Thursday, July 11, 2019

Fire Extinguisher Safety for Seniors, Adults & Everyone

Fire safety is something we all agree is important though is seldom thought of during our daily routine. Just as the fire extinguisher sitting under the kitchen counter or hanging on a wall is seen all the time but remains unseen as it is so common. I will not address all the various components of sizes and powder types here. My goal is to bring this vital topic up to the surface so everyone will take a new look at your business and home extinguishers. In many homes the extinguisher may be tucked away in the cabinet under the sink or in the laundry room, out of sight out of mind. All too often it is way too close to the stove where a fire can start. When a fired does start or explodes into the air over the stove ruining your latest version of fried eggs and spam it is impossible to get close to search for that “red cylinder” under the cabinet. Doing so can put you in more danger than you think.  It is better to find a place on the wall near a doorway away from the stove to hang it. If you decide to use the fire extinguisher you will be in a safe part of the room to take it off the wall, pull the safety pin and then aim it at the base of the fire.

Many seniors have mobility/vision concerns so getting out of the area to a safe place will be a better option than going back near any danger. For those caregivers who are agile, and the fire is small, the extinguisher may be useful in putting the fire out before major damage is done. 
Did you call the fire department?
If vision, the ability to move quickly is reduced or if there are obstacles that can get in the way or tripped over trying to fight the fire, then getting out of the building is the better option for safety. This should be discussed by the caregiver to the family member, client or even the neighbor who is a frequent visitor. Making a plan with your client and family members about what to do if a fire starts can save a life. Plan and practice the exit plan for all parts of the home or office once a year. 
All fire extinguishers should be looked at once a month, yeah I know it sounds like work but it will take less than one minute in most cases. 
Look: to see that it is still where it should be, that getting to the extinguisher is not blocked by furniture or even temporary items such as chairs or boxes that someday will be put into storage. 
Look: at the gauge: is the needle in the green part? If not then bring it in for service or replacement. 
Look: is the safety pull pin still in the handle? If not the extinguisher can be accidentally set off when you pick it up and that will be a scary mess. (Think of a few pounds of powder scattered in the room by a fan)
Look: to see if the cylinder has been damaged in any way, if so the unit needs to be replaced. (Dents, rust, damaged gauge or handle)
When the extinguisher is sitting and hoping to never be put to use, the powder inside settles and over time may form a semi solid cake at the bottom of the cylinder.
How long has your unit been sitting and not moved? One way to keep the powder feeling free and eager to do the job intended is to upend the extinguisher a few times. That is, shake it, inverting it upside down 4 or 5 times, you should feel the powder move from one end to the other at this time. Do this once every 6 months, maybe at the same time you put  new batteries in your smoke detectors.
For extinguishers located in a business, they need to be serviced on an annual basis and a tag attached showing the date of the last inspection. This is required in all work locations, offices, warehouse, job sites retail shops and more. The tag is marked or punched with the month and year of the last inspection. We can provide this service to your business, just call to set up a time, or bring your extinguisher to our store for service. (There is a service charge)
Please note: when you do use your extinguisher, even if for a few seconds, it must be serviced or replaced as soon as possible. The powder will corrode the inner parts resulting in a loss of pressure so it will not be usable the next time the hamburger is left forgotten on the stove.
Did you call the fire department?
There are many sizes of fire extinguishers to meet your needs. You can ask your local fire department, insurance company or Service Company for advice. 
The 2 ½ # or 5# sizes are fine for most homes or facilities that do not have high risk exposure.
When you do use the extinguisher be sure to aim at the base of the fire and move the | flow of powder from side to side (SWEEP) Once the extinguisher is empty the fire will be put out. If not then it is wise to get out of the area, don’t try to retrieve the eggs.
If there is any doubt about you or your family member being able to use or lift the extinguisher, do not take any chances trying to remove it from the wall, don’t panic just get out of the area. Many of the smaller extinguishers weigh from 4 ½ #To 10# (pounds) then pulling the safety seal and pin can take strength some do not have. 
Your first priority is your client/family member: get them to safety. 
Did you call the fire department?
Please give us feedback on what topics of safety or medical equipment you would like us to write about.
Tucson Safety & Medical Supply
1740 E. Fort Lowell Road
  Tucson, AZ 85719

Discount Offer!  Call and say "I saw you in SPOTLIGHT"
for 10% off your purchase. 

Friday, July 5, 2019

IN THE SPOTLIGHT Homes of Joy Senior Living

We are pleased to announce our newest advertiser in the 

Homes of Joy Senior Living 

Homes of Joy is an upscale Senior Independent Living home in the Catalina Foothills where joy and love abound, where laughter is heard often, peace is known and as a result, our residents ­flourish.  We offer live-in caregivers whose focus is to get to know each resident individually in order to help them engage in activities at their own pace so they feel comfortable and fulfilled.  

Due to our small, family environment we are able to provide support and facilitation for each person’s specific needs and desires leading to a cohesive community of residents living life to the fullest!
Our home-like lifestyle encourages residents to enjoy life while living maintenance free.  We plan and prepare all meals and snacks.  Residents never have to lift a finger cleaning because we include housekeeping and laundry!  All the luxuries of home and and nails done on-site, medical care wrap-around services provided as well as shopping and mall hopping!  

We offer a unique activity calendar that includes many opportunities to engage in the community as well as participate in our in-house games, crafts and socials because we believe that community engagement and social stimulation leads to a Happy Heart and Joyful Soul.
If you are wondering if our community could be the next place you or a loved one call Home, please give us a call.  

We would love to give you a tour and answer any questions you may have about what an Independent Senior home is and why it may just be the best place to live!

Visit us online today, or call and say
"I saw you in SPOTLIGHT!"
(520) 248-0550

Thursday, June 27, 2019

IN THE SPOTLIGHT Valor HospiceCare

We are pleased to announce our newest advertiser in the 

Valor HospiceCare specializes in in-home hospice care.  We are a family-owned business and have been operating in Southern Arizona for over 15 years.   Hospice care involves an inter-disciplinary team approach to helping a patient and his/her family at the end of that person’s life.  A physician has to certify that, in their best judgment, the patient has 6 months or less to live.  

Our team of doctors, nurse practitioners, registered nurses, social workers, home health aides, spiritual counselors, and volunteers make visits to the patient/family as needed during the hospice period.   

Our goal is to make the patient comfortable during this life transition while ensuring the patient’s and family’s wishes are met to the extent possible.  We also work with the family after the passing to support with bereavement counseling.  

We pride ourselves on delivering empathetic care, rapid responses, and good and thorough communication.  We treat every patient as if they are our family.   Anyone can inquire about hospice.  

To inquire, simply call (520)615-3996.
Visit us online @

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Empower Your Move to Tucson Arizona with Long Realty Services

Su Swanne, Realtor GRI, CSHP, SRES

Graduate, Realtor Institute
Certified Senior Housing Professional
Senior Real Estate Specialist

Empower Your Move!

Flower for May - Lily of the Valley - My mother’s favorite flower! Every Mother’s Day these flowers are a sweet memory of her. As I write this, we have already enjoyed some of May with Mother’s Day and Cinco de Mayo. So what other ideas can we focus on?

May is also Asthma Awareness Month. Asthma is a chronic lung disease that has no cure. I’ve had asthma since I was five years old. Fortunately, the medicines available today are so much better than the ones when I was a child. Here is a photo of the kind of nebulizer I used; epinephrine was the inhaled agent to clear the lungs.

Looks kind of ancient, doesn’t it? Since 1980 asthma death rates overall have increased more than 50% among all genders, age groups and ethnic groups.

A Word About Real Estate in Tucson
  • In the Tucson Main Market area, April 2019 active inventory was down 5% from April 2018 to 1.9 months. Closings in April 2019 were up 6% from April 2018. Median price of sold homes was $215,000 for the month of April 2019, up 2% from April 2018. The Tucson Main Market area had 2,146 new properties under contract in April 2019, up 6% from April 2018. To read more visit my website.  

  • Mortgage lenders have lots of ways to help you obtain the funds you need to buy a home. And the current interest rates are down slightly, hovering around four percent, depending on your loan. Contact your mortgage lender to see what s/he can do for you. If you need a referral, you can contact me (520-248-6297). NOW is a great time to buy a new home!

  • A new hotel at the Tucson Convention Center is now under construction. A DoubleTree by Hilton, it will include a pool on the second level, a rooftop bar, restaurant, coffee bar, 4,000 square feet of meeting space, 170 rooms, four suites and a presidential suite. The hotel is scheduled to open late 2020.

A Word About Seniors
A few weeks ago my friend Peggy passed away in one of Tucson’s newer assisted living communities. She was 89. Her husband remains in memory care in the same community. From the day they moved in they were separate as their needs were quite different. Their main contact was at mid-day meals when they ate together.

I also have a client, 79, who has been in either the hospital or skilled nursing care for the past few months. This week the limits of skilled care will be reached and my client will be moving to...where? The family lives a few hundred miles away; they are not available to help.

Both of these scenarios are common for the Senior population. The difference between these stories is that my friend and her husband had financial resources to cover their living arrangement. My client, who made different choices for end-of-life care, is struggling to find the resources that are needed.

My question is: What is really required to meet the needs of our Seniors? Trendy, upscale apartments? Low-cost shared rooms with two beds? The competition for Seniors’ money is strong. As the Baby-Boomers continue to “flood” the market for Senior housing, what will be the outcome? My opinion is that there is an imbalance in the kinds of housing available for Seniors. Is the quality of care unbalanced, too? If you are a Senior, or you are helping a Senior determine the “right place”, take a moment to think about what is needed, and what is not.

A Word About Me
The past couple of months I’ve been living with my husband in his house, while abandoning my own. Now I’m in full “move” mode, and getting ready to put my house on the market through the Pima County Community Land Trust (PCCLT)

The PCCLT provides an alternative for low to mid-income buyers to be able to buy a home. When I bought my home I was moving out of a travel trailer I’d lived in for seven years. I had totally downsized and sold my condo to go traveling. I would never have been able to afford a new “sticks and bricks” home without the help of the PCCLT. If you are thinking about buying a home, and would like to know more, come to a workshop on May 22, 5:30-7:30, 801 W Congress.

At the end of the month we will be taking a trip back east to investigate the possibility of yet another move. Having family on the East Coast we hope to get a little closer to them. What that means for me here is completing the transactions I’m involved in, and then saying goodbye to the world of real estate in Tucson and the many wonderful folks I’ve met and worked with. I haven’t decided whether I will obtain a license in my new location, but it is a possibility. It is also possible we won’t like the new location, and we’ll return to Tucson to make other plans.

As a Senior myself, I am finding that everything I have learned about serving Seniors applies to myself as well. Learning to downsize, getting help with packing and cleaning, finding the right professionals - all has helped me to take on moving out of my house, and thinking about what I need and want in a new home. Considering my health needs, whether or not to age in place...all of it has been in my thoughts as I make the transition.

This will probably be my last monthly newsletter. If you would like to stay in touch, please let me know. In the future you may find me on my blog, SwanneSong - Views From the Edge, voicing my perspective on issues of all kinds.

It’s been a pleasure to offer my newsletter every month, as I’m a bit of a writer at heart. After three years of presenting information about real estate, I hope you have found something that has given you something to think about. I thank you for your support!

A Word About Events in Tucson
  • Eyeopeners Toastmaster Club meets every Wednesday, 6:15-7:30 a.m., 801 W Congress. If you’re interested in learning how to speak before an audience, this is the place to be!
  • May 22, 2019 - Free tour of 14 Demonstration Gardens at UofA Pima County Cooperative Extension, 4210 N. Campbell Ave. 9-10:30 a.m. Expand your gardening knowledge and get ideas for your own landscape.Let a Master Gardener volunteer lead you on a journey of discovery through these beautiful and interesting gardens. Meet at the plant clinic.
  • Enjoy improvisational humor at The Unscrewed Theater - 4500 E Speedway Blvd, #39. See their website for dates and times of shows.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Eye Protection Is For Everyday & Everyone


Safety glasses protect your eyes as well as your loved ones eyes from not only the damaging UV rays, they are impact resistant and comfortable to wear. The wrap round styles reduce the amount of wind that can often dry out sensitive eyes.  

Glasses are available in smaller sizes which fit slender faces. With spring and summer on the way more of us will be outside exposed to the sun and UV rays for longer times.  More information can be obtained by going to: 

The Prevent blindness Web page at  

The UV rays have been linked to Cataracts as well as a number of other visual concerns. As part of your caregiving duties do not forget how sensitive the eyes of our senior citizens can be.  Not all eyewear has UV protection this includes many of the “toy” glasses young kids are seen with.  All of our glasses, clear, smoke, amber and mirrored have the UV protection.

For those who wear glasses you will find (OTG) over the glass safety glasses which come in clear as well as smoke color lens.

Prevent Blindness recommends speaking with an eye care professional to ensure proper eye protection is being used no matter what the outdoor activity may be. At Tucson Safety & Medical Supply we carry over 40 styles and shades of safety glasses to choose from. Many have stylish frames as well as a full range of lens colors. If at work or at play it is just common sense to keep your eyes safe.

Tucson Safety & Medical Supply
1740 E. Fort Lowell Road
Tucson, AZ 85719

Sponsor of the Tucson SPOTLIGHT Senior Services & Living Options Guide.  Call us today and say
"I saw you in SPOTLIGHT!" 

Empower Your Move to Tucson Arizona with Long Realty Services

Su Swanne, Realtor GRI, CSHP, SRES

Graduate, Realtor Institute
Certified Senior Housing Professional
Senior Real Estate Specialist

Empower Your Move!

March and April in the desert bring forth an abundance of flowers when there’s been enough rain. The photo banner this month was taken near Three Points - orange Globe Mallow as far as the eye can see. This is a property that I’ve had listed for a while, and although I’ve been there many times, the earth seemed barren, just a lot of sand. I was so surprised to see these beautiful flowers in all those previously barren places.

A Word About Real Estate in Tucson
Click here to see the latest MLS statistics. The median price is at $219,000. This number had been relatively flat for about 5 months. It is still a seller’s market up to $500,000. It becomes a buyer’s market above $700,000. If you or someone you know would like more specific information, please contact me at

I closed two transactions this month! (And one at the very end of March.) I LOVE referrals!

A Word About Child Abuse Prevention Month
April has been designated Child Abuse Prevention Month. As a former social worker involved in child protection, foster care, and adoption, I like to bring attention to this important issue in our society. Sometimes it seems that there is no prevention of child abuse because we are always hearing stories in the news about children who have suffered at the hands of their parents or other caretakers. I sometimes wonder how it is that these abusers haven’t been reached about protecting the children. Learn about what you can do to help the children in your community by visiting this website.

A Word About Seniors
I recently attended a presentation for Realtors about Reverse Mortgages, sponsored by Fairway Mortgage. While this kind of home mortgage is not for every Senior, it is an option in financial planning for the years nearer to the end of one’s life. Only available to people over 62 who have equity in a primary residence, or cash, this mortgage can help Seniors buy a new home or age in place without a lot of stress about expenses. Insured by FHA, this mortgage does not conclude until the owner(s) die or the home is sold. Be aware, though, that there are requirements associated with a reverse mortgage loan - the owner MUST continue to pay the insurance and taxes on the home, and these payments are discussed when you make an application for a reverse mortgage. Do your research in advance! Here is a good article on reverse mortgages.

If you think you might be qualified and you want to know more, please get in touch with me, and I can refer you to some excellent professional lenders who specialize in reverse mortgages.

A Word About Me
I am pleased to have been a speaker at the March 2019 Spotlight breakfast at Tucson Place, a community for Assisted Living and Memory Care. I offered my thoughts about making plans in advance for needed care, medical emergencies, and end of life issues, BEFORE the need arises. We don’t know when an emergency will arise, so it’s always good to have a plan, and be prepared by having a will, advance directives, and power of attorney decisions already made. Also, if you are planning a move, see my ad in the Winter/Spring edition of Spotlight Senior Services guide.

My involvement with the Eyeopeners Club of Toastmasters has provided me with skills for speaking in public. If you might be interested in learning how to feel comfortable speaking before groups, check out the many club options in Tucson. If you like being up before the sun, please accept my invitation to attend the Eyeopeners Club that meets at 6:15 a.m. every Wednesday. Call me for location.

A Word About Events in Tucson

Pima County Fair - April 18-26  

Do you like Mariachi? Here are some upcoming events!

April 24-26 - Tucson International Mariachi Conference, Casino Del Sol - Get your tickets here.

Through May 5 - Trailblazing Women of Mariachi Music Exhibit - Sosa Carrillo House, Museum of Mexican-American Heritage and History - 151 S Granada Avenue - 10 a.m - 4 p.m., Mon., Thurs., Sat.

May 4 - Mariachi Women’s Festival - Leo Rich Theater, Tucson Community Center

“The soul becomes dyed with the color of its thoughts.” - Marcus Aurelius