like something is stuck in the throat
• Excessive salivation
• Pain

The symptoms of dysphagia can range from mild to severe and, in some cases, make swallowing virtually impossible. The inability to eat can also have significant implications, including unhealthy weight loss and malnutrition. Breathing problems may also arise.

Causes
Dysphagia can be caused by various health conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), dementia, stroke, multiple sclerosis (MS), and lung or throat cancer. Difficulty swallowing may also occur temporarily in people who suffer from pharyngitis.

Solutions
There are products available that can make mealtimes safer for people with dysphagia. In particular, some companies offer foods that are a suitable consistency for easy swallowing. Plus, specialized glasses, spoons, and straws can be purchased to assist with swallowing.

Various exercises and medications may also be prescribed to treat dysphagia.

If you’re having trouble swallowing, consult your doctor to identify the cause of the problem and find a solution.

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Mature Living

Should you adopt a pet when you retire?

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Has your schedule freed up since retiring? Are you considering inviting a furry friend into your home? Here are a few things to consider before deciding whether adopting a pet is a good idea.

Health impacts
Owning a pet has many benefits, including reduced stress and anxiety, lessened feelings of loneliness, increased self-esteem, and a general sense of well-being. For example, owning a dog helps raise your level of social engagement and physical activity because of walks and visits to the park. These changes can have a significant impact on your health.

Things to consider
Whatever type of animal you like, it’s essential to reflect on the long-term implications. Consider, for example, a dog’s life expectancy and your plans. Consider whether you may sell your home, move into a smaller space, or travel. Determine who can care for your companion if you can’t take it with you.

Finally, choose an animal that complements your level of autonomy. If you want a dog and you’re not very active, you probably shouldn’t get an energetic puppy that’s strong enough to cause you to lose your balance. You may find suitable companionship in a cat, hamster, or fish if you have reduced mobility.

Do you want to give an abandoned pet a second chance? Visit an animal shelter in your area.

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Mature Living

4 hair care tips for white hair

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Over time, your hair follicles produce less melanin, the pigment that gives your hair its color. Besides turning your hair white or gray, less melanin also changes its texture and condition. Here are four tips to take care of your hair as it changes.

1. Don’t pluck it. Pulling out your gray hairs can damage the follicles. This results in coarse or frizzy hair.

2. Give more thought to hydration. Graying hair needs more moisture than younger hair. If your hair is mostly gray, choose products with extra moisturizing properties. Add a hair mask or oil to your hair care routine if needed.

3. Use a specialty shampoo. About once per month, use a product designed to prevent your hair from turning yellow. The sun and pollution are two factors that can accelerate hair discoloration.

4. Protect your hair. White and gray hair are more sensitive to the elements, like the sun, chlorine, and heating appliances. Use cream or sprays to give it an added measure of protection.

Talk to your hairdresser or colorist for advice on the best hair care products for your hair type.

 

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Blake and Co. Hair Spa

Blue Ridge Arts Council

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Card My Yard

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Family Preservation Services

First Baptist Church

Front Royal Women's Resource Center

Front Royal-Warren County Chamber of Commerce

G&M Auto Sales Inc

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Front Royal
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Upcoming Events

Dec
10
Sat
10:00 am 10th Virginia Infantry Encampment @ Sky Meadows State Park
10th Virginia Infantry Encampment @ Sky Meadows State Park
Dec 10 @ 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
10th Virginia Infantry Encampment @ Sky Meadows State Park
Historic Area Journey back in time and immerse yourself in the sights, sounds and smells of a Civil War Encampment during the holidays. Interact with the 10th VA Infantry, also known as the Valley Guards,[...]
Dec
14
Wed
6:30 pm Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Dec 14 @ 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Bingo to support the American Cancer Society mission, organized by Relay For Life of Front Royal. Every Wednesday evening Early Bird Bingo at 6:30 p.m. Regular Bingo from 7-9:30 p.m. Food and refreshments available More[...]
Dec
17
Sat
1:00 pm The Nutcracker 2022 @ Skyline High School
The Nutcracker 2022 @ Skyline High School
Dec 17 @ 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm
The Nutcracker 2022 @ Skyline High School
Italia Performing Arts is pleased to announce its own student production of the seasonal ballet The Nutcracker, to be presented in Front Royal, VA, on Saturday December 17th 2022. Tickets: $35 and $25 Under 16:[...]
Dec
21
Wed
6:30 pm Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Dec 21 @ 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Bingo to support the American Cancer Society mission, organized by Relay For Life of Front Royal. Every Wednesday evening Early Bird Bingo at 6:30 p.m. Regular Bingo from 7-9:30 p.m. Food and refreshments available More[...]
Dec
28
Wed
6:30 pm Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Dec 28 @ 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Bingo to support the American Cancer Society mission, organized by Relay For Life of Front Royal. Every Wednesday evening Early Bird Bingo at 6:30 p.m. Regular Bingo from 7-9:30 p.m. Food and refreshments available More[...]
Jan
1
Sun
5:30 am First Day Hikes at Sky Meadows @ Sky Meadows State Park
First Day Hikes at Sky Meadows @ Sky Meadows State Park
Jan 1 @ 5:30 am – 3:00 pm
First Day Hikes at Sky Meadows @ Sky Meadows State Park
Historic Area. While the American tradition of celebrating the New Year occurs at midnight on New Year’s Eve, other cultures celebrate by enjoying the sunrise on New Year’s Day. As part of the continuing American[...]
Jan
4
Wed
6:30 pm Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Jan 4 @ 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Bingo to support the American Cancer Society mission, organized by Relay For Life of Front Royal. Every Wednesday evening Early Bird Bingo at 6:30 p.m. Regular Bingo from 7-9:30 p.m. Food and refreshments available More[...]