Tag: family

The range of Vimec homelifts has been enriched with new featuresarch

A Vimec homelift gives greater value to the living environment, and for solutions in particularly narrow spaces, three-leaf telescopic doors are now available.

This possibility allows the Vimec homelift to be used with maximum ease, with a greater door span for improved accessibility, all without compromising the available space in the hallways or rooms.

Among the various customisation possibilities available for Vimec homelifts, the three-leaf door ensures a more prestigious and cutting-edge system for the home.

Furthermore, Vimec home lifts are always made to measure in order to guarantee maximum safety for the entire family (both for people in search of greater comfort, as well as for the elderly and people with disabilities), not to mention reliabilitycomfort and elegance, all in perfect harmony with the colours and finishes of the home itself.

Vimec has sales consultants in every Italian province, who are always available to recommend the ideal solutions to meet your home mobility needs.

Grandparents: the pillars of the family

Among the various social groups with which we interact daily, the family is perhaps that which is changing the most: social progress, economic dynamics, and increasingly fluid sentimental bonds are resulting in constantly changing family structures.

Due to these factors, mothers today are not always able to constantly look after their children. This is where grandparents come into play: the new pillars of the family.

The grandparents’ role

In a society where both parents work, who takes care of the children’s needs? Many couples are able to rely on grandparents.

Grandparents are usually already retired. They’ve lived full lives: they’ve worked, perhaps they’ve travelled… and they often don’t know what to do with all their free time. So taking care of a grandchild is a pleasure.

It’s not uncommon to see grandparents accompanying children to and from school, or taking them to afternoon activities. Grandmothers often spoil their grandchildren with excellent food, much to their delight!

It’s also a well-known fact that, after having been strict with their own children, grandparents tend to be more lenient with their grandchildren: guess who buys more toys?

Playing with grandchildren

Playing with grandchildren is fun for both the grandparents and the children alike.

Think of a grandfather at the park with his grandson: chasing around a lively toddler is a great way to keep in shape! Being immersed by greenery, a park is also an excellent place to take in some fresh air. While the child is occupied with the playground equipment, the grandfather can sit down on a nearby bench and read a good book.

There are also various playtime activities in which both can engage at home: for example, in order to keep their minds sharp, grandparents can teach their grandchildren how to play chess.

Grandmothers can teach their more creative grandchildren how to use seeds to create original designs. For smaller grandchildren there are numerous memory games to help them learn the alphabet, colours, numbers, animals… and much more!

Not to mention classic board games, to be played in groups. After all, who’s never played Monopoly?

When grandchildren get older, grandparents can help them develop a greater sense of civic awareness: after all, who understand the importance of reducing waste better than a Grandfather? Perhaps with the help of the internet, grandparents and grandchildren can even discover how to build creative things using recycled materials!

There’s never a dull moment

As we have seen, taking care of grandchildren can be a great way to stay youthful and active.

It gives grandparents the opportunity to rediscover the joy of playing and having fun, as if they were “kids” again: every day becomes a new discovery for everyone.

The parents can have peace of mind, while the grandparents and the grandchildren play: that’s the new balance in the Italian family!

Over 65 – Sports and health

Engaging in sports is beneficial at any age: it helps to maintain physical and mental health, thus improving and prolonging life. Engaging in regular physical activity over long periods of time helps to prevent many diseases, including high blood pressure, stroke, and diabetes.

Engaging in sports regularly helps us keep in shape and looking great. But there are also many other important reasons to stay fit: stronger muscles and bones with respect to a sedentary person; a more efficient cardio-respiratory tract and greater stamina.

Thanks to a greater awareness of the benefits of constant physical activity, the number of people with gym memberships is on the rise. It’s also increasingly common to see people jogging or cycling outdoors.

An overview of people over 65 and sports

Despite the increasing awareness among young people of the benefits offered by sports, the situation among the elderly is lagging: just 15% of people over 65 engage in sports more than once a week.

Most elderly people go out for a pleasant walk around their homes almost daily. Some dedicate themselves to outdoor activities like gardening. This is already a good start: in fact, a little bit of daily movement provides for the following benefits:

  • Increased blood flow to the brain
  • Improved respiratory function
  • Numerous heart benefits, including better blood circulation to the body’s tissues
  • Walking is also good for the bones, as it helps them to maintain better density over time, without becoming fragile

All of these benefits are even further increased if the elderly person dedicates him/herself to a regular sports activity, in consultation with a physician, and monitored by a good instructor.

Which sports

Engaging in regular physical activity is the most effective anti-ageing factor for maintaining physical and mental health over time. For people over 65, it is highly recommended to engage in a regular sports activity: now let’s take a look at the exercises most highly recommended for people in their golden years:

  • Fit walkingwalking briskly outdoors. Recommended for everyone as a way to keep in shape, it’s good for the cardio-respiratory system, increases bone density, and tones the muscles.
  • Water aerobics: particularly recommended for those who are advised to engage in physical activity, but without overloading the hips and knees due to back painobesity or joint problems in the legs. Improves blood circulation and promotes muscular and psychological relaxation.
  • Pilates: with its smooth, controlled, and harmonious movements, this gentle form of exercise is particularly recommended for elderly people as a way to tone up the abdominal, lumbar and dorsal muscles.

A wide range of benefits

As we have seen, there are various physical activities suitable for people over 65. All of them play the fundamental physical role of preventing numerous diseases.

However, the psychological aspect should not be overlooked: in fact, sports also play a social function, and help to fight loneliness among the elderly.

It is also important to consider the level of independence achieved by elderly people with fit bodies: being capable of carrying your shopping bags on your own is a goal that not all people over 65 are able to achieve!

So don’t wait: if you want to achieve excellent results throughout each phase of your life, now’s the time to take up a sport.

Living in harmony with nature

When we think of a home made from wood and stone, we often imagination a classic mountain cabin. In and of itself, this association of ideas is not incorrect: in fact, the idea of the mountains conjures up an image of contact with nature.

In this sense, the use of these materials outside of the mountain context represents a return to the basics, and to a more natural dimension.

Our escape from the chaos of the city also takes place within our homes. Modern man is in search of new aesthetic and environmental balances, and finds them using ancient materials with a modern twist.

Advantages and disadvantages of wood

Nowadays, one can design and build a house made entirely of wood.

This material offers several major advantages:

  • It’s earthquake-proof, thanks to its elasticity and lightness.
  • It has a good resistance to fire: this might seem counter-intuitive, but the fact of the matter is that wood burns slowly, and takes a long time to lose its load bearing capacity.
  • It’s sustainable: if collected in a controlled manner, it’s renewable and will be depleted. It’s recyclable and minimises pollution. It’s also an excellent thermal insulator.
  • It’s inexpensive: the construction of a wood house involves extensive use of prefabricated components, thus making it easy to control production costs.

However, wood also has several disadvantages:

  • The design of the house is strictly binding, and it’s difficult to make last-minute changes during construction, or to do any subsequent remodelling.
  • Periodic maintenance is required in order to prevent damage caused by moisture and other deteriorating agents.

The types of stone used in the various rooms

Every type of stone has different characteristics: let’s discover the construction uses of some of Italy’s most popular types of stone!

  • Tuff: this is the most widely used type of stone, both in its raw form, for a more rustic effect, as well as in its polished form.
  • Basalt: this is the material of choice in the field of sustainable building. It’s a very inexpensive type of stone, since it’s quite common. It’s excellent for both indoors and outdoors.
  • Marble: this material is highly prized, and is therefore rather expensive. Due to these characteristics, it’s mainly used for cladding and flooring.

Cork, wool, stone, and wood for energy savings

Did you know that these materials, in addition to being natural and eco-sustainable, also offer benefits in terms of energy savings?

Cork and sheep’s wool are materials with excellent insulating properties. When combined with natural stone walls and ceilings with wooden beams, they help to insulate your home to perfection.

With solar and photovoltaic panels installed on the roof for hot water and electricity production, one can obtain a perfectly self-sufficient home in terms of energy, with energy dispersion factor of zero.

Living in harmony with nature

Wood and stone have always been used as structural elements within buildings.

As we have seen, wood is no longer considered a “poor” material nowadays: it has become one of the main elements used in the field of natural and sustainable architecture.

Stone is also back in vogue: thanks to innovative cutting and processing techniques, stone is often used nowadays inside modern homes. It can be found in its natural form, on the walls. It can be found in processed and polished forms as cladding and flooring. It can even be found in the form of innovative and designer furnishing accessories.

Accessible Tourism

We all know the meaning of the word “trip”: we like to associate it with positive feelingsfreedomdiscoveryexploration and relaxation.

However, travelling isn’t always that easy for everyone.

There are entire categories of people with more or less evident limitations for whom travel is not so straightforward: these include the blind, the visually impaired, the hard of hearing, the deaf, people with mental disabilities, and people in wheelchairs, as well as the elderly. Even those with “simple” dietary intolerances can have difficulties!

We like the definition of “accessible tourism” proposed by the “First White paper on Tourism for Everyone in Italy”: The term “Accessible Tourism” refers to the combination of services and structures that allow “people with special needs” to enjoy vacation and leisure activities in a gratifying way, without any obstacles or difficulties, and therefore under conditions of complete safetyautonomy, and comfort.

Awareness in Italy

In comparison to other European countries, Italy is not exactly at the forefront in terms of accessible tourism.

The main limitations are linked to the numerous architectural barriers.

One explanation for their presence lies in the fact that Italian cities often have ancient origins: the narrow streets, historic buildings, and bridges were designed and built centuries ago, when there was no awareness of this problem. These historic buildings are subject to conservation constraints, which sometimes make it difficult to carry out  restoration work  that takes the needs of people with various types of disabilities into account.

Awareness is on the rise, however, and things are increasingly beginning to move in the direction of accessible tourism. Several examples are provided below:

  • Buses: major Italian cities are upgrading their fleets of buses with models equipped with platforms for allowing access to passengers in wheelchairs.
  • Railway stations: dedicated personnel are present at certain Large Railway Stations identified by Ferrovie dello Stato in order to assist people with various types of disabilities.
  • Trains: the High Speed trains and new regional trains that have recently become operational are equipped with wheelchair platforms.
  • Urban roadssidewalks with tactile pathways for the visually impaired are becoming increasingly common throughout Italy. An increasing number of pedestrian traffic lights are equipped with audible signalling devices.

Small measures for rendering places accessible

As we have seen, the public sector is taking its first steps to promote unfettered access throughout the country, thus reducing the existing difficulties.

However, there are many small steps to be taken in the private sector as well. Several small measures that can be taken to improve the travel experience in general are listed below:

  • For Hotels
    • Install non-slip flooring
    • Eliminate the doorsteps for accessing rooms or balconies
    • Provide ample free room for the movement of wheelchairs

  • For restaurant
    • Use different kitchen utensils for meat and fish
    • Clearly indicate the allergens present in the menu items
  • For public places
    • Install inclined platforms next to the stairs for accessing the various rooms
    • Increase the use of descriptive texts in Braille
    • Render guides available who are fluent in sign language

Never give up

The goal of accessible tourism is a major challenge for the future, one in which the various actors must work together to guarantee an essential right that’s often taken for granted:

Enjoy vacation and leisure activities in a gratifying way, without any obstacles or difficulties, and therefore under conditions of complete safety, autonomy, and comfort.

The determination of people with disabilities should serve as an example for everyone to seek out solutions to their needs. Never give up!

Food helps to keep you in shape

As the philosopher Feuerbach once said, “you are what you eat.” Therefore it shouldn’t be surprising to hear that there’s a strong link between diet and health.

Eating various types of foods, sparingly, and several times a day helps us to live longer, and helps prevent diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular disease.

The false claims about food

Countless new diets are proposed each year. Many of these are based on the complete elimination of one or more categories of nutrients deemed to be “bad for you”:

  • Carbohydrates: these are often the first to be put on trial, accused of making us fat. The truth, however, is that people obtain energy precisely by burning carbohydrates. Therefore, they shouldn’t be eliminated entirely, but we should however reduce our consumption of sweets and alcohol in favour of whole grains.
  • Animal protein and red meat: the results of a research study indicating that red meat is carcinogenic have recently been making the rounds. The truth, however, isn’t quite that simple: red meat can potentially cause cancer if consumed in excessive amounts and if associated with other risk factors. Animal proteins should not be eliminate at all costs, as this would pose a risk of serious nutritional deficiencies. Our consumption of red meat, however, should be limited to less than once a week.

The Mediterranean diet: tradition and health

The Mediterranean diet is both a culinary style and a lifestyle. In fact, it is considered an extremely important element of historical and cultural heritage. This type of diet is widespread among most of the countries bordering on the Mediterranean Sea: Italy, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Cyprus, and Morocco. This diet is ideal for preventing arteriosclerosis, heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, and cancer, especially of the digestive system.

The food pyramid for the Mediterranean diet is as follows:

  • Carbohydrates are permitted, so bread and pasta are allowed, though preferably whole grain. These should constitute the base of the diet.
  • Large amounts of fruitsvegetables and legumes are recommended. These foods contain vitaminsproteins, and fibres, which promote bowel motility. It is recommended to consume multiple portions of fruits and vegetables per day.
  • Extra virgin olive oil is considered the condiment par excellence. Milk and dairy products can be consumed daily, but no more than once a day.
  • Fish and eggs are permitted, as they are low in fat and provide for the intake of animal proteins.
  • It is preferable to consume white meat than red meat. White meat can be eaten 2 or 3 times a week, red meat less frequently.
  • Limit the consumption of sweets and hard alcohol
  • One glass of red wine, which is rich in antioxidants, is permitted each day.

Due to its wide variety and health benefits, the Mediterranean diet has been added to the UNESCO Cultural Heritage list.

The Sardinia of the supercentenarians

In Italy, there is one particular geographical area with a high density of elderly people: Sardinia.

In fact, this region, together with the Japanese island of Okinawa, boasts the highest percentage of supercentenarians.

What are the secrets to the Sardinian people’s longevity? The genetic factor certainly has something to do with it, as does the microclimate and the greater level of physical activity among the elderly residents, who remain active in cultivating the land and raising animals.

This guarantees the consumption of high quality food. In fact, according to recent studies, Sardinian wine appears to contain large amounts of antioxidants. According to ongoing research, Sardinian cheeses have bacilli with evident probiotic activity.

Pane, casu and binu a rasu” (bread, cheese and full glass of wine): that’s the recipe for living a good long life, according the Sardinians!

Vimec Accessibility L.T.D. Suite 56 Basepoint Business Centre | Caxton Close | Andover Hampshire SP10 3FG Registrar of Company for England and Wales n° 05967788 Headquarters: Vimec s.r.l. | Via Parri, 7 - 42045 Luzzara (RE) - Italy - Tel. +39 0522 970666, Fax +39 0522 970677 - Ust-ID-Nr.: 00758850358

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