Rainbow Springs Villager - Page 4

4 Citrus Springs Villager December 2017
Holiday Safety
Gailen Spinka, Comfort Keepers
A lot of articles are written about being safe during the
Holidays. There is a reason, a lot of accidents happen over the
holidays. People are out of sorts; they are doing things they
don’t normally do and, in some cases, with more food and
alcohol in their system than usual.
Over the years of providing care for seniors, few required
care because of injuries caused by car or industrial type accidents. Falls on the other hand are a significant portion of any care agencies client base.
Women have their share of falls but most are from slips or trips that tend to break hips,
arms and shoulders. Men, the other hand, are so much more creative in their approach
the falls. There are some slips and trips but that’s nothing compared to some risky behavior that occurred just prior to the man picking himself up from the ground… saying
“I’m OK.” I’ve never heard a woman use that phrase after a fall but my grandson uses
it all the time. It’s like a man’s badge of courage; you did something with a little risk
(women often use “‘risk” and “stupid” interchangeably) and it didn’t work out quite as
planned; however, you survived. Plan A, that would have taken a little longer, generally
works out because it is simply doing the job without a shortcut.
Often women break hips because they land on their behind. Men, on the other hand,
tend to break skulls, shoulders, arms and legs. Why? Because when men fall, the fall
started from a less than desirable position and it is difficult to do a twist, flip, or knock
to land behind first.
The holidays include over eating, over imbibing and over working. Additionally, because of all that has to be done, we are out of our routines. This is the number one time
of the year to host guests we have holiday decorating in addition to cleaning the house
inside and out. Many outside tasks like cleaning flower beds, trimming hedges, power
washing the house and driveway are large exhausting tasks. If these tasks cannot spread
the task over time consider jobbing the out to a reputable company. Moving furniture to
put up the tree and other decorations are also demanding tasks. It may be a good idea to
get help from family and friends; then return the favor.
A ladder, like a chain saw, is very safe when used properly. Use either improperly
and all bets are off. A chair is not a one-step ladder; it has a 20 inch first and only step
which makes it very difficult to get on and off. Put wheels on the chair and you potentially have a ride most amusement parks would be proud of. Personally, I would be too
embarrassed to tell EMS or the personnel the hospital that I was standing on a chair with
wheels just prior to the condition they found me in.
Many times, accidents aren’t caused by apparent risky behavior but rather a side
effect from another issue. Doing more cleaning or yard work than normal can make you
stiff or sore slowing reaction time, drinking more alcohol than normal (not to excess)
can affect balance and coordination, eating larger and richer meals than normal tends
to make us tired and sleepy. Throw in some medications that state “Do Not Operate
Machinery when using this” or a cold or flu that affects the ears and you have the ingredients for a disaster.
Nothing is more important than making it through the Holidays. Spending the holidays in the hospital or in recovery is not a “Happy Holiday.” Do everything in moderation, If you get tired take a break, job to big, get help and if you move the ladder more
times than necessary , your just buying insurance toward a “Happy Holiday.”
Wishing Everyone a Safe and Happy Holiday.
Gailen Spinka has been working with our senior population since purchasing a
Comfort Keepers Franchise in 2004. Most opinions are garnered from interactions
with clients and their families. Should you like more discussion on the topic please call
Gailen at Comfort Keepers 352-726-4547.


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