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Mother Distracted

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Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Win A Copy Of "ROOM" - A Powerful And Moving Film About A Mother's Love For Her Son

"Room" is an amazing and uplifting film about the bond between mother and child starring Academy Award, BAFTA and Golden Globe winning actress Brie Larson.


I will warn you that the film, directed by Lenny Abrahamson and produced by STUDIOCANAL will warrant a large box of tissues and some waterproof mascara!

Based on the novel by Emma Donoghue, "Room" is the story of Ma and 5 year old Jack, a mother and son held captive in a garden shed.

It becomes clear that Jack and his mother are held captive by a man who has kidnapped her, raped her, impregnated her, and uses her as his sexual slave.

They call the small, locked shed "Room", but despite the fact that Jack has lived there for all of his life, Ma has managed to keep the truth of their situation from him for five years.

I won't spoil the film for you but the rest of the story is about their escape and Jack's discovery of the outside world.

This highly acclaimed and moving film really is a testament to the power of maternal love and about how we can use love to overcome the most terrible of situations.

Brie Larson won "Best Actress' Academy Award, a BAFTA and a Golden Globe for her role and was also nominated for a further three Academy Awards, two Golden Globes and one BAFTA.

"Room" is available on pay-to-view from 9th May and out on DVD and Blu-Ray on 16th May and I have one copy to give away.

Entry is via the Rafflecopter.  Terms and conditions apply.  UK entrants only.  The giveaway ends at 11:59 pm on Friday 20th May.

Good luck and I hope you have a chance to see this incredible film.


a Rafflecopter giveaway


SuperLucky Blog Giveaway Linky


More free competitions at www.theprizefinder.com
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Choosing The Right Care Home For A Loved One With Dementia


I have written a lot lately about the challenges facing us when our elderly loved ones need residential care.

Woman visiting elderly mother in care home
Source:  Flickr: Jonas Boni
It is probably one of the most difficult, and important, decisions adult children have to make for their parents.

This decision is doubly hard when your mum or dad is suffering from a long-term illness such as Dementia.

Research carried out by Alzheimer's Research UK in 2014 found that older people are more fearful of developing dementia than they are of cancer.

Of the 500 adults over 50 surveyed across the UK, two thirds feared they would develop Alzheimer's while just one in 10 feared getting cancer.

There are currently around 850,000 people with dementia in the UK but as the population ages, this figure is expected to soar in coming years.

Despite this, awareness of the disease seems to receive nowhere near the amount of media coverage given to cancer.

May 15 - 21 is Dementia Awareness Week, the aim of which is to encourage everyone to confront dementia and share their own experiences and concerns in order to offer much needed support and information.

If you are faced with the dilemma of finding a care home to look after a loved one suffering from dementia, care homes provider Barchester Healthcare has homes across the country specialising in different kinds of care, including dementia.

They have a dedicated Director of Dementia Care and a team of Dementia Care Specialists who work across the homes providing further support and training.

Time is spent learning about the different types of dementia that the person may have and how they might best support each resident as an individual, as well as learning what is needed to help your loved one when they are distressed and to promote their well-being.

When my grandmother Jesse went into residential care in Plymouth back in the 80's there was no such option as a care home offering specialist care.  Nana suffered mild dementia and we would arrive to visit finding her already distressed because she couldn't find the kettle or a table-cloth to set out tea.

It is this inability to soothe and to communicate directly to your loved one that is so hard, isn't it? The pressure on those caring for dementia sufferers in their own home must be immense.

If you are at the stage where residential care is needed, Barchester Homes have produced a useful guide to choosing the right home for someone living with dementia.

It contains a useful set of questions and checklists to help make the process a little less stressful. For example, you are guided through issues such as the environment, the approach of the staff and whether the residents seem happy and engaged.

Although dementia cannot be cured, the current renewed focus on this distressing condition and a determination by those offering residential care to give specialist support to families and sufferers can only be a good thing.

Look out for more information about dementia from 15th May 2016.  There is also the Alzheimer's Society National Dementia Helpline which is 0300 222 1122 which provides information, support, guidance and signposting to other appropriate organisations.
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Monday, 2 May 2016

Kid's Birthday? That'll Be £545 Please.

There's no doubt that the costs involved in raising your kids are rising.

I don't know about you but there seems to be a new expense every two minutes - whether it's for school trips, kits for sports and after school activities and school shoes (which seem to last about 6-8 weeks before having to be replaced).

Little girl eating her first birthday cake - cost of children's birthdays - motherdistracted.co.uk

Christmas and birthdays are times when the expenses seem to ramp up even further.

As Princess Charlotte turns one today,  American Express® has carried out some research into exactly how the costs of a child's birthday can mount up - and the company has discovered that parents plan to spend, on average, £545 to celebrate their little one's birthday.

Now I'm not entirely sure who they asked because a straw poll of mums here in Dinas would find some who will pull out all the stops and others who will happily say "enough is enough" and impose a modest budget which covers all the bases without being overly extravagant.

Here's how the costs in American Express' research mounted up:-

Gifts - £122
Entertainment - £94
Party food - £91
Party venues - £90
New outfits - £85
Party bags - £62

And you don't escape the expense if you're a guest at a child's birthday.  Parents were found to spend on average £32 on presents and £28 on new party outfits.

I suspect that some of these parents are strangers to the words "Mothercare Sale" and are desperate to keep up with the Jones'.

I have always thought you could do away with a child's birthday party altogether and just go straight to handing out the party bag and slice of cake after school because that seems to be the main lure of attending these things.

In fact, if the Sugar Police in our schools weren't so hot on scanning each child for the merest hint of dried fruit in case something that could rot teeth has sneaked in, this is a scheme that would save parents hundreds of pounds each year.

Caitlin Hobbis aged nearly 1 - cost of children's birthdays - motherdistracted.co.uk
Caitlin just before her first birthday in 2008
On the basis that I'd like to save Jamie Oliver the stress of starting another campaign, here are American Express' top tips to help you cut the costs when planning a child's birthday celebrations.

Venue

If the thought of having 20 children running round your house is too much to bear but you don’t want to hire a venue, then local parks or an outdoor play area can be the perfect location for a summer party. Just make sure to check the weather.

There's always your local soft play centre of course (and you know how fond I am of those).

Entertainment

Professional party entertainers are expensive, so keep the stress levels and costs down by doing it yourself. Ask friends or family members who could do simple activities such as face painting. I don't think you can go far wrong with the old favourite party games like Pass The Parcel of Musical Chairs. I did once ask the Husband to appear as Spiderman in a morph suit but he still hasn't "got back to me" on that one.

Party bags

Those little bags can often be the things that cause costs to rack up quickly. So get creative and make them yourself. One of the simplest ways to do this is to fill clear cellophane bags with sweets or pocket-money toys or even put a book into each bag.

Back to haunt the party-ware aisle in your local ASDA it is then. I still have a cupboard full of small bouncy balls and unsharpened pencils.  (Why can you not buy sharpened pencils any more?!).

Go halves

If a friend’s child has a birthday around the same date, then you could coordinate with their parents and throw a joint party. Your child would probably love to share the day with their friend, but you’ll also save money by splitting the cost of the party.

Keep it fun

If the planning becomes hard work, the party could end up feeling forced and often costs rise. Remind yourself to opt for the simpler, easier options. By keeping the guest list manageable and offering a few kinds of drinks and snacks, not only will this be more manageable for you and enjoyable for your child, but you can save some money.

This does, however, lead neatly into the social minefield of how many children to ask to your child's party.  Do you ask the whole class, their special buddies, just relatives? Whatever decision you make has the potential to upset somebody.

I think it's worth reminding ourselves that, in many instances, one or two nice presents, oodles of love and affection on the day, time spent on a favourite activity and perhaps one or two special friends to tea is probably all that is needed to give your child a memorable birthday.
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