Which Scar Treatment Product Works Best?

Which Scar Treatment Product Works Best?

 

The Best Scar Treatments Can Help Solve the Problem

 

Because scars, like accidents, happen to all of us. And whether it’s the result of a surgery, a stumble or a pimple-popping session gone awry (come on, we’ve all been there), getting rid of them is no easy feat. After all, you might be dealing with skin that’s discolored, sunken, raised or bumpy.

Your body worked hard to repair itself from whatever caused the scar; and while covering it up with makeup temporarily patches things up, the best scar treatments can help solve the problem in a more permanent way.

However, with an abundance of lotions, creams and oils, all of which promise to eliminate any and all evidence of scarring, it can be hard to tell which are the best scar treatments — the ones that deliver real, lasting results — and which ones do diddly squat.

That’s why I have researched best scar treatments on the market. The following products are easy to use, affordable, effective and don’t take six months of use to kick into gear.

 

 

Kelo-Cote Advanced Formula Scar Gel

 

 

Kelo-Cote makes just one product: their Advance Formula Scar Gel. It’s so useful, Kelo-Cote applied for and received a patent on the formula. That shouldn’t worry you though because the ingredients are safe, explicitly listed, and well understood.

The gel is made of silicon dioxide and long-chain polymers, which is just a confusing way to describe silicon molecules that are connected in a chain. Now, you might be wondering what silicone has to do with skincare, but it’s a proven treatment for healing wounds, and it makes sense that the same properties could work on scars.

When Kelo-Cote is applied to the skin, those polymers and the silicone dioxide work together, forming an ideal mat that sits on the injury to soften and heal it for up to 24 hours. If you’re dealing with abnormal or heavy scars (like keloids or hypertrophic), silicone gels may offer the best chance for long-term improvement.

There will inevitably be times you’ll need to apply makeup, sunscreen, or clothing over your scar cream and Kelo-Cote dries nicely into a thin, invisible layer that’s safe to use first but won’t interfere with other products you put over it. 

If you suffer from skin allergies or sensitivity, you might want to try Kelo-Cote because of the super short ingredients list that contains no irritants, additives, or fragrance. Silicone gels are a new, but promising scar treatment technology and Kelo-Cote is a product to consider, especially if you have thick scars or your skin isn’t showing improvement from other methods. (The Efficacy of Silicone Gel for the Treatment of Hypertrophic Scars and Keloids).

 

 

 

Selevax Intensive Scar Cream

Selevax Intensive Scar Cream can be used on any part of the body and nurtures your skin with all kinds of right ingredients.

If you’re dealing with dull skin and scars, Selevax might be worth considering because it combines components known to improve scars (like silicone and dimethicone) with a whole list of vitamins, antioxidants, and essential oils that boost and revitalize your skin while it heals.

You can apply Selevax to all types of scars with noticeable results possible within 30-60 days. This is excellent news because Service offers a 90-day money-back guarantee and return period. Plus, their creams are manufactured in an FDA approved facility in the United States so you’ll never have to worry about a compromised product. Service also donates a portion of all sales to the Save the Children Foundation, so you can know you’re giving back to a good cause every time you order it!

 

 

 

Evanesce Advanced Scar and Blemish Treatment

 

 

Evanesce, made by Natura Science Labs, designed for use on all types of scars, old and new. It’s one of the few scar creams on the market to offer something called Epidermal Growth Factor, a promising treatment for scars that’s been proven effective in wound care.

When you apply Evanesce, Epidermal Growth Factor will work to stimulate cell production and proper tissue growth while your skin benefits from an extra boost of Vitamin C and collagen at the same time!

Evanesce is an all-natural product with an easy-to-read ingredients list. It applies quickly and easily under makeup or sunscreen, which makes it great for using every day.

If you’re worried about taking a chance on a new product that might not work for you, Natura Labs lets you try Evanesce risk-free. They’re so confident you’ll love this cream that they’ll make you return it for a full refund if you’re not completely satisfied. 

 

 

 

Bio-Oil

 

Reviewers were pleasantly surprised by this affordable oil, reporting that Bio-Oil works “better than [they] expected.”

Patience is key here: One reviewer says that the scar treatment works “really well,” but that visible results take time. Another reviewer calls this her “C-section savior,” because it successfully flattened and smoothed out her scar post-delivery.

 

 

 

SBC EGF Serum

 

SBC EGF Serum stimulates the skin to encourage collagen production and stimulates the growth and proliferation of the cells involved in wound healing and inflammation, therefore, diminishing the appearance of acne scars and other scars.
 
It also stimulates the skin to encourage collagen production and accelerate the skins renewal process meaning improved texture and elasticity of the skin, and reduced pigmentation.
 
 
It contains ChroNOline, which is a Biomimetic peptide which activates skin repair, and CococinTM, which is rich in essential fatty acids and assists in reconditioning the skin and improving lipid barrier strength, stimulating blood circulation, moisturizing and promoting healthy cell growth.

 

 

 

Incision Plus Scar Gel

 

 

Incision Plus® has been used on hundred of surgery and injury patients with outstanding results. They use high quality, natural ingredients– anti redness and skin softening botanicals not found in any other scar creams. 

Potent sunflower oil based omega 3 and omega 6 anti inflammatories are included, as well as vitamin E and black currant oil, one of natures most potent anti-oxidants for skin health.
 
Collagen building peptide blend from France furthers supports skin during the post-injury phase.  This product is ideal for after surgery, acerations, burns, and injuries.
 
 
Incision Plus is best for new scars and injuries, but can help over many months for old scars. The peptide and anti oxidant effects that are useful in anti-aging and wrinkle treatments are combined with cosmetic dimethicone gel to create a natural, hypoallergenic, fragrance-free product. It comes in an airless pump is superior to jars for hygeine safety and preventing ingredient oxidation.

 

 

 

 

 Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula Scar Serum

 

Reviewers are impressed with Palmer’s Scar Serum‘s ability to smoothen skin on a budget. One reviewer who used the product on her post-pregnancy stretch marks writes, “I tried this product and I saw results within the first week. It made the red marks less red….This product didn’t make them vanish for good but it did make them less noticeable.”

Other users who’ve used the products on scars agree that while it doesn’t work to remove the marks entirely, it makes skin feel “so soft.”

 

 

Scar Esthetique Scar Cream With Polypeptides and 10 Anti-Oxidants

Scar Esthetique Scar Crème contains 23 active ingredients including 10 anti-oxidants, 2 polypeptides, liquid silicone and natural botanicals to speed scar healing.

Scar Esthetique® is a silicone-first product that contains a total of 23 ingredients to improve your scar.  It nourishes your scar and skin on a cellular level with the combination of silicone, anti-oxidants, and botanicals. 

• Silicone creates an semi-occlusive barrier to decrease water loss
• Anti-Oxidants provide environmental protection for your scar
• Botanicals brighten and nourish the skin in a number of ways

Scar Esthetique® is used to improve the appearance of surgical, traumatic scars (including normal post-op scars, hypertrophic scars, and keloid scars) and burns. Scar Esthetique® is gently massaged into a clean and dry scar 3 to 4 times daily.

Scar Esthetique® absorbs quickly, is discreet, often unnoticeable, not greasy and sunscreen can be applied shortly after application.

 

 

Scar/Away The Solution for Scars

 

ScarAway Silicone Scar Sheets is one of the highest rated C-section scar treatments on the market, this stuff is “great after surgery,” according to reviewers. One reader writes, “Use these regularly, and they really will smooth and fade scars surprisingly fast.”
 
ScarAway C-Section Scar Sheets use patented 100% silicone technology to effectively shrink, flatten and fade hypertrophic (raised) and keloid scars. Silicone is the #1 dermatologist and plastic surgeon recommended scar reduction treatment ingredient. 100% silicone technology is often used by plastic surgeons, burn centers and hospitals around the world. Scars may feel softer in just a few days, with visible results in just weeks. Optimal results are achieved in about 12 weeks. Numerous clinical studies support the safety and efficacy of silicone sheeting for the reduction and prevention of scars.

ScarAway sheeting mimics the natural barrier function of healthy skin. This safe, gentle process diminishes the scar’s appearance and restores skin to a more natural texture and color.

In addition, ScarAway Scar Sheets offer these features:

– Can be used on any skin tone and on scars that are old or new, as soon as skin is healed.

– Ultra-thin, flexible, breathable, and durable wear.

– Silky soft fabric backing for wound comfort- conceals while you heal.

– Each washable sheet lasts approximately two weeks.

 

 

Mederma PM Intensive Overnight Scar Cream

 

Mederma PM is the first and only overnight scar cream specifically formulated to work while you sleep. During sleep our bodies work harder to reverse the skin damage caused during the day, repairing and regenerating skin cells at a faster rate.

Mederma PM intensive overnight scar cream is formulated to complement this nighttime activity with tripeptol, a skin-nourishing complex with peptides, collagen and antioxidants to promote healthy looking skin and help your skin fight free radical damage.

Once-nightly application is clinically shown to make scars smaller and less visible and can begin to bring noticeable results in as little as 14 nights.

 

 

 

 

 

DermaSafe Stretch Marks and Scar Defense Therapy

 

Organic Aloe is the primary ingredient in DermaSafe Stretch Mark & Scar Defense Therapy.

Other elements to note in this cream are dimethicone (that skin protectant we mentioned earlier) and the addition of peptides, which are just amino acid chains that exist naturally in your body already.

Peptides are an exciting area of study in cosmetics and skincare, and DermaSafe Defense Therapy includes peptides that promote collagen production and reduce inflammation. (Topical Peptide Treatments with Effective Anti-Aging Results)

Now, keep in mind that DermaSafe is designed for skin defense and to prevent and minimize skin scarring. If you’re dealing with ancient, thick, or discolored areas, you might first want to consider other products that are more targeted toward breaking down and minimizing scar tissue. However, if you’re concerned with new scarring or your skin is still actively undergoing damage, this is the go-to cream to consider. 

Since it’s marketed explicitly for stretch marks, DermaSafe gives you a more significant product quantity than many retailers so you can apply it generously to large areas of your body. And if you’re the type that worries about how products are manufactured and tested, you’ll feel better knowing that DermaSafe guarantees their products are made in the United States and never tested on animals.

 

 

Final Thoughts

There are a lot of factors that go into choosing a scar treatment product. No matter what you decide, keep the following ideas in mind to help you formulate the best plan of attack for your type of scarring:

All scar treatments have one thing in common: maintaining moisture on the skin. The more you can hydrate from the inside-out, the better chance you have to heal old scars and prevent new ones from forming, so stay hydrated.

Always use sunscreen with your scar treatment. Sun exposure is known to exaggerate the appearance and color of scar tissue, so the less UV damage, the better. Since many scars won’t tan, going without sunscreen means you’re more likely to develop uneven skin color, especially in the summer months.

Scars are permanent. Regardless of the treatment or how long it’s used, most scars will remain visible at least a little bit. Make sure you understand the type of injury and tissue damage that you’re trying to treat. Having realistic expectations will help you track your progress better and avoid frustration or disappointment.

Scar treatments take time. You might see noticeable results as soon as a few weeks, but you may have to use the product consistently for several months to see significant improvements. Taking pictures along the way will help you track your progress.

 

Thanks for visiting and reading …

I hope this article provided you some practical information about products to help heal and fade scars.

I welcome your comments below.

-Laurie

 

 

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How to Get Rid of Stubborn Adult Acne

How to Get Rid of Stubborn Adult Acne

 

What’s Different About Adult Acne?

 

Acne isn’t just a problem for teenagers. Many adults also have acne. Around 80% of adult acne cases affect women, thought to be because of changing hormone levels during periods, pregnancy, medical conditions such as PCOS, or as a side effect of medication.

Acne develops when dead skin cells and natural oils (sebum) block up tiny hair follicles in the skin. Bacteria work their way into the plugged-up follicles and start multiplying. When the body’s immune cells move in to attack the bacteria, the results of the battle are the classic symptoms of acne – swelling, redness and spots.

Adult acne differs markedly from the spots of your teenage years, both in how it appears and how it’s treated.

In teenagers, you’ll mostly see lots of tiny bumps, blackheads or whiteheads on the skin of the face, especially the forehead, along with occasional cysts on the chest and back. That’s because teens’ skin tends to be a little stickier and they’re more likely than adults to get clogged pores.

In adults, acne is more likely to appear on the lower part of the face, especially around the mouth and jawline. It’s usually deeper nodules or red papules in those areas. The fine little bumps of teen acne can still happen in adulthood, but it’s much less common.

 

 

Reasons For Adult Acne 

 

Some adults continue to get acne well into their 30s, 40s, and even 50s. It is even possible to get acne for the first time as an adult. Dermatologists call this “adult-onset acne.” It is most common among women going through menopause.

Women tend to get adult acne more often than men do. If you’re getting acne as an adult, it is likely due to one or more of the following reasons:

Fluctuating hormone levels can lead to breakouts.

Women often experience fluctuating hormones: 

  • Around their periods 
  • During pregnancy, peri-menopause, and menopause
  • After discontinuing (or starting) birth control pills 

 

Stress: Researchers have found a relationship between stress and acne flare-ups. In response to stress, our bodies produce more androgens (a type of hormone). These hormones stimulate the oil glands and hair follicles in the skin, which can lead to acne. This explains why acne can be an ongoing problem when we find ourselves under constant stress.

In my personal experience, stress has been the largest factor in my adult acne flare-ups.

 

Family history: Does a close blood relative, such as a parent, brother, or sister have acne? Findings from research studies suggest that some people may have a genetic predisposition for acne. People who have this predisposition seem more likely to get adult acne.

 

Hair and skin care products: You likely already do this, but if you have adult acne, you should read the labels on your skin care and hair care products. Make sure that you see one of the following terms on every container:

  • Non-comedogenic 
  • Non-acnegenic
  • Oil-free
  • Won’t clog pores

 

You want to make sure your moisturizer, cleanser, sunscreen, and all other products contain one of these terms. These products are least likely to cause acne. 

 

Medication side effect: Acne is a side effect of some medicines. If you suspect that a medicine is triggering your acne or making it worse, continue taking the medicine — but talk with the doctor who prescribed it. Ask if acne is a possible side effect. If acne is a possible side effect, ask if you can take a different medicine. If you cannot take another medicine, you may want to see a dermatologist who can help you control the acne.

 

Undiagnosed medical condition: Sometimes, acne is a sign of an underlying medical condition. Once the medical condition is diagnosed and treated, the acne often clears. 

 

 

Treating Adult Acne

 

Acne medications help by interrupting this process in different ways. Some over-the-counter and prescription acne creams help by unplugging the follicles. Others – such as antibiotics – kill the bacteria that move into the follicles and reduce inflammation. Oral retinoids such as isotretinoin work differently by reducing the amount of oil secreted by glands in the skin.

There is no single best acne or spot treatment. Some people do well using one acne cream, while others need a combination of approaches to control their acne.

Most of the over-the-counter products involve salicylic acid and/or benzoyl peroxide.

 

 

For Adult Acne, I Recommend Looking For Products With Benzoyl Peroxide

 

Benzoyl peroxide is non-prescription drug that works to destroy acne-causing bacteria in your pores. Also known as BPO, it works primarily as an exfoliating agent by increasing the turnover of the skin and removes the mixture of sebum and dead skin cells from the pores.

There are many BPO product options available to consumers.  Not only are there numerous brands, but it also comes in a variety of concentrations.

Benzoyl peroxide is a powerful ingredient that is effective against all kinds of acne lesions (blackheads, whiteheads, and big, red, cystic pimples). It is bactericidal, meaning it kills bacteria, rather than simply slowing down their growth.

Benzyol peroxide acne treatments can also work very quickly, improving acne as early as five days after starting treatment. It’s a great first line treatment for acne, but it’s also helpful to use in combination with antibiotics. In fact, benzoyl peroxide has the ability to prevent antibiotic resistance.

One thing to watch out for with benzoyl peroxide is that it can bleach dark fabrics.  It can also cause drying, peeling, and redness if it’s not delivered in the right amount, surrounded by the right mix of ingredients. It may take some experimentation to see what concentration or frequency of use your skin tolerates best.

 

The Benefits of Benzoyl Peroxide

 

  • It kills bacteria.
  • Benzoyl peroxide works quickly (as soon as five days!).
  • As an added bonus, benzoyl peroxide prevents antibiotic resistance.

 

A study published on The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology suggests that:

“Benzoyl peroxide (BPO) has been an important component of topical therapy for acne vulgaris for more than five decades due to its ability to markedly reduce Propionibacterium acnes and inflammatory acne lesions and its ability to moderately reduce noninflammatory acne lesions.” [source]

 

The Downside to Benzoyl Peroxide

 

  • It can cause dryness, peeling and redness.
  • It can bleach fabric.
  • In some cases, benzoyl peroxide can cause post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (a.k.a. dark spots).

 

Note – I’m a staunch believer of the fact that there’s no quick acne treatment, and studies have proven this. So if you’re thinking that a benzoyl peroxide based product can cure your acne overnight, I’m afraid you’ll be disappointed.  You’ll  have to be patient and let the product work for at least 2-3 weeks.  It can be very effective at clearing up adult acne, but it takes a little time.

 

Recommended Benzoyl Peroxide Products

 

 CleaRx, Differin (uses retinoid), Proactiv, and Murad all have excellent reputations and high quality product lines.  Any one of these can work well on adult acne. 

As a personal recommendation, I like CleaRx products.  They have worked really well for clearing up my adult acne (even the cystic bumps on my jaw – which are a nightmare).  CleaRx contains the maximum OTC (over-the-counter) strength 10% benzoyl peroxide along with other acne fighting ingredients, so  Give CleaRx a chance on your toughest acne before you see a dermatologist. 

I also find them to be the  cosmetically elegant (spa-like), and pleasant to use, which, while not as important as effectiveness, also matters to me.  For me, CleaRx and stress management are the best ways to manage my adult acne.  I feel like CleaRx really helps bring my skin back in balance, and helps me to keep my flare-ups to an absolute minimum.

 

 A quick look at the treatment features of some excellent products:

 

Treatment Features

 

CleaRx®

Differin®

Proactiv®

Murad®

Maximum Strength Formulation

Kills Acne Bacteria

Cleans & Exfoliates Skin

Unclogs Blocked Pores

Hydrates & Protects Skin

Reduces Redness & Inflammation

Promotes Healthy, Even Toned Skin

 

 

Prescription Treatments for Adult Acne

 

Try non-prescription products as your first line of defense, but if you’re having no luck with them, talk to your dermatologist about prescription treatments. Your doctor may recommend one treatment, or suggest combining a cream with an oral medication.

You have several options:

  • Prescription creams containing retinoids (derived from vitamin A) to help unplug follicles.
  • Combination creams that combine the cleansing agent benzoyl peroxide and antibiotics such as clindamycin.
  • Oral contraceptives, which can regulate the hormonal fluctuations that spark breakouts.
  • Oral antibiotics, which also act as anti-inflammatories.

 

 

Final Thoughts

Adult acne is different from teen acne, but it can be cleared up and managed.  Be aware of your stress level, and watch for products you use which might aggravate your skin and clog pores. 

Purchase a high quality acne system and stick with it, adjusting as needed for formula strength and/or frequency of use.  If you don’t have a satisfactory result from an over the counter system, consult with a dermatologist.  And don’t panic – there are many options available.

 

Thanks for visiting and reading …

I hope this article provided you some practical information about clearing up and managing adult acne.

I welcome your comments below.

-Laurie

 

 

You may also be interested in:

Which Scar Treatment Works Best?

Today’s Best Retinol Creams

Does Biosil Actually Do Anything?

How to Choose the Right Diet Plan For You

Are Genetic Testing Services Worth It?

Science Proves Coffee Slows Down Aging

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Today’s Best Retinol Creams

Retinol Creams

(No Prescription Needed!)

 

 

 

 

Retinol is the ingredient most likely to make a major visible improvement in your skin.

 

Few skin care ingredients have been as extensively studied—and proven—as retinoids. This vitamin A derivative has skin benefits that range from improvement in visible signs of aging to reduction in acne and brown spots.

Over the counter retinol products work as both treatment and prevention of the visible signs of aging skin.

 

What do Retinoids Do?

The primary effect of retinoids is increased skin cell turnover. Our skin cells are constantly multiplying and sloughing off, about every 30-35 days. When retinoids are introduced to the skin, damaged cells are eliminated and replaced with healthy cells more quickly.

Secondarily, retinoids stimulate the formation of new collagen in the upper levels of the skin thus resulting in increased firmness and smoothness. Retinoids can also reduce the activity of melanocytes, the cells that produce unwanted pigment in our skin (e.g. melasma, hyperpigmentation).

 

Side Effects of Retinoids

Side effects such as irritation, redness or skin flaking may accompany the benefits of retinol, but they can be managed.

To acclimate the skin, start with a low-concentration retinol or retinoid, and gradually build up the concentration over a few months. If you have very sensitive skin, you can always start using it twice a week at night, then build up a tolerance to eventually be using it nightly. Remember, you can always cut back in concentration or frequency if you start to develop irritation.  The good news is, the irritation is never permanent, but the benefits of retinoids are long lasting.

As with any method of skin exfoliation, retinoid use can make skin more sun sensitive, so diligent use of sunscreen with SPF 30 or greater is essential.

When applying retinoids to the face, it’s also important to take care around the eye area. I recommend applying an hour or two before bedtime, as applying right before bed may cause the product to migrate too close to the eye, especially when sleeping on one’s side and then causing eyelid irritation.

 

Choosing a Retinol Product

Many of these are marketed as “deep wrinkle creams” giving the impression they exist only to treat women with established lines. But retinol creams work wonderfully as a preventative measure.

Below are some of the best:

 

 

RoC Deep Wrinkle Night Cream

 

If you are starting out on a new retinol program, RoC’s Deep Wrinkle Night Cream is a good first product for newbies.

Retinoids can cause redness and scaly skin at first as it sloughs away the top layer of skin (anyone who has tried Retin-A knows this), so a mild retinoid is a good starter cream.

This sensitive night cream is less potent than other OTC products listed here and is a good start because your skin can get used to the active ingredients. Once you’ve adjusted, you can move on to more potent formulas, like RoC’s Deep Wrinkle Night Cream.

 

 

Peter Thomas Roth’ Retinol Fusion PM

One of the most beloved retinol creams is Peter Thomas Roth’s Retinol Fusion PM. It contains 1% retinol plus a host of extras, which is always great when buying a retinol.

Those extras include shea butter for hydration (since we know by now that retinol can be drying to the skin) and vitamins A, C and E. There’s also caffeine to help with puffiness.

This product gets rave reviews from all of the top review sites. The biggest con is that the company tests on animals.

 

 

SkinMedica Retinol 0.25 Complex, 1 oz.

Skinmedica Retinol Complex

 

Skinmedica is revered for its retinol products, which come in three strengths from the least potent .25 (this means the ingredients are .25% retinol) to the most potent 1%.

It’s recommended to start with the .25% product and then move your way up to the 1% if needed. Your skin needs time to adjust to the retinol.

 

 

 

NeoCutis Nouvelle +Retinol+Correction+Cream

 

 NeoCutis Nouvelle+ is an excellent product for most skin types because it contains not only a good dose of retinol but a nice mixture of antioxidants (vitamins C and E) and it does not include added fragrance.

Because it contains .6% retinol, it’s not for sensitive skin. If you suffer from redness or rosacea you likely shouldn’t be using retinols anyway because it will simply be too harsh on your already super sensitive skin.

The only con is the price, which is more expensive than many others on this list. But yes, the price is worth it.

 

 

 

 

 

Roc Retinol Correxion Max Wrinkle Resurfacing Anti-Aging Skin Care System

 

RoC was the brand my dermatologist recommended when I told her my super dry skin could no longer tolerate prescription-strength Retin-A, which can be very drying.

This set gets rave reviews because it includes a retinol cream and a serum. The two together are incredibly hydrating and effective. After weeks of use, users report seeing noticeable results.

 

 

 

Algenist Retinol Firming and Lifting Serum

 

This Algenist Retinol Serum is chock full of antioxidants and peptides along with the retinol that’s necessary for cell turnover in skin. While pricey (you can certainly buy other products for less), the added benefits and the fact that a few drops per night is all you need, make this a great buy.

Olay is known for its wonderful anti-aging products that can be bought at drugstores. Users love it because it goes on smoothly and works.

 

 

 

Olay Regenerist Intensive Repair Treatment

Another retinol from Olay that’s a bit less expensive is Olay Regenerist Intensive Repair Treatment.

Olay is known for its wonderful anti-aging products that can be bought at drugstores. Users love it because it goes on smoothly and works.

 

 

 

Paula’s Choice Clinical 1% Retinol Treatment

Paula Begoun has been around for ages, first as the self-described “Cosmetics Cop” with several books and a huge online following. She has since parlayed her fame into her own brand of products.

Her retinoid creams get great reviews online. This Clinical 1% Retinol Treatment has licorice, oat extract and other anti-irritants help to minimize the side effects many people experience with retinols.

 

 

 

 

Alpha Skin Care Enhanced Wrinkle Repair Cream

 

This Alpha Skin Care Enhanced Wrinkle Repair Cream is an incredibly mild retinol cream containing only .15% retinol plus a host of fabulous antioxidants including vitamins A, C and E. It’s also very affordable, making it a great choice for women with sensitive skin or concerns about using retinol creams.

 

 

 

Shiseido Benefiance WrinkleResist 24 Pure Retinol Express Smoothing Eye Mask

People swear by these Shiseido Benefiance Eye Masks despite the hefty price tag.  Reviewers swear they leave their under-eye areas much brighter (see reviews).

You have to apply and leave them on for 20 minutes and for this reason (along with the price) many people use them only for special occasions, such as before a wedding or event.

It’s not clear how much retinol is in the formula. Another con is that these have been tested on animals.

 

 

 

OzNaturals Super Youth Retinol Moisturizer with

  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin B5
  • Shea Butter
  • Hyaluronic Acid

 

This OzNaturals Super Youth Retinol Moisturizer is packed with amazing ingredients, including 2.5% retinol, Hyaluronic Acid, and Vitamin C. All of these in combination increase cell turnover and plump up the skin.

I like that the ingredients are all-natural and cruelty-free. This is a beloved and fantastic OTC retinol product and it’s well-priced, too.

 

 

 

A Personal Recommendation for Sunscreen

 

On a personal note – for sunscreen, I like Avene SPF50 plus Light Hydrating Mineral Sunscreen.  I have extremely sensitive eyes, and cannot use sunscreens with chemicals in them; even if I don’t put the products around my eyes, the “fumes” from the product on my face can irritate my eyes! 

This sunscreen uses titanium oxide and zinc oxide as its active ingredients, and helps calm and protect sensitive skin types prone to breakouts, rosacea and discoloration. Very lightweight and silky, it may be worn with makeup or alone. It is fragrance free, oil free, and paraben free.

This is a cosmetically-elegant mineral sunscreen that leaves no with cast, and will protect your face very effectively while using a retinol product.

If your skin or eyes are sensitive, I think you’ll be happy with this sunscreen.

 

 

Final Thoughts

In my opinion, just about anyone is a good candidate for a retinol cream.  Anyone with aging skin, rosacea sufferers, those with hyperpigmentation, or uneven skin tone and even those wishing to reduce the appearance of surgical scars will see some great benefits of Retinol.

If you start using them when you hit 30,  your 60-something self will thank you – but no matter how old you are now – it’s never too late! 

And don’t forget to stock up on sunblock!

 

Thanks for visiting and reading …

I hope this article provided you some practical information to help you on your search for a new retinol treatment (whatever age you are!).

I welcome your comments below.

-Laurie

 

 

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Comfortable Fashionable Shoes For Mature Women

Comfortable and Fashionable Shoes For Mature Women

 

 

 

 

 

Tips for Finding Attractive Shoes That Feel Good on Mature Feet

 

I think we can all agree that there’s some truth to the stereotype that women love shoes. For some of us, “obsessed” would be a more appropriate word. Throughout our lives, shoes have been a part of our identity. Now, as we get a little older, we have to learn to adapt to our changing feet.  Image above:  Clarks Women’s (Super Comfy) Reedly Salene Wedge Sandal (available in 6 colors).

 

 

Elements of a Comfortable Shoe

 

You probably already know how you like your shoes to look on you, but at this age, it’s also important to pay attention to what makes that great shoe comfortable.

There is no one criteria that makes a shoe comfortable. In fact, the “comfort” of a shoe has even been measured in a 16 step process by SATRA (Shoe and Allied Trades Research Association). Are you kidding me? Sixteen steps to determine the comfort of a shoe? As much as that is a valid scientific way to assess shoes, it has to be easier than that!

Let’s simplify the SATRA process down to four key elements: correct size, shape, stability, and style.

 

Size

Our feet are often different sizes and widths. The size you measure doesn’t always fit the best. Shoes of the same size and width also can vary substantially due to manufacturing and materials.

You want to allow 5/8″ room between the end of the longest toes and the end of the shoe, about one thumb width. This is often the 2nd toe, not the great toe. Also, try on shoes at the end of the day. Your foot does swell and it is bigger in the afternoon than in the morning.

Note: Most people are wearing their shoes too small. If your feet are truly different sizes, buy the bigger pair. Better to add a filler to the smaller side than to try to stretch the larger one. If you are going to wear socks with your shoes, have them with you when you try them on. Don’t guess that the nylon sock available at the shoe store is the right thickness.

When in doubt, buy the wider shoe. Most people in the United States actually need a wide not just because of the width of your foot but the thickness of your foot.

 

Shape

The only people I know that look at the shape of a shoe are podiatrists or runners. A shoe is made on a distinct last. This determines the shape of the shoe. A shoe can be curved, semi-curved, or straight lasted. Determine the shape of your foot then try to find a shoe that is made off a last that is the same shape. A straight foot in a curved last is like putting a round peg in a square hole. Not comfortable!

 

Stability

How rigid is the shoe? How rigid is your foot? If you have a wide, flat foot, then you need a stable shoe. If you have a high arched, rigid foot, then a more cushioned flexible shoe will be more comfortable.

A great way to determine if a shoe is stable is to look at the rigidness of the heel counter (the rear end of the shoe) and also to do the twist test. If you can make a shoe pretzel, chances are it is not a stable shoe.

 

Style

Well, this is the zen factor. It doesn’t matter how well a shoe fits if you can’t stand what it looks like and won’t wear it. Choose a style you like to look at and all of a sudden it is instantaneously more comfortable. Funny how the power of suggestion works that way!

 

 

Know Your Lifestyle

 

Many people buy shoes because they have a “feeling” about them. Others just like the way that a pair of shoes looks. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to look stylish, but, by the time we reach our 60s, we hopefully know enough about ourselves to choose shoes that match our lifestyle.

It’s better to invest in a few high-quality pairs of shoes that will add value to your day-to-day routine than to buy numerous pairs of colorful, but, ultimately useless shoes that grab your attention in the store.

If you do a lot of walking, invest in good pair of walking shoes. If you have mobility issues or any health challenges or physical limitations, think of stability and safety. If you travel a lot, look at options that are good for walking on uneven sidewalks and perhaps suited for some spontaneous dancing (I’m speaking from experience here). Shoes are not just a fashion statement; they are your connection to the world, literally.

 

Know Your Feet

 

When it comes to shoes, size matters. As women get older, our feet change size and sometimes get wider. This makes it especially important to measure your feet every time you buy a new pair. Don’t order shoes online without an unconditional return policy. Most of all, when it comes to fit, don’t compromise.

Don’t believe a shop assistant when they say that a pair of shoes will “wear in.” They won’t. If they don’t fit perfectly in the store, don’t buy them.

Next, make sure that you buy each pair of shoes with a purpose in mind.  Don’t be afraid to get a pair of heels for special occasions, but don’t fool yourself into thinking that they can be your everyday shoes.

One final tip for getting a great fit is to try shoes on at the end of the day. If you try on a pair of shoes at the end of the day, when your feet are slightly swollen, you will be more likely to get a perfect fit.

 

 

 

Know Which Brands to Shop

 

If you’re looking for fashionable shoes that are known for high quality and comfort,  here are some ideas…

 

Marc Joseph New York

Marc Joseph New York prides itself on offering footwear that is modern & fashionable, yet extremely comfortable and of luxurious quality…most importantly at great value!  Every shoe is designed with an unsurpassed attention to detail, handcrafted in Brazil by skilled artisans

 

Marc Joseph New York Women’s Atlantic Loafer (available in 6 colors)

 

 

They are best known for their luxurious Driving Moccasins and Loafers however as our following grew that extended to a full Lifestyle collection of many products. The footwear is hand- stitched and crafted from premier quality leathers using state of the art machinery and the most contemporary techniques.

 

Marc Joseph New York Women’s leather Midtown Pump (available in 4 colors)

 

 

According to Joseph, the brand’s co-founder and Creative Director, “My goal is to design shoes that are unique and distinguished in character, incorporating the use of the most luxurious hand finished leathers & components, while remaining practical in every sense. My continuous direct communication with our loyal clientele keeps me in tune with what they desire and seek. I place extensive effort into making sure comfort and fit is unmatched. Each and every style is laboratory tested for its quality, comfort and wear and tear.”

 

 

Easy Spirit

Easy Spirit has an entire line of comfortable women’s shoes, with styles ranging from flats to sandals and wedges to clogs.

 

 

Easy Spirit Women’s Safra Dress Pump

 

 

Easy Spirit Women’s Nice Day Thong Sandal

 

 

 

Aerosoles

Aerosoles is a unique shoe company because they create comfortable shoes in a variety of styles – not just flats. Using the same types of fabric and construction allows them to create shoes with maximum comfort.

 

 

Aerosoles Tru Match Women’s Slip On Loafer (available in 4 styles)

 

 

 

 

 

Aerosoles Women’s Landfall Flat (available in 3 colors)

 

 

 

 

Clarks

Clarks is a well-respected brand of British shoemakers that has been around since 1825, and is known for quality and classic styles.

 

 

Clarks Women's Flores Poppy Pump, Cream Leather, 9 Medium US

Clarks Women’s leather Flores Poppy Pump (available in 6 colors)

 

 

Leonardo da Vinci described the human foot as “a masterpiece of engineering and a work of art”. And to make sure we can look after it better than anyone else, Clarks has studied it. From the cradle to old age, they’ve looked at the way it develops and scrutinized its biomechanics (the way it moves at work, rest and play), and what it takes to keep feet healthy and happy.

 

 

Clarks Jeness Cloud Dress Pump with Cushion Plus and Ortholite Foot bed

 

 

 

Earth Shoes

For over 40 years, Earth shoes have been making women’s shoes including casual shoes, sandals, sneakers, wedges, and boots with exceptional comfort and fashionable style to the delight of discerning women.

Earth Shoes are inspired by their founder Anne Kalso – a Danish Yoga Instructor – and her core belief that wellness and healthy living should start from the ground up. Anne created the original wellness shoe with a trademark negative heel design, called Kalso Earth Shoes. They still make the negative heel shoes today, as well as traditional and contemporary fashion comfort shoes.

 

 

 

When Anne Kalso originally set out to make comfortable shoes for women, wellness was her priority. Her yoga practice taught her that comfort and wellness start with proper footwear for your feet. She believed whole body wellness could only be achieved when a healthy lifestyle is complemented with genuinely comfortable shoes, sandals, and boots.

Earth Shoes’ signature comfort features including amazing arch support, breathable materials, padded heels and cushioned comfort – all with fresh style and on-trend looks season after season.

Earth is also eco-conscious and does their small part to do better for our planet by using water-based adhesives, vegetable tanned leathers and glueless boxes.

In 2015, Earth partnered with a non-profit organization, Trees for the Future, and planted over 50,000 trees globally. Today, their goal is to plant another 50,000 trees every year and in doing so, we’re helping keep our air clean and our bodies healthy.

 

 

 

 

Final Thoughts

Finding great-looking comfortable shoes, sandals and boots for older women doesn’t have to be a frustrating experience! There are more options than ever for women our age to find shoes that our feet actually love – while enjoying some fashionable fun.

 

 

Thanks for visiting and reading …

I hope this article provided you some practical information on finding some great-looking, comfortable shoes.

I welcome your comments below.

-Laurie

 

 

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Is Your Indoor Air Making Your Allergies Worse?

Is Your Indoor Air Making Your Allergies Worse?

 

 

Your indoor air quality may be having as big of an effect on your runny nose as your outdoor environment.

 

Your indoor air quality is effected by factors both inside and outside of your home or business. Inside your home, indoor air quality culprits, like chemicals, volatile organic compounds, or molds can be fixed or controlled, but outdoor causes of poor indoor air quality – such as allergens – are something we’re often at the mercy of.

As we pass the first day of spring, indoor air quality is not something typically on our minds. The birds are chirping, trees are budding, and flowers are pushing up through the melting snow. It seems simple enough to open a window to freshen your home and improve your indoor air quality, but you might actually be inviting pollen and other allergens in as well.

If you’re one of the millions who suffers from seasonal allergies, your indoor air quality may be having as big of an effect on your runny nose as your outdoor environment. Seasonal allergies are your immune system’s response to an allergen – like a pollen particle drifting through the air – which often manifests as itchy, watery eyes, a runny nose, or sneezing. If you’re trying to escape the cornucopia of pollen outdoors and find relief this spring, your indoor air quality can have a big effect on these escape plans.

 

Walk-In Lab Allergy Test

 

 

Check Your Air Ducts and Filters

 

To help keep your indoor air quality free of seasonal allergens, the first step is to have your ducts inspected and filters checked and replaced. Your indoor air quality is bound to be poor if this key part of your HVAC system is dirty or in need of repairs.

Allergens like pollen or dust can collect in your ducts or filters. Your system, doing its best to move air around your home, will actually help perpetuate poor indoor air quality by spreading that pollen to all rooms.

Inspecting your air filters, and replacing them if necessary, is also a key part of promoting good indoor air quality. Beyond providing a quick route to better indoor air quality, it also keeps your HVAC system running effectively which can prevent long-term problems from arising.

In regards to the HVAC, the low quality filters are porous and dion’t trap fine particulates of dust mites and pet dander, so using a high quality HVAC filters for allergies should be a priority.

The Micropartical Performance Rating or MPR is a rating scale created by Filtrete under the 3M company and it rates the filter’s ability to capture the smallest of airborne particles from the air (different companies use different scales).  These particles captured are microscopic, ranging in size from .3-1 micron in size.

The rating helps customers properly evaluate the ability of the Filtrete filtration.  The higher the MPR rating, the better the filter is at capturing the smallest particulates. The most common ratings for Filtrete filters are 300-2800 MPR.

The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) has a slightly different scale for filters called the MERV rating.  This rating goes from 1-16, the higher the rating, the more effective the filter for .3-10 micrometers.

MERV 7 to 13 are almost as effective as true HEPA filters at removing allergens, with much lower associated system and operating costs.  This means that using high quality filters can actually help your HVAC system perform with more efficiency and keep the inside of equipment from accumulating dust.

If you are suffering with allergies, I recommend the Filtrete MPR 2800 Ultrafine Particle Reduction HVAC Filter.  It captures micro-particles  including: PM 2.5 air pollution, exhaust, soot, smoke, cough/sneeze debris, bacteria, viruses, and lint, dust, and pollen, and its electrostatic air filter has a Microparticle Performance Rating of 2800 (7 times better than non-electrostatic pleated filters).  It captures 0.3 to 1.0 micron particles, and will last for up to 3 months.

 

 

Cleaning to Improve Indoor Air Quality

 

Vacuum With a HEPA Filter

Cleaning is an obvious choice for improving your indoor air quality. Vacuuming hard surfaces that pollens may collect on can help reduce the buildup of allergens, and using a vacuum with a High Efficiency Particulate Air (or HEPA) filter can also help improve your indoor air quality.

Consumer Reports recommends the Kenmore Elite Pet Friendly 31150 as the best vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter.  Strong airflow for tools and superb pet-hair pickup are top attractions of this Kenmore bagged upright. While you can get a fine performer for less, its price includes helpful features such as a brush on/off switch, which safeguards a bare floor’s finish and prevents scattering of debris; suction control (protects drapes); and manual carpet pile-height adjustment.

 

 

 

 

Use a HEPA Filter Air Purifier

HEPA filter air purifiers, either stand-alone units or professionally installed systems, can have a huge effect on your indoor air quality by offering a high grade of filtration and purification from more than just pollen.

Particle allergens such as mold, dander, and pollen are just a few of the antagonists found in the common household. Some of the best air purifiers will remove virtually all these airborne particles in a few hours or even less, ensuring you breathe pure air. While there may be some health benefits, these machines can be particularly life changing for people who suffer from allergies.

One of the most popular air purifiers currently is GermGuardian’s air cleaning system.  The GermGuardian AC4825 is a 22 inch tall, 3 speed tower with UV-C light and Titanium Dioxide technology. This will purge the air in rooms up to 400 square feet quite efficiently.  Judging by the rave reviews and some old fashioned comparison shopping, this unit is truly a great value.

 

 

It’s quiet, very lightweight and easy to move from room-to-room if you do so choose. The one two combo punch of a charcoal and HEPA filter kicks nasty particles to the curb. The Germguardian AC4825 also has its Energy Start qualification, meaning you are doing right by the environment and not sucking up an excessive amount of electrical energy to power it.

 

 

EnviroKlenz Natural Cleaning Products

 

 

Your Air Conditioner Can Help

Your air conditioner can actually be a key part of keeping pollen out and having good indoor air quality. Pollen is water soluble; since your air conditioner was made to remove water from the air, a well-functioning unit can improve your indoor air quality just by doing what it does best.

While you may not associate snow with mold, your indoor air quality can be affected by molds released from its winter cover as the snow melts. Mold spores are released into the air as rotting leaves and autumn’s debris are uncovered and heated up by warmer temperature. This can have a great effect on your indoor air quality, especially if your air intake is near to the ground or has been covered by organic matter.

 

Consider a portable air conditioner (even if you have central air).   Just because you have central air conditioning doesn’t mean you won’t benefit from a portable air conditioner. One of the leading causes of allergies is dust mites and mold spores. Sometimes central air conditioners can house these on their filters. Filters can be changed, but why not have back up.

Portable air conditioners offer removable and washable filters for easy cleaning. And this filter collects the allergens your central air conditioning unit doesn’t. In some cases – living in an apartment or dorm – you don’t maintenance the air conditioning system. If that’s the case, then having a portable air conditioner as back up is vital.

Portable air conditioners comfortably cool areas of your home that your central system doesn’t reach. Not only that but if you plan on entertaining and you need a little extra cooling, portable air conditioners are great options. They can pick up the slack when your system is not running. Your central air system can use all the help it can get.

A portable air conditioner doesn’t cost a lot to run; it can help cut your energy costs. You can use it to cool exclusive areas without running your central unit.

 

 

This bestselling BLACK+DECKER BPACT08WT Portable Air Conditioner With Remote Control has excellent reviews on Amazon.

 

 


 

 

 

 

Testing Your Indoor Air Quality

 

You can test your home’s indoor air quality quite easily on your own with a testing kit.  If a specific problem is found, you can then assess whether you can handle the issue or need to call the appropriate professional to take care of it.

My husband and I did this testing in our home, and it was a simple process, which saved us from paying a professional for a service call to do the testing for us (using a similar testing device).

There is a good variety of indoor air testing kits available to consumers these days, so there is really no reason to feel you have to call someone if you suspect your home’s air is causing health problems.

We used the Home Air Check, and were very satisfied with it.  Their testing device  provides a comprehensive picture of chemical levels that you are breathing when in the home. It also indicates a level of actively growing mold present in the home. Since these chemicals are tested simultaneously, this sophisticated analysis becomes less expensive than arranging for a professional to come out charge you for their time and several separate tests.

Also, the samples are collected without the use of toxic chemicals, so there are no health risks using Home Air Check. We were happy with the level of completeness, sophistication, prediction, and value of Home Air Check.

The Home Air Check Indoor Air Test measures VOC’s, formaldehyde and mold.

 

 

This is how the testing process works:

You use a small sampling device to collect an air sample in your home. The sampling time takes about 2 hours.  Full instructions are included in the kit (and it is very straightforward).

After the sample is collected,  you return the complete kit to the Home Air Check laboratory, where they analyze the air sample using sophisticated state-of-the-art analytical instrumentation for hundreds of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) that can be found in home air. In addition, they look for 21 specific mold compounds that can be generated when mold is actively growing in a home.

A detailed report is then generated. In this report will be a Total VOC concentration level – a total of all the VOCs found in your home. The US Green Building Council recommends a TVOC level of less than 500 ng/L to be considered a healthy environment. (The median US home is about 1,200 ng/L.) A total concentration of Mold VOCs is also listed. Generally, this number should be less than 8 ng/L or you have active mold growth you need to find.

The report also includes a Contamination Index, which gives you a prediction of which sources or materials in your home may be responsible for these contaminating chemicals, such as gasoline, paint, adhesives, odorants, personal care products, etc. Home Air Check emails you the report within 5 business days of receipt of your air sample. You can then use their phone or chat line support to answer any questions you have and to help you improve your air quality.

 

 

Thanks for visiting and reading …

I hope this article provided you some practical information. 

I welcome your comments below.

-Laurie

 

 

You may also be interested in:

Prepare Your Home and HVAC System For Warmer Days

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Signs That You Need to Test Your Indoor Air Quality

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Gardening Safety Tips for Seniors

Gardening Safety Tips for Seniors

 

 

Both Experienced and Beginner Gardeners Should Keep These Tips in Mind

 

Gardening can be a fun activity for seniors to spend time with their family, relax for themselves, spend time outdoors, care for something other than themselves and even provide their own fruits and vegetables. Spring is the perfect time to start making plans for the garden and the weather is perfect for spending time outside. (Image above: Haws Design Traditional Peter Rabbit Design Metal Watering Can created by John Haws in 1886. Made in England.)

Physical, mental and age-related conditions must be considered, however, when older people work in the garden, but they should not prevent people from enjoying the garden.

These include:

Skin – fragile, thinning skin makes older people susceptible to bumps, bruises and sunburn.

Vision – changes in the eye lens structure, loss of peripheral vision and generally poorer eyesight can restrict activities.

Mental abilities – mental health, thinking and memory abilities may be affected by dementia and similar conditions.

Body temperature – susceptibility to temperature changes and a tendency to dehydrate or suffer from heat exhaustion, are common concerns with outdoor physical activity for older people.

Skeletal – falls are more common because balance is often not as good. Osteoporosis and arthritis may restrict movement and flexibility.

 

So whether you are an experienced gardener, or just beginning, you should keep these tips in mind:

 

 

Dress to Protect

Gear up to protect yourself from lawn and garden pests, harmful chemicals, sharp or motorized equipment, insects, and harmful rays of too much sun.

Wear safety goggles, sturdy shoes, and long pants to prevent injury when using power tools and equipment.

Protect your hearing when using machinery. If you have to raise your voice to talk to someone who is an arm’s length away, the noise can be potentially harmful to your hearing.

Wear gardening gloves to lower the risk for skin irritations, cuts, and certain contaminants.

Use insect repellent containing DEET. Protect yourself from diseases caused by mosquitoes and ticks. Wear long-sleeved shirts, and pants tucked in your socks. You may also want to wear high rubber boots since ticks are usually located close to the ground.

 

 

UV Rays Can Cause Sunburn and Skin Cancer

Lower your risk for sunburn and skin cancer. Gardening in the sun can be harsh on seniors’ skin which is more sensitive to light.  Wear long sleeves, wide-brimmed hats, sun shades, and sunscreen with sun protective factor (SPF) 30 or higher

 

Example:  These Sloggers wide brimmed hats for women and men are great for gardeners!

 

 

Use Ergonomic Tools

Gardening can be very hard on seniors’ backs, hands and wrists. However, with the right tools, gardening can be made more comfortable and enjoyable. Bottom line:  these items really make a difference in the gardening experience.

 

Things to Try:

ergonomic gardening hand tools

a rolling seat garden cart

a cushioned kneeler

knee pads

 

Examples:

This Radius Ergonomic Gardening Tool Set includes an ergonomic trowel, transplanter, weeder, and cultivator. These tools are ultra lightweight, and have a patented ergonomic grip.

 

This Best Choice Garden Cart Rolling Work Seat has sturdy 10″ wheels, a utility basket, and a weight capacity of 300 lbs.

 

 

This Ohuhu Garden Seat Kneeler With 2 Bonus Tool Pouches comes assembled, and opens and closes with a quick snap. There are some terrific reviews for this kneeler!

 

 

These Viahart Comfortable Soft Ultra Light Foam Knee Pads also come in blue, and have excellent reviews.

 

 

This KI Store Super thick and shock-absorbing 2.36” high density memory foam kneeling pad with EVA foam protects knees comfortably from hard and uneven ground.

Its double water-resistant layer protection and easy clean exterior and removable and washable, quick-drying neoprene covered means it effectively block the water. The water-resistant interior layer prevents foam swelling if water seeps through seam.

This pad is portable, easy to clean and light weight (just as the size of briefcases when folded).

 

 

Switch up your Routine

Gardening can be more strenuous than you may realize. If you haven’t been outside in a while and haven’t been getting regular exercise, your best bet is to pace yourself and do a little at a time.

Consider changing both your position and activity every 20 to 30 minutes and take a 10-minute break between switching. Tending to your garden can involve a lot of bending, lifting, and pulling which can leave you sore the following day if you overdo it, so it is important to listen to your body and slow down whenever you feel you need to.

To get a more well-rounded exercise and rest your back, rotate your daily gardening routine. Work on ground plants one day and then on stand and work on vines and trees the next. Switching things up will work out various muscle groups while giving the other group a rest on alternate days.

 

 

Begin Early

Gardening in the morning when temperatures are lower can reduce chance of heat exhaustion or any other sun-exposure related issues. Start your morning in a relaxing way by working in the garden. 

 

 

Know Your Limits and Stay Hydrated

Even being out for short periods of time in high temperatures can cause serious health problems. Monitor your activities and time in the sun to lower your risk for heat-related illness.

If you’re outside in hot weather for most of the day you’ll need to make an effort to drink more fluids.

Avoid drinking liquids that contain alcohol or large amounts of sugar, especially in the heat.

Take breaks often. Try to rest in shaded areas so that your body’s thermostat will have a chance to recover. Stop working if you experience breathlessness or muscle soreness.

Pay attention to signs of heat-related illness, including extremely high body temperature, headache, rapid pulse, dizziness, nausea, confusion, or unconsciousness.

Eat healthy foods to help keep you energized.

It’s easy to lose track of time when you’re gardening, especially for seniors. Be sure to bring a large bottle of water and maybe even a light snack to stay hydrated on sunny days and prevent dehydration.

 

You can garden all day with this “Coldest Water Bottle,” which keeps liquids seriously cold up to 36 hours or more!

 

 

Work at the Right Pace

As a senior, you may not be able to work at the same pace or rate that you used to, so don’t be hard on your self. Work at a comfortable pace that is safe for your physical condition, take breaks when you need to and don’t push yourself! Progress is progress no matter what!

 

 

Bring your Cellphone

Bring your cellphone in case of unexpected falls or accidents so that you can easily call for help.

If you’re looking for a new cell phone, I highly recommend the GreatCall Jitterbug Smart Phone for Seniors.  This is the phone my Dad uses, and he has been so pleased with both the way it functions and the customer service.

 

 

 

Make it a Social Activity

Try inviting a family member, neighbor or friend to garden with you. You can exchange tips and knowledge about gardening and both benefit from the finished product of their work. You can even share lunch afterword! 

 

 

Safety Proof your Garden

Outdoor spaces have major potential for accidents. Before you begin working in your garden, make sure there aren’t any rocks or roots in your path that could lead to falls. Also, be sure to look out for slick spots or forgotten tools that could cause you to trip or slip.

 

 

Attend to Injuries

If an elderly gardener has pre-existing injuries or develops injuries while gardening, tend to them immediately and take a break from gardening if necessary. Whether a cut, bruise, or bite, take care of it before you begin to work again. Gardening with open wounds can easily lead to infection, especially in seniors with weakened immune systems.  Have an all purpose household first aid kit available, as well as some insect repellent and insect bite cream.

 

 

 

 

 

Consider These Gardening Styles

 

Raised Gardening Beds

A raised bed is a good way to alleviate some of the strain that can come along with plants that are lower and close to the ground. With a rectangular shaped planting bed, you can find a chair or board so that you can sit and garden from a more comfortable, less strenuous position. Ideally, the width should be about arms length so that you can access the plants without risking losing your balance as you reach across.

Example:  This CedarCraft Elevated Garden Planter is available in a variety of sizes, and allows you to garden at a comfortable height.  It assembles easily, with no tools required.

 

 

 

Vertical Gardening

Vertical gardens are also more convenient for seniors who may be less agile and have a harder time bending and moving around as much. This type of gardening is ideal for vegetables such as tomatoes, cucumbers, peas, zucchini as well as different kinds of melons. You can tend to these gardens from your feet without needing to crouch all the way down to the ground. Some other added benefits of a vertical garden are the fact that they take up very little space and also get more sunshine than regular beds.

 

Example:  This YardCraft Vertical Planter is made from heavy duty natural cedar.

 

 

Create a Garden that You Can Maintain

Certain types of plants can require a lot of time and maintenance. Some will need a lot of water and you may not be equipped to carry a hose or a heavy watering can around. Before you decide what you will have in your garden, be sure to research what the upkeep will consist of and determine whether or not you’re physically capable of handling it yourself.

For research and inspiration, I recommend Better Homes Gardening Made Simple:  The Complete Step-by-Step Guide to Gardening.

This is a comprehensive step-by-step guide to creating beautiful gardens, including all the basics of planting, growing, and caring for trees, shrubs, flowers, fruits, vegetables, lawns and other greenery. This book has plenty of clear and explanatory full-color photographs, and it gives beginners the inspiration and simple guidance they need.

 

Better Homes and Gardens Gardening Made Simple

 

Just In Case

If you are going out to the garden alone, you should have access to either a cell phone or a medical alert system. Doing so will ensure that you can get the necessary assistance if you fall or feel like you may be suffering from any ailment caused by the heat.

Example: This Senior Help Dialer system has no contract or monthly fees, and comes with a panic button unit for your wrist and neck. If you get into trouble, it instantly calls up to 3 phone numbers and plays your personalized emergency message. It’s water proof and pacemaker safe.

 

Final Thoughts

Gardening provides many mental and physical benefits for seniors. Not only is it a great way to stay active and get outside, but gardening can improve overall mobility, dexterity and reduce stress.

Creating a garden can turn into one of your favorite hobbies and can even improve the way you eat if you can grow fresh fruits and vegetables of your own. You will feel motivated and encouraged by the progress of your plants and will also feel better physically.

Sticking to good safety habits in the process will help to ensure that you can enjoy your garden for many years.  Follow these simple tips to ensure that you or your elderly loved one can garden safely and enjoy their time.

 

 

Thanks for visiting and reading …

I hope this article provided you some inspiration to get out in the dirt.  I welcome your comments below.

 

-Laurie

 

P.S.  For an excellent selection of anything and everything you need to get gardening (and things you didn’t know you needed!), check out  Amazon’s Gardening Products!

 

 

 

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Get Gardening to Lose Weight and Gain Health

Get Gardening to Lose Weight And Gain Health!

 

 

 

The Garden is a Great Place to Achieve an Effective Mind/Body Workout and Help You Drop Some Pounds.

 

According to the Centers for Disease Control, gardening is compared to “moderate cardiovascular exercise.” Gardening 30 to 45 minutes a day can burn 150 to 300 calories. This isn’t just standing there watering the flowers, but weeding, digging, hoeing, raking and planting. And there’s nothing like being at one with nature to help create a calming, relaxed state of mind while you let go of the pressures and anxiety of everyday life.

A recent South Korean study, published in the journal HortTechnology, found that some gardening tasks qualify as moderate-to high-intensity physical activity.

The researchers asked 15 college-aged students to complete 10 gardening tasks on two separate occasions. They did five tasks on each occasion for five minutes each, with five-minute breaks in between each one. The tasks included digging, raking, weeding, mulching, hoeing, sowing, harvesting, watering, mixing growing medium, and planting transplants. The researchers also asked participants to wear devices that tracked their heart rate, calorie burn, and oxygen consumption.

When the researchers measured the results, they found that all of the tasks were considered moderate- to high-intensity physical activity for the volunteers. (One word: Yay!)

Some of the activities were more intense than others: Digging was the highest-intensity job. Next up was raking, followed by weeding, mulching, hoeing, sowing, harvesting, watering, and mixing growing medium. Planting transplants was the lowest-intensity job.

There are some extenuating circumstances that can make these results vary from person to person, such as differences in the type of garden tools, gardening methods, gardening conditions, and garden size can all impact the results. However, the point remains: Gardening is, in fact, a legitimate physical activity that can help you lose weight!

…But you didn’t need a study to tell you that, did you?  So let’s get down to the nitty-gritty  of how you lose weight with gardening.

 

How Gardening Helps You With Weight Loss

 

According to the University of Virginia, gardening rates up there with other moderate to strenuous forms of exercise, like walking and bicycling. It all depends on what gardening task you are doing and for how long. Like any other form of exercise, you have to be active for at least 30 minutes for there to be a benefit.

 

 

Gardening = Exertion

 

 

While enjoying yourself in the garden, you are also working all the major muscle groups: legs, buttocks, arms, shoulders, neck, back and abdomen. Gardening tasks that use these muscles build strength and burn calories.

Besides the exertion involved, gardening has other pluses that make it a good form of exercise and calorie burning. There can be a great deal of stretching involved with gardening, like reaching for weeds or tall branches, bending to plant and extending a rake. Lifting bags of mulch, pushing wheelbarrows and shoveling all provide resistance training similar to weight lifting, which leads to healthier bones and joints. Yet while doing all this, there is minimal jarring and stress on the body, unlike aerobics or jogging.

 

 

Burning Calories Without Thinking About It

 

Losing weight requires you to burn more calories than you consume and so the amount of weight you’ll lose gardening depends on several factors including your size and the task you are performing.

 

Some general examples from Iowa State University, below, show how some of the more strenuous gardening tasks can really burn calories.

  • Digging Holes – Men: 197 calories, Women: 150 calories
  • Planting – Men: 177 calories, Women: 135 calories
  • Weeding – Men: 157 calories, Women: 156 calories

The National Institute of Health lists gardening for 30 – 45 minutes in its recommended activities for moderate levels of exercise to combat obesity, along with biking 5 miles in 30 minutes and walking 2 miles at the same time.

 

 

But Wait – There’s More!

 

 

Research is showing that gardening for just 30 minutes daily will help:

  • Increase flexibility
  • Strengthen joints
  • Decrease blood pressure and cholesterol levels
  • Lower your risk for diabetes
  • Slow osteoporosis

 

 

Getting The Most Out of Your Gardening Session

 

It takes at least 30 minutes of exercise several days a week, to really receive any health benefits from gardening. However, researchers are now saying that you can break that 30 minutes up into shorter active periods throughout the day. As long as each activity lasts at least 8 minutes and is of moderate intensity when you total them up to 30 minutes per day, you’ll reap the same rewards as if you had been gardening for a half hour straight. So you can do a little weeding in the cool of the morning and go back out to the garden in the evening to prune and trim.

Start slowly, if you’re not used to the exertion. Lift properly, by using your legs. Vary your tasks and your movements and make use of the major muscle groups, to get the most benefit. Aches and pains aren’t necessarily a sign of a good workout. Your muscles may feel tired, but they shouldn’t hurt unless you’re using muscles you haven’t worked in a while or you’re using them wrong.

Gardening isn’t usually enough exercise to forsake your daily walk or swim, but it’s nice to know those tired muscles you feel after turning the compost are actually something good you did for your body and your health. As with any other form of exercise, check with your doctor first, if you’re not used to strenuous exercise. Make sure you incorporate a little stretching before and after gardening and take things slowly in extreme heat. We do a garden for the pleasure, after all. Getting in shape and losing weight are just the icing on the cake.

 

 

Final Thoughts

 

Gardening gets you moving in an enjoyable way is a great strategy for staying healthy, especially for those who are attached to their desks most of the week. Gardening also forces you to get outside and dig around in the dirt, which will do wonders for your body.  It’s an excellent form of functional exercise, incorporating many of the elements of a moderate to intense fitness routine. Stretching, pushing, pulling and lifting incorporate multiple muscles at one time and improve the quality of your overall fitness level.

Gardening also helps improve balance, flexibility and sharpen your senses. The movements, the sights and smells are all part of the healthy benefits while you tend your green space. 

The fresh air, focusing on tending your garden and unplugging from technology all open the door for more creativity, too. Gardening helps you connect with the earth, your body, mind and spirit, which allows space for relaxation, stress-reduction and creative thoughts.  Immersing yourself in nature is a natural relaxer and helps boost those endorphins, which help you feel better, help you become more grounded, centered and relaxed.

By the way, if you don’t have access to a garden, you can volunteer at a local park in the neighborhood; it’s a good way to give back to the community, and benefit physically and mentally at the same time!

So what’s stopping you?

By the way, if you or someone you know is new to gardening, you’ll love this Beginner’s Illustrated Guide to Gardening: Techniques to Help You Get Started by Katie Elzer-Peters.  It’s a one-stop, easy to understand, beautifully designed book with step-by-step instructions and photographs for every important gardening and landscaping technique.

 

 

Thanks for visiting and reading …

I hope this article provided you some inspiration to get out in the dirt.  I welcome your comments below.

For an excellent selection of anything and everything you need to get gardening (and things you didn’t know you needed!), check out  Amazon’s Gardening Products!

-Laurie

 

 

 

 

 

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Natural, Effective Treatments for Male Impotence

Natural, Effective Treatments for Male Impotence

 

 

Many herbs show potential to be effective in improving men’s sexual function.

 

 

Erectile dysfunction is a condition that affects a man’s ability to achieve or maintain an erection suitable for sex.

The condition can affect men at any age, but according to the American Academy of Family Physicians, erectile dysfunction (ED) is most common when a man is 75 years or older.

Recent innovations in medical treatments mean that there are now more medications available to reduce ED. However, some men prefer to take herbal supplements as an alternative.  Image above: Nutriflair Horny Goat Weed Sexual Energy Complex.

Many herbs show potential to be effective in improving men’s sexual function, however, people should always exercise caution when taking any form of herbal supplementation.

The United States government does not monitor herbs, so use due diligence, and always purchase your herbal supplements from a reputable manufacturer.

 

 

Here Are the Herbs That Can Improve Erectile Dysfunction:

 

Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) for Male Impotence

 

What is it: DHEA is a supplement that mimics a natural steroid hormone in the body and may help treat ED in men.

DHEA supplements mimic the action of a natural steroid hormone.

The dosages for DHEA vary from person to person. Some men take between 20 and 75 milligrams (mg) for about 6 months, while others may take between 100 to 400 mg for up to 8 weeks.

How does it work: Natural DHEA levels subside as a person ages. Increasing the amount of adrenal hormone may help the body create hormones that improve sexual functions as well as energy levels.

Research: A 1999 study published in the journal Urology showed that DHEA treatment improved sexual performance. However, the study was a very small one.

Side effects: DHEA is usually safe when taken in low doses. However, acne can be a side effect.

 

 

 

Horny Goat Weed (Epimedium) for Male Impotence

 

What is it: This Chinese herb has been used to reduce the causes associated with sexual dysfunction, including erectile dysfunction. Women may also take it to reduce the incidence of painful intercourse and loss of libido.

How does it work: Researchers do not know the exact mechanism by which Horny Goat Weed works. But scientists believe it alter the levels of certain hormones in the body, which may in turn improve sexual performance.

Research: Taking horny goat weed hasn’t been studied in people. However, a study published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine studied the effect of a purified extract of epimedium on rats. It found that rats who received the extract of Horny Goat Weed demonstrated greater incidences of blood flow than those who did not.

Side effects: Using this herb could affect a person’s heart function. Those with heart disease should not take it as it can cause irregular heartbeat. The medication can also interact with other drugs.

 

 

 

Gingko Biloba for Male Impotence

 

What is it: Ginkgo biloba is an herb that practitioners have used for thousands of years to treat a number of health conditions. Examples include dementia, anxiety, and poor blood flow to the brain.

Ginkgo has been used to treat many health conditions. Some believe it may improve blood flow to the male sexual organs.

How does it work: Proponents of taking ginkgo biloba for erectile dysfunction believe ginkgo dilates blood vessels to promote blood flow to the sexual organs.

Research: The Mayo Clinic rank the evidence for ginkgo in treating erectile dysfunction a “C,” meaning that there is unclear scientific evidence for the herb’s use.

According to Columbia University, ginkgo biloba may be effective in helping treat sexual dysfunction that has been caused by taking selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), medications prescribed to treat depression.

Side effects: Ginkgo can increase the risk for bleeding, and people who take blood thinners should not take it.

Other side effect risks include nausea, headache, stomach upset, and mouth irritation.

 

 

 

L-Arginine for Male Impotence

 

What is it: L-arginine is an amino acid that scientists in the 1800s first isolated from animal horn. It is incorporated into supplements to increase the amount of nitric oxide in the body.

How does it work: When taken in high doses, l-arginine can stimulate blood vessels to become larger. This improves blood flow, which could help a man get an erection.

Research: L-arginine is often combined with glutamate and yohimbine hydrochloride as a treatment for ED.

In one study published in the Journal of Sexual and Marital Therapy, researchers gave participants a combination of l-arginine and pycnogenol, a supplement derived from pine bark.

After treatment for 3 months, 92.5 percent of the 40 men enrolled who experienced ED reported achieving a normal erection.

Side effects: Side effects of taking l-arginine can include stomach upset, including cramping and diarrhea. The supplement can also adversely interact with taking the medication Viagra.

 

 

 

Red Ginseng for Male Impotence

 

What is it: Red Ginseng is an herb that Korean herbal practitioners promote for its ability to treat erectile dysfunction. Another name for red ginseng is Panax ginseng.

There are several theories as to why red ginseng might help treat erectile dysfunction. More research is required to support these theories.

How does it work: Researchers aren’t exactly sure how red ginseng reduces erectile dysfunction symptoms.

One theory is that it influences hormones responsible for achieving an erection. Another is that it promotes blood flow through increasing the amount of nitric oxide.

Research: A 2008 review published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology found that red ginseng was often more effective than placebo when reducing ED symptoms.

However, human studies usually have a small sample size, which makes it difficult for researchers to draw firm conclusions on the benefits of red ginseng.

Side effects: Taking red ginseng can cause insomnia. However, researchers largely regard it as safe when taken on a short-term basis.

 

 

 

Yohimbine for Male Impotence

 

What is it: Yohimbine is a supplement made from the bark of an African tree. Before medications such as Viagra, doctors often recommended yohimbine as a treatment for ED.

How does it work: Yohimbine works by triggering receptors in the body that trigger the release of the hormones epinephrine and norepinephrine. These can block the effects of other compounds that may otherwise constrict the blood vessels in the penis.

Research: The American Urological Association do not recommend taking yohimbine as a treatment for ED because of its many side effects. However, it has been shown to enhance libido and sexual motivation in animal studies.

Side effects: Taking this supplement is associated with many side effects. Examples include high blood pressure, rapid heart rate, and anxiety. Men should not take yohimbe without consulting their doctor first.

 

 

 

Don’t Hesitate to Check With Your Doctor

 

Men should not be afraid to see their doctor about ED if they experience it.

There are many medications, lifestyle changes, and even counseling that could help a man reduce the incidence of ED. If he wishes to, and has discussed the treatment with his doctor, he may even wish to take an herbal supplement to reduce ED.

A man should see his doctor about his ED if he has experienced changes in sexual desire, changes in erectile function after taking a new medication, or other changes in sexual function.

The condition is very treatable. Men should never be afraid to talk to their doctor about ED as sometimes the condition can indicate an underlying medical condition that should also be treated.

 

Many potential causes of ED exist. These include:

  • anxiety
  • atherosclerosis, a condition that causes a buildup of plaque in the arteries
  • chronic kidney disease
  • depression
  • diabetes
  • heart and blood pressure-related conditions
  • history of injury to the penis or surrounding organs
  • stress
  • taking certain medications, such as antidepressants, antihistamines, appetite suppressants, and tranquilizers

Achieving and maintaining an erection requires several things to happen. These include sensory stimulation, increased blood flow, increased blood pressure in the penis, and the contraction of muscles in the penis. If one or more of these steps are interrupted, ED can occur.

 

 

Thanks for visiting and reading … I hope this article provided you some helpful ideas.  I welcome your comments below.

-Laurie

 

 

 

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About Me

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Important Tips for Traveling With the Elderly

Important Tips for Traveling With the Elderly

 

 

Travel may be one of the greatest gifts you can give Mom or Dad.

The trip may be to visit other family and, particularly, grandkids and great grandchildren. It may be an adventure to a destination, aboard a cruise ship or even a return to a home of long ago.

You may accompany your parent; or, if he or she can maintain some independence, the trip may be solo. Either way, there are some important considerations:

 

 

Research and Plan Ahead

 

Whether you will travel together or your parent will be solo, planning, reserving and confirming must be accomplished sooner rather than later. When the destination is resolved with target dates, research airlines, Amtrak, buses, cruise lines. For air and land transportation, seek the most direct and shortest travel times.

If there is a choice of three airlines, for example, enroll your parent in the no-cost frequent flier program for each. This should give you access to the lowest fares and possible benefits at the airport and aboard the flight, as well as for requesting special services.

Know that once very common, most senior discount fares are history, but there are always discounted flights through comparison sites.  For special senior travel deals and excellent customer service, I like CheapoAir.

 

 

Special Services

 

Request seat assignment in the rows designated for disabled travelers. And, importantly, request cost-free wheelchair service at every airport origination, connection and arrival location. If there is meal service aboard, advise the reservation system of any dietary needs.

If traveling alone, ensure your parent will have human assistance from the counter, through security, to the gate and then to aboard the aircraft. If staffed by an airline employee, there is no cost for wheelchair or assistance. If staffed by Red Cap-type personnel, you or your parent will be expected to tip for that assist. If you are traveling together, you can offer to handle the wheelchair.

If you don’t make and confirm all of these requests at the time of reservation, the airline, train or bus line has no obligation to make them available on check-in or while en route.

 

 

Documentation

 

A government passport is accepted as the highest level of identification by federal TSA security officers. If you or your parent do not already have a passport, consider applying for such months prior to your travel. Your local post office will have the application forms; or you can go online to access the information and forms. Official photographs are available at AAA offices and at many large drug and department stores. Personal photos are not acceptable. Two copies of the photograph must be sent with your application.

Request copies of prescriptions and/or statements of medical conditions from each physician and medical treatment center.

Make at least four photocopy sets of the passport, driver’s license, Medicare and insurance cards, travel tickets and itinerary, boarding pass (if secured in advance online), plus any physician prescriptions and/or statements. One complete set is placed in your parent’s hand-carry bag, another in his or her roll-aboard luggage. One set is forwarded to family at the arrival destination, and one is left at home.

Provide a prepaid cell phone, and program in your telephone number as the first emergency number.

Example: this inexpensive TRACFONE comes with a free $40 airtime bundle.

 

 

Packing

Hartmann Lineaire Carry On Spinner, Black, One Size

Pack light. For a person traveling with at least some limitation, aim to pack everything necessary in a roll-aboard suitcase plus a medium-size over-the-shoulder carry-on. Do not check the roll-aboard as luggage, as in-cabin flight staff will gladly stash it in the overhead rack. Such will save a lot of time at the final destination airport. (Image: the Hartmann Lineaire Carry On Spinner).

Bring copies of any prescriptions and/or physician statements in the hand-carry bag.

If Mom or Dad is toting gifts to relatives, do not wrap them. Place the items in the roll-aboard luggage.

If your parent is traveling alone, before you close up her or his carry-aboard bag, prepare and slip in at the top a note stating “I love you” and “I delight in your new adventure.”

For advice on finding the right travel bags for seniors, see How the Find the Best Luggage for Seniors.

 

Example: This Delsey Quilted Rolling Under Seat Tote is a convenient and high quality carry-on bag that rolls!

 

 

Safety

 

There are thieves everywhere, particularly, in high-traffic travel centers. Don’t give the scalawags any opportunity to steal from your parent.

 

Mom should not carry a purse but, instead a money belt worn under a blouse or a neat Passage Wallet hidden under her coat by a neck cord.

 

Dad should not carry a wallet in his back pocket but, instead, carry a travel passport wallet with a neck cord or as a hidden wallet tucked into his pants and secured by a cord to his belt.

Advise Mom or Dad, if traveling alone, always to keep their carry-on between their feet when standing, or with the shoulder strap looped around the leg of a chair when seated.

For comfort, consider the purchase of a travel pillow, a c-shaped balloon that supports the neck and head when resting aboard transportation.

 

 

 

Managing Medication

 

Most mature adults take five or more medications once or even several times a day. The transportation staff has no obligation regarding the medical dosing of your parent. But you can ask in advance that at a specified time (stated in local time), the staff remind Mom or Dad to take the medication. The alternative is to provide your parent with an alarm watch, or have a daily alarm set on their cell phone.  A travel pill organizer can make traveling with medication easier, as well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Example: This Extra Large 7-Day Weekly Pill Organizer with XL Case has compartments for morning noon, evening and bedtime.

 

 

Security Checkpoints

 

 

If Mom or Dad is in a wheelchair at transportation centers, access to and through TSA (transportation security administration) security may actually be quicker than through the long line of other travelers.

Brief your parent (or state to the TSA, if you are traveling together) about any medical condition that would set off alarms, such as surgical hip and knee implants. To avoid unwanted delays, get a physician’s statement about the implanted steel and make sure the senior has that documentation with them. Oftentimes, personnel will ask the elder to step aside and perform a wand screening, rather than passing through the sensors. If your parent is in a wheelchair, security will use a wand while he or she is seated.

Dress your parent in easily-removed (but safe) walking shoes. Security will probably want them removed. Present, if pertinent, any physician statement regarding your Mom or Dad’s medical condition or limitation.

Before traveling, explain to Mom or Dad that the security process is vital to her or his safety.

See Finding Practical Shoes for the Elderly

 

 

Destinations and Travel Options

 

 

The world of travel is open to just about everyone, even those elderly parents receiving care. Start a discussion with Mom or Dad to learn her or his travel wishes. Determine if your parent can travel solo, or if you want or need to share in the adventure. If you start with the mission of fulfilling a parent’s dream, you can’t go wrong.

 

 

Tours and Cruises

 

There are thousands of tour and cruise possibilities. Tours and cruises offer a unique service, in that they are totally planned, operated and staffed to deliver the promised program and destination discovery. Several tours operators, including Accessible Journeys and Flying Wheels, specialize in “accessible lifestyle vacations,” which cater to those with special needs and disabilities.

Cruise and tour accommodations are priced on a per-person basis based on double-occupancy. Therefore, if choosing a tour or cruise, travel with your Mom or Dad to provide caregiving assistance while in the room and during non-programmed times. A cruise or tour may be the ultimate escape and very civilized adventure.

 

 

Advanced Information for the Destination

 

If your parent is flying solo to visit other family, schedule a telephone conference with your relatives to go over the caregiving support your elder needs. Advise of your approach in assisting Mom or Dad, so that they do not assume to take the domineering and dictating role. Advise of your parent’s favorite foods and activities so that they can try to be accommodating during the visit, making it all the more “like home” for Mom or Dad. And, importantly, advise of the medical and medication regimen that must be followed. Also make sure that they have all important legal documents with them should an emergency arise (for example, if you are listed as their agent for the Advance Directive, be certain this information is with them should something happen).

On the day of travel, arrive at the airport or other transportation two hours early, to visit with your parent without pressure, share a meal or snack, review the travel plan and itinerary and, importantly, to use the wheelchair-capable restroom shortly before heading to the gate. The latter should reduce the need for your parent to access the small restroom during travel.

 

 

Final Thoughts

 

 

Travel with Mom or Dad. You may find it to be one of the best experiences of your life. Yes, you continue to be a caregiver, but your travel and destination will probably prove to be an escape, a freedom because of the new setting, environment and opportunity.

Travel safely and well.

 

 

Suggested Reading:

Are you planning to travel with an elderly companion? 

I recommend  Planes, Canes, and AutomobilesConnecting With Your Aging Parents Through Travel by Valerie M. Grubb

This super-practical book is the go-to guide for adult children: it combines the author’s wisdom from years of traveling with her own aging mother with sensible tips, checklists, and sample itineraries to help readers plan and enjoy a vacation with their parents!  It’s an enjoyable, informative read, and it will make traveling more comfortable and fun for both generations.

Read reviews.

 

 

 

Thanks for visiting and reading … I hope this article provided you some helpful ideas.  I welcome your comments below.

-Laurie

 

RushMyPassport.com

 

 

 

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Tips for Easier Senior Car Travel

Tips for Easier Senior Car Travel

 

 

Car Travel is Challenging for Seniors and Their Caregivers

 

Traveling by car can be challenging for seniors. Whether they drive themselves or you’re playing chauffeur, simply using a car can be difficult. This can be caused by health conditions or the physical changes of normal aging.

For someone with Alzheimer’s, dementia, Parkinson’s, stroke, or mobility issues, the difficulty level can be exponential. It may even take multiple people to help them safely into and out of a car.

This is important because most seniors travel by car, especially when visiting the doctor. This usually means frequent car struggles for both seniors and caregivers.

All seniors benefit if they have an easier time traveling by car. Seniors who can drive will feel more independent and confident. Those with mobility issues won’t have to go through such an exhausting ordeal.

Getting around more easily also helps seniors be more connected with family and friends, preventing the negative effects of isolation.

 

 

Gadgets That Really Help With Seniors’ Car Travel

 

 

Here are some aids that solve the problems that can make car travel so frustrating!

 

 

Grab and Pull Seat Belt Reacher

 

 

For those with arthritis or limited shoulder / torso mobility, it’s hard to reach up and pull the seat belt down. This reacher attaches to the seat belt and makes an extra long handle.

 

 

Seat Belt Extender

 

With limited mobility, it can be difficult to get the seat belt buckled. This seat belt extender makes it easier to reach and buckle up properly for a safe car ride.

Make sure to get the right size extender to fit your car’s buckle.

 

 

Seat Belt Opening Aid

For people with arthritis or limited hand and thumb strength, unbuckling the seat belt can be frustrating. This aid makes it easier to undo a standard seat belt.

 

 

This Bucklebee Easy Buckle Release Aid is designed to reduce the unbuckling force required for a release by the rider.  It has a large grip for easy, ergonomic release, and remains attached to the seat for convenient. 

 

 

Seat Buckle Guard

Sometimes people with Alzheimer’s or dementia unbuckle their seatbelts while you’re driving. Dangerous!

This seat buckle guard is a good solution. Just stick your key in to pop the buckle open.

This BuckleBoss Seat Belt Guard doesn’t allow your senior to unbuckle themselves in case of an accident or emergency, but it may be worth the risk if they frequently unbuckle themselves while you’re driving – a more immediate danger.

 

 

Swivel Seat Cushion

This cushion has a base that swivels. Seniors can just sit down, then easily swivel their legs into the car.

 

 

No more struggling to lift legs and turn at the same time. The SOJOY Swivel Seat Cushion also makes it much easier for someone who’s helping them into the car. 

If the car has bucket seats, place a towel on the car’s seat to fill the gap and allow the swivel cushion to sit flat.

 

 

Auto Standing Aid

This removable handle fits securely into almost all driver or passenger side car doors. It’s a non-slip grip hand hold that lets seniors boost themselves up and out of the car. The Stander Handybar has a 350 lb capacity.

 

 

 

 

 

Auto Aids for Those With Limited Mobility

 

When older adults have limited mobility, it’s a struggle for them and you to leave the house. Getting into and out of the car can be almost impossible.

Without any auto mobility aids, helping these seniors into a car can take multiple people, making every trip to the doctor a major event. If you can’t get enough help from others, you could end up hurting yourself or might be forced to use non-emergency ambulance transportation (expensive!).

 

Transfer Board

To help your senior get from their wheelchair to a car, this Mabis Wooden Transfer Slide Board bridges the gap and makes it possible for them to scoot from one seat to the other without needing to stand. Reviewers say it has a weight capacity of up to 350 lbs.

 

 

 

 

Pivot Disc

Some older adults can stand up from a wheelchair, but can’t turn around to sit in the car. This disc saves you from injuring your back or shoulders while helping them turn around.

With this pivot disc, your senior stands on the disc and you can slowly turn them so their back faces the car seat and they can sit down.

 

 

If you need to move someone from a wheelchair to the car, this Preston BeasyGlyder board can make that task easier and safer on both you and your senior. There’s a disc that slides along the board so you can push them from one seat to the other. They don’t need to scoot their butt and you don’t need to provide as much lifting or carrying support.

 

It’s expensive, but may let you delay more expensive options like non-emergency ambulance transport, buying an automatic access lift seat, or getting an accessible van.

 

Final Thoughts

Auto aids are a worthwhile investment if it makes it possible to take your senior out of the house. Plus, even the most expensive of these options cost much less than a one-time ambulance transport.

 

Lauren's Hope Medical ID

 

Thanks for visiting and reading …

I hope this article provided you some helpful ideas.  I welcome your comments below.

-Laurie

 

 

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