Tuesday, November 26, 2013

This Thanksgiving, Think Fall Prevention

Before you take the obligatory post-Thanksgiving dinner nap, take a look around and make sure Grandma or Grandpa's home is safe.

Every year senior citizens are injured from household accidents. The good news is that many are preventable by just making a few changes.  Here’s a checklist designed to help you make any home safer for elderly loved ones.
 
Lighting. Dark hallways and poorly lit stairwells lead to accidents. Check that all lighting fixtures are working properly and replace dim lights with high wattage light bulbs.
 
Switches. Are all light switches easy for an elderly person to reach? Can light switches be found in the dark? If not, have self illuminated light switches installed. Have them mounted at waist level.
 
Outlets. Are your electrical sockets at the right height? Can they be accessed easily without moving heavy furniture? Do they require bending? If they’re not up to snuff have a

Friday, November 8, 2013

5 Situations Where You Can Use A Medical Alert System

Medical emergency alert systems have become an important tool for older people who want to live independently and lead an active life. Alert devices can be carried around the home and used to call for help quickly if an emergency occurs. Most people think of using a medical alert device in case of fall. Here are four more situations where you can use the alert device:

when can seniors use medical alert system

Fire and Smoke

Fires can start unexpectedly and spread quickly. A single ember can ignite curtains, furniture or carpets without warning. The smoke that fills the home makes it difficult to breath and move through the house. This can trap a person in a single room far from the phone or the front door. A medical alert device allows someone to call for help from any location if a fire starts in the house. The monitoring center can quickly contact the local fire department to deal with the blaze.

Medical Emergency

Seniors and people with existing medical conditions can encounter problems at any time. This includes in the middle of the night. Living with a serious medical condition while alone is not easy. The sudden onset of a heart attack, stroke or seizure can leave a person immobilized and unable to call for help. An alert system allows a person experiencing a medical emergency to send a call for help with the push of a single button. This triggers an emergency response from trained medical professionals who will arrive and provide treatment.  Some of the most common medical emergency situations we respond to include shortness of breath, dizziness, chest pains, and intense vomiting.

Burglary

Over 6,000 burglaries occur in the country every single day. Burglars can enter quietly through doors, windows or garages. Anyone who is in the home when a burglar arrives is in serious danger. The burglar could be physically violent. A medical alert device can be used to report or deter the burglar. The service monitoring the device can immediately contact police. It is possible to do this from anywhere in the home so the burglar is not alerted to the presence of someone else in the house. This increases your safety. Since medical alert systems use a two-way loud speaker, the voice of the monitoring agent could actually drive burglars out when the monitoring service agent announces police are on the way.

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a gas that has no color and no odor. It can collect in a home without anyone noticing. CO can come from a furnace, an oven, a space heater or an unlit pilot light. Breathing in the gas will start to cause dizziness, nausea and headaches. It will eventually cause death if nothing is done. A medical alert system allows a person to contact help as soon as CO poisoning is suspected. A fast response to potential CO poisoning can allow a person to get out of the house and receive treatment before sustaining permanent injuries.

Falling Down

Seniors, people with mobility issues and individuals suffering from diseases like osteoporosis must take great care to avoid falling while alone in the home. Falling down could result in a broken bone that makes getting up impossible. Some seniors might not have the strength or mobility to get back up. Another risk is falling down stairs and sustaining serious injuries. Medical emergency alert systems can be used to call for help in these situations. The alert device requires a simple key press to contact the monitoring service or local authorities for help after a fall.



It’s important to remember you can press your medical alert emergency button for any reason – our trained monitoring center agents are on call 24/7/365 to serve you whenever you need help.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Holiday Baking Basics - Chewy Macadamia Nut Cookies

You'll be a Holiday Hero with our yummy, and easy to bake, Chewy Macadamia Nut cookie recipe! 


Whether your end-of-year festivities involve mistletoe and ho-ho-ho, a menorah and dreidel, or a kinara and seven colorful candles, holidays of all cultures seem to have one thing in common: baking. Food is an integral part of many celebrations, and whether it's Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or a family get-together, chances are there's a baked good in attendance.



Perhaps you're thinking of trying your hand at some family recipes you've never made before, or want to experiment with favorites from other holiday traditions. Whatever dish you make this holiday season, these baking basics help ensure success:

Stock the staples

A variety of delectable ingredients is one of the many things to love about holiday baking, but some staples show up in many recipes. Plain white flour is the foundation of many holiday baked goods, so be sure to keep plenty on hand. Baking soda and baking powder are also frequent necessities, as are eggs and sugar (white, powdered and brown).

While peppermint may be apropos for Christmas cookies and candies, and cinnamon and cloves impart ethnic flair to Kwanzaa recipes, vanilla is one flavor that appears in nearly every tradition. This year, add Pure Vanilla Extract to your pantry. Your holiday recipes will benefit from the complex and superior vanilla flavor provided by the Pure Vanilla Extract as it enhances and deepens the other ingredients in your baking.

When buying ingredients it is important to remember that quality counts. Higher quality ingredients may be slightly higher in price, but you'll likely need less of them. Keep these staples on hand in your pantry, and you'll be ready to tackle any holiday recipe, whether tried-and-true or new and daring.

Prep for performance

Pre-cooking preparation will help ensure top kitchen performance. Before you dive into a new recipe, sit down at the kitchen table and read it - beginning to end - twice. Make two lists of ingredients; one for items you already have in your well-stocked pantry, and a second for items you'll need to buy. Check to be sure you have the necessary bakeware. Nothing's worse than having all your ingredients assembled only to realize you loaned your springform pan to your sister last year and never got it back.

Once you have all the ingredients and utensils you need, line them up and get started. Prep pans per the recipe directions, such as greasing cake pans or covering cookie sheets with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to the required temperature. Since this can take 10 minutes or more, depending on the age of your oven, it's a good idea to start the oven before you begin mixing ingredients. Never attempt to bake in an oven that hasn't been preheated.

Measure dry ingredients first and set them aside, then measure any "wet" ingredients such as oil, shortening, eggs or vanilla extract. Sifting dry ingredients improves the overall texture of baked goods and gets rid of any lumps. Pre-measuring helps ensure a smooth, uninterrupted process when it's time to begin mixing ingredients together. Be sure to add ingredients according to the recipe, rather than dumping everything into the bowl at once.

Cool for conclusion

One of the most common - and worst - baking mistakes is impatience. Most baked goods require a cooling period before they can be safely removed from the baking pan, tray or sheet. Some recipes may specify the time needed to allow your cookies or cake to cool, while others might simply advise you to wait until the item is cool to the touch. Rushing removal can result in breaking, crumbling, splitting and sticking - the kind of disasters no amount of icing can cover. After removing your holiday goodies from the oven, set them on a rack to cool and go do something else. You'll be happy you were patient when that fully cooled item slides easily out of the pan.

Baking is an exact science - more so than savory cooking that allows room for improvisation. By following the basics, you can be assured of baking success.

Chewy Macadamia Nut Cookies


Ingredients:

  •  3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, softened
  •  2 cups firmly packed dark brown sugar
  •  1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
  •  2 eggs
  •  3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  •  1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  •  1/2 teaspoon salt
  •  1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  •  1 teaspoon cinnamon
  •  1 cup chopped macadamia nuts


Directions:

Cream the butter, brown sugar and vanilla extract in a mixing bowl using an electric mixer on a medium speed until fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing after each addition. Add the flour, baking soda, salt, cream of tartar and cinnamon and mix well. Stir in the macadamia nuts. Chill for two hours.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat an insulated cookie sheet with nonstick cooking spray.

Shape the dough into 1-inch balls and place on the prepared cookie sheet. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.

 Makes three dozen

SECRET TIP: When preparing bakery items such as cookies, here's a tip to enhance the flavor intensity of your product: cream the vanilla into the butter or shortening and sugar first. This step encapsulates the vanilla and helps prevent flavor loss in low mass/low moisture/high heat cookies.

If you like this recipe, check out some of these variations we found, and be sure to tell us which is your favorite: