Consider a Rollator Walker to Help You Maintain Independence

As we age, it is important to maintain as much independence as possible so we can still have maximum enjoyment from life.

Unfortunately, illness or accidents can rob us of our mobility, but that doesn’t mean we can’t still be on our own. Fortunately there are plenty of places to obtain quality medical supplies that help us maintain our dignity and keep living life to the fullest.

Many older individuals with mobility issues need assistance walking and getting from place to place. A rollator walker is one of the most common mobility aids that makes it easy for people suffering from arthritis or recovering from a broken hip to move around at home and in public.

If you or a loved one are in need of a mobility aid or other medical supplies, it is comforting to know that there are many places to rent or purchase these items from in your community. Most of these places will deliver to your home, or allow you to purchase items online at your convenience, even larger items such as walkers, wheelchairs and hospital beds, if needed.

If you are caring for someone who has broken a hip, suffered a stroke, has Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s disease, you understand that having any added level of security when they are moving about puts everyone at complete ease.

Rollator walkers are designed for those patients who can still move around and want to enjoy their freedom and independent life. These patients simply need something to help them stay steady on their feet, maintain balance and keep in control. Some rollator walkers come equipped with baskets, trays or totes to help make carrying items easier.

Rollator walkers also come in many different sizes, you can purchase ones which are tall or short, wide or narrow with three wheels or four. It all depends on the patient’s comfort level so it’s important to sample a few walkers before making a purchase.

Being able to move with a greater sense of self confidence and reassurance while offering support, allows the patient to remain calm as they face each day knowing they are regaining control of their life.

William Adams is a home healthcare expert whose blogs and articles appear in many magazines and on Web sites.

Stay Cool and Save Money This Summer With Advice from an Air Conditioning Installer

When temperatures start to climb, your air conditioning system becomes your best friend. But, what if your current system or window unit is a little iffy this year? Maybe you need to upgrade your system or say good-bye to your old window unit in favor of something more up-to-date and efficient? The best way to find out how best to cool your home is to consult an experienced air conditioning installer.

Air conditioning installers are experts when it comes to helping you decide how to keep your home cool this summer. In addition to being comfortable, you want to make sure your system is running as efficiently as possible in order to keep energy costs in line. In today’s economy, we’re all concerned with saving as much money as we can. Many homeowners are deciding to upgrade or replace their current cooling systems in order to take advantage of the latest energy-efficient technology. After all, as important as it is to stay cool, we also have to be mindful of how much we are spending.

Depending on the type of home you have, there are many options when it comes to air conditioning. Traditional window units may work for you in certain instances, but many homeowners are weighing their options when it comes to installing central air conditioning or ductless air conditioning systems. If you happen to live in an older home, you may not want to go to the trouble and expense of installing the necessary ductwork for a central air conditioning system. If that is the case, a ductless air conditioning system might be the right choice for you. If you live in a newer home that has existing ductwork for a heating system, adding a cooling system might be the right choice for you. It all depends on how much you are able to spend as well as how much time you are planning to spend in your home. Those of us who have summer homes and cottages might not be so concerned with keeping our homes cool if we’re not going to spend a lot of time in them. But, those of us who need our homes to be a cool sanctuary from the hot, humid temperatures, might want to make the investment in a centralized system that will keep your home cool and comfortable 24/7.

Regardless of your needs, air conditioning professionals are standing by now waiting to assist you in choosing the right system for your home. Don’t wait until your current system conks out on you on the hottest day of the year; have a qualified air conditioning installer evaluate your system and advise you on what needs to be done. Once the mercury climbs, you’ll be glad you thought about it now, as opposed to during the dog days of summer.

Paul Caldwell is a Toronto-based heating and air conditioning contractor whose blogs and articles appear in magazines and on home improvement Web sites.

A Few Ways to Ease the Stress of Caring for a Loved One with Alzheimer’s Disease

While many patients retain their independence for a period of time after being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, some may need more help with performing daily activities. For others, the diagnosis may come after weeks or months of you coping with symptoms that did not have a name. Regardless of how long you’ve been dealing with Alzheimer’s disease or to what degree, in some way Alzheimer’s has affected your life and responsibilities – physically, emotionally, or economically.

The role you have taken on is not an easy one. However, the following tips offer some guidance on how to maintain and improve your caregiving relationship:

  • Take time for yourself. Make sure you have time to relax. If necessary, enlist the help of other family members or even hire someone to help out.
  • Learn as much as you can about your loved one’s disease so you will know how you can help. You’ll also understand what changes to expect in your loved one’s behavior or symptoms.
  • Help your loved one participate in as many activities in the home and outside the home as possible. Maintain the intricate balance between helping your loved one accomplish a task and actually doing the task for him or her. Allow the patient the time needed to complete daily activities on his or her own, such as dressing.
  • Consult your loved one about his or her family affairs. Although it’s not easy to discuss these topics, you should be informed of your loved one’s wishes regarding a living will, durable power of attorney, and do-not-resuscitate (DNR) order.
  • Set realistic goals for yourself and your loved one. Do not attempt to do everything. By setting attainable goals, you are setting everyone up for success, rather than disappointment.
  • Do not put your life on hold. Continue to meet with friends, participate in hobbies or groups, and maintain a schedule as normally as possible. You will feel more energized and are less likely to feel resentful in the long run.
  • Have someone you can talk to. You are there for your loved one — to listen and to offer support — but you also need a support person. Talk openly and honestly with a friend or family member. If this is not possible, join a support group. Understanding that you are not alone and that someone else is in a similar situation helps you to feel nurtured.

Dr. David Tal is a specialist in geriatric medicine and runs the Age Matters Clinic in Toronto.

Toronto Fences Will Give Your Home a Much-Needed Update This Spring

When you take the time to ensure the exterior of your home looks as good as the interior, the last think you want to do is put unattractive fencing around the perimeter.

Many types of wooden fencing are labor intensive, and for all that trouble you don’t get much beauty or longevity from them. They have to be stained and waterproofed, and then you’re never certain when the wood will splinter or rot, and need to  be replaced.

The newest idea in Toronto fences is vinyl picket fences that look just like wood, but they’re made from 100 percent recycled vinyl that always looks great and lasts much longer than traditional wooden fencing. Unless you’re standing right next to it, there is no way to tell that you don’t have a painted wooden fence surrounding your home. It’s the same classic style but without the worry about maintaining or replacing it.

Ask any homeowner in your area which type of fence they’d rather have and sure enough, they will tell you a vinyl fence. Vinyl fencing is so much more versatile than old fashioned wooden fencing; There are so many more styles and colors available, and the great thing is, once it’s installed, you don’t have to worry about it. If it gets dirty, the most you have to do is wipe it down with a damp cloth or give it a good power-washing every so often. Wood fences require so much more upkeep including treating them to repel termites and other pests, and worrying about compromising the wood if you treat your lawn or shrubs with pesticides. When a wooden fence splinters or breaks, you have to replace entire sections of it, and it never looks the same. A vinyl fence gives you many more years of worry-free enjoyment without having to replace bits and pieces of it as they deteriorate.

Vinyl fencing material is also used by many businesses because of it’s affordability and easy care. In fact, many rural farms have begun to install vinyl horse fences instead of wooden or metal fences, which require constant upkeep. A vinyl fence, especially when it’s enclosing a large property, is not only more economical, it will look great for years to come.

Homeowners know how versatile vinyl fencing material is: decks, patios and verandas can be built with it that will last just as long and look just as beautiful as the fence that surrounds your home. You will enjoy many years of fun gatherings without the worry of going barefoot and getting splinters. And, when you build a deck with vinyl fence material, there’s no need to paint, stain or maintain it. It will provide years of enjoyment all year round.

When you invest in your home’s appearance, it always pays to use the finest quality materials – and those include vinyl picket fences.

Yaniv Kalderon is a vinyl fence and landscaping expert in Toronto, Ontario, whose blogs and articles appear on home improvement Web sites.

Have You Found a Children’s Dentist in Your Area?

People of a certain age will remember a time when taking a child to a dentist was not a priority. Most of us used to think that it wasn’t that important to care for their baby teeth because they were just going to fall out to make way for their adult teeth. Well, many parents of that generation were wrong about neglecting their children’s dental health. Studies have shown that children who are not encouraged to take proper care of their teeth will maintain poor oral hygiene habits into adulthood and experience many different types of oral maladies. It’s best to start as early as possible, along with encouraging children to view proper oral hygiene as fun, rather than to be afraid of it.

The key to getting your kids to actively participate in taking care of their teeth is to find a children’s dentist in your area that will teach your little ones that oral hygiene can be fun. Most of us will no longer go to just “any” doctor; we look to our friends, family members, and the Internet for information on which physicians we can rely on to take good care of us. The same holds true for finding a pediatric dentist who will instill in your children how important it is to care for their teeth no matter how young they are.

A pediatric dentist will make sure that your child’s teeth are healthy and maturing properly. He or she will check gum health and make any recommendations about foods to encourage your child to eat or avoid in order to ensure they keep their teeth and gums healthy. A gentle cleaning will be part of every visit, allowing your child to get used to the experience so he or she will not be afraid of it as they get older. A child who fears the dentist will grow into an adult who is reluctant to take care of this or her teeth.

When you find a pediatric dentist in your area, don’t be shy about asking questions about how often your child should visit, and which routines should be established in the home in order to promote healthy habits. Ask about toothbrushes and toothpastes that are geared specifically for children, and how you can take a more active role in helping your kids understand how important it is for them to take care of their teeth. The payoff will be fewer cavities and less stress and aggravation when it comes time for that regular checkup!

Sean Shen is a pediatric dentist who specializes in oral hygiene education for parents of babies and toddlers.

Physical Fitness Key in Preventing Brain Shrinkage Associated wih Alzheimer’s Disease

Everyone should know how important fitness is to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. As we age, it becomes even more important because it contributes to keeping our minds as healthy as our bodies.

One of the scarier things we must contend with as we age is the specter of memory loss and how it affects us and our loved ones. Alzheimer’s disease, dementia and other memory impairments are difficult to come to terms with, but there are things we can do to lessen their impact on our daily lives.

Physical fitness plays an important role in staving off a variety of physical ailments including memory loss. Studies have shown that people with varying degrees of memory loss who maintain higher levels of fitness are able to prevent the shrinking of the brain that occurs as we age, along with progressive memory loss. People in the early stages of Alzheimer’s who have low levels of fitness are likely to experience four times the amount of brain shrinkage than older adults who have higher fitness levels. It is important to maintain as high a level of fitness as possible in the face of memory loss in order to slow its progress. As brain mass decreases, so does cognitive performance, but the fitter a person is, the longer it will take for the disease to progress.

It is important for Alzheimer’s patients and their families to seek support from their communities when dealing with memory loss. Very often, patients and their families feel isolated and are unaware of services available to them. There are memory and aging clinics in many communities that are equipped to assess cognitive function and prescribe a plan of action to help slow the progression of memory loss. Qualified physicians and counselors can work with the individual and family members to improve quality of life and learn skills to cope with the progressive nature of memory loss. Depending on the patient’s prognosis, there is much that can be done to prolong an active lifestyle through geriatric assessment.

If going to a health club is not possible for someone in the early stages of memory loss, working with a personal trainer can be the answer to raising the fitness level of the patient. Personal trainers conduct workout sessions in the homes of their clients as well as other convenient locations. The one-on-one attention is beneficial, especially to someone contending with memory loss.

It is always best to consult a physician about any changes in cognitive behavior, as well as before embarking on an exercise routine. With the right guidance, individuals with memory loss can maintain active, fulfilling lives.

Dr. David Tal is a specialist in geriatric medicine and runs the Age Matters Clinic in Toronto.

Avaneil John is a personal fitness trainer in Toronto.

Don’t Allow the Harsh Winter Weather to Keep You From Walking Your Dog

Winter is finally here, and as we are all aware, Toronto winters can be particularly harsh. There are many things we’d rather not do outdoors in the cold weather, but some we just cannot avoid; one of them is taking the dog out for his daily walks.

Many of us don’t mind the cold and are more than happy to take our canine friends out whenever they have to do their “business.” For those of us who want or need to avoid spending as little time outdoors during the winter as possible, it’s good to know that dog walking services are available whenever and wherever we need them.

Professional dog walkers are lifesavers for many people, especially this time of year when venturing outdoors can be treacherous for some. It can be challenging for seniors and other individuals who might be prone to slipping and falling on ice to go out and walk their dogs. That’s why dog walkers are so important; they allow us to keep our beloved canine companions by our sides without having to worry about the elements. Many dog walkers have client lists that include seniors and other home-bound individuals who rely on them to walk their dogs as often as necessary. When the weather turns nasty, it is a comfort to many to know that trained, caring professionals are always available to make sure their dogs are well cared for.

Winter is also a time when families want to get away from the snowy weather for holidays in warmer climes. Now that we have the Family Day holiday in Ontario in February, more people are taking advantage of booking that winter holiday in Florida, Mexico or another tropical location. This year, instead of boarding your dog at the kennel, you can arrange for a dog walker to visit your pets as often as necessary to ensure they are fed and walked, without the worry of leaving your animals in a strange place. You’ll have a more enjoyable holiday knowing your pet is safe in familiar surroundings, rather than in a kennel with animals he is unfamiliar with.

There’s no time like the present to consider dog walking services. Now that the new year is upon us, resolve to make life less stressful for you and your dog. Hiring a dog walker will not only make your life easier, it will benefit your pets as well.

Amber Brown is a Toronto-based canine expert whose blogs and articles appear on Web sites and in magazines across North America.

 

You Don’t Have to Spend a Bundle on Your Wedding Dress

Choosing your wedding dress is a once-in-a-lifetime event and you want to make sure it is the one that is perfect for you.

Wedding dresses come in all shapes, styles and sizes – and prices. The thing is, you don’t have to spend a fortune for one you will look absolutely spectacular in. Many women want a look inspired by those famous wedding gown designers, but can’t afford to spend the price of a small car on the actual dress. Fortunately, there are many places where you can find discount wedding dresses, and no one has to know you didn’t spend thousands.

The centerpiece of every wedding is the bride. The wedding dress she chooses will forever be remembered by her family, friends and guests at her wedding, so it has to be perfect. The look will be immortalized in pictures and on video that she will look back on for the rest of her life. She may even pass on her dress  for her daughter to wear one day at her wedding.

Finding the perfect dress has never been easier. Gone are the days when brides had few options other than to pore over magazines and visit local bridal shops. Now, with the Internet, brides have endless options. All the bridal magazines have Web sites, as do boutiques and dress designers; a bride can literally look at thousands of dresses before she finds the right one. And let’s not forget all the blogs out there offering advice on which dress to choose based on the location and theme of the wedding. There is help out there for the asking; it’s the choosing that’s the hard part!

Discount wedding dresses are easy to locate no matter where you live. You can even purchase your dress online if you spot the right one. If the price is right and the look is the one you’ve dreamed of all your life, you’ll know it when you see it. The right dress doesn’t have to clean out your bank account; even though your wedding day will only happen once, it’s wise to know your financial limitations when it comes to choosing the right dress.

The key to finding that perfect dress is all about your attitude. Focus on how it looks and how you feel in it, rather than how much it costs. When you nail that down, you won’t worry that you didn’t spend enough and that your dress looks “cheap.” As long as you love what you see, price doesn’t matter.

Hannah Glass is a bridal expert based in Toronto, Ontario. She blogs for the top bridal Web sites, and her work appears in the most glamorous bridal magazines on newsstands.

 

 

Get Those Ducts Cleaned Before Winter!

Pretty soon, you and your family are going to be spending most of your time indoors “cocooning” as the saying goes. The days are getting shorter and colder and the last thing you want to think about is, are my air ducts clean? You certainly don’t want them looking like the “before” picture on the left, when there will be no escaping the dirt and debris that will be blowing out your vents along with the warm air from your heating system.

The solution to the problem? Have your ducts cleaned, pronto!

Many homeowners forgo duct cleaning thinking that they couldn’t possibly have that much nasty buildup lurking in their system. Well, guess what? It’s there, and it can cause more trouble than you think.

Dirty air ducts can contribute to respiratory issues like asthma, in addition to spreading germs throughout your home. Have you ever wondered why one member of your family gets sick and then all of a sudden, you’re all sick? And, then you keep passing the same cold or flu back and forth between one another? The answer is, because all that gunk in your air ducts keeps circulating throughout your home causing those germs to linger in the air. The only solution is to invest in professional air duct cleaning several times a year to ensure that you, your family and your home stay healthy.

Professional air duct cleaners generally recommend a thorough cleaning at least twice a year: once in the spring, around the time you shut off your heating system, and before you turn on your air conditioning. You should repeat the procedure again in the fall, ideally right before you turn your heating system back on. Of course, if you or other members of your family suffer from allergies or respiratory ailments, duct cleaning should be performed more often in order to ensure that your family is breathing clean, healthy air at all times.

In some cases, duct cleaning is also necessary to remove critters and their nesting materials from your air ducts. Sometimes, squirrels, birds and other varmints will make themselves a nice home in your air ducts, leaving behind things like twigs, straw and other debris that can block your system, keeping it from operating efficiently. The animals can also get trapped and die in the duct work, and the resulting smell is something you do not want in your home. It is important to check your vents and ducts periodically to ensure that there are no unwanted tenants making a home in them. The same goes for clothes dryer vents – lint buildup is a fire hazard that could imperil your home.

Never neglect your air ducts; regular cleaning is the most inexpensive, convenient way to keep your heating and cooling systems operating at peak efficiency, and keep your family healthy year round.

Adam Blair is the owner of a professional duct cleaning company in Toronto, Ontario, and a blogger for many popular home improvement and maintenance Web sites.

Leftys are Special; They Even Deserve to Have Left Handed Golf Clubs!

Left handed people are always trying to adapt to a right handed world. In fact, some scientists believe that lefties are more independent because they have to try harder. There is no denying that lefties are smart and successful. But, there are some interesting facts about lefties that not many people are aware of.

Did you know that lefties:

  •     Are more likely to have allergies
  •     Live on average 9 years less than right handed people
  •     Are twice as likely to be male
  •     Are better at multitasking
  •     Are more likely to pursue creative careers
  •     Are more likely to be extremely intelligent
  •     Reach puberty slightly later than right handers
  •     Mainly use the right side of their brain

And…

There is a special day devoted to celebrating left handedness: August 13.

Now that we’ve dispensed with the interesting facts, you may not be aware how hard it is for left handed golfers to find the perfect set of left handed golf clubs. It used to be so difficult that many lefties who wanted to take up the game used to have to do so right handed. Fortunately, all that has changed, and there are many sources, both online and brick and mortar locations, where left handed golf clubs are plentiful.

All left handed golfers including men, ladies and kids can use the site as a resource to find woods, irons, wedges, putters and all the accessories needed to outfit yourself whenever you want to hit the links. Lefties don’t have to teach themselves to make do in a right handed world; now everything right handers get to enjoy can be enjoyed by lefties as well.

If you are left handed and love to golf, you can find all the information you need about purchasing the perfect set of left handed golf clubs by visiting Left Handed Golf Club.

Phil Byatt is a left handed golfer and a golf instructor. His blogs and articles appear on golf  Web sites and in golfing magazines.