SAFE Senior Blog

Checkout our SAFE senior blog posts as we will bring you topical news you need to know regarding seniors staying safe while living in place in their homes. Get specific how-to safety steps along with professional commentary regarding important news breaks of the day impacting seniors.

Swimming Pool Safety for Seniors

When you consider swimming pool safety, your thoughts may go to small children, as many pool rules are written with them in mind. But, it’s a good idea to be familiar with pool safety as it relates to seniors if you plan to spend time with your parent(s) around a pool this summer. The team at LinerWorld, a pool specialist, has come up with a number of ways to eliminate the hazards that seniors may face in and around pools to ensure a safe swimming environment is maintained. Here are the top five: Invest in pool stairs rather than pool ladders. There are many different sets of pool stairs designed for easy access in and out of the pool, not just for elderly people, but for swimmers of all ages. For some, a steep ladder might prove too difficult to climb, so it’s important to make your access point as easy to use as possible. Avoid swimming alone. Regardless of age, swimming alone always poses a risk. Make sure there’s someone nearby able to assist seniors or call for help in case there were to be an emergency situation. Install pool alarms. Creating a safe pool environment for seniors means preparing well in advance in case an emergency occurs. Installing a pool alarm ensures nobody will enter the pool undetected, which can be extremely helpful when dealing with elderly individuals and memory loss. Pool alarms are also incredibly valuable for families with young children and pets. Clear the swimming pool area of all unnecessary clutter. Removing all trip and fall hazards around the pool area is essential in creating...

Safely Retaining Independence While Aging in Place

According to AARP, more than 90 percent of people over the age of 65 want to remain at home as they get older. This popular choice of aging in place is an excellent way to help seniors retain their independence, but many families fail to consider the many factors that help determine whether their loved ones can safely remain at home. If your parents wish to age in place, you need to evaluate their needs with an eye toward the future and take into account a number of things that will determine whether aging in place is a viable option. Examine Personal Considerations Proximity/relationship to family and friends. Do friends and family live nearby? Are they available to help your loved one? Have candid conversations before they become necessary to ensure a support network is in place. Temperament. Are your parents self-sufficient and do they enjoy living alone? Are they active and social, willing and able to extend themselves to connect with others, or are they introverted and prone to isolation? Evaluate the Physical Home The safety and practical comfort of a home for an aging loved one is a major concern. S.A.F.E can adapt seniors’ homes after conducting a home evaluation that looks at the following: Stairs/levels. This is one of the more obvious perils for seniors, and falls are the number one cause of preventable hospitalizations. Lighting. Easily overlooked, adequate lighting is very important. Doors and doorways. Thresholds that aren’t flush to the floor, glass sliding doors that may be overlooked, and doorways too narrow to navigate in a wheelchair can be hazards. Hallways. Are hallways wide...

Things to do this Summer

Wondering what to do this summer? Here are a few ideas courtesy of the San Diego Tourism Authority (and S.A.F.E.): On the Water A day on or over the waters of San Diego is the perfect choice. For those that seek adventure, book a ride aboard jet-powered boats that boast up to 1,400 horsepower with the Flagship Patriot Jet Boat. If speed is not his thing, why not charter a vessel for the afternoon and cruise around? Charter options range from quiet Duffys to luxury yachts and are available at ports all along the 70 miles of coastline. The old man can also burn a few calories before a big dinner by enjoying an afternoon kayaking and/or surfing the waves of the Pacific Ocean.  Fishing From the coast to the mountains, San Diego offers a multitude of fishing options including ½- or ¾-day sportfishing excursions, seven piers perfect for casting and plenty of freshwater lakes.  Brewery Tour With more than 90 breweries throughout the county, it’s easy to spend all day sampling amazing local beers. To play it safe and make sure everyone has a good time, book a brewery tour and let someone else do the driving. It’s even educational, as the tour guides explain the brewing process while you sip. Do you prefer wine? Don’t worry, local tour operators offer winery excursions as well!  Great Golf For a fun and relaxing day choose from more than 90 the world-class courses of San Diego County. Take your pick of beautiful coastal courses or breathtaking mountain views inland. With all the great courses available, you can’t miss. Beer and...

Watch Out For the Signs of Depression

At S.A.F.E., our primary goal is to ensure seniors are safe in their homes so they can continue to enjoy a quality life as they age in place. However, we are very aware that physical safety is just one component of a good life. Depression can be an issue at any age, but it’s a common problem among older adults, according to the National Institute of Mental Health, and it’s not a normal part of aging. Depression may be overlooked as a diagnosis for some seniors because sadness is not their main symptom. They may have other, less obvious symptoms or they may not be willing to talk about their feelings, so doctors may be less likely to recognize they have depression. What are the signs and symptoms of depression? Different people have different symptoms, but some indicators of depression are: Feeling sad or “empty” Feeling hopeless, irritable, anxious or guilty Losing interest in favorite activities Feeling very tired Not being able to concentrate or remember details Not being able to sleep, or sleeping too much Overeating, or not wanting to eat at all Thoughts of suicide, suicide attempts Aches or pains, headaches, cramps or digestive problems Obviously, these symptoms don’t always indicate someone has depression, since we all might have some of them now and then. However, if you notice prolonged episodes occurring for a loved one, it may be time to take action. It’s important to remember that someone with depression cannot simply “snap out of it.” How is depression treated? The first step to getting appropriate treatment is to visit a doctor. Because certain medications or...

Looking For Something To Do on Mother’s Day?

Mark the date — May 8 — because your mother is likely to be disappointed if you don’t plan something special for her. Here are just a few options in the San Diego area: The Del’s Spectacular Mother’s Day Champagne Brunch Buffet 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Show mom how much you appreciate her with The Del’s spectacular Mother’s Day champagne brunch buffet. Mother’s Day Champagne Brunch Cruise With Live Jazz 9 to 11:30 a.m. Treat mom to a spectacular Mother’s Day brunch on a Hornblower Cruise! Whisk her onboard a Hornblower yacht and all mom has to do is enjoy the scenery, the wonderful cuisine, and your company. Mother’s Day Brunch Cruises 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sit back and celebrate mom with a relaxing 25-mile cruise on the Big Bay. She’ll be transported sipping mimosas, delighting in an assortment of gourmet food selections and enjoying live music aboard this luxury yacht. Mother’s Day Champagne Brunch 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Served in the Westgate Hotel’s beautiful Fontainebleau and Versailles salons, brunch will feature made to-order-omelets, fresh seafood, gourmet plates, carving and crepe stations, baked breads, pastries, and a variety of gourmet desserts. The Prado’s Mother’s Day Champagne Buffet Brunch 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Take mom to the park this Mother’s Day! Visit The Prado in Balboa Park. Mother’s Day At SEA180° Coastal Tavern 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Treat mom to a special Mother’s Day on the beach, at SEA180° Coastal Tavern. Mother’s Day By The Shore 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Show mom your love with a seaside culinary adventure, where stunning ocean views are...

Car Safety Tips for Senior Drivers

As your parents age, it’s a good idea to pay attention to their driving ability, as it can decline due to issues related to eyesight, reflexes and general health. Equally as important, however, even if your parents are exceedingly good drivers, is to ensure their car is safe for the road. Tips abound regarding how to prepare a car for a road trip, and many of those same tasks should be done on a regular basis on your parents’ car — even if they don’t drive a whole lot. Remember that a car ages even while sitting in a garage. To ensure your parents’ car is safe to drive: Check fluids. This includes the oil, coolant, brake fluid and windshield washer levels. Check the tires’ air pressure. You’ll find the recommended pressure in the owner’s manual or on a sticker on the body where the driver’s door shuts. That number is the max pressure, so it shouldn’t be exceeded. Remember to check the spare tire, too. Make sure the oil and oil filter are changed regularly. If your parents don’t drive a lot, you’ll want to go by miles driven rather than time to determine when this service is warranted. At a minimum, an annual change is recommended. Check for tire wear. Use a penny or a tread gauge to ensure there is at least 1/16th or 1.6mm of tread left. It’s very dangerous to drive on tires that are “bald” or headed that way. Check the air filter. It’s important to make sure the engine is getting a plentiful supply of clean air, which improves the car’s performance...

Celebrate Earth Day: Plant an Herb Garden

Trying to come up with activity that will engage your parents and celebrate Earth Day? Consider planting an herb garden, especially if your parents enjoy cooking and would love to do so with fresh herbs. Here are some tips from The Tasteful Garden. Herbs are very easy to grow with a little sunshine, soil that drains well, some watering, and a little fertilizer or compost. Herbs can be grown in pots, but the plants always prefer to be in the ground where they can spread out. Choose The Right Place The main requirement for growing herbs is placing them in the proper location. Most prefer full sun as long as regular summer temperatures don’t rise above 90 degrees. If you have very hot summers, consider planting in an area that gets morning sun and afternoon shade, or a place that receives filtered light (such as under a tree). Check the area several times during the day to make sure it gets at least four hours of sun (e.g., 8 a.m. to noon, noon to 4 p.m., or 9 to 11 a.m. and 2 to 4 p.m.). Size Matters For planting herbs, you need approximately 1 to 4 feet in diameter apiece, depending on the plant. Here are some general guidelines for plant sizes: 3-4 feet: Rosemary, Sage, Mints, Oregano, Marjoram 2 feet: Basil, Thyme, Tarragon, Savory 1 foot: Cilantro, Chives, Dill, Parsley Soil Prep Before you plant, you need to prepare the soil. Digging with a large garden fork loosens soil that has become compacted over the years, allowing water to drain and creating space for plant roots to...

Wine Tasting in San Diego County? Yes, Please

The greatest gift you can give your aging parents is spending time with them. If your folks are wine lovers, why not plan a special day of wine tasting? No need to travel to Napa Valley or even outside the greater San Diego area, as there are plenty of wineries to choose from in our own backyard. Here are 10 to consider visiting. Wilson Creek Winery & Vineyards. Wilson Creek is located in Southern California’s wine country, Temecula Valley. Family owned and operated since 1996, it’s known for its almond champagne and chocolate port. Bernardo Winery. Founded in 1889, Rancho Bernardo’s Bernardo Winery is the oldest continuously operating winery in Southern California. You can explore the sprawling property, home to 2,500 vines, browse more than a dozen shops onsite, and visit the tasting room where there are over 30 local wines to sample. Hacienda de las Rosas Winery. Hacienda de las Rosas is a family-owned boutique winery in Ramona that uses California grapes, many grown in San Diego County, to produce wines that embrace the essence of Spanish winemaking traditions. It also has a tasting room located in Fiesta de Reyes plaza, in the heart of historic Old Town San Diego. Hawk Watch Winery. Located in the mountains near Warner Springs, Hawk Watch uses old-world winemaking techniques that result in full-bodied, bold reds and elegant, fruit-driven whites. The entire winemaking process from crushing the freshly picked grapes to bottling the finished wine is done on-premises. Menghini Winery. Julian’s Menghini Winery is nestled in the foothills of Volcan Mountain and surrounded by apple orchards and a six-acre vineyard. It produces...

Sun Care Tips for Seniors

While enjoying the warmth of the sun certainly feels great, we all know that too much sun exposure can have dire consequences. But, are you aware that seniors are even more at risk, as studies have shown their more delicate skin is more vulnerable to infections and skin cancer? The overarching takeaway from that knowledge is that older adults need to take special precautions to limit their sun exposure as much as possible. And, here are a few other tips from an article on the Griswold Home Care website: Don’t get a tan. A tan is the skin’s signal that damage has been done (a sunburn, even more so). Older adults have already sustained decades of sun damage. Tans and sunburn increase their risk of skin cancer, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation. Anyone who’s already been burned a few times in their life — or worse, used to tan regularly when they were younger, must take special care to stay out of the sun. Seek out shade. Seeking protection from the sun doesn’t mean seniors can never go outside. They should use a sunshade or umbrella at the beach or pool, and stick to shady porches if they’re enjoying an afternoon outside at home or having an al fresco lunch. Know when to stay inside. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, the sun’s rays are strongest in North America between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Seniors should plan to stay inside or in a shaded area during these hours. Make sunscreen part of a daily routine. Even a short walk to and from the car, or passing...

The Importance of Preventive Care: Don’t Trust Your Health to Luck

March is a month when four-leaf clovers pop up, climaxing with the celebration of St. Patrick’s Day which was on the 17th. While it’s nice to fantasize that finding a four-leaf clover might bring luck, or believe in the “luck of the Irish,” relying on luck is no way to address health — especially as we age. According to a 2015 article from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), preventive services are highly underutilized by seniors, despite their potential to save lives. These are sobering statistics: Only 25% of adults aged 50 to 64 are up-to-date on services. Less than 50% of adults aged 65 or older are up-to-date. This is quite distressing, especially since routine preventive services are covered, in part or completely, by most insurance plans, including Medicare and Medicaid. Clinical preventive services can prevent or detect disease early, when treatment is more effective. These services include screenings for chronic conditions, immunizations for diseases like influenza and pneumonia, and counseling about personal health behaviors. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends a number of preventive care screenings for seniors, including the following: Blood glucose and Type 2 diabetes Cognitive impairment Colorectal cancer Coronary heart disease Depression Glaucoma Hearing loss High blood pressure Impaired visual acuity Osteoporosis In addition, counseling is suggested with respect to fall prevention and alcohol and tobacco use. Plus, because our immune systems weaken over time, putting us at higher risk for certain diseases, the CNC recommends in addition to a seasonal flu vaccine and Td or Tdap vaccine (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis), seniors should also get: Pneumococcal vaccines, which protect against...
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