Pensioner is the topic of the week

Pensioner is the topic of the week

Pensioners are in the news more and more these days.  In last Saturdays Independent there were not one but three articles about the older person and their housing status, their money and their well-being.  

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During the week there was also an article from the independent about those who wished to work past retirement.  Jobs for the over 65’s

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We are getting noticed out there, 638,000 of us are over 65 years of age, 19% increase in last 5 years. We are living longer.  David McWilliams says in the Irish Independent that the ageing population is an uptapped resource.  Ireland is getting old but it doesn’t have to be a problem.  Older people are a huge resource rather than a cost to the nation.  Ageing population, an uptapped resource

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SPRINGTIME

SPRINGTIME

Spring is here, even though some days we would not think it.  But yes, you can feel a change in the air.  It is brighter in the mornings and the days are getting warmer and a little longer.  Flowers are appearing and leaves and plants are starting to grow again. Spring the season of the year between winter and summer, lasting from March to June north of the equator, and from September to December south of the equator.  It is also time for daylight savings and the clocks spring forward this weekend. 

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Spring is a time of rebirth, rejuvenation, renewal, resurrection and regrowth. Over the years there have been many poems written about Spring.  Some come to mind that I learned many years ago in English class at school written by William Blake, William Wordsworth, George Manley Hopkins, Philip Larkin to name but a few.  

One of my favourite poems about Springtime is by William Wordsworth

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed—and gazed—but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

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A song that comes to mind at this time of year is about tulips by Max Bygraves

When its Spring again I’ll bring again
Tulips from Amsterdam
With a heart that’s true I’ll give to you
Tulips from Amsterdam
I can’t wait until the day you fill
These eager arms of mine
Like the windmill keeps on turning
That’s how my heart keeps on yearning
For the day I know we can share these
Tulips from Amsterdam

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Spring is a time of hope, joy, newness.  Lambing season is upon us.  You can hear the birds singing in the trees and they are gathering material to build their nests. Winter is over.  The dark dark days are gone.  Banish those winter blues and put a spring in your  step and enjoy all that nature has to offer for free.  Look forward to something new each day.  Spring time is the land awakening.  Enjoy it.

My Blue Space

My Blue Space

Soon I shall be heading to my Blue Space. It is time to open up the holiday home for a new season.  My Blue Space is in the sunny south-east.  It is a little peace of heaven.  

A Blue Space is known for its good qualities for health and wellbeing.  Health and the visibility of water is known as “Blue Space”.  The sounds of waves alters wave patterns in the brain (according to a number of articles on recent studies) and make you happier and relaxed which in turn helps rejuvenate the mind and body.

Idyllic sandy beach and blue ocean

There are lots of benefits of having a Blue Space.  The sea air is charged with healthy negative ions (the science bit) so you sleep soundly as the ions accelerate the ability to absorb oxygen.  This is so true, I always sleep better when I have had a walk on the beach, especially if it is in the evening time.  Another scientific fact is that when you float in the sea water, the blood from your lower limbs is pumped towards the abdominal region, which is nearer the heart.  This occurs as you are no longer standing upright and this fresh blood brings more oxygen to the brain making you more alert and active.  You get increased levels of serotonin which is a chemical in the body and this attributes to wellbeing and happiness. There is no better feeling than floating in the sea looking up at the sky. Ah Bliss.  I can’t wait for a dip in the ocean.

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If you are blessed with a sunny day in your Blue Space then endorphins are released as the heat of the sun allows the endocrine system secrete these natural chemicals to make you feel relaxed and less stressed. If you suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) then a Blue Space with the benefit of the sun is good for you.  I love that first feeling of the sun on your face when you just have to close your eyes and enjoy the feeling.  Here comes the sun (doo doo doo). Here comes the sun and I say, it’s all right…….by the Beatles. Can you hear it in your head now. 

Enjoy your Blue Space wherever you find it, I know I will.  

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VALENTINES DAY

VALENTINES DAY

On Tuesday 14th February, there will be flowers given, chocolates enjoyed and cards read all over the world in the name of love.  This special day of love is for all ages of lovers. Even if you are 25 years old or 75 years young, you can still enjoy Valentines Day.

Do you remember those days when you first understood what Valentines Day meant, waiting for a card to arrive in the post?  Did you send soppy love poems to your Valentine?  

Roses are Red, Violets are Blue, Kisses are Sweet, And so are You.  heart

You may be with your sweetheart for many years, but Valentines Day is still special. Even though it may be commercialized it is still nice to put one day aside to celebrate with the one you love.  It only takes  a nice word, a homemade card, flowers from the garden, or perhaps  a home cooked meal to insure the one you love knows how you feel.

Maybe you are one who has that special card bought a week or two ago, flowers on order from the florist, a gift bought and wrapped, or a romantic meal booked.  

Whatever you do will be right for you. Maybe just time out together will be all that you need.  As it is falling early in the week, many of you might still have work to go to on Valentines Day.  What will you be doing?

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Butter is butter, Cheese is cheese, Whats a kiss without a squeeze.

Life is good, Life is great, What you say, We make a date.

Love is in the air this week, embrace it and enjoy.  Happy Valentines Day.

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Dollymount Strand, Dublin

Did this walk today. Fresh, a bit cloudy, but what a beautiful sky. Never did get to the other end.

Caroline's Blog

I found this draft from last March (2015). I never got to post it.

Thought I should share it if only a year later and on the last day of March.

It was a bright sunny Sunday morning and we rose fresh and ready for the day. The wind had died down a good bit, so we set off for our Sunday stroll after breakfast.  Some time ago we were down by the PoolBeg lighthouse enjoying a brisk fresh walk along the half-moon walk.  I took some photo’s of Dublin Bay and its surrounding coastline on that day and we could see across the bay to Dollymount Strand. We promised ourselves that day to go for a walk on that beach some day soon.poolbegpoolbeg 2So now we were here (there in the distance in the photos above).

We drove through the city centre out by Fairview and Clontarf along the…

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JANUARY BLUES

JANUARY BLUES

January,  the month of new resolutions, new starts, new promises, new, new, new.

Christmas has come and gone for another year.  All the partying is over. A busy couple of weeks from the 8th December when the city centre is crowded with shoppers to the 6th January when little Christmas is celebrated.   Over the past 6 years, I have celebrated the 6th January with my girlfriends in  recognition of Nollaig na mBna.  This is when the menfolk look after the house and the family so that  the women can have a party among themselves.  The excuse was to use up all the left over pudding and cake and drink.  It was traditionally celebrated in the country more so that in the big smoke.  We thought it was a good idea to start our own Nollaig na mBna in my house and it has been great so far.  There isn’t a better way to start off the month of January than having a group of female friends over for a bite to eat, a drink or two and a good old chat.

The Christmas decorations are put away and the place looks bare.  It takes a while to get used to normality again in the house.  Great plans are made for the weeks and months ahead.  The weather is cold and damp but there is an expectancy in the air.  2017 here we come.  January is a great month to start something new, to give it a go, even if you tried the same thing last January and failed.  I love to see all the walkers out in force, determined to lose those pounds that stuck to them while they enjoyed the festive season.  It is like an army on the move.  The supermarkets are full of people buying healthy options and lots and lots of fruit and veg.  Spirits are high, recipes are swapped and we get through these first few weeks that can sometimes be tough on us.   Those who are lucky enough can escape to sunnier climates for a few weeks to get over the hurdle and into the spring.  The rest of us scan the travel websites, or look through the glossy brochures planning the holiday in the sun in 5 or 6 months time.

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January can be as good as you make it.  Enjoy the newness of it and make it count.

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Nollaig Shona Duit

Nollaig Shona Duit

I wrote this blog two years ago when I first started blogging.  I have edited it slightly and put in some pictures.  I hope you enjoy my story about traditions as Christmas.

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Yes, it’s that time of year.  I love it.  Once December comes the radio starts playing all the old Christmas favorites.  Fairytale in New York, Driving home for Christmas.  Once I hear these songs, it’s official – Christmas has begun.  Just now as I am typing this piece, the tune ‘Walking in the air’ from the ‘Snowman’ has just come on the radio.  That song can send chills down your back.

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Preparations are under way; the ingredients are bought for the pudding and the cake.  There is something nostalgic about mixing the pudding and before putting it into the bowls to steam, THE WISH.  Yes, I can still remember as a kid this tradition and the smell of the pudding mix and the all important WISH.  Three stirs with the wooden spoon and if you were the last to stir, you got to lick the spoon …yum.   And the smell of the ham cooking on Christmas Eve is a lovely comforting smell in a way.  When it is done you just have to have a small taste with a slice of fresh bread.  There is nothing nicer than coming down the stairs as a kid on Christmas morning and the smell of a turkey roasting in the oven. 

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Christmas is all about seeing. smelling, tasting, listening and touch.  All the senses are given a treat this month.  Another memory as a kid was coming back from a visit to the grandparents or a shopping trip in early December and wishing to be the one to spot the first house with the Christmas tree up.  It would be just getting dark and the curtains in the front room ‘the good room’ would still be open to show off the tree all lit up.   

Christmas shopping is started, party season has begun, and the tree will be put up soon.  I enjoy trimming the tree.  I always put on Christmas music and then walk to the local shops to pick out a real tree.  I love the smell of a real Christmas tree in the house.  For years when the kids were small we would all go and carry it back together, now they are making their own memories with their families.  

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My favorite part of Christmas is just before midnight on Christmas Eve, having finished preparations for the big day ahead when I sit down with carols playing softly in the background, only the tree lights are on, a glass of wine, my ham sandwich and the smell of cooking in the air.  If you could bottle this and sell it, the magic of Christmas could be with you whenever you need it.

There has been a change in the Christmas morning traditions over the years as I left the family home and started my own family of three children.  Some of the traditions are consistent such as meeting up with my siblings and their families after Mass at my parents home to exchange gifts, have a few nibbles and wish each other well.  The grandchildren have increased over the years and they all love to throw the gift wrapping paper in a pile in the middle of the room as soon as they receive a gift.  Now there are great-grandchildren enjoying the fun.  The pile gets higher and higher and when all the presents have been given among the family all the kids jump into the paper for a photo.  There have been some great ones over the years, some very young babies lying among Christmas wrapping paper with their cousins.  Before the clean up, there is the Christmas kiss under the tree.  Nanny and Granddad, now Great Nanny and Great Granddad also kissed a long time ago one Christmas morning and this has been the case ever since.  Another photo for the memories.  Everyone goes their own way after that with some of the family staying for dinner with my parents.

turkey

It does not matter who goes to dinner on Christmas day.  We have taken turns over the years; I was the lucky one for a number of years as my children were the first grandchildren, my siblings now take it in turns to join Mam and Dad at their dinner table.  On St. Stephens Day we all, yes all of us again to back to our parent’s house late in the afternoon.  This is considered the highlight of the Christmas by all of the grandchildren.  We all tuck into a great feast on tables that are joined together so nobody is left out.  Stories are told, jokes are shared and then when dessert is finished the grandchildren put on their show.  They have been practicing for the week before and it is lovely to see.  The old sing-song follows after that and we all do a turn.  It gets way past the young children’s bedtime and soon everyone must go to their own homes.

Memories are made at this time of year and even those as young as 6, 7 and 8 are beginning to recognize family traditions at Christmas time.  This Christmas morning will be a quiet one when we wake up as  no one else will be running down the stairs to see what is under the tree for them except just the two of us.  Another stage in life and a new memory and a new tradition will be born no doubt.  This is a special time for family and may there be many many more to come.

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HSE may extend ‘home from home’ for elderly

HSE may extend ‘home from home’ for elderly

I was browsing the internet and came across this article. Very interesting and is already in operation in some towns in Ireland.

By Claire O’Sullivan  of the Irish Examiner Reporter on Monday, November 14, 2016

The expansion of a little- known scheme where families are paid to take in elderly people so they can live their lives in a ‘home away from home’ is being considered by the HSE.

The scheme ‘can be of great benefit to the host family and the older person’, said Mervyn Taylor of Sage.

Under the existing ‘boarding out’ scheme, the HSE pays the homeowner an amount of not more than half the weekly rate of the State pension. In addition, the older person pays an additional sum agreed with the HSE and the house owner.

The scheme operates in Donegal, Mayo, Longford/Westmeath, Louth, and Meath and approximately 50 older people avail of it every year. Last year, up to 15 households took part in the scheme at a cost of €320,000.

The householder must “provide suitable and sufficient care, nutritious and varied food, and adequate attendance, having regard to the needs of the person”.

Under its 2016 service plan, the HSE has set up a working group to review the scheme and make recommendations “on the potential for developing and extending the scheme nationally as an additional option of care services for older people”.

The working group will look at international best practice in the area and look at identifying a best model of care for an expanded service.

Mervyn Taylor, manager of Sage, the support and advocacy service for older people, said the ‘home from home’ scheme offers “choice and flexibility and has very many positives for older people and for families”.

“We need a wider range of options for older people and this is one innovative scheme that already exists and should be nurtured,” said Mr Taylor.

“It’s an option that keeps elderly people who do not have a high level of care needs in the community. Once it has light, but sensitive oversight, it can be of great benefit to the family and the older person.”

The working group will also review the 1993 boarding out regulations, identify the scope to expand the scheme to other Community Health Organisation areas, identify the requirements and costs of an expanded scheme.

It is anticipated that the working group will submit its recommendations to the HSE Head of Operations & Service Improvement Services for Older People before end of the year.

A catch up with DigiNanna

A catch up with DigiNanna

DigiNannaDublin now has a registered domain.  I know that may not mean a lot to everyone, but I am very proud to have committed to this as it is the next step in the development and promotion of the website.  I am also in the process of designing business cards.  That is how serious I am about DigiNannaDublin. 

DigiNanna is in the middle of college assignments and reading week for mid-term.  We had daylight savings on Sunday with the clocks going back.  Over the years whenever it was  possible I would love to leave my clock as normal at this daylight saving time of year and then come mid afternoon change it back an hour.  I always thought it was more beneficial to me psychologically that way.  I know that when you have to be somewhere at a certain time it is not possible to do this, but you should try is one year and see what I mean.  I can’t say the same for Spring daylight saving time as it is always hard to adjust to losing an hour in your day.

There is a change in the air today (1st November) even though the past few days have been sunny.  It is has a very Autumn feel to it. (if you know what I mean).  Over the past few weeks, there have been tons of leaves swirling around the garden.  I love to walk among them feeling them crunch under my feet.  (you big kid, I can hear you say).

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I took a walk at the weekend up the hill to the ‘Hellfire Club’. The views over Dublin are breathtaking and worth the climb.  It was a while since I have walked an incline so, at first I was very slow, but gradually got into my stride weaving round the bends towards the top.  There were families with children of all ages walking up to the top also, one man even had his baby in a backpack carrier thingy for kids. Some energetic walkers took the very steep climb direct up the hill through the forest.  It was exhilarating getting to the top.  I definitely recommend it.

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Yesterday was Halloween and I had the usual treats for callers to the door.  Over the past few years, the number of callers has diminished and more often than not the treats ended up being given to family and friends or eaten by yours truly.  I only got a few treats ready for Halloween  and luckily there was enough for the few callers that came to DigiNanna’s door.  I loved Halloween as a kid and have great memories of trick or treat and party games.  I am reliving all this now through my grandchildren.

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I plan to go for more walks during the week and get some fresh air so that I can recharge my batteries for the next few weeks.  November and December shall be interesting and exciting in college as I complete my course in Digital Marketing. Looking forward to sharing all things of interest to older people and of course, those of you who are not old but follow DigiNannaDublin.

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User Experience – The Drone at the Instameet Dublin 2016.

User Experience – The Drone at the Instameet Dublin 2016.

Caroline's Blog

This is part of my weekly blog on User Experience for my college assignment.

Last Saturday I had the pleasure of partaking in the first INSTAMEET in Europe.  This was hosted by Irish Rail and the ‘JJ Community’ and was a free event.  We all met in Connolly Station  (about 80 of us in total) and having had complimentary  tea and  coffee with pastries to set us up for a couple of hours we set off on our mystery tour with nothing but INSTAGRAM on our minds.

We arrived at our destination within approximately 20 minutes – Skerries, Co. Dublin. This town has just won the overall award of ‘Best Tidy Town in Ireland’.  After initial introductions and allocation to our  individual group leaders   we set off to the windmills and mill house which were in close proximity to the train station.

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One of the organisers had a drone (3DR)…

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FIVE STEPS TO A HEALTHY BRAIN

FIVE STEPS TO A HEALTHY BRAIN

Challenge Your Brainimages

Being smart is more than facts and knowledge, it’s being resourceful and insightful and challenging your brain in different ways. Don’t get stuck in a brain rut, learn something new, you might discover a talent you never thought you had.

EXERCISE
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Exercise helps to form connections between brain cells and it also helps us to de-stress. You don’t have to join a gym or become a marathon runner, 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise five days a week will keep your brain healthy and happy and you’ll also feel great.

Eat a Healthy Diethappy-healthy-body-clipart-1

A healthy diet is really important for a healthy and happy brain. Fruit, vegetables and fish are all great healthy options.

Take Care of Your Heart

Clipart Illustration of a Healthy Red Heart Running Past

What is good for your heart is also good for your brain. On your next visit to your GP get your blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels checked. Maintain a healthy weight, know your BMI and if you smoke, try an give them up.

Stay Socially Connectedgroup-of-friends-hugging-clipart-clipart-panda-free-clipart-images-bzbwel-clipart

Connecting and interacting with people helps to grow new connections in your brain.Meet friends and family for a cup of coffee or other activities you enjoy doing together.

Dementia Ireland

DigiNanna is back in college

DigiNanna is back in college

DigiNanna is back in college to finish her course in Digital Marketing. I will be attending class two nights a week in the National College of Ireland until Christmas but have to work on assignments afterwards until the end of January before I can breath and say I have finished.  I hope to  graduate next November 2017 all going well. This will be my second graduation in 3 years.  I am a very lucky Nanna to have the opportunity to do this.

This semester we are studying two modules which are Social Medial and Public Relations and the other one is Technology and User Experience UX.  I am enjoying both modules and learning new things all the time. 

Time Management and organisation are keys to successful learning.  It just takes a little while to get back into  college mode.  It is now a couple of weeks, so I can safely say I am in the thick of it.  Part of our weekly homework is blogging on what we have learned and what we see all around us in relation to our course.  It as been fun and you can follow my blog about that on my personal page click here    

This is all relatively new to me and blogging is good for the soul.  You too could do this.  WordPress is a great site to get you started – see here for yourself  get started

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I also use Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Instagram. I have tried Snapchat for research purposes for college, but I have not got the hang of it yet.  My adult children are very nimble on Snapchat and have great fun making funny photos to send to me especially of my 3 grandchildren.  They also use it to keep up with their  friends and cousins some of whom live abroad.  Of course, there is the app that is ‘the next best thing since sliced bread’.   WhatsApp.  This is the most used app within my family circle.  My parents who are new to phone apps love this as they can get messages and photos from all the family free of charge. 

Facebook is a great tool for keeping in contact with family and friends especially those overseas or those that you only meet from time to time. You can set up private groups for family/friends and share stories, photos, updates.  I have a few groups, family, school friends, classmates from two different colleagues.  There are also groups for like minded people and its good to see what else is out there.  You are always sure to pick up a tip or two during your browse through Facebook.

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I have been at the computer for a while now and its time to unwind with a soap or two on TV.  I hope that I may have inspired someone to give social media  a go and let me know what you are up to so that DigiNannaDublin can follow you.

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