Q: I am taking my first vacation since being widowed and will be staying alone at several locations. Do you have hotel safety tips?
A: Ask for a room near the elevator rather than down an isolated hallway. Don’t accept a room with only a single lock or without a peephole. While in your room, always use the dead bolt or chain lock.
Never open your door without knowing who is on the other side. If it is someone claiming to work at the hotel, call and verify that an employee has been sent to your room. If it is an unexpected delivery, ask that it be left at the front desk.
Use the hotel safe for valuables rather than leaving them unattended in your room or carrying them.
Never disclose your room is unoccupied. Don’t display your room key or give out your room number in public areas. Also, don’t show large amounts of cash or an overstuffed wallet. Keep small bills in your pocket to pay for incidentals.
Get to know the locale. Ask whether there are areas you should avoid. When returning to your hotel, always use the main entrance.
When you check into your room, take a few minutes to acquaint yourself with fire exits.
Q: I am a caregiver for an aunt and am finding I have given up all outside activities and friends. I have questions about handling this responsibility. Where might I get answers?
A: The theme of Senior Concerns’ seminar series, “Solving the Aging Puzzle,” is “The Caregiving Rollercoaster — Caring for the Caregiver.”
The next presentation is “The Loneliness of a Caregiver,” from 4 to 5:30 p.m. Feb. 14 at the Senior Concerns’ Day Care Center, 401 Hodencamp Road in Thousand Oaks.
Lisa Hayden, a research psychologist, will give advice for family caregivers on how to avoid isolation while caring for loved ones.
She will address the benefits of support groups and how meeting with other caregivers makes the job less overwhelming. She will also emphasize the need for respite care for the caregiver.
There will be time at the end of the talk for audience questions.
Reservations are suggested and can be made by calling Senior Concerns at 497-0189. Walk-ins are welcome if seats are available.
If you need respite care for a senior so you can attend the seminar, you can arrange for that care at the center when making your reservation. Reservations for respite care are required.
The rest of the series will include “Balancing Family, Work and Caregiving” and “When It’s All Said and Done.”
Earlier presentations in this series have been well- attended by caregivers and those who will someday be caregivers.
Feb. 8: “Let’s Look at Our Driving Abilities” seminar from 1:30 to 3 p.m. at Westlake Village Civic Center, 31200 E. Oak Crest Drive. For information, call 495-6250. No reservations required.
Feb. 22: Advocate one-on-one counseling services from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Moorpark Active Adult Center, 799 Moorpark Ave. For information or an appointment, call 517-6261.