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National Immunization Awareness Month

August is National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM) The goal of NIAM is to increase awareness about immunizations across the lifespan, from infants to the elderly. August is an ideal time to make sure everyone is up-to-date on vaccines before heading back to school and to plan ahead to receive flu vaccine.Getting vaccinated is an easy way to stay healthy all year round. During the month of August, take the time to make sure that you and your loved ones have received all of the vaccinations you need. By making sure your vaccinations are up to date, you can help prevent harmful diseases from affecting you and your family.

People of all ages need vaccines

Getting vaccinated is important for people of all ages. Here’s some information about vaccines that people need throughout their lives:

August: A great time to get vaccinated

Vaccines protect you all year round, but August is a great time to get vaccinated.

In August, as summer winds down, it’s a good time for you and your family to make plans to get the flu vaccine. The vaccine usually becomes available in mid- to late-August. Getting the vaccine early can help prevent you and your family members from getting the flu throughout all of flu season. You can learn more about the flu and flu vaccine at Flu.gov.

When taking yourself and your family for your flu shots, you can also ask your health care provider about other routinely recommended vaccines you might need. For example, you should make sure that the whole family is up-to-date on their DTap/Tdap and MMRV boosters, each of which protects against several serious diseases:

Finally, HPV vaccines help prevent girls and boys from getting cancers later in life that are caused by HPV. If you have questions about the HPV vaccine, read our FAQ, and ask your healthcare provider for more information.

There are many routinely recommended vaccines for people of all ages. These are some examples of vaccines you can discuss with your healthcare provider. Make sure that you and your family are up-to-date on all recommended vaccines.

Vaccines: Our best defense

Vaccines are the best defense we have against these and other serious diseases, and it’s important to make sure that you’re up to date on all recommended vaccines. Use National Immunization Awareness Month as your chance to make sure that all your vaccinations are current. Talk with your healthcare provider about what vaccines you and your family need, and keep putting your healthiest foot forward!

May is Healthy Vision Month

It’s Healthy Vision Month! Make Your Eye Health a Priority

Women are more likely to have eye-related diseases and conditions, including cataracts, glaucoma, and age-related macular degeneration. Nearly two-thirds of blindness and visual impairment occurs in women, and women make up the majority of the 4.4 million Americans age 40 and older who are blind or visually impaired. You may be busy, on the go, and caring for your family, but it is important that you make the time to take care of you! During Healthy Vision Month, held each May, the National Eye Institute (NEI) reminds you to make your eye health a priority and encourages you to take five important steps to protect your sight.

Get a dilated eye exam.

Getting a comprehensive dilated eye exam is the best way to know if your eyes are healthy and you are seeing your best. Talk to your eye care professional about how often you should have one. If you want to see what your eye care professional sees during a dilated eye exam, check out NEI’s eye exam animation!

Live a healthy lifestyle.

Eating healthy foods, maintaining a healthy weight, managing chronic conditions, and not smoking can lower your risk of eye disease. You’ve heard carrots are good for your eyes, but eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, particularly dark leafy greens such as spinach, kale, or collard greens, is important for keeping your eyes healthy, too. Research has also shown there are eye health benefits from eating fish high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, tuna, and halibut.

Know your family history.

Talk to your family members— including parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles—about their eye health history. It’s important to know if anyone has been diagnosed with an eye disease, since many diseases are hereditary. This will help to determine if you are at higher risk for developing an eye disease yourself.

Use protective eyewear.

Protect your eyes when doing chores around the house, playing sports, or on the job to prevent eye injuries from happening. This includes wearing safety glasses, goggles, safety shields, and eye guards that are made of polycarbonate. Eyewear should sit comfortably on the face, so talk to your eye care provider about the appropriate type of protective eyewear for your sport or job. Make a habit of wearing the appropriate type at all times, and encourage your teammates and coworkers to do the same.

Wear sunglasses.

Wear sunglasses outside to protect your eyes from the sun’s ultraviolet rays. When purchasing sunglasses, look for ones that block out 99 to 100 percent of both UVA and UVB radiation, so you can keep your eyes healthy. Prolonged exposure to sunlight can increase your risk for getting an eye disease like cataracts or age-related macular degeneration. A wide-brimmed hat offers great protection, too!

These steps can help you keep your eyes healthy and prevent vision loss and blindness from eye disease.

To learn more about Healthy Vision Month and find additional eye health information, visit www.nei.nih.gov/hvm.

Care for Caregivers

When caregivers are on call around the clock, they are often so selfless in their care of a loved one that they neglect to take care of themselves.Did you know caregivers have a higher-than-normal incidence of getting sick? They can become so depleted that they cannot maintain the stamina to continue caring for others.

Don’t let this happen to you. Follow these 10 tips to nurture yourself physically, mentally and spiritually every day, even when you are at the bedside of another. Following these tips will help you find the health and happiness you deserve. And when you take care of yourself, you can care for your loved one even better.

1. Get outdoors

Fresh air renews the body and spirit — even if you only have time for a brief outing. When possible, open a window.

2. Take time for yourself

Use relaxation or stress management methods such as meditation, visualization and yoga. Books and videos are available to guide you in these techniques.

3. Treat yourself

That is, get treatments for your own aches and pains before they turn into something more serious.

4. Exercise every day

Move your body daily, even if it’s simply 15 minutes of stretching, yoga, calisthenics or walking. Use the stairs to keep your circulation going.

5. Get your zzz’s

Strive for a minimum of seven to eight hours of consecutive sleep in a 24-hour period. Nap when your loved one naps.

6. Ask for help

Friends, family and religious groups may be eager to assist and are only waiting to be asked and directed. Doing everything yourself deprives others of an opportunity to serve.

7. Don’t ignore your emotions

Pay attention to your own feelings and emotions, and seek counseling if needed. Vent feelings to trusted family members or friends.

8. Chuckle more often

Laugh, reminisce and share stories of happy times.

9. Eat well-balanced meals

And do so on a regular schedule. Take a daily multivitamin. Drink six to eight glasses of water a day.

10. Read, pray or meditate for at least 15 minutes a day

Consume daily prayer books and helpful magazines like Today’s Caregiver and Caring Today, or books such as Chicken Soup for the Caregiver’s Soul to uplift your spirits. If you’re religious, seek the counsel of a spiritual leader you trust and respect.

Best Zucchini Bread Recipe

Ingredients

    • 2 cups sugar
    • 1 cup vegetable oil
    • 3 eggs
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla
    • 2 cups shredded zucchini
    • 1/2 cup applesauce
    • 1/3 cup orange juice
    • 3 cups flour
    • 2 teaspoons baking soda
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 3/4 teaspoon nutmeg
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
    • 1 cup chopped walnuts

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350.2.  In large bowl, mix sugar, oil, eggs, and vanilla.
  2. Beat until well blended.
  3. Add zucchini, applesauce and orange juice; stir well.
  4. Combine flour with next 5 ingredients.
  5. Add to zucchini mixture; stir well.
  6. Add nuts; stir gently to combine.
  7. Pour into 2 greased and floured 9in loaf pans.
  8. Bake for 60-70 minutes; till toothpick comes out clean.
  9. Let cool in pans 10 minutes.
  10. Remove from pans and let cool completely.

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1 (72 g)

Servings Per Recipe: 24

Calories 251.6

Calories from Fat 117

Total Fat 13.0g

Saturated Fat 1.7g

Cholesterol 23.2mg

Sugars 17.4 g

Sodium 221.2mg

Total Carbohydrate 31.2g

Dietary Fiber 1.0g

Sugars 17.4 g

Protein 3.3g

Home Safety Tips

Due to the growing popularity of in-home care for seniors, it’s important to make sure you and your loved one are aware of the potential dangers present in the home and prepare accordingly.

General Home Safety

Please use the following home safety tips for seniors to help your loved one stay safe.

  • Consider a medical alert or a buddy system.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher and smoke detector on every floor.
  • Use extreme caution when smoking. Never smoke when alone or in bed.
  • Always get up slowly after sitting or lying down. Take your time, and make sure you have your balance.
  • Wear proper fitting shoes with low heels.
  • Use a correctly measured walking aid.
  • Remove or tack down all scatter rugs.
  • Remove electrical or telephone cords from traffic areas.
  • Avoid using slippery wax on floors.
  • Wipe up spills promptly.
  • Avoid standing on ladders or chairs.
  • Have sturdy rails for all stairs inside and outside the house, or, if necessary, purchase a stairlift.
  • Use only non-glare 100 watt or greater incandescent bulbs (or the fluorescent equivalents).
  • Make sure that all stair cases have good lighting with switches at top and bottom.
  • Staircase steps should have a non-slip surface.

Bathroom Safety

  • Leave a light on in your bathroom at night.
  • Use recommended bath aids, securely installed on the walls of the bath/shower stall and on the sides of the toilet.
  • Skid-proof the tub and make sure the bath mat has a non-slip bottom.
  • To avoid scalds, turn water heater to 120 degrees Fahrenheit or below.
  • Mark cold and hot faucets clearly.
  • Use door locks that can be opened from both sides.
  • If possible, bathe only when help is available.

Kitchen Safety

  • Keep floors clean and uncluttered.
  • Illuminate work areas.
  • Mark “on” and “off” positions on appliances clearly and with bright colors.
  • Store sharp knives in a rack.
  • Use a kettle with an automatic shut off.
  • Store heavier objects at waist level.
  • Store hazardous items separate from food.
  • Avoid wearing long, loose clothing when cooking over the stove.
  • Make sure food is rotated regularly. Check expiration dates.

Drug Safety

  • Review your medicines frequently with your doctor or pharmacist and when you take new medication.

Estate Planning

When you reach your sunset years, your estate plan becomes more important than ever. Your estate plan will detail your wishes regarding a number of crucial financial and medical decisions. For example, who would you like to receive your assets and property after you pass away? If you become incapacitated, whom would you like to make pivotal medical decisions for you? How will you eliminate stress and complications for your loved ones after your death? Although these topics are not often pleasant to think about, you cannot deny their importance. For help, check out the tips below regarding estate planning for seniors.

Estate Planning for Seniors

It’s never too late to get started! It is best to create an estate plan in your younger years, so that you are always prepared for the future. However, if you haven’t already created one, it is certainly not too late! Consult with a lawyer experienced in estate planning for seniors, and begin creating these all-important legal documents.

Review and update your plan regularly. You never know when a life-changing event might happen. To prepare for the unexpected, meet with your lawyer regularly to review your estate plan and make any needed changes. This is especially important following important life events, such as a death or a birth.

Consider your options. Every estate plan is different, customized to suit the wants and needs of a specific person. Exploring these complicated documents can be overwhelming, so ask your lawyer for help. A basic will, for example, can accommodate a simple estate with cooperative heirs. Trusts, on the other hand, can effectively coordinate more complex estates, and they can also help you avoid probate (an expensive, stressful, and time-consuming process).

Discuss your plans with your family and friends. This may be tricky, but it is usually best to discuss your estate plan with your family and friends before it goes into effect. State your goals and ask your loved ones if they have any suggestions. In doing so, you can prevent future shock, anger, confusion, and even rivalries between beneficiaries. Plus, your loved ones might have some helpful advice regarding organization, legal details, and lawyers.

Don’t forget about powers of attorney. Sometimes people assume that estate plans are only used to dispose of an estate, but this is not the truth—you should never forget to include powers of attorney. A power of attorney authorizes someone to act on behalf of someone else. Typically this legal document is used to grant someone rights in a specific area, such as finances or healthcare. Be sure to set up a financial power of attorney and a healthcare power of attorney in case you become incapacitated.

Consider pre-planning your funeral. Not everyone is comfortable with this idea, but if you’re up for it, pre-planning your funeral can eliminate a lot of stress for your family. Put aside some funds to cover the expenses and decide what you would like to happen. In addition to practical details, you can make personal requests. For example, would you like a favorite song played? Or is there a certain prayer or poem that you would like recited?

If you’ve been putting off estate planning, don’t wait any longer! Your tardiness could have considerable consequences. Make a list of assets, goals, and beneficiaries, and contact your lawyer today.

8 Fun Facts About Seniors

8 Fun Facts about Seniors in America

Many younger generations do not realize that aging has many benefits and is not something to be feared. In fact, to showcase the fun and unique benefits of becoming a senior citizen, I’ve created a list of 8 fun facts about seniors in America.

1.     Senior Citizens are the Fastest-Growing Demographic on Facebook

One may think that college students are the fastest growing user demographic in the Facebook world, but you may be surprised to find out that it is senior citizens instead. Research studies done by the Pew Internet & American Life Project found that 53% of Americans who are the ages of 65 or older are online and 34% of those numbers are on Facebook and similar social sites.  Being on these social sites is a way for grandparents to be a part of children and grandchildren’s lives and connect with them beyond family functions and holidays.

2.     Several  Seniors Participate in Fun Events Almost Every Day

Seniors who are members of community centers often have the opportunity to participate in fun activities almost daily. Whether it is engaging in board games, taking yoga classes or hosting a fashion show, the senior population of America is having more fun than almost any other age demographic.

3.     In America, Seniors Use More Internet Than Any One Else

Seniors in America are the fastest growing group of consumers buying new computers and logging time online. In fact, older adults aged 55 years old and older log the most usage online with 33 hours a month spent on sites like Facebook and 7.6 million senior internet surfers.

4.     Seniors are Focusing on Slowing the Aging Process Through Exercise

Many seniors are focusing on slowing the aging process and a study in 1995 found that the death rate of fit men was decreased by 44% compared to unhealthy adults. It is because of several studies like these that exercising with water aerobics, yoga and walking are some of the most popular senior exercises.

5.     Seniors Make More Life Transitions Than Any Other Age Range

Adults in their 50s and 60s experience more significant transitions in life and any other phase of life. This can be an exciting time of experiencing new hobbies, making lifelong friends and defining what life means to them. This also includes becoming more involved in a community of similar aged adults and having fun with exercising, unique activities and hobbies.

6.     Gardening is The #1 Hobby for Adults Over 50

As senior adults gain more free time, they often find joy in new hobbies such as gardening, competing in competitions and traveling. Gardening takes patience and care while yielding great results, making it the number one hobby for adults over the age of 50.

7.     Seniors are the Fastest Growing Tourism Traveler Demographic

Senior tourism is expected to continually increase in the next ten years as more seniors seeing improved health and more time after retirement. Currently through better organization, easy bookings and improved health, more seniors travel the world than ever before. This also could be due to the increased online presence of seniors, making booking and finding new locations to travel much easier than ever before.

8.     Senior Healthcare is Becoming More Well Rounded

Adults over the age of 65 are turning their healthcare focus into something much better rounded. Blending several healthy life aspects together such as fitness, spirituality, meditation, entertainment, travel and clean living, has resulted in a shift to healthier senior adults.

Glaucoma Awareness Month

January is National Glaucoma Awareness Month, an important time to spread the word about this sight-stealing disease. Currently, more than 3 million people in the United States have glaucoma. The National Eye Institute projects this number will reach 4.2 million by 2030, a 58 percent increase.

Typically, There Are No Early Warning Signs

What makes glaucoma so frightening is that it often becomes a sudden problem. Most people don’t notice any of the warning signs or symptoms; however, with regular eye exams we can check the pressure of your eye and monitor your risk.

Who’s Most At Risk For Glaucoma?

Though certain factors put you at higher risk, it’s important for everyone to understand the risk factors. For example, glaucoma usually affects people in their middle age—and the elderly—but it can, and does, affect people all age groups.

  • African Americans are at a much higher risk and that risk spikes as early as age 40.
  • You’re at a higher risk over age 60 and even more so over age 80.
  • Some medical conditions, like diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease may increase risk.
  • If you have a family history of glaucoma, you are a much higher risk.

Diagnosing Glaucoma Early Can Help Preserve Sight

There’s no cure for glaucoma; however, when caught early, we can take steps to slow or halt vision loss. Often treatments as simple as specialized eye drops that reduce the pressure building up inside of your eye can make a difference.

Glaucoma is a group of eye disorders leading to progressive damage of the optic nerve and is characterized by loss of nerve tissue resulting in vision loss.

In most cases, glaucoma is associated with higher-than-normal pressure inside the eye (ocular hypertension). If untreated or uncontrolled, glaucoma first causes peripheral vision loss and eventually can lead to blindness. Globally, glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness (behind cataracts), according to the World Health Organization.

Types and Causes of Glaucoma

There are many types of glaucoma and many theories about the causes of glaucoma, but the exact cause is unknown. The two main types are open-angle and acute angle-closure. Distinguishing both types is a marked increase of intraocular pressure (pressure inside the eye).

According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), open-angle glaucoma affects an estimated 2.2 million people in the United States, with numbers expecting to increase to 3.3 million by 2020 as the U.S. population ages.

What Risk Factors Affect Glaucoma?

Because chronic forms of glaucoma can destroy vision before any signs or symptoms are apparent, be aware of the following risk factors:

Elevated Internal Eye Pressure. If your internal eye pressure (intraocular pressure) is higher than normal, you are at increased risk of developing glaucoma — though not everyone with elevated intraocular pressure develops the disease.

Age. People over age 60 are at increased risk for the disease. Elderly adults over age 80 have three to ten times the risk of developing glaucoma as individuals in their 40s. For African Americans, however, the increase in risk begins after age 40.

Race/Ethnicity. African Americans are significantly more likely to get glaucoma than Caucasians and are much more likely to suffer permanent vision loss as a result. People of Asian descent have an increased risk of developing acute angle-closure glaucoma.

Family History. Having a family history of glaucoma increases your risk of developing glaucoma.

Medical Conditions. Some studies indicate that diabetes may increase your risk of developing glaucoma, as do high blood pressure and heart disease.

Eye Injury. Severe trauma to the eye can result in immediate increased eye pressure and future increases in pressure due to internal damage. Injury can also dislocate the lens, closing the drainage angle and increasing pressure.

Other Eye-related Risk Factors. Eye anatomy (namely corneal thickness and optic nerve appearance) indicate risk for development of glaucoma. Conditions such as retinal detachment, eye tumors, and eye inflammations may also induce glaucoma. Some studies suggest that high amounts of nearsightedness may also be a risk factor for the development of glaucoma.

Corticosteroid Use. Using corticosteroids for prolonged periods of time appears to put some people at risk of getting secondary glaucoma.

What Are the Warning Signs?

Most people with glaucoma have no early symptoms or pain from the increased pressure, so it is important to see your eye doctor regularly to diagnose and treat glaucoma before long-term visual loss occurs.

Glaucoma Treatment Options

While there is no cure for glaucoma, early diagnosis and continuing treatment can preserve eyesight. Nerve damage and vision loss from glaucoma cannot usually be reversed; however, glaucoma can generally be controlled.

The treatment of glaucoma is aimed at reducing intraocular pressure. The most common first-line treatment of glaucoma is usually prescription eye drops. In some cases, systemic medications, laser treatment and/or another surgery may be required.

How Can You Reduce Your Risk of Glaucoma?

When it comes to glaucoma, risk reduction is a simple matter of damage control. Aside from following healthy lifestyle recommendations, we have little control over whether we develop glaucoma.

If you are over the age of 40 and if you have a family history of glaucoma, you should have a complete eye exam with an eye doctor every one to two years. If you have health problems such as diabetes or a family history of glaucoma or are at risk for other eye diseases, you may need to visit your eye doctor more frequently.

Water Conservation at Home

Water conservation has become an essential practice in all regions, even in areas where water seems abundant.  In addition to saving money on your utility bill, water conservation helps prevent water pollution in nearby lakes, rivers and local watersheds. Conserving water can also extend the life of your septic system by reducing soil saturation, and reducing any pollution due to leaks. Overloading municipal sewer systems can also cause untreated sewage to flow to lakes and rivers. The smaller the amount of water flowing through these systems, the lower the likelihood of pollution. In some communities, costly sewage system expansion has been avoided by communitywide household water conservation.

Water conservation in the home…

  1. Check faucets and pipes for leaks
    A small drip from a worn faucet washer can waste 20 gallons of water per day. Larger leaks can waste hundreds of gallons.2. Don’t use the toilet as an ashtray or wastebasket
    Every time you flush a cigarette butt, facial tissue or other small bit of trash, five to seven gallons of water is wasted.3. Check your toilets for leaks
    Put a little food coloring in your toilet tank. If, without flushing, the color begins to appear in the bowl within 30 minutes, you have a leak that should be repaired immediately. Most replacement parts are inexpensive and easy to install.4. Use your water meter to check for hidden water leaks
    Read the house water meter before and after a two-hour period when no water is being used. If the meter does not read exactly the same, there is a leak.5. Install water-saving shower heads and low-flow faucet aerators
    Inexpensive water-saving low-flow shower heads or restrictors are easy for the homeowner to install. Also, long, hot showers can use five to ten gallons every unneeded minute. Limit your showers to the time it takes to soap up, wash down and rinse off. “Low-flow” means it uses less than 2.5 gallons per minute.
    You can easily install a ShowerStart showerhead, or add a ShowerStart converter to existing showerheads, which automatically pauses a running shower once it gets warm.
    Also, all household faucets should be fit with aerators. This single best home water conservation method is also the cheapest!6. Put plastic bottles or float booster in your toilet tank
    To cut down on water waste, put an inch or two of sand or pebbles inside each of two plastic bottles to weigh them down. Fill the bottles with water, screw the lids on, and put them in your toilet tank, safely away from the operating mechanisms. Or, buy an inexpensive tank bank or float booster. This may save ten or more gallons of water per day.Be sure at least 3 gallons of water remain in the tank so it will flush properly. If there is not enough water to get a proper flush, users will hold the lever down too long or do multiple flushes to get rid of waste. Two flushings at 1.4 gallons is worse than a single 2.0 gallon flush. A better suggestion would be to buy an adjustable toilet flapper that allow for adjustment of their per flush use.  Then the user can adjust the flush rate to the minimum per flush setting that achieves a single good flush each time.

    For new installations, consider buying “low flush” toilets, which use 1 to 2 gallons per flush instead of the usual 3 to 5 gallons.

    Replacing an 18 liter per flush toilet with an ultra-low volume (ULV) 6 liter flush model represents a 70% savings in water flushed and will cut indoor water use by about 30%.

    7. Insulate your water pipes.
    It’s easy and inexpensive to insulate your water pipes with pre-slit foam pipe insulation. You’ll get hot water faster plus avoid wasting water while it heats up.

    8. Take shorter showers.
    One way to cut down on water use is to turn off the shower after soaping up, then turn it back on to rinse. A four-minute shower uses approximately 20 to 40 gallons of water.

    9. Turn off the water after you wet your toothbrush
    There is no need to keep the water running while brushing your teeth. Just wet your brush and fill a glass for mouth rinsing.

    10. Rinse your razor in the sink
    Fill the sink with a few inches of warm water. This will rinse your razor just as well as running water, with far less waste of water.

    11. Use your dishwasher and clothes washer for only full loads
    Automatic dishwashers and clothes washers should be fully loaded for optimum water conservation. Most makers of dishwashing soap recommend not pre-rinsing dishes which is a big water savings.
    With clothes washers, avoid the permanent press cycle, which uses an added 20 liters (5 gallons) for the extra rinse. For partial loads, adjust water levels to match the size of the load. Replace old clothes washers. New Energy Star rated washers use 35 – 50% less water and 50% less energy per load. If you’re in the market for a new clothes washer, consider buying a water-saving frontload washer.

    12. Minimize use of kitchen sink garbage disposal units
    In-sink ‘garburators’ require lots of water to operate properly, and also add considerably to the volume of solids in a septic tank which can lead to maintenance problems. Start a compost pile as an alternate method of disposing food waste.

    13. When washing dishes by hand, don’t leave the water running for rinsing
    If your have a double-basin, fill one with soapy water and one with rinse water. If you have a single-basin sink, gather washed dishes in a dish rack and rinse them with a spray device or a panful of hot water. Dual-swivel aerators are available to make this easier. If using a dishwasher, there is usually no need to pre-rinse the dishes.

    14. Don’t let the faucet run while you clean vegetables
    Just rinse them in a stoppered sink or a pan of clean water. Use a dual-setting aerator.

    15. Keep a bottle of drinking water in the fridge.
    Running tap water to cool it off for drinking water is wasteful. Store drinking water in the fridge in a safe drinking bottle. If you are filling water bottles to bring along on outdoor hikes, consider buying a LifeStraw personal water filter which enables users to drink water safely from rivers or lakes or any available body of water.

    Water conservation in the yard and garden…

    16. Plant drought-resistant lawns, shrubs and plants
    If you are planting a new lawn, or overseeding an existing lawn, use drought-resistant grasses such as the new “Eco-Lawn”.
    Many beautiful shrubs and plants thrive with far less watering than other species. Replace herbaceous perennial borders with native plants. Native plants will use less water and be more resistant to local plant diseases. Consider applying the principles of xeriscape for a low-maintenance, drought resistant yard.
    Plant slopes with plants that will retain water and help reduce runoff.
    Group plants according to their watering needs.

    17. Put a layer of mulch around trees and plants
    Mulch will slow evaporation of moisture while discouraging weed growth. Adding 2 – 4 inches of organic material such as compost or bark mulch will increase the ability of the soil to retain moisture. Press the mulch down around the dripline of each plant to form a slight depression which will prevent or minimize water runoff.

  2. Don’t water the gutter
    Position your sprinklers so water lands on the lawn or garden, not on paved areas. Also, avoid watering on windy days.19. Water your lawn only when it needs it
    A good way to see if your lawn needs watering is to step on the grass. If it springs back up when you move, it doesn’t need water. If it stays flat, the lawn is ready for watering. Letting the grass grow taller (to 3″) will also promote water retention in the soil.
    Most lawns only need about 1″ of water each week. During dry spells, you can stop watering altogether and the lawn will go brown and dormant. Once cooler weather arrives, the morning dew and rainfall will bring the lawn back to its usual vigor. This may result in a brown summer lawn, but it saves a lot of water.20. Deep-soak your lawn
    When watering the lawn, do it long enough for the moisture to soak down to the roots where it will do the most good. A light sprinkling can evaporate quickly and tends to encourage shallow root systems. Put an empty tuna can on your lawn – when it’s full, you’ve watered about the right amount. Visit our natural lawn care page for more information.21. Water during the early parts of the day; avoid watering when it’s windy
    Early morning is generally better than dusk since it helps prevent the growth of fungus. Early watering, and late watering, also reduce water loss to evaporation. Watering early in the day is also the best defence against slugs and other garden pests. Try not to water when it’s windy – wind can blow sprinklers off target and speed evaporation.22. Add organic matter and use efficient watering systems for shrubs, flower beds and lawns
    Adding organic material to your soil will help increase its absorption and water retention. Areas which are already planted can be ‘top dressed’ with compost or organic matter.
    You can greatly reduce the amount of water used for shrubs, beds and lawns by:
    – the strategic placement of soaker hoses
    – installing a rain barrel water catchment system
    – installing a simple drip-irrigation system
    Avoid over-watering plants and shrubs, as this can actually diminish plant health and cause yellowing of the leaves.
    When hand watering, use a variable spray nozzle for targeted watering.23. Don’t run the hose while washing your car
    Clean the car using a pail of soapy water. Use the hose only for rinsing – this simple practice can save as much as 150 gallons when washing a car. Use a spray nozzle when rinsing for more efficient use of water. Better yet, use a waterless car washing system; there are several brands, such as EcoTouch, which are now on the market.24. Use a broom, not a hose, to clean driveways and sidewalks

    25. Check for leaks in pipes, hoses, faucets and couplings
    Leaks outside the house may not seem as bad since they’re not as visible. But they can be just as wasteful as leaks indoors. Check frequently to keep them drip-free. Use hose washers at spigots and hose connections to eliminate leaks.

    Water conservation comes naturally when everyone in the family is aware of its importance, and parents take the time to teach children some of the simple water-saving methods around the home which can make a big difference.

Top 10 Reasons Home Care Empowers Seniors

Submitted by Todd West
In-Home Care Services makes it possible for the mature person to maintain as much independence as possible. This empowers those in need and through the appropriate assistance and companionship allows loved ones to live at home better and longer. Home Care is the perfect solution for your loved ones and for others who aren’t ready to leave their home for an institutional setting or to live with relatives but, because of illness or chronic conditions, need support in order to be able to remain at home. Improving their lives by providing compassionate, one-on-one In-Home Care in their own home or just around town.

When is it time to ask for help?

Different people have very different needs and in different stages. For example, you might need help making sure your bills get paid, mowing the lawn or completing tasks within your home. At some point you may need to ask about using a walker or other device to help you get around. Whatever your situation, be willing to ask for what you need. “IT’S OK TO ASK FOR HELP” means feeling comfortable about wanting to get the assistance and support you need in order to care for yourself or your loved ones and live a more fulfilling, and independent life.

1. Home care serves to keep the elderly in independence. None of us wants to be totally dependent and helpless. With some assistance, seniors can continue to function as viable members of society.

2. Home care prevents or postpones institutionalization. None of us wants to be placed in a nursing home unless this is the only place where we can obtain the 24-hour care that we may need.

3. Home care promotes healing. There is scientific evidence that patients heal more quickly at home.

4. Home care is safer. For all of its lifesaving potential, statistics show that a hospital is a dangerous place. The risk of infection, for example, is high. It is not uncommon for patients to develop new health problems as a result of being hospitalized. These risks are eliminated when care is given at home.

5. Home care allows a maximum amount of freedom for the individual. A hospital, of necessity, is a regimented, regulated environment. The same is true of a nursing home. Upon admission to either, an individual is required to surrender a significant portion of his/her rights in the name of the common good. Such sacrifices are not required at home.

6. Home care is a personalized care. Home care is tailored to the needs of each individual. It is delivered on a one-to-one basis.

7. Home care is the most effective form of health care. There is very high consumer satisfaction associated with care delivered in the home.

8. Home care improves the quality of life. Home care helps not only add years of life, but life to years. People receiving home care get along better. It is a proven fact.

9. Home care is less expensive than other forms of care. The evidence is overwhelming that home care costs less than other forms of care. Home care is considerably less expensive than hospitalization or nursing home placement to deal with comparable health problems.

10. Home care extends life. The U. S. General Accounting Office has established beyond doubt that those people receiving home care lived longer and enjoyed living.

In-Home Care is a vital alternative and resource for the baby boomers to get the answers and support they need to care for their aging parents. Find a resource that takes pride in listening to your needs and desires and then bends over backwards to meet them.

Daily Living Comforts makes it possible for the mature person to maintain as much independence for as long as possible. Daily Living Comforts provides the appropriate in-home products, non-medical homecare services, assistance and companionship that will allow loved ones to live at home better and longer.

At Daily Living Comforts, nothing is more important than:

Optimizing a family’s ability to access innovative, life sustaining and affordable in-home products that enrich and help maintain an independent lifestyle.

Offering reliable, non-medical homecare services for Bucks County, Pa. and surrounding areas with caregivers that are dependable and extraordinarily caring of others.

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