Nollaig Shona Duit

Nollaig Shona Duit

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


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


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


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

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


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

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


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

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


HSE may extend ‘home from home’ for elderly

HSE may extend ‘home from home’ for elderly

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A catch up with DigiNanna

A catch up with DigiNanna

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

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

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


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



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


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


User Experience – The Drone at the Instameet Dublin 2016.

User Experience – The Drone at the Instameet Dublin 2016.

Caroline's Blog

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

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

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


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

View original post 188 more words



Challenge Your Brainimages

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


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

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

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

Take Care of Your Heart

Clipart Illustration of a Healthy Red Heart Running Past

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

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

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

Dementia Ireland

DigiNanna is back in college

DigiNanna is back in college

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

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

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

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


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

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


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



DigiNannaDublin’s First Event

DigiNannaDublin’s First Event

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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






Over Half of Adults Have Never Heard of AMD  (Age-Related Macular Degeneration)

Over Half of Adults Have Never Heard of AMD (Age-Related Macular Degeneration)

New research reveals that over half of adults are unaware of Age-Related Macular Degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in people over 50 in Ireland
People over 50 at greater risk of AMD and urged to avail of free testing this week to Never Miss the Wonder in their lives
* New research reveals Machu Picchu as top wonder for the Irish, followed by The Great Wall of China with The Colosseum, Italy in 3rd place
* Nationwide Never Miss the Wonder photo competition winners revealed and photobook launched
* Greater awareness needed of Age-Related Macular Degeneration, the leading cause of blindness for people aged over 50 in Ireland

This week, from 19th to 25th September, adults across the country are being urged to consider their eye health and avail of free testing for Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD), the leading cause of blindness in those over 50 in Ireland. New research reveals that half (50%) of all adults are unaware of Age-Related Macular Degeneration, despite the fact that 7,000 people are diagnosed with it each year, and almost 100,000 people are living with the condition.

The aim of the Never Miss The Wonder campaign is to improve knowledge and understanding of Age-Related Macular Degeneration, so it can be diagnosed and treated as early as possible, to help preserve healthy eyesight. Now in its ninth year, AMD Awareness Week is a nationwide health initiative driven by the NCBI – the national sight loss organisation, Fighting Blindness, the Irish College of Ophthalmologists (ICO), the Association of Optometrists Ireland (AOI), and Novartis Ireland.

Research conducted for the campaign reveals that Machu Picchu, Peru, is the ‘wonder’ that Irish people most want to see (20%), closely followed by The Great Wall of China (18%); and The Colosseum, Italy in third place at 14%.

The winners of the Never Miss the Wonder photo competition, which aimed to highlight the wonder in our everyday lives and increase discussion of the impact that Age-Related Macular Degeneration could have on the quality of our lives, were announced at a launch event in the Science Gallery, Dublin 2.

Launching the photobook, broadcaster Mary Kennedy congratulated the winners and finalists and said, “Protecting our eyesight and maintaining our vision health is an important priority and we must all take care of – and appreciate – our sight. The Never Miss the Wonder campaign encourages everyone to think about the wonders in their lives, and get their eyes tested regularly. Congratulations to the finalists and winning entries, this photobook is a beautiful showcase of what Irish people hold as wonderful. I hope that anyone experiencing vision problems seeks the help they need and speaks to their eye specialist as early as possible.”

The specially-designed Never Miss The Wonder photobook was created using entries from all over Ireland and the finalists’ entries were displayed at an exhibition to kick off the AMD awareness week. Cathal Curran from Tralee in Co. Kerry was the overall winner, with Clodagh Watkins from Co. Meath and Susan Fitzgerald from Dublin as the two runners-up. Long-term supporters of AMD Awareness Week also shared their wonders including RTE presenter Mary Kennedy, Met Eireann and RTE weather presenter, Evelyn Cusack, and award winning, best-selling authors Sheila O’Flanagan and Sinead Moriarty.

A dedicated mobile testing unit will travel to Cork, Dublin, Galway, Limerick and Waterford during AMD Awareness Week offering free AMD eye tests and information to the public. Free AMD testing will also be available in over 280 participating optometrists nationwide. A full list of the free eye testing locations can be found at

Mr Mark Cahill, Consultant eye surgeon, and spokesperson for the Irish College of Ophthalmologists said, “If you are over 50, it is important to get your eyes checked regularly, particularly if there is a family history of eye disease or if you notice any change in your vision. Age-related Macular Degeneration is a manageable and treatable eye disease, with a greatly improved outcome for patients as a result of earlier diagnosis and new treatments. As well as regular eye-checks, there is a lot people can do to protect their eye health and help to slow the progression or onset of AMD, like giving up smoking, eating a healthy diet rich in leafy greens and exercising regularly.”

Chris White, CEO, NCBI said, “This week, NCBI shops are hosting coffee mornings and encouraging everyone to discuss this important health initiative so they can recognise the signs of AMD as early as possible.”

Lynda McGivney Nolan, Optometrist, Association of Optometrists Ireland commented, “Our members are offering free AMD testing at over 280 locations across Ireland and we encourage everyone who is worried about their eyesight, or experiencing vision problems, to talk to a participating optometrist and avail of the free test.”
Kevin Whelan, CEO, Fighting Blindness said, “Fighting Blindness provides information and support to people and families affected by vision loss. We know that Age-related Macular Degeneration can have a severe impact on people’s lives but we also know that awareness and early diagnosis allows people to protect their vision as much as possible. This awareness week aims to increase understanding of Age-Related Macular degeneration, highlight the symptoms, and encourage anyone affected to speak to their eye specialist.”

Loretto Callaghan, Managing Director, Novartis Ireland said, “We have been overwhelmed by the number of incredible entries to the Never Miss the Wonder competition. This campaign really captured the imagination of people across Ireland and we are thrilled that it led to increased discussion around the importance of taking care of our eyesight. We hope that anyone worried about their eyesight will visit the free Novartis mobile testing unit this week, or your local eye specialist.”
For more information on the free testing locations and to see the Never Miss the Wonder photo competition entries, please visit

written by   Active Retirement Ireland.


Lets go Live

Lets go Live

DigiNannaDublin is a move on from   I hope that you like our new site by WordPress.  It will be a more interactive site for users and of course for DigiNannaDublin.  I am halfway through my course with the National College of Ireland  and return this evening for an exciting few weeks of learning so that I can bring DigiNannaDublin to you on a regular basis.  DigiNannaDublin has been assisted by my colleague and good friend from Digital Rock and together we hope to bring you up to date information, topics, news etc.

I hope that you will in time share your stories with us and look forward to linking with the silver surfer community across Dublin and beyond.  Keep on surfing.

How to recover from Empty Nest syndrome

How to recover from Empty Nest syndrome

The nest of family love is like a nest of birds. When it is the right time to fly, the young will fly away, as is the way of life. Parents must deal with the absence of family, friends, and love when children have flown from the nest of their family to build their own. However, for some people, especially for the primary caregiver, this can be a time of great emptiness and sadness, that can easily tip into depression if unheeded. This article will discuss methods that will help your children to leave home secure in the knowledge that they have a solid home base behind them, and ways for parents to deal with grief from separation.

8 Steps

  1. Image titled Recover From Empty Nest Syndrome Step 1

    • Prepare for the departure. If you’re expecting your children to be leaving within the next year, take this time to check that they are aware of how to do the basic essentials for caring for themselves alone. Make sure they know how to wash their clothes, cook for themselves, deal with neighbor disputes, balance a checkbook, negotiate for good deals when buying things, and know how to appreciate the value of money. While some of these things will improve with practice, it’s important to talk through and show how to do some of the basics so that they’re not left completely adrift. Using a how-to site like wikiHow for explanations on household tasks and lifestyle issues can be helpful if needed.

      • If you don’t know that your children are leaving until the last minute, don’t panic. Accept that this is happening and be enthusiastic for them, offering your support at any time it is needed. It is better for your children to know that you support them, love them, and are willing to be of help to them than to see you fretting and worrying.
  2. Image titled Recover From Empty Nest Syndrome Step 2
    Shift aside the terrifying thoughts. Both you and your children will be better off if you treat this as a big adventure. Your children will be feeling a range of emotions from being terrified to being over the moon about their upcoming new experiences. For children who are frightened at the prospect of leaving, it’s important to reassure them by telling them that the unknown is worse than the reality. Help them to understand that once they’re into their new routine, it’ll be familiar, fun, and successful.

    • Let your kids know that your home is their permanent base, for whenever they need or want to return home. This provides both you and your children with a very secure sense of belonging and safety.
    • If your kids are miserable for the initial time they’re away, don’t be secretly pleased about this. They’re going to have to work through these emotions while they’re getting used to the new arrangements, and they’ll need your active support in this, not a secret wish for them to come running back home. This means not actively offering coming back home as an option, and not sorting out all the things for them – let them learn to do things on their own, including administrative and negotiation tasks. They will make mistakes but equally, they’ll learn best that way.
  3. Image titled Recover From Empty Nest Syndrome Step 3
    Explore the ways that you intend to keep in touch with your children. You’ll feel a sense of loneliness and emptiness when they’re gone because you can’t just turn around and tell them the things as you always used to do. Keeping up constant communications is vital for maintaining a sense of family togetherness and to keep up with the news. Some of the methods you can consider include:

    • Make sure they have a decent cell phone that can connect easily to networks and will last the year. If they’ve had a cell phone for a while now, you might need to upgrade or at least upgrade its battery. Buy prepaid phone minutes so that they don’t have to be concerned about the cost of calling you.
    • Schedule a weekly call-in time. While you may feel tempted to call more often than this, it will become a burden unless they choose to do so, so try not to expect too much from them. Be sensitive to their need to grow and become their own adult person.
    • Use email or texting for all the in-between things you’d like to share. These are great mediums because you can say things without being overly emotional.[1] Be aware as time goes on, though, that your son or daughter may not reply as frequently as they do initially. This is part of their settling in and developing a new group of relationships, etc., and it does not mean they’ve stopped caring.
  4. Image titled Recover From Empty Nest Syndrome Step 4
    Understand what empty nest syndrome is, so that you can recognize the symptoms in your own situation. Empty nest syndrome is a psychological condition that affects principally women, producing grief when one or more of the children leave home.[2] Most commonly it occurs when children leave for school, college, or university (usually late summer and autumn), or when children marry and leave home to live with their spouse. Empty nest syndrome often coincides with other major events in life, such as menopause, illness, or retirement.[3] It impacts women in particular because motherhood is viewed as a primary role for both working and stay-at-home moms, and a role to which women dedicate themselves as a principal responsibility for an average of 20 years. A child leaving can precipitate a feeling of redundancy, accompanied by feeling lost, unworthy, and unsure about the future.[4] Feeling sad and crying a little is a normal, healthy reaction to be expected of any parent; after all, it is a big change. It becomes a problem when you have feelings that stand in the way of your life, such as thinking that your life is no longer worthwhile, you’re unable to stop crying excessively, and you’re unable to resume a normal life of seeing friends, getting out and about, or resuming some activities that get you back into the swing of things.[5]

    • Psychologists consider that the transition from being an actively involved mom to being an independent woman again takes around 18 months to two years.[6] This means that it’s vital to allow yourself the time to grieve, work through the loss, and rebuild your life is important. Be gentle on yourself and the expectations that you have.
  5. Image titled Recover From Empty Nest Syndrome Step 5

    • Accept support. If you find that you’re really not coping and feel a deep sense of emptiness, sadness, or an inability to get your life back on track after the children leave, it’s important to get help. You might be suffering from depression or a similar psychological ailment that is preventing you from enjoying life to its fullest. Talk to a professional. Cognitive therapy or similar types of therapy that enable you to talk through your issues might work well. Or, you may simply need a listening ear and confirmation that what you’re going through is real, does matter, and in time, will pass.

      • Acknowledge your grief. It doesn’t matter what other people think or say about getting on with it. Unacknowledged grief will gnaw away at you if you don’t face it and let yourself be upset for a time. Allow the grief to work through your system.
      • Treat yourself. While going through the hardship of grief, don’t neglect yourself. Have a regular massage, go to a movie now and then, buy your favorite expensive chocolate box, etc. All sadness and no happy moments is a recipe for continued blues.
      • Consider having a “letting go” ritual. Having a ritual in which you “let go” of your children as they turn into adults, and let go of the active parenting role, can be an important and cathartic way to help you to move on. Some suggestions include: Sail a lantern with a candle in it down a stream, plant a tree, bronze something special of your child’s, hold a ceremony that reflects your faith, etc.
      • Talk to your spouse about your feelings. He or she may be feeling similar emotions and will relish the chance to talk it through. Or, they may simply listen and acknowledge what you’re going through, which is an important source of acceptance for you.
      • Consider keeping a journal to document your journey. Prayer or meditation may also help.
  6. Image titled Recover From Empty Nest Syndrome Step 6
    Start looking to your own needs. Once you’re satisfied that you’ve set your child on the right path, the busyness will wear off and you’ll start noticing the big change in your life. The way in which you choose to perceive this change will color your feelings and approach to it – if you see it as a gaping hole, you’ll feel much more miserable than if you choose to see it as an opportunity to revive some of your own interests and pursuits.

    • Avoid creating a shrine out of your child’s bedroom. If they didn’t clean it up before they left, throw some of your emotions into removing all that trash! Eliminate some of the clutter, but carefully place your child’s keepsakes in safe storage.
    • Write down all the things you’d promised yourself you’d get around to doing one day. Now is the time to start doing them. Pin this list somewhere obvious and start working through it.
    • Build new friendships or revive lapsed ones. Friends are an important part of your transition from parent full-time to person-at-home-without-kids. Get out there and meet new people. There will be other empty-nesters like you looking for friendship too. And friends can prove a useful source of information about hobbies, activities, and job openings too.
    • Take up a new hobby or interest. Or revive an old one that you allowed to lapse while raising children. Anything from painting, photography, woodworking, to skydiving and travel!
    • Go back to school or university. Select a course that you feel resonates with you at this point in life. Work out whether this is a completely new path you’re setting out on, or whether it’s to upgrade your existing qualifications. Either way is good.
    • Restart a career – either pick up where you left off or start a new one. Realize that even though you’re “rusty”, you have the advantage of experience, so after some initial relearning, you’ll be off to a much faster start than when you were fresh out of school or college.
    • Consider volunteering. If you’re not quite ready to go back to work just yet, volunteering in potential workplaces can be a good way to transition back into the workforce at a pace that suits you. It also gives you the chance to try things to see if you like them or not.
    • Try participating in charities. Doing something positive with your free time can be very fulfilling.
  7. Image titled Recover From Empty Nest Syndrome Step 7
    Rediscover the love of your life. Unless you’re a lone/single parent, you’ll be left with your spouse or partner. And this can be a difficult time if you discover that there’s a problem with your relationship you hadn’t faced because having the children around helped to cement together your spousal relationship. Or, it can simply be a case that after being parents for so long, you’ve forgotten how to be lovers. This is a time to talk honestly and openly about the direction of your relationship together and to decide what happens next.

    • If your children were the only bonding force in your marriage, you and your spouse may need to work on your own relationship to restore what has been neglected between the two of you, especially if you feel that your relationship is now redundant. Seek couples counseling if you feel this would assist the transition back to being alone together again.
    • Acceptance that this is a difficult time of transition can allow both of you to forgive the uncertainties and messiness of growing together as a couple without kids again.
    • It can help if you develop the mindset that you expect your spouse or partner to have changed at least a little. After all, both of you have aged a lot since meeting and you’ve been through many different experiences during the times of raising your children, experiences that probably neither of you envisaged when you first fell in love. As time moves on, many people become clearer about what they do and don’t like, what they believe and don’t believe, and these discoveries may now be more evident than when you first married or paired up. Trying to see this as an opportunity to discover each others “new” selves can be a fruitful way to revive a flagging relationship.
    • Spend more time with your spouse or partner and get to know them again. Take a vacation together to help revive the feelings of closeness and reliance on one another for emotional support.
    • Allow time for your relationship to blossom anew. This can be an exciting time of rejuvenation for both of you.
    • Sometimes, none of this will patch up the reality that you’ve grown apart. If you realize that your relationship is beyond repair, talk it through or seek support, to enable you to reach a decision that will enable both of you to move on happily into the future.
  8. Image titled Recover From Empty Nest Syndrome Step 8
    Focus on some of the positive points of your kids moving out. Focusing on some of the positive changes resulting from your children moving out can ease the sense of loss considerably when you weigh up what you’ve gained. While this doesn’t belittle the importance of your sadness and the big transition you and your children are going through, it does help you to try to see the brighter side of your future. Some of the positive points include:

    • You may notice that the refrigerator does not need refilling quite as often. This means less trips to the grocery store and less cooking required!
    • Romance with your spouse may increase. The two of you have time and space now to return to being just a couple; make the most of it.
    • If you used to do all of your children’s laundry, there will be a lot less washing and ironing for you to do now. Try not to give in to doing it again when they return home for breaks. Expecting them to have grown up enough to do this for themselves is an important step to letting them grow up.
    • You’ve got your bathroom back.
    • Smaller water, phone and electricity bills will help you save money. And that saved money can be put toward a vacation with your spouse or friends!
    • Feel extremely proud of yourself for having raised children who are capable of going out into the world and surviving and thriving on their own. Give yourself a pat on the back.

10 Foods to help slow memory loss

10 Foods to help slow memory loss



Your memory-boosting shopping basket

Whether it’s boosting your vitamin E levels or topping up your omega-3 fatty acid intake, the nutrients in these foods can help to keep you brain healthy

Oily fish

Tucking into a few portions of oily fish – think salmon, mackerel, fresh tuna or sardines – has been found to help boost levels of omega-3 fatty acids, in particular, ones called DHA and EPA. These are essential for maintaining nerve cells in the hippocampus – the brain’s key memory centre.

Did you know? When researchers measured the brain size in more than 1000 women, as part of the Women’s Health Initiative Memory Study in the US, they found that those who ate plenty of omega-3 fatty acids had larger brains than those who didn’t. A shrinking brain is linked to increased risk of dementia.

Blueberries & strawberries

They make a delicious snack, especially during summer, but blueberries and strawberries could also be a useful brain boosters. A 2012 study of 16,000 women found women who ate lots of berries such as strawberries and blueberries had better memory abilities.

Blueberries and strawberries are rich in antioxidant compounds called anthocyanidins. Anthocyanidins have the ability to move from the blood into the brain, and studies have shown that these compounds concentrate in brain centres responsible for memory and learning.

Dark green leafy vegetables

Kale, spinach, broccoli, cabbage and collard greens are all green leafy vegetables that are good for boosting brain health and so helping to slow memory loss.

Dark green leafy vegetables are rich in vitamin E, an antioxidant vitamin which may help protect neurons or nerve cells in the brain. Plus, many green leafy vegetables are also high in folate which food scientists believe helps to lower levels of homocysteine, an amino-acid which high levels have been linked to the breakdown of nerve cells in the brain. Seems Popeye knew what he was talking about after all…

Acai berries

Pronounced ‘ah-sah-ee’, these berries, which originate from South America, are usually eaten as a juice or in a supplement. They’re rich in antioxidants (much like strawberries and blueberries) which can help to protect brain cells against damage and slow down age-related cognitive decline.


A diet that’s rich in wholegrain carbohydrates is good for boosting brain power because they release the sugar in them slowly which ensures you maintain a gradual source of energy, which has been found to help the brain retain information for tasks that require memory skills. Go for brown rice, wholemeal bread and pasta, and oats.


The yellow spice, commonly found in curries, contains an ingredient called curcumin, which can help to boost memory and cognition. A study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology found working memory, energy levels, calmness and contentedness were increased in people who increased their turmeric intake. Given that you’d probably got bored if you ate curry everyday (as well as it being just a little on the uncomfortable side!), you can also take turmeric supplements.

Olive oil

People have been extolling the virtues of a Mediterranean diet, especially in terms of boosting brain health, for a long time, and this is often because of the large amounts of olive oil that’s used during cooking and eating.

Did you know? Olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fats (MUFAs), which have been found to help improve circulation in the brain and prevent unwanted inflammation in nerve cells. A study by Montpellier University in France found it boosted the brain health of nearly 7000 people aged 65 and over.


Like leafy green vegetables and olive oil, avocado is rich in vitamin E and omega-3 fatty acids. This means that it’s another great brain boosting food.

Some people are put off the avocado fruit (and yes, it is a fruit, not a vegetable!) because it is high in fat. But it’s important to remember that the fats in it are of the healthy, monounsaturated variety. In fact, these MUFAs are also instrumental in boosting heart health and lowering blood pressure, both issues that have been linked to the development of dementia, particularly vascular dementia.

Sunflower seeds

Include half a cup of dry-roasted sunflower seeds and you’ll get approximately 30 per cent of your recommended daily intake of vitamin E, the vitamin which has been linked to brain health. Sprinkle them on top of your salad or add ground up seeds to muesli or porridge. And here’s an added bonus – vitamin E is also great for boosting skin health and keeping it looking plump and young.

Peanut butter

Like sunflower seeds, peanut butter (and of course peanuts) are rich in vitamin E, so it’s a good food to include. Watch out for the varieties that have lots of added sugar in them as that will reduce the health benefits.

DISCLAIMER: These food suggestions have come from detailed research of different studies. However, it’s important to remember that some of these studies may have had limited participants or only been carried out on animals, rather than humans.
What does Wickipedia say about ‘Silver Surfer’

What does Wickipedia say about ‘Silver Surfer’

Silver Surfer refers to the population of individuals over the age of 50 who utilize the internet on a consistent basis.  The number of older users has increased dramatically over the past several years due to their being more accustomed to the technology. It has been determined that this segment of now uses the internet on average four hours more per month than the age group 18-24.

Research shows that the silver surfers are spending a majority of their time using search engines and online shopping sites. Other sources indicate that this growing trend among the older population is due to the increase in use of social networking sites to stay in touch with family members or close friends that live far away. Studies point to Skype, Facebook, email, and instant messaging are all highlighted as commonly used, mainly because the means for communicating have become more available and even free. While the rise in internet use among the younger population has led to fears of isolation, it is argued that the increase in use for the older population has done the exact opposite.

A study was conducted that surveyed over 8,000 individuals over the age of 50 on the extent of their social-networking use. The results showed that individuals who used the internet more consistently were 1/3 less likely to be depressed. Depression for this age group is argued to arise from lack of mobility and feeling out of touch, but the ability to keep close contact has reversed this phenomenon – internet use is thought to increase avenues of communication and feelings of independence. A separate study analysed the brain function of individuals after using the internet for a week, and found that it improved nerve function in the older group.