Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Make All-Natural Air Fresheners


If you’re using store-bought aerosol fresheners at home, you’re likely spraying two toxic chemicals in the air: benzene and formaldehyde. By making your own air fresheners, you’ll avoid these harmful chemicals and the health problems that can come along with them. Here are a 5 easy and quick ways to improve the air and make it smell good!


1. Spicy potpourri. In a Ziploc bag, mix one ounce of cinnamon sticks, a small container of whole cloves and a small container of allspice. Give the bag a good shake! Take one teaspoon of the spice blend and mix it with one cup of water. Pour the blend into a saucepan on your stove, bring to a boil, and then let it simmer to create a potpourri with some kick!

2. Vanilla spritzer. Combine a few drops of vanilla extract with a cup of water. Add this mixture to a spray bottle. Use this all-purpose air freshener anywhere in the house to dispel funky odors. Tip: Spray this in your empty vacuum bags – it will freshen up your carpet while you work!

3. Classic vinegar If you have an entire room that just reeks, fill a small bowl with vinegar and place it in the middle of the room. The vinegar will absorb pretty much any stench.

4. Dried lavender. Fill small, breathable sacks with lavender sprigs and place them in the bathroom, in your closets or in drawers. Tea bags work well for this. Bonus: Lavender is known to help improve your mood!

5. Apple and ginger. Gather sliced ginger, lemon juice and a big handful of apple peels. Add your ingredients together in a saucepan and cover them with water. Bring the concoction to a boil on your stovetop. Then, turn down the heat and let the mixture boil until the water has evaporated. (This is a great seasonal choice for fall and winter!)

Monday, April 3, 2017

Add These Senior Safety Precautions To Your Spring Cleaning

Your classic spring-cleaning checklist usually involves core tasks like vacuuming, dusting, window washing and de-cluttering, but spring is also an excellent time to tackle some tasks that will make your home safer and more secure.

Household safety is especially important when it comes to seniors, who unfortunately experience many of their injuries within the home. 

Factors like declining vision, hearing loss and worsening bone density make injuries from minor trips and falls more likely. Additionally, if injured, it can take seniors longer to heal and recover fully.

By making some little changes around the home you can reduce the chance of household injuries for yourself or the senior loved ones in your life. It all comes down to identifying potential hazardous spots and removing or diminishing them as much as possible. There's no better time to get started on the path to a safer household for seniors than right now when you're freshening up your home for spring. Here's how to get started.

Maintain Good Lighting

Because seniors' vision often declines as they age, it's extremely important to maintain good lighting all throughout the house, as well as outside main household entrances and walkways. Keeping the outside of your home well-lit is very important if you reside in a rural area where there are not many streetlights or sources of external lighting.

Light switches within the home should be easily accessible and in obvious areas. It's also a good idea to keep nightlights in main rooms like bathrooms and kitchens in case it's necessary to get up in the middle of the night.

Prevent Slips and Trips

There are a few excellent preventative measures you can take to avoid slips and trips around the home. The first is by installing sturdy railings along outdoor pathways and decks, and by ensuring that handrails are installed along indoor stairways. Additionally, aids like grab bars inside bathtubs and showers can prevent slips in the bathroom.

Another way to ensure that you or the loved ones in your life stay safe from falls is by placing mats and rugs securely in place to keep them from slipping. Also make sure to clear away items and obstacles on the ground daily to create a defined path for walking. That includes making sure that pets and children are out of the way, too!

Basic Organization

An often overlooked key to creating safe spaces for seniors is organizing everyday household items so that they are easily accessible, easy to lift and simple to use. Some good examples of items that fall into this category are pots and pans, first aid kits and toiletries that are used on a daily basis.

This same premise applies to any medications or nutritional needs you or the senior in your life may have. Organize your home so that the most important medications, supplements and nutritional requirements are easily accessible. If you have daily medication requirements, it's helpful to lay these out at the beginning of the week so that everything is ready to go on Monday.

Emergency Materials

While it isn't something we like to think about, sometimes emergencies happen! It's better to be well prepared than caught off guard if something unexpected were to arise. Taking safety precautions is important for everyone, but especially for senior citizens who may have additional mobility and health concerns.

When you're doing your spring-cleaning this year, take the time to ensure the following things are intact and functioning at full capacity: smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, fire extinguishers and safely secured electrical outlets. It's also crucial to develop fire safety routes in case of an emergency. If you're caring for older adults, make sure they know these routes well and are aware of the main exits in their building.

Safety and security for seniors is all a matter developing the necessary precautions to reduce risks and eliminate injuries. So while you're taking the time to do a little spring cleaning this season, add these simple steps to your list for a safer and more secure home.

Clean Your Gutters

On average, gutters accumulate anywhere from 40-250 pounds of debris per year! This buildup can create all kinds of problems for your home such as foundation erosion, mosquito infestations and damage to your roof and gutter system, which can cost thousands of dollars to replace.

1. Remove all debris from your gutters. Get every leaf and twig with a gloved hand. Go section-by-section, dump the debris you can reach in a bucket, and then move the ladder down (very carefully).

2. Check for damages. After removing debris, check for corrosion and any holes or dents. Tip: If you find small holes, place a piece of painter’s tape by the hole so you can easily find it when you’re ready to repair. If you’ve found small holes in your gutter, you can seal them with clear silicone sealant.

3. Test the drainage. Gently run water through your gutter with a garden hose to ensure your gutter is draining correctly. If water is standing still, increase the grade of your gutter to create and maintain a proper drain slope. To do this, simply bend the hangers. The gutter should slope at least 1/4-inch for every 5-10-feet of gutter.

4. Check for sagging. A sagging gutter is a useless gutter. Rainwater will get trapped in the sagging portion and become stagnant mess (a love nest for mosquitoes). If the gutters are sagging, it’s likely because the nails holding the gutters have loosened. Try to hammer them back into place. If the nails won't hold, replace them with screws.

5. Unclog your downspouts. If the downspout is clogged, work to loosen the debris from the bottom up to avoid further clogging the downspout. Turn your water hose on high and run it up the spout from the bottom. If this doesn’t work, try a plumber’s snake (again, from the bottom to the top). If all else fails, remove the downspout and tackle the clog by hand.

If you think you have any issues that need to be inspected further then call us to help, We can inspect your roof or attic and provide you with a detailed report. We can recommend the next steps for you to take.