How to Stay Warm and Save Energy

For people in much of the country, temperatures are going down and utility bills are skyrocketing up. Home heating accounts for about 45 percent of the typical American household’s energy bill, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. One of the biggest culprits behind high heating bills is heat loss that occurs through small holes and cracks in the home’s envelope. Though seemingly small, these little escape hatches can drain up to 25 percent of a home’s heat, DOE reports. …

Holiday Blues? 7 Ways to Cheer Up

The winter solstice — and the shortest day of the year — will soon be upon us (Dec. 21), and not everyone is feeling the holiday spirit. Illness, loneliness, financial troubles, family problems and depression can make many dread the “most wonderful” time of the year and endanger both mental and physical health. A recent University of Chicago study found that feelings of loneliness and isolation can lead to increased stress, higher blood pressure and other health problems. Here are some things you can do …

Beat the Big Chill

This boomerina is no fan of cold weather, but she does love winter sports — the indoor variety, that is! The frosty season can’t give me too many excuses to layer on cozy sweaters, wrap up in scarves, wear Uggs, drink multiple mugs of hot chai and take hot, steamy showers. (I know the latter is bad, but hey — if that’s my worst vice, I’m happy!) >> 10 Must-Have Wardrobe Items for Women at 50+ Here’s how I survive, thrive …

Grab a Tissue-Major Allergy Season Coming

Man, this winter just keeps on giving. Turns out those record-setting, lower-than-normal temperatures we just suffered through are now going to cause higher-than-normal pollen counts starting this month. Or, as Susan Kosisky, chief microbiologist at the U.S. Army Centralized Allergen Extract Laboratory, told the Washington Post, “Grab your Kleenex. It’s coming.” Evidently the long cold spell has given trees more time to build up pollen, which basically translates to lots of eye-watering, sneezy-wheezy misery as the weather warms and all …

Spotlight: New York’s Rising Utility Rates

While Washington, D.C., has been home for the last 25 years, I grew up in New York and am still a New Yorker at heart. I miss many things about the Empire State, but definitely not the winters – especially this year, when the strong storms and bitter cold have been brutal. During the harsh winter months, it is critical that we all are able to keep our homes warm and the lights on. For New Yorkers, this is becoming …

Why Sidewalks Matter

It seems counterintuitive that heavy snows would make people appreciative of the sidewalks they’re shoveling, but some friends and colleagues are telling us that’s what has been happening this winter. Stay Informed: Sign up for the AARP Livable Communities Newsletter From Jeanne: “I had a nice encounter with a neighbor during all this snow.”¨ Sean and his family are new neighbors. This is their first winter in Northern Virginia. He has three daughters in elementary school who enjoy playing outside and …