Updated: Oct 30, 2020

September 22nd is the first day of fall, and marks the 11th annual National Falls Prevention Awareness Week during September 21-25th. Falls are the leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries for older adults. According to the National Council on Aging (NCOA), one-fourth of older adults aged 65+ fall every year. Every 11 seconds, an older adult is treated in the emergency room for a fall, and every 19 seconds, an older adult dies from a fall.

The risk of falling at home is a genuine concern for retirees and their families. Many falls result in both physical and psychological damage for the person experiencing the fall. On the physical side, many seniors may suffer from brain injuries, hip injuries, and other fractures that can affect their health. For the psychological side, falls can cause fear of falling again. This fear of falling prevents older adults from enjoying life because they fear they may fall again or reinjure themselves.

By recognizing that a fall is not an accident, but a preventable event, Falls Prevention Awareness Week offers tips on how to prevent falls around the home through individual training, removing hazards, and implementing simple safety measures. Family members can help ensure the home is safe by evaluating the home, such as:

• Add a handrail to stairs

• Improve lighting

• Attach grab rails to tubs

• Remove area rugs that may pose a fall hazard

• Organize clutter

• Consider assistive devices such as chair lifts or shower chairs

• Suggest the use of a cane or walker

Falls Prevention Awareness Week is a great time to encourage loved ones to talk with their doctor about a fall prevention plan. Preventing trips and falls in a loved one’s home can be hard when families can’t always be there. One of our trusted caregivers can serve as another layer of protection in the senior’s home so they can keep on living independently and safely – right where they want to be. In addition to fall prevention, our caregivers can also perform duties like lighthouse keeping, medication reminders, meal prep, and much more. Contact us today for an in-home assessment.

Updated: Oct 30, 2020

Killing risky germs on household surfaces is nothing new, most of us are already doing it when we routinely clean the kitchen and bathroom. However, with concerns over COVID, keeping frequently-touched household surfaces like counter tops, phones, faucet handles, and remote controls free of germs is more pressing than ever.

Washing hands is one of the best ways to protect ourselves when it comes to COVID-19. Wearing a mask and keeping our distance from each other is also important to help prevent the spread of the virus. With family members coming and going from the home, there’s possibility of exposure. Here are a few ways to make sure we are properly cleaning and disinfecting our homes and keeping our household as germ-free as possible.

Cleaning products that destroy coronavirus:

• Soap and Water can break the protective barrier of coronavirus. Scrub like the area is sticky and it must come off. Leave the towel in the soapy water for a while to destroy any virus particles that may have survived.

• Bleach – The CDC recommends mixing one-third cup of bleach with one gallon of room-temperature water. Check the label to ensure bleach is intended for disinfection and has sodium hypochlorite concentration of 5% – 6%. Also, make sure the bleach is not past the expiration date.

• Isopropyl alcohol is an effective disinfectant against many pathogens, including coronavirus as long as the concentration is 70%. Most rubbing alcohols are in the 70% range.

Always read and follow the directions on the label to ensure safe and effective use. When using bleach, ensure adequate ventilation and avoid contact on skin.

For more information on disinfecting the home against COVID, review the Complete Disinfection Guidance by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Updated: Oct 30, 2020

Disasters do not plan ahead, but we can. September is National Preparedness Month and encourages people to take steps to prepare for emergencies in their homes, businesses, schools, and communities. The effort is led by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The 2020 National Preparedness Month’s theme is “Disasters Don’t Wait. Make Your Plan Today.”

No matter where we live, we are subject to disasters. Natural disaster and man-made disasters affect everyone and will cause severe damage and endanger lives. From hurricanes to wildfires to blizzards, natural disasters can turn deadly and damage property. Man-made disasters can include crime, power outages, famines or even war and can be just as terrifying as any natural disaster. Preparation is essential for the safety of our families and valuable personal possessions.

How do we plan for disasters?

• Make a plan – talk with family and friends about how to communicate before, during, and after a disaster.

• Build a kit – gather supplies that will last several days after the disaster for everyone living in the home as well as pets.

• Prepare for disasters – know the risk of disasters and check insurance coverage. Learn how to make the home stronger in the face of storms.

• Instruct the youth about preparedness – talk to the kids about preparing for emergencies and what to do. Show them how they can become involved.

Here are a few tools to help to prepare:

• Download the FEMA app

• Sign up for text messages: Text PREPARE to 43362 (4FEMA) to receive preparedness tips

• Visit the Public Health Agency of Canada for COVID-19 public service announcements and how to prepare during the coronavirus • Visit Ready.gov for more helpful facts and tools to help prepare for disasters

It’s impossible to control the weather and stop catastrophes from happening. However, being educated on the vital steps for emergency preparedness can help minimize risks should an emergency take place. Build a kit, become informed on the different disasters that may happen, and plan ahead. Planning makes it easier to act rationally when the time comes.