We made it to Labor Day, guys! Now, more than ever, it’s important to celebrate whenever we can, even if it’s a little differently than we’re used to. If you’re planning a Labor Day BBQ for your family, or a social distanced version with your neighbors, here are some tips to get you ready.
Prep That Grill!
Your grill is always the MVP of any BBQ, and this one is no exception. Make sure you have everything ready to grill up all your favorites. The first step is to make sure you have a full tank of propane, or a bag of fresh charcoal depending on your type of grill. Then make sure you have clean grill-ready utensils like tongs and spatulas.
Plan Your Menu
When planning your Labor Day BBQ menu, keep in mind that grocery stores still have limited supplies of certain ingredients, or that some may be hard to find. The regulars like ground beef for burgers and hot dogs should be readily available. But if you’re planning on something a little special like grilled salmon or kabobs, it’s best to have a Plan B, just in case.
Prep Those BBQ Linens
Now is the perfect time to pull out those red and white checked picnic linens! Your local dry cleaners is the perfect place to get them cleaned quickly. If there’s any stains leftover from last year, be sure to let the dry cleaners know, so they can properly treat them.
Stock Up on Essential Meds
Barbecue foods can mean heartburn for some of us. That’s why our favorite underrated tip is to stock up on antacid and stomach meds. The friendly community pharmacy near me has all the essentials that I need to enjoy our evening safely and comfortably. Yours probably does too.
If you happen to be caring for an aging parent or family member, now is a great time to think about enlisting the help of a home care agency. Holidays sometimes remind us of all the extra things we’ve taken on over the pandemic, and it’s okay to take a break and get some help.
Once you’ve got everything ready, the fun can begin. Let’s enjoy the time we have with our friends and family and have a great Labor Day!
Caring for an aging parent can be both complicated and rewarding. Having a little extra help can make all the difference. It’s important to take care of yourself, as well. Being a family caregiver can be both emotionally and physically exhausting, so here are some tips for caring for an aging parent at home.
Laundry and Cleaning
Laundry and cleaning are chores that require physical exertion, so it is best to get help with these tasks as much as possible. This could mean taking certain items to and from the dry cleaners or signing up for laundry delivery service. Or just designate a certain day that you do your loved one’s laundry, even if it’s at your own home. Hiring a cleaning service is always an option. Or you could make sure your parent has easily accessible tools like brooms or dustbusters so they could still do some light cleaning themselves.
Getting the Necessary Medical Supplies
It’s imperative that your aging parent has the necessary meds and medical supplies such as walking canes, shower seats, and reaching aids. Check with your local pharmacy about automatic prescription refills. Delivery may always be an option as well. This kind of thing is where hiring a home care agency could come in hand. A home healthcare aide will be able to provide assistance not only with picking up prescriptions but also help with mobility and physical assistance.
Cooking Simple Meals
Part of holding on to your dignity as you age is remaining as independent as possible. So even if your parent needs significant assistance with living by herself or himself at home, there are ways to make it so that they can do some of the everyday tasks themselves. For example, on weekly grocery trips, be sure to pick up food items that they may be able to prepare themselves. Prepping ingredients beforehand and labeling them in containers in the fridge is always a great way to lend some assistance without overstepping.
Caring for an aging parent can be tricky, but with a little extra planning, it doesn’t have to disrupt your life. Your parent deserves to be able to live out their lives as independently and comfortable as possible, and so do you. Don’t forget to take a break every now and then. A respite care provider can provide the at home care assistance that your parent needs while you rest and recharge.
COVID-19 has changed the world, and changed the way we do just about everything. Local businesses are being hit hard, and now more than ever, we need to come together and support them. Here's how.
Support Your Local Dry Cleaners
The dry cleaners near me are taking quite a beating right now, since the majority of the office work force is now operating remotely. You may not have suits or fancy work clothes to clean, but what else do you have lying around the house that could use refreshing? Comforters, linens and specialty fabrics maintain their shape and longevity the best when cleaned once a year. Call your local dry cleaners ahead of time to check on their current hours and policies.
Support Your Local Pharmacy
You may think that pharmacies are doing fine during the pandemic, but that may not be the case. Smaller, independent pharmacies are being hit just as hard as everyone else. Your local pharmacy isn't just for prescriptions, they also carry most of the supplies you need for common illnesses and cuts and scrapes. And don't forget that you can get most vaccinations and flu shots at your local pharmacy as well.
Support Your Local Restaurants
Restaurants are really struggling right now, especially the ones that usually feature fine dining. If you've been living off of cheap take out and more inexpensive fare, consider treating yourself once a week. Call your favorite fancy restaurant ahead of time and check to see if they're offering take out specials. Most are, and you'll be able to enjoy a gourmet meal in the safety of your own home.
Support Your Local Salons
ost salons are now open, although they have lots of new rules in place. If you've been putting off that haircut or beauty treatment, now may be the time to try. Call ahead of time to check on hours and protocols in place. Grab your mask and hand sanitizer and be sure to tip well. Most workers in the service industry are just getting back to steady income and could really use some extra support.
This is a hard time for all of us. So let's all support each other and do what we can to make sure our favorite neighborhood spots can survive this pandemic.
Well, it’s that time of year again! But this time, it’s a little bit different. Okay, it’s a lot different. At this point, we’ll take any sort of normalcy we can get, so it’s time to the kids (and maybe yourself) ready for back to school in the time of COVID-19.
Getting School Clothes and Uniforms Ready
You may not have done the usual annual shopping trips this year for new wardrobe staples. And that’s okay. Social distancing is more important right now than getting your hands on the latest fashions for your kids. But that may mean you have to dig last year’s stuff out of storage. School uniforms are usually a bit trickier to care for than traditional jeans and t-shirts. Be sure to take them to the dry cleaner at least a week (more if possible) before school begins. Check for stains, rips, or missing buttons beforehand. Most dry cleaners can do repairs like that for a very low cost. Also, be sure to ask them about alterations for those hand-me downs!
Don’t Delay Those Shots
Everyone is a bit nervous about medical appointments these days, especially if you’re perfectly healthy. Medical offices are well aware of these fears and are taking extra precautions to keep germs away. There’s no excuse to put off those back to school vaccinations. If you’d rather go somewhere more convenient, where you can get in and out quickly, check with your local pharmacy. Most pharmacies offer low cost (or even free with your insurance) vaccines and are almost guaranteed to have the ones your kids need for school requirements. And don’t forget your flu shot!
Stock Up on Flu Season Essentials
Flu season is going to be even more intense this year, with the threat of COVID-19 still looming. To prepare, stock up with all the necessary over the counter medications for cold and flu. Ibuprofen, Tylenol, cold medicines and cough drops are all great things to have on hand. Vapor rub and chapstick are helpful to have on hand too, and all available at your local drug store as well.
Things may be different this year, but it’s still an exciting, fun time for the kiddos to see their friends in school again. Taking a little extra time to prepare will make it a lot less stressful. Stay safe!
Summer is here, but the COVID-19 pandemic is still with us. Most of us are still leery of flying, so vacationing overseas or out of state is not under consideration. Although we are in phase 2 of re-opening and many restaurants and shops are now open, our safest activities this summer would be outdoors, especially in parks and beaches, with social distancing, of course. One place I’d like to visit with my family is the Minuteman Campground in Lexington, which is just 30 miles northwest of Boston. There, you can enjoy a quiet, spacious campsite among the tall pines. The campground has tent campsites, RV campsites and cabins. The RV sites have picnic tables, Wi-Fi, laundry, fire pits and electricity hookups, so you won’t need propane for RV generator. For fun, the campground provides kids playground, swimming pool, basketball, volleyball and more.
As long as the family is outdoors, you always should be prepared with insect sprays and sunscreens, first aid kits and wound care supplies such as bandages, dressings and wound cleansers.
If you have a senior loved one at home, you may not be able to bring him or her along. In that case, it would be a good idea to get respite care service from a trustworthy home care agency. A professional home care aide can provide companionship, as well as take care of daily tasks such as simple meal preparation, errands, and also make sure that your loved one is taking prescribed medications.
Worried about your routine household chores while you are on vacation? Take a break and let others do them for you. Use the nearby dry cleaner to do your dirty laundry, maid service to clean your house, and a personal concierge to do whatever else that needs to be done. With their help, even though you are still in the Boston area, you can take your mind off your daily routine to rest, recharge and have fun!
The 4th of July is always the event of the summer, but things are a little different this year. Maybe we can’t go to parades or fireworks celebrations, or have a giant neighborhood block party, but we can still have a good time. Here’s are some ways to celebrate the 4th during a pandemic.
Freshen Up Your Flag
You may have already been proudly displaying your American flag, but preparing for the Fourth is the perfect reason to freshen it up a bit. Most dry cleaners will clean flags for free, so give them a call to ask about their policies. A flag can get a bit grimy and even moldy after swaying in the breeze through all sorts of weather, so you should have it professionally cleaned at least once a year. If it’s a big flag, you should take advantage of a free laundry delivery service in your area.
Plan a Picnic With Your Family
You may not be able to have a giant backyard BBQ this year, but you can still plan a fun picnic with your family. Now would be a perfect time to prep your linens and blankets, and anything else you may need for a picnic in the grass. Most of these items can be machine washed, but for fancier or delicate fabrics, you may want to take them to your local dry cleaners. Don’t forget the bug spray and sunscreen, both available at your nearby pharmacy.
Now’s the perfect time to go on a camping trip, even if it’s not very far away. If you don’t own an RV or camper, think about renting or borrowing one, for a great weekend getaway on a budget. Don’t forget to fill that propane tank so you’re all ready to go.
4th of July during a pandemic doesn’t mean you have to be stuck inside, think outside the box and enjoy some quality time with your family safely!
Laundry is one of those chores that can be resource intensive and a significant polluter, but it doesn’t have to be. Yes, you can go green and get your laundry clean. There are a few simple things you can do to make wash day more eco-friendly.
Do Full Loads
A full load uses less energy and water than two half loads. Save water, energy, and time.
Use Eco-Friendly Detergent
Choose a laundry detergent without added dyes, fragrances, and petroleum-based chemical compounds. Some dry cleaners offer eco-friendly wash, dry, fold service that uses custom detergent, formulated to be eco-friendly and boost cleaning power.
Use Less Detergent
Pay attention to the amount of detergent you use, too. Read and follow the directions on the detergent box. Too much detergent not only dumps more soap into the water, but also reduces the washer’s efficiency.
Use Non-Chlorine Bleach
Chlorine has many damaging effects on the environment, and you don’t really need it to get your laundry white. Try lemon juice or a “free and clear” bleach. To help save the environment, we should try to use only chlorine-free laundry products.
Use the Right Dryer Settings
Match the drying time to the load. For example, nylon dries faster than denim. Use lower heat to save energy. I dry all clothes in low/medium heat.
Upgrade Your Washing Machine
Commercial washers are already more efficient than home washers. The newest generation of high-efficiency washers is designed to use even less energy and less water. This new technology is available in home washers now too.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Try a concentrated eco-friendly detergent to get the same amount of wash from a smaller package. Recycle plastic detergent bottles. Reuse laundry bags, hangers, containers, and anything else you can think of – be creative. Some eco-friendly dry cleaners use reusable laundry bags for laundry pickup and delivery service, too.
Spend Time With Your Family, Not Your Laundry
Gardening season is here! After the last few months we've had, spending time outside with our hands in the dirt is incredibly welcome. While gardening is a great hobby to have, it also helps to be prepared. Here are some gardening tips you may not have considered.
Prep for the Bugs
Bugs are inevitable when it comes to gardening, it comes with the territory. But with a couple of precautions, you can be ready for those creepy crawly gardening buddies. Your local drugstore or pharmacy will have all the insects sprays you need to keep protected, including kinds for sensitive skin. Be sure to look for calamine or aloe lotion to soothe itchy insect bites.
Protect Your Skin From the Sun
Even if you're just spending a few minutes outside watering your plants, it's essential to protect your skin from the sun. If your skin is on the pale side or you tend to burn easily, look for sunscreens at your nearby pharmacy with an SPF of at least 50.
Be Prepared for Cuts and Scrapes
Weeding your garden can come with some drawbacks, like cuts and scrapes. Use good quality garden gloves to stay protected and keep a stash of first aid supplies nearby. Your local drug store will have bandaids, antibacterial cream, gauze and all the necessary things you need in the event you hurt yourself gardening.
Remove Dirt Stains
Grass and dirt stains aren't easy to remove from clothing, so it's best to designate some clothes specifically for gardening that you won't mind if they get a little grungy. However, if you want to have your gardening clothes clean and stain-free, take them to the dry cleaners nearby. Be sure to tell your local Boston dry cleaner how your clothes were stains, so they can treat accordingly.
Consider Planting a Garden for a Loved One
Your elderly friends or family members may still enjoy gardens but can't take care of them because of physical limitations or mobility issues. Planting and tending to a garden for someone else is an amazing gift, and can be so rewarding. Alternatively, a home care aide can provide great companionship by tending to the garden with your loved one.
Have fun gardening this season and take a few small precautions to stay safe and healthy in the summer sun!
So many Americans are affected by skin allergies, so much so that skin allergy remedies are a lucrative industry. Different factors can make skin allergies worse like weather, pollen and common airborne allergens. Here are some tips for those dealing with skin allergies
Check With Your Local Pharmacy
Skin allergies are sometimes tricky to treat since they vary so much from person to person. Check with a compounding pharmacy about medications specifically for your individual needs. Compounded medications for skin will be specially formulated for you by type and dosage, so you'll get the quickest most reliable results.
Be Aware of What Fabrics Irritate Your Skin
You may be unaware that some of the clothing you wear regularly is irritating your sensitive skin. It could be the fabric itself, or the detergent you've been using to wash them. Always look for "free and clear" detergents that don't contain any dyes or perfumes. Additionally, look for a local green dry cleaner nearby that tailors to those with sensitive skin. Ask for no fragrances and hypoallergenic products.
Check With Your Doctor
Sometimes skin allergies could be pointing to a more serious health problem. If your skin suddenly becomes dry or irritated, its best to have it checked out by your doctor or dermatologist. Raised rashes, odd-shaped markings or irritation paired with fevers should always be checked by a medical professional right away.
Dry weather or heat can bring on skin allergies, especially if you're already prone to dry skin. To avoid this, I always keep my skin moisturized with a natural, perfume-free lotion or oil. I like to buy lotions and creams specifically formulated for sensitive skin at a local drugstore near me, which also can fill prescriptions from my dermatologist. Older people also tend to have dry skin, so family caregivers or professional home health aides should also take care to keep their loved one or client's skin moisturized.
Skin allergies are a pain, but they don't have to be. Take care of your skin and take care of each other.
Father's Day is right around the corner and it's time to start thinking about gift ideas for all the special guys in your life. This year is undeniably different than previous Father's Days, so it may require a little thinking outside the box. Some traditional stores aren't yet fully open, and special outings and celebrations may not be possible because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Not to worry! I've compiled some unique Father's Day gift ideas that are perfect for our current situation.
Gift cards are always a good idea for any holiday gift. But this year, consider a gift card from your Dad's local dry cleaner. Once things get up and running again, he'll want to freshen up his wardrobe and get out of those sweats and t-shirts. Or he may try shirt laundry service at his office so he can look his best always at work. If the dry cleaners won't work for your guy, the local drugstore will have a large selection of gift cards for local restaurants and stores.
Private Home Care
This gift could work for grandpas as well as Dads. If your dad is caring for his elderly father, or could just use some help himself, contacting a private home care agency may be the perfect gift idea. A caregiver or home health aide could be a lifesaver, and something they may not always feel comfortable asking for themselves
Because of COVID-19, it's hard to follow our usual gift-giving routines. If you haven't been able to go to a department store or find what you need online, you may need to run out and grab something locally. Luckily, pharmacies are considered essential right now and almost all are offering special extended hours. The local pharmacy near me, for example, turns out to be a treasure trove of Father's Day gifts. Cologne, coffee mugs, fancy chocolate - you'd probably be surprised what you can find at the drug store. The community pharmacy probably carries Father's Day gift sets as well to make it even easier.
Don't let the global pandemic stop you from treating those special Dads in your life to the perfect gift they deserve.