How To Live Well

HOW TO LIVE WELL

Laughter is good for our health.

It triggers a physical and emotional alteration in our body that can strengthen our immune system, boost our mood, reduce pain, and be a powerful antidote to stress. Laughter is a key component of learning to live well.

Nothing works faster or is more able to re-balance our mind and body than a good laugh. And because it has powerful restorative benefits, being able to laugh easily and often is tremendously important for our well-being.

Read our Blog It’s Good To Laugh for more information.

 

Start the morning well and a healthy day can follow.

A nourishing, energising breakfast boosts our metabolism and gives us the energy to stay focused throughout the day. Some studies link eating breakfast to an enduring good health and say that it promotes better memory and concentration, while also protecting from conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and overweight.

For healthy fuelling at the break of day, choose fruit, grains, seeds, almond milk and coconut yogurt.

For lots of healthy eating ideas download our 7 Day Meal Plan here. These 21 meal suggestions are full of delicious, nourishing ingredients that are proven to be anti-inflammatory and therefore really helpful if you are an arthritis sufferer.

If you sleep better, you live better. It’s pretty clear.

It is no surprise that a good night’s sleep can help us keep energy levels high throughout the day. But it can also have a powerful impact on our emotional well-being, our mental health, our immune system and our stress levels.

Sleep is a hugely powerful agent for all round good. It allows our body time to repair and can even improve our relationships because when we are feeling good and thinking positively, then those around us respond with warmth and enthusiasm.

Read our tips on how to get a good night’s sleep here.

A brisk 10 minute daily walk has lots of health benefits.

It is easy to overlook the tremendous gains from walking but even a modest effort can build stamina, burn excess calories and improve the health of our heart.

And if we find it hard to commit to walking regularly, especially when the days are short and dark and cold, then we should look for simple changes in our daily routine that result in us walking further and longer but almost without realising. For instance, we might use the stairs instead of the lift, leave the car at the far end of the car park, or walk the kids/grand kids, to and from school.

For other ideas on how to exercise regularly read our blog called “Is today and exercise day?”

 

Water makes up a majority of our body weight and is involved in many important functions.

Primarily, it helps remove waste from our body, ensures our body temperature is well regulated and contributes to the efficiency of our brain functions. But staying hydrated is also important for muscle and joint strength and as we get older it helps improve our circulation and can have a positive impact on our overall health through its ability to fight off illness such as kidney stones, urinary tract infection and hypertension.

The recommended daily water intake (as indicated by the NHS) is at least eight, 8-oz glasses. That’s about 1.9 litres. It may seem a lot to drink, but water is so vital that finding ways to hit that target is important.

 

Running reduces the risk of chronic diseases and might even improve our mood.

All physical activity and exercise is worth pursuing as we age because it can keep us healthy and living independently for longer. Running is a particularly great form of exercise as it can improve cardiovascular fitness, build strong bones, strengthen muscles, and help us maintain a healthy weight.

We don’t have to run far or be fast in order to experience the benefits. Just 2 or 3 times per week, building to 20 mins per run, will quickly make a difference to our overall well-being.

Read more about why it is good to start running at any age.

It is harder to maintain a positive state of mind than it is to cross the desert in a boat.

 

Use of pendants, ID bands or bracelets is an important way to hold and make accessible important medical information, personal and contact details.

They are designed to be worn when the individual goes out and are extremely useful in the event of an accident or if the individual becomes confused or disorientated.

The popular ‘Message In a Bottle’ scheme sensibly points out a basic system for ensuring vulnerable people can keep their personal and medical details on a standard form and in a common location – very often the fridge, where the emergency services will be able to find it in the event of being called to your home. The ‘bottles’ are free of charge and can be obtained from local chemists or doctors’ surgeries. They are also available from Neighbourhood Watch schemes, from Age UK, council offices, housing associations or police stations.

Use of pendants, ID bands or bracelets is an important way to hold and make accessible important medical information, personal and contact details.

They are designed to be worn when the individual goes out and are extremely useful in the event of an accident or if the individual becomes confused or disorientated.

The popular ‘Message In a Bottle’ scheme sensibly points out a basic system for ensuring vulnerable people can keep their personal and medical details on a standard form and in a common location – very often the fridge, where the emergency services will be able to find it in the event of being called to your home. The ‘bottles’ are free of charge and can be obtained from local chemists or doctors’ surgeries. They are also available from Neighbourhood Watch schemes, from Age UK, council offices, housing associations or police stations.

Use of pendants, ID bands or bracelets is an important way to hold and make accessible important medical information, personal and contact details.

They are designed to be worn when the individual goes out and are extremely useful in the event of an accident or if the individual becomes confused or disorientated.

The popular ‘Message In a Bottle’ scheme sensibly points out a basic system for ensuring vulnerable people can keep their personal and medical details on a standard form and in a common location – very often the fridge, where the emergency services will be able to find it in the event of being called to your home. The ‘bottles’ are free of charge and can be obtained from local chemists or doctors’ surgeries. They are also available from Neighbourhood Watch schemes, from Age UK, council offices, housing associations or police stations.

Use of pendants, ID bands or bracelets is an important way to hold and make accessible important medical information, personal and contact details.

They are designed to be worn when the individual goes out and are extremely useful in the event of an accident or if the individual becomes confused or disorientated.

The popular ‘Message In a Bottle’ scheme sensibly points out a basic system for ensuring vulnerable people can keep their personal and medical details on a standard form and in a common location – very often the fridge, where the emergency services will be able to find it in the event of being called to your home. The ‘bottles’ are free of charge and can be obtained from local chemists or doctors’ surgeries. They are also available from Neighbourhood Watch schemes, from Age UK, council offices, housing associations or police stations.

If medicines fail to be taken in the correct doses and at the right times, the consequences can be harmful to health and an individual’s wellbeing. Particularly among the elderly there can be problems experienced in reading and understanding labels, remembering what should be taken when or even just managing to wrestle open childproof containers.

These problems can be overcome effectively by using a Pill Box. This can be a simple box marked with dosage times or can be more elaborate variations that carry a full week’s supply of tablets with days of the week clearly labelled and allowing for multiple doses each day.

It might also be possible to use a pill box that has a dispensing mechanism that effectively offers the user the correct pills at the correct time.

Even more elaborately, some pill boxes use flashing lights, alarms or vibration to prompt you to take your medication at set times. And, if a confident user of technology such as a smartphone or tablet, an individual can set digital reminders via appropriate apps.

When a person is heavier those involved in their care must have a clear understanding of the individual’s weight in order to properly manage their needs and ensure the correct and safe choice of equipment.

It is possible to obtain standard weighing scales from the high street retailer, but their functionality will be limited, they may lack the necessary robustness and will have a limited weight capacity. Larger capacity scales are available with a standing platform, a chair or a ramped platform to take a person in their wheelchair. Some hoists have the option of a weighing scale attachment and it is possible to obtain a bed with integral weigh scales.

It is common that a person may prefer to (or need to) strip wash while remaining in bed and doing so at a wash basin or over a bowl of warm water sat on a table before them. On this occasion, the table has to function as a wash-room and must be large enough but also stable enough to hold the bowl, soap, towel etc.

For someone with limited mobility the table will have other functions and these would include assisting the individual to read in bed and to eat there.

The table needs to combine flexibility, mobility, and adaptability. But it must also be stable while at the same time being easily cleaned.

If you are choosing a walking stick for the first time there are few things you have to keep in mind. First off, make sure it is the right height for you. It needs to be comfortable – it needs to

look great – but most of all it needs to work as a supportive aid and not become a cause of potential danger or even harm to the user.

Getting the height to suit is straightforward. Stand on a flat, solid surface and set the stick firmly on the ground a little over six inches to your side and in line with your stance. Bend your elbow slightly and adjust the handle height so it sits alongside your wrist when you are standing upright.

Take some time to decide on the right style of handle too. There are several shapes and, again, choice should be a combination of comfort, personal preference, but also security of use. The main shapes that are available are ‘Crook’ handle, ‘T’ handle and ‘Sawn neck.’

And if you believe one walking stick fits all, then you might want to take a closer look. Our experience at Live Well Now is that walking stick buyers mainly fall into three camps when selecting a specific style (some users have multiple styles to give them confidence that all eventualities are covered).

The first style that is popular is the folding walking stick. This is ideal for portability and for being quickly stored away in a shopping bag or car. If in need of a little more robustness or additional support, then the tripod and tetrapod sticks are very good. And if you are heading out on a longer journey you might be thankful of your choice of a walking stick with a folding seat. Perfect when you need to rest.

Of course, you may be tempted to throw pragmatic, common-sense judgement out the window and just choose the one with the funkiest colours or pattern. But just make sure you also attend to the practical requirements.

We all need a bit of comfort in our lives and can find it in many places, even when sitting on the toilet.

If we are inclined to occupy the throne for a while, if we are a little older and no longer carrying as much of our own padding, then we might turn to a cushioned seat to provide that needed extra comfort.

A frail buttock or a thin skin, will welcome the introduction of a padded toilet seat to sit on. The new seat can replace the existing one and can come in a standard height or as a raised toilet seat with extra depth for additional comfort.

Some users prefer the less fixed solution presented by an inflatable seat that simply sticks on or over the existing toilet seat. It is also possible to get these seats made from foam or filled with either gel or polyester. Importantly, you should choose a seat that can be easily wiped clean and if the user has particular needs such as being at risk of pressure ulcers or suffering with limited hip movement, then they might want to look for specialist seats that meet their individual needs. In that case, options would include pressure relief cushions and those with additional shaping, perhaps a cutaway section or with an upward curve in front of the user.

Well, almost never.

We all know and recognise the spoon as an eating and cooking utensil consisting of a small shallow bowl with a handle. Admittedly, some might prefer the image that comes with the definition of “spoon” as that of a couple nestling in close contact with one another, lying on their sides with their knees drawn up, the back of one tucked into the front of the other like the bowls of two spoons.

In our world at Live Well Now we only recognise the exception to the spoon as a spoon when it incorporates characteristics that include a hand strap for added grip, extra weight to lessen tremors and suppress unwanted movements, a swivel head to compensate for a user’s limited flexibility or, our favourite, a deep bowl, meaning you get more and spill less.

But we acknowledge others will be excited by the attractions of other cutlery options, such as the dual function fork and spoon, or the combined knife and spoon, or the angle headed spoon which means the item can be raised to the user’s mouth with a minimum of movement.

Use of pendants, ID bands or bracelets is an important way to hold and make accessible important medical information, personal and contact details.

They are designed to be worn when the individual goes out and are extremely useful in the event of an accident or if the individual becomes confused or disorientated.

The popular ‘Message In a Bottle’ scheme sensibly points out a basic system for ensuring vulnerable people can keep their personal and medical details on a standard form and in a common location – very often the fridge, where the emergency services will be able to find it in the event of being called to your home. The ‘bottles’ are free of charge and can be obtained from local chemists or doctors’ surgeries. They are also available from Neighbourhood Watch schemes, from Age UK, council offices, housing associations or police stations.

If medicines fail to be taken in the correct doses and at the right times, the consequences can be harmful to health and an individual’s wellbeing. Particularly among the elderly there can be problems experienced in reading and understanding labels, remembering what should be taken when or even just managing to wrestle open childproof containers.

These problems can be overcome effectively by using a Pill Box. This can be a simple box marked with dosage times or can be more elaborate variations that carry a full week’s supply of tablets with days of the week clearly labelled and allowing for multiple doses each day.

It might also be possible to use a pill box that has a dispensing mechanism that effectively offers the user the correct pills at the correct time.

Even more elaborately, some pill boxes use flashing lights, alarms or vibration to prompt you to take your medication at set times. And, if a confident user of technology such as a smartphone or tablet, an individual can set digital reminders via appropriate apps.

When a person is heavier those involved in their care must have a clear understanding of the individual’s weight in order to properly manage their needs and ensure the correct and safe choice of equipment.

It is possible to obtain standard weighing scales from the high street retailer, but their functionality will be limited, they may lack the necessary robustness and will have a limited weight capacity. Larger capacity scales are available with a standing platform, a chair or a ramped platform to take a person in their wheelchair. Some hoists have the option of a weighing scale attachment and it is possible to obtain a bed with integral weigh scales.

It is common that a person may prefer to (or need to) strip wash while remaining in bed and doing so at a wash basin or over a bowl of warm water sat on a table before them. On this occasion, the table has to function as a wash-room and must be large enough but also stable enough to hold the bowl, soap, towel etc.

For someone with limited mobility the table will have other functions and these would include assisting the individual to read in bed and to eat there.

The table needs to combine flexibility, mobility, and adaptability. But it must also be stable while at the same time being easily cleaned.

If you are choosing a walking stick for the first time there are few things you have to keep in mind. First off, make sure it is the right height for you. It needs to be comfortable – it needs to

look great – but most of all it needs to work as a supportive aid and not become a cause of potential danger or even harm to the user.

Getting the height to suit is straightforward. Stand on a flat, solid surface and set the stick firmly on the ground a little over six inches to your side and in line with your stance. Bend your elbow slightly and adjust the handle height so it sits alongside your wrist when you are standing upright.

Take some time to decide on the right style of handle too. There are several shapes and, again, choice should be a combination of comfort, personal preference, but also security of use. The main shapes that are available are ‘Crook’ handle, ‘T’ handle and ‘Sawn neck.’

And if you believe one walking stick fits all, then you might want to take a closer look. Our experience at Live Well Now is that walking stick buyers mainly fall into three camps when selecting a specific style (some users have multiple styles to give them confidence that all eventualities are covered).

The first style that is popular is the folding walking stick. This is ideal for portability and for being quickly stored away in a shopping bag or car. If in need of a little more robustness or additional support, then the tripod and tetrapod sticks are very good. And if you are heading out on a longer journey you might be thankful of your choice of a walking stick with a folding seat. Perfect when you need to rest.

Of course, you may be tempted to throw pragmatic, common-sense judgement out the window and just choose the one with the funkiest colours or pattern. But just make sure you also attend to the practical requirements.

We all need a bit of comfort in our lives and can find it in many places, even when sitting on the toilet.

If we are inclined to occupy the throne for a while, if we are a little older and no longer carrying as much of our own padding, then we might turn to a cushioned seat to provide that needed extra comfort.

A frail buttock or a thin skin, will welcome the introduction of a padded toilet seat to sit on. The new seat can replace the existing one and can come in a standard height or as a raised toilet seat with extra depth for additional comfort.

Some users prefer the less fixed solution presented by an inflatable seat that simply sticks on or over the existing toilet seat. It is also possible to get these seats made from foam or filled with either gel or polyester. Importantly, you should choose a seat that can be easily wiped clean and if the user has particular needs such as being at risk of pressure ulcers or suffering with limited hip movement, then they might want to look for specialist seats that meet their individual needs. In that case, options would include pressure relief cushions and those with additional shaping, perhaps a cutaway section or with an upward curve in front of the user.

Well, almost never.

We all know and recognise the spoon as an eating and cooking utensil consisting of a small shallow bowl with a handle. Admittedly, some might prefer the image that comes with the definition of “spoon” as that of a couple nestling in close contact with one another, lying on their sides with their knees drawn up, the back of one tucked into the front of the other like the bowls of two spoons.

In our world at Live Well Now we only recognise the exception to the spoon as a spoon when it incorporates characteristics that include a hand strap for added grip, extra weight to lessen tremors and suppress unwanted movements, a swivel head to compensate for a user’s limited flexibility or, our favourite, a deep bowl, meaning you get more and spill less.

But we acknowledge others will be excited by the attractions of other cutlery options, such as the dual function fork and spoon, or the combined knife and spoon, or the angle headed spoon which means the item can be raised to the user’s mouth with a minimum of movement.

Helpfull Links

Devon House
58 St Katharine’s Way
London E1W 1LB

Tel: 020 7423 3500
Fax: 020 7423 3501
Helpline: 0300 222 1122
Email: [email protected]
Website: www.alzheimers.org.uk

Alzheimer’s Society is the support and research charity for people with dementia, their families and carers.

Trent Dementia Services Development Centre

9 Newarke Street
Leicester
Leicestershire
LE1 5SN

Tel: 0116 257 5017
Fax: 0116 254 3983
Website: www.atdementia.org.uk

AT Dementia is managed by Trent Dementia Services Development Centre, a charity that works to promote high quality care and services for people with dementia through consultancy, project work, education and information and advice on assistive technologies.

New Loom House
Suite 4.06
101 Back Church Lane
London, E1 1LU

Tel: 020 7702 2141
Fax: 020 7680 4048
Email: [email protected] (and [email protected] )
Website: www.bhta.net

The British Healthcare Trades Association (BHTA) is the UK’s largest healthcare association. Members of the BHTA sign up to a code of practice designed to ensure the public can trust that members will give a good service, and a high standard of behaviour.

20 Great Dover Street
London
SE1 4LX

Tel 020 7378 4999
Helpline: 0808 808 7777
Email: [email protected]
Website: www.carersuk.org

Carers UK provides information, advice and support for carers.

32-36 Loman Street
London
SE1 0EH

Tel: 0844 800 4361
Fax: 0844 800 4362
Email: [email protected]
Website: www.carers.org

Working to ensure that information, advice and practical support is available to all carers across the UK

6 Camden High Street
London
NW1 0JH

Tel: 020 7874 7200
Helpline: 0845 257 9406
Fax: 0845 519 2560
E-mail: [email protected]
Website: www.dementiauk.org

Dementia UK is a national charity, committed to improving quality of life for all people affected by dementia

15-19 Broadway
Stratford
London E15 4BQ

Tel: 020 8519 2122
Fax: 020 8522 1725
Iinformation line: 0300 123 3393
Website: www.mind.org.uk
Email: [email protected]

Mind are a national mental health charity in England and Wales, campaigning for change, offering information and support, working in local communities and providing professional training.

G03, The Wenlock
50-52 Wharf Road
London N1 7EU

Telephone: 020 7427 2460
Fax: 020 7427 2468
Email: [email protected]
Website: www.rica.org.uk

Rica (formerly Ricability), the Research Institute for Consumer Affairs, are a national research charity dedicated to providing independent information of value to disabled and older consumers. Their reports are based on rigorous research and provide practical information needed by disabled and older consumers. They have published a report on Community alarms: www.rica.org.uk/content/community-alarms

Tel: (020) 8144 1643
Email: [email protected]
Website: http://telecareaware.com

Telecare Aware provides specialised, free news and information to people interested in telecare and telehealth. Its purpose is to help suppliers and service providers around the world keep up to date with what each other are doing.

Suite 8
Wilmslow House
Grove Way, Wilmslow
Cheshire, SK9 5AG

Telephone: 01625 520 320
Fax: 01625 533 021
Email: [email protected]
Website: www.telecare.org.uk

Telecare Services Association (TSA) is the industry body for telecare and telehealth. TSA promotes and supports the telecare and telehealth industry, highlighting the benefits of telecare and telehealth for commissioners across health and social care, service users, their family and carers.

We believe quality of life can be measured by the ability to control the choices we make. To find out more about what we offer please visit our shop and browse our wide range of products and services designed to help you.