Is your home walker-ready?

Mom or Dad is moving in with you shortly and they have a walker.

Or perhaps, they are aging in place and you want to help them make their home walker-ready.

In today’s post, we’ll cover the steps you can take to prepare your home or your loved one’s home to make it walker-ready.

5 home walker safety tips

But first, home walker safety tip number one!

The number one safety tip to consider when you’re getting your home ready for a walker is to ensure that you or your loved one is properly fitted for the walker.

While it may seem you can just grab any “ole” walker and make it work for you or your loved one, this is not advisable.

For a walker to be safe and supportive, it has to fit your height, weight and specific situation.

The wrong walker can lead to injuries that are caused by the walker not being rightly fitted for you.

The wrong walker can also lead to falls, which can in turn be fatal.

Consider a wider door

If your door is narrow, you might want to consider a renovation that includes widening your doorway to the allow the walker in. Of course, you will have to consider if this is absolutely necessary.

We do realize that this could mean a significant financial investment but ultimately, it will help you or your loved one come in and out of the house much easier.

Ramp for easier movement

Stairs can prove challenging for people with mobility issues.

Where possible, build a ramp that allows easier movement in and out of your home.

Bedroom downstairs or which does not involve too many stairs

This ties into the point above.

A bedroom downstairs reduces the need for you or your loved one to use the stairs – a common cause of falls.

Get rid of obstructions

Loose rugs, wires that cross the floor and any other object that is in the way can become fall hazards.

If you have a loved one in your home who uses a walker, get rid of obstructions in those spaces where they travel frequently.

Keep pathways lighted up

You or your loved one may need to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night.

In addition to keeping pathways clear of obstructions, it is helpful to have night lights.

At the very least, you or your loved on should have the ability to control lights so that pathways are lighted when there’s no daylight outside.


Need reliable home care services for you or your loved one?

Call Green Tree Home Care at 800-518-9277 to talk to a representative and find out how we can help you.





Tips to protect your mental health during the current global pandemic.

To say the current news is stress-inducing is an understatement.

The numbers of people infected with the novel Coronavirus keeps going up.

The death toll – although it is at 4% of all cases – is still very disturbing.

It certainly doesn’t help that everyone is now encouraged to stay indoors.

For some people who have been through traumatic war-time experiences, perhaps this dredges up bad memories.

This is a difficult time for everyone around the world.

How do you protect your mental health during such a stressful time?

In today’s post, I am going to share four tips to protect your mental health in the midst of the stress.

4 tips to protect your mental health during the current pandemic

Be truthful with yourself

The first step to protecting your mental health is to be truthful with yourself.

It is okay to admit that you are feeling overwhelmed. It is okay to voice out your frustrations and let those around you know how you’re feeling.

The truth? You’re not alone in those feelings.

Shut off the stress-inducers

The news is stressful right now. There is no doubt about that.

News networks want to be the first ones reporting the latest news and numbers.

While it’s important for us to be abreast with it all – it is alright to give yourself a break.

Don’t feel you need to sit down and soak it all up.

Take a walk around your house.

Read a new book.

Set up a video conference call with your family.

Do what you can to stay away from anything that increases your anxiety.

Talk to a mental health professional

With expanded telehealth benefits for Medicare beneficiaries, you might be able to chat with a mental health provider over the phone or other virtual service.

Mental health providers can give you the tools you need to cope during this time.

Find out from your mental health provider if this is possible.

Start a new hobby

Now is a great time to start a brand new hobby!

This can help you keep your hands and mind busy so you’re not worrying so much about the news.

These tips to protect your mental health during the current pandemic can help you cope until we all finally come out of this.

We cannot always change the course of the storm; but we can choose to thrive in the midst of it.



At Green Tree Home Care, we are happy to answer any questions you have about choosing the right home care agency for mom or dad. Call us today if you live the San Diego and Orange county areas. 

You live far away from mom or dad and you need to find the right home care agency.

You want to pick an agency that will help them continue to enjoy the comforts of home while getting the care they need.

We know that finding and picking the right home care agency for your loved one is hard; but it is not impossible.

In today’s post, we’ll share some tips on how you can find and pick the right home care agency for your loved one.

Choosing the right home care agency for mom or dad

Do your research

These days, rating websites like Yelp or Google Reviews or A Place For Mom make researching a business easy.

Note however that people usually don’t rate a business unless they have had a bad experience. So while we recommend starting here, it’s also important to take the worst reviews with a grain of salt.

Most of these websites are based on a 5-star system with 5 stars being the best.

Our recommendation is that you can read the 3-star and 4-star reviews and find out what the complaints of these individuals were.

This should give you some insight into what the particular home agency does well and what may be lacking.

Check out their website

Once you’ve found out what other people have to say, go and find out what the home care agency has to say about itself.

You will find a lot here too.

If you cannot find all (or almost all) the information you need about a home care agency on their website, this could be a red flag.

A business that is marketing itself online needs to make answers to potential clients’ questions easy.

They can do this easily via their website and if they are not, we recommend that you pass.

If the home care agency has social media channels, these would be good to check as well.

Talk with the home care agency

By this point, you would have made a short-list of home care agencies to pick from for your aging loved one.

Our next recommendation is that you call the home care agency and speak with someone.

Questions you can ask while on the call with them include:

  • How do you vet your employees?
  • Does your company have a license? Is there a website or place I can call to verify this information?
  • What kind of training do you give your caregivers?
  • Do you have caregivers who know how to deal with people with disabilities?
  • When can you start providing services?
  • Will my elderly loved one have the same caregiver(s) each time? If you have to change caregivers, how much notice will I get?
  • Do you an external monitoring of your caregivers to ensure my loved one is not being abused?
  • How do your caregivers handle emergencies?
  • What happens if a scheduled caregiver doesn’t show up?
  • If I have concerns about my loved one’s care, who should I report this to?

Any good home care agency will happily answer each of your questions and make sure to allay any fears you have.

Choosing the right home care agency for mom or dad, doesn’t need to be hectic when you follow these steps.




January 21, 2020 Aging In Place0
Need volunteering ideas for retired people? You’ll love these.
Your contribution to society didn’t end with your retirement party.
Volunteering is a wonderful way to break up the monotony of your day. And it’s a powerful way to keep your mind engaged.
In fact, I know that you are reading this post because you’re thinking of ways to volunteer and need some ideas.
You’re in the right place!
In today’s post, I will go over volunteer ideas that work for all ages. They will especially work for you if you’re recently retired.
Let’s go!

10 volunteering ideas for retired people in 2020

Volunteer at your local school

Schools are constantly looking for volunteers to help in various capacities. You could help in the classroom, on the playground, or in the dining area.
If you love children and don’t mind working with them, this is an excellent way to contribute.
Most schools will need you to apply to volunteer and also to get clearance before you would be allowed to volunteer.

Special needs volunteer at local facilities

Various people with special needs – young and old – receive services in the community and sometimes the truth is that, resources are stretched
If you volunteer at these facilities, it will benefit both of you.

Nursing home volunteering

Perhaps a nursing home is not in your future but you would like to interact with older adults and help them thrive in a nursing home?
This is an excellent volunteer opportunity for retirees as well.

Soup kitchen/food pantry volunteer

Is it just me or do you just feel good about yourself when you help others?
One of the most powerful volunteering opportunities I’ve ever participated in has involved giving food to people.
Soup kitchens and food pantries typically rely on the goodwill of other people to run smoothly.
You might be one of those good people.

Hospital volunteering

You can volunteer at a local hospital in many capacities.
Reading books to sick children and delivering hospital bedding to floors was something I saw volunteers do all the time when I practiced nursing.
You can find out more about volunteering at your local hospital by walking into the hospital or by going onto their website

Volunteer with relief organizations

Relief organizations also depend heavily on volunteers like you.
If you are a retired medical professional, you can get involved in groups like Doctors without Borders or Nurses without Borders or the Red Cross.
Church and religious organizations routinely organize groups that travel to areas hit by disasters to help out the affected communities.
This is something to look out for as well. 

Volunteer at youth centers

Youth centers around the country are looking for mentors to help children with homework and to keep them in a safe environment.
These places also depend on volunteers and goodwill to keep running.

Teach career skills

You thrived in your career and now there are thousands of young people who want to thrive in their careers like you.
This is a golden opportunity to share the secrets of your success with the generations after you.
College career centers, youth centers and church organizations are all places to consider as places to teach your skills
Once you find the right place to volunteer, people will be willing to learn everything they can from you.

Community clean up volunteer

You’ve lived in your community for years and love it.

You can contribute to it as a community clean up volunteer.

Be a companion

You’d be surprised to know that there are people in your community who need your companionship.

These could be other retired people, people on bed-rest with a chronic illness or even people who have just had a baby.

This could be a great way to volunteer as well.


There you have it.
10 volunteering ideas for retired people.
Did any of these resonate with you?
Do you know someone who is retired and itching to volunteer? 
Share this post with them.


Is your elderly loved one using a walker?

In this post, I will go over 7 walker safety tips to ensure that your loved one is getting the best use of of their walker while staying safe.

Walker safety for the elderly

Make sure the walker is the right fit for needs and height

As a caregiver, it is important to ensure your loved one’s walker fits their needs and height.

Not having the right type of walker or having one that is not right for your height can cause pain in the wrists, in your back and opens your loved one up to injury.

So make sure to talk to a healthcare provider so that you get the right one.

Get a foldable walker.

A foldable walker is helpful because you will be able to pack it up into the car.

At night, if you want to keep it out of the way, it is easy to do so with a foldable walker as well.

Keep it out of the way at night (but accessible)

To prevent falls, it is important that you keep the walker out of the way for your loved one at night.

For older adults, a simple fall can lead to broken bones, a concussion or even death. Thus it’s always to keep “fall hazards” out of the way.

And for your loved one, leaving a walker in the way during the night could prove to be a fall hazard.

At the same time, it’s important for you to place the walker in an accessible spot so that when your loved one does wake up at night, they can grab the walker easily and transport themselves.

Use the walker properly on a staircase or steps

Climbing the stairs is inevitable.

Most places will have an accessible ramp that makes it easier for people using a walker.

But this is not always the case.

Here’s a video on how to climb the stairs with a walker.

The right footwear

It’s important to wear the right kind of shoes when using a walker.

Flat shoes with a firm grip on the bottom are the best choice to shoes to wear with a walker and prevent injury.

Remove any other fall hazards from the path of your loved one

Frayed rugs, wires that crisscross and other objects in the way of your loved one’s walker can pose an unsafe situation.

Make sure all of these are kept of out the path of your loved one.

Report any discomfort to your doctor

Is your loved one experiencing pain in their legs, arms or back when they use their walker?

Talk to your doctor about it so the right adjustments are made.


Found this post on walker safety for the elderly helpful?

Consider sharing it with someone else.



If you live in the Greater San Diego or Orange County area then you know we’ve been hit with some cold nights lately!

Some parts of the county have fallen to 30 degree temperatures over the last few weeks.

This is nothing compared to what our friends in the Midwest have to deal with.

Nonetheless, they are cold temperatures and if you’re caring for a loved one, there are precautions to take.

Let’s look at safety precautions you and your family should take as the weather gets colder.

4 health and safety precautions to think of as the weather gets colder

Adequate heating

Do you have enough heating in your home?

People cite cost as a reason why they may not turn on their heat.

If this is the case for you, get in touch with SDG&E (or your local electric company if you live outside San Diego county).

Gas and electric companies have special programs for the elderly and those that fall below certain income levels.

Your rates could get adjusted based on these factors so you pay an affordable rate.

You could also find out about county and government programs that could help you and your family cover heating costs.

Helping your loved one with dementia or Alzheimer’s

If you have a loved one with dementia or Alzheimer’s, you might want to put extra precautions in place in case they wander off.

A whopping 6 in 10 people with dementia will wander.

We have heard media stories about children or older adults with dementia who have died in the cold because they wandered off.

Even though we don’t have to endure harsh winters, this is something to keep in mind.

Keeping your loved one out of the cold can protect them from respiratory tract infections, for instance.

Practical tips to do this would include:

  • Install locks/latches at high and low points especially to protect your loved ones at night.
  • Help your loved one with calming language when they feel disoriented. Instead of becoming impatient with them, assure them that they’re safe.
  • Make sure to meet their basic needs. Your loved one may wander when a particular need -food, water, toileting-is not provided. Make sure to help them here so they don’t wander off.

Here are even more tips from the Alzheimer’s Association on how to keep your loved one from wandering.

Check on them

If you don’t live with your loved one, check on them.

Elderly adults who live alone are more likely to sustain a life-threatening injury.

You wouldn’t also know if for some reason they are unable to heat their home unless you check on them.

So check on them especially now that the weather is colder.

Pre-existing health conditions that worsen with the cold

Some people tend to get more joint pain as it gets colder.

People with any type of lung disease may also be affected by cold weather.

Make sure to check in with their doctor if there are any steps you or your loved one needs to take to prevent these episodes.


Following these health and safety precautions as the weather gets colder will ensure you enjoy an incident-free holiday.

Enjoyed this post?

Consider sharing it with a caregiver.





November 29, 2019 Aging In Place0

Mom is moving in with you.

And you know there are probably adjustments you need to make to your home to accommodate her and keep her safe.

But you’re not sure which adjustments you should make?

In today’s post, I am sharing different home adjustments you can make if you have an older loved one moving in with you.

First of all, it’s important for you to know that as people grow older, they are more likely to fall and injure themselves because of that fall.

Each year that costs millions of dollars in hospitalization costs and can become a financial burden for most families.

Thus, the suggestions I’ll be making in this post will center around keeping your aging parent safe.

Let’s get into it.

5 home adjustments to consider before mom moves in


Does your elderly loved one uses a wheelchair or walker? Consider building a ramp to the house so it’s easier for them to come in and out of the house.

Ramps can vary in cost.

Here’s a video on how to create a simple accessible ramp.

Stair lift

If you plan on having mom in an upstairs bedroom, you might want to consider a stair lift that helps them move up and down the stairs.

Bathroom railings

People are more likely to fall in the bathroom. Life-threatening injuries can happen as a result of these falls.

Therefore, anything you can do to make your bathroom more safe is always welcome.

If your bathtub or shower doesn’t have railings, consider building 1-2 railings in the bathroom that your loved one can hold on to.

A bathroom or shower chair is another helpful piece you can have in the bathroom to prevent falls.

Night lights

We’ve all woken up at night to use the bathroom only to bump our toes painfully against the edge of the bed.

Or worse, step on a child’s toy!

These seemingly innocuous accidents could prove dangerous for a loved one.

So having night lights that come on when your loved one gets up to use the restroom is helpful.

A better lit pathway will reduce the probability of a fall.

Consider a downstairs bedroom

If trekking up and down the staircase will be a problem, you might consider building a downstairs bedroom.

This is an expensive undertaking but could be helpful for your loved one.


Found this post useful?

Share it with someone who needs to prepare before Mom (or Dad) moves in with them.


November 27, 2019 Aging In Place1

Preparing to live with aging parents?

Your parents are not getting any younger.

And you’d like to keep them out of a nursing home. Or perhaps, they want to continue enjoying their family while they can.

And so the choice is clear: your parents will be coming to live with you.

How do you prepare for something like this?

What can you expect?

In today’s post, I will share how you can prepare emotionally to live with your parents in their old age.

How to prepare emotionally to live with your aging parents

Discuss your differences openly

The reality is that we are all individuals with personalities as different as each snowflake in a snow storm.

This is important to come to grips. It is common for children and parents to butt heads about opinions and how things should be done.

Secondly, you and your parents come from different eras.

The ways things were done in the 60’s is very different from how it’s done now. It doesn’t always necessarily make a thing right or wrong.

And so having an open discussion with your parent or parents about these differences in tastes, personality and choices is something you might want to do before and during the time your parents live with you.

Settle past squabbles

Life is hard enough.

Add in a constant quarrel or unresolved matters and it gets even more complicated.

Almost every person on the planet has had a disagreement with their parents that didn’t go well.

If your parents are coming to live with you, now might be the time to hash the issue out and let forgiveness reign.

This sounds that a lofty goal but I promise it will reduce a lot of stress once you’re living with your parents.

Speaking to a counselor may help in some instances.

Talk about money

Do your parents have outstanding debts to pay off?

Do they have money in a retirement account?

Life insurance? Assets you don’t know about?

Now may be the time to talk to them about finances.

It’s important to know about all of these for several reasons including:

  • These finances could help pay for certain home care and medical needs your parents have. This will reduce financial stress on you.
  • If your parents have outstanding debts, it will give you the opportunity to talk to them and perhaps the financial institutions involved on a how to resolve it.
  • If there are still bills your parents are paying off, it will help you and them make decisions when it comes to paying those bills.

Health conditions

If your parent is coming to live with you with a medical condition, this is something to prepare for as well.

Cognitive disorders like Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia can take a serious toll on family members.

Educate yourself as much as you can on the condition your parent has.

Look in your community for resources like support groups for people who are dealing with similar conditions.

Looking for community resources can also lead you to find resources that will help your parents as well.

For instance, you may find an adult day care center or a service that offers respite so you can take time off for yourself.

Take it one day at a time

Remember the phrase: Rome wasn’t built in a day?

Well, it is true of many situations and preparing to live with your aging parents is one of them.

When you walk into a new situation, realize that things could be difficult at first.

However, as the days go by and you get better at caring for your loved one and hiring the necessary help as needed, things will get better, overall.

So give yourself space and time to grow into this new situation of living with your aging parents.

Did you find this post helpful?

Share it with someone as they prepare to live with aging parents.



November 13, 2019 Aging In Place0

Staying active as you age is crucial for many reasons.

First of all, it can delay cognitive disorders like dementia and Alzheimer’s.

Secondly, it helps to keep your heart healthy which can also mean you stay at a healthy weight.

And then of course, staying active is really great for your mental health as well. Scientists show in several studies that endorphins are a group of brain chemicals released when we exercise. These chemicals interact with your brain cells to give you a sense of well-being.

This is why you usually feel great after an exercise regimen.

Additionally, staying active could be a great way for you to meet new people. Every human being needs meaningful human interaction to thrive.

Retirement and getting older usually means kids have moved away and you’re not talking to as many people any more during your day.

This is where staying active could fill in the gap and have you meeting people throughout your day.

So how exactly can you stay active?

Let’s explore some of those ways.

Staying active as you age – Tips and resources to help you get it done


Ah, you thought I was going to suggest some type of exercise first, huh? That will come later but I first wanted to talk about volunteering as a way to stay active.

When you no longer have to dress up and go to work, it can feel that there’s something missing in your life.

It’s common to see people become depressed and even develop health conditions that had been at bay right after retirement.

The truth is, we all need a sense of purpose.

And even though we don’t like to admit it, for most of us, a job gives us a sense of purpose.

If you treat volunteer opportunities like a job, it can become the thing you look forward to when you wake up each morning.

Apart from that, volunteering is a great way to meet new people and build relationships.

And let’s not forget the impact you’ll be making with your volunteer work!

Looking for volunteering ideas? Check out this post I wrote on volunteer ideas for seniors if you live in San Diego.

You could volunteer for/at:

  • Local events – They usually need help setting up and tearing down and all kinds of odd jobs. You can help here.
  • Hospitals are always looking for volunteers to fill in various roles.
  • Some cities have volunteer police departments that are staffed by seniors
  • Your local church, community center or charitable organization.

Sign up for an exercise class

A local gym or community center near you may have exercise classes you can sign up for.

Some of these places have deeply discounted prices for seniors. You might even find that these classes are free for seniors.

Signing up for a class that will start and end on specific dates will give you something to put on your calendar to look forward to.

Sign up for a local sports team

Are local sports teams looking for team-mates to play?

You can stay active by joining a local sports team.

Start a new hobby

Knitting and gardening are not the only hobbies out there.

Have you always wanted to learn to play an instrument?

This is your chance. Learning something new creates new pathways in your brain and can contribute to your cognitive health.

With more people getting online and at older ages, there are people who will appreciate your perspective if you started a blog, YouTube channel or podcast!

Join or start your own book club

Love books? Join or start your own book club around a genre of books or just any type of book in general.

The conversations that are stimulated around reading books can be very stimulating.


These are just a handful of ideas for staying active as you age.

Did any one of these spark some ideas for you?

Share it with someone else looking to stay active as they age.





You’re worried about Mom or Dad living alone.

You live far away and have a job that won’t allow you to provide the care they need.

And they want to be able to continue in the home they’ve known for years.

How do you reconcile all of these?

One of the best ways is to work with a professional and licensed home care agency.

But just like anything else, it’s important to count the cost before you hire a home care agency.

And perhaps you’re reading this because you’re worried that home care will be expensive.

If this is you, you’re in the right place.

In this post, I’ll go over 5 ways you could get the money you need to pay for home care.

5 ways to pay for home care


Depending on the state and whether your loved one meets income and medical needs requirement, Medicaid could pay for home care.

In those states where Medicaid does pay for in-home care, your loved one may have to have severe physical or mental limitations to qualify.

If you think your aging loved one meets these requirements, you can call Medicaid directly to find out what you’ll need to get that assistance.

Long term insurance

Ask your loved one or investigate to see if they have long-term health care insurance. This could pay for some of your home care costs.

The PACE program

PACE stands for Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly.

It is a Medicaid and Medicare program that is aimed at keeping the elderly out of nursing homes.

In order to qualify, your loved one has to “in need of nursing home-level services”.

If you live in an area where PACE is offered and your elderly loved needs to meet the following criteria to be eligible.

  • You must have Medicaid or Medicare to join PACE
  • Age must be 55 or older
  • Must be able to live safely with the help of PACE
  • And as I mentioned above, they must need nursing home-level care

PACE will cover:

  • Home care
  • Adult day care
  • Nursing home care
  • Nutritional counseling
  • Occupational therapy
  • Physical therapy
  • Prescription drugs
  • Preventative services
  • Social work counseling

So if your loved one already has Medicaid or Medicare

Veterans Benefits

If your loved one served in any section of the United States Armed Forces, they may qualify for services including home care services.

Call the Veteran Affairs Administration directly for details on how to access those benefits.

State and community-based services and waivers

Your state or local community may have services that allow your aging loved one to continue to thrive at home.

This can include financial assistance.

Your state’s and local department of health and human resources can help you locate these services.


Green Tree Home Care - 9466 Cuyamaca Street #102, Santee, CA 92071