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For wheelchair users, it can often feel difficult to engage in regular exercise. Many workouts are not designed with the disabled in mind or require special equipment to accomplish. However, there are plenty of exercises for wheelchair users that are easy to do, regardless of age.

Benefits of Exercising

Regular exercise is essential to our wellbeing. It keeps fat off and strengthens muscles. These are not the only benefits, however. Exercising can have a major effect on mental health, helping to promote positivity and combatting boredom. If you can exercise with others, you will also lessen the impact of loneliness.

You will also find that regular exercise will improve your energy levels. Whilst exercises for wheelchair users may initially result in increased tiredness – which in turn may aid with a better night’s sleep – over time your body will become more efficient. This can make it easier to finish jobs throughout the day, whilst still having time for your hobbies.

The NHS recommends wheelchair users exercise for 150 minutes or more every week.

With these benefits in mind, here are 5 exercises for wheelchair users.

Exercises for Wheelchair Users

1. Shoulder Strength

It is important to keep your shoulders and arms strong, especially if you move yourself around in your wheelchair. Not only does this exercise serve as a good stretching routine before exercise, but it also benefits the muscles in your shoulders.

You begin by sitting up straight in your wheelchair and extending your arms forwards. Keep your hands facing the floor, and pretend you are holding onto a metal bar. Stretch your arms forward as far as is comfortable. When you cannot stretch any further, raise your arms and then reach behind you. Squeeze your shoulder blades together until it becomes uncomfortable, and then return your arms to the starting position.

If you are planning to perform more exercises for wheelchair users, do this a couple of times to get your muscles properly stretched. For a full workout, repeat this exercise ten times.

2. Weight Training

When you think of weight training, you might picture bodybuilders lifting huge barbells. This could make the idea of lifting weights intimidating. However, weight training is one of the best exercises for wheelchair users. Simply picking up a couple of dumbbells for half an hour every day will build up strength in your muscles.

Furthermore, engaging in weight training will work your muscles in different ways to pushing your wheelchair. These exercises for wheelchair users help to build the muscles that support those you use every day. When all your muscles are healthy, it makes tasks easier than if you are only using the muscles for that task. It also reduces the likelihood of injury.

Start small and build up to heavier weights. Get into the routine of setting aside some time for exercise every day. If you lack any dumbbells, a couple of bags of sugar or two bunches of bananas can serve as a convenient substitute. Make sure you do not rush into lifting more than you can handle. If possible, consider joining an exercise group.

3. Chest Squeeze

If you push yourself around in your wheelchair, you will already be building up your chest muscles. However, they may become strained from the motions. These exercises for wheelchair users help to prevent injury to the muscles you use every day.

A chest squeeze exercise is great for strengthening the muscles in your chest and back. All you need is a ball or balloon. If you don’t have these, you can also try it by pressing your palms together instead.

Sit up straight in your seat, with your stomach tensed, providing support for your back. Hold the ball (or balloon) at chest level, keeping a firm grip on it. Slowly push the ball forward, continuing to squeeze it. Once you have extended as far as you can go, slowly pull the ball back to your chest. Repeat this exercise ten times.

4. Side Bend Stretch

When you spend a lot of your time in a wheelchair, it is important that you strengthen your back muscles. Sometimes this can be accomplished by regular stretching. Stretching exercises for wheelchair users are limited by the chair itself. However, one effective technique is the side bend stretch.

To perform the side bend stretch, you need to sit up tall in your wheelchair. Ensure you are facing forward in your seat with your abdominal muscles contracted. Start by raising your left arm toward the ceiling, pressing your upper arm close to your ear. Keeping your arm in this position, slowly lean your upper body to the right. Go as far as is comfortable, aiming to form a “C” shape with your spine.

Hold the stretch for up to fifteen seconds, or as long as is comfortable. Slowly return to the starting position, and then repeat on the other side. You can perform this stretch a few times, but don’t push yourself too far.

5. Knee Lifts

If you can use your legs, performing knee lifts can help to strengthen your thighs and calves. This can then help to improve your mobility. One of the great things about exercises for wheelchair users is that, in some cases, they may help you to move around for longer periods without sitting down.

Like many wheelchair exercises, knee lifts require you to sit up straight in your chair. Stretch your legs a little bit by raising them up, one at a time, and turning the foot in a slow circle. Do this for a few seconds, and then place both feet flat on the ground. Lift the right leg slowly, bending the knee. Raise it as far as it can go and then lower it back down to the floor. Repeat with the other foot.

Continue this exercise, alternating the legs. Imagine you are marching in place. Attempt to perform your knee lifts for a few minutes, and then take a rest. If you feel up to it, repeat for another few minutes. Stop if it becomes uncomfortable or painful.

Staying Safe When Exercising

When performing these exercises for wheelchair users, it is important to stay safe. Make sure you have enough water and check your blood sugar levels if necessary. Keep a healthy snack close by for an extra boost of energy. You should also consult your GP before starting any new exercises regimes.

Another means of staying safe when exercising – or at any time – is to purchase a Lifeline alarm. Lifeline alarms offer 24/7 protection, 365 days a year. If you have a fall or feel unwell, all you need to do is press the button on your alarm pendant. Our trained Response Team will arrange support for you by alerting your emergency contacts and, if necessary, the emergency services.

You can find out more about our lifesaving devices by checking out our in-depth guide or by getting in touch with our helpful team.

Over the past couple of years, more than half of us have started taking up new forms of exercise. New trends are sweeping in to replace old habits, and outdoor exercise, in particular, is seeing a major boost in popularity. It’s great for getting you out of the house and helping you to connect with nature. If you’ve been thinking about getting back out there and improving your fitness, outdoor exercise may be the new habit you’ve been looking for.

Exercise Habits During Lockdown

At the beginning of the first national lockdown, exercise habits hit a temporary low. Gyms and leisure centres closed, classes were cancelled, and anxiety kept people indoors. Whilst home workouts saw an increase in popularity it was not until the sixth week of lockdown that the majority of people felt confident to leave their home for exercise.

With this change in attitude came a surge in outdoor exercise. This increase was most prevalent amongst people who were working from home. More than three quarters of home workers left the house to exercise, heading to their local parks. The increase in exercising coincided with an increased interest in nature-based activities such as birdwatching.

As we approach 2022, the popularity of outdoor exercise remains high, and it looks set to be the big fitness trend of the new year.

The Benefits of Outdoor Exercise

Getting out and about does wonders for your wellbeing. Even a fifteen-minute walk can boost your mood and improve your health.

Improve Your Mental Health

Social distancing and shielding have led to a major increase in loneliness and isolation amongst the elderly. A lack of interaction with loved ones can often result in deteriorating mental health. Getting out of the house and going for a walk can help to alleviate stress. You may also bump into friends, allowing you to socialise.

Mental health can often take a hit in the winter months. Many people struggle over Christmas or in the New Year. You may have heard of the “winter blues” or “Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)”; these are names given to seasonal patterns in mental health.

Whilst the weather may not be great, a short walk through your local park or down to the shops could help to clear your mind and improve your mood. If you are worried about a fall or feeling unwell, a GO GPS Alarm can provide additional peace of mind whilst out of the house.

Get Fit

It’s never too late to improve your fitness. It is just as important for the elderly to exercise as it is for anyone else. Regular exercise helps to combat high blood pressure, burn fat, and improve circulation. It will also help you to build up your strength, which can help prevent falls.

Walking is ideal for building up the muscles in your legs, and as you feel more confident, you may want to try other forms of exercise such as cycling. Of course, the most important thing is to know your limits. Whilst the NHS recommends doing 150 minutes of exercise a week, not all of this needs to be spent power-walking!

Connect With Nature

In an age of increasing urbanisation, many of us have lost our connection to the natural world. We might see the occasional bird through our kitchen window or enjoy the shade of a tree, but we’re rarely far away from the rushing of cars or the cold brick of a house. Outdoor exercise could be what you need to forge a newfound love for nature.

In fact in 2020, the RSPB saw an increase of web traffic with people looking for birdwatching hotspots. Taking some time every week to visit a nature trail affords you with plenty of opportunities for sighting elusive animals. A trip to a forest gets you away from the hustle and bustle of towns. If you have friends who are also looking to enjoy outdoor exercise, why not arrange a walking trip?

And you need not worry about getting lost or having a fall on your explorations. As well as most routes being well signposted, a GO GPS Alarm offers additional security when you’re not at home. A simple press of a button means help can be sent to you regardless of your location.

Combat Loneliness

Over the lockdowns, loneliness in the elderly population became far more prevalent. Social distancing and shielding meant that many elderly people were unable to see their loved ones. This had a drastic effect on their mental health.

Engaging in outdoor exercise enables you to spend time with friends or family. You will be out in the fresh air, taking time to catch up and have a laugh. This can help fight the symptoms of isolation and boost your mood.

Ideal Outdoor Exercise for the Elderly

Walking

Amongst the easiest forms of outdoor exercise to engage in, walking is great for building up your strength and getting outside. A steady walk can make it easy to clear your mind, and it’s a form of exercise that can be gradually increased in intensity. As you feel your strength improving, start picking up the pace every so often. Extend your routes and take different paths; a climb up a hill will push you harder.

Walking can aid with circulation, strengthens the heart and lungs, and has even been found to help prevent dementia. Plus, it’s one of the few forms of exercise that allows you to talk easily whilst doing it!

Cycling or Running

Cycling is great for building up muscle, but it also benefits your cardiovascular health and improves your balance. Maintaining good fitness in these areas will help you feel more confident at home, as you will be less likely to have a fall. Like walking, you can gradually increase your cycling habits. Start with short rides on level terrain, and slowly push yourself to cycle along longer routes with hills.

If you don’t have a bike, you can up your activity by going for a run. If walks are starting to feel a little too sedate, a steady jog will get the blood pumping. Even a five minute run once a week will do your body some good. Over time you will strengthen your muscles and build up your cardiovascular endurance. When you feel strong enough, why not join a fun run?

Gardening

Even just moving around in the garden counts as outdoor exercise. Watering your plants with a watering can helps to strengthen the muscles in your arm and digging up weeds can also be a good workout. Doing a few daily jobs in your garden will soon add up. The benefits of gardening include a lower risk of osteoporosis and some cancers; your mental health will also see an improvement.

And there is no need to worry about having a fall in your garden. The GO GPS Alarm does not rely on a base unit, meaning you can call for help no matter where you are.

Golf

A full game of golf can be a great workout, exercising your legs, arms, lungs, and heart. You could walk up to four miles for a single 18-hole game, and every swing you take will work your muscles. A few good stretches before you begin will ward off too many aches and pains. Of course, golf is also a very social game, which brings its own benefits to your wellbeing.

Yoga

Whilst yoga can easily be done in the comfort of your own home, there is something freeing about doing it in the open air. This is an activity best done in summer when the weather is warmer. Yoga helps to increase blood flow and relieve stress. It can also help with arthritis.

If you are unsure about trying yoga, or want to build up your strength first, consider reading our post on chair yoga. It will provide you with some easy poses to ease you into the art.

Swimming

Swimming in an outdoor pool may not be something you want to do in winter, but in summer it is great for building up strength without putting too much strain on the body. Water helps to cushion the joints, allowing you to move around without putting undue strain on your muscles. A few laps in the pool can help build up your cardio endurance. Alternatively, you may find that walking around a shallow pool is less tiring that a walk along a road.

For the more adventurous among you, why not try wild swimming? It comes with additional benefits, such as helping blood circulation in ways normal swimming does not.

Exercise Safely with Lifeline24

Here at Lifeline24 we want our customers to feel confident both at home and whilst out and about. As part of our commitment to your wellbeing, we offer the GO GPS Alarm. This fantastic device provides you with 24/7 coverage 365 days a year, regardless of your location.

Whether at home or out for a walk in the woods, when you press the button on your Go Anywhere device, a call will be put through to our Response Team. The GO GPS will automatically relay your location to the Response Team, allowing them to send help to your exact location.

For more information on the GO GPS Alarm, check out our simple guide. If you still have any questions, please do not hesitate to call our helpful customer service team on 0800 999 0400.

His Royal Highness Prince Charles is one of the most prominent public figures in the world. He is next in line to the throne of the United Kingdom and has supported international charities for years. The work he does not just for the crown but also for disadvantaged people across the world make him a true National Treasure.

Childhood

Prince Charles was born on November 14th, 1948, in Buckingham Palace. He was the first child of then-Princess Elizabeth (later Queen Elizabeth II) and Prince Philip; his grandfather, George VI, was King at the time.

A month later, on December 15th, Charles was baptised at the Palace. The ceremony was performed by Geoffrey Fisher, the Archbishop of Canterbury.

In 1952, upon the passing of his grandfather and his mother’s accession to the throne, he was named Heir Apparent. He was also given the titles Duke of Cornwall and Duke of Rothesay. Charles is now the oldest, and longest-serving, heir apparent in British history.

The young Prince Charles became one of the first royals to go to school rather than being educated at home. Between the ages of five and eight he was attended by a governess named Catherine Peebles. In 1956 he started at Hill House School, West London. Over the next ten years he would attend other schools, such as Cheam Preparatory School and Geelong Grammar School. When he left school in 1967, he had six GCE O-levels and two A-levels. These A-levels were in History and French, in which he earned a grade B and C, respectively.

University

Charles ended up being the first heir apparent in British history to attend university and get a degree. This went against the royal tradition of joining the British Armed Forces after leaving school. Instead, he attended Trinity College, Cambridge. In 1969, as the ceremony to crown him Prince of Wales approached, he went to Aberystwyth to study Welsh history and language.

Ultimately, Prince Charles graduated from the University of Cambridge with a 2:2 Bachelor of Arts degree on June 23rd, 1970. In his time at university, Charles did not entirely neglect the Armed Forces. He requested and received flight training from the Royal Air Force in his second year of studies, and flew himself to the Royal Air Force College Cranwell to train as a jet pilot in 1971.

Royal Duties

Through the years, Prince Charles has attended many events on behalf of the royal family. It is, in fact, his duty as Prince of Wales to undertake functions on behalf of the Queen. One of the duties he performs regularly is a yearly tour of Wales. He attends important national events and fulfils a week of engagements every summer.

In 1995, Charles became the first member of the royal family to visit the Republic of Ireland in an official capacity. During this visit, Charles said, “The links and friendships between the peoples of these islands are found everywhere and in almost every family. This, ladies and gentlemen, must surely reinforce the important efforts now being made to build a lasting peace.”

At the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi, India, Charles represented the Queen at the opening ceremony. He revisited Ireland in May 2015, accompanied by the Duchess of Cornwall. The British Embassy called it an important step in “promoting peace and reconciliation”.

Princess Diana

Lady Diana Spencer was Prince Charles’s first wife. They first met in 1977, and at first were not drawn to one another. Over subsequent years, however, the two became closer, and eventually romantically involved. In 1981, following pressure from Prince Philip, Charles proposed to Diana. She accepted, and they got married on July 29th of the same year. The wedding took place at St Paul’s Cathedral.

The couple then lived at Kensington Palace and Highgrove House, near Tetbury. The marriage awarded Diana the title “Princess of Wales”. They had two children: Prince William, born in 1982, and Prince Henry (known as Harry) born in 1984. Charles was present at the births of both boys. This was something never seen amongst royal fathers.

After marrying, the couple went on many overseas tours. They also carried out many engagements together in the UK.

Divorce

After about five years, the marriage started to fall apart. There was talk of infidelity on both sides. In 1992 the Prime Minister at the time, John Major, announced in Parliament that the couple had separated. They went on to divorce in 1996.

Diana continued to be considered a member of the royal family. She was still invited to attend official functions and became something of a celebrity. Paparazzi became somewhat obsessed with her.

Sadly, in August 1997, Diana died in a car crash. The accident occurred in Paris. Charles flew there with Diana’s sisters to accompany her body back to the UK. The funeral was held in September, with an estimated two million mourners gathering outside Westminster Abbey.

Camilla Parker Bowles

In February 2005, it was announced that Prince Charles was engaged to Camilla Parker Bowles. Instead of a church wedding, Charles and Camilla had a civil wedding at Windsor Guildhall. This was another royal first. The Queen did not attend but was present at the reception.

The wedding was initially scheduled to take place on April 8th. It was delayed by a day so that Charles and some of the dignitaries who would be present at the wedding could attend the funeral of Pope John Paul II.

The couple remain together today. They regularly attend royal functions together. Charles and Camilla have not had any children.

Charity Work

Prince Charles is well-known for his international charity work. He is a president of more than 16 organisations, including The Prince’s Trust. This organisation was founded in 1976. These charities annually raise over £100 million to support charity work across the world.

Some of the charities he supports help to get young people into employment, as well as protecting the environment and minority communities. Some specific charities he has supported include Children In Crisis, National Wildlife Federation, and the Red Cross.

The Prince is also a keen watercolourist and has sold and exhibited many of these paintings to benefit charity. From his youth, Charles was a keen polo player; until 2005 he played regularly, often for charity. It is safe to say that his charity work will be Prince Charles’s most enduring legacy.

If you are caring for a loved one, you may be eligible for Carer’s Allowance. This is a benefit for individuals who provide regular unpaid care.

Providing frequent care can put a strain on finances, meaning it is important you get support where possible. Carer’s Allowance can help.

What is Carer’s Allowance?

Carer’s Allowance is a regular welfare benefit currently paid at £67.60 a week. The amount paid out is not based on income or existing capital; there is, however, a cap on how much you can earn to remain eligible for Carer’s Allowance. It is a taxable benefit.

Am I Eligible?

To be eligible for Carer’s Allowance, you need to provide care to a person for at least 35 hours a week. The nature of this care may include helping with washing and cooking, taking the person you are caring for to appointments, or helping with household tasks and/or shopping. The person you care for needs to receive one of the following:

You must not be earning more than £128 a week (after deductions) and cannot be in full-time education. Deductions include income tax, National Insurance, and pension contributions. If you share care responsibilities with another person, only one of you is permitted to claim Carer’s Allowance.

However, you do not have to be related to the person you are caring for. This means you can claim Carer’s Allowance if you are providing care to a friend or neighbour.

Effects of Other Benefits on Carer’s Allowance

Other benefits can affect how much Carer’s Allowance you receive. If you are currently in receipt of your State Pension, you will not receive the full amount of Carer’s Allowance. If the amount of State Pension you receive surpasses the amount you would receive in Carer’s Allowance, you will not be eligible to receive the benefit. However, if your State Pension is less than the amount you would receive in Carer’s Allowance, the difference is paid by this benefit.

This extra amount is known as a Carer’s Premium or Carer’s Addition. It may seem quite complicated, so be sure to speak to Citizen’s Advice if you have any questions.

Though you may not be able to receive any money from Carer’s Allowance, it may still be worth making a claim. This is because you may be awarded an “underlying entitlement”.

Underlying Entitlement

If you have an underlying entitlement, you meet the criteria for Carer’s Allowance, but you cannot receive the money. This is likely because it overlaps with another benefit, such as your State Pension. An underlying entitlement, however, means that your benefit allowances may be increased, or it could help you qualify for a different means-tested benefit.

Remember, though, that mean-tested benefits are dependent on your income and savings.

Claiming Carer’s Allowance

To claim Carer’s Allowance, you will need to submit an application form. This can be found on the official government website. Be sure to read all the information on this page before you start.

Alternatively, you can download a form to fill in and post.

Any questions about your application should be directed to the Carer’s Allowance Unit on 0800 731 0297.

What To Do If You Don’t Qualify

If your application is unsuccessful, you still have some options. You can request a written statement of the reasons they have decided to reject you. This can then be used when you request a “mandatory reconsideration” – the first step of the appeals process. It gives the benefits office an opportunity to reconsider their decision.

To request a mandatory reconsideration, you will need to write back to the address on your original decision letter. You should specify why you think the decision was wrong and provide evidence to support your claim. The request should be submitted as soon as possible after receiving the initial decision.

A mandatory reconsideration notice will be provided in the post, which will tell you whether the claim has been granted or denied. You will usually have a month in which to appeal the decision.

Information on appealing a decision can be found here.

Support from Lifeline

Even if you are providing regular care, you cannot always be there for your loved ones. Fortunately, Lifeline Alarms are always there for you. Our devices offer peace of mind by providing 24/7 support in case of accident or illness. A simple press of the button calls for help, putting your loved one in contact with our professional Response Team.

Our service includes a base unit and a comfortable pendant alarm.

For more information, read our guide to the Lifeline alarm service or give our friendly team a call on 0800 999 0400.

Lifeline24 are proud to announce that we have partnered with the Epsom and Ewell Housing Association (EEHA). As of September, we have been supporting their personal alarm system, ensuring their residents are always in safe hands.

Who are the EEHA?

The Epsom and Ewell Housing Association are a non-profit organisation dedicated to providing housing for elderly people of limited means. Established in 1949, they have been supporting those in need for more than half a century now, and we are very proud to be partnering with them.

They own 91 flats, all of which stand on St. Martin’s Avenue and Worple Road, less than ten minutes’ walk from Epsom town centre. Each site is supported by a resident warden service that ensures things keep running smoothly, and every flat is connected to the Lifeline-monitored alarm system.

Housing is provided to elderly people who are at risk of homelessness, or who are struggling to afford their current housing. Nursing care is not provided, so housing with the EEHA does require that applicants can care for themselves. This includes doing their own cooking and shopping. Priority is given to elderly people in the local area, or those who have relatives in Epsom, but they do accept applicants from further afield.

Proud to Partner

At Lifeline24 we are dedicated to supporting the elderly and work tirelessly to keep them safe at home. We share this ethos with the EEHA and are proud to be providing extra peace of mind to their residents.

As our customers know, our response team have received the highest accreditation from the Telecare Services Association (TSA). Providing support 24/7, 365 days a year means we are always on hand to safeguard our customers’ wellbeing. This desire to support and protect extends into our partnership with the EEHA.

Find Out More

If you would like to learn more, check out our alarm unit and pendant alarm pages. You can find out more about our services, and get helpful tips, by perusing our blogs. Should you have any questions, give our friendly customer service team a call on 0800 999 0400.

Conversing with older adults about their finances can certainly be tricky, regardless of your relationship with them. Helping a parent or loved one manage their money can seem like a daunting task. Managing finances online may be second nature to people below a certain age, but it isn’t easy for everyone.

Seniors may have trouble understanding how to use technology and are already used to traditional banking — this may lead to feeling overwhelmed with their finances. Reaching an older age comes with its fair share of challenges in and of itself.

Financial resiliency is becoming increasingly important in the digital world. With so many online transactions, it is wise to help older people learn how to use these services. Teaching them new technological skills can make managing their money a breeze.

Here are five tips to keep in mind when helping older adults manage their finances online.

1. Create a Checklist

Using lists to accomplish a task is always a good idea. Firstly, you’ll want to write down banking information such as account numbers and which financial institutions your loved one uses. Make sure you store this information somewhere secure.

This is a great time for them to pull out any paperwork regarding their finances, whether a credit card or utility bill. Creating a list of their expenses will help you stay organized, which is essential. Maybe you want to learn more about any inheritances they plan on leaving, how many credit cards they have, or the status of any debt they’ve accrued.

During this step, it’s also wise to ask your loved ones about some of the struggles they’ve run into when trying to make financial decisions. Addressing them upfront is key, as you can both work together to find the right solution.

2. Consider Setting up a Power of Attorney

When older adults age, it’s common to have sight and hearing problems that make daily activities challenging. In cases where your loved one falls ill or is dealing with a medical condition, it’s wise to have a power of attorney arrangement set up.

Essentially, a power of attorney allows your loved one to give someone else the right to deal with third parties regarding their finances.

There are multiple types of power of attorney options in the U.K. that you may be asked to take on. Consider which type is best for you and your loved one’s situation. Here’s a quick summary:

3. Open a Joint Account

You may feel that accessing your loved one’s bank account is in their best interest to ensure bills are paid on time and balances don’t dip too low. You may want to consider opening a joint account to oversee your parents’ online finances.

Having joint online access benefits both of you. In case of an emergency, you’ll be able to pay for any expenses that are unplanned but necessary. Keep in mind that joint accounts come with specific implications, and most of the time, you’ll both be liable for any debt that accrues over time.

4. Set up Digital Tools

New technologies make online finance management much easier. There are plenty of apps on the market that assist seniors with their money. Apps like SilverBills or EverSafe help older folks stay on top of their finances and overcome any challenges they may face.

Also, it’s wise to consider reaching out to your loved one’s financial institutions to ask for assistance in learning digital features. Banking online is meant to make processes easier, and banks will likely do their best to assist older customers with managing finances online.

5. Be Patient With Your Loved One

Teaching an older adult about online banking management may be frustrating at times. You could run into network connectivity issues, or your loved one may be slow at using a laptop or tablet. It’s critical to be patient during these times and do your best to show them the ins and outs of using online banking methods.

It’s also smart to look for educational resources online. YouTube is valuable and chock-full of tutorials — it’s likely your loved one’s bank has some material online. It’s just a matter of finding it.

There are three good benefits to have older adults manage online finances:

Remember that helping older adults with their finances can protect them from scams and other fraudulent activity. Do your best to teach them digital literacy skills to help them avoid becoming the victim of crime.

Helping Older Adults Manage Finances

You’re doing the right thing by teaching loved ones the right skills they need to manage their finances online. Follow some of the suggestions above if you’re trying to make it an easy transition.

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is a disturbance of normal operations of the brain caused by a blow, bump, or violent shaking of the head. It also happens when the head abruptly hits an object or when an object hits or penetrates through the skull and damages brain tissue. There are two major types of TBI: open TBI refers to situations where the skull breaks, while closed TBI means the skull remains intact. TBI can also be classified according to severity. It can be mild, moderate, or severe. 

Among older adults (65 years and older), TBI is a major problem. In fact, brain injuries were responsible for nearly 350,000 hospital admissions in 2016-17. Sadly, mortality rates after traumatic brain injury increase with age, so older people are more at risk.

This article explains the causes and treatment of traumatic brain injury in older adults, plus gives support and advice. 

Causes of Traumatic Brain Injury

As mentioned, a blow to the head, jolting, or piercing by an object can cause traumatic brain injury. Some of the events that may lead to TBI among older adults include the following:

Falls are by far the leading cause of TBI among older adults. They account for more than half (51%) of all cases. Older adults often fall from the bed or when going up or down the stairs. Sometimes they fall in the bath or from a ladder. These falls can cause mild or moderate TBI. 

Vehicle-related collisions are the second-most-common event resulting in TBI among older adults. They account for nearly one in ten (9%) of all cases and include car, motorcycle, or bicycle collisions. Also under this group are cases of pedestrians involved in vehicle accidents.

Assault stories among older adults are not often in the news. But they still make up around 1% of TBI cases among older adults. The primary causes are gunshot wounds, domestic violence, and other assaults. There are also reports of TBI caused by violent shaking as a form of elder abuse. 

Sports such as boxing, football, rugby, and other high-impact pastimes often lead to TBI. But these are more prevalent among younger adults and youth. 

Combat activities and explosive blasts can also result in Traumatic Brain Injury. But these causes are not common among older adults. Flying debris or falling objects can hit the head and injure the brain.

Types of Injuries

When there is a sudden blow to the head or violent shaking, a person can experience “mass lesions” in the brain and other complications. There are different types of complications that may arise due to TBI. They include the following:

Depending on the type of injury, a doctor would prescribe surgical treatment, pharmaceutical treatment, or a combination. In most instances, patients also go through physical therapy to restore lost or impaired brain functions. Below are some of the treatments available for TBI. 

Treatment and Recovery

Older adults often ignore symptoms of mild TBI and go without treatment. It is not a surprise to hear one say, “I’m just a little shaken, but I’ll be alright after I rest.” However, even mild TBI, especially when it is regular, could result in degenerative brain disorders. It can also be fatal. That’s why it’s so important to see a doctor if you suspect you may have any kind of brain injury. The doctor can prescribe either surgical treatment or medications, or a combination of the two, and follow-up physical therapy for recovery. 

Medication 

When a patient visits A&E with a case of suspected TBI, the doctor will first seek to assess the extent of the injury. They will then stabilise the patient to prevent further brain damage. To achieve this and control symptoms, the doctor could administer drugs to sedate the patient or give pain relief, diuretics, or anti-seizure medication. If the patient requires less oxygen in the brain, doctors can administer coma-inducing medication. 

Surgery

In some cases, surgery may be necessary to remove hematoma, repair skull fracture, or create an opening in the skull to relieve pressure on the brain. 

Recovery

Due to the nature of traumatic brain injury, patients often require prolonged treatment and therapy for recovery. The first step in successful recovery from TBI is to avoid exposure to high-risk behaviour, occupations, and environments. Avoid activities or events that are likely to cause another blow or jolt to the head. Even if the activities are part of your norm, avoid them. Also, avoid other risky activities like driving or cycling.

Second, follow the doctor’s instructions. Mild and moderate traumatic brain injury is a silent epidemic because the effect of the injury is often not immediate or apparent. It is easy to ignore symptoms and doctors’ instructions. But the long-term effects could be fatal. 

Finally, take proactive measures to aid in brain recovery. This includes getting plenty of sleep, avoiding risky habits, and engaging in gentle exercise. 

A final word on TBI

Traumatic brain injury can be life-altering or even fatal. Avoid the main causes of TBI and take measures to protect yourself. If you have experienced any blow to the head or a jolt, consult a doctor and seek treatment. Remember to follow the doctor’s instructions even when the injury is not apparent.

Life can be difficult. Sometimes we can struggle to get around or experience difficulties in daily life. When a condition makes everyday tasks challenging, you may be eligible for Personal Independence Payment, or PIP.

What is Personal Independence Payment?

Personal Independence Payment (or PIP) is a government benefit that is paid into your bank account to provide support with daily life. It is available to individuals with disabilities, illnesses, and certain mental health conditions. You can receive PIP even if you are registered for other benefits, and it is not affected by your savings, income, or employment status.

Payments are usually sent every four weeks. You may receive daily living payments, mobility payments, or both. Which you receive, and the size of your payments, will depend on your needs.

Eligibility

To receive Personal Independence Payments, you must be over 16 years old and not be at state pension age. You also need to have a condition that has led to difficulties with daily living and/or mobility for at least three months; you need to expect that these difficulties will continue for at least nine months.

If you are terminally ill and a healthcare professional has said you probably will not live another six months, there are other different rules.

Difficulties with daily living include preparing or eating food; washing, bathing, and using the toilet; dressing and undressing; reading and communicating; managing your medicines or treatments; making decisions about money; engaging with other people.

Mobility difficulties include anything that means you struggle to move around – whether at home or in public – or if you need support to go out (e.g., cannot drive yourself).

How to Claim

If you think you may be eligible for PIP, you can call the Department for Work and Pensions to make a claim. When you call, you will need to provide your contact details, date of birth, National Insurance number, bank or building society account number and sort code, doctor or health worker’s name and contact details, dates and addresses of any time you have spent in a care home or hospital, and dates for any time you spent abroad for more than four weeks.

You can also claim by post; to do so, you will need to request a form. The government website lists the address as:

Personal Independence Payment New Claims
Post Handling Site B
Wolverhampton
WV99 1AH

Your application will require that you fill in another form – “How your disability affects you” – and in some cases you may also require an independent assessment of your needs.

If you are awarded PIP, you will receive a letter informing you how much you will receive and when. Sometimes, your claim will be reviewed. If this is the case, you will be asked to fill in the same form to determine whether there have been any changes to your needs. It is possible you will also be assessed by a health care professional.

If you experience any changes in circumstances, you must contact the Personal Independence Payment enquiry line to let them know. Changes in circumstances include personal details (such as name, address, or doctor), a change in your needs, if your condition has worsened, you go into hospital or a care home, you go abroad, or you are sent to prison.

Personal Alarms from Lifeline24

A fantastic investment for your Personal Independence Payment may be to purchase a personal alarm. These lifesaving devices offer peace of mind around the home, with help available at the press of a button.

In the event of an emergency, such as a fall, simply press the button on your pendant alarm and you will be put in touch with our TSA Accredited Monitoring Team. They will speak through the alarm unit to determine the nature of the help you need, and then alert your emergency contacts. When necessary, they can also call the emergency services.

To find out more about our personal alarm service, check out our information page. You can also look at our blog, and if you have any questions please do not hesitate to get in touch. We can be easily reached using our contact form, or you can give our friendly team a call on 0800 999 0400.

Want to order your alarm or have a question? Get in touch!