Taking in Nature’s Beauty

July is National Recreation and Parks Month

photo of canyonFrom majestic mountain peaks to forests rich in diverse plants and animals, America’s national parks offer some of the most inviting scenery. Summer can be the perfect time to get out and experience the great outdoors. The National Parks Service makes it easier for older adults to enjoy these natural wonders with the inter-agency Senior Pass.

The pass offers lifetime benefits for U.S. citizens or permanent residents age 62 or over for a cost of just $10. Passes can be purchased through the mail or in person at a national recreation location with the application form [PDF],

All the national parks honor the Senior Pass, but here’s a list of the five most visited by seniors. (According to senior pass sales, as reported by U.S. News.)

Grand Canyon National Park

Location: Northern Arizona. The Grand Canyon is more than 270 miles long, up to 18 miles wide at points, and a mile deep. Highlight: Well known for its breathtaking views, the park is also home to historic and archaeological sites. Accessibility: Park shuttle buses are wheelchair accessible, and an Accessibility Permit is available to provide access to areas closed to public traffic.

Yellowstone National Park

Location: Spans Idaho, Montana and Wyoming borders. Yellowstone was established in 1872 as the America’s first national park. Highlight: The park is home to a variety of animals native to the temperate climate, and has the world’s largest collection of geysers. Accessibility: Most walkways and self-guided trails have at least one wheelchair accessible walkway.

Rocky Mountain National Park

Location: Central and western Colorado. The park spans more than 400 square miles. Highlight: The highest peak in Rocky Mountain reaches over 12,000 feet and has more than 300 miles of hiking trails. Accessibility: Two of the campgrounds have accessible campsites and Senior Pass holders can camp at a 50 percent discount.

Castillo de San Marcos National Monument

Location: Northeastern Florida on Atlantic coast. This monument is the oldest masonry fortress in the U. S. and represents more than 400 years of American history. Highlight: The site tells the stories of several cultures: Native Americans, Spanish and English settlers, colonial African Americans and others; and the technology they used: from cannons and warfare to architecture and construction. Accessibility: Some areas are limited due to historical preservation of the architecture, but wheelchairs are available for rental and most of the park’s walkways are paved.

Zion National Park

Location: Southwestern Utah. The park covers 229 square miles of land surrounding the Virgin River. Highlight: Utah’s first national park, Zion is also filled with relics from America’s first peoples from nearly 12,000 years ago. Throughout the years, the geology of the area has allowed for fertile crop growing and raising animals, as well as provided security for settlers. Accessibility: The visitor centers, museum, picnic areas and Zion Lodge are accessible, as are restrooms and shuttle buses to other areas of the park.

photo of butteDon’t live near one of these? The Find a Park interactive page on the National Parks Service website can help you find a destination near you. Wherever you travel, keeping safe away from home is easy with ResCube, a mobile medical alert monitoring system from One Call Alert that goes where you go and connects you to an emergency operator at the push of a button.

For more information about national parks, visit the National Parks Service.

5 Tips for Caregiving After a Hip Replacement

Tips to ease a loved one’s recovery

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No one wants a loved one to fall and injure a hip, but accidents do happen. In fact, more than 8 million people worldwide suffer from osteoporosis-related fractures each year. And age can play a big part. Adults older than 85 are 15 times more likely to sustain hip fractures than those aged 60-65.

A hip fracture is a serious injury that may require replacement surgery and an extensive recovery time. If you’re caring for a loved one after a hip replacement, here are five tips to help make recovery easier:

1. Learn some new tricks
Before going home from the hospital, health care providers will demonstrate different ways to accomplish everyday tasks without putting extra stress on a new hip. Make sure to be part of these lessons and pay close attention. You can help make sure your loved one doesn’t do too much once home and settled.

2. Get prepared ahead of time
Getting the home ready can be as simple as cleaning up and moving furniture around to make space for using crutches or a walker. It also may include installing grab bars in the shower, adding a lifted seat for the toilet, or removing trip hazards like area rugs. Create a comfortable space such as a favorite recliner where everything needed is within easy reach.

3. Expect some tough workouts
Your loved one is going to need a lot of rehabilitation after a hip replacement. There will likely be exercises and mobility stretches that should be done routinely at home. Make sure they stick to the structured plan and adhere to the rules, especially the limit on lifting heavy objects.

4. Be alert to emotional changes
Recovery from surgery is hard physically and emotionally. There may even be setbacks in recovery that could lead to feelings of depression and isolation. Ask questions each day to get an idea of how your loved one is feeling. If you notice anything unusual or have any concerns, mention them to the doctor or social worker.

5. Don’t expect immediate healing
Everyone heals differently so there is no set schedule for when your loved one will be feeling as good as new. Be encouraging and positive, but don’t push your loved one beyond their personal limit or beyond what is reasonably expected.

With these tips even the most daunting recovery can be eased.

One Call Alert enables independent living at home for seniors and others with 24/7 medical alert monitoring. One Call Alert is simple to use and reliable. Our No-Installation-Needed system delivers emergency care with just one push of a button. Whether you had a minor slip in your kitchen or you are having a medical emergency, One Call Alert will be there for you.

Sources: Centers for Disease Control; Johnell O and Kanis JA (2006) An estimate of the worldwide prevalence and disability associated with osteoporotic fractures. Osteoporos Int 17:1726; Scott JC. Osteoporosis and hip fractures. Rheumatic Diseases Clinics of North America 1990;16(3):717–40.

Give the Gift of Peace of Mind for Father’s Day

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You may be one of the many adult children of aging parents asking yourself right now, “What can I give Dad for Father’s Day this year?”

Is Dad seeming to be getting more noticeably older? Has Dad fallen in recent months or needed to be hospitalized because of an ailment or ongoing medical condition? Is Dad living alone or is he left alone for long periods of time throughout the day? If you are reading this and shaking your head yes, then perhaps it’s time to start thinking about getting Dad a medical alert system from One Call Alert.

A medical alert system is an inexpensive and easy way to give your dad the gift of peace of mind this Father’s Day!

One Call Alert enables independent living at home for seniors with professional and caring 24/7 medical alert monitoring. One Call Alert is simple to use and reliable; there is only one button to push on a lightweight pendant that can be easily worn as a necklace under a shirt or on the wrist like a watch. Our No-Installation-Needed system is perfect for those who don’t want to be waiting around all day for an installer to come in a four hour window.

One Call Alert is not just for emergencies where paramedics are needed; we can be there even if it is just a small problem and Dad just needs the help of a neighbor or close by friend. You and your father can create a personalized emergency protocol that makes sense for his living situation and is something he can be comfortable with.

Best of all, One Call Alert is customer focused and affordable. There are no contracts and you can cancel your services at any time. Sign up today for less than $1 a day and give Dad, and yourself, the gift of peace of mind and security this Father’s Day.

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One Call Alert enables independent living at home for seniors and others with 24/7 medical alert monitoring. One Call Alert is simple to use and reliable. Our No-Installation-Needed system delivers emergency care with just one push of a button. Whether you had a minor slip in your kitchen or you are having a medical emergency, One Call Alert will be there for you.

Great Stories About How Dads Were There For Their Families

Dad-Helping-Son-Riding-BikeMany of our medical alert system customers are adult children purchasing the system for their mothers or fathers. They get peace of mind knowing that their parents will be safer in an emergency. Often they feel like they are, in a way, paying their parents back for some of the times that the parents were there for them. We love to hear the stories and get to know our customers.

Whether it is teaching a child to ride a bike, standing proud at a graduation ceremony, or helping install ceiling fans at a new house, the stuff dad does can often go under-appreciated. With Father’s Day coming up this Sunday, we wanted to show the important role that dad has in being there for his children. We recently reached out to a few of our subscribers and asked them to share a story or two about how their father was there for them at some important point in their lives. Here are a couple of their stories:

The Bike                                                                                                                                            “I was nine years old when I got a brand new BMX bike for my birthday. It was beautiful. It was fire engine red and had it all. I couldn’t wait to get out and ride. That Saturday morning a couple friends rode by on their way to the hilly trails near my house. It was the perfect place to try on the new bike and have a little fun; it was the first Saturday of summer.

I grabbed the bike out of the garage, let my mom know where I was going, and I was off. This was back before they made you wear a helmet, and pads that covered most of your body. The summer air was already heating up, but I was just so excited to be out on my bike. Up and down, crisscrossing the hills near Black Diamond State Park, I rode that bike like it was meant for me.

Well, until I crashed that is. I caught some loose rock coming around a turn and slid sideways off the trail and tumbled thirty or forty feet down the side of a steep hill. When I finally stopped rolling, it took another couple minutes for my head to clear. I must have bumped it something pretty good, but the pain was coming from my ankle. I was sure I had broken it. I was scraped up from head to toe, but it was nothing compared to the pain in my ankle. I tried to work my way to a standing position, but couldn’t.

It took a couple minutes for my friends to work their way down the hill to get to me, but as soon as they did, they confirmed the worst. There was actually bone sticking out near my ankle. One of my friends nearly threw up. The other just got on his bike and was pedaling hard as he yelled back that he was going to get help.

What seemed like hours, but was probably no more than one, went by before I heard some sounds coming from the direction that was the closest to the park’s parking lot. We were probably six miles in and the park’s trails were too narrow for a truck, but there in the distance, closing the gap quickly, was my dad.

I was so relieved to see him. My whole body hurt, but just seeing him coming up the path made me feel like everything was going to be OK. In no time he had made a makeshift splint, had wrapped my ankle up to stop the bleeding and was carrying me down towards the parking lot. He carried me for almost four miles before we got to where the truck was parked at the base of one of the trails.

He took me to the hospital and I had surgery later that day. I didn’t get to ride that bike again until September and I was riding it to school. It sucked to be in a cast for most of the summer, but it could have been so much worse. I am so thankful that my dad was there for me that day. The peace I felt just seeing him come up the trail, I’ll never forget that.” – James R. Antioch, CA

Date with Dad                                                                                                                                   “I am proud to say that I have always been somewhat of an overachiever in my life. My dad likes to say that it was my stellar upbringing that gave me such a work ethic and he’s probably right. Don’t get me wrong, I was never the smartest person in my class, or the best athlete on my team, certainly not the best dancer, not the best violinist, or the best cook, but I always worked hard at all of it and won plenty of awards simply for trying my best.

Yes, I grew up in the era of try your best and participate and you get an award. The difference between me and the rest of the kids out there was that I was trying my best at everything life had to offer. I was a poet, an archer, a girl scout, an orange belt in karate, a volunteer at the hospital, a forward on the soccer team, a first base-woman on the softball team, a debater on, well, the debate team, and I dabbled in a few other hobbies as well.

After graduating college I started to focus my efforts a little more in a single direction and I finally figured out what I truly care about in life. I started working in education with a goal of making sure the hundreds of hobbies I had in my youth would still be available for the children of today and tomorrow. Budgets get cut, but a well-rounded education helps children to figure out what their passion is. For me, it was a passion to take in all the life had to offer, but more and more of the kids today simply don’t have the opportunities to try things out for themselves.

I launched a program in my state that, put simply, created a schedule of rotating classes from school to school where high school students could sign up as an elective and each week they would dive into something completely new and different. Horticulture, soccer, sushi, punk music, square dancing, and the list went on and on. It was designed to keep students on their toes while exposing them to activities and cultures they may never get an opportunity to check out otherwise.

The pilot program was a huge success and, well, I was getting an award for it. This award, however, was a very big deal. I was being given an award in education by the Governor of the great state of Texas at a formal gala being held at the capitol, and boy was I excited! I had a date, a dress, and a pair of shoes that would knock your socks off. The odd thing was that I was finally getting an award for something other than trying hard, but I didn’t really care. I just wanted the opportunity to talk about the program and hopefully get it some additional funding for the next year.

It was about an hour before the limo was going to get to my house to pick me and my date up for the event and as I was in the hurried jumble of getting ready, I got a phone call from my date. He canceled on me. He gave me some lame excuse, said he was sorry and hung up the phone. Now, of course I still had to go and going by myself wouldn’t have been a big deal, but I was stressed out and crying through the mascara I had just put on. I called my best friend who also happened to be my mom and I cried some more.

A half hour later, I pulled it together, got ready even with puffy eyes. The doorbell rang and I grabbed my purse. At the door was the limo driver and I said something about a change in plans and that it was just going to be me for the evening. He had a look of confusion in his eyes and said, “But ma’am, I have already picked your date up. He is in the limo now.”

Was I going crazy? Did the last hour just not really happen? I get down to the street and standing by an open door to the limo is my father, dressed in a tuxedo with flowers in his hands. All he said to me was, “Sorry we’re late, honey. I made him stop so I could get you some flowers.”

That night my dad was there for me. My mom told him what happened and how stressed out I was. He just went into the bedroom, cleaned up, put on a tuxedo, called the limo company, and was there for me. Best date I have ever had.” – Jillian S. Austin, TX

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One Call Alert enables independent living at home for seniors and others with 24/7 medical alert monitoring. One Call Alert is simple to use and reliable. Our No-Installation-Needed system delivers emergency care with just one push of a button. Whether you had a minor slip in your kitchen or you are having a medical emergency, One Call Alert will be there for you.

Is Dad too stubborn for a medical alert system? Tips on talking Dad into it.

oca-body-why-01Many adult children make the mistake of trying to force their parents into getting a medical alert system. Well, do you remember when your parents tried to teach you stuff when you were young? Even though you knew they were right, you still wanted to do it your way. It had to be on your terms. It’s the same concept here.

Instead of forcing the idea, here are a few tips that have worked for the families of many of our customers.

A medical alert will give me peace of mind, do it for me

This is the best strategy we can recommend. It is honest and clear. Tell Dad that even though you know that he’s healthy and probably would never use the system, that he should get one just to make his family feel better knowing that he has a backup plan just in case there’s an emergency.  Let him know that you’d rather be proactive than wait for a fall to happen.

Keep the message simple

Most dads hate things that are complicated. In fact most people, including those of us who write this blog, will never read manuals or buy anything that isn’t easy to use. It’s one of the reasons why technology that is successful is inherently easy to use.

One Call Medical Alert systems, while not as sexy as an iPhone or iPad, are just as easy to use and even easier to get started. Tell Dad that all that’s required to is to plug in a power cable and a phone cord. To call for help, all you have to do is push a button and a kind and professional operator will come over the speakerphone.

Cheap kind of insurance

Insurance is expensive; well most insurance is expensive. Next to a mortgage or rent, insurance is usually the second biggest expense a household incurs each month.

Another benefit of a medical alarm is prolonged independence.  It’s much more inexpensive than assisted living.

When you factor in the costs for medical bills, prescriptions, and other hospital related expenses, less than a dollar a day for top notch medical alert monitoring seems like quite a steal.

But, there are also things you shouldn’t say :

Don’t scare them

Those “fallen and can’t get up” commercials should have been left in the ‘80s. Images of seniors lying on the ground or injured aren’t very appealing. It’s probably not the best idea to use scare tactics on Dad. He’s a great guy, stay positive and focused on the peace of mind it will bring you.

Statistics, Data, Reports, Medical Journals, etc.

As you get older, your chances of falling increase. Dad knows this and he doesn’t need to be reminded. Fall statistics are usually the wrong way to go about trying to convince someone to buy a medical alert system.

Sending brochures to their house or giving out their contact information – without them knowing.

We want to help your Dad. We want to give you the peace of mind in knowing that Dad will be well taken care of in an emergency. What we don’t want is to come across like we are stalking him or being predatory in our marketing efforts. That just isn’t us. We’d love to send you some brochures that you can hand to Dad or get on a call with both of you to answer any questions you might have.

We’re here for you, best of luck.

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One Call Alert enables independent living at home for seniors and others with 24/7 medical alert monitoring. One Call Alert is simple to use and reliable. Our No-Installation-Needed system delivers emergency care with just one push of a button. Whether you had a minor slip in your kitchen or you are having a medical emergency, One Call Alert will be there for you.

Aphasia Awareness Month: A Message from Laura

national aphasiaJune is Aphasia Awareness Month

Stroke is the No. 4 cause of death and the leading cause of disability in the U.S. A stroke can have various communication effects, one of which is aphasia.  Aphasia is most often caused by strokes that occur in areas of the brain (usually in the left side of the brain) that control speech and language. But brain injuries resulting in aphasia may also arise from head trauma, from brain tumors, or from infections. Aphasia does not affect intelligence. Stroke survivors remain mentally alert, even though their speech may be jumbled, fragmented or impossible to understand.

Communication helps us to be a person and to take part in life and all its opportunities.  People with aphasia may find it difficult to:

  • take part in a conversation
  • talk in a group or noisy environment
  • read a book or magazine or road sign
  • understand or tell jokes
  • follow the television or radio
  • write a letter or fill in a form
  • use the telephone
  • use numbers and money
  • say their own name or the names of their family
  • express their immediate needs or ideas or words
  • go out

A Message from Laura

Friends and family living with aphasia may find it hard to know what to do to.  Here are some fabulous communication tips from Laura Cobb, a young woman who suffered a stroke at the age of 22 after being hit by a drunk driver, which resulted in aphasia.

When trying to communicate with your loved one who has aphasia, try to remember to:

  • Make sure you have the person’s attention before you start.
  • Minimize or eliminate background noise (TV, radio, other people)
  • Keep your own voice at a normal level, unless the person has indicated otherwise.
  • Keep communication simple, but adult.  Simplify your own sentence structure and reduce your rate of speech.
  • Give them time to speak.  Resist the urge to finish sentences or offer words.
  • Communicate with drawings, gestures, writing and facial expressions in addition to speech.
  •  Confirm that you are communicating successfully with “yes” and “no” questions.

Sources: American Heart Association/American Stroke AssociationNational Aphasia Association, YouTube

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One Call Alert enables independent living at home for seniors and others with 24/7 medical alert monitoring. One Call Alert is simple to use and reliable. Our No-Installation-Needed system delivers emergency care with just one push of a button. Whether you had a minor slip in your kitchen or you are having a medical emergency, One Call Alert will be there for you.

Aphasia Awareness Month – What is Aphasia?

aphasia

June is Aphasia Awareness Month

Stroke is the No. 4 cause of death and the leading cause of disability in the U.S. A stroke can have various communication effects, one of which is aphasia. Stroke is the most common cause of aphasia, which is a language disorder that affects the ability to communicate.

June is National Aphasia Awareness Month, which is a national campaign to increase public education around the language disorder and to recognize the numerous people who are living with or caring for people with aphasia. The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association is increasing aphasia awareness by sharing communication tips, the effects of having aphasia, assistive devices for those with aphasia and more.

What is Aphasia?

Aphasia is a language disorder that affects the ability to communicate. It’s most often caused by strokes that occur in areas of the brain (usually in the left side of the brain) that control speech and language. But brain injuries resulting in aphasia may also arise from head trauma, from brain tumors, or from infections. Aphasia does not affect intelligence. Stroke survivors remain mentally alert, even though their speech may be jumbled, fragmented or impossible to understand.

People with aphasia:

  • May be disrupted in their ability to use language in ordinary circumstances.
  • May have difficulty communicating in daily activities.
  • May have difficulty communicating at home, in social situations, or at work.
  • May feel isolated.

Types of Aphasia

There are several forms of aphasia. They include:

  • Global aphasia — People with this aphasia may be completely unable to speak, name objects, repeat phrases or follow commands.
  • Broca’s aphasia — The person knows what they want to say, but can’t find the right words (can’t get the words out).
  • Wernicke’s aphasia — A person with this aphasia can seldom understand what’s being said or control what they’re saying.

How Does It Feel to Have Aphasia?

People with aphasia are often frustrated and confused because they can’t speak as well or understand things the way they did before their stroke. They may act differently because of changes in their brain. Imagine looking at the headlines of the morning newspaper and not being able to recognize the words. Or think about trying to say “put the car in the garage” and it comes out “put the train in the house” or “widdle tee car ungsender plissen.” Thousands of alert, intelligent men and women are suddenly plunged into a world of jumbled communication because of aphasia.

Tips for Communicating with a Person with Aphasia

The impact of aphasia on relationships may be profound, or only slight.  No two people with aphasia are alike with respect to severity, former speech and language skills, or personality.  But in all cases it is essential for the person to communicate as successfully as possible from the very beginning of the recovery process.  Here are some suggestions to help communicate with a person with aphasia:

  • Make sure you have the person’s attention before you start.
  • Minimize or eliminate background noise (TV, radio, other people).
  • Keep your own voice at a normal level, unless the person has indicated otherwise.
  • Keep communication simple, but adult.  Simplify your own sentence structure and reduce your rate of speech.  Emphasize key words.  Don’t “talk down” to the person with aphasia.
  • Give them time to speak.  Resist the urge to finish sentences or offer words.
  • Communicate with drawings, gestures, writing and facial expressions in addition to speech.
  • Confirm that you are communicating successfully with “yes” and “no” questions.
  • Praise all attempts to speak and downplay any errors.  Avoid insisting that that each word be produced perfectly.
  • Engage in normal activities whenever possible.  Do not shield people with aphasia from family or ignore them in a group conversation.  Rather, try to involve them in family decision-making as much as possible.  Keep them informed of events but avoid burdening them with day to day details.
  • Encourage independence and avoid being overprotective. 

Why Should Someone with Aphasia Wear a Medical ID?

If  your loved one has aphasia, or after a person has had a stroke, it may be necessary for them to wear a medical ID bracelet to communicate any ongoing conditions or medications that they are taking. In an emergency situation, time is of the essence.  For someone with aphasia, stressful situations can result in even more difficulty communicating than normal. Additionally, without knowledge of the existing aphasia, emergency medical personnel may initially misdiagnose the communication problem as a new condition such as head injury.

Wearing a medical ID will let the medical staff know how to make the appropriate medical decisions that can save your life. In case you’re in an accident, medical professionals will know what your likely medications are and what not to give you.

Sources: American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, National Aphasia Association

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One Call Alert enables independent living at home for seniors and others with 24/7 medical alert monitoring. One Call Alert is simple to use and reliable. Our No-Installation-Needed system delivers emergency care with just one push of a button. Whether you had a minor slip in your kitchen or you are having a medical emergency, One Call Alert will be there for you.

10 Tips for Seniors Traveling with Health Concerns (featuring ResCube™)

seniorsOur new mobile medical alert system ResCube™ has got us thinking about traveling this summer!

Traveling enables seniors to experience new places and cultures, and it can help rejuvenate their minds and souls. However, some seniors may have health problems that make them unable to travel easily. If a condition or injury becomes a problem during travel, they may find themselves in a severe emergency. It may not be easy for them to find the medical services they need while they are in a foreign place (even in the USA), and the local doctors may not understand the severity of their conditions enough to provide the best treatment. While it can be a little risky for seniors with health problems to travel, certain precautions can help to prevent and deal with health emergencies while on vacation.

Tip #1: Talk to Your Doctor
This tip may sound like a disclaimer, but it is important. Your doctor knows your condition and health history better than anyone. They can help provide guidance on places you might be able to go in an emergency or even what to pack. Always, always, always talk to your doctor before any major trip.

Tip #2 Bring Enough Medication
If you are on medication, make sure you have enough medication to use throughout the trip. If traveling to a foreign country, certain medications may not be available, or they may be sold under different names. In case of an emergency, carry your doctor’s contact information and have an extra copy of the prescription on hand. Plan 1-2 days of extra medication in case you get stuck at an airport or have other unplanned delays.

Tip #3 Get Paperwork for Medications Containing Narcotic Drugs
Remember tip #1? Well here is another reason to talk to your doctor about your trip. Seniors who are using medications that contain narcotic or habit-forming drugs should get paperwork from their doctors before traveling. Laws vary from place to place and some medications may not be legal without this paperwork.

Tip #4 Label Medications Clearly                                                                               Make sure all of your medications are properly labeled so that, if necessary, it is easier for a law enforcement official to quickly know what you have. This also helps a lot because when you are traveling, things may get bounced around and good labeling will help ensure you are taking the right medication on schedule.

Tip #5 Do Not Keep All Medications in One Place
Take necessary measures to ensure that medications will not be lost on the trip. Since bags can get lost during travel, it is important to carry the medication needed for a 48-hour period in a pillbox and carry it with you. If your luggage is lost during the trip, you will not be at a loss for medication. Contact your doctor and medical facility if  luggage is lost that contains your medication.

Tip #6 Wear a Medical ID Bracelet
Those who have allergies, are on multiple medications, or have chronic medical conditions should always wear a medical ID bracelet AND keep a medical alert card in their wallets or purses. In an emergency, a medical ID can help provide life-saving medical information. A medical ID serves as a useful reference for doctors and pharmacists across the country as well as in foreign countries.

Bonus Tip: Check out American Medical ID for the best in stylish and durable medical ID bracelets and necklaces.

Tip #7 Bring Your ResCube™ Mobile Medical Alert System

RescubeIf you are traveling anywhere in the USA, you can now bring your medical alert system with you! With just the push of a button on our new ResCube™ mobile medical alert system, you are connected to a professional emergency operator from anywhere coast to coast, in Alaska, and Hawaii. With a battery that will last months and the security of One Call Alert’s personalized care, you can travel with peace of mind this summer! 

Tip #8 Get Travel Insurance
All travelers with health problems should purchase a travel insurance policy before traveling. Those who have travel insurance will get medical compensation if they fall ill while traveling. Travel medical insurance plans typically cover the policyholder in the event they are hospitalized or need medical attention for an injury or illness. Special travel insurance plans are available for seniors with unique medical needs.

Tip #9 Special Air Travel Services
If you have mobility problems, call your airline and airports to find out about any special services that are available for disabled travelers. Certain airports have caregivers who can escort passengers to their planes. This makes air travel a lot more convenient. When purchasing airline tickets, be clear about your needs and preferences; airlines will do their best to accommodate travelers with special needs.

Tip #10 Be Careful Trying New Foods
When traveling to foreign countries or even a new place here in the USA, you may get the opportunity to try different types of food that you have never eaten before. We’re not saying don’t be adventurous, but be careful about the kinds of food you eat. Think about allergens or whether the spice will upset an ulcer. Have fun, but be careful.

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One Call Alert enables independent living at home for seniors and others with 24/7 medical alert monitoring. One Call Alert is simple to use and reliable. Our No-Installation-Needed system delivers emergency care with just one push of a button. Whether you had a minor slip in your kitchen or you are having a medical emergency, One Call Alert will be there for you.

May is Osteoporosis Prevention Month

osteoporosisMay is National Osteoporosis Awareness and Prevention Month.  Do you know someone over the age of 50 who has broken a bone? Perhaps your mother “tripped” in the garden and broke her wrist?  Or your neighbor broke his ankle walking on the golf course?  Two million broken bones occur every year in the United States due to osteoporosis, but the majority of patients get the fracture fixed without ever realizing they have osteoporosis or low bone mass.

The theme for this year’s Osteoporosis Month from the National Osteoporosis Foundation is “Break Free from Osteoporosis”. The aim of National Osteoporosis Awareness and Prevention Month is to promote good bone health through the prevention, detection and treatment of osteoporosis. The awareness campaign encourages everyone to get to know their risk factors for osteoporosis and change their lifestyle to build and maintain strong bones.

An estimated 9 million adults in the U.S. have osteoporosis and over 48 million adults have low bone mass, most will go undiagnosed and untreated.

What is osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis or “porous bone” is a disease of the skeletal system characterized by low bone mass and deterioration of bone tissue. If you look at healthy bone under a microscope, you will see that parts of it look like a honeycomb. If you have osteoporosis, the holes and spaces in the honeycomb are much bigger than they are in healthy bone. This means your bones have lost density or mass and that the structure of your bone tissue has become abnormal. As your bones become less dense, they also become weaker and more likely to break. Osteoporosis leads to an increase risk of bone fractures typically in the wrist, hip, and spine.

How can osteoporosis be prevented?

Osteoporosis and the broken bones it can cause are not part of normal aging. There is a lot you can do to protect your bones throughout your life. You’re never too young or too old to improve the health of your bones. Osteoporosis prevention should begin in childhood. But it shouldn’t stop there. Whatever your age, the habits you adopt now can affect your bone health for the rest of your life. Now is the time to take action. Some steps you can take include:

  • Eating a well balanced diet, including getting enough calcium and vitamin D.
  • Exercise regularly.  Doing regular weight-bearing and muscle-strengthening exercise is one of the best ways to protect against osteoporosis and broken bones.
  • Avoid smoking, and limit alcohol intake to no more than 2-3 drinks per day.  These things can promote calcium loss.
  • Know your risk factors.  Many factors play a role in your risk for osteoporosis, including age, gender, lifestyle, medical history, family history and whether you take any medication or have medical conditions that can lead to bone loss.  It is important to talk with your healthcare provider about your risk factors for osteoporosis and together you can develop a plan to protect your bones.

For more information about osteoporosis, risk factors, and prevention, visit the National Osteoporosis Foundation website.

Why is a medical alert system  important for seniors with osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis is a chief cause of fractures in older adults, especially among women. What is debatable is whether brittle bones break after a fall, or break when stressed and in turn cause a fall. In either event, a decrease in bone density contributes to falls and resultant injuries.  This year 13.5 million people age 65 and older will fall.

A medical alert system, like One Call Alert, can help you or your loved ones to continue living independently without fear of being alone if a fracture occurs. A medical alert system can help by connecting you to the right help for the situation, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year at the push of a button, whether you need emergency services or just the assistance of a family member or friend to help you get back on your feet,

Sources: National Osteoporosis Foundation, CDC

Memorial Day – Remembering the men and women of the armed forces who gave their lives for our country

Memorial Day is Monday, May 26th

Arlington National Cemetery

Arlington National Cemetery

Memorial Day is a US federal holiday set aside to remember the men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces.  The holiday, which is celebrated every year on the final Monday of May,  was formerly known as Decoration Day and originated after the American Civil War to commemorate the Union and Confederate soldiers who died in the Civil War.  By the 20th century, Memorial Day had been extended to honor all Americans who have died while in the military service.  It typically marks the start of the summer vacation season, while Labor Day marks its end.

Many people visit cemeteries and memorials, particularly to honor those who have died in military service. Many volunteers place an American flag on each grave in national cemeteries.   Each year on Memorial Day a national moment of remembrance takes place at 3:00 p.m. local time.

Memorial Day is not to be confused with Veterans Day; Memorial Day is a day of remembering the men and women who died while serving, while Veterans Day celebrates the service of all U.S. military veterans

History of Memorial Day

he Civil War claimed more lives than any conflict in U.S. history, requiring the establishment of the country’s first national cemeteries. By the late 1860s Americans in various towns and cities had begun holding springtime tributes to these countless fallen soldiers, decorating their graves with flowers and reciting prayers.

It is unclear where exactly this tradition originated; numerous different communities may have independently initiated the memorial gatherings. Nevertheless, in 1966 the federal government declared Waterloo, New York, the official birthplace of Memorial Day. Waterloo—which had first celebrated the day on May 5, 1866—was chosen because it hosted an annual, community-wide event, during which businesses closed and residents decorated the graves of soldiers with flowers and flags.

On May 5, 1862, General John A. Logan, leader of an organization for Northern Civil War veterans, called for a nationwide day of remembrance later that month.  The date of Decoration Day, as he called it, was chosen because it wasn’t the anniversary of any particular battle.  On the first Decoration Day, General James Garfield made a speech at Arlington National Cemetery, and 5,000 participants decorated the graves of the 20,000 Union and Confederate soldiers buried there. Many Northern states held similar commemorative events and reprised the tradition in subsequent years; by 1890 each one had made Decoration Day an official state holiday. Many Southern states, on the other hand, continued to honor their dead on separate days until after World War I.

Memorial Day, as Decoration Day gradually came to be known, originally honored only those lost while fighting in the Civil War. But during World War I the United States found itself embroiled in another major conflict, and the holiday evolved to commemorate American military personnel who died in all wars.  Memorial Day was declared a federal holiday in 1971.

Memorial Day Traditions

On Memorial Day, the US flag is raised briskly to the top of the staff and then solemnly lowered to the half-staff position, where it remains only until noon. It is then raised to full-staff for the remainder of the day.

For many Americans, the central event is attending one of the thousands of parades held on Memorial Day in large and small cities all over the country. Most of these feature marching bands and an overall military theme with the National Guard and other servicemen participating along with veterans and military vehicles from various wars.

Americans also observe Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries and memorials. On a less somber note, many people throw parties and barbecues on the holiday, perhaps because it unofficially marks the beginning of summer.

Ways You Can Observe Memorial Day

Often we do not observe Memorial Day as it should be, a day where we actively remember our ancestors, our family members, our loved ones, our neighbors, and our friends who have given the ultimate sacrifice.  Here are a few ways you can honor and remember those who gave their lives for our country:

  • Fly the U.S. Flag at half-staff until noon.
  • Visit War Memorials.
  • Visit local cemeteries and placing flags or flowers on the graves of our fallen heroes.
  • Participate in the “National Moment of Remembrance” at 3 p.m. 

Sources: Wikipedia, US Department of Veterans Affairs, History.com

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One Call Alert enables independent living at home for seniors and others with 24/7 medical alert monitoring. One Call Alert is simple to use and reliable. Our No-Installation-Needed system delivers emergency care with just one push of a button. Whether you had a minor slip in your kitchen or you are having a medical emergency, One Call Alert will be there for you.