The Scoop

Think twice about the ice

Being out and about during winter can feel scary rather than an everyday challenge. There are risks for those who are unsteady on their feet. So, think twice before you venture outside and pay attention to these safety tips:

1 Hands free. When you’re walking outside, don’t put your hands in your pockets. Not having your hands out increases the risk of falling if you lose your balance.

2 Mittens vs. gloves. While they aren’t as chic, wearing mittens with your fingers touching each other inside generates more body heat than wearing gloves.

3 Must shovel? Reduce your risk of a heart attack by avoiding coffee and cigarettes beforehand. They can raise your heart rate and cause blood vessels to constrict. Be sure to stretch and warm up before you go outside.

4 Rock salt + kitty litter. Slippery surfaces should be covered in rock salt, then sprinkled with kitty litter for traction.

5 Warm up before driving off. This will reduce the moisture condensation on the inside of your car windows. P.S. don’t warm up your vehicle in a closed garage.

A pain in the foot

Wearing shabby, worn out or ill-fitting shoes every day is one of the most common causes of foot pain in older adults. If it’s time for new shoes, experts suggest that you get re-measured to determine the right shoe size. Over time, the shape, width and even size of your feet may change. And beware of virtual shoe shopping for cheap shoes. Poorly fitting shoes put you at risk for calluses, corns, and heel spurs, not to mention, more discomfort.

CAREGIVER STATISTICS

• 1/3 of caregivers look after someone 85 and older in Canada.
• Almost 8 million Canadians are caregivers.
• Only 11% care for a spouse. Source: StatsCan

READY FOR A GOOD NIGHT’S SLEEP?

If you’re like many of us, you’ve got a lot on your mind right now. COVID-19, finances, health worries… the list goes on. Work, stress and anxiety are not good bed partners. Here’s what you can do to manage your sleep:

Put away the gadgets. Skip cell phone and computer use prior to going to sleep.

Treat your bedroom with respect. No exercising, no arguing, no phone calls.

Freshen things up. Change your sheets or crack open a window.

Keep things cool. Our bodies prefer a cooler space when we’re sleeping.

Wake up at the same time. Start your morning in the same way, regardless of whether it’s a weekday or a weekend.

TOSS OLD MEDS

Spend an hour in the medicine cabinet.

STEP 1: Remove all prescription and non-prescription medications that are expired or that are no longer being taken.

STEP 2: As medications must be disposed of safely, pharmacists remind you to return them the drug store on your next visit.

Avoid impaired driving

Have a plan to get home safely. Have a designated driver, use public transit, ask a friend or family member for a ride, call a taxi or ride share, or stay overnight.

Ask your doctor or pharmacist about side effects related to driving when using prescription medication and alcohol.

Read the information on the package of any prescription drugs or over-the-counter medicine, including allergy and cold remedies.
Ask your doctor or pharmacist about how a prescription drug could affect you. Remember that combining drugs and alcohol together can impair your ability to drive more than using either one alone.

GET MOVING

Bundle up and go for a walk, stand at your desk, or take the dog for a stroll. Chances are, the physical activity will reduce the risk of certain diseases and maintain a healthy body weight, and keep muscles, joints and bones in the best possible shape.

DID YOU KNOW?

Opossums protect us from Lyme disease by killing 95% of the ticks trying to live on their blood.

True or False? You can spread COVID-19 on your shoes?

FALSE. The likelihood of COVID-19 being spread on shoes and infecting individuals is very low according to the WHO. As a precautionary measure, particularly in homes where children may crawl or play on floors, consider leaving your shoes at the entrance. This will help prevent contact with dirt or any waste that could be carried on the soles of shoes.

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