Fall Prevention Month: Keep it Moving!
At 84 years old, Bob Butts had never imagined that regular exercise would change his life so dramatically. After a serious medical incident, his balance and strength were jeopardized, which put him at risk of a serious fall. Bob understood that his health would need more than a quick fix. It was time to become a consistently active person.
“I had a Stroke in January of 2016, so I came here. When I came here, I couldn’t lift my hand up over my head. I couldn’t get out of the chair without help, and I weighed 256 pounds.”
Bob, and his personal trainer Kim, joke that Bob is now a “gym rat”, meaning he is someone who can often be found at the gym. With a nice morning routine and professional guidance in the weight room, Bob has seen consistent improvement in his physical abilities. The health benefits Bob has experienced from regular exercise keep him coming back.
“I lost 65 pounds of fat and put on some muscle. I can walk in a straight line now, before I was all over the place. I used to get headaches… Kim got me doing these stretches, and before I realized it, I didn’t have headaches anymore.”
Bob came to the gym so he could improve his balance, lose weight, and gain strength. While these goals were achieved, Bob also discovered that working out improved his mental health. This has greatly increased Bob’s confidence in himself and his physical abilities.
“I have no health issues at all anymore. I want to be able to do things with my grandchildren, and great-grandchildren… My wife.”
Bob’s journey reminds us that preventing falls and other serious injuries begins with ourselves. The most common reason for permanent and total disability is falls. Every year, 1 in 3 seniors experience a falling incident. After ensuring our homes are hazard-free, the next step in preventing falls is to strengthen our bodies. Our body is the vehicle in which we navigate our lives. To train our bodies with exercise is to respect our overall health.
If you or a loved one wishes to investigate active lifestyles, first check with your doctor or health care practitioner. There are many Saskatchewan based resources to assist you in your fitness journey:
Saskatchewan Seniors Mechanism - Bringing together Saskatchewan seniors organizations
Forever in Motion - Helping older adults become physically active in their communities
Saskatchewan Senior Fitness Association - Activity programs for adults fifty years of age and older
Active Aging Canada - Trusted information and resources for older Canadians
General Fall Prevention Tips
Exercise, know your limits, rest often, consider a personal emergency device, and keep important numbers by the phone in case you do need help quickly. Know others?
Find more free fall prevention resources and senior safety information at http://www.sasksafety.org/resources/seniors-safety
Tips to keep your stairs and stairways safe. Have tips you'd like to share? Comment below.
Why Don't you just Put a Plug in it.
Knowing how to properly insert an earplug will pay off in the bedroom and in the workplace. The later leading to an increase in the possibility that you may actually be able to hear your grandchildren wish you a happy birthday.
Community – What Does it Mean?
The definition of “community” is a group of people living in the same place or having a characteristic in common and a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals. Here at the Saskatchewan Safety Council, we are dedicated to the prevention of injury across our province, creating a province of safety excellence! Do we want everyone to make safety their number one priority? Yes, absolutely! With your help, we can spread the word and spread the action, prevent injury in Saskatchewan… at home, at play, and at work. Being out in the community, allows me to engage and interact with others, show the great work we are trying to accomplish and hear feedback on what is needed in the communities as well.
My name is Amanda LePine and I am the Community Relations Coordinator with the Saskatchewan Safety Council. Born and raised here in Regina, I’ve seen how the city has changed and how it has grown. I love our city, and am proud to be a city-girl from Regina, SK. Every day, I learn more about the places, people and cultures that are in the community. Interacting with people brings me such joy and being out in the community, learning new things, and building relationships is what excites me about future possibilities.
Lavina Wagner, our Content Specialist and I have been busy safety bees the last couple of months- making connections, taking video footage and pictures for our content that we are working hard to create. We are creating informative safety videos for the simple tasks that you may do every day, but are we doing the task safely? Riding a bike, wearing a helmet, and using your stair case at home, are you holding the railing when going up or down? Do you have a railing installed? Tips and tricks on how to be cautious in your bathroom, living room, laundry room and outside of your home, having tools and checklists in place will allow you to be prepared for a potential hazard, and to realize something you do every single day may not be the safest way to complete the task at hand.
That’s what Darlene helped us with, doing what she does every day on video: laundry, walking up and down the stairs, making a cup of coffee, folding towels, simple tasks that will help us build our content for our informational videos! Lavina and I arranged a meeting with a roofing professional named David who has been roofing since he was 17 years old. He allowed us take footage of him preparing for a roofing job, showed us how to safely wear and assemble a harness. Are you safe for the job and using
Adventuring out into the community we made connections with the Regina Senior Centre on Winnipeg Street. We were fortunate to attend one of their afternoons of dance, three hours of polka, line dancing and meeting those who took time out of their day to attend this amazing event (which is open to all ages by the way!).
Lavina and I boogied to the music and bless miss Gladys’ heart who tried to teach me to line dance, but I have two left feet (which I inherited from my mother, thanks mom!). Then we joined the fellas in the Pool Room and got to chat with those who have been going to the center for years. To play, they purchase tickets or become members with the center, but when you hit the age of 90, you play for free!
Mr. Abel was celebrating his 91st birthday on April 17, 2019. We got to sing him happy birthday and enjoy some delicious cake! Gabe, an 88-year-old member has been coming to the center for years. You can find him in the Pool Room every Wednesday and Friday enjoying a good game of pool with great people, staying active and having fun while doing so.
I look forward to meeting and interacting with others in our community. We want to share your story, share your ideas, and the work we have done… together. In the meantime, don’t be a stranger, you can connect with me at any time, we are all part of this community.
Falls are Costly
Did you know our province spends millions treating injuries associated with home falls? Taking the time to ensure your loved ones are as safe as possible at home could save you more than just money.
The most common reason for permanent and total disability is falls. There have been years in which falls have cost the province of Saskatchewan over 300 million dollars. Residential falls in 2010 cost the province 153 million. The most common reason for injury around the home is a slip, trip, or fall. Find fall prevention resources here.