Recently someone who is a senior lifestyle blogger whose mission is to help aging Americans stay healthy and active post-retirement reached out to us to share some beneficial information about sleep with you.
We have a lot of grandmas and great-aunts who buy our books and share them with their families. Any information we can share to help our families we gladly pass along. So grab your pillow, a soft blanket, and a nice warm cup of tea while you read Karen Weeks article on sleep.
Tips to Help Older Adults Get A Good Night’s Sleep
No matter how much we fight it, the march of time goes on. Along with hormonal changes, tissue loss and slower reflexes, seniors also experience various sleep disturbances that can have detrimental side effects.
Sleep problems may be a side effect of another illness or health issue. For instance, many seniors with incontinence issues find themselves having to get up throughout the night to use the bathroom. Some people develop insomnia in their later years, and they have a hard time falling asleep and staying asleep. Other issues include sleep apnea, periodic limb movement disorders and RLS.
Sleep issues can have an adverse effect on a senior’s health. It’s so much more than feeling tired and seeing dark circles under your eyes. Lack of sleep can make a person gain weight, experience memory loss and feel depressed, and it can cause brain damage. Sleep deprivation has even been linked to Alzheimer’s, a degenerative brain disorder most common in seniors.
Seniors can use Medicare to pay for tests, items and services that cover complex sleeping disorders, but the following everyday tips can also help seniors have better, more restful sleep so they can live happier and healthier lives.
Eat Sleep-Friendly Foods
If you are what you eat, you want to be sleepy in the evenings. Certain foods contain nutrients that help the body wind down and promote restful sleep. For instance, cereals, rice and other carbs with a high glycemic index cause a spike in blood sugar and insulin levels, followed by a drowsy crash that helps lull the body to sleep.
Some fruits and vegetables also contain certain chemicals that encourage sleepiness. Lettuce, for instance, contains lactucarium, which acts as a sedative. Cherries are a rich source of melatonin, which helps people fall asleep faster. And walnuts are chock full of tryptophan, a sleep-enhancing amino acid that is a building block for serotonin and melatonin. Doesn’t a big salad for dinner featuring fresh lettuce, sliced cherries and chopped walnuts with your favorite dressing sound better than taking a nasty sleeping pill?
Turn off the TV
Seniors watch more television than the generations before them. Unfortunately, staring at the tube too long can make it more difficult to get quality sleep. It messes with the brain’s melatonin levels and keeps neurons firing when you are trying to wind down. Watching things that cause stress -- for instance news programs -- can also cause a spike cortisol, the stress hormone that is responsible for our feelings of fight or flight. Instead of binge watching TV before bed, spend the time before you go to sleep reading a book, taking a bath, or putting time in with your favorite hobby.
Change Your Days
As it turns out, the secret to a restful night has a lot to do with what you do during the day. Inactivity is a huge contributor to insomnia. An active senior who exercises regularly is tired enough to get to sleep at night. Start a new exercise regimen and commit to trying and learning new things in your senior years. Next to inactivity, stress is the next biggest contributor to sleep deprivation. Cut back on the stress you feel in your day-to-day life. There’s no use spending your golden years feeling anxious and tired.
As we age, our bodies change. For many seniors, sleep issues accompany those changes. Whether it is a side effect of another issue or a new problem all its own, sleep deprivation can have adverse effects on a senior’s health. Enable a restful night’s sleep with a dinner chock full of sleep-inducing foods like cherries, lettuce, walnuts, and carbs with a high glycemic index. Stop watching television at night and turn to activities that help you wind down. Finally, the secret to sleeping well is what you do during the day. Be active, exercise, and cut down on stress to improve your sleep.
To find out more go to: ElderWellness.net
#sleep #nightnight #rest #aging #important #healthy #elderwellness #angels #families #whereisyourangel
Have your kids ever said, "I'm bored!," in an exasperated tone? Acting like you are their entertainment coordinator and you need to pick up the slack.
Invariably ALL kids will say that at some point in time and some kids will say it much more than others (ugh). My husband and I started something when our kids were preschool age that has helped curbed that plea of exasperation.
We took a parenting course at a local Baptist church and one of our take-aways was to have our kids intentionally practice being bored at home. So we dutifully took to task. We set aside 2-3 nights a week to practice for 2-5 minutes being bored.
This is what it looked like. Our kids were 2 and 4 when we started. We had them each sit on their own blanket on the floor facing us. My husband and I were sitting on the couch. We told them we were going to practice being bored and defined bored (doing nothing with a happy heart).
Then we set a timer. We started small and worked our way up. Being cheerleaders all along the way. First we set the timer for 10 seconds. Yay!! They did it! Then we went for 20 seconds. Wow, what an amazing feat!! Then we repeated. Next we asked if they wanted to see how long they could practice being bored. (Wow, kids love a good challenge, especially if they are being praised along the way!)
Before long they knew what to do. We would be in public and all my husband or I had to say to our wiggly children was, "Practice being bored." It was like something clicked in their brain. Our lil' angels stopped, stood still, and were practicing what they had been learning. Strangers in the stores were amazed (and my confession is I was too!)
Six years later we still have to practice every once in a while (or at least threaten to practice it again). Our kids still get it - for the most part.
The premise of teaching kids to behave is that you have to practice it at home if you want to see it out in public. It's similar to when kids go to practice to learn a sport so they can play it on Saturday morning. So too parents need to teach or train their kids at home so the kids know how to act when out and about.
One last thing, it doesn't hurt to have an angel nearby to curb the bored blues. Got your bored blues busting angel?
#bored #parenting #kids #training #practice #angel #teach #celebrate #challenge #whereisyourangel #angelwatchingoverme #gotyourangel
Do you have those after Labor Day blues? The Labor Day holiday seems to unofficially mark the end of summer and the start of another season - even if it is just a mental shift. For example, are you one of the people who go by the "no white pants after Labor Day" fashion rule?
Yep, Labor Day usually marks the end of carefree summer days. Well, just because summer may be over and school is in full swing it doesn't mean we have to cave in to those blues. Looking for ways to bring the summer back?How about recreating those things that bring back favorite summer memories?
Summer to my kids mean s'mores. There are a couple of ways you can relive this American past time indoors. No, I'm not suggesting you start a fire in your living room. There are safer ways to have the s'more experience inside.
One way to have this tasty treat and recreate a campfire without having to cut wood and start a fire is to buy an indoor s'mores maker. We have a kids Hershey's s'mores maker. A simple DuckDuckGo search yields many options for indoor s'more makers. By the plethora of options it seems like there are many who pine for s'mores after season!
While the family is eating s'mores you can make yourself an adult summer drink like the Pina Colada. What I like about this drink is how easy it is to make it a virgin drink so the kids can have some too. Strawberry or Mango Daquiris, Cucumber Watermelon Sangria, Iced Tea are also great drinks to bring the summer back. Remember to put the decorative drink umbrella in your glass!! Here's a link to some tropical cocktail recipes:
Another way to keep hanging onto summer is bringing the scents of summer inside. Fruity body wash or aloe vera hand soap help. You can also get an indoor fragrance such as Hawaiin Suntan Fragrance Oil Wisk that won't let summer out of your smell. It contains coconut, passion fruit, guava, pineapple, banana, melon, and grapefruit. All things that say "summer isn't gone!"
If you still can't let go of summer yet, there are Coppertone scented products that are sure to make summer linger longer in your mind. These include shampoo, shea butter lotion, roll-on, hair conditioner, and more. To get these and find more related items, go here:
Labor Day blues or not, enjoy the chances you have to recreate the best of the passing season.
#laborday #summer #nowhite #holdontosummer #cantletgoyet #season
#whereisyourangel #angelwatchingoverme #memories #kids #smores
Do you sometimes feel like the family Uber as you shuffle kids here and there between activities? If so, you are not alone. How would you like to make the most out of that precious time spent in the car?
We recently read an article from LifeTree and wanted to share it here with you. It offers some sound advice for car conversations.
3 Ways I'm Making The Most of My Role As Mom-Chauffeur
1. Creating Rules For Technology That Make Space For Interaction:
We live in an age when it’s easy after a long day for kids to immediately turn to their device of choice for a game or text. Instead of letting my kids automatically “plug in and shut me out," however, I’m trying to be more intentional with our times together in the car by banning devices. Through this new rule, I’m discovering that this tin box with wheels is the perfect place to get my kids’ undivided attention, especially when I have a chance to be one-on-one with them. Our technology-free-zone has helped spur on all kinds of great and surprisingly deep conversations.
2. Asking Creative Questions:
The silence between me and my teens can be deafening some days. My kids can take open-ended questions and close them in a snap.
“Tell me about school,” I ask.
“It was good,” they say.
To help, I try having a few creative interactions in my arsenal.
3. Accept My Role As Cheerleader, Counselor and Mediator:
The very nature of being a pre-teen/teen is feeling like an awkward outsider, and these feelings are magnified in competitive or performing environments. Thus, chances are good that at least one of my children will have a “bad practice,” or a challenging day at work, or something bad after school at least once a day. I hold my breath after almost every practice or after school activity, hoping to see smiles…but too often seeing hung heads instead.
It’s easy for me to see my time spent in the circular drive as just another to-do--a drain on my already busy schedule during a busy time of year. Instead, I want to use this time in the car to reduce "the business" of parenting and make space to hear my kids. They want to know I care; I’m trying to use the mini-van as a conduit for just that.
To read the article in its entirety go to:
#cartime #conversations #kids #chauffeur #uber #family #time #talk #angels #whereisyourangel #angelwatchingoverme #moments
No matter what part of the country you live in school has either started or is getting ready to start. That means many things to both parents and kids. More routine, more homework for sure, and probably even more student peer drama.
To help ease into the transition we have some tips to help your family along.
1. Stay connected. Eat at least one meal a day together - preferably two (breakfast and dinner). At breakfast, which are pretty rushed around our place, we are waking up and encouraging each other. At dinner, we are winding down, recapping our day, and planning for the next day.
2. Do what you can and delegate the rest. If your kids are old enough to make their sandwiches for lunch - let them. If they are old enough to get their own snacks and help pack their lunch box - let them. Many hands make light work! And the more you can do the night before the better. If you can't, all that running around in the morning helps get your blood pumping.
3. Have the kids lay out their outfits for school the night before. Don't forget the socks and underwear too! This helps soo much in our household.
4. After school get a treat - whether it be $1 cone from McDonald's (one of our faves) or a slurpee - reward their efforts for getting back into the routine.
5. Keep a little bit of summer still alive. Whether you took walks, went to the park, or had play dates continue to do that as time permits. Don't let summer end too soon. While you are making these memories, remember to include your angel. It will make those moments more meaningful.
#schooldays #teachers #family #summer #tips #angels #kids #school #whereisyourangel #angelwatchingoverme #together #memories
Our favorite Pediatrician, Dr. Deepa Sukumar, shares her expertise on trampolines and offers some tips for staying safe.
Recently I saw a child in the urgent care injured while playing on a trampoline. Broken bones, head and neck injuries, bruises, scrapes and cuts are some common injuries due to trampolining.
Here are some recommendations from the AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) for the use of trampoline.
And the doctor's final word of advice on trampolines:
The absolute safest way to avoid trampoline injury is to stay off them. (sorry...)
#trampoline #safety #fun #kids #pediatrician #drdeepasukumar #advice
#angels #whereisyourangel #angelwatchingoverme #familytime #moments
Yay it's Wingsday - no not Wednesday - Wingsday! That day of the week where we think about angels a little bit more than usual. We pause in the middle of our week to be still and consider... which is really meditating.
Recently we read a story that gave us a new perspective in the "pauses" of our lives. The unwelcome interruption of a phone call at dinner, the person who could have turned on that green light but didn't so now we sit through a red light, a child who asks us to play with them when we have dishes to clean...the interruptions and pauses are many and come in all shapes and sizes.
The author went on to tell the story of how she and her husband were rushing about in the midst of a family crisis at a nursing home. They were leaving (or trying to leave) a parking lot on their way to their next thing - only to be interrupted by an elderly slow man with a walker and downtrodden face walking in front of their parked car. "Could this man walk any slower? We have places to be and things to get done." they thought.
Then the author and her husband looked at this man with different eyes - not the rushed get out of my way eyes - but "eyes to see the sacred." It appeared this elderly man may have just lost his wife. He had some dolls in his hands and was placing them ever so gently in his car. They were witnessing what appeared to be a moment of loss, of grief, of memories.
She said it best: "How often do we pass by someone, irritated by their attitude or even their lack of interaction with us? We may have taken a cursory glance at what's going on - at who they are - and not seen the burden weighing down their heart, shaping their response. A sharp tone may be a hint that someone is in physical or emotional pain. Reticence might mean someone struggles with hearing or vision loss ... or emotional loss. Someone's interruption of our lives might be an intersection of the normal with the sacred - but we have to be willing to stop and see them anew, with eyes of grace."
Today I created a pause in my schedule. I searched out my hiding kids and tickled them incessantly and without mercy. It was a moment that they delighted in and I was glad to have given up for them. My to-do list didn't shrink while I was doing that. But our connections to each other expanded because I paused and look at things differently.
Take some time today to pause and see someone differently.
#interruptions #thingstodo #wait #pause #kids #differently #life #moment
Would you rather go to the dentist than plan what's for dinner? Well, we have a meal plan for the week sure to please your tribe (and your wallet).
Some of these meals are easy enough to put together pretty quickly. Yet they will taste like you spent a lot of time on them.
Chili - it's a great "comfort" food and a beginning of the week meal
This is one I recently threw together with whatever was in my freezer and pantry and my husband raved about it!
1/2 lb-1 lb of cooked turkey sausage or turkey burger (this sausage was crumbled up in my freezer from a month ago)
1 15 oz. can no salt or low salt corn (no need to drain)
1 28 oz. can of diced tomatoes (do not drain)
1 15 oz. can dark red kidney beans (drained)
1 jar of Pioneer Woman's Rustic Bolognese pasta sauce (I bought this as a BOGO - buy one get one free - at my local grocery store. I needed some more tomatoes to put in the chili but didn't have any cans of crushed tomatoes - which is what I usually use - so this was my substitute. I think using this sauce is what made my husband rave!)
1-3 T. garlic powder (remember, I like garlic so I load it on, if you want to use just enough go with 1 T.)
1 T. fennel seed (I find whenever cooking a recipe with ground meat, fennel adds a nice flavor.)
Put all ingredients in the pot and let simmer boil (bring to a slight boil then turn down to a simmer) for about 20 minutes. Then your delicious dinner is done!
Shredded Cheddar Cheese
Sour Cream or Low-Fat Plain Greek Yogurt
A friend introduced this recipe to me years ago and it's been a hit in our home ever since!
1 box angel hair or spaghetti noodles cooked (I love thin noodles so the angel hair - surprise! - is my fave. Make it healthier by using wheat pasta or veggie pasta.)
1 container sauceless pulled chicken (I buy Curly's Roasted and Seasoned Pulled Chicken when it's BOGO.)
1 jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce
1-3 T. garlic powder (see my note on garlic above)
1/2 c. Italian dressing
1 T. dry basil leaves
1 T. oregano
Combine all of the above ingredients (except the cooked noodles) in a pot. Let simmer for 20-25 minutes. You can also put the sauce in a crockpot on low for 4 hours (although to make it worth your while, double the recipe if you do this.)
Broccoli is my go-to veggie for spaghetti.
Garlic bread anyone?!?
This one is so simple but tastes soo good.
Breaded frozen chicken breasts cooked according to package directions (you can also use chicken tenderloins or Boca Original Chicken veggie patties for this)
1 jar of your favorite pasta sauce or 15 oz. can crushed tomatoes with basil
2 c. shredded mozzarella or - for a nice kick - pepper jack cheese
Don't overcook the chicken. If it says 8-10 minutes to bake, then take them out at 8 minutes. Spoon enough spaghetti sauce or crushed canned tomatoes over each chicken breast to cover - but do NOT saturate. Then put cheese on top of the sauce. Put back in the oven for 5-8 minutes, until cheese melts. Viola! You are an Italian chef!
A green veggie of your choosing (red and green just look pretty together!) or a nice salad
Garlic bread (we use the frozen kind but you can buy a fresh loaf from the bakery and dip it in olive oil and pepper)
Left Over night! There should be some left overs from your earlier meals to take the night off tonight.
Remember the sauceless chicken we bought BOGO earlier in the week? Well, buy the bbq version with it for Sub night!
1 container BBQ Chicken (warmed)
4-6 sub rolls
1 small onion sliced for subs
Sliced Cheese of your choosing (cheddar, provolone, gouda, pepper jack...)
Slightly toast the sub rolls on 325 degrees for about 3-5 minutes. Put the warmed bbq chicken in the rolls, put onions on top. Bake for 5-7 minutes. Take out of oven and put sliced cheese on top. Bake for another 3 minutes until cheese has melted.
Sides and optional toppings:
Pickles, jalapenos, cut carrots, fruit, and either potato chips or fries
There you go! Your week of meal planning is done. Simple and easy. Enjoy!
#mealplanning #easy #dentist #yummy #delicious #foryou #whatsfordinner #simple #angelhair #whereisyourangel #angelbooks #angelwatchingoverme
Do you remember the tv series "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition"? My family and I loved watching that show! We watched the before pictures, heard the stories, and then watched in amazement at the transformations.
Although we can't promise you Ty yelling in a bull horn and making your dreams come true, we can give you some promising statistics that will bring improvements into your home. The kind of improvements money can't buy and you can't put a price on.
Some of you may already be doing this, some of you may have gotten away from doing it and some of you may want to make it more meaningful. One proven way to help keep your children off of drugs, give them a sense of stability, and a greater connection to you and each other is through having dinner together. Not a drive-thru on the run kind of meal. But a sit down at the table dinner.
Where do you start and is it too late? As long as someone still lives in the house it's never too late to start. Dinner can (and probably should) be the most important meal of the day. It's the "capping off" of the day and getting ready to rest or wind down meal.
First, set the dinner "rules" or dinner standard. The standard in our house is that dinner means no electronics (adults included). If nobody can live without their phones (or tv) for 30 minutes then there is a bigger problem - seek out a Dr. Phil!
We don't discuss discipline issues, broken rules, or engage in arguments. The dinner table is a safe place. We do talk about family values (respect, honor, fun, forgiveness, generosity...). We have our Grateful Journal where we write what we are grateful for that day. We will even pick a family member and tell one thing we really like or appreciate about them. The world tells us (and sometimes screams at us!) how inadequate we are, we want to build each other up.
Other meal time discussions can include talks about being safe and what's healthy. Ask your kids scenario and thought provoking questions. "What would you do if you were asked to take a candy bar from the store without paying for it?" We also tell our kids stories from when we were kids, what we were going through, and what we did for fun.
Weather permitting we take dinner outside or we have a "picnic" on the living room floor. As for what's on the menu, it doesn't have to be complicated or elaborate. Last night we had breakfast for dinner. Tonight my husband requested salad. Tomorrow on this blog we will give you some easy meal ideas for the week.
Remember the best home improvements don't involve a contractor or a demo day. They involve regular maintenance of the most important meal of the day - dinner with your family.
#homeimprovements #drphil #typennington #family #dinners #meaningful #kids #parents #drugfree #connection #engaged #angels #books #whereisyourangel #angelwatchingoverme
Looking to find creative ways to engage your kids, connect with your spouse, and just learn better ways to manage stress and deal with people? We found a great resource that offers up soo many tips and tricks we are fans!
Every other month we get a magazine in the mail (yes we like to put our hands on paper and thumb through the pages!!) called Helping Families Thrive. It is a resource from Focus on the Family.
Are you struggling with whether or not to let your kid watch a certain movie, play a particular video game, or even read a questionable book? This magazine touches on those issues and more.
This magazine and its resources offer ways to parent better and helps you help your kiddos understand and articulate what they are feeling and what they are going through. It's about relationship building with some of the most important relationships in your life.
You can subscribe by following this link:
Tell them we sent you!
#free #family #resource #kids #parents #media #helpful #angels #whereisyourangel #angelwatchingoverme