5 Tips for a Safe & Healthy Fall

Fall has officially arrived. In Humboldt, we get to enjoy a little extra summer, but it won’t be long before the weather turns cold and wet. Here are five ways to prepare your home for a safe and healthy season.

Prepare for Flus and Colds

It seems like flu shots are available earlier and earlier each year. That’s because researchers are getting better at identifying flu strains and preparing vaccinations before the flu can reach critical states. Take advantage by getting your flu shot as early as possible. So far, there were reports of people getting the flu as early as August. By visiting your doctor or pharmacist, you can get a jump on the flu and beat the bugs this year.

Schedule Heater Maintenance and Chimney Inspections

After a long summer break, now is the time to get your heater inspected for the cold months ahead. Contact your local power company or HVAC specialist for routine maintenance and take care of any recommended repairs. The earlier in the season you call, the easier it will be to book an appointment. Plus, you’ll head into the coldest part of the year knowing your heater is working correctly.

Eat Local

Fall is harvest season, and that means your local stores and farmers’ markets will are loaded with nutritious produce. Squash, apples, corn, pears, and more will all be coming into season soon, and all this abundance means savings for you at the store. Eating loads of seasonal fruits and veggies are also a great way to ensure you’re getting enough fiber and nutrients to stay healthy throughout the season.

Clear Leaves and Other Debris

Leaves and other plant litter are a major factor in falls outside the home. Keep your walkways and stairs clear by trimming back bushes and trees, or consider scheduling a lawn care company to do the work. Slips and falls are a leading contributor to ill-health in seniors, so preventing them is a must.

Check Smoke & CO Detectors

Fall is also a great time to check that your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are still working. If you have traditional, battery-operated detectors, that means pressing the button and listening for the tone. If you have hard-wired, monitored smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, like those installed by Advanced Security Systems, you don’t have to worry. You’ll be notified by professional dispatchers when your detectors need service or to be replaced. Note that carbon monoxide detectors have a lifespan of 7-10 years. If you’ve replaced the batteries and your CO monitor still won’t silence, it’s time to replace the entire unit.

Fall can be the most beautiful and colorful season of the year. With these safety tips, you’ll be able to enjoy the season with robust health and wellness!

What to Do When Your Parents Refuse Care

It can be hard enough to find a qualified doctor and make appointments. But what can you do when your elderly parents are skipping their appointments or outright refuse to visit the doctor or other forms of care?

It’s a problem that’s more common than you might think. Seniors who resist medical attention are also likely to refuse in-home health care or moving to care facility when the time comes.

It’s no surprise. Aging and facing the end of one’s life are serious issues. And many people are reluctant to confront what lies ahead. With that in mind, here are three key strategies to help when your senior parents refuse care.

Talk About Health Before Its an Issue

The middle of a health crisis is the worst time to discuss care. Experts recommend having frequent conversations about your parents’ health and long-term plans. Ask probing questions about your parents’ vision for their final years. Odds are, they’ve thought about their long-term care plans. Sooner rather than later is the best time to have these conversations.

Call in the Experts

For some families, conversations about health and aging are fraught with emotions. In these cases, it can be useful to seek expert help. Social workers, nurses, doctors, and care home representatives can offer information in an authoritative yet caring way. These individuals can discuss care options without becoming emotionally involved and hopefully help your loved ones make sound decisions.

Find Options

Just because your older parent is facing health challenges doesn’t mean it’s time to call in 24/7 help. Care options can range from more frequent doctor visits to weekly check-ins from an in-home health care specialist. For some older folks, just having a house cleaner once a month is enough to reduce stress so they can focus on their health.

Discuss the various options, both big and small, with your parents. You might be surprised that they’re will to compromise when given choices.

Family Caregivers: Finding The Right Work/Life Balance

Do you take care of a spouse, partner, family member, friend, or neighbor while also holding down a job? If so, you’re part of the 17 percent of working Americans who care for others as an informal caregiver.

More than 1 in 6 Americans who work full- or part-time are taking care of an elderly or disabled loved one at least once a week.

They’re working hard too: On average, informal caregivers work 37.4 hours per week. All this work can add up to major challenges for caregivers.

The majority of working caregivers—70 percent—have reported work-related difficulties. These issues range from unstable work schedules, or reduced work hours, or taking unpaid leave to attend to their caregiver duties.

These statistics highlight the challenges caregivers face in the workplace. Finding the right work/life balance is essential to maintaining our sanity as caregivers so we can be there when our loved ones need us.

Thankfully, many employers are taking notice and have developed caregiver policies and plans to assist those juggling work and caregiving responsibilities. More workplaces offer resources for caregivers and are willing to work around schedules and work interruptions.

In California, residents can receive free caregiver training and apply for respite care. Respite care can be a big help for caregivers who need to take time for themselves. The California Department of Aging has lots of information on accessing these resources and more online.

For seniors who want to remain in their homes, informal and family caregivers provide an essential service. EasyCall proudly supports caregivers and their families. Our always-on button saves lives. With 24/7 monitoring, you can rest knowing your loved ones can get help with the push of a button.