Feb 26th

From The Daily Mash

By Colin L


Old lady sent to care home after fall


The Brit Awards, Show, O2 Arena, London, Britain - 25 Feb 2015

MADONNA’S family has made the difficult decision to send her to Rydean Manor residential care home in Sussex.

The former pop star’s nasty fall at last night’s Brit awards was the final straw for her children after a number of incidents in recent months.

Daughter Lourdes Ciccone said: “There was the fall in November when she climbed on a chair to dust the pelmets, and another one last month on a patch of ice outside the Post Office.

“She refuses to use the mobility scooter we got her at Christmas in case anyone from church sees her, and last time I went round the fridge was full of mouldy chicken.

“It breaks my heart but she’s not capable of living independently anymore.

“The staff at the home seemed very nice and caring, they have cake in the afternoon and a weekly memory club.”

Care assistant Joanna Kramer said: “She seems very sweet but we have been instructed to keep her away from crucifixes, apparently she has a slightly unsavoury habit.”

Feb 22nd

Improve your Indoor Air Quality

By Colin L

10 Houseplants That Improve Your Indoor Air Quality


Today, January 10th, is “Houseplant Appreciation Day”. In honor of this little-known holiday, we wanted to take a closer look at the top ten houseplants that have the ability to naturally improve the air quality in your home.


All of these indoor houseplants were analyzed by NASA in 1989. They found that each had a unique way to naturally cleanse the air of toxins that have a negative effect to your health. To read the full report from NASA, please visit this link. In case you didn’t want to read through NASA’s paper, we’ve summarized the top ten houseplants that act as natural air purifiers.


If you don’t have an air purifier in your home, or just want to take extra precautions, we would recommend adding a few of these houseplants to the most important areas of your home. It’s a great first step to improving the air quality inside your home.


Spathiphyllum - Peace Lily


1. Spathiphyllum (Peace Lily)


Often referred to as a Peace Lily, this beautiful evergreen plant is widely regarded to be easy to care for, even for those that don’t have a green thumb. They require very little light or water to remain healthy, which is one of the main reasons why they’re one of the most popular plants to keep in your home. In fact, Spathiphyllum should never be put in direct sun light, as the rays of sun may lead to leaf burn. While they are great to have inside your home, they also work remarkably well as a groundcover around your home, especially in areas where grass is hard to grow because of the shade.


NASA’s analysis of indoor houseplants revealed that the Peace Lily was the most efficient at removing airborne Volatile Organic Compounds, including formaldehyde, trichloroethylene and benzene. Simply put it in a dark corner, give it water once a week and this little plant will help purify the air around that general area.

The major downside of Spathiphyllum, however, is that it is mildly toxic to both humans and pets. If you ingest any part of this plant, you may start to feel nauseous, experience difficulty when swallowing, or feel a burning sensation in your mouth or skin. If you start to feel any of these symptoms as a result of ingesting Spathiphyllum then it would be wise to seek medical help immediately.



Chrysanthemum Morifolium


2. Chrysanthemum morifolium (Florist’s Chrysanthemum)


Sometimes called Florist’s daisy or Hardy Garden Mum, this houseplant is another popular perennial plant that people like to have in their home. Unlike the Peace Lily, this houseplant loves direct sunlight and a medium amount of water.


With the proper care and right type of soil, the Chrysanthemum morifolium will start to produce lots of beautiful blooms of various colors. These blooms not only help brighten the room, they also help cleanse the air of many chemicals that are common in homes. These include formaldehyde, xylene, ammonia, benzene, toluene, and trichloroethylene.


Words of caution on this houseplant. While they are beautiful to have around, they are also poisonous to animals. If your dog or cat has ingested any part of this plant, they will likely experience diarrhea, dermatitis, vomiting and a lack of coordination. If your pet has consumed this plant, please call your veterinarian as soon as possible.



Epipremnum aureum


3. Epipremnum aureum (Devil’s Ivy)


Often called Devil’s Ivy or Golden Pothos, this popular houseplant is native to the Soloman Islands, but is can be found growing all over the world. With evergreen vines and small green heart-shaped leaves marbled with yellowish-white hues, this houseplant is commonly sold in decorative hanging baskets. It is best to keep Epipremnum aureum near a window, without direct sunlight shining down on it. The soil should be peaty with lots of moisture.


It’s one of the most popular houseplants not only because it looks good in your home, but also because it’s extremely easy to care for. The most important benefit of Epipremnum aureum is that it is quite efficient at cleansing the air of pollutants, such as benzene, trichloroethylene, xylene and formaldehyde.


However, this is another plant that can be toxic when ingested, especially for your pets. If you think your dog or cat has ingested part of this plant, they will likely experience vomiting, irritation and difficulty swallowing. Seek the advice of your veterinarian if you believe your pet has consumed this plant.



Dracaena reflexa


4. Dracaena reflexa (Red-Edged Dracaena)


Often called Red-Edged Dracaena or Pleomele, Dracaena reflexa is an upright evergreen shrub that produces narrow green, yellow or cream-colored leaves. Once the plant starts to mature, you may notice small white flowers start to bloom, shortly followed by small red-orange berries.


This low-maintenance plant is extremely popular in America not just because it looks cool, but also because it takes little work to keep it alive. All you need to do to keep this plant alive, is keep it in an area with indirect sunlight and keep the soil slightly moist.


According to the NASA Clean Air Study, Dracaena reflexa is one of the most efficient plants at removing formaldehyde from the air in your home, as well as other VOCs, including benzene, trichloroethylene, and xylene. However, keep your pets away from this plant, as it can be toxic to animals when ingested.



Sansevieria trifasciata


5. Sansevieria trifasciata (Snake Plant)


Often referred to as Snake Plant or Mother-In-Law’s Tongue, this evergreen perennial plant is another houseplant that is known to improve your indoor air quality. According to NASA, it is one of the best houseplants for absorbing airborne toxins, including formaldehyde, nitrogen oxide, benzene, xylene and trichloroethylene.


Even though it is native to Western Africa, Sansevieria trifasciatahas risen in popularity over the last few decades and is now widely grown all over the world. It’s a great plant to have indoors, as it can endure low amounts of light at long durations. However, it prefers to have plenty of bright light. Just make sure you don’t overwater this plant, as it is likely to rot if the soil is too moist for too long.


If you have no houseplants around your home, then Sansevieria trifasciata is one of the best for you to start off with. They grow well both inside and out, and they require very little maintenance. Just be careful if you have pets, as this plant may be toxic when it is ingested.



Rhapis excelsa


6. Rhapis excelsa (Lady Palm)


Most commonly called the Lady Palm or Broadleaf Lady Palm, Rhapis excelsa is another houseplant that would be beneficial to have around your home.


With a maximum height of approximately six feet, Rhapis excelsa is the perfect fan palm to have in a dark corner of your home. They are able to tolerate low-levels of light, high amounts of water and a wide range of temperatures. While this houseplant does prefer to live in moist soil, it does need to have the proper drainage available to avoid root rot.


Native to Asia, this evergreen perennial small palm can thrive in both indoor and outdoor environments. The best part, is that the NASA Clean Air Study discovered Rhapis excelsa to be one of the best houseplants at cleansing the air of formaldehyde, ammonia, xylene and toluene.



Anthurium andraeanum


7. Anthurium andraeanum (Flamingo Lily)


Most commonly called a Flamingo Lily or Laceleaf, Anthurium andraeanum is a beautiful evergreen plant that is most known for its gorgeous flowers. According to the NASA Clean Air Study, the Flamingo Lily was incredibly effective at removing airborne formaldehyde, ammonia, toluene and xylene in your home or office.


Unfortunately, Anthurium andraeanum isn’t the easiest plant to grow indoors. It is definitely not for those that don’t have a green thumb. If you decide to grow this houseplant, be sure you give it plenty of indirect light. The blooms love to soak in the rays, and you’ll be rewarded for weeks with their beauty. The hard part about this houseplant, is that it prefers high-humidity environments. If relative humidity falls below 50%, your plant may start to die. Having a humidifier in your home is the easiest way to avoid this. You also want to make sure the soil stays moist at all times.


Please note, Anthurium andraeanum is poisonous to both humans and animals. Caution must be taken with small children and pets. If they ingest any part of this plant, they will immediately start to have difficulty swallowing, horseness and blistering in their mouth and throat. If you experience any of these symptoms, please seek medical help immediately.



Hedera helix - English Ivy


8. Hedera helix (English Ivy)


Often called English Ivy or European Ivy, Hedera helix is another popular houseplant that helps filter airborne toxins inside your home. According to NASA’s Clean Air Study, English Ivy is effective at cleansing benzene, formaldehyde, xylene and toluene from the air. Additionally, other studies have indicated that English Ivy also helps reduce mold in your home.


This evergreen climbing vine is extremely popular in outdoor landscaping. You may have seen it used as ground-cover in areas where grass doesn’t grow, or perhaps climbing up the side of a wall or tree trunk. Because of its “carefree” nature, it has grown in popularity over the years. However due to it spreading aggressively, horticulturists say you should be hesitant in using it outside and should only keep it as an indoor plant. This prevents it from invading other plants around your home, and has the added benefit of purifying the air in your home.


Caring for Hedera helix is relatively easy. Keep it at a constant temperature, give it plenty of direct sunlight and water generously with well-drained soil. If you can do these three things, English Ivy will return the love with cleaner air in your home.



Gerbera jamesonii - Barberton Daisy


9. Gerbera jamesonii (Barberton Daisy)


Most commonly known as a Barberton Daisy, Gerbera jamesonii is a beautiful flowering plant that is native to Eastern Africa. While it is intended and mainly used for outdoor use, it is becoming more popular to put them in containers for indoor use. This may be a wise decision for your indoor air quality, as NASA’s Clean Air Study found that Gerbera jamesonii is effective at cleansing the air of formaldehyde, benzene and trichloroethylene.


Barberton daisy’s prefer full sun, plenty of water and well-drained soil. If you try to use this as an indoor houseplant, make sure you have it in an area that has plenty of natural light. It also thrives in moist soil. Be sure to keep the soil moist as often as possible, without over-watering it. Gerbera jamesonii is able to withstand a wide range of temperatures, so you don’t need to be concerned with keep your home at a specific temp.



Ficus benjamina - Weeping Fig


10. Ficus benjamina (Weeping Fig)


Most commonly known as a Weeping Fig or Ficus tree, Ficus benjamina is popular houseplant that is also very effective at purifying the air in your home. According to NASA’s Clean Air Study, Ficus benjamina was effective at cleansing airborne formaldehyde, xylene and toluene.


This low-maintenance, evergreen plant grows well both inside and out. If you use it as a houseplant, place it in an area that has plenty of bright indirect natural light. If you place it directly in the sun, it’s possible that the leaves will burn. Water it frequently, but to avoid root rot allow the soil to dry before adding more water. Ficus benjamina grows the best in higher temperatures, much like you would have in your home, as well as relative humidity levels above 50%.


Please note: this plant is poisonous to animals. If you have pets, especially dogs and cats, you may want to take extra precautions to make sure they do not ingest any part of this plant. If they do ingest Ficus benjamina, they will likely experience the following symptoms: vomiting, salivation, and oral irritation. Seek help from your veterinarian immediately.


Feb 20th

Age UK’s new partnership sees launch of daily living aid range and e-commerce site

By Mary B

Recent research has found that retaining independence in later life is fundamental for well-being. With this in mind, Age UK Trading, part of Age UK’s social enterprise, has expanded its range of independent living products. The new selection of handy household support items and personal care products has been developed in partnership with NRS Healthcare and have been launched in conjunction with Age UK’s new e-commerce site so all products can be purchased online, the first time the Charity has offered this.


Age UK Trading is introducing the range to help combat some of the obstacles faced by those in later life, ensuring that older people can stay independent for longer. The new range comprises approximately 350 specially designed products created to assist with daily tasks. These include items designed to help with food and drink preparation; such as easy-grip cutlery, jar-openers and reaching aids; gardening and household products; such as non-slip mats, safety rails and tools, as well as personal care products, like flexible back sponges, cushions and bath seats. Items start at just £1.50.


Helena King, Head of Affinity and Product Development at Age UK, comments: “At Age UK our mission is to help people enjoy a better later life. We understand that in order to be truly happy at home it's important to feel safe and comfortable so we are delighted to be working with NRS Healthcare to offer a new range of daily living aids. Whether it's getting around more easily or being able to sit down comfortably, our new range of daily living aids can help make life easier, ensuring older people can continue living in their home for longer.”


Stephen Kennedy, Commercial Director at NRS Healthcare says, “We are extremely proud to partner with Age UK and believe that the combination of leading charity and product supplier will hugely benefit those looking to maintain independence in later life. This is just the first phase of what will become a full range that will develop over time to become the best offer available to all those who need products to assist them in their daily tasks.”



Age UK has worked with NRS to identify areas of demand amongst older people and create a range of products that combine quality, ease of use and necessity. The new daily living aids are available to buy online at www.ageukmobilityaids.co.uk or by calling 0800 731 0003 (Monday to Friday 8.30am – 5.00pm). Those looking to purchase items online will also be able to benefit from the telephone customer support team who will be on hand to assist in case of any difficulties.




A guest blog on behalf of Age UK and NRS Healthcare 

Feb 13th

Some Things Just Don’t Change

By Maureen J

A year ago I was getting bright eyed and bushy-tailed because I was going to Sri Lanka. While I was away, an old and very dear friend was taken into hospital. He had fallen in the shower. A week later he returned home, only to slip and fall again. He sustained nothing more than severe bruising on both occasions, but on the second occasion, the hospital decided to keep him in for observation. When I arrived home in March, six weeks after my departure, I visited T in Llandough Hospital near Penarth, (its part of the University Hospital of Wales complex). On arrival at the geriatric ward, I was almost bowled over by the stench pervading the whole place and was less than impressed by the general air of grubbiness. Certainly not what I expected to find in any hospital, let alone a teaching hospital, but T was bright and able to chat. Still nothing had been discovered with regard to the cause of his falls, nor the reason why he could not remember falling. His diabetes was being controlled and he hoped to be home soon.

Except that he didn’t return home, so my next visit took place about three or four weeks later. When I arrived after the long drive from my home to the hospital involving one and a half hours of motorway driving in each direction, I was appalled to find him semi-conscious; in a cot with side-rails and attached to an intravenous drip. He had succumbed to some hospital infection. Over the next ten months, he held on to life; developed leg ulcers; was transferred to the Heath Hospital in Cardiff where his left foot was amputated;  then was shuttled back to Llandough Hospital, and later to Barry Hospital from where he was ultimately discharged two weeks ago.

Now he is home, the full horror of his story is emerging. His daughter, upon asking the doctor when her father could go home, was rudely snapped at and told it was impossible to arrange a necessarily expensive care-package. T told how he and other patients would be left without even a cup of tea in the morning until ten o’clock. If they dared to ask a nurse for help or a cup of tea, they were shouted at and told that there was no time.

I visited T last Sunday at his daughter’s, where he is living. Already, the T whom we all knew so well is emerging from his traumatic experiences. He was sitting up in bed, clean and well groomed, just like the T of former times. Several friends and family members had visited during the preceding week. I learned he had been sent home in an ambulance, but without any medication. The local nurse who was waiting for him, and now attends him twice a day, immediately volunteered to go to the hospital where she collected the medication that should have arrived with him. It was wonderful to see T tuck into one of his favourite meals while I was there. For the first time, I saw clean dressings on his remaining foot. The nurse deals with these and changes them regularly, while male carers come in three times daily to help with his personal care.

His story reminded me of similar horrors I had witnessed while visiting my aunt at the Heath Hospital about thirteen years ago. My cousin used to travel from Caerphilly, where she was a sub-postmistress, twice every day bringing what she knew her mother would eat and drink and to stay with her for the duration of each visiting time. On one occasion I visited too and was appalled at what I saw. Fortunately, my aunt was only there a short time because my cousin unceremoniously took her home when, on one evening visit, she found her mother in tears. She was ashamed to admit she’d soiled her bed. Having called and rung the bell in vain for a bed-pan, she had lost control. In a very short time my cousin had organised the staff into providing clean bedding, as well as washing and changing her mother. Then she announced to the ward-sister that she needed a wheel-chair and that she was taking her mother home immediately. The ward-sister once again became somewhat belligerent, but was soon subdued and made to understand that this decision was not negotiable. 


 Much of what I had witnessed I brought to the notice of the then, Minister of Health at the Welsh Assembly, Jane Hutt AM and her Deputy-minister John Griffiths AM, who had special responsibility for older people. My letter (of which I have a copy) was acknowledged, but my suggestion; that they visit incognito and without prior notice or the tell-tale presence of an entourage, and do a spot-check of the geriatric ward on Level 13 in the Heath Hospital to witness for themselves the neglect of the older patients, was not taken up. Now, in 2015, having seen for myself the state of geriatric wards in major hospital in Wales, I am tempted to say, despite all the current publicity and protestations of politicians – some things just do not change. 

Feb 12th

How to get up from the floor

By Chrystie M

To get up from the floor:

  1. Roll onto your left side.
  2. Place your right hand on the floor at about the level of your ribs and use it to push your shoulders off the floor. Use your left hand to help lift you up, as needed.
  3. You should now be sitting with your weight on your left hip.
  4. Roll forward, onto your knees, leaning on your hands for support.
  5. Reach up and lean your hands on the seat of a sturdy chair.
  6. Lift one of your knees so that one leg is bent, foot flat on the floor.
  7. Leaning your hands on the seat of the chair for support, rise from this position.

I wonder if this is any lelp to anyone.

I find that it works for me until I had to stand on all fours and pull myself up with my legs.  My legs ae very weak.

But  did find that once IO was on all fours  I could move along the length of a sofa, which is where I was, and I then managed to get my leg nearest to the fofa,up and I  could then manage to get myself face down.  It just needed then to turn over, and I was sitting up!!

Feb 12th

Matcha Tea

By Colin L


I recently watched a video of an Alan Watts discourse during which he brewed, drank and obviously enjoyed a bowl of matcha tea.


I thought I would try it. I bought some and found a video on YouTube that gave instructions as to how to brew matcha.


To cut a long story short I followed the instructions, drank the concoction and nearly threw up.


My question is; does anyone here know the secret to brewing matcha?


Feb 8th

Correct way to get in and out of bed (with back problems)

By Ann R

I just thought that I would post this as I know that some of you are intrigued about what I have been saying about the correct way to get in and out out bed if you have a bad back.

The picture guide was in the book that the physio lent me, however I found this on YouTube:



Feb 4th

Extract from: http://www.themirrorpost.com/2014/12/see-what-happens-when-you-eat-garlic-on.html

By Colin L

10 Amazing Health Benefits of Garlic

  • Garlic prevents aging and clogging of both major and peripheral arteries.
  • The healing properties of garlic help reduce the level of bad cholesterol in the blood.
  • It is very important to know that garlic  strengthens the immune system, thus increases the body’s ability to withstand the harmful influences of the environment.
  • Garlic kills a large number of various bacteria.
  • Garlic helps protect against heart disease. Garlic reduces the synthesis of triglycerides in the liver which help prevent the development of atherosclerosis.
  • Garlic lowers blood pressure and has anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Garlic is a natural antibiotic and is an effective remedy for colds.
  • It is recommended to use garlic for disorders of the nervous system.
  • Garlic helps kill the cells of multiform glioblastoma’s – a malignant brain tumor.
  • Garlic also acts as an anticoagulant, which thins the blood and prevents the formation of dangerous blood clots (helping to reduce the risk of a stroke or heart attack).
Feb 3rd

From: Redditt

By Colin L

Get over any cold in a day (self.lifehacks)

submitted 7 hours ago by Ellenswift

I think I finally figured out how to get over a cold. I only had one day off this week so it had to be quick. I wrote it out so you can do it too:

Step 1: wake up feeling like death. Make a big old thing of green tea.

Step 2: hot shower. Thank whoever it is up there that you don't have to see people today.

Step 3: (crucial) neti pot!! Basically, take warm salt water and pour it in your nose. Also, gargle with it. (Note: do not take same water from nose to gargle with...that's just gross)

Step 5: make a hot wine drink thang. Feel the buzz. Realize it's not even noon. Hate yourself slightly. Move on.

Step 6: time to sleep it off. Have crazy hot wine dreams. Wake up, DayQuil, more sleep. Wake up again.

Step 7: come to the point of being alone for so many hours that self-evaluation is inevitable. Think about the people you've wronged. Realize they probably deserved it anyway. Move on.

Step 8: juicing. Get your nutrients through gross mixes of kale and oranges and some kind of fungus you've never heard of that monks have been drinking since the 4th century. Chug like there's no tomorrow.

Step 9: realize you're feeling better. Go to the store, get your errands done. Feel a general happiness about everything in your life and your friends' lives. Stock up on more DayQuil. High five the target lady. Warn her to wash her hands.

Step 10: go to sleep with the most optimism you've ever had. Wake up feeling like death again. Repeat.

Jan 30th


Visited the hospital on Wednesday and they have put me on the list for a hip replacement in about 8 weeks. Glad to get it done now. Would be pleased to hear from anyone who has experience of the op and the recovery period. Best wishes to all

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