Learning How to Fall
Whether you’re hitting the slopes or crossing the street, slippery surfaces can be fun – and dangerous. A Canadian Institute for Health Information report (2002) noted 75 per cent of in-hospital deaths were due to injuries from a fall. Not surprisingly, seniors are the most vulnerable.
While it’s important to be vigilant, keep paths clear and wear proper gear, you can’t spend the winter dreading a fall. That’s why the first lesson in skating, skiing, snowboarding or any other winter sport is learning how to stop, fall and get up again. These principles for falling properly apply just as well to everyday activities.
The key is to avoid bracing yourself with your hands or hitting the ground with your head first. If possible, fall forward and roll to one side, landing on your forearm and lifting your head toward the opposite shoulder. If you catch yourself falling backward, tuck your chin under, pull your knees toward your chest, and spread out your arms to slap the ground. Tuck and roll.
If you practise these falls -- starting from a kneeling or sitting position! – you’ll feel more confident outside this winter. Then let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!
Canadian Senior Years/ARA Content
Public Health Agency of Canada
Relieving Holiday Stress
1. Take a deep breath, literally. Close your eyes and create a calm moment.
2. Write two lists: “nice for me” and “must for you.” Alternate between the lists.
3. Stay active. Jog, skip, pace, dance, clean, whatever.
4. Eat real food. Avoid too much alcohol, sugar, caffeine and convenience foods.
5. Hire a babysitter, housecleaner or other helper. No guilt.
6. Forgive and give thanks. It’s just healthier than stewing.
Don’t Be Too Generous
A recent spate of purse snatchings offers a sober reminder that thefts go up this time of year.
To avoid playing Santa to thieves, leave your purse at home. Or, at least, keep your cash, credit cards and vital ID in your pockets. Even while fighting the crowds for that must-have deal, stay aware of your belongings at all times.
Your home is also a prime target. An open window or unlocked garage invites thieves in to shop. Dark rooms mean you’re still at work. And, security systems only work if they’re armed.
Received a home theatre system for Christmas? Don’t announce it by displaying the packaging in your blue recycle bin. Unless you’re feeling generous.
For more security tips, check out our blogs on purse snatching and B & Es.
What's On In
VanDusen Botanical Garden
Hyatt Regency Vancouver
November 22 to December 27
Christmas in Williams Park
Township of Langley
December 5 to 15
Festival of Lights
Van Dusen Botanical Garden
December 9, 2011 to January 2, 2012,
except Christmas Day
Jewish Community Centre of Greater Vancouver
Chinese New Year Parade
January 29, 2012
Vancouver International Dance Festival
– see web site for venues
March 2 to 11, 2012
Keeping Fire in its Place
USING WOOD STOVES AND FIREPLACES
- Ensure everything is clean and works. Hire a professional chimney sweep.
- Check that all flue pipe joints are connected with at least three sheet metal screws.
- Keep fires small, to avoid overheating.
- Shovel ashes into a metal container and dump it in the yard immediately, away from trees and shrubs.
- Where there’s smoke, there’s… carbon monoxide. Open a window and put out the fire if smoke persists.
- Install a battery-operated smoke and CO detector.
Source: Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
Quick Safety Tip
SECURE YOUR LAPTOP
If you’re travelling over the holidays, don’t check your laptop in as luggage. Keep it with you at all times, preferably disguised inside a nondescript travel bag. And protect your data with a clever password.
Check out our blogs on using free wi-fi and securing your laptop on the road .