THE SHUTTLESWORTH SENTINEL
201 Vulcan Road, Suite 210 Birmingham, AL 35209 (205) 322-1411 ShuttlesworthLasseter.com
Personal Injury Product Liability Wrongful Death
Nursing Home Abuse/Neglect Assisted Living Abuse/Neglect
THE BEST PART OF MY LIFE IS BEING A DAD
Being a father has been the best part of my life, and for me, Father’s Day is a day to be grateful for that opportunity. It’s hard to describe the range of emotions that fatherhood requires, but in short, it changes everything. All of a sudden, you have another human being that you’re responsible for. It’s scary and exciting all at once, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’ve talked a bit about my upbringing in previous newsletters. I came from a broken home, and I was determined right from the start to give my kids a different childhood. I was beyond elated when I found out for the first time that I was going to be a dad, and the day my first daughter was actually born was surreal. It was 1999, and she was born on the same day as the largest full moon on record in like 170 years. I remember just standing outside that night, looking at that once-in-a- lifetime moon, knowing that my life had changed in an instant. My wife and I had gone to the hospital as a pair, and we left as a trio. From day one as a dad, I never wanted to be a father that just let the mom do everything by herself. I wanted to be as involved as possible in taking care of my kids, and I wanted to do everything with them. By the time my first daughter was 6 months old, I had already bought a baby backpack and a jogging stroller so I could take her on adventures. I spent hours with her and with my second daughter, after she was born, pointing out animals along the trail and watching their faces light up at these animals as they saw them for the first time. They made my time outdoors more enjoyable in turn. “MY DAUGHTERS MAY HAVE OUTGROWN A LOT IN THEIR LIVES, BUT I’M GLAD THEY NEVER OUTGREW BEING CLOSE WITH THEIR DAD.”
I’ve always been the sentimental one in my family. As my daughters grew up, I would find myself increasingly
saddened by the fact that my babies would never be a certain age again. The first time I realized they were too big for
me to carry in my arms was heartbreaking. However, I came to realize that every time my
daughters have entered a new stage of life, the new experiences I have had with them has made each phase of fatherhood more exciting than the last. As they grew and developed their own lives, their hopes became my hopes, and their heartaches became my heartaches. It was painful at times, but being there for all of it has been beautiful. Through it all, being a father and raising my daughters has made me a better human. They make me think more about my actions and words than anyone else, and they’re always honest with me — more honest than anyone else I know. They keep me honest, too — I can’t get away with anything when they’re around! My daughters may have outgrown a lot in their lives, but I’m glad they never outgrew being close with their dad.
I’m so grateful I get to be a dad. And to all the fathers out there who feel the same way, happy Father’s Day!
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ARE YOUR LOVED ONES SAFE IN THEIR NURSING HOME?
THE BEST WAYS TO HELP LOCAL NONPROFITS IN CHALLENGING TIMES
The effects of the recent pandemic that shook the globe left no age group unaffected, but it posed a special risk to seniors — particularly, seniors who live in nursing homes. An estimated 1.3 million Americans live in one of the country’s 15,600 nursing homes, where not only residents’ ages but also their preexisting conditions and close proximity to other at-risk individuals made them especially vulnerable to the coronavirus. An outbreak of the coronavirus at a nursing home in Kirkland, Washington, became one of the inciting instances of the spread of COVID-19 back in March. In the following months, thousands of nursing homes across 37 states reported having residents who tested positive for the coronavirus — and those are just the ones that reported cases. Chances are, there have been countless other cases that went unreported. If nursing homes had excellent track records for dealing with viral outbreaks and took proper precautions to shield their residents from becoming ill, there might not be as much to worry about. The sad truth is, however, that 75% of nursing homes in the U.S. have been cited for failing to properly control and monitor infections in their facilities — and that’s when there’s not a pandemic going on. HOW HAS THE PANDEMIC AFFECTED THEIR SAFETY?
Over the past several months, families, businesses, and nonprofits have had to navigate life in this challenging “new normal,” and it can be hard to support your favorite nonprofits when times are tough. Here are a few ways you can help these important entities, even when you don’t have resources to spare right now. DONATE While many people donate generously during the holiday season, remember that nonprofits need donations throughout the year, and different nonprofits need different things. A monetary donation can often go a long way, but never feel obligated to give money, especially when your budget may be tight. Instead, consider cleaning out your closet. What clothes, shoes, or other accessories can you part with? What about dishware or small appliances? When you clean out your home and donate unused items, you benefit those in the community who need them most. VOLUNTEER In a time of social distancing, volunteering may be discouraged, but nonprofits still need volunteers to operate. The good news is that many nonprofits need volunteers for positions that maintain social distance, such as driving. Food banks and kitchens need drivers to pick up donations or ingredients from donors and to deliver food to people in need, such as the elderly or those with disabilities. ADVOCATE Even if you don’t have time or resources to give, you can become an advocate for important causes around your community. While it might not seem like much, sharing information about local nonprofits on social media can make a genuine difference. Nonprofits need exposure, which is greatly boosted through community support. Sharing useful information about nonprofits — or sharing their posts — increases their visibility so more people will take action.
No doubt, several nursing homes have dropped the ball when it comes to keeping their residents safe. And,
even though we might be at a point where we can see a
light at the end of the tunnel, your loved ones who are in nursing homes could still be at risk.
If you want to make sure your loved ones residing in nursing homes stay healthy and safe, talk with the nursing home staff regularly and keep up to date on any medications or food items they might need. If you have any reason to suspect that the staff has been neglecting its residents, give Shuttlesworth Law Firm a call at (205) 322-1411. We help you protect the most vulnerable members of our community.
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WHAT ARE THE 100 DEADLIEST DAYS OF SUMMER? AND HOW DO WE MAKE THEM LESS DEADLY?
Summer is finally here in earnest, which means students of all ages have taken their last classes, wrapped up their last tests, and are ready for some fun in the sun. However, when it comes to all the teens starting their summers, that fun doesn’t come without a few disclaimers. For the past several years, the days between Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day weekend have been known as “the 100 deadliest days” of summer — and for good reason. During the 100 deadliest days, there are more fatal car accidents involving teen drivers than any other time of year. Most teens are not very experienced drivers to begin with, and because they’re out of school for the summer, they have more opportunities to get out on the road. Over the past five years alone, nearly 3,500 people have died in car crashes involving teens during that time period.
few front-runners. Data from the past five years shows that speeding was a factor in 28% of car crashes involving teens, drinking and driving was a factor in 17% of cases, and distraction was a factor in 9%. While teen drivers may be the cause of the 100 deadliest days, they aren’t the only ones affected, and they aren’t the only ones who can help make the summer roads a little less dangerous. The roads are for all drivers to share, and everyone can do their part to be more vigilant while driving around town and on the highway. If you’re a parent of teens, model what safe driving looks like for them. Don’t look at your phone while behind the wheel and don’t speed. Talk to them about drinking and driving. Let them know that if they ever find
themselves unable to drive safely, you will be there to make sure they get home safe — not to get them into trouble. Finally, if you end up in a car crash this summer, make sure you give Shuttlesworth Law Firm a call at (205) 322-1411. We’ll help you get compensation you deserve.
There’s no one factor that contributes to accidents involving teens, but there are a
FACTOID STRANGE DID YOU KNOW STRAWBERRIES AREN’T BERRIES BUT AVOCADOS ARE?
TAKE A BREAK
Despite their names, strawberries and raspberries aren’t actually berries. However, fruits that are indeed berries in a botanical sense include tomatoes, pomegranate, kiwis, bananas, and (believe it or not) avocados. Botanists define a fruit as the part of a flowering plant that develops from the plant’s ovary that usually contains several seeds. Within that definition, berries are fruits that develop from one flower and
one ovary. Strawberries and raspberries grow from one flower with more than one ovary, technically disqualifying them from the league of berries. Meanwhile, bananas and avocados both develop from flowers with one ovary, so they make the cut. Just don’t try adding avocados or tomatoes to a berry salad — unless you’re feeling gastronomically adventurous, of course.
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201 Vulcan Road, Suite 210 Birmingham, AL 35209 (205) 322-1411 ShuttlesworthLasseter.com
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THIS ISSUE INSIDE
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The Best Part of My Life: Being a Dad
Help Local Nonprofits in Challenging Times
Are Your Loved Ones Safe in Their Nursing Home?
What Are the 100 Deadliest Days of Summer?
This Edition’s Strange Factoid
Botanical Gardens in the US
LIVING MUSEUMS OUR NATION’S BOTANICAL GARDENS
In 1842, the Wilkes Expedition returned from its trek across the Pacific Ocean on behalf of the United
there today are part of the original collection brought back from the expedition.
tours that, thanks to Google’s technology, make you feel as if you’re really there. Start your tour at ChicagoBotanic.org. WADDESDON MANOR AND GARDENS This historic site across the pond in England gives visitors detailed virtual views of the Waddesdon Manor and its stunning gardens. Each day at Waddesdon Gardens, the staff designates a specific area as a “Silent Space,” where visitors can go to disconnect and find peace. The Gardens also created a special message for their virtual visitors that we can all take to heart: “We encourage you to find a space in your garden or in your home that feels peaceful and designate a time each day to enjoy a quiet moment of reflection.” To see this historic site for yourself, visit Waddesdon.org.uk.
States government, having visited parts of Portugal, Brazil, Antarctica, and Fiji. Among the specimens the explorers brought back from their travels were collections of plants gathered from around the world — just what the young nation needed to start its very first botanical garden. George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and John Adams had a shared dream of creating a national botanical garden, but the idea didn’t really get off the ground until the Wilkes Expedition brought back the garden’s first plants. The United States Botanic Garden (USBG) was established in Washington, D.C., and four of the plants on display
Since it’s not always possible to go on vacation and visit far-off gardens, many botanical gardens around the world have started bringing the flora right to you with virtual tours. In addition to the USBG, which offers virtual tours at USBG.gov/take-virtual- tour, check out these other gardens that allow you to explore without having to leave your home. CHICAGO BOTANIC GARDEN In the spring, the Chicago Botanic Garden staff invited virtual visitors to join them for a nature moment. Garden staff shared images from around the 17 gardens kept there. The Chicago Botanic Garden continues to wow with virtual
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