Saturday, January 6, 2018

At 79, She's More Than Just The "Bird Lady"

If you're looking for inspiration on how to make a difference, look no further than Nancy Forrester.
Nancy Forrester and Blue

Residing in downtown Key West, Florida Nancy Forrester is an artist, teacher, environmental activist, and plant & animal lover. She's been rescuing, rehoming orphaned parrots for over 30 years. 

As the founder and owner of Nancy Forrester's Secret Garden, she runs a small sanctuary in Key West for unwanted parrots dedicated to the best care in rescue, rehoming and caregiving.

Take the short walk from Key West‘s Duval Street to Nancy Forrester’s house, and you're transformed from the touristy strip to a residential part of town. The scenery changes from shop-window displays of neon muscle shirts to chickens strutting along the sidewalks in front of small, well-loved homes. If you blink, you'll miss it. But once inside, the world is transformed.

Hats off to Nancy - an inspiration for us all!

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Avoid Ice Slips And Falls With This Unexpected Trick

Homeowners are liable for snow and ice control and can get sued for injuries.

Whenever it snows, it is common to see shopping center employees and business owners out and about clearing pathways, parking spaces and entrances of snow and ice. But this isn't just good business to help customers get in the door, it is also a liability issue should someone slip, fall and injure themselves. Homeowners, too, face similar, albeit more limited, liability if they fail to take adequate steps to remove such slippery hazards from their property.

Generally speaking, homeowners are responsible for limiting dangers on their property, but in some cases this can also extend to public sidewalks abutting the home. In some localities, Homeowners Associations (HOAs), and governments also require that homeowners clear snow and ice or face fines. A regional survey of county and municipal ordinances conducted by the Salt Institute found that 83 percent have written policies directing property owners to remove accumulated snow and ice "within 24 hours of the end of the snowstorm." Penalties for property owners not complying can range from nominal tickets to misdemeanors punishable by up to 90 days in jail and fines of up to $500.

Shoveling snow is simple enough, but ice is another matter, and nothing works better to

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Senior House-guests Get Special Treatment

How to prepare your home for older visitors

Whether it's for a special occasion or just because, hosting an older adult in your home can be a wonderful experience with lots of memory-making potential. However, for a safe and successful visit, you may want to make a few adjustments to your home before they arrive to make it more senior-friendly.

"Spending time with aging parents or grandparents is a wonderful experience for all generations," says Sara Terry, Brookdale Senior Living's senior vice president of resident and family engagement. "Creating a welcoming and relaxing atmosphere is the job of any good host and that is no different when entertaining seniors. Considering older adults' varying mobility and comfort levels, there are a few adjustments you can make to your home to meet their needs."

Whether your guest is staying short- or long-term, Terry offers these six tips to help you transform your home into a more senior-friendly environment so you can focus on what matters most: making memories with your entire family.

Outdoors


The walkways to many homes are cracked or uneven, which is a risk factor for falls. Make sure the pathway is cleared and easy to see, shovel show in the winter and sweep leaves in the fall. Stairs can be tricky to maneuver as well. If possible, add a ramp that leads to your door. If there are stairs, install handrails on each side. Entryways divided by a threshold can be tricky for someone with mobility issues. Eliminate this common tripping hazard when seniors visit.

Clutter


The easiest thing you can do is remove clutter (especially on the floor) to allow sufficient space for senior guests who may be in a wheelchair to maneuver around rooms. Remove or tape down all cords. Rugs may look nice but they are a leading tripping hazard. Remove all accent rugs from your home, and in areas like the entryway where you must have mats, make sure they are secured with non-slip material.

Light


Seniors need more light than you do in your home, particularly in notoriously dim areas such as entryways, hallways and staircases. Replace existing soft light bulbs with brighter or higher wattage ones and add motion-sensor lights to bathrooms. Adding night lights throughout your home is an easy addition that helps seniors see better, especially at night or on darker winter days.

Emergency Contact Information


Make sure your houseguests bring their list of medications and any emergency contact information with them.  Medical Care Alert offers a free Emergency Information Form you can download and keep handy in the event of an emergency.

Stairs 


Ideally, a senior won't have to navigate stairs, but if you have some in your home, you can make the space safer by having railings on both sides. Railings should be at least 1.5 inches in diameter to accommodate seniors with limited dexterity and aging grips. What's more, help each stair be more visible by using contrast strips (available at your local hardware store).

Bathrooms


Make bathrooms safer by adding well-placed grab bars next to the toilet and in bathing spaces. In the shower or tub, add non-slip strips and a shower seat for comfort and ease of use. For guests who are staying awhile, consider adding a handheld, adjustable-height showerhead. Finally, set the hot water heater temperature to 120 degrees as to avoid unintended burns.


Room selection


Whether your loved one is staying one night, one month or more, selecting the right room will increase their comfort and safety. One-level living is key, so if possible use a room on the main floor with easy access to the bathroom, kitchen and living room. Furniture, including the bed and chairs, should be at a good height (neither too low nor too high) to be easily used. Knobs can be difficult, so consider replacing round door handles with lever handles.

"In addition to these tips, I recommend having a conversation with your loved one before their stay," says Terry. "Talk to them about what will make them feel at home in your home. What's most important is enjoying your visit to the fullest and spending valuable time together."

-- Article courtesy of BPT

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Safe Handling Your Thanksgiving Turkey

The annual turkey dinner is a seasonal staple. A little extra preparation can make the meal as satisfying and enjoyable as the rest of the holidays. 


Think of the holiday season and answer this question: The holidays are the only time of year I do ... what?

Maybe it's the only time of year you set up a Christmas tree, hang mistletoe or travel to a certain destination. For many, the holidays are also the only time of year that you prepare the traditional holiday meal.

And that can lead to trouble.

Each year in the U.S., one in six people will experience food poisoning. There are 48 million illnesses, 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 patient deaths that can be traced back to foodborne pathogens, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It's especially dangerous for young children, the elderly, pregnant women and others with weakened immune systems.

Improper food preparation is one of the most common causes of food poisoning, and the risk increases during the holidays when people try to make lavish meals they would otherwise not prepare. To help keep you and your family safe this season, The Partnership for Food Safety Education - supported by Cargill, Costco Wholesale and the Frozen Food Foundation - is launching The Story of Your Dinner campaign and sharing safe preparation tips for a holiday staple: the turkey dinner.

Preparing the perfect holiday turkey this season


  • Plan for one pound of meat per person. If a frozen turkey works best for you, allow the bird to thaw for several days in the refrigerator. Generally, you will need to plan one day for every four pounds of turkey to ensure your bird completely thaws. While your turkey is thawing, keep it on the bottom shelf in a rimmed baking pan to prevent juices from spreading.
  • Do not rinse your raw turkey. Rinsing the turkey is not a safety step and can increase the risk of spreading bacteria to the sink and other surfaces.
  • For optimum safety, cook stuffing in a casserole. Because stuffing is an excellent medium for bacterial growth, it's important to handle it safely and cook it to a safe minimum internal temperature (at least 165 F) as measured with a food thermometer.
  • Cook your turkey to at least 165 F and always use a food thermometer to ensure your turkey reaches this safe internal temperature.
  • When checking to see if your turkey is done, insert the food thermometer into the innermost part of the thigh and wing and the thickest part of the breast.
  • Put extra turkey, stuffing and other leftovers in the fridge within 2 hours. Consume, freeze or discard leftovers within 3 or 4 days.

The annual turkey dinner is a seasonal staple. A little extra preparation can make the meal as satisfying and enjoyable as the rest of the holidays. It's also a great time to check up on elderly family members and make sure they can remain independent living at home, and possibly get a medical alert system for them.  To learn more about safe food preparation and find a complete turkey roasting chart, visit StoryofYourDinner.org.

-- Article courtesy of BPT

Monday, September 11, 2017

Medicare Advantaged Explained

Medicare Advantage: 20 years, 20 million people and 4 factors

elderly couple on ipad
In 1997, the federal government created the Medicare + Choice program — later renamed Medicare Advantage — to enhance consumer choice and more efficiently deliver Medicare benefits to older Americans.

You may have heard of Medicare Advantage, but maybe you don’t know exactly what it is, what it offers and how it can help you.

Today, Medicare Advantage serves almost 20 million people — a nearly 50 percent increase from even five years ago, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

Here are four important factors in why people choose Medicare Advantage:



  1. Simplicity and convenience. Medicare Advantage plans combine all

Friday, September 8, 2017

Vitamins and Drug Interactions - Are Personalized Vitamins the Answer?

The key to personalized vitamins: Understanding medication and nutrient interactions

man swallowing vitamin
Technology, science and research are turning our world into a personalized powerhouse at our fingertips, including products made specifically for us delivered to our doorsteps. We wear personal fitness trackers to track our steps, sleep and heart rates. Personal trainers are commonplace to design fitness routines that are made just for us. Today, we understand that our family history, lifestyle choices and even genetics are predictive of our health needs and this information is integrated into our health care plans. With all of this personalization, our nutritional supplement options still deliver the same cookie-cutter solutions found in store aisles.

According to New Nutrition Business and its report “10 Key Trends in Food, Nutrition and Health 2017,” personalized nutrition is the next

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Staying In Touch With The Grandparents

Try these 5 ways to keep in touch with grandparents near and far

grandparents with granddaughter
There are laundry lists of reasons why grandparents are the best. They say yes when parents say no, they tell the best stories but make even better listeners, and often they’re the first people we call with news, both good and bad.

That’s why each September, we celebrate National Grandparents Day — a day of recognition for all the amazing “nanas” and “pop-pops” out there. But connecting with Grandma and Grandpa shouldn’t be just one day a year. Whether near or far, grandparents can keep connected to their family’s lives any day of the year with the following tips.

Make a daily photo album

When family members live far away it can be difficult to stay up-to-date on what’s new in their lives. It’s easy to forget to call one another and share