Archive for the ‘Safety’ Category

Ten Tips for Winter Wellness

Cold WeatherMediLodge of Howell is happy to share these ten tips for winter wellness.

1. Go for a walk even when the weather is really cold – your body has to work overtime to get warm and you may burn up to 50% more calories than you would on the same walk in summer! But remember, go a little slower until you get warm and keep up the hydration.

2. If you find it hard to get motivated to exercise in winter… just think of spring and how much harder it is to get back into shape rather than maintain your fitness throughout the winter.

3. Be aware of tendonitis and stress fracture if you don’t exercise in winter and expect to pick up where you left off after a whole winter with no exercise.

4. Instead of picking up a cup of hot chocolate to keep yourself warm, try a herbal beverage.

5. Gain an interest in indoor sports as opposed to cycling and jogging outdoors. Don’t forget that swimming at an indoor pool is an option for a great cardio workout!

6. The cold air and indoor heaters can dry out your skin. Make sure you drink at least 8 glasses of water each day and use moisturizers throughout winter.

7. Buy some indoor plants to soften up the dry atmosphere caused through heating. Indoor plants give off moisture and oxygen and the col­ors will brighten up a dull day outside.

8. Caught a cold or flu? If the infec­tion is above the neck (nose, throat) you could be OK to complete a low intensity workout. However, if you have symptoms that are worse than an average cold (chest congestion, muscle aches), exercise will only make you worse and delay your recovery. Rest is the best medicine.

9. Wear the right clothes when exercising in winter. Polypropylene is the perfect fabric to wear underneath a tracksuit, which will provide great insulation but minimize moisture loss. Gore-Tex is a fabric used widely for providing protection from the rain and wind.

10. Feel like sitting on the couch with a video and snacking on a cold, wet day? Reach for a protein bar or packet of soy nuts instead of high energy, high fat snacks.

MediLodge of Howell

MediLodge of Howell

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MediLodge of Howell

MediLodge of Howell

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Prepare For Wintertime Dangers

By Chaley Crawford, MediLodge of Hillman Marketing Director

Happy 2014 Everyone!

I hope everyone enjoyed the holidays and were able to spend time with family and friends. It sure has been a COLD winter so far! Wintertime can be a dangerous time of year, especially for the elderly, with the extreme cold and all of that slippery ice out there. Because of this I figured I would share some tips to help, whether it be for your parents, grandparents or even the sweet little lady next door. We all need to do our part to help them stay safe this time of year.

Avoid Slipping on Ice

shovelIcy, snowy roads and sidewalks make it easy to slip and fall. Often these falls cause major injuries such as hip and wrist fractures, head trauma and major lacerations. While younger people often recover rather quickly from such injuries, older adults face complication, which are the leading cause of death from injury in men and women over the age of 65. Make sure to shovel all walkways and keep them salted and clear of ice.

Dress for Warmth

Hillman Cold WeatherCold temperatures can lead to frostbite and hypothermia. According to the CDC, more than half of hypothermia-related deaths were of people over the age of 65. So don’t let indoor temperatures go too low and dress in layers. When going outside make sure they wear warm socks, a heavy coat, a warm hat, gloves and a scarf. In very cold temperatures, cover all exposed skin. Use a scarf to cover the mouth and protect the lungs.

Fight Wintertime Depression

phoneBecause it can be difficult and dangerous to get around, many seniors have less contact with others during cold months. This can cause feeling of loneliness and isolation. To help avoid this, family members can check in on seniors as often as possible; even a short phone call can go a long ways. If you can’t personally check on them, maybe a neighbor of theirs would do it for you.

Check the Car

winterDriving during the winter can be hazardous for anyone, but it is especially dangerous for older people who may not drive as often anymore or whose reflexes may not be as quick as they once were. Make sure they get their car serviced before wintertime hits, checking things like oil, tires, battery, and wipers.

Prepare for Power Outages

downed linesWinter storms can lead to power outages. Make sure they have easy access to flashlights and a battery-powered radio in case the power goes out. Stockpile warm blankets and keep a supply of non-perishable foods than can be eaten cold.

Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poising

Using a fireplace, gas heater or lanterns can lead to carbon monoxidefireplace poisoning. Ensure safety by making sure there is a carbon monoxide detector in the house and that the batteries are still good. Have your heating system, water heater and any other gas, oil, or coal burning appliances serviced by a qualified technician every year and seek prompt medical attention if you suspect CO poisoning and are feeling dizzy, light-headed, or nauseous.

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MediLodge of Hillman

A summer pig-roast is one of many lovely activities involving lodgers, staff and the community.

Energy Conservation Tips To Beat Fatigue

fatigueFrom the Therapy Department

We all get worn out sometimes. But fatigue, secondary to disability or aging, can really interfere with the ability to function independently. If you find that fatigue is keeping you from doing things you want to do in your life, some of these energy conservation techniques from MediLodge of Southfield may help you. Energy conservation means looking at your daily routines to find ways to reduce the amount of effort needed to perform certain tasks, eliminating other tasks, and building more rest throughout the day. Keep in mind that not every technique will work for you. These are suggestions you can use and adapt to find the right fit for you. Remember: Energy is like money—you’ve only got so much, so think about what you’re spending it on!

Rearrange Your Environment

  • Keep frequently used items in easily accessible places.
  • Replace existing heavy items with lighter ones; for example, use plastic plates and cups rather than china and glass.
  • Install long handles on faucets and doorknobs.
  • Adjust work spaces, such as raising a tabletop, to eliminate awkward positions; bad posture drains energy.
  • Install pull-out of swing-out shelving in cabinets.
  • Wear an apron with pockets to carry around cooking utensils or cleaning tools.
  • Consider moving your bed to the first floor to eliminate stair climbing.

Eliminate Unnecessary Effort

  • Sit rather than stand whenever possible: while preparing meals, washing dishes, ironing, etc.
  • Use adaptive equipment to make tasks easier; try a jar opener, a reacher, a shower chair to allow you sit while bathing, or a hands-free headset for your phone.
  • Soak your dishes before washing, then let them air dry; or use paper plates and napkins.
  • Use prepared foods when possible.
  • Get a rolling cart to transport things around the house, rather than carry them.
  • See if your grocery store will deliver your groceries.
  • Use store-provided wheelchairs or scooters when you shop.

Plan Ahead

  • Gather all the supplies you need for a task or project before starting, so everything is in one place.
  • Call ahead to stores to make sure the items you need are available.
  • Cook in larger quantities and refrigerate or freeze extra portions for later.
  • Work rest breaks into activities as often as possible. Take a break before you get tired.
  • Schedule enough time for activities—rushing takes more energy.
  • Try keeping a daily activity journal for a few weeks to identify times of day or certain tasks that result in more fatigue.

Prioritize

  • Eliminate or reduce tasks that aren’t that important to you.
  • Delegate tasks to friends or family members who offer help.
  • Consider hiring professionals, such as a cleaning or lawn care service, to cut down your workload.

From Advance for Occupational Therapy Practitioners

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For more information on The MediLodge Group, visit our website, find us on Facebook or tune in to our YouTube Channel.

MediLodge of Southfield

MediLodge of Southfield

Thanksgiving Turkey Safety and Bonus Recipe!

by Dustin Marshall, Executive Chef, MediLodge of Montrose

Turkey Safety

MediLodge of MontroseYou can enjoy a traditional stuffed turkey this Thanksgiving as long as you follow these easy steps. Have a large enough workspace to prepare your bird. If you don’t have a cutting board big enough, use an unscented trash bag to put under your bird. Stuffing a bird is safe as long as you cook the stuffing to an internal temperature of 165 degrees F or greater. Remember that if you stuff your bird do not rely on the pop-up thermometer. That will only show that the breast meat has reached the correct temperature, not the entire bird. Finally, many people wash the turkey before baking. Washing the turkey is unsafe because it could potentially splash salmonella onto other surfaces. Baking the turkey to the correct temperature will kill any germs so please do not risk contamination by rinsing it. To always have a foolproof juicy turkey all you have to do is brine your bird a day ahead and you can cook it in a roasting bag for perfect results!

Here is a wonderful fall treat that is easy to make at home! If you prefer, you can substitute tea for the coffee.

Pumpkin Spice Coffee

MediLodge of Montrose

Pumpkin Spice Coffee

Ingredients: (12 oz)

• 2 ounces Milk

• 1 tsp Pumpkin Spice

• 1 tsp Brown Sugar

• 2 ounces Carmel

• 7 ounces Coffee

• Whipped Topping

• Caramel for topping

Directions

Place the milk in the cup, then the coffee. Add the pumpkin spice, caramel and sugar with a spoon and mix. Top with whipped topping, then with caramel drizzle.

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For more information on The MediLodge Group, visit our website, find us on Facebook or tune in to our YouTube Channel.

MediLodge of Montrose

MediLodge of Montrose

MediLodge of Montrose

 

 

Leaf Raking Tips to Make Fall a Little More Comfortable

MediLodge of Rochester HillsFrom the MediLodge of Rochester Hills Therapy Department

There’s a lot to love about fall: crisp air, apple cider, football games, and even those leaves piling up on your front lawn. That’s because raking leaves gives you a perfect opportunity to get outside, get some fresh air, and get in a workout—all at the same time, not to mention that your yard will look great when you’re done.

Raking leaves is considered a moderate physical activity, similar to a brisk walk. It helps build upper body-strength, as well as core strength, or strength in your back and stomach. As you’re raking, your core (or trunk) is working to stabilize your body while your arms are moving. Your lower back muscles are engaging to stabilize your lower body while your torso twists with the movements.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that over 76,000 people were treated in hospital emergency rooms, doctor’s offices, clinics and other medical settings for injuries related to non-powered garden tools, including rakes, in one year alone. Raking requires a number of different activities, including twisting, bending, lifting, and reaching, that utilize several different muscle groups. Improper use of lawn tools along with the potential for tool-related accidents further compounds the risk of injury to the bones and muscles.

To make it easier on your body, use some leaf-raking tips:

1. Wear layers. Be prepared when you head outdoors. It may be cool when you first head outdoors, but you may work up a sweat after you have been raking for a while. Keep the layers light though, so that you have room to move.

2. Warm up. As with any physical activity, you should warm up your muscles before you start working them. Try walking around the yard, doing some circular arm movements, bending forward and backward, and to each side; you can follow that with some gentle stretches.

3. Watch your footing. Wear shoes with good traction and support to keep you from slipping and falling. Good foot support will also keep your back from tiring as easily.

4. Be aware of your surroundings. Be careful of holes in the ground or objects you can trip and fall on, such as rocks, branches, roots, buried garden tools, or misplaced hoses or lawn ornaments.

5. Heed nature. Look out for insects (especially the stinging kind) and snakes or other critters that might have made the leaves their home. Wear gardening gloves to protect your hands. If there is mold on leaves, trees, or elsewhere in the yard, consider wearing a mask if you have allergies.

6. Stand and move correctly. Pay attention to your raking posture. Form a wide base with your feet and hold the rake slightly toward the end of the handle with one hand and three-quarters of the way down the handle with the other. Be careful not to twist your spine. Instead, move your whole body, not going farther than your feet will allow. Keep your back naturally aligned— try to stand as straight as you comfortably can.

7. Switch sides. Raking on only one side of the body and increase the risk of injury since raking uses the same muscles to do the same movement over and over. To avoid overuse injury, tray switching sides every few minutes.

8. Take it easy. Take our time, especially if you don’t normally do yard work or aren’t very physically active. Don’t try to rake the whole yard at once. Stop and take a break after 10 or 20 minutes and enjoy the fall weather.

9. Drink water. Have bottled water available to ensure you do not become dehydrated.

10. Cool down. When you’re done raking, do some more stretching to help relax tense muscles.

11. Careful bagging. Bagging leaves can involve awkward bending and stooping. If you have to stoop over, try to face forward rather than stooping and twisting to one side, which strains the back.

MediLodge of Rochester Hills

LEAF BAGGING DON’TS!

• Don’t lift bags with your back. Bend your knees and lift with your leg muscles.

• Don’t overfill bags so they become too heavy to lift. Try dragging the bags or using a wheelbarrow if you have to move them long distances.

• If you’re using a tarp and dragging leaves to a curb, don’t overload it. And don’t twist your body when you’re pulling the tarp. If possible, have someone grab the opposite end to help you move the leaves.

• Don’t be a weekend athlete and try to bag all the leaves at once. Pace yourself and tackle leaves in several sections. Better yet, save the bagging for another day since you put your back at greater risk of injury by lifting right after raking.

• Too many leaves to bag? As an alternative to bagging, consider composting your leaves or using them as mulch to cover your garden for the winter.

Raking leaves is not only good exercise for you, it’s good for your lawn; grass that’s covered with leaves can’t soak up sun, which it needs to grow. Raking also will make the outside of your house safer and prettier. So add raking to your physical activity list and welcome those falling leaves!

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MediLodge of Rochester Hills

MediLodge of Rochester Hills

MediLodge Shares Tips To Avoid Dehydration This Summer

dehydrationThe days are getting longer and hotter, which can only mean that summer is here! With so many opportunities for activities and time with family on the horizon, we would like to pass on a few tips to make sure you get the most out of your summertime fun. Let’s look at the quick facts about dehydration and how to keep safe this summer.

Dehydration can occur when a person is not drinking enough fluids or is losing too much, or a combination of these two. Young children and the elderly population are at high risk for dehydration, and it can be a life-threatening condition if the fluid loss is severe enough. There are many ways we lose fluids – exercise (through excessive sweating), running a fever, uncontrolled diabetes, using a diuretic, vomiting and diarrhea. Additionally, a person may not drink enough due to nausea or an illness, or from difficulty with eating or drinking.

Symptoms of dehydration include dry or sticky mouth, feeling tired, reduced urine output, not being able to produce tears, sunken eyes, diarrhea and vomiting. When dehydration is found and treated quickly, the outcome is usually good. Drinking fluids is generally sufficient to address mild dehydration. However, it is better to drink small amounts of fluid often as forcing large amounts of fluid at one time can result in increased vomiting. Electrolyte solutions or freezer pops can be purchased at drugstores/ pharmacies and are a good solution to combat dehydration. However, sports drinks contain high levels of sugar which may cause or worsen diarrhea. If the dehydration is severe enough, intravenous fluids and a hospital stay may be needed. A medical professional should be consulted if you suspect dehydration or have any questions – we are here to help!

heart dripPrevention can be as simple as drinking plenty of fluids every day, especially when the weather is hot or you are exercising. Be sure to monitor someone closely who is ill, and call your health care provider if you believe the person is becoming dehydrated. Remember that fluid needs are greater with a fever, vomiting, or diarrhea, so encourage a person who is sick to drink fluids. Signs to monitor are increased urine output, saliva in the mouth, and tears when crying. Knowing the signs/symptoms of dehydration is excellent medicine in the prevention of this condition. If you or a loved one has questions or concerns, please contact your doctor or a medical professional.

by Joshua Beausoleil

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Find us on Facebook or watch our YouTube Channel.

MediLodge activities

Stay hydrated when you are active this summer.

 

Summer Safety Tips From The MediLodge Therapy Department

MediLodge of HowellSummer is a time for enjoying the great outdoors. Unfortunately, the summer sunshine, UV rays and heat can bring a few dangers, especially for seniors, including sunburn, eye damage, dehydration and more. As we make our way through the summer months, there are Eight Summer Safety Tips we can follow to improve safety during the heat of summer.

1. Drink Plenty Of Fluids

Aim to drink 6 to 8 glasses of water per day. By the time you are thirsty, your body is already dehydrated. For seniors, the feeling of thirst decreases as we age, so be sure to increase your water intake if you are exercising or doing any type of prolonged physical activity. Of those fluids you are taking in, be sure they are non-alcoholic and decaffeinated. Carbonated sodas may taste good, but they will only further your dehydration.

2. Pick The Right Outfit With Accessories

When possible, wear loose, lightweight and light-colored long sleeves to help protect your skin from sun, while also allowing your skin to breathe. Use wide brimmed hats to keep the sun off of your face and neck, as well as full coverage (wrap around) sunglasses for the best eye protection. Glasses that block UVA and UVB rays can help reduce the cumulative effect of damage linked to cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.

3. Turn On Your Air Conditioning

Air conditioning is important when it is hot and humid outside. During a heat wave, if you don’t have central air or a room air conditioner, spend part or most of each day at locations with air conditioning, including a friend’s house, shopping mall, senior center or movie theater.

4. Be An Early Bird Or Night Owl

The sun is strongest between 10 am and 4 pm. If you must be outside during a summer heat wave, limit your outdoor activity to the morning and evening, when the temperature is lower and the sun is less intense.

5. Watch For Heat Stroke

It is extremely important to watch for signs of heat stroke, especially for seniors. Some signs to look for include confusion, disorientation, dry skin, excessive tiredness, headache, lethargy, nausea, and a rapid pulse. If you or someone you know experiences these symptoms, seek medical attention immediately.

6. Check On Friends And Family

Use the rising temperatures as an opportunity to catch up with your neighbors and relatives, especially the elderly and those who do not have air conditioning. Plan outings together in places that have air conditioning.

7. Review Your Medications

Many seniors use medications daily. Some medications can cause side effects, like increased sensitivity to ultraviolet rays. Review all medications and check with a doctor or pharmacist for any questions.

8. Wear Sunscreen

Sunscreen is a major component to preventing sunburns. Look for a sunscreen that blocks both UVA and UVB rays, and also has a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or more. Be sure to apply it about 15-30 minutes before exposure. If you’re enjoying water activities, be sure to reapply your sunscreen frequently. It only takes about 15 minutes for the sun to damage unprotected skin. You may not notice it immediately, but the damage is there.

With these Eight Summer Safety Tips, everyone can enjoy the warm weather.  For more information on MediLodge, visit our website, find us on facebook or watch our YouTube Channel.

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