Category Archives: Home Safety

Living Well and Safely with Parkinson’s

dream-house-149899_150You often hear people with Parkinson’s say that things get easier once the initial shock of the diagnosis wears off. While no two people have the exact same experience or symptoms, the one thing that they do have in common is the desire to be able to continue living well. Over time, Parkinson’s can lead to difficulties with balance and walking making safety a concern for you and your loved ones. The following tips can help make day-to-day activities easier and safer.

In the Bathroom

According to the National Parkinson Foundation, most falls happen in the bathroom as the result of slipping, poor lighting, and getting on and off the toilet and in and out of the tub. To make your bathroom safer and easier to maneuver, try the following:

  • Install a grab bar in the shower and another near the toilet to hold on to for support. Never use towel bars or faucets for support since these could break.
  • Bath benches and shower stools make bathing and showering easier and can be used to sit on when using the sink when a dizzy spell strikes.
  • An elevated toilet seat provides the extra height needed to make sitting down and getting up easier.
  • Handheld showers make it easier to bathe, especially if you prefer to sit while doing so.
  • Adjusting your hot water temperature to less than 120 degrees lowers the risk of burns while washing.
  • Opt for pump soap instead of bar soap since bar soap tends to be slippery and leave a slippery film on tub and shower surfaces.

In the Kitchen

  • Install hooks to keep the pots and pans that you use the most within easy reach. Other items you use often when cooking can also be kept closer to the stove so you can cook with ease, like pot holders and spices.
  • Install longer cabinet and drawer handles; they’re easier to open than small handles and knobs.
  • Look for cooking utensils and gadgets that can make cooking safer, such as rubber grippers for opening jars and knives with a rounded blade and wooden handle that runs the length of the top of the knife for easy chopping.
  • Keep your kitchen floor clean and clear of anything that can cause you to trip. Any mats should be rubber backed.

In the Bedroom

  • Cute as some of those big and fuzzy slippers can be; choosing a pair of anti-slip slipper socks or a more streamlined closed shoe-type slipper with an anti-slip bottom makes walking around on different surfaces easier and much safer.
  • Keep a flashlight next to the bed in case of a power outage and have lamps and light switches close to the bed.
  • Have your bedroom on the first floor of a home if possible to avoid having to use the stairs at night.
  • A bedside commode or urinal can keep you from having to make trips to the bathroom in the dark. This is especially great if your washroom is on another floor than your bedroom.

In the Rest of the House or While Away

There are a few other things that you can do to help make your home—and any other home away from home that you stay in—a lot safer and easier to enjoy. Nightlights, which you can find at the dollar store in multiple styles, are great to keep in hallways, bathrooms, and the bedroom, as well as to take with you when you travel or stay with family. At home, avoid mats and rugs that can slide or roll up in any room of the house, especially in bathrooms, and request the same if staying somewhere else. Finally, a cordless phone allows you to carry the phone around the house with you and if the range allows, even take with you out onto the porch or yard in case you need to call for assistance or just don’t want to walk across the house to answer it when someone calls.

Adrienne is a freelance writer and author who has written extensively on all things health and lifestyle for more than a decade. When she’s not holed-up in her writing shed researching an article or off interviewing health professionals for Healthline, she can be found frolicking around her beach town with husband and dogs in tow or splashing about the lake trying to master the stand-up paddle board. You can connect with Adrienne on Facebook at


Aging in Place: How to select the right home protection system for your home

shelter-149880_150Agreed, home security plays an indispensable role when it comes to keeping your home safe and sound from possible thefts, burglaries and other natural causes like smoke and fire that can harm your way physically. While the home alarm system must possess certain features before you make your purchase, there are certain other factors that need your immaculate attention in order to ensure that you have bought home just the right alarm system to suit the needs of your home. While it is important to take a clear look and understand the revolutionary and technologically advanced features like a digitized keypad and remote control for better access to your home’s security, there are also certain other factors that can help you decide when purchasing the right alarm system for your home’s security.

  1. Select a reputable company:
    When you opt for an alarm system, you need to realize that a lot is at stake beginning with the safety of your home and therefore, you cannot take this factor for granted. The company that you wish to buy from must have a good reputation and be known for its ability to provide top notch home security products at competitive prices.
  2. Ability to customize:
    Every home is different and so are its arising needs. What works for your home may not necessarily work for a neighbour’s and therefore, the home alarm system that you select must essentially be customizable. It is obvious that you will not be in a position to physically change the components or mix and match the features that you would like. That being said, the home security company that you choose to associate with must provide you with a wide array of home alarm systems to choose from. This will offer you the myriad options needed to decide as to which alarm system will work best for your needs.As important as it is to select the right system for your home, it is equally important to first figure out what exactly you expect from your alarm system. If you are unsure of this, you are likely to be less than capable to make the right decision.
  3. Easy upgrades:
    For any home protection plan that you select, it should offer you a general ability to upgrade to the next possible plan if you would like to. This will ensure that the company that you are trying to connect with offers a good amount of flexibility. Besides, a good home security company will always be up to date with the latest technological trends and offer services that include wireless sensor facilities, motion detection as also video surveillance along with cell phone notification and online access features among others.
  4. Top notch customer care:
    Problems with your system can arise at any given point; there may even be a possibility that you may be unfamiliar with the alarm system, thus requiring assistance and in such circumstances, a good customer service department is essential to help solve all your doubts and answer your queries effectively. Therefore, before you even think of purchasing your alarm system, you should consider getting in touch with the customer service team just to figure out their affability when it comes to interacting with the customers.

Home security is an essential aspect of any home since the constant break-ins especially during the Holiday season increases. Keeping your home safe from intruders is a given however, how you do it is completely dependent on you. Making the right choice is crucial and these aforementioned points will help you in just that.

Author’s bio:
Claire Sanders is a freelance writer and a full time blogger who enjoys writing on home and interiors. She has recently come across ADT pulse which she highly recommends every homeowner to use. She is also a member of a lifestyle blogging community.

Home Gadgets That Keep Seniors Safe to Age in Place

Safety at Home26 OTIwMDMxOTA0NC5qcGc=By Glenn Jensen (*)

Ninety-five percent of people over the age of 75 say they want to spend the rest of their lives at home, according to It makes sense — who wouldn’t want to live out their retirement in their own home, surrounded by mementos and completely free? But it’s not always so easy for children who have aging parents set on staying at home. What if Mom forgets to take lifesaving medication? What if Dad falls and can’t get to a phone to call for help? The latest technology solves those problems, giving you options to preserve your peace of mind and your aging parents’ dignity and privacy. The best part? It’s less expensive than a nursing home (by far!) and gives your parents the independence they need to stay in the home they love.

Staying in Touch: Cell Phones for the Elderly

Some aging folks say they wouldn’t use a cellphone even in case of emergency, citing too-small number pads, difficult-to-hear speakers and other issues. But phones like the Jitterbug make it easy for aging folks to use a cell phone, whether they want it for regular use or just in case of emergencies.The Jitterbug offers bigger buttons, louder speakers and a straightforward monthly plan starting at $14.99 per month.

Medication Reminders

If you’re worried that your parents won’t remember to take their medications on time, there are options that can help. Automatic pill reminders take a variety of forms, from a watch that sounds and/or vibrates when it’s time to take medication, to a pill case that dispenses the right combination of medications at the right times of day and sends an alert to your email account if it’s not opened when it should be. Pill dispensers with alarms start around $50 through Med-E-Alert; they sound an alarm when it’s time to take another dose of medication.

Personal Emergency Response Systems

It’s one of the top concerns for people with aging parents: what happens if Mom or Dad falls and can’t get to a phone? With a personal emergency response system (PERS), your loved one will always have an emergency alert device, usually on a pendant, that will connect them with help at the push of a button. Lifeline Systems offers a no-contract system starting at just $30 per month.

Home Security Systems

What if someone breaks into the house? Home monitoring systems offer security and peace of mind for your elderly family. LifeShield offers packages starting around $30 per month for burglary and theft monitoring, environmental (heat, cold, flood), medical and carbon monoxide monitoring. Other packages include fire monitoring or video surveillance for even more security. If your parents are home alone much of the time, a home security system can give you peace of mind about leaving them home alone — and alert you if something goes wrong.

Glenn is a smartphone fanatic from Alaska who is always abreast of the latest mobile trends.

Technology To Stay at Home and Age in Place

Living Well Senior Care in San Francisco(From HUFFPOST 23 Sep 2013)

Dr. Ruth Bettelheim advocates for the use of new technology that would enable disabled people to live independently and elders to age in place. Dr. Bettelheim said,  recently on a post at the Huffington Post Blog the following: “…We’ve already waited too long to put the digital revolution to work for our most vulnerable. As a nation, though, we can do more to create new, affordable options for patients and their families.

At Living Well Assisted Living at Home, we have advocated for long time for the use of Gero-technology that will lower the cost of home care. Mainly in urban cities like San Francisco and the greater Bay Area senior care services and home care can be very high and prohibitive, creating a huge burden to family members and loved ones. Although as Dr. Bettelheim says “…there isn’t an app yet for keeping a mentally challenged patient safe in her own home with dignity and privacy. But national fiscal interest, moral integrity, and our own self-interest, dictate that there should be..” and yes indeed, these days there are many user friendly and low cost technologies,  to give choices to elders and peace of mind to family members.
The article continues also praising the possibilities that these technologies bring to family members who care for mentally challenged individuals: “…Recent technological advances offer the possibility of restoring independence and dignity to mentally challenged adults while easing the burden on families, for a fraction of current costs.

In a nation that values liberty and the pursuit of happiness, there are few greater tragedies than the routine incarceration of millions of individuals who suffer from mental disabilities, developmental impairments, or the debilitating dementia that affects up to 25% of our elderly population. However, recent technological advances offer the possibility of restoring independence and dignity to mentally challenged adults while easing the burden on families, for a fraction of current costs…”

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Yet another reason to age in place

High Tech High Touch.pptA good friend of mine who is a estate planner lawyer (Elizabeth Krivatsy) shared with me, this link via e-mail and call it “…Yet another reason to age in place…” The article refers to fatal cases in an assisted living facility in San Diego that raise questions about family choices, and state oversight. The article continues with a staggering statistic where “…at least 27 San Diego County seniors have died since 2008 from injuries and neglect suffered in the facilities…”

This brings up the recent “boom” of aging in place and although perhaps aging in place is not for everybody, it seems that 99% of us want to age in our homes.

The Center for Disease Control defines aging in place as “the ability to live in one’s own home and community safely, independently, and comfortably, regardless of age, income, or ability level.”

In December 2011, AARP Policy Institute and the National Conference of State Legislatures released a report entitled, “Aging in Place: A State Survey of Livability Policies and Practices”to foster aging in place by giving state legislators examples of how laws, policies and programs can support this goal. In addition to such governmental initiatives, livability can be optimized through the incorporation of universal design principles, telecare and other assistive technologies. Assistive technologies include communications, health and wellness monitoring, home safety and security. Semico Research published a report in July 2013 claiming the health and wellness monitoring market for Aging in Place will reach $30 billion by 2017.

Purposeful aging in place has grown in popularity and celebrated by the National Aging in Place Week and the National Aging in Place Council that promotes the positive outcomes of older adults having a choice in their care and living arrangements. In addition to Home Care Agencies,  there are many more professionals trained to fill the growing need in this service model for older adults. Industries that have special programs or certifications include Real Estate, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy and Relocation specialists. Communities are now fully engaged and committed to exploring ways to better serve older adults by developing action plans that address future needs and ensure that the necessary services are in place when they are needed.Recognizing that a home is filled with memories and is more than just a place to stay, companies are engaged in accommodating the elderly for years of comfortable living. As they age in place and their needs evolve, companies adapt services to meet the changes so that the homes remain well-kept and comfortable. Living Well specializes in providing gero-technology with specialized care (high tech  and high touch) to keep seniors at home and although it is a no brainer solution for us, many elders and/or family members do not trust the new venue and find that the only option is to move away from home and then issues like the ones depicted in this article, which is not an isolated issue, make us think about how to make an effort to really give elders a choice and peace of mind to family members.

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High-Tech Aging Improving Lives Today

High-Tech Aging: Improving Lives Today is a video that portrays technology’s potential to facilitate coordinated care and aging in place. The story follows a character named Alma from home to hospital, to rehabilitation and back to home again. Throughout her experience of having and recovering from a stroke, Alma and her caregivers use personal health tablets, a medication dispenser, electronic health records, home monitoring, telehealth, engagement technologies, and assistive technologies. They also use a personal emergency response system, with automatic fall detection, to plan her care, to communicate with each other and to allow her to remain safely at home with support.

Aging In Place: New Initiatives Around the Country

Aging in PlaeRobin Stone, Researcher and Former Assistant Secretary for Aging wrote that “…Aging in place isn’t as easy as it sounds … she continues…Of course, we can’t yet guarantee that aging in place won’t be an exhausting struggle for older adults and their families. We have a lot more work to do before every older American can grow old easily wherever they choose…”

What Ms. Stone refers to has also to do with new initiatives that around the country are growing to pay more attention to the physical environment of our seniors to help them age gracefully, in place. Most important, she says,  “…we want to make sure that older adults … can look forward to living their later years exactly the way they want to live, in the place they want to call home.Read the article