Live well this winter season. Schedule some time for activities that nourish your body and your spirit. Post editors suggest arranging fresh flowers for home or office. Or watch the birds, sing and dance, have lunch with a friend, or visit a museum. Drinking a cup of ginger tea soothes and relaxes. Buy ginger tea bags or brew fresh tea by peeling one inch of ginger root and cutting it into rings. Cover with three cups of water and boil for 15 minutes. Sweeten with honey to taste.
Each year, the president proclaims February “American Heart Month”—a 46-year-old tradition to encourage citizens to join the battle against cardiovascular disease, the nation’s number-one killer. Helping the hearts of elderly parents is a challenge. Adult children of heart patients should consider these tips from cardiologist and author Dr. Jerome Granato, an assistant professor at Drexel University College of Medicine who teaches and works in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania:
- Go to appointments with mom or dad and take notes.
- Ask the doctor about the purpose, accuracy, and risks of recommended tests.
- Learn the purpose, necessity, and proper dosage of each prescribed drug.
- When surgery is the right option, select a highly experienced doctor and a hospital with a high volume of cardiac surgeries. Most states provide this information online.
- During the weeks after surgery, make sure your parent eats well, takes walks, does breathing exercises, and wears support hose to minimize feet swelling.
- To create heart-healthy routines, make dates with your parent to walk, cook, eat, swim, or dance.
And Helping Hands
In response to “The Gift of Knitting” article in our last issue, we’ve received inspiring letters from readers in Michigan, Oregon, Connecticut, Florida, Ohio, Iowa, New Mexico, Arkansas, Illinois, Vermont, New York, Tennessee, and Alabama who knit—or crochet—for charity. For years, sometimes decades, these generous people have been helping provide comfort and warmth to babies, cancer patients, and military men and women around the world. Earlene has taken on the unique mission of knitting breast forms for cancer survivors; Dorothy crochets mats for cats. Some report that local hospitals and charity groups are happy to provide yarn in return for donated items. Others find yarn bargains at garage sales to defray the cost. They suggest that would-be knitters inquire at area yarn stores, libraries, and community centers about free or low-cost knitting lessons. In addition to local hospitals, favorite charities include Knit for Kids, The Salvation Army, Samaritan’s Purse, Warm Up America, and Christmas at Sea.