For most grandparents, it’s not often that you get to see your grandchildren…

Maybe its distance, a generation gap, or lack of common interests that keeps you from connecting with them; but regardless of your circumstance, here are 6 effective ways to connect with your grandchildren and build better relationships.

  • Facebook
    • The great thing about Facebook is that you can see what your grandchildren are up to. It’s a great place to look at pictures, explore their interests, and comment on things they like, or keep up on the events that are happening in their life. You can create a free Facebook account online at http://www.facebook.com, search for your grand kids, and add them as friends!
  • SnapChat
    • SnapChat is an App you can download on your phone that allows you to send and receive pictures from your loved ones. When you click on a SnapChat, the picture shows for a certain amount of seconds, and deletes from your phone. It’s a fun way to connect because it’s like texting, but with pictures.
  • YouTube
    • Sending videos back and forth to one another is a great way to connect with your grandchildren. YouTube allows you to have your own channel. Think as if the computer is a television and you get channel 4 to broadcast your thoughts, opinions and ideas to the world. If you aren’t into creating your own videos then share funny ones with your grand kids that you think that they will laugh at or will enjoy. Get your channel today by signing onto http://www.youtube.com
  • Read books together
    • At first you might think that this option is for grandparents that live close to their grandchildren, but that’s not the case. Due to modern technology you can feel like you are right next to your loved ones. Depending on how old your grandchildren

      Photo by Donnie Ray Jones

      are depends on the types of books you will read with them. When they’re young you can read them children’s books but as they grow older you can begin reading things that they are interesting to them and treat your conversations like a book club.

  • Tell stories
    • Remember how your kids used to get sick of hearing the same stories over and over again? Well now you can tell those same stories to your grand kids and they will feel brand new to them, they might even tell you to tell them the story twice. Another great way of sharing your stories with them is to write them down in a journal or on your computer so that they will always have the stories with them so they can learn about your life and be able to one day tell your stories to their kids and grand kids.
  • Phone call
    • The last suggestion is one of the surest ways of connecting with your grandchildren, give them a phone call. This suggestion has used been used by grandparents for years and years but that’s because it works. Just by taking a few minutes out of your day and calling your grand kids can do wonders for your relationships.

No matter your preference, I hope these ideas inspire new and fun ways to create a better relationship between you and your grandchildren!

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                Cruises have been growing every year since 1990 and some analysts expect the number of cruise passengers to increase by 3 million people over the next four years. The average age of a passenger on a cruise is 50 and older which means that there are several people living life large by taking advantage of what cruises offer. So what do cruises offer that other vacations don’t?

1. Good Value

This is probably the top reason for why people go on cruises. Cruises offer your hotel, food and entertainment all together for a very reasonable price. Not everything however is included for free in a cruise including drink packages and specialty foods other than the

Photo by Vincent Lock

dining room.

Traveling to exotic locations by yourself can be quite demanding on your wallet but travel on a cruise to these locations and you save a bunch of money and still enjoy these exotic locations.

2. Easy to Plan

Cruises are one of the easiest vacations to plan, especially if you live near a port. Cruises are great for large groups or just you and your spouse. No matter how big the group is booking a room on a cruise ship and planning excursions at the various ports is simple and easy to do. Most of it can be done online. If you don’t live near a port then add in your airfare or driving to get to a port into the plan.

3. On-Board Entertainment

Cruise ships offer a wide variety of shows and entertainment including variety shows and ice dancing shows. Most cruise ships even have a big movie screen that plays movies 24 hours a day. Add all that into the many lounges and casinos that the cruise ships have plus most of them have some form of live entertainment at them and cruises definitely offer the most entertainment than other vacations.

Photo by Jeff

4. Fine Dining

Not only is all of your food included in the price of your cruise but you get fine dining included in that price every night. Included in the price of your cruise are two free options for dining, a buffet and the dining room. At the dining room you get a 3-course meal every night. The meals that are usually served are regional cuisine so you get to taste the food from the area that you are cruising.

5. Unpack once

One of the more annoying things on regular vacations is the amount of time that you have to unpack and repack when you travel from place to place. On a cruise you only have to unpack one time in your room on the cruise ship and then travel to a wide variety of exotic locations.

6. Activities for whole family

Many people plan big vacations for their family every year. Whether it is for a big family reunion or you just want to take your family on a vacation if you take them on a cruise there will be something for every member of your family. Most cruise ships have places for your children/grandchildren to go interact with children their age, which gives you the chance to go and relax at the pool or a lounge.

 

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1. Size

Bedrails come in all shapes and sizes and do all types of things. The first thing that you need to identify the type of bedrail that you or your loved one want or need, size is a big determining factor. If you just want help getting to your feet then a product like Stander’s BedCane or Bedside Econorail would do the trick. If you need something to help you stay in bed when you’re sleeping than the best product for you would be a product like Stander’s EZ Adjust Bedrail or 30” Safety Bedrail.

Mobility Bed Rail

2. Entrapment

Another thing that needs to be taken into consideration is entrapment. This is the danger of a person becoming trapped between their bed and the bedrail. Most bedrail manufacturers have taken the necessary precautions to ensure that their bedrails are completely safe. This is still something that you should ask about when buying a bedrail for you or a loved one.

3. Functionality

As discussed previously different bedrails help with different things. The next thing that you should consider before buying a bedrail is ‘what am I or a loved one going to use this for?’ Do you want to travel with it or set it up and leave it on the bed? Do you have a concern that you or a loved one will fall out of the bed or would you need it for just a little extra stabilization as you get out of bed? Whatever you need a bedrail or bed cane for find the best product for you by identifying what you will use the bedrail for.

4. Style

Do you want a product that looks good in your home or does style not a big concern for you? There are several bedrails that look like they belong in a hospital. They come in one color, ‘hospital grey’. They look, feel and remind you of being in a hospital or there are bedrails that look good in the home.

EZ Adjust Bed Rail

Stander makes such bedrails, you will never find a chrome bedrail or any other type of chrome product from them. Living independently means more than just surviving, it means living the life that you want to live. The bedrails at Stander help you do just that.

Whatever you decide however, know that you have other options beside the chrome bedrail.

5. Guarantee

Does your bedrail have a guarantee that comes with it? Is the guarantee that has no questions asked return policy? These are important questions to ask about your bedrail because what if you buy something that you don’t like and can’t return it, well then your investment was  a waste of money.

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Increases Flexibility

Being flexible at any age is important to your health. As we grow older our bodies begin

Photo by Ursula Le Guin

losing the flexibility that we once had. As we lose this flexibility one of the best ways to fight this is to stretch and yoga helps you to do this.

Yoga uses gentle stretching which helps you develop greater flexibility. Greater flexibility can help you to increase and maintain a good range of motion which helps to keep you active and mobile.

Promotes Good Bone Health

Whether you have osteoporosis or a different type of bone condition, yoga has been proven to be effective in preventing and slowing bone density loss.

According to Dr. Loren Fishman, medical director of Manhattan Physical Medicine, yoga has several benefits that we don’t think about. In an interview with the Huffington Post he stated the following regarding a study involving adults with an average age of 68:

“We did a bone mineral density (DEXA) scan, then we taought half of them youga, waited two years, and did another scan. And not only did these people not lose bone, they gained bone. The ones who didn’t do the yoga lost a little bone, as you would expect.”

Keeps your Mind sharp

Another great benefit to yoga is that it keeps your mind sharp. Taking time out of your day to relax and have quiet time helps you to refresh your mind. In our lives we often are extremely busy and performing yoga you are able to quiet your mind.

After yoga and other exercising your body functions well and when that happens you are going to feel better all around.

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Meet Your Needs:

Sometimes as a caregiver you can become preoccupied with what your loved

Photo by Brian Walker

needs that you don’t take timeout for yourself. This is important to do to avoid burnout and extra stress. Think back to the last time you were on an airplane and the flight attendant was demonstrating how to put on the oxygen mask. If you remember correctly they instruct you to put your own oxygen mask on first before helping your neighbor. The same rule applies to caregiving, you can’t help others until you have helped yourself.

Make sure your emotional needs are met. Bottling up anger or resentment is not a healthy way of dealing with your feelings as this will eventually cause a spillover. Reach out to someone in a similar situation or a friend and confide in them how you feel. If you don’t know of anyone like that you can join a caregiver support group to help you find someone to confide in.

Find time to relax and enjoy something that you like doing. Such activities could include listening to soothing music, takin a nap, reading or taking a walk alone. Find time for yourself to unwind and just be you instead of being somebody who is depended upon. This will help you to refresh and begin to focus on your loved one even more dedicatedly.

Ask for help:

Don’t ever think I’m the only one in the world that is having to deal with this. That just isn’t true there are thousands of caregivers in the world and many of them have a similar situation as you do. Never feel too proud or too much of a burden to ask for help.

Friends, family and even neighbors sometimes are willing to help but just haven’t been asked. Even if they can give you a break for an hour every other day or something along those lines you should accept their help. This will give you time to relax and unwind so that you can return to your loved one.

Find out the resources available in your community. There are several places that cater to the elderly. Some resources might include meal delivery service, oxygen delivery service or hourly caregiving services. Look around your community and find what you believe will work best for you and your loved one.

Stay Positive:

This step might be the most important step of them all. Our brains have the capacity to do some amazing thing if we just allow them too. Instead of thinking ‘I can’t’ think ‘I can’ and you will see an amazing change in the stress that is found in your life. Just remember you can do anything for one minute and if you can do anything for one minute you can do anything for an hour and on and on.

Know When To Say No:

You have to remember that you are just one person. As much as you try, you can’t do everything. This step coincides with step two about asking for help. Sometimes for whatever reason you are unable to help your loved one out just let them know that you can’t do that.

Burning out because of caring for a loved one is a real thing, so make sure that you don’t do too much alone. Create a team of family members, friends and neighbors to help when you are unable to care for your loved one.

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Whether you have just assumed responsibility for a loved one that needs some assistance or you have been taking care of them for a while these tips will help you in your quest to keep your loved one independent and living at home for as long as possible.

Redesign Their Living Space

Nobody wants to grow older and saying let’s move the furniture around doesn’t sound as fun as remodel or redesign. The truth of the matter is that when someone gets older the more open space they have the better. This helps to keep the house organized and helps to protect against falls.

Move the furniture up against the wall so that it doesn’t slide on your loved one when they go to sit down. Another great idea is to install some home medical equipment in like the Stander Security Pole & Curve Grab Bar. This product can be placed anywhere in the home including the bathroom. Another product is Stander’s Assist-A-Tray which can be placed on a couch or a recliner and helps a person have something to hold on to when they attempt to stand up.

Photo by British Red Cross

Create Your Caregiving “Dream Team”

Taking care of a loved one alone is difficult in a variety of ways. The emotional needs that are required by caregiving can be overwhelming at times. In the beginning you need to identify other people that can help when you need a break or you have something else going on. These people could be siblings, spouse, neighbors or anyone else that you would trust to help out in case of an emergency.

Identify Caregiving Needs

The first thing that you need to do is to identify what caregiving needs are needed. For each person they may have different needs. The best way to identify to ask them about what things they need help with and how you can support them. If your loved one doesn’t have the humility to say that they need help (and most of us don’t) then attempt to identify the needs from just using your own intuition. Another resource for identifying needs is to visit with their doctor and discuss any health conditions that you need to be aware of.

Assess Community Resources

Another tip is to locate in-home services in your area to help with your loved one. Some services offer different things from delivery meals to oxygen and have a wide variety of services that they offer. If you find that it’s too much to cook every meal or anything else find out what services are provided.

Maintain A Clean And Organized Home

As a person ages they begin to lose balance and mobility. Navigating through the paths

Photo by Poshsurfside.com

between furniture and clutter can be difficult and dangerous. So make sure that the home is clean and organized free of clutter and that you’ve adjusted the furniture so that there are wide open spaces. This is especially important if they have to use a walker to get around the home. This will make it easier for you or them to clean and easier for them to walk about the house.

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Photo by Dana

At first when hearing the term pickleball one might get the impression that the game involves a pickle well that’s not the case. Pickleball actually resembles the game of badminton more than any other lawn game that is out there and here is the best part, the game can be played by anyone young and old.

Pickleball was invented by Joel Pritchard, a member of the U.S. House of Representatives. Pritchard and friends, Bill Bell and Barney McCallum, created the game after finding themselves bored one Saturday afternoon. They fashioned the paddles out of plywood, lowered their badminton net and played with a Wiffle ball.

The name pickleball came from the name of Pritchard’s dog named Pickles.

Over the last few years pickleball has grown in popularity and has several thousand people playing in the United States and internationally. The sport has especially been popular among people that are getting older and want to remain active. You’ll find pickleball courts in almost every retirement community across the United States.

Photo by Dana

Pickleball also has quite a support group for help learning the game as well as finding matches to participate in.

“As the sport of pickleball grows and continues to sweep the nation, we will be here to help you grow with it. Pickleball is the perfect way to exercise,” said Rodney Grubbs, Official Pickleball Ambassador.

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Photo by Michael Coghlan

Time. Our lives revolve around the concept of time. We wake up, go to work or school, come home and all at certain times of the day. We identify time with growing older as well. Every 365 days we have aged another year and when we get to a certain age society classifies us as old. Does that makes us old? Do we allow society to tell us when we are ‘too old’ to do things? Some people do and some people don’t.

According to a study by Deepak Chopra age is all a matter of perception. In her study she took people in their 70’s and gave them physicals. They were then taken to a resort with each other where radios played big band music and the televisions played programming from the 1940’s. They were all told to talk about things that happened when they were young. At the end of the experience they were all given physicals again and on average blood pressures were lower and other vital statistics had improved.

In the news almost every day we hear or see people doing amazing things well into the latter parts of their lives. Here are a few to provide the inspiration to believe that age is just a number.

  • Bess Tancrelle celebrated her 102 year-old birthday while riding on a Harley with her 95 year-old sister. Bess decided to take on a Harley after a conversation with some other people in a nursing home. She said it was something she always wanted to do.
  • Sister Cecilia Gaudette voted for President Eisenhower and after leaving the country came back to the United States in time to vote for President Obama at the age of 106.
  • Nola Ochs decided to go back to college at the age of 65, after 9 years she had obtained her BA. After that it took another 21 years for her to obtain her degree. At the age of 95 she was living with her granddaughter in an apartment on campus and became the oldest college graduate.

These are just a few examples of people not letting age weigh them down. Just because society tells you that you’re getting older doesn’t mean you have to listen to them.  You are only as young as your mind tells you that you are.

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Exercise is an important part of staying independent and mobile as we age. Some couples want to exercise together and others would rather exercise alone. There are many different types of activities and exercises that are both fun and helpful in our pursuits to maintain our mobility. One such activity is ballroom dancing.

Why should I pick up ballroom dancing? That’s a great question and will be the question that we answer during the remainder of this article. There are three big reasons for why a person should begin to ballroom dance later in their life. They are social, health and enjoyment.

The first reason for why you should begin to learn ballroom dancing is for social purposes. As a person ages and retires they find themselves with a lot of time on their hands, time that they used to not have. They want to fill the void but don’t know of activities that they would enjoy doing. The people and friends that they had might either no longer be around or are too busy to participate in the activities that you used to participate in.

Ballroom dancing is a great way to learn something new and meet new people. Many people use this reason alone as a reason to begin ballroom dancing.

Photo by Huron Travel and Tours

The second reason is health reasons. There are several health benefits that come with exercise and specifically ballroom dancing. According to a report by Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City, they studied 469 people over the age of 75 and found that ballroom dancing was associated with a lowered risk of dementia. They found that the ‘mentally challenging aspects of dancing, following complex dance steps, moving in time and staying with the rhythm of music, is believed to be responsible.’

The third reason is enjoyment. As we age and new things become old things and new activities become boring and repetitive, treating your mind and body to something new is both rewarding and fulfilling. Ballroom dance is a good way to keep both your body and you mind active.

“We see the benefits of ballroom dancing in our studios every day, and we see it whenever our students and teachers gather for dance parties and competitions. Dancers are a lively and social group, excited about what they are doing and enjoying each other’s company,” says Thomas D. Murdock, Vice President, Marketing for Arthur Murray International. “They are happy and they are having fun. It’s a winning combination for everyone.”

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Photo by Björn Bechstein


One of the biggest challenges that recently retired people face is what to do with all of the time that they now have on their hands. Some people keep working because of this. After working for the majority of their life it’s hard to see what is going to happen in the next phase of life. If you have recently retired or know someone who has recently retired suggest some of the following activities to help them stay active and busy.

Travel:

One of the first things to consume time for many recently retired people is to begin traveling. Many people make lists of things that they would like to do or places that they would like to visit someday, there is no better time than now to begin crossing those items off of your lists. Some of the most visited places by senior citizens are Las Vegas, Branson and Washington D.C.

Take Up a New Sport:

Exercising is one of the best ways to remain active and for people that want to stay competitive should take up a new sport. Some senior citizens after retirement begin playing golf, swimming or other sports. One of the fastest growing sports among senior citizens is a game called pickleball. Pickleball is a game which combines elements of badminton, tennis and table tennis.

Start a Hobby

Starting a hobby is another way of having fun during your retired years. Hobbies can be a good way of consuming time that the retired find on their hands and learning a new skill that they can become passionate about.

According to therichest.com the most popular hobbies in the United States are fishing, bowling, collecting and biking. Whatever hobby that you choose to do, choose something that you can remain passionate about for a long period of time.

Volunteer

Another good use of the extra time that retirees find themselves with tis to volunteer their time to local charities or organizations. The trick to this is finding something that you are passionate about. Usually a good way of choosing a charity or organization is to think about something that you could do that was similar to work you performed as your career. For instance if you were a teacher and really love to work with kids, you could volunteer for The Boys and Girls Club.

Another good way to find an organization to volunteer for is to use the website volunteermatch.org. Volunteermatch.org will allow you to search for a topic of something that you care about and then allow you to choose from the listings on their websites.

Another option that they give you is the chance to choose local or virtual, meaning you can volunteer in your community or online.

Take a Part-Time Job

This next suggestion might sound a little bit weird because after a person retire the last thing they think about is returning to work even if it’s only part-time. However this is a great way to meet new people and to continue to remain active after retiring. Another benefit is that you will be making money while living on your retirement savings. Here are a few ideas of places where you can go to work.

Grocery Store- Many grocery stores are always looking for employees to help with their customer service.  Bagging groceries may sound like a boring job but you get to meet many new people, both employees and customers.

Golf Course Marshall- Golf courses need employees to help keep the course of play moving on the golf course. Many of these marshalls don’t work for a wage but receive free golf for their time. If you really enjoy golfing then this might be the part-time job for you.

Customer Service- According to bankrate.com, one of the best jobs for a part-time retiree is to work for a customer service company. Many of these companies employ part-time workers and many of them are retired.

Remodel the House

Most people have the list of things that they would like to do to their house. Now is the time to cross those things off of the list. For people that aren’t handy this would be an excellent time to learn a new skill. Another suggestion is to work in the yard or start a garden. Working with your hands provides satisfaction and activity for many retirees.

Spend Time with Family

One of the number one things that women do after they are retired is spend time with their family and mainly their grandkids. A really great way of having fun and staying active would be to volunteer to babysit your grandkids. Not only would this give mom and dad some time to themselves but it would give you time to build those relationships with your grandkids.

Related Articles:

http://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/on-retirement/2011/02/11/25-things-to-do-when-you-retire

http://www.retirement-cafe.com/Fun-Things-to-Do-When-You-Retire.html

http://retirehappy.ca/what-can-you-do-in-retirement-to-have-fun/

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