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ICYMI: How Seniors Can Be Safe in Public

The team at Retire-At-Home sends their sincere condolences to the families and friends of the victims of this week’s tragic attack on innocent bystanders at Yonge St. in Toronto. We want to take this time to remember our fellow citizens, who were just living their best lives in a public space. May they rest in peace. Your safety is our priority. We realize that we can’t control everything, but there are little things we can do to help us be safe when we’re out for shopping or lunch away from home. Get in a safety mindset When we decide to go out, we check for our wallet, purse and keys. Maybe we also pack our medication, tissues, and a bottle of water. Why not add some steps to help ensure that you have an excellent day and prevent injuries? Independent living can be challenging, including seniors or people who have some limitations, but it’s not impossible! Preparation is a key factor in making each day fulfilling. These tips are useful for anyone, and we invite you to share them to encourage safe habits. Tips for safe day trips Plan your route, whether you’re on your own or with a friend or caregiver. Knowing how to find the nearest amenities you may need along the way can prevent unnecessary detours or getting lost. Let someone know where you’re going and when to expect your return. If you are hurt or lost, someone will come to look for you or advise the police to help. Wear your Medical Alert medallion(s) and carry a list of your medication (if you don’t carry it with...
Senior Safety in Public Spaces

Senior Safety in Public Spaces

The team at Retire-At-Home sends their sincere condolences to the families and friends of the victims of this week’s tragic attack on innocent bystanders at Yonge St. in Toronto. We want to take this time to remember our fellow citizens, who were just living their best lives in a public space. May they rest in peace. Your safety is our priority. We realize that we can’t control everything, but there are little things we can do to help us be safe when we’re out for shopping or lunch away from home. Get in a safety mindset When we decide to go out, we check for our wallet, purse and keys. Maybe we also pack our medication, tissues, and a bottle of water. Why not add some steps to help ensure that you have an excellent day and prevent injuries? Independent living can be challenging, including seniors or people who have some limitations, but it’s not impossible! Preparation is a key factor in making each day fulfilling. These tips are useful for anyone, and we invite you to share them to encourage safe habits. Tips for safe day trips Plan your route, whether you’re on your own or with a friend or caregiver. Knowing how to find the nearest amenities you may need along the way can prevent unnecessary detours or getting lost. Let someone know where you’re going and when to expect your return. If you are hurt or lost, someone will come to look for you or advise the police to help. Wear your Medical Alert medallion(s) and carry a list of your medication (if you don’t carry...

ICYMI: 3 Ways Seniors Can Boost Their Immune System

Eat well The idea that our immune systems rely on a healthy diet to keep our digestive tract in balance has always been a guiding principle for our approach to health care. Our caregivers can help you plan and shop for wholesome, nutrient-rich foods so you can get through cold and flu season. Your specific needs, including gout, diabetes, heart disease or arthritis, can be addressed through a combination of traditional medicine as well as through food choices. As an example, if you have an allergy, you’d generally avoid the allergen. Likewise, if you suffer from arthritis, eating certain foods can cause inflammation, so you’d also avoid them and find alternatives. Learn more about anti-inflammatory foods Safe food handling Our reliance on antibiotics to fight infection has created a problem. The World Health Organization (WHO) says that our resistance to the antibiotics that treat diseases like pneumonia and E.coli infections has increased considerably. This development means that we need to help our bodies stay healthy using lifestyle choices so that diseases find us inhospitable hosts for disease. We need to pay attention to how we handle food, choose immune-boosting foods like citrus, kale and healthy oils. Keep moving! In addition to eating well, regular exercise can help keep your immune system in check. We read an article on the BBC recently about a scientific study that says doing lots of exercise in older age can prevent the immune system from declining and protect people from infections. When the scientists say: “do lots of exercise” and refer to an octogenarian who does marathons, we realize that most of us do not fit into that category. However, we...
5 Ways Seniors Can Improve Their Eye Health

5 Ways Seniors Can Improve Their Eye Health

We often take our senses for granted, until we lose one or more of them. I have a friend who can’t taste anything as the side effect of a medication she took years ago. She says that it doesn’t bother her as much as it did at the beginning. I suspect it’s because she knows that losing her sense of taste was a risk she was willing to take because those drugs saved her life. In other words, there wasn’t much she could do to prevent the loss of taste in her case. This week, we want to ask you to ask yourself some questions, that may seem basic on the surface, but as you read this post you will see how important your answers are! Which of the five senses do you rely upon the most? Do you live alone? Is your home a house or an apartment? How often do you visit the eye doctor? Why prevention matters The CNIB (Canadian National Institute for the Blind) offers great resources for anyone who wants to learn about eye health. Did you know that every 12 minutes, someone in Canada begins to lose their eyesight? 75 per cent of vision loss can be prevented. We rely on our vision to drive or just get around in general. As adults, it can be challenging (but not impossible) to learn how to do things again. Why not take some care to ensure you maintain as much of your vision as possible? There are instances the outcome of which we cannot control, such as genetic predisposition, illness, environmental factors or an accident....
Hospital Etiquette and Your Dignity

Hospital Etiquette and Your Dignity

Maintaining your dignity while recovering from an illness or surgery can be difficult. We may feel like we’re just another number in a system that’s overburdened by limited space, overworked staff and strict guidelines on service allocation. We may have personal issues regarding how hospitals force us to live while we are there. The current climate in health care in Ontario is that patients must also embody the adjective implied by their title. Many Ontario residents are having difficulty finding a family doctor, so the ER is often busy. Emergency room wait times can vary, and patients are expected to spend 4-10 hours waiting for medical attention. Patients are often discharged when they are well enough to continue their recovery where they don’t occupy a bed needed by a more urgent circumstance. The transition from the hospital to another location, usually home or a long-term care facility, can be stressful. It’s important to know what your options are well before your discharge date, so do some independent research in addition to speaking with your doctor and nurses. Find a Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) service area near you Learn about your rights   Maintaining your dignity We try to remember that the people who trained to help people when they are at their most vulnerable are doing the work because they actually do care about your well-being and dignity. We are an important part of the equation when it comes to maintaining our own dignity, because our hospital etiquette can have an impact on the way we interact with others. Nurses are paid to take care of us, but...

ICYMI: Managing the Cost of Health Care at Any Age

We don’t like to spend a lot of time talking about subjects that make others uncomfortable in social situations, especially money, but it’s important to start the conversation! All of us need to pay attention to how we spend our money, regardless of age. Asking for help is difficult for a lot of us, especially if we’re used to being independent. If you’re confined to your home because of mobility issues or you have a chronic illness like ALS, going out for groceries isn’t a simple chore. If you’ve been in a motor vehicle accident or have had knee surgery, you may be unable to do a lot of things on your own while you recover. We may have to consider the cost of using public transit safely, or taxi services. We may also need help physically, moving from our homes to a vehicle. The cost of health care In general, Canadians have the benefit of social programs to help us through tough times and to provide medical care. However, if you need services that aren’t covered by your provincial health care insurance, or you’d like to add services that are specific to your circumstances, you may need to look at private health care options. For example, if you are at risk for falls because you had hip or knee surgery, you may consider subscribing to Connect Care Medical Alert. While some people hold the opinion that there is no such thing as a fixed income problem specifically for seniors, they do have a different set of worries, especially if one doesn’t have a strong family support system available to them....
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