How to Prevent Theft by Caregivers Part 2

How to Prevent Theft by Caregivers Part 2

 

 Read Part 1 Here

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t Use Cash

 

If your hired caregiver is responsible for running errands or buying groceries, don’t give them cash. Instead, use prepaid debit cards or gift cards along with asking for receipts for all purchases.

 

That way, all purchases can be tracked and verified. Plus, if the hired caregiver steals those cards, they’re only getting a limited amount.

 

Though the vast majority of senior caregivers are reputable and honest, occasionally someone comes along who takes advantage of an elderly client.

 

According to Sally Hurme, coordinator of AARP’s Financial Protection Outreach & Service, there are at least 5 million financial abuse victims each year in the U.S., and only one in 25 of them are reported to authorities.

 

Hurme cites many reasons why elder financial abuse is a “particularly pernicious crime.”

 

“Studies point to specific cracks in victims’ defenses against exploitation: trust, financial niavete, cognitive impairments, social isolation, dependency, fear, and embarrassment.”

 

Hurme goes on to explain that elder financial abuse is unique because “there is a very real chance that the victim has no idea that she has been … victimized. The victim may have no awareness that anything is amiss with his finances.”

 

There are many ways of combating and preventing financial abuse of elders, one of which is using a reputable caregiving agency. Many of these agencies not only screen their employees, but also do background checks to ensure the safety and security of their elderly clients.

 

Some such agencies have also begun a gift card program. Gift cards are a convenient and easily accessible solution to preventing certain financial abuses. Agencies issue the gift card to the caregiver, who can then buy groceries and other essentials for their clients. Since the gift card is purchased through a bank, the agency can track purchases online and know when transactions take place. All risk, which is limited to the amount of money put into the gift card, is borne entirely by the agency. The caregiver never needs to use the senior’s cash or credit cards as all purchases must be made using the gift card. Receipts are kept and purchases are then billed to the client with their regular invoice.

 

Though financial abuse of elders is a reality, measures can be taken to minimize the damages and the possibility of elderly clients being victimized.

 

As Hurme points out, “Even though there are no broken bones, the effect is devastating financially and emotionally.”

 

Being aware, taking steps to prevent theft, and utilizing reputable In-Home Care Agencies are the first defenses against elder financial abuse.

 

 

 

Watch for Over Attachment

 

Hired caregivers who are planning to steal might start out by creating an unusually close relationship with your senior. Through this tight bond, they may be able to get your older adult to voluntarily give them money, valuables, or extravagant gifts like cars!

 

That’s not to say that you should be suspicious a little suspicious and look into things, especially if you see any of the signs outlined below.

 

An heirloom bracelet goes missing, electronic gadgets can’t be found, a wallet or bank account seems to be bleeding cash. Talk to anyone who’s hired someone to help care for an older loved one, and theft is almost always a major worry. Bringing a paid caregiver into the home — whether through an agency or privately — can come as welcome relief to all, but it can also feel like a risky decision. Stories abound about vulnerable people who’ve been taken advantage of.

 

The solution? Be careful, proactive, and alert. Here, some of the key warning signs that a caregiver is on the take.

 

Receipts that don’t add up

If grocery shopping and other errands are among a caregiver’s responsibilities, it’s pretty easy for “mix-ups” to occur. You might notice items listed on a receipt that seem out of character for your loved one, or certain supplies that seem to run out — and be replaced — with surprising frequency. If the caregiver takes your loved one out to shop or dine, you may notice purchases from stores that he or she doesn’t typically frequent or restaurant meals that are out of your family’s typical price range.

Why it’s worth worrying about:

A few dollars here, five dollars there may not seem worth making a fuss over. After all, caregivers aren’t usually well paid, so is it worth rocking the boat over a little bit of paycheck padding?

Yes, says Carolyn Rosenblatt, author of The Boomer’s Guide to Aging Parents. “You may see $6.50 for a lipstick, knowing Grandma doesn’t wear lipstick, but if you let it slide you’re sending a signal that no one’s minding the store.” Typically, these first purchases are tests, Rosenblatt says. “The caregiver is saying, ‘Let’s see if I can get away with it.’ If you don’t respond by confronting her, you’re saying, ‘Yes, you can.'”

 

What to do:

For starters, avoid cash. Supply the caregiver with debit gift cards preloaded with a limited balance. This way, if fraud is occurring, you can limit the amount of liability your family is exposed to. Also, use online banking to monitor card transactions, so you can see how much is being spent at each store. Ask the caregiver to supply receipts for each shopping trip, and keep an eye out for any purchase that seems unnecessary or for quantities that seem overlarge.

If you find yourself hesitating over a questionable purchase in case it’s an honest mistake, bring it up in that spirit, keeping it light and nonconfrontational. Explain that you noticed a purchase that didn’t seem to be something intended for your family member, and you’d like to keep those kinds of purchases separate in the future so it’s easy for you to keep track.

 

Phone Use and Friendships

 

Frequent cell phone use on the job

Texting or taking calls on the job is discourteous and distracting — but it could also be a sign of something more serious.

 

Why it’s worth worrying about:

While there are legitimate reasons a caregiver may need to make an occasional call, if someone’s on the phone all the time, it’s a signal that some outside relationship or network of relationships is more important than caregiving. It may even be that some outsider is calling the shots, says Rosenblatt.

 

What to do:

If you — or the agency you’re working with — haven’t already done so, run a thorough background check on the person you’ve hired. While some agencies do an in-depth background check on all employees, including requiring drug testing, others are much less thorough. It’s important to make sure good research was done, says Rosenblatt, because all too often records of crimes committed in other states or counties may not come up during a simple records search in your area.

Next, make sure you’ve securely protected your family member’s finances from potential fraud. The best way to do this is by having your family member sign a durable power of attorney for finances, which authorizes you or another trusted person to oversee financial transactions. A power of attorney is just a piece of paper, though, unless it’s recognized by the financial institutions that handle your loved one’s money. The safest strategy is to inform the banks and other financial institutions that you’re the proper legal agent for your loved one’s finances and that no one else is authorized to act. To do this, you’ll probably be asked to show a copy of the power of attorney document and may need to fill out additional forms.

 

 

Cultivating a Personal Connection

 

For many older adults, a caregiver quickly becomes a trusted friend, often the only person they see from day to day. With such consistent and intimate contact, close bonds are common. But keep your eyes open for anything that seems to step over the boundaries of professionalism. Watch and listen for signs that your loved one is becoming emotionally involved with or dependent on his or her caregiver, such as talking about the caregiver all the time or seeming to consider that relationship more important than friendships or family ties.

 

Why it’s worth worrying about:

Typically, thieves planning a scam will gradually “prime the pump,” seducing an elderly target with greater and greater shows of affection until he or she becomes emotionally dependent on the caregiver. “It can start very subtly: touches on the arm, little gifts, shows of affection,” says caregiving author Carolyn Rosenblatt. Hugs, compliments, and attention become stepping stones to building a connection that’s overly intimate. Some concerned family members have found themselves in situations in which their loved ones bought their caregivers cars or gave other expensive gifts, paid their rent, or “loaned” them money that was never repaid.

 

What to do:

Prevention is worth a pound of cure, experts say. Loneliness and isolation leave many older adults susceptible to all manner of exploitation, from relatively small expenditures to outright fraud and identity theft. To protect your loved one, you’ll want to act on two fronts.

First, the psychological: Think about your loved one’s day-to-day interactions. Does he have opportunities for companionship other than his caregiver’s visits? Can you find a day program or other activity for him to attend, or are there others who might visit from time to time to liven up his routine?

Next, the practical: Focus on safeguarding against his caregiver gaining access to his finances. Experts recommend setting up online banking for checking, credit cards, and any other accounts, so you can monitor all activity in real time. (Most transactions post within a few days.)

If you check credit card records and discover charges that you or your loved one didn’t authorize, act quickly to protect yourselves from identity theft, says Caring.com legal expert Barbara Kate Repa. Close the account and immediately alert the company holding the account that you believe it’s been used without your authorization. Then alert one of the three major consumer credit reporting agencies and request a fraud alert. If your loved one hasn’t already signed a durable power of attorney for finances so someone trusted has authorization to access financial accounts, encourage him or her to do it now.

 

Manipulation and Missing Work

 

Bids for sympathy

Personal tales of woe are a common danger sign. If your loved one begins expressing worry and concern for a situation his caregiver has told him about, that’s your cue to get involved — and quickly. “A sister with cancer who can’t afford medical care, a child who needs dental work, a family member in another country who’s being persecuted and desperately needs to come to the U.S. — these are the kinds of scenarios we hear all the time,” says caregiving author Carolyn Rosenblatt. “The next thing you know, your loved one’s writing checks and that money’s gone.”

 

Why it’s worth worrying about:

The caregiver relationship is a professional service. If it becomes personal enough for your loved one to become involved in the caregiver’s private life, the caregiver has clearly crossed a line. Best-case scenario: The caregiver is manipulating your family member. Worst-case scenario: An outright fraud is in progress.

 

What to do:

Act quickly. You may hesitate to question your loved one’s judgment, but the caregiver, if he or she is a practiced scammer, will be counting on that. Call a family meeting and discuss the situation with all family members, including siblings who don’t live nearby. Make sure everyone is on the same page, so you don’t end up in the all-too-common situation in which family members are divided against one another or undermine one another. As many of you as possible should talk to your parent or other loved one together, explaining how concerned you are and why you need to take steps to protect him or her.

If the caregiver was hired through an agency, it’s a good idea to alert the agency to your concerns and ask them to double-check the records of the searches performed and make certain this caregiver hasn’t been accused or convicted of exploitation or fraud in the past. If the caregiver was hired independently and a thorough background check was not performed at the time, now would be the time to do some digging.

Depending on how your loved one reacts, you may wish to terminate the caregiver’s employment or set up a more careful monitoring situation in which you limit access to funds. If possible, consult a family lawyer to make sure all possible legal protections are in place, says Caring.com legal expert Barbara Kate Repa. If your loved one’s judgment appears to be seriously impaired and you’re not able to convince him or her to grant you power of attorney, you may need to consider trying to obtain legal guardianship, also called conservatorship.

 

Missing Work on Mondays

 

Some days your loved one’s caregiver seems responsible and reliable; other days — particularly Mondays or the first day back after time off — he or she goes AWOL.

 

Why it’s worth worrying about:

“This is a classic sign of alcoholism or substance abuse; people go on a bender over the weekend and then can’t make it into work on Mondays,” says caregiving author Carolyn Rosenblatt. “Unfortunately, alcoholism and chemical dependency often go hand in hand, and they frequently lead people to steal to meet their need for drugs.”

 

What to do:

Be on the alert for other signs of alcohol and substance abuse. Check the liquor cabinet and make a note of liquid levels in each bottle; you might even taste the contents to see if they’ve been watered down. Go through bathroom and kitchen cabinets and empty them of any prescription and over-the-counter medicines that might tempt an abuser. For prescriptions in current use, count the pills so you can check if doses go missing. Hide medications in a safe place or — if your loved one doesn’t need them right now — take them home with you. Keep prescription receipts and labels in a safe place, so the caregiver can’t call in refills without your knowledge.

If your caregiver was hired through an agency, report all unexplained absences and discuss the situation with the agency. If the caregiver has a history of this type of behavior with previous clients, the agency should be proactive about assigning you a new caregiver. If the caregiver was hired independently, have a frank discussion and set boundaries. Explain that you require 24 hours advance notice if he or she has to miss work, and another unplanned absence is going to be grounds for dismissal. Then stand firm. The caregiver will almost certainly use illness as the excuse and protest that illnesses come on suddenly, but don’t get sucked into that debate.

While this is happening, take all necessary precautions to protect your loved one’s cash and financial records, since a caregiver with a drinking or drug problem is a risk and a disgruntled former caregiver can be a threat.

 

By using common sense and due diligence, you can both reduce the risk of caregiver theft and minimize it’s scope.  Always pay attention and trust your feelings.

 

 

Thoughts, questions, tips?  Feel free to comment below.

 

 

Suggested Security Camera System:

Arlo Security System – 4 Wire-Free HD Cameras, Indoor/Outdoor, Night Vision

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recommended Reading: 

How to Care for Aging Parents (3rd Edition);  A One-Stop Resource for All Your Medical, Financial, Housing, and Emotional Issues

by Virginia Morris

 

 

Please help others by sharing this post. Share on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInDigg thisPin on Pinterest

How to Prevent Theft by Caregivers

How to Prevent Theft by Caregivers Part 1

 

 

 

 

One of the most common worries about hiring in-home help is that the caregiver could take advantage of your older adult. Even though the relationship between a hired caregiver and the family should be based on trust, it’s smart to take steps to prevent theft or fraud.

 

 

 

Prepare Your House First

 

Protect your senior from theft or fraud by removing or taking inventory of valuables, not keeping cash around, and watching bank and credit card statements carefully.

 

Keep an inventory of valuables in the home. Compile a list and take pictures to document your parent’s valuables, put them under lock and key, or remove them from the home.

 

Don’t forget about hidden jewelry or valuables, and think about removing any valuable memorabilia displayed in the house. There’s no need to put temptation in front of anyone.

 

 

 

Don’t invite petty theft. Your parent should keep only a small amount of cash at home. Don’t leave money in obvious places, such as the nightstand next to the bed. Make sure your loved one keeps any checkbook, ATM and credit cards, and computer passwords in a secure place.

 

 

 

Pay Attention

 

After spending some time with the hired caregiver, pay attention to how you feel about them in your gut. Most people work hard to make a great impression at the start of a new job. But later, you might start to see a different personality show through.

 

Arlo Security System – 4 Wire-Free HD Cameras, Indoor/Outdoor, Night Vision

If you start to feel uneasy, trust your gut and talk with their agency. If it’s a private hire, you might want to investigate for theft and (secretly) observe them carefully for a while.

 

If they continue to make you feel suspicious or uneasy, look for a new caregiver.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do Your Homework

 

 

Whether using a home care agency or hiring an independent caregiver, it’s important to do your research to make sure that you’re getting a reliable person.

 

Of course, no one knows better than me that this isn’t a foolproof method — but due diligence is still required on your part.

 

Home care agencies are responsible for fingerprinting and screening to make sure potential aides don’t have criminal records or other complaints against them.

 

When selecting a home care agency, ask how they screen potential caregivers, how many theft accusations they’ve had in the past and how they’ve handled them. Will they replace stolen items?

 

Amy Nelson, founder and CEO of Accurate Home Care in Otsego, Minn., says that her agency reports theft accusations to the authorities and cooperates however possible. The caregiver is suspended until the investigation is over. If found guilty of theft, the caregiver is fired and reported to the Department of Human Services.

 

After you’ve picked an agency, it’s still wise to interview caregivers they assign to the job. If you don’t feel comfortable — at any time that the person is working for you — tell the agency that this person is not the right match for you.

 

When hiring an aide without going through an agency, spend the time and money to check them out, advises Lisa A. Lieberman, a licensed clinical social worker, family counselor and author of A ‘Stranger’ Among Us: Hiring In-Home Support for a Child with Autism Spectrum Disorders or Other Neurological Differences.

 

She stresses checking references, especially ones from previous employers, and scheduling a face-to-face interview before making a decision.

 

A criminal background check is one way to make sure that applicants are who they say they are. For example, SentryLink will conduct a background check on an individual and send the results via email for around $20.

 

Unfortunately, these precautions aren’t enough to guarantee you won’t get ripped off. Detective Mike Cruce of the Oro Valley, Ariz., police department, who solved the case of my missing laptop, warned that just because the prospective caregiver doesn’t have a criminal record doesn’t mean that you still can’t be victimized by them.

Just ask my caregiver, who had no criminal record when she stole my laptop.

 

 

 

 

Trust Your Instincts

 

 

Most people try to make a good first impression, so keep in mind that caregivers need to earn your trust and maintain it by being reliable over time. If you develop an uneasy feeling about a caregiver and aren’t quite sure they can be trusted, you could be right.

 

 

 

Everyone in the household should be comfortable with the caregiver. If you live alone, ask visiting family members and friends for their opinions of the caregiver and how she/he interacts with you.

 

In my case, my caregiver the laptop thief was shy but likable at the beginning — but after a few weekends with her, I began to wonder if I could trust her. It wasn’t one particular thing she did but a strange feeling that entered the room along with her. I began to secretly look after my wallet. She started showing up late, or not coming at all, and her excuses were hard to believe.

 

At that time, I should have called the agency and requested another caregiver. But I figured I was stuck with her, because the agency had been having trouble finding a caregiver to work in my part of town. This is a very real issue for people with disabilities nationwide; many people accept personal care attendants who are abusive because there is no one else to fill the gap.

 

Next time, I will make any uneasy feelings known to the agency.

 

 

 

Don’t Be So Darn Nice

 

The trick is to be comfortable with the caregiver, but not too comfortable, says Nelson. The same goes for caregivers: They need to feel comfortable in your home, but not so comfortable that personal boundaries are crossed. For instance, most agencies have rules against caregivers accepting loaned money, whether it’s solicited or not. Even if you don’t use an agency, it’s always wise not to let caregivers borrow money or important items.  

 

When James Kelley, who has facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD), loaned one of his caregivers his very expensive leather-bound King James Master Study Bible, he never imagined he’d have a problem getting it back, because “who’s going to steal a Bible?”

 

The caregiver in this case asked to borrow his Bible for a couple of days, but after weeks went by and she still hadn’t returned it, Kelley, 44, confronted her. She assured him that she would bring it back. After a month passed and still no Bible, he called the home health agency, which contacted the caregiver — but she still didn’t bring it back.

 

That’s when Kelley, who lives in Cincinnati, Ohio, contacted his case manager, who advised him to call the police and file a report. He felt strange about filing a report over a Bible, but the detective assured him that, “If you don’t get some of these people when they’re taking small amounts, then they continue to push the envelope and see what else they can get away with.”

 

Kelley eventually got his Bible back after the detective told his caregiver that Kelley would press charges against her if she didn’t return it. The detective warned that she didn’t want it on her record, especially since she’s a health care worker.

 

Kelley ended up asking the caregiver not to come back.

 

Even trustworthy caregivers can forget they borrowed something. Consider this scenario: You lend your paid caregiver a book and, for practical reasons, keys to your house, but then due to everyday circumstances — a move, a career change, etc. — the caregiver stops working with you before the items are returned.

 

 

 

Caregivers and House Keys

 

In the case of the house keys, the best way to prevent that scenario is to never give the caregiver a permanent set. Instead, buy a key lockbox, like those used by real estate agents, and hang it on your front door handle with a key or keys inside.

 

 

Master Lock 5400D Select Access Key Storage Box with Set-Your-Own Combination Lock, 13/32-Diameter Shackle, 1-Pack

 

When a caregiver arrives at your home for work, he or she just punches in the code to the lockbox (like this Master Lock Select Access Key Storage Box pictured above) and retrieves the key — and then returns it to the lockbox after opening the door. The lockbox code is easily changed, meaning you don’t need to change your locks every time you change caregivers.

 

 

 

Protect Your Stuff

 

Detective Cruce says it’s especially important for those with multiple caregivers, or with a “revolving door” of caregivers who are new each time, to secure their valuables. Having multiple caregivers definitely complicates theft investigations, making it difficult to pinpoint who’s responsible for missing items.

 

When she started using a home care agency in 2006 due to her amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Fern Cohen, of Rego Park, N.Y., was sent different caregivers every day. When her brand-new digital camera was stolen, the agency wouldn’t do anything because she couldn’t prove who stole it, even though Cohen knew who was working the day she found it missing.

 

“[The revolving door] was my main reason for switching from agency care to self-directed care,” says Cohen, 58. She now has a handpicked staff of four trustworthy caregivers.

 

(Self-directed care means that people with disabilities have decision-making authority over certain services, and take direct responsibility in managing their services, including personal care aides. Self-directed services may not be available in every state and may vary from state to state. Check with your state’s Medicaid program or your personal insurance for more details.)

 

After the digital camera incident, Cohen also realized she could take measures herself to avoid enabling theft in her home. So to safeguard her valuables — from otherwise trusted eyes as well as the hands of strangers — she bought a safe.

 

But theft is not limited to physical possessions. Be sure to monitor bank accounts and credit card charges and look for anything unusual. Staying aware of your financial situation and transactions may help detect a theft. Also, hide important documents and consider storing duplicate copies in a safe place with family members or friends.

 

For example, Kelley learned the hard way that it’s wise to always request a receipt when the caregiver returns from shopping for you. He gave one of his caregivers his food stamp card to go to the store for him one afternoon, and she didn’t bring back a receipt.

 

“It was a red flag when she didn’t bring back a receipt, so I waited until she left and went back over to the store with my food stamp card, and I told them that I needed them to run an audit on the card,” Kelley says.

 

Within a few days, the store provided an itemized computer printout that showed his caregiver had purchased $10 worth of items for herself.

 

Even if people take the precautions mentioned here, some may find it comforting to also monitor caregivers with nanny cams or webcams. This option can be very expensive and time-consuming, so research this technology and its associated costs before deciding if it’s right for you. (Also, consult an attorney, or familiarize yourself with state laws governing video surveillance and speech before recording anything.)

 

 

 

 

Break the Cycle

 

As for my stolen work laptop, I didn’t even know it was missing until I received a phone call from the support coordinator at the agency where my caregiver worked asking: “Are you missing a laptop computer?”

 

I went to check under my bed (not a good hiding spot), all the while thinking, “If it’s missing, she stole it.”

 

My support coordinator said that the whereabouts of my laptop were still unknown but that my caregiver’s ride had called the agency and reported that she had bragged about stealing it from beneath my bed. My support coordinator also told me that my caregiver had quit the day before.

 

I decided to press charges against my caregiver thief because I didn’t want this happening to anyone else. Later, I heard from the prosecutor that she had similar charges before, which were dropped by the client. The fact that she already had a second chance and blew it made me feel a little better about pressing charges.

 

A few days later, Detective Cruce returned my work laptop after convincing my now former caregiver that the judge would go much easier on her if she relinquished it.

 

“Theft is not uncommon for people who are vulnerable,” says Cruce, adding that every state has laws to help protect people who are vulnerable to abuse due to their age or disability. “Theft from a vulnerable adult is a crime by itself,” he continues. “So not only do you get charged with theft, but you also get charged with theft from a vulnerable adult; therefore, the consequences could be doubled.”

 

As of this writing, my former caregiver had received a $25 fine and was sentenced to 36 months of probation, during which she’s not allowed to have any contact with me. Theft from a vulnerable adult will appear on her record.

 

 

 

Be Prepared — Just in Case

 

It’s impossible to avoid getting ripped off. It happens to everyone, but it’s even more upsetting when you have a disability and you’re paying and relying on the culprit to help you live more independently. People with disabilities face the additional difficulty of having to get rid of a vital caregiver often without having another qualified person to instantly replace him or her.  

 

We love our caregivers. They are, literally, the reason we can get out of bed every morning. Most of them are dedicated to their caregiving jobs and are totally trustworthy.

 

But it’s smart to be prepared in case one of them decides to pull a fast one.   

 

 

 

Minimizing Stranger Danger

 

Allowing a “stranger,” even a professional caregiver with good references, into your home can be a scary proposition. But deciding when and how to work with outside caregivers is far less daunting if you assess your options and perform due diligence to evaluate candidates for the position.

Lisa A. Lieberman’s A ‘Stranger’ Among Us: Hiring In-Home Support for a Child with Autism Spectrum Disorders or Other Neurological Differences offers readers, especially parents, tips on how to do just that.

Lieberman, of Oswego, Ore., is a licensed clinical social worker and family counselor as well as an author and speaker.

 

 

 

Read:  How to Prevent Theft by Caregivers Part 2

 

 

 

Thoughts, questions, tips?  Feel free to comment below.

 

 

Recommended Reading: 

How to Care for Aging Parents (3rd Edition)A One-Stop Resource for All Your Medical, Financial, Housing, and Emotional Issues

by Virginia Morris

 

 

 

 

 

Please help others by sharing this post. Share on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInDigg thisPin on Pinterest

Install A Power Lift Toilet Seat For A Safer Bathroom

Install A Power Lift Toilet Seat For A Safer Bathroom

 

 

The toilet seat should not be overlooked as a way to help a loved one stay independent as long as possible. It also can be a location of great concern for those prone to falling or for caregivers who must help transfer their loved ones in order for them to use the toilet.

 

It may not be the household item that catches a person’s eye or thoughts while looking for hazards, but toilet seats have options available today that many caregivers are unaware of.

 

From extra padding to extra height, these specialized seats make it easier for elderly loved ones to get on and off the toilet. The industry, however, is bringing innovation one step forward with power-lift toilet seats.

 

 

Types of Power-Lift Toilet Seats

 

Spring-Powered Option Lift Toilet Seat

 

There are two main types of power-lift seats on the market. The first is a spring-powered option. It is already in an upright position when a loved one approaches it, not like the usual toilet seat. It hinges on the front and meets a person’s rear while they are standing. When a loved begins to sit back, the spring and hydraulic piston slowly lowers them to a seated position.

 

With this option, the device takes about 80 percent of the weight off the person using it. When a loved one is finished, he or she stands up independently, with the weight again being minimized by the hydraulics in the system.

 

Motorized Lift Toilet Seat

 

The second option is completely motorized, assuming 100 percent of a person’s weight. This is a great option for someone who needs full assistance.

 

It installs on the toilet and includes a hand controller for raising and lowering the seat. The controls help the seat meet a loved one in their standing position; then, with a small lean back, lowers them directly onto the toilet. When the person is finished, the controller again is available to lift a loved one to a complete standing position. For larger people, a dual-motor option can be bought for additional support.

 

A power-lift toilet seat is available in either a free-standing or wall-mounted product. The free-standing seats are able to be used bedside, which some people may prefer for flexibility.

 

Check With Your Medical Insurance Company Regarding a Lift Toilet Seat

 

The good news, if you are considering a purchase, is that if a physical deems this kind of support medically necessary, many insurance companies will help cover the cost. A caregiver can do some easy research to find out their loved ones’ benefits.

 

 

 

Would a Power-Lift Toilet Seat Be A Good Option For You?

 

Time in a bathroom is typically a very personal thing. Many loved ones may feel embarrassment needing assistance, especially if they still are very mentally aware and simply experiencing the standard bending/reaching issues that often come with age. With more progressive needs, an aide still must assist the person in getting on and off a toilet.

 

From another point of view, a power-lift toilet seat is an ideal option for someone in recovery from a surgery or illness. It helps people return home and stay home longer. From knee issues to back concerns, a long list can be made of times when a power-lift seat is beneficial. Toileting is one thing that no person can ignore, and a little help can go a long way for someone who just needs a boost.

 

Safety is of utmost importance to all those involved in caregiving. All power-lift toilet seats come with weight recommendations, but most are between 250 to 500 pounds. There are also bariatric versions available. The power-lift toilet seats help caregivers and loved ones alike, by promoting independence and dignity, while preventing injuries.

 

Falls are a big safety risk for people with uneven gait, or wobbly knees. Elderly people are especially at risk, as any caregiver will attest. A power-lift toilet seat tremendously minimizes that danger.

 

While these products were designed originally for hospitals and other care facilities, they are now available for the consumer. Caregivers are thankful for fewer falls and trips to the emergency room, and loved ones are grateful for regaining a sense of self-worth and respect.

 

 

The TILT™ Toilet Incline Lift (once known as the Tush Push from Phillips Lift Systems)

 

 

 

EZ-ACCESS Tilt Toilet Lift

I recommend the TILT™ Toilet Incline Lift (once known as the Tush Push from Phillips Lift Systems) as the best solution to help prevent falls in the bathroom while using the toilet.

This device lowers users to and from the commode.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The TILT™ Toilet Incline Lift provides comfort and safety along with the functionality of a heavy duty commode lift chair. This lift is compatible with both standard and elongated toilet seats.This toilet lift accommodates users 5’2” to 6’4” and bowl heights from 14” to 21”, and has a weight capacity of 325 lbs.

 

 

 

Tilt Down Seat Up

 

 

 

 

The TILT™ is equipped with Companion Control to allow the user or caregiver to easily operate the seat with the push of a button.The TILT™ is designed for easy installation and comes with a 2-year warranty.  The TILT™ is made in the USA.

 

 

 

 

Features of the TILT™ Toilet Incline Lift (once known as the Tush Push from Phillips Lift Systems) :

 

  • The unit is lightweight, yet strong and durable.
  • Easy installation – typically less than 15minutes.  The TILT™ Toilet Incline Lift is compatible with both standard and elongated toilet seats.
  • The TILT™ offers great stability, as the TILT attaches directly to the bowl, rather than pushing the unit over the commode.
  • The TILT™ moves the user 7-1/2” forward, which is ideal for clearing obstructions and rising from the bowl. This also positions the user’s shoulders over their feet for optimal balance and positioning.
  • Arms remain at a constant positioning angle, which keeps the elbow of the user slightly bent to maximize their ideal strength position in order to exit the seat. The low angle of the unit allows for easier lateral transfers from mobile devices, chairs, transport chairs, and bath seats.
  • In the down position, the arms are lower than the seat for a slideboard transfer. The hand grips feature non-slip covers.
  • The assembly is protected by a plastic shield, which can easily be removed for cleaning.
  • Unit accommodates users 5’2” to 6’4” and bowl heights from 14” to 21”.

 

 

 

 

 

Thoughts, questions, tips?  Feel free to comment below.

 

 

 

 

You may also be interested in:

How to Buy an Elevated Toilet Seat

Your Guide to Shower Chairs and Bath Benches

Guide to Bathroom Grab Bars and Hand Rails

Help Your Older Adult Move From the Wheelchair to the Toilet

How to Buy a Power Lift Recliner Chair

Minimize Your Senior’s Falling Risk Now!  Here’s How …

Easy Home Improvements for Mobility Issues

Best Hemorrhoid Treatment Product Reviews

Modifying Your Bathroom For Safety

How to Reduce the Risks of Heavy Lifting for Caregivers

Choosing the Best Transport Chair

Choosing a Medical Walker

Choosing a Walking Cane

Find the Right Power Wheelchair

Preparing For Your Hip Replacement Surgery

Top Pillows to Relieve Neck Pain

Preparing For Your Elderly Parent to Move In

About Me

Create Your Own Blog

 

 

Please help others by sharing this post. Share on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInDigg thisPin on Pinterest

How to Make Your Home Wheelchair Accessible

 

 

How to Make Your Home Wheelchair Accessible

 

 

 

If you or a loved one use a wheelchair, you may need to make some changes to your home to make it easy to move around.

 

While the obvious option is renovating areas such as the entrance to your home and installing equipment such as wheelchair ramps, stair lifts, and patient lifts, there are other, simple and cost-effective steps you can take to help you access all areas of your house.

Read on for the simple steps to take for a wheelchair accessible home that you can take BEFORE you consider installing costly equipment and making big home accessibility renovations.

 

 

Modify Your Entrance for Wheelchair Accessibility

 

wheelchair accessible home

 

Entering the house is not normally challenging, but standard house entrances pose a lot of challenges for wheelchair users, including multiple doors, a threshold, and narrow door frames. However, there are a few simple changes you can make to your front door/entrance to make your home more wheelchair accessible.

Firstly, consider removing your storm door. It can be extremely difficult to hold open one door while you reach into the doorway to open the interior door (all from a seated position), and at the same time propel yourself over a threshold. Removing your storm/weather door will remove one more obstacle out of your path.

Secondly, install threshold hinges on your interior door to give you more room to enter the house with your chair. Regular door hinges allow the door to swing open while it remains inside the doorway, giving you less room to move, especially if you are using a manual chair and need to propel forward by placing your hands on the OUTSIDE of the wheels of your chair.

Offset hinges, on the other hand, allow the door to swing completely OUT of the doorway, widening it by up to 2” without the need of remodeling your entire door frame. While this may not seem like alot, the difference is definitely noticeable when trying to enter the house in a wheelchair or other mobility aid.

Thirdly, consider investing in a threshold ramp to tackle the weather strip at the front door. Rubber threshold ramps by Pride Mobility meet ADA slope requirements, and come with 0.5” increments. They can easily be installed in any standard doorway, and provide a total of 36” of usable space.

 

LEADER 110V 220V Electric handicap door operator, low energy ada automatic swing door for disabled

LEADER 110V 220V SW100 Electric handicap door operator, low energy

 

 

Finally, also consider investing in an automatic door opener. While these can range in price up to $2500, they are a great investment when preparing a wheelchair accessible home.

 

Units such as the Leader SW100 are a good choice.  The Leader SW100 can easily be installed on all types of doors, and can be activated by a remote that can be handheld and attached to a wheelchair.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Decorating for a Wheelchair Accessible Home

 

 

4 steps to a wheelchair accessible home: decorating

 

 

While we all like our homes to be beautifully and stylishly decorated, some of the ways we do this are not always practical for a wheelchair user.

When creating a wheelchair accessible home, firstly consider the type of flooring you currently have in your house. Hard surfaces (such as laminated wood or asphalt tiles) are the easiest for manual wheelchair users to propel over and also generally require less power from power chairs.

Carpeted floors, however, are notoriously difficult for wheelchair users, and should be avoided wherever possible. Hence, avoid placing rugs and carpets in areas that receive a lot of traffic, such as hallways, walkways, and entrances into rooms.

Also make sure you leave a clear path through your living, dining, and bathrooms that are free of mats that may make it unnecessarily hard for you to move around in your chair. Remove them from any areas where you need to turn your chair (such as corners) to avoid the extra difficulty, and if you DO want to place a rug somewhere, make sure you use something with a thin pile.

Secondly, make sure you place your furniture in such a way that gives you enough space to freely and comfortably move around the house in your chair. While you may have a large, open plan living format, you may be causing yourself unnecessary difficulties by cluttering certain spaces with furniture.

Start with the hallways and entrances to individual rooms and make sure they are clear of any furniture. Also, consider areas where you generally find yourself turning your chair, and make sure you leave those spaces open to give you enough space when doing so.

 

Try these Home-it Heavy Duty Adjustable Bed/Furniture Risers for an of 8, 5 or 3″ lift, Set of 4

 

 

 

Finally, consider raising some of your flat surfaces such as tables, desks, and dressing tables using bed risers.

This will boost the height of the surface, making it more comfortable to perform daily tasks such as eating dinner, or working from your desk.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lighting for a Wheelchair Accessible Home

 

 

4 steps to a wheelchair accessible home: lighting

 

 

Proper lighting is super important when planning a wheelchair accessible home and when preparing to age in place. 

Many people live with significant vision loss, and with our increasing use of technology such as smartphones and laptops, it is becoming increasingly common for people to lose their sight as they get older.

Luckily, there are many simple and cost-effective lighting solutions you can install in and around your home today that will make it easier, safer, and more comfortable to age in your own home.

Motion sensor lighting fixtures are probably the most suitable for wheelchair users. They can be installed both indoors and outdoors, and are automatically turned on when someone steps within the light’s radius.

 

 

These Stick Anywhere LED lights are really handy:

 

 

 

Make sure any entrances to your home are well-lit, and consider equipping them with fixtures that use two bulbs, just in case one of them goes out.

 

 

 

 

 

Consider installing nightlights in the bedroom, bathroom, hallways, and any other areas that might get some traffic at night.

I like these Sycees 0.5W Plug-In LED Night Lights.  They have a dusk to dawn sensor, and come in a convenient 6-pack.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Also make sure any driveways or walkways leading to your house from the street or your backyard are also set up with proper lighting.

And finally, install some task lighting fixtures in cupboards, shelves, dressers, or any other storage areas to help you find things easily. 

 

 

 

For task lighting, I like these OXYled Stick Anywhere Touch Tap Push Lights. The unit contains 4 bright white LED lights, which provides enough brightness for task lighting.

The light panel can be rotated 180 degrees to provide you with the best angle.

 

 

 

 

 

 

To switch the device on/off, simply touch the two metal pins located on the front of the LED panel.

With 2 self-adhesive sticky tapes found at the back of the panel, no installation is required. Simply stick the light on any flat surface and save yourself the electrician costs of wiring a light bulb.

Simply stick the OXYled light on any flat surface and save yourself the electrician costs of wiring a light bulb.

With each use of 3 x AAA batteries (not included), this 4 bright white LED has a life of up to 100 hours, before it needs to be changed.

 

 

 

Portable Wheelchair Ramps for a Wheelchair Accessible Home

 

Roll-A-Ramp Wide Ramp, 8' Long x 30"

Last but definitely not least, my final tip for a wheelchair accessible home is investing in a portable wheelchair ramp such as the Roll-A-Ramp.

These ramps are a great alternative to expensive chair lifts or permanent wooden ramps, and can be used in a variety of situations. Roll-A-Ramps come in four different widths and can be built to the length you need:

  • 26″ – Suitable for mini-van use and narrower chairs or walkers
  • 30″ – Standard size suitable for most applications
  • 36″ – For public applications or larger wheelchairs

These ramps also feature patented link construction, meaning you’ll never get stuck with the wrong size ramp; simply add additional links to change the length of your ramp with the simple tools provided.

Standard Roll-A-Ramps are made from aircraft-grade aluminum tracks that support up to 1000 pounds, and can also be fitted with 12” twin tracks to support up to 2000 pounds.

They also feature quick release pins that allow the user to quickly split the ramp into different sections, and come with a 10-year warranty.

Roll-A-Ramps can be used to access your apartment/home, enter vans or other vehicles, and enter restaurants, shopping malls, schools, and hotels.

One final benefit of the Roll-A-Ramp is that you won’t need a building permit to install it in your home like you would when installing permanent ramps.

 

 

Roll-A-Ramp Wide Ramp, 8' Long x 30"

  • This 8 ft long by 30 in wide Roll-A-Ramp creates entry ramps to homes, vehicles or offices.
  • For convenience, you can roll it up and put it away.
  • It’s perfect for use on 2-3 steps.
  • The versatile ramp design uses two bolts to connect each section, allowing you to add or subtract length as needed.
  • The Roll-A-Ramp has a cambered section for easy on and off at the top of the ramp.
  • Its constructed out of lightweight extruded aluminum construction with anodized surface and built-in safety rails.

 

 

Thoughts, questions, tips?  Feel free to comment below.

 

 

 

 

 

You may also be interested in:

Easy Home Improvements for Mobility Issues

Preparing For Your Elderly Parent to Move In With You

Choosing the Right Transport Wheelchair

Getting Your Wheelchair Into the Car

About Me

Create Your Own Blog

 

 

Please help others by sharing this post. Share on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInDigg thisPin on Pinterest

Easy Home Improvements for Mobility Issues

 

 

Easy Home Improvements for Mobility Issues

 

 

 

Assessment

 

Begin by asking the person with a mobility issue where they’re experiencing the most difficulty in the home. Aside from mobility and safety issues, you can also help them think about other areas where they may be experiencing some difficulty, such as how and where things should be stored, how to clean certain things around the home, and how to make food and meal preparation easier for them.

 

After you both have written some key issues and concerns down, go into every room of the house and really study each area, going through the person’s daily routine in your mind, and think about what they do in each of these rooms and what problems they may encounter. Every little thing, from the alarm clock in the bedroom to how the food is placed inside the kitchen cupboards, needs to be taken into consideration in order to achieve a good level of comfort, ease and safety.

 

Dissect the home room-by-room, including corridors and stairways, with special concentration on the most crucial areas for safety concerns, like the bathroom, bedroom, and kitchen:

 

 

Bedroom

 

 

 

 

    • Alarm Clock  -purchase and alarm clock that has large enough controls to make it easier to use than one with small buttons and dials. See Help for Low Vision  for more convenient product ideas.

 

 

 

    • Nightstand – use a non-slip or non-skid material on the bottom or base of items that are needed on the table.

 

    • Rugs – to prevent falling, tripping, or slipping, avoid using area rugs. If these types of rugs are needed or desired, be sure to attach the rug to the floor so it won’t slip when under foot, and avoid using rugs which are thick.

 

    • Closet – place storage items at eye level. Install concertina-style closet doors which slide and fold, making opening and closing easier. Fit door(s) with handles that are comfortable and easy to grip. Arrange clothes according to how often they are worn.

 

 

Bathroom

 

 

 

 

    • Personal care corner – if you have room to do so, create an area in the bathroom that’s specifically for your loved one where they can sit down for personal activities. If the bathroom isn’t big enough for this, try to place a comfortable chair that will fit at the bathroom counter just long enough for them to get ready with a bit more ease and remove when no longer needed.

 

 

    • Hairbrush – use brushes and combs with long handles.
      Hairdryer and other electronic devices used for personal care – leave these permanently plugged in to avoid problems with taking the plugs in and out of a socket. Whenever possible, try and use cordless products.

 

    • Medicine Cabinet – if there’s room, try and place it at eye level; otherwise, make arrangements to store medications and other toiletries that are needed with regularity in an easy-to-reach container.

 

    • Nail care – always use nail clippers instead of nail scissors.

 

 

    • Sink/tub/shower – Install an individual tap for hot and cold; consider getting a thermostatic mixer tap for all water fixtures.

 

 

    • Toilet paper dispenser – use one that stays firmly attached to the wall and is in easy reach.

 

    • Door privacy; make sure that it can be easily unlocked from outside if needed, as well as using a lock that’s easy for the person on the inside.

 

 

 

Kitchen

 

 

 

 

    • Chairs – when preparing meals, it’s a good idea to have an office chair or studio chair to sit in while doing so.

 

    • Coffee maker – choose a simple model with a handle that’s easy and comfortable to grip, and has an accurate spout. Consider getting an electric coffee maker; leave it plugged in permanently to make shutting it on and off easier.

 

    • Electrical sockets – place appliances to give easy access to electrical sockets when needed.

 

    • Cupboards and drawers – arrange food items on sliding trays and carousels. Place heavy items such as soup or vegetable cans at eye level. Select the most frequently used plates, cups, and cookware and place them within easy reach; avoid putting these things on high shelves. Put utensils in an easily accessible drawer. Carefully consider the needs of the person using the kitchen when selecting handles and knobs for cabinets and drawers.

 

    • Food cart – utilize a food cart with wheels and at least two levels to serve meals. Food and dishes can be wheeled where needed and easily taken off and placed back on to cart.

 

    • Kitchen knives – get knives that are right-angled or have a knob handle. Select chopping boards that are non-skid and easy to clean. For cutting food, get special utensils that have a cutting guide to keep the food and utensils safely in place.

 

    • Kitchen sink place a shock-absorbing rubber mat on the bottom. Install a mixer-tap with thermostat control instead of individual hot and cold handles.
      Microwave – choose a model that has touch-sensitive controls or soft-notched buttons.

 

 

 

 

Living Room

 

 

 

 

    • Bookcases keep the items which are least-used on the higher shelves and light the inside of the shelves.

 

 

    • Lamps be sure to use sturdy table or floor lamps that won’t easily tip over and will give off the amount of light desired; some lamps are touch-sensitive, and are easier to use for someone who may have problems manipulating a small switch.  See The Right Lighting Prevents Falls.

 

    • Telephone it’s best to use a large button cordless, allowing for use anywhere in the room; keep cords, base, and telephone connection out of the way of general passage areas.  See Help for Low Vision for more product suggestions.

 

 

 

 

Garage

 

 

 

 

    • Floor/area keeping as clutter-free as possible. Use shelves to store items, and place things which are used most on the bottom for easy-access. If parking the car inside, be sure that there is plenty of clearance on all sides to ensure safety when getting in and out of it, as well as when walking around it to get to something. Work benches should be kept clean, with any sharp or flammable items stored in their proper place, inside a safe container.

 

    • Door use an electric garage door opener with remote control and wall switch.

 

 

 

 

Miscellaneous

 

 

 

    • Hallways/corridors be sure that light switches are large and easy to reach and at the appropriate height. Install support bars, if needed, throughout the length of the corridor.

 

 

 

 

 

    • For a home alarm system, select a very simple model that connects to a telephone assistance service and uses a remote control or a swipe card to activate and deactivate.

 

    • Windows install windows which slide open and shut, or use windows that pivot and have lever-type handles for easy use.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    • Vacuum cleaner get a model that’s lightweight and easy-to-manage, and has an automatic cord-rewind. Be sure it has a three-pin electric plug with a ring handle for easy plugging and unplugging.

 

    • Washing machine/dryer select top loading machines. Get models that have touch-sensitive control panels, or controls with large knobs.

 

 

Recommended Reading:

Caregiver’s Handbook – A Practical, Visual Guide for the Home Caregiver

 

 

 

 

Thoughts, questions, tips?  Feel free to comment below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

You may also be interested in:

How to Make Your Home Wheelchair Accessible

Help for Low Vision

The Medical Benefits of Adjustable Beds

Top Pillows to Relieve Neck Pain

The Right Lighting Prevents Falls

Should You Install Bed Rails? Know The Risks!

All About Grab Bars and Hand Rails for Safety

Detailed Guide to Shower Chairs and Bath Benches

Do Prescription Discount Cards Actually Save You Money?

10 Simply Fabulous Arthritis Aids

New Hands-Free Shoes Make Dressing Easier!

Dental Care Tips for the Elderly

How to Buy an Elevated Toilet Seat – Important Details

Detailed Guided to Finding the Right Power Lift Chair

Smoke Detectors and CO Alarms Guide

 

Please help others by sharing this post. Share on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInDigg thisPin on Pinterest

Minimize Your Senior’s Falling Risk Now!

Minimize Your Senior’s Falling Risk Now!

 

https://s3.amazonaws.com/files.cprcertified.com/uploads/archive/man-falling.jpg

 

 

Falls are the leading cause of death, injury and hospital admissions among the elderly population. In fact, one out of every three seniors falls every year.

 

 

http://www.medclient.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/emergency_room_591.jpg

 

Last year alone, more than 1.6 million seniors were treated in emergency rooms for fall-related injuries, but you can drastically reduce the chances of this happening to your loved one.

 

 

Why are Seniors at a High Risk of Falling?

 

Several factors contribute to the fact that seniors fall so much more frequently than younger people:

 

 

Lack of Physical Activity
Failure to exercise regularly results in poor muscle tone, decreased bone mass, loss of balance, and reduced flexibility.

 

 

Impaired Vision


This includes age-related vision diseases, as well as not wearing glasses that have been prescribed. 

Further reading: Help For Low Vision

 

 

Medications


Sedatives, anti-depressants, and anti-psychotic drugs, plus taking multiple medications are all implicated in increasing risk of falling.

 

 

Diseases


Health conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and arthritis cause weakness in the extremities, poor grip strength, balance disorders and cognitive impairment.

 

 

Surgeries


Hip replacements and other surgeries leave an elderly person weak, in pain and discomfort and less mobile than they were before the surgery.

 

 

Environmental Hazards


One third of all falls in the elderly population involve hazards at home. Factors include: poor lighting, loose carpets and lack of safety equipment.

However, falls are not an inevitable part of growing older. Many falls can be prevented, by making the home safer and using products that help keep seniors more stable and less likely to fall.

 

 

http://www.h2h4seniors.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/senior-fall-prevention.png

 

Preventing Falls in an Elderly Person’s Home

 

(Don’t Procrastinate – Follow These Tips Today!)

 

 

 

 

Caregivers can do several things to make the home safer for their senior mom or dad, and avoid those emergency room visits.

 

  • Install safety bars, grab bars or handrails in the shower or bath.

 

 

 

  • Install at least one stairway handrail that extends beyond the first and last steps.

 

  • Make sure stairs are sturdy with strong hand railings.

 

 

  • Make sure rugs, including those on stairs, are tacked to the floor.

 

  • Remove loose throw rugs.

 

  • Avoid clutter. Remove any furniture that is not needed. All remaining furniture should be stable and without sharp corners, to minimize the effects of a fall.

 

  • Change the location of furniture, so that your elderly parent can hold on to something as they move around the house.

 

  • Do not have electrical cords trailing across the floor. Have additional base plugs installed so long cords are not necessary.

 

  • Have your parent wear non-slip shoes or slippers, rather than walking around in stocking feet.

 

I like these slip resistant self adhesive shoe sole pads, which work on men or women’s shoes or slippers.

 

 

 

  • Keep frequently used items in easy-to-reach cabinets.

 

  • Keep the water heater thermostat set at 120 degrees F, or lower, to avoid scalding and burns.

 

  • Wipe up spills and remove broken glass immediately.

 

  • Use a grasping tool to get at out-of-reach items, rather than a chair or stepladder.

 

 

 

 

 

Tools and Equipment to Increase Safety

 

 

Monitors and Sensor Pads

 

 

Sensors work well for the bed, chair, or toilet. The pads electronically detect the absence of pressure, which in turn sends an electronic signal to the monitor setting off an alarm.

Used on a bed, the pressure pads can be under or on top of the mattress. They are very thin, so they do not disturb sleeping and are plugged into the monitor via a telephone type line. Chair and toilet sensors work in the same way.

 

 

 

 

There are also pad monitors, like this Floor Pressure Sensor Mat, that detect and sound an alarm if a person steps on the pad (detects pressure).

This type of pad can be used beside the bed, in a hallway or in front of a chair while the person is seated.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fall Mats

 

 

 

Fall mats are used in areas where a person could be injured from a fall on a hard floor such as the side of a bed, by a toilet or in front of a chair.

They are cushioned floor mats of various sizes 1-inch or 2-inches thick with beveled edges. They cushion the fall and prevent injuries.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grab Bars

 

Grab bars provide extra stability and assistance during transfers. They are typically installed in areas where a senior may need something to hold on to for added balance. Bathrooms are a common location for grab bars, since they can help seniors sit down and get up from the toilet and enter and exit the bathtub or shower safely.

 

Further reading and examples:

All About Grab Bars and Hand Rails for Safety

 

 

 

Use a Shower Chair and/or Transfer Bench

 

 

 

When getting in and out of the tub, transfer benches provide stability and help the caregiver get the elderly seniors in and out of the tub safely, without injuring the elderly person or the caregiver.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When getting in and out of the tub, transfer benches provide stability and help the caregiver get the elderly seniors in and out of the tub safely, without injuring the elderly person or the caregiver.

 

Further reading:

Shower Chair and Bath Bench Buying Guide

 

 

 

 

Anti-Slip Mats

 

Install anti-slip mats on the bath tub or shower floor. The hard rubber material prevents the elderly person from slipping and provides stability.

 

 This Gorilla Grip Bath and Shower Mat features excellent gripping and fits any size bathtub.

 

You can also throw in your washing machine!  Wash on cold with gentle detergent (no bleach), and air dry.

 

 

Note that while the Gorilla Grip mat features hundreds of suction cups, textured and tiled floors do not allow for the suction cup to properly adhere to your surface, so this mat is recommend for smooth surfaces only. 

 

 

 

 

 

For showers, I recommend this Jobar Fast-Drying Bath/Shower Rug. 

It adheres really well to tile and textured shower flooring, and customers have washed it successfully in the washing machine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Canes and Walkers

 

 

 

Canes and walkers help seniors feel steady on their feet. Make sure the mobility device you choose is the correct height for your elderly parent, and has rubber tip or other traction on the bottom, for safety.

Further reading:

How to Choose the Right Walking Cane

Choosing the Right Medical Walker

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Socks, Shoes and Slippers

 

 

 

Wearing properly fitted, low-heeled, non-slip footwear for walking and transferring provides traction and is much safer than going barefoot or wearing normal socks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/81SslQsJyGL._SL1500_.jpg

 

Many socks and shoes are available with non-skid treads on the bottom to reduce slipping accidents. These Unisex Hospital and Homecare Socks pictured above are a good choice.  You also can find a wide variety of non-slip socks on Amazon.

 

For more safe shoe and slipper tips, read:  

Practical Shoes for the Elderly

Shoes and Slippers for Swollen Feet

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lift Slings and Patient Body Lifts

 

 

 

 

Lift slings are used in conjunction with several caregivers or a body lift to move an elderly person who is unable to move themselves from bed to a wheelchair or chair.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are 3 common reasons that caregivers may need a lift: if the elderly parent is too heavy to be transferred without assistance; to prevent injury to the caregiver; and to prevent the elderly person from injury or falling. 

 

Further Reading:

Patient Lifts and Slings for Safety and Comfort

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recommended Reading:

How to Care for Aging Parents by Virginia Morris, 3rd Edition

 

 

How to Care for Aging Parents, a One-Stop Resource for All Your Medical, Financial Housing, and Emotional Issues, is considered “the bible of eldercare”.  It is a clear, comforting source of advice for those who care for an elderly parent, relative, or friend.

This book is in it’s third edition, and fully updated with the most recent medical findings and recommendations. 

Read reviews.

 

 

 

 

Thoughts, questions, tips?  Feel free to comment below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

You may also be interested in:

The Right Lighting Prevents Falls

Shoes and Slippers for Swollen Feet

Practical Shoes for the Elderly

All About Grab Bars and Hand Rails for Safety

Install a Power Lift Toilet Seat for a Safer Bathroom

Shower Chair and Bath Bench Buying Guide

How to Buy an Elevated Toilet Seat

Should You Install Bed Rails?

Patient Lifts and Slings for Safety and Comfort

Caregivers Can Reduce the Risks from Heavy Lifting

Choosing the Right Medical Walker

How to Choose the Right Walking Cane

Help For Low Vision

Stop Alzheimer’s Wandering

Preparing For Your Hip Replacement Surgery

Studies Prove Blackcurrant Seed Oil Helps Arthritis

10 Simply Fabulous Arthritis Aids

About Me

Create Your Own Blog

 

 

 

Please help others by sharing this post. Share on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInDigg thisPin on Pinterest

Organize Your Senior’s Home For Winter

Organize Your Senior’s Home For Winter

 

 

http://bluepicketrealty.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/winter-time.jpg

 

George & Martha built their split-entry style home in the suburbs in 1964.  They raised 4 children in their home.  Their oldest daughter, Julie, was in her teens when they moved in.  Julie is in her 60s now and has her own home a few streets away.

George & Martha are in their 80s and want to stay in their home, but can no longer manage the upkeep and seasonal maintenance. With the impending change of seasons, Julie wants to help her parents get organized for the winter. 

 

Here are some things Julie (and you) can do to help elderly loved ones stay safe in their home during the colder months.

 

 

 

  • Schedule a furnace check: HVAC System Maintenance is important, especially for at-risk populations like seniors.  The last thing we want to happen is for the furnace to go out in the middle of the night when it’s below freezing outside!

 

  • Make sure all seasonal clothes and coats are accessible: If your loved one changes out their clothes with the seasons, you’ll want to be sure that all of their fall and winter items are unpacked and accessible. Make sure their coats, hats, gloves, etc. are easy to find and in good condition.

 

  • Stock the Pantry: An extra reserve of canned goods and other non-perishable or frozen foods is good to have on hand when inclement weather is in the forecast. This is also a good time to check existing items in the pantry and fridge for freshness If food is running low during an episode of bad weather, we don’t want our loved ones to get sick from eating expired food stores.

 

  • Stock the Medicine Cabinet: This time of year marks the beginning of Cold & Flu season. Make sure your loved ones have current basic medications in their cabinet in case they need them, but of course be sure to check all over-the-counter medications with their doctor/pharmacist to be certain they are safe to take.  If you help your loved one manage their medication, you may want to be aware of the weather forecast and portion out their medication in advance in case you are not able to travel to see them.

 

  • Check their emergency kit: Now is a good time to make sure they have plenty of blankets, flashlights, bottled water, batteries and other emergency items that are in good and working order in case of a power outage.

 

 

 

  • Arrange for leaf & snow removal: Falling leaves and icy sidewalks both create major slipping hazards for seniors. This can be a difficult conversation to have, especially with seniors like George & Martha who are striving to maintain their independence, but paying for leaf & snow removal will ensure that driveways and sidewalks are cleared. If your loved one can’t afford to pay for the service, you might investigate volunteer services in your area. Check with your local resource on aging (State Departments of Aging, Area Agencies on Aging, etc.) for more information.

 

  • Purchase sand or salt to have on hand: As snow melts and refreezes, it’s always a good idea to have these items at home to treat icy spots.  Try Safe Paw Non-Toxic Ice Melter

 

 

  • Prepare the car: If your loved one is still driving, make sure to have their car checked for winter and stock it with all the winter necessities (ice scraper, blankets, etc.).

 

  • Winterize the home: Gathering the family for a weekend or hiring a handyman to put in storm windows, clean the gutters, and check for roof leaks will help make sure your loved ones are safe and warm all season.

 

 

Consider the following checklist from Bob Vila (before the first frost) when preparing the home for winter:

 

Windows and Doors

 

  • Check all the weatherstripping around windows and doorframes for leaks to prevent heat loss. Replace weatherstripping, if necessary.
  • Replace all screen doors with storm doors.
  • Replace all window screens with storm windows.
  • Examine wooden window frames for signs of rot or decay. Repair or replace framing to maintain structural integrity.
  • Check for drafts around windows and doors. Caulk inside and out, where necessary, to keep heat from escaping.
  • Inspect windows for cracks, broken glass, or gaps. Repair or replace, if needed.

 

 

Lawn, Garden, and Deck

 

  • Trim overgrown branches back from the house and electrical wires to prevent iced-over or wind-swept branches from causing property damage or a power problem.
  • Aerate the lawn, reseed, and apply a winterizing fertilizer to promote deep-root growth come spring.
  • Ensure rain or snow drains away from the house to avoid foundation problems. The dirt grade — around the exterior of your home — should slope away from the house. Add extra dirt to low areas, as necessary.
  • Clean and dry patio furniture. Cover with a heavy tarp or store inside a shed or garage to protect it from the elements.
  • Clean soil from planters. Bring pots made of clay or other fragile materials indoors. Because terracotta pots can swell and crack, lay them on their sides in a wood carton.
  • Dig up flower bulbs, brush off soil, and label. Store bulbs in a bag or box with peat moss in a cool, dry place for spring replanting.
  • Remove any attached hoses and store them away for the winter to prevent cracks, preserve their shapes, and prolong their life. Wrap outside faucets with covers to prevent water damage.
  • Shut off exterior faucets. Drain water from outdoor pipes, valves, and sprinkler heads to protect against pipe bursts.
  • Inspect decks for splintering, decay, or insect damage and treat, if needed, to prevent further deterioration over the winter.
  • Clean leaves, dirt, and pine needles between the boards of wooden decks to thwart mold and mildew growth.
  • Inspect outdoor lighting around the property. Good illumination will help minimize the chance of accidents on icy walkways at night.
  • Check handrails on exterior stairs to make sure they’re well secured.

 

 

Tools and Machinery

 

  • Bring all seasonal tools inside and spray them with a coating of lightweight oil to prevent rust.
  • Weatherize your lawn mower by cleaning off mud, leaves, grass, and debris.
  • Move your snow blower and shovels to the front of the garage or shed for easy access.
  • Prepare the snow blower for the first snowfall by changing the oil and replacing the spark plug.
  • Sharpen ice chopper and inspect snow shovels to make sure they’re ready for another season of work.
  • Make sure you have an ample supply of ice melt or sand on hand for steps, walkways, and the driveway.

 

 

Heating, Ventilating, and Air Conditioning

 

  • Inspect the firebox and flue system to ensure that they’re clean of any soot or creosote and that there aren’t any cracks or voids that could cause a fire hazard.
  • Check fireplace for drafts. If it’s cold despite the damper being closed, the damper itself may be warped, worn, or rusted. Consider installing a Chimney Balloon into the flue to air seal the area tightly.
  • Clean or replace the air filter in your furnace for maximum efficiency and improved indoor air quality.
  • Clean your whole house humidifier and replace the evaporator pad.
  • Bleed valves on any hot-water radiators to increase heating efficiency by releasing air that may be trapped inside.
  • Check that smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are in working order.
  • Remove air conditioners from windows or cover them with insulated liners, to prevent drafts.
  • If you have an older thermostat, replace it with a programmable unit to save on heating costs.
  • Install foam-insulating sheets behind outlets and switch plates on exterior walls to reduce outside airflow.
  • Make sure fans are switched to the reverse or clockwise position, which will blow warm air down to the floor for enhanced energy efficiency and comfort.
  • Flush a hot water heater tank to remove sediment, and check the pressure relief valve to make sure it’s in proper working order.
  • Examine exposed ducts in the attic, basement, and crawl spaces, and use a sealant to plug up any leaks.

 

 

Gutters, Roof, and Drains

 

  • Check for missing, damaged or warped shingles and replace, as necessary before you get stuck with a leak.
  • Check for deteriorated flashing at the chimney, walls, and skylights and around vent pipes. Seal joints where water could penetrate, using roofing cement and a caulking gun.
  • Check the gutters and downspouts for proper fastening, and re-secure if loose or sagging. The weight of snow and ice can pull gutters off the house.
  • Clean gutters of any debris. Make sure downspouts extend away from the house by at least 5 feet to prevent flooding of the foundation and water damage from snowmelt.
  • Clean leaves and debris from courtyard and pool storm drains to prevent blockages.
  • Ensure all vents and openings are covered to prevent insects, birds, and rodents from getting inside to nest in a warm place.

 

 

By staying organized in advance of the changing weather, you’ll have peace of mind that your loved ones are safe in their home – even if you can’t get over to help due to road conditions.

 

 

 

 

Based on an article by Vickie Dellaquila, Western Pennsylvania’s first Certified Professional Organizer in Chronic Disorganization and owner of Organization Rules® Inc. Organization Rules provides compassionate organizing services for every stage of your life®.

She is the author of Don’t Toss My Memories in the Trash: A Step-by-Step Guide to Helping Seniors Downsize, Organize, and Move.

 

 

 

 

 

 

You may also be interested in:

Caregivers Must Prepare For Emergencies – Here’s How

Easy First Aid Kit for Home and Car

The Right Lighting Prevents Falls

Best Digital Thermometers Guide and Reviews

Ring Video Doorbell Pro Review

Jitterbug Touch3 Smartphone Review

Practical Shoes For the Elderly

Healthiest Supplement Drinks for Seniors and Diabetics

About Me

Create Your Own Blog

 

 

Please help others by sharing this post. Share on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInDigg thisPin on Pinterest

Choose Green Cleaners For Better Health

 

 

Choose Green Cleaners For Better Health

 

 

We buy a myriad of cleaning products to clean and disinfect our homes, believing we’re creating a safer, more sanitary, and more comfortable living environment for ourselves and our families.

But did you know that some of the chemical ingredients commonly used in these household cleaning products have been linked to both short term issues like headaches and skin irritation, as well as longer term health problems including asthma and cancer?

Even if you don’t notice the impacts right away, remember that many of those cleaning products that go down the drain (e.g. toilet, sink and shower cleaners) end up back in our drinking water in trace amounts.

These chemicals may make household cleaning quicker and easier, but they are not good for our health or the health of the planet.

 

 

Household Cleaning Products May Do More Harm Than Good

 

In this age of super-consumption, marketers have trained us to seek out the brands that that deliver superlative benefits over the competitors…”the tightest ship in the shipping industry”, “the ultimate driving machine”, “the greatest show on earth”, “the best a man can get”.   We purchase these items thinking we are getting the most for our money, which will better our lives in some way. Sometimes more is not more. Consider household cleaning products.

 

“Industrial strength” is one marketing-infused brand attribute that suggests cleaning products will make our homes cleaner and that the job will be done faster, or cheaper, or all of the above. “Industrial strength” tells us the cleaning product is so strong that it really doesn’t belong in our homes. As consumers we are driven to want such products simply because we’re technically not supposed to have them! At least according to the marketers.

 

 

The truth is many ingredients in the common household cleaning products we’ve grown to trust are harmful to our health. As consumers why would we want such products around us, our families or our pets? The problem is, most consumers aren’t aware of the hidden dangers these popular cleaning products present to our health. Nor are they aware how pervasive these health threats are. 

 

 

Who Is At Risk?

 

Most products bear the warning “Keep Out of Reach of Children” in bold type on the label. As consumers, we believe that if our children don’t ingest these products they will not be harmed by them. Consider though that the most common methods of exposure are through the skin and respiratory tract. Children are frequently in contact with the chemical residues housecleaning products leave behind, by crawling, lying and sitting on the freshly cleaned floor. Children, especially infants and toddlers, frequently put their fingers in their mouths and noses, increasing risks for exposure. 

When infants eat solid food, how common is it that the food is placed directly on a high chair tray that has just been wiped down with a household cleaner or dish detergent? Another factor is that, pound for pound, children’s exposure levels are higher than adults’ because, although the amount of chemicals in an exposure remains equal, children’s bodies are smaller so the concentration is stronger, essentially.  Also, their immune systems are still developing.  

 

Thus, children are probably the highest risk population for chemical exposures through cleaning products. For many of these same reasons, pets may also be at risk. Other populations with a pronounced risk are breast cancer victims, the elderly, asthma and allergy sufferers and those with compromised immune systems.

 

 

Repeated Exposure

 

You may be thinking that the diluted aspect of off-the-shelf cleaning products reduces or altogether eliminates the threat of getting sick from your floor polish, window cleaner or air freshener. However many of the toxins found in these products (and so many other cleaning products) are bioaccumulative, meaning the chemicals do not purge easily from the body and over time even mild exposures can add up to toxic levels. In fact, a medical study recently conducted in Iowa suggests a correlation between certain occupations and bladder cancer. One of those occupations was cleaning services. These products are used repeatedly and routinely in the home to maintain cleanliness, increasing the chances for bioaccumulation of chemicals in the body.

 

 

 

 

What’s Lurking Under YOUR Kitchen Sink?

 

Research points to the toxic effects of not only active but also inactive ingredients – hazards that can affect the central nervous system, reproductive systems and other vital bodily systems. 

Consumers often don’t have the time or know where to go to find important information about the products they use. To make matters worse, the information is often presented in highly scientific language that may be difficult to interpret. 

 

 

But there are a growing number of consumer-friendly resources that can help us sort through all of this information and understand what we need to know to make the best possible choices for our families with regard to household cleaners, disinfectants and polishes.

 

For starters, the three essential categories into which most of the hazardous ingredients in household cleaning products fall are:

 

  • Carcinogens– Carcinogens cause cancer and/or promote cancer’s growth.

 

  • Endocrine disruptors – Endocrine disruptors mimic human hormones, confusing the body with false signals.  Exposure to endocrine disruptors can lead to numerous health concerns including reproductive, developmental, growth and behavior problems. Endocrine disruptors have been linked to reduced fertility, premature puberty, miscarriage, menstrual problems, challenged immune systems, abnormal prostate size, ADHD, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and certain cancers.

 

  • Neurotoxins – Neurotoxins alter neurons, affecting brain activity, causing a range of problems from headaches to loss of intellect

 

 

 Look At Product Labels

 

It can be cumbersome and time-consuming to research all of the ingredients in the cleaning products under the kitchen sink.  In general however, product warning labels can be a useful first line of defense. 

Cleaning products are required by law to include label warnings if harmful ingredients are included. 

 

From safest to most dangerous, the warning signals are:

 

Signal Word Toxicity if swallowed, inhaled or absorbed through the skin*
Caution One ounce to a pint may be harmful or fatal
Warning One teaspoon to one ounce may be harmful or fatal
Danger One taste to one teaspoon is fatal

 *for a 180-pound male

 

Even products with a cautionary label, it should be pointed out, may present health risks if used improperly or with repeated exposures over time. Good ventilation and skin barriers are very important when using any over-the-counter cleaning product. 

 

 

 

Chemical Groups to Watch Out For

 

We are exposed to countless chemical ingredients in daily life that may be harmful to our health – too numerous to outline here.  

 

 

You should know of some general categories of chemicals that should be avoided, however:

 

 

 Pesticides. One of the most counter-intuitive health threats is that of products that disinfect. Common sense tells us that killing household germs protects our health. However disinfectants are pesticides, and the ingredients in pesticides often include carcinogens and endocrine disruptors. Pesticides are fat-soluble, making them difficult to eliminate from the body once ingested. Pesticides, including disinfectants, may also include alkylphenol ethoxylates (APEs).

 

APEs. APEs act as surfactants, meaning they lower the surface tension of liquids and help cleaning solutions spread more easily over the surface to be cleaned and penetrate solids.  APEs are found in detergents, disinfectants, all-purpose cleaners and laundry cleansers.  They are also found in many self-care items including spermicides, sanitary towels and disposable diapers.  APEs are endocrine disruptors.

 

 

Formaldehyde. Formaldehyde is commonly known as a preservative. Many people do not know that it is also a germicide, bactericide and fungicide, among other functions. Formaldehyde is found in household cleaners and disinfectants. It is also present in nail polish and other personal care products. Formaldehyde is a carcinogen.

 

 

Organochlorines. Organochlorines result from the combination of hydrogen and carbon. Some types are highly deadly, such as DDT. OCs are bioaccumulative and also highly persistent in the environment. OCs are present in pesticides, detergents, de-greasers and bleaches. OCs are also present in drycleaning fluids. OCs are carcinogens and endocrine disruptors.

 

Styrene. Styrene is a naturally occurring substance derived from the styrax tree. Styrene is most commonly used in the manufacture of numerous plastics including plastic food wrap, insulated cups, carpet backing and PVC piping. Styrene is also found in floor waxes and polishes and metal cleaners. Styrene is a known carcinogen as well as an endocrine disruptor. Exposure may affect the central nervous system, liver and reproductive system.

 

 Phthalates. Phthalates are most commonly used in the manufacture of plastics. Phthalates are also used as carriers for perfumes and air fresheners and as skin penetration enhancers for products such as moisturizers. These chemicals are classified as inert and as such no product-labeling requirements exist for phthalates. They are endocrine disruptors and suspected carcinogens. Phthalates are known to cause hormonal abnormalities, thyroid disorders, birth defects and reproductive problems. 

 

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). VOCs are emitted as gases suspending themselves in the air. VOCs include an array of chemicals, some of which may have short- and long-term adverse health effects, and are present in perfumes, air fresheners, disinfectants and deodorizers. VOCs commonly include propane, butane, ethanol, phthalates and/or formaldehyde. These compounds pose a variety of human health hazards and collectively are thought to be reproductive toxins, neurotoxins, liver toxins and carcinogens.

 

 

The Worst Offenders:

 

Over the past few years there has been a push for greater transparency in ingredient labeling on household cleaning products. Yet, many of the most toxic chemicals are still commonly used in conventional household cleaners. A few of the worst offenders to watch out for on ingredient labels include:

 

  • Benzene, Toluene, Xylene, Methanol, and Ethylbenzene are chemicals commonly used in disinfectants, tub and tile cleaners, and toilet cleaners. These compounds have been linked to nerve system damage, memory loss, reproductive system damage, and an increased risk of several types of cancer.
  • Bleach is a common ingredient in cleaning products, and many people buy them, believing it is necessary to get household items their absolute cleanest and whitest. But bleach is one of the most potentially dangerous and reactive substances around! When mixed with ammonia and acids it forms toxic gases that are highly irritating to the eyes and lungs.
  • Formaldehyde is used in air fresheners, antibacterial detergents, and carpet cleaners, and is a known carcinogen, or cancer-causing agent, in humans.
  • Fragrance is a general term that can mask the presence of allergens and known hormone disrupting chemicals like phthalates.

 

 

2-butoxyethanol

 

 

To demonstrate an idea of how pervasive these substances can be under your kitchen sink, 2-butoxyethanol is a good example.

Although the signal word for this chemical is “Danger!”, it is found in no less than 108 household cleaning products as well as countless auto, hobby/craft and exterior home maintenance products, according to Household Products Database from the National Library of Medicine.

 

Synonyms for this chemical include butoxyethanol; butyl cellosolve; ethanol, 2-butoxy-; ethylene glycol mono-n-butyl ether (EGBE); ethylene glycol monobutyl ether; monobutyl ethylene glycol ether; n-Butoxyethanol. This chemical is an organic solvent, and a raw material used in the production of phthalates.

 

According to the Material Safety Data Sheet from one leading trigger spray cleaner degreaser, exposure to this chemical is reportedly associated with chronic blood and bone marrow damage. It affects the central nervous system, blood and blood-forming organs, kidneys, liver and lymphoid system. It is an eye and skin irritant. 

Exposure is generally through the lungs, skin, and mouth with 75% of total exposure attributable to the skin. Even vapors from this chemical can be absorbed by the skin. Under existing EPA guidelines, this chemical is considered a neurotoxin and a possible human carcinogen and has been found to cause cancer in animal testing. Symptoms of exposure to 2-butoxyethanol include central nervous depression, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and prominent headache. 

 

To avoid unnecessary exposure to this chemical, use rubber gloves when cleaning with products containing 2-butoxyethanol, ventilate the work area well and/or mask the mouth and nose appropriately. More favorably, avoid products containing this ingredient. 

It is important to stress that even products that may be perceived as healthy because their names include the words “green”, “citrus”, “lemon” or “orange” may contain this ingredient. The best advice is to read the ingredient label rather than trust the product name or marketing language.

 

http://caspiansuperoctane.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/2232.gif

 

 

Another harmful ingredient to watch out for is monoethanolamine, also known as MEA.

Other synonyms for this chemical are Ethanolamine; Ethanol, 2-amino-; 2-Aminoethanol; 2-Hydroxyethanamine.

 

This chemical is a surfactant and an emulsifier and can be found in nearly 50 household cleaning products including floor cleaners, tile and grout cleaners, degreasers, stainless steel cleaners and laundry detergents.

Additionally, this is found in 100 personal care products listed in the Household Products Database, especially consumer hair coloring products. MEA is also an antihistamine found in several popular over the counter drugs, the sedating powers of which are stronger than many barbiturates. 

As a cleansing ingredient, MEA is highly corrosive to the skin, potentially even causing bleeding to the exposed area. Inhalation may cause asthma attacks or damage the respiratory tract or lungs. MEA is potentially a neurotoxin. 

Repeated exposure to MEA can damage the liver and kidneys and has proven toxic in animal lab tests. One leading global chemical company admits the body of available research is insufficient to fully determine the health risks for humans.

 

 

Symptoms of Exposure

 

Symptoms of exposure to these types of substances include headache, backache, stiff joints, nausea, diarrhea, asthma or allergy attacks, dizziness, memory loss, stuttering, premature puberty, low sperm count, reduced motor skills, sudden mood swings, dyslexia, ADHD, anti-social behavior/autism and birth defects, among others.


 

Making Healthier Choices In Your Home

 

It is truly amazing that all these harmful ingredients are present in products that are supposed to improve our quality of life. Under the Federal Hazardous Substances Act, household cleaners are the only household products for which manufacturers are NOT required to list all ingredients. 

Certain ingredients (such as fragrances) are considered trade secrets and government regulations are designed to protect proprietary information. Without full disclosure, consumers can unknowingly submit themselves and their families to unhealthy exposures to these chemicals.

 

The safest course of action a consumer can take is to inform him or herself. Here are some suggestions:

 

  • Read product labels. Don’t use products with a signal word stronger than “Caution”. 
  • Research the chemicals listed on product labels through the Household Products Database, the Cosmetics Database, Toxnet and Scorecard (see inset for web addresses). 
  • Avoid products with fragrances. A clean home should smell like nothing at all.
  • Use homemade cleaning solutions made from good, old-fashioned common ingredients such as vinegar, baking soda, washing soda, lemon juice and borax.
  • Find and purchase cleaning solutions that bear the Green Seal logo. Green Seal certifies cleaning products to be effective at cleaning yet safer for human health and the environment
  • Interview cleaning services and hire one that is Green Clean Certified.

 

Taking a greener approach to cleaning can help you and your loved ones feel better physically. But you’ll probably also feel better mentally, knowing you are creating a safer environment for yourself, your family and your pets.

 

Useful Research Links:

 

         scorecard.org

         toxnet.nlm.nih.gov

         householdproducts.nlm.nih.gov

         cosmeticsdatabase.com

         checnet.org/healtheHouse/chemicals

         lowimpactliving.com

         heathyhouseinstitute.com

         greencleancertified.com

         greenseal.org

 

Although it may feel overwhelming to scan the ingredient label of every cleaning product you bring into your home, in the end, it’s not much different than reading food or cosmetics ingredient labels. The products we use on a regular basis, whether in or on our bodies or in our homes, can have a profound impact on our health.

Probably the easiest way to ensure your home cleaning products are safe is to look for natural products from trusted brands. There are a handful of brands committed to ingredient integrity, environmental sustainability, and developing cruelty-free products.

 

 

Keeping It Simple – Natural Cleaning Product Recommendations:

 

 

Seventh Generation is probably the most popular and widely available natural cleaning brand on the market. The company is committed to reducing the environmental impact of production, ensuring product safety, and enhancing sustainability. Their products are safe for people, pets, and the environment, and the company fully discloses all ingredients.

The company makes a popular line of general household cleaners, including All Purpose Cleaner, Glass and Surface Cleaner, Shower Cleaner, Tub and Tile Cleaner, and Toilet Bowl Cleaner.

For those with fragrance sensitivities, look for several of these products in unscented, or “free and clear” varieties.

They also make a line of disinfecting cleaners, including Disinfecting Multi-Surface Wipes, Multi-Surface Cleaner, and Disinfecting Bathroom Cleaner, and a line of specialty cleaners for Wood, Stainless Steel, and Granite and Stone.

 

 

 

Mrs. Meyer’s

Their Clean Day Counter Top Spray is available in  Honeysuckle, Geranium, Lavender, and Lemon Verbena scents.

All Purpose Cleaner – look for it in scents like Lemon Verbena, Lavender, Basil, and more.

Mrs. Meyer’s Surface Scrub is tough on dirt and grime, but won’t scratch delicate surfaces.

Use it on bathroom tile, appliances, and even for pots and pans!

Lemon Verbena is the most popular scent, but the surface scrub also comes in Geranium, Lavender, and Honeysuckle.

 

 

 

Method produces several types of natural cleaners, each made with biodegradable, non-toxic, and naturally-derived substances.

Their packages are 100% recycled and recyclable, and their products are never tested on animals!

 

 

 

 

This is one company that is highly committed to sustainable production practices and ingredient integrity.

Look for their All Purpose Natural Surface Cleaner, Glass Cleaner, Wood Floor Cleaner, Furniture “Wood for Good” Polish, and Toilet Bowl Cleaner.

These cleaners come in pleasant fragrances like mint, almond, and citrus – no harsh fumes or artificial fragrances here!

 

 

 

 

 

BabyGanics is another great brand offering an extensive line of natural cleaners and bath/body care products.

The line was designed exclusively to be safe for the most sensitive populations, including pregnant women, infants, young children, and even pets.

All the company’s products are either fragrance free or naturally and delicately scented, with no toxic fumes or harsh residues.

 

Try their Multi Purpose Cleaner, All Purpose Surface Wipes, Toy and Highchair Cleaner, and Tub and Tile Cleaner.

 

 

 

 

Other Natural Cleaning Alternatives

 

Sometimes the purest, simplest, most effective, and most cost effective cleaners are items you probably already have already the house:

  • Lemon juice and vinegar are great for cleaning windows and cutting through grease, and vinegar is also useful for preventing mold formation.
  • Ordinary table salt (or sea salt) is great for scrubbing and scouring tough dirt and grime, and for helping to disinfect high traffic areas.

 

 

  • Baking soda is indispensable for natural household cleaning! It scrubs and scours, cleanses, deodorizes, and even helps unclog drains when mixed with vinegar.

 

 

 

 

 

Did I miss your favorite natural cleaner? Or perhaps you have a great cleaning tip to share. I’d love to hear from you in the comments section below!

 

Recommended: 

The Naturally Clean Home by Karyn Siegel-Maier

 

 

 

 

You may also be interested in:

The Right Lighting Prevents Falls

Aleve Direct Therapy TENS for Back Pain Review

Does Prevagen Actually Help Your Memory?

Blue Emu and Australian Dream – Which One is Better?

Easy Home First Aid Kit

Ring Video Doorbell Pro Review

About Me

Create Your Own Blog

 

Please help others by sharing this post. Share on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInDigg thisPin on Pinterest

Smoke Detectors and CO Alarms – Choose the Right Ones

 

Smoke Detectors and CO Alarms – Choose the Right Ones

 

Installing and maintaining smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms can save your life. Luckily, they’re inexpensive and easy to install.

 

Basic smoke alarms start at $15, with CO alarms costing $35 and up. Newer models offer more features. For example, interconnected smoke alarms communicate between devices and provide integrated, whole-house protection. Whether the alarms are hardwired or wirelessly connected, with such a system when one alarm detects smoke or CO, all of them will sound.

 

 

Do You Really Need Both a Smoke Alarm and a CO Alarm?

 

Smoke alarms are a must in all homes, and CO alarms are needed for any home with fuel-burning appliances such as a furnace, water heater, range, cooktop, or grill. Even those living in all-electric homes should install CO alarms, because CO can seep into the house from an attached garage or if a backup generator is used too close to your living quarters in the event of a power outage.

You’ll need smoke alarms that detect flaming and smoldering fires for each bedroom, with at least one alarm installed on each floor, including a finished attic and the basement. You should also have a CO alarm on each living level, in the basement, and near (not inside) an attached garage.

Before you shop, check regulations in your region. What you need, including types of alarms and their placement, can vary. Also, some insurance companies offer a 5 percent discount for homes with smoke alarms.

 

 

 

 

 

Smoke Alarm Basics

 

Fires burn differently: Some flare, some smolder. Make sure you purchase a smoke alarm that can detect both types of fires.

 

Ionization Smoke Alarms are best at detecting the small particles typical of fast, flaming fires but in our tests, all tested poorly for detecting smoky, smoldering fires. Ionization units are prone to false alarms from burnt food and steam, so don’t mount them near a kitchen or bathroom.

Photoelectric Smoke Alarms are best at detecting the large particles typical of smoky, smoldering fires but poor at detecting fast, flaming fires. Photoelectric units are less prone to false alarms from burnt food and steam, so you can install them safely around the kitchen or bathroom.

Dual-sensor Smoke Alarms combine ionization and photoelectric technology to save you the hassle of installing two separate smoke detectors. But you will still need to install Carbon Monoxide units. 


Recommended Dual-Sensor Smoke Alarm:

First Alert BRK 3120B Hardwire Dual Photoelectric and Ionization Sensor Smoke Alarm with Battery Backup

The BRK’s patented OptiPath 360 Technology provides 360 degrees of direct access to the smoke sensor, and installation is easy and cost effective.

 

 

 

If you need a Hearing Impaired Smoke Alarm, I recommend the Gentex 710, which has a visual alarm light.  It’s available in plug-in or hard-wired.

 

Gentex 710-LS/W Hearing Impaired Smoke Alarm, Plug-In

 

 

 

Combination Smoke and CO Alarms

 

Currently no single smoke or CO alarm on the market does it all.

 

 

A few alarms combine ionization and photoelectric technologies to cover both types of fire, but they don’t detect CO.

And those that combine CO and smoke detection are effective for one type of fire, but not both.

The challenge to manufacturers: Produce a single device that senses both kinds of fire and CO. Until then, combining various types of alarms offers the best protection.

 

 

 

 

 
If you need both smoke and CO alarms, however, and are planning to buy a combination detector,  the Kidde KN-COSM-BA  (which uses ionization technology) is a practical and cost-effective choice.

The Kidde KN-COSM-BA battery-operated carbon monoxide and smoke alarm combines two important safety devices into a single unit.

It includes a voice warning system that makes four announcements: fire, carbon monoxide, low battery, or smart hush activation. The voice alarm eliminates any confusion and clearly warns you and your family of a smoke or carbon monoxide danger, or if your battery is in need of replacement.

Remember, though, that both ionization and photoelectric smoke alarms should be installed to help ensure maximum detection of the various types of fire that can occur within your home.

 

 

 

Features to Consider

 

The latest smoke and CO alarms have added features to better protect you and your family. Here’s what to consider when tailoring the safest combination of alarm options to your household’s needs.

 

Power Source

Hard-wired smoke and CO alarms tie into your home’s wiring and require professional installation. Battery-only alarms are simple to install, and they work during a power failure, but most batteries require annual replacement. (Lithium batteries may last the life of the alarm.) Plug-in alarms are available, but electric outlets are typically located low on the wall, while the optimal placement for the alarm is on or near the ceiling.

 

Battery backup

A backup battery for hard-wired smoke and CO alarms offers security in case of a power failure. All battery-powered smoke and CO units warn you when the battery is low. Some provide warning chirps, a low battery voice message, or a visual display.

 

Interconnectability

You can link some smoke and CO alarms so that all units in the house sound an alarm when any single one is triggered. Some newer homes have wiring already in place to link the alarms. In a home without such wiring, you can buy alarms that interconnect wirelessly. Interconnecting alarms are an important safety feature in a home with multiple levels. A standalone alarm may be adequate for a small, single-level home.

 

Digital CO Display

This feature displays CO concentrations in parts per million, even when the concentrations are below the level that triggers the alarm. CO alarms certified by UL must go off at no less than 70 ppm, but as little as 30 ppm can harm heart patients, pregnant women, and children. The display can alert you if the CO level is inching up or is higher than usual. Some also show the peak level since they were reset, warning you of any spikes that occurred while you were away. Expect to pay a little extra for this feature: $5 or $10 for standalone units, slightly more for units that can be interconnected.

 

Hush Button

To silence a nuisance smoke alarm, pressing a hush button is more convenient than disabling the unit, and it avoids the possibility of forgetting to turn it back on. All the smoke alarms we tested had this feature. Some CO and combination CO/smoke alarms can work with a remote control to silence a nuisance alarm.

 

 

Special Alarm Types:


Strobe light alarms are the best warning for the hearing impaired. Some smoke alarms have an integral strobe light, and some accept add-on strobes.

 

Voice alarms. Children tend to sleep deeper than adults and may not awaken to a beeping sound. Some smoke and combination CO/smoke alarms use a voice command, but it’s not confirmed whether that’s the most effective way to wake children. According to one study, many pre-teenagers who slept through tone alarms awoke to the sound of their mother’s prerecorded voice.

 

Safety lights. Some smoke alarms provide path illumination, a potential life-saver in the dark.

 

Overall Security Systems: You can incorporate some smoke and CO detectors into a system that sounds an alarm outside and inside the house. It can also have a monitoring service notify the police or fire department or even call your cell phone.

 

 

Fresh is Best – Maintenance is Critical

 

Smoke and CO alarms are only protective when installed correctly and if their batteries are replaced annually.

 

Look for the UL Stamp

Check the package to make sure smoke alarms and CO alarms meet Underwriters Laboratories Standard—look for the UL label. Also look up the date of manufacture printed on the back of the alarms. Devices lose their sensitivity over time, so the fresher, the better.  

 

 

 

 

Install and Maintain Properly

Smoke rises, so mount smoke alarms on the ceiling or high on the wall. Test smoke and CO alarms weekly and vacuum them monthly. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations regarding battery replacement. Replace CO alarms every five years and smoke alarms every 10 years.

 

 

 

 

What You Need to Know About

Carbon Monoxide Alarms

 

http://bestforthehome.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/sources-of-carbon-monoxide-at-home.jpg

Potential Sources of CO Poisoning

 

 

CO alarms should be installed outside of each sleeping area of a house, each level of the house, and in the basement. If your CO alarm is a plug-in model without a cord, it needs to be plugged directly into an outlet. Make sure the outlet is out in the open and not behind furniture, curtains, or other objects that could restrict air flow.

 

 

 

 

Carbon Monoxide alarms with a digital display should be mounted at eye-level so they can be read easily. If the CO alarm is battery powered and doesn’t have a display, it can be mounted anywhere on the wall or ceiling except within four inches of where the wall meets the ceiling. Air doesn’t circulate freely at that level, which will delay the alarm response.

 

Recommended CO Alarm: Kidde KN-COPP-3 Nighthawk Plug-In Carbon Monoxide Alarm with Battery Back-Up and Digital Display

 

 

Remember, you should not install a CO alarm in the following locations:

 

  • Within 5 feet of any cooking appliance
  • Outside or in direct sunlight
  • Garage, kitchen, furnace room, or any extremely dusty, dirty or greasy area
  • Within 20 feet of a fuel-burning heat source (furnace), or fuel-burning appliance (water heater)
  • Humid areas: Away from sources of high humidity, such as a bath or shower, sauna, humidifier, vaporizer, or dishwasher. If there are fuel-burning appliances in the laundry room or utility room, mount them in the room but as far away from the appliances as possible
  • Where temperature is colder than 40˚ F or hotter than 100˚ F, including unconditioned crawl spaces, unfinished attics, uninsulated or poorly insulated ceilings
  • In turbulent air: Near ceiling fans, heat vents, air conditioners, fresh air returns, or open windows. Blowing air may prevent CO from reaching the sensors

 

 

 

Amerex B441, 10lb ABC Dry Chemical Class A B C Fire Extinguisher And don’t forget about fire extinguishers …

 

A fire extinguisher can be a lifesaver. Placed near an exit, in an easy-to-grab spot, it can put out a small fire before the firefighters arrive, or at least suppress the flames while you escape.

All household extinguishers are classified as:

  • A – Ordinary Combustibles (like wood, paper and cloth)
  • B – Flammable Liquids (like gasoline and cooking oil)
  • C – Electrical (live electricity)
  • A:B:C – All 3 Types of Fires

 

The main distinction among home extinguishers is size. In most cases bigger is better, but sometimes the biggest extinguishers are too heavy to maneuver. (The weight on an extinguisher refers to the amount of chemical inside; the canister adds several more pounds.)

There’s also a difference between rechargeable extinguishers, with metal valves, and disposable ones, which have plastic valves. A rechargeable one will cost more, but refilling it once the pressure gauge shows that use or time has depleted the contents is still less expensive than buying a new disposable one.

The National Fire Protection Association (www.nfpa.org) recommends an extinguisher for each floor. But no matter how many you have, nothing can substitute for the most important safety tool: a fire plan. Make sure everyone in the family knows how to get out in a hurry, where to meet outside, and how to call 911. Even if you think you’ve put out the fire on your own, don’t cancel that emergency call. Leave it to the pros to decide if it’s really out.

 

What Size Is Right?

 

 

 

Amerex B441, 10lb ABC Dry Chemical Class A B C Fire Extinguisher

Amerex B441, 10lb ABC Dry Chemical Class A B C Fire Extinguisher

10-pound
Best for: Garage or home workshop, where a fire might grow in size before being noticed.

 

Look for: Rechargeable model with hose for ease of use.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5-pound

Best for: Quick grab in the kitchen or laundry room.

Look for: Rechargeable model with hose for ease of use.

 

Best Seller – Kidde FA110 Multi Purpose ABC Fire Extinguisher

Kidde FA110 Multi Purpose Fire Extinguisher 1A10BC, 1 Pack

 

 

2-pound

Best for: Car.

Look for: Disposable model with mounting hardware to keep it from rolling around in the trunk.

 

 

 

Stove-top

Best for: Mounting on range hood over stove. (Do not use over deep fryers; released chemical can splash grease and spread flames.)

Look for: Magnetic pressurized cans designed to pop open from the heat of flames, spraying sodium bicarbonate (baking soda).

 

Recommended:  Fire Gone 2-Pack (For All Types of Fires)

Conveniently sized and quick-acting, the Fire Gone 16 oz. Fire Gone suppressant with bracket helps maintain safety in the kitchen, while using the grill or while partaking in any activity where fire is used.

 

 

 

 

 

Using an Extinguisher

Fire safety experts advise you to learn how to use an extinguisher before an emergency arises. Check with your fire department to see if they offer homeowner training. Keep extinguishers where you can see and reach them easily, near the room’s exit. That way you can fight the fire with your back to the door and make a quick escape if flames get out of control.

 

To help you remember how to use an extinguisher, use the acronym PASS:

 

  • Pull the extinguisher’s safety pin.
  • Aim the chemical at the source of the flames rather than at the flames themselves, standing at least 6 feet from the fire (or as directed on the extinguisher’s label).
  • Squeeze the trigger and hold it, keeping the extinguisher upright.
  • Sweep the source of the flames until the extinguisher runs dry.

 

Whenever you have used an extinguisher, whether or not it is completely empty, you must replace it or refill it right away. Same goes with any extinguisher whose pressure gauge slips out of the green zone into red over time.

Fire extinguisher companies charge about $15 to refill a typical 5-pound A:B:C extinguisher, provided it has a metal valve. Extinguishers with plastic valves are not refillable and should be discarded after use.

 

 

 

 

 

You may also be interested in:

Easy First Aid Kit For Home and Car

Review of Kite Shield Mosquito Repellent

Caregivers Must Prepare for Emergencies – Here’s How

Blue Emu and Australian Dream – Which One is Better?

Best Digital Thermometers – Full Reviews

Ring Video Doorbell Pro Review

Easy Home Improvements for Mobility Issues

Allergy Medications – Know All the Options

FBI Warning: Seniors Getting Scammed!

About Me

Create Your Own Blog

Please help others by sharing this post. Share on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInDigg thisPin on Pinterest

Caregivers Must Prepare for Emergencies

 

Caregivers Must Prepare for Emergencies

 

 

 

If you’re among America’s 54 million caregivers, knowing how to evacuate a loved one or how a loved one can take shelter during an emergency may not be as easy as just stepping out a door, or crawling out a window, especially if your loved one has mobility challenges and physical issues.

Not only do you have to consider how you yourself will get out of the house during an emergency, but how will your loved one also be able to escape? These are just a few of the questions that a caregiver must consider in order to arrive at a much-needed safety plan for their loved one.

 

Contact Your Local Red Cross – When devising your in-home, emergency preparedness plan, a good resource to contact is your local chapter of the Red Cross. They can tell you what kind of natural disasters occur in your area, how to prepare for each, and how you will be warned of an emergency.

Also, many communities extend special assistance to those who have mobility problems by registering these people with a local fire department or emergency management office. Professional help will then be administered quickly and with priority in an emergency to people with physical limitations and mobility challenges.

 

If you are a caregiver who still must work outside the home, ask your supervisor about any emergency plans that may be in effect at your workplace. For example, some places will not allow employees to leave for home until an “all clear” has been given by local authorities, so caregivers need to take a policy like this into consideration when creating an at-home safety plan for a loved one.

 

If you currently utilize a personal care attendant from an agency, find out whether the agency has special provisions during an emergency; will they continue to provide care and services at another location if your loved one needs to be evacuated from their current environment? It’s important to determine what will be needed for each type of emergency.

 

Rehearse Your Plan –  Once a safety plan has been created, it is wise to rehearse it, making sure that there are no other problems that arise during an emergency.

 

Let Others Know the Plan – It’s also a good idea to discuss a finalized evacuation plan with other family members who may not live with you, as well as with neighbors, friends, and any other personal care attendants that may be a part of the in-home caregiving team.  This way, people other than the caregiver will know where to locate a loved one in a timely manner and assist with anything they may need at that moment, should their caregiver not be able to do so.

 

 

4 Steps for Seniors’ Natural

Disaster Safety


 

 

1. Build an emergency kit

It’s critical that your older adult has the food, water, medicine, and supplies they’ll need to survive an extended power or water outage.

 

Prepare a week’s worth of basics like:

  • Non-refrigerated or non-perishable foods they can eat.  Freeze-dried ready to eat emergency food supplies are a great idea because they take up very little space and have a 25 year shelf life (this means you can purchase them once and not worry about needing to replenish due to spoilage).

 

Recommended: Wise Prepper Pack

 

 

  •  Clean drinking water — one gallon per person per day
  • All necessary medications and medication supplies like syringes for insulin
  • Garbage bags and plastic ties for temporary toileting
  • Moist towelettes for personal hygiene
  • Flashlights and batteries

 

I really like this Self Powered Flashlight, Emergency Radio & Portable Phone Charger can be a lifesaver during emergencies when there is no power;  its  an eco-friendly, lightweight, low-maintenance and dependable multifunction device. This is a critical addition to any emergency kit.



 

 

It comes with a easy-to-tune-in radio FM/AM, Blink / Siren Mode, and it even has a headset jack.

For about 3 minutes of hand crank you’ll get 15 minutes of flashlight, 5-10 minutes of radio, 3 minutes of phone usage, or 3 minutes of siren/blink… priceless in an emergency. It can also be charged with solar exposure and USB.  Read reviews of this emergency radio.

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Wrench or pliers to turn off gas or water

 

Recommended: Aid & Prep 250 Piece First Aid Kit 

(to read my review of this 250 Piece Kit  – see Easy First Aid Kit for Home and Car )

 

Recommended: 

This terrific Four Function Whistle is also a thermometer, magnifier, and compass!

 

 

 

 

Keep copies of important information like:

  • A list of prescriptions, over-the-counter medications, and orders for medical equipment – including dosage, treatment, and allergy information
  • Medical insurance and Medicare / Medicaid cards
  • Contact information for doctors and people in their support network

 

 

Add special supplies like:

  • Extra batteries for devices like hearing aids or wheelchairs
  • An extra pair of eyeglasses – use an old pair
  • Plan ahead for refrigerated medications like insulin for diabetes – talk with the pharmacist or doctor
  • Oxygen
  • Catheters
  • Extra food and water for pets or service animals

 

2. Form a support network

You might not always be nearby to help your older adult when disaster strikes. So, it’s important to create a support network of trusted neighbors, relatives, and friends who can step in during an emergency.

Familiarize them with your older adult’s needs. Make sure everyone knows what medications, supplies, and medical devices are important, where they’re kept, and how to use them. Also, give them a copy of the emergency plan and access to your senior’s residence.

 

3. Create an emergency plan

Depending on the type of natural disaster, it could be safer to either evacuate or shelter in place.

Nature is unpredictable, so prepare one plan for sheltering in place and another for how to evacuate.

A written plan is best for handing out and reviewing with everyone in your senior’s support network. That way everyone will be clear on what to do and where to go. And if you’re separated, you’ll know where to find your older adult.

If your senior needs routine treatments in a clinic or hospital or if they have regular services like home health care, talk to the service provider about what to do and where to go for back-up care during an emergency. Include that information in the emergency plan.

 

4. Make sure money is accessible and secure

Older adults who depend on Social Security or other federal benefits can run into trouble if they rely on mailed payments. During emergencies or evacuations, mail services can be interrupted for days or weeks. Even worse, checks could get stolen!

To prevent financial problems, help your senior switch to electronic payments of federal benefits.

The U.S. Department of the Treasury recommends two safer ways to get federal benefits:

  • For people with bank accounts, direct deposit to a checking or savings account is the best option. Sign up by calling (800) 333-1795 or at www.GoDirect.org.
  • For people without a bank account, use the Direct Express® prepaid debit card. Sign up by calling toll-free at (877) 212-9991 or at www.USDirectExpress.com.

 

Bottom line

Creating an emergency kit, plan, and support network sounds like a lot of work, but it can mean the difference between your senior developing a serious health issue or making it through the disaster unharmed.

 

 

You may also be interested in:

Easy First Aid Kit for Home and Car

Organize Your Senior’s Home for Winter

Best Digital Thermometers Guide and Reviews

Review of Kite Shield Mosquito Repellent

Ring Video Doorbell Pro Review

Jitterbug Touch3 Smartphone Review

Stop Alzheimer’s Wandering

Caregivers – Reduce Risks from Heavy Lifting

About Me

Create Your Own Blog

Please help others by sharing this post. Share on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInDigg thisPin on Pinterest
1 2