Posts tagged with "Home Modification"

Long-Term-Care Planning

Long-Term-Care Planning can seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. Many people wish to age within the home they have come to love. It is important to have a discussion with your doctor and loved ones to decide if this is the best option. 70% of people who are 65 or older can anticipate using some form of Long-Term Care (2). 80% of those who receive long-term care (LTC) support live in a community setting or age-in-place by living at home (2).

Below we have compiled a list of what we feel are important pieces of advice when it comes to Long-Term Care Planning:

  1. Discuss the possibilities, no matter how grim and explain the need for care(1)

No one enjoys thinking about themselves aging, but it is one of the inevitable parts of life. Talking about every potential scenario – no matter how unpleasant – allows you to prepare yourself and your loved ones for what may come.

  1. Find the perfect timing (1)

It is never too early to start planning. We recommend not waiting to start planning until after experiencing a life-changing incident. Do your due diligence early on and you will thank yourself later.

3. Find perfect location (1)

Depending on your health and strength, your ideal option may be aging-in-place in your family home. If you need a little help and you have children who can support you, moving in with them may be idyllic. Some are able to hire live-in healthcare providers who help them perform daily tasks. While these options work for some, others need more acute care. The annual cost of LTC in a private room within a nursing home varies greatly from state to state.

  1. Learn about potential coverage options (1)

It’s essential to do your own research. Nearly half of all Americans over the age of 65 mistakenly rely on Medicare to take care of their needs. Medicaid covers LTC services, however this option also inflicts a strict income limit. Life insurance is helpful, but has it has drawbacks as well. Do some research and discuss your options with the ones you love.

  1. Listen to your loved ones preferences and concerns (3)

As we said earlier in this post, talking about aging is not something anyone enjoys. Allow everyone involved to express his or her opinions and feelings. This will help put you all on the same page, and allow worries to be addressed and preferences to be voiced. No one wants to give up their independence, but if it is necessary, being heard helps alleviate anxiety.

Long-Term Care Planning is a process. We hope these tips help make it a little easier on you and your loved ones!

 

Sources:

  1. http://www.altcp.org/10-retirement-long-term-care-planning-tips/
  2. https://www.nylaarp.com/Landing-Pages/LongTermCare?tntph=PPCLTC9053&cid=2Z6Y2L&mkwid=sQ5GiKujo-dc_pcrid_252904727193_pmt_b_pkw_%2Blongtermcare&gclid=CjwKCAjworfdBRA7EiwAKX9HeDT-gOCXeatNaztSZYxzip3Tnhl_26MyB86Mw3YbXi14g7vJ-p2JCxoCzIsQAvD_BwE&mkwid=sQ5GiKujo-dc_pcrid_252904727193_pmt_b_pkw_%2Blongtermcare&gclid=CjwKCAjworfdBRA7EiwAKX9HeDT-gOCXeatNaztSZYxzip3Tnhl_26MyB86Mw3YbXi14g7vJ-p2JCxoCzIsQAvD_BwE#/LTCStep1
  3. https://www.nylaarp.com/Landing-Pages/LongTermCare?tntph=PPCLTC9053&cid=2Z6Y2L&mkwid=sQ5GiKujo-dc_pcrid_252904727193_pmt_b_pkw_%2Blongtermcare&gclid=CjwKCAjworfdBRA7EiwAKX9HeDT-gOCXeatNaztSZYxzip3Tnhl_26MyB86Mw3YbXi14g7vJ-p2JCxoCzIsQAvD_BwE&mkwid=sQ5GiKujo-dc_pcrid_252904727193_pmt_b_pkw_%2Blongtermcare&gclid=CjwKCAjworfdBRA7EiwAKX9HeDT-gOCXeatNaztSZYxzip3Tnhl_26MyB86Mw3YbXi14g7vJ-p2JCxoCzIsQAvD_BwE#/LTCStep1

 

The Benefits of Having a Professional Home Safety Evaluation

As you begin your search for childproofing or “aging in place” items to help you transition to a safer home environment, making a purchase decision is not always easy. Many products look useful, but may not be the best solution for your unique home. With the numerous options advertised for childproofing and aging-in-place, it can be difficult to know which products are worth buying.

This is where your experts at Home Safe Homes can lend a hand.

Home Safe Homes has been performing Home Safety Evaluations since it opened in 2001. We’re members of the International Association for Child Safety and have been childproofing homes since opening. As our business grew some of our staff became Certified Aging-in-Place Specialists, and we’ve been performing accessibility remodeling since 2009. Our team has the experience and knowledge to back up our product recommendations.  Their expertise allows them to perform installations efficiently and securely. At Home Safe Homes our goal is to give our clients peace of mind, by helping them improve their homes’ safety and accessibility.

When Home Safe Homes performs a Home Safety Evaluation, the team member assigned to you will accompany you room-by-room to evaluate your living space and learn about your daily routines and needs. They will then recommend items that can best improve your home safety, and inform you of the cost of the products and their installation. If you aren’t interested in everything they recommend, the price can be adjusted to include only the services you choose to pursue.

We provide a quick turn-around from the time the evaluation is performed to when we are able to install the products you have selected.

 

If you are interested in childproofing or aging-in-place, call Home Safe Homes at (317) 773 – 1996 to set up an appointment for a Home Safety Evaluation today!

The Benefits of Vertical Platform Lifts and Ceiling Lifts

Vertical Platform Lifts

EX-Access PASSPORT Lift being used by a client and his wife, while their children watch

 

Home Safe Homes is proud to partner with EZ-Access, and to be able to offer and install their PASSPORT® Vertical Platform Lift. Our trained professionals can install these lifts to fit your needs and do so efficiently.

The PASSPORT® Vertical Platform Lift (VPL) takes access safety to the next level, delivering a smooth, quiet ride to your next destination. This VPL is most commonly used by individuals who have limited mobility and is the perfect solution for any difficult pathway, porch, or platform (EZ-ACCESS). There are multiple platform configurations and lift heights which make it possible to customize this lift to meet your unique needs.

The sturdy aluminum construction of the PASSPORT® makes it the lightest residential platform lift on the market. This VPL weighs in at fewer than 400 pounds, which is an estimated 300 pounds lighter than similar steel units. The PASSPORT® features Plug-N-Play Wiring Technology that is waterproof and will not corrode, making it both user-friendly, and the preferred lift of technicians and installers (EZ-ACCESS).

There are a number of safety features for the PASSPORT® that make it more accessible and secure. The Undercarriage Platform Safety Pan has an obstruction detector that requires less than 15 pounds of pressure to stop the lift (EZ-ACCESS). When the lift is stopped by an obstruction it will remain operational in the upward direction, but the obstruction or object must be removed to continue traveling downward. The PASSPORT® is made universally accessible using a self-adjusting 24-inch entry ramp that can be built on either end of the platform. When the lift rises, the ramp prevents any accidental travel off the platform by folding upward to provide an added safety measure (EZ-ACCESS).

Image of EZ-Access PASSPORT Control Box. This images shows that there are 3 controls available: Up, Down, and Emergency Stop; along with a keyslot to turn the Lift on and off.The PASSPORT is multi-positional with a keyed operation. It features large, mushroom head control switches (including an emergency stop) that require very little pressure and are easy to use, regardless of motor skills. High-visibility LED indicator lights have been arranged on the control box allow for easy troubleshooting, which leads to fewer service calls. The PASSPORT® is ETL certified*, independently tested and approved for product safety (EZ-ACCESS). Each PASSPORT® comes with a 2-year warranty and is made in the USA.

 

 

 

*ETL Certified:

The PASSPORT has been tested and approved by a nationally accredited testing laboratory, assuring continued compliance with the applicable regulatory and safety standards throughout North America. The ETL Certification Mark is recognized and accepted proof of third-party inspection, testing, and certification. (EZ-ACCESS)

Ceiling Lifts

As an authorized dealer of Molift Hoists and Slings, Home Safe Homes has access to products designed to give caregivers the best support and an optimal environment (“Home Safe Homes Services”).

The Benefits of Ceiling Lifts

Home Safe Homes is a licensed installer and dealer of the Molift Rail System: the flexible ceiling hoist system (“Molift Rail System”).

This railing system solves all hoisting needs of people with disabilities and is the ideal solution for assisting caregivers.

It’s a cost-effective solution for institutions, hospitals, private, and nursing homes. The Molift Rail System is easily customized to suit the design and construction of the room it is being installed in.

Caregiver Health Matters

Home Safe Homes is proud to work with Molift to supply equipment that facilitates handling and moving while reducing the need for heavy manual lifting and handling (“Home Safe Homes Services”).

Molift is a part of etac®, a world-leading developer of ergonomic mobility aids that aim to improve their users’ activity levels regardless of physical condition. They offer state-of-the-art products for countless care situations, for people of all ages. Molift products are designed to give their users’ a better life while delivering caregivers with unsurpassed support and ideal environments to work in. Molift creates solutions that improve caregivers’ quality of life, which leads to healthier caregivers who have more energy to provide attention, love, and care.

As an authorized Molift dealer, we have one mission: To help protect caregivers’ health so that they can provide their clients with the best care possible.

Configurations

There are four main configurations that this extremely adaptable ceiling hoist system is built in:

Single Rail System

Molift Single Rail System displayed in a client's bedroom.Available in straight rail and/or curved rails that provide simple and effective patient transfers for the most common lifting situations (“Molift Rail System”)

 

 

 

 

 

Traverse Rail System

Molift Rail System Traverse SwitchCovers the whole lifting area independent of furnishing or equipment changes in the room and is the most flexible option (“Molift Rail System”).

 

 

 

 

 

Room-to-Room Transfer

molift rail system single rail through doorwayWhen a transfer is needed from one room to another or from one rail system to the next, Molift can provide room-to-room function (climbing), switch systems, or continuing rail systems through doorways, etc. (“Molift Rail System”).

 

 

 

 

Freestanding Hoist Units

Molift-Smart-150. A freestanding patient transfer optionThe best alternative when the lifting need is temporary or when the facility is not built for permanent installations is a free standing option. (“Molift Rail System”)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whether you need assistance getting from one level to the next, from wheelchair to bed, or room-to-room Home Safe Homes has got you covered. Contact us for more information or to set up an appointment. We look forward to hearing from you.

Sources:

EZ-ACCESS. Modular Ramps & Stairs | EZ-ACCESS, 2018, www.ezaccess.com/products/passport-vertical-platform-lifts.

 

Home Safe Homes, 2018, www.homesafehomes.com/services/

 

Molift Rail System | Etac.com, Etac, 2018, www.etac.com/products/hoists-and-slings/ceiling-hoists/molift-rail-system/.

Home Safe Homes Helps Improve Home Safety for the Sandwich Generation

Are you struggling to take care of mom and dad…AND your children?

Home Safe Homes helps people in the sandwich generation* care for both their parents and their children and keep them safe. We offer a variety of services in Child Safety and Accessibility Remodeling.

Throughout the next couple of weeks, we will be posting blogs on how Home Safe Homes can help put Sandwich Generationers’ minds at ease. This week’s blog concentrates the ways we are able to help you improve your parents’ independence in the home through accessibility remodeling, starting with bathroom safety and accessibility

Bathroom Safety

The CDC reported that 81 percent of injuries experienced by those 65 and older were caused by falls and that one of the most common environments, where falls occur, is in the bathroom. Over one-third of older individuals require hospitalization following a bathroom incident. “Each year, 3 million older people are treated in emergency departments for fall injuries.” (“Home and Recreational Safety” 2017)

Consider these safety tips to reduce falls in the bathroom:

  • Ensure shower doors are made of safety glass or replace with a shower curtain.
  • Take extra care when on a wet surface. Slip-resistant flooring is recommended for bathrooms, such as paint-on applications or self-adhesive non-slip strips.
  • Grab bars are recommended in all positions around the bath and toilet. Never use a towel rail to support body weight.
  • Hand-held shower hoses are a good idea, as are shower chairs or bath seats when mobility or balance is in question.

Home Safe Homes strives to help prevent falls in the bathroom and to increase bathroom safety. Whether it is due to aging, illness or disability, when bathrooms need to be modified to reduce barriers for the safety and comfort of those at home — Home Safe Homes can help. Our professionals can advise you on grab bars and other equipment to modify your bathroom to ensure maximum safety and independence.

It is not uncommon for individuals to need help getting in and out of the tub or shower. One of the simplest and most inexpensive ways that Home Safe Homes is able to aide in increasing bathroom safety is through the installation of grab bars. Home Safe Homes keeps stainless steel, concealed screw grab bars in stock, and carry them on our truck. This means that it is possible for our team member to install grab bars the same day that they do a home safety evaluation.

In addition to grab bar installation, we also offer barrier free shower systems. The barrier-free showers that Home Safe Homes install are Best Bath brand. Barrier-free showers allow for easier entry and exit of the shower, especially for those who have difficulty lifting their foot over the lip of standard showers. Barrier-free showers also make it possible for wheelchairs to roll into and out of the shower, and transferring from a wheelchair to shower bench safer and more efficient. We are proud to partner with Best Bath and be able to install their wide array of barrier-free shower options.

For consultation, contact Home Safe Homes today.

 

* The sandwich generation is a generation of people, typically in their thirties or forties, responsible for bringing up their own children and for the care of their aging parents.

Sources:

“Home Assessments | Indianapolis, IN.” Home Safe Homes, Home Safe Homes, 2018, homesafehomes.com/services/#bathroom-modifications.

“Home and Recreational Safety.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 10 Feb. 2017, www.cdc.gov/homeandrecreationalsafety/falls/adultfalls.html.

April is Occupational Therapy Awareness Month

April is National Occupational Therapy Month. This month is all about increasing awareness about all the benefits of Occupational Therapy, as well as the professionals who provide it. Occupational therapists work with individuals from age newborn through adult, which is why there are so many misperceptions concerning OT and also explains why people are not sure what exactly occupational therapy is.

The American Occupational Therapy Association, Inc. (AOTA) affectionately refers to April as “OT Month.” The AOTA states an occupational therapist or OT assistant’s “holistic and customized approach to evaluations, interventions, and outcomes help a child with disabilities participate in school and in social situations, assist a person recovering from injuries to regain skills, aid an older adult to stay as independent as possible, and offer the specialized support and services to people of all ages and in all circumstances that only occupational therapy can provide.” (Batema)

There are many different populations that Occupational Therapists can work with. Some work with young children who struggle with motor skills and developmental milestones. Others help people who have suffered in an accident or other life-changing event, Occupational Therapists help individuals to regain fine motor skills they have lost and learn new ways to perform acts of daily living. They may also work with older individuals who are going through mental or physical changes maintain a reasonable level of independence. Occupation Therapists help people get back to work, back to driving, back to acts of daily living that we often take for granted.

The professionals at Homes Safe Homes are not medical specialists, so we work with Occupational Therapists in order to help us know what modifications are needed now and what may be needed down the road as conditions progress. This allows the Home Safe Homes team to make recommendations to the client, and install equipment that will make aging-in-place possible as the disorder evolves.

Batema, Cara. “SpecialNeeds.com.” Occupational Therapy Month | SpecialNeeds.com, SpecialNeeds.com, www.specialneeds.com/activities/general-special-needs/occupational-therapy-month.

Misconception #3: Smart Home Technology is Simply for Convenience

Though the majority of homeowners over age 55 (67 percent) think that as they age it could be helpful, only 19 percent say they have contemplated investing in smart-home technology for that reason. This is likely because technology is still often seen as a luxury convenience rather than a sensible necessity. In fact, homeowners who haven’t considered smart-home technology to assist them with aging in place say that the most common reasons are: that they either didn’t need or are not interested in such technology (45 percent), that it is too expensive to buy (29 percent) and that it’s too expensive to install (25 percent).

Reality: Smart Home Technology Supports Independence

While smart home technology is frequently considered to be nothing more than a luxury convenience, these technologies can help aid in the process of aging in place and also increase the livability of the space for people of any age. For example, a smart refrigerator that automatically senses when groceries run low and is able to order new ones when needed. This single appliance that creates convenience for a young family can ensure that a homebound senior receives nourishment consistently.

It isn’t surprising that older adults are less likely to adopt smart home technology than young adults who are more familiar with it. This paired with the fact that smart home technologies are still coming into existence means that they are still expensive, which can make older homeowners even less likely to invest in them. Luckily, as time goes on prices will drop and the so-called “digital divide” will close.

 

Sources:

“Aging in Place Home Design: Features for “Thriving in Place” – Design Tech Homes.” Aging in Place Home Design & Build for Thriving in Place, Design Tech Homes, 2017, www.dth.com/our-learning-center/homeowner-tips/aging-in-place-home-design-features-for-thriving-in-place.

“Aging in Place Report 2016 | HomeAdvisor.” Home Improvement Tips & Advice from HomeAdvisor, HomeAdvisor, Inc., 30 Aug. 2017, www.homeadvisor.com/r/2016-aging-in-place-report/.

Misconception #2: Aging in Place is About Aging

Approximately 2/3 of homeowners age 55 or older report that they feel they are proactive when it comes to making aging-in-place home modifications. Nearly 90% say that they are familiar with aging-in-place renovations, additions, or products.

However, home modification professionals tell a different story. For example, over half of the experts that HomeAdvisor surveyed say that less than 10% of the projects that they are hired for are related to aging-in-place. Only about 20% of home modification professionals said that their clients reach out to them preemptively, before they are in immediate need of aging-in-place renovations. Most specialists stated that the majority of homeowners in need of such modifications sought them out re-actively for a number of reasons.

The most common time that home owners hired home modification professionals for aging in place overhauls was after they or one of their loved ones acquired a worsening condition that over time will limit their independence (33 percent). The second most common time came as the result of a major medical incident or recent (25 percent), or because they are worried about a minor medical incident or fall that they experienced recently (19 percent).

In conclusion, the main reasons that home modification professionals were hired for aging-in-place are safety and accessibility, with only a small portion of the projects being done to allow for ease-of-living. While many homeowners want to be proactive about aging-in-place, most are held back by the misunderstanding that this will “senior-proof” their home prematurely.

Reality: Aging in Place is About Livability

The main purpose of aging-in-place projects is to make the homes more safe and accessible. “Aging in place isn’t about special add-on features that will only help you once you’ve fallen and incurred a disability,” says Rodney Harrell, Ph.D., director of Livable Communities at AARP’s Public Policy Institute. “It’s about making functional home improvements that make spaces more useful and more usable for anyone, anytime.” (“Aging in Place Home Design: Features for “Thriving in Place” – Design Tech Homes” 2017)

In reality, countless popular aging-in-place enhancements— such as zero-step entrances, wider doorways, open floor plans, and motion-sensor lights— not only make the home safer, but can also increase the quality of life in a home. Such improvements often go undetected, but have the potential to be equally beneficial to homeowners in their thirties and forties as they are to those who are in their seventies and eighties.

“Aging in Place Home Design: Features for “Thriving in Place” – Design Tech Homes.” Aging in Place Home Design & Build for Thriving in Place, Design Tech Homes, 2017, www.dth.com/our-learning-center/homeowner-tips/aging-in-place-home-design-features-for-thriving-in-place.

“Aging in Place Report 2016 | HomeAdvisor.” Home Improvement Tips & Advice from HomeAdvisor, HomeAdvisor, Inc., 30 Aug. 2017, www.homeadvisor.com/r/2016-aging-in-place-report/.

Misconceptions and Realities of Aging-In-Place

This blog will be the first of a four-part series posted throughout the month of February. Each post will address one of the most common misconceptions about aging in place, followed by the reality.

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Misconception: Aging in Place is a Conversation for ‘Old’ People
Many people do not want to talk about or make plans for aging in place because they believe that it is only something “old” people need to do. Among homeowners who are 55 years old or older, 61 percent say that they are planning to stay in their home indefinitely as they age. The most common reasons they cite are that they enjoy the independence they feel in their current home, they feel safe in their present home, they do not have any physical disabilities, and they have family who lives nearby. However, HomeAdvisor found that homeowners who are over age 70 (77 percent) are more likely to desire staying in their home than homeowners who are age 56-70 (56 percent). (“Aging in Place Report 2016 | HomeAdvisor” 2017)

This gap could be explained by people not feeling old enough to start the conversation on aging-in-place. On the other hand, it could also be rationalized by the fact that most individuals who plan on moving have most likely already done so by their 70s, whereas those who are older are already aging-in-place.

In fact, HomeAdvisor found that roughly 1/5 of homeowners have completed renovations that would allow them to age-in-place, whereas 1/3 of homeowners report having never considered making these types of modifications. Those who have not thought about aging-in-place renovations have two main reasons. The top reason given was that neither these individuals nor their loved ones had disabilities that would require such modifications to be made. The second most common reason given was that these homeowners did not consider themselves old enough to warrant contemplating these types of renovations. (“Aging in Place Report 2016 | HomeAdvisor” 2017)

Reality: The Best Time to Think About Aging in Place is … Now

No one wants to age, or believe that they are getting older, which is why it makes sense that people wait until their seventies to announce that they have decided to “age-in-place”. On the other hand, something everyone wants to do is, “thrive-in-place”. In other words, they want to make their homes more accommodating.

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A young woman in her first home could add a shower bench to her to her tub to make it easier to shave her legs and take a relaxing shower at the end of a long day.

A young parent could have a microwave installed in place of a base drawer or cabinet, flanking the oven. This would allow them to teach their children how to cook meals more independently. It would also make it possible for the parent to stay in their home, as they get older, and are in a wheelchair or if they find reaching upward difficult.

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What is wonderful is that the same features that assist younger homeowners in thriving in their homes will allow them to do the same when they are older. It’s all about maximizing comfort, convenience and, as a result, happiness

“Aging in place isn’t about special add-on features that will only help you once you’ve fallen and incurred a disability,” says Rodney Harrell, Ph.D., director of Livable Communities at AARP’s Public Policy Institute. “It’s about making functional home improvements that make spaces more useful and more usable for anyone, anytime.” (“Aging in Place Home Design: Features for “Thriving in Place” – Design Tech Homes” 2017)

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“Aging in Place Home Design: Features for “Thriving in Place” – Design Tech Homes.” Aging in Place Home Design & Build for Thriving in Place, Design Tech Homes, 2017, www.dth.com/our-learning-center/homeowner-tips/aging-in-place-home-design-features-for-thriving-in-place.

“Aging in Place Report 2016 | HomeAdvisor.” Home Improvement Tips & Advice from HomeAdvisor, HomeAdvisor, Inc., 30 Aug. 2017, www.homeadvisor.com/r/2016-aging-in-place-report/.

3 Ways to Reduce Invisible Risks Around Your Home

We often do a great deal of work to protect our families from dangers both inside and outside of our homes. However, we sometimes overlook one of the best ways to look out for our family – by examining the invisible risks around our home.

But how can you reduce your risk for dangers you can’t see? A great place to start is by addressing common household issues such as contaminants, media access, and emergency preparedness.

In this third article of our three-part series, we explore ways to protect your family with tips for reducing invisible risks around your home.

 

Contaminants

You can take concrete steps to protect your home from invisible contaminants such as carbon monoxide, radon, mold, and lead. For example, installing carbon monoxide alarms on each floor of your home and outside each sleeping area will help ensure a safe environment for everyone occupying your home.

Be sure to evaluate your home for mold, radon, and lead content, which can go undetected for long periods of time and lead to chronic illness when left unchecked. It’s important to eliminate the presence of any of these hazards in your home for the sake of your family’s health.

 

Media

Our homes these days are subject to a constant influx of media content through television airwaves, cable, satellite, and Internet access. You can protect your loved ones from access to unwelcome media content by installing quality Internet filters and proactively managing your children’s access to Internet and texting. Similar filters are available for televisions.

For families eager to maintain a healthy relationship with screen time, consider incorporating a service to control the amount of access you have to your devices overall.

 

Emergencies

Emergencies can happen any time, and taking steps to reduce your risk and improve your access to help can boost your chances of coming out safe and sound.

First, whether it’s a mobile phone or land line, ensure you have a working phone at all times. Keep telephone numbers for local police, fire, hospital, medical support, and poison control accessible for everyone inside your home, including babysitters.

Consider installing a home security system to alert you to intruders, and maintain regular contact with a neighbor, friend, or family member who can check in with you to ensure your wellbeing.

In addition, keep a supply of clean, fresh drinking water and non-perishable foods on hand in the event of a power outage or weather disaster. Emergencies tend to happen when they’re least expected, and your efforts to be prepared will help ensure your family is protected.

 

Safety is a priority for every generation and every family, and the invisible risks around our homes can be especially unsettling. With these simple steps, you can help protect your family’s security and wellbeing from unseen contaminants, unwanted media influences, and unexpected emergencies.

A little preparation can go a long way towards keeping your family safe and sound.