As 2020 come to an end, we want to express our most sincere gratitude to all those who have worked tirelessly to assist our seniors throughout this unprecedented time. Times of difficulty and crisis show us the importance of kindness, compassion, and the strength of humanity.
This year Age Safe® has been honored to have trained professionals, organizations, non-profits and entrepreneurs in eight countries. We are grateful for the continued trust and respect of our clients and partners and we stand strong and willing to support families looking for trusted aging in place resources.
Age Safe® Live Well.
The Age Safe® Team
November is the Sixth Annual Falls Prevention Month Across Canada. I have spent my entire career literally climbing on every conceivable type of staircase. Homes, cottages, schools, offices, arenas, lodges, basements, attics, storefronts, back rooms, circular, spiral, winding, straight, steep, shallow, concrete, carpeted…I can go on. I have done this because of the overwhelming reality that people need assistance in navigating the stairs when they age and because a fall can change everything. Let’s Not Fall into Fall
Stairs are an integral factor in architecture that ties floors together, attempt to level changes in grade and add aesthetic value…Do you ever notice that Royalty always descend onto their admirers on a sweeping grand staircase!
But as we age, the stairs become more evil then necessary especially if we are not aware or not prepared to continue to use them safely. There is significant data and statistics that illustrate the dangers of falling on the stairs, but most people have clearly learned from a young age that the stairs can be dangerous. Climbing them for the first time is definitely a watershed moment in a person’s life…learning how to avoid carrying the laundry up for your spouse becomes a tactic later in life…like I say, they become more evil then a necessity as we age.
Regardless of your position in life, stairs will always be around us. They are an ancient invention that hasn’t changed much in centuries, so we continue to learn to live with them. They can also be our friend as they can keep us active, they lead to the peace and solitude of upstairs and the lead to the treasures and family warmth that is downstairs. They are not to be feared but certainly respected.
Be mindful of how to use the stairs, when to use them and not use them. Please follow the link to the Falls Prevention Month website for more insight and tips on navigating not just the stairs but all points built around the Falls Loop concept of Be Ready, Be Steady
Our friends at MacMaster University also have some good information on the concept around the fear of falling that is an interesting read.
Jim Closs has been helping people go up and down their stairs for thirty years.
As we move into November, National Fall Prevention Month, we are still reeling from the effects of the pandemic across Canada and the world. We have been sheltering in place by mandate or choice. Yet, the risks of falling do not decrease with fewer outings! And the challenges of caregiving have grown as personal visits have not been possible for many families. So there are different ways to approach the risks of falling and possible solutions but, most importantly, we need to have the conversations about falls.
Together as families and organizations we can help keep older adults healthy and injury free! Fall Prevention Month is designed to spread this important public health message.
Falls are a leading cause of lost independence and mobility; often leaving seniors unable to fully recover from the trauma. Their overall health declines, and care needs increase significantly. People aged 65 and older have a 25% greater chance of falling. And if someone has fallen once, their chances of falling again doubles. It seems like common sense — everybody falls, no matter what age. However, for many older adults, an unexpected fall can result in a serious and costly injury. The good news is that most falls can be prevented. If you are the caregiver, you have the power to reduce your loved one’s risk of falling, and your own fall risk as well.
More than trip hazards, things like subtle changes in vision can reduce depth perception, making even stepping out of the house or off a curb more dangerous. If your family member wears transition lenses which change with the ambient light, one strategy may be to simply stop and wait for the time to allow the lenses and, therefore, the vision to adjust before walking further. Extra lighting along outdoor pathways and interior hallways can reduce the chance of not seeing the tripping hazard that may be present.
Doing an evaluation of the home for safety hazards can be done, even with social distancing! As the caregiver, if you look for the tripping hazards or the ways to make every day activities easier; such as a handheld shower or grab bars, it’s a start and part of the safety conversation. The safety of your loved one reduces your stress and worry as the caregiver.
You can reach out to an Age Safe® Canada trained Senior Home Safety Specialists who can educate and assist you with home safety tips for seniors as part of a comprehensive home safety assessment. Age Safe® Canada develops training programs and certifications to empower senior services providers to better help decrease falls and fall-related injuries.
Age Safe® Live Well.
Global Handwashing Day is an annual global advocacy day dedicated to advocacting for handwashing with soap as an easy, effective, and affordable way to prevent diseases and save lives. “Hand Hygiene for All” is the theme of this year’s Global Handwashing Day, following a recent World Health Organization initiative calling for improved hand hygiene. Global Handwashing Day was established by the Global Handwashing Partnership.
The first Global Handwashing Day was held in 2008, when over 120 million children around the world washed their hands with soap in more than 70 countries. Everyone can protect themselves, their families, and their communities through handwashing with soap. Though it requires few resources—soap and a small amount of water—the benefits are significant. Handwashing with soap helps prevent the spread of infections including influenza and Ebola.
Keeping our hands clean is one of the simplest and most important habits we can adopt to prevent contracting Covid-19 and spreading the coronavirus that causes the disease to others. Without washing properly and killing off the coronavirus — and other viruses, bacteria and germs we pick up from raw meats, fecal matter and respiratory droplets — it can spread between people and cause disease.
Be grateful you can wash your hands.
There are 818 million children who don’t have access to basic handwashing with water and soap at school. At least 3 billion people, or 40% of the world’s population, do not have a handwashing facility with soap and water at home.
Handwashing with soap is an easy, effective, affordable do-it-yourself practice that prevents infections and saves lives.
Just Do It!…please
How Germs Spread
Washing hands can keep you healthy and prevent the spread of respiratory and diarrheal infections from one person to the next. Germs can spread from other people or surfaces when you:
- Touch your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
- Prepare or eat food and drinks with unwashed hands
- Touch a contaminated surface or objects
- Blow your nose, cough, or sneeze into hands and then touch other people’s hands or common objects
Key Times to Wash Hands
You can help yourself and your loved ones stay healthy by washing your hands often, especially during these key times when you are likely to get and spread germs:
- Before, during, and after preparing food
- Before eating food
- Before and after caring for someone at home who is sick with vomiting or diarrhea
- Before and after treating a cut or wound
- After using the toilet
- After changing diapers or cleaning up a child who has used the toilet
- After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
- After touching an animal, animal feed, or animal waste
- After handling pet food or pet treats
- After touching garbage
Follow Five Steps to Wash Your Hands the Right Way
Washing your hands is easy, and it’s one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of germs. Clean hands can stop germs from spreading from one person to another and throughout an entire community—from your home and workplace to childcare facilities and hospitals.
Follow these five steps every time.
- Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.
- Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
- Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.
- Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
- Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.
Worried about dry hands? After washing your hands, simply pat them dry with a clean towel but leave them slightly damp “to lock in the moisture” from ointments and creams that you’ll work into your skin, fingertips and nails.
On Thanksgiving, Canadians give thanks for a successful year and harvest. The Thanksgiving holiday tradition in Canada dates back to when the English explorer, Martin Frobisher, came upon the land we now know as Canada while searching for a Northern passage to the Orient. When Frobisher arrived in Canada on his third voyage in 1578, he held a formal ceremony where he gave thanks for surviving the long journey – one of his ships had been lost on the way. South of the border, it would be another 43 years before the Pilgrims sat down to celebrate their first Thanksgiving meal. Happy Thanksgiving 2020!
Thanksgiving became a nationally recognised holiday in Canada in 1879. The date of the holiday has moved around a few times since then, and settled on the current date in 1957. Apart from taking place years before its American counterpart, Canadian thanksgiving also takes place over a month earlier. One reason is that the harvest season starts earlier in the more northerly Canada than it does in the US.
Today, it is celebrated by gathering with loved ones and preparing the Thanksgiving Day meal, which usually includes turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and many other dishes. There are often regional variations on the meal.
In the regions where Canadian Thanksgiving is celebrated, most government offices will be closed and so will many local amenities. Public transport is likely to run on a holiday or Sunday schedule. Banks will be closed along with the Toronto Stock Exchange.
What are you thankful for this year? Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
October 1 of each year is National Seniors Day, which coincides with the United Nations International Day of Older Persons and is an occasion for Canadians to celebrate the profound contributions of seniors in our homes, communities and workplaces. For all they have achieved throughout life and for all they continue to accomplish, we owe older citizens our thanks and a heartfelt salute. We can best demonstrate our gratitude and esteem by making sure that our communities are good places in which to safely mature and grow older — places in which older people can participate to the fullest and can find the encouragement, acceptance, assistance, and services they need to continue to lead lives of independence and dignity. This year marks the 10th Anniversary of National Seniors Day in Canada and due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, a more solemn milestone as well.
Join CARP and special guests for an interactive online event honouring Canada’s seniors and those who have lost their lives to COVID-19 .
More than 82% of COVID-19 related deaths are connected to long-term care homes—over 7,500 vulnerable residents have succumbed to the virus to date. More than just a statistic, this number represents real people with names and faces, and with important life stories that must be remembered.
With this in mind, CARP is hosting Canada’s largest-ever virtual meeting of seniors to talk about what happened and why, as well as how to protect our vulnerable older people in the coming months. Just as importantly, the event serves to remember those who lost their lives; not as statistics, but as parents, grandparents, teachers, mentors—real people who we failed to protect. A national Minute of Silence will serve as a powerful reminder that one death due to negligence in long-term care is one too many.
The free online event, comprising both a national and regional portion which will directly tackle seniors’ issues in your part of Canada, brings together a panel of very special guests to explore critical topics affecting older adults and offers an empowering message of hope on this milestone occasion.
Click Here for Event Information: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/carp-national-seniors-day-online-event-tickets-115086631212
CARP (Canadian Association for Retired Persons) is Canada’s largest advocacy association for older Canadians. Today CARP has more than 320,000 members. As a non-partisan association, CARP is committed to working with all parties in government to advocate for older Canadians. Its mission is to advocate for better healthcare, financial security, and freedom from ageism. CARP members engage in polls and petitions, email their elected representatives, connect with local chapters and share stories and opinions on urgent issues. Most CARP members also subscribe to ZOOMER Magazine, watch ZoomerTelevision/VisionTV, and listen to Zoomer Radio (AM740/96.7FM/ZoomerRadio.ca). For more information, please visit https://www.carp.ca
“National Seniors Day is a way for Canada to celebrate seniors for their generous contribution to our families, our communities, our workplaces and our country. Celebrating the day annually will help raise awareness about seniors’ contributions and the important roles they play in Canadian society.” – Government of Canada
Government Resources: https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/corporate/seniors/forum.html
Age Safe® Canada develops training programs and certifications to empower senior services providers to better help decrease falls and fall-related injuries.
Advancing Successful Aging at Home™