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PROMOTING A HEALTHY & POSITIVE LIFESTYLE April 2014

FOR THE OLDER, BOLDER INDIVIDUAL IN LEINSTER

Hair Care Tips & Hairstyles

Grandparenting: Art of negotation

Charge up your fitness routine

Boost your heart health

A two night Break for 2 at the Sligo Park Hotel with Breakfast


Contents

www.matureliving.ie

April 2014

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22 26 31

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O, it’s a hearty welcome to the sunshine. Temperatures have soared at the start of April and provies more opportunities to get out and about and enjoy what life has to offer. Many seniors will be heading to Galway on Tuesday, 8th April, for ARA’s annual Expo. It promises to be a terrific event and we hope the weather keeps fine for the organisers and guests. Temperatures are also high on the domestic front with so much controversy over telephone recordings, resignations, the upcoming local elections and so much happening on the sporting front. Our advice to all seniors is to go out and exercise your right to vote on this occasion. While it’s not a General Election we should use the occasion to express our views on what’s happening in our country and whether or not we agree with the direction it is going. In our One-on-One for this issue Fair City actor Bryan Murray talks candidly about his career and family life, particularly how difficult it is to maintain relationships in the world of acting. He has also strong views on life, particularly how in times of crises it is those at the bottom of the heap that usually suffer most. In perhaps his most famous role he played the part of Fitz in Strumpet City back in the 1970s which exposed the horrific poverty and deprivation experienced by the ordinary working class people of Dublin at the time of the Lock-Out. The most outstanding thing about Bryan is his genuine love for acting, which has made him such an enduring actor on stage and screen. Mature Living’s Gerry Walsh has just returned from a Uniworld cruise on the Danube and has been completely bowled over by the experience, particularly the relaxing and all-inclusive nature of the package. The attention to detail, the friendliness and efficiency of the crew and staff, the guided tours, the cuisine, the onboard entertainment could only be described as unbelievable. He highly recommends a cruise holiday . . . and the price is very reasonable when one considers what’s included. Read his views on pages 18 and 19. In addition we have an array of interesting articles and features in the March edition. Hair care advice for women over 50 is something which is extremely useful - you can read about it on page 12. On a similar vein you can discover why French women don’t get facelifts on page 27. We offer welcome security advice and some helpful hints for older drivers. On the health and fitness front we take a look at ways to boost your heart health and advice you o introduce a kettle bell into your exercise routine. Many grandparents are kept on their toes by active grandchildren and we discuss the way we can negotiate matters with our grandchildren. Also, don’t miss our Food and Drink section where we provide you with a Taste of Italy. We are also aware that more and more people are seeking copies of Mature Living, so if you are unable to pick up a copy regularly you should consider contacting our subscription department at 071-9154538 or by e-mailing info@matureliving.ie.

Seamus Casey - Editor

LAST MONTH’S COMPETITION WINNERS Congratulations to last months competition winner who won a breakaway to the Maldron Hotel was Mary O Neill, Blessington, Co Wicklow

Editorial: Seamus Casey seamus@matureliving.ie Design: Stephen Finney steve@matureliving.ie Advertising Sales: Lisa Gilmartin lisa@matureliving.ie

News Bryan Murray - Loving acting for almost 45 years Hair Care Tips & Hairstyles Mens Fashion from EJ Menswear Security at home and when out Travel Mobility Solutions Got a Kettlebell? Swing it and Charge up Your Fitness Routine The Bands of our Showband era Grandparenting and the art of negotiation The Secret of Aging with Style & Attitude Food and Drink: A Taste of Italy Competition: Sligo Park Hotel Puzzle Page Gardening with Leonie Cornelius Pets Corner Labels are for Jars Alternative Therapies Astro Agony Company Focus Services Directory

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24 26 27 30 32 33 34 36 38 39 44 45 46

Published by: Benbulben Publishing Limited PO Box 41, Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford Tel/Fax: 053-9270857 Web: www.matureliving.ie • Email: info@matureliving.ie

The information in Mature Living is carefully researched and believed to be accurate, but the publisher cannot accept responsibility for any inaccuracies, errors or omissions. Statements or opinions expressed herein are not necessary those of the editor or publisher. Advertisements within the publication are not endorsed by the publisher. Neither are any claims made within the advertisements. Before consuming any products mentioned in the publication readers are advised to consult with their general practitioner or equivalent professional for opinion or advice.


News

Flora Women's Mini Protecting Older People Against Elder Abuse Marathon 2014 By Anne Dempsey - Head of Communications at Third Age

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o you fancy a 2 day luxurious hotel and spa treatment and at the same time raise funds for Age Action? If so why not consider taking part in this years Women’s Mini Marathon on Monday 2 June. Each year over 40,000 women take part in the event raising

thousands of euro for worthy charities around the country. Age Action are asking you to consider them as your charity of choice for 2014. Places are filling up fast and the closing date to register is Friday 18 April. They will raffle the luxurious weekend for all those who

register. Age action are grateful to The Johnstown House Hotel & Spa, Enfield, Co Meath for the prize Registration for the mini marathon is now open, to register please visit http://www.florawomens minimarathon.ie/

The Pensions Board is renamed the Pensions Authority The name of the Pensions Board is changed with effect from 7 March 2014 to the Pensions Authority. The Pensions Authority retains all of the functions of The Pensions Board. The address and telephone numbers for the organisation remain the same: The website, ISIS and all email addresses will change to incorporate the new name over time, e.g. @pensionsauthority.ie. All existing @pensionsboard.ie email addresses will continue to

be valid. For further information, please contact:

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Email: info@pensionsauthority.ie Tel: (01) 613 1900

very year, Senior Help Line, Ireland’s only telephone listening service specifically dedicated to older people, receives a number of calls from older people who are being abused. Our callers may not use the term elder abuse, and instead may talk about being afraid, or not allowed out, or speak generally about being bullied or insulted. In common with many other hidden situations, elder abuse is only latterly being recognised for the crime it is. Elder abuse has been defined as 'A single or repeated act, or lack of appropriate action, occurring within any relationship, where there is an expectation of trust, which causes harm or distress to an older person, or violates their human and civil rights’. (Protecting our Future, Report of the Working Group on Elder Abuse, September 2002. It is the phrase ‘where there is an expectation of trust’ which differentiates elder abuse from a crime of common assault. When the actions happen in a setting – be it a home or nursing home – where an elderly person can reasonably expect to be protected and cared for, this is elder abuse. Elder abuse is a fact of life in Ireland. A national survey by the National Council for the Protection of Older People, (NCPOP) published in 2010 revealed that up to 10,000 Irish older people are being abused at any one time. Many people are shocked when they hear the extent of abuse, which can run the gamut or a single inappropriate action to a more sustained regime. Elder abuse can be physical, verbal, emotional/psychological, sexual, financial and can include neglect. Physical abuse can include assault, rough handling or restraint. Verbal abuse includes shouting, aggression, insults, while emotional abuse can include general bullying, humiliation,

threats, and denial of freedom and independence. Abuse involving neglect can include lack of basic care, and financial abuse includes stealing from the older person, defrauding or exploiting, and intimidation in financial matters. 2,460 cases of elder abuse were referred to the HSE in 2012, according to figures released in July 2013 - a 7% increase over 2011. Most abuse is perpetrated by family members, with sons and daughters involved in almost half of abuse referral cases, followed by spouses and other relatives. Two-thirds of all abuse victims are female. Elder abuse is a relatively unreported crime, and much of it takes place in secret behind closed doors. Emotional, verbal and financial abuse is the category most commonly reported on Senior Help Line. Given the secrecy that is often involved, taking the first step to talk about elder abuse often involves an act of courage on the part of the caller. Senior Help Line volunteers are trained to take a caller seriously, to listen and support. If the caller is being abused by a family member, often they want the relationship to continue but the abuse to stop. It can be helpful to explore with a caller if there is

anyone they can confide in without compromising their safety. Breaking the circle of silence and secrecy to assess support can be an important first step. Typical potential sources can include other family members, friends, neighbours as well as professional help provided by such people as the public health nurse, Garda The HSE has put in place a number of Elder Abuse Protection Officers around the country. Such personnel will investigate a situation with discretion and try to resolve the situation in the best interests of both the abused person and the wider family. Sometimes a family carer may need support and respite. Situations of elder abuse within a family can be complex and need time to sort and resolve. An older person has the right to care, respect and freedom from reasonable fear. We repeat that breaking the silence and looking for help are an important first step. All calls to Senior Help Line are confidential and we can assure a caller that we will respect their wishes and work with them in a way that is most helpful to them. Senior Help Line is a national programme of Third Age. Senior Help Line LoCall 1850 440 444 open 10am to 10pm every day

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News

Harkin Slams Government on Dundalk Women's Aid

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he decision of the government to reduce funding to the Women’s Aid Centre in Dundalk reflects the

lack of political concern for what is a growing problem affecting women and children throughout Ireland and in

Independent MEP Marian Harkin lobbied in the European Parliament to end roaming charges which was passed by the Parliament on Thursday, April 3rd and has been warmly welcomed by mobile phone users.

the case of the Dundalk Centre the counties of Louth, Cavan & Monaghan. This was stated by Independent MEP Marian Harkin when she slammed the decision which means that the Dundalk Centre will close on Friday, June 27th. “These are difficulty times and hard decisions have to be made in controlling government expenditure but there are areas in which there should be no question of cutbacks hitting such vulnerable citizens as those seeking shelter from domestic violence”, she said. The cutbacks unfortunately reflected Government refusal to recognise the growing problem of domestic violence and if the cutbacks were not reversed it would be an unspeakable betrayal of women in danger of violent treatment and

their children whose exposure to such violence had to leave a lasting mark, Marian Harkin said. “At international level it is incredible that the Irish Government has failed to sign the Council of Europe created Istanbul Convention which is aimed at preventing and combating violence against women”, she said. There was a major challenge here for the women members of the cabinet who should feel shame for their government’s attitude to local services such as Dundalk Women’s Aid and the failure to sign the Istanbul Convention. The Independent MEP urged the government to immediately progress whatever measures are necessary to sign the Istanbul Convention and to seriously re-consider their funding of Womens’ Aid centres.

Home Safe Home Working with the Community for the Community

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athleen O’Brien and Teresa Balfe are two ladies in the Dublin area who for a long number of years have worked on a voluntary basis ensuring that the security needs of older people living in the Community are met by the Community. Both these ladies have been instrumental in installing thousands of Pendant Alarms through the Seniors Alert Grant Scheme, for people over 65 years of age. Kathleen runs a senior citizens group in north

Dublin and has a heart for older people. “Sure I am no spring chicken myself at this stage, but I would like to think that when I need help it will be there for me too. It is I believe the right of all older people to live their life with the dignity and respect they have earned throughout their life. I have seen some very sad cases in my day but thank God I have always been able to call on Home Safe Home. No matter what the need was they were on site immediately to help out.

As a non-profit organisation they have a heart for the older person and for the community group, unlike commercial companies they are not driven by target sales. I would safely say that the installation of the 24 hour Monitored Pendant Alarms installed for our older people have definitely saved lives. Communities have become safer for older people but we must continue to ensure that this remains the case and remain vigilant and

Working with the Community for the Community Grant information available T: 01-4130556 • ercommunitycare@eircom.net

Bawnogue Enterprise Centre, Clondalkin, Dublin 22

Medical Alarms

Smoke Alarms

Carbon Monoxide Detectors Page 6 Mature Living April 2014

Emergency Pendants

prompt in meeting the security needs of older people. Teresa Balfe is also involved in her local area and runs a Neighbourhood Watch group in Dublin 12, “my phone rings on a daily basis for all sorts of requests for older people in need. We do all that we can to help through the Seniors Alert grant scheme but there are times that a vulnerable person may not qualify for a grant due to the Senior Alert Scheme age restriction of 65 years old. This is where Home Safe Home offers an invaluable service to the community as they have their own donation scheme for vulnerable people in need and have offered many units to my group for sick people under the age of 65 who may have severe mobility problems and are therefore quite afraid living alone in case of an emergency. Where now with the press of a button on their pendant they can have help arrive instantly.

THE RIGHT TO EQUALITY DOES NOT CHANGE WITH AGE By Patricia Conboy The right to equality does not change with age but the reality is that older people do face age discrimination and ageism. When, for example, people are forced to leave their jobs at age 65 and to apply for Job Seekers Benefit - as is happening in Ireland since the Transition Pension was abolished in January 2014 – that is age discrimination. When, for example, older people are casually blamed for rising costs in the health service – without analysis of the complex range of factors influencing rising health costs – that is ageism. Age discrimination and ageism are not, of course, confined to Ireland. These are abuses without borders. That is why an International UN Convention on the Rights of Older People would be a very powerful tool in the struggle to create a more age friendly society globally, and in our own country. Though the United Nations has developed specific instruments on the rights of children, of women and of people with disabilities, there is no comparable convention on the rights of older people. In fact there is considerable resistance by many EU governments, including the Irish government, to the development of a specific convention on older people. Their argument is that fundamental rights and freedoms shared by all human beings are already set out in the Universal Declaration on Human Rights and subsequent UN treaties, and there is no need for a dedicated convention on older people. However this argument is not accepted by advocates for age equality. They are supported by experience in other fields where dedicated and legally binding Conventions on the Rights of Women, of Children and of Persons with Disability have been skillfully used by advocacy groups to highlight discrimination and to pressurize national governments to move beyond lip service and to implement specific human rights in practice. A major advance in the debate on a dedicated convention on older people has been the establishment, following a vote by the UN General Assembly in 2010, of an Open-Ended Working Group on Ageing (OEWG). The mandate of the OEWG is to examine the existing international framework on the rights of older people; to identify possible gaps and how best to address them; and to consider and report to the UN on what should go into a new international legal instrument on older persons’ rights. Any Member State of the UN can participate in the OEWG and NGOs can apply for accreditation to participate. Individual Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) can also apply to join the Global Alliance for the Rights of Older People which is leading a collaborative lobby for a Convention on the Rights of Older People at OEWG meetings. You can find out more about the Global Alliance at http://www.rightsofolderpeople.org/ and, for an Irish perspective, read http://humanrights.ie/author/eilionoirflynn/. While OEWG meetings take place in New York, government representatives at the UN take their instructions from their own governments. The Global Alliance has highlighted the role that NGOs can play at the national level by: • Encouraging their government to participate in the work of the OEWG. • Informing Government representatives at home and in New York about discrimination against older people, and identifying issues they want raised at OEWG meetings. • Mobilising older people’s groups to advocate for their rights; • Promoting media coverage of older people’s rights and issues arising; and • getting involved in national delegations to OEWG meetings. While there have been wins in the international campaign for a UN Convention on the Rights of Older People, progress remains slow and uncertain. In the absence of pressure from older people and from NGOs, the Irish Government will certainly drag its heels. Why not play your part by speaking up loudly on the merits of a UN Convention on the Rights of Older People and asking your political and NGO representatives to do the same? Twitter : @PatriciaConboy1 https://www.facebook.com/AgePolicyAnalysis Blog : www.patriciaconboy.com


Marian Harkin MEP

INDEPENDENT

MEP of the Year 2011 and 2012 A strong, eec"ve Independent voice in the European Parliament working for you and your community on many issues including; Wind Energy, Pylons, Family Carers, Disability, Ac"ve Ageing, Adequate and Sustainable Pensions, Independent Living, Employment/Unemployment, Agriculture/Rural Development, Health, Credit Unions, Equality Issues and An"-Discrimina"on. 28 Emmet Place, Union Street, Sligo. Tel 071-9150152 Email: marian@marianharkin.com Website: www.marianharkin.com Facebook: www.facebook.com/MarianHarkin Twi#er: @MarianHarkin


News

Parkinson’s disease - Increasing Understanding

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arkinson’s disease (PD), is the second common chronic neurodegenerative disease, after Alzheimer’s disease. It is progressive and disabling in its development. It affects approximately 9,000 people in Ireland. It is estimated that Parkinson’s disease affects 1-2:1,000 of the general population, affecting more men than women. About Parkinson’s disease: Parkinson’s disease is characterised by the degeneration of dopamine producing neurones in the Basal Ganglia. It is thought at diagnosis, the person with PD will have already lost between 60-80% of their dopamine neurons. Without dopamine people can find that their movements become slower so it takes longer to do things. Dopamine is thought to be responsible for movement, as well as motivation and thinking. The diagnosis of PD is still largely a

clinical one, as there is no blood test or scan to confirm the diagnosis, with the exception of gene testing in a reduced number of cases. There are two aspects to Parkinson’s disease, Motor symptoms and NonMotor symptoms. Motor symptoms slowness, stiffness, tremor and poor balance - are the cardinal features of PD. Only approximately 70% of people with PD will have a tremor. There are many Non-Motor symptoms, which include constipation, depression, and insomnia to name but a few, and are often present for years prior to diagnosis. There is no cure for PD, so treatment is symptom management with medication. It often takes 8-10 weeks after starting treatment to see an improvement of symptoms. While we cannot cure PD, it can be very effectively managed for many years with medication, exercise and a healthy lifestyle.

About the Parkinson’s Association of Ireland: The Parkinson’s Association of Ireland (PAI) established in 1987, provides support for people with Parkinson’s, their families, carers and health care professionals. We operate a free phone helpline 1800 359 359. Other services offered are access to a nurse specialist call back service, as well as an array of free information leaflets. We also hold regular information meeting around Ireland. Our focus at a national level is on increasing awareness and improving education around Parkinson’s, and how to provide appropriate support. Our nurse is currently involved in delivering training programmes to health care professionals in nursing homes across Ireland. At a local level, we have a branch network of 16 branches spread throughout the country, all of which are run by volunteer committees. Each branch provides a focal point firstly as a social engagement but also as a source of exercise and other physical activities to help maintain quality of life. These activities range from set dancing, singing groups, voice training, physiotherapy and Yoga to name but a few. If anyone is interested in finding out more about what goes on in your area please contact the national office. On the 11th April each year we celebrate World Parkinson’s Awareness Day and this year we are planning our second Unity walk to raise awareness for Parkinson’s. All are welcome to join us on that day and for more information see www.parkinsons.ie More information for professionals and patients, is available through our Freephone help line (1800 359 359) or on our website www.parkinsons.ie

5 Steps to a Cleaner House House cleaning is one of those dreaded but unavoidable activities that few of us actually enjoy. Most people, if given the choice, would almost definitely choose a nice dinner out with friends over an evening at home scrubbing the kitchen floor; plus, the prospect of cleaning an entire house can intimidate even professional cleaners! But the benefits of a clean, organized house certainly outweigh the consequences of a messy one—nobody wants bugs, rodents or a home where they can’t find anything they need. Here are 5 simple tips that can make cleaning your home a little less overwhelming and a lot more manageable: 1.Clean by task, not by room. Rather than tackling one room at a time, choose a specific chore such as dusting or vacuuming and do this chore in every room in your house. This allows for more efficiency and

reduces the possibility of letting some rooms fall by the wayside. 2. Clean out your closets. It can be easy to “clean up” by stuffing everything into a closet, but this doesn’t actually get rid of a mess; it just hides it! Purge your closets of anything unnecessary; donate clothes you haven’t worn in ages and make sure you have a trash can nearby to immediately toss items you don’t need. 3. Assign a place for everything. Not having a place for certain items in your home is a major cause of clutter. If you don’t have a specific spot for something, it’s never going to get put away. Assign a place to everything so putting away items is easier. No space? Invest in plastic storage bins that can be hidden under beds and couches. 4. Clean for 15 minutes every day.

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Cleaning up a little bit each day will make those days when you do a deep cleaning so much easier. Every day, take a few minutes to load the dishwasher, pick up loose articles of clothing and clear off clutter from your counters to prevent larger messes from accumulating. 5. Create a schedule and stick to it. It’s hard to convince yourself to clean when your favorite show is on or when you have dozens of errands to run, so incorporate cleaning into your schedule. Devote certain blocks of time to certain cleaning tasks so you’re prepared and ready to clean. Most importantly, stick to any schedule you set for yourself. Incorporate these tips into your regular cleaning schedule and odds are, you’ll start to dread cleaning up less and start to notice a real difference in how your house looks. If you have other house cleaning tips, please share them below!

The Bealtaine Festival - 1st to 31st May 2014

CELEBRATING CREATIVITY AS WE AGE

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he Bealtaine Festival is Ireland’s groundbreaking nationwide celebration of creativity as we age and is an initiative of Age & Opportunity – who are currently celebrating their 25th birthday. The theme of this year’s festival comes from Seamus Heaney’s line, “And catch the heart off guard and blow it open…” In 2014 this unique festival – itself in its 19th year – will feature thousands of events for, by and featuring older people, all across Ireland, throughout the month of May, offering theatre, visual arts, music and more. The Bealtaine Theatre Tour will bring 2013 Dublin Fringe Festival favourite, Small Plastic Wars to venues across the country. This play, about one man’s comic attempt to hide from the recession by building plastic models, got rave reviews when it premiered last year. During Bealtaine Carnation Theatre will also be bringing their production Fuss on the Bus to audiences in care homes, day care centres and community venues. Wandering Methods, a slow craft project centred this year on Dublin Castle, will see older people explore heritage, both personal and national, through craft. Bealtaine will also be curating residences for four older artists in a number of galleries across Ireland. People are currently being asked to submit the title of their favourite poem, for the chance of this being woven in to a new choral project, The Given Note. And Dawn Chorus, now established as a calendar event, will be offering audiences a lyrical treat on the last weekend of the festival, with events across Ireland and in other locations around the globe on Sunday 25th May. Chief Executive of Age & Opportunity, Catherine Rose, says, “At Age & Opportunity we are passionate about optimising ageing and turning the 60-plus period of life into an adventure. Event organisers all over the country are planning a rich and varied arts programme to celebrate being part of Bealtaine. This year the theme for the festival is ‘And catch the heart off guard’, a phrase from Seamus Heaney's poem Postscript. As always, everyone is invited to take part; this is an invitation to be surprised by joy, to astonish yourself, and to find your heart’s desire without looking for it.” To get involved in Bealtaine 2014 or for more information: Web: www.bealtaine.com – for full, up-todate event listings E-mail: Bealtaine.online@ageandopportunity.ie Telephone: +353 (1) 8057734


A FASCINATING GEORGIAN ESTATE TO VISIT

Belvedere House Gardens & Park, Mullingar, Co. Westmeath Location: Opening: Admission: Catoca Fine Food and Giftware: Web:


Feature by Gerry Walsh

Bryan Murray A

CTOR Bryan Murray is best known in recent years for his portrayal of the character Bob Charles in Fair City. But the Dublin-born actor has a long and distinguished career in both stage and television. When he spoke to me last Friday he was taking a mid-day break from shooting scenes for the popular soap opera. However, he had lots of time to talk about his life on

stage and screen and his forthright opinions on many issues in today’s society. Bryan lives in Rathgar, Dublin, with his partner, Una CrawfordO’Brien (Renee in Fair City). He has five children, one boy and four girls (ranging from 30 to 16), from his marriage to Angela Harding which finished in the late 1980s. He was frank and honest when he spoke about the difficulties actors experience in maintaining relationships, primarily due to their nomadic lifestyles. Actors have to follow where the work is, which can be anywhere and this puts a strain on family life. He has lived in England for most of his adult life. He has also lived in the U.S. and has worked in New Zealand and elsewhere. Acting is also an insecure existence. There is no job security, no pension, no

packages, no holidays, except of course when the work runs out. Yet, he loves his work and would not trade it for anything. His day begins at 7.20 when he checks in for make-up and he is on the set at 8.15 a.m. He finishes at 7.30 p.m. He faces each day with a smile, unlike many of his contemporaries who may have much more money than he has, but are unhappy facing into their offices each morning. CUTTING HIS TEETH Bryan always wanted to be an actor, ever since he trod the boards as a nine-year-old in a school production of The Magic Shoes. He attended the Oblate School in Inchicore and recalls how he was inspired by The Beatles and their music at the time. It was a time of change and he received good support from his parents who understood his passion. But there were no schools of acting, nowhere to go for anybody with such ambitions. He trained as an electrician and worked in the

trade for a time, but eventually joined the Abbey in 1970 and it’s there he cut his teeth as an actor. He remained with the Abbey until 1977 during which time he was involved in 50 productions. Afterwards, thanks to fellow actor Cyril Cusack, he joined the National Theatre Company in the UK and made the breakthrough to TV. Strumpet City was his first big role in which he featured with Angela Harding, Cyril Cusack, D avid Kelly, Peter O’Toole and others. He enjoyed it immensely and felt proud to have the opportunity to work with so many distinguished names. The book, published in 1969, was a story about a special time in Irish history – The Lockout. Coming from a working class background he has a special affinity with the tenaments (his mother, Rosaleen, lived in a tenement in Henrietta Street between 1936 and 1940), which still remained years after Strumpet City, until they were finally abolished in the mid-‘70s. Strumpet City (in which Bryan played the role of Fitz) was a watershed as for the first time it reflected the life of the ordinary Irish person in an accessible way. Its dramatisation highlighted the appalling living conditions of

Actors have to follow where the work is, which can be anywhere and this puts a strain on family life.

Dublin’s tenement dwellers, and he is delighted to see that people still talk about it. He feels passionately for those who suffered in the industrial dispute, many of whom were forced by poverty to join Britain in the World War 1 battlefields. He feels there is a similarity between these victims and today’s debt-burdened victims of negative equity. “As always, in tough times, it’s the workers that take the biggest hit”. Bryan was delighted to be involved in the State commemoration of the centenary of the lockout last year when, with his co-star Angela Harding, he read from Strumpet City, the novel, outside the GPO on Saturday, 31st August, exactly one hundred years to the day after Bloody Sunday, 1913. DISTINGUISHED CAREER When I asked Bryan about his favourite role he did not hesitate. He just loves playing the part of Bob Charles in Fair City. He is such a multisided character. He can be grumpy, devious and wicked, yet wonderfully kind, sensitive, funny and vulnerable. He admits he cannot avoid inserting some of his own emotional experiences into roles either. So, as he says: “there is always a part of me in him”.

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Loving acting for almost 45 years

In addition to his favourite role Bryan’s television work also included Flurry Knox in The Irish RM, Shifty in Bread (for which he won BBC TV Personality of the Year), Harry Cassidy in Perfect Scounderels and Brookside’s wife-beating, childabusing Trevor Jordache. He played the role of Lynch in Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. While in London he appeared in many productions in the West End. Just last year he performed at the Gate Theatre in Daphne du Maurier’s My Cousin Rachel, adapted for the stage by Joseph O’Connor.

When he finishes this season of Fair City he will travel to a festival in Charleston, South Carolina for five weeks with the Gate Theatre to perform the play. His other television appearances include The Year of the French, I’m a Dreamer Montreal, Rifleman, Bread or Blood, Final Run, Iris in the Traffic, The Franchise Affair, Gates of Gold, Hard Shoulder, The Trials of Oscar Wilde, Casualty, Holby City, The Bill and Golden Glove nominated series, The Tudors. He has also presented Knock Knock and Umbrella for BBC Television, Saturday Night Live for RTE and

for a number of years his live chat show Encore. Some years ago he appeared in the Charity You’re A Star series on RTE1 where he sang duets with his Fair City co-star (and now partner) Una Crawford-O’Brien. Una would admit in an interview later that though they were good friends at the time the RTE Celebrity show brought them closer together. “I think the terror probably started off something else”, she said. THE LIFE OF BRYAN He admits to being a spiritual person, but is non-judgemental. In the acting world, he says, you need to be spiritual. “You need to have an innate

“You need to have an innate sympathy for good things and bad and be able to accept things just as they are. When you are playing a part you have to get under that person’s skin”.

sympathy for good things and bad and be able to accept things just as they are. When you are playing a part you have to get under that person’s skin”. Bryan certainly looks healthy and thanks God for his good health. He likes a glass of wine and walks at least 40 minutes daily. He did suffer a bit from raised cholesterol, but controls it with medication. Launching the Irish Heart Foundation’s “fats of life” campaign last year he encouraged men to take more responsibility for their health. The benefits of prevention, being health aware and a balanced lifestyle are simply amazing, he said. To relax he likes the theatre and TV and prefers to read nonfiction. He listens to music every day and is still an occasional Late Date presenter on RTE 1. His tastes can range from Vivaldi to the Rolling Stones and he has 15,000 songs on his iPod. He found it difficult to identify a favourite actor, but had great respect for Cyril Cusack who had such an ability to make his characters real. He Una Crawford O'Brien, Jen Dawson (Tullow, Co. Carlow) and Bryan Murray at the launch of the Happy Hearts Appeal in Dublin.

also had good things to say about David Kelly, who he described as talented, witty and entertaining as well as being a real gentleman. He also mentioned Maire Ni Dhomhnaill. But he acknowledged he was so lucky to share the stage with so many wonderful actors in his early years. When I asked him about advice for young people interested in a stage career he was clear and unequivocal. The best thing young people can do is find out in the formative years what they have a passion for and try and establish if they can make a living from it. So, if a person loves the theatre and feel they can survive in that environment they should give it a go. It is difficult to see how a person can go on doing something if they don’t enjoy it. A major part of you is invested in what you do and your good health is also a function of the particular career path you take. In speaking about Ireland he was particularly taken by what Bono said recently about the people of Ireland having to bale us out. We need to get in touch collectively with what we are as Irish people and when we get an opportunity at the next General Election we should choose wisely. We know now that the old ways of doing things are gone and we deserve better than what we’ve got in the past. Career-wise, he is certainly determined to keep going. Pension time for him is every period that he finds himself out of work. He quotes Cyril Cusack in saying that the older he gets the less competition there is for the parts he is suited to. However, it’s hard to think in terms of “old” when speaking with Bryan Murray. Though he has almost 45 years of acting under his belt he still sounds as enthusiastic as when he joined the Abbey Theatre in 1970.

Page 11 Mature Living April 2014


Fashion

Hair Care Tips & Hairstyles Perfect for Women Over 50

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ets face it – as a woman in our fifties we’ve probably tried just about every style, length, highlights, lowlights, maybe even multiple colors – some of us have even rocked purple, blue, or pink like Helen

Mirren. The best look may be a simple cut that works for your face shape and hair type. If you have fine hair you’re most likely not going to be able to pull off a long shag, but maybe you can wear a

shorter Jodie Foster version, or try a sassy little bob to give your hair a fuller, healthier look. If you’ve always worn your hair long, try a medium layered cut like Kate Capshaw to give your hair more movement. One of the problems women in their 50’s and 60’s make is keeping the same hairstyle for decades! That may not be that complimentary but just familiar and comfortable. Be brave, take a chance and try something new like Americas First Lady Michele Obama who based on her various hairstyles has a lot of fun! Just make sure you consult a good hair stylist and don’t make any rash decisions while sitting in the chair – at the hair salon! Over processing can leave your hair unhealthy and cause breakage, so I highly recommend finding and using a great product to treat those tresses on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. Highlighting your hair too often can also lead to over processed lifeless hair! If you’re in the stage of letting your hair rest from processing, it may

be best to get a good blunt cut and use gentle color enhancements versus harsh chemicals and treat your hair with natural products. As we age our hair can thin or just lose its luster. So what can help bring life back to thinning, dull hair? Eating greens, taking supplements, or biotin may help, but you might read the suggestions and tips that models are known to use to help keep their locks luscious during especially grueling fashion weeks. We may not be models, but as women we love looking at hairstyles of celebrities and women with similar hair as our own for ideas, especially on a bad hair day. But do not, I repeat, do not, do anything drastic as a result of one bad hair day! Take your time, consider a style that will work for you based on your personality, the amount of time you’re willing to take to style your hair, and how much time and money you’re willing to spend to maintain a style. Here are a couple of my favorite celebrity’s hair-

styles that may motivate you to schedule an appointment with a professional stylist to help you create that new look! Don’t skimp or go cheap, find the best stylist you can afford – especially if you’re going after a new style versus a trim. If may mean saving your

coffee money for a few weeks, not eating lunches out, or cutting back on your grocery budget by cutting out those unhealthy snack foods – you’ll find it’s a great investment and much better for you than the alternative. And when you look good, you feel better!

10 ways your makeup can make you look younger

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hen it comes to trying to keep ourselves looking younger, our face is obviously Priority #1. While plastic surgery, fillers, Botox and other tools are available to give your face a lift, you don’t always

have to go that route. Just changing the way you apply your makeup can take years off your face. Here are 10 basic beauty tips for how to give your face an immediate lift, without a visit to the doctor’s office. These beauty

Page 12 Mature Living April 2014

tricks are definitely a great way to achieve a more youthful appearance and start the New Year in a new you! 1. Perfect Skin – Add an illuminator to any moisturizer for added skin radiance or buy an illumi-

nating-tinted moisturizer with an SPF to give you that youthful glow. 2. Smooth Skin - Use a pore minimizer to smooth your skin and fill your pores. 3. No Marks – Retouch your brown marks and red veins on your face and chest with a concealer pencil. Choose a shade close to you skin tone. Blend the pencil with your pointer finger and apply your tinted moisturizer. It’s easier than laser and less expensive! 4. Smokey Eye – Give eyes a modern twist. Get the appearance of texture by using metallic eye shadows for a fresh, new look. Add a pop of silver, gold or pewter for an elegant, dramatic eye. Tip: Dilute the shadow by using a wet brush. This will help keep the metallic’ muted and easy to blend. 5. Full Brows – Strong full

brows are back! Fill in with brow powder or pencil to create the illusion of a fuller, thicker, naturallooking brow. Match your brow colour and fill in your brow diagonal to the front of your eye and finish your back brow line out to the side diagonal to the end of your eye. 6. Full Lips – Change your lip color to a lighter shade for an instantly younger, more youthful mouth. Go a little further by adding just a dab of gloss to the middle of both your upper and lower lips. This gives you the look of a fuller lip. If you must line your lips, use a neutral shade and never go over your lip line. 7. Winged Liner – This creates a flirty sexy eye this season. A simple trick to create a winged eye effect is to take any business card and place it on a diagonal from the corner of your eye up and follow

that straight line with the brush. You will create the perfect cat eye. There is nothing like a great eye line to make your face stand out in a crowd! 8. Curl Lashes – As we get older our lashes tend to get straighter and thinner. Use an eyelash curler to make your lashes” curl like a girl” and buy Latisse. It really helps grow your lashes. I apply it every night and it works! 9. Add Volume to Your Lashes – When applying mascara, wiggle the wand as you coat the lashes from root to tip. This will help dispense mascara more evenly and prevent lashes from clumping together. 10. Create a Larger Eye Look – Add mascara to your lower lashes. Use a flat, angled eye shadow brush. Dip in the mascara and start at the roots out. It’s an eye-opener!


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Mens Fashion

Spring Fashion at ej Menswear clothing trade, fabrics get lighter, colours get brighter, and this can be seen very clearly as you walk into a shop that has their new spring summer collection on display. Of course at Ej menswear this is no exception, after having looked at the

by Rodney Munn "She turned to the sunlight, and shook her yellow head, and whispered to her neighbour, winter is dead. A.A. Milne. "If winter comes, can spring be far behind". Shelly. It is of course officially spring, and these two quotes sum up the feelings of many folks, that springtime is a truly welcome and energizing time of year. We all look forward to the evenings stretching and the weather getting warmer and the buds appearing , and the flowers blooming. It is truly a remarkable season full of life, promise, and colour. This is also reflected in the

Page 14 Mature Living April 2014

Autumn winter collection for six months it is an uplifting sight to see the new spring/summer stock arriving. We eagerly anticipate the arrival of each new box and start planning our merchandising, and marketing of our new ranges. In our artice this time we will be

featuring one brand in particular that has a vast fanbase and is the well known GANT USA. Mr Bernard Gantmacher arrived in New York in 1914 an emigrant from the Ukraine. He went straight into the garment district in Manhattan and secured his first job as a collar/sewing specialist in a downtown factory. A few years later he met his future wife, a button and buttonhole specialist who worked for the same company. Their sons Marty, and Elliot along with their cousin started a family business in New Haven as a sub contractor manufacturing shirts. Gant is now a Swiss clothing brand after its American heritage, and has since developed into a global clothing business, with Britain and Ireland accounting for ten percent of its yearly turnover. Here at Ej Menswear we have developed the brand into one of our most successful labels, its a particular favorite with the more mature man. The styles tend to be more classic and their fittings are intended for the fuller shape with sizes from small up to treble extra large. We stock their jackets, knitwear, shirts, polo shirts, jeans, chinos, t shirts,

underwear, belts and their footwear. We have just received some of the range for 2014 and its truly a breath of fresh air. The new range includes some new colours and styles. For instance there has been a lovely persian blue colour added to the chino range and in a cotton jean/style pants a light blue colour along with the regular navy and beige. In the knitwear collection we have a lightweight cotton pullover in a baby blue, and a cerise pink for the more daring individual. Fabrics that are synonymous with spring/summer are of course cotton and linen and this year we have a lovely linen trouser which are cool, and comfortable to wear. Their shirts are fabulous. As originally shirt manufacturers they certainly excel in this area. With some classic Bengal stripes, plain Oxford cloth button down shirts in pale blue and pink. Back after a long abscense from our trade is the cotton sear/sucker in a soft blue and white stripe. So please come in and enjoy the new fresh ambience in Ej Menswear and take a look at our featured brand of the month/Gant menswear. ...See you soon!!


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Employment

Security

Security in the home Most burglars are opportunists and they will look for unlocked doors or opened windows to get in. You can reduce the risk of burglary and make yourself feel safer by taking these steps: Always lock outside doors and close the windows when you go out, even if only for a short time Draw the curtains in the evening Don’t give keys to people you do not know well, such as workmen Change the locks if you think somebody else might have another copy of your keys Do not leave keys in obvious places such as under a flower pot or doormat or hanging inside the letterbox Look through the ‘spy hole’ and put the door chain on before you open the door Only take the chain off and admit the caller if you are sure about their identity and purpose of their visit Do not keep the chain on all the time; it will prevent someone with a door key entering - for example a home help or the emergency services Keep your garden tools and ladders locked away If you think you have been broken into, do not go inside as the burglar might still be inside - call the police. Keeping your doors and windows secure It is best to get locks and bolts fitted by a qualified locksmith. Contact your local garda station and ask to speak to a Crime Prevention Officer for advice on security. Burglar alarms Visible burglar alarms will deter opportunist burglars and increase the security of your home.

Safety outside the home Out walking Attacks on people by strangers in public places are rare and violent crime accounts for a small part of all recorded crime. You can reduce the risk of attack further: Stick to well-lit, busy roads, avoid underpasses; if you can, avoid walking alone, especially in an unfamiliar area Walk facing oncoming traffic so a car cannot pull up behind you unnoticed Buy a personal attack alarm and carry it in your hand while you are out walking at night Carry a mobile telephone Keep your bag close to you and don’t keep everything in it; for example put your keys in trousers/skirt pocket and mobile in your jacket pocket Don’t carry large sums of money; cover up expensive looking jewellery If someone tries to snatch your bag it might be best to let them have it instead of risking injuries If you think someone is following you, check by crossing the street more than once to make sure if you are right; if you are still worried get to the nearest place where there are other people and call the guards Public transport Wait in a busy and well-lit area Sit near other people or close to the driver or conductor If somebody makes you feel uncomfortable change places Taxi Check that the taxi that arrives is the one you ordered - if you gave your name to the company, check that the driver knows it before you get in Sit behind the driver; if you feel uneasy ask the driver to stop in a busy place that you know of and get out

Page 14 Mature Living April 2014

Many of us are anxious about crime. While it's important to be cautious, research shows the people over 60 are less likely to be attacked or robbed than any other age group.

Driving Make sure you have enough petrol Plan your route in advance and tell somebody where you are going Park in well lit busy areas Don’t leave anything on display, lock any items in the boot While driving keep valuables out of sight Do not give lifts to or accept lifts from strangers If you break down on a motorway, follow the arrows to the nearest phone and do not cross the carriageway. Don’t wait in the car - there is a high risk of accident. Scams Scams can take a variety of forms such as unsolicited prize draws, lotteries or windfalls, pyramid schemes, clairvoyant scams and emails and text messages linked to a premium rate telephone line. To protect yourself from scams: Read letters, brochures, emails and text messages carefully and seek professional help if it involves a lot of money or time Make sure you know who you are dealing with, check independent sources to verify any claims made by a sales person, investments adviser or advertisement Make sure you understand all the terms and conditions of any offer made to you, ask for an explanation of anything you don’t understand Don’t provide any financial or other personal details before you are sure that the company is legitimate Deal with companies you know and trust Don’t call premium rate telephone lines - they can cost €1.50 a minute or more and you may lose €15 for every call you make If you think you have been the victim of a scam, or if you suspect a scam, call Citizens Advice for advice. Identity Theft

In identity theft criminals use your personal information to carry out fraud on your bank accounts or to use your name in another fraudulent way. To keep your bank account safe: Be cautious of anyone seeking too much personal information; ask why they need them Never disclose your PIN to anyone - your bank would not contact you to ask for your PIN, password or other security information in full Shred or cut to little pieces anything containing personal information such as documents, cards, receipts, unwanted applications for bank accounts, credit cards or loans etc before putting them in the bin Check your statements regularly and contact your bank immediately if you do not recognize the transactions If you are expecting a statement, new card or cheque book by post and it does not arrive, contact your bank immediately Keep your passwords and PIN numbers safe, don’t write them down Avoid using your mother’s maiden name as a security password - it can be easily discovered Don’t use the same password for more than one account

Be careful when you use your cards and don’t let anyone see your PIN number If you move house contact your bank and all other organisations to give them the new address (the Post Office can redirect post on request) Use a computer that you know is secure - which means one with up to date antivirus software, and firewall installed; be wary of making a transaction using internet cafes or public computers What to do if you are a victim of a crime Report the incident to the gardai Try to recall as much as possible about the event and details of the people involved; take the name and address of any witnesses If a car was involved, try to note its details such as colour, make, and registration number List any missing items Contact your insurance company Change your locks if your keys have been taken; check if your insurance will cover this cost If your cards have been stolen, call your bank or credit card company as soon as possible, the number will be on your statement


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Travel by Gerry Walsh

Enchanted on The Danube

MATURE LIVING’S Gerry Walsh recently enjoyed a Uniworld river cruise on the Danube and was blown away with the experience

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HEN given the enviable opportunity to take a week-long cruise on the Danube I was unsure what to expect as it was my first time to experience a cruise of any nature. As it transpired, the week from 23rd to 30th March will remain forever embedded in my memory. Sure, I visited beautiful cities like Budapest, Vienna, Salzberg and Passau and some beautiful towns and villages on the Danube basin; I enjoyed guided tours in those historic cities and enjoyed many culinary delights; I trekked on the hills over Passau and had a bike ride from Durnstein to Lintz, moving parallel with the luxury cruise ship as it navigated the scenic river route. But it was the quality of service and hospitality provided by Uniworld staff aboard its cruise ship, River Beatrice, that completely bowled me over. This service started as soon as we arrived at the boat. In their promotional literature they call it the “Six Star Experience”, and it is something that has to be

experienced to be believed. We were escorted to our staterooms, given time to relax, before sitting down to a sumptuous dinner. I have no hesitation in saying we were treated like royalty; the commitment and friendliness of staff was infectious, so much so that it rubbed off on all guests on board, who collectively became one big family of over one hundred over the eight days. The river cruise experience includes return airport transfers, seven nights in a riverview stateroom, all meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks), Captain’s Farewell Gala dinner and a fine dining experience, and unlimited onboard drinks including wine, beer, cocktails, minerals, tea and coffee. There is a full programme of daily excursions, evening onboard entertainment, signature lecture and free internet and Wi-fi. It is the all-inclusive nature of the project that fascinated me. We could eat and drink as much as we needed and there was somebody always at hand to cater for our needs. The level of organisation and security was first-class. Tour buses always departed and returned on time. Extreme care was taken to ensure everybody was on board.

Page 18 Mature Living April 2012


On one occasion when I narrowly missed a bus organised to take our group to an exclusive concert in Vienna given by members of the renowned Philharmonic Orchestra, a special taxi was organised and three people were delegated to meet me at the theatre to make sure I made it to my seat. Our itinerary included Uniworld’s Epicurian Adventurer Program, which casts the spotlight on regions’ wines and cuisine. Here it included: • Private organic wine-tasting in the beautiful Wachau Valley • Saffron workshop with Wachau saffron grower • Luscious Austrian dessertmaking demonstration • Special food and wine-tasting dinner. With every meal on board guests were treated to a rich

selection of complimentary craft and local beers, spirits and distinctive wines chosen by acclaimed sommeliers. RELAXING I can now understand how and why these boutique river cruises are perfectly planned to create the ultimate, stress-free luxury river cruise experience. The innovative on-shore programs also provide options for guests to personalise their Uniworld boutique river cruise with “Choice is Yours”, “Go Active” and “Gentle Walking” options. The River Beatrice could only be described as exquisite, a work of art and as inspiring as the destinations it visits. The same can be said of all Uniworld’s ships which are maintained in immaculate condition.

PRICES: The Enchanting Danube allinclusive 8-day luxury river cruise prices start from €2,499 pp and has to be considered excellent value for all that’s included. SPECIAL OFFER: Uniworld are now offering a new itinerary Bordeaux, Vineyards and Chateau for only €1,799 per person and flights can be arranged to match. To learn more about these offers call Uniworld on 017753804, log onto Uniworld.ie or visit your local travel agent.

LEADER: Uniworld Boutique River Cruises is the leader in luxury river cruising and the only authentic boutique cruise line, featuring luxurious boutique ships with an average capacity of 130 guests, including shore excursions fully hosted by local experts, worldclass gourmet cuisine and award-winning personalised hospitality. They offer over 500 departures sailing on over 13 rivers in more than 20 countries throughout Europe, Russia, China, Vietnam and Cambodia. In Ireland they won Best Specialist Cruise Company at the 2014 Irish Travel Industry Awards. They also won Best River Cruise Company at the Travel Media Awards, 2014. Uniworld is just one of over 25 award-winning brands owned by The Travel Corporation, a highly successful international travel group. In addition to the

boutique river cruise ships these brands include luxury hotels, niche tour operators and other leisure interests. They serve over 1.5 million customers per year and are dedicated to providing them with excellent service, value and quality in every one of their businesses. They operate in 60 countries, on five continents with over 35 offices and more than 4,000 team members. In Ireland they offer four individual and unique brands under one roof. These range from luxury escorted tours, young and lively trips for people aged 18-35, and ultra-luxury river cruises to 5-star boutique hotels. Certainly, if the Danube experience is anything to go by The Travel Corporation and its brands must be on top of the market in providing an enriching travel experience to customers across the globe.

Uniworld’s cruise ship River Beatrice anchored at Budapest last week before undertaking the Danube cruise.

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Senior Care

How to choose between home health care and a nursing home

Caring for someone can be time-consuming and exhausting—for you and your bank account. Family and friends can step in to assist, of course, but there may come a point when your loved one needs professional care. Here are some basic options to consider. Home sweet home Despite the expense, most people try to do what they can to stay at home before placement in a facility. The good news is that many people don't need 24-hour care, at least not right

away. Someone with a chronic condition like heart disease, for instance, might only need help with specific tasks, like meal preparation or bathing. To find an in-home aide, ask others who have used

one or consult a geriatric care manager. It might cost more to employ an aide through an agency, but if any sort of problem arises, the agency will furnish a replacement quickly. That beats spending stressful

days trying to find aides and conducting background checks. Nursing home A nursing home is a last resort for most people, who often end up there

after a hospital stay or severe illness. For example, a heart attack might put someone into a rehab facility and leave him too ill to return home. Or a person's health might deteriorate to the point where so much care is needed at home that it's no longer financially feasible. "If you need a lot of care, and you don't have family who can help, a nursing home is the most practical choice. When you choose a nursing home, look for the signs of a good facility. Don't take the staff's word for how great things are. Talk to residents and their families. The staff should willingly put you in touch with some contacts. This is one of the best ways to evaluate any facility. Evaluate with your nose. If it doesn't smell good, follow your nose elsewhere. After visiting a few, you will be able to tell the difference. Sample some meals. When you become old and sick a lot of your life revolves around meals so make

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sure the food is good. Meals also are an excellent opportunity to observe the nature of the interactions between the staff and residents. Find out the staff-to-resident ratio. Pay attention to detail. You can tell a lot about a facility and the attentiveness of its staff by looking for small signs. Is the piano tuned? Is the air conditioner humming well? If the staff is taking care of small details, they're also taking care of big ones. Get a recommendation from the pros. Your local caring for the elderly is a good resource and will know about nursing homes and are often very familiar with private nursing homes. They do a lot of due diligence on them and over the years develop a sense of what makes a good nursing home and what doesn't. Ask to see the results of the home's latest inspection. Remember, even after choosing a facility, your loved one will only get the best care if you make yourself visible and stay involved.

rom our first Stairlift in 2004 to becoming one of Irelands leading and most reliable supplier of domestic and commercial supplier of Stairlifts, platform lifts and pool hoists, ABBEY MOBILITY have come a long way in 10 years. Working nationwide from our Cork office and with a willingness to travel anywhere, anytime, distance or time is not a problem. With world class leading suppliers of Stairlifts, platform lifts, pool and ceiling hoists and manufacturer trained and certified engineers we can guarantee a professional, reliable service and a quality product as this is paramount to us as our reputation has been built on trust and reliability Because we keep Stairlifts in stock at all times we can have your straight Stairlift installed within 2 working days, however should you have a turn in your stairs it does take a little longer to manufacturer as it is bespoke to your particular stairs (approx 3 weeks) but can sometimes be as little as 2 working weeks. Because of the speed of installation (approx 3 hours) and the the fact that the Stairlift is fixed to the step and not the wall there is minimal disruption or mess during installation and the only electrical requirement is a socket to plug it in to. With dedicated and knowledgeable staff and an eagerness to succeed we will continue to be a leading company that can provide a reliable service complete with 24/7 maintenance and breakdown cover. Call ABBEY MOBILITY on 021 4614221/086 8343533 or e mail us at tim@abbeymobility.com

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Fitness

Got a Kettlebell? Swing it and Charge up Your Fitness Routine sure you have plenty of space wherever you are using kettlebells since some of the exercises require swinging in a large range of motion and using seemingly exaggerated, explosive movements. And stop before you are at your limit and never drop or let go of the kettlebell! For people over 50 joint issues can be a problem when using kettlebells since many women in this age group are dealing with overuse injuries and arthritis in their joints. In addition, some may have weak forearms, weak grip or small hands which can make it difficult to hold the kettlebell. When starting out it is important to practice the movement with a light to moderate weight first to gain confidence in the range of motion, and to learn to stabilize the legs and core while working with the momentum. Once this is mastered the weight can be increased to an amount where at least 8 repetitions can be completed with good form. Be mindful of injuries because they can happen; the most common are wrist, shoulder and back strains as well as getting banged up by hitting yourself with the kettlebell.

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or all who are disciplined about sticking to your regular exercise – maybe you even love working out and are devoted to your gym: Are you ‘doing’ kettlebells? You’ve surely seen those metal, bowling ball-looking things with thick handles and flat bottoms that sometimes come in various colours depending on their weight. Regardless of how much you work out and how fit you think you are – if you’ve never experienced an hour-long kettlebell session, prepare to be humbled. Kettlebells may look pretty harmless, but once you pick them up and get some professional instruction on how to properly swing them (and there is a proper way; the wrong swing can cause injury and be counterproductive) you will be surprised at how challenging and effective a

kettlebell work out truly is. For sure, kettlebell workouts can be rigorous any age, but there are particular considerations that people over 50 should be aware of, especially for those who are just starting out. But don’t let whatever you may have heard about kettlebells intimidate you. Using them is a great way to build strength and endurance in the legs, core, lower back and shoulders. Perhaps the most important first step is to make sure you get an expert’s instruction on how to handle and swing a kettlebell. There are specific technique, alignment and weight considerations that need to be explained and demonstrated before attempting the multijoint/range, compound muscle group movements that are used in kettlebells training. Make

Page 22 Mature Living April 2014

It can take several sessions to master the correct kettlebell swing so don’t get discouraged. And when you ‘get it,’ you’ll know. Even if you have a hard time mastering the proper swing there are other kettlebell exercises that are effective for strength training and core work such as push ups (put one hand on a kettle bell instead of the ground to do your push up, and alternate sides) and crunches (put both hands on either side

of the kettlebell and lift it as you raise up in a crunch; then slowly come down with control of the kettlebell). So give kettlebells a try if you haven’t already. With some focus and practice you will no doubt find that adding kettlebell training to your workout can be a fun and challenging way to build strength, power and endurance and “feel like you are training with the “Big Boys!”


Fitness

5 Things You Should Know About Stretching and Mobility

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ne of the greatest debates in athletic history has to be whether or not stretching is beneficial. I remember when I was in school the latest and greatest technique was bouncing into the stretch, it was part of, not done before the warm up, and feeling the burn was a good thing. So what are the leaders in the field now saying about stretching? Here are 5 essential things you should know about stretching and mobility based on current understanding. 1 Stretching? Stretching or more accurately, static stretching, aimed to increase the length of muscle/s in the area or joint that you provide force into. The understanding was that if you stretched before and after workouts you would prevent and even eliminate injuries, muscle soreness and improve performance. Research in these areas has been conflicted in its findings. And after decades of people stretching and injuries still

being a common occurrence,the question was asked if there was a better way? Enter ‘mobility’ which is proving to be the answer to preventing injuries and unlocking the potential of human movement and performance. So tip number 1 – stop stretching and switch your thinking to mobility. 2.Mobility? Mobility in this context refers to how well the body performs to its functional capacity. Bad mobility and you will be underperforming and prone to injuries. On the flip side having good mobility will mean smooth efficient movement and lower risks of injury. So how do we achieve good mobility? If the intention is to prepare the body for movement and increase the functional capacity of a certain area of the body then mobility applies in two main areas. The i) warm up and ii) maintenance, out-ofworkout sessions to help achieve the bodies full performance capacity. Opting for mobility prep over

stretching is the key to hacking the body’s mechanics. Therefore, instead of static stretching a “movement-based integrated full-body approach, which addresses all the elements that limit movement and performance.” The mobility warm up concept focuses on dynamic activities that are similar to the movements that you will be performing in the upcoming session. If you are you about to perform an Olympic lifting session, go running or surfing then bodyweight exercises that mimic these movements will get your heart rate, muscles and joints ready for the activity. Additional to this, Mobility maintenance work focuses on increasing the functional capacity of a joint for the desired movement pattern. For example, if your ankles are stiff and do not function well then squatting with correct technique will be all but impossible. Mobility maintenance work will improve this and accordingly your athletic performance. Some dedicated time and energy needs to beinvested usually outside of workouts, but even 5min a day will get you some results.A variety of tools and aids can be used to help with mobility work, we will discuss these below.

muscles and joints on the other hand can be more effective when using a couple of different tools for mobility maintenance techniques. Two lacrosse (or hard tennis balls) taped together, a thick resistance band and foam roller or 10cm diameter PVC pipe is all you need to get started. Using these tools you can roll out, massage anduse traction to start to free up sore, tight and knotted up muscles. When muscles are not in their optimal condition they work against the others around them which provide unnecessary friction and resistance to efficient and effective movement. The product of the mobility maintenance sessions are muscles that function unimpeded and to their true capacity. 4. Make it activity specific Living busy lives means that many of us are time poor and why it is really important to be time and activity focussed in your mobility development. With unlimited time we could focus on every joint of the body and become the ultimate mobility guru. But there has to be a cost benefit approach to your time you put into the areas that will provide the greatest return. Now being generally strong and mobile in all areas of the body is a good thing. For example runners still need to make sure that their core and upper body don’t crumble when the pressure is on. So a holistic approach needs to factor into your mobility program however,

in the runner example a focus on the mid and lower areas of the body would be recommended. So take a look at the primary movement patterns in your chosen sport or activity, and do some research to learn mobility exercises that will improve your performance. 5.Assess and Incorporate into your Daily routine The beauty of this type of mobility work is that results are immediate. Lets take an example of the squat movement in the gym. Test your range of motion prior to doing any mobility maintenance work, then highlight an area you feel might be limiting you – calves, quads or glutes for example. Using some of the tools mentioned above roll, traction or work these areas. Re-test the squat and you will find yourself in a much better position and performing the movement better that before. Mobility should be regularly performed as part your overall health and fitness regime. Maintenance is as important if not more important than the session you are about to do. Through continued practice you will learn a lot about your body and how to tune it to perform at its full capacity. Take Away Just 10 minutes a day of mobility maintenance work and switching out your stretching for dynamic, functional warm up routines will help you perform at your best and injury free. Enjoy!

3.Get the Gear Going through a range of dynamic and functional movements as a warm up protocol can be performed with body weight only; and let’s not forget making them fun. You don’t need a gym or any fancy equipment so get creative and come up with a mix that will suit your needs. Increasing the mobility of

Page 23 Mature Living April 2014


Memories

T

The Bands of our Showband Era

Article and Photos courtesy of Gerry Gallagher www.irish-showbands.com

here were hundreds of them. Irish bands of every size, description and musical genre travelling the roads and borheens of Ireland. They travelled the length and breadth of the country from the 1950's through the mid 1980's. Although "officially" the term showband was coined in the late fifties and was used to describe bands that played a wide variety of music and usually included a "show" during the night, the term was gradually applied to all the bands that played in the 1960's. As the

Irish music scene splintered in the late sixties into pop, country bands, the term was dropped but we still find it the best overall description of the bands of the "ballroom" era. In the early days, they travelled in whatever they could find...bread vans, hearses, and even cars (roof racks and all). In later years, many (if not most) of them travelled in converted Ford Transit vans (like the one pictured right) that were normally used for delivery services. After a couple of windows were popped into the centre panels, a

Mighty Avons (1961-1974) W hen the names of the "greatest" or "most popular" showbands are listed, you probably won't see The Mighty Avons named among the likes of the the Miami, Dixies, Royal and Clipper Carlton. However, a feature in the March 15, 1969 issue of Spotlight announced that the "Avons are Nine Years Together Without A Change." Formed at the very start of the showband era, the Mighty Avons, if nothing else, were consistent. To last nearly a decade without a single lineup a change was a major feat in the heady days of showband transitions which saw many of the major bands splintering as the pop vs. country battle raged in the late 60's. The band first went on the road as the St. Bridget's Ceili Band, but we are unsure of who was in that original lineup. When they became the Mighty Avons, the original lineup included: Larry Cunningham (vocals), Brian Finlay (drums), Ronnie Griffiths (keyboards/guitar), Gerry Walsh

Mighty Avons in 1969

Page 24 Mature Living April 2014

(bass), Mick Brady (guitar) and brothers Jimmy (trombone), Peter (sax) and Paddy (trumpet) Smith. Larry had previously been with the Grafton Showband from Gowna around 1960. Although the article talked about the longevity of the outfit, 18 months later Larry Cunningham would leave the band. In it's early years, the band was a typical showband playing "all things to all people," but as the split between country and pop bands become the norm in the late sixties, the band chose the "country and Irish" route as Larry was one of the all time best selling artists in this unique genre. Larry Cunningham was the star of the band from its inception until his departure in late 1969. The band enjoyed a lot of success with Larry, but he announced his last gig would be on August 31, 1969. Despite rumours that he was leaving the band to get married, Larry explained in a quote in Spotlight that it was "purely a

row or two of old airplane seats were installed and the band was ready to travel "in style." Although style was a matter of opinion...if you're stuck in the back of a van on a cold and rainy winter's night, it may seem like "a long way to Tipperary," but it's even further to Castletownbere, Co. Cork! It will be impossible to list all the bands that played the dance halls, ballrooms, marquees, parochial halls, community centres, hotels, and town halls across Ireland but each month we are

personal decision for the sake of my health and my business." As he left the band, Larry released a single from his own Ramblin Irishman LP, The Ballad of James Connolly and went on a short tour of England as a "special guest" with the Plainsmen (both artists were managed by Mick Clerkin) before returning to Ireland to form his own band, The Blue Boys, which soon added "country" to their name. In September, the Avons announced 24 year old Gene Stuart would take over as the band's new lead singer and his first appearance with them was in Tullamore on Friday, September 19th, 1969. Gene had previously been with the Regents Showband. In August, 1972 the band announced that Gene Stuart would be leaving the band for an extended rest as he was "run down, and tired." According to Spotlight magazine, it turned out, in the end, he was treated for TB. In his place the band tapped 26 year old Derry man, Brian

planning to feature a band from the west with the help of Gerry Gallagher and www.irish-showbands.com . Apart from a few who enjoy near mythical status (such as the Royal Showband and a handful of others), most bands came together, played for a few years and then either reinvented themselves, changed their name, or just disappeared, their members either returning to civilian life, or scattering to two or three new bands. For such a small country, it is difficult to comprehend the sheer

All editorial and photographs are kindly supplied by Gerry Gallagher from www.irish-shownbands.com Over the years Gerry has built up what can only be describe as the definitive guide to the showband era. I would like to thank Gerry for allowing us to reproduce the articles and photos in Mature Living. If you would like to know more about your favourite band or who was number one in a particular year visit www.irish-showbands.com number of bands that the country produced. Almost as hard to imagine, is the number of dance halls that once dotted the countryside, many out in the "middle of nowhere." Pick up next months issue for another blast from the blast from the showband era...

Top singles - 1967

1. Johnny Kelly & Capitol Showband Black Velvet Band (Pye) 2. Danny Doyle - Whiskey On A Sunday (Tribune) 3. Johnny McEvoy - The Boston Burglar (Pye) 4. Pat Lynch & Airchords - The Irish Solider (Pye) 5. Dubliners - Seven Drunken Nights (major Minor) 6. Frankie McBride - Five Little Fingers (Emerald) 7. Pat Lynch & Airchords - Treat Me Daughter Kindly (pye) 8. Des Kelly & Capitol Showband - The Streets of Baltimore (pye) 9. Dubliners - Black Velvet Band (Major Minor) 10. Joe Dolan & Drifters - House With the Whitewashed Gable (Pye) 11. Joe Dolan & Drifters - Tar and Cement (pye) 12. Big Tom & Mainliners - Old Log Cabin For Sale (Emerald) 13. Sean Dunphy & Hoedowners - If I Could Choose (Pye) 14. Danny Doyle - Step It Out Mary (Tribune) 15. Dermot Hegarty - Shors of Amerikay (King) 16. Sweeney's Men - Old Maid In A Garret (pye) 17. Larry Cunningham & Mighty Avons - Fool's Paradise (King) 18. Dubliners - All For Me Grog (Major Minor) 19. Strangers - Look Out (Pye) 20. Big Tom & Mainliners - Gentle Mother (Emerald) 21. Tony & Graduates - Crystal Chandeliers (pye) 22. Broadsiders - Shores of Amerikay (Pye) 23. Danny Doyle - Irish Soldier Laddie (Tribune) 24. Dickie Rock & Miami - When You Cry (Pye) 25. Larry Cunningham & Mighty Avons - Three Steps To the Phone (King) 26. Gregory & Cadets - Land of Gingerbread (Pye) 27. Johnny McEvoy - Funny Man (Pye) 28. Ludlows - Enniskillen Dragoons (Pye) 29. Johnstons - The Curragh of Kildare (Pye) 30. Brendan Bowyer & Royal Showband - The Holy City (King)

Harkin, who would later front the Plainsmen after the departure of Dermot Hegarty. A couple of months later, by November, three more members of the band were gone, Paddy and brother Peter Smith left the band to join the ranks of management, while Ronnie Griffiths left to form his own band, American Pie, which would debut on Christmas Night, 1972 in Claremorris, Co. Mayo. By 1974, Larry Cunningham, Ronnie Griffiths, and Gene Stuart had come and gone. In the October 3rd, 1974 issue of Spotlight, Pascal Mooney reported on a series of changes in the band. Martin Geraghty, guitar player with the band for two years, was the featured singer on the band's newest single. Gene Stuart, Gerry Walsh (bass), John McCaffrey (keyboards), and Brian McCormick (trumpet) left to form the Homesteaders. To fill the void, the Avons drafted Brendan Quinn and Hugh McLean. In October, 1974, Brian Finlay also left the band to concentrate on business interests. The new Homesteaders were due to hit the road at Christmas. Gene Stuart and the Mighty Avons in 1971

Page 25 Mature Living April 2014


Memories

T

The Bands of our Showband Era

Article and Photos courtesy of Gerry Gallagher www.irish-showbands.com

here were hundreds of them. Irish bands of every size, description and musical genre travelling the roads and borheens of Ireland. They travelled the length and breadth of the country from the 1950's through the mid 1980's. Although "officially" the term showband was coined in the late fifties and was used to describe bands that played a wide variety of music and usually included a "show" during the night, the term was gradually applied to all the bands that played in the 1960's. As the

Irish music scene splintered in the late sixties into pop, country bands, the term was dropped but we still find it the best overall description of the bands of the "ballroom" era. In the early days, they travelled in whatever they could find...bread vans, hearses, and even cars (roof racks and all). In later years, many (if not most) of them travelled in converted Ford Transit vans (like the one pictured right) that were normally used for delivery services. After a couple of windows were popped into the centre panels, a

Mighty Avons (1961-1974) W hen the names of the "greatest" or "most popular" showbands are listed, you probably won't see The Mighty Avons named among the likes of the the Miami, Dixies, Royal and Clipper Carlton. However, a feature in the March 15, 1969 issue of Spotlight announced that the "Avons are Nine Years Together Without A Change." Formed at the very start of the showband era, the Mighty Avons, if nothing else, were consistent. To last nearly a decade without a single lineup a change was a major feat in the heady days of showband transitions which saw many of the major bands splintering as the pop vs. country battle raged in the late 60's. The band first went on the road as the St. Bridget's Ceili Band, but we are unsure of who was in that original lineup. When they became the Mighty Avons, the original lineup included: Larry Cunningham (vocals), Brian Finlay (drums), Ronnie Griffiths (keyboards/guitar), Gerry Walsh

Mighty Avons in 1969

Page 24 Mature Living April 2014

(bass), Mick Brady (guitar) and brothers Jimmy (trombone), Peter (sax) and Paddy (trumpet) Smith. Larry had previously been with the Grafton Showband from Gowna around 1960. Although the article talked about the longevity of the outfit, 18 months later Larry Cunningham would leave the band. In it's early years, the band was a typical showband playing "all things to all people," but as the split between country and pop bands become the norm in the late sixties, the band chose the "country and Irish" route as Larry was one of the all time best selling artists in this unique genre. Larry Cunningham was the star of the band from its inception until his departure in late 1969. The band enjoyed a lot of success with Larry, but he announced his last gig would be on August 31, 1969. Despite rumours that he was leaving the band to get married, Larry explained in a quote in Spotlight that it was "purely a

row or two of old airplane seats were installed and the band was ready to travel "in style." Although style was a matter of opinion...if you're stuck in the back of a van on a cold and rainy winter's night, it may seem like "a long way to Tipperary," but it's even further to Castletownbere, Co. Cork! It will be impossible to list all the bands that played the dance halls, ballrooms, marquees, parochial halls, community centres, hotels, and town halls across Ireland but each month we are

personal decision for the sake of my health and my business." As he left the band, Larry released a single from his own Ramblin Irishman LP, The Ballad of James Connolly and went on a short tour of England as a "special guest" with the Plainsmen (both artists were managed by Mick Clerkin) before returning to Ireland to form his own band, The Blue Boys, which soon added "country" to their name. In September, the Avons announced 24 year old Gene Stuart would take over as the band's new lead singer and his first appearance with them was in Tullamore on Friday, September 19th, 1969. Gene had previously been with the Regents Showband. In August, 1972 the band announced that Gene Stuart would be leaving the band for an extended rest as he was "run down, and tired." According to Spotlight magazine, it turned out, in the end, he was treated for TB. In his place the band tapped 26 year old Derry man, Brian

planning to feature a band from the west with the help of Gerry Gallagher and www.irish-showbands.com . Apart from a few who enjoy near mythical status (such as the Royal Showband and a handful of others), most bands came together, played for a few years and then either reinvented themselves, changed their name, or just disappeared, their members either returning to civilian life, or scattering to two or three new bands. For such a small country, it is difficult to comprehend the sheer

All editorial and photographs are kindly supplied by Gerry Gallagher from www.irish-shownbands.com Over the years Gerry has built up what can only be describe as the definitive guide to the showband era. I would like to thank Gerry for allowing us to reproduce the articles and photos in Mature Living. If you would like to know more about your favourite band or who was number one in a particular year visit www.irish-showbands.com number of bands that the country produced. Almost as hard to imagine, is the number of dance halls that once dotted the countryside, many out in the "middle of nowhere." Pick up next months issue for another blast from the blast from the showband era...

Top singles - 1967

1. Johnny Kelly & Capitol Showband Black Velvet Band (Pye) 2. Danny Doyle - Whiskey On A Sunday (Tribune) 3. Johnny McEvoy - The Boston Burglar (Pye) 4. Pat Lynch & Airchords - The Irish Solider (Pye) 5. Dubliners - Seven Drunken Nights (major Minor) 6. Frankie McBride - Five Little Fingers (Emerald) 7. Pat Lynch & Airchords - Treat Me Daughter Kindly (pye) 8. Des Kelly & Capitol Showband - The Streets of Baltimore (pye) 9. Dubliners - Black Velvet Band (Major Minor) 10. Joe Dolan & Drifters - House With the Whitewashed Gable (Pye) 11. Joe Dolan & Drifters - Tar and Cement (pye) 12. Big Tom & Mainliners - Old Log Cabin For Sale (Emerald) 13. Sean Dunphy & Hoedowners - If I Could Choose (Pye) 14. Danny Doyle - Step It Out Mary (Tribune) 15. Dermot Hegarty - Shors of Amerikay (King) 16. Sweeney's Men - Old Maid In A Garret (pye) 17. Larry Cunningham & Mighty Avons - Fool's Paradise (King) 18. Dubliners - All For Me Grog (Major Minor) 19. Strangers - Look Out (Pye) 20. Big Tom & Mainliners - Gentle Mother (Emerald) 21. Tony & Graduates - Crystal Chandeliers (pye) 22. Broadsiders - Shores of Amerikay (Pye) 23. Danny Doyle - Irish Soldier Laddie (Tribune) 24. Dickie Rock & Miami - When You Cry (Pye) 25. Larry Cunningham & Mighty Avons - Three Steps To the Phone (King) 26. Gregory & Cadets - Land of Gingerbread (Pye) 27. Johnny McEvoy - Funny Man (Pye) 28. Ludlows - Enniskillen Dragoons (Pye) 29. Johnstons - The Curragh of Kildare (Pye) 30. Brendan Bowyer & Royal Showband - The Holy City (King)

Harkin, who would later front the Plainsmen after the departure of Dermot Hegarty. A couple of months later, by November, three more members of the band were gone, Paddy and brother Peter Smith left the band to join the ranks of management, while Ronnie Griffiths left to form his own band, American Pie, which would debut on Christmas Night, 1972 in Claremorris, Co. Mayo. By 1974, Larry Cunningham, Ronnie Griffiths, and Gene Stuart had come and gone. In the October 3rd, 1974 issue of Spotlight, Pascal Mooney reported on a series of changes in the band. Martin Geraghty, guitar player with the band for two years, was the featured singer on the band's newest single. Gene Stuart, Gerry Walsh (bass), John McCaffrey (keyboards), and Brian McCormick (trumpet) left to form the Homesteaders. To fill the void, the Avons drafted Brendan Quinn and Hugh McLean. In October, 1974, Brian Finlay also left the band to concentrate on business interests. The new Homesteaders were due to hit the road at Christmas. Gene Stuart and the Mighty Avons in 1971

Page 25 Mature Living April 2014


Grandparenting

Grandparenting and the art of negotiation

Taken for granted ‘We’re a bit overwhelmed by our amount of involvement. Our daughter-in-law has taken to dropping off our granddaughter whenever she’s meeting friends for lunch. She doesn’t even phone to check if it’s convenient.’ No one likes being taken for granted. Try to tackle this diplomatically before it erodes your relationship with your daughter-in-law and possibly even your son and granddaughter. Explain that casual drop-offs aren’t in your granddaughter's best interests. What if you’re busy and can’t give her your full attention, or if you happen to be out when they descend on your doorstep? Your daughter-in-law would be faced with one very disappointed little girl. It’s reasonable to expect that these visits are prearranged for times that suit all of you.

B

eing the kind of grandparent that fits what you, your children and your grandchildren want, involves compromise concession and conciliation on all sides. Becoming a grandparent can offer the best of both worlds – all the love and fun, without the ultimate responsibility of raising the kids. Yet it can also trigger a minefield of emotions. First all, you can’t choose precisely when you’ll become one. This is an almighty life change, which confers on you a new status and role in your family. Here are some of the more common issues that sometimes arise when you become a grandparent for the first time. Everyone's situation is different, but if things get a little tricky, maybe this will help. Do we offer advice? ‘We’re involved with our grandchildren but would like to do more. Our daughter and sonin-law have a six-month-old baby. We love spending time with them but whenever we

offer advice, it’s rebuffed. What can we do?’ It’s understandable that you’re keen to pitch in, but new mums and dads are bombarded with advice – from friends, from fellow novice parents, health visitors, even strangers in the park. It can be overwhelming. Plus, unfairly or otherwise, your daughter and son-in-law may feel that times have moved on and that your suggestions are out of date. The best thing to do is to make sure they know you're on hand, so if they do start to feel overwhelmed, they know they have somewhere to turn. Should we move closer? ‘Recently, we suggested moving nearer to our son and his partner so we could see more of our grandchildren. So far, their reaction had been decidedly lukewarm.’ If there’s been physical distance between you for some time, this is probably due to a fear of change. They could be worrying that, having arrived in a new town and being far away from your friends, you’ll fill your time by constantly

Page 26 Mature Living April 2014

dropping in uninvited. An honest chat really can allay their fears. Make it clear that you would continue to lead your own lives, respect their boundaries (for instance, that you’d always phone before popping round) and simply wish to enjoy your grandchildren while they are still, well, children. Hopefully, your son and his partner will realise what an asset you could be to his young family. Divorce is causing a problem ‘Our son and his wife divorced last year. He has limited access to his children and we have virtually none. What can we do?’ This is unquestionably a tough situation. Sadly, grandparents don’t have an automatic right to apply for contact and taking a legal route can be stressful and costly. The first port of call should be your son who, hopefully, will want – and try – to ensure that you remain an important part of the children’s lives. Could you see them during part of his access times or offer to babysit? Whether their mother is amenable to

you visiting occasionally depends on your relationship with her. In an ideal scenario, she will understand that the relationship between children and their grandparents is special and that they have lots to gain from spending time with you. If it’s too difficult at present, keep in touch by sending letters and photos or by chatting to them online. Too many is too much for us 'We enjoy seeing our grandchildren, but not necessarily all at once. Having one of our grandchildren to stay at a time is fine, but sometimes we’re asked to have all three at once, which is just too much of a handful.’ Naturally, you dont want anyone to assume that favouritism is at play. A quiet word might be all that’s needed to explain that three little ones are rather a lot for you to manage. Try suggesting that, with just one child to stay at a time, you’re able to give them undivided attention as well as a breather from their brothers or sisters, and what could possibly please a child more than that?

Worried about the holiday ‘Our son has asked us to go on holiday with his family. We imagine they’ll expect lots of babysitting but we need a break too!’ Your son and his partner are likely to be desperate for a breather – so yes, you’ll probably find youself babysitting for the odd evening. But, before you step on that plane, make it clear that you’re looking forward to having time out as well. If you’re staying in a hotel, there may be babysitting services, so all of you can enjoy an evening or two out together. Nervous around newborns ‘Our son and his girlfriend have just had a baby boy. While we are more than happy to help with chores, we’re not so sure about holding and handling a tiny newborn.’ When several decades have elapsed since you raised your own babies, it’s natural to feel nervous around a small wriggling bundle. But remember that babies are pretty robust – the more you pick him up for cuddles and songs, the more relaxed he’ll be in your arms and you’ll all start to feel less anxious. Happiness is infectious! Don’t feel pressured to cradle him for hours – little and often works best. You’ll soon find it’s more rewarding than doing the cleaning.


By Michelle Guiliano

French Women don’t get facelifts: The Secret of Aging with Style & Attitude

W

e are what we eat, and in the aging phase of 40 and up it is one of the most important aspects for aging with style and attitude and feeding our body what is best in the “less is more” and “quality over quantity” mode. The Waltz through the Decades One of women’s biggest delusions seems to be that we can keep eating throughout our lives the way we did when we were young. The truth is a simple but nonnegotiable no, we can’t. I know that I cannot eat or drink the way I could in my twenties and thirties, though sometimes my head forgets that. For most of us, fifty is the age where we reassess how we live and eat, but it is even better to

take measures to change our eating and exercise habits early on—small and intelligent ones that still allow for plenty of pleasures. We know and learn to juggle a few self-management issues. Women in their forties should prepare themselves for menopause and the changes in metabolism the second half of their lives will bring. Here’s my wining-and-dining log: In my forties, I reduced meat consumption to no more than twice a week, and as a result increased my consumption of fish, which has become more widely available as fresh, nonfrozen. I appreciate that not everyone has easy access to fresh fish, but I always have had fish stores or fishmongers at hand in

France and America, and I see them increasingly available wherever my travels take me. And while I was always a big fruit and vegetable consumer, with the advent of more farmers’ markets in America, I was able to increase my intake of locally grown seasonal fruits and vegetables. I used to joke in my professional days as a writer that it was a tough job, but someone had to drink all that champagne. In my forties, however, I could no longer tolerate champagne or other wines with both lunch and dinner, so I picked my battle: lunch was better, but more often than not my evening guests were more important, so I waited till dinner to drink, but watched carefully my intake, doing the

old trick, which is to pretend to drink but merely sip…so when the restaurant staff comes around your glass is still too full for a refill. This is a good and easy technique, as your guests or hosts will most likely not notice. I have practiced the technique successfully hundreds of times. For some women in their forties, cutting out alcohol all together around menopause is in order and comes with no effort simply because drinking makes them feel ill. By my fifties, I appreciated that I could no longer tolerate wine well at all, and gone were the days when I could share a bottle of wine with my husband or a friend over happy hour and dinner. Reduce became the key word. Three glasses on some days became two or one, and I had wine at only one meal (again, I entertained in restaurants for business reasons in those days, so was always obliged to have a glass of champagne. I cut back sharply at that time, and today don’t have any wine obligations at all. On the contrary, wine is not a writer’s friend). At home, my husband and I adopted the “half bottle with dinner” rule. We’d open a bottle, decant half of it into a half bottle, cork it, and set it aside for another night. Sharing a half bottle with our dinner seemed the right and healthy amount. And wine in moderation, as we have come to know, is healthy and anti-aging. But I practice consuming wine only when I am consuming food. My food intake in my fifties remained balanced, though with my travel experiences and greater availability in markets, I added to the variety of what I ate. Embracing new foods and dishes is fun. However, the big change was in my attention to portion control. I had to watch my offenders: bread and dessert. There was a time when I could

enjoy these in abundance…but not in my fifties. The food and wine challenge is at its hardest when we are out with friends, or at holidays, or when we are on vacation. At times, during holidays or prolonged visits from relatives or friends, I’d notice the differences and how mixing white and red wine, for example, was no longer a good option for me. On the rare occasion when a fancy meal meant that possible combination, I’d just pick one and felt much better. And, for the first time in my life, I learned to split a dessert! One for two. The sixties are more telling and less forgiving, I have found. We just don’t need to eat the way our developed and commercial world seemingly wants us to, and we all know that most of us eat 10 to 30 percent more than what we need anyway. My portions are now smaller, and at restaurants I’ve learned to say “No dessert” without a pang of regret. Sometimes I order two appetizers rather than a large main course. I can live without drinking wine for a week or more with no problem, particularly if I am alone or with someone who does not drink either. Perhaps the most noticeable change since I “retired” from working life and deadline responsibilities, and have much more control of my time and meals, is that I eat more vegetables than ever. I can live on steamed vegetables. Last week, I had lunch in with a friend, age eighty. Single, a breast cancer survivor, she is, as always, slim and energetic, and something of a role model. She literally eats like a bird, that is, if birds liked soup. Every day she takes an hour-long walk (it helps to live in beautiful Sligo). Whenever I see her, I feel like I am taking a refresher course on healthy habits for those of advanced years.

What’s more upsetting, your children moving out or moving back in? You work hard to raise good kids who will be able to make it on their own once they arrive in the real world. And although it can be a heart breaking day when they finally leave the nest, it’s also a moment to feel proud and look forward to the next stage in your time as a parent. You get to see your kids forge careers and become independent adults; maybe one day you’ll even have grandchildren to enjoy. So it can be a bit of an unexpected surprise when one or more of your kids returns home

long term. But the fact is this is happening more and more. And it’s not because we’re not preparing them for the world or because they aren’t capable and ambitious. Ireland has reached a record high for numbers of 20-40 year olds who are having to return home because rents are so high, and deposits for properties so difficult to save for, that they can’t support themselves or save enough money while living away from the family home. If your child is having trouble raising funds for a mortgage,

there are a number of joint mortgage options out there that can enable you to help them out. Of course, this is not always possible, so it can be upsetting for a parent to see their children unable to access the opportunities that were available when they were younger. Many young people grew up in family homes that their parents were able to buy decades ago, and which have subsequently doubled or tripled in value. Meanwhile the next generation is struggling to get onto the first rung of the

ladder in a housing market, job market and economy that makes it impossible for some people to save at all. How do you feel about your children moving back home A leading bank recently ran a survey to see whether parents find it more upsetting when kids move out or when they move back home to save for their futures. The survey found that about 40% find the moving out stage much harder, whereas only about 27% think it is more

upsetting to have kids move back in. This may suggest that parents are very aware of the reasons why their children may need to return home for further support, and it’s not seen as a failure of any kind but rather a necessity in the current economic climate. So if your kids had to move home to save up enough money to one day buy their own home would it be hard for you? Would you feel like your own independence was compromised? Or would you be glad to have them back for a while?

Page 27 Mature Living April 2014


Breakaways ...With so much to choose from, what better way to spend a day or so than at the beautiful Royal Marine Hotel…

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short drive along the South East coast will bring you to Dun Laoghaire, where overlooking the bay you will find the Royal Marine Hotel. Steeped in history, and a favorite with the locals, this landmark hotel is an impressive sight on the Dun Laoghaire skyline. A hotel has stood here since 1828. Many celebrities, and even royalty have passed through its doors over the decades. In 2004 this magnificent old building closed for restoration, a painstaking labour of love by the present owners. Situated in an elevated site on 4 acres overlooking Dublin Bay, the hotel has stunning views that on a clear day stretch as far away as Howth; and yet is still only a short journey from down-town Dublin. The original hotel has been extensively but sympathetically renovated with precise attention to detail.

Discover the Mount Falcon Estate, Ballina

And it is just this same attention to detail, we extend to you as our guest – whether overnight or simply joining us for a drink in our bar or dining in our restaurant. The large bay windows and high ceilings of the Bay Lounge highlight the grandeur and historic feel that is central to the hotel style. Lavishly furnished it is a comfortable and ideal venue to meet friends and family for coffee, lunch or perhaps to enjoy the age-old tradition of afternoon tea whilst overlooking the gardens, with spectacular views of the harbour. Our resident pianist completes the ambience every Saturday afternoon. Or perhaps dine in relaxed style in our Dún Bistro where the delights of the Restaurant are matched only by the professional friendly service and stunning views over the harbour. Serving an Early Bird Menu, Table d’hote

and a la Carte Menus. Try out lively Hardy’s Bar for a local drink (named after the famous actors and world famous partners Laurel & Hardy who stayed in the original Royal Marine Hotel). Food served every day until 10pm. Live music every Saturday night. The Pier Health Club offers state-of-the-art cardio and resistance equipment, free weight area and a luxury 18 metre swimming pool. We are proud to offer our members a spacious, relaxed and welcoming environment in which to exercise. Or simply retreat into the hushed tranquillity of the sansanaSpa (the only Failté Ireland ‘comprehensive’ spa in Dublin) and choose pampering delights from our extensive treatment menu. With so much to choose from, what better way to spend a day or so than at the beautifully restored Royal Marine Hotel…

Golden Years at Mount Falcon Estate €199 pp

3 nights Bed & Breakfast with 1 Bistro Dinner €25 Spa Credit (valid towards any 1 Hour Message or Facial) Complimentary use of the Estate Golf Driving Range Complimentary use of our leisure centre with 17m heated pool 100 acres of Estate woodlands, walks & river Moy Connaughts Best Restaurant 2013 (RAI)

T

he fascinating history of one of Irelands finest surviving Anglo Irish grand houses awaits visitors to Mount Falcon Estate outside Ballina in County Mayo. After exploring 100 acres of mature forest and walkways, discover the archaeological remains of a 4,500 year old court tomb. A quick stroll around our 3 acre lake with resident ducks and then a few lengths in the 17 m indoor heated swimming pool, relax in our sauna, Jacuzzi and steam room and build up an appetite for traditional afternoon tea; served in opulent lounges in front of roaring open fires. Mount Falcon……something for everyone.

Transfers to local Bus & Train Station on request 10% discount at Foxford Wollen Mills Mayo on our Door Step

MOUNT FALCON, FOXFORD ROAD, BALLINA, CO. MAYO TEL: 096-74472 • FAX: 096-74473 EMAIL: EVENTS@MOUNTFALCON.COM • WEB: WWW.MOUNTFALCON.COM

Active Breaks at The Villa Rose Boutique Hotel and V-Spa 50+ Active Breaks April 13th – 16th . April 27th – 30th 2B&B+2 Dinners €119pp 3B&B+3 Dinners €159pp 4B&B+4Dinners €199pp Includes Tea & Scones on arrival with Activities & Entertainment all week Dancing for Pleasure Breaks May 5th – 8th . May 11th-14th. June 8th – 11th Inclusive €239pp 4 Nights B&B+4Dinners, Tuition & Dancing to Live Bands Nightly Anytime Golden Years Break Sunday – Thursday 3B&B+2Dinner €139pp No single Supplement on any of the above subject to availability

4 Star, Family Owned, Town Centre hotel

Reservations: 074-9132266 reservations@villarose.net • www.villarose.ie

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he Villa Rose Hotel is a 4 Star, family owned, boutique spa hotel located in the town centre of Ballybofey, Co Donegal. Situated between Letterkenny & Donegal Town it is an ideal base from which to experience all that Donegal and the North West of Ireland have to offer. The hotel comprises 57 beautifully appointed bedrooms, contemporary in design with the emphasis on absolute comfort acting as a home away from home. All bedrooms are ensuite and include safe, tea/coffee making facilities, complimentary bottled water, plasma screen tv & complimentary wi-fi. Avail of free parking and complimentary newspapers each morning. Facilities include Fara’s Restaurant & Wine Bar for a delicious meal in modern and elegant surroundings, The Forge Bar with live light entertainment, The ‘Wee’ Bar serving lunch, bar food & specialty coffees overlooking Ballybofey’s bustling main street & The V Spa for pampering & relaxation. The Villa Rose offer a wide range of holidays for the 50+ market including Ballroom & Sequence Dancing and 50+ Active Breaks including a range of

optional entertainment & activities to partake in during your stay. Whether you are looking for a relaxing break away or for an exciting trip with the possibility of meeting like minded friends then the Villa Rose is the destination for you. Contact Leona McGee – dedicated 50+ Events Marketing Coordinator at the Villa Rose for full details


Breakaways

Enjoy the beautiful views of the untouched countryside of Mayo

Join us here at Knock House Hotel and enjoy the beautiful views of the untouched countryside of County Mayo. It is a haven of peace and the perfect setting for a relaxing break. Located just 20 minutes from “Ireland West Airport Knock” and 10 minutes from Claremorris Train Station. Take up our 4 Day special Offer for February and March of €199 includes 4 Nights B&B and 4 Evening Meals. During your break with us we cater to your every need , and it’s a lovely opportunity to make friends and mix with like- minded people. Enjoy our Four Seasons Restaurant which overlooks a beautiful garden and captures the magnificent spire of the Basilica. Over the years it has earned an enviable reputation of food, wine & service. Knock House Hotel is within minutes of wonderful attractions including Knock Marian Shrine and Museum. Within a short drive; Fr Peyton Memorial, Museum of Country Life (Turlough ), Foxford Woollen Mills and the Western Greenway Cycling Route, and within an hour’s drive, Kylemore Abbey, Michael Davitt Museum and Ceide Fields. Local outdoor activities include hiking and walking, golf, horse riding and angling. Enniscrone Beach is within a 40 min drive where you can swim, surf or enjoy a seaweed bath. To book this wonderful deal please call Karen on 0949388088

Special Offer From Knock House Hotel 4 Nights Bed,Breakfast and 4 Evening meals February and March €199 When you call to book Quote : Mature Living PHONE KAREN NOW! *This offer is exclusive to Mature Living Readers and can not be used in conjunc"on with any other offers. *Subject to availability *Terms and Condi"ons apply

Knock House Hotel, Knock, Co Mayo www.knockhousehotel.ie • info@knockhousehotel.ie Tel: 094 9388088 • Fax: 094 9388044

Sligo Park Hotel and Leisure Club HOTEL & LEISURE CLUB

Over 55’s Special Offer 3 B&B + 3 Dinners From

€150pps

4 and 5 Night Breaks also Available

Subject to Availability Available on Selected Dates

Pearse Road, Sligo • Tel: 071 919 0400

www.sligoparkhotel.com • Email: Sligo@leehotels.com

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warm welcome awaits you at the fourstar Sligo Park Hotel and Leisure Club, On the outskirts of Sligo Town in the Heart of Yeats’ Country set in quiet parkland and surrounded by some of the most scenic countryside in Ireland ranging from the majestic Benbulben to the gentle waters of Lough Gill. In the heart of Yeats’ country for over 40 years, the Sligo Park Hotel is a well established favourite. Relax in the spacious lobby; take a stroll into town or venture to the nearby ancient sites including Carrowmore, Slish Wood, Dooney Rock & Knocknarea or an abundance of woodland retreats. Wherever your interests lie, Sligo is sure to have something to offer. Stroll along Atlantic shores taking in some stunning scenery. Why not try your hand at pottery, take a walk up Knocknarea mountain or go surfing in Strandhill?

After a days exploring, sit back and relax in the jacuzzi before savouring the atmosphere of the Rathanna bar and Garden Terrace and enjoying the creative delights in the Hazelwood Restaurant. Sligo is surprising !

Visit the stunning Leitrim countryside tours and visits to the surrounding unspoiled countryside. The location facilitates visits to the many nearby lakes that comprise the Leitrim countryside and shopping in nearby Sligo or Enniskillen A visit to Lough Allen hotel & Spa in Drumshanbo is a must and there are packages to suit any budget.

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ne of the best places to base a home holiday or a week-end break is, undoubtedly, the Lough Allen Hotel in County Leitrim. Situated on the shores of Lough Allen, only 14 km from the bustling town of Carrick on Shannon, it is only a short walk to the town of Drumshanbo. The hotel has offerings to compare with the top hotels in Ireland and also has the stunning Leitrim countryside. Spa treatments, leisure centre and a sumptuous candlelight dinner are all part of what’s on offer for an unforgettable break. A family re-union can be rounded off with a lavish evening meal It is an ideal wedding venue or conference centre. The central location of the hotel in Leitrim facilitates

Drumshanbo • Co Leitrim www.loughallenhotel.com

Mid Week 2 Nights B&B Offer 2 Nights B&B for 2 people Only €99 Available Sun-Thur Only...€49.50pps

Please mention Mature Living Leinster when booking

To Book Call 071-9640100 or email reservations@loughallenhotel.com


Taste of Italy

Food and Drink

Spaghetti carbonara T

he classic spaghetti carbonara - without cream, just plenty of egg and Parmesan cheese. Rich and delicious. Ingredients Serves: 8 1 (500g) packet spaghetti 1 tablespoon olive oil 8 rashers pancetta or streaky bacon, chopped (about 200g) 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 onion, chopped 1 clove garlic, minced 4 tablespoons dry white wine 4 eggs, beaten 50g (2 oz) grated Parmesan cheese Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste Handful chopped fresh parsley Grated Parmesan cheese to serve Method Prep:20min - Cook:20min - Ready in:40min In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook spaghetti until just al dente. Drain well. Toss with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and set aside.

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ronounced 'bun-yet,' this is an old Italian recipe. It is made using mainly parsley and garlic and is meant to be eaten with crusty warm bread. It is almost sinful to share this secret recipe with the world, but you'll love it as much as I do. Refrigerate overnight for best flavour. Ingredients Serves: 8 2 bunches fresh parsley, finely chopped 1 (50g) tin anchovy fillets, drained and chopped 3 cloves garlic, minced 1 1/2 tablespoons tomato purĂŠe 4 tablespoons white wine vinegar 8 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil Method In a medium bowl, toss together the parsley, anchovies and garlic. Stir in the tomato purĂŠe, vinegar and olive oil. Serve at room temperature.

Page 30 Mature Living April 2014

Parsley & Garlic Boniet

Meanwhile in a large frying pan, cook chopped pancetta until slightly crisp; remove and drain onto kitchen roll. Reserve 2 tablespoons of dripping; add remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and heat in the same frying pan. Add chopped onion and cook over medium heat until onion is translucent. Add minced garlic and cook 1 minute more. Add wine if desired; cook one more minute. Return cooked pancetta to pan; add cooked and drained spaghetti. Toss to coat and heat through, adding more olive oil if it seems dry or is sticking together. Add beaten eggs and cook, tossing constantly with tongs or large fork until eggs are barely set. Quickly add 50g Parmesan cheese and toss again. Add salt and pepper to taste (remember that bacon and Parmesan are very salty). Serve immediately with chopped parsley sprinkled on top and extra Parmesan cheese at the table. Idea Try adding fresh peas or precooked frozen garden peas to give your carbonara added flavour and colour! Simply add along with the pancetta or bacon.


Food and Drink

Courgette, Tomato and Mozzarella Bake A

This is such an easy, but beautiful dessert to serve for company in the summer when fresh berries are in season. Gelatine leaves work better, but powdered gelatine is easier to find generally. Ingredients Serves: 4 400ml double cream 4½ tablespoons caster sugar 2 tablespoons grappa (Italian grape-based liqueur) 1/2 teaspoon vanilla 3 leaves or 1¼ teaspoons gelatine 300g berries, to serve Method Prep:10min › Cook:5min › Ready in:15min Put the cream and sugar in a saucepan and stir over gentle heat until sugar has dissolved.

Panna Cotta

wonderful Italian vegetarian dish, which is packed full of flavour. Courgettes, garlic, mozzarella, tomatoes and Parmesan are baked together. Serve with crusty bread and a green salad.

If they don't fit, cook them in batches. Sprinkle pieces of garlic over the courgette and cook until the courgette are golden brown on both sides, about 8 minutes per side. Remove from heat.

Ingredients Serves: 2 2 tablespoons olive oil 4 courgettes, sliced 1 large clove garlic, crushed 115g mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced 4 large tomatoes, peeled and sliced 4 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Arrange the courgette in a 20x30cm glass baking dish, alternating with slices of mozzarella cheese and tomato, so that the slices overlap each other in a neat row pattern. Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese and basil over the dish and season to taste with salt and pepper. Bake in the preheated oven until the cheese is melted and brown and the dish is bubbling, about 30 minutes. Parmesan cheese Parmesan cheese is not truly vegetarian, as it contains animal rennet. To make this dish 100% vegetarian, omit the cheese or find a suitable vegetarian substitute made without animal rennet. In supermarkets look for the 'parmesan style hard cheeses' which are suitable for vegetarians.

Method Prep:15min - Cook:45min Ready in:1hr Preheat oven to 190 C / Gas 5. Move oven rack into the top third of the oven. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat and spread the courgette slices into the frying pan in a single layer.

Bring to the boil and simmer for 3 minutes, adding the grappa and vanilla. If you are using gelatine leaves, soak them in cold water until floppy, then squeeze out any excess water. Stir the leaves into the hot cream until they are completely dissolved. If you are using powdered gelatine, sprinkle it onto the hot cream in an even layer and leave it to absorb for a minute, then stir in the cream until dissolved. Pour the mixture into four 125 ml metal or ceramic ramekins. Cover each with a piece of plastic wrap and refrigerate until set. Unmould the panna cotta by placing the ramekins briefly into a bowl of hot water and then tipping them gently onto plates. Serve with fresh berries.

Page 31 Mature Living April 2014


2 Nights B&B

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n the Heart of Yeats’ Country, The Sligo Park Hotel and Leisure Club is set in quiet parkland and surrounded by some of the most scenic countryside in Ireland ranging from the majes!c Benbulben to the gentle waters of Lough Gill. This contemporary style hotel in Sligo Town boasts 136 Spacious, Comfortable Bedrooms, a Modern Leisure Club and dedicated Conference Facili!es. Situated only 2 ½ hours from Dublin and Belfast, 2 hours from Galway and 1 hour from Donegal. All guests can benefit from complimentary WiFi, use of the Leisure Club and Gym Facili!es and free car parking.

The 4 Star Sligo Park Hotel offers the best of both worlds, whether for a Leisure Break, a Conference or a Special Event. Whatever your desire…a Golf Weekend, Walking or Surfing on the West Coast, or Culture and Buzzing Irish Night Life, its all on the doorstep of our unique Sligo Hotel, the Sligo Park Hotel and Leisure Club. To be in with a chance of winning a mid­week two­nights bed and breakfast stay (subject to availability) at the 4 star Sligo Park Hotel answer the following ques!on, complete the form and post to Mature Living Magazine, Office 3, Unit 7, NW Business Park, Collooney, Co. Sligo.

OVER 55s

Special Offer Closing date Friday, May 2 2014. Terms and conditions apply.

www.sligopark.com Pearse Road, Sligo Tel: 071 9190400


Puzzles

WIN!

â‚Ź20

To be in with a chance of winning, Solve the puzzle in the usual way, then rearrange the letters in the shaded squares to form the name of a celebrity who’s been in the news recently, and send your completed crossword along with your name, address and telephone number to us at the address below!

Puzzle Competition, Mature Living Leinster Magazine, Unit 7 NW Business Park, Collooney, Co. Sligo

Closing Date is May 5th 2014, Terms and Conditions Apply

Answers on page 42


Feature Words: Leonie ArticleCornellius Photos: Leonie Cornellius & Marilin North

Terracotta Succulents A guide to some happily low-maintenance succulents

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t this time of the year when the sun is finally showing it’s face we start to really think about planting again. Those of us lucky enough to have a glass house, conservatory or greenhouse can really get going, but a window cill can also be a little mini greenhouse. Yesterday it was 22 degrees in the conservatory and it felt so much like summer I felt inspired to focus on succulents plants, native to the hot dry areas of South America and Africa, and their easy, almost maintenance properties. GET THE LOOK Chosen Plants Succulent plants evolved to counteract dry conditions with poor gritty soil. This makes them an ideal plant for many people who don’t have time to constantly look after plants and yet still want that green touch in their living spaces. I love

using succulents to create a miniature representation of a natural scene. Tree shaped succulents echo large vertical trees and smaller ones the larger spiky shrub forms of desert Agaves and Aloes. The colours are mostly deep greens and blue greens with browns and limes which match the earthy red terracotta so well. My personal favourite plants to plant up are the often colourful Echiverias, African Aloe varieties, the tree shaped Crassulas, and the spiky South American Agaves (the plant tequila is made from!). Terracotta Terracotta pots are ideal containers for succulents as the plants which are native to dry desert areas in Africa and South America, like dry, earthy conditions. We have a great collection of these humble terracotta pots in the conservatory and have

Page 34 Mature Living April 2014

started a little collection over the years- It’s amazing that once you start collecting something it crops up everywhere-flea markets, garden centres, charity shops, even the supermarket in form of fancy yoghurt or butter jars. From an aesthetic point of view they are also a perfect container for these lovely low mainenance plants and allow the elegant simplicity of the plants to really shine. You can use any container you like but make sure that the soil is a good, freedraining mix of soil and grit as with succulents the phrase ‘If in doubt don’t water’ is key. PLANTS Aloe aristata These lovely clump forming rosettes have a stripy pattern to their leaves. During Spring they produce orangey-red flowers and are one of the easiest plants to look after.

Echiveria elegans Echiverias are mostly stemless, rosette forming succulents with this one having a pink tint with sufficient light. So easy to propogate, the new offshoots simply have to be snapped off and set into the soil again. Sempervivum (Houseleek) Apart from Sedum these are succulents that will also tolerate being outdoors in our climate so a very versatile and elegant looking plant. Fabulous with Sedum acre (stonecrop) growing over a small rockery or wall. Leonie Cornelius is an award winning garden designer who runs her own business-BLUME design house. You can catch her as the TV Mentor for the new Supergarden Show on RTE. contact: www.blume.ie


Gardening Feature Article Telephone: 046-9546007

BUY POLYTUNNELS & GREENHOUSES ON OUR NEW WEBSITE @

www.thepolytunnelcompany.ie

The Polytunnel Company is a website trading name of Colm Warren (Polyhouses) Ltd (CWP) Trim, Co, Meath

Neat edges are easy with EverEdge Maintenance-free solu!on to the problems of edging lawns, drives, flower beds, etc. Made from galvanised mild steel. Simple to install and easily bent to form curves or right angles as required. Available in 75mm, 100mm and 125mm heights.

www.robotmower.org Contact Seamus (Na!onwide) for brochure 086-2550801 Contact Adrian (Connacht) on 087-7539315

Tel: 087-2565680 / 01-2889771 • www.everedge.com

The Greenhouse and Polytunnel Specialists

Tel: 057-912-0424 Birr, Co. Offaly www.polydome.ie

J.Gleeson & Sons Engineering Mobile Planter Flower and Veg Ideal for Salad Days Complete Planter €400 Excl plas!c cover €360 Excl. Mesh and Plas!c Cover €260 All Prices Include VAT Standing at an accessible height, perfect for those who struggle with bending or kneeling, it’s also the perfect height for children who love to get outdoors and eat what they grow!

Green Street, Birr, Co. Offaly • Tel: 057-9121412 • Mob: 086-6618394 Email: gleesonengineering@gmail.com


Pets Corner

MARKREE CASTLE Collooney, Co Sligo

Pet Friendly Hotel Casual Castle Comfort 10% B&B discount to Mature Living Readers

Telephone: 071-9167800 www.markreecastle.ie

Custom Insulated Pet Homes

www.designerpethomes.com Telephone: 086-8314389 E: info@designerpethomes.com

Dogfooddirect.ie Providing pet owners with an unbeatable service and premium foods at great prices

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n 2010 Dogfooddirect.ie noticed that many brands of dog food were overpriced especially the Hypoallergenic ranges and the big name brands. They do their utmost to make sure that their prices are cheaper than all petshops and they can deliver your order straight to your door. At Dogfooddirect.ie they specialise in offering you a range of food that they believe offers your dog the right levels of proteins and vitamins to help keep them in tip top condition. They have selected many brands some well known and some not so. They do not stock brands they believe are not sufficient for you pet. They try to ensure their prices are lower than most but more importantly their service is the best. Their guarantee of the quality service that they offer is the number of loyal and satisfied customers Dog food direct has all over Ireland. Delivery: Dogfooddirect.ie are constantly working hard to reduce their shipping rates and delivery times so that you can get your pet food and accessories cheaper, faster and with the least amount of hassle. Check them out at www.Dogfooddirect.ie If you have any other questions regarding delivery please call us @ 01-6261795

Liam Neeson saves dog from abuse in Central Park Actor Liam Neeson is more than just a hero on-screen – he helped save the life of a dog being stoned to death by a group of ruffians in Central Park. Neeson was jogging through Manhattan’s Central Park when he was abruptly halted by a woman shouting that teenage boys were stoning a dog to death. The dog was trapped, terrified and in pain. “Abruptly changing direction, Liam charged down a path and confronted three gangbanger wannabe types who were throwing rocks at a stray they’d cornered up against a trash bin,” a witness said. “Liam yelled that they’d better stop or he’d knock the crap out of them.” They weren’t to be intimidated by the Taken star. “The punks just

swaggered up and warned him to mind his own business,” the witness explained. Neeson was incensed. “In a fury, he warned them to back off fast – or else!” “Yeah, okay, man…we’re out of here,” the apparent ringleader said. Liam smirked, impressed that he was able to get them to retreat. However, it wasn’t his minacious disposition that spooked the hooligans. “Turns out it was the sight of the approaching cop that had spooked the boys. Liam just shook his head and approached the shivering dog, stroking it while the policeman assessed its injuries – then thanked the star and told him: ‘I’ll take it from here, sir!’”

Lay your beloved pet to rest with dig"it# and care

Our lovingly craſted pet burial caskets, handmade in Count# Offaly, will allow you to bur# your t&easured pet with dig"it# and care. Our caskets come in a range of sizes to suit all pets 'om the smallest bird or hamster, to a large dog. Each casket is cloth-lined inside and finished with a personalised nameplate. The caskets are also available for use with an Ur".

Tel: 090 6454538 • 087 2376111 • 087 9332039 paul@petcoffin.ie • www.petcoffin.ie


Pets Corner

Pet Portraits by Ruth Brady have been producing portrait commissions of both pets and people. I work in a variety of mediums to create lifelike detailed portraits. My aim is always to imbue the portrait with a real sense of the animal or person. So if you commission a piece in addition to giving me reference photos I find it very helpful to ask for a brief description of the person or animal’s everyday character and physical attributes. This helps particularly when I’m creating a piece that is a memorial of a loved one; be they human or animal. Usually I work from my customers' photographs preferably but not necessarily emailed to me. If posted I'll return them to you with the finished portrait. If emailing please scan them at 200 dpi and save them as JPEGs at a High setting. The time frame from receipt of commission and photos to the finished work being delivered is approximately 4-6 weeks. This can vary according to my workload. Portraits can be created in pastel, pencil or watercolour and in a variety of sizes. Framing is not included. Delivery costs are included in the price if the customer lives in Ireland. Please see my website www.ruthbradyart.com for examples of my work, prices and other useful information. Gift vouchers are also available.

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warm welcome home, a wet nose and a waggy tail, a faithful friend, company when you need it most; our pets mean so much to us whatever animal they may be. So what could be nicer than a portrait capturing their unique spirit, either for yourself or as a gift for a friend? Hi, my name is Ruth. I have

worked as a graphic designer for over twenty five years in advertising, print production but ever since I was little I’ve been interested in all aspects of art and craft… both making and appreciating it! In recent years, in addition to my day job I have returned to my first love; drawing and painting. Lately I

Specialising in natural petcare products Positive training products for your pets Enrichment feeding Fish / Fish food and products Fantastic wildlife products section Unit 7, Glenageary Shopping Centre, Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin Tel: 01-201-3910 info@naturenurturepetstore.com www.naturenurturepetstore.com

Hollybarn Dog & Puppy Training

Ireland’tse F a vo u r i s h o p et P e n i l n O Free Nationwide Delivery Big Brands - Small Prices!

• Toilet Training / Lead Work • Sit / Lie / Stay / Barking • Running Away / Recall • Jumping on People & Furniture • Chasing Everything • Chewing / Digging / Play Biting • Separation Anxiety • Noise Phobia / Socialisation • Aggressive Behaviour • In House Boarding / Kennels • One to One / Residential

087 782 3957 • www.hollybarndogtraining.com Page 37 Mature Living April 2014


Feature

Wireless Front Door Labels are for jam Security Intercom, jars. Boxes are for Camera & Monitor storage. • Easy Opera!on • Easy to Install. • Will be working for you in minutes. • Wireless. No power wires needed. • Ba"ery Operated, Rechargeable. • Screens are Light and Portable. • Can be purchased with 1 or 4 Portable LCD Screens.

Saves you having to open the Front door to every caller. Allows you to see and speak with the person who rings your Doorbell.

Works Day!me and Night Time.

Contact McLoughlins, Ballymany, Newbridge, Co Kildare. Order Online at www.mcldirect.com Click on our House Category.

Tel 045 447291. Ask for Andy.

Page 38 Mature Living April 2014

By Ann Marie McMahon Counselling Psychologist and Author

F

rom the moment we are born we are presented with a label, in the guise of a name. We have no control over our name as it is given to us by our parent or guardian. As we get older we may change it or by chance someone else may change it for us, namely, by giving us a “nick name”. In Ireland we are great for names of all sorts. It is almost a way of life as we gossip about someone being “three sheets to the wind”, for the birds”, “great craic”, as mad as a bush” not to mention “the widow woman”, “the wife”, the local farmer”, the priest”. In fact we forget to use names and instead opted for labels that sometimes stick for life. Some never mind, but many hate them and find it difficult to rid themselves of unfortunate labels as they get older. Some labels have unusual connotations that leave marks and shadows affecting wellbeing. We can all recall the teenager who might have been called “the dork”,”the geek”,”brainbox”,”messer ”, “skinny” “spotty” or even “thick” or “stupid”. Those who use labels often use it to make themselves appear important and an opportunity to put the other person down. They even delight in using it in places and situations that only fuel the stigma. People tolerated it in the olden days but in actual fact it was a cruel form of bullying. Today with more awareness and education we are confronted about negative labels of the past but very often they are replaced by modern takes on life today. We have “yummy mummies”, “absent dads”, “latch door kids” together with “ midlife crisis”,” middle age”, hormonal”, “so over the hill” not to mention “separated”, “divorced” or “ a singleton”. In fact

the labels have become a collection as everyone is put in their different boxes. The problem is that like individual labels those in the various boxes often stay there even when culture, economic and societal has moved on. Some actual believe that they must stay in a box even when it means suffering and being subjected to ridicule. Our identity gets caught up in the box leading to conflict and confusion. Both sexes suffer and sometimes it is very difficult to shake off a label that perhaps is not relevant to you as you move on in years. However, some thrive on embracing the label as they hide from the real self and relish in presenting an image to the world that is acknowledged and lauded. Others even find it difficult to shake off the “boss”, “high power”, “high flying executive” or “director” label as they try to control not only those consider beneath them and their so called corporate clients, but friends, relative and families. This language barrier starts in childhood. Some children are able to shake off the odd nasty comment but those who are more sensitive tune in more finely and the nasty comment can hurt them deeply. Even in adult hood there are those who are more sensitive about remarks than others but it still does not justify unkind remarks. It is indeed all about language and how we send messages to others via our communication system. Today we have the added addition of texting, emailing and instant access to mobiles and ipods.We need to be careful what we send out to avoid hurting the other person. It may be simplistic to suggest that we can delete or wipe out certain adverbs or adjectives but once something is sent the label or words can stick. Many

relationships have been broken due to cruel and inappropriate words said or sent in a moment of anger, jealously or consumption of alcohol. In today’s society we are always being encouraged to change our style, appearance and attitude as the media and technology seduce us into believing we can have it all in order to and feel sexier younger,fitter,slimmer,mor e healthy and more in control.Botox,tanning salons and spa treatments complement the hair salon, gymnasium and beauty treatments. There is no end to what you can do to change your appearance to make you look and feel younger. But we all know that nature has its own way of peeping through and reminding us that we cannot change our age but we can change those horrible labels that put us in boxes that we despised and hated. So jump on your jam jar, discard the boxes and embrace the real you. Avoid letting terms like “empty nest syndrome”, “all alone” or poor me” dampen your spirit. As those of us who are entering the most exciting times in our life, namely “retirement” I urge you to be the person you really want to be. If you do not like the term “retirement” don’t use I and tell those who use it to stop. Instead, embrace freedom of thought, mind and attitude. For those of you who may have been persecuted at work by deadlines, meetings, bureaucracy and even bullying prepare to enjoy a stress free life realising that life can only get better. You can decide what way you would like to navigate your own canoe in your own time. Enjoy your own journey label free. Ann Marie McMahon is the Author of: Mixed Messages Issues not Tissues Be your own friend Bloom not Gloom Longings and Legacies


Therapies

Meditation & Homeopathy felt/sensed ‘in' and the figured ‘out'.

Meditation Meditation is predominantly an Eastern technique that has a similarity to Self-Hypnosis in that it also induces a trancelike, neutral state. Meditation, put simply, is a more advanced type of relaxation, involving a deeper, more deliberate letting-go (of control), with a view to engaging a corresponding depth of felt/sensed experience, typically expressed in spiritual terms. Paradoxically, Meditation can help one to gain healthy control through letting-go of unhealthy control. Meditation is an internalised form of prayer, achieved in and through a progressively-realised state of inner calm and silence, wherein the ‘more' of one's life will become apparent, to the degree that one has correspondingly let-go. Meditation is about exploring and experiencing for one's self, from within

one's self, how one's life ‘really' works, i.e. from the inside-out, therein exposing the many limitations, deceptions, exaggerations and entrapments of life as one perceives and figures it,

from the outside-in. Figuring makes life complex, feeling keeps life simple. Meditation provides one with a means of discovering the ‘real'ationship that already exists between the

Homeopathy Homeopathy is a 200-year old, highly individualised medical system based upon a much more ancient principle of ‘like cures like'. Homeopathy acknowledges and endeavours to tap the inner core of change, recognising and respecting the enormous power that lies hidden in the depths of what we cannot see but can feel, exclusively from within. Symptoms of disease are regarded as evidence of the body's self-healing activities, in sharp contrast to orthodox medicine, which not only typically treats symptoms only but also views symptoms as indicators of a malfunctioning, primordial, biological machine. In fact, orthodox medicine, because it has developed

such a highly impersonal, technologised way of looking at the human organism, has fallen into the habit of defining health simply as the absence of disease and/or the eradication of symptoms of same. Closer to truth, there is no change without crisis and corruption. Hence, one cannot get healthy without getting sick. Homeopathic treatments seek to assist the body's self-regulating effort, instead of dampening or eradicating its symptomatic messengers, with a view to helping in the restoration of balance. The aim of Homeopathy is to treat the patient's complex symptom picture with a remedy whose known effects most closely resemble the symptoms of the disease.

The goal of Homeopathy is to treat the patient as a whole person, according to both what is clinically observed and intuitively ‘felt', i.e. the ‘bigger' picture. The proponents of modern technological medicine have objected to Homeopathy on the grounds that it is unscientific. As our understanding of our individual selves and our “real”ationship with the external universe continues to evolve, it will become increasingly apparent that homeopathy is actually more consistent with emerging scientific theory than any other form of medicine, and that this holistic, humane, gentle and natural approach to healing may well become the medicine of the future.

Diadems Angel Light

I offer you insight in any area of your life from love life to finances, family life and work. There is not an area of life where I have not been able to help and give what has often proven to be invaluable insights.

www.susanhughesmedium.com email: diademsangelight@gmail.com

Offering holistic therapy: Reiki treatments, Reiki workshops, Autogenic Training workshops and Mindfulness Meditation classes in the heart of Dublin and Dun Laoghaire. Both clinics are conveniently located close to main bus routes and train stations. Melanie Pelka is a certified and experienced Reiki therapist/teacher, Autogenic Training therapist/teacher and Mindfulness Meditation practitioner/teacher.

Appointments in Dun Laoghaire and Dublin 4 • Mobile: 087 1319891 E: info@dublinreiki.com • W: www.dublinreiki.com Page 39 Mature Living April 2014


Health

7 ways to boost your heart health heart attack and stroke by half, compared to those that don’t. This is thought to be because meditation helps to lower blood pressure - a major risk factor for CVD. In the most recent study, from the University of Iowa, scientists found that practising this type of meditation for 20 minutes per day was enough to make a difference. Deep breathing exercises and yoga breathing are believed to have similar benefits.

C

ardiovascular disease is still the biggest killer in , but you might be surprised by some of the ways that can help to keep your heart healthy... Although mortality rates are falling, cardiovascular disease (CVD) is still one of the biggest killer. Eating five or more servings of fruit and vegetables each day, taking regular exercise and stopping smoking will all help to improve heart health. Of course, we all know that this can be easier said than done. But fortunately, there’s plenty we can do to reduce our risk without having to give up all the things we enjoy. Research suggests that making just a few simple tweaks to your daily routine really can make a difference. 1.Snack on a handful of nuts 'Walnuts are a rich source of Omega-3 fatty acids, which can help to decrease inflammation in the arteries and protect the heart,' explains British Dietetic Association spokesperson Gaynor Bussell. 'Nuts in general can help to lower cholesterol levels and they will also help to fill you

up. But don’t have more than a handful as they are high in calories.' 2. Meet up with friends According to social psychologist John Cacioppo from the University of Chicago, loneliness is linked to hardening of the arteries, which leads to high blood pressure and an increased risk of heart disease. He claims that loneliness also raises the levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, which can interfere with circulation, making the heart work harder. His research shows the fruit flies that are isolated have worse health and die sooner than those that interact with others. So if you’re feeling lonely, try to reconnect with old friends or find a new hobby or join a club or class to help you get out and about and meet new people. 3.Cut down on booze There are regular reports in the news that moderate drinking – specifically of red wine - may be beneficial for your heart, but the key word here is 'may'. There's still no conclusive proof carried out in controlled

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studies of the benefits of alcohol on heart disease – meaning that the best thing to do is limit your consumption. Drinking too much booze can cause abnormal heart rhythms, high blood pressure, damage to the heart muscle and other diseases such as stroke, liver problems and some cancers. 4. Drink coffee You might have heard that drinking coffee is bad for your health, but new research from the American Heart Association suggests that the opposite might be true. Researchers in Boston have found that moderate coffee consumption - the equivalent of about 2 coffee-shop coffees per day - could reduce the risk of heart failure by as much as 11%. But don’t get too carried away - research suggests that drinking much more than that could increase the risk of developing serious heart problems. 5. Learn how to meditate Scientists have discovered that people with heart disease who practised Transcendental Meditation - which was made popular by The Beatles in the 1960s - can cut their risk of

6. Sprinkle on some flaxseeds 'Flaxseeds, also known as linseeds, are little seeds that are high in Omega-3 fatty acids. So, like nuts, they can help a little in lowering cholesterol. 'They are sometimes added to foods in order to help with constipation as they increase fibre intake, and having more fibre in the diet can also help to lower cholesterol.' You can buy these small ground seeds from heath food shops, and sprinkle them on breakfast cereals or salads or add to yoghurt. 'If you want to try them, start with half a teaspoon and build

up to about 2 teaspoons a day. 'The slow build up is advisable, as they can cause flatulence and bloating if you’re not used to them.' 7. Lose 5% of your body weight We all know that losing weight can improve our health and just a few pounds can make a big difference. 'Experts have found evidence that losing just 5-10% of your body weight if you are overweight or obese improves your metabolic profile. This means that if you have high blood pressure and/or high cholesterol, these levels come down. 'Eating fewer calories is the only way to successfully lose weight and this is best coupled with some exercise. Don’t lose weight too quickly, 1-2lb per week is fine. 'Experts believe that one of the healthiest types of diet to follow is the Mediterranean diet, which is high in fruits, vegetables and pulses, along with some meat, fish, nuts and seeds, a little olive oil and a glass or two or red wine daily but no more than this!'


Health

Eating Well Overview E

ating healthily doesn’t have to be complicated or boring! In fact, it’s about making sure you have plenty of variety. It’s about not eating too much of some things – like calories, saturated fat, sugar and salt – while getting enough of others – like fibre and anti-oxidant vitamins and minerals. Drinks Water makes up over 60% of our body weight, and it’s important to keep hydrated to maintain this. You should aim to drink 6-8 glasses of liquid like water, juice, milk or fruit squash a day. It’s best to avoid too many fizzy drinks as they contain a lot of sugar and calories, which can result in tooth decay and weight gain when consumed excessively. The five main food groups There are five main food groups (see below) that we all need to eat to maintain a balanced diet, but it can sometimes be confusing how much of each we are supposed to have. Fruit and vegetables Starchy foods Meat, poultry, fish, eggs, beants, lentils and nuts Milk and dairy foods Fat, sugar and salt The eatwell plate can help you. Here are some facts and tips to help you turn healthy eating advice into enjoyable meals and snacks: 1. Fruit and vegetables Fruit and vegetables are full of minerals, fibre, and antioxidant vitamins that help our bodies to work efficiently and support our immune systems to keep us healthy. They can be fresh,

frozen, dried, canned or juiced and should make up about a third of our diet. Many of us don’t eat enough fruit and vegetables, and it can be hard to know how much a ‘portion’actually is. Here are a few simple suggestions, which count as one portion each: One portion is: Breakfast – a glass of juice or a heaped tablespoon of dried fruit or a banana with your cereal. Snacks – an apple or a handful of grapes or a pear. Lunch – a side salad or a tomato and lettuce in a sandwich or three heaped tablespoons of baked beans. Dinner – three heaped tablespoons of vegetables like peas or carrots or sweetcorn. You should aim to eat 5 portions a day. Remember each portion must be different, and try to choose foods of different colours to help you get the range of vitamins you need. 2. Starchy foods Foods like bread, chapattis, pitta bread, breakfast cereals, potatoes, rice, noodles and pasta are all starchy foods, which should make up a third of our diet. Wholegrain or wholemeal options contain more fibre which helps us feel full for longer and helps prevent constipation. Starchy foods are a good source of energy, calcium, iron and B vitamins and we should aim to have a serving with every meal. Why not try: Breakfast – wholegrain cereal or porridge or wholemeal toast with cut up banana or dried fruit. Lunch – a sandwich or brown rice or pasta salad Dinner – stews, casseroles or

curries with potatoes or coucous or pasta or rice One portion is: 2 tablespoons of cooked pasta, rice or noodles an egg-sized potato three tablespoons of cereal 3. Meat, poultry, fish, eggs, beans, lentils and nuts All of these are a great source of protein, with beans, lentils and nuts being key protein sources for vegetarians. Try to choose lean cuts of meat and remove the skin from poultry before you cook it. This helps to keep your total fat and saturated fat intake

in check. It’s recommended that we include a portion of these foods with two of our daily meals, and eat fish once or twice a week. Oily fish like mackerel, salmon, sardines or fresh tuna are particularly good for you, as they contain omega 3 which helps prevent heart disease. One portion is: Fish: 140g Meat: 80g (about the size of a pack of cards) Beans/pulses: 2-3 heaped tablespoons 4. Milk and dairy foods These foods are rich in calcium

and nutrients that help to keep bones and teeth healthy and strong. Better to choose low-fat dairy options – weight for weight they have less fat and calories, but slightly more calcium, and other important nutrients than full fat products. Did you know: A pint of whole milk contains 22.8g fat whereas a pint of semi-skimmed has 10.2g? You should try and have three portions a day. One portion is: A glass of milk (200ml) 150g pot of low fat yoghurt 30g of cheese (matchbox size)

Foods to improve digestion Aloe vera Aloe vera juice is said to have many benefits including helping to treat irritable bowel syndrome. The aloe vera plant is made up of a variety of amino acids, enzymes, vitamins and minerals which are said to assist the biochemistry of the body. It’s suggested that aloe vera has natural healing and detoxifying powers and works gently within the gut to help break down impacted food residues and cleanse the bowel, improving regularity. Herbal teas Many herbal teas are said to aid digestion and help alleviate gut problems. Peppermint is thought to help digestion after a meal,

prevent bloating and heartburn. Ginger tea may soothe upset stomachs and prevent nausea. Fennel and chamomile teas reportedly help with symptoms or irritable bowel syndrome, which is stongly associated with stress. Pears Pears are very gentle on the gut so are tolerated by almost everyone. They are a good source of the soluble fibre pectin and bioflavonoids, which are powerful antioxidants and are thought to protect against a range of diseases. Pears also provide vitamin C and potassium, which can help to regulate the blood pressure. The come in a range of varieties and textures and, as well as being a

great snack on their own, can be poached in red wine and vanilla, or even dipped in chocolate for a special treat. Prebiotics Prebiotics are nutrients which feed the probiotic bacteria in the gut, increasing their numbers and improving digestive health and the immune system. Prebiotics include fructo-oligosaccharides, found in leeks, onions, wheat, chicory root, garlic and artichokes. The prebiotic inulin is now being added to bread and cereals and research shows that eating 5g of inulin per day can optimise gut flora and improve digestion. Prebiotics can also be taken as a supplement.

Probiotics Naturally occurring gut flora can be adversely affected by factors such as alcohol, stress or disease. Probiotic or ‘good’ bacteria support gut flora and increase their numbers. They are recommended for problems such as IBS, or after a course of antibiotics that has resulted in constipation. Maintenance of healthy gut flora also depends on a good intake of prebiotic foods, which probiotic bacteria feed on. Rice The UK diet is heavy in wheat products, and as a result, gluten (also found in darley, rye and oats). While not everyone needs to avoid gluten, some people may benefit from eating more non-

gluten cereal grains such as rice, which are more easily digested. The starch in rice, particularly basmati, is absorbed slowly, providing a steady release of glucose into the blood for sustained energy. Water Much of our daily water consumption is needed for digestion and the elimination of waste products from the body. Drinking at least 1.5 litres (6-8 glasses) a day helps to prevent dehydration, which can cause constipation and other health problems such as indigestion, bloating and headaches. You should drink little and often, as a large amount in one go will not be absorbed as efficiently,

Page 41 Mature Living April 2014


Motoring

Advice for older drivers upgrading to a newer one might help. Newer models tend to have helpful safety features, such as power steering and anti-lock braking. In some cases, power steering can be tailored to suit a person’s strength. Many new models also feature parking sensors (or ‘beepers’) that can help you to park more easily. Think about whether you would find an automatic car easier to handle than a manual one, or whether it would be hard to adjust.

Declaring health conditions If you’ve developed a medical condition or disability that could affect your driving, you must tell the RSA, even if you’re not yet due to renew your licence. This also applies if your condition has worsened since your licence was issued. Many people worry that they’ll be forced to stop driving, but this is not necessarily the case. It’s a legal obligation for you to declare certain conditions. If you have an accident where your health condition may have been a factor and you haven’t declared it, you could be prosecuted and your insurance might not cover you. Which conditions should I declare Some of the medical conditions that you must declare are: dementia diabetes – if it’s insulin-treated Parkinson’s epilepsy any chronic neurological condition, such as multiple sclerosis any condition that affects both eyes, or total loss of sight in one eye. Other health conditions may need to be declared, depending on what kind of licence you have and how the condition affects you. Check the RSA website for a full list of medical conditions and disabilities you must declare For example, you may need to declare if you’ve had a stroke or have cancer, depending on how it affects you.

Reassessing your driving ability If you have developed a medical condition, you may need to have your driving ability assessed. Or you may not have a medical condition, but have decided yourself that you could benefit from an assessment. If your medical condition or disability makes it more difficult to drive, there may still be a way to help you to continue driving, for example, with the aid of suitable vehicle adaptations. A Mobility Centre can advise you on the best options for your particular circumstances and the RSA can refer you (and pay for the assessment), but there may be a long wait. It can be quicker to refer yourself but you will have to pay – the cost varies depending on the centre. If the assessment shows that your medical condition makes it unsafe for you to drive, the RSA can tell you to stop driving until your condition improves.

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In this case, you’ll need to reapply for your licence if, and when, you’re able to drive safely again. The RSA will provide you with a medical explanation and, if possible, state when you should reapply. Talk to your GP before reapplying for your licence. Adapting your car If you have a medical condition or disability that makes it difficult to drive, a Mobility Centre should be able to help you decide on some adaptations that are right for you. There’s a range of equipment available including: car key holders hoists to lift you and your wheelchair special cushions or swivel seats to help you get in and out of the car. It’s also sometimes possible to make modifications to car doors and seats. Upgrading your car If your car is an old model,

Making the decision to stop driving It can be difficult to accept, but if you think your driving ability has deteriorated or your reactions aren’t as sharp as they used to be, it might be a good idea to consider stopping - you may be putting yourself in danger, as well as pedestrians, your passengers and other drivers. If your friends, relatives or partner think you should stop driving, ask them to explain why, and try to put your feelings aside. Remember they’re likely to have your best interests at heart. You could also get a second opinion from someone you trust: consult your GP, or have an objective assessment of your driving skills. If you’re considering giving up driving, you may be concerned about the costs of using public transport, especially if you don’t qualify for any concessions. But try adding up the amount you spend on car tax, insurance, maintenance and petrol in a year – you might find that using the alternatives works out the same as, or less expensive than, running a car. Tips for driving safely Even if you’ve been driving for years or consider yourself to be experienced, it’s important to think about whether you’re driving safely. 1. Have regular eye and hearing tests If you’re prescribed glasses for driving, make sure you wear them and ensure that your faculties are good enough to be safe on the road. 2. Maintain your car Check your car regularly and take it for an annual NCT. If you’ve had the same car for a while, consider whether it’s still suitable for your needs. 3. Be comfortable Drive only when you feel comfortable doing so.This could mean avoiding bad weather or at rush hour, for example, if it makes you feel anxious. 4. Read the rules of the road

It may have changed since you learnt to drive, so it’s worth refreshing your knowledge. 5. Adapt your car If you have a health condition or disability that makes it difficult to use your car’s controls, there’s a wide range of adaptations that can help. Sometimes just upgrading to a newer model with power steering can make a world of difference. 6. Follow your instincts It can be hard to accept when we’re no longer able to do something safely. However, if you feel that your reactions aren’t as sharp as they were, or your ability has deteriorated, you should consider whether it’s time to stop. Alternatives to driving vary from area to area, but it’s worth researching what’s available, particularly if you think you will need to stop driving soon. If you’re older or disabled you may be entitled to a free travel pass. There may also be a community bus service, taxi scheme, or dial-a-ride minibus service in your area.


Travel Technology

A to Z of computing help you search for the little words. For example, to find fire and ice use: “fire and ice” .’ H is for Homepage The first or main page of a website, usually contains more detailed links to other sections or content. You can normally get to a Homepage by clicking on a site's logo at the top of the page.

B

affled by broadband? Vexed by viruses? We help you to get the most out of your computer with our 26-part guide. A is for accessibility Accessibility is about ensuring that as many people as possible can access and enjoy the internet, regardless of any disability you might have and regardless of what technology you're using. You can simplify your experience of using the internet by creating a page of internet buttons. Visit internetbuttons B is for broadband Broadband is the name given to describe different types of highspeed Internet access. With so much choice when it comes to broadband provision, it can be tricky choosing the right package for your needs. But there are a number of comparison websites that can help you make an informed decision and find the best deal. For basic surfing, emailing, banking, sharing photos you’ll require a minimum speed of 2MB. If you intend on downloading movies, you’ll need about 4GB per movie. Broadband speed can vary depending on the type of connection you have. C is for computer courses Active retirement and Age action run a number of computer training courses across the country. Check out your local VEC for adult course also. D is for downloading music Downloads can be an extremely convenient way to buy music. Digital music comes in three main formats: MP3 is universal, but Microsoft’s WMA and Apple’s (maker of the ubiquitous iPod) AAC offer far better sound in smaller files. The downside is that both often include digital rights management (DRM) codes that control what you can do with

purchased music, stopping you from transferring it to other devices or burning more than a set number of CDs. Another big annoyance for iPod fans is that it will not play WMA files, severely limiting choice. E is for email Email is a handy way of keeping in touch with friends and family and is fast-becoming the primary means of contacting many organisations - from businesses to your local council. Many people get their emails using the Outlook or Outlook Express application from their laptop or desktop computer. However, if you don’t have access to the internet at home, you can register for a free email account with one of many websites that offer a free email service. F is for finding the right equipment Desktop and laptop computers are the two main types of computers. A desktop is a larger computer that comes with a processing unit, a monitor, a keyboard and a mouse. A laptop computer is a smaller, portable computer which can be easily moved. When looking to buy a computer, make sure you find out what the minimum computer requirements are to carry out the tasks you want to do. G is for Google Although people do use other search engines, Google is far-andaway the most popular. The key to effective web searching with the likes of Google, says Dan Gookin, author of PCs for Dummies, is to stick with key words and use the most important ones first. ‘If you’re looking for an efficient toaster you should type in "toaster efficient" instead of "efficient toaster". Also, use double quotes to keep specific words together. They can also

I is for iPad (and other tablets) The Apple iPad has led the way in creating a huge market for portable, handheld computers the tablet. Tablet computers primarily use a touchscreen, doing away with the need for a mouse and a separate keyboard. J is for jargon Don't know your megabytes from your motherboard? Or your URL from your USB? Using a computer means learning another language. But don’t panic – online jargon lists will spell everything out for you, and explain what to do, in plain English. K is for keeping in touch The number of Facebook users aged 64 and older is increasing faster than any other age group. The social networking website enables you to build a profile, keep in touch with friends, view photos, and so on. There are downsides: your profile is your billboard to the world, so never give details that might allow criminals to steal your identity – such as your exact address, home phone number or your bank account details. L is for learning Many websites offers some great resources to brush up on most European languages, plus Mandarin Chinese and Urdu. The University of the Third Age runs online courses on a range of subjects, from botany to Renaissance Italy, and the Open University has online components in most courses. M is for mobiles Mobile phones are morphing into a universal source of information, help and advice, thanks to their ability to surf the web easily and the latest group are commonly known as smartphones. For comfortable surfing, you need a smartphone with a big, sharp screen such as Apple's iPhone, HTC's Desire or Samsung's Galaxy. N is for news Many newspapers have their own websites with extended news features, picture galleries, video and interactive activities such as opinion polls and surveys, inviting

people to have their say. Some of the more popular news websites include Mature Living, RTE News and most National daily newspapers. O is for open access Don't have a computer at home? There are lots of places you can go to access computers and the internet. Many libraries offer high speed access to the web and computer training. P is for photos Uploading your photos to the internet to share with friends and family is easier than you think. There are a number of photo sharing websites out there such as Flickr, Picasa, Photobucket and Facebook. Q is for quick tips In the help section of most programs you will find a list of keyboard shortcuts that will help you to copy, paste, quit and so on which cuts down switching from keyboard to mouse and back. R is for RSI Repetitive strain injury (RSI) is an umbrella term for injury to the muscles of the hands, wrists, arms or shoulders by overuse, particularly from typing.Symptoms include numbness and tingling in hand and fingers. S is for safe online shopping Use a secure website when entering credit card information. This means that the information you send cannot be read by anyone else. Here are some ways to spot a secure website Another option is PayPal, which enables you to shop online with your debit or credit card or bank account without sharing financial details with the seller. T is for talking Talk is cheap – and online it can even be free. By downloading software from providers such as Skype or GoogleTalk you can call other users all over the world for free, and all you need to buy is a headset, costing around €5. U is for upkeep To keep your computer or laptop in top condition, you need to keep it clean – both on the outside, by cleaning screens and keyboards, and inside. First, have Windows automatically update itself. Back up the files and keep that copy in a safe place. Perform disk maintenance every so often: check the hard drive for errors and run a disk defragmentation programme.’

V is for virus protection It’s quite easy to install protection. Most computers or laptops will offer you free virus protection, possibly with a 30day trial for upgrades such as Norton or Zone Alarm. AVG has a free virus protection download from its website. W is for wi-fi Nearly all modern laptops have wi-fi (wireless internet connection) capabilities and many locations, such as cafes, railway stations and airports, have wireless access points. But is wi-fi secure? For a home network set-up, especially if it's password protected or allows limited access, security is fine.’ But you should think twice about sending sensitive information over the internet in a public area where it could be intercepted. X is for warning Apacs, the main industry voice on e-banking fraud, advises people to be wary of unsolicited emails – called ‘phishing’ – or calls asking for personal details or card numbers. Always access banking websites by typing the web addresses into your web browser. Never go to a website from a link in an email. Y is for YouTube YouTube allows everyone to upload and view video clips online. One of its main attractions has been Geriatric1927, a man from the Peak District - born in 1927 - who recounted his wartime experiences and everyday grumbles on his online video posts. If fame doesn't appeal, you can set privacy settings so that only family and friends can see your videos. Z is for Zzzzzz Most computers and laptops give you the option of Standby, Hibernate or Power Off. Having your computer on Standby or Hibernate is the equivalent of your computer having a nap. The computer continues to be fed power to its memory, keeping your programmes and applications open but power to the hard drive is minimal. With the tap of a button, your computer is awake again. Standby or Hibernate should really only be used when leaving your computer for short periods. For performance, safety and environmental purposes, it is always better to switch off your computer fully.

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Mystical Guidance

Astro Agony with Fiona Faery - Psychic Medium

Need help? Psychic Medium Fiona Faery, provides psychic and spiritual guidance for your life. Tune into Fiona on The Late Lunch at www.lmfm.ie on the first Friday of every month for her live call in show. Fiona is based in Dundalk, Co. Louth where she gives private one to one sittings. Add Fiona Faery on Facebook or call 086-3736143, if you would like to book a private sitting.

FINANCIAL WOES

Q

Hello Fiona, Is my financial situation going to improve any time soon? Triona Co. Meath

A

Hi Triona, the answer is yes, but I don't feel it will be until August of this year when I see a definite improvement in your finances I feel you have suffered cutbacks, this can be lose of hours or earnings and I also feel your average cost of life has gone up. Two cards I am drawn to in this spread are the stand your ground card and the blessings card. The stand your ground card advices you to keep a tighter rein on your purse strings, family expenditure, where your shop, etc. The blessings card indicates this situation will take a turn for the better as you have been finding it very stressful to make end meet. The honesty card hints of hidden expenditures or further cutbacks you can make in order to lighten the financial stress. This will, however, be temporary. August carries in a time of financial relief and you have the peace of mind card so the changes that you make now will stand to your families financial health in the future. Many blessings, Fiona Faery

Q A

LOVE IN THE WORKPLACE?

Hi Fiona, i would like to know if a man i have recently got to know on a professional basis is interested in me romantically, he is very friendly and just my type but i really cant tell? Olivia Co. Louth

Hi Olivia, I do feel the attraction here is mutual, however, I sense a lot of hurt around you from a Previous relationship and due to the fact that you both work together I would advise you both get to know each other first. I feel there is another woman round this gentleman at the moment. This could mean he is either in a relationship or getting over a relationship. Give this relationship a chance to develop as the best relationships grow from friendships. Olivia, you have a very kind heart and I feel you have been let down badly in the past. Take things slowly. Get to know this person. Patience here is the key! Many blessings, Fiona Faery

A JOB ON THE HORIZON?

Q A

Hi Fiona, My new boyfriend is moving over in May and is a little stressed about finding work here as he needs to save for College. How do you foresee his prospects? Many thanks David Co. Dublin

Hi David, immediately the first two cards that jumped out where my contract card and my music card. He may also give private Tuition (i feel a teaching aspect) as I feel self employment around him also. I feel he will balance between private clients and part time work. June I see being busy for him, I feel he is a hard worker, very driven and does not like to sit still for very long. I also feel there maybe a connection to someone you both know or a helpful female friend that will bring work his way. Many blessings, Fiona Faery

Let go of things Let go of the things That have let go Of you Or you'll stay trapped As you hang on to. Old grudges & regret, Lovers & friendships With stubborn mindset. It's time you start To let go. So happiness Can start To blissfully flow. You have nothing Left to prove As step by step You begin to move. Into the light Of a brand new day. Just let go Or misery Will have its way. It's time To make peace With the past Let it go Or bitterness Will hold you fast Hear the sounds Of joy Upon the shore Let it go For the freedom To find love again Once more....

LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL

Q

Hi Fiona, Things are tough for me family wise at the moment. I have a lot of illness surrounding me also with respect to my Parents. Can you see any light at the end of this tunnel for me? regards Deirdre Co. Kildare

A

Deirdre, as I read your cards I feel the strain of

having two parents that have been unwell this last while. I feel a lot of energy round your mother in April. I feel she is in the best possible place receiving the best possible care. I feel things have fallen into routine with you and you have worn the pathway between hospitals as you tend to both. June brings in a time of transformation and there are three siblings who will need your strength. I feel a

healing energy connected to you and a beautiful connection with your angels. I feel a Maureen and Kathleen in spirit connected to your mum and you need to know your loved ones in spirit are with her all the time. There is a John and Patrick with your father. I feel your dad is comfortable and keep getting music around him. Many blessings Fiona Faery

ŠFiona Faery

TROUBLED TEEN

Q

Hi Fiona, how can I get my son to stop drinking and to admit he has a problem as he very angry with the world. Sheila co Dublin

A

Firstly, Sheila you cannot get your son to stop doing anything, it has to be his choice. I feel his anger comes from suppressed pain. I also feel he feels lost. I feel he needs direction and purpose in his life again. I would recommend you seek professional help I.e therapist or counselling service for him as there are deep emotional issues he needs to address. I feel your house is becoming a battle ground at the moment. We have a tendency to take our pain out on those we love the most and I feel you and your son would benefit from a therapists counsel. I feel he needs to feel listened to and this will help him throughout his life and will help make important decisions regarding his future, which is very bright! Many blessings, Fiona Faery

Send all your questions into Fiona - fiona@matureliving.ie


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DID YOU KNOW?

That 1 in every 500 people in Ireland is affected by Parkinson’s Disease 1 in every 20 diagnosed is under 40 years of age

You can Support Parkinson’s Association of Ireland with a €2 donation by texting PARKINSONS to 50300 on your mobile phone (All proceeds go to Parkinson’s Association of Ireland. Vat applies on some networks. Sp. Likecharity 01-4433890)

For more information contact 1800 359 359 www.parkinsons.ie


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