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Friday, October 11, 2019

A Quick Life Update

So it's October which means we are in our final quarter of not just this year but this DECADE!

I thought I'd take this opportunity to look back on the year so far and see what has been going well, what hasn't been and how much we have managed to tick off of our 2019 Bucket List.

2019 Bucket List

Family            Couple          Children        Personal       Home

Picnic on the beach Christmas Break City Break Spa Break
Theatre Pedicure Visit Boxhill New Forest Short Break
Replace mattresses New Dinner Set Go Fishing
Loose at Least 2 Stone Send a message in a bottle Save More
Visit a trampoline park Alton Towers Break Visit a Waterpark
Have a Water Balloon/Gun Fight Take More Pics Visit a New City
Visit Virginia Water Replace Wardrobes New Sofa Read More
Go on Holiday Go to Peppa Pig World Go for a Couples Massage
Go on a Steam Train Hot Air Balloon Ride Conquer 1 of My Fears
Replace Duvets and Pillows Fit Breakfast Bar

We realised that a breakfast bar wouldn't work in the kitchen so that's one thing off the list and as for a hot air balloon we had a look at a few but decided we would wait until next year when I had worked a little more on  my fear of heights.

My Youtube video has my top tips for money saving.
So far we've managed to do 16 things from our Bucket List but the one I'm most please about is saving more. This year I opened a separate account where I could create different 'pots' for all of the individual things that I wanted to save for and I'm really proud of myself for sticking at it and nearly reaching all of my targets.

The one goal that isn't looking likely and I'm really disappointed in myself in is weight loss. I started off so well at the beginning of the year but then slowly and surely I stopped putting the effort in and the weight crept back on. Last week I decided that I needed to get my butt back in gear and I'm pleased to say that in the first week I've seen a 5lb loss.

We're off on a mini break during the October half term where we're hoping to tick off at least another 3 things off this list so look out for my Instagram stories for updates on these.

Over the last few months my outlook on life has been changing and day by day I'm realising what the most important things are to me and they aren't the same as what I previously thought. Having lost my mother in law earlier this year and watching my Grandmother struggling with dementia it really drives home how precious every day is and that we should be making every second count.

Lymington in The New Forest

Small things that would've got my back up before, I'm slowly learning to let slide and teaching the kids to collect memories and not things are high up on my list.

I started this year off with high hopes and in good spirits and had a big wobble around May and June but thankfully I've managed to take some time out, clear my mind and hit the refresh button and have got back on the proverbial horse.

If you've got in to a bit of a funk just take a deep breath, hit the reset button, don't let life stress you too much and rest will fall into place.

How are you feeling entering the last quarter of this decade?

Emma xoxo

Monday, October 7, 2019

Weekly Meal Planner 07/10/19

Beef bourguignon with mashed potato and green beans

Chicken and 'rainbow' rice

Meatballs in a spicy tomato sauce, spaghetti and doughballs

Chicken kebabs, salad and cous cous

Cajun spiced chicken thigh burgers, hassle back new potatoes and corn on the cob

Breakfast dinner

Curried mutton, rice and peas, plantain and salad

What's on your menu this week?

Emma xoxo

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Dealing With Dementia

The last couple of years our life has been affected by dementia. We have had to watch members of our family become almost strangers all because of one of the most horrible diseases out there. It is absolutely heartbreaking watching those that you love the most become people that you barely recognise. The not remembering people and places and watching them confused and vulnerable has broken me more times that I care to remember but I refuse to let this horrid disease ruin whatever time I have left with them so I've armed myself with knowledge and am doing what I can to help myself, family and you understand life with dementia.

So what is dementia?
Dementia is actually an umbrella term used to describe a number of progressive neurological disorders that affect the brain. There are astonishingly over 200 subtypes of dementia with the 5 most common being Alzheimer's disease, vascular dementia, dementia with Lewy bodies, frontotemporal dementia and mixed dementia.

What causes dementia?
The brain is made up of nerve cells that communicate with each other by sending messages. Dementia actually damages the nerve cells in the brain which means that messages cannot be sent effectively and that prevents the body from functioning as it normally would.

It doesn't matter which type of dementia a person is diagnosed with or which part of the part of the brain that it affects, every sufferer will experience dementia in their own way.

When can it be diagnosed?
Commonly dementia is diagnosed in people over the age of 65, however, it can affect a person at any age so it's worth seeing your GP if you are worried.

What symptoms should I look out for?
Memory problems - You may notice that people with dementia may get lost in places they were previously familiar in or struggle with names of people that they know. They may also have difficulty retaining new information and increasingly misplace things.

Communication - People that have dementia can have difficulty verbally expressing themselves or finding the right words and may often repeat themselves. You may also notice a difference in their personality where they can suffer from mood swings, depression and anxiety. You may find that they are no longer interested in social interactions, become withdrawn and their self confidence can also become affected.

Cognitive ability - Some people with dementia can suffer with timelines. For example you may find them getting ready for bed at 2 in the afternoon or waking up in the middle of the night to get ready for work, the school run, shopping etc. Their concentration may also be affected so things like making a list or watching a programme or film from start to finish can be tricky. 
In some cases the ability to make decisions, reason and manage their own affairs can be affected.

How do I get a diagnosis? 
If you feel that a loved one or yourself may be suffering from some of the symptoms and are concerned it is important to see your GP as soon as possible. Some conditions have similar symptoms to dementia(ie, infections, vitamin B12 deficiency, sleep apnoea etc) but if diagnosed quickly they can be treated without long term problems.
To decide if someone is suffering from dementia, the GP will find out any family and medical history, asking about behaviour and mood changes along with screening them for mental health and cognitive issues by asking questions, testing short term memory, concentration.
If, deemed necessary the GP will requests an MRI or CT scan and/or blood tests. In some cases a referral may also be made to a memory clinic or specialist for further investigation and/or assessment.
If after all of the above is completed and a diagnosis of dementia is given then the GP will ensure that the person with the diagnosis and family or carer is signposted to services in the local area that are able to help and support both the patient and the family. You should also be referred for further assessments and treatments that may be beneficial. 

How can I help and support my loved one?
You may feel that you don't have much to offer or don't know what to do but just by being there you are being a huge help. If your loved one starts talking about events that happened in the past as if they were yesterday, go with it. Try not to raise your voice or speak too quickly around them as it can confuse and agitate them. Have pictures to hand so that you can talk about people and gently remind them of names and relationships to them. Some of the websites below offer more information on what you can do to help

When going through the process of getting a dementia diagnosis there is so much information to take in and medical terms that are bounded about that it can seem like you are drowning but don't be scared to ask professionals to slow down or use language that you understand. Also, once you have a diagnosis don't be afraid to ask for help. It can all seem so overwhelming but there are organisations, charities and people out there who can offer you support and guidance.

Alzheimers Society

Dementia UK

Below are a a couple of organisations that will be able to offer you help and advice regarding dementia but remember to check out what facilities that you have locally as it varies from borough to borough.

If you or anyone you know is going through this, my heart goes out to you and I hope that you have found this post useful. Feel free to pop me a message if you want to chat, my inbox is always open!

Emma xoxo