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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...
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....
Budgets: tips on how to manage the cost of health care

Budgets: tips on how to manage the cost of health care

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...
Let’s Make This Winter Injury-Free!

Let’s Make This Winter Injury-Free!

Now that Winter has become a part of our reality in the Halton region, taking time to make smart and safe choices can mean the difference between an accident-free season or catastrophe. Below-freezing temperatures can create potentially dangerous situations for many people in our community, especially if you have a disability. International Day of Disabled Persons December 3, 2016 was the official International Day of Disabled Persons. We celebrate our loved ones and neighbours every day, but it’s nice to have a day for the World to rejoice in positive messages and to raise awareness of the significance of creating a barrier-free and non-judgemental environment for people with disabilities.   Winter Chores and Injuries While we know that a disability is by no means the way we define our personalities or what we can accomplish in the larger sense, we’d like to reach out to our community to ensure everyone has a safe, and injury-free season! Winter presents these challenges to everyone, including those of us without mobility issues. Last month, we shared a post about trips and falls in honour of Fall Prevention Month (November 16, 2016) but we feel that the topic is worthy of another mention now that ice and snow are covering our sidewalks and roads. Fall prevention during the Winter is a priority, as well as safe snow removal techniques, which include warming up your muscles by stretching. Tips for shoveling snow safely   Extreme Cold for Seniors If you’ve lived through a couple of winters in Canada, then you understand the importance of proper protective outerwear and footwear.  If you’re new to our...
Fall Prevention Month

Fall Prevention Month

  November is Fall Prevention Month! We’re so glad to see that an entire month is dedicated to raising awareness about an issue we feel is a daily challenge for many people in our community. According to the Ontario Injury Prevention Resource Centre, adults over the age of 65 are injured more frequently by falling, and often sustain head trauma as part of the injury.  This can make recovery more difficult, and can lead to long-term impairment. It’s important to be aware of how to prevent injuries that can arise from falls. Our team at Retire-At-Home Halton makes preventing falls a top priority when providing care to our community’s seniors and anyone who is recovering from surgery, an injury or is returning home after hospitalization. How can you prevent falls? Accidents can happen, and obviously, are not planned events! Falls can affect anyone, regardless of age or physical condition.  There are, however, steps you can take to prevent creating the conditions for accidental trips and falls. Buy shoes that fit properly and give you the support you need Give your feet the care they need Lead an active lifestyle If you need help with physical exercise, consider mobile physiotherapy Don’t rush your daily tasks, and do one thing at a time Talk to your doctor about how your medications make you feel (dizziness can make you lose your balance, and certain medications can slow your reaction time to trips) Practice daily balance-improving exercises (once you’ve talked to your doctor) Keep hallways and stairs tidy so you don’t trip over anything Have your eyes checked to make sure you can...
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