General risk factors for falling, in winter or in other seasons, include:
· Previous fall
· Poor vision
· Chronic conditions
· Use of multiple medications
· Fear of falling
What can be done to decrease the number of winter falls, or at least diminish morbidity from a fall? Lombard offers the following tips to share with patients and community members to help prevent or lessen injury from wintertime falls:
Though it may seem harmless to go out to get the mail in your robe, doing so increases your chances of injury or exposure if you take a tumble on an icy driveway or walk. Wear gloves, warm clothing that covers you well, and footwear with treads and good traction — even consider purchasing ice grippers for your shoes.
Immediate action steps when a fall occurs
What are the best actions for patients to take if they fall or someone nearby takes a tumble on the ice and snow?
Lombard suggests that if a winter fall occurs, patients and community members should be encouraged to follow these steps:
This article can be found in the Prairie du Chien Office Newsletter
If you start feeling down during this time of year, you are not alone. Also known as the “winter blues,” Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD affects millions of people during the winter months in the northern hemisphere. This year may be especially difficult for people with SAD when added to the social isolation of COVID-19.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is not considered as a separate disorder but is a type of depression that has a recurring seasonal pattern.
Seasonal Affective Disorder includes all the symptoms of major depression, such as:
• Feeling depressed for prolonged periods
• Feeling hopeless or worthless
• Having low energy
• Losing interest in activities you once enjoyed
• Having problems with sleep
• Experiencing changes in your appetite or weight
• Feeling sluggish or agitated
• Having difficulty concentrating
• Having frequent thoughts of death or suicide.
Additionally, symptoms of SAD that reoccur in the wintertime include: • Having low energy • Hypersomnia • Overeating • Weight gain • Craving for carbohydrates • Social withdrawal (feel like “hibernating”)
So, if you’re feeling this way around this time every year and if it’s especially difficult this year, what can you do feel better? First, talk to your doctor.
According to NIMH, there are four major types of treatment for SAD that may be used alone or in combination with each other that your doctor may recommend: medication, light therapy, psychotherapy, and vitamin D. You and your doctor can discuss the risks and benefits of different medications; the purpose of light therapy, what type of light is needed, and how to use it effectively; the advantages of psychotherapy; and finally, the value of vitamin D supplementation. For more information, visit: https:// www.nimh.nih. gov/health/topics/seasonal-affectivedisorder/index.shtml
This article can be found on the Prairie du Chien Office Newsletter.
Click to read an article from the Courier Press: ADRC offers taxi service to seniors, disabled citizens
Current research indicates that lifestyle choices have significant impact on long term brain health. Though we cannot control all risk factors, like age and heredity, we can make a positive impact with our lifestyle choices. Eating healthy, getting regular exercise, keeping your brain engaged and staying socially connected may help reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s or other dementia. Implementing these tips can help make a difference in your brain health.
Incorporating a healthy diet into our lives is beneficial at any age.
Staying physically active is healthy for your heart and your brain. The brain needs oxygen and a healthy blood supply to work at its best. Thirty minutes of exercise five or more times a week is recommended. The exercise does not need to be strenuous. Find something that you enjoy and can fit into your own lifestyle. For example:
Challenging your brain is a great way to stay sharp. Find things that interest you and are fun. Some ideas: Do puzzles such as crosswords or number games
People who regularly engage in social activities may be less vulnerable to depression, and some research has shown that social interaction may also help keep the brain vital and healthy. Find ways to maintain friendships and stay connected to others by:
Staying active in your faith community Volunteering for a local charity, school, or other cause Joining a social club or a traveling group Taking a class
This article can be found in the January 2021 Richland Center Office Newsletter
This ArMost New Year’s resolutions are discarded pretty quickly. Studies have shown that less than 25% of people remain committed after 30 days. Yet there is value in setting goals to make things work more smoothly and to be sure you are living in a way that is true to yourself rather than always fulfilling the needs and expectations of others. Before setting New Year’s goals this year, I encourage caregivers (myself included) to begin by taking some time to think about this quote from author K. L. Toth, “One of the greatest tragedies in life is to lose your own sense of self and accept the version of you that is expected by everyone else.” Caregiving is a role often defined by the expectations of other people – the person you’re caring for; other family members and friends; and medical, legal, and human services professionals. Take a little time to focus on your needs and what you might like to bring into your life as you look ahead to a new year. Think about how you can practice self-kindness, open yourself to new solutions as the caregiving landscape changes for you, and reach out for help when you need it.
Committing to something enjoyable: This could be anything from scheduling a daily walk or setting aside time to read a good book to taking on a fun project like learning to knit, recreating a dish from your favorite cooking show, playing an instrument, or learning to paint. You could even take this a step further by finding an online book club or class for cooking, painting, yoga or other activity. Commit to one thing and schedule it. Carving out time that feels good and reflects your authentic self is critical to your health and well-being. Delegating and asking for help: Delegating and asking for help ensures that you can keep your commitment to doing something for yourself. Can someone call and visit with your care partner while you attend your class, group, or practice? Is there a family member, friend, or neighbor who wouldn’t mind regularly taking over a chore that would free up some time for you? If there isn’t anyone who comes to mind, brainstorm with professionals at local resources to see what’s available. Planning for your Care Partner’s future: There may come a day when you are no longer able to provide care due to your own limitations or because your care partner’s needs are too advanced to handle. Research available options knowing that doing so can save time and stress in the future and can bring peace of mind now. And, difficult as it may be, determine who would provide care if anything interfered with your ability to do so. Designate that person as the alternate to care for your loved one in your will. —Jane De Broux, Caregiver Program Coordinator Area Agency on Aging of Dane County
This article can be found it the Mauston office January 2021 Newsletter.