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Surviving adult children living at home

<p>Imagine a life where you have free home-cooked meals, free laundering and free rent. It sounds like the stuff of dreams – especially in Sydney – but it is actually the experience of many single adults living in New Zealand and other western countries today.</p> <p>‘Boomerang Kids’ is the term for this social trend of adult children living at home with parents, but while the arrangement offers great financial benefit to the adult child, what is its impact on their Baby Boomer parent?</p> <p>Social demographer, Mark McCrindle’s extensive research into ‘Boomerang Kids’ reveals that more than one in four 20-34 year-old males still live at home with parents and in the US these numbers are even higher.</p> <p>“One of the key benefits of staying longer with parents is costs savings. Housing affordability is a major cause of adults staying in the family home,” he says.</p> <p>Below is a list of the main challenges this social trend can present for the Baby Boomer parent:</p> <ul> <li><span>Retirement plans are delayed and retirement savings significantly decrease.</span></li> <li><span>Baby Boomer parents, while enjoying the social interactions available in a multigenerational household, can often feel the pressure and may feel like their hard work is being taken for granted.</span></li> <li><span>Baby Boomer parents can feel sandwiched between taking care of their own parents while still having their Gen Y children living with them and studying.</span></li> <li><span>It can have a negative influence on younger children living at home.</span></li> <li><span>Couples with adult kids at home can suffer through more arguments and bickering than if they were empty nesters (studies have shown this).</span></li> <li><span>You can actually be holding back your child from success and life fulfillment by ‘robbing’ them of drive by giving too much.</span></li> </ul> <p>Rest assured there are also many benefits to having adult children living at home and many studies support this.</p> <p>For example parents can be more assured about the safety of their children, who they associate with etc. Living with your adult child can foster closer relationships and allow the parent to give ongoing guidance and advice on a regular basis. It's not uncommon to hear parents having very little contact with their child once they leave home and perhaps start a family of their own early.</p> <p>Another added benefit to having a child at home longer is that when your child does eventually leave home they are more financially secure, having been able to possibly save a deposit for a home rather than have spent most of their income on rent - and that is one less worry for the parent. The adult child can also be an invaluable source of support for the parent through maintenance and upkeep of the home and in caring for their parent if they are ill.</p> <p><strong>Here are some tips for surviving with adult kids still living at home:</strong></p> <ul> <li><strong>Agree on a plan or budget</strong>: Very few parents and boomerang children have a formal arrangement or contract covering costs and the length of the "tenancy" or live in arrangement.</li> <li><strong>Have open conversations</strong>: Communicate how you feel about things you may be uncomfortable or uncertain about with the arrangement.</li> <li><strong>Tough Love approach</strong>: Take a step back from the parent-child relationship and try to be more clinical and business-like. Don’t roll over!</li> <li><strong>Discuss costs: </strong><span>As well as discussing food costs, parents and adult children should also discuss the cost of utilities, which are often large but not included in discussions.</span></li> <li><strong>Discuss domestic chores:</strong> Domestic duties must be divided and organised, otherwise they tend to<span> become the parents' responsibility, particularly mothers.</span></li> <li><strong>Time:</strong><span> It is often hard to forecast how long the arrangement will last, but Mark McCrindle strongly advocates for this, at least a scheduled time to reassess the arrangement.</span></li> <li><span><strong>House Rules:</strong> For example, have a protocol or expectations around friends or boyfriends and girlfriends of adult children i.e. whether partners are permitted to stay over in the home; parties etc. Use of utilities: TV, music, specific rooms in the house etc.</span></li> </ul> <p>These small but crucial steps can assist in creating a harmonious environment where you and your adult children can co-exist harmoniously.</p> <p class="p1"><em>Written by Danielle Cesta. Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/lifestyle/relationships/surviving-adult-children-living-at-home.aspx">Wyza.com.au</a></em></p>

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Prince Philip involved in car crash: "Very shocked and shaken"

<p>Prince Philip got into a car crash whilst driving his Land Rover near Sandringham Estate. The Queen quickly rushed to the 97-year-old's side upon hearing the news.</p> <p>The other passengers were transferred to hospital after the accident due to minor injuries and cuts.</p> <p>The Duke was seen by a doctor at his medical facilities on the Sandringham Estate. He was later given the all clear.</p> <p>As a witness helped the Duke out of the vehicle, he "was conscious but very shocked and shaken".</p> <p>After the incident, Prince Philip and the female driver of the other vehicle were given a breathalyser reading at the scene and both gave negative readings.</p> <p>Nick Cobb told <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-46912691" target="_blank">BBC News: </a>“A couple of cars coming towards us flashed their headlights. The first vehicle we saw was a Sandringham Estate Discovery police car, which is a plain car but with blue flashing lights.</p> <p>“There was quite a bit of debris on the road so we had to go into the middle of the road and go past slowly. I saw a 4x4 on its side and a car next to it in a hedge. Six or eight ordinary cars all parked round with people helping, then just next to that a normal police car directing traffic.</p> <p>“I couldn’t tell you whether [Prince Philip] was in or out of the vehicle that point, I’d say he was in. I didn’t know it was him at the time.”</p>

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Is our wellbeing genetic?

<p>The question of nature versus nurture – whether genetics or our environment plays the biggest role in determining our personality – has been a hotly debated topic in scientific circles for decades. Now, some fascinating research is being carried out in Australia to determine the role of our genes and the environment in how resilient we are to life’s difficulties.</p> <p>We spoke to Dr Justine Gatt, Group Leader and Senior Research Scientist at <span><a href="https://www.neura.edu.au/">Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA)</a></span> and <span><a href="http://www.psy.unsw.edu.au/contacts-people/research-staff/dr-justine-gatt">School of Psychology at UNSW</a></span>, about the findings from her research into the genetics of wellbeing, and whether or not it is possible to become more resilient and experience a greater sense of wellbeing as we age.</p> <p><strong>What is resilience?</strong><br />Resilience is often defined as someone’s ability to survive trauma – such as a job loss, death of a loved one, illness, natural disaster or financial difficulties – without developing a mental health problem.</p> <p>In scientific terms, resilience can be better explained as the process of being able to adapt positively after a traumatic experience, says Gatt. “It’s more [about] the steps that you take to deal with that particular stressor so that you’re functioning well,” she says.</p> <p>Some factors associated with resilience include:</p> <ul> <li>Having a positive outlook on life and satisfaction with your achievements</li> <li>Having the capacity to manage feelings and impulses</li> <li>Having a positive view of yourself and your abilities</li> </ul> <p>Unlocking the secrets of resilience will lead to ways to help develop this process in others, says Gatt. “A lot of psychiatric research focuses on how to predict and prevent mental illness. There’s a lot less focus on how people are flourishing,” she says. “Wellbeing is not just the absence of mental health symptoms – it’s a completely different state of being – so it’s important to understand it in its own right,” she says.</p> <p><strong>The TWIN-E study</strong><br />To unravel the underlying mechanisms of wellbeing and resilience, Dr Gatt and her colleagues are studying a group of 1600 healthy adult twin volunteers over time.</p> <p>The <span><a href="https://www.neura.edu.au/project/heritability-emotion-cognition-twins/">TWIN-E Emotional Wellbeing study</a></span> began in 2009 with the aim of identifying key risk factors for emotional vulnerability and resilience in the twins, including the role their genes and environments play in their vulnerability or resilience to trauma.</p> <p>In the first part of the study, identical and non-identical twin volunteers from the <span><a href="https://www.twins.org.au/">Australian Twin Registry</a></span> completed computer questionnaires as well as cognitive tests. They also provided saliva samples for the researchers to study their genes.</p> <p>Brain imaging was also carried out on some of the twins to help the scientists determine if different brain networks influenced their wellbeing and resilience.</p> <p><strong>What the researchers found</strong></p> <p>From this study, Dr Gatt and her team were able to develop a 26-item questionnaire called the <span><a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24863866">COMPAS-W scale</a></span> to measure wellbeing.</p> <p>They used this scale to study how different genes contribute to wellbeing in their twin sample. “What we found was that genes account for 48 per cent of our wellbeing. That means almost half of our wellbeing is determined by our genes. Our environment accounts for the other half,” says Gatt.</p> <p>In the next phase of research, Gatt and her colleagues will perform a 10-year follow-up study on the twins to see how their brains have changed over time and to determine how these changes are associated with levels of resilience.</p> <p>The researchers also plan to study the role the twin’s genes have played in their resilience to trauma.</p> <p><strong>What the findings mean</strong></p> <p>If you don’t like the idea that your wellbeing might be determined by a gene variant that you may or may not have, there’s no need for alarm. The underlying genetics of wellbeing and resilience could be far more complex than previously thought.</p> <p>“It’s likely a large number of genes have very small effects on wellbeing and resilience,” says Gatt. “The other thing is that these genes might not necessarily predispose you to be more or less protected from trauma. They might just influence how malleable you are to your life experiences – whether or not you are more or less sensitive to the impacts of positive and negative environments,” she explains.</p> <p>Even if you do assume that approximately 50 per cent of your wellbeing is determined by your genes, there’s still a lot you can do on the environmental side, says Gatt. She has developed <span><a href="https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B8AF7u-ZqkfwSXdXN2pSdmRIcjQ/view">six key resilience tips</a></span> that are likely to form the basis of e-health tools to help people to become more resilient.</p> <ol> <li>Learn to deal with stress in a positive manner.</li> <li>Own worth. Develop your sense of self-worth. Hold firm to your values and boundaries.</li> <li>Build your self-confidence. Understand your strengths and your weaknesses.</li> <li>Have a positive outlook. Include fun activities in your life.</li> <li>Set meaningful goals. These should support your interests and talents.</li> <li>Satisfaction with life. Maintain your physical health, practise mindfulness and gratitude.</li> </ol> <p>How resilient do you think you are?</p> <p><em>Written by Dominic Bayley. Republished with permission of <span><a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/health/wellbeing/is-our-wellbeing-genetic.aspx">Wyza.com.au.</a></span></em></p>

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Maria Sharapova wins over fans with incredible act of sportsmanship

<p>Maria Sharapova has won over tennis fans with her acts of compassion in her latest match in the Shenzhen Open.</p> <p>Her opponent, 17-year-old teenager Wang Xinyu, had to retire in the second set of the match due to cramps.</p> <p>With Sharapova leading in the second set 5-2 after recovering from a shaky start, with Xinyu leading their first set with 7-6 (4), the game was brought to a halt when Wang was forced to quit.</p> <p>Wang, after winning two Grand Slam titles last year, was a wildcard entry into the Shenzhen event. The teenager was devastated at her injuries as she made her way off the court in tears.</p> <p>Sharapova saw her opponents tears and came over to offer some words of encouragement.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr">Sharapova: “You take care of yourself ok? If you play like this you’re going to be No.1. I promise.” <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ShenzhenOpen?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#ShenzhenOpen</a> <a href="https://t.co/cugobhg5qe">pic.twitter.com/cugobhg5qe</a></p> — WTA Insider (@WTA_insider) <a href="https://twitter.com/WTA_insider/status/1080362278543708161?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">January 2, 2019</a></blockquote> <p>“It’s not the way either of us wants to finish the match, win or lose,” Sharapova explained afterwards.</p> <p>”I thought (Wang) was absolutely the dominant player in this match, and had all the opportunities to win it, even though I felt like I was finding my stride and getting a little bit closer to the line and being more aggressive.</p> <p>“She has all the tools to play well, and I think she showcased that, and it’s obviously a very unfortunate way to end the match,” Sharapova said.</p> <p>With Sharapova advancing to the quarter finals, all of her matches might not end this way as she faces top-seeded Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus.</p> <p>Sabalenka dominated her opponent, Ekaterina Alexandrova, in straights sets with a 6-3 6-3 win.</p>

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Michael Schumacher’s family breaks silence on racer’s 50th birthday

<p>With his upcoming 50th birthday, Michael Schumacher’s family has offered a rare insight into the health of the racing legend as they gave assurance that he is being well taken care of.</p> <p>After retiring from racing in 2012, the seven-times Formula One world champion has not been sighted since, as he suffered from a critical head injury due to a skiing accident five years ago.</p> <p>Schumacher is currently receiving at-home care in Switzerland.</p> <p>“You can be sure that he is in the very best of hands and that we are doing everything humanly possible to help him,” said the family in a statement.</p> <p>“Please understand if we are following Michael’s wishes and keeping such a sensitive subject as health, as it has always been, in privacy.”</p> <p>The family also revealed that they will be releasing an official Michael Schumacher app on Thursday to give fans an inside look into the race car driver’s success.</p> <p>“The app is another milestone in our effort to do justice to him and you, his fans, by celebrating his accomplishments,” said the family.</p> <p>“Michael can be proud of what he has achieved, and so are we … we want to remember and celebrate his victories, his records and his jubilation.”</p> <p>Schumacher obtained his first two wins with Benetton in 1994 and 1995. He then went on to achieve five consecutive wins with Ferrari between 2000-2004.</p> <p>Till today, the German is considered the most successful driver in the history of the sport, with a record 91 Grand Prix wins.</p>

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Dying neighbour leaves girl 14 years' worth of Christmas presents

<p>Although Christmas is a time of generosity and love, one neighbour has taken gift giving to another level after making sure he did one last selfless act of kindness before passing away.</p> <p>Ken, who was in his late 80s, lived next door to Owen and Caroline Williams for the past two years in Glamorgan, Wales in the UK.</p> <p>The couple said Ken “doted” on their two-year-old daughter Cadi.</p> <p>Recently, Ken sadly passed away and on Monday, Owen and Caroline received a knock on their door from his daughter.</p> <p>"She was clutching this big ... plastic sack and I thought it was rubbish she was going to ask me to throw out," Owen told the <u><a href="https://www.bbc.com/"><em><strong>BBC</strong></em></a>.</u></p> <p>"But she said it was everything her dad had put away for Cadi. It was all of the Christmas presents he had bought for her.</p> <p>"I brought it back in and my wife was on FaceTime to her mum in Ireland. My wife started to tear up and I started to tear up, and her mum started to tear up.</p> <p>"It's difficult describing it because it was so unexpected. I don't know how long he put them away whether it was over the last two years or whether he bought them towards the end of his life."</p> <p>Owen said Cadi had opened her first present from Ken, a sweet children’s book about Christmas.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr">We opened one. We couldn’t resist. <a href="https://t.co/vlNaRjoFoE">pic.twitter.com/vlNaRjoFoE</a></p> — Owen Williams 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 (@OwsWills) <a href="https://twitter.com/OwsWills/status/1074806236233809920?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">December 17, 2018</a></blockquote> <p>"We can tell there's some books, there's three or four soft toys, maybe some Duplo," he added.</p> <p>Owen said Ken, who was a retired commercial deep sea diver, was a “real, real character”.</p> <p>The touching tale of Ken’s kindness has made headlines around the world, with many sharing how much they’ve been impacted by the generous deed.</p> <p>One Twitter user commented: “People like Ken never die as they’ve left an imprint on humanity that can never be erased.”</p> <p>Another added: “As long as we remember this act of kindness and love, and repeat it ourselves.”  </p>

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How often should you be washing your pillowcase?

<p>Time to face the facts, the best part of everyone’s day is bedtime, when you can drift off into a deep sleep and wake up the next morning looking forward to doing it all over again.</p> <p>But have you ever stopped to think about the bacteria that has accumulated on your pillowcase over time?</p> <p>I mean, think about it, you sleep for seven hours a day, every day, so if you aren’t washing them regularly, you may end up dealing with a number of issues.</p> <p>Dirty pillowcases are said to cause several skin problems such as breakouts, irritation and face acne – so if you have a new friend on your face every morning, think of it as your skin telling you it’s time to give your pillow case a good wash.</p> <p>Throughout those blissful hours of relaxation, your pillowcase is collecting remnants of skin, bacteria, fungus and oils from your face and hair.</p> <p>So how often should you replace your pillowcases?</p> <p>Speaking to<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://au.lifestyle.yahoo.com/not-washing-pillowcases-nearly-often-043030630.html" target="_blank"><em>Yahoo Lifestyle</em></a>, Jordana Mattioli, an aesthetician, says you should ideally wash your sheets every day.</p> <p>But if that sounds too excessive, turn your pillowcase inside out to get an extra night’s use.</p> <p>Ms Mattioli also recommends wrapping your hair in a scarf while you sleep so your pillowcase remains free from hair products and leftover residues.</p> <p>How often do you wash your pillowcase? Left us know in the comments below.</p>

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Chloe Lattanzi’s touching tribute to mum Olivia Newton John

<p>Olivia Newton John’s only child, Chloe Lattanzi, has penned an emotional tribute to her famous mum for <a href="https://www.nowtolove.com.au"><em><strong><u>Woman’s Day.</u></strong></em></a></p> <p>The 32-year-old daughter of the <em style="font-weight: inherit;">Grease</em> star candidly discussed her relationship with her mum and how have they’ve grown closer, even through the most difficult moments in their lives.</p> <p>Chloe recalled the confronting first time she learnt her mum had cancer at the age of six.</p> <p>“I was just six the first time she had cancer and Mum never told me,” she wrote.</p> <p>“Then we moved to Australia when she was in recovery and one of the kids at school ran up to me and said, ‘Your mum has cancer and she is dying, haha.’</p> <p>“It was awful. I went home in tears and confronted my mum and said: 'Why didn't you tell me, I could have taken care of you?'</p> <p>“Mum having cancer instilled a fear of loss in me at a very early age – I was scared I might lose her at any moment.”</p> <p>Chloe explained that from that moment, she grew very protective of her mother.</p> <p>“Now Mum is battling cancer again, but this time I am not a kid, I am an adult. I felt like my whole world was collapsing in on me. After going through a denial phase, I was angry that such a wonderful, kind, amazing, generous woman had to go through hell again,” she shared.</p> <p>“It is terrifying and unfair, and it makes me mad that such a beautiful woman has to face this.”</p> <p>She vulnerably shared how the close duo find it hard to articulate the emotions they are constantly battling.</p> <p>“There is no instruction manual on how to deal with all of this, and still today Mum and I find it very difficult to talk about what she is going through.”</p> <p>Chloe said that Olivia’s cancer battle has taught her to appreciate every moment she gets with her mum.</p> <p>“Mum and I have never been as close as we are today – we're both learning how to protect each other and how to talk about this without being scared.”</p> <p>“What cancer has done for Mum and me is to remind us to take every moment we can to enjoy each other,” she wrote.</p> <p>Chloe explained that when they spend time together, they enjoy watching movies, shopping, cooking and laughing.</p> <p>Looking towards the future, Chloe said Olivia is looking forward to her daughter marrying her fiancé James Driskill.</p> <p>“Mum can't wait for us to get married and one day be a grandma.”</p> <p>Chloe said that once she has a baby, she knows that she will be able to rely on her mum to show her the ropes and support her.</p> <p>“We've been through a lot together, but not a day goes by when I'm not happy and proud to call her my mum.”</p>

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Camilla reveals granddaughter was rushed to hospital via air ambulance

<p>Camilla Parker Bowles has recalled the scary moment when one of her granddaughters had to be airlifted to hospital.</p> <p>While attending an airbase near Chippenham to officially open it as patron of Wiltshire Air Ambulance, she shared how grateful she was for the service.</p> <p>She thanked staff for their efforts and said she has witnessed first-hand the work of flying paramedics.</p> <p>"I just really wanted to say a huge thank you to everybody who has been involved with this wonderful project. I know what fantastic work the air ambulance does," Camilla said.</p> <p>"I've seen it and I have known friends that have literally been saved by it. Even in Yorkshire my granddaughter was taken off in the Yorkshire one, one year, and luckily she was sorted and alright, but it gave my daughter such confidence to be aboard it."</p> <p>The Duchess of Cornwall did not name the granddaughter, but it's believed she is referring to Eliza Lopes, as Camilla revealed that her daughter Laura was also onboard.</p> <p>Laura and her husband Harry Lopes share children Eliza, 9, and eight-year-old twins Gus and Louis.</p> <p>Camilla said her granddaughter was “fine” after the terrifying incident in Yorkshire.</p> <p>Further details about the incident are not known as the Yorkshire Air Ambulance said it does not comment on individual cases.</p> <p>A spokeswoman for the service, which was established in 2000, revealed that they operate two helicopters which respond to three to four trauma incidents a day.</p> <p>As well as calling Eliza, Gus and Louis her grandchildren, she is also the grandma of her son Tom Parker Bowles’ children, Lola and Freddie.  </p> <p>Speaking of her grandchildren in the documentary <em style="font-weight: inherit;">The Real Camilla: HRH The Duchess of Cornwall</em>, Camilla said: “It's very nice because you haven't got the full responsibility. You can give them a wonderful time, spoil them, give them all the things their parents won't allow them to have and then give them back again."</p> <p>She also revealed that when her younger grandchildren spot her on TV, they respond by waving to her.</p> <p>She added: “I don’t know if they expect me to wave back again!” </p>

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“I owe my life to that dog”: Husky sniffs out owner’s ovarian cancer three times

<p>If you didn’t think dogs could get any better, then keep reading because you’re about to be proven wrong.</p> <p>While dogs are known to have highly developed senses, one Siberian Husky by the name of Sierra has the gift of detecting when her owner is ill.</p> <p>Stephanie Herfel, from Wisconsin in the US, discovered her pooch’s special talent after she was dealing with pain in her abdomen. It was then that Sierra did something out of the ordinary.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fpermalink.php%3Fstory_fbid%3D1636991369654084%26id%3D100000297100983&amp;width=500" width="500" height="613" style="border: none; overflow: hidden;" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="true" allow="encrypted-media"></iframe></p> <p>“She put her nose on my lower belly and sniffed so intently that I thought I spilled something on my clothes,” Ms Herfel told Journal Sentinel.</p> <p>“She did it a second and then a third time. After the third time, Sierra went and hid. I mean hid!”</p> <p>Seeking professional help, Ms Herfel was told she had an ovarian cyst and was prescribed painkillers to help alleviate the discomfort. But when she came home, Sierra hid in the closet and rolled up in fear.</p> <p>Ms Herfel didn’t think much of it, but when she went to get a second opinion, a gynaecologist delivered the terrifying news – she had stage three ovarian cancer.</p> <p>After going through a full hysterectomy and chemotherapy, Ms Herfel believed that would be the end of her tiring journey, but she was wrong.</p> <p>In 2015, a year after Ms Herfel was said to be cancer-free, Sierra once again displayed the same behaviour she did in 2013, when Ms Herfel was first diagnosed.</p> <p>A little while later it was confirmed that the cancer had returned and spread to her liver and pelvis.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fpermalink.php%3Fstory_fbid%3D1958007604219124%26id%3D100000297100983&amp;width=500" width="500" height="594" style="border: none; overflow: hidden;" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="true" allow="encrypted-media"></iframe></p> <p>But Sierra isn’t the only dog to be able to detect when something isn’t quite right in her owner.</p> <p>It is said that other dogs also share this special gift.</p> <p>“It’s almost like the dog knows what’s going on and is scared,” said Ashley Wagner, from the Wisconsin Ovarian Cancer Alliance, explained to Journal Sentinel.</p> <p>“The dog didn’t want to be near her.”</p> <p>Ms Herfel is currently working on a book that is based around the relationship she shares with her dog. </p>

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13 surprising things that could explain your sleep woes

<p>Something wrecking your sleep? There could be a very simple yet surprising reason.</p> <p><strong>1. You’re taking your multivitamin at night</strong></p> <p>You probably know that many medications – from allergy medications to statins to antidepressants – can disrupt your sleep. But some vitamins can, too. In particular, B vitamins can interfere with your nightly rest. There’s evidence suggesting vitamin B6 may trigger <span><a href="http://www.readersdigest.com.au/healthsmart/conditions/sleep/13-things-your-dreams-reveal-about-you">vivid and bizarre dreaming</a></span>, which is more likely to wake you during the night. And research shows vitamin B12 may increase your sensitivity to light, inhibiting the sleep hormone melatonin and disrupting normal sleep-wake rhythms. The best time to take a multivitamin? In the morning after breakfast.</p> <p><strong>2. You eat chocolate at night</strong></p> <p>I love a square or two of dark chocolate as a treat. But I avoid eating chocolate before bed, and I suggest my patients do the same. <u><a href="http://www.readersdigest.com.au/healthsmart/conditions/mental-health/researchers-confirm-chocolate-good-your-brain">Chocolate has several health benefits</a></u> but it’s not a sleep-promoter. Chocolate is an often-overlooked source of caffeine. The greater the cocoa content, the higher the caffeine level in chocolate. If you’re making the <u><a href="http://www.readersdigest.com.au/healthsmart/diet/facts-dark-chocolate">healthier choice by opting for dark chocolate</a></u>, and having it as a before-bed snack, you’re getting an extra, unwelcome jolt of caffeine when you least need it. Plan to get your chocolate fix earlier in the day and try more sleep-friendly night-time snacks such as a banana, toast with nut butter, or a small bowl of whole-grain, low-sugar cereal.</p> <p><strong>3. Sugary snacks before bed are your thing</strong></p> <p>It’s not only chocolate that can be problematic for sleep – other sugary foods can disrupt sleep, too. Most people love a sweet treat at the end of the day but feeding those cravings for sweet food before bed elevates blood sugar. A jump in blood sugar – and the crash that follows – can have negative effects on sleep.</p> <p><strong>4. Your bedroom is too quiet</strong></p> <p>As a sleep specialist, I spend plenty of time talking to patients about reducing noise in their sleep environment. But sometimes the problem isn’t too much noise, it’s too much <em>silence</em>. In a perfectly quiet bedroom, every little random sound can trigger your brain to attention. For people who need to calm a racing mind at night in order to drift off, a silent bedroom can get in the way of sleep. The best sounds for sleep? They vary from person to person but are often rhythmic sounds that mimic nature or mixed-frequency sounds such as white noise and pink noise.</p> <p><strong>5. Peppermint is part of your nightly routine</strong></p> <p>Whether it’s in your toothpaste or your nightly cup of herbal tea, peppermint can have a stimulating effect. A 2005 study found people exposed to peppermint oil (in a darkened room, no less) experienced a decrease in their sleepiness. Citrus, eucalyptus and rosemary are other scents that energise and wake the mind. If you’re struggling to nod off at night, swap out your mint tea for a more relaxing brew, such as chamomile or jasmine, and consider switching to a less minty toothpaste.</p> <p><strong>6. You don't wash your pillows</strong></p> <p>Bed pillows collect a lot of pretty gross stuff: dirt, dead skin, hair, mould, fungus, pet dander, dust mites ... you get the picture. These substances can cause allergy symptoms (think sneezing, coughing, runny and itchy nose and eyes) that interfere with sleep. Allergies are also linked to sleep disorders. A 2005 study found people with allergies are nearly twice as likely to have insomnia. And allergies are also a risk factor for obstructive sleep apnoea, according to research. Washing your pillows a couple of times a year is a smart move from a hygiene perspective, and can ensure they last for a good few years. (And here's why you should <u><a href="http://www.readersdigest.com.au/home-tips/dont-even-think-about-sitting-your-bed-outside-clothes">never sit on your bed in your outside clothes</a></u>.)</p> <p><strong>7. The moon is full</strong></p> <p>It’s not just daylight and darkness that affect sleep cycles. <u><a href="http://www.readersdigest.com.au/true-stories-lifestyle/thought-provoking/10-biggest-unsolved-mysteries-about-earth">The phases of the moon</a></u> can also have a significant impact on sleep. In a 2013 study published in the journal <em>Current Biology,</em> Swiss scientists found that around the time of a full moon, people sleep less (an average of 20 minutes), take longer to fall asleep, and sleep less soundly. They also found our bodies produce less melatonin and spend less time in deep, slow-wave sleep. Social media is another big cause of sleeplessness.</p> <p><strong>8. Dinner is the biggest meal of your day</strong></p> <p>During sleep, your metabolic system repairs and restores itself, and your digestive system gets a welcome, important rest. If you eat a big meal at the end of the day, especially if you eat a late dinner very close to bedtime, your digestive system is kicking into action right when you’re headed for bed. That’s not good for your metabolic health. A 2017 study found that shifting eating to later in the day contributes to weight gain, higher cholesterol and insulin levels, and increased risks for heart disease and diabetes. It also can be disruptive to sleep. (That's why you need to change not what you eat, but <u><a href="http://www.readersdigest.com.au/healthsmart/diet/why-changing-when-you-eat-can-produce-immediate-results">WHEN you eat</a></u>.)</p> <p><strong>9. Your dinner is extra spicy</strong></p> <p>Plenty of heat and spice can make for a great meal, but it might wreck your slumber. The chemical capsaicin, found in capsicum and chilli peppers, triggers a process known as thermogenesis – that’s when the body converts energy into heat. Eating a lot of spicy food may raise body temperature slightly. Why does that matter to sleep? Body temperature naturally lowers at night as part of the body’s preparation for sleep, so spicy food may send your body temperature in the wrong direction. Spicy food can also trigger heartburn, which can become worse when you lie down, making it tough to fall asleep. And when you’re sleep deprived you actually end up overeating, which could lead to weight gain.</p> <p><strong>10. You love a twisty mystery</strong></p> <p>Plenty of heat and spice can make for a great meal, but it might wreck your slumber. The chemical capsaicin, found in capsicum and chilli peppers, triggers a process known as thermogenesis – that’s when the body converts energy into heat. Eating a lot of spicy food may raise body temperature slightly. Why does that matter to sleep? Body temperature naturally lowers at night as part of the body’s preparation for sleep, so spicy food may send your body temperature in the wrong direction. Spicy food can also trigger heartburn, which can become worse when you lie down, making it tough to fall asleep. And when you’re sleep deprived you actually end up overeating, which could lead to weight gain.</p> <p><strong>11. You love a twisty mystery</strong></p> <p>Landed a promotion at work? Planning your wedding or a move to your dream home? New grandchild on the way? Happy and exciting life events can disrupt sleep, just as stressful and difficult ones can. Acute insomnia – short periods of trouble sleeping that last from a few days to a few weeks – is often triggered by significant or unexpected developments in life, both positive and negative. If your life is coming up roses these days, you still need to pay attention to your sleep – and you may need to give your sleep routine some extra TLC.</p> <p><strong>12. You do work in bed</strong></p> <p>It’s a mantra of sleep specialists like me: your bed is for sleep (and sex), only. <u><a href="http://www.readersdigest.com.au/true-stories-lifestyle/work/do-you-have-what-it-takes-work-home">When you need to work at home</a></u>, it can be tempting to set yourself up in this most comfortable of places. But if you’re working in bed – during the day or at night before sleep – you’re creating associations with your sleep space that you can’t just undo. Pressure and productivity, stress and deadlines, and focus and alertness are some of the work-related realities that are best kept far from your bedroom.</p> <p><strong>13. You have a thyroid disorder</strong></p> <p>This small gland located at the base of your throat produces hormones that regulate metabolism and brain activity. And when it isn’t functioning properly, it can cause problems for sleep. An overactive thyroid stimulates the nervous system, causing you to feel wired, restless and alert – making it difficult to fall asleep. When the thyroid is underactive, you tend to feel sleepy and fatigued all the time, which can lead you to sleep at the wrong times, disrupting a normal routine of nightly rest. Another symptom of an underactive thyroid? Feeling cold all the time, which also can interfere with sleep. <span><a href="http://www.readersdigest.com.au/healthsmart/conditions/thyroid/9-Silent-Signs-of-a-Thyroid-Problem">Thyroid conditions often go undiagnosed</a></span> – but a simple blood test can determine if you have a thyroid issue that’s disrupting your sleep.</p> <p><em>Written by Dr Michael J Breus. </em></p> <p><em>This article first appeared in <span><strong><a href="http://www.readersdigest.com.au/healthsmart/conditions/sleep/13-surprising-things-could-explain-your-sleep-woes?items_per_page=All">Reader’s Digest.</a></strong></span> For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, here’s our best subscription <a href="http://readersdigest.innovations.com.au/c/readersdigestsubscribe?utm_source=readersdigest&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;utm_medium=display&amp;keycode=WRA85S"><strong><u>offer.</u></strong></a></em></p> <p> </p> <p><img style="width: 100px !important; height: 100px !important;" src="/media/7820640/1.png" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/f30947086c8e47b89cb076eb5bb9b3e2" /></p>

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Michael Schumacher’s son opens up in new heartbreaking interview

<p>In a new interview, Michael Schumacher’s son has opened up about his “idol” father and the happy times they shared together before the icon’s devastating ski accident.</p> <p>Speaking on Germany’s TL channel on the weekend, 19-year-old Mick Schumacher’s comments provided a heartbreaking glimpse into his family life following his father’s accident, which took place in France on 29 December 2013.</p> <p>Speaking of his Formula 1 legend father, Mick said: “My dad asked if we wanted to do it professionally or just for fun, on a hobby level.</p> <p>“Of course, I said it clearly – I want to do it professionally.</p> <p>“We drove on days when the track was closed, and we were allowed to do our laps there.</p> <p>“All the refining we did to be faster was also a lot. That was always the best time.”</p> <p>Mick, who is now the European Formula 3 champion, said he doesn’t mind being compared to his dad.</p> <p>“I do not mind it that way. I would always compare myself with the best, and my dad is the best, and he’s my idol too,” he said.</p> <p>Although Mick said being the son of his famous father has opened doors and made things easier for him, after the races and success, “you are sitting there alone”.</p> <p>Michael’s family have shared little details about his condition and the seven-time world champion has not been seen in public since the devastating accident.</p> <p>Last week, Mick’s close friend, Nicklas Nielsen, said he talks little about his father’s health status.</p> <p>Talking to Danish newspaper <em>BT,</em> Nicklas said: “Mick does not say he is sad about his father. He just said sometimes that it is sometimes hard.</p> <p>“I know him very well, also privately. He is a very quiet and calm guy. Very nice and welcoming and he talks to everyone.</p> <p>“It was completely closed and not talked about. I still do a little karting with Ralf Schumacher and his team and nobody talks about it.”</p> <p>Reportedly, the racing legend is receiving special medical care at his Lake Geneva home.</p> <p>Recently, <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/news/news/michael-schumacher-s-wife-shares-rare-comments-on-stricken-f1-star-s-health/"><strong><u>a letter written by Michael’s wife</u></strong></a>, Corinna Schumacher, described him as a “fighter”.</p>

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Heartbroken bride honours dead fiancé in beautiful photoshoot

<p style="text-align: left;">Debbie Gerlach may have lost her fiancé to a tragic accident nine months before they were set to wed, but that didn’t stop her from dressing up as a bride and taking photos with the man she was supposed to spend the rest of her life with.</p> <p>Debbie was getting ready to marry the love of her life, Randy Zimmerman, on November 11, 2018, but before that, Randy had his life taken away from him after a motorbike accident in February.</p> <p>However, Debbie couldn’t let go that easily, as she wanted him by her side in what was supposed to be the happiest day of their lives.</p> <p>A few months prior, Debbie took part in a solo photoshoot where she donned her wedding dress and posed in the Tucson, Arizona, desert.</p> <p>Then on November 11, the day that would have been their wedding, she shared the photos online, but the photos show more than one person, because standing by Debbie’s side is Randy.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fdebbie.gerlach.79%2Fposts%2F10212819717103407&amp;width=500" width="500" height="764" style="border: none; overflow: hidden;" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="true" allow="encrypted-media"></iframe></p> <p>The post garnered a huge response with over 308K reactions and 29K comments.</p> <p>The photographer behind the emotional photoshoot is Kristie Fonseca who regularly photoshops deceased loved ones in photographs that she’s taken.</p> <p>“I actually enjoy taking on challenges like this because, if portrayed with love and passion, the end result will be forever cherished,” she says.</p> <p>Speaking to <a rel="noopener" href="https://au.lifestyle.yahoo.com/heartbroken-bride-photoshops-dead-hubby-wedding-photos-200052263.html" target="_blank"><em>Yahoo Lifestyle</em></a>, Kristie recalls the moment Debbie approached her with her idea: “When I first spoke with Debbie, she told me her tragic story and asked if I was able to insert her fiancé into what should have been their special day. A special day that was carelessly stolen from her.</p> <p>“After listening to her heartbreaking story, I just knew I had to do something very special for her.”</p> <p>Kristie knew immediately that these photographs had to be perfect.</p> <p>“It was supposed to be her day. It was supposed to be the day they expressed their love for each other. My thoughts were going a mile a minute coming up with ideas, poses and images that would mimic her special day with him.”</p> <p>The setting was an isolated desert, and the focal point was Debbie, who stood there in a white gown. Each image pays tribute to Randy, with him standing by Debbie’s side.</p> <p>Whether he sat on a motorcycle behind her, or where he’s kissing her cheek, the photographs make sure that his presence will never be forgotten.</p> <p>“I started the session as I normally would for a bridal shoot, and then I posed her for some as if he was there,” Fonseca explained.</p> <p>“She naturally posed for the photos as if he was standing right beside her.</p> <p>“Her smile had a warmth as if he was talking to her. Even though he wasn’t there, she moved as if he was.”</p> <p>The end result was loved by Debbie, but she planned to keep it from the world until what was supposed to be their wedding day.</p> <p>Alongside the photos, Debbie hoped to spread awareness on road safety, as she captioned it: “Please I beg each and every one of you that reads this post, WATCH FOR MOTORCYCLES, stop at stop signs and drive with care because you never know whose whole world is on that bike.</p> <p>“Maybe if that person stopped, I’d be marrying Randy, my best friend, the love of my life.”</p> <p>What do you think of these touching photos of Debbie and her beloved Randy? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below. </p>

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Michael Schumacher’s family release haunting new video of the F1 driver

<p>Michael Schumacher’s family has released never-before-seen footage of the F1 legend as he talked about his successful career, only two months before the tragic accident that would change his life forever.</p> <p>Considered the best F1 driver the world has ever seen, Schumacher spoke about his struggles with self-confidence and who he respects most in the profession in the haunting footage that was posted on his website.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/hX7LF20uz3s" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p>The interview is dated October 30, 2013, only two short months before his skiing accident in the French Alps which occurred on December 29 the same year.</p> <p>Schumacher, who is now 49, said he never imagined his career to skyrocket the way it did, but it was his self-doubt that garnered him his many accolades.</p> <p>“Records is one thing. Doubts … I think it is very important to not be over confident – to be sceptical, to look for improvements,” he said.</p> <p>“Yeah, I always felt I am not good enough, I have to work, and that was one part of the recipe that made me what I became.</p> <p>“Talent in motorsport, as in any sport, is important – but that’s not all. You need really to develop lots of different skills.”</p> <p>He also commended his team, as he said his success wasn’t solely due to him.</p> <p>“Success, as in any situation of life or in most I know, is about teamwork,” he said.</p> <p>“Yourself, you do what you do. As a team, you will be much stronger. Formula 1 is a team work, and definitely not a one-man show.”</p> <p>He also mentioned how despite the challenges F1 drivers face, the sport has become much less demanding throughout his 17-year career due to the advancements in car technology.</p> <p>“Formula One is very tough. It used to be a lot harder – no power brakes, no power steering – in the past compared to nowadays,” he said.</p> <p>“But anyway, it is one of the toughest sports you can do, so a lot of preparation is needed.”</p> <p>The seven-time world champion looked back at his career highlights, and said it was his first win with Ferrari in 2000 that was the most emotional.</p> <p>Schumacher had an impressive run as he consecutively won championships after his first win. Those wins included Benetton in 1994 and 1995, then five back-to-back with the Prancing Horse from 2000-2004.</p> <p>The racing icon had a total of 91 grand prix wins by the end of his career.</p> <p>“Twenty-one years no championships with Ferrari, four years myself failing, then finally, in a great race to achieve it, win the world championship,” he said.</p> <p>When asked who he admires most in the adrenaline filled sport, he said it was Finland driver Mika Hakkinen, his rival driver and the 1998 and 1999 world champion for McLaren.</p> <p>“The most respected guy in all those years was definitely Mika Hakkinen. Great fights, but stable private relationships,” he said, as he mentioned how his secret to success was to learn from other drivers.</p> <p>“To develop yourself, to find other steps, you not only look at the car; you look at yourself, you look at other drivers.</p> <p>“And you’re not only looking at your front drivers, you’re looking at everybody. So, I did, because everybody has something special that I wanted to know.”</p> <p>Schumacher went on to mention his immense admiration for technical mastermind Ross Brawn, who he credits his success to.</p> <p>“If you go back to the various teams I have driven for, the various missions – Benetton, after four or five years building it up to the championship, same with Ferrari, we tried the same with Mercedes in less time – is there one thing in common, I would say yes there is: Ross Brawn. Think about it.”</p> <p>But surprisingly, a young Michael Schumacher didn’t grow up admiring F1 drivers, but rather a German soccer player: Toni Schumacher (no relation).</p> <p>“In the young days of karting, I looked around and yes, I saw Ayrton Senna or Vincenzo Sospiri, but my real idol was Toni Schumacher, because he was a great soccer player,” he said.</p> <p>Schumacher is currently undergoing treatment at his Lake Geneva residence, where he is receiving round-the-clock care from a team of medical professionals. His family are known to be notoriously private of his condition.</p>

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Michael Schumacher’s son opens up about his father’s injuries

<p>In what is considered a rare admission, Michael Schumacher’s son has reportedly said that he “finds it hard” to cope due to his father’s injuries, according to a friend.</p> <p>Five years ago, racing legend Michael Schumacher was critically injured in the French Alps while skiing during a family holiday.</p> <p>His son Mick, 19, stays silent much like the rest of his family when discussing the current situation of Michael.</p> <p>According to Nicklas Nielson, who is allegedly a close friend of Mick’s, Michael’s condition “remains a mystery”.</p> <p>Speaking to Danish newspaper <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.bt.dk/formel-1/dansk-stortalent-skriver-kontrakt-med-schumacher" target="_blank"><em>BT</em></a>, Mr Nielson said: “Mick does not say he is sad about his father. He just said sometimes that it is sometimes hard.</p> <p>“I know him very well, also privately. He is a very quiet and calm guy. Very nice and welcoming and he talks to everyone.</p> <p>“It was completely closed and not talked about. I still do a little karting with Ralf Schumacher and his team and nobody talks about it.”</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/Bl0GI8zHOcU/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_medium=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/Bl0GI8zHOcU/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_medium=loading" target="_blank">#Repost @f1 with @get_repost ・・・ LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON: Congratulations to Mick Schumacher, who secured his first F3 win on Saturday. It came at Spa, where, in 1992, his father Michael took the first of his record 91 F1 wins. Congratulations too for the other F3 winners this weekend - Jehun Daruvala and Dan Ticktum 👏🏆👨‍👦 . #F1 #Formula1 #F3 #Spa #Schumacher #Father #Son #Motorsport #Spa #SpaFrancorchamps @mickschumacher @circuit_spa_francorchamps</a></p> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;">A post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/mickschumacher/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_medium=loading" target="_blank"> Mick Schumacher</a> (@mickschumacher) on Jul 29, 2018 at 4:31am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>After colliding with a rock and injuring his head while skiing, it's believed Michael has been left unable to move, even after two major operations that saved his life.</p> <p>It is reported that he is receiving round-the-clock care at his Switzerland retreat.</p> <p>Mr Nielson speculated that while Michael may be on the road to recovery, he will officially leave the retreat once he is “completely rehabilitated”, but he went on to say that it is hard to predict exactly what is happening.</p> <p>Michael is considered a racing legend as the German competed in Formula One for Jordan Grand Prix, Benetton, Mercedes and Ferrari, who he had the longest relationship with.</p> <p>He is the only driver to date to win seven Formula One World Championships – five of them he won consecutively.</p> <p>The official Formula One website says that Michael is “statistically the greatest driver the sport has ever seen”.</p>

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Why everyone experiences the five stages of grief differently

<p><strong><em>Nick Haslam is a Professor of Psychology at the University of Melbourne. </em></strong></p> <p>Grief can seem desolate for those in the thick of it who often feel unable to imagine a way out of their suffering. But, as time passes, the pain usually dampens or becomes more fleeting.</p> <p>Understanding the normal trajectory of grief matters for the person experiencing the grief and those treating them. Attempts to provide a map of the bereavement process have typically proposed a sequence of stages. The “five stages” model is the best known, with the stages being denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.</p> <p>While there is some evidence for these stages, the experience of grief is highly individualised and not well captured by their fixed sequence. Some of the five stages may be absent, their order may be jumbled, certain experiences may rise to prominence more than once and the progression of stages may stall. The age of the bereaved person and the cause of death may also shape the grief process.</p> <p><strong>Stages of grief</strong></p> <p>The first major attempt to outline the stages of grief was made by British psychiatrist <u><a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Bowlby">John Bowlby</a></u>, father of <u><a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attachment_theory">attachment theory</a></u>, an influential account of how infants and children form close bonds to their caregivers. Bowlby and his colleague <u><a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colin_Murray_Parkes">Colin Parkes</a></u> proposed four stages of grieving.</p> <p>The first is of <em>numbness and shock</em>, when the loss is not accepted or seen as not real. The second stage of <em>yearning and searching</em> is marked by a sense of emptiness. The mourner is preoccupied with the person who has been lost, seeking reminders and reliving memories.</p> <p>In the third stage, <em>despair and disorganisation</em> set in. This is a sense of hopelessness and sometimes anger where the bereaved person may withdraw into depression. Finally, in the <em>re-organisation and recovery</em> stage, hope rekindles and there is a gradual return to the rhythms of daily life.</p> <p>Bowlby and Parkes’s model, first proposed in the early 1960s, may have been the first. However, it’s Swiss-American psychiatrist <span><a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elisabeth_K%C3%BCbler-Ross">Elisabeth Kübler-Ross</a></span>’s model coined in 1969 that has become the most widely known. Her five stages of grief – originally developed to map patient responses to terminal illness – have become famous. They have been applied not only to responses to death but also to a variety of other losses.</p> <p>Kübler-Ross’s first stage, <em>denial</em>, resembles what Bowlby and Parkes labelled numbness and shock, but her second, <em>anger</em>, departs from their scheme. The affected person demands to understand why the loss or illness has taken place, and why it has happened to them.</p> <p>In the third stage, <em>bargaining</em>, the person may be consumed with “if only”, guiltily wishing they could go back in time and undo whatever may have led to the illness, or death.</p> <p>Stages four and five involve <em>depression</em> and <em>acceptance</em>. Despair and withdrawal gradually give way to a sense of fully acknowledging and making peace with the loss.</p> <p><strong>Evidence for the five stages</strong></p> <p>Kübler-Ross’s stages emerged from her clinical work with dying patients rather than systematic research. Empirical support for the existence of the proposed sequence of stages has been scant but intriguing.</p> <p>One study followed <span><a href="https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/205661">233 older adults</a></span> over a 24-month period after the death of a loved one from natural causes. It assessed them on experiences associated with a modified version of Kübler-Ross’s stages. In accord with her theory, each of the five experiences peaked in the predicted order.</p> <p>Disbelief was highest immediately after the loss and declined gradually thereafter. Yearning, anger and depression peaked at four, five and six months respectively before declining. Acceptance of the loss rose steadily over the two-year period.</p> <p><strong>Problems with the stage model</strong></p> <p>Although the sequence of peaks matched Kübler-Ross’s model, some aspects of this research also challenged it.</p> <p>First, although disbelief was at its highest immediately after the loss, it was always less prominent than acceptance. Acceptance is not a late stage of resolution for people who are grieving, but an experience that prevails from the start and continues to grow.</p> <p>Second, yearning was the most prominent negative experience, despite being omitted from the most well-known version of Kübler-Ross’s five stages. This points to the limitations of framing grief in the clinical terms of depression, which study participants experienced less frequently than longing.</p> <p>But the study’s findings can’t necessarily be generalised as it looked only at older adults and natural causes of death. Another major study found the <span><a href="https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Jason_Holland4/publication/45658453_An_Examination_of_Stage_Theory_of_Grief_among_Individuals_Bereaved_by_Natural_and_Violent_Causes_A_Meaning-Oriented_Contribution/links/0fcfd512649d0b2fd2000000.pdf">typical pattern of grieving</a></span> among young adults was substantially different.</p> <p>Yearning peaked before disbelief, and depression remained constant without resolving over two years. In addition, yearning, anger and disbelief returned with a second peak near the two-year mark, when acceptance also declined.</p> <p>Moreover, young adults whose loved ones died by violent causes differed from the typical pattern. For them, disbelief dominated their first months, and depression initially declined but then rose again as the second anniversary of the death approached.</p> <p>All these findings represent the average responses of a sample rather than the trajectories of individual participants. Even if the Kübler-Ross’s stages partially reflect the statistical tendencies of the whole sample, they might fail to capture how individuals’ experiences of grief unfold.</p> <p>That is the <span><a href="https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Randolph_Nesse/publication/11048741_Resilience_to_loss_and_chronic_grief_A_prospective_study_from_preloss_to_18-months_postloss/links/0912f507ecd34bc8c0000000/Resilience-to-loss-and-chronic-grief-A-prospective-study-from-preloss-to-18-months-postloss.pdf">conclusion of a study</a></span> that followed 205 adults over an 18-month period following the loss of a spouse. These adults had been interviewed for a related study prior to the loss.</p> <p>The researchers found evidence of five distinct trajectories, with some people being depressed before the loss, and recovering afterwards. Some fell into a long-lasting depression, while others were fairly resilient and had experienced low levels of depression throughout.</p> <p><strong>States of grief</strong></p> <p>Kübler-Ross came to acknowledge the reality that her stages compose an appealing narrative of recovery rather than an accurate sequencing of grief. Experts now place less emphasis on her stages as a series of steps on the bereavement journey, much as they have tended to lose faith in other <span><a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Developmental_stage_theories">stage theories</a></span> of human behaviour.</p> <p>For all its limitations, Kübler-Ross’s analysis still has value. The supposed stages of grief may be better understood as <em><u><a href="https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Holly_Prigerson/publication/23556103_Grief_and_acceptance_as_opposite_sides_of_the_same_coin_Setting_a_research_agenda_to_study_peaceful_acceptance_of_loss/links/00b7d5229f94b88a8d000000/Grief-and-acceptance-as-opposite-sides-of-the-same-coin-Setting-a-research-agenda-to-study-peaceful-acceptance-of-loss.pdf">states of grief</a></u></em>: recognisable experiences that rise to the surface in distinctive ways in each person’s sorrowful passage through loss.</p> <p><em>Written by Nick Haslam. Republished with permission of <strong><u><a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a>. </u></strong></em></p> <p>&lt;img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important; text-shadow: none !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/96111/count.gif?distributor=</p>

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How does household mould affect your health?

<p><strong><em>Jeroen Douwes is a Professor of Public Health at the Centre for Public Health Research, Massey University. </em></strong></p> <p>Exposure to harmful agents inside the home can have profound effects on our health. After all, we spend an average of<span> </span><a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16078638">16 hours a day</a><span> </span>at home – and even more when aged under seven and over 64.</p> <p>Mould accumulates in damp and poorly ventilated buildings. Inhaling mould fragments or spores can inflame the airways, causing nasal congestion, wheezing, chest tightness, coughing and throat irritation.</p> <p>Prolonged exposure to high levels of indoor dampness<span> </span><a href="http://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/1002410/">can reduce lung function</a><span> </span>and cause chronic health problems such as asthma. Those who already suffer from asthma and allergies are more likely to have<span> </span><a href="http://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/1002410/">more severe symptoms</a><span> </span>when exposed.</p> <p>According to the World Health Organization (<a href="http://www.who.int/en/">WHO</a>), a<span> </span><a href="http://www.euro.who.int/__data/assets/pdf_file/0003/142077/e95004.pdf">considerable proportion</a><span> </span>of the world’s<span> </span><a href="http://journal.publications.chestnet.org/article.aspx?articleid=1210781">300 million cases</a><span> </span>of childhood asthma is attributable to exposure to indoor dampness and mould.</p> <p>People who live in damp and mouldy homes are also at increased risk of<span> </span><a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1994167/">depression</a><span> </span>which, in turn, may<span> </span><a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21532014">increase the risk</a><span> </span>of respiratory symptoms and<span> </span><a href="http://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/1002410/">asthma</a>.</p> <p>The most infamous type of mould is “black mould” (<em>Stachybotrys chartarum</em>), which can grow on water-damaged building materials and produce toxic spores. In 1994, it was linked to a<span> </span><a href="http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=192616">serious respiratory illness</a><span> </span>after ten children experienced idiopathic pulmonary haemosiderosis (bleeding from the lung) and one subsequently died.</p> <p>But despite significant media interest and public concern, a causal link was<span> </span><a href="http://www.cdc.gov/mold/stachy.htm#Q8">never established</a>.</p> <p><strong>Who is at risk?</strong></p> <p>It’s commonly assumed that mould causes the health problems described above, though the evidence for this is generally weaker than for dampness itself. This may be related to the fact that scientists are still struggling to accurately measure indoor mould exposures.</p> <p>The WHO<span> </span><a href="http://www.euro.who.int/__data/assets/pdf_file/0003/142077/e95004.pdf">estimates</a><span> </span>that in cold climates, 15% of dwellings have signs of dampness and 5% have signs of mould problems. In warm climates, the estimates are 20% for dampness and 25% for mould.</p> <p>Since dampness is more likely to occur in houses that are overcrowded and lack appropriate heating, ventilation and insulation, the prevalence of damp indoor problems in low-income communities and rental accommodation can be substantially higher.</p> <p>Climate change and its effects on the weather (storms, heavy rainfall and floods) are likely to<span> </span><a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4499913/">further increase</a><span> </span>the proportion of buildings with damp problems.</p> <p><strong>What can you do?</strong></p> <p>In addition to visible mould, other signs of damp problems may include: mould odour, water stains, frequent condensation, peeling or cracked paint or wall paper, damp basement, and standing water under or around the house.</p> <p>No safe levels of indoor dampness and or mould have been defined. So health-based standards or guidelines do not exist.</p> <p>Nonetheless, there are several practicable measures you can take to prevent or minimise indoor mould. These include adequately heating and, in colder climates, insulating your home to reduce air humidity levels and condensation.</p> <p>Install and use appropriate ventilation, particularly in wet areas or areas where water vapour may be emitted, such as bathrooms, laundries and kitchen areas.</p> <p>It’s also critical to avoid water leaks by controlling and maintaining rain and surface water drainage. Where holes are created in the roof or walls to allow skylights, windows, doors, pipes or other structures to be fitted, make sure these are watertight.</p> <p>If you find visible mould in your home, remove the mould and identify and address the cause of the excess moisture. Clean hard surfaces using soap and water or, if mould growth is persistent, a bleach solution could be used. You may need to throw away absorbent materials such as carpets, depending on the level of contamination.</p> <p>In case of extensive mould damage, you may need to call on commercial mould remediation services.</p> <p>Although those with pre-existing allergies or asthma are at greater risks, mould can also cause health effects in otherwise healthy people. So measures to prevent or reduce mould exposure are important to everyone.</p> <p>Some regions may require stricter regulations and building codes to prevent dampness and mould.</p> <p>Damp problems are particularly prevalent in rental houses, often due to poor maintenance. So regulators should also consider a periodic inspection system (or “warrant of fitness”) to ensure minimal housing standards are met.</p> <p><em>Written by Jeroen Douwes. Republished with permission of <a href="https://theconversation.com"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>The Conversation</strong></span></a>. </em></p> <p><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important; text-shadow: none !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/48341/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-advanced" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /></p>

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The truth behind broken heart syndrome

<p><strong><em>Nelson Chong is a senior lecturer in the Department of Life Sciences at the University of Westminster.</em></strong></p> <p>A stressful event, such as the death of a loved one, really can break your heart. In medicine, the condition is known as broken heart syndrome or takotsubo syndrome. It is characterised by a temporary disruption of the heart’s normal pumping function, which puts the sufferer at increased risk of death. It’s believed to be the reason many elderly couples die within a <span><a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/30/well/live/how-emotions-can-affect-the-heart.html">short time of each other</a></span>.</p> <p>Broken heart syndrome has similar symptoms to a heart attack, including chest pain and difficulty breathing. During an attack, which can be triggered by a bereavement, divorce, surgery or other stressful event, the heart muscle weakens to the extent that it can no longer pump blood effectively.</p> <p>In about one in 10 cases, people with broken heart syndrome develop a condition called <u><a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26474843">cardiogenic shock</a></u> where the heart can’t pump enough blood to meet the body’s needs. This can result in death.</p> <p><strong>Physical damage</strong></p> <p>It has long been thought that, unlike a heart attack, damage caused by broken heart syndrome was temporary, lasting days or weeks, but recent research suggest that this is not the case.</p> <p>A <u><a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28599831">study</a></u> by researchers at the University of Aberdeen provided the first evidence that broken heart syndrome results in permanent physiological changes to the heart. The researchers followed 52 patients with the condition for four months, using ultrasound and cardiac imaging scans to look at how the patients’ hearts were functioning in minute detail. They discovered that the disease permanently affected the heart’s pumping motion. They also found that parts of the heart muscle were replaced by fine scars, which reduced the elasticity of the heart and prevented it from contracting properly.</p> <p>In a recent follow-up <u><a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29128863">study</a></u>, the same research team reported that people with broken heart syndrome have persistent impaired heart function and reduced exercise capacity, resembling heart failure, for more than 12 months after being discharged from hospital.</p> <p class="embed-responsive embed-responsive-16by9"><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/5f2Ga5O55k8" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p><strong>Long-term risk</strong></p> <p>A <span><a href="https://newsroom.heart.org/news/complication-of-broken-heart-syndrome-associated-with-both-short-and-long-term-risk-of-death?preview=9f46">new study on the condition</a></span>, published in Circulation, now shows that the risk of death remains high for many years after the initial attack.</p> <p>In this study, researchers in Switzerland compared 198 patients with broken heart syndrome who developed cardiogenic shock with 1,880 patients who did not. They found that patients who experienced cardiogenic shock were more likely to have had the syndrome triggered by physical stress, such as surgery or an asthma attack, and they were also significantly more likely to have died five years after the initial event.</p> <p>People with major heart disease risk factors, such as diabetes and smoking, were also much more likely to experience cardiogenic shock, as were people with <span><a href="https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/atrial-fibrillation/">atrial fibrillation</a></span> (a type of heart arrythmia).</p> <p>A second <span><a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2213177918303925">study</a></span> from Spain found similar results among 711 people with broken heart syndrome, 11% of whom developed cardiogenic shock. Over the course of a year, cardiogenic shock was the strongest predictor of death in this group of patients.</p> <p>These studies show that cardiogenic shock is not an uncommon risk factor in broken heart syndrome patients, and it is a strong predictor of death. They shed light on a condition that was previously thought to be less serious than it is.</p> <p>The evidence now clearly shows that the condition is not temporary, and it highlights an urgent need to establish new and more effective treatments and careful monitoring of people with this condition.</p> <p><em>Written by Nelson Chong. Republished with permission of <a href="http://www.theconversation.com"><strong><u>The Conversation.</u></strong> </a></em></p> <p><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important; text-shadow: none !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/106033/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-advanced" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /></p>

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