Celebrating Seniors in Ontario — Stay Safe, Stay in Touch

June is Seniors’ Month! Make sure you Stay Safe, Stay in Touch

In Ontario, the month of June is considered Seniors’ Month and is a time to reflect and celebrate all seniors from across the province. This year’s theme is “Stay Safe, Stay in Touch” and it focuses on keeping our seniors safe, connected, and engaged at their home during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the Minister for Seniors and Accessibility Raymond Cho “As we take this opportunity to mark Seniors’ Month, we recognize that these are very challenging times for seniors as they continue to self-isolate due to the risk of COVID-19. Now more than ever, it is important that we come together to support our seniors and recognize and honour the knowledge, experience, and the contributions that seniors have made to build the province that we enjoy today.

Let us make this month extra special for our seniors by showing them as much support and love as possible. If you have a senior in your life, or if you want to help out voluntarily, please take the time to reach out to them to ensure that they have what they need during this very difficult time. There are plenty of things you can do to stay in touch with seniors, you can give them a call over the phone or through FaceTime or Zoom, you could pick up some groceries for them so they can stock up their refrigerators’ so they have food, or you could safely see them through a window while visiting. Anything that you do to help or connect with a senior will increase their level of happiness, especially since most of them cannot leave their home due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Ontario Government has the highest regard for our seniors and they are committed to protecting and supporting them as much as possible. According to Raymond Cho “We are continuing to invest in almost 300 Seniors Active Living Centres which help seniors remain active and engaged in age-friendly communities.” Cho said that 175 of these programs are currently being offered remotely through teleconference, online videos, and one on one phone calls. These are all critical programs that help seniors stay connection while being at home. The Ontario Government also invested $11 million dollars to implement the Ontario Community Support Program, which is used to help coordinate meals, medicine, and other necessities to seniors across the province. Not only that, but the Ontario government is also developing a comprehensive Seniors’ Strategy which helps seniors remain healthy, active, and socially engaged during the COVID-19 pandemic.

As you can see, the Ontario Government is doing a lot to support seniors during this most difficult time, and since June is Seniors’ Month, we should all be doing our part by reaching out to our seniors as well. At Bay Haven Care Community, the Recreation team conducts and designs programs that help stimulate seniors emotional, intellectual, physical, vocational, social, spiritual, and environmental well-beings to benefit the seniors lifestyle. This month, let’s stay safe and stay in touch together as we help our seniors cope through this pandemic lockdown.

Marco Sanfilippo
Marketing Specialist/Recreation Assistant

Stop the falls! An article by Vi Nguyen

A senior who fell down because of her slippers.

Stop the falls! Is an article prepared by our very own Occupational & Physiotherapist Assistant Vi Nguyen. In the article, Vi writes about different methods residents can use to prevent themselves from falling to the ground. The article also gives statistics and facts about the severe injuries that a fall can have on your body. Since falls are the cause of 85% of seniors’ injury-related hospitalizations, it is important to read her article and fully understand everything you can do to prevent these serious falls. In this blog, I will be going over some of the most interesting facts and guidelines to use to prevent seniors from falling.

 

1. Wear safe footwear.

The first point that Vi mentions in her article is to make sure all seniors are wearing well-fitted footwear to improve their walking and balance. Some footwear such as slippers or flip-fops can cause tripping since they are not as stable as regular shoes. It is always important to wear properly fitted shoes, and make sure your shoes are always new. Old shoes do not work as well since they tend to lose their grip.

2. Use assistive devices.

The second point that Vi mentions is to use proper walking devices such as walkers and canes for more balance and support. This is an excellent point because sometimes seniors tend to walk without their walkers or canes, causing them to fall over. If your doctor or physiotherapists tells you to use a cane or a walker to walk, always make sure you use them when you walk. One little mistake can lead to a plethora of problems.

3. Ensure adequate lighting.

Not a lot of people think about point number three. Vi mentions in her article that poor lighting can increase the risk of slips and falls because of the lack of visibility from the senior. In a senior is walking in a room with poor lighting, the chances of them bumping into furniture or tripping over something on the ground is very likely. Also make sure you have a night-light on during the night, and make sure you have your windows opened/lights on during the day.

4. Reduce tripping hazards.

Vi makes a lot of great points in her article about falling, and number four is an important point. Reduce the risk of tripping by cleaning up spills immediately, keeping your pathway free of clutter, or even replace all your rugs to non-slip rugs/mats. It is extremely important to make sure your room is clean and safe from clutter. Some of the most important parts/rooms in the house to make sure is cleared from clutter are the bathroom, the bedroom, the kitchen and the staircase.

5. Stay physically active.

The last point that Vi mentions in her article is to make sure seniors stay physically active. Exercising is the key to prevent falls. Exercising can improve muscle strength, bone density, and joint health. In fact, inactivity creates an even higher risk of fall, as it can lead to muscle loss, joint stiffness and poor balance. Stay active and prevent falls!

 

These five tips from Vi will prevent you from falling over. Remember, falls are the cause of 95% of hip-fractures and 50% of all falls happen in your own home. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Vi Nguyen for putting together this excellent article about fall prevention. Following these five tips will help you stop the falls and could save your life.