May 30

All of us, able-bodied or not, need to do more to keep ourselves and those around us safe on the road. Here are tips from The National Safety Council for reducing or eliminating blind spots by adjusting your car mirrors:

1) Sitting in your parked car, lean toward the driver’s-side window until the top of your head just touches the glass. Now, adjust the mirror so you can see just the tip of your left rear bumper.

2) Lean toward the center of the car and adjust the passenger-side mirror so you can see just the tip of your right rear bumper.

3) Sitting upright in the driver’s seat and glancing into the side-view mirrors, you now should have clear views of the lanes on either side of your car and not be able to see your car at all.

Traffic leaving your sight in your rear-view mirror now will pop into sight in your side mirror. And when it vanishes from view in the side mirror, you now should be able to pick it up with your peripheral vision.

To change lanes or merge with on-coming traffic you need only to tip or turn your head slightly, without needing to twist your head and shoulders to see traffic behind you.

May 28

The average 50-year-old driver needs twice as much light to see at night as a 30-year-old driver. Yet few of us do what is necessary to compensate for the reduction in night-time acuity that occurs in the aging eye.

As we age, changes in driving habits are crucial, and so are adjustments at home to prevent the all-too-common accidents that land older people in the hospital.

Traffic deaths are three times greater after dark than during the day, though only 20 percent of driving is done after dark. Fatigue and alcohol are two important causes, but experts say the biggest factor is darkness. Ninety percent of a driver’s reaction depends on vision and, unlike cats, we’re just not engineered to see well in the dark.

The National Safety Council suggests this to improve vision when driving at night, however old you are: Read the rest of this entry »

May 23

vermont-cart

Our friend Lori P. shares our passion for finding easier ways to garden and move heavy loads with less effort. Here’s her review of Vermont Garden Carts, which she says she couldn’t live without in her garden and elsewhere:

I have a delicate lower back and wonky knee and need all the help I can get when it comes to carrying things. I’m now 55 and have been using these Vermont Garden Carts since I was in my 20s and working in my first garden.

The cart is so well balanced that I can carry a full load of cordwood and easily flip it up to dump the load, without anyone helping me.

I’ve used them to carry everything from compost and buckets of water to hay, pumpkins, shrubs, ducks and even a lamb or two. Other members of my family have used the same cart to move gravel, car engines, wood stoves and heavy loads of automotive supplies.

Perfect for giving my nieces rides down to the garden, the carts comes in several sizes and can be taken apart for moving, if necessary. To me, my cart is priceless because it makes life so much easier.

May 15

This video is an ad from Kaiser Permanente - a great ad which took Michelle Shocked’s song “When I grow up I want to be an old woman” and turned it into an outstanding visual celebration of older women.

We’re betting you’ll watch it more than once!

May 1

Eileen is a Chicago “Trend Spotter” who’s still working while thinking about retirement. She’s reached the point where comfort is a priority, especially when it comes to dealing with her arthritis.

She speaks for many of us when she writes about adjusting for comfort at home, including what her comfort-level demands in the way of clothing:

“It’s making me pickier and pickier in terms of clothes. Clothes that stretch and don’t get in the way when I need to bend my knees or reach over my head.  Coats and jackets that are light in weight so they don’t drag on my shoulders when I’m driving or walking, especially walking quickly.   Sweaters that keep me warm but aren’t itchy, especially around the neck.  (I just decided to give away a super-warm Missoni sweater meant to wear at some ski lodge that is knit beautifully but out of scratchy mohair).  Shoes that don’t pinch my toes or have too low or high a heel; boots that let my ankles bend and have rubber soles to help keep me from slipping on snow or ice.”

(via Life Meets Work)