Ideas for Keeping Your Dementia Patient Busy and Happy

 Ideas for Keeping Your Dementia Patient Busy and Happy

 

 

 

 

Activities are crucial to well-being. In the past ten years, research has shown that activities play a large part in preventing the progression of dementia.

 

 

We also know that socializing prevents loneliness, despair and suicidal thoughts.

 

 

For several years I led recreational activities on weekends at a geri-psych hospital. The activities that took place on any particular weekend greatly depended on the patients in the unit at that time.

 

All of the patients there had dementia and behavior disorders that precluded their being able to remain at home until the behavior had been extinguished. Most patients were on the unit between three to four weeks, while the doctors changed their drugs or the dosages. Some were more alert; others were more physically functional. Some returned home; others returned to a nursing home or entered a long-term care facility for the first time after discharge.

 

There are many activities that are appropriate for people with dementia. The only guideline is to not degrade them by having them do children’s activities. Instead, show your respect by engaging them in pastimes that are similar to children’s activities but suitable for an adult, retaining whatever qualities that make the activity fun.

 

Here are some suggestions for caregivers who have a dementia patient at home.

 

 

Puzzles & Games

 

 

 

 

  • Easy, large print crosswords and word searches that use large type.

 

 

 

 

 

Memory Lane EZ-Grip Extra Large Pieces Puzzle

 

 

  • Jigsaw puzzles with very large pieces. The images shouldn’t be child-oriented; try scenery or pictures of animals instead. Floor puzzles are good because they typically have large pieces, and there aren’t too many, which can be discouraging. Work on these on a table so you don’t have to struggle getting off the floor!

 

 

 

 

 

  • Reminiscing, a board game which prompts memories of assorted events and fads from 1939 on.

 

 

Photo & Scrapbooking Activities

 

Expressions Collection Family Expandable Scrapbook

 

  • Sort photos by topic, subject, type or date. Mix them up after you finish so they can be sorted in a different way next time.
  • Assemble a photo collage. Pasting can be fun.
  • Make a scrapbook, pasting photos onto the pages and writing notes about the memory beside the photo. You can also use a photo album with plastic sleeves.

 

 

 

 

  • Label old family photos so you’ll have that information later on.
  • Reminisce about the focus of the photo.

 

K & Company Life Journey Diecuts

       Honoring The Past Scrapbook Page Kit

 

 

 

 

 

Reading Activities

 

Read out loud or simply look through books and magazines that can lead to discussions.

Suggestions:

 

 

  • Old copies of Look or Life magazines

 

 

 

 

 

 

Good Old Days Hometown Memories

 

 

 

I really like the Good Old Days books.  In Hometown Memories, your loved one can remember when hometowns were a great place to be a kid. 

 

Some people say, “You can’t go home again.” But you can! … You can wave to the iceman as you head off to the general store. You can go to the Saturday matinee, and then stop off at the drugstore for a soda.

 

 

Take a stroll down those sidewalks again, and relive those warm Hometown Memories from the Good Old Days.  

 

 

 

 

 

Reminiscing with Memory Books

 

You can find blank memory books in the baby section of a bookstore. These usually pose questions that will prompt discussion. Here are a few suggestions:

 

 

 

Activities Involving Humor

 

The Long, Long Trailer

 

  • Start a humor notebook or scrapbook.
  • Laugh over funny family memories (like the time Mom put frozen rolls on the Thanksgiving table).

 

The Abbott and Costello Show: Who's On First? by Entertainment One

 

 

Housework

 

  • Rake leaves.
  • Fold towels.
  • Clean windows.
  • Cut coupons.

 

 

Gardening Activities

 

  • Pull weeds.
  • Plant annuals in spring and bulbs in the fall.
  • Transplant small plants into larger pots. Have the patient paint pots ahead of time and use these for gifts.

 

 

Seasonal Decorating

 

  • String cranberries or popcorn.
  • Make door wreaths and window decorations.
  • Put up decorations and take them down.

 

 

Sorting & Organizing Activities

 

Sort or organize:

 

2 lbs of Assorted Buttons
  • Nails, screws and other hardware.
  • Nail polish and lipsticks, sorting by color, brand or on a scale of 1–10, in order of preference.
  • Buttons, using muffin tins to sort by color, size or style.
  • Coins, according to date, value or place of origin.
  • The pantry, arranging cans and jars by size, brand or contents.
  • The silverware drawer, rearranging the order of the forks, spoons and knives.
  • Playing cards into decks that match, or into suits within a deck, or by numbers. Tupperware by size or color.
  • M&Ms, using muffin tins to sort them by color. Choose one color to eat!

 

 

Cooking & Activities in the Kitchen

Vintage-Look Recipe Box Set With 50 Recipe Cards & 10 Blank Dividers

 

  • Make salads, ice cream, Jell-O, pudding (try a hand mixer), no-bake cookies and pies, popcorn balls and other simple recipes
  • Wash fresh produce and put it into bags
  • Grind nuts to use for baking
  • Peel vegetables
  • Copy recipes from magazines onto cards 
  • Make a grocery list of items needed for recipes
  • Sort recipes and find pictures to illustrate them
  • Set the table
  • Fold or roll silverware into napkins
  • Assemble shish-kabobs with fruit or vegetables (use wooden ones with blunt ends)
  • Shell nuts or peas

 

 

The list above is not all-inclusive. Hopefully it will give you some ideas for getting started. Think about the kind of activities the patient has always enjoyed. Those are probably the best ones to start with. I’ll close with a few more ideas.

If the care recipient enjoys building things, try assembling model kits of airplanes or cars. A simpler activity could be making strings of paper clips, using different colors and sizes.

Patients who have an artistic side may enjoy painting or coloring in one of Dover’s many stained glass coloring books.

 

 

 

Musically inclined patients might enjoy singing along to patriotic songs, hymns and old favorites, or playing rhythm band instruments.

 

 

Songs Of Wartime: Wartime Favourites Vol 1
Songs of Wartime, Various Artists, Original Recordings
           Big Bands Music From the War Years

 

 

Did the patient used to enjoy sewing or mending? Offer some pants that need hemming or items of clothing that need buttons sewn on. Remember: people with dementia can still derive enjoyment from activities they have always enjoyed. Give it a try!

 

 

Based on an article by Kay Paggi

 

 

Please help our readers by sharing your experience with and suggestions for activities for those with dementia.

 

 

 

 

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About Me

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Gifts for Nursing Home Residents

Gifts for Nursing Home Residents

 

 

 

“What do I get for someone who lives in a nursing home?”

It’s a good question — sometimes it’s tricky to work around constraints like limited space and health issues.

While your recipient’s health and abilities should always be kept in mind, here are some ideas to inspire your thinking.

 

 

Great Gift Ideas For A Senior in a Care Home

 

 

Guest book. Let visitors leave their warm wishes in writing. In cases where memory problems or dementia are involved, guest books can help family members keep track of who has come to visit.

 

 

 

 

 

Photo board. A padded, fabric covered board with ribbons in which to slip photos encourages guests to bring in new pictures, and they’re easy to swap in and out. (You can find them at craft or photography stores, or make your own.)

 

 

 

 

A throw blanket can add a personal touch to the room and make it feel more homey. A throw blanket or small quilt can keep legs warm.

Silk or satin pillowcases are a nice luxury because they’re easier on delicate skin and create less fuss for hair styling.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spruce up their décor. Dress up the walls with “wallies or cut your own shapes out of a roll of wallpaper border to stick up as decals — they’ll be easy to remove later on. Help them choose a fresh set of curtains to brighten up the space.

 

 

Examples:

 

Wallies Peel & Stick Vinyl Wall Decals, Tuscan Window Wall Sticker, Includes 1 Window of Tuscan Countryside and 30 Tile Decals

 

 

Wallies Peel & Stick Vinyl Wall Decals, Birds And Blossoms Wall Stickers, Includes 4 Wall Panels

 

 

 

Wallies Roosters and Sunflowers Peel and Stick Vinyl Decal

 

 

 

Suncatchers or decals for the window add some colorful decoration without getting in the way.

 

For example, this  Regal Hummingbird Suncatcher is gorgeous, and a cat lover would appreciate the “Cat Curiosity” Suncatcher

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Magazine subscriptions make great gifts, and give your loved one something to look forward to.

 

Some ideas are National GeographicReader’s Digest, and People.

 

 

 

 

Audio books are wonderful, especially if your loved one’s eyesight makes reading difficult.

 

 

 

 

 

Audio Book Ideas:

 

The literature buff would certainly enjoy BBC Radio’s Jane Austen CD Collection, which includes all six of her classic novels.

 

 

 

 

 

In Mansfield Park, on a quest to find a position in society, Fanny Price goes to live with her rich aunt and uncle.

In Northanger Abbey, young, naïve Catherine Morland receives an invitation to stay at the isolated Gothic mansion Northanger Abbey.

In Sense and Sensibility, forced to leave their family home after their father’s death, Elinor and Marianne Dashwood try to forge a new life at Barton Cottage.

In Pride and Prejudice, Mrs. Bennet is determined to get her five daughters married well, so when the wealthy Mr. Bingley and his friend Mr. Darcy move into the neighborhood, her hopes are raised.

In Emma, Emma Woodhouse declares she will never marry, but she is determined to find a match for her friend Harriet.

Finally, in Persuasion, Eight years ago, Anne Elliot rejected a marriage proposal from a handsome but poor naval officer—but now her former love has returned.  With an all-star cast including David Tennant, Benedict Cumberbatch, Julia McKenzie, Jenny Agutter, Toby Jones, Eve Best, and Juliet Stevenson, these BBC radio adaptations are full of humor, romance, love lost, and love regained. Duration: approx. 15 hours 30 minutes.

 

 

 

The New Adventures of Sherlock Homes Collection will be a sure hit with mystery fans who miss the old-time radio plays.

 

From 1939 to 1946, Americans gathered around the radio to listen to The New Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, featuring Basil Rathbone as the high-strung crime-solver, and Nigel Bruce as his phlegmatic assistant, Dr. Watson. Witty, fast-paced, and always surprising, these great radio plays are as fresh as when they first premiered and feature perfect sound. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other Ideas

 

“Outside food” — like a cup of coffee and cookie from their favorite chain or a favorite take-out meal to enjoy with them.

 

Specialty food items. A nice tin of non-perishable candies, confections and cookies also give residents something to offer guests when they come to visit. Also, some fresh fruit, jams and jellies to enjoy with their meals offer some welcome variety.

 

 

Some Food Ideas:

 

For the snack lover, this Care Package Party Mix will be a lot of fun to share!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These wonderful Fairytale Brownies are sugar-free and perfect for the sweet tooth who’s watching their sugars.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This Meat and Cheese Collection from Wine Country will be a real treat for the fan of gourmet savories.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Top up their account. Many residents appreciate a little cash for in-house services like the general store and hairdresser, and it can cover optional activities and outings.

 

KaBloom Merry Red Roses

 

 

 

Fresh flowers can brighten up the room. Choose a bouquet of cut flowers instead potted plants, unless you know someone can take care of them on a regular basis.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A “coupon book” for running errands, shopping trips and other outings.

 

 

 

 

Some Clothing Ideas:

 

A nice pair of pajamas or a bed jacket. A  cardigan can also keep people cozy, and a pair of slippers will keep feet toasty. (Just be sure to avoid slippery fabrics.) 

 

 

Hospital Gown And Bed Jacket Value Gift Pack

 

 

 

Women’s Adaptive Cardigan Sweater With Pockets

 

 

This adaptive cardigan completely opens up, allowing the arms to be slid into the armholes without having to raise the individuals arms or struggle with a neck opening. The back overlap is then folded over and domed/snapped into place. I think this is a great product for home care, retirement and nursing home settings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Adaptive Men’s Fleece Cardigan With 2 Pockets with Snap Open Back

 

 

Men’s Extra Extra Wide Slippers for Swollen Feet – VELCRO® Brand Deep Diabetic & Edema Slippers

 

 

 

 

 

Some Music Ideas:

 

Music.  A CD of your loved one’s favorite songs can be enjoyed any time. Music can also help people suffering from dementia remember happy times.

 

 

Big Bands: Music from the War Years Collector’s Edition

 

 

50s Jukebox Hits – 100% Original Recordings and Artists

 

 

 

A visit. Ultimately, the best thing you can offer is your company. Bring in a movie or watch a TV special or sports event with them. Plate up some homemade goodies and sliced fresh fruit for a mini Christmas party. Give your favorite lady a manicure or pedicure.

 

 

At holiday time, pick up a Christmas Wreath or  other seasonal decoration for their door. If there’s enough space, consider a mini Christmas tree with built-in lights.

 

 

 

Tips For Smarter Shopping

 

– Steer clear of strongly scented perfumes, lotions or flowers. Many people have allergies — including staff and other visitors.

 

– Breakable items can pose a safety hazard — especially if they can’t be cleaned up right away.

 

– Pack modest sized portions of perishable foods. It’s better to bring less goodies than to have them go to waste.

 

– Check with the family or with staff to find out if gifts of food are appropriate. Your recipient may have certain dietary needs, and Christmas goodies can cause stomach upsets and diarrhea.

 

– Leave animal prints in the store. People with dementia can find them frightening. Likewise, avoid the color black if you can because it can be hard to see.

 

– If you’re giving blankets or clothing, make sure someone can sew in a label with the recipient’s name on it. Items can get lost in the laundry or go wandering with other residents.

 

– Unfortunately, theft is possibility so avoid valuable and one-of-a-kind items you would hate to see go missing.

 

 

And a final word of advice: be aware that whatever you buy will have to be stored somewhere and someone will have to take care of it if you’re not around. If you’re able, offer to store items like holiday décor yourself.

 

When in doubt, ask ahead of time if your gift idea is appropriate. The nurses, personal support workers and volunteers who spend a lot of time with your loved one can offer great advice. If you aren’t close by and don’t visit often, check in with the family first.

 

 

Nursing Home Holiday Celebration Tips

 

 

http://storage.mitchelladvocate.com/v1/dynamic_resize/sws_path/suns-prod-images/1297645123894_ORIGINAL.jpg?quality=80&size=650x&stmp=1419366841693

 

 

 

Celebrating with loved ones who live in a nursing home or assisted living can be a lot of fun if the family and the care center join forces.

Most facilities make a big deal about holidays and birthdays, and your presence can enhance your elders’ enjoyment.

 

 

 

 

 

Nursing homes often have for Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, Halloween, July 4th or any other special day.  The home will usually provide decorations, appropriate activities and jolly good cheer.

I recommended decorating your loved one’s rooms with ornaments they remember from their past, along with some new decorations to keep things fresh and interesting.

 

 

Besides decorating their rooms and showing up for celebrations, what else can you do to make a holiday festive for your loved one?

 

  • Use music. It’s great for setting the mood. It also relaxes tension or promotes a festive feel, depending on the music chosen and the direction you need to go with the elder. Keep a CD player or an iPOD (with speaker) around so you can play their favorites.

 

  • Sing. Singing can be fun for many people. Whether Christmas Carols, Happy Birthday or just old favorites, getting a few people together to sing can often help everyone have a good time, even if they can’t physically join in.

 

  • Use photos. Photos are wonderful for stirring memories. If you print copies of old photos, you won’t have to worry about loss or damage. If some can be enlarged without undue distortion, so much the better. Hang them on walls or put them in an album.

 

  • Cook your elders’ favorite foods. Bring favorite foods for the occasion, even if the facility is loaded with treats. Each elder has favorite treats from home. Try to provide some for the elder and some for her to give as snacks to residents, staff and visitors. Many elders enjoy a chance to be a host or hostess.

 

  • Avoid over stimulation. Be careful to not over stimulate someone with dementia. Keep an eye on the elders’ moods so you know when to stop the party or when you should help a particular elder back to his room if he needs a break. Too much commotion can get confusing and stressful for anyone in ill health, but particularly for someone confused by dementia. Celebrating should preferably end before stress is evident, but be alert in case you need to assist someone to a quieter area.

 

  • Connect with others. Hopefully, you already have made friends with staff, other residents and their families. That connectedness helps your loved one feel a part of a whole rather than left out of life. If your loved one is new to the center, this is a good time to get to know other families.

 

  • Be sure to participate. Join in the fun as much as your loved one can handle, but remember your own needs as well. If you have family members at home that need some of your time, then you have to balance both worlds. Give your loved ones in the care center your attention and contribute to their good time, then leave them in the good hands of staff and go back home to finish celebrating with the rest of your family.

 

  • Get some rest. All of this celebrating doesn’t only wear down your elders. It can also be exhausting for the caregiver. You found help by choosing a good care center because your elders need more help than you, alone, can give. When party time is over, give yourself time to regenerate. You should be a better caregiver if you do.

 

Celebrations should be fun and encouraging for all involved. These tips can help reduce stress, anxiety, and fears–and, in the end, help you have a good time with those around you.

 

Please share your nursing home gift-giving and holiday celebration advice in the comment section below!

 

 

 

You may also be interested in:

Ideas For Keeping Your Dementia Patient Busy and Happy

Anytime Gifts that Seniors Will Actually Use

Coloring For Adults is a Healthy Hobby

Are Therapy Dolls and Fidget Blankets Good for Dementia Patients?

Practical Shoes for the Elderly

Shoes and Slippers for Swollen Feet

Convincing Your Parents to Transition to Assisted Living

Assisted Living Questions and Answers

Preparing For Your Elderly Parent to Move In With You

Help for Anxiety in the Elderly

About Me

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Book Review of “Our Dementia Diary”

 

Book Review of

“Our Dementia Diary”

 

 

 

Rachael and Irene were supposed to live a long and happy life, retire and travel the world. But a thief called Alzheimer’s visited in 2004 and began tearing apart the lives they had carefully built for a quarter century.

This is a remarkably honest story of the enduring love between two people coping with uncertainty and the eventual loneliness of losing a spouse.

The author, Rachael Dixey, professor at Leeds Beckett University copes by keeping a journal—a way to release her feelings. She ties these entries with “interpolations” to make sense of it all. She wonders if a more appropriate title might be Fifty Shades of Dementia.

 

 

Dixey manages to find strength amidst the tears to take care of herself and find the humor. She hires in-home caregivers for Irene while she works (for sanity). When Irene is hospitalized and then placed in a care home, she visits almost every day and soon realizes the toll it takes when Irene recognizes her and says, “I love you” and the next day, forgets and walks past her in the corridor.

During the nine-years, from Irene’s diagnosis to her passing, Rachael writes of the full range of emotions—from the love she and Irene shared to missing Irene, feeling lonely as a singleton, dating (nothing lasts but gives her strength to be stronger for Irene), and even contemplating Irene’s death. Through it all, she visits Irene regularly, cares for her, feeds her, and feels Irene in every room of their house.

She recounts with humor the folly of dealing with social services. Irene attends adult day services in a county that only covers healthcare and receives healthcare in a county that covers social services such as adult day care. After almost a year, they work it out where she feels assured of not losing their home. Meanwhile, she takes time off periodically. The time away gives her greater appreciation for what she and Irene had despite some funny (in hindsight) foibles during her travels.

She recounts the good times they had going on “epic walks,” camping, exploring the mountains, trees, and sunsets. She misses those quiet mornings together. She struggles to remember the bad unusual behaviors for five years before Irene’s diagnosis at age 57. Home movies help her see the beginnings of Irene’s inexplicable behaviors. She’s able to piece together those embarrassing outbursts when Irene would storm out of restaurants after finding something wrong with her meal. She recalls the desperate cries at home when Irene couldn’t find a piece of clothing she had worn for several days in a row (likely because Rachael removed it for washing). And yet, Irene’s heart-wrenching cry early on returns to her from time to time, “I don’t know who I am anymore. Please help me.”

Written by an author based in the UK gives us Americans a refreshing expression of care between partners. Her writing is characterized as informed humility. We gain greater awareness and knowledge of what it’s like to live with Alzheimer’s while feeling the angst and pain of losing her soulmate. Written by one of a gay couple gives us an endearing portrait of how love among LGBTs is no different than love among (dare I say, traditional?) male-female partners. Oftentimes, because of ongoing discrimination, the bond of their love seems stronger.

I’m glad she chose to write, Our Dementia Diary – Irene, Alzheimer’s and Me and that her and Irene’s story is being shared. The LGBT caregiver’s voice is one that needs to be heard.

 

Based on a review by Brenda Avadian, MA,  who serves as President of The Caregiver’s Voice.

 

 

More information from Amazon:

 

This is a love story from start to finish, Irene and Rachael’s. Based on the diaries of Rachael Dixey who looked after her civil partner Irene after she developed early onset Alzheimer’s disease, the book opens with the lines: Irene, Alzheimer’s and me – Alzheimer’s came between us. It does that, drives you and the love of your life apart, going your separate ways because you cannot follow.

That’s the story really, that’s it. The end. But it is also the beginning of the story, which shows how life can still be lived despite losing a life partner to dementia, and how to cope emotionally and practically with a disease that robs you of your loved one a thousand times before they die.

 

 

The story charts the daily decline and inexorable loss of Irene to dementia. With the dramatic deterioration in Irene’s health Rachael turns from lover and soul mate to career and, finally, single woman. Eventually, no longer able to cope with Irene at home, she makes the agonizing decision to allow Irene to be put in a care home. There she spent her last six years. When she died aged 66, the couple had spent half their life together.

This book is a powerful and moving account of the progression of dementia, and raises serious questions about how our society cares for those who develop the disease, especially at a young age and in the gay, lesbian community. It also deals with loss and grief, during the illness and afterwards. Their memoir will be invaluable for anyone affected by dementia, those working in mental health and those caring for a loved one with a life-changing and incurable illness.

Our Dementia Diary tells with brutal honesty of love, loss and life with Alzheimer’s and opens up discussion of how dementia can be handled better.

 

 

 

Also Recommended:

The 36-Hour Day, 5th Edition A Family Guide to Caring for People Who Have Alzheimer Disease, Related Dementias, and Memory Loss

This best seller is the definitive guide for people caring for someone with dementia. Now in a new and updated edition, this best-selling book features thoroughly revised chapters on the causes of dementia, managing the early stages of dementia, the prevention of dementia, and finding appropriate living arrangements for the person who has dementia when home care is no longer an option.

 

 

 

The author, Nancy L. Mace, M.A., is currently teaching dementia care internationally. She has been a consultant to the Office of Technology Assessment, U.S. Congress, and to the Alzheimer’s Association, and she was an assistant in psychiatry and coordinator of the T. Rowe and Eleanor Price Teaching Service at the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.  

 

 

 

 

 

You may also be interested in:

Book Review of “Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant?”

A Hospice Reflection

Preparing For Your Elderly Parent to Move In

Avoid or Slow Dementia By Building Cognitive Reserve

The MIND Diet for Fighting Dementia

First Signs of Alzheimer’s

Alzheimer’s, Elevated Cortisol and Your Genes

The #1 Alzheimer’s Care Tip

Preserving Alzheimer’s Patients’ Dignity

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Coloring For Adults is a Healthy Hobby

Coloring For Adults is a Healthy Hobby

 

Adult Coloring Book: Butterflies and Flowers – Stress Relieving Patterns
 

Coloring used to be reserved for children and the occasional adult who got to babysit them, but recently, the activity has found a different demographic.

    
What started as a niche hobby has now turned into an international trend, as adult coloring books find themselves on more and more bestsellers’ lists throughout the world. However, while this trend may be a fun way to pass the time, it’s the books’ therapeutic properties that really have them flying off shelves.

Art may not be able to cure disease, but it can surely make coping with it a lot better. Researchers have acknowledged the therapeutic qualities of art for years, and today, art therapy is used to help people express themselves when what they’re feeling is too difficult to put into words, such as when they’re faced with a cancer diagnosis.

 

 

Art Has Healing Power

 

Research shows this form of therapy often has tangible results. One 2006 study, for example, found that mindfulness art therapy for women with cancer helped to significantly decrease symptoms of physical and emotional distress during treatment. Another study from the same year concluded that after only one hour of art therapy, adult cancer patients of all ages “overwhelmingly expressed comfort” and a desire to continue with the therapy.

“People with cancer very often feel like their body has been taken over by the cancer. They feel overwhelmed,” Joke Bradt, a music therapist at Drexel University in Philadelphia, told Reuters. “To be able to engage in a creative process… that stands in a very stark contrast to sort of passively submitting oneself to cancer treatments.”

It’s not just those with cancer that can benefit from the visual arts, either. Art therapy is also helpful among people dealing with a variety of other conditions, such as depression, dementia, anxiety, and PTSD.

Art therapy often involves using an art medium as a tool to help address a patient’s specific problem, but as you might have observed in your high school art class, some individuals are more artistically gifted than others. Those who judge themselves as bad artists may be more likely to miss out on the benefits of art-based therapies. Adult coloring, therefore, presents a creative venture without the need for artistic flair. One simply needs to color within the lines in order to get the desired effect. However, some experts suggest it’s this lack of artistic input from patients that prevents adult coloring from being considered a genuine form of art therapy.

“It’s like the difference between listening to music versus learning how to play an instrument,” Donna Betts, president of the board of the American Art Therapy Association told The Guardian. “Listening to music is something easy that everyone can do, but playing an instrument is a whole other skillset.”

Drena Fagen, an art therapist and adjunct instructor at New York University’s Steinhardt School, shared Betts’ sentiments: “I don’t consider the coloring books as art therapy,” she told The Guardian. “I consider the coloring books therapeutic, which is not the same thing.”

 

 

Here’s What Happens When You Color:

 

 

You Slow Down

 

We live in a world where being busy is the norm, and we easily get overwhelmed and overloaded by ever growing “to-do” lists. When you take time to color, you are actually slowing down. You are not focusing on what needs to be done next, but just allowing yourself to do something at a much slower pace.

 

Your Breathing Changes

 

Most adults are unaware of how they breathe throughout the day. Most fall into a bad pattern of breathing shallow or even holding their breath unconsciously as they focus intently on certain. Shallow breathing can contribute to rising stress levels as it prevents the body from getting an adequate supply of oxygen, which stresses the body. And the busier you are, the more prone you will be to breathing shallowly. When you begin to color, the breathing slows and deepens and you take in more oxygen, leading to a reduction in stress.

 

 

 

You Forget About Problems

 

When coloring you are focused on that task, and not on the problems from the day. Sitting down and taking the time to color has actually been shown to calm the amygdala, the area of the brain that controls emotions and motivation. The reduction of activity in the amygdala can help lessen the effect of negative emotions and allow you to let go of your problems for awhile.

 

 

You Remove Excess Stimulation

 

With all of the technology that everyone has access to, people are constantly being exposed to external stimulation from television, cell phones, computers and more. This constant stream of stimulation can actually increase stress levels significantly because it causes us to be connected to others continuously and causes us to be exposed to noise and light for longer periods than normal.

When you take time to color, you reduce external stimulation, which in turn reduces stress. It is best that if you wish to reduce stress through coloring that you color without a lot of external noise, such as the television or loud music. Silence is the best for true stress relief while coloring, but soft music will not overwhelm your senses and create stress.

 

 

Coloring Boosts Creativity!

 

When you color a beautiful pattern, it feels good to see the color that you are adding, bring that picture to life!  Many people are choosing to spend time coloring because even short sessions with a coloring book have been shown to ramp up creativity and increase the ability to focus.

 

 

 
Just like meditation, coloring allows us to switch off our brains from other thoughts and focus only on the moment, helping to alleviate free-floating anxiety. It can be particularly effective for people who aren’t comfortable with more creatively expressive forms of art.

Coloring may not be the best thing since meditation, but it definitely can help to reduce your stress level and give you a break from the demands of life. Coloring books can be relatively inexpensive, and you can also find a lot of coloring pages online that are free to download.

 

 

 

 

Some Coloring Inspiration

 

 

To see some absolutely magical coloring, watch this video below which uses the coloring book Magic Jungle by Johanna Basford.

 

 

 

 

The artist, Chris Cheng colored with Prismacolor Premier 150 Colored Pencils, and also used a Uni-Ball Signo & Souffle Gel Pen in the coloring book Magic Jungle.

 

 

 

 

Tips on the Use of Color

A useful tool for a discussion about colors is a color wheel. This wheel is composed of the three primary colors: red, yellow and blue. Where the primary colors overlap, you’ll find the secondary colors orange, green and purple. In between are various other shades. 

If you want to achieve an amazing effect, try combining blue and orange for instance. If you prefer a more harmonious result, a combination of blue and purple would be a better idea.

How a color comes across partly depends on what colors surround it. A red area within a yellow surface will seem much darker than the same red area on a blue background.

If you keep these things in mind, you can play with color. For instance, try using contrasting colors to outline the bigger shapes, and then fill these in with harmonious colors.

Different colors evoke different emotions. Apart from personal preferences — what is your favorite color? — colors have a more universal psychological meaning. Well-known of course is that red stands for danger, passion, and fire, and white for purity and peace. But other colors also have a psychological effect.

 

Red: Danger, passion, love, fire

Blue: Power, dignity, clarity

Yellow: Energy, lightness, joy

Green: Nature, peace, fertility

Violet: Wisdom, spirituality, strength, healing

 

Associated with this topic is the so-called color temperature. Colors can be divided into warm and cool colors.

Warm colors are red, orange, yellow, and everything in between. Cool colors are blue, purple, green, and whatever shades are between them. In general, warm colors are seen as active, while cool colors are perceived as soothing. If you would like to give your coloring page an air of relaxation, choose many shades of blue and violet.

 

——————————————————–

 

I hope you’ll give coloring a try.  It can be so enjoyable and relaxing.   Remember, you don’t have to be an artist to enjoy adult coloring, so don’t be intimidated.

The beauty about coloring is that there is no skill level that must be acquired before you are considered an expert. By the time we reach adulthood, it’s safe to say a majority of us have accomplished coloring in between the lines.

Even if you have never picked up a colored pencil in your life and completed a coloring page, it can still be pleasurable because you have nothing to lose.  Clinical psychologist Dr. Scott M. Bea mentions in Cleveland Clinic that “it is hard to screw up coloring, and, even if you do, there is no real consequence. As result, adult coloring can be a wonderful lark, rather than an arduous test of our capacities.”

In addition to this, most colorists have expressed seeing a finished product as one of the reasons they love coloring. Completing a coloring page whether you are new to the hobby or have been coloring since childhood, provides a sense of accomplishment. The instant gratification we feel continues our wave of positivity, which elicits more happy feelings.

 

 

 

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Best Hearing Amplifiers Reviewed

Best Hearing Amplifiers Reviewed

 

The More Affordable Hearing Aid Alternatives for Seniors – Hearing Amplifiers

 

NewEarTM High Quality Digital Ear Hearing Amplifier "FDA Approved"
At age 65, one in three people has hearing loss. It’s the third most common physical condition after arthritis and heart disease. However, only 20% of people who could benefit from hearing treatment actually seek help.

Without treatment, hearing loss is associated with a 30 – 40% faster decline in cognitive abilities like memory and concentration. But the high cost of hearing aids doesn’t always fit in an older adult’s budget.

 

 

 

 

Personal Hearing Amplifiers (PSAPs)

 

When just one hearing aid can cost $2,500 or more, it’s no wonder that seniors are turning to more affordable hearing aid options. These alternative devices are called personal sound amplification products (PSAPs).

Hearing amplifiers are much less expensive because they aren’t regulated by the FDA. That means they aren’t required to meet specific technical or performance standards. That also means that some may work better than traditional hearing aids, but others are just a waste of money (like some found in drugstores).

Another benefit of PSAPs is they can be purchased by anyone and don’t require referrals, custom molds, or expert fittings like traditional hearing aids would.

 

 

 

What Exactly is a Hearing Amplifier?

 

As the name indicates a hearing amplifier enhances sound. It literally magnifies sound. When wearing one, you will find that your hearing experience is greatly enhanced as you can now hear sounds from all frequencies that were previously inaudible. Personal hearing amplifiers are also known as sound amplifiers and you will often find the two terms used interchangeably on the web.

They are easy to use, easy to remove, maintain and keep clean. The best ones are completely invisible, so no one need know that you are wearing one.

 

 

How do Sound Amplifiers Work?

 

The way they work is very similar to a microphone – picking up on surrounding noise and feeding it through to a tiny speaker. However, they have much greater range and are small enough to sit comfortably behind and in the ear. 

An amplifier does not work in the same way as a medical grade haring aid. It amplifiers all sound and has less calibration options than a hearing aid. 

Medical grade hearing aids amplify specific frequencies of sound. If you have lost the ability to hear high frequency sounds a medical grade hearing aid can be calibrated to pick up those sounds. An amplifier will enhance sound across the entire spectrum. This means that you will end up hearing background noise as well as what you are trying to listen to. 

 

 

 

 

 

This short YouTube video sums up the key differences between a sound amplifier and a hearing aid.

 

 

 

 

Who are Hearing Amplifiers Suitable for?

 

The fact that they pick up the full spectrum of sound means that this kind of hearing aid is not suitable for everyone. They are usually not as powerful as full-blown hearing aids. This means that if you have lost virtually all of your hearing a simple amplifier is not going to help you much.

For this reason, we recommend to all of our readers that they speak to their doctor about their hearing loss. It is important to understand what is behind your hearing loss and we recommend getting an audiometric test done. This will help you to determine whether an audio or sound amplifier can help you. Hearing amplifiers are not the same as hearing aids. It is very important to understand that they are not medical devices, and you should never buy one from someone who tries to tell you that a hearing amplifier is the same as a hearing aid. 

However, that said they are helpful devices provided you use them for the right reason and in the right way. People with mild hearing loss can really benefit from using them.

 

 

 

Limitations of Sound Amplifiers

 

Most people use hearing amplifiers for occasional use. Popular uses include going to church or the theater. In this situation there is not a huge amount of background noise, so the fact amplifiers enhance background noise is not an issue. You can hear the sermon or the people on the stage.

Many people also use them for watching TV or listening to music. It means that you can turn the TV down to a normal level. This means that you do not have to disturb everyone else in the house when you watch the TV.

Using them outdoors can be problematic. For example, you would not want to use one while at a sporting event or on a windy day. The sound of the crowd or the wind is likely to be too intrusive. 

Some people say they get used to the fact background noises are enhanced and learn to tune this out. It takes a few weeks to learn how to do this, but if you can do so, it may be possible for you to use your amplifier in more places and social situations.

People report mixed results when making phone calls. Some experience feedback and cannot hear well, whilst others get on fine when using a landline or mobile phone.

If you have any questions at all, we would be glad to answer them. Just drop them in the comments below and a member of the team will get back to you with an answer.

 

 

What to Consider When Buying an Audio Amplifier

 

  • Whether the hearing device is suitable for the situations you plan to use it in
  • What the reviews say
  • Whether you can program and adjust the amplifier
  • Your budget is a factor, but always buy the best you can afford
  • Ease of use. If the buttons are small and fiddley it will be a problem

 

 

Recommended Personal Hearing Amplifiers


An audiologist designed the LifeEar personal audio amplifier.

 

LifeEar Left Ear Hearing Amplifier Doctor and Audiologist Designed All Digital Volume Control, Beige

The LifeEar has 4 volume and noise reduction programs, which helps users to get the most out of the device. It also features 12-band digital sound processing.

 

Here is an at a glance list of why I have included this amplifier in my recommendations:

 

  • 100% digital hearing amplifier
  • Designed by a medical professional with decades of experience
  • Several programming options with Digital noise reduction
  • lots of positive reviews from actual users
  • Significant discount for buying one for each ear (two)
  • Great customer support and after sales technical help

 

 

 

This hearing amplifier is the most expensive on my list, but the price reflects the quality of the product. It is designed by an audiologist and is one of the few truly digital hearing amplifiers on the market.  You can read the Amazon reviews here.

 

 

 

The CS10 Hearing Amplifier


Although this came in a close second behind LifeEar there’s still plenty I like about the Soundworld Solutions CS10 Hearing Amplifier, from its stylish look and feel to its advanced features and customizable app.

Quick Overview

 

 

  • Bluetooth integration and fully compatible with your iPhone or android device
  • Programmable via and easy to use App, so no tiny buttons
  • Long lasting rechargeable battery with a spare set included
  • Looks stylish and its small, lightweight and comfortable
  • built in program specifically for going to restaurants

 

The customer reviews I read about this product is what first got me interested in this amplifier. It is not particularly cheap, but you get great value for money because it is so feature rich and so well made. See the Amazon reviews here.

 

 

 

The MSA 30X Sound Amplifier

 

The MSA 30X Sound Amplifier by EasyComforts is not as as feature rich as the first two on my list, however, it is far cheaper. If you are on a tight budget and want to get a better understanding of whether hearing amplifiers are really for you this device is a great way of finding out. 

You can use it to try one out. It really is cheap enough to allow you to do this. However, don’t expect miracles with this device. The customer reviews for this device were somewhat mixed.

Some people absolutely loved the device. Around 40% of people gave the device four or five stars. Many of these people were quite content with the aid and found it met their needs and commented that it exceeded their expectation. Others found it did not help them much because of all the background noise.

It is on primarily because of the price, because if your looking for something cheap for occasional use then it may do you just fine.

 

 

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

-Laurie

 

 

 

 

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Review of Kite Shield Mosquito Repellent

Review of Kite Shield Mosquito Repellent

 

The Kite formula is natural, DEET-free, and safe for both users and the environment (and therefore able to bypass the EPA’s approval process in production.)

But unlike citronella and the old-lady-perfumey Avon Skin So Soft my grandma used to rub all over me as bug spray, Kite says its Shield is actually effective, lasting for up to 4 hours per application, and safe to reapply every 2 hours without freaking out your skin or making your urine turn green.

Kite Shield’s patent-pending formula works by targeting mosquitoes’ sensing receptors -the part of the insect that guides them towards a food source. It’s synergistic blend of botanical active ingredients confuses the receptors and creates a barrier on the skin.

According to the manufacturer, all you have to do is spray Kite Shield on your skin and the mosquito-blocking shield of protection goes to work. Kite Shield makes you virtually invisible- if they can’t find you, they can’t bite you!

 

 

How it Works

 

Kite Shield works by masking the carbon dioxide humans off-gas, which attracts mosquitos to us to begin with. It “confuses” the blood-suckers’ sensing receptors and, effectively, shrouds you in a Cloak of Invisibility.

Kite says the spray has been proven to fight off Culex quinquefasciatus mosquitoes for up to 4 hours, Aedes aegypti mosquitoes for up to 2 hours, and Anopheles quadrimaculatus mosquitoes for up to 90 minutes.

Kite Shield has not been registered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) because it qualifies for exemption from registration under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). 

 

 

 

 

Scientific Testing

 

Kite Shield has been clinically tested, and  is scientifically proven to be effective, DEET-free and safer for you and the planet.

 

 

What You Need to Know About Kite Shield

 

 

  • Kite Shield contains lemongrass oil, thyme oil, peppermint oil, corn oil, wintergreen oil, vanillin, and isopropyl alcohol.

 

  • Kite Shield does not include DEET.  Most people are trying to avoid products with DEET, which is known to cause damage to plastics, acetate, rayon, spandex, furniture finishes, leather, painted or varnished surfaces, nail polish, and watch crystals.

 

  • Kite Shield repels three types of mosquitos: Aedis aegypti, Culex quinquefasciatus, Anopheles quadrimaculatus. The repellent will protect up to 4 hours against Culex quinquefasciatus, 2 hours against Aedis aegypti, and 90 minutes against Anopheles quadrimaculatus mosquitoes. You should re-apply Kite Shield every 2 hours.

 

Drawbacks

  • Kite Shield has not been tested on pregnant women or babies or toddlers..  In these cases, go over the ingredient list with your doctor to determine if the product is suitable.

 

  • Kite Shield has not been tested for compatibility with all types of fabric. Before using Kite Shield on your clothing, test it on a small inconspicuous area to ensure that the fabric will not be stained by the natural, botanical oils in the formulation. For areas where mosquito infestations are extreme, consider applying Kite Shield to your skin and wearing long sleeved shirts and pants to increase your protection.

 

  • Kite Shield has not yet been tested against other insects such as midges, biting flies, bed bugs & therefore the manufacturer cannot make claims to  attest to its efficacy against these insects at this time.
  • Mosquito species within each genus are relatively closely related to one another, so Kite Shield may be effective against other species as well, but this hasn’t been proven; there isn’t supporting efficacy nor duration data because the product cannot be practically tested against all species. However, the efficacy data provided by the manufacturer is against the three most common species that mosquito repellents are tested against, so chances are you’ll have the protection you need in most circumstances.

 

 

Testimonials from the Manufacturer’s Website:

 

 

 

Why is “Heartburn No More” The #1 Best Selling Acid Reflux EBook?

Heartburn No More™ - Heartburn Cure Book

 

Why Is Heartburn No More The Best Selling Acid Reflux Book In Internet History, With Thousands Of Satisfied (And Now Heartburn Free) Users In 121 Countries Worldwide?

 

Heartburn No More is the #1 best selling acid reflux ebook in the history of the Internet for a reason…

 

 

 

 

Thousands of women and men of every age have completely cured their acid reflux condition and gained complete freedom from digestive disorders naturally, without drugs, antacids or “magic potions,” simply by using the clinically proven, scientifically-accurate step by step method found inside this amazing heartburn freedom guidebook.

 

 

Jeff Martin, a certified nutritionist, health consultant and author has not just pumped out yet another “anti-reflux program” into an already over-saturated market. Jeff’s Heartburn No More can be more accurately described as a “Acid Reflux Bible.” It is quite simply one of the most comprehensive, complete, and precise guides to acid reflux freedom you will ever read. What makes it so much different than other heartburn publications on the market?

 

Well first of all, it’s not just a “heartburn relief” program, it’s an acid reflux cure program. This may seem like semantics or wordplay at first, but once you’ve read just the first chapters, there will be no doubt in your mind that pursuing “heartburn relief” is not only the wrong goal, it may be the reason that you’ve failed to stop and maintain your ‘acid reflux free internal environment’. Heartburn No More shows you exactly why you should fix the internal problem that’s causing your heartburn, not just masking the symptoms or getting relief and then goes on to show you exactly how to do it.

 

 

Secondly, what makes Heartburn No More different is the amount of attention that is paid to each and every element required to achieve permanent freedom from acid reflux symptoms and from digestive disorders. Heartburn No More not only thoroughly discusses the lies, myths and fallacies surrounding a very confusing subject, it is simply the most detailed book about heartburn, GERD and Gastro Intestinal health ever written.

 

The Heartburn No More book is quite extensive (150 pages of rock solid content) which focuses on 100% natural acid reflux treatment. That means there aren’t recommendations for harsh prescription drugs with nasty side effects.

 

In the Heartburn No More core formula section (The 5 step system) – Nothing is held back. In this section, Jeff gives a detailed overview of each step, and then dives into the specifics in a perfect chronological order.

 

There are also outstanding charts and checklists which make it very easy to know where you are at in the program and follow it.

 

Because the Heartburn No More program is not a quick fix ‘fairy tale’ cure but a complete holistic solution aimed at eliminating the root cause of heartburn and digestive disorders (regardless of their severity) and ensure you will permanently be acid reflux-free, it does take work and persistence to complete. “The dictionary is the only place success comes before work” says Jeff, as he emphasizes the “no quick fix” philosophy behind the entire book.

 

If there is any drawback to the Heartburn No More ebook, it’s that it contains so much information, that some readers may find it a bit overwhelming. Those who are looking for a quick start type of acid reflux program, might be a bit intimated at first. The good part however, is that even these types of readers can feel confident and assured that it will be worth the effort because this will literally be the last book they ever have to buy on the subject.

 

 

Who will benefit most from Heartburn No More?

 

In the broadest sense, anyone and everyone who needs to cure their acid reflux and regain their natural inner balance will benefit from Heartburn No More. This ebook is honestly for everyone. Even people without heartburn. This is a total health rejuvenation program better than 98% of the nutrition and alternative health books on the market. In fact, the advice in this ebook is guaranteed to help you with any other health condition you might have, especially if you suffer from digestive disorders such as IBS, Leaky Gut Syndrome, bloating, chronic constipation, Hiatal Hernia, Yeast Infection and Candida Albicans overgrowth.

 

In terms of graphic design, Heartburn No More is a clean and professionally formatted PDF e-book. It is well organized and ideal for printing and reading in the comfort of your own home.

 

This impressive and unique publication has changed many lives and the hundreds of inspiring testimonials and success stories are found on the Heartburn No More website archives as proof.

 

 

The Bottom line

 

Anyone looking for a quick fix solution to GERD, anyone looking to be told fairy-tales, and anyone looking for a “magic bullet”, acid reflux pills, over the counters, heartburn freedom in 2 days hyped up programs should not waste his or her time with Heartburn No More.

 

On the other hand, anyone searching for the truth about acid reflux and digestive disorders and who is ready and willing to put in some work and make the lifestyle changes necessary to achieve acid reflux freedom, will find Heartburn No More to be one of the best investments they ever made in their lives. Click here to learn more about Jeff Martin’s Heartburn No More

 

Heartburn No More™ - Heartburn Cure Book

Heartburn No More is a Proven Drug Free Holistic System for Eliminating Acid Reflux and Heartburn

 

The Heartburn No More program is an original high quality product and one of the most comprehensive holistic acid reflux solutions I have come across in my research.

 

The Heartburn No More book contains over 180 pages of rock solid content and outlines never seen before clinically proven methods to cure and prevent acid reflux, and has a money-back guarantee.

 

 

 

 

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Review of the 2016 Ring Video Doorbell Pro

2016 Ring Video Doorbell Pro Review

 

 

 

The front door of your home is a place that usually isn’t secured the way it should be. Package theft, burglary, and other malicious crimes are on the rise, but so is the smart technology that keeps us safe and secure.

Video doorbells have been around for a few years, but none have been as refined and feature-rich as the new Ring Pro.

As featured in Time Magazine, Fast Company, and even the popular television show Shark Tank, Ring has been making a name for themselves as the best video doorbell available. But the original Ring Video Doorbell left a bit on the table in terms of desired features, specifications, and details.

Today I’ll be looking over their improvement, the Ring Pro, how it differs from the original, it’s specific features, and what’s better about it.

 

Size and Shape

From first glance, you’ll likely immediately notice that the Ring Pro appears much smaller in size.

Measuring 4.5″ x 1.85″ x .8″, the Pro is slightly shorter and a bit skinnier than the original. Although the original is still quite small and discreet looking, it measures 4.98″ x 2.43″ x .87″.

I think that the design of the Pro is much more appealing than the original, simply because it’s more rectangular and looks more similar to a standard doorbell, rather than a video camera.

 

1080p HD Resolution

Offering an improvement upon the original 720p resolution, the Ring Pro delivers an extra boost of clarity with full high definition in 1080p. It’s designed to give you a better view of the details so that you can have a clearer and more vibrant image.

Too often, you’ll hear about a criminal that was caught on camera, but the camera that recorded them was outdated and didn’t provide enough clarity to make a good description of the perpetrator. By offering 1080p resolution, you should have no issues determining a clear description of anyone or anything that occurs.

 

Interchangeable Faceplates

One of the favorite aesthetic features regarding the Ring Pro is that it gives you the option to freely change the color of the faceplate whenever you’d like. Rather than coming with a solid color that can’t be changed, you’re given the freedom to change the to the faceplate that match the decor or color scheme of your home.

 

Ring Pro Faceplates

 

This means that you won’t need to decide on a specific color and be stuck with that option forever. Best of all, four different faceplates of various colors are included.

 

Connection

One of the most notable and important differences between the original Ring and the new Ring Pro is how it connects to your home.

The Pro requires an existing hardwired doorbell so that it can be powered and functional without the use of a battery. Because of this, there obviously won’t be an included rechargeable battery like the Original. This can be a good or bad thing depending on how you look at it. If your front door doesn’t currently have a doorbell, you won’t be able to integrate the Pro. But with the Pro, you won’t need to hassle with batteries – ever.

 

Ring Pro

 

Wifi Connection

Since 1080p videos require a bit more bandwidth than your standard 720p video quality, Ring made a smart move by incorporating Dual Band WiFi into the new Pro version. With dual band WiFi, you aren’t restricted to the 2.4 Ghz channel – you can also take advantage of the 5 Ghz channel, offering better transfer speeds and improved latency with less load time.

It connects to your home WiFi network and is then available to view and interact with on virtually any device using the Ring App – free from iTunes or Google Play.

 

Motion Detection

Rather than selecting a variety of different motion zones like you had to do with the original, the Ring Pro allows you to create your very own custom shaped zones.

While you’re looking on screen at the view that the camera has, you can easily draw a variety of shapes to create your own specific zones, rather than pre-selected zones that don’t give as much flexibility. However, each zone can’t be adjusted for it’s own sensitivity so that you’re only alerted about what matters most.

 

Ring Pro Motion Zones

 

Motion detection is a great feature to have, but if not implemented correctly, it can become a nuisance. For instance, the original Ring video doorbell gives you the freedom to adjust how sensitive the motion detection is. Everything from the wind blowing to a bird flying by could potentially set it off. Unfortunately, although you can create custom zones for the Ring Pro, it doesn’t let you adjust the sensitivity of each zone like the original Ring does.

 

Night Vision

Having the ability to see in the middle of the night is a real luxury, especially considering that low-light and dark settings are quite common for front porches. With a variety of infrared LEDs built into the Ring Pro, you’re given full-freedom to see clearly in the dark.

 

Ring Pro Night Vision

 

Although the original version had this same night vision capability, it’s noteworthy to include as a quite useful feature for the Pro.

 

Field of View

To my surprise, the Ring Pro actually has a slightly smaller field of view than the original Ring Video Doorbell. Likely because of it’s smaller size, the Pro boasts a 160 degree field of view, whereas the original has a 180 degree field of view. Although this is a slight downgrade, it still offers enough view for most applications.

 

Ring Pro

 

Cloud Video Recording

Recording to the cloud with the Ring Pro is not required, but it surely expands the amount of security and freedom that it brings to the table. With cloud recording, you’re given the ability to view and download up to six months of activity at a time.

You can access your video clips and keep the important events and sift through the ones that you’d like to delete. Although it does cost $3 a month or $30 per year, this is a nice feature to have, especially if you’d like to share your clips with friends, neighbors, or even Law enforcement.

 

Ring Cloud Recording

 

While the cloud recording is definitely a nice feature, I think it’d be nice if you could configure the Ring Pro to save footage onto your own hardware. For example, instead of having footage sent to a cloud server, if there was an option to save to an SD card, network attached storage, or your own FTP server, it would be a nice addition. The only way to save and access recordings is through the $3 a month or $30 per year subscription.

 

Two Way Audio

Through the App, you can speak through to whomever’s at the door, and they’ll be able to communicate back to you.

With a small integrated microphone and speaker, verbally speaking is easy and clear. They’ve even integrated some advanced noise-cancellation technology that filters out all of the unwanted background noises and gives you clear communication without distortion.

 

Ring Pro

 

Final Thoughts

Offering several improvements over it’s predecessor, the new Ring Pro Video Doorbell has become a game-changer in the home security market.

By delivering full 1080p high definition clarity, advanced, fully-customizable motion detection, and an assortment of other advanced features, it has  become one of the most desired home security products for 2016.

To top it off, everything you need is included – a screwdriver, 4 faceplates, optional wiring and connectors, a drill bit, pro power kit, screws, anchors, and an informative quick setup guide. Best of all, each Ring Pro is backed by a one year warranty on parts, and they even give you lifetime purchase protection to assure that your investment was well worth it.

 

Ring Pro Q and A

 

What are the key features of Ring Video Doorbell Pro?

  • 1080p HD Video
  • Advanced motion detection
  • Lifetime purchase protection
  • Works with iOS, Android, and Windows 10
  • Wi-Fi Connected
  • Interchangeable faceplates
  • Requires connection to a wired doorbell

 

 

How much does Ring Video Doorbell Pro cost?

$249

 

Where can I order Ring Video Doorbell Pro?

Visit Amazon to order Ring Video Doorbell Pro today!

 

What are the dimensions of Ring Video Doorbell Pro?

4.5 x 1.85 x 0.80 inches, 11.43 x 4.7 x 2.03 cm.

 

Does Ring Doorbell Pro operate on battery power?

No, Ring Doorbell Pro is designed to be powered by doorbell wires only. 

 

What is the operating temperature range for Ring Doorbell Pro?

Ring Doorbell Pro operates between -5°F and 120°F.  (-20.5°C and 48.5°C)

 

Will I be able to use two Ring Pros on one power circuit?

Note:  A transformer can power only one Ring Pro only. If you have more than one Ring Pro it must be installed on a different transformer / power circuit.

 

Which doorbells is Ring Doorbell Pro compatible with?

Ring Doorbell Pro is compatible with most mechanical or digital (electronic) doorbell kits that use transformers between 16 and 24 volts AC.  DC transformers or transformers below 16 volts AC are not supported.

 

What’s the difference between Ring Video Doorbell and Ring Video Doorbell Pro?

Ring Video Doorbell and Ring Video Doorbell Pro both offer the same great experience.  You can see and talk to people at your front door whether you are at home or anywhere in the world.  Advanced motion detection sends you alerts when people are moving around in front of your door, helping prevent crime in our neighborhoods.  

 

Here are key differences that will help you decide which Ring Video Doorbell is right for you:

 

  Ring Video Doorbell Ring Video Doorbell Pro
Power options Rechargeable battery power or hardwire to existing doorbell kit Hardwire to existing doorbell kit only
Battery Life 6-12 months n/a
Compatible Doorbell Transformers 8-24 VAC, DC not compatible 16-24 VAC, DC not compatible
Field of View 180 degrees horizontal 140 degrees vertical 160 degrees horizontal100 degrees vertical
Video Resolution HD 720P HD 1080P
Finishes Available in 4 finishes Comes with 4 interchangeable different color faceplates.
Compatible Networks 2.4 gHz 802.11 b/g/n 2.4 or 5 gHz 802.11 b/g/n
Advanced Motion Detection 5 selectable zones and customizable sensitivity scale Customizable motion detection zones
Live View Available Hardwired only, yes Yes
Size 4.98 x 2.43 x 0.87 inches 12.65 x 6.17 x 2.21 cm 4.5 x 1.85 x 0.80 inches 11.43 x 4.7 x 2.03 cm
Mounting screws 4 2
Security screws 2 1
Best for Everyone Users with a wired doorbell kit, professional installers

 

Ring Video Doorbell Pro includes four faceplates with the colors Satin Black, Satin Nickel, Dark Bronze, and Satin White.  The faceplate can be changed at any time.

How does Ring Video Doorbell Pro mount to the wall?

Two screws mount Ring Video Doorbell Pro directly to the wall.  The mounting screws can be screwed straight into wood or vinyl.  For brick, concrete, or stucco, use the unit to mark the location of both holes, drill using the provided drill bit, insert the anchors, then secure the unit with screws to the anchors.  After installation, place the selected faceplate on top of the unit and secure with a security screw.

 

What comes in the box?

Everything needed to install Ring Video Doorbell Pro in minutes:

 

  • Ring Video Doorbell Pro
  • Four interchangeable faceplates
  • Drill bit
  • Mounting screws and anchors
  • Security screw
  • Security screwdriver
  • Pro Power Kit
  • Wire Clips
  • Wire Harness
  • Install instruction guide 

What is a Pro Power Kit?

It’s a small item that gets wired to your doorbell to provide the necessary power for Ring Video Doorbell Pro to function.  The Pro Power Kit must be installed for proper operation of Ring Video Doorbell Pro.

Does Ring Video Doorbell Pro use a diode for electronic (Digital) doorbell kits?

No.  A diode should not be used with Ring Video Doorbell Pro.  The Pro Power Kit, Wire Clips, and Wire Harness are required.  See instructions for installation and use.

What WiFi networks is Ring Video Doorbell Pro compatible with?

Ring Video Doorbell Pro is compatible with 802.11 b/g/n WiFi networks operating on 2.4 gHz or 5 gHz frequencies.  

 

Will Ring Video Doorbell Pro on a 5 gHz network work with my Ring Chime on a 2.4 gHz network?

Yes.  Ring Chime will only work on a 2.4 gHz network, however Ring Chime does not need to be on the same network as Ring Doorbell or Ring Doorbell Pro.  Ring Chime can work on a completely different network at a different location.  

What is the recommended upload Internet speed for Ring Video Doorbell Pro?

2 Mbps upload speed recommended for best streaming performance.

How do the customizable motion zones of Ring Video Doorbell Pro work?

Users draw boxes around the area they wish to monitor, then saving the setting. Additional custom zones can be created, then each enabled or disabled for total control of motion detection.

What is the warranty?

1 year parts and labor.  Lifetime purchase protection.  

What is the refund policy?

30 days no questions asked.  

What if someone steals my Ring Video Doorbell Pro?

We will provide one replacement unit for free!  Simply send us a copy of the police report and we’ll ship you one replacement Ring Video Doorbell Pro.

Can I upgrade my Ring Video Doorbell to a Ring Video Doorbell Pro?

No.  Ring Video Doorbell Pro is a separate purchase.  

Do I have to have a Ring Video Doorbell to use Ring Video Doorbell Pro?

No.  

Is Ring Video Doorbell Pro compatible with Ring Chime?

Yes.

 

 

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Plan Some Summer Outings With Your Senior

Plan Some Summer Outings With Your Senior

 

 

 

Many aging adults spend the bulk of their time just managing to get through the day. They take care of life’s basics but often don’t leave their home, assisted living center or nursing home, except for doctor appointments and an occasional holiday.

Enjoying a breezy spring day or the warm summer temperatures don’t have to be a distant memory for elders and caregivers.

After being cooped up in the house for possibly months at a time, senior adults can breathe in the fresh air, even if they are experiencing mobility problems.

It takes some advance planning and choosing an activity that won’t seem like a chore, but it’s worth getting out of the house, for you and your elderly parent.

 

 

The Benefits of Getting Outside

 

A main advantage of heading outdoors, even for a short period of time, is being able to soak up the sunlight, which generates Vitamin D – necessary for the brain, bones and muscle function, says Dr. Michael Raab, a geriatrician with Lee Memorial Health System in Fort Myers, Fla.

 

 

Some doctors even prescribe sunlight as a source of Vitamin D, which research also finds can improve cognitive function.

See Vitamin D and Diabetes

Another key benefit is that being outside enables elders to socialize and interact with caregivers as well as other adults, children and animals.

Those activities can give people an extra spring in their step and rejuvenate them, says Christina Chartrand, vice president of training and staff development for Senior Helpers, an in-home senior care agency with offices in 40 states.

Raab adds: “Whatever you can do, it’s going to be mentally uplifting.”

Although caregivers may be aware of the benefits, sometimes it seems as if the obstacles, such as wheelchair access, bathroom access, frailty and fatigue, are too great to overcome the great outdoors.

Caregivers can start to prepare elders with mobility problems to take the steps to head outside. Your physician can suggest chair exercises to make them more stable and build their muscles, for example.

Even though the temperatures may be pleasant, Raab says it’s also important to make sure an elderly family member stays well hydrated; if not, it can impact muscle function and blood pressure and lead to a dangerous situation.

Families and friends might like to take a senior out for some fun but they don’t know how to go about it.

 

 

Stumped For Ideas? 

Here Are a Few to Get You Started:

 

Take a Sunday Drive

 

 

Back in the “olden days,” driving around the community to check out home town activity was a Sunday afternoon ritual for many adults.

While life is more complicated now, many elders still enjoy watching new construction or being shown how the town that they’ve lived in for decades is changing.

For those who live near flood prone bodies of water, spring is a terrific time to take a drive to see how this year’s water levels compare to other years.

A twist on this approach is to pick a prime time when cherry trees, crab apple trees or other ornamentals are at their peak and do a flower tour. Getting out of the car is optional, based on your elder’s abilities and wishes.

 

 

Go to the Zoo

 

 

Who doesn’t like baby animals? Spring is birth time for most species. Rent or borrow a wheelchair if one is needed for longer walks. Not only will your elders see baby animals, they will see young children reacting to the animals.

 

See Choosing a Transport Chair

 

As with everything suggested, watch your loved one for signs of fatigue, thirst, too much sun or other issues that could signal that it’s time to leave, perhaps with a promise to return at another time should they wish to do so.

 

 

Go to a Restaurant

 

 

When was the last time you took your elder to a restaurant that he or she has enjoyed over the years? Now that snow isn’t a problem, it’s easier to navigate such adventures.

Keep in mind that going for a meal at off-peak times is a good idea. That usually means less stress for everyone. Also, elders who are hard of hearing won’t feel as isolated if there’s less background noise.

 

 

Visit an Ice Cream Place

 

 

Ice cream treats are a favorite of many a senior. I suggest encouraging your loved ones to sit outside if the weather’s nice and they are able.

 

 

Enjoy Children at Play

 

 

Watch children swim or play on playground equipment. Spring brings young children out in throngs. People who enjoy children often like hearing their laughter and watching the seeming innocence of this type of play.

 

 

 

Check Out Summer Programs at the Park

 

 

Take your elder to the spring programs that most schools sponsor. This is particularly nice if a grandchild or great-grandchild is involved, but that’s not necessary. If your elder doesn’t know any of the children, then I’d suggest focusing on the younger ones; their antics can be pretty entertaining!

If grandchildren are involved, take your elder to watch them perform in their concerts, plays or other activities. You may have to arrange for a spouse or friend to be available to take Grandma home if she gets tired or uncomfortable.

A twist on this idea is to attend one of the concerts in the park that many communities have during the spring and summer.

 

 

Have a Picnic

 

 

Whether you go to a park, stay in your own backyard or use the grounds of the nursing home, a picnic is often possible. If your loved one is able, going to a park would be nice, however many nursing homes have gorgeous grounds and nice areas with tables that accommodate wheel chairs. If all else fails—and I’m aware that this isn’t an outing but sometimes we have to punt — bring a picnic to your loved one in the care home.

 

 

Check out the Crops

 

 

If your elder has an agricultural background or is interested in wildflowers, try taking a country drive. Even if your loved one didn’t have any first-hand agricultural experience, but they will probably still enjoy driving in the country to see new crops being planted and wild flowers blooming.

Tailor this outing to your area of the country and your elder’s preferences. Maybe you can pick up some fresh fruit and vegetables from a farm stand.

 

 

Go Fishing

 

 

A friend told me that his community sponsors events where elders are taken out on pontoons—wheelchairs and all—to fish. Volunteers are there to help with anything the elder can’t do.

Just being out on the water and holding a rod can be a thrill for someone who has enjoyed fishing in the past. Again, this can be adjusted to accommodate other pastimes.

 

 

Visit a Friend

Many elders lose touch with their peers. Sickness, the death of a spouse and/or difficulty getting around can mean they haven’t seen a dear friend for months or even years. See if you can set up a lunch or just a visit with someone your loved one has enjoyed through the years. Perhaps you can take them both to a park or a restaurant.

_____________________

 

And More!

Use these ideas as springboards. You know your loved one. What did his or she enjoy in their earlier, healthier days? Don’t be afraid to ask what they miss doing or what they’d like to do. They may not hear those questions very often these days.

If you get a shoulder shrug or an “I don’t know,” then be ready to say, “Sunday looks nice so we’ll go for a picnic.” You may get some resistance but if it seems like simple inertia, just say with a smile that it would make you very happy if they’d do this for you. If a loved one truly doesn’t want to be part of an activity, try whittling down your expectations and suggesting something less strenuous.

As mentioned above, during any of these activities monitor your loved one for dehydration and heat issues if the weather is warm, or chilliness if it’s cool. Older bodies don’t adjust to temperature changes as well as younger ones.

Be prepared with sun hats and hooded windbreakers (like the ones below).  Also, bring water to drink and watch for fatigue.

And remember, you are doing this for pleasure, so don’t overdo anything.

 

 

Practical Products For Your Summer Outings:

 

 

A Note About Sun Protection

A Final note – caregivers do need to be sure that before they head outdoors, they have protected both themselves and their elderly loved ones against the damaging effects of the sun, which can lead to melanoma.

New York dermatologist Arielle Kauvar says that most people don’t do enough to protect aging skin. For instance, instead of a dollop of sunscreen smeared on the face as you’re heading out the door, you should be applying a shot-glass size amount about 30 minutes before you leave. If you’re swimming or sweating, you should reapply the sunscreen every two hours.

The sunscreen should be a water-resistant, broad-spectrum product that protects against both UVA (ultraviolet short-wave) and UVB (ultraviolet long-wave) rays, with an SPF or sun protection factor of 30 or higher. It should be applied before you get dressed, so you can be sure that you haven’t missed any spots.

 

Dr. Kauvar says it’s important to pay special attention to the hands and feet, as well as any bald spots on an elderly person’s head. Lip balm with an SPF at least 30 should also be used, and reapplied after eating. Aquaphor Lip Protectant + Sunscreen is the #1 dermatologist recommended therapeutic lip brand. 

 

This product contains a broad spectrum SPF 30. It is formulated with shea butter and vitamin E for extra conditioning of sensitive, dry chapped lips. This lip protectant is fragrance-free and dye-free.
   

For a general use sunscreen, I like Coppertone Sensitive Skin Broad Spectrum SPF 50.  It provides protection against UVA/UVB rays, won’t sting eyes, and keeps skin moisturized with Vitamin E.

 

 

If your activities will require a water-resistant sunscreen, pick up Cotz Plus; this is an excellent broad spectrum SPF 58 sunscreen which will stand up to water activities without any chemicals to irritate sensitive skin.

Dark clothing with a tight weave can also protect the skin, but may not be the best choice for seniors, since they get hotter than loosely woven, lighter-colored clothes.

For this reason, Dr. Kauvar suggests buying special clothing that protects against ultraviolet rays. Made for gardening, swimming and leisure wear, the clothing should have a UPF or ultraviolet protection factor above 30 (by comparison, she says, an ordinary tee shirt only has a UPF factor of 6).

I like the UPF sun protection garment choices from Coolibar. They have a good variety of clothing items for men and women which are perfect for keeping skin protected during outdoor activities.

This versatile women’s sun protective shirt below, for example, has a UPF of 50+ and comes in 6 colors.

Coolibar UPF 50+ Women's Beach Shirt - Sun Protection (X-Small- Mainsail White)

 

 

Coolibar UPF 50+ Men's Sun Shirt - Sun Protective (Small- Light Blue)

 

This men’s sun protective shirt above (also available in blue plaid)  has a UPF of 50+ as well, and is a great choice for a day of activities in the sun.

 

Top the outfit off with a broad-brimmed hat and dark sunglasses, and you’re ready for your place in the sun.

 

Thanks for visiting and reading …

I hope this article provided you some helpful ideas for summer outings with seniors. 

I welcome your comments below.

-Laurie

 

 

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Electric Blankets – Comfort and Energy Savings

Electric Blankets – What You Need to Know

 

 

 

Electric heated blankets can help you keep warm and cozy on those especially cold winter nights, without raising your heating bill.

Electric blankets come in several forms: blankets, throws and even mattress pads. The best models are safe, comfortable and easy to use, and provide sufficient, even heat.

 

Here I’ve sorted through user reviews and expert opinions to create a buyer’s guide to the best electric blankets, mattress pads and throws on the market today. 

 

For my full, detailed reviews, see Electric Blankets – Reviewing the Best

 

 

Electric Blankets are Safe, Soft and Subtly Warm

 

Getting a good night’s sleep on a cold winter’s night can be a challenge, but heated bedding can be a big help.

Electric blankets, electric throws and heated mattress pads offer a lot of appeal for people who would love to crawl between preheated sheets on a chilly night. Those suffering from cold feet in the middle of the night might find them a godsend. Additionally, some claim that an extra warm bed helps alleviate body aches.

Electric blankets, electric throw blankets and electric mattress pads make a warm bed a reality with just a flick of a switch. Many have preheating functions, which allow you to set a desired temperature while getting ready for bed.

Heat controls typically feature up to 10 temperature settings so you can get the level of comfort that’s right for you. Additionally, many queen-sized and larger models may have two controls, one for each side of the blanket. That means one sleeper can stay as cozy and warm as they prefer without giving the other a case of the night sweats or a cold shoulder.

Electric blankets haven’t always enjoyed the best reputation. Older models tended to be thick and scratchy, and sometimes posed a fire hazard with extended use. Modern heated blankets are much improved. They warm you with thin, supple wires sandwiched between layers of ultra-soft fleece, plush, or knitted material.

 

Learning from the past, safety ratings are now paramount, and electric blankets and mattress pads come with automatic shut-off timers and amply rated power adapters to keep the bedding — and you — from overheating.

 

Others, like the Soft Heat Luxury Micro-fleece Blanket pictured below use low-voltage electricity, which experts consider safest of all — and are an especially good choice for those with pets.

 

Additionally, most modern electric bedding can be machine-washed and even machine-dried, as long as the manufacturer’s recommendations are observed.

 

 

Heated Bedding Can Take Several Different Forms

 

Electric blankets offer convenience and versatility. They can easily be put on or pulled off a bed, even in the middle of the night if you get too warm and the blanket has yet to cool down. However, since they lay above you on the bed, they lose a little bit of efficiency as heat that’s radiated upwards is lost.

Heated throw blankets are similar, but smaller. They won’t generate as much heat as a full-sized electric blanket, but are great for wrapping around yourself, say while curled up on your couch on a chilly night.

Electric mattress pads sit between you and your mattress. That makes spur-of-the-moment use more difficult (unless you want to strip down the bed to pull it on or off), but improves energy efficiency — you, not the ceiling, are the beneficiary of heat that’s radiated upwards.

The Electric Blanket Institute also holds that heated mattress pads are “inherently safer.” Electric blankets can get bunched up, allowing heat to buildup — and that was a major source of electric blanket fires with older models that lack modern safeguards. Since a heated pad is held tight to the mattress, there’s much less chance of that happening.

While there are a multitude of electric bedding brands offered in the U.S., the Electric Blanket Institute reveals that the vast majority of products are currently made by one of three manufacturers — Biddeford Mills, Sunbeam or Perfect Fit Industries. The Institute adds that, while materials and controllers will vary, all heated bedding made by that manufacturer, regardless of branding, will perform similarly.

 

 

Finding the Best Electric Blankets, Throws and Mattress Pads

 

Electric blankets, heated throws, and heated mattress pads receive little attention from professional reviewers, Good Housekeeping being a notable exception. Its testing is several years old, but most of the electric blankets and heated mattress pads rated there are either still sold, or are offered in nearly identical models. The Electric Blanket Institute does not rate electric blankets or mattress pads, but offers helpful buying guidance and discusses the differences between models offered by the major manufacturers.

Owners fill in the rest of the picture. While not every electric blanket, electric throw or electric heating pad gets tons of feedback, others draw hundreds and sometimes thousands of reviews across sites such as Amazon.com, Walmart.com, ComfortHouse.com and elsewhere.

When analyzing reviews to find the best choices, I look for feedback regarding performance, ease of use, comfort and the overall ownership experience. Not every electric blanket, electric heated throw blanket, or heated mattress pad excels on every point, but the very best ones will outperform the competitors in most regards.

 

 

For my full, detailed reviews, see Electric Blankets – Reviewing the Best

 

 

The Best Electric Blankets Let You Enjoy a Warm Worry-Free Night

 

The best electric blanket warms your bed, holds in the heat, feels soft to the touch, washes well and fits in with your bedroom décor. There are many good heated blankets on the market today, but I find the best to be the Soft Heat Luxury Micro-fleece Blanket

 

  
One of the most-reviewed heated blankets on Amazon.com, this cozy microfleece has garnered a lot of feedback there.
 
At ComfortHouse.com, site owner Jeffrey Gornstein notes that the Soft Heat blanket receives the highest ratings and the most reviews of any blanket it carries.

 

Made by Perfect Fit Industries, the Soft Heat electric blanket converts the AC used by most electric blankets to safer low-voltage DC. Perfect Fit is the only maker of low-voltage electric blankets in the U.S., and its products are the only electric blankets sold here that meet Underwriters Laboratories standards for “non-hazardous low voltage,” the Electric Blanket Institute reports. However, all the heated bedding in this report meets the latest Underwriters Laboratories standards for electric bedding safety and should be perfectly safe to use as long as manufacturer instructions are followed.

The Soft Heat Luxury Micro-fleece does take a bit more time to warm up than other electric blankets, but users say the added safety and “soft warmth” from the blanket are worth it.

Additionally, it chews through less electricity over the course of a night’s use than most other models. Speaking of chewing, if a cat or dog often shares your bed, the low-voltage of the Soft Heat electric blanket will minimize the shock hazard in the event of claw or chewing damage — though your pet could still damage the blanket itself. That’s why experts recommend heated mattress pads as the best choice for pet owners.

 

 

Despite the light weight of the Soft Heat blanket, its polyester fabric manages to keep in the heat all night — or at least until the 10-hour auto shut-off kicks in. Note that auto shut-off is a standard safety feature that is included in all of our recommended electric blankets.

 

The Sunbeam Microplush Heated Blanket  (Est. $65 and up) is another strong choice for those looking for the perfect blanket to warm their beds this winter. This is a standard, AC-powered, non-low-voltage electric blanket, though with modern safety features and, as noted above, it meets the latest Underwriters Laboratories electric bedding standards.

Sunbeam Microplush Heated Blanket, Twin, Lagoon, BSM9BTS-R596-16A00

Heating technology aside, this Sunbeam electric blanket has very similar specifications to the Soft Heat Luxury Micro-fleece: It comes in the same sizes, has the same number of heat settings (10), the same 10 hour shut-off time and the same warranty duration (five years).

However, the Sunbeam Microplush heats faster and, according to some users, feels hotter to the touch while heating than the Soft Heat Micro-fleece. Some versions of the blanket sold at different retailers may have controllers with different features — for example, while most electric blankets have an auto-off feature that will turn off the blanket after 10 hours, the version sold at ComfortHouse.com lets the user change when the blanket will turn off — but core performance will be the same. Both the Soft Heat and Sunbeam blankets win praise from users for their soft fabric.

 

 

For those on a tighter budget, Sunbeam Electric Heated Fleece Blanket  (Est. $50 and up) looks like a good alternative.  You can find it a Amazon.com, where it earns a  4.2-star score based on more than 850 reviews.

This Sunbeam electric blanket looks to be fairly feature-rich for a budget model. It has a preheating function, a six foot cord, and dual controllers for queen and larger sizes.

The one corner that does look to be cut compared to other Sunbeam electric blankets is that there are only five heating levels, but that doesn’t surface as a concern in user reviews.

Durability also looks good — though like nearly all electric blankets we looked at, complaints about blankets that arrived dead or missing a control, or that failed prematurely are not unheard of. More common are complaints that the quilted fleece blanket was thinner than the owner would have liked or that the material was not soft enough.

 

 

 

For sleepers who prefer the secure feeling of a thick blanket, the Sunbeam Quilted Fleece Heated Blanket  (Est. $63 and up) could be an option.

I’ve seen comments that even with the electricity off — or out altogether — it’s warm enough to keep you cozy anyway. As with virtually every electric blanket, reliability is a concern, but its 3.9 star rating is good for this category.

 

 

For more details and options, see my full reviews of electric blankets: Electric Blankets – Reviewing the Best

 

 

Thanks for visiting and reading …

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

-Laurie

 

 

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