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.

Bay Haven Care Community and Collingwood Nursing Home Are Merging For The Better

A business handshake to confirm the merge.

The newly announced project between Bay Haven Care Community and Collingwood Nursing Home opens opportunities for residents, staff, and the community. Scott Strandholt, administrator for Bay Haven, and Peter Zober, president of Collingwood Nursing Home, are working together after the Ontario government announced that it will be providing 40 additional new long-term beds for Collingwood.

Strandholt and Zober are working to build a new long-term care home that includes larger bedrooms, private washrooms, more common rooms, and a larger dinning room for their residents. Combining Bay Haven Care Community’s 60 beds with Collingwood Nursing Home’s 60 beds and adding the additional 40 beds the province has awarded, the new facility will have a total of 160 beds. Not only will this merge be beneficial for our current and future residents, it will also create more jobs and opportunities for registered nurses, PSW workers, dietary, recreation, marketing, volunteers, and management. “We want to see Collingwood grow for the better” Scott says as he envisions better quality of life for Collingwood’s senior citizens to have a comfortable and safe place to live as they age.

While Strandholt and Zober continue to discuss details about the future home, it is an exciting time to be part of the Bay Haven Care Community and Collingwood Nursing Home teams. Both homes will benefit from each other since they are both family-run and have been in the nursing/retirement home business for over 80 years combined. Collingwood’s lifestyle has always focused on families and community, and I believe that this is exactly the type of long-term care home Collingwood deserves.

With over 80 years of caring for Collingwood seniors, both family-run homes bring a lot of experience and knowledge to the table.

We will continue to update you on our progress as more development arises.

Marco Sanfilippo — Marketing Specialist/Recreation Assistant.

The 4 Things That I Learned On My First Week As A Recreation Assistant

A Recreation Assistant interacting with a resident.

I am always astonished to see how influential recreation activities can keep residents engaged. As someone who has recently joined the recreation team at Bay Haven Care Community, I am already beginning to see how activities such as Bingo, happy hour, musical performances, outings, and trivia games can enhance a resident’s overall experience at their retirement home. As a Recreation Assistant, it is my job to make residents happy and to enhance their quality of life as much as possible.

Here are 4 things I learned on my first week as a Recreation Assistant.

1. Interaction.

It is always important to keep this in mind as you provide your recreation activity. If you are providing a program for a group of 20 residents, it is important to always interact with each person individually as much as possible. You always want the residents to know that they are a crucial part of the activity that you are providing for them. The more interactive you are, the better.

2. Follow the 7 Dimensions of Well-being.

The seven dimensions of well-being is a holistic approach to programming that Bay Haven ensures to provide for their residents. The seven steps are:

  1. Emotional: Coping with challenges and behaving in a trustworthy and respectful way. This creates emotional wellness and helps counsel stress, management, humour/laughter and personal stories.
  2. Intellectual: Providing creative pursuits and intellectually stimulating activities is proven to keep minds alert and interested and it can slow down the process of Alzheimer’s and Dementia.
  3. Physical: If you provide a physical program throughout the day, residents will feel better emotionally, as they will be releasing “feel good” endorphins from their body.
  4. Vocational: It is important for everyone to have a purpose and feel needed with a specific goal in mind. This step is a great way for residents to be connected with the community!
  5. Social: Social interactions with family, friends, and co-residents can be valuable to maintain good health for the residents.
  6. Spiritual: Residents at Bay Haven can practice their own religious morals and faith. Living with a meaning and purpose of life is key to feeling a connection to the larger world.
  7. Environmental: It is important for everyone to get outside whenever possible. If the weather is bad, we will bring the environmental programs inside.

These seven steps are a crucial part of being a Recreation Assistant. In order to provide life enrichment to all of our residents, a Recreation Assistant must always keep these seven steps in mind.

3. Create a variety of programs.

It is important to provide a variety of programs for the retirement home you are working for. Repetitive programs will make the residents lose interest. A variety of creative and interactive programs will be beneficial for the overall experience as a Recreation Assistant. Doing this will also alter the experience for your residents, making them happier and more interested in their daily activities. Always remember, keep an open-mind, use your creativity, and have fun!

4. Have fun and be patient.

Two of the most important steps of becoming a great Recreation Assistant is to make sure you always have fun, and to be patient. The beautiful part of this job is that you get to have fun with the residents! The variety of games, performances, activities and events that you will be hosting for the residents are enjoyable! However, you must be patient as well. The number one rule that every Recreation Assistant must know is that the residents always come first. If they need to do something urgent in the middle of your program, simply allow them to go. This is their home and their life; always understand that.

These are 4 things that I learned on my first week as a Recreation Assistant.

Marco Sanfilippo — Recreation Assistant/Marketing Specialist