Don’t Feel Like Cooking Tonight? Heres 4 Reasons why You Should For Your Health.

(image: Jason Briscoe: Unsplash)

Home cooking offers many benefits. It gives us control over what we’re consuming, we can try out new combinations and recipes, and it can even be a soothing activity.

It’s often one of the first things that falls by the wayside when our lives get hectic, however. Revenue in the ready meals market has increased since 2017 and is expected to continue rising until 2026. It’s clear that in our busy lives, we often resort to convenience foods.

Here, we’ll cover some of the hidden benefits of cooking at home for those times when you feel like ordering a takeaway or throwing another microwave meal in.

Portion and ingredient control

When you order a takeaway or eat a meal at a restaurant, you don’t have much control over the ingredients used or the size of the portion you get, unless you specify you’re allergic to an ingredient. Home cooking is a great way to eliminate unhealthy ingredients.

Portion sizes vary wildly between restaurants – some are much bigger than we’d make at home, while others are not enough to satisfy us. Everyone’s food intake requirements are different, and the healthiest attitude towards food is to eat a satisfying amount – even if it’s more or less than your friend. Generally, restaurants aren’t a good guide for portion sizes, whereas you’ll know your nutrition requirements when cooking at home.

Making healthier choices

A lot of us have been tempted by an impromptu fast food lunch order when we’re at work. And while there’s nothing wrong with indulging in your favourite takeaways occasionally, doing this too often can leave us feeling lethargic and unhealthy.

Preparing your meals for work in advance gives you the freedom to cook whatever you love the most while incorporating energy-boosting fresh ingredients. Meal prepping has exploded in popularity in the past few years, and for good reason. Whether you batch-prep your meals for work every week or you cook an extra portion of your evening meal for the next day, preparing food for work is great for our health.

You’ll need to make sure your trusty work bag can fit your lunch in – backpacks for women are hugely popular for work now, and they can also fit in plenty of other healthy essentials like a reusable water bottle, plus your work laptop!

(image: Max Komthongvjit: Unsplash)

Saving money

It won’t come as a surprise that regular home cooking will keep some more pennies in your purse, especially considering we’re experiencing an increase in the cost of living right now. Dining out at our favourite restaurants is unsurprisingly the most expensive way to eat, but even those visits to the shop for a seemingly cheap meal deal can add up.

Cooking from scratch allows us to cost up our meals and ensure we’re eating within our budget. If you’re finding that you’re priced out of some fresh ingredients, don’t worry – studies have shown that frozen fruit and vegetables are just as healthy. In some cases, frozen produce may even contain higher levels of some nutrients – and come with the added bonus of being easier to prepare!

Mental health benefits

Many of us will already know how relaxing cooking can be. The act of methodically preparing, seasoning, and stirring our food can be therapeutic. Taking the time to cook a meal from scratch tells us that we are worthy of spending time on, which can boost our self-esteem. The act of cooking sometimes requires precision, but it takes us away from the hustle and bustle of our busy lives and – usually – drags us away from our screens.

Having a regular routine is powerful for people who experience anxiety and feel like their life is out of control. Cooking at home regularly is an important part of a healthy everyday routine, which can help us feel in control of our lives. What’s more, it can be a creative activity, and that’s proven to lift our mood and reduce stress.

While we love dining out and ordering in the occasional fast-food feast, there’s no doubt that home cooking reigns supreme. Not only does it allow us to be aware of what we’re putting into our bodies, but it also allows us to take some time away for ourselves, away from our devices and the busyness of our everyday lives.

This article was written by a freelance writer and contains ad links

Our Blog is 6 Years Old Today!

On the 1st March 2016, I started this blog as a way to provide therapy for myself- as I was going through panic attacks, (caused by trauma due to a hospitalisation for a bipolar manic episode). Since then I have had several years of EMDR trauma therapy and my life changed so much too- I met my husband, we got married and moved to our first home. I also found a career I love after many twists and turns due to mental illness. Life is never plain sailing especially with mental health and I still live with panic attacks/ social anxiety at times but am learning to manage them.

The blog has turned into a book Bring me to Light (with Trigger), writing for Metro.co.uk, Glamour, the Telegraph, Happiful, Rethink Mental Illness, Mind and other incredible organisations, I have partnered with large and small brands, charities, businesses, writers to create content that battles stigma on mental health. We have been awarded as a Top 10 UK blog by Vuelio since 2018 (thank you) and I love to share my story to help others and educate people about bipolar, anxiety, panic disorders, psychosis, mania and mental health in the workplace (amongst other mental health topics!). I have also recorded podcasts – most recently with Dr Rosena Allin Khan MP, shadow minister for mental health, Daniel Rosenberg at SodsPod and was also interviewed by Penny Power OBE with my Dad Mike (who is a mental health speaker).

When I started this blog I had no idea where it would lead and its been the most special, humbling and amazing journey- with so much more to do so watch this space!. I really want to help more people this year and also have a childrens book I would love to get out there to help kids with anxiety.

As always, I want to thank all my contributors and brands (sponsored or not), as well as the digital agencies and freelance writers who provide content too. I hope to keep it going for the next year at least! Let me know what you want to see.

This year heres what we have been talking about (and big thank you to everyone. If it doesnt have a name by it, content has been written by a writer):



How social distancing is affecting social anxiety in the pandemic- Anita Ginsburg

Book Review of the Smart Girls Handbook by Scarlett Clark- me (Eleanor)

Being kind to myself, social anxiety and life in recovery- me (Eleanor)

Self care ideas for positive change in 2021

How to cope with top 4 challenging life events

The Book of Hope launchme

Sending self care packages- a guide to sending gifts

Feel less trapped with these powerful ideas

6 Tips to stay positive and help mental health

Moving to our First Home and mental health- me

How to reach for help and not be ashamed

Whats the connection between mental health and addiction- Jennifer at Mandala Healing

We are a top UK mental health blog 2021- thanks Vuelio- Me

Can you still get health insurance cover if you have a history of mental illness?

The benefits of seeking mental health support and help

The link between debt and mental health

Start Up founders are 50% more likely to suffer from a mental health condition- Daniel Tannenbaum

How can mental health workers cope with the new normal?

Easing the burden of divorce- Brooke Chaplan

Stress and Panic Attacks Part two- Me

How to remain independent and look after your health as you get older

How selfie changed my life and mental health- Kathryn Chapman

The benefits of personal training for your mental health- Life Force Fitness

Recovery from alcohol or substance abuse: benefits of a sober living home

6 Ways Fathers can Assist New Mothers- Jess Levine

Work in progress- healing from trauma to find the light- me

Is stress affecting your skin? heres how to tell

Prioritising mental health on the world stage, Simone biles- me

Why privacy is critical for our mental health

Goal setting for mental health

Moving house? 5 tips to deal with moving stress

4 Ways to make mental health a priority in your life- Emma Sturgis

What you need to know about post Partum Depression- Kara Reynolds

The Midnight Library book review- me

5 interior design ideas to boost wellbeing

Steps to help aging and wellbeing

How to keep your children in mind during a divorce-Brooke Chaplan

Bryony Gordons mental health card collection for Thortful.com

The Inquisitive-a film on mental health and suicide- Kelvin Richards

Being self compassionate when I have anxiety- me

Keeping things stress free when selling an elderly family members home

7 Bipolar disorder facts everyone should know- Ronnie Deno

Recovering from an eating disorder- Kara Masterson

Wellbeing tips and activities for children- collaboration with Twinkl resources

Building trust in a relationship

How sleep patterns affect your mental health

Choosing life and freedom- my therapy journey- me

Dealing with imposter syndrome

Confidence on return to the office

lifestyles and mental health- Anna Witcherley at Head Hacks

Stress and mild anxiety formula- Nu mind wellness

Mental health problems in the pandemic- Webdoctor.ie

Patient transport helps anxious travellers- EMA Patient transport

How to stop signs of traumatic brain injury- Lizzie Weakley

Looking after mental health in a tense office environment

Dealing with anxiety as a mom/mum- Kara Reynolds

5 Self help books for 2022

Winter mental health and anxiety update- me

Tips to fight addiction- Lizzie Weakley

Lockdown, sleep, anxiety and mental health- collaboration with TEMPUR mattresses (ad)

Helping elderly people to live independently

Getting your loved one help for their addiction- Emma Sturgis

How to support your spouse with mental health issues- Kara Reynolds

Battling co occurring mental health and substance addiction- Holly

Festive season- me

Its Okay not to be Okay by Esther Marshall book review- me

The difference between a therapist and life coach- Lizzie Weakley

Managing mental health over christmas/ festive time- me

Reflecting on a new year 2022- me

Surviving trauma makes relationships difficult- self compassion helps- Taylor Blanchard

Window to the womb launches avocado app for perinatal wellbeing

Where to start when battling addiction- Rachelle Wilber

Mental health new year resolutions

Book review- Pushing through the cracks- Emily J Johnson- me

Depression meals when life gets hard- Kara Reynolds

Jami see mental health campaign blog

Recovering from cancer- the mental health aspect- Rachelle Wilber

Outdoor activities to improve your mental health- Elizabeth Howard

Mental health and eating disorder recovery journey- Emily J. Johnson

Fitness and mental health

Interview with Penny Power MBE, Thomas Power and Mike Segall on bipolar disorder

Self love for Valentines Day- with Kalms (ad)

Being debt free and in good mental health for 2022

Mental health medication- fighting the stigma- me

Overcoming alcohol addiction- Rachelle Wilber

Spiritual tips for helping mental health

Risk factors for post partum depression

Wow! Thank you for supporting me and the blog, for continuing to read and share it and to help battle the stigma around not only bipolar disorder and anxiety- but every mental illness.

Love,

Eleanor x

Six Ways to Practice Self Love This Valentine’s Day (and Every Day) with Kalms #ad

(image: Unsplash)

Valentine’s Day is here and it’s time to show a little extra love to the special people in our lives. But what about the most important person of all? Yourself! Whether you’re single or taken, it’s important to pamper yourself with the same kind of love and kindness that you’d shower on anyone else. Here the expert’s at Kalms, share six simple ways to practice self-love on Valentine’s Day and beyond.

Practicing self-love isn’t always easy. With so much else going on in the world, me-time is usually last on the to-do list. Worse, we can sometimes feel guilty about taking the time required to take care of ourselves. But no matter how indulgent or fancy the term may sound, prioritising self-love has some serious benefits for our mental and physical health.

In addition to boosting self-esteem and lowering your stress levels significantly, self-love has other physical health benefits including increased levels of dopamine, oxytocin, and serotonin aka the ‘happy hormones’, better cardiovascular health and a strengthened immune system.

So do yourself a favour, take a deep breath, give yourself a little hug and follow Kalms, the traditional herbal remedy specialists, top six simple ways to practice self-love this Valentine’s Day (and every day):

Do something you love.
Engaging in activities you enjoy elevates your mood and boosts energy. So, schedule time regularly to do something just for yourself—whether it’s journaling, meditation, painting, listening to music or simply giving yourself an at-home spa treatment.

Pay attention to your thoughts.
It is very important that we remember to be kind to ourselves. Whenever you notice yourself saying something unkind to yourself, simply switch to a gentler tone and try to evaluate things rationally to contain your inner critic. Speak to yourself as you would to a loved one. Self-love is about respecting your own needs and desires and is essential to counteracting stress.

Move your body.
Whether it’s a brisk walk around the block, or a virtual workout, exercise encourages the body to release endorphins which counteract the release of cortisol. Getting outside in the fresh air not only clears the airways, but a daily dose of Vitamin D supports the body’s natural mood regulating system.

Write it down.
Try taking time at the end of each day to write down how you feel. Offloading thoughts in this way can help slow down your thinking and clear your mind. Writing down the things you are grateful for can also relieve stress by focusing your thoughts on what’s positive in your life.

Relax your mind and prioritise sleep.
Getting a good night’s sleep is restorative and healing. It also gives you clarity in your thinking and decision-making. Even just one night of poor sleep can decrease your ability to make effective decisions and increase stress levels. Valerian root-based remedies such as Kalms Night One-A-Night can be used to promote a refreshing and restful night’s sleep, whilst Kalms Day help to promote relaxation and relive stress.

Laugh more.
Laughter releases endorphins and other healthy hormones and helps take your mind off of stress. Don’t know where to begin? Take note of who makes you laugh and smile and spend time with them. Read the newspaper and look for goofy headlines. Take a quick break at work to watch a funny video. Record a TV show that makes you laugh. Keep a journal of all these little things, so when you’re feeling blue, you have a pick-me-up guide.

The Kalms Range is available to buy instore and online at Boots, Superdrug, supermarkets, and pharmacies nationwide and online retailers such as Amazon or directly from www.kalmsrange.co.uk.



This article contains an advert for Kalms remedy capsules, but as according to guidelines, I did not receive payment.

Fitness and Mental Health: A Career to Help You Glow

Photo by kike vega on Unsplash

Breaking into the fitness industry might seem like a bit of a challenge, especially if you are switching careers. But if you know that nothing is exciting as lacing up your sports shoes and getting started, then here are a few tips for you to break into fitness as a career. It can help your mental health as well as your physical health!

Education

Even if you are an avid runner, you shouldn’t be giving others running tips beyond anecdotal stuff. This is because the body is a finely tuned machine, and a step out of place while running at full speed, even if it works for you, can cause damage to others.  Equally, things like nutrition should be handled by a professional. 

So one of the most important things that you can do alongside enjoying your fitness is to make sure that you have the education and training to do the best job possible. Thankfully there are plenty of options for online courses, and you can even take a test now to kickstart your career. 

Options

You have hundreds of options within the fitness umbrella. As you invest in education and put that education into improving your own fitness routines, you can explore multiple options. 

You can talk to other fitness professionals about how they got to the point that they are at; most often, they’re so passionate that they’ll be happy to talk to you about it. 

One of the things that are an overriding subject in the professional fitness community is that they want to do the best for their clients.

Passion

If you have only been running, jogging or taking part in yoga for a short time; you might still be riding high on that new hobby energy. Once that new hobby energy starts to wane you might not find it as enjoyable as you did? 

However, if you have been doing it for years, and the passion is still there, then the chances are that you should be going into a fitness career and enjoying a natural feel-good glow.

Within fitness, you’ll find things like writers, fitness instructors, teachers, coaching, sports and fitness photography, gym owners, personal trainers and more. 

You’ll need to decide which one you’re passionate about drives you towards and which one you can picture yourself doing for the long haul.

Experience

Once you have your certification, it’s time to get some experience; you might find it a little bit difficult to get paying clients immediately. 

This is where your friends and family can help you out; ask them if they can be your guinea pigs for a short while and see if you can help them meet their fitness goals.

Once you have some experience, you can use that feedback to improve or add social proof to your website.

And of course, one of the most incredible things about helping people with their fitness journey is that you might become part of their recovery and support.

Looking after their mental health, as well as their physical health is so important and it is proven that fitness has a huge positive effect on mental wellbeing too.

This article was written by a freelance writer.

5 Outdoor Activities That Will Improve Your Mental Health by Elizabeth Howard

(image: Elizabeth Howard)

Spending more time outdoors will do wonders for your mental health. While research has shown that being outdoors helps alleviate stress and the symptoms of emotional illnesses, you can easily discover these benefits by interacting with nature. You will benefit from being outdoors when you sit on your porch, but you’ll keep your leisure time more interesting when you engage in a variety of different outdoor activities and boost your mental health.

Take a Weekend Camping Trip

You can rough it in a tent or enjoy a glamping excursion by renting a fully equipped cabin for the weekend. As you search for available campgrounds in Mississippi (or the country you live in), look for a location that’s near the water or offers a variety of activities. You should try to plan a camping trip that offers plenty of amenities for you and your companions. Swimming, fishing, snorkelling, hiking, and bird watching are a few of the outdoor activities you can enjoy over the weekend. 

Be sure to bring your phone or a camera. You will probably see plenty of wildlife that you’ll want to capture in pictures or on video. Even if you rent a comfortable cabin or take your RV, you’ll find enough activities to keep you outside and in nature throughout your camping excursion.

Go For a Walk

You can spend more time outdoors without leaving home when you plan to take a walk each day or evening. This is an opportunity for you to get outside and clear your head away from work, family, and other obligations. As you walk, let your mind wander. Many people find this to be an effective way of subconsciously working out stressful problems. By the time the walk is over, you might find that they have a solution to a particular problem. 

You can keep your walks interesting and distracting by taking a different route each night. Find a different park, road or walk to a different convenience store each time. In addition to helping you explore different parts of your community, you will also have the opportunity to interact with different people, if you want to.

Rent a Boat

There’s no reason you should feel bound to land when you look for outdoor activities to enjoy. In fact, renting a boat and spending a few hours on the water can have a soothing effect on the mind. You may feel more tranquil as you’re surrounded by the sights, sounds, scents of the water. This is a great opportunity to get together with friends or bond with your family. 

When you’re on the water, you’ll be removed from distractions and have the chance to enjoy deeper conversations. You’ll also have a chance to see your city from a different perspective. By the time you return to the dock or shore, you’ll feel more peaceful and less stressed.

Start a Garden

There are many hidden health benefits of starting a garden, and it will provide a way for you to improve the landscaping of your own property. Working with your hands as you plant and maintain a garden will help you strengthen your hands and fingers, reducing your risks for joint pain. As you tend to your garden, your mind will wander and you’ll enter into a type of meditative state. This will help you set aside your daily worries and concerns for a brief period. That will be enough to relieve stress and help you enjoy a lighter mood.

Climb a Mountain

If you live near a mountain range, consider taking up climbing as a means of getting more outdoor exercise. The act of climbing will help you strengthen a variety of muscle groups throughout your body. As you climb, you’ll see your community and the surrounding region from a different perspective. The air will be more exhilarating as you reach higher points on the mountain. 

While you should start slowly and work with a guide, you may eventually find that mountain climbing can be a competitive sport that allows you to improve your performance over time. Achieving new climbing goals will cause a release of endorphins in the brain, helping you to enjoy a happier mood.

There are many more ways you can enjoy the outdoors and benefit your mental health. Look for things you like to do outside even if that just involves sitting under a tree and reading a good book. The fresh air will benefit your physical health as well as improve your wellbeing.

Physical and Mental Health: How Improving One Can Help The Other.

Photo by Jonathan Borba from Pexels

Mental health is often viewed as something that exists entirely separate from physical health, but the truth is that they are closely intertwined. In fact, research has shown that improving your physical health can also help improve your mental health. Let’s take a look at some of the ways this happens.

1) Exercise releases endorphins, which have mood-boosting effects.

When you exercise, your body releases endorphins, which have mood-boosting effects. This is one of the reasons why exercise can be so beneficial for people with depression or anxiety disorders. Exercise can help to lift your mood and make you feel happier. In addition, regular physical activity is an effective treatment for mild to moderate depression. It can help to improve symptoms such as fatigue, insomnia, and low energy levels. And it’s a good option for people who don’t want or cannot take medication for their depression.

2) Physical activity can help to improve self-esteem and body image.

When you’re physically active, you start to see results in terms of your body composition and physical abilities. This can boost your self-esteem and make you feel better about yourself. Plus, exercise is a great way to manage stress and anxiety. When you’re stressed out, it’s often hard to find the energy or motivation to do anything. But when you have an outlet for your stress, such as exercise, it can help to ease that tension and make you feel better overall. Read this article for more information on exercising for beginners. 

3) Healthy eating can help to regulate your mood.

 An unhealthy diet can have a negative impact on your mental health. For example, poor nutrition can lead to fluctuations in blood sugar levels, affecting your mood. In addition, people who eat many processed foods tend to be more likely to suffer from depression and anxiety disorders. Conversely, people who consume a healthy diet that includes plenty of fruits and vegetables are less likely to experience these problems.

4) Physical activity can help you to get a good night’s sleep.

 Insomnia and other sleep problems are common among people with mental health disorders. In fact, research has shown that lack of sleep is one of the strongest predictors of depression. However, when you’re physically active, you’re more likely to get a good night’s sleep. In addition, exercise helps promote relaxation and calmness, which can be helpful for people who have trouble sleeping.

5) Physical activity can help to reduce stress levels.

One of the leading causes of mental health problems is prolonged exposure to stress. When you’re constantly stressed out, it can take a toll on your mental health. Exercise is a great way to combat stress because it helps to release tension and promote relaxation. In addition, physical activity can help you to manage your time more effectively and reduce feelings of overload or overwhelm.

When it comes to mental health, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. But improving your physical health can be an essential part of the overall treatment plan. So if you’re struggling with a mental health disorder, talk to your doctor about ways that you can improve your physical health as well.

This blog was written by a freelance writer.

How to Overcome the Mental Distress of Recovering from Cancer by Rachelle Wilber

(image: Pexels)

Recovering from cancer is a long, challenging process that takes a lot out of you mentally and physically. Even when you achieve remission and start to regain your energy, the negative effects on your mind can persist. If you’re not sure how to deal with the emotional and psychological aftereffects, it’s easy to become overwhelmed or despondent. However, with the right approach, you can overcome that mental distress and regain a sense of contentment.

Talk to a Professional

If you’re dealing with mental distress during cancer recovery, seeing a therapist or counsellor could be helpful for your mental health. Some professionals specialise in assisting people in coping with major illnesses, and they can often give you beneficial insight. Sometimes, getting a fresh perspective from an outside source can be effective for solving problems that you’re struggling with. You don’t have to commit to monthly or weekly sessions, but it’s worth at least trying out with a session or two, and you can decide at that point if it’s right for you- and what you need.

Find a Wig to Match You

For many patients, chemotherapy is an effective treatment method for achieving remission, but it also comes with several negative side effects. One of the most well-known of these side effects is the thinning or loss of your hair. For some people, this is a difficult change to get used to, and some of the wig options available aren’t particularly appealing. However, there are places where you can purchase custom made lace wigs, which can give you back the look you prefer and help restore that self-confidence.

Find a Creative New Outlet

If you don’t have much to do with your free time during cancer recovery, it leaves a lot of opportunities for your mind to drift toward negative thoughts. This can become a powerful cycle in which the depression can fuel itself and worsen over time. To combat this, try finding a new hobby or creative pursuit that you can develop a passion for, when you have the energy to do so. Having something to do each day that you’re genuinely looking forward to will make a massive difference for your outlook, and it’s also good for the brain in general to keep you occupied. Some days you may just want to lie on the couch and rest- thats OK and listen to your body.

There will always be challenging days when you’re recovering from something as traumatic as cancer, but a positive mindset is still achievable. Try not to let the rough days define you and be kind to yourself. You could try something good for your mental health like meditation, art or reading if you have the concentration.

Remember that it always seems darkest before the dawn, and you will get through it- reach for support from a therapist, partner, friends and family.



Rachelle Wilber is a freelance writer living in the San Diego, California area. She graduated from San Diego State University with her Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Media Studies. She tries to find an interest in all topics and themes, which prompts her writing. When she isn’t on her porch writing in the sun, you can find her shopping, at the beach, or at the gym. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook:

@RachelleWilber;

https://www.facebook.com/people/Rachelle-Wilber/100009221637700/

How To Support Elderly Parents Living Independently.

(image: Pexels)

As you grow older, you may start to notice the role of parent and child starts to change. In the past, the parent provided the care and support to the child, but as the years pass, these roles can become reversed. If you are currently in this situation, you may be wondering how best you can support your elderly parents and help them to get the most out of life in their senior years.

Striking the right balance between being on-hand to help without interfering is challenging and can take some getting used to. It is perfectly natural to feel unsure about the best way to approach this new situation. Reaching a point where you feel comfortable you are providing your parents with the right level of assistance while respecting their wishes can take time to achieve. Here are some of the ways you can give extra support to your parents while they are living independently:

Keep Communicating

Keeping in regular contact with your parents is essential to ensure that you understand their needs and their wishes. If you are concerned about their health, communicating with them regularly will make it easier for you to spot any deterioration and give your parents the opportunity to discuss any aspects of their health that worry them. Making sure that you listen as well as talk is vital to ensure your parents feel their needs and wishes have been understood and are respected.

It is so essential to maintain your relationship with your parents. When they are more dependent on you, it is easy to fall into the trap of only talking about their care and no longer having any fun. So keeping that parent-child relationship alive by talking about everyday topics and taking them out and about is crucial.

Address Any Health Concerns

Finding the right level of support for your parent’s health issues can be challenging. Knowing whether or not they are able to continue living independently or whether they need to receive a greater level of care can be hard to determine. If your parents are adamant that they want to stay living independently within their own home, you may be concerned that they won’t get the best care. Choosing a specialist at-home care provider can help to alleviate these concerns and ensure they are getting the level of assistance that they need. Dementia home care is one specialist care service available that could help keep your ageing parents in their own home while receiving the appropriate level of support.

Make Life at Home Easier

Providing your parents with practical support is an excellent way to support them living independently. Carrying out everyday tasks on their behalf such as cleaning and getting their shopping can make life far easier for them. Making sure that your parent’s home is free from trip hazards and is clean and tidy will help to protect their health and wellbeing and provide you with the peace of mind that they are safe in their home.

This article was written by a freelance writer and contains affiliate links.

Assisted Living: How to help your Elderly Parents find their perfect Care Home.

When you were a child, your parents always took care of you. But now that you’ve grown up and may have kids of your own, it’s time to take care of them. And when their health starts to deteriorate, and they become too ill for in-home care, the question becomes: how do we find a great assisted living facility?

While the idea of having to send loved ones to an assisted living facility isn’t always a nice one, it’s often the best choice. Not just for their health, but for our own too

In this article, we’ll walk you through each factor so that finding an assisted living facility feels like less of a daunting task.

Image by Matthias Zomer via Pexels

 

What Types Of Care Homes Are On Offer?

The world of assisted living facilities is an industry that has snowballed. It’s now booming, and there are many things to consider before you make your final decision. The first step is understanding the different types of senior homes available.

A Care Home

This type of facility covers the personal and day-to-day care of your loved ones. They’ll handle things like washing, dressing, and taking medications on time. Many of them also provide activities and days out. But the quality and amount of these extras are provided depends on the home. 

A Nursing Home

Nursing homes cover all the same things as care home, but it’s provided by qualified nurses. So they’re a great choice if your parents have health conditions that need a little extra attention. 

A Care Home With Dementia Care

This type of home is targeted towards elderly loved ones with dementia. It’s designed to make them feel comfortable and to keep them safe.

A Dual-Registered Care Home

This facility accepts residents who have personal and nursing care needs. These homes mean that residents who arrive just needing personal care but eventually need nursing care don’t have to change facilities. Instead, they can stay in comfort in the place that has come to be their home.  

Choosing a Care Home

One of the most important factors when looking for a senior living facility is the level of care. If your loved one needs special attention due to dementia or any other physical disability, you should find a facility with specialized services to have their needs met.

There’s plenty to consider when it comes to looking at care homes for your loved ones. Before you get into the nitty-gritty, it’s worth taking the time to make a list of what’s important to you in your chosen assisted living facility. That way, you can quickly sift through the homes on offer. Because there will be plenty to get through.  

The Staff

The staff at an assisted living facility goes a long way in determining the quality of life for its residents. They must be attentive, caring, and responsive to the needs of each individual. When you visit your prospective home, it’s essential to ask questions about their staff.

The Food

The food served at a senior home is also vital. If meals are not nutritious or flavourful, it can cause malnutrition, weight loss, and other health issues for seniors. Ask if they provide three meals a day or if that depends on what residents choose to eat. It’s important to note that while dietary restrictions can be accommodated at some homes, you may want to find one with more robust catering options and for diets such as kosher or halal.

The Amenities 

Another thing to consider when looking for a care home is what kind of environment and amenities it provides. Does it feel open and welcoming? Is there an opportunity for outdoor activities? Are there pets on-site? How big of a community is there? These questions will help you determine which type of environment would best suit your loved one’s needs.

Amenities on-site provide your parents with something to pass the time, stay engaged, and most of all, feel a strong sense of community. 

Image by Andrea Piacquadio via Pexels

Always Involve Your Parent

When our elderly loved ones come to need further care that we can’t provide, it’s a challenging time. And while it’s difficult for us to come to terms with, it is just as difficult for them. For many elderly people entering care homes, it’s a massive change to their daily life. Some may not be aware of what it entails, so informing them if possible is important. 

Make sure that they’re a big part of choosing a facility. After all, they’re the ones that will be living there. While some health conditions may hamper their understanding of the situation, it’s essential to keep them as involved as possible. Making a list of what they want and then what they need can be helpful to find the best care home options available. 

So while finding a care home can be difficult, it ensures that the quality of your loved one of life remains high. When caring for them becomes too much for you to handle, assisted living facilities are there as a helping hand.

This article was written by a freelance writer and contains affiliate links.

A Guide to Life Insurance for those with Depression and Anxiety.

(image: Pexels)


According to research from mental health charity MIND, 1 in 6 adults suffer from depression or anxiety in any given week in England¹. 

The prevalence of mental health conditions in the UK is on the increase, not helped by the physiological and financial pressures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Fortunately, this also means awareness is growing.

When it comes to life insurance, insurers now better understand the need to provide financial protection for those with less than perfect mental health. 

If you need to arrange life insurance to protect your loved ones’, but you suffer from depression or anxiety, you may wonder how this will affect your application. 

If so, continue reading as UK life insurance broker Reassured explain all in this 2021 guide…

What is life insurance?

Life insurance is simply an insurance policy that pays out a cash lump sum to your family should you pass away whilst the cover is in place.

The proceeds can be used to cover mortgage/rental payments, provide an inheritance, as well as meet family living costs. If you have dependents who rely on your income, then life insurance ensures that they would be financially secure if you were not around to provide. 

You pay a monthly fee, known as the premium, in order to benefit from the cover protection. Premiums start from approximately 20p a day for £200,000 of cover (or sum assured).

Can depression or anxiety affect your life insurance application?

Yes, if you have been diagnosed with depression or anxiety then this can affect your life insurance application. But do not worry, this does not mean you cannot secure cover or that you will definitely pay a higher premium.

The challenge is that you may need to answer some questions about your condition before your application is accepted. Your responses to these questions will help the insurer better understand your individual circumstances and provide you with a suitable quote.

If the insurer thinks you are more likely to make a claim on your policy due to your depression or anxiety, then they may increase the cost of your monthly premium to mitigate this perceived risk. 

Questions you may be asked include:

  • When were you diagnosed?
  • What treatment are you receiving?
  • What are the severity and frequency of your symptoms?
  • Have there been any instances of self-harm, attempted suicide or hospitalisation?

The only exception to this is over 50s plans. If you are aged 50-85 you can take out an over 50s plan; these policies guarantee acceptance and do not ask any medical questions during the application.

However, whereas standard cover (such as level term and decreasing term) can pay out up to £1,000,000, an over 50s plans maximum is £25,000. As a result they are commonly used to cover rising funeral costs and/or provide an inheritance (not cover larger debts such as a mortgage).

Does depression or anxiety affect the cover itself?

No, if you have been diagnosed with having depression or anxiety before taking out a life insurance policy, then this will not affect the cover itself.

Your policy will be the same as for anyone else who takes out the policy – the only difference being that you may pay a loading on your premium due to your condition. 

What will stop me from getting life insurance?

It is very unlikely that you will be declined life insurance due to depression or anxiety alone.

When sourcing quotes, you will also need to provide the insurers with other information about yourself such as your age, health, weight and smoking status.

These factors are more likely to impact your life insurance options than your mental health condition. Nonetheless, you may be declined life insurance if your depression or anxiety is deemed too high risk. For example, your diagnosis is recent or you’ve self harmed/been suicidal on more than one occasion.  

As someone with depression or anxiety, you may struggle with the process of applying for life insurance and therefore, put off getting a quote. This is understandable as you will need to discuss the details of your condition with a person you do not know. 

However, it is important to understand that insurers are very familiar with assessing applications for people with a mental health condition.

Once your life insurance is in place, you can have peace of mind that your family are financially protected if you are no longer around to provide.

How to get the cheapest premiums 

If you suffer from a mental health condition such as depression or anxiety, it is really important to compare multiple quotes before securing cover.

Every insurer will assess your application differently and therefore premiums will vary in cost, so shopping around will ensure you can get the best available price.

You can do the research yourself, use a comparison website or enlist the help of a specialist FCA-regulated broker.

Whichever method you choose to compare quotes, rest assured the vast majority of those suffering from a mental health condition can in fact secure affordable life insurance.

In fact, the most influential factor affecting the price of premiums is likely to be your age – so why not seize the day and secure your loved ones financial future?

Sources:

¹ https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/statistics-and-facts-about-mental-health/how-common-are-mental-health-problems/#:~:text=1 in 4 people will,week in England [2]

This article was written by a freelance writer.