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

tulips

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.

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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.  

blue ocean

 

 

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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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.

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.

growing-old-gracefully

 

DigiNannaDublin’s First Event

DigiNannaDublin’s First Event

Yesterday Wednesday 28th September 2016 saw DigiNannaDublin host their 1st event.  It was for Positive Ageing Week with Age Action Ireland and was held in Hobart’s Cafe in Ranelagh, Dublin 6.  DigiNanna Dublin chatted with some great characters over coffee and a scone. 

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We met the owners Karen and Deborah who are two very hard-working ladies who are always smiling.  The description on their Twitter page @hobartscafe  is  – We serve traditional breakfast all day and Healthy Lunch specials. In Ranelagh we open 7 days a week from 8-4. Everything is home-cooked, served with a smile! 

Liz from Antica Venezia Restaurant in Ranelagh  joined us for coffee and told us of the history of their restaurant.  The description on their Twitter page @AnticaVeneziaD6  is – Antica Venezia established in 1997 and is still run by its founders. We preserve the tradition of excellence in Italian Food and in service.

A number of regulars called into the cafe for their ‘usual’ but other new customers responded to the Facebook posts and Twitter tweets.  This demonstrated the power of social media exchange and interaction of DigiNannaDublin.  

Saoirse from @elderhomeshare   called in as she was in the area distributing leaflets about Elder Homeshare which is a resource for sourcing & vetting tenants for older home-owners with a room to rent creating positive cross generational living.

We also chatted to Grace who is a breath of fresh air.  She is a retired lady who now works tirelessly at making Ranelagh look beautiful with boxes flowing over with flowers.  She is also involved in the Tidy Towns and was delighted with the work that has been done in Ranelagh.  She is also involved in the local Arts Centre.  

Caroline who is a local artist chatted to us about her work and Drew who also works at the Arts Centre called in for a coffee and a chat.  Paddy and Catherine were reminiscing about how they met 53 years ago in Ranelagh and John told a story about how he came shopping in Ranelagh on the back of his mothers bike.

Positive Ageing week has many events this week in Ireland and hopefully you have or will be able to partake in one in your area.  Even though this week is marked for Positive Ageing every day should be celebrated in this way.  

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