The effects of exercise on dementia sufferers

A recent study on dementia, a brain disease that can cause a long term and gradual decrease in the ability to think and remember, has shown that working out has no impact on the progress of the disease.

In 2015, close to 70,000 UK citizens died from dementia -related conditions, while at the current rate, 1.2 million will be living with the condition by 2040. In 2012 David Cameron, the former prime minister, made finding a cure, or a remedy for symptoms a national research project. It is estimated that dementia sufferers will cost the British economy £3 billion pounds by 2030.

Over a four-month period, a team from Oxford and the University of Warwick, tested an exercise regime aimed at improving strength and aerobic fitness of people with dementia. 494 people, with an average age of 77, were recruited from memory clinics across England

The exercise programme improved physical health of all involved, however this did not translate into improvements in their day-to-day lives. Where there was no change in their independence, or any quality of life or behavioural benefits.

Lead author of a paper in the British Medical Journal, Professor Sarah Lamb said she was disappointed with the results “although I probably wasn’t completely surprised”.

The results showed there to be negative effects of doing too much exercise as a patient with dementia. Those who completed the training were found to have worse cognitive scores, thinking and rationalising abilities, than those who did not. The training made them physically fitter but was not found to slow the progress of the disease.

Lamb was keen to emphasise that those with dementia should still partake in exercise, such as swimming or walking. “We don’t want to alarm members of the public with dementia and their families. We used a very specialised exercise programme. We know that gentle exercise is good for you. We don’t want people to stop what they are doing,” she said.

In Australia, dementia is the second leading cause of death each year, contributing to 5% of female deaths and 10% of deaths in males. Nationwide there are an estimated 425, 000 Australians living with the disease. Three in ten people over the age of 85 live with the disease while one in ten of those over 65 do the same. By 2025, 536,000 will be expected to be living with the disease, according to Dementia Australia.

The Commonwealth games and disappearing athletes

The Commonwealth Games, held in the Gold Coast, Australia during the first two weeks of April was a typical worldwide sporting event. The games spanned 11 days of events with 78 nations competing, culminating in a closing ceremony which paid tribute to the First Nations and their history in Australia. Australia won a total of 198 medals, 80 of which were gold.

However, not all things went to plan; restauranteurs complained that business was down as locals deserted the city for the games, scared off by the expected crowds to descend on the city. Taxis found their intake had decreased too, while, bizarrely for some nations competing, they found they had lost some athletes.

At least 13 participants from competing nations went missing as the competition drew to a close. The athletes, 8 from Camerooon, as well as more from Uganda, Sierra Leone and Rwanda, were found to have left the athlete’s village without a trace. The most likely reason for leaving is to find a better life for themselves in Australia however organisers of the games and officials of each nation urged the athletes to return while immigration stated that the athletes are free to travel around Australia until their visas expire.

Rumours abounded that some athletes had returned to a village where they had been training before the games. Warwick, 130 km south of Brisbane, housed the Cameroonian athletics squad for two weeks, however the mayor of the small town, Tracy Dobie has stated that there is no way they came back to the town, and someone in the town would have noticed anything unusual like that happening.

With over 6,000 visas initially granted for foreigners who attended the games expiring in early May, it is thought that the number still in Australia has grown to 100, mostly from African nations. Of those remaining in the country, many have applied for asylum and can stay in the country as their case is looked. Most fear going home for fear of persecution.

Interestingly, this isn’t the first time something like this has happened. It has been a regular occurrence at previous games, with disappearances being reported at the Melbourne games as well as previous games in Edinburgh in the UK, when one of the athletes on that occasion was found three days later in London nearly 650 kilometres away.

Belarus and the death penalty

The death penalty, punishment by execution, is used by only 58 countries worldwide. The rest deem it unfit for purpose while Amnesty International state it “breaches two essential human rights: the right to life and right to live free from torture”. The most high-profile exponent is the United States, where it is legal in 31 of the 50 states. Many countries in Asia still use it, mostly to punish drug traffickers, but only one in Europe, Belarus.

A former Soviet state, Belarus is said to have carried out over 300 executions since its independence from the USSR in 1991, however the exact number is unknown. Unlike in the US, the death penalty is carried out by gun shot and shrouded in secrecy. According to Amnesty International, two executions were carried out in 2017 while there are six people still waiting for their execution. The number of executions fell between 2016 to 2017 from four to two but four new inmates were put on death row in 2017

According to its constitution, the penalty is handed down “in accordance with the law as an exceptional penalty for especially grave crimes and only in accordance with the verdict of a court of law”. However, this does not apply to women, who are exempt from capital punishment in Belarus.

While the government withhold some information about the death penalty in Belarus, evidence gathered from former guards and journalists gives the outside world an insight into the executions and how they are carried out in a Belarussian prison.

On the day of execution, inmates are told that all appeals against their sentence have failed. They are then blindfolded and led to a specially arranged room which has restricted access decided by the prosecutor. The inmate is then forced to kneel before being shot and killed. This process takes two minutes in total while members of the public aren’t allowed to be present.

A doctor is then brought in to confirm the execution and a death certificate is produced. It can be weeks or months before the family is notified. Sometimes they are notified their loved one has been killed when a box of the inmate’s belongings is sent to them.

The body is never returned to the family and is buried in a secret location by the state, another violation of human rights according to the UN.

Reasons Why You Should Enroll In a Dance Class

Dancing isn’t restricted to five year old girls in tutus, taking their first ballet lesson. It is actually socially acceptable at any age and might prove to deliver some exceptional benefits.

So if you’re looking for a social, physical or mental booster, possibly all in the one activity, have a look at the following considerations that might convince you to enroll in some Social dance classes.

Stay in shape

Dragging yourself to the gym is not the only option to staying fit as your get older. Many people find exercise becomes more and more like a chore as you get older. It feels like a necessary thing to do to stay healthy and keep the kilos off, but sometimes it’s easier to just skip gym day.

Social dance classes offer you a completely different physical experience that can transform your dreaded hour of doom into a fulfilling session that you actually look forward to. You don’t need any experience to start dancing and you receive a great cardio workout that burns the calories.

Time Flexibility

Although team sports get harder to find and commit to as you receive more responsibilities, dance classes are a perfect option for keeping active with no obligations. Hop in and out on a day that suits you, with many studios offering pay-per-class opportunities. That way, you’re able to work it in with your busy schedule, without taking on the stress of any more commitments.

Mental Benefits

With so many things to think about, errands to run and work to get done, stress levels can reach pretty critical levels. Any form of exercise is essential to disperse some stress and revitalise your mental health. However, dance is known to reduce stress levels to a greater degree than any other type of exercise, so it might be ideal for giving yourself a pressure outlet.

Dancing is also great for your memory and cognitive functioning. Through learning movement sequences and practicing a routine, your brain gets a useful work out. Subsequently, it has been proven to act as a preventative measure for memory loss and dementia, so signing up for a dance class may actually help care for your future.

Social opportunity

As an Social, you’ve already established your network of friends and there are often limited opportunities to meet anyone new.

Social dance classes can be a fantastic way to meet new people who share the same interests as you. Social classes are relaxed and they get everyone involved. There’s no pressure to become the next big thing, you’re able to have fun and unwind in an active environment, with different people that you otherwise might not get the chance to meet!

On the other hand, you may like to grab a bunch of your friends and sign up for a class together! When everyone’s got so much going on in their lives, it can be hard to find time to fit everything in. So, enrolling in Social dance classes means you’re able to catch up and spend time with your friends, all while getting your daily dose of exercise.

Special events

Dancing is an integral part of social life and no matter how hard you try to avoid the dance floor, chances are you’re going to get dragged onto it as some stage. So you may as well approach the inevitable with a bit of confidence and style, right?

You might want to join a class to prepare for a big event. Maybe it’s your wedding day, in which case you want to surprise your significant other with some new skills.

Or, you might decide to enroll together, so you’re perfectly in sink for your first dance. If you’re a dancing couple and would love to learn a more technical routine to surprise the guests, enrolling for lessons would be a no brainer.

Alternatively, you may want to learn a simple waltz to make your moment unforgettable, while also having some fun leading up to the event. Being totally prepared for your wedding day will shake off some of those nerves, let you properly enjoy the moment and help make the event extra special.

Whatever your goals are, dance can provide you with a range of benefits that will fit in seamlessly with your day and won’t impede on your other responsibilities. Life gets tiring and monotonous sometimes, so signing up for Social dance classes is a great way to try something new and exciting.

Alternative Ways to Use a Wardrobe

Spending the money in order to find more space for activities, guests or even just storage can be a challenge, especially for those living in an apartment.  Sometimes, it’s about getting creative and finding alternative uses for things that are already around the house – like a wardrobe!

Whether it’s a hobby that wants to be made reality or a dedicated room for entertaining there are more ways than one to assemble a closet. It is time to think outside the box and take a look at some of the different ways a wardrobe can be used.

Storage Space

Yes, it’s a simple one but often it’s just filled with other clothes that rarely get worn or just junk that hasn’t been thought about in years. Cleaning out the junk from the closet can create more storage space for the things that are actually needed and wanted but don’t get used regularly.

Reorganising the dresser, such as taking out the railings and any shelving, to best fit all the storage items is also an effective way of fitting more in. Now, the linen that was previously living under the bed can have a home, equipment and other items are out of the way.

A Guest Bedroom

Turning a walk-in wardrobe into a guest bedroom can be a great way to maximise space in the rest of the house. Providing guests with a bed is important, but providing it in the closet, ensures that the rest of the room can now be used for other things and hence, creating a more space.

Not only does this provide additional space in the house for storage and other things, it also gives guest a cosy room all to themselves. This can be especially useful during holiday times (like Christmas) when the house is likely to be filled to the brim with friends and family.

Kids’ Playroom

Take out the shelving and railings and this can become a child’s best friend. It’s understandable in a small apartment that often there isn’t a lot of space to play and the last thing anyone wants is a restless child. Using an unused closet is a great way to give them the privacy they need in the safety of home.

Not only that, it can now act as a great storage space for all of their toys and gadgets to that parents won’t be left stepping on Lego as they walk through the house. Using a dresser as a kids’ playroom, doesn’t just provide a place to play, but also keeps the mess out of the way.

Cellar/ Bar

It can often be hard to find the space to store alcohol in a small home, let alone a convenient and streamlined way to access it whilst entertaining guests. Turning a small (or large) clothing cabinet into a cellar or bar can be easy. With a lot of the shelving already in place, it’s often just about creating a benchtop and cleaning out that space below to potentially install a fridge or spaces for various glasses.

However it’s assembled, the basic structure of the wardrobe provides a great basis for a cellar or bar. A closed off space that can be opened or closed at any time is ideal, and best yet, there is now a perfectly adequate room for entertaining as well.


For those bookworms that just can’t get enough, by wardrobe assembly you can transform a space into a library! Whilst it can be a little cosy, the need for many additions to the space is limited. It’s likely that all the required shelving will already be in there and any spaces where there are railings can now be used for decoration and functionality.

Putting in a small desk and a nice reading chair will add a sense of style to the room. This will also present a beautifully quiet space to get stuck into a new book. The shelves in the current wardrobe can act as a great place to put books, meaning this transformation can occur quickly and with ease.


Old wardrobes are often quite beautiful and can be undervalued by some, however, if styled well, can make for a great display. They allow the owner or stylist to put their own touches onto a classic piece and most importantly show it off. Filled with flowers, candles and other small decorative pieces, the old dresser can be transformed into a lovely showpiece for any home.


Whether it’s a large walk-in or a small clothing cabinet, transforming it into a study or desk is a great way of maximising space. In any small home, finding space to a home office can be difficult, and finding space that isn’t in everyone’s way is even harder.

By doing wardrobe assembly to function as a study, allows all the bits and pieces to be out of sight when it isn’t being used and provides a nice, little enclosed space when work needs to be done.

It only requires a little creativity and imagination to see the endless opportunities available in assembling a wardrobe. Whilst it is commonly used for storage, restructuring and a little investment can make a big difference and help to discover space that couldn’t be seen before.


The Advantages of Handyman Services

What exactly is a handyman and what are the benefits of hiring one? With many Australians working longer hours coupled with the rise of internet-based bookings, handyman services are becoming very popular and easy to use.

These services see that qualified professionals visit your home or place of business to complete a certain task, usually an odd job. This task may be repairing damaged plaster, mowing the lawns, building a fence or installing a fire alarm.

The possibilities are endless and benefits are well-known. This article will explore some of the amazing advantages that are experienced when using handyman services that can be enjoyed by the individual, the family or the business.

The risk is reduced: When completing tasks around the home or place of business, there is always a certain risk of damage or injury. Most people have heard a horror story about a home renovation gone wrong where someone has fallen off a ladder, caught their thumb with a hammer or have caused an unexpected hole in the wall.

Seeking the help of a professional can reduce any risk greatly and so reduces stress as well. Each task is assessed by the company and the correct number of people required for the task are deployed, whom of which are all qualified for the job.

The correct tools and equipment are used, and insurances are in place so on the odd occasion that something does go wrong, everyone is covered. A super easy way to reduce risk when doing odd jobs around the home or place of business is to seek the help of handyman services.

Tensions are reduced: Almost everyone has had an experience where they have had to carry a large piece of furniture up a flight of stairs, have spent hours assembling a tedious flatpack or have wasted their weekend pulling weeds.

Seeking expert help can eliminate those mundane tasks that no-one wants to do, and ensures that couples are fighting and quarrelling less often.

Similarly, business owners can relax knowing that the jobs that are outside of their scope can be taken care of and emphasis can be placed on the more important aspects of running a business, like marketing and taking care of clients. Overall tensions can be reduced by simply reaching out for some help.

Time is saved: Enlisting professional support around the home or workplace can help save time in the long run. Hours are not wasted when a job turns out to be longer and harder than it started out to be and with many companies offering easy online bookings, it takes hardly any time to book a service.

Many people start tasks only to find that that they don’t have the correct tools or skillset to complete the job when they get halfway through. When people take on jobs without any help, they often take longer because of this and sometimes don’t get completed at all.

Saving time by hiring a handyman to complete the job is a huge bonus, and Australians can instead spend their leisure time doing the things that they love.

Money is saved: While of course, it costs money to hire a professional, in the long run it can often save funds. Projects around the home or business can frequently blow-out or further damage can even be caused.

Unexpected tools can pop up which could blow out the budget completely. In addition, with the time saved by not having to complete odd-jobs, extra time could even be spent at work and so using your time more productively saves even more money long-term.

Homes are saved: One of the greatest bonuses of hiring a handyman is the chance for the home to look amazing without physically having to put in the work. It is common for the everyday person to watch a home renovation show and then decide to do the task themselves.

While this, of course, can sometimes turn out well, it often doesn’t go as planned and leaves the home looking less than desirable. Accidental damage can even be caused to the home when odd-jobs are taken on without professional help.

Seeking someone to assist with odd-jobs can prevent any accidents from happening or can stop further damage to areas that need maintenance. Furthermore, many urgent scenarios can pop up in life such as needing something repaired in order to have bond funds released, or a quick paint job to get ready for auction.

Whatever the reason or task, it can be beneficial to pass on the job to a qualified serviceman who can save the home from any mishaps.

As explored, there are many clear advantages when it comes to hiring a handyman. Risk of injury or damage to the home or place of business is reduced when odd-jobs and renovation are left to the professionals.

Tension around the home can be reduced as the stress is taken out of the task and time and money is often saved. A handyman can leave a home feeling and looking marvellous with a professional job been completed, rather than a home left with many unfinished jobs.


Made to Measure Blinds: What Makes Them So Popular?

Blinds serve dual purposes—aesthetics and functionality. On one hand, the blinds you install in your house should look good, complementing the rest of your home décor and adding to the overall look of your house.

But also, let’s not forget that blinds have a very basic functionality, which is to provide insulation and privacy to your house. If you are looking for blinds that take care of both of those aspects, then customised blinds are your best bet.

Here’s why made to measure blinds are so popular.


Better Look and Fit

Customised blinds give you that classy, high-end look. Since they are measured to precisely fit your windows and doors, the end result are blinds that look luxurious. You just cannot achieve such a good fit with off the shelf blinds.

If your blinds are too large or long for your windows, you run the risk of them damaging the wall, scratching off the paint and leaving ugly marks on your otherwise pristine walls. Not to mention oversized blinds just do not look appealing.

In fact, tailormade blinds are one of the easiest ways to give your house an instant makeover, making it look much more elegant and upscale.

Choose the Right Material

One of the biggest advantages with customised blinds is the fact that they come with a wide range of available materials. You can pick and choose the fabric based on the exact colour and texture that you want.

Your blinds can match with your walls or be in total contrast with them to add a little pop of colour to your house. Having the freedom to choose the right fabric instead of having to make do with the available colours and materials in the readymade blinds section is a huge advantage, just ask an interior designer.

Unique Detailing

How would you like to add some unique detailing to your blinds, making them one-of-a-kind? From having a lace trim to some beading detailing along the length of the blinds, you can request for some very unique additions to make sure your blinds are truly exclusive.

You can discuss with your interior designer and see what ideas they’ve got as far as detailing goes. Adding such small details can make a huge impact to the look of your indoor living space.


Customised blinds are much more durable and less susceptible to wear-and-tear than off the shelf blinds. This is because they are painstakingly made, with a lot of attention to detail, to ensure that the finished product is absolutely perfect and made to last. So, if you are looking for a long-term solution that involves little upkeep and maintenance, then customised curtains are the way to go.

Extra Lining

With tailormade blinds, you have the option of having an extra-thick layer of lining for added insulation or better light blocking. Depending on your specific needs, be it better insulation or a pitch-black room, you can pick the right lining material.

Having this flexibility means that your blinds will provide you with everything that you want. No more having to wear an eye mask to keep the morning light at bay, or cranking up the heater to keep yourself warm and ward off the winter chill.

Ease of Use

After installation, customised blinds are easier to use and operate. Readymade blinds can give you trouble by getting stuck or not functioning properly in the space as it isn’t made to the right specifications.

But you completely eliminate any such issues with tailormade blinds. And in the end, what you get are smooth-operating blinds that don’t give you any cause for concern. Once you’ve installed them, they will last a very long time without any major glitches.

The biggest disadvantage that is touted when talking about made to measure blinds is that they are expensive. What people fail to consider is all the hidden costs involved. Having ill-fitted blinds is an eye sore that will ruin the interior décor of your house.

Apart from that, you might have to call in reinforcements to get them fixed if they start getting stuck or giving you other trouble. And let’s not forget the other equally important issues of insulation and complete privacy. Customised blinds will offer you complete privacy while readymade blinds may leave gaps that will let in light and offer outsiders a ‘peephole’ to look into your house.

Without a doubt, customised blinds are the way to go if you are after 100% privacy, good insulation and great looks and designs.