When It Comes to Mobility Aids, One-Size Does Not Fit All

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Many older adults, especially those in assisted living communities, are no longer as steady on their feet as they used to be.  This puts them in danger of a fall, and a walker, cane or even a wheelchair or scooter is probably advisable.  However, before you start using a hand-me-down walker or buy any-old cane; experts warn that one size does not fit all.  In the case of a walker, to be an effective and safe mobility aid, it is important to have an expert help you pick out the best type and size for your needs.  

As AgingCare.com points out, “The wrong device can negatively affect a senior’s stability, cause posture-related problems and even result in pain. Mobility aids come in all shapes and sizes, so selecting the right equipment and achieving a proper fit usually requires a professional’s assistance and expertise.”  To get started determining what your needs are, experts recommend seeing your healthcare provider to discuss any problems you are having with your activities of daily living (ADLs).  If they recognize a need for a mobility aid, they may refer you to an occupational or physical therapist.  

The following are a couple of basic guidelines to know before you get started.  A cane can help provide balance and stability and is ideal for someone who needs to support no more than 25% of their body weight.  It is most useful for those minimally impaired or with weakness in one leg.   Walkers are available in a variety of models but regardless of the style a “correct height of a walker is measured from the floor to the wrist, and the elbows should be flexed in a range of 15 to 20 degrees.”  Experts also say the walker must be large enough to provide front and side support for the user.  

A motorized scooter may be the answer for someone who has lost the ability to walk any distance but still has an adequate amount of strength in their arms and upper body to stay upright as well as drive the scooter.  Again, there are a variety of models including indoor and outdoor ones as well.  Keep in mind though that most insurance companies and Medicare Part B typically only cover scooters for in-house use.  

MorningStar of Happy Valley is a senior living community with 61 private assisted living suites in a variety of floor plans.  In addition, our Reflections Neighborhood has 27 memory care suites devoted to the specialized care of those with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia. Our goal is to enhance quality of life for our residents, and we do this through a full range of care and hospitality services, amenities, and a component of wellness programs and activities. Please contact us or visit our website for more information.

MorningStar has considered it a privilege and responsibility to “cast a new light” on senior living, inspired and empowered by our unique mission: to honor, to value, to invest. Our passionate commitment to serving seniors has proudly earned us a reputation for satisfaction that is second to none. Contact us to learn more about the finest assisted living and memory care in Happy Valley, Oregon.

Source: agingcare.com/articles/expert-advice-how-to-choose-a-mobility-aid-190138.htm


Enjoy Built-in Companionship at MorningStar of Happy Valley

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While we tend to think of assisted living communities as offering senior care services, amenities and wellness programs, there is one thing many people forget about. At MorningStar of Happy Valley, we call it built-in companionship. In other words, the easy camaraderie that grows based on the spirit of friendships and community between one resident to another as well as between residents and our dedicated team and the surrounding community. 

Research continues to add to the growing evidence regarding the value of companionship and the benefit it offers to seniors. Studies are proving time and time again that socialization among older adults not only keeps the brain sharp, but it can even decrease the risk of developing dementia. Unfortunately in today’s society, too many older adults say they feel isolated, which also puts them at risk for depression.

Experts say along with helping to keep the elderly mentally sharp, socialization increases a person’s sense of belonging. Knowing someone is there you can count on during life’s ups and downs is important. In fact, older adults with a good social network appear to have higher self-esteem and feel more confident.    

Friends help us realize the importance of prioritizing our personal health and make it more likely we continue to take care of ourselves. Another benefit of a strong social life is it gives our lives meaning and purpose, and keeps us more engaged and excited about life. 

At MorningStar of Happy Valley, our goal is to promote physical, intellectual, spiritual and social wellbeing. We provide everything seniors need for quality of life and to age in place safely and comfortably. Along with luxury amenities and care services; our signature wellness programs and activities are designed to engage and encourage residents to live fully productive lives. 

In addition, for those suffering from Alzheimer’s and other dementia-related diseases, we provide compassionate, all-inclusive memory care. Please contact us to schedule a tour for a firsthand look at outstanding senior living in Happy Valley, Oregon.

MorningStar takes tremendous pride in the reputation we have earned for excellence and authenticity since our inception in 2003.  We believe the human capacity to grow, to learn and to contribute is ageless; and we act upon that truth daily, as we care for, inspire, and love the residents under our roof. Contact us to learn more about the finest assisted living and memory care in Happy Valley, OR.


Life Enrichment Activities for Those With Alzheimer’s Disease

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An article in the online publication, Medical News Today, suggests activities that can provide a person with Alzheimer’s disease a sense of normality and to help enrich their life. A study from 2020 reported meaningful activities are important for those with dementia as they can improve both psychological and physical health.

One suggestion of an indoor activity is to sit with the person and look through photo albums of family together. This is an effective way to engage the person and is typically enjoyable. Another relaxing activity can be listening to the person’s favorite music; or if they are more hands-on, do an arts and crafts project. Playing an instrument has much the same calming effect. 

Researchers say studies show knitting and crocheting to be calming activities for those with Alzheimer’s. Not only does it help reduce anxiety and depression, but the person gets a sense of accomplishment. Moreover, done within a group setting, it can lessen feelings of loneliness and isolation. Routine things like daily chores can also be comforting and help the person feel like they are a contributing member of the family/group.     

Experts say outdoor activities are important to a person’s overall health and well-being. One area of research for those having dementia includes therapeutic gardening. Data shows gardening can improve a person’s emotional and cognitive state, increase engagement and reduce anxiety. 

Other healthy outdoor activities include walking in the park (getting back to nature is good for all of us) and feeding the birds. If the person uses a mobility aid such as a walker or cane, be sure to have them use it. The same goes for wearing good-fitting walking shoes. 

The Alzheimer’s Association suggests keeping to a routine each day is helpful; as well as offering other promising ideas worth considering. In addition, they say to remember everyone is different, and if an activity does not seem to be to their liking, try something else. Most importantly activities should be those the person enjoys. 

At MorningStar of Happy Valley, our Reflections Neighborhood provides compassionate, experienced memory care to those with Alzheimer’s or other dementia-related diseases. Our home is a safe, peaceful place where residents’ independence is encouraged with inviting common areas and clear wayfinding.  In addition, purposeful activities keep residents engaged including physical exercise, music, dance, art, and aromatherapy designed to stimulate or calm as the situation requires.  Please contact us or visit our website for more information about MorningStar’s senior living in Happy Valley, Oregon.

MorningStar is guided by a culture rooted in our mission of honoring God, valuing seniors, and investing in our team, which allows us to deliver services with warmth, sincerity and depth of purpose. We have built a reputation for creating homes filled with an atmosphere of love and community. Please contact us to learn more about the finest senior living in Happy Valley, Oregon.


The Role of Rehabilitation Services in Senior Health

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Rehabilitation services play a crucial role in maintaining and enhancing the health and mobility of elderly individuals, particularly those residing in settings such as assisted living and senior living Scottsdale. These services are tailored to help seniors recover from injuries, manage chronic conditions, and improve their overall functional abilities, enabling them to lead more independent lives.

Physical Therapy

Physical therapy is a cornerstone of rehabilitation services in senior care facilities, including assisted living Fountain Hills. It involves exercises and therapies designed to restore mobility, reduce pain, and increase strength and balance. Physical therapists work closely with residents to create personalized treatment plans that address specific health issues, such as arthritis, stroke recovery, or hip replacement rehabilitation. The goal is to enhance mobility and enable seniors to perform daily activities more effectively and without pain.

Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapy focuses on improving the ability of seniors to perform daily tasks, which can be compromised by various health issues. Therapists in assisted living settings assess residents’ needs and adapt their living spaces to increase safety and independence. This may involve introducing adaptive tools for dressing, cooking, or bathing, or modifying environments to reduce the risk of falls. Occupational therapy helps seniors maintain their independence for as long as possible.

Speech and Language Therapy

For seniors dealing with conditions that affect their speech, such as after a stroke or with Parkinson’s disease, speech and language therapy is vital. This form of therapy helps improve communication abilities and can also address problems with swallowing. In senior living Scottsdale communities, speech therapists work to develop exercises that help strengthen the muscles involved in speech and swallowing, improving residents’ quality of life and ensuring their safety when eating and drinking.

Cardiac Rehabilitation

Cardiac rehabilitation is essential for seniors who have experienced heart-related events or surgeries. This type of therapy involves a combination of physical exercises and education on heart-healthy living, which includes nutritional counseling and stress management strategies. Programs are typically comprehensive, designed to improve cardiovascular health and prevent future heart issues.

Recreational Therapy

Beyond the more clinical approaches, recreational therapy plays a significant role in rehabilitation services by improving the mental and emotional well-being of seniors. Activities such as group exercises, games, arts and crafts, and social events are used to keep seniors engaged and socially active. These activities not only offer enjoyment but also contribute to a higher quality of life and can be particularly beneficial in communities like assisted living Fountain Hills.

In conclusion, rehabilitation services are integral to senior health, offering a range of therapies that help maintain and enhance physical, cognitive, and emotional well-being. Facilities like assisted living and senior living Scottsdale are equipped with skilled professionals who are dedicated to helping seniors regain and retain their independence through tailored rehabilitation services. These programs ensure that seniors can enjoy a fuller, more active life in their later years.


Activities and Programs That Enhance Life in Assisted Living

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Assisted living communities, including those in locations such as assisted living Fountain Hills and senior living Scottsdale, offer a variety of activities and programs designed to enhance the quality of life for their residents. These activities are not just about filling time; they are structured to provide meaningful engagement, support wellness, and foster community among residents.

Social Interaction Activities

One of the core components of assisted living programs is activities that promote social interaction. Regularly scheduled social events like group dinners, movie nights, and holiday parties encourage residents to build relationships and enjoy a communal atmosphere. Social interaction is vital for maintaining mental health and emotional well-being, helping residents to feel connected and part of a community.

Fitness and Wellness Programs

Maintaining physical health is crucial for seniors, and assisted living communities like those in Fountain Hills and Scottsdale offer tailored fitness programs to meet their residents’ needs. These might include yoga classes, walking clubs, and gentle stretching sessions, all designed to keep residents physically active while accommodating any mobility limitations. Regular fitness activities help improve strength, balance, and cardiovascular health, which are essential for seniors’ overall health.

 

Educational and Creative Workshops

Many assisted living facilities offer educational programs and creative workshops to keep the minds of their residents sharp. These could include painting classes, pottery workshops, book clubs, and guest lectures on various topics of interest. Such activities are not only enjoyable but also stimulate cognitive function and encourage lifelong learning.

Therapeutic Activities

Activities specifically designed to be therapeutic can also be found in these communities. For example, music therapy and art therapy sessions provide emotional and cognitive benefits, helping to manage stress, enhance memory, and promote better mental health. These therapies are particularly beneficial in communities that include memory care services.

Outdoor and Nature-Related Activities

For many seniors, connecting with nature is a source of great joy and relaxation. Assisted living communities often organize gardening clubs or have their own community gardens where residents can grow flowers and vegetables. Regular outings to local parks or nature reserves are also common, allowing residents to enjoy fresh air and natural settings.

Technology Integration

As technology becomes more ingrained in everyday life, assisted living communities are incorporating it into their activity programs. This can include using tablets for brain games, providing virtual reality experiences that allow travel from the comfort of one’s room, and using video calls to keep in touch with family and friends. These technological tools help bridge the gap between traditional activities and the digital world, offering residents new ways to explore and engage.

Life in assisted living, such as in assisted living Fountain Hills or senior living Scottsdale, is enriched by a diverse range of activities and programs. These initiatives ensure that residents enjoy a balanced lifestyle that supports their social, physical, and mental health. By participating in these activities, seniors can find new hobbies, continue lifelong passions, and maintain an active and fulfilling life in their community.


Seasonal Affective Disorder in Seniors: Symptoms and Treatments

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Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that occurs at the same time each year, typically during fall and winter. For seniors residing in assisted living facilities like assisted living Fountain Hills and senior living Scottsdale, recognizing the symptoms and seeking appropriate treatments is crucial for maintaining mental health and overall well-being.

Understanding Seasonal Affective Disorder

SAD is more than just the winter blues; it is a clinical condition that affects emotions, energy levels, appetite, and sleep. Among seniors, the lack of natural sunlight during shorter days can exacerbate feelings of depression and isolation. Facilities such as assisted living Fountain Hills are equipped to support residents experiencing SAD by enhancing indoor lighting and providing spaces that encourage social interaction.

Symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder in Seniors

Symptoms of SAD can be subtle at first but tend to increase in severity as the season progresses. They include:

– Persistent low mood

– Loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities

 

– Social withdrawal

– Increased sleep and daytime sleepiness

– Overeating, particularly with a craving for carbohydrates

– Weight gain

– Feelings of hopelessness or worthlessness

Treatments and Support Strategies

Effective management of SAD involves a combination of therapies and support systems, which can be facilitated in settings like senior living Scottsdale and assisted living Fountain Hills.

Light Therapy

One of the most effective treatments for SAD is light therapy, which involves exposure to bright light that mimics natural sunlight. Light boxes are commonly used in assisted living facilities to help alleviate symptoms by resetting the internal body clock, enhancing mood, and improving sleep patterns.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a form of psychotherapy that helps individuals manage their problems by changing the way they think and behave. CBT can be particularly beneficial for seniors suffering from SAD, focusing on identifying negative thought patterns and replacing them with more positive ones.

Medication

In some cases, antidepressant medications may be prescribed to help alleviate the symptoms of SAD. It’s important for healthcare providers within assisted living communities to monitor these medications carefully, considering the overall health and existing medical conditions of the senior residents.

Social Activities

Encouraging participation in social activities can help seniors combat the isolation that often accompanies SAD. Assisted living communities like those in Fountain Hills and Scottsdale provide various social events and activities that engage residents, fostering a sense of community and belonging.

Vitamin D Supplementation

Due to reduced sunlight in winter months, supplementing with vitamin D can help improve mood and energy levels. Many senior living facilities incorporate dietary supplements as part of the health management plan for residents prone to SAD.

Educational Sessions

Educating seniors and their caregivers about the symptoms and treatments of SAD can empower them to take proactive steps at the first signs of seasonal depression. These educational sessions can be part of routine wellness programs offered in assisted living communities.

By recognizing the symptoms and implementing effective treatment strategies, assisted living facilities can play a pivotal role in helping seniors manage Seasonal Affective Disorder, enhancing their quality of life during the challenging winter months.


HOW TO EASE THE TRANSITION TO AN ASSISTED LIVING FACILITY

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One of the most stressful events in life involves packing up your possessions and moving to another home, whether the new home is a few blocks away or halfway across the country. If you have lived in your home for many years, making the transition to our senior housing community in Rio Rancho, New Mexico can be downright intimidating. This is the most significant adjustment you can expect to make during your senior years.

Let’s take a look at how to ease the transition to an assisted living facility in Rio Rancho.

Start With a Tour

The timeless adage “familiarity breeds contempt” certainly does not apply to a new home. You should become as familiar as possible with the assisted living facility in Rio Rancho that you have chosen as your new home. At our senior housing community in Rio Rancho, we offer scheduled tours to help new residents become familiar with their new surroundings. You get the opportunity to talk with residents and staff members, as well as enjoy a meal in the dining rooms.

Get Involved in Activities

At our assisted living facility in Rio Rancho, we organize many activities throughout each month to keep residents busy. From organizing day trips to different venues in Albuquerque to scheduling in-house events such as bingo night, our bustling activities calendar offers new residents a way to make the tough transition to their new homes. Participating in activities is an effective way to develop friendships with the other residents.

Interact With Loved Ones

Treat your new home at our senior housing community in Rio Rancho like you treated your old home before the big move. This means you should invite friends and family members to visit you whenever they can. Interacting with friends and family members allows you to maintain the social connections you had before transitioning to an assisted living facility. You also should spend time outside our assisted living facility in Rio Rancho with friends and family members by meeting for lunch or enjoying the matinee showing of a favorite movie.

Stay Involved Outside the Community

Just because you moved into an assisted living facility does not mean you have to stop participating in activities that are outside of the community. Continue to get involved in any club that focuses on your favorite hobby. Remain active with any volunteer groups that you support with your hard work. Recruit some of the new friends you have met at MorningStar-Rio Rancho to join you in getting involved with a club or group. One of the most popular group activities for seniors is exercising as a group at a fitness center.

Do Not Rush the Emotional Transition

No matter how thorough you are in preparing for a move from a home you lived in for decades to an assisted living facility in Rio Rancho, NM, you can expect some emotional bumps in the road. Embrace any emotional bumps in the road as part of the transition. Eventually, any fear, anxiety, and apprehension of transitioning to an assisted living facility should disappear. The best way to work out any emotional issues is to talk to one of your new friends or one of the caregivers at our senior housing community in Rio Rancho.

 

As they say, time heals all wounds, especially the emotional wounds that can develop when you leave an old home for a new home at an assisted living facility.


The Importance of Regular Health Screenings for Seniors

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Regular health screenings are vital for maintaining the health and well-being of seniors. These screenings are especially crucial for residents in settings such as assisted living, assisted living Fountain Hills, and senior living Scottsdale, where maintaining optimum health can significantly impact quality of life.

Benefits of Regular Health Screenings

Health screenings for seniors are preventative measures that can detect potential health issues before they become serious. Early detection of diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and heart conditions means that treatment can start early, often leading to better outcomes. Furthermore, these screenings can monitor ongoing conditions, ensuring that any necessary adjustments to treatment can be made promptly.

Types of Essential Screenings

There are several key health screenings that are recommended for seniors:

1. Blood Pressure Checks: High blood pressure is a common condition that can lead to serious health issues if left untreated. Regular checks help manage this risk and can prevent complications such as heart disease and stroke.

2. Cholesterol Measurements: High cholesterol levels are risk factors for heart disease. Monitoring cholesterol helps manage this risk and guides dietary and medical interventions.

 

3. Cancer Screenings: Depending on personal and family medical history, screenings for cancers such as breast, colon, and prostate cancer are recommended. These screenings can be crucial for catching cancer early when it is most treatable.

4. Bone Density Tests: As seniors age, the risk of osteoporosis increases. Bone density tests can detect early stages of bone loss, allowing for lifestyle changes and treatments to strengthen bones and prevent fractures.

5. Blood Glucose Tests: These tests are important for detecting diabetes or pre-diabetic conditions, allowing for early dietary adjustments, medication, and lifestyle changes to manage the disease effectively.

Integrating Screenings in Senior Living

In communities like assisted living Fountain Hills and senior living Scottsdale, health screenings are often integrated into the regular care provided to residents. These communities have systems and staff in place to ensure that all residents receive their necessary screenings according to a schedule that suits their individual health needs.

Education and Awareness

Educating seniors about the importance of these screenings is a priority in assisted living communities. Knowledge about what screenings are needed and why they are important empowers seniors to take an active role in their health management. Staff in these communities are also trained to provide information and support to residents, helping them understand their health screenings and results.

Follow-Up and Care Coordination

After screenings, it is important that there is a follow-up to discuss results with healthcare providers. In senior living settings like assisted living and senior living Scottsdale, staff help coordinate these follow-ups and any subsequent care that may be required. This coordination ensures that seniors not only receive comprehensive care but also understand their health conditions and treatments.

Regular health screenings are a cornerstone of preventive healthcare for seniors. By detecting problems early and monitoring health conditions regularly, these screenings contribute significantly to a senior’s ability to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle. Communities such as assisted living and senior living Scottsdale play a crucial role in facilitating these screenings, ultimately enhancing the health and longevity of their residents.


Community Life: The Social Benefits of Assisted Living

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Living in an assisted living community offers numerous social benefits that can greatly enhance the quality of life for seniors. These benefits are particularly evident in places like assisted living Fountain Hills and senior living Scottsdale, where a strong emphasis is placed on creating vibrant, supportive community environments.

Fostering Social Connections

Assisted living communities are designed to foster social connections. They offer communal spaces and a host of social activities that encourage residents to interact and form friendships. Regularly scheduled events such as games nights, movie screenings, and group outings provide residents with continuous opportunities to engage with others, ensuring that everyone has the chance to be part of the community.

Reducing Isolation and Loneliness

One of the most significant benefits of assisted living is the reduction of isolation and loneliness among seniors. Living alone can be isolating, particularly if mobility issues make it difficult to get out and about. Assisted living communities like those in Fountain Hills and Scottsdale provide a built-in social network of peers and staff, along with daily activities that bring residents together, fostering a sense of belonging and reducing feelings of loneliness.

Access to Cultural and Recreational Activities

Residents of assisted living communities enjoy regular access to cultural and recreational activities that might otherwise be inaccessible. These activities, ranging from art classes to local theater outings, not only offer enjoyment and leisure but also stimulate mental and emotional well-being. Senior living Scottsdale, for example, often partners with local cultural institutions to provide a rich calendar of events that cater to diverse interests.

Support During Transitions

Moving into assisted living can be a significant transition. The supportive environment of these communities helps ease this transition, providing residents with immediate social support from staff and fellow residents who understand and can share their experiences. This network of support is crucial in helping new residents adjust and find their place in the community.

Promotion of Health and Wellness

The social interactions in assisted living communities also promote health and wellness. Socially active seniors typically experience better physical and mental health outcomes compared to their less connected peers. Activities that promote light physical activity, social interaction, and mental engagement are regular features in assisted living, aiding everything from cardiovascular health to cognitive function.

Enhanced Safety and Security

There is also an added layer of safety and security that comes from living in a community setting. Assisted living provides staff oversight and assistance 24/7, ensuring that help is always available in case of an emergency. This presence not only reassures the residents but also provides peace of mind for their families.

Overall, the social environment of assisted living communities like assisted living Fountain Hills and senior living Scottsdale plays a critical role in enhancing the lives of seniors. By providing opportunities for socialization, activities, and support, these communities help residents lead happier, healthier, and more fulfilling lives.


HOME SAFETY TIPS FOR SENIORS

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Practice makes perfect.

Long before you move to a senior housing community in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, you lived independently in your own home for many years. The same safety tips that you follow in your own home also apply to your new home at an assisted living facility. Let’s review home safety tips for seniors that you should follow as well at your new home at our assisted living facility in Rio Rancho.

Be Prepared

The last thing you want to do during an emergency is scramble to find the emergency phone numbers that allow you to call for immediate assistance. Write down every emergency contact phone  number in large print and place the list next to a landline phone. If you have mastered operating a Smartphone, add emergency phone numbers in the phone by accessing the Contacts feature. Some of the emergency phone numbers to store include 911, poison control, and your healthcare provider, as well as friends and family members.

Prevent Falls

Falls represent one of the most common reasons why seniors visit hospital emergency rooms. You can prevent falls by implementing several strategies. Install handrails in the bathroom to provide you with stability if you start to slip and fall. Handrails also represent helpful additions in your home along stairways. Make sure to pick up all objects sitting in high-traffic areas of your home to prevent you from tripping and falling. Ask your healthcare provider to perform a risk assessment concerning your balance and coordination.

Make Security a Priority

Seniors are prime targets for criminals, which means you should implement several security tips to prevent criminals from taking advantage of you. Keep doors and windows locked at all times, even when you plan to stay home for the rest of the day. Never allow a stranger to enter your home if you are alone. Install a digitally advanced security system that includes a feature that allows you to quickly contact the nearest law enforcement agency if you feel threatened by an intruder. Avoid financial scams by talking over every proposed deal with a trusted friend or family member.

Make Your Home Fire Resistant

A fire can start at any time, without giving you any warning to react promptly by putting it out. Install a fire detector in every room and make sure to replace each battery twice a year. Never leave the kitchen if you are cooking a meal. Do not overload a socket or extension cord with multiple electrical cords and wires. Follow the rule of one cord, one socket. You should not leave a room with burning candles, as well as replace small appliances that attach to frayed or damaged electrical cords. For a large appliance, contact the nearest dealer to have a technician replace the damaged cord.

Stay Safe at MorningStar-Rio Rancho

At our senior housing community in Rio Rancho, NM, our caregivers receive comprehensive training on how to implement safety tips for our residents. We ensure residents receive the correct medications in the proper dosages. Our caregivers also educate residents on how to avoid bathroom hazards, as well as prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. The caregivers at our assisted living facility also conduct regularly scheduled safety inspections to keep residents safe and secure 24 hours a day. Learn more about how we keep residents safe and secure at our senior housing community in Rio Rancho by scheduling a tour.