boomers and seniors

Pretty pink posies that remind me of my old house Zero step entry! I love the concept, but it can be tough to find, can't it? I did pretty good with our current single story home, but it does have two good sized steps that can definitely be a challenge for my senior mom – especially in the winter when the steps are slick. Parking in the garage is a bit better. It's dryer and warmer, and there is only one step there as you can see in the photo below. Unfortunately, the garage door opener didn't work well during the winter season, so there was a lot of outside parking this year. Which meant using the outside bigger steps. But she's been a trouper and her cane is a big help. 🙂 

Try for as few steps as possible for aging in place-tip by Kaye Swain REALTOR

Next time I go house hunting, I will definitely be looking for an easier, more accessible entrance to the home! Like this one I spotted in a sweet single story house (another great option for aging in place). Only one step, and it's not as deep as our steps.

Front entrance of house with easily accessible entry is great aging in place option for elderly parents-photo by real estate agent Kaye Swain

Plus I noticed that the driveway has been extended on the passenger side with bricks, making an easier exit from the car there as well. 

This brick extends the driveway to make a bit safer path for an elderly senior-Kaye Swain REALTORVery nice aging in place options to think about for our own homes, don't you think?

It's amazing how many things we don't KNOW to look for when we first start caring for our elderly parents. I've been doing this for quite a while, and during that period, my sweet senior mom's health has declined a bit here and there, leading to me looking at our home with fresh new eyes. The good thing is, each time we move, I can help make things a bit easier for her. AND I can share what we learn with you to help you with your aging in place "shopping lists." 🙂

These pretty blue flowers remind me of my hydrangeas in Roseville California-Kaye Swain REALTOR

P.S. By the way, if you are house hunting check out my awesome and totally free mobile app. It's loaded with tons of great resources to help you find just the right home. And it's quite handy for sellers as well – giving you an idea of what houses in your neighborhood are selling for.  Just CLICK HERE. 🙂 

The last of the Rhododendrons for the yearRhododendrons are bursting out ALL OVER this spring. I see them everywhere I go including our home, and they are so lovely! The first time I ever saw a Rhododendron was at the home of a relative. It never bloomed so I thought it was just a green shrub. An easy to grow and easy to care for shrub that looked lovely in the landscaping. Turns out it was much more than that! Come spring, they burst out with magnificent floral beauty!

According to, these plants are "any evergreen or deciduous shrub or tree belonging to the genus Rhododendron,  of the heath family, having rounded clusters of showy, pink, purple, or white flowers and oval or oblong leaves." AND they are related to another family fave – the Azalea

These flowers are truly lovely but they do come with some caveats. 

While the Pollen Library lists the California Rhododendron as "Allergenicity: No allergy has been reported for California Rhododendron (Rhododendron macrophyllum) species." and the Allergy Care site recommends it for a low-allergy garden, the plant is poisonous.

According to the Veterinary Medicine Library in Illinois, "All parts of this plant contain toxic resins (andromedotoxins, now commonly referred to as grayanotoxin) with the leaves being the most potent." And the ASPCA warns that they are, "Toxic to Dogs, Toxic to Cats, Toxic to Horses." (goats too as a good friend found out while goat-sitting!) "If your pet ingested this plant, contact your local veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at 888-426-4435.*

Yes, sadly, these lovely flowers can also be a danger to children. Most of my grandkids are old enough to know better, but still, it would be wise for me (and you) to let them know NEVER to play games with the leaves or flowers from these delightful flowers.  And, of course, it's always wise to keep the the Poison Control phone number handy – For emergencies and information call toll free 1-800-222-1222 anywhere in the U.S. or click here to find the local number in your area.

All in all, though, these flowers are a true delight to all. And my senior mom and I will continue to enjoy the lovely sights we see in our yard and around our neighborhood. What's your favorite spring site this sweet spring-ly week?

Click here for help with your real estate search for homes by Kaye Swain REALTOR