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Safety for Seniors

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Admit it

Admit it, you are no longer a teenager.

Your body knows. Not that you buy a cane and a rocking chair and prepare for death, no. Just realise your body is more fragile than it was. You adjust to it by implementing a few common sense actions which make your life easier and safer.

The first is:

1 Be Conscious

Don't get up thinking about the girl who sat next to you in 5th grade, get up thinking about where you are going.

When you are preparing to leave your house, or even the room, insure everything is in place.

Double check you've shut off appliances, put caps back on containers, have your money, your phone, your keys, etc.

Make it the centre of your mind, don't think about where you are going or what you are going to do There. You are not There. You are Here.

When you are walking, concentrate on the ground. Don't think about anything else but where you are, where you are walking, and who is around you.

If your phone rings, stop, find a place which has some privacy , some safety and then answer it. Stand still, back against the wall. Don't let the conversation disrupt your thoughts of where you are and where you are going.

Many Seniors who are not journeying far or long, leave the phone home. In this way, they can concentrate on the terrain.

Many people fall into holes, slip, misstep because they aren't paying attention to the terrain.

You pay attention.

2. Get Tools

These are various implements necessary for your life.

You can't tear this. Don't waste your time. Have a scissors right there on the counter when you go to open 'tear here' items. 'Tear here' means cut here.

There are plastic caps which you can't turn. No sense in bothering. Have a small sharp knife to cut the connections. In many cases, one or two slices make it easy to twist.

In some cases, you puncture the cap, wiggle the knife around, make a nice hole, and pour the contents into another container.

When you try to open those pull tabs on metal containers they don't work. Either they break in your hand or have little use. That's okay.

Give it a yank, to get a space. Then push in a metal instrument, could be the back of a strong fork and use it to life the top. The 'pull ring' is only useful to get a space for that fork.

Carry your magnifying glass to the supermarket. Read the labels. What is in this? You need to know. You need to know the expiry date. You need to know where it came from.

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Many products are 'tricks' For example, take this 'Cranberry Juice'. It more than half Grape Juice. It is selling at twice the price of Grape Juice. So why buy it?

If you didn't look at the contents....?

3. Sit Down

This is a life saver.

When you are putting on any clothing which has to go over your feet, whether stockings, pants, socks, whatever, sit down.

Sit down and in that position put your feet into the the bottom of the garment. Pull the garment up to mid thigh. Then stand and complete.

Make sure, if it is a pair of pants, your feet are feeling the floor. If you have to roll up the pants, to do it, fine, make sure the bottom of those pants is not between your feet and the floor.

The same with socks and shoes. Sit Down.

When you are taking them off, the same procedure.

With pants, you open the waist, slip them down then sit down and take them off. With shoes and socks, you sit down.

If there is no where to sit, you lean. Lean against a wall focus more on the wall than the garment

With everything you are to do, chose sitting over standing. You sit to avoid imbalance.

You sit when you are massaging lotion into your skin.

Your new creed; Never Stand when you can Sit Down.

Don't whine about over sitting; you can get exercise by walking, swimming going to a gym, even lying on a mat on the floor and doing the regiment.

4. Deal with Your Changing Body

Pay attention to changing bowel habits, feelings of hunger, (or the lack of them) the changing of muscle texture.

When was the last time you went to the bathroom and it was easy? When was your last bowel movement?

If you have problems you go to a doctor. You have to go out on a regular basis. If you don't you can wind up in a hospital. It is that serious.

When did you last eat?

Many times you aren’t hungry and there you are, in the middle of something at 11 am and just realise the last time you ate was 4 pm yesterday.

Don't deal with 'hunger' deal with the fact your body needs food.

Eat small meals at set times.

You wake up, you eat breakfast. It might be a cup of porridge, but you are eating. A few hours later have a brunch, another small meal. Then a small lunch and small dinner.

Eating small meals during waking hours is necessary for life. Eat healthy foods.

5. Focus

When you are over sixty you have so many thoughts and memories, that song isn’t just a song. That song is a door way into a world that you once inhabited. A world that is no longer here. What is here is what you are doing now.

And always be Here Now.

Many Seniors get hurt because although their body is here, their mind is not. Focus on NOW.

Recognise that much of your thoughts are ‘then’. Force yourself to concentrate on “Now’. As soon as your mind strays, unless you are lying in bed, or sitting on a sofa, stop and get to NOW.

By living in the Now you will not miss what is happening around you. You won’t make those silly mistakes because you aren’t concentrating. It is not senility, in many cases, it is memory.

For example, the girl outside my door is singing a Bob Marley tune. I remember Bob. I met him…

Now I am sitting at the computer, so I can stop, and reflect. If I was cutting up vegetables, well… blood does not go with vegetables.

Force yourself to be aware of NOW. Of exactly where you are NOW.

The moment you get out of bed or off that chair, lock every thought and focus on where you are going. No more than that. Postpone reflections, considerations, decisions until you are seated or lying down.

This insures your safety

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