• November 27, 2013 /  Basics

    I found these tips on the Mayo Clinic website. But as a quick aside, Seniors First has a Handyperson program that assess the safety of your home and will install any missing safety features within the parameters of California non-contractor laws. You may call them at 530-889-9500.

    Fall prevention: 6 tips to prevent falls

    Falls put you at risk of serious injury. Prevent falls with these simple fall-prevention measures, from reviewing your medications to hazard-proofing your home.

    By Mayo Clinic staff

    Fall prevention may not seem like a lively topic, but it’s important. As you get older, physical changes and health conditions — and sometimes the medications used to treat those conditions — make falls more likely. In fact, falls are a leading cause of injury among older adults. Still, fear of falling doesn’t need to rule your life. Instead, consider six simple fall-prevention strategies.

    1. Make an appointment with your doctor

    Begin your fall-prevention plan by making an appointment with your doctor. Be prepared to answer questions such as:

    • What medications are you taking? Make a list of your prescription and over-the-counter medications and supplements, or bring them with you to the appointment. Your doctor can review your medications for side effects and interactions that may increase your risk of falling. To help with fall prevention, your doctor may consider weaning you off certain medications — such as sedatives and some types of antidepressants.
    • Have you fallen before? Write down the details, including when, where and how you fell. Be prepared to discuss instances when you almost fell but were caught by someone or managed to grab hold of something just in time. Details such as these may help your doctor identify specific fall-prevention strategies.
    • Could your health conditions cause a fall? Certain eye and ear disorders may increase your risk of falls. Be prepared to discuss your health conditions and how comfortable you are when you walk — for example, do you feel any dizziness, joint pain, numbness or shortness of breath when you walk? Your doctor may evaluate your muscle strength, balance and walking style (gait) as well.

    2. Keep moving

    Physical activity can go a long way toward fall prevention. With your doctor’s OK, consider activities such as walking, water workouts or Tai chi — a gentle exercise that involves slow and graceful dance-like movements. Such activities reduce the risk of falls by improving strength, balance, coordination and flexibility.

    If you avoid physical activity because you’re afraid it will make a fall more likely, tell your doctor. He or she may recommend carefully monitored exercise programs or refer you to a physical therapist. The physical therapist can create a custom exercise program aimed at improving your balance, flexibility, muscle strength and gait.

    3. Wear sensible shoes

    Consider changing your footwear as part of your fall-prevention plan. High heels, floppy slippers and shoes with slick soles can make you slip, stumble and fall. So can walking in your stocking feet. Instead:

    • Have your feet measured each time you buy shoes, since foot size can change.
    • Buy properly fitting, sturdy shoes with nonskid soles.
    • Avoid shoes with extra-thick soles.
    • Choose lace-up shoes instead of slip-ons, and keep the laces tied. If you have trouble tying laces, select footwear with fabric fasteners.
    • If you’re a woman who can’t find wide enough shoes, try men’s shoes.

    4. Remove home hazards

    Take a look around your home. Your living room, kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, hallways and stairways may be filled with hazards. To make your home safer:

    • Remove boxes, newspapers, electrical cords and phone cords from walkways.
    • Move coffee tables, magazine racks and plant stands from high-traffic areas.
    • Secure loose rugs with double-faced tape, tacks or a slip-resistant backing — or remove loose rugs from your home.
    • Repair loose, wooden floorboards and carpeting right away.
    • Store clothing, dishes, food and other necessities within easy reach.
    • Immediately clean spilled liquids, grease or food.
    • Use nonskid floor wax.
    • Use nonslip mats in your bathtub or shower.

    5. Light up your living space

    Keep your home brightly lit to avoid tripping on objects that are hard to see. Also:

    • Place night lights in your bedroom, bathroom and hallways.
    • Place a lamp within reach of your bed for middle-of-the-night needs.
    • Make clear paths to light switches that aren’t near room entrances. Consider trading traditional switches for glow-in-the-dark or illuminated switches.
    • Turn on the lights before going up or down stairs.
    • Store flashlights in easy-to-find places in case of power outages.

    6. Use assistive devices

    Your doctor might recommend using a cane or walker to keep you steady. Other assistive devices can help,

    too. For example:

    • Hand rails for both sides of stairways
    • Nonslip treads for bare-wood steps
    • A raised toilet seat or one with armrests
    • Grab bars for the shower or tub
    • A sturdy plastic seat for the shower or tub — plus a hand-held shower nozzle for bathing while sitting down

    If necessary, ask your doctor for a referral to an occupational therapist. He or she can help you brainstorm other fall-prevention strategies. Some solutions are easily installed and relatively inexpensive. Others may require professional help or a larger investment. If you’re concerned about the cost, remember that an investment in fall prevention is an investment in your independence.


    I serve the counties of El Dorado, Placer, Sacramento, Solano, Sutter, Yolo, and Yuba, cities like Auburn, Lincoln, Rocklin, Roseville, Sacramento, Placerville, and Woodland.

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  • November 18, 2013 /  Dementia

    I ran across an article from BBC news on a study that there is initial evidence that autism may be detected in babies as soon as their second month. It looks like more study needs to be done but the initial study lays the ground work of hope for future studies. I’ve included the link to the article below.



    I serve the counties of El Dorado, Placer, Sacramento, Solano, Sutter, Yolo, and Yuba and cities like Auburn, Lincoln, Rocklin, Roseville, Sacramento, Placerville, and Woodland.

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  • November 11, 2013 /  Resources

    I have written on this before. In order to take care of others, you need to take care of yourself. It’s similar to the instructions you receive in the cabin of an airline, “Put the oxygen mask over your mouth and nose first, THEN put it over the mouth and nose of your child.” In other words, save yourself first, then the other person.

    This link offers a thorough assessment and analysis of caregiver burnout. Enjoy.


    caregiver holding hand

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  • November 4, 2013 /  Basics

    One of the more wonderful but sometimes difficult things I do in my profession is to visit my clients. My appearance is not always welcomed as many of my clients would rather manage the funds in my control than to have me do it but as we settle in I begin to show them how I can help and protect them in their lives as an advocate. That is where the wonderful part comes in, I get to help them improve their lives once they are willing to accept the help.

    I say all this to bring home a point: being a trustee, conservator or guardian is not only a great way to help your community one person at a time but also brings with it great responsibility for the one who acts in this capacity and also the one who sets the trust up.

    I came across this article from a newsletter that Kevin Urbatsch of Meyers Urbatsch P.C.  sends out from the Academy of Special Needs Planners that emphasizes this dual need. Kevin is an attorney that specializes in setting up Special Needs Trusts and helping Trustees administer them.  This is the link to the newsletter. The link to the article is at the end of their article.


    I have thought that making it mandatory to visit the beneficiary at least once a month would be a good thing to add to the trust (California requires all conservators to visit their charges at least once a month). In some cases a trust protector could serve in the oversight role (but like everything else, it too can be corrupted).

    guardian visit 


    I serve the counties of El Dorado, Placer, Sacramento, Solano, Sutter, Yolo, and Yuba, cities like Auburn, Lincoln, Rocklin, Roseville, Sacramento, Placerville, and Woodland, and Meyers Urbatsch P.C. and the Academy of Special Needs Planners.

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