Aging In Place (It's the little things…)

by  Natalie A. Hale, B.S., C.E.C.C.

Ok, so the proverbial ‘light bulb’ just clicked on. Last weekend I was on a mission to obtain some sort of  ‘task lighting’ for a specific area of my house. I have  under-the-cabinet lighting in my kitchen, and did not want to go to that expense.  While perusing the lighting department at one of the local DIY home centers, I came across a package of 3 puck lights, LED, and…. battery operated!  YAY!  No wiring!

Easy to install–you have the option of either an adhesive disk or using screws.  Just figure out where you want it and, within a minute, violà!  Let there be light!

How does this factor into aging in place? These little lights, easy to install and battery-operated, can be utilized in an endless list of places that an individual would need a bit more lighting—inside kitchen cabinets, closets, under counters, and  cabinets under the kitchen and bathroom sinks!  They don’t get hot like some ‘puck’ lighting fixtures do. Most likely the only expense over the years of life for a LED is the cost of batteries, which, by the way, is less than the cost of one of the bulbs in the other ‘puck’ lights…

Along with replacing traditional round door knobs with the lever style, lowering light switches, reflective tape on outdoor steps… installing these handy lights make aging in place easier and safer for all of us. Your relatives will rest a bit more easily knowing that their loved one is living in a well-ordered environment.

Kit Kat

Ask Kit Kat – Poachers Beware

Hook Law Center: Kit Kat, what can you tell us about robot animals used to trick poachers?

Kit Kat: Well, this is very clever. Game wardens are starting to use technology to catch poachers who are either hunting at the wrong time of year or in the wrong place. Here’s how it works. Officers put a robo-animal, most frequently a deer, in a place where they been informed that illegal hunting is taking place. The animal is actually covered with real animal hides that have been acquired at other times. The body core is usually made of Styrofoam, so a bullet passes right through it. The decoys can be used multiple times. Jim Reed of the Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust says, “…some of the most realistic-looking decoys have been shot 100 times or more. The typical deer in the forest is not going to appear well-groomed. It may have a little mud stuck on its back, some hairs ruffled from the wind.” In other words, the more used decoys look the most realistic!  Movement of the animal is done through remote control. Deer decoys cost about $2,000 each, and a black bear decoy costs about $5,000.

It’s quite a profitable enterprise! The animals benefit from poachers being caught, and not losing so many of their species. The public benefits in that a single decoy can be used to generate about $30,000 in fines. This is actually a specialty business. One such company based in Wisconsin is called Custom Robotic Wildlife. They do a terrific job in crafting these very realistic decoys. If you want to take a quiz to see if you can differentiate between a real animal from a decoy, go to the actual article in The Washington Post and find out: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/animalia/wp/2016/02/24/quiz-can-you-tell-a-real-deer? And you poachers—BEWARE—you’re being watched! Some poachers receive lifetime hunting bans, so mend your ways!

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