Monday 17 April 2023

Remotely Helping Your Aging Parents


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The sandwich generation. It's not a term I'd heard of until recently but it seems that turning 50 and most of my friends being in their late 40s and 50s that many of us are starting to realise we are these middle-aged people who find ourselves sandwiched between caring for both our children and our aging parents. 

I grew up with Maggie Thatcher as the Prime Minster and received the message that women could do and have everything before becoming a mother (if they so wished) and thus didn't have my first child until I was 30. Most of my friends waited to have their children until they were in their 30s and maybe even 40s too. Now, here I am on the cusp of 50 with a son who is about to turn 20 and is away at university, but still requiring practical, emotional, and financial support, as well as twin fifteen-year-olds living at home and going through the angst of GCSEs. 

I'm also wondering how I can best support my parents who are in their mid to late 70s and live 80 miles away. I'd love to be able to be there for my parents on a day-to-day basis. When they need a lift to a hospital appointment or they can't do their daily activities as they are unwell, I'd love to pop by and cook a hearty meal, clean the house, or offer the necessary lift, but three children, a trip on the M25 and a demanding job do not lend themselves to that kind of regular help.

So, I'm turning my thoughts to what kind of help I can remotely offer to my parents so they still feel loved and supported but I'm not torn in all kinds of impractical directions. 

1.  Talk to them Regularly

I may not be able to be there in their house each week but I can certainly be a regular presence in their life. A simple phone conversation or maybe FaceTime or a Zoom call could make the world of difference when they are feeling lonely, down, or overwhelmed.  Or, to be honest, they don't need to be feeling any of those things, it is great to talk regularly even when everything is ticking over and going well. That regular time together is the way 

2. Help them get their House Adapted

If you find that mobility is becoming an issue for your parents then it might be time to help them arrange for some home adaptions that allow them to stay in the home they love and to still use it fully. There are lots of great adaptions that can take place relatively easily, like installing handrails, a stairlift, or changing to a walk-in bath/ shower. Or if they have space and it is necessary you can even investigate putting a home lift in for them. Age Co Mobility is a reputable supplier of these kinds of mobility products and with great customer service from Hanicare, you'll be sure that your parents are being looked after. 

3. Orangise their Shopping and Prescriptions

Even if you can't be present yourself you can help with some practicalities like getting the weekly shop ordered and delivered, or liaising with their GP and the local pharmacy to make sure that repeat prescriptions are always put in on time and get delivered to their house.

4. Keep in Contact with their Neighbours

My parent's neighbours are still the same people they were when I was a child and this means I know and trust them. As they are now elderly themselves they can't necessarily do all the practical jobs anymore but they can certainly keep an eye to check they have seen my parents regularly, and then my parents can do the same with them. 

If an emergency occurs it is useful for a neighbour to have a key to the house so they can let any of the emergency services in and also call me to raise the alarm. 

5.  Get in touch with useful Charities

There are plenty of local charities across the country that specialise in helping people into their older years. Whatever help your parents need, you may be able to organise this through a local charity. There will be places that can recommend trusted tradespeople and home helpers, ones that offer befriending services, others that can organise cooked meal delivery and so much more. It is definitely worth doing a Google search and joining the FaceBook group for your parent's town or village to ask for recommendations from local people. 

I hope you can see that even though you might be quite some distance from your parents you can still be a positive presence in their life and help them on an almost daily basis. 

Saturday 15 April 2023

5 Fertility Treatment Options To Explore


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{This is a collaborative post}

Struggling to fall pregnant? Or unable to carry a baby full-term? After a year of trying, you are likely to be eligible for fertility treatment. A doctor will be able to run tests to determine if any specific treatment is needed. There are many different types of fertility treatment to consider. Below are some of the most common forms of fertility treatment. 

Fertility medication

A number of drugs can be prescribed to improve fertility. This includes drugs that can improve male fertility such as gonadotropins or drugs for women such as clomiphene citrate. Some drugs can be taken orally, while others will need to be injected by a professional. 

A doctor will be able to recommend exactly which drugs to take. Fertility medication is often not too expensive and has a relatively high success rate. Just be wary of the side effects of certain medication and the potential complications and consequences that can arise. For example, taking gonadotropins can result in a high chance of having twins if you do conceive. 


IUI is a procedure that involves taking the best quality sperm from the man and then injecting them directly into the womb. IUI is recommended for men with low sperm quality, as it enables the best quality sperm to be picked out. 

A single cycle of IUI usually costs between £700 and £1600. The success rate of IUI is only  7% to 10%, but it could still be worth trying before moving onto IVF if you think the problem may be due to a male fertility issue. . 


While IUI still allows the egg to be fertilised inside the body, IVF involves manually combining the egg and sperm in the womb outside of the body. In many cases this can be much more effective than IUI - the success rate for women under 35 is 32%, which means there’s a high chance of being successful in three rounds.

Unfortunately, IVF can be quite expensive. One round of treatment can cost over $5000. There are loans and payment plans available that can help spread out the cost. 

Egg/sperm donation

If you are not producing eggs or your partner’s sperm is low quality, there is the option of looking into egg donation or sperm donation. This involves using a donated egg or donated sperm to try to conceive.

Egg donation has a 80% chance of being effective, while success rates of donor sperm typically range between 60% and 80%. Costs of egg and sperm donation can vary quite a bit depending on whether they are used with IUI or IVF treatment. You can read more here about the egg donation process.

Laparoscopic surgery

Surgery is sometimes recommended for dealing with certain fertility issues like removing fibroids or unblocking a fallopian tube. Laparoscopic surgery (or keyhole surgery) is one form of surgery that can leave minimal scarring.

A doctor will be able to inform you if surgery is a viable solution for you. The success rate of surgery can vary depending on the nature of the procedure. 

Wednesday 5 April 2023

Dental Issues To Look Out For In Your Kids

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As a parent, you’re largely responsible for the health of your kids' teeth. Certain dental issues could be important to look out for and treat in order to preserve your child’s teeth into adulthood. Below are just some of the biggest dental issues to look out for in your kids. 


As kids’ adult teeth come through, they can often come through at odd angles. This can lead to areas of the mouth getting overcrowded. Such overcrowding can make brushing teeth harder, which can then increase the risk of other dental problems.

It could be worth looking into braces for your child to help realign the teeth. Metal braces are commonly recommended for kids with seriously misaligned teeth, however, your child may also be eligible for clear braces. In both cases, a mold of your child’s mouth will need to be taken so that braces can be precisely constructed to fit your child’s mouth. Braces are not cheap, although clear braces are usually more affordable. There are various different price plans that you can look into. 

Tartar build-up

If your child isn’t brushing their teeth properly, it could result in build-ups of plaque forming. These build-ups of plaque are known as tartar - on top of not looking nice, they can lead to decay if not treated.

You cannot remove tartar with a toothbrush in most cases. Instead, you are better off taking your child to a dentist so that a dental hygienist can professionally clean them. Tartar build-up can be avoided by making sure that your kids are brushing their teeth regularly and thoroughly. 


Many kids experience tooth decay. This is often the result of poor brushing combined with eating too much sugary snacks. That said, some people simply have teeth that are more prone to cavities.

If your child has started experiencing tooth decay, it could be worth getting them to see a dentist as soon as you can. A dentist will be able to clean away the decay and place a filling in the tooth to prevent further decay. If teeth are seriously decayed, they may need to be completely removed and possibly replaced with implants. Children typically do not have to pay for fillings and implants with a NHS dentist.


If your child is complaining that their tooth hurts, it’s worth taking them to a dentist as soon as you can. A toothache is often a sign of an infection - which could spread if not treated.

If caught early enough, most infections can be easily treated with a prescription of antibiotics. However, long-term infections may require other forms of treatment such as root canal treatment or tooth removal. A dentist will be able to numb your child’s teeth so that they do not feel anything if a dental procedure is required.  You should never ignore seeing a dentist, even if your child claims that the pain seems to have gone away (sometimes when a toothache goes away on its own it’s because the nerve has been killed off by the infection - and therefore the infection still needs to be treated).