Simple Ways to Show Dad You Care on Father’s Day

Father’s Day is the perfect opportunity to honor your dad and thank him for everything he has done for you. While big Father’s Day celebrations can be nice, some dads prefer to keep thing simple. If your dad is more the subdued type, or if a big celebration is just not in the cards this year, here are some simple ways to show you care.

Father and daughter at a lake

1. Help Dad look his best.

When was the last time your dad had his suit cleaned? Consider taking it to the dry cleaner for a nice refresh. The dry cleaner near me does a fabulous job of removing any stains, repairing buttons and pressing the suit. Find the best dry cleaner in your neighborhood and ask them to pickup your dad’s shirt and suit for cleaning. When your dad wears the cleaned suit, he will feel like he’s on top of the world.

If you do have bigger plans for Father’s Day, such as going out to dinner at a nice restaurant, you can always have his suit dry cleaned in advance so he can wear it to the special event.

2. Make him a gift basket.

Buy his favorite personal grooming products, some cologne, and maybe some sunscreen to prepare him for the summer. Don’t forget to also grab a greeting card and write a personalized message inside. If you procrastinated in gift shopping for your dad, you can do this last-minute at the nearby pharmacy. There are often many really nice products that you can put together in a gift basket for your dad.

3. Arrange for companion care.

If your father is getting older and is struggling to care for himself, or perhaps feeling a bit lonely in the house, a nice Father’s Day gift may be to arrange for companion home care through a home care agency. A professional caregiver, such as a certified HHA, can visit, as needed, to help with basic tasks and also do fun activities like playing chess, viewing photos or taking a walk with your dad when you can’t be there.

4. Make him a mix tape.

Back in the 1990s and early 2000s, people used to make mix tapes for their loved ones. Bring this tradition back for Father’s Day! Create a CD with some of your dad’s favorite songs on it. You can include songs you’ve listened to together over the years and toss in a few surprises, too.

As Father’s Day approaches, spend a little time to think about how you want to celebrate with your Dad. It’s perfectly okay not to go over-the-top. Often, it’s the small gestures, like those above, that mean the most to a dad. Be sure to also give your father a hug and remind him how much you care.

A Few Tips for a Great Memorial Day

Memorial Day is just around the corner! Thankfully, most people in Massachusetts have had the COVID-19 vaccine, and with the gradual reopening of the economy, we are heading in a positive direction. Celebrating Memorial Day in a wide, open, outdoor space is a relatively safe option for most people. If you want to make sure this year’s Memorial Day party is one to remember, here are some planning tips.

Memorial Day Flag and bouquets outside a home in South End, Boston

1. Get vaccinated, and remind others.

Gathering outdoors is safer than gathering indoors, but you’ll be even safer if you and your party attendees are vaccinated for COVID-19. Schedule your vaccine at the local pharmacy if you have not already, and remind your friends and family members to do the same. Remember, it takes several weeks to build immunity after a vaccine, so get vaccinated sooner rather than later.

2. Take table linens and flags to the dry cleaners.

After a great party, you don’t want to have to spend all week cleaning up! Make plans to take your table linens, flags, and any other cloth items to the nearest dry cleaners after the party. If any of your clothing get stained, perhaps with ketchup or mustard, you can take that clothing in, too. Professional wash and fold services are excellent at removing stains.

3. Stock up on essentials at the drug store.

With the weather starting to warm up, it’s important to make sure you have all of the essential meds on-hand. Prior to Memorial Day, visit a nearby drug store to buy some allergy medications, bug spray, sunscreen, and other essentials.

Also make sure you have a First Aid kit on-hand. Stock it with Band Aids, antibiotic ointment, pain relievers, gauze, and other basics. Keep the First Aid kit outside during the party, along with a basket with sunscreen and bug spray, and make sure all of your party attendees know where it is.

4. Create an upbeat playlist.

Everyone deserves a mood lift right now! Put together an upbeat, uplifting playlist for your Memorial Day party. Consider reaching out to each person who is invited, and ask them what their favorite song is. Add all of these favorite songs to your playlist, and your guests will be delighted.

This year, Memorial Day is a welcome chance to reconnect with family and friends. Make sure you’re vaccinated, safe, and ready to have a great time. Whether you grill hot dogs or have the party catered, what’s important is that you’re together!

Planning a Wedding? Don’t Forget These Steps

Planning a wedding can seem like a really big task. But if you start early and stay organized, you can put together a truly memorable event. You’ll need to call florists, taste cake, and find a caterer. In all of your planning, though, make sure you don’t forget these small but important steps.

1. Make plans to clean and preserve your wedding dress.

When the wedding is over, you’ll want to preserve your wedding dress. Wedding dress preservation is not only a way to preserve the memories of a life time, you can also wear it again if you ever renew your vows, or you can pass it down to a daughter or friend one day.
Before being preserved, your dress will need to be cleaned by professional dry cleaners. They’ll remove any makeup stains, cake marks, and other spots before they get a chance to set in. Once clean, your dress can be preserved in a specialized box. Your shoes and gloves can be preserved, too, if you wish.

2. Opt for an outdoor wedding with helium balloons.

This year, especially, planning an indoor wedding can be challenging due to the COVID-19 pandemic and related regulations. So, consider choosing an outdoor wedding instead.
You can make it a really unique experience with helium balloons! For a large number of balloons, you will need a helium tank or helium cylinder to fill them, and don’t be afraid to get creative. You can have some basic balloons in your wedding colors, but also some vinyl balloons printed with the bride and groom’s favorite cartoon characters or your favorite musical instruments.

3. Remind guests to get vaccinated.

With COVID-19 still around, you want to make sure your guests are as safe and protected as possible. About a month before your wedding, reach out to guests and remind them to get vaccinated. Consider sending them the information for a local pharmacy that is offering vaccines. And don’t forget to be vaccinated yourself!

4. Pack a kit for the limo ride.

Take a few minutes to put together a kit you can carry with you in the limousine. Bring with you essentials like Tylenol, Band Aids, chap stick, lotion, and facial tissue. Having these items on-hand will alleviate a lot of worry and inconvenience on your big day.Planning a wedding is a lot of work. Make sure you don’t skip the steps above, and don’t forget to pause, take a deep breath, and remember you’re about to marry the love of your life. Congratulations and best wishes!!

How are You Celebrating Mother’s Day?

Mother’s Day is coming up on Sunday, May 9th. This is a wonderful opportunity to show your mom just how much you care and return some of the love she has shown for you over the years. If you’re still planning your Mother’s Day celebration, here are a few ideas to inspire you.

1. Help mom take a load off.

Sometimes, moms just want a break. Giving her a break for Mother’s Day could be something she really appreciates. Arrange for a laundry pickup service to pick up her laundry while you take her out to lunch or to the mall.

If your mother is caring for her mom or dad, then consider hiring a respite care service to take over her duties for a day. You could even arrange to have the service come once a week for the rest of the year, giving your mom more time to herself in the long term.

2. Cook a meal for her.

Your mother has prepared thousands of meals for you throughout your lifetime, so why not cook for her for a change? Go over to her house so she doesn’t have to drive. Bring all of the ingredients to prepare one of her favorite meals, and make sure you end the meal with her favorite dessert.

3. Watch a movie together.

When was the last time you just relaxed in front of the TV with your mom for a few hours? This can be a nice, relaxing way to spend Mother’s Day when you’re both worn out and busy. Rent her favorite movie, pop some popcorn, and kick back. Discuss the movie together when you’re finished.

4. Pick up a last-minute gift from the local pharmacy.

If you’re on a tight schedule and don’t have much time to shop, or you procrastinated, all is not lost. You can pick up a last-minute gift from your local pharmacy. You’ll find better gifts for mom than you may have imagined. Consider buying her some new skincare products, like a face mask or a nice night cream. You could also look for a foot scrub, some massage oil, or a new loofah. Pair your gift with some chocolate and a card, and your mother will love it.

Mother’s Day is the perfect opportunity to show your mom how much you care. With a thoughtful gift, a little planning, and an open heart, you can help your mom feel appreciated, embraced, and truly loved.

Spring Gardening: A Healthy Habit For Seniors

Gardening is a great way to make your yard look nice, but it’s also much more than that. Gardening is good for the mind and for the body. It’s also a lovely activity to do with your older loved one. The two of you can bond, and you’ll both reap the physical and mental benefits.

Gardening is good, safe exercise.

Many older adults do not get enough exercise. They may not be capable of going for a jog or even a long walk, but gardening is an approachable activity, even for adults with limited mobility.

If you garden alongside your older loved one, you can let them handle what they can, and then pick up the slack. For example, you can let them put plants in the dirt while you do the more demanding activities — like raking and mulching.

If your loved one has an in-home caregiver, you can also suggest gardening as an activity for the two of them to do together. Drop off any supplies they may need, like pots and potting soil.

Gardening has other health benefits.

In addition to being good exercise, gardening is a great way to get some vitamin D. Deficiencies of vitamin D are common in people of all ages, but especially in older adults who do not go outside very often. In exposing their skin to the sun for just a few minutes a day while they garden, your loved one can raise their vitamin D level. Like vitamins and supplements, this is good for bone health and mental health and it is free!

Just make sure you have the right supplies on-hand for safety as you garden. Visit a pharmacy nearby to stock up on sunscreen, first aid kits, and wound care kits.

Gardening creates dirty clothing.

Your senior loved one’s new gardening habit may create a lot of dirty laundry. Clothing may get soil stains when you’re out playing in the dirt! Sunscreen stains can also ruin your clothing. I always take my stained clothing to the local dry cleaner near me. They know what they are doing when it comes to stain removal! In any case, it’s good idea to have a laundry pickup service take care of your loved one’s laundry. This will take the burden off them and lead to a better quality of life as they age at home.

If you are looking for a fun, safe way to get some exercise with your loved one, try gardening. You’ll have a lovely time out in the fresh air, and in the end, your yard will be that much more beautiful.

Take An Outdoorsy Trip for Spring Break

Spring break will be here before you know it! This is the perfect time of year to take an outdoorsy trip. You can plan on camping with the family, doing some hiking, or kayaking on a lake. Regardless of what type of outdoor adventure you are planning, you’ll want to make sure you are well-packed and well-prepared. Here are a few tips to help with that.

1. Stock up on propane.​

If you plan on cooking on a grill or even heating the cabin you’re staying in, then you’re going to need some propane. Get propane tanks filled well in advance so you don’t have to rush around the day before your trip. If you need a new tank, consider buying two or three smaller ones instead of one large tank. Smaller ones are easier to carry.

2. Go through your first aid kit.

Outdoor adventures come with the risk of scrapes, burns, and other injuries. So before you head off, make sure your first aid kit is well-stocked. Shop at a local pharmacy for basics like Band-aids, antibiotic ointment, and iodine solution.

For an outdoor trip, you’ll also want to pack some sunscreen and insect repellent with your first aid kit. Most pharmacies stock small, travel-size containers of these items, which are perfect to stuff in your backpack.

3. Have your outdoor clothing cleaned.

You don’t want to pull on your hiking pants and find they’re still covered in mud from last season. You also don’t want to climb into a sleeping bag that has a musty odor! So, before you head off on your outdoor adventure, take a few minutes to sort through your outdoor items and separate those that need cleaning.

If you’re short on time, having a laundry or dry cleaning pick up service come pick up your items can be really convenient!

4. Make plans for elder care.

If you care for an older loved one, make plans for their care while you’re away. Consider hiring a home caregiver to make sure they take their medications on time and have other needs met. A caregiver can also give them company and companionship.

Spring break is the perfect time to get outside and enjoy the fresh air while kayaking, hiking, biking, or picnicking. If you prepare with the steps above, you’ll truly be able to relax while you’re away on vacation.

4 Ways to Prepare for Springtime

Spring will be here before we know it! This season represents a fresh new start. The warm air, budding trees, and birds chirping are all so enjoyable after a chilly winter. So, how can you prepare for the arrival of this rejuvenating season? Start with these suggestions.

Spring in Boston — Charles River

1. Clean Your House

Spring cleaning is an age-old tradition. And indeed, this is the perfect time of year for a thorough, deep clean. Most people like to go room by room, as this makes it easy to divide the whole-house cleaning across a few days. Some important cleaning tasks to include are:

  • Pulling furniture away from the walls to clean behind it.
  • Wiping down ceiling fan blades and vent covers.
  • Washing your curtains or window treatments.
  • Cleaning light fixtures.
  • Wiping down window sills.
  • Changing your furnace and air conditioner filters.
  • Wiping down baseboards and doorframes.

2. Re-Organize Your Closets

How much stuff has accumulated in your closet that you no longer use? Spend a day sorting through your clothing. Donate anything you no longer need to charity, or throw it away if it is torn or stained.

This is also the perfect time to take winter clothes out of your closet and put your summer clothing in. Take your winter clothing, coats, and comforters to the dry cleaners before packing them into storage for the spring.

3. Restock Your Medicine Cabinets

Go through your medicine cabinet, and get rid of any expired medications. Then, head to your local pharmacy, and purchase items to restock your cabinet.

Make sure you have basic medications, such as pain relievers and anti-nausea drugs, on-hand. Stock some basic first aid supplies, like Band-Aids and antibiotic cream, too. You can even pick up your Rx refills at the same time to save yourself a trip.

4. Check Your Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Spring is also a good time to check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Look at the date on the back to see if the device is due to be replaced. Also, change the batteries to ensure that if there is an emergency, the alarm will alert you as intended. This is particularly important if you use propane for heating or cooking at home.

The arrival of spring marks a season of renewal and the perfect opportunity for a fresh, new start. With a clean home, an organized closet, a well-stocked medicine cabinet, and safe smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, you’ll be well prepared for springtime.

When There is No Parade on St. Patrick’s Day

St. Patrick’s Day is typically an occasion that calls for big parades and parties in the streets. But since most of us have still not received vaccinations against COVID-19, social distancing is still vital — which means this St. Paddy’s Day will feel a little different. There can still be plenty of fun, safe ways to celebrate the luck o’ the Irish! Here are a few ideas.

1. Plan a Camping Trip

With the weather growing warmer, this is the perfect time to plan a camping trip. Buy some sunscreen at the pharmacy, as you can sunburn even when it’s cloudy. Bring along a propane tank and a small grill, and enjoy a weekend in the woods.

Here are a few fun ways to work a St. Patrick’s Day theme into your camping trip:

  • Have a contest to see who finds a 4-leaf clover first.
  • Prepare a traditional Irish dish, like boiled cabbage and bacon, over the fire.
  • Drink an Irish drink, like Guinness or Bailey’s, by the fire.

2. Have a Costume Party on Zoom

Have everyone in the family make their own St. Patrick’s Day costume. You can dress up like leprechauns, rainbows, pots of gold, or even as a cabbages! Host a family Zoom call so everyone can admire each other’s customers from a safe distance. You could even have a costume content. Reward the winner with some Irish tea or a Guinness (depending on age).

3. Bake Green Cupcakes

This is the perfect St. Patrick’s Day activity for families with kids. Mix up a vanilla cake mix according to package instructions, but add about a half teaspoon of green food coloring to the batter. Bake and cool the cupcakes, then top them with green frosting.

You can also make green cookies and green soda simply by adding a few drops of food coloring.

4. Practice Irish Dancing

​Irish dancing is lively, lighthearted, and fun — just what we all need right now! Look up some Irish dancing routines on YouTube, and do your best to follow along. It’s okay if you don’t master the steps. The goal is to have fun.

Hopefully we’ve inspired you to have some safe St. Paddy’s Day fun during these unusual times. At the end of the day, don’t sweat the cleanup. Save time by using alaundry delivery service, and revel in the luck and joy of the Irish a little longer.

Keeping the Family Safe in Winter

Winter is the perfect season to snuggle up inside and watch the snow fall through the winter. But winter also brings some risks associated with the snow and cold. Here are a few easy ways to reduce those risks, keeping yourself and your family members safe.

Keeping the Family Safe

Keep Fire Safety in Mind

Fire is warm and comforting, but also dangerous. If you use a candle to create ambiance, make sure you put it out before you go to bed. Don’t leave a candle burning alone in a room, either.

Also, be careful with space heaters. Make sure you clear anything flammable away from them. If you use propane for heat, make sure your tank is secure. Establish a regular schedule with your propane delivery team, and have your tank serviced periodically to keep it in good shape.

Avoid Slips and Falls

To prevent slip-and-fall injuries, make sure you keep your walkways clear of snow. Use rock salt or another ice melting agent to get rid of slick ice. If you have an older loved one, make sure they have winter boots with good traction. Consider having your in-home care provider help you get your older family member in and out of the vehicle on slippery days.

Use Medications to Your Advantage

Visit your local pharmacy, and stock up on medications and remedies that are helpful for winter. Get your Rx refills in advance so you don’t run out of medication during a storm.

Purchase some skin cream to treat dry skin, which is common due to the dry winter air. It’s also smart to keep some cold medicine on-hand, and to use some capsaicin or menthol gel to ease muscles that are sore from shoveling snow and tackling other winter chores.

Dress Warmly

Make sure you and your loved ones have plenty of warm clothing on-hand to protect you from the snow and cold. Consider arranging for a dry cleaners nearby to pick up your laundry items so you can get them cleaned without having to leave your house. This way, you can look your best in clean clothing, but still stay warm.

On cold days, it is best to dress in layers. Opt for breathable fabrics, like wool and synthetics, over cotton.

Winter is a beautiful season, but it does bring about some risks. With the tips above, you can mitigate those risks and remain focused on the seasonal beauty and family time.

One Year into the Pandemic

It was back in January last year when the first cases of COVID-19 were reported in the U.S., and in March 2020, the WHO declared the outbreak a pandemic. We are now one full year into the pandemic. It has been a hard year for everyone, but especially for our frontline workers, the elderly and their caregivers. We may be suffering from COVID fatigue but it is important that we remain vigilant and stay safe. I have some tips to share as we find our way through these difficult times.

COVID-19 coronavirus

Plan for Vaccination

Make a plan to get your COVID-19 vaccine, and help older adults in your life make a plan to get their vaccine. Find out if you can get vaccinated at your favorite local pharmacy; many are administering vaccines to at-risk individuals. Your local health department is another good resource to find vaccination sites in your area. If you live in Massachusetts like me, you can go on MA DPH website for clinics/sites that are currently accepting patients for vaccinations.

In Massachusetts, vaccines go to those who are most at risk first. Your elderly family members who are 75+ may get vaccinated in Phase 1 and those who are 65+ may get vaccinated in Phase 2. If your loved one has an in-home caregiver through a home care agency, they should be vaccinated in Phase 1, too.

Keep Your Home Clean

Although COVID-19 is different from the common cold and flu, the same cleaning practices that reduce the spread of those illnesses will also reduce the spread of COVID-19. Wash your bedding and comforters often, and wipe down surfaces daily.

If your dry cleaners offer germ-free laundry services, take advantage of them — and consider using a laundry pickup and delivery service to minimize interpersonal contact.

Take Care of Senior Loved Ones

If you have older loved ones, do their grocery shopping for them so they don’t have to risk catching COVID-19 in public. Pick up their mail, bring them takeout, and run other errands so they can stay home, where they’re safer. 

Remember to support seniors’ mental health, too. Chat with them on the phone, play games together, or find a new TV show to enjoy together. If you’re feeling burned out caring for a loved one, consider signing up for senior respite care service.

Stay Informed

Dwelling on the news can be stressful, but you should check the news two or three days a week. This will ensure you stay informed about vaccine plans and safety protocols in your area.