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If the power is out for less than 4 hours, then the food in your refrigerator and freezer will be safe to consume. While the power is out, keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible to keep food cold for longer.

If the power is out for longer than 4 hours, follow the guidelines below:

* For the Freezer section: A freezer that is half full will hold food safely for up to 24 hours. A full freezer will hold food safely for 48 hours. Do not open the freezer door if you can avoid it.
* For the Refrigerated section: Pack milk, other dairy products, meat, fish, eggs, gravy, and spoilable leftovers into a cooler surrounded by ice. Inexpensive Styrofoam coolers are fine for this purpose.
* Use a food thermometer:  Check the temperature of your food right before you cook or eat it. Throw away any food that has a temperature of more than 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

Due to loss of loved ones, health problems, trouble paying bills, or other reasons, many older adults may feel lonely, sad, low, or stressed. You may not feel like doing anything, not eat enough, or overeat. Being good to yourself may help you improve your “get up and go,” eating habits, and health.

Here are some ideas for being good to yourself:

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Healthy older adults generally do not need to check with a health care provider before becoming physically active. However, health care providers may be able to recommend types of exercise that are best for you and ways to progress at a safe and steady pace.

If you have a health issue or problem, you should talk with your health care provider to find out if there are any limits on what you can do. Your provider can help you plan for the types and amounts of exercise that are healthy for you.

Being physically active is good for your overall health care, however just as important is to do so safely.  Here are some safety tips you should keep in mind.

*  Ask your health care provider about ways you can safely increase the amount of physical activity you do now.
*  Take time to warm up and cool down.
*  Start slowly and build up to more intense activity.
* Wear a sturdy pair of shoes.
* Stop if you have pain, become dizzy, or feel short of breath.
* Drink water.

Many people know that they want to do more physically active but do not know where to start. Here are a few tips that may help you get started.

* Pick an activity you enjoy and start with small, specific goals, such as “I will take three 10-minute walks this week.” Slowly increase the total amount of time and number of days you are active.

* If you live in an assisted living or retirement facility, ask if the fitness center offers a free health checkup and fitness program.

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Healthy older adults should do four types of activities regularly: aerobic (or endurance) exercise and activities to strengthen muscles, improve balance, and increase flexibility.

For any new physical activity, if you have not been active, start slowly and work up to your goal. To track your progress and stay motivated, keep a daily diary of what you do and how long you do it.

Many activities give you more than just one benefit! Water aerobics with weights gives you strengthening and aerobic benefits. Yoga combines balance, flexibility, and strengthening. Choose what you like to do—some physical activity is better than none.

You may want to check with your health care provider or dentist if

* You find chewing difficult, don’t want to eat, or have trouble with your dentures.
* You feel that life events such as the death of a loved one or moving from your home are keeping you from eating well.
* You think your medicines may be making your food taste bad or affecting your appetite.
* You think you should take a daily vitamin like iron or vitamin C.


Eating healthy meals can be easier when you plan ahead and make them enjoyable. Try the tips listed below.

* Cook ahead and freeze portions for days when you don’t want to cook.

* Keep frozen or canned vegetables, beans, and fruits on hand for quick and healthy meal add-ons. Rinse canned foods to remove extra salt. Drain juice and syrup from canned fruit to remove extra sugar.

* Eat often with someone you enjoy. If you can’t cook for yourself, contact the Eldercare Locator listed in the Resources section for local programs that deliver meals.

A portion is the amount of one food you eat in one sitting. Many people eat more than they need, especially when eating out or getting takeout. Try these tips:

* Avoid eating in front of the TV, computer, or other screen. You may not notice how much you are eating if you are distracted.
*  Read the Nutrition Facts label found on food and drink packages to see how many calories and how much fat are in a single serving size of an item.

Some foods have many calories but offer few nutrients. Older adults should eat less of these foods:

* Sugar-sweetened drinks and desserts that have added sugars
* Foods with butter, shortening, or other fats that are solid at room temperature
* White bread, rice, and pasta made from refined grains

Make sure to always read contracts, account policies and disclosures. It may be tempting to sign contracts without reading them or all the fine print in account disclosures. Do not give in to that temptation, many important details about your rights, minimum balance requirements, and fees are included in these documents. I you do not understand something in the contract make sure you ask questions until you do.

Unfortunately, some shady companies or professionals have the gift of gab that will make a disastrous investment sound like a golden opportunity.


Collect information about the financial options you are considering. Read and compare the overviews of different types of accounts, ask trusted friends and family about their choices and interview several financial planners to determine if they fit your needs.

A Little cost-cutting now will help ensure that you enjoy a more comfortable retirement later. If you were planning to treat yourself to a new car, consider making due with your current vehicle for a few more years. Reallocate the money you would have used for a down payment toward your savings strategy.

Take another look at your auto insurance coverage. If you are paying for collision coverage for an older vehicle you may want to consider dropping it. Review your coverages, if your deductible is say $250, consider raising it to at least $500 or even $1,000. These two strategies could significantly reduce your auto insurance premium.

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Limit the amount of alcohol use. Drinking too much alcohol is associated with high blood pressure.  If you drink alcohol, you should do so in moderation—no more than one drink per day for women or two drinks per day for men.

Do not Smoke: Smoking injures blood vessels and speeds up the hardening of the arteries. Further, smoking is a major risk for heart disease and stroke.
If you do not smoke, do not start. If you do smoke, quitting will lower your risk for heart disease and stroke. Your doctor can suggest programs to help you quit.

Exercise and stay physically fit: Physical activity can help lower blood pressure. The Surgeon General recommends adults engage in moderate-intensity exercise for two hours and 30 minutes every week.

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