FOCUS ON SENIORS: Helping seniors tread carefully this winter

News Feb 04, 2016 by Gary Chalk Brant News

The good news is that this year nasty winter weather didn’t arrive until January.

The bad news is that nasty winter weather arrived in January.

“It seemed that the more we talked about the lovely weather we were enjoying throughout November and December, the more everyone became convinced that perhaps – just once – we wouldn’t have winter after all,” said Lucy Marco president of the Grand River Council on Aging.  

But then it happened.

Mother Nature left her mark: snow, ice, freezing rain and cold, blustery winds, despite a bit of a warm up this week.  

“We should have been prepared for all the slips and falls and motor vehicle crashes that occurred,” Marco said. “But many weren’t. Bad winter weather can creep up on many of us, particularly as we age.”

Unfortunately, falls are a common occurrence for senior citizens, especially during the winter months in Canada.

These falls often cause major injuries, including fractures of the hip and wrist, even head injuries. One in three seniors will fall each year. What’s worse is that half of them will fall more than once.

When we are younger we tend to rebound faster. However, as people age, they sometimes face complications from injuries. Experts say that this can lead to more serious conditions, even death for men and women over 65 years of age.

Safety experts suggest that people wear shoes with solid traction and non-slip soles. Perhaps even more important is to remain indoors, if possible, until the roads and sidewalks have been cleared.    

The benefits of exercise are well documented. However, seniors getting their workout shovelling snow – well, that’s another matter.

If you can’t make arrangements with a neighbour’s child to keep your driveway clear, seniors living in Brantford may qualify for the Windrows Removal Program.

A snow windrow is the portion of snow that is left behind at the end of your driveway after the snow plow has come through. In Brantford, if everyone living in your home is over 65 years of age, or physically challenged, you can contact the city to inquire about a free service that cleans the snow at the end of the driveway. If you meet the criteria, the city will remove the windrow within 16 hours of your road being cleared. Contact 519-752-4832 for information.  

Already this winter there have been reports in the news about power outages. Although unexpected, power outages do occur. With a few simple steps you can be prepared.

Not only have access to a couple of flashlights with extra batteries, make sure these flashlights are always kept in a convenient place. When the lights are out you don’t want to be traipsing through a dark house and tripping.

During the winter, seniors are encouraged to stock up on the basics. Make a point the next time you are shopping to pick up extra food supplies. For meals, bread in the freezer can be thawed and served with canned meats or soup. Have bottled water and other easy-to-open drinks.

Also, be sure where the manual release is located on your electric garage door opener and know how to use it.

And – because you never know – having a whistle on a lanyard may be just what the doctor ordered.

Depression becomes more prevalent during winter months in Canada when we don’t receive as much sunshine. Talk with your physician about taking a daily dose of vitamin D.

Finally, when weather makes it difficult for seniors to get out of the house for a couple of days, remember the telephone that was invented right here in Brantford. Pick it up and call a friend.

The Grand River Council on Aging promotes the voice of seniors. To learn more visit www.grcoa.ca.

FOCUS ON SENIORS: Helping seniors tread carefully this winter

News Feb 04, 2016 by Gary Chalk Brant News

The good news is that this year nasty winter weather didn’t arrive until January.

The bad news is that nasty winter weather arrived in January.

“It seemed that the more we talked about the lovely weather we were enjoying throughout November and December, the more everyone became convinced that perhaps – just once – we wouldn’t have winter after all,” said Lucy Marco president of the Grand River Council on Aging.  

But then it happened.

Mother Nature left her mark: snow, ice, freezing rain and cold, blustery winds, despite a bit of a warm up this week.  

“We should have been prepared for all the slips and falls and motor vehicle crashes that occurred,” Marco said. “But many weren’t. Bad winter weather can creep up on many of us, particularly as we age.”

Unfortunately, falls are a common occurrence for senior citizens, especially during the winter months in Canada.

These falls often cause major injuries, including fractures of the hip and wrist, even head injuries. One in three seniors will fall each year. What’s worse is that half of them will fall more than once.

When we are younger we tend to rebound faster. However, as people age, they sometimes face complications from injuries. Experts say that this can lead to more serious conditions, even death for men and women over 65 years of age.

Safety experts suggest that people wear shoes with solid traction and non-slip soles. Perhaps even more important is to remain indoors, if possible, until the roads and sidewalks have been cleared.    

The benefits of exercise are well documented. However, seniors getting their workout shovelling snow – well, that’s another matter.

If you can’t make arrangements with a neighbour’s child to keep your driveway clear, seniors living in Brantford may qualify for the Windrows Removal Program.

A snow windrow is the portion of snow that is left behind at the end of your driveway after the snow plow has come through. In Brantford, if everyone living in your home is over 65 years of age, or physically challenged, you can contact the city to inquire about a free service that cleans the snow at the end of the driveway. If you meet the criteria, the city will remove the windrow within 16 hours of your road being cleared. Contact 519-752-4832 for information.  

Already this winter there have been reports in the news about power outages. Although unexpected, power outages do occur. With a few simple steps you can be prepared.

Not only have access to a couple of flashlights with extra batteries, make sure these flashlights are always kept in a convenient place. When the lights are out you don’t want to be traipsing through a dark house and tripping.

During the winter, seniors are encouraged to stock up on the basics. Make a point the next time you are shopping to pick up extra food supplies. For meals, bread in the freezer can be thawed and served with canned meats or soup. Have bottled water and other easy-to-open drinks.

Also, be sure where the manual release is located on your electric garage door opener and know how to use it.

And – because you never know – having a whistle on a lanyard may be just what the doctor ordered.

Depression becomes more prevalent during winter months in Canada when we don’t receive as much sunshine. Talk with your physician about taking a daily dose of vitamin D.

Finally, when weather makes it difficult for seniors to get out of the house for a couple of days, remember the telephone that was invented right here in Brantford. Pick it up and call a friend.

The Grand River Council on Aging promotes the voice of seniors. To learn more visit www.grcoa.ca.

FOCUS ON SENIORS: Helping seniors tread carefully this winter

News Feb 04, 2016 by Gary Chalk Brant News

The good news is that this year nasty winter weather didn’t arrive until January.

The bad news is that nasty winter weather arrived in January.

“It seemed that the more we talked about the lovely weather we were enjoying throughout November and December, the more everyone became convinced that perhaps – just once – we wouldn’t have winter after all,” said Lucy Marco president of the Grand River Council on Aging.  

But then it happened.

Mother Nature left her mark: snow, ice, freezing rain and cold, blustery winds, despite a bit of a warm up this week.  

“We should have been prepared for all the slips and falls and motor vehicle crashes that occurred,” Marco said. “But many weren’t. Bad winter weather can creep up on many of us, particularly as we age.”

Unfortunately, falls are a common occurrence for senior citizens, especially during the winter months in Canada.

These falls often cause major injuries, including fractures of the hip and wrist, even head injuries. One in three seniors will fall each year. What’s worse is that half of them will fall more than once.

When we are younger we tend to rebound faster. However, as people age, they sometimes face complications from injuries. Experts say that this can lead to more serious conditions, even death for men and women over 65 years of age.

Safety experts suggest that people wear shoes with solid traction and non-slip soles. Perhaps even more important is to remain indoors, if possible, until the roads and sidewalks have been cleared.    

The benefits of exercise are well documented. However, seniors getting their workout shovelling snow – well, that’s another matter.

If you can’t make arrangements with a neighbour’s child to keep your driveway clear, seniors living in Brantford may qualify for the Windrows Removal Program.

A snow windrow is the portion of snow that is left behind at the end of your driveway after the snow plow has come through. In Brantford, if everyone living in your home is over 65 years of age, or physically challenged, you can contact the city to inquire about a free service that cleans the snow at the end of the driveway. If you meet the criteria, the city will remove the windrow within 16 hours of your road being cleared. Contact 519-752-4832 for information.  

Already this winter there have been reports in the news about power outages. Although unexpected, power outages do occur. With a few simple steps you can be prepared.

Not only have access to a couple of flashlights with extra batteries, make sure these flashlights are always kept in a convenient place. When the lights are out you don’t want to be traipsing through a dark house and tripping.

During the winter, seniors are encouraged to stock up on the basics. Make a point the next time you are shopping to pick up extra food supplies. For meals, bread in the freezer can be thawed and served with canned meats or soup. Have bottled water and other easy-to-open drinks.

Also, be sure where the manual release is located on your electric garage door opener and know how to use it.

And – because you never know – having a whistle on a lanyard may be just what the doctor ordered.

Depression becomes more prevalent during winter months in Canada when we don’t receive as much sunshine. Talk with your physician about taking a daily dose of vitamin D.

Finally, when weather makes it difficult for seniors to get out of the house for a couple of days, remember the telephone that was invented right here in Brantford. Pick it up and call a friend.

The Grand River Council on Aging promotes the voice of seniors. To learn more visit www.grcoa.ca.