ALS Awareness Month

Do you remember the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge that took to social media in 2014? Millions of dollars were donated towards ALS research through this event that individuals were partaking in. How amazing!

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is a motor neuron disease that slowly paralyzes individuals because the brain can no longer communicate with the muscles. ALS gradually decreases the individual’s ability to eat, swallow, walk, talk and breathe.

Early symptoms of ALS possibly include:

  • fatigue
  • muscle cramping/twitching
  • feeling weak
  • stiffness or rigidity of muscles

Early signs of ALS possibly include:

  • shortness of breath
  • tripping
  • dropping things
  • weight loss
  • decreased muscle tone
  • increased or decreased reflexes

The following link has some quick facts about ALS, provided by the ALS Society of Canada:

https://www.als.ca/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/ALSCAN-Quick-Facts-EN.pdf

How can you help? Join an event! There are numerous events that you can take part in such as the Walk for ALS and the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon. Take a look at the various events that the ALS Society of Canada puts on each year!

https://www.als.ca/get-involved/join-events/

ALSCanada_logobreed.png

The ALS Society of Canada states, “Taking care of someone with ALS is a demanding task. It requires time and energy. Looking after someone you love can be difficult. Even with youth and good health on your side, caregiving can be hard. To continue giving care, it is essential that you look after yourself.” So, how can Universal Home Care & Associates help? We are here with you every step of the way. Whether you are in need of help, you are a caregiver that needs extra assistance or if you know UHC & Associates can help someone you love, please contact us today. Change can be intimidating and overwhelming, which is why we have a well-trained team so that we can ease the burden of life’s inevitable changes. Our initial consultation is FREE, so call us today! 705-523-9100.

Visit our website for a full list of services.

http://www.universalmedicalcentre.ca/universal-home-care/

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The Power of Food

Did you see our post earlier in the week about bananas? Bananas do so much for us and they taste so yummy! We thought it would be great to look at some unknown benefits of foods that are quite common. And maybe, just maybe, you’ll add some of these amazing foods into your diet once you see what they can do for you!

Avocados:

  • easily burned for energy because they are high in monosaturated fat
  • have more than TWICE the amount of potassium than bananas

Broccoli:

  • contains more than TWICE the amount of vitamin C than an orange
  • has almost as much calcium as whole milk and can actually be absorbed into the body more efficiently
  • selenium is found in this veggie, which is a mineral that has been found to have anti-viral and anti-cancer properties

Cilantro:

  • can help with UTIs (urinary tract infections), digestion, intestinal gas, nausea, headaches and coughing

Onions:

  • contain anti-allergy, antihistamine and anti-viral properties, making them a great antioxidant
  • sulfur compounds in onions help detoxify the body
  • they also help to repair cells

Pumpkin seeds:

  • being high in zinc, pumpkin seeds are beneficial in building immunity and also for the prostate
  • raw pumpkin seeds have more health benefits than roasted

Kale:

  • can help with lung congestion and is also beneficial for the immune system, stomach, and liver
  • protects the eyes from macular degeneration because kale contains lutein and zeaxanthin

Watermelon:

  • helps keep you hydrated as watermelon is 92% water
  • only 46 calories per cup
  • contains vitamin C, vitamin A, potassium, magnesium, and vitamins B1, B5, B6
  • can help lower inflammation and oxidative stress
  • can also assist in preventing macular degeneration

Blueberries:

  • in one cup of blueberries, there are approximately 4 grams of fiber
  • blueberries also contain vitamin C, vitamin K, and manganese
  • this fruit has the highest antioxidant capacity of all fruits and vegetables that are commonly consumed
  • blueberries can help lower blood pressure and prevent heart disease

bananas

Doesn’t that just make you hungry? The power of food is amazing! All of these foods could be awesome snacks during the day and they all have great health benefits. Re-vamp your snacks to make sure they’re working for you!

Sources:

http://www.mercola.com/nutritionplan/foodalert.htm

https://authoritynutrition.com/watermelon-health-benefits/

https://authoritynutrition.com/10-proven-benefits-of-blueberries/

Parkinson’s Awareness Month

April showers bring May flowers? We sure hope so with this crazy weather! But, it just so happens that Parkinson Canada has a beautiful flower as their logo. We thought Parkinson’s Awareness Month would be the perfect time to share some information with you regarding the condition, along with common symptoms, and where you can get more information.

According to Parkinson Canada, Parkinson’s is a neurodegenerative disease. Dopamine is a chemical that transports signals between the brain and nerves which produces movement. The symptoms of Parkinson’s occur when cells that typically produce dopamine, die.

The most common symptoms of Parkinson’s are:

  • tremor
  • slowness and stiffness
  • rigid muscles
  • impaired balance

Other symptoms that could occur:

  • issues when handwriting
  • sleep disturbances
  • fatigue
  • soft speech
  • worsening of posture (stooped)
  • constipation

It is extremely important that you discuss with your doctor if you are experiencing the symptoms listed above. This way, the proper treatments can be put in place quickly. To help manage symptoms, medications can help along with physical therapy for mobility, flexibility, and balance, occupational therapy to help with daily activities, speech therapy to maintain voice control and exercise for muscles and joints. It is crucial that you are an active participant in managing the disease because symptoms will change as time goes on. A good support system and an amazing healthcare team that you trust are also vital.

For more information, please visit the Parkinson’s Canada website. It is an incredible resource.

http://www.parkinson.ca/site/c.kgLNIWODKpF/b.5183997/k.C9D0/About_Us.htm

How can Universal Home Care & Associates help? We are here with you every step of the way. Whether you are in need of help, you are a caregiver that needs extra assistance or if you know UHC & Associates can help someone you love, please contact us today. Change can be intimidating and overwhelming, which is why we have a well-trained team so that we can ease the burden of life’s inevitable changes. Our initial consultation is FREE, so call us today! 705-523-9100.

Visit our website for a full list of services.

http://www.universalmedicalcentre.ca/universal-home-care/

 

 

 

Physical Activity & Aging

What’s Best For Our Bodies As We Age?

Everyone has heard the old phrase, “Your body is your temple”, and the fact is we only get one, so treating it well is very important!  The best way to stay healthy is to stay active.  Too many people have the impression that they should drastically slow down, or even stop physical activity all together as they age, and this just isn’t the way it should be done.  If you are someone who has always been active, that is a great bonus. Try to find new hobbies or activities that include exercise that you find fun and enjoyable and try to progress as you see yourself becoming accustomed to your activity or workout. If you have very little or no experience with exercise that is ok too! Start with low impact exercises and slowly work towards a sport or hobby that you would like to participate in. The important thing to make clear is, any kind of physical activity is beneficial in some way; it will assist in healthy aging and longevity.

Here is a breakdown of what exercises can be done through the various age groups,  there is always something for everybody! Remember that we are all individuals, with our own unique set of D.N.A. that makes us who we are. Some people will always be more able-bodied than others, but do not let this define who you are, or what you can do, there is always room to do better, aim for improvement!

For people who are their 20’s :

Naturally people who are their 20’s are (more than likely) going to physically be able to do a lot more strenuous activities and sports compared to their counterparts.  The Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology (C.S.E.P.) recommends that young adults try to achieve 3 hours of moderate to vigorous physical activity a week. It is recommended that this be done in 1 hour intervals, 3 times a week. If finding an hour to dedicate to physical activity is too much, try to cut back to 30 minutes, 5-6 times a week.  This age group also bounces back quicker from injuries, as the healing process is faster. Here is a list of group activities that are beneficial,

  • Medium to high impact activities
  • Most or all recreational sports (basketball, soccer, tennis etc.)
  • Hiking
  • Swimming (can incorporate as a cardio workout)
  • Yoga
  • Kickboxing
  • Mountain biking
  • Running

For people who are in their 30’s :

By the time we reach our 30’s, our bodies have changed slightly.  We cannot tolerate the same level of wear and tear we did in our 20’s , and that is acceptable! Eventually our bodies change, and we need to learn how to adapt and stay healthy as we age. This age group is still young, and capable of doing most activities that someone in their 20’s does.  A tip I give heavily to any age group is be MINDFUL of what you are doing. Harsh impact and jarring motions are not good for anyone.

  • Low to Medium  impact activities
  • Walking can be one of the most important activities for this age group
  • Again, most or all recreational sports
  • Hiking
  • Yoga
  • Kickboxing
  • Mountain biking etc.

For people in their 40’s :

For adults in who are in their 40’s the body has made some more significant changes that differ from being in your 20’s or 30’s again this is NOT a bad thing!  We just need to learn to adapt and improve, and maintain what we already have.  The body also experiences a unique reaction that tells us we have or are “working” hard enough through exercise, and the response is sweat.  Our bodies produce sweat as a reaction to try to cool down the system.   People tend to become less motivated at this age, some adults even feel that their “best years” are behind them, try to find new interests and find a variety of things to do whether that be physical or cognitive activities. This is something we don’t tend to think of though, is how to target our brains. As we age we require more stimuli to stay cognitively active, to get reactions from our neuroreceptors.  It is not as difficult as you may think either, a simple walk in a new location or in nature can be enough to trigger our “senses” of sight, smell, touch, hearing, and taste.

  • Low impact exercises
  • Increase of low impact exercises (3-5 times a week)
  • Find more variety of interests (this helps trigger the neuroreceptors as well)
  • Walking
  • Swimming
  • Tai Chi
  • Aerobics (low impact)
  • Dancing
  • Resistance training
  • Low impact sports;  tennis (light jogging), water polo, horseback riding

For people in their 50’s :

Most people in their 50’s tend to start getting their “life” back; kids may be in college or shortly moving out and starting to live their own lives more independently.  Although diet is always important it is even more important role during this stage of life, especially for females. With women this is generally the most common time to experience menopause.  Another factor we don’t think of is engaging our inner “nomadic ancestor”, meaning; back in the day we used to chase down our own food such as deer and gather various plant life, like berries for example.  When doing things such as, hunting and gathering, it sets off a series of neurotransmitters in our brain that helps keep us “young” and the brain active.  When we get those neurotransmitters to fire we aid in building the myelin sheath (this is what protects the neuron and axon, which is very important for the nervous system to function properly.) The way we can reproduce this in today’s setting is to go for a walk in nature, where your senses are peaked and always finding something new to look at and smell.  Memory and “thinking” games are also important to implement in one’s life to keep cognitive functions high.

  • Low impact exercises
  • Swimming as a form of cardio (good for any age)
  • Resistance training
  • Nature walks/hikes
  • Snowshoeing
  • Kayaking

For people who are in their 60’s + :

First important fact to mention is; it’s never too late to start exercise!  People 65 + tend to be the least active of all the age groups; this can be caused by many factors but most tend to be more mental than anything else.  People tend to be their own set back by “thinking they’re too old” and that’s just not true.  This is a very important point in our life where we must become proactive and make sure we are as fit and healthy as possible to stay independent longer. Participating in any type of senior style exercise class is highly recommended, however there are some people who prefer to do their exercise privately and that’s fine too, just be sure to take all safety precautions such as; making sure someone knows where you are, and where you plan to go (if you plan to go on a long walk alone), always have a phone close by in case of emergency, and don’t try to push yourself too hard.

  • Low impact exercises  (brisk walking, stationary biking, swimming etc.)
  • Try to be active for 150 min a week (this drastically reduces risk of chronic diseases and premature death)
  • Strengthening exercises/ resistance training (such as light weights)
  • Balance and flexibility exercises

Regardless of the decade, check your local leisure guide/YMCA or counterpart for physical and social activities to be a part of .  They are fun, stimulating, educational, and definitely  physically beneficial.

Universal Home Care offers seniors exercise programs though individual groups, along with Stand Up classes funded by the Ministry of Health.  We have in home Physiotherapists, Massage Therapists, and Personal Trainers to help assist in functional strength and ability training to maintain independence.  To book a free assessment, visit http://www.universalhomecare.ca or call 705-523-9100.

Remember that every decade is important, and never forget that our body is our temple!  Not everyone needs to look like Marilyn Monroe or Tom Selleck, but it is important that we try to be and become as healthy as possible so that we can do the necessary physical requirements to stay independent, healthy, and most of all happy.

We Love Our Kidneys!

Last month, we looked at heart health. Now, we’re going to celebrate Kidney Month! Let’s start off with some unbelievable facts that the Kidney Foundation of Canada provided us with:

  • 1 in 10 Canadians has Kidney Disease
  • 36,251 Canadians are being treated for for kidney failure
  • 15 individuals are told their kidneys are failing daily
  • 4,585 people are waiting for an organ donation… approximately 76% of those are waiting for a kidney
  • 46.5% of kidney transplants come from live donors

After seeing those facts, are you ready to take action and try your best to prevent kidney disorders? Here are 8 simple steps to help keep your kidneys healthy:

  1. Don’t smoke. Smoking can limit the blood flow to the kidneys, which can impair the function of the kidneys. Additionally, smoking significantly increases the risk of kidney cancer.
  2. Stay active! Consistently exercising helps to reduce blood pressure and can reduce the risk of Chronic Kidney Disease.
  3. Watch your blood sugar levels. Individuals that have diabetes can develop kidney damage. These people are encouraged to have regular kidney check-ups.
  4. Keep your blood pressure within the healthy range. Did you know that high blood pressure is the most common cause of kidney damage? Look at the link below for blood pressure information.
  5. Maintain a healthy diet. Take a look at our previous blogs for healthy meals, snacks and proper daily intake!
  6. Fluids are important. Drinking lots of water (1.5L-2L) can help the kidneys  flush out sodium, urea and toxins.
  7. Ask your doctor what you can do from a medical standpoint to keep your kidneys healthy.

Blood pressure information:

http://www.heartandstroke.ca/heart/risk-and-prevention/condition-risk-factors/high-blood-pressure

Our kidneys are so amazing! They do so much for us. They create urine, remove waste and extra fluid from the body, balance the chemicals of the body, assist in maintaining blood pressure, and help our body make red blood cells.

Are you wondering how you can help others suffering from kidney disorders? Register to become an organ donor:

https://www.beadonor.ca/

To become a live kidney donor, visit this website:

https://blood.ca/en/organs-tissues/becoming-live-kidney-donor

 

Wishing you extraordinary health not only this month, but infinitely. Happy Kidney Month!

 

References:

https://kidney.ca/facing-the-facts

http://www.worldkidneyday.org/faqs/take-care-of-your-kidneys/8-golden-rules/

http://www.worldkidneyday.org/faqs/your-kidneys/

https://www.google.ca/search?q=kidney&espv=2&biw=1230&bih=632&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjTkrnjnrnSAhVh4YMKHYkOCMYQ_AUIBigB#tbm=isch&q=we+love+kidneys&*&imgrc=y69GWKgs_GTYvM:

Heart Health Month

There is so much love to spread around this month! Not only does this month consist of Valentine’s Day, but it is actually Heart Health Month! Our heart works so hard for us, it never takes any time off. It is constantly pumping blood to our body so that we can do the activities we need to do. But, did you know that in 2011, almost 20% of Canadian deaths were due to heart disease and stoke? (Reference: The Conference Board of Canada-Mortality due to Heart Disease and Stroke)

We found some great tips for preventing heart disease, and the American Heart Association website helped us create a great breakdown of preventative measures you should take in each decade of your life.

ALL AGES:

  • Physical activity is always a must. Keep exercising and maintaining an active life style. It doesn’t matter how old you are, daily exercise will always help your heart stay healthy. Visit this link to discover the Canadian Exercise Guidelines:

http://www.csep.ca/CMFIles/Guidelines/CSEP_PAGuidelines_adults_en.pdf

  • Follow a balanced diet. A meal plan that is low in sodium, saturated fat and trans fat is important. Fruits and vegetables are encouraged, along with whole grains that are rich in fibre, fish, nuts and legumes. Try to avoid an excess of sugar and sugar-sweetened beverages.
  • Be aware of heart attack and stroke symptoms. This link provides a wonderful explanation of various symptoms that could occur:

https://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/911-Warnings-Signs-of-a-Heart-Attack_UCM_305346_SubHomePage.jsp

IN YOUR 20’S:

  • Put that cigarette down. If you have never smoked, keep it up! But if you do, quitting is a HUGE preventative measure.
  • Visit your doctor or healthcare professional regularly for checkups. They can assist in screening processes, along with helping you establish regular exercise and a beneficial meal plan.

IN YOUR 30’S:

  • Take care of your stress. Stress is a large pre-cursor for heart-related issues. Too much stress can increase blood pressure and heart rate. Seek assistance through exercise, a health-care professional or other activities to manage your stress.
  • Knowing your family history is important. Being aware of family history regarding heart and stroke is very important. Ensure you discuss with your doctor.
  • Make it a healthy living household! Whether you are single, have a significant other, or have a family at this point in your life, practice a healthy way of living with everyone. It certainly makes this lifestyle much more enjoyable! Go for a walk around the neighbourhood, ride your bike, etc.

IN YOUR 40’S:

  • Your metabolism could be slowing down. In this particular decade, weight gain is common due to your body not metabolizing as fast. Diet and exercise is especially crucial throughout your 40’s to keep a healthy weight.
  • Go for regular screenings with your doctor. Checking blood pressure, blood glucose levels and other heart-related tests is important.

WHEN YOU ARE 50+:

  • Follow a treatment plan if need be. If you have been diagnosed with high cholesterol, high blood pressure, or any other conditions, it is vital you follow a well-designed treatment plan. Discussing various options with your doctor is certainly in your best interest and ensure you stick to the plan that was created.
  • Exercise may have to be modified. It is still crucial to be exercising regularly, although some exercises may have to be altered slightly due to age.

As we discussed eating a balanced diet above, eating healthy doesn’t mean that you won’t enjoy food anymore! Look at some of these amazing, and heart friendly recipes that you can make in your very own home:

https://recipes.heart.org/

Do you know where to find the help you need? Whether you are looking for preventative measures or assistance with heart-related issues, seeking a health-care professional is always a great idea. They will have a lot of expertise in this field and definitely understand how important heart-health is. Here is a list of some other resources you could seek for preventative measures or to answer some of your questions regarding heart-health:

http://www.heartandstroke.ca/

http://www.dietitians.ca/Your-Health/Nutrition-A-Z/Heart-Health.aspx

http://www.diabetes.ca/diabetes-and-you/healthy-living-resources/heart-health

https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/heart-disease-heart-health.html

We are wishing you a February filled with love and health! Please share our blog with your friends to create Heart Health Month awareness!

 

References:

http://www.conferenceboard.ca/hcp/provincial/health/heart.aspx

Image from: muskoka411.com

Managing Arthritis

HAPPY NEW YEAR! We hope 2017 is filled with amazing health and lots of joy for you and your family.

Arthritis is our focus for the month of January. Arthritis is a common, yet very broad disease with over 100 different types. This disease can be present in people of all ages, sexes, and ethnicities. However, it is the most common in women and older individuals. Common symptoms include swelling, stiffness, pain and decreased range of motion in a particular joint. Additionally, the symptoms may not be constant, and can range from mild to severe pain.

The following list includes recommended activities from the Arthritis Foundation for individuals with arthritis:

  • Biking
  • Golf
  • Hiking
  • Swimming/aquatics
  • Running
  • Tennis
  • Walking
  • Aerobics/dance
  • Martial arts
  • Pilates
  • Yoga
  • Tai Chi

Of course, these recommended activities differ for everyone and are dependent on the location of the arthritis and the severity.

To reduce injury, the Arthritis Foundation provided the following tips when exercising:

  • Do not skip the warm up and ensure you stretch
  • Always take the time to cool down
  • Start with lighter weights. Do not use the heavy ones first.
  • Find a happy medium for your body where you are not going too easy, but also not overexerting yourself.
  • Stay hydrated!
  • Focus on your posture and form, evaluate your positioning.

The following link from the foundation depicts how to exercise with arthritis and how to customize your exercise to your needs.

http://www.arthritis.org/living-with-arthritis/exercise/how-to/

Furthermore, the foundation also explores the best foods to consume for individuals with arthritis:

  • Fish (Omega-3 fights inflammation. Salmon, tuna, mackerel and herring are recommended).
  • Soybeans (Tofu and edamame also fight inflammation).
  • Oil (Extra virgin olive oil, avocado oil, safflower oil and walnut oil).
  • Cherries (Anti-inflammatory effect. Strawberries, raspberries and blueberries are said to have similar effects).

To view more amazing foods for arthritis, take a look at the Arthritis Foundation’s list.

http://www.arthritis.org/living-with-arthritis/arthritis-diet/best-foods-for-arthritis/best-foods-for-arthritis-6.php

Next, we are going to look at lifestyle changes to manage your arthritis symptoms:

  • Exercise regularly.
  • Stick to a healthy diet.
  • Consume vitamin C (Studies have shown that vitamin C can assist in managing inflammation).
  • Do not manage your arthritis pain with alcohol.
  • Manage your stress by getting enough sleep each night, taking vacations, expressing your feelings in a journal, meditating, giving yourself time to relax each day, etc.
  • Purchase reachers. These long rods can assist with reaching items that are up high or down low.
  • Implement door handles instead of doorknobs to eliminate gripping and turning.
  • Implement hand rails in your washroom.
  • Use a shoe horn.
  • If buttons and shoelaces are a challenge, choose velcro.

Remember, we are only one call away for a full list of medical and non-medical home care services. Peace of mind and increased quality of life at home. Call Universal Home Care today 705-523-9100.

References:

http://www.arthritis.org/about-arthritis/

http://www.everydayhealth.com/arthritis/taking-control-of-arthritis.aspx

 

 

Are You Ready for a Fall-Free Winter?

As we approach the winter season, the weather certainly provokes more falls. This can lead to serious injury and can definitely add extra stress to the holidays. We hope that the following tips can help you be mindful of the weather change and can educate you on winter safety!

  1. Keep the salt/sand and shovel inside your home. It is more beneficial to keep these items inside so that you do not slip on your way to get these items outside.
  2. Keep pathways clear. As we accumulate more snow, ensure pathways are shovelled. (If you have pre-existing health conditions, make sure you receive assistance!)
  3. Ensure railings are sturdy. Check all outdoor railings as they may save you from a fall.
  4. The holiday season is the time of giving. If you need help with keeping your outdoor space in safe condition, ask for help!
  5. Go slow. Take your time so that you do not fall while rushing out the door.
  6. Wear the appropriate footwear for traction. This reduces the risk of falling on icy stairs and surfaces.
  7. Have a plan! Carrying a cell phone or an alert device is crucial to ensure you receive help if you happen to fall.
  8. Keep practicing your balance exercises! In our November blog, we discussed various balance exercises that you should practice to improve your stability. Here were the exercises mentioned in last month’s blog:
    1. Holding onto the counter, perform calf raises. These can also be done while doing simple chores like washing dishes, brushing your teeth, washing your face, etc.
    2. Leg lifts to the side of the body while holding onto a table.
    3. Wall sit/squats. Put your back against a wall without any picture frames or décor and hold a wall sit position (legs should make a 90o angle). This can also be performed as squats where you repeat this motion multiple times instead of holding it.
    4. Even exercises as simple as standing on one leg while doing dishes or brushing your teeth promote balance and strength.

 

It is also important to be mindful when hanging various holiday decorations. For example, when hanging outdoor lights, watch your footing on the ladder and make sure you have assistance.

Here are some tips for hanging your outdoor lights: https://www.lowes.com/projects/decorate-and-entertain/tips-for-hanging-outdoor-christmas-lights/project

 

All of us here at UHC are wishing you a wonderful and safe holiday season filled with joy! Happy Holidays!

http://touringitaly.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/holiday-banner

 

References:

https://news.gov.bc.ca/stories/top-ten-tips-for-staying-fall-free-this-winter

 

Fall Prevention Month

November is known as Fall Prevention Month, so we thought that this would be the perfect opportunity to provide you with crucial information to reduce the risk of falling and injury at home. We are sure that you know someone who has fallen in their home, but have you ever wondered if it could have been prevented? We are here to share some preventative measures with you that will hopefully make a positive impact in your life.

Let’s begin with fall proofing your home and outdoors:

  1. Ensure lighting is adequate in all areas of the home where needed. For example, a staircase should be very well lit to avoid tripping.
  2. Lighting outdoors must be adequate as well on regularly used walkways, doorways, sheds, etc.
  3. Use nightlights! These little lights are super helpful at night and provide minimal light for an abundance of assistance when getting up at a late hour.
  4. Install handrails in areas such as washrooms (in bathtub/shower, next to toilet) and staircases.
  5. Remove rugs from living spaces. Rugs have a tendency to have upturned corners which cause many falls.
  6. Remove small clutter from high-traffic areas such as pet bowls, decorations on the floor, cords, etc.
  7. If you have carpeted stairs, ensure that it is secured to avoid slipping.
  8. Add non-slip bath mats into your shower/bathtub.
  9. Allow there to be established walkways within your home. If you need to rearrange furniture to accommodate, make sure you do so. Ask for help if needed.
  10. Clean up wet leaves outside on any used pathways.
  11. During the winter months, spread sand or salt on icy pathways. Don’t be afraid to ask for help!

 

Although fall proofing your home is very important, it is also critical that you take preventative measures by performing various strength and functional exercises to promote balance in the body:

  1. Holding onto the counter, perform calf raises. These can also be done while doing simple chores like washing dishes, brushing your teeth, washing your face, etc.
  2. Leg lifts to the side of the body while holding onto a table.
  3. Wall sit/squats. Put your back against a wall without any picture frames or décor and hold a wall sit position (legs should make a 90o angle). This can also be performed as squats where you repeat this motion multiple times instead of holding it.
  4. Even exercises as simple as standing on one leg while doing dishes or brushing your teeth promote balance and strength.

 

The following graph displays the statistics of falls in Canada for individuals over the age of 65 from Government Canada:

screen-shot-2016-10-31-at-9-35-04-am

http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/seniors-aines/publications/public/injury-blessure/seniors_falls-chutes_aines/index-eng.php

 

LET’S MAKE SURE WE TAKE PART IN FALL PREVENTION THIS MONTH! It will certainly benefit your health and the health of your loved ones.

 

Resources:

https://nihseniorhealth.gov/falls/homesafety/01.html

http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/seniors-aines/publications/public/injury-blessure/seniors_falls-chutes_aines/index-eng.php

Welcoming Fall Without Any Falls

Can you believe that the Fall season is already upon us? Summer completely flew by. Now that the season has changed, we understand that there are lots of chores waiting to be done around the house. We want to ensure that no injuries take place and we want to share a few tips with you!

1. Dressing for the Job

While doing yard work, not only do pants prevent scratches on your legs, but they also protect your skin from the sun. As well, wearing durable, closed-toed shoes can prevent injuries and a slip-resistant shoe can also prevent falls.

2. The Sun is Still Strong

Just because the weather is cooler, doesn’t mean that the sun isn’t as strong! Keep putting on that sunscreen to ensure your skin does not burn.

3. Accessorize Your Outfit

We’re not talking about fancy jewelry, we mean accessories such as safety glasses for flying debris, earmuffs for loud equipment, a hard hat and even gloves.

4. It’s OK to Take Breaks

Let’s face it, the yard work is not going anywhere. Make sure you take breaks throughout your chores to take care of your body. A warmup is also recommended before you exert yourself. Perhaps take a walk, perform some stretches, these simple things will minimize injury. When your chores are completed, stretching once again is recommended to reduce muscle soreness.

5. H2O is Your Friend!

Stay hydrated throughout your work. It is important that the body does not get dehydrated performing these tasks. Keep a bottle of water nearby!

6. Do NOT Over-Do It

Ensure leaf bags from raking are not too heavy to lift. You should be able to handle the bags very comfortably without straining any part of your body.

7. Be Very Careful on Ladders

Take caution while using ladders in the yard. Hinges can become loose, along with the rungs. Place the ladder on a hard and level surface, and make sure your shoes are not slippery. Don’t forget to ask someone for help. Never climb a ladder without someone holding the ladder.

8. Clean Up Fallen Leaves

Especially on any walkways in the yard, ensure fallen leaves are picked up to minimize the risk of falling. Fallen leaves can be a very slippery surface when wet.

 

WE ARE HERE TO HELP AT UNIVERSAL HOME CARE. Not only do we provide massage therapy services if your body is sore after yard work, we also provide yard work services. We take pride in your yard, and make sure it is nothing short of immaculate. Please give us a call today! 705-523-9100. WE ARE HERE TO HELP!

 

 

References:

http://www.massagetherapy.com/articles/index.php/article_id/2215/7-Safety-Tips-for-Autumn-Yard-Cleanup

http://safety.lovetoknow.com/Fall_Season_Safety_Tips