Tuesday, October 27, 2015

10 Fun Fall Activities

It's that time of year again! Leaves are changing color, the cool air is starting to blow in and football season is in full swing. 

So what are you doing in the house? Here are some fun ideas for staying active this season.

1. Take a trip to the orchard
Why not pick your own apples? There's plenty of orchards across the country that allow you to pick your own fruit and vegetables. And right now is a perfect time to pick up some apples and pumpkins!
Find an orchard near you at localharvest.org.

2. Go for a walk
There's no better time to be outside and enjoy the crisp air than in Fall. Slip on your shoes and step outside. Check out local trails or walk around your neighborhood. There's always new things to explore!

3. Try some new recipes
Who doesn't love homemade treats? Here are some that you can make for the family:
Pumpkin roll anyone?
Pumpkin Roll

Savory Baked Apples

Apple Butter

Sweet Potato Casserole

4. Have a tailgate with neighbors
Who said you have to be a football fan to enjoy some time with friends? Offer to host a tailgate with your neighbors. Everyone can bring their favorite dish and you can enjoy the conversation while the game is on.

5. Enjoy a local festival
Fall is a big time of year for local festivals. A lot of towns have weekend festivals and arts and craft shows. This is a great way to see what local businesses have to offer and enjoy the nice weather. Here's a great way to find some festivals near you: http://www.fairsandfestivals.net/

6. Grab some cider
Everyone knows that Fall is time to visit the cider mill. While everyone in your town might flock to the big cider mill, try seeking out a smaller one. These usually have shorter lines and the cider is just as good.

7. Visit a local park
Fall in the park is perfect
Leaves only change color once per year so enjoy the scenery! Find a hiking trail or go to a lake playgrounds we talked about? You could get some exercise in while enjoying the view!
nearby and enjoy nature. Remember those

8. Catch a movie
A lot of big blockbuster hits are coming out this Fall. It's a great time to catch a movie on a chillier day. Or you can take advantage of a warmer night and go to a drive-in theater (yes there are still some around!).

9. Try an outdoor yoga class
Ok before you completely dismiss this one and think I am crazy for suggesting yoga, hear me out. They actually have beginners yoga and senior yoga classes in a lot of community parks. These classes have modified poses that are perfect for improving your balance.

10. Birdwatching in your own yard
Are you an animal lover? Take your binoculars to the park or even in your backyard to keep an eye out for birds this time of year. See how many you can spot and if you can identify them. If you want to attract some birds to your yard, you can even set up a small bird feeder.

Are you or a loved one active, but want to make sure you are safe or have a plan in the event of a fall? No problem! Our HOME & AWAY ELITE alert system allows you to go anywhere and still be protected 24/7. We want to help you stay active!

Sunday, October 25, 2015

How To Compare Medical Alert Systems Companies

With so many choices, you need a good way to compare and get real customer stories.

When your loved one needs to use a medical alert system for health and safety reasons, you might not be sure of how to choose a reputable service. Instead of making a guess at which company will meet your needs and the needs of your family member, you can use authenticated medical alert reviews to find some of the information that you need in order to make a sound decision.
Angie's List Super Service Award

Consumer Review Websites

Consumer review websites are a popular way to read through medical alert reviews. Angie's List is a popular website where paid members can leave reviews about experiences with many different companies. Angie's List follows up to make sure that the reviewer actually engaged the company for the service provided. The company also has a chance to respond to the user's medical alert reviews.

Business to Business Organizations

BBB Logo
Business to business organizations such as the Better Business Bureau (BBB) allows consumers to leave feedback about a poor experience with a company. You can read through the listings of medical alert reviews from companies who have been reported to the BBB for failing to deliver services, overcharging or other ethical and business related problems.

Online Medical Alert Review Services

You can also look to special websites that are dedicated to comparisons and medical alert reviews. A few of these websites include TheBestCompanys.com and ResellerRatings.com.  On these websites, you can read about the differences in equipment and services provided by medical alert companies and monitoring centers. You can also find out which companies offer their services in your area or the location where your loved one resides.

Word of Mouth

Another useful way to gain information about medical alert service provides is by word of mouth. This tried and true method allows you to get first hand information from people who have used the different medical alert services that you are considering for your loved one. Some good resources that might already be in your social network include your coworkers and neighbors who have elderly or medically fragile parents. Members of your faith community are another good way to learn about different medical alert system companies. If you are able to visit your loved one's physician with him or her, you could ask the doctor for his or her recommendation on medical alert monitoring services. Social workers and licensed adult daycare centers may also have helpful information about these services.

Friday, October 16, 2015

It's Not You, It's Your Shoes

You frequently hear about ways to make your home and environment safer, but what if it's your shoes that are also a danger? 

Do you shoes look like this? Find the right ones for you.
Many people don't think about their shoes being culprits of increasing their risk of falling unless they are wearing high heels (and let's face it, those can give anyone balance problems if they are high enough). However, in a study conducted by Dr. Carol Frey, director of the Foot and Ankle Center at Orthopedic Hospital, found that 70 percent of older people who fell were actually wearing flat shoes such as oxfords or athletic shoes.

Most people think of athletic shoes as sturdy and safer when thinking about avoiding falls. However, that study found that those shoes were actually to blame in falls because they caught, dragged on the floor, or were too slippery on some surfaces.

Wondering what type of shoes you should be wearing? Here's a few tips on how to choose the best ones for you:

  • Avoid any shoes that have worn soles or smooth soles. These can pose a threat on almost any surface, particularly tile, wood, and wet surfaces. Not having traction is extremely dangerous.
  • Make sure your shoes and slippers are the correct fit. The size you wear in one brand might not be the exact same in another. Sizing also changes with the type of shoe. For instance, what size you take in an athletic shoe might not be the same as slippers. Take the time to find the right brands for your foot and make sure they aren't too loose or wide. 
  • Avoid thick rubber soles. While these might seem like they get good traction, it's very easy to trip in them. Take a look at the toe of your shoes. Do they have rubber tips on them? These can actually cause you stumble more often than not. Try something with a less bulky sole and a rounded toe. 
  • Go for a more secure fit. While slip on shoes and slippers are always more convenient and easier to get on, they are also more likely to trip you up. Try elastic laces or shoes with a snug fit. 
  • Find a balance between cushion and balance. Lots of cushioning doesn't always mean a better shoe. It can actually make you more unstable on any surface because it isn't giving your feet and ankles the support you need to keep your balance. Look for a shoe that is comfortable, but stable. 
For more ideas on how to prevent falls at home, download our free guide "50+ Ways To Prevent Falls".

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

5 Tips for Caring for Aging Parents

There comes a point where the people who took care of you growing up might need your help later in life. 

Caring for an aging parent is something that a lot of us will go through at some point in our lives. In some cases this can mean a large sacrifice of time and money, which can lead to stress and possibly even resentment. Here are five tips to help you through it.

1. Try to establish a routine
Establishing a routine helps everyone know what to expect. It also allows you to see “warning signs” more quickly so that you can take action if it is needed. You’ll be able to notice slight changes more easily. This also takes stress off of you by balancing your time and responsibilities and avoid anxiety and exhaustion.
2. Understand the costs and create a budget
Take a comprehensive look at what you are spending or estimate what you would be spending on caregiving. This is also a great point to explore free options or low-cost public benefits that can be available to you and help share the caregiving tasks. If your parents need extensive help or have a special need, it is also the right time to consider professional help and find out how much it would cost and what benefits it provides. 

3. Set Boundaries
Setting boundaries is never an easy thing. However, if no boundaries are set with caregivers, then it’s
easy for you to burn out. Healthy boundaries help set expectations and make sure everyone’s needs are being met. It also helps you maintain a healthy relationship with your parent by respecting those boundaries.

4. Communicate
Creating open lines of communication with everyone involved, including other siblings and between you and your parents will help make the process easier. This helps you anticipate difficult decisions and what the best choices would be for your family before the situation turns into a crisis. It is also important to be very clear about who is responsible for financial decisions. This avoids conflict down the road.

5. Planning Ahead
Not all needs can be anticipated and even when you are a caregiver, you need to be ready for many different situations. One way to do this is to put preventative measures in place so you don’t feel like you need to be hovering over them all the time and still give them a sense of independence. Our Home & Away system can immediately alert authorities if there is an issue that requires assistance so you can have peace of mind while