Seniors, Stay Engaged with Lifelong Learning 🎓

Being an engaged and active learner is something we should all strive for. 

One of the great opportunities seniors enjoy is having the time to learn about subjects that were always interesting but too time-consuming to explore. Educators call this “lifelong learning,” and our golden years are the perfect time to explore fascinating topics.

Universities and colleges offer special low-cost or even free courses in topics ranging from art history to painting, geography, and more. Here’s a quick list of some great lifelong learning resources, perfect for the senior in your life:

Take a College Course

In Northern California, Humboldt State University’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute offers more than 40 classes every year for seniors over the age of 50.

Go Online for Lifelong Learning

The internet offers endless variety and opportunities for lifelong learning.

You can learn a foreign language with the BBC or enroll in more than 40,000 courses from Udemy.com

The online video service Youtube is filled with lectures and talks taken straight from university lecture halls and beyond.

For even more ideas, check out the Easy Living blog and their great list of resources for free and low-cost lifelong learning opportunities for seniors.

Our senior years offer an opportunity to engage with our communities in new ways. Starting a new course, developing a new hobby, or even earning a new degree are just a few ways to make these years rewarding.

12 Things You Never Knew About Home Safety

1. Always arm your security system!
Whether you are home alone, asleep at night, running to the store, or leaving on vacation, arming your security system is the best way to keep you safe from intruders.

2. Store valuables in your child’s sock drawer rather than in your nightstand.
Thieves often scour the master bedroom but tend to leave children’s rooms untouched.

3. If your front entrance contains decorative glass, install your security keypad in a spot that is not visible from the doorstep.
That way, burglars won’t be able to peer in and see if the alarm is set.

4. A mail slot goes against the wood grain, weakening the horizontal integrity of a door and making it easier to kick in.
Opt for a mailbox, or install your slot near the bottom of the front door, no higher than a quarter of the way up.

5. Keep car keys next to your bed while you sleep.
If you hear a suspicious noise and suspect that someone is trying to break in, press the panic button on your key ring. The car alarm will sound, and the burglar will have no choice but to flee the scene.

6. Plant thorny shrubs, such as rosebushes, beneath ground-floor windows.
They’ll add beauty to your garden and deter burglars.

7. If you’re going away on vacation, ask a neighbor to check daily for flyers stuck in your front porch.
Crafty criminals have been known to leave pizza ads in door jambs to see how long it takes for residents to remove them.

8. Rather than loading up the car the night before a weekend getaway, quickly do it in the morning right before you leave.
Left in front of the house, a fully packed car can serve as a green light for those looking for one.

9. Lower the volume of your telephone ringer.
This way a passerby won’t be able to hear it go to voice mail, which is an indication that no one is home.

10. Don’t store wood near the side of the house, as intruders can easily use it as a stepladder up to a window.
Keep logs in the garage or a pile at the edge of the yard.

11. If a yard worker or unknown visitor uses the bathroom, he may unlatch the window so he can gain entry later.
Be sure to double-check the lock.

12. Choose your locksmith wisely.
Some are unlicensed or dishonest, so always look for a well-established locksmith business that is bonded and insured.

What to Know About the Upcoming 3G Network Sunset

Verizon and AT&T have announced the Sunset of the 3G cellular network in 2022. Read our Frequently Asked Questions to learn more about the 3G Network Sunset.

What is happening?

In the coming months, cellular companies will shut down the older 3G network to free up resources for the more-advanced LTE network. Currently, your alarm system uses the 3G network to transmit alarm signals to Advanced Security System’s Central Monitoring Station. While 3G was the state-of-the-art network when your equipment was installed, the FCC is now allowing cellular carriers to shut down the 3G network in 2022. After that, the 3G network will no longer be supported by cellular carriers and your alarm system will not be able to communicate unless you update your alarm communicator.

 

Why is it happening?

Cellular networks have undergone a steady evolution since the 1980s. By ending 3G services, cellular carriers are able to repurpose limited network resources to the newer LTE and 5G networks.

 

Is cellular still a good option?

While we offer a number of communication technologies, cellular is one of the most effective, secure and reliable. With more and more people canceling their land-line phone service, cellular communication has become the standard in the alarm industry. Of course, we would be happy to discuss alternatives with you.

 

Will cellular technology change again?

The current LTE network will be the standard for the foreseeable future. But since technology advances rapidly, it’s likely that cellular networks will evolve to new technology in the future. At that time, LTE communicators will likely need to be upgraded to keep pace, however cellular companies have committed to supporting the LTE network for the next 10 years.

 

Why not upgrade to the 5G network?

While the 5G network promises many advantages, it’s not ready for widespread consumer use. A few cities have seen the introduction of the 5G network, but these are limited cases. It will likely be several years before 5G networks are widely available.

 

What do I need to do?

Advanced Security Systems can let you know if your system needs will be affected by the 3G Sunset. You can call us directly and we’ll be able to assist you.

Advanced Security Taps 20-Year Industry Veteran to Lead Santa Rosa Office

Santa Rosa, Calif.—With more than 20 years of experience in the fire and security industry, Nicholas Bowden is well prepared for his new role. In October, Advanced Security Systems announced Nicholas Bowden will serve as the company’s regional General Manager in Santa Rosa.

Bowden’s wealth of experience will be an asset as he steps into a leadership position with the 47-year-old company. Bowden’s role includes overseeing day-to-day operations for the region, as well as serving as the lead security consultant for commercial and industrial clients.

Most recently, Bowden served as the branch manager for First Alarm in Rohnert Park, Calif., where he oversaw all operations for office. Bowden brings a wealth of industry knowledge with a focus in his career as a technician, sales representative, regional sales manager, and now as general manager for the North Bay region.

Bowden is a northern California native and lives with his wife and three children. In his free time, Nick enjoys spending time with his family and is a frequent volunteer with the Young Men’s Ultimate Weekend – NorthBay.

With offices throughout Northern California, Advanced Security Systems has been the region’s leading security dealer for nearly 50 years. The company offers a complete line of security systems for both homes and businesses. For more information, visit www.advancedsecurity.us.

Advanced Security Shares Career Tips

Last month, Advanced Security Systems had the honor of taking part in the Be Your Own Boss Career Panels Eureka High and Saint Bernard’s Academy. It’s always great to connect with the community and share with our young students the amazing career potentials in the alarm industry.

Interested in joining our team? Check out our careers page for opportunities in your area.

The security industry is fast-paced, ever-evolving, and offers an exciting work environment. We’re looking for enthusiastic team players who have what it takes to adapt to the continual changes that keep our company ahead of the technology curve and highly successful.

Currently, we are hiring friendly, full-time technicians with strong customer service skills for our Santa Rosa location, which covers Mendocino, Lake, Sonoma, and Napa counties. All applicant levels will be considered, from base-level trainee to CFLST & NICET certified technicians.

If you or someone you know would be a good fit for this position, don’t hesitate to send us your resume:
Advanced Security Systems
ATTN: HR
1336 Fourth Street
Eureka, CA 95501

Six Ways to Stop Package Theft

Waiting on that special package to be delivered? Don’t Get Grinched! There are several easy ways to keep your packages safe this Christmas. The Eureka Police Department shares some great tips to keep your packages safe this holiday season.

 

“The Eureka Police Department (EPD) is recommending that online purchases that would normally be mailed to your residence be sent to a secure location, such as a work address.” writes EPD Captain Brian Stephens in the December edition of the City of Eureka Newsletter. “To combat package theft during the holidays, EPD is recommending that citizens have a plan to secure packages so they are not stolen from the home. When possible, shop locally and bypass issues of theft.”

 

Have Packages Delivered to your Workplace or Office

One of the best ways to combat package theft is to have items delivered to your office (with your company’s permission) or a friend’s house who will be home to receive the packages. This minimizes the opportunities for theft.

 

Require a Signature on Delivery

To prevent your package from being stolen off the front porch, side door, back porch, or garage area, ask for signature delivery. If your package is delivered by UPS/DHL/FedEx, consult your sender and require a delivery confirmation signature.

 

Use Local Package Lockers

Rite Aid, Walgreens, and GNC locations all offer locker service for Amazon purchases!

 

Sign Up For Alerts

Delivery services are happy to send you text and email alerts with updates about your packages. Additionally, you can use FedEx Delivery Manager to keep track of your packages and re-direct them if necessary.

 

Pick Up Packages in Person

It may not be quite as convenient as receiving deliveries at your front door, but one sure way to guarantee safety is to have packages held at the post office or delivery service store until you can pick them up yourself.

Both FedEx and UPS provide options to have packages held at a local location rather than dropped off at your home.

 

Your Security System Can Keep Your Packages Safe, Too

Your cameras can notify you with an email when the package arrives. If you’re not home when the package is delivered, you can disarm the alarm and unlock the door so a trustworthy neighbor can place the package inside. Once the package is safe inside, simply arm your alarm system right from your smartphone.

Four Unexpected Winter Health Tips for Seniors

Beyond the seasonal colds and cases of flu, winter brings other health challenges. The sudden changes in the weather lead to dry and cracking skin, raise the chance of slips, and trap us indoors for months as we seek shelter from the cold.

Make this year different by taking a proactive approach to health this winter. With these unconventional tips, you can help the senior in your life stay healthy and safe this winter.

Find Out if Chills Have a Medical Cause

Many seniors report feeling cold even while the rest of us feel toasty warm. Always feeling cold can be caused by slow circulation—something that affects many of us as we age. Thyroid conditions can also lead to a loss of temperature regulation. Before you buy another electric blanket, check with your loved one’s doctor to rule out any medical conditions that may be causing chills. We’ve spoken with folks who have received treatment for malfunctioning thyroids, and they all report not feeling as cold. If you’ve already eliminated medical reasons for being cold, it may be time to invest in smart thermostats, space heaters, or microwaveable heat packs.

Maintain a Healthy & Varied Diet

Staying indoors for the winter months can lead to another unexpected complication for seniors: nutritional deficiencies. Our winter hibernations can cause unhealthy habits, including eating the same things over and over. Yet, we need variety in our diets to get all the vitamins and minerals we need. Vitamin D is especially crucial in the winter. Ideally, we absorb our vitamin D when our skin is exposed to the sun, but that exposure is limited in winter. That’s why nutritionists recommend consuming foods that are fortified with vitamin D, like milk and seafood, such as salmon and tuna.

Swap Canes for Walkers to Avoid Falls

The chance of falling skyrockets in winter. Frosty conditions can spell disaster for seniors, who aren’t as agile or mobile as they once were. When it’s slippery and wet outside, caregivers recommend walkers instead of canes. Others suggest keeping two walkers, one for indoors, and another that can get dirty when heading out.

Use Unscented Lotions to Soothe Dry Skin

Cracked and dry skin is painful and unattractive, but traditional treatments might not be as effective as we thought. For example, doctors recommend avoiding baby oil, which contains mineral oil and fragrances that often irritate the skin. Instead, experts recommend skin-friendly, fragrance-free lotions and creams. Stores are stocked with effective, unscented products that can reduce dry skin. For some, dry skin can get so bad that it cracks in a condition known as “winter itch.” Winter itch is a form of seasonal eczema, and, thankfully, it can be treated with antibiotic ointment. Ask your doctor if you or a loved one is experiencing this uncomfortable but treatable skin condition.

Winter is full of hazards for young and old alike. Caregivers should pay extra attention to the health and wellbeing of seniors this season. With a bit of planning, seniors can have a healthy and safe winter and get ready for warmer months ahead.

4 Tips to Make Thanksgiving ‘Senior Friendly’

The holiday season is about to get into full swing, and unfortunately, many seniors may feel isolated from their families. Thanksgiving, Christmas, and other holidays are a great opportunity to be with our loved ones. Still, as family members age, we need to consider the challenges seniors face that may prevent them from enjoying the holiday cheer.

Scan Your Home to Make it Safe for Seniors

Before your loved ones arrive, be sure to remove any clutter or tripping hazards from common areas, like the bathroom, kitchen, living, and dining rooms. In the kitchen, make sure your cooking surfaces are clear of hazards, and you’re ready with a fire extinguisher in case of a fire in the oven. The National Fire Protection Agency says the likelihood of home kitchen fires triples on Thanksgiving, making it the most common day for kitchen fires all year.

Incorporate Elders into the Meal Prep

Most of our grandparents and older parents are used to being the hosts for big holiday gatherings. It can be difficult to transition into being a guest. Share some of the meal preparation with your elders. Ask them to make a favorite dish, or assist with gathering ingredients.

Another tip is to let seat them at the head of the table, honoring their position as matriarch or patriarch of the family.

Watch for Food/Medication Complications

During the meal, stay mindful of any medications your loved ones are using. Some may interact with alcohol, and some medications, like certain blood thinners, can even react poorly to too many green leafy vegetables. Be sure you’re aware of any potential complications or side effects so you can enjoy a stress-free dinner.

Engage Seniors After the Meal

Getting out for a neighborhood walk is a great way to stay active after a holiday meal. If your family prefers a more vigorous activity like a game of touch football, look for ways to include your elders. Asking them to act as a referee or coach can be fun.

If your loved ones traveled to see you, invite them to stay over. You’ll enjoy more time together and avoid the risks of driving after dark.

Most importantly, ensure your elders are listening to their bodies and know when it’s time to call it a night. It’s all about finding the balance between including your older loved ones and avoiding burning them out with too much holiday cheer.

Happy Thanksgiving from EasyCall!

How EasyCall Keeps You Independent

EasyCall is an affordable and reliable way to maintain your independence. With EasyCall, you get the peace of mind that comes with 24/7 professional monitoring and a customized response plan in case you experience an emergency.

Why is having EasyCall a great idea? Consider these three facts:

  • By 2030, 1 in 5 Americans will be over the age of 65.
  • Almost 75 percent of baby boomers want to stay in their current residence for as long as possible. And …
  • The average cost of an assisted living facility is $45,731 per year.

It’s clear what these figures add up to. More adult children of baby boomers will find themselves taking on the role of caregiver to an aging population. The question is, how can we provide care to someone who values their independence? The answer is a personal emergency response system from EasyCall.

If there’s an emergency when you aren’t around, EasyCall helps seniors get help in an instant. Delays can be costly. Doctors know that when people get help within the so-called “golden hour” after an incident are much more likely to make a full recovery and return to their homes.

With EasyCall, you’re never truly alone.

3 Simple Exercises to Help Avoid Falls

Build your muscles to improve your balance and avoid falls with simple Exercises

Every year, one in three people over age 65 will experience a fall. This alarming statistic comes from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which reports that falls can often become life-threatening injuries for seniors.
Beyond the physical injuries to our bones and muscles, experiencing a fall can cause emotional injuries, too. Once you’ve experienced a fall, you can be afraid of the next fall, and this can cause seniors to limit their activities, which can impact social life and overall well being. The less active you become, the more your muscles will lose their strength, thus increasing the likelihood of a future fall.
To end this negative feedback loop, Harvard University’s Health Publishing offers three simple exercises that anyone can do to improve their sense of balance and hopefully prevent falls before they happen.
As with all new workout plans, check with your doctor first to make sure it’s safe. Many health conditions make it difficult to exercise safely, and all workouts should be done under the supervision of a professional trainer or physical therapist.
Check out these balance-improving exercises:

Heel raises

Stand up straight behind a chair, holding the back with both hands. Position your feet hip-width apart. Lift up on your toes. Hold. Lower your heels to the floor. Repeat ten times.

 

Standing hamstring curls

Stand up straight behind a chair, holding the back with both hands. Extend your right leg behind you with your toes touching the floor. Bend your right knee and try to bring the heel to your right buttock. Hold. Slowly lower your foot to the floor. Repeat ten times on each leg.

 

Standing side leg lift

Stand up straight behind a chair, holding the back with both hands. Slowly lift your right leg straight out to the side about six inches off the floor. Hold. Return to starting position. Repeat ten times on each side.

 

By adding strength to your leg muscles, you’ll begin to feel more stable on your feet. This sense of stability will help you prevent falls and make it easier to stay active, and staying active is a key ingredient to a healthy and rewarding lifestyle.