A growing number of businesses are realizing that senior citizens play an important role in the success of their companies.  Mature workers appeal to employers for many different reasons:
a wealth of experience, skills, and excellent work ethics.  The outlook for employment is good for seniors, because some employers actually recruit older workers.

Due to preventative healthcare and medical treatment, seniors are able to work long past the traditional retirement age, and choose to work either because they want to, or have financial need.

The Social Security system has undergone major changes, one of which is increasing the age when individuals qualify for full benefits.  Many companies are not offering defined benefit retirement programs, resulting in retirees not having access to guaranteed benefits.

Many retirees enjoy returning to the workforce, either part time or jobs that offer less stress and greater flexibility than their previous occupations.

AARP recently announced the Top Ten Best Employers for Workers over 50.  These companies offer great perks such as free physical therapy sessions, massages, miniature golf, weight-loss programs, dietician services, compressed work schedules, financial planning, retirement counseling, the list goes on and on!

These companies are listed below, with the percentage of workers they employ over age 50:

  • Cornell University, Higher Education, 43%
  • Scripps Health, Health Care, 32%
  • SC Johnson, Consumer Products, 35%
  • YMCA of Greater Rochester, Philanthropy, 18%
  • Lee Memorial Health System, Health Care, 38%
  • Securian, Insurance, 22%
  • First Horizon National Corporation, Financial Services, 27%
  • Stanley Consultants, Consulting Services, 34%
  • Bon Secours Richmond Health System, Health Care, 30%
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, Insurance, 37%

AARP also honored international employers of seniors, as well.  There are many websites that seniors can visit if they are interested in seeking employment.  Two of those are:, and

We salute the tremendous contribution our seniors make in work environments, and those “youngsters” who treat them with the respect and admiration they deserve.

AARP-The Magazine

Blind Spots

Here are some tips from the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration for side-view mirror adjustment to assist you in the elimination of blind spots. The best way to adjust your side mirrors is to move the glass outwards so your field of view is of other cars and blind spots are eliminated.

These steps can help prevent accidents and help keep YOU safe whether you are driving a fleet vehicle, or your own personal vehicles:

1.    Set your rear view mirror as you normally would.

2.    Lean your head over all the way to the left so it touches the driver’s window. From there, set your left side-view mirror so you can see the back corner of your car.

3.    Lean over the same distance the other way, (your console or gear selector is a good reference point) and set your right side-view mirror the same way.

When you return your head to your normal driving position, you should not be able to see the back corner of your vehicle in either side view mirror.

To see if you’ve adjusted correctly for your vehicle’s blind spot, test it out in a parking lot or other location where you can safely and slowly pull up to a car. You should now always be able to see the car; it should move from your rear view mirror to your driver’s side or passenger’s side mirror with no break until you can spot it with your peripheral vision.


Just about every day, we see it on the news…………somewhere a child has been abducted!  The world we live in just isn’t safe anymore, and when it comes to protecting our children, we need to take every precaution by teaching them to be wary of strangers.  It’s hard to know exactly which persons are strangers; they can appear to be very nice, ordinary people.

Most children in their early development years are surrounded by loving parents, relatives and friends who assure that they are safe and comfortable; when they go places with their family, they are exposed to the outside world, but still are safe because they are with their family.

As they begin this trek into the real world, it is the job of the parents to teach them to be careful around people that they don’t know.  Many well-meaning people love to pay attention to little ones, and that’s all right; however, those people know their boundaries, and don’t overstep them.

One major rule: Children shouldn’t be left alone to play in the yard!  They could be grabbed so fast, you wouldn’t know until it is too late!

As children begin preschool or school, parents should check with their school to see if they are teaching children about Stranger Danger.  These programs, along with parents, teach children not to take candy from people they do not know, and not to go near a car of someone inviting them over to see their puppy or kitten.  If a child thinks someone is following him/her, they should go to a nearby store or group of people and get help.  Should your child inform you of an incident such as this, you need to call the police and report it.

A good plan for parents and their friends who might need to pick up their child from school or elsewhere is to share a secret code word that the child knows, to ensure that they are the person the parent has arranged to pick them up.  A stranger wouldn’t know that word, thus reminding the child that they are not to go with this person.

Other helpful ideas for your child’s safety:

  • Never play in deserted areas, such as empty playgrounds, parks, or alleys
  • Stay with Mom and Dad in public places
  • Play with a friend; the “Buddy System” always works best
  • If you are in a store and get lost from your parents, go to a cashier or security guard for help, rather than wander around
  • If you go home after school and Mom or Dad are still at work, call them to let them know you are home okay
  • Never tell someone you will be home alone
  • If you see a broken window or open door when you get home, don’t go in.  Go to a trusted neighbor and call 911
  • Don’t open the door for someone until you know who it is
  • Never give personal information to someone on the phone: your address, etc.
  • If you want to go study with a friend in the neighborhood, get your parents permission first, and let them know where you will be and when you will be home

Cell phones are an excellent method of communication for kids old enough to be responsible in how they use them.  Parents can call and check on them; likewise, they can reach their parents when they need to.


July, 2002, the National Strategy for Homeland Security instructed the Homeland Security Department to create the National Exercise Program.  This is a series of preparedness programs that have gone from full-scale live exercises to tabletop drills that have decision-makers respond to an escalating series of crises.  Hurricanes, tornadoes, and terrorism are usually the main topics that are played out in “mock drills”.  Hospitals are required to participate in some sort of disaster drill every so often in order to maintain their accreditation.

It is hard to actually meet the real goals of a disaster drill because in many emergency systems, it is almost impossible to fail a disaster exercise.  An effective manager can learn about problems within the system or plan.  These drills are supposed to be learning experiences and mistakes should happen.  Constant improvising by the incident commander as the drill is being done, will result in saving as many (simulated) lives as possible.

We recently visited with a local director of an EMS department of a rural hospital and asked for his opinion of the drills.  In conjunction with local law enforcement personnel, his EMS personnel and the hospital staff have conducted drills ranging from school bus accidents with multiple injuries to plane crashes in the area, and many more.  Here are his thoughts on the subject:
“In response to the disaster drills, I consider myself pro-active most times. Mock drills do show areas of weakness in any emergency service no matter if it’s volunteer or paid, plus it’s a great time to work out bugs with mutual aid departments working in your county or other counties that may be called to help with the disaster. On the other side of the coin, I think Homeland Security grants have not been utilized to their best in rural areas. Monies have been spent in many rural hospitals on equipment and supplies that in my opinion is wasted money on things that a rural hospital will never use, and the supplies have high risk of expiration dates, causing the supplies to be disposed of before use. Pre-hospital providers in the rural setting are lacking equipment, training, and personal protective gear for disasters; many of us struggle with old equipment and limited budgets for trucks and so on.  I do think that Homeland Security should be concerned with rural USA for attacks and other disasters. We are very vulnerable and most people don’t think something could happen in the small areas of Texas. Shelters and available personnel are not readily available if something should happen.”

In an article by C.L. Staten, ERRI Senior National Security Analyst, listed below are his recommendations to develop an effective plan and response to a major disaster:

  • Write a plan
  • Train all participants for their part in the plan
  • Conduct a drill to test the plan and personnel
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of the plan
  • Revise the plan as necessary to achieve the desired end-outcome objectives
  • Repeat if necessary

Be thankful for those who expect the unexpected, and are prepared for it!

Source for parts of the article: Emergency Response & Research Institute


Nothing hurts worse than a burn, no matter how small it is.  Whether you cook in a restaurant, work around electricity, or do many other jobs that involve the possibility of getting burned, it is important most of all to avoid such an accident, but in the event that it happens, know how to render first aid.  OSHA requires that companies must provide a person or persons adequately trained in first aid for work sites that are not in near proximity to a clinic, infirmary or hospital.  Companies should also furnish the proper first aid supplies and first aid training for all types of emergencies.

Properly trained workers are able to assess the severity of the burn, and know if it is thermal, electrical, or chemical.  Simple first aid is usually enough to treat first and some second degree burns.  However, in more serious burns, such as third degree burns, the first responder should know how to care for them until medical assistance arrives.

  • First-degree burns are burns on the first layer of skin, and easily identifiable.  They are usually minor, more uncomfortable than serious.  In treating first or second degree burns, use cold water or cool compresses to reduce swelling, and cover with clean, dry dressing.   Don’t use ice, lotion, or ointment.  The use of butter or ointments may prevent healing, and ice can further damage the skin.
  • Second-degree burns have reddening of the skin and possible blistering.  Over-the-counter pain medications may be given.
  • Third-degree burns are deeper, where the skin is charred, and the tissue underneath may appear white. Deeper burns are serious and the risk of infection is increased.   Call emergency personnel immediately, lay the person down, and elevate severely burned limbs.  Cut away clothing if necessary, but do not try to remove clothing that is stuck to the burn.

Our homes are not immune to burn-related accidents, either, so it is important that we all exercise caution when cooking, preparing delicious foods on the grill, or doing many other chores that involve heat.  Keep a first aid kit in your home and know where one is at your workplace.  Prevention and preparedness are the keys to staying safe from misfortune.



Previously, we presented an article on information on getting ready for cold and flu season.  Pandemic Influenza is when a new influenza virus emerges for which there is little or no immunization in the human population; a global disease outbreak, which causes serious illness and spreads person to person worldwide.  Planning for Pandemic Influenza by business and industry is essential to minimize the impact of a pandemic.  It is essential to have a contingency plan.

Employers should develop a Pandemic Preparedness Plan by:

  • Knowing Federal, State, and Local Health Department Pandemic Influenza Plans.
  • Preparing for operations with reduced workforce.
  • Ensuring their suppliers/customers that they will continue to operate.
  • Developing a company policy that does not penalize employees for being sick; thereby encouraging them to stay home when they have symptoms such as fever, runny nose, muscle aches, or upset stomach, rather than exposing other employees.
  • Understanding that their employees may need to take care of other ill family members.
  • Considering enhancement of technology and communications equipment in order to allow employees to work from home.
  • Cross-training employees in order to be prepared for absence of workers.
  • Keeping their employees informed of their preparations in case of a widespread disease, making them feel safe about their work, and able to be off if necessary due to illness.

It is also important that employers educate their employees on coughing etiquette, hygiene, and using personal protective equipment when necessary.  This could mean gloves, goggles, and other means of preventing the spread of germs.  Hand sanitizer, tissue, and soap should be provided.  Employees should be discouraged from using each others’ computers, phones, and equipment.  Washing hands often is one of the most important ways to keep down the spread of germs.

Another important measure of prevention is the flu vaccine.  Sometimes it takes a few months for the proper vaccine to be developed after there is an outbreak; however, whatever flu vaccine is available should alleviate the severity of the illness.



The Center for Disease Control announced September 8, 2008, that it had kicked off its National MRSA Education Initiative, to highlight specific actions parents can take to protect themselves and their families from this strain of infection that is resistant to broad-spectrum antibiotics used to treat it.

MRSA (methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus bacteria) – called “staph” infections are most common in hospital or health care settings.  Older people with weakened immune systems are most at risk.  It is a very serious infection that can sometimes be fatal.  Recently, another type of MRSA has occurred among otherwise healthy people, community associated MRSA or CA MRSA.  It causes serious skin and soft tissue infections and can also bring about a serious type of pneumonia.

In health care settings, it is stressed that patient care givers:

  • Practice immaculate hand hygiene
  • Wear gloves when caring for patient
  • Wear proper PPE, mouth, eye, nose protection
  • Wear gowns for protection
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces, i.e., bed rails, bed tables, door knobs, toilet areas, etc.
  • Patient should be kept in private room, with warning signs on door to make visitors aware of precautions they should take.

The CDC emphasizes to parents the importance teaching their children good hand hygiene, not using dirty towels (locker room), no direct contact with infected individual, and keeping cuts and scrapes clean, and covered with bandages.  They must recognize signs of suspected infection and get treatment.  It is especially important to contact the physician if the person has a skin infection accompanied by fever.

Persons may refer to websites, brochures, radio, public service announcement, blogging sites, and mainstream media for useful information to prevent and/or overcome this terrible infection.


It doesn’t matter if you are a student, young adult, or older person, women of all ages need to be careful at all times.  Predators exist in this world, just waiting for the right moment of vulnerability, so it pays to be on the alert.  You may have other ideas you would like to share that just might save someone’s life.  Here are some of our thoughts:

  • If you are working/studying late, let someone know where you are, and what time you plan to arrive home.
  • Use the “buddy system”, there’s safety in numbers.  Stay away from dark areas and places like parks and alleys.
  • If you are going for a walk, take confident, quick strides. Take your cell phone.
  • If you are visiting someone in a hospital, avoid getting in an elevator/stairway alone.
  • Again, keep that cell phone handy at all times.
  • On public transportation, sit near the driver or conductor.
  • Wherever you have parked your car, have your keys ready when you leave the building.  When you get to your car, check under and inside it before you unlock it, and then lock it as soon as you get in.
  • If there is a security person in the parking area that you use, ask him/her to walk with you, if you are uneasy.
  • At work, keep your purse and personal belongings in a locked desk or locker.
  • While shopping, don’t leave your purse in the dressing room if you step out momentarily.
  • When you stop at a traffic light, or maybe a convenience store, keep your car doors locked.  It only takes a second to lock it while you are looking through your purse for something while you are parked in front of a store.
  • If you work at night, or late hours, keep the door to your work area locked if you are alone.
  • Have numbers of security and police available.
  • Ask your employer to have security or police check your place of work regularly.

There was an interesting segment on television the other night regarding single women on a first date.  It seems there is a growing number of women that prefer to take their vehicle on a first date.  They feel they are safer driving their own car by being in control of their destination and not at the mercy of someone they may not know that well.

If you have other suggestions, or have had an experience that you know will help others, we would love to hear from you.  We all are working toward making this a safer world.


As we are halfway through National Heart Month, February, we hope you have considered what you can do to become Heart-Healthy, if you haven’t already started to do so.  Heart disease is the leading cause of death of both men and women in the United States.  Regardless of your age or gender, now is the time to think about the “rest of your life”.   The America Heart Association recommends that you know your cholesterol and triglyceride numbers as well as you know your shoe size or 401(k) balance.  It’s wise to watch your calorie intake, and try to stay with the six food groups recommended by the USDA and American Heart Association.

The best Valentine gift that I’ve ever received was having my husband still here with me.  One day last May, he began having chest pains and shortness of breath.  A trip to the emergency room revealed that his cardiac enzyme levels were extremely high.  An ambulance journey to a larger hospital and cardiac cath lab indicated that he had 95%, 90%, 60% and 40% blockage in arteries to his heart.  He had successful open-heart surgery with four bypasses.  After weeks of cardiac rehab therapy, he is back on the golf course, and ready to start a new garden this spring!  It was very lucky that he had this warning, which averted a possible heart attack and/or heart damage.

Cardiovascular disease of the heart and blood vessels develops over time (beginning in childhood), and occurs when arteries develop atherosclerosis, a buildup of plaque inside them.  This buildup reduces blood flow in arteries.  When plaque becomes fragile and ruptures, blood clots can form.  If arteries to the heart or brain are blocked, heart attack or stroke can be the result.

Controlling cholesterol and triglyceride levels can save lives.  By choosing healthier diets and developing a regular exercise routine, you can be on the road to better heart health.  Know your family history, reduce stress in your work/home, if you smoke-STOP, don’t consume too much alcohol, and have your blood pressure checked regularly.  If you are overweight, try to find a healthy way to lose weight.  Regular checkups are the key to maintaining good health.

If you or someone you are with complains of chest discomfort, squeezing or tightness in the chest, aching in the back, neck, jaw, stomach, call 911.  Other signs of heart problems are being sweaty, clammy, or chalky.  Many people have been brought into emergency rooms thinking they had a case of indigestion, later to discover they are having a heart attack.  It is better to be safe than sorry.

There are many resources that can help you with planning proper nutrition, exercise, and all the necessary information to help your heart health.  Now is the time to take action by making lifestyle changes if necessary.  It will be worth it in the long run.  Remember to “Love your heart!”


According to OSHA, there are an estimated 1.3 million employees in the construction and general industry that face significant asbestos exposure on the job.  Other workers involved are those in the manufacture of products that contain asbestos: textiles, friction products, insulation and other building materials, and persons that do automotive brake and clutch repair work.
Structures that were built before 1980 likely contain asbestos, and those constructed thereafter still may have ACM’s (asbestos containing materials.)  Plaster, insulation, tiles on floors and ceilings ductwork, roof shingles, adhesives are among the parts of buildings that have ACM’s.

Although asbestos is still legal, under federal rules, it is classified as a toxic substance. Your home, school, or office more than likely has asbestos.  It is not a threat as long as it is undisturbed and in good condition.  If you plan to continue living/working in this building, here are ways to ensure safety:

  • If the floor, ceiling, etc. are in good shape, leave them alone and undisturbed.  Be sure to check them often to see that they are in good condition.
  • Enclose with airtight barriers.  For example, floor tiles could be covered with another type of flooring.
  • Encapsulate with materials that surrounds or embeds the fibers with materials such as foams.

If your only option is to renovate or destroy the building, here is some valuable information:  individual owners may do it themselves, but they still must follow federal, state and local guidelines regarding waste transport and disposal.  Removal is a very expensive and complex option, and is better handled by contractors with special training, who understand the importance of personal safety equipment, isolation of dust, and monitor waste containment.  Contractors must follow OSHA guidelines and regulations.

If non-friable ACM can be removed whole and undamaged, the precautions listed below may be overkill, but for common situations such as removing ACM’s where free-floating asbestos fibers are an invisible hazard, these are instructions must be followed to ensure the workers’ safety:  they should

  • Be covered, head to toe, with disposable protective clothing
  • Wear special respirators with high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters
  • Use rubber boots and gloves

OSHA prevention measures include requiring companies to provide engineering controls such as evaluating exposure time, furnishing showers, and ensuring that proper respiratory protection and clothing are furnished.

There are “many do-it-yourselfers” that may not understand the underlying respiratory problems that can be caused by little critters hiding in their houses.  We hope this article aids in their becoming conscious of the importance of using proper protection when undertaking projects that require extra safety measures.