Uncaring Caring. Elder Abuse: Look for the Warning Signs, Take Action

How can you tell if a loved one or senior neighbor is the victim of elder abuse? There are plenty of signs but only if you know what to look for. Keep alert, try being a little bit nosy and then take action to help. Your watchfulness can make a big difference in someone's life. ...
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What’s In Your Car’s Winter Emergency Kit? Wait, You Don’t Have One? Start Here

Winter has been slow to come to Northeast Ohio, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't be ready for icy roads and blowing snow. Here's a checklist for what you need to keep in your car to stay safe this winter. ...
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Don’t Play Around with Toy Safety this Christmas: Shop Smart

By the American Academy of Pediatrics
If you’ve got a little one on your holiday shopping list, keep safety at the top of your “must haves.”
Children can have a lot of fun playing with their toys. However, it’s important to keep in mind that safety should always come first. Each year thousands of children are injured by toys.

Read on to learn what to look for when buying toys and how a few simple ideas for safe use can often prevent injuries.

Preventing Injuries from Toys:

Most injuries from toys are minor cuts, scrapes, and bruises. However, toys can cause serious injury or even death. This happens when toys are dangerous or used in the wrong way.

10 Toy Buying Tips:

Here are tips to help you choose safe and appropriate toys for your child.

  1. Read the label. Warning labels give important information about how to use a toy and what ages the toy is safe for. Be sure to show your child how to use the toy the right way.
  2. Think LARGE. Make sure all toys and parts are larger than your child’s mouth to prevent choking.
  3. Avoid toys that shoot objects into the air. They can cause serious eye injuries or choking.
  4. Avoid toys that are loud to prevent damage to your child’s hearing.
  5. Look for stuffed toys that are well made. Make sure all the parts are on tight and seams and edges are secure. It should also be machine washable. Take off any loose ribbons or strings to avoid strangulation. Avoid toys that have small bean-like pellets or stuffing that can cause choking or suffocation if swallowed.
  6. Buy plastic toys that are sturdy. Toys made from thin plastic may break easily.
  7. Avoid toys with toxic materials that could cause poisoning. Make sure the label says “nontoxic.”
  8. Avoid hobby kits and chemistry sets for any child younger than 12 years.
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Safe At Home

Falls by older adults are among the most serious for injuries and cost nearly $2 million statewide in direct medical costs daily.

Community Partnership on Aging’s Safe at Home service is designed to prevent falls by older adults living at home. Through grants, fundraising efforts, support from volunteers and local businesses alike, CPA is able to install safety equipment (such as a shower grab bar), in the homes of eligible older adults at little to no cost.

Also, the following services and programs are offered by the agency, which prioritizes services to residents in the communities of South Euclid, Lyndhurst, Highland Heights, Mayfield Heights and Mayfield Village:

• Transportation

• A variety of lunch options, including several scratch-prepared, caféstyle meals

• Resource referrals, benefits screenings and short-term counseling

• On-site wellness and social programs

• Light housekeeping

• Travel opportunities

• Volunteer services and opportunities

For more information about these services, visit or call 216-291-3902.

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Snow Removal – Pace Yourself – Save Yourself

Snow removal might seem like a dreaded wintry task in Northeast Ohio, but don’t let it take you down.

Shoveling and even snowblowing can cause serious injuries to limbs, joints and the spine. The exertion can stress your heart, too.

Nationwide, more than 11,000 adults and children are hospitalized due to shoveling injuries each year, according to the American Journal of Emergency Medicine (AJEM). The most common injuries include sprains and strains, particularly in the back and shoulders, as well as lacerations, broken bones and heart attacks.

“Know your limits,” says Mike Mager, licensed physical therapy assistant with Portage Physical Therapists in Ravenna. “Listen to your body. Take frequent rest breaks. Don’t overdo. If you have a chronic condition, hire someone else to do snow removal at your home.”


Lifting heavy snow, especially in the early morning hours when the heart is most susceptible to coronary events, can be deadly.

The AJEM study found that cardiac-related injuries during snow removal accounted for 100 percent of the more than 1,600 snow removal fatalities that occurred in the U.S. over a 16-year period. Snow shoveling can raise heart rates above recommended limits after only two minutes of digging.

No one who has a cardiac stent or a history of cardiovascular disease should shovel snow. People who don’t exercise regularly should pace themselves and take breaks. If you get tired or if you experience any chest pain or shortness of breath, stop, rest or contact a doctor.

Age affects risk. Adults over 55 are 4.25 times more likely than younger people to have heart-related symptoms while shoveling. The National Safety Council warns that those over 40 years old and relatively inactive should be careful while shoveling snow. Stretch before starting, take it slow and only pick up a small amount of snow at a time to avoid injury, the organization advises.

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It’s Not the IRS- Delete Emails, Hang Up on Scammers

Tax time is quickly approaching, and that means crooks are stepping up their game.

If you get an email or a phone call or message from someone claiming to represent the IRS, it’s a scam – always.

The IRS only notifies people via mail – the old-fashioned kind you can hold. That’s the word from Frank Suponcic, a CPA and advisor at Skoda Minotti, of Cleveland.

The latest email scam has the header “2015 Tax Reduction File.” An IRS logo appears in the upper left-hand corner of the email body. To an untrained eye, it looks legitimate. Together with the subject header, it’s intended to fool the recipient into filling out the form and submitting it. The implication of this offer is certainly appealing; after all, who doesn’t want their income taxes reduced?

This request is fraudulent. Do not complete it, and certainly do not hit “submit.” The IRS will never communicate with you via email or text. And, IRS officials won’t call you at home,  unless you have called them first, Suponcic says.

Tax time can be stressful; don’t let a scammer make it worse.

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