Well-managed landscapes offer tremendous benefits for the community and environment. Here are just a few, according to LoveYourLandscape.org:

— Scrubs the air: Beautiful greenery, including grass, catch dust, smoke particles and other pollutants to make the air you breathe fresher and cleaner.

— Protects waterways: Well-maintained yards and lawns help prevent soil erosion and unwanted runoff into nearby lakes, streams and rivers.

— Adds oxygen: A 50-by-50-foot lawn produces enough oxygen to supply a family of four.

— Makes you feel good: Having a nice yard with lush turf and well-tended landscapes delivers some mood-enhancing properties as well. Looking at plants and trees, even through a window, has been found to lower stress and blood pressure, while walking among plants and trees improves attention and memory.


5 ways to keep pesticides away from your kids

As toxic persistent pesticides continue to be used on crops, in landscaping and in consumer products, many Americans are becoming more concerned about the effect of such chemicals on our children. If you’re seeking to minimize such contact, consider the following suggestions:

— Eat organically. Serve your kids certified organic foods produced without the use of toxic persistent pesticides, antibiotics or chemical fertilizers and preservatives.

— Monitor pesticide use where your children play like sports fields and parks. Most of those areas are treated with chemical cocktails of herbicides, insecticides and fungicides. Organic yogurt maker Stonyfield has launched a three-year, half-million-dollar initiative to work with 35 communities across the country in converting outdoor playing fields and parks to organic.

— Seek organic health and beauty products. Conventional beauty products often include petroleum-based ingredients and rely on chemicals for their production. Upon application, those chemicals can be absorbed into your children’s bloodstream.


6 steps to fall prevention

Every 11 seconds an older adult is seen in an emergency room for a fall-related injury, reports National Council On Aging. To prevent falls, follow these six simple steps.

Step 1: Find a good balance and exercise program. Contact your local Area Agency on Aging for program information.

Step 2: Talk to your health care provider. Ask for an assessment of your risk of falling.

Step 3: Review medications with the pharmacist. Take medications as prescribed and know the risks.

Step 4: Get vision and hearing checked annually. Update vision prescriptions and take measures to correct hearing loss.

Step 5: Secure your home: Remove tripping hazards like loose rugs or free cords and keep areas well lit.

Step 6: Talk with family members. Enlist their help as needed to secure your home and keep you safe.


New technology promotes healthy aging in place

From simple wearable devices to high-tech monitoring systems, gadgets are helping aging boomers stay independent. Here’s a few of the innovative technologies that are revolutionizing aging.

Digital solutions for staying in touch: Seniors can be left out of the family communications loop. Filling that gap are products like GrandPad, powered by Consumer Cellular, a touchscreen-based tablet with simplified apps.

Fall alerts can be lifesavers: For seniors, wearable devices that monitor and track health can summon help in a range of emergency situations.

Smarter access to healthcare and medications: Video consultations offered by many providers can help seniors who can’t come in for an appointment. In addition, automated pill counters can help with following medication regimens.

In-home tracking for safety: Sensors can be placed in multiple discreet locations, like doors, cabinets, windows or beds, to track movement around the house and report back to a caretaker or family member.

— Brandpoint