Good shoes the key to staying on your feet

Photo from Seniors are an active group. However sometimes the older we get, our bodies don't respond or move like they used to.

Seniors are an active group. However sometimes the older we get our bodies don’t respond or move like they used to. With that in mind preventing injuries is good practice. Like they say an apple a day might keep the doctor away. A little stretching and some good footwear can prevent slips and falls too!

My grandmother many years ago used to wear good shoes in the house. She had the right idea; good footwear inside and out can prevent falls. Think of children who love slide on the smooth floor with their socks. Preventing falls is very important because falling might result in injury. Injury might send us to the hospital where the recovery process and further treatment can be long. Fall also might cause injuries that could be life changing that might cause the loss of our independence. Preventing falls should be a priority!

Here are some ways to prevent falls:

• Reduce clutter – boxes, newspapers, cords, knitting bags, anything lying around can be a trip hazard. We all have lots of stuff. Organize or reduce the stuff we have.

• Good lighting – navigating stairs or going the washroom at night all could use some good lighting. Night lights or motion sensor lights are an inexpensive solution.

• Remove loose mats – we might have a throw rug or bathmat that needs to be securely fastened to the floor or removed all together.

• Taking your time getting up – sometimes medications or the simple fact of lying down might cause us to be dizzy if we sit up. Sit up, wait a few seconds for your body to become accustomed to being upright before heading to make lunch or your daily routine.

• Have regular vision checks – over 65 an annual visit to your eye professional is recommended. Good vision with proper corrective lens if required help to navigate better. While the designer frames from the drug store make you look 10 years younger, they don’t help you see well.

• Use walking assists in your home – often the walker or cane is left by the door, because that’s what we taken when go outside. Grabbing counter tops, or backs of chairs is not a safe practice to navigating around the house or apartment.

• Heading outdoors – depending on the season ice and snow or uneven ground for example in the garden can be challenging. Take your time, wear good footwear and use any assists as appropriate.

• Have a plan – if you do fall but can not get up how are you going to summon help from paramedics or even your family. Have one of those medical alarms, attach the cordless phone to belt, even a whistle worn around your neck. Anything to call for or alert close friends neighbors that help is needed.

If you’ve fallen, but injuries or illness prevent you from speaking for yourself. How do you tell paramedics or the hospital who you are? What medications or medical history you might have? How do we alert your family? How do we know your wishes might be for things like advance care directives?

Together Parkland Ambulance and Lake Country Coop have created a small compact folder called ICE. ICE stands for in case of emergency and inside the packet is a piece of paper where you answer some of these questions and more. Put the packet in your purse; with a fridge magnet stick it onto the fridge or some other noticeable place, that when needed paramedics will see it and access this vital information.

Where can you get one? Visit Parkland Ambulance or any Lake Country Pharmacy location in Prince Albert and pick up your free ICE packet.

Today’s technology has more and more people especially seniors, using mobile devices. The ‘bad guys’ are getting smart about pretending to be someone trying to ask for money or have you given them personal information. A few easy steps for your cyber security and safety. Open emails only from people you know. Reading the news online avoid clicking the ads for the cute puppies, hair care products, discount rentals or what ever other thing that catches your eye. Avoid giving out your cell phone number or email address to people you don’t know are adding it to random surveys on your phone.

It’s important to remember that your personal information is just that personal information. If you would want your picture on a sign on the busiest street corner in the city, don’t give out your name, address or other personal information. Be safe!