Archive for Helping Others: Ideas & Info

Elderly Care Resources: Senior Shopping Safety

Elderly Care Resources: Senior Shopping Safety

 

This blog was spurred by recent events in our local grocery store that effected many senior citizens while shopping. We felt that sharing was important, bringing light to the new ways people are continually taking advantage of the elderly. Senior shopping safety is an important topic as thieves are getting bolder and more daring by the day. Purse snatching and in-street (parking lots included) robberies are one of the most common crimes against the elderly population. Crime prevention for the elderly needs to be made the public’s job. We all need to do better watching out for each other.

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As I entered the grocery store to do my weekly shopping this past Friday, it seemed a bit busier than normal but just a normal almost-Spring day. Living close to numerous senior communities, the store is often filled with the smiles of the elderly, many of whom we chat with regularly. As I headed down the first aisles, I noted a man that seemed out-of-place entirely too close to an elderly woman who was perusing the juices. I thought I saw him touch her purse. Watching harder, he left the aisle, and she seemed okay. I shrugged it off. A few aisles later, there he was again, and his hand again touched an unsuspecting woman’s purse. As I was fifty feet from him, and he walked towards me, his hand dipped into another purse; however, this time our eyes met. He retracted his hand quickly and headed towards me down the aisle.

“Do you have a quarter?” He asked attempting to change the reality of the situation. He had no cart. He never did. No items. No basket with groceries. He wore gang colors, and had his cell phone out, idling all too close to anyone who he tried to communicate or interact with. He was getting too close to me. He had all of the signs and gave off all of those feels; the ones that tell you to run. I should have known, and I should have immediately done what was coming next. I loudly verbalized he needed to get away from me and abandoned my cart to hurriedly find management. Security swung in to full force very quickly, and this purse-pocketer was ushered into whatever dungeon they use to confine until law enforcement arrives. I stayed long enough to give my statement and continued on with my day. (I am sure it wasn’t a dungeon, but I told myself that anyway to ease some stress.)

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As I thought back on the day, I realized that many of the seniors I passed in the store aisles had their open purses in their cart, while they shopped with their backs turned. I noted some were counting their paper money with their wallets open, exposing the shiny credit cards in the high-bean grocery store lights. Their conversations usually sounded of their social security troubles and medical woes. I remembered back when my Grandmas were alive and nodded to myself a little. One would be talking openly about how much money she withdrew and had on her from the bank when the teenage neighbors came over. She never locked her door, either. The other was no better, participating in dozens of “fake” “charities” for years before anyone noticed. Myself included.

In this day and age, it’s best to be safer than sorry, and take all of the proper precautions necessary to keep yourself safe. There are so many things in this world and things can get confusing. Here are a list of helpful tips and suggestions to keep yourself safe when you are out shopping.

  • Just because a person smiles does not mean they are safe.
  • When shopping in public, make sure your feet and shoes are dry. Grocery store floors are very slippery when wet.
  • Do not open your wallet and expose money in public places.
  • Do not discuss money or banking loudly in public.
  • Do not shop at night, or be out late in the dark, by yourself. Go with a friend or family member.
  • When in public, keep your purse or fanny pack in front of you at your belly. This allows you to wrap your arms around it where ever you are. If your purse is not comfortable or equipped for this, consider a cross-chest style bag for easier carrying comfort.
  • Do not leave your purse in the shopping cart when you are shopping.
  • If you must leave your purse in your cart, consider buckling it in to the child locking seat belt, zipping your purse completely. This places another level of work for any thief to accomplish before getting anything from your purse.
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  • When leaving the store and heading to your vehicle, if you feel suspicious or afraid of someone in the parking lot that might be watching you, following you, or moving towards you; make sure to get a store employee to walk you to your car, and see you on your way.
  • Do not answer the phone if you do not recognize the caller ID or phone number.
  • Do not participate in mail “charities” and “donation” requests. If there is one you are interested in, consider having a family member verify they are leading a valid cause. Never agree to something like this while out shopping. Wait until you can research it for yourself.
  • Do not loan money to strangers or neighbors or people on the street.
  • Do not carry extra cash. Just take what you need.

Remember, being aware and paying attention in every situation is key. Know your surroundings and pay attention to your personal bubble. No one should be entering your personal bubble except your doctors, family members, and people you trust. If you are out shopping and something like this happens, find someone in management or law enforcement and report the issue immediately.

ECR Information: Pen Pals for Seniors

ECR Information: Pen Pals for Seniors

 

Have you signed up yet? To receive, or to reach out and be a pen pal? No?! Well, what are you waiting for?!

We first stumbled across the organization in 2017 after seeing a news broadcast about it, and loving every single part of their mission! Pen Pals for Seniors recognition exploded after that Fall broadcast, and our organization, Justice for Nancy, was quick to sign up. What is this unique sounding organization? It’s one that unites a group of people to help bring another group of people out of isolation, giving them friendship and hope. The benefits of this sort of organization for those in need include mental calm, health improvements, and better moods, to name a few.

With this program, seniors are able to sign up for a pen pal in their area, or someone with like interests. They can then exchange emails, or written letters, back and forth, opening so many doors, opportunities, and warm-hearted feelings for all involved. Pen Pals for Seniors has a legitimate database, so no one will be taken advantage of, or partnered with someone that makes them feel awkward.

See, there’s the thing… they market this as an elderly human benefit, when really, we think it’s more of just a human benefit, overall. After losing both of my grandmothers, and having all sorts of incredible family circumstances, I miss them more now than ever. Participating in this program, and the others that we volunteer with, help give me the connection to the past that I need. Plus, my children still get the well-rounded relationships from people of all ages, and seeing the smiles they help create in our senior community warms my soul. And the elderly we encounter weekly and monthly seem brighter and peppier when we are there. They are excited when we call, check-in, and visit. Such a simple way to make a huge impact in someone else’s life.

If you’re wondering how you can sign up to participate in this program, sign up to be a pen-pal receiving senior, or donate to one of their many card causes, just head to their website!

Just Click Here (It’s a direct link straight to their website!) Pen Pals for Seniors website or Facebook page.

Or if you’d rather copy and paste, here are the addresses:

Site: https://www.penpalsforseniors.org/about-us

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pals4seniors/

 

Thanks for visiting our site! We hope your 2018 is off to a great start!

Elderly Care Resources: Seniors in Need: Everywhere USA

ECR: Seniors in Need: Everywhere USA

In the past few months, we have taken up volunteering and delivering food to home-bound seniors and the elderly around our area. It’s been a truly eye opening experience, and one we wish we could do every day of the week. As you can imagine, we have seen all kinds of people, in all sorts of circumstances. The thing is, they are all the kindest, nicest people you could ever come across.

So, what’s the trouble then? The trouble is that to these people we see, we give two brown paper grocery sacks full of “food.” Except that the food inside is processed, canned, non-perishables….and not really anything that’s going to keep anyone out of the hospital. That said, we fully understand that providing fresh foods and meats to everyone is just not possible, especially when some do not have a way to keep anything cold. Or in some cases, warm.

As a human, I can’t help but sit and wonder how we can make this change and get those who need REAL good just that—real, fresh food. The kinds that makes your body function and brain think to the highest of its power. The kinds that help bring blood sugars and high blood pressure down naturally, so eating 12 pills per day to combat and level sugar levels would be unnecessary. This year I’ve made our garden extra-large…more so than usual. I did this in hopes of sharing some of the most basic vegetables and fruits with some of the best people I’ve ever met.

We’ve had other blogs on volunteering and the importance of paying attention to your elderly neighbors, friends and family members. Any of them that you read will encourage your help! Please, consider helping your own local senior agencies! The need never ends!

VOLUNTEER! Because You Can!

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Elderly Care Resources brings you:

Volunteer! Because You Can!

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Over the past decade, we always seemed to find ourselves around the elderly and seniors. (And that’s where this web site came into play!) The fact is, we LOVE them immensely, and all of the things that they continue to teach us about life. It seems very full circle to have young children and the elderly working and interacting with each other on a regular basis brightens not only their world, but also gives children a clear view of real life, what’s expected, and what’s to come.

In our years of work and research, we always come back to a few very key points: seniors and the elderly lack the proper amounts of daily communication, interaction, and touch to properly function (Counsel of In-Home and Aging). It seems like something so simple to be able to rectify; a phone call here, a short visit there, or maybe lunch with them at their senior community. But what about those who are homebound and unable to leave, or provide for their basic necessities?

While doing a large food drive for our local food bank, Community Harvest in Fort Wayne Indiana, we learned more about the senior food programs and just how important they are to our community. In the past few weeks we have taken on a few delivery routes, taking non-perishable food items to seniors just like this. To see their faces light up when the open to door to smiling children is almost more than my heart can bear.

Consider signing up to help our local senior and elderly organizations WITH your children. Here are a few places you can do this around our area:

  1. Community Harvest Food Bank
  2. Aging & In-Home Service in NE IN
  3. Rescue Mission
  4. Charis House
  5. Franciscan Center, St. Anthony’s Food Pantry
  6. Check in with local nursing homes for NUMEROUS volunteer opportunities! Many love assistance with craft days, games, and strolling residents around the grounds on nice days for walks!

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Elderly Care Resources: Helping in 2016 & Saying Goodbye to Nancy

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Elderly Care Resources: Helping in 2016 & Saying Goodbye to Nancy

 

Whether you’re doing laundry for Grandma, helping your elderly neighbor shovel his snow, or even helping a senior through the grocery store- it ALL counts, and in most cases, is more than appreciated. For those elderly who are living alone, missing their spouse and family, just the intermittent contact between themselves and friends can hold off the winter blues, make their gloomy days brighter, and help them find their smile once more.

There are things that you can do that support, empathize, and help the elderly. Volunteer to help them. Call them. Stop by and bring them dinner. Offer your help with laundry and dishes. Shovel. Mow. Clean. Offer help with transportation for those who no longer drive, or help them secure their own. Help them grocery shop. Help them budget, as many live on fixed incomes. Check in on them when it’s too cold, and too hot. Invite them places, to your parties and get togethers. Help them to know their neighbors.

In any case, any circumstance, and any situation- help can always be given. This year, make it a point to help an elderly person. We promise you won’t feel bad about it at all, and you’ll get more smiles than you could ever dream of!

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This past week, we lost my Grandma who was the victim of a home invasion attack that left her completely blind and reeling in 2014. Truthfully, we lost her days after the attack, but her physical being left us last week. If there is anything I can tell you about Nancy, it was that she was a giver. It didn’t really matter what you needed, because she would come through in the end. One of the causes closest to her heart was ensuring that people had enough food to eat.

Due to her attack, Justice for Nancy was born. Now that she is gone, JFN will be around doing charitable events in Nancy’s name every year. This year we are running a food drive that will be donated to our local food bank in Fort Wayne, IN. Doing this comforts us in not only doing good for others, but keeping my amazing Grandma’s name out there, so everyone can remember her kindness, too.

If you’re interested in seeing what Justice for Nancy is all about….just click this link to head to our Facebook page!

Guest Blogging Updates!

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Guest Blogging Updates!

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If you’re interested in guest blogging on our page, you can now use this handy form to sign up! Within the form, you’ll simply need your email address, and to tell us what your post would be about on our blog!

After we receive your information, we’ll contact you with further details!!

Use this LINK to access our Google Form!!

 

Winter Safety 2014 Midwest Edition

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Winter Safety 2014 Midwest Edition

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Seriously. If you’re living in Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, Michigan, or Wisconsin, chances are you’re pretty much up to your eyeballs in snow. Better yet? I’m awaiting another foot of snow predicted to fall this afternoon and through the night tonight. So, I thought it a perfect time to remind you of the importance of checking on the elderly and seniors in the winter!!

First and foremost, make sure that they have enough food to get them through the WEEK of predicted bad weather. You don’t want to get a call a Monday, after your store trip the past weekend, declaring that she’s ran out of toilet paper. Better yet, make them a weather care package, and fill it with all the essentials. Paper products, water, medicines, flashlights, radios, hand warmers, and anything else your loved one may need.

Second, make sure to call and check on them, or communicate via social media or email, if that is an option. Many times in high snow totals, and ice, the elderly will stay indoors for weeks upon end, fearing the possible slip or accident if they travel outdoors. Making sure that they have an outlet to the outside world is more important than ever at this time of year. The winter blues come upon even the strongest adults, so it’s only natural that it hits those trapped indoors faster, and harder than others.

Thirdly, ensure that they have some of the proper items to ensure they’ll stay warm, and be as safe as they can being on their own in this horrendous winter weather! The links on the items below will take you to Amazon, which a very safe, and secure site!

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AAA 42 Piece Roadside Kit

This kit ensures that your loved one has what they need in case of a roadside emergency. This compact kit contains the following items: 1 AAA car care guide, 1 AAA membership brochure, 1 8-gauge booster cable, 1 flashlight, 2 AA batteries, 1 emergency poncho, 1 safety vest, 1 roll of duct tape, 1 2-in-1 screw driver, 6 assorted sizes of fuses, 1 shop cloth, 4 cable ties, 1 reusable zip lock bag, 19 pieces of first aid, 1 AAA storage bag, and information. Definitely worth the cost, if your elderly loved one is still driving the town!

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HotHands Warmers- 40 pair box

These are fabulous inventions that work well for the elderly, as well as those suffering from autoimmune issues. I use these regularly to be able to go out in temperatures below 45 degrees. They last for over 8 hours, which is plenty of time for most outings. They work well in pockets, shoes, pants pockets, shirt pockets, hats, and more!

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Safe Paw Non-toxic Ice Melt, 8lbs

This is detrimental for making sure that we don’t have falls on the front porch, or by the back door where they let the pets outside. This brand is wonderful, because it is pet safe, taking away of their worry about hurting Fido’s paws.

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Kiddie Multi Purpose Fire Extinguisher 1A10BC 

Many of our elderly relatives that are still living on their own, are in older houses, and electrics and things sometimes go haywire after years. Arming your relative with a chance to save the kitchen, or a bedroom with a fire extinguisher, may save their life! And possibly the residence! However, not just seniors should have these! Every household should have at least one fire extinguisher!

Be safe the rest of this winter, Midwest!

ID Theft. “Because Once It Happens, It Will Always Happen.”

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ID Theft. “Because Once it Happens, it will Always Happen.”

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Years ago I read that quote, “Because once it happens, it will always happen,” in an article about ID theft. It made me think, “really? ALWAYS happen?” I couldn’t understand how it wasn’t fixable. Until it happened to me. And I can assure you now, 8 years later, it is still happening to me…

The first time that I experienced Identity Theft was in 2005. It started off simple. First my debit cards were getting hit with off charges from all over the world, regularly. Many said I wasn’t being safe online…those people did not know me. I’m one of the most paranoid people around, and my dealing with all of this has made it even worse. With the debit card fraud, the banks would investigate. At one point, it was found to be an “internal bank error,” and they then paid for one type of Identity Protection for me for a few years. Wouldn’t you know that it was during those years that someone tried to take a loan out in my name, my neighbor used me as a cosigner on a car loan (that they subsequently stopped paying for, and that’s how I found out), and my social had been “sold” in the market. Or, that’s what I was told by our county Detectives that handle these cases.

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ALL of that happened while I check my account DAILY, sometimes more than once. The banks have my information locked up so tight, it takes me 10 minutes just to verify I’m me if I have banking issues. I have excellent computer and online protection, and I rarely shop online anymore. The trouble is…. Many of my side businesses require me to purchase my customers products online. And that’s where I think my breaches happened over the years. NOT AT ALL saying that the places I work for knew about it, could prevent it, or anything else… It’s the internet. It is what it is. If you’re on it, AT ALL, you’re at risk. It’s not just the things that you put on Facebook that are forever… it’s everything. Mortgage info. House info. Credit card info. Store scan-card info. You’re tracked everywhere. Staying on top of your every account is key. It may be annoying, and hard to get accustomed to… but if you’re ever hit with this, you’re going to be thankful you caught it early. Trust me.

I’m writing about this today because first thing this morning, I had to deal with a fraudulent situation, again. Hopefully this one was minor, and will pass…but it has heightened my awareness once again. Below you’ll find some good tips and reminder on how to stay vigilant in your financial world.
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Strategic Tips and Tricks to Avoid ID Theft in a World Where it Surrounds Us

*Protect your Social Security number: Memorize your social security number. You should never carry your social security card in your wallet, but keep it in a safe place at home. Do not put your social security number on your checks or even credit receipts. Do not give out your social security number unless there is a privacy notice accompanying the request.

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*Shred any and all personal documents: Buy and use a diamond or cross-cut type shredder to shred anything that you discard that may contain personal or financial information. This includes financial records, bank statements, pre-approved credit offers from the mail, and credit card receipts. Identity thieves employ “dumpster diving” techniques to steal your identity, but if you shred your documents, they will come out smelly and empty handed.
*Treat your mail with care: Stolen mail is almost the easiest way to get vital information. Keep a watchful eye on your mail and do not let simply sit in your mailbox all day. If you have a curbside mailbox, you may want to consider adding a lock to thwart identity thieves. Drop off checks at a USPS mailbox, instead of mailing them from home. Also, inform the post office to hold your mail when going on vacation and pick it up when you return.
*Know your payment cycles: Monitor your payment cycles on your credit cards and when your bank statement arrives every month. Call if the statements are late; identity thieves could have requested a change of address. It is not unusual for identity thieves to run up hefty charges before you even notice.
*When using the Internet, be on guard and watch for scams: Do not give personal information to people or companies who may ask you to click a link to verify your information. Do not click on links in email from unknown senders – if it is spam, it is a scam. Also, identity thieves have been using new “phising” techniques; they pretend to be an authoritative organization, such as your credit card or Ebay, asking you to verify your information. Never use these scam links; instead, log directly into your institution’s website, and chances are you will see that the email was a scam. Never put identifying information on discussion forums or websites such as MySpace or Facebook. Also, you can further protect yourself by installing a good anti-spyware program and anti-virus scan on your computer.
* Select strong and unique passwords: Password protect all of your accounts with a combination of letters and numbers. If you make up a word or phrase that does not exist in reality, your password becomes much stronger. When asked for a security question, do not use your mother’s maiden name, as this is very sensitive information. Memorize your passwords and PIN numbers, but do not use anything that would be easily guessed, such as birthdates or social security numbers.
* Verify sources before sharing information: Only provide information over the phone to people that you know. Identity theft scams can happen when a person says that they are a credit grantor of yours. Ask them if you can call them back and call the number that you know belongs to the company. When you discuss personal matters, provide only information that you believe is absolutely necessary. Avoid conducting surveys over the phone; they gather too much personal information that puts your safety at risk.
* Review your credit report frequently: Order your credit report at least twice a year; every three months would be ideal. Review it carefully. If you see anything that appears fraudulent or is not familiar to you, immediately put a fraud alert on your reports by calling the three credit reporting agency numbers. Ensure that all of your addresses are correct; if you witness a change in address, this is a huge sign that an identity thief is in the works. Check back with the credit agencies within 30 days to ensure the mistakes have been corrected. Also opt out of pre-approved offers with the credit bureaus by taking your name off all other promotional type of lists.
* Consider identity theft coverage: An ounce of prevention goes a long way, especially when you think of the countless hours that you could spend attempting to recover your stolen identity. A solid identity theft coverage program, such as Lifelock and Identity Guard, will not only save you time and money, but substantial frustration as well. These services will consistently monitor any changes to your personal credit files, ensuring that identity thieves are thwarted from marring your financial reputation
* Clean out credit and debit cards: Cancel all old credit cards that you do not use because open credit is a prime target for identity theft. When you are going to receive a new card in the mail, be aware of when it should arrive. Call to check on the card if you have not received it by a certain date. Never put your credit card account number on the internet (unless you are sure that it’s encrypted on a secured site); instead, you can opt to use services like PayPal that shield your credit card number from being broadcasted all over the internet. In terms of debit cards, avoid going to the ATM late at night and always ensure no one is looking over your shoulder when you are entering your PIN.
* Store information in secure locations: Put together a file of important information to safeguard your records. Make copies of all credit cards and bank account numbers, as well as their customer service phone numbers. Do not trust your hard drive to protect your identity, especially if it is connected to the internet.
* Safeguard your wallet and personal checks: Even though it is convenient to keep some things in your wallet, only carry what you absolutely need for day-to-day dealings. Never carry your birth certificate, social security card, or passport, unless necessary. When you order new checks, do not have your telephone number printed on them.
If you take these tips that help you stay safe from identity thieves, you safeguard your future and financial reputation. Remember, it is always easier to prevent id theft, than to fix the destruction an identity thief will wreak on your credit and finances.
(The above information was pulled from http://creditidentitysafe.com/identity-theft-protection and is a reputable site with valid suggestions. However, if you feel at any time that you cannot handle your own ID Theft battle, immediately seek out help. Contact your local authorities, as these days ID Theft is becoming so common, many police departments have task forces just to deal with this. They are often very helpful, and understanding.)

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Want to know how to ensure that your computer is safe? Check out OnGuardOnline.gov and they’ll give you great information and tips on online safety!

Want to learn more about cyber crime, or been a victim? Check out the government’s special site that holds a booklet (.PDF) for reading. http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/pdf-0009-taking-charge.pdf

Helpful Gadgets #1

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Helpful Gadgets #1
As we age, things tend to change. Not just our skin, and our minds….but also our abilities. It’s always nice that companies come out with new gadgets and devices that can help to make our lives a little bit easier. Check out some of these newer inventions! Some are geared towards those with certain disabilities, but of course anything can be used by anyone!!
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The One Trip Grocery Bag Holder is perfect for those with arthritis, or severe joint issues. Sometimes it’s virtually impossible even for me to bend my fingers to grasp something. It seems that this would really help with that, and it holds many bags at once which also cuts down on your trips back and forth to the car! Available here! http://www.amazon.com/One-Trip-Grip-4050/dp/B000RZ6XL8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1373939046&sr=8-1&keywords=one+trip+grip

 

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The QuickSnap Ice Cube tray is made to help get that ice out, without twisting your hands into broken shambles!! (Or breaking your ice cube tray…just saying.) It’s “regular look” tray has an easy out button on the underneath of the tray that helps plop the ice right into your glass!! Available here! http://www.amazon.com/Joseph-Quicksnap-Ice-Tray-ICEME0100SW/dp/B003AO4JI2/ref=sr_1_3?s=home-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1373939098&sr=1-3&keywords=quicksnap+ice+tray

 

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Steering Wheel Spinners or rings, depending on your style preference, are put onto your steering wheel so that you don’t have to grip the wheel when driving. There are a multitude of colors, types, and sizes nowadays. Many local medical supply stores carry these devices. Available here! In Many styles! http://www.amazon.com/Custom-Accessories-40044-Steering-Spinner/dp/B005GX3GFW/ref=sr_1_cc_1?s=aps&ie=UTF8&qid=1373939145&sr=1-1-catcorr&keywords=steering+wheel+spinner+knob

 

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Stirr-It is amazing for those soups, stews, and chowders!! Even for the rue’s that wear your arms down from stirring for hours. This fancy whisk you simply put into your pot, and turn on. There are a few different auto-whisks on the market, some you can set for certain amounts of time. Available here!! http://www.amazon.com/Crazy-As-Seen-On-TV/dp/B004MZPVHQ/ref=sr_1_1?s=home-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1373939227&sr=1-1&keywords=stirr+it

 

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The Wheelchair Bike is something I wish I would’ve had years ago!! OH how my grandma would have LOVED this thing!! Not only does this give the wheelchair rider a bit of wind in their hair…but it also eases the strain on the wheelchair pusher on those long distance walks. This would be amazing for the trails and parks! For selection, and the how-to’s of this neat thing, check here!! http://www.frankmobility.com/duetfeat.php

Volunteering: ~Herbie’s Memorial Garden~

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There are many ways that you could assist your elderly loved ones. Whether that’s helping after surgery, offering to clean their house, or take care of their yard… Taking them to the grocery, shopping, or seeing that their automobiles are in tip-top shape. Anything you offer, and do, will be greatly appreciated by your loved one. (And the good will spread back to you, too!!)

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Recently, my Grandpa passed away from cancer. My Grandma asked that my husband & I assist in creating a private, front yard sitting area for her, in memory of Herbie. We were all over this project–as my husband and I met years ago in a nursery & landscaping store… 

My Grandpa was the man on the porch, literally. When we went to design the project, my husband pulled up google earth, and pulled up the front of their house. Wouldn’t you know, after a year, he was still sitting on that patio. Waving at all the passer-by’s.

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It was a pretty big project, but that’s our favorite kind. I loved that while searching for tools we forgot to bring in the garage….I stumbled across my Grandpa’s “secrets” from years before. My old hunting bow that he helped me perfect my bow & arrow hunting methods with. From a treehouse in the backyard, aimed straight for the woods. A pile of old Winston wrappers…from his times of “secret smoking” in the garage. Not really secret, we all knew….but he was sure my Grandma didn’t!! I remember walking outside to the garage, and him waving me in quickly with one hand, while hiding the smoke rising out of his other. “Hey Jen,” in his heavy southern accent. “come on in here now & don’t let yer Grandma see us for a minute here.” The fishing rods lining the walls, and all our boat trips, fishing trips, and outdoor excitement.

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I’m very happy that I was still able to do this for them. My only wish is that my life’s obligations didn’t make it more possible for my kids to get to know him as I knew him when he was here with us. Of course I’ll be teaching them everything he ever taught me, and they’ll know what an awesome man he was!! 

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