EFS Staff

According to the American Lighting Association (ALA), with each passing year, everyone requires more light to see properly. Terry McGowan, director of engineering for the ALA, says, “Older eyes experience two important changes.”

First, the amount of light required to sustain visual performance increases with age. Research shows that a 60-year-old needs twice as much light as a 30-year-old. Second, with time, human eyes become more sensitive to glare. This can seem like a bit of a Catch-22, as more light can often result in increased glare. That’s what makes the quality of light more important as you grow older. With many baby boomers reaching their mid-60s, homeowners should consider user age as a factor in their home lighting design. It is easy to enhance the visual performance and enjoyment for baby boomers and older folks with a few simple lighting adjustments:

* Turn on one or two table lamps while watching TV to reduce the contrast between the bright screen and the surrounding darkness.

* Use a torchiere for uplighting as well as downward illumination for versatility. Look for a fixture with a separate task light attached or one with a glass bowl at the top to shine some light downward.

* Have a task light that can be directed or pivoted.

In addition to providing sufficient light, proper lighting design is essential to human health. “As people get older, it isn’t just the amount of light, it is also the color of the light and when it is applied, that is key to regulating things such as circadian rhythm and REM sleep cycles,” says McGowan. Growing research indicates that light can impact human health in numerous ways, including susceptibility to Alzheimer’s disease. The question is: What exactly can aging people do to help their eyes and health? The answer, according to McGowan, is to enjoy bright days and dark nights. “If you’re older and don’t sleep very well, expose yourself to bright light, such as daylight, early in the morning … a walk outside will do it … and sleep in a dark room at night. That will do everything required to regulate your circadian rhythm,” says McGowan.

To see fixtures to help improve light quality without increasing glare, visit a local ALA-member retailer or go online to www.americanlightingassoc.com

Article by NewsUSA


Heart Healthy Recipe: Crunchy Fruit and Nut Salad

Looking for a sweet treat that is high in nutrients?

This salad makes a great breakfast, snack or dessert and is a source of iron and an excellent source of vitamin C, which are known to be stress-fighting nutrients.

Ingredients

  • 1 apple (use a crisp variety such as Empire or Spartan)
  • 1 medium orange
  • 1 plum
  • ½ cup (125 mL) seedless green grapes
  • ½ cup (125 mL) strawberries
  • ½ cup (125 mL) blueberries
  • 1 small banana

Topping

  • ¼ cup (50 mL) slivered almonds
  • ¼ cup (50 mL) raisins
  • ¼ cup (50 mL) unsalted pumpkin seeds
  • 2 tbsp (25 mL) sweetened shredded coconut
  • 6 dried apricots, chopped

 

Directions

Wash, peel (if necessary), de-pit or core all fresh fruit. Cut in bite-size pieces and place in a mixing bowl. Mix together.

In a separate bowl, mix together almonds, raisins, pumpkin seeds, shredded coconut and apricots. Spoon over fruit mixture before serving.

Note: You can make this salad up to one day in advance, but add the banana and topping just before serving.

Nutritional Information Per Serving (½ cup) – Calories: 109, Protein: 2 g, Fat: 3 g, Saturated fat: 1 g, Dietary cholesterol : 0, Carbohydrates: 21 g, Dietary Fibre: 3 g, Sodium: 7, Potassium: 29

Recipe developed by Alyssa Rolnick, Registered Dietitian. Reprinted with Permission from The Heart and Stroke Foundation.

 

Seniors Tip: The Gracious Art of Giving and Receiving Help

Seniors cherish their independence. As age sneaks up and slowly erodes some abilities, the natural reaction can be to tighten your defences or learn ways to hide your challenges from those around you.  We don’t want to appear infirm or unable to manage our own lives but these actions can lead to catastrophic results. Falls are a leading factor in injuries to seniors with results being as mild as a few bruises to severe head trauma. The wisdom of accepting or soliciting help is not only advisable; it will also provide comfort and peace of mind to a senior’s loved ones as well. The expression, “Pride goeth before a fall” was coined to describe an arrogant person’s imminent failure because of their boastful attitude but it also seems to accurately describe a person gambling their well being by refusing to accept an offer of assistance.  Graciously accepting a helping hand can bring not only practical rewards that come from taking care of all the household chores and meeting all outside obligations but also can bring meaningful emotional support and a sense of connection and friendship. 

Sensitivity is also important for those offering assistance. If you go in with care and respect, offering suggestions with tact, a senior is much more likely to be comfortable with the assistance. Remember, it’s still their life and they have a right to manage it.

We don’t all do things the same way but as long as there is a reasonably safe and satisfactory end result, everyone will benefit and sleep easier.  Have the courage to assess your abilities and your challenges objectively. Open your heart and mind to those that care about you. If you care, offer specific assistance instead of generalities or consider purchasing time from a home support service that the senior can use at their own discretion.  Also if you are a caregiver, be sure to frequently assess your own health and stress level. Home care giving can be very demanding and caregivers must be assured of adequate respite. Just a few hours of help a week can do immeasurable good. Reach out and ask for help. Think about your own parents and how you worried about them. Wouldn’t you wanted the best quality of life possible for them? We live in a wonderful community, be sure to be engaged and involved with all that it has to offer and you and your loved ones will enjoy a full and worry free life.

Article by Laila Pera, Reprinted due to Request.


Did you know? Feeding Your Joints to Stay on the Move

If you experience joint discomfort, you’re not alone. No matter how active you are, joint problems are one of the most common reasons for doctor’s visits and will affect most of us as we age. Registered Dietitian & Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist Marie Spano says there is a lot you can do to help yourself, beginning with a healthy diet. “What you eat can have a big impact on joint inflammation, cartilage breakdown and bone formation,” says Spano. “There are many foods that not only help, but are also delicious and easy to find.”

At the top of Spano’s joint-friendly grocery list are fatty fish, including salmon, herring and anchovies. They contain the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA, which have anti-inflammatory effects. In cell culture studies, EPA and DHA decrease cartilage breakdown. “Cartilage is like a sponge that cushions your joints, so make sure you’re taking care of it. These fatty acids can also improve symptoms associated with rheumatoid arthritis and possibly decrease the need for anti-inflammatory medications,” says Spano.

Another way to feed your joints is to take a high-quality glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate supplement. Together, these have been shown to limit the activity of enzymes which can break down healthy cartilage. “To help support your joint health, I recommend CosaminDS, which is the most researched glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate supplement on the market.

It contains high-quality ingredients and a specific formulation shown in peer-reviewed studies to be effective for joint health management.” Spano cautions that not all supplements are created equally. “Be an informed consumer. Look for supplements like Cosamin that are backed by clinical research and certified by an independent third-party organization.” Next stop on Spano’s grocery trip is the produce aisle. She recommends oranges, bell peppers, broccoli, strawberries and other foods that are rich in Vitamin C. “Vitamin C is necessary for repairing and maintaining cartilage. In population-based studies, those with higher Vitamin C intake had less severe osteoarthritis and cartilage breakdown.”

A balanced exercise routine also helps by maintaining joint mobility and assisting with weight control. Obesity can lead to a greater risk of joint issues. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, two in three people who are obese may develop symptomatic knee osteoarthritis. Even a loss of one or two pounds may feel more like 10 pounds to your joints.

Article by NewsUSA


Joke or Quote of the Month: Continuance

Memories of our lives, of our works and our deeds will continue in others.”