By Nick Serafini
Likely many of us have thought in recent days, “How is it November already?”
It can be that time of year when we all start talking about how cold the weather has become and when we start to worry about snow starting to appear. With this unavoidable season change, it’s a perfect time to talk about November as Falls Prevention Month.
Over the course of the month, local Family Health Teams and additional organizations will be posting weekly topics about how you can prevent falls. There are so many things that we could focus on and maybe, you already have some plans in place or tips/tricks that have helped you out in the past. It’s important that you share these ideas with friends and family members, especially those who may be more susceptible to falls.
Here’s a little preview of what you might see in our weekly posts.
Of course, this wouldn’t be a post from a Registered Kinesiologist if it didn’t start with recommending exercise as one of the most important things that you could do to prevent a fall. You may have seen the fall prevention committee’s Exercises at the Kitchen Sink or the Rise up to Falls exercise booklets in recent years. These are exercises that often require only your body weight which could help increase your muscular strength and endurance, as well as improve your balance.
Maybe you are participating in a group class or seeing a Registered Kinesiologist already to help with such things. Regular exercise can also go a long way to improve your overall health and it’s never too late to start. You might also want to think about visiting your optometrist to make sure that your eye health is being monitored, potentially addressing any changes in your prescription. This could prevent you from having a fall inside your home or outside in your community.
Thinking about winter specific shoes can also assist in not only keeping your feet happy, dry and warm but to also provide you with support and stability. You might even look to changing your dietary intake slightly to help improve your bone strength or maybe ask a friend to join you at a local walking track or mall.
Also start thinking about how you will keep the areas outside your home safe and dry. Maybe there is someone in your neighborhood that could take care of your stairs or driveway. Maybe you might want to keep a bag of salt or sand in your car as a backup just in case you encounter any unexpected weather or slippery surfaces. In the end, falls can often be preventable and there is a lot that is within your control.
Hopefully you find the upcoming posts helpful.
For more information about any of the free services offered by the Minto-Mapleton Family Health Team, visit mmfht.ca or call the Drayton/Palmerston office at 519-638-2110, Clifford office at 519-327-4777 or like the team on Facebook.
Nick Serafini is a registered kinesiologist with the Upper Grand Family Health Team.