Retirement Life

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5 science facts you never learned in school

<p>The world has many strange but amazing true facts making it a really marvellous and mysterious place. </p> <p><strong>The human stomach can dissolve razor blades</strong></p> <p>On the rare occasion that you swallow a razor blade, don’t fret. The human body is more capable than you think. Acids are ranked on a scale from 0 to 14 – the lower the pH level, the stronger the acid. Human stomach acid is typically 1.0 to 2.0, meaning that it has an impeccably strong pH. In a study, scientists found that the “thickened back of a single-edged blade” dissolved after two hours of immersion in stomach acid.</p> <p><strong>A laser can get trapped in water</strong></p> <p>Yes, really. A cool thing called total internal reflection is applied when pointing a laser beam through a container of water. When light travels through water, it’s slowed by the heavier particles in water, as described here. Thus, the laser beam effectively gets “trapped” in the water.</p> <p><strong>Earth’s oxygen is produced by the ocean</strong></p> <p>Ever stopped to think where oxygen comes from? Your first thought may be a rainforest, but marine organisms take the bait. Plankton, seaweed and other photosynthesisers produce over half of the world’s oxygen.</p> <p><strong>Animals use Earth’s magnetic field for orientation</strong></p> <p>Lost land animals may not be able to find their way home, but sea animals might. According to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), “there is evidence that some animals, like sea turtles and salmon, have the ability to sense the Earth’s magnetic field and to use this sense for navigation.”</p> <p><strong>A cloud can weigh over a million pounds</strong></p> <p>Your childhood dreams of floating on a weightless cloud may get rained on with this fact: the average cumulus cloud can weigh up to a million pounds. A million pounds! That’s about as heavy as the world’s largest passenger jet.</p> <p><em>Written by Claire Nowak. This article first appeared in </em><a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/true-stories-lifestyle/science-technology/25-science-facts-you-never-learned-in-school?slide=all"><em>Reader’s Digest</em></a><em>. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, </em><span><em> </em></span><a href="http://readersdigest.innovations.co.nz/c/readersdigestemailsubscribe?utm_source=over60&amp;utm_medium=articles&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;keycode=WRN93V"><em>here’s our best subscription offer.</em></a></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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Elderly care staff accused of running a dementia patient fight club

<p><span>Three employees at an American assisted living facility have been accused of running a fight club, where police say dementia patients were encouraged to fight.</span></p> <p><span>Marilyn Latish McKey, 32, Tonacia Yvonne Tyson, 20, and Taneshia Deshawn Jordan, 26 were arrested and charged with assault on an individual with a disability in connection to the elder abuse at the Danby House in North Carolina.</span></p> <p><span>According to court documents reviewed by the <em><a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2019/10/14/elderly-care-staff-accused-pitting-residents-against-each-other-dementia-fight-club/">Winton-Salem Journal</a></em>, the three women encouraged two residents – aged 70-year-old and 73-year-old – in the house’s “special care unit” for dementia patients to fight each other as they watched and filmed on a phone.</span></p> <p><span>The accounts reported by the <em>Journal </em>alleged that one of the fighters was heard yelling, “Let go! Help me! Help me! Let go!”</span></p> <p><span>In response, one of the three staffers could be heard saying “stop screaming”, while another attempted to confirm that the phone was actually recording the clip so that it could be sent to her later.</span></p> <p><span>In a separate occasion, one of the employees reportedly physically assaulted a resident by shoving her into her room, while the other two recorded and did not offer help to the woman.</span></p> <p><span>Police announced the three healthcare workers’ arrests on Friday following an investigation into a tip received in June.</span></p> <p><span>“When you’re talking about someone who can’t take care of themselves, we’ve got to give specific attention to that,” Lt Gregory Dorn told <em><a href="https://www.news.com.au/finance/work/at-work/assisted-living-facility-accused-of-running-fight-club-with-dementia-patients/news-story/81859addf7a652241523f7a4317847f9">Fox 8</a></em>.</span></p> <p><span>Danby House said the three employees were fired in June when managers were alerted on the events.</span></p> <p><span>“Danby House has a zero-tolerance policy for the mistreatment of those in our care and as such, McKey, Tyson, and Jordan were terminated immediately in June when community management was alerted to this situation,” the facility said.</span></p> <p><span>“Administrators have been working closely with the Winston-Salem Police Department throughout its investigation to ensure justice is served. Additional staff training and a more rigorous vetting process for all new and existing employees at Danby House has been implemented.</span></p> <p><span>“Danby House has undergone leadership changes in recent months, and we look at situations like these as opportunities to improve upon the high standard of care we provide for our residents.”</span></p> <p><span>The three women face Class A misdemeanours, with a maximum penalty of 150 days of incarceration and a discretionary fine. They have been released on bond and are due to appear before court on November 14.</span></p>

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Dream retreat: The country farmstay that comes with 500 animal residents

<p>When it comes to back-to-nature getaways, some things are to be expected – fresh air, impressive countryside sceneries and a sky full of stars. However, the Edgar’s Mission Tiny Houses take it a step further, allowing guests to stay with more than 450 rescued farm animals on a 153-acre haven near Lancefield, Victoria.</p> <p>The houses offer sweeping views of the Macedon Ranges, with sheeps and goats roaming around the backyard for the guests to observe, interact and feed with the Weetbix provided at the paddocks.</p> <p>Across the grounds also live pigs, chickens, cows, turkeys, rabbits and geese that have been rescued and housed the Edgar’s Mission sanctuary. Among the animals are Leon Trotsky the piglet and Tim Tam the goat, who have been equipped with customised wheelchairs to enable them to make their way around independently.</p> <p>Edgar’s Mission was established in 2003 by Pam Ahern, who was seeking to care for a Landrace/Large White cross piglet she procured from a commercial piggery. Since then, the tiny piglet has grown into a 400-plus kilogram pig, and the sanctuary community population has risen to hundreds.</p> <p>“We often laugh, saying that Edgar’s Mission grew exponentially pretty much like the eponymous Edgar Alan Pig,” said digital communications manager Kyle Behrend.</p> <p>In 2014, the not-for-profit organisation was looking for a new place to house their extended family of furry friends after having outgrown their original 60-acre space – and that was when they found the Macedon Ranges, Behrend said.</p> <p>The team soon saw the potential of the area to further their cause. “Daily we look out over the beautiful surrounding vistas. This is such a treasure we want to share with the world,” said Behrend.</p> <p>“I guess the idea of the tiny homes, grew out of a tiny thought several years ago on seeking more creative ways to capitalise of the tourism aspect of not only Edgar’s Mission but the greater Macedon Ranges.”</p> <p>The three tiny houses are also designed to reflect the organisation’s values. No animal fibres are used for bedding and soft furnishings, and all the stocked products are sourced from environmentally-friendly companies such as Aesop and Earth Choice.</p> <p>Despite the small size, all the houses pack a kitchenette, mini library, sleeping and living quarters, self-contained bathroom and a deck on which to sit back and soak up the sunlight.</p> <p>“The Tiny Houses are a tool in showing that we can have everything we need in a small space whilst reducing our impact on the environment,” said Behrend.</p> <p>“We trust the Tiny Houses will afford our guests the opportunity to connect with nature, animals and themselves.”</p> <p>In return, guests are expected to be mindful about what they bring to the lodging. “We do ask that when guests come, they don’t bring any animal products out of respect for our animals here,” Behrend said.</p> <p>Scroll through the gallery above to see the pictures from the Tiny Houses.</p> <p><em>Photo credit: Edgar’s Mission</em></p>

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Fibre-rich breakfast ideas

<p><span class="image-caption">Courtesy of Sanitarium.</span><span></span></p> <p>These breakfast ideas contain fibre which keeps you feeling full for longer and is great for digestion too. It can be hard finding ways to incorporate fibre into your diet in sufficient quantities but adding it to your breakfast means you’re off to a great start!</p> <p>If you’re looking for an easy and wholesome way of starting your day, a breakfast smoothie is a quick and tasty fix. Likewise, the bircher muesli is prepared the night before and just needs a few blueberries or <a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/health/nutrition/pick-the-right-fruit-for-better-health.aspx" title="Pick the right fruit for better health">your choice of fruit</a> added before serving. <span>The corn fritters would make a delightful addition to a weekend brunch. </span></p> <p><strong>Breakfast Smoothie</strong><br />Serves 4 <br />Ingredients:</p> <ul> <li><span>2 cups FibreStart </span></li> <li><span>1 cup frozen mixed berries </span></li> <li><span>1 ripe banana, peeled </span></li> <li><span>1 Weet-Bix, broken </span></li> <li><span>1 tbsp honey </span></li> <li><span>½ cup crushed ice </span></li> </ul> <p>Method: <br />Place all ingredients in a blender and mix until smooth. <br />Divide between glasses, serve and enjoy!</p> <p><strong>Berrylicious Bircher Muesli</strong><br /><span>Serves 4 <br /></span><span>Ingredients: </span></p> <ul> <li><span>1½ cups rolled oats </span></li> <li><span>½ cup dry roasted almonds, roughly chopped </span></li> <li><span>¼ cup sultanas </span></li> <li><span>1½ cups FibreStart, plus extra to serve </span></li> <li><span>1 cup Greek style yoghurt </span></li> <li><span>125g blueberries </span></li> </ul> <p>Method: <br />Place the oats, almonds and sultanas in a large bowl. <br />Add FibreStart and yoghurt and stir to combine. <br />Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. <br />When ready to serve, add the blueberries. <br />Serve in bowls, adding extra FibreStart to achieve your preferred consistency.</p> <p><em>Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/health/nutrition/fibre-rich-breakfast-ideas.aspx">Wyza.com.au.</a></em></p>

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10 key questions to ask your parents today

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">As your parents get older, it’s important you have a clear understanding of their end-of-life wishes and their financial situation. Why? Because as their future guardian, it’s vital you have all of this information at your fingertips so you can help them as they get older. Then you know your family is prepared for the unexpected.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The biggest trap you can fall into is putting off these important questions until it’s too late. As we all know, it’s so easy for time to slip by and then you’ll find these important questions haven’t been asked. So what’s the best way to go about asking your parents these important questions?</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">First, you need to make a time to sit down with them and check they have all of their legal documents in place. Second, ask them if it is okay that you have access to all of these documents.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The next step is to sit down with your parents and go through it step-by-step. It’s never going to be easy to ask your parents questions about their end-of-life wishes, but if you keep in mind this will be a huge help to them in the later stages of their lives, this should make it a bit easier.</span></p> <p><strong>Question 1. Do your parents have an enduring power of attorney?</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Your parents will need to fill out an enduring power of attorney, which is a legal document that designates who will take care of their affairs if they are unable to decide for themselves, for example if they become mentally or physically incapacitated.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">More than one person can be designated to take care of your parents’ affairs on this form. So you need to decide who these people are going to be – more than one person is probably best if possible. The power of attorney form must be signed by these designated people and your parents, and then it has to be witnessed by a lawyer.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">You need to get this form completed as soon as possible as you are not legally able to help your parents with their financial affairs without it.</span></p> <p><strong>Question 2. What are your parents' end-of-life wishes?</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">An advanced care directive – also known as a living will – is a document which states your parents’ end-of-life wishes. For example, they can state whether they’d like a ventilator and feeding tube to keep them alive in the event of an irreversible coma. They can also choose how long they would stay on a ventilator in this situation. They can also choose if they want to have CPR initiated if their heart stops. There are other directives they can give as well such as whether they would like to donate their organs once they pass on.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">If your parents haven’t made these choices and they don’t have an advanced care directive yet, be sure to ask the questions and keep a record their wishes. You’ll also need to ensure the people named on your parents’ power of attorney are aware of these decisions.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">It is important to discuss your parents' end-of-life wishes to be aware of what they want. </span></p> <p><strong>Question 3. Do your parents have a will?</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">A will is the legal document used to designate what happens to your parents’ money and possessions after they pass on. Your parents should have one already but check to make sure they are happy with it and it has been updated recently.</span></p> <p><strong>Question 4. Do your parents have enough funds for aged care?</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Moving into aged care is not cheap but there’s help from the government if your parents qualify. You need to be aware of your parents’ financial situation so if something happens to their health, you know how much money is available.</span></p> <p><strong>Question 5: Do your parents have a preference for an aged care facility?</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">It’s best to ask your parents if they have some preferences for aged care before a crisis hits. This gives them the opportunity to be involved in the process, rather than just having to hand everything over to you.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">There may be an aged care facility they’ve seen which they like and if you know this, it’ll make everything a whole lot easier later on.</span></p> <p><strong>Question 6: Is someone advising your parents on financial matters?</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Older parents can be very independent regarding their finances and this is totally understandable. But at the same time, it’s important you ask your parents if they are getting advice from anyone about their financial situation and if they are following any sort of program. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">There are a lot of scams around so if you find out they do have an advisor or an accountant they deal with regularly, make sure you check them out to see if they’re reputable. This will also make it easier to get in touch with this person in the case of an emergency.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">As your parents get older, it’s important you have a clear understanding of their financial situation</span></p> <p><strong>Question 7: Who are the medical professionals your parents are currently seeing?</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">You need to know the names of the medical specialists your parents are seeing as well as their main doctor. If one of your parents becomes hospitalised, information from one of these doctors could be critical so you will need all of their contact details.</span></p> <p><strong>Question 8: Can your parents cope with their medications?</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Many older people end up on some complicated protocols involving a number of medications. If you sit down with them and ask them to let you know exactly what they’re on, this should help you gauge whether your parents are able to manage their medications themselves or not.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">You need to have this information just in case you need to provide it to hospital staff in case of an emergency.</span></p> <p><strong>Question 9: Are all of these documents current?</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">All of the documents we’ve mentioned so far need to be up-to-date for them to work properly. Encourage your parents to keep all of these documents together and it’s best you go through these documents with them once each year, just to check that everything is up-to-date.</span></p> <p><strong>Question 10: Where are these documents kept so they can be accessed if needed?</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Probably one of the most important things to keep in mind in all of this is where all of these documents are going to be kept so you can find them in an emergency. It’s best that a few people know where these documents are kept in case something happens to your parents while you are away.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Many people decide to keep the original documents in a safe or a designated safe place – so that everyone who needs to know where they are can access them when needed.</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Written by Pamela Connellan. Republished with permission of </span><a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/lifestyle/relationships/preparing-for-the-unexpected-important-questions-to-ask-your-parents.aspx"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Wyza.com.au.</span></a></em></p>

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How a simple hearing test can transform your life

<p>We often don’t want to admit that there could be a problem with our hearing, and even if we do, many people fear the stigma that they think comes with having hearing loss and wearing a hearing aid.</p> <p>However, attending to your hearing loss by taking the simple step of getting your hearing checked can transform your life for the better and help restore the active social life you once had.</p> <p><strong>What’s involved in a hearing test?</strong><br />A hearing test only takes roughly 20 minutes to an hour. Audiologist and clinician at leading provider ihear Toowoomba, Marguerite Dunstan, says the ihear test is simple and has three parts.</p> <p>For the first part you simply listen and respond to a number of beeps. In the second part you repeat back a series of words to the clinician. This test helps the clinician determine how well you are hearing the clarity of speech and words being spoken to you.</p> <p>In the third part of the test, the audiologist will print out a graph called an audiogram that tells them the extent of your hearing loss.</p> <p>They will then discuss with you whether you need to follow up with an ear, nose and throat specialist or doctor to have a better look at the anatomy of your ear, and whether you need to get a hearing aid.</p> <p><strong>Why you shouldn’t worry about being judged</strong> <br />The testing process is carried out with the utmost professionalism by trained experts, says Dunstan. “There is absolutely no judgement. Audiologists will assess your situation by asking you questions about your health and then they will adapt what they learn about your hearing loss to your specific life requirements to help find a solution to your hearing loss,” she says. </p> <p><strong>Will wearing a hearing aid be difficult?</strong><br />It may take some adjusting to, but in the long run you will be much better off. Hearing aids allow people with hearing loss to hear better and therefore communicate better. Quite often audiologists see their patient’s confidence and self-esteem shoot up as they feel as if a weight is lifted off their shoulders. They usually find they can once again interact effectively with family, friends and colleagues.</p> <p>“Getting a hearing aid can even have a positive financial impact on the family if that person is able to work again,” says Dunstan.</p> <p><strong>The good news about hearing aids</strong> <br />The image of a big unwieldy, whistling hearing aid is now a thing of the past, says Dunstan. Modern hearing aids are discreet in size, have advanced technologies inside them that filter out sound so they don’t whistle and they can even be personalised to fit the shape of your ear. There are even different colours available for the fashion conscious. There is really no reason to fear what having a hearing aid might do to your social life.</p> <p><strong>How might you know you need a hearing test?</strong><br />It’s not always easy to know when you need a test. “The average time it takes someone with hearing loss to get checked is usually six years,” Dunstan says. If you often think people are mumbling, have difficulty hearing when there is background noise, or if a loved one has trouble getting a message across to you, these are all signs you may need a hearing test.</p> <p><strong>Why should you act sooner rather than later?</strong><br />Audiologists are now recommending people have hearing tests in their 50s and 60s as well as in their 70s. The reason for this is that the brain is more changeable in your 50s and 60s than later on and is a lot more accepting of the hearing aid. “It also means health-related issues associated with hearing loss such as memory loss and depression can be treated earlier on – so don’t wait, get your hearing checked today,” advises Dunstan.</p> <p>To begin your transformation, visit <a href="http://www.ihear.com.au/Book%20free%20hearing%20check">www.ihear.com.au</a> and book a free hearing check today.</p> <p><strong><em>Written by Dominic Bayley. Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/health/how-a-simple-hearing-test-can-transform-your-life.aspx">Wyza.com.au.</a></em></strong></p>

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“Dancing was my secret weapon in managing diabetes!”

<p>Dubbed the ‘Silent Pandemic’ of our times, type 2 diabetes is a huge health issue in our country – and around the world. So many have it, but don’t realise it. Currently, 1 in 4 adults are living with diabetes or pre-diabetes – with the largest proportion of Australians with type 2 diabetes in the 50-79 age bracket according to the National Diabetes Service Scheme.</p> <p>The good news is, diabetes can be managed – if you educate yourself, take steps to change your diet and shoehorn more activity into your day. Here’s how Yvonne Appleby, ambassador for Diabetes NSW / ACT, changed her life after being diagnosed with type 2 in 2011.</p> <p>“I was ill on and off for a long time before I discovered I had type 2 diabetes. I kept getting sore throats, and earaches, and I gained 20 kilos over 4 years, which was significant as I’d been a size 8-10 most of my life. I was getting really bad headaches and migraines and I felt something wasn’t right.</p> <p>“One early blood test showed my blood glucose levels were a bit high, but my GP just said if I dieted and exercised it would go down. I know now that I was pre-diabetic then, but I trusted my doctor. She did ask if I was peeing a lot or thirsty all the time and I wasn’t, so she told me ‘it couldn’t be diabetes’. It didn’t occur to me to get a second opinion. I just assumed she knew what she was talking about.</p> <p> “Finally I couldn’t handle being so unwell anymore and asked for another blood test. It then showed up that I had type 2 diabetes and at that point I had been sick on and off for 6 or 7 years. I know now that not everyone gets typical symptoms. Some people have zero symptoms. If I had my time again, I wouldn’t have left it so long. I would’ve gotten a second opinion, or changed doctors (I have now). I know you can take steps to prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes.</p> <p>“When I was diagnosed, I didn’t know much about diabetes. I’d heard the horror stories, but I didn’t know it was common in the older age group – like 50 and over. And my doctor wasn’t a lot of help. She just said, ‘You’ve got diabetes, go to the chemist and get a blood glucose monitor’. I also went on Metformin and as soon as I was on that, I started feeling better within three days.</p> <p>“At first, I had no idea what I was doing. I was testing my glucose levels for about a week thinking, ‘I’m writing all these numbers down but what do they mean? Are they low? High? Normal?’ I remember one time my sugar dropped to 4.3mmol and I panicked and started eating nuts and it just went lower. I rang the Diabetes NSW customer care line and they said, ‘Oh no. Nuts will just lower your glucose levels – you need a bit of orange juice or some lollies to bring it back up’. It was all very trial and error getting to know what worked for me. I was lucky to know a lady who works at Diabetes NSW and I rang her and told her I’d just been diagnosed. She asked me to come in and talk to someone.</p> <p>“I did an 8-week education course there, which was hugely helpful. We had an exercise physiologist, a dietitian and a diabetes educator talk to us. They taught us how to read nutritional panels, which is something I never did before. We had to put cereal boxes in a line according to how much sugar they had in them and Nutrigrain was something like 46 per cent sugar! That’s really stuck with me.</p> <p>“My diet before was bad. Lots of sugar. Now, I make much more sensible choices. Lots of vegies and swaps to low-GI foods. I’ve totally changed how I think about food. I no longer skip meals either, which I’d had a tendency to do.</p> <p>“I also took up dancing and at one stage I was dancing 9-10 hours a week, doing rock’n’roll and Latin dance. I became an assistant dance teacher and I lost 15kg just from dancing and eating well. I even got to dance with Robbie Kmetoni, former winner of <em>So You Think You Can Dance Australia</em>, for the Move4Diabetes campaign. Two years after being diagnosed, my sugars were stable, I was the fittest I’d ever been and I was even off my meds. My doctor was very pleased.</p> <p> “I’ve had some health problems since including a serious respiratory infection and some knee issues. As a result I’ve been on steroids and haven’t been able to exercise as much, but my HbA1c levels were still that of a non-diabetic person – around 5.5mmol when I was last tested. When I was diagnosed they were 9mmol! I’m back on the meds to keep my glucose levels stable, but when I’m better I’ll be getting back into dancing and getting back on track.</p> <p>“My advice to anyone who’s newly diagnosed is to go to the Diabetes NSW and ACT webpage. Ring the customer care line. They saved my skin a lot of times because I had no idea where to turn. They also have amazing recipes and advice. You can ask questions and talk to an expert. I also think it’s important for everyone to get routinely tested because there are so many people out there with diabetes who don’t know they have it. If you have prediabetes, losing just 10 percent of your body weight can stop you developing type 2 diabetes. So early diagnosis is really important.”</p> <p><em>Written by Rachel Smith. Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/health/secret-weapon-in-managing-diabetes.aspx">Wyza.com.au.</a></em></p>

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Listen up, young folk: Words of advice from care home residents goes viral

<p>Senior residents at a nursing home have gone viral after sharing their wisdom and advice for the younger generation on Facebook.</p> <p>St Clair Nursing Center in Missouri, US has helped pensioners share their messages to young people in its ‘advice of the day’ series.</p> <p>Since last month, the care home has been sharing pictures of the elderly residents holding a whiteboard with their name, age and unique insight.</p> <p>The initiative was created by activities manager Debbie Michael, who chose a resident to participate each day and took the pictures for the centre’s Facebook page.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FStClairNursingCenter%2Fphotos%2Fa.2179977855376867%2F2937791032928875%2F%3Ftype%3D3&amp;width=500" width="500" height="594" style="border: none; overflow: hidden;" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="true" allow="encrypted-media"></iframe></p> <p>91-year-old resident Bob has captured the attention of people around the Internet with his advice: “Find someone to love, and keep on loving them”. His picture has gained more than 14,000 comments and 129,000 shares, and kickstarted a #BeLikeBob campaign with merchandise sales.</p> <p>81-year-old Rose advised the youth to “get a good education”, while 92-year-old Waunita encouraged everyone to “eat, drink and be merry”.</p> <p>Scroll through the gallery to read the advice from the residents.</p> <p><em>Photo credit: <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.facebook.com/StClairNursingCenter" target="_blank">St. Clair Nursing Center</a></em></p>

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How to talk to your teen grandkids about drinking

<p>Sadly, you cannot shelter your child from a world made up of ingrained cultural norms and expectations, friendship groups that break the ‘rules’, socio-economic factors, and the media.</p> <p><strong>Why you should have the conversation</strong><br />Because children are brought up around people drinking alcohol at parties, celebrations, friends’ houses and all sorts of occasions, they tend to be naturally curious about it.</p> <p>Therefore, it is important to make sure they know the right information about alcohol and drinking, like how alcohol works in our system, what happens to the body and mind when you drink and the possible dangers of drinking too much, so they can be more informed and educated to make their own choices in the future.</p> <p><strong>The facts</strong><br />Statistics show that 86 per cent of Australian students have tried alcohol by age 14, with this figure increasing to 96 per cent by 17 years of age (White &amp; Hayman, 2006). Moreover, 22 per cent of 14 year olds who are current drinkers consume alcohol at levels exceeding the Australian Alcohol Guidelines, with this figure increasing through adolescence, and peaking at 44 per cent among 17 year olds.</p> <p><a href="https://medium.com/hellosundaymorning">Hello Sunday Morning’s</a> Health Coach and mother of two, Tehani, says it’s important to educate your kids by letting them know, “this is what you can expect, this is what you might see, this is what might happen,” and ask them how they would like to conduct themselves at a festival or party, and what their idea of fun looks like.</p> <p>Rather than saying, “This is what I think you should do,” give them ideas to achieve a goal that they have come up with on their own. Trying to find the right balance between protecting your child and giving them their own freedom isn’t easy. There’s a fine line between being overly controlling with your kids but also teaching them that they can go out and have fun without needing to get drunk.</p> <p><strong>When should you speak to them?</strong><br />Tehani suggests that having the conservation with kids about drinking should start from a young age, as children start to learn that actions have consequences, and because you as parents are not always going to be there to enforce rules.</p> <p>The Alcohol Education Trust found that at age 11, children see it as unacceptable to get drunk and 99 per cent don’t drink regularly, but age 13 is what they call “the tipping point”. Teenagers tend to shy away from talking and opening up to their parents at this time in their lives as they start to form their own opinions and find their own identity.</p> <p>Don’t make it harder for yourself, bring it up as a natural conversation when something relatable comes up and try to stay open and listen.</p> <p>A Drugs: Education, Prevention and Policy report from a qualitative investigation of young people found that helpful communication results from this tactic. In the report, 59 boys and girls aged 13 to 15 years were interviewed, and many reported their parents talking openly and negotiating boundaries around their drinking. This approach appeared to be largely effective in helping them to develop a responsible approach to alcohol.</p> <p><strong>Should I let my kids drink alcohol at home before they are of age?</strong><br />Tehani believes that if you make drinking taboo it can then become a big deal when it’s finally allowable.</p> <p>“I don’t think humans respond very well to really strong rules,” she says. “It’s in our nature, we want to test boundaries, so the more solid the boundaries the more likely we’re going to push against them.”</p> <p>There are no laws in Australia that make it a crime to drink alcohol supplied by parents in a private home. There are, in fact, studies that have found drinking a little bit with your parents at home teaches kids about moderation. They are also less likely to be binge drinkers when they are older.</p> <p>A four-year study from the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre followed 2000 children and their parents to find what effect early introduction to alcohol has on consumption levels.</p> <p>After tracking the families for four years it found that teenagers and children introduced to alcohol by their parents were less likely to binge drink later on. However, it also showed that teenagers and kids introduced to alcohol early on were more likely to be drinking full serves by ages 15 or 16. Children who obtain alcohol from people other than their parents are three times more likely to binge drink.</p> <p>But, true to form, these things are never entirely clear-cut. One of the authors of the four-year study from the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, Professor Richard Mattick, points to other research indicating that the adolescent brain is still developing well into the early 20s, and alcohol may interfere with optimum development.</p> <p><strong>The effect of alcohol on a developing brain</strong><br />A recent study from the University of Eastern Finland and Kuopio University Hospital found that long-term heavy use of alcohol in adolescence alters cortical excitability and functional connectivity in the brain.</p> <p>The study concluded that for young people whose brain is still developing, heavy alcohol use is especially detrimental and caused significant alterations in both electrical and chemical neuro-transmission among the study participants, although none of them fulfilled the diagnostic criteria of a substance abuse disorder.</p> <p>The parts of the brain that are affected are the hippocampus (responsible for memory and learning) and the prefrontal lobe (important for planning, judgement, decision making, impulse control and language). Alcohol can affect these two crucial parts of a developing brain by resulting in irreversible brain changes that can impact decision making, personality, memory and learning.</p> <p><a href="http://alcoholthinkagain.com.au/">Alcohol Think Again</a> recommends that for under 18 year olds, no alcohol is the safest choice and that parents should delay the initiation of drinking for as long as possible.</p> <p><strong>The role of identity and belonging</strong><br />Research shows that having a sense of belonging is a really strong protective mechanism against misuse of drugs and alcohol, as well as other unsafe behaviours that teenagers engage in. Identity and belonging also give kids an insight into a less individualistic society, and a sense that actions often impact more than one person.</p> <p>In a series of focus groups made up of Year 11 students in Victoria, participants were asked to complete a questionnaire which focused on beliefs regarding the factors that promote resilience and well-being.</p> <p>The four main factors indicated by young people to promote resilience included: peer connectedness (having good friends); family connectedness (feeling that you are loved by family); feeling that your family respects your decisions; and school connectedness (believing that you fit in at school, and having good teachers).</p> <p><strong>How to talk to your teens about drinking</strong><br />With so much mixed information around, it’s important to know where you stand on this issue as parents. Reflect on your values and communicate that to your children in an open, constructive and loving way. And if they do slip up here and there, use it as a process to help them learn to be the kind of person they want to be, and to choose a relationship with alcohol that works for them.</p> <p><em>Written by Grace Enright Burns. Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/health/how-to-talk-to-your-teens-about-alcohol.aspx">Wyza.com.au.</a></em></p>

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“Legend”: Plumber praised for act of kindness towards elderly woman

<p>A British plumber has been praised for his act of kindness after he was called out to fix an elderly woman’s boiler.</p> <p>James Anderson from the English town of Burnley was asked to look at a woman’s boiler after it was reported to be leaking.</p> <p>Once the job as done, Mr Anderson refused to bill her, writing on the receipt that the total cost of the job came to $0.</p> <p>The invoice was shared throughout social media by the woman’s daughter.</p> <p>“Lady is 91 years of age, acute leukaemia, end of life care. No charge for this lady under any circumstances,” read the bill.</p> <p>“We will be available 24 hours to help her and keep her as comfortable as possible.”</p> <p>Mr Anderson has running Disabled &amp; Elderly Plumping and Heating Emergency Repair (DEPHER), a not-for-profit company, since March 2017.</p> <p>Since the company was established, Mr Anderson has helped 2389 people.</p> <p>Speaking to<span> </span><em>CNN</em>, he revealed that he was inspired to start DEPHER after he saw an elderly man being “manipulated” by another engineer.</p> <p>“It got me thinking about other elderly and vulnerable people – we need to do something more to help the people who need it most,” he said.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet tw-align-center" data-lang="en-gb"> <p dir="ltr">This is the invoice from plumber, James Anderson in Burnley after fixing a lady's boiler - gives me a little hope for humanity after all <a href="https://t.co/zddMJO2f4a">pic.twitter.com/zddMJO2f4a</a></p> — ProudDevonian (@PDevonian) <a href="https://twitter.com/PDevonian/status/1173273427874070529?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">15 September 2019</a></blockquote> <p>“A lot of elderly and disabled people don’t like asking for assistance and if they can’t afford something like fixing the boiler, they might not do it and get into trouble. We are there to take that worry away.”</p> <p>The company relies on<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/disabled-elderly-free-plumbing-heating-service" target="_blank">donations and support</a><span> </span>from community members, with Mr Anderson close to $14,590 in debt due to this act of selflessness.</p> <p>He is currently paying off the debt in monthly instalments and said that as long as he had enough money to fill up his car he would “be there to try and help the people who need it”.</p> <p>Countless people have taken to Facebook to shower praise upon Mr Anderson for his kindness.</p> <p>“There are some wonderful people in this world. James is one of them,” wrote one user.</p> <p>“James Anderson, you sir are a legend, in a country filled with hate &amp; greed your humanity shines like a beacon, massive good luck with your business you thoroughly deserve it, you haven’t touch my boiler but you’ve given me a warm glow,” wrote another.</p>

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The truth about vitamin D

<p>It’s one of life’s little ironies that we live in a country with abundant sunshine yet every year the rates of vitamin D deficiency in the Australian population continue to soar.</p> <p>Health experts know the importance of maintaining adequate levels of vitamin D and there is increasing evidence that this is also a contributor to our overall health. While studies are still embryonic, there are signs that low levels of vitamin D is linked to serious illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes and some cancers.</p> <p>Vitamin D helps our body absorb calcium, and that’s a major factor for maintaining our bone health and muscle mass.</p> <p>As we get older, being vitamin D deficient is known to be a mitigating factor in increased falls and bone fractures, says <a href="https://www.osteoporosis.org.au/">Osteoporosis Australia</a>, with more than six million Australians known to have low bone density. Osteoporosis Australia is currently inviting people to visit their website to try the <a href="http://osteoporosisdtc.azurewebsites.net/home">'Know Your Bones' bone health assessment tool</a>.</p> <p>Experts say the best way to “top up” on vitamin D is to spend some time outdoors in the sunshine; especially recommended in winter.</p> <p>Australian Bureau of Statistics figures in 2011 found that by the end of winter, nearly 50 per cent of all Australians in Victoria, Tasmania and the ACT had a vitamin D deficiency, with NSW not far behind with around 40 per cent.</p> <p>It was only the sunnier states of Queensland, Western Australia and the Northern Territory that had far lower percentages – generally less than 20 per cent.</p> <p>While those percentages may fluctuate from year to year, experts agree that many of us need to rethink our relationship with the sun in the colder months. </p> <p>Professor Rebecca Mason, the head of physiology and deputy director of the Bosch Institute at Sydney Medical School at the University of Sydney, who has studied vitamin D for decades, says that exposing parts of our body – arms and legs, for example – to sunlight is by far the preferred way to get vitamin D.</p> <p>“Energy absorption from sunlight is absolutely critical to make vitamin D in skin and the high energy is only available from the UVB part of sunlight,” says Professor Mason. This means we need to try to get in the sun between 11am and 1pm on a daily basis in winter, she adds.</p> <p>However, there is a resistance to getting out there among many Australians, who are often worried about sun exposure and skin cancer as well as preferring to stay indoors.</p> <p>“One of the biggest problems with some older Australians is that they just don’t get outside enough,” says Professor Mason. “Mobility can be an issue, not being well enough and generally not wanting to go out.”</p> <p>There is a lot of confusing information on the internet about how much sun on your skin you need to maintain healthy vitamin D levels. It depends, in fact, on where you live. In Cairns, for example, you will probably only need about 10 minutes per day, whereas in Melbourne or Hobart, you will need at least 40 minutes. Unless you’re playing sport or doing something physical to keep you warm, this can be extremely difficult when it’s freezing cold outside.</p> <p>So are there any worthwhile alternatives? Not really, says Professor Mason, though some, like vitamin D supplements, may be “perfectly reasonable” if you have concerns about skin cancer or other medical, practical or cultural reasons why going out in the sunshine is not an option.</p> <p>“The main problem with supplements,” says Professor Mason, “is that we are becoming increasingly aware that being out in the sun has health benefits that are not necessarily just due to vitamin D.”</p> <p>While there are some foods that do contain vitamin D – such as fish with the skin left on, eggs, meat, some cereals, and margarine – these will only provide about 10 per cent of your daily requirement at best.</p> <p>The only way to find out if you are vitamin D deficient is to have a blood test. The best time to go is at the end of winter or early spring.</p> <p>There are no major physical symptoms if your vitamin D levels have dropped - unless you have very low levels. Then, you may notice general aches and pains, bone tenderness, and a much higher risk of bone fractures if you have a fall.</p> <p><em>Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/health/the-truth-about-vitamin-d.aspx">Wyza.com.au.</a></em></p>

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56 and still got it! Demi Moore strips down for stunning photoshoot

<p>Actress Demi Moore has posed nude for the US October issue of Harper’s Bazaar, only wearing a diamond bracelet and an oversized pink hat.</p> <p>“Baring all for the October issue of @harpersbazaarus,” Moore, 56, captioned the cover photo.</p> <p>In the magazine, Moore opens up to interviewer Lena Dunham about her mother and father’s addiction issues, as well as her own.</p> <p>“The next thing I remember is using my fingers, the small fingers of a child, to dig the pills my mother had tried to swallow out of her mouth while my father held it open and told me what to do,” Moore recalled, according to <em><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.news.com.au/entertainment/celebrity-life/demi-moore-reveals-she-suffered-a-miscarriage-at-42/news-story/a7130debe338a1ff3ab8b9cbd1f2389d" target="_blank">news.com.au</a>.</em></p> <p>“Something very deep inside me shifted then, and it never shifted back. My childhood was over.”</p> <p>Moore also reflected over her time of being a mother-of-three and revealed that she suffered a miscarriage in 2004 whilst being married to Ashton Kutcher.</p> <p>The pair were married in 2005, and the couple had planned to call their baby Chaplin Rose.</p> <p>After the miscarriage, Moore started drinking again and blamed herself.</p> <p>“In retrospect, what I realised is that when I opened the door [again], it was just giving my power away,” she admitted.</p> <p>“I guess I would think of it like this: It was really important to me to have natural childbirth because I didn’t want to miss a moment. And with that I experienced pain. So part of being sober is, I don’t want to miss a moment of life, of that texture, even if that means being in — some pain.”</p> <p>Scroll through the gallery to see Demi Moore's stunning photoshoot with Harper's Bazaar.</p>

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Why seniors get osteoporosis and have falls

<p><em>This article is part of The Conversations series on <a href="https://theconversation.com/au/topics/older-peoples-health-33308">older people’s health</a>. It looks at the changes and processes that occur in our body as we age, the conditions we’re more likely to suffer from and what we can do to prevent them.</em></p> <p>As the world’s population lives longer, the significance of osteoporosis and fractures increases.</p> <p>In Australia, it is estimated that <a href="http://www.osteoporosis.org.au/sites/default/files/files/Burden%20of%20Disease%20Analysis%202012-2022.pdf">4.74 million Australians aged over 50</a> have osteoporosis, osteopenia (less severe than osteoporosis) or poor bone health. By 2022, <a href="http://www.osteoporosis.org.au/sites/default/files/files/Burden%20of%20Disease%20Analysis%202012-2022.pdf">it’s estimated this will increase</a> to 6.2 million, with one fracture occurring every 2.9 minutes.</p> <p>In 2012, the <a href="http://www.osteoporosis.org.au/sites/default/files/files/Burden%20of%20Disease%20Analysis%202012-2022.pdf">total cost of poor bone health</a> in adults aged over 50 was A$2.75 billion, and 64% of this cost was directly associated with treating and managing fractures.</p> <p><strong>What is osteoporosis?</strong><br />Osteoporosis is a condition in which bones become fragile and brittle, leading to higher risk of breakage. This occurs when bones lose minerals such as calcium more quickly than the body can replace them.</p> <p>In Australia, osteoporosis affects <a href="http://www.osteoporosis.org.au/sites/default/files/files/Burden%20of%20Disease%20Analysis%202012-2022.pdf">one in three women and one in five men</a> over the age of 50.</p> <p>Referred to as a “silent” disease, osteoporosis generally has no symptoms and is rarely diagnosed until bones break or fracture. Osteoporosis is the disease and fractures are the outcome we are trying to prevent.</p> <p><strong>Why do we get osteoporosis as we age?<br /></strong>Our bones are living tissue and are in a continual state of renewal. As we age, more bone is broken down (resorbed) than is replaced by new bone. Thus our bones get thinner and more fragile as we age. This is particularly true during menopause for women and in men with lower levels of sex steroid hormones such as testosterone.</p> <p>“Primary osteoporosis” is bone loss that can be attributed to ageing or the known hormonal consequences of ageing, such as the decline in oestrogen and testosterone. These hormones help regulate bone renewal that occurs naturally as we age.</p> <p>As the level of these hormones decline from about the age of 50 in women and around 60 in men, the rate of bone breakdown is faster than the growth of new bone to replace it. Over time this leads to weaker, thinner bones. In women, the risk abruptly increases from the time of menopause, coinciding with a significant drop in circulating levels of oestrogen.</p> <p>“Secondary osteoporosis” occurs as a consequence of another disease (such as coeliac disease with associated calcium malabsorption), or as an adverse consequence of therapy for another disease where medication might bring it on.</p> <p>Thin bones of a poorer quality structure are more likely to break. The vast majority of fractures occur as a result of a fall from standing height. Vertebral or spinal fractures are the exception, frequently occurring without a fall or significant “trigger event”.</p> <p><strong>Why do we fall over when we get older?<br /></strong>There are many reasons older adults are susceptible to falls. These include side effects of some medications, vision impairments and less ability to prevent tripping over as balance, muscle mass and strength decline with age.</p> <p>The risk of fracture due to poor bones increases with age, and this is further enhanced by osteoporosis.</p> <p>Genetics also plays a role in an individual’s risk of fracture. Those of us with parents who had a hip fracture have an increased risk of fracture. The most common sites of fracture in older adults are the hip, vertebrae or spine, wrist or the humerus (upper arm or shoulder).</p> <p>About <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10083688">30% of older adults</a> fall at least once a year. The less often you fall, the less likely you are to break a bone.</p> <p>People aged 70 and over <a href="http://www.osteoporosis.org.au/sites/default/files/files/Burden%20of%20Disease%20Analysis%202012-2022.pdf">accounted for 70% of the total</a> acute hospital inpatient costs in 2012. Hip fractures <a href="http://www.osteoporosis.org.au/sites/default/files/files/Burden%20of%20Disease%20Analysis%202012-2022.pdf">impose the highest burden</a> both in terms of cost and decline in health-related quality of life.</p> <p><a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25792491">Results from a recent study</a> show most fracture patients have not fully recovered their previous level of quality of life by 18 months after the fracture.</p> <p><strong>Preventing osteoporosis and falls<br /></strong>Preventing falls in older people is an important way to prevent fractures. Adults who have good balance and muscle strength are often able to “save themselves” when they trip. Exercises that improve balance (such as Tai Chi) and help maintain muscle mass (weight-bearing and resistance exercises) are beneficial.</p> <p>Preventing osteoporosis involves regular weight-bearing and resistance exercise, adequate calcium in the diet (at least three serves of dairy or equivalent per day) and an adequate level of vitamin D in the bloodstream.</p> <p>Sunlight exposure on the skin is the primary source of vitamin D, but we need to practise safe sun exposure to reduce the risk of skin cancer. The recommendations vary by <a href="https://www.mja.com.au/open/2013/2/1/building-healthy-bones-throughout-life-evidence-informed-strategy-prevent-osteoporosis">skin type, latitude and season</a>. For people with moderately fair skin, six to seven minutes before 11am or after 3pm during summertime is considered sufficient.</p> <p>During wintertime, the daily recommended sun exposure increases to between seven and 40 minutes <a href="https://www.mja.com.au/open/2013/2/1/building-healthy-bones-throughout-life-evidence-informed-strategy-prevent-osteoporosis">depending on where you live in Australia</a>.</p> <p>While lifestyle factors such as nutrition and exercise can make an important difference to bone health over time, if an older adult has several risk factors for fracture their doctor may discuss the benefits of “bone active” medication. These medications slow the rate bone breaks down as we age. In general these medications halve the risk of fracture and are much more effective than lifestyle measures alone</p> <p><em>Written by Kerrie Sanders. Republished with permission of <a href="https://theconversation.com/why-older-people-get-osteoporosis-and-have-falls-68145">The Conversation.</a> </em></p>

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Queen's favourite grandchild revealed – and it's not who you think it is

<p>A majority of grandparents will never admit it, but they have a favourite grandchild. It’s often a point of joking and ribbing amongst the grandchildren who’s the favourite, and it appears that this also extends to the royal family.</p> <p>The Queen is reported to have favourite grandchildren, and no, it’s not who you think it is.</p> <p>If you were thinking Prince Harry or Prince William, they might’ve captured the hearts of the world, but the heart of their grandmother remains elusive.</p> <p>An insider source has told<span> </span><em><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.thesun.co.uk/fabulous/9853409/queen-favourite-grandkid-lady-louise-windsor-prince-william-harry/" target="_blank">The Sun</a></em><span> </span>that the royal grandmother has been getting very close with her grandchildren over the summer.</p> <p>In particular, she has been spending a lot of time with the children of her youngest son Edward, who are 16-year-old Lady Louise Windsor and 11-year-old James.</p> <p>Louise and the Queen have been bonding over Louise’s love of drawing, which is said to be a love of the late Queen mother.</p> <p>"Louise loves drawing and sketching and was very patiently trying to get Charlotte to do pictures of rabbits and deer," the insider said.</p> <p>"Because of her obvious artistic skill, the Queen allowed Louise to look through some of the collection of Queen Victoria's Highlands sketches which are kept at Balmoral but are rarely dug out these days."</p> <p>Her Majesty has eight grandchildren in total. Scroll through the gallery to see her spending time with each of them.</p>

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“I am a liar. I stole valour”: Judge's creative sentencing for two criminals who posed as war veterans

<p>A judge in Montana has laid down the law and ordered two men to be publicly shamed to learn a lesson after they pretended to be war veterans to attempt to get a lesser sentence for their crimes.</p> <p>Ryan Morris, 28, and Troy Nelson, 33, both pretended to be veterans in a bid to get their cases moved to a Veterans Court, where they would receive a lighter sentence for their crimes.</p> <p>This plot backfired and the two men now have other tasks to complete as well as serving their sentences.</p> <p>Judge Greg Pinski gave Morris 10 years for violating his felony burglary probation and gave Nelson 5 years for drug possession. Three years of both of their sentences were suspended.</p> <p>However, before each man is eligible for parole, Pinski ordered that they must hand write each name of the 6,756 Americans killed in Afghanistan and Iraq.</p> <p>The men must also write out the obituaries of the 40 Montanans killed in these conflicts and send handwritten letters to a number of veterans’ groups apologising for their actions.</p> <div class="embed-responsive embed-responsive-16by9"><iframe class="embed-responsive-item" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/A8aPzrlN7VA"></iframe></div> <p>On top of that, during every Memorial and Veterans Day, the two must stand at the Montana Veterans Memorial in Great Falls for eight hours wearing a sign that reads:</p> <p>“I am a liar. I am not a veteran. I stole valour. I have dishonoured all veterans.”</p> <p>The men also have to perform 441 hours of community service, which is equal to the number of Montanans killed during the Korean war. </p>

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What you must check for in every hotel room

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Don’t commit to a stay until you’ve scoured the room for these conveniences and health risks.</span></p> <p><strong>Hotel room essentials</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Don’t let your trip be ruined by a dodgy hotel room. Before you commit to a stay, be sure to check for these elements.</span></p> <p><strong>How is the location?</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">As the saying goes: location, location, location. Before you even think about booking, pick your ideal location, says Peggy Goldman, president and founder of Friendly Planet Travel. “Especially if you’re [travelling] for the purpose of sightseeing, it’s really important to be in a place that’s very accessible,” she says. First, look at a map to find all the attractions you plan to visit and find a spot that’s central to those. If the sights are spread all over town, don’t stress – as long as your room is near public transportation, you’ll be able to get everywhere quickly. Settle on a cheaper, less central hotel, and you’ll likely end up spending more money (and time) on Ubers.</span></p> <p><strong>Does it feel safe?</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">When it comes to location, safety is even more important than convenience. “One of the big pleasures of travel is to walk around and really experience the area,” says Goldman. That’s not so easy if your hotel room is in a sketchy area. Online sources like TripAdvisor can clue you in to what the area is like, says Goldman. If you pull into the hotel and just don’t feel comfortable, you’re better off cancelling your reservation than risking your safety.</span></p> <p><strong>What does the caulking look like?</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Whenever Goldman arrives in a hotel room, she beelines to the shower to inspect the caulking. “It tells you something about how the hotel is maintained, how important cleanliness is,” she says. Mould in the bathroom is a red flag – especially if you’re allergic.</span></p> <p><strong>Are there toiletries?</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Most hotels offer free toiletries like shampoo and soap, but it’s worth double checking when you arrive. “The one missing amenity is often hair conditioner,” says Elizabeth Avery, founder of Solo Trekker 4 U. If housekeeping forgot to drop off toiletries, or the hotel doesn’t include conditioner or other basics, you’ll want to know before you’re in your towel.</span></p> <p><strong>Do you have uninvited guests?</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“The best hotels in the world can sometimes be plagued by bed bugs,” says Goldman. If a guest unknowingly brought bed bugs into the room, the hotel won’t know to fix the problem unless another traveller tips them off – so it’s up to you to hunt them down. Bed bugs love cosy spaces, so Goldman recommends scraping the bottom corner of the mattress with a business card to make sure pests aren’t hiding.</span></p> <p><strong>Did the hotel provide water?</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“When you’re travelling the world, no matter where you go, no matter what they tell you about the tap water, it’s important that you use bottled water,” says Goldman, “especially for brushing your teeth and without question for drinking.” Hotels get bonus points if they supply a free bottle every day during your stay. If there isn’t one waiting for you, buy one from a vending machine or nearby shop right away. If you’re worried about the impact of plastic bottles on the environment, consider alternative methods of purifying water, such as boiling or using a purifying straw or filter jug.</span></p> <p><strong>What’s the coffee like?</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Even if the hotel website promised free coffee in your room, you’ll want to see what that really looks like. “Coffee available in guest rooms may be instant or have only powdered creamers,” says Avery. She recommends packing coffee bags (which brew like tea and tend to be better quality than the powdered stuff), along with hot chocolate packets for a DIY mocha. Your fellow travellers will thank you for starting the day sufficiently caffeinated instead of hunting down the nearest café.</span></p> <p><strong>How does the bed feel?</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Don’t be shy if you lie down in bed and notice a saggy mattress, torn sheets, or lumpy pillows. The front desk can usually find you a replacement or move you to a different room. “Anything you ask with a ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ and a smile, usually the people that are working in service with hotels will be happy to accommodate,” says Goldman.</span></p> <p><strong>Do you know how everything works?</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“A key missing item? Instructions on how things work,” says Avery. Figuring out how to flip through TV channels or set the alarm can be surprisingly confusing, so ask the hotel staff for help if you’re having trouble.</span></p> <p><strong>Is there an onsite shop?</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">No matter how prepared you thought you were, there’s a decent chance you forgot something while you were packing. Just in case, check to make sure the hotel can provide what you need, whether it’s free travel-sized toothpaste or aspirin from the lobby’s mini store. “It’s good if the hotel has a small shop inside it so you don’t need to go hunting around a strange city for basics,” says Goldman.</span></p> <p><strong>Can you use a printer?</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">A business centre might be the last thing on your mind when you’re on holiday, but it’s a good idea to check for a place to print, says Avery. The last thing you want is to be rushing to check out, only to realise your phone won’t load your departure boarding pass. In foreign countries where you don’t have mobile phone data, you might also want to print out tickets for attractions.</span></p> <p><strong>Is the room carpeted?</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Setting your bare feet on a soft carpet when you get out of bed might seem appealing, but Goldman prefers bare floors. Carpets are vacuumed but rarely shampooed, while hardwood and tile are cleaned well every day. “You can’t imagine the kinds of things that you find embedded in the carpet at a hotel – even great hotels,” Goldman says. “If you have the choice, go for bare floors.</span></p> <p><strong>Which surfaces need to be wiped?</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Even thorough housekeepers won’t be disinfecting closet handles or remote controls between every single guest, which is why Goldman recommends stashing a small pack of wipes in your luggage. After you check in, wipe down the spots that hundreds of grubby fingers might have touched before you arrived. “It sounds extreme, but if you’re going away for ten days and you get sick, it really messes up your vacation time,” says Goldman.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Written by Marissa Laliberte. This article first appeared in </span><a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/flightstravel-hints-tips/the-first-13-things-you-should-check-for-in-a-hotel-room?slide=all"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Reader’s Digest.</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, </span><a href="http://readersdigest.innovations.co.nz/c/readersdigestemailsubscribe?utm_source=over60&amp;utm_medium=articles&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;keycode=WRN93V"><span style="font-weight: 400;">here’s our best subscription offer.</span></a></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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Student’s 65-million-year-old extremely rare find

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">A college student with a slight obsession with dinosaurs has made the dig of a lifetime. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Harrison Duran, a biology student from Dakota was on a palaeontology dig in southwestern North Dakota in the United States, when he unearthed a partial Triceratops skull.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Harrison paired up with an expert excavator Michael Kjelland and together they underwent a two-week search at Hell Creek Formation - a site known for dinosaur fossils. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The duo were attempting to find plant fossils and on day four into their dig, were left shocked at their significant find. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"I can't quite express my excitement in that moment when we uncovered the skull," Mr Duran told his </span><a href="https://news.ucmerced.edu/news/2019/undergrad-discovers-triceratops-skull-paleontology-dig-north-dakota"><span style="font-weight: 400;">college website UC Merced</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">, on Wednesday.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">23-year-old Harrison found the fossil himself - it was turned upside down with its left horn partially exposed, and surrounded by fossils. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"I've been obsessed with dinosaurs since I was a kid, so it was a pretty big deal," Mr Duran said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">They named the dinosaur found as Alice - after the owner of the land. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Alice was meticulously stabilised with glue, plastered up and removed from a location she called home for over 65 million years,” the </span><a href="https://www.fossilexcavators.com/alice"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Fossil Excavations website</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> read.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The duo will now spend the next few months researching the rare fossil and preparing Alice for public showings. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"It's such a rare opportunity to showcase something like this, and I'd like to share it with the campus community," he said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Alice’s location will be kept top secret to protect potential further finds. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"There have been people in the past who have stolen dinosaur bones," Professor Kjelland told </span><a href="http://www.cnn.com.au"><span style="font-weight: 400;">CNN.</span></a></p>

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