Business Digest - September, 2012

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Theo's Corner   Green Living Tip   Money Tip

Sleeping as You Get Older

As we get older, our sleep needs can change. It is understood that children and adolescents need more sleep than adults, but surprisingly, older adults may also need to get more sleep. It is recommended that seniors get at least seven hours of sleep, but some need up to nine hours per night.

Unfortunately, many seniors struggle to get the sleep they need. Sleep disturbances can increase with age. Older adults often find it difficult to fall asleep, and they sleep less deeply. They also tend to wake up more during the night. Older adults also often find that they get sleepier earlier in the evening and if they do not shift their bedtime earlier, they can lose needed sleep time.

Why do seniors have these common sleep problems? As you age, your body produces less melatonin, the sleep hormone. You can also become more sensitive to environmental disturbances-temperature, sounds, and light. Finally, seniors have more medical problems, which can lead to unsettled sleep patterns. Poor sleep can lead to depression, decreased attention spans, memory problems, increased risk of falls, and greater use of over-the-counter sleep aids. This can all lead to a lower quality of life.

Many seniors depend on daytime naps to counteract the problems associated with diminished night sleeping. There are some treatments that can help. Your doctor can recommend ways to safely get the sleep you need. You should also make good nutrition and daily exercise a part of your life. These contribute to your general well-being, which promotes good sleep habits as well.

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Green Living Tip

If you love magazine and newspaper subscriptions, but don't like having so many items to recycle, consider sharing subscriptions with your family, friends, or neighbors. Decide on subscriptions that you are both interested in and then split the cost. Once you or your friend is done with the magazine or newspaper, simply pass it on. This not only is good for the environment, but will save you money as well.

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Money Tip

If you have kids, you are probably thinking about saving for college. But it may be a better bet to increase your contributions to your retirement accounts. Money you've put in a retirement account can be withdrawn without penalty, but funds in a college savings plan (a 529) cannot be withdrawn without a penalty if they are used for anything but college.

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Theo's Corner

First Aid for Your Pet 

You know how important a good first aid kit is for you and your family. But it is also good to be prepared for a medical emergency for your pet. Any first aid administered to your pet should be followed by immediate veterinarian care.

 You can buy a first aid kit specially designed for pets, or you can put together your own. Here are some things that should be included in any animal first aid kit.

  • Sterile saline solution

  • Eye wash

  • Antibiotic ointment

  • Hydrogen peroxide

  • Alcohol prep pads

  • Petroleum jelly

  • Large sterile gauze pads and rolls

  • Ace bandage

  • Adhesive tape

  • Tweezers

  • Towels

  • Latex gloves

  • Small flashlight

  • Nylon leash and muzzle

  • Milk of magnesia

  • Activated charcoal

  • Insect bite ointment

  • Nail clippers

  • Grooming clippers

  • Instant ice pack

  • Blunt tip scissors

  • Thermal blanket

  • Hydrocortisone cream

List of veterinarian, animal hospital, and poison control phone numbers Proof of rabies vaccination status, copies of medical records, and a current photo of your pet

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