Celebrate Earth Day
Since 1970, the world has celebrated April 22 as Earth Day, a time to bring environmental awareness and protection into the spotlight. Many communities honor the day with rallies or festivals where seniors set the stage. If you are looking to contribute, there are plenty of ways to get involved and leave the planet a little better than you found it.
Here are a few:
Take an intergenerational nature walk. Go for a nature walk with your grandchildren or other youngsters and share your favorite parts of nature. Bring along a trash bag and pick up any litter you see along the way.
Plant a legend. Arbor Day takes place this month, too. Honor both days by planting a tree with friends and family. This act will leave a legend of beauty for generations to come.
Paint the community green. Work with your neighbors and community managers to ensure that your home is operating a green as possible. Brainstorm together for ideas to reduce, reuse and recycle.
Lead a letter writing charge. Contact your local or state governments about ways to protect or improve the environment where you live. Encourage others to do the same.

Maplewood Sauk Prairie Offers Tips to Prolong A Senior’s Ability to Live at Home.

There are a variety of things to incorporate into a person’s daily living that increases safety and may prolong the ability for a senior to live in his/her home.
1. Bathroom Safety
• Utilize a shower seat.
• Have a cordless phone near a tub or shower, in case of an emergency.
• A walk-in shower or tub eliminates the need to step over a barrier which increases the risk of falling.
• Use a taller toilet seat. It makes it easier to get up or down.
• Install grab bars as an assistive aid and to help with stability.
2. Incorporate “Life Alert” or some monitoring agency. There may be a time when you can’t get to the phone because you fallen and by pushing a button on an assistive device the agency is notified that you need help.
3. Phone
• Multiple cordless phones around the house makes accessibility easier.
• Carry a cell phone on your person at all times.
• Use phones with large buttons for better visibility.
4. Rugs are tripping hazards
• Remove them or secure rugs in place with tape, tacks or non-skid backs.
5. Bright accessible lighting.
• Install automatic safety-motion lights for both the inside and outside of the home.
• Make sure the pathway to light switches is easily assessed.
6. Stairs
• Use non-skid strips for outside steps and porches.
• Make sure handrails or banisters are securely tightened for support.
• Remove runners on stairs. They are a tripping hazard.
• Indoor wooden stairs should have non-skid strips installed on them.
• Use and/or install a chair lift.
• Have a ramp for those who use a walker or wheelchair.
7. Outdoor
• Trim trees that cover walk ways.
• Install adequate lighting.
• Fix broken/cracked pavement or sidewalks
• Utilize non-skid materials on decks. It is a lot safer in wet weather.
• Fix broken or loose boards on decks.
• Secure hand and deck rails.
8. Bedroom
• Utilize bedrails to eliminate the possibility of falling out of bed.
• Have a phone next to the bed with emergency numbers programed or next to it.
• Proper bed height makes it easier to get into and out of bed.
• A firm mattress makes it easier to move on and off the bed.
• Have a light next to the bed.
• Utilize a night light.
9. Fire Safety
• Utilize smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. If possible, have the smoke detector hooked up so it is part of a monitoring alarm system that will automatically contact the fire department.
• Have fire extinguishers accessible. Place them in rooms that are high traffic areas such as bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchen and living room.

10. Power Outages
• A cell phone allows a person to communicate regardless if the power is out.
• Have a flashlight and batteries within easy reach.