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The August Edition | August 9, 2018
Katherine Peters
President & CEO

Message from the President

Greetings friend, and welcome to the August Comfort Connection!
You think you’ve got everything under control. It’s Friday before the August long weekend. Mom is scheduled to be admitted to a personal care home on Tuesday. Everything will be great. You know Dad has health problems, but he has been hanging in there. It has been a tough decision to place Mom in a home, but the personal care home placement will really take the pressure off Dad.
But today, Friday, Dad takes a turn for the worst; he’s having trouble breathing. You have no choice but to bring him to the hospital. Dad is admitted to the hospital. It's been a long day... but the day is not over yet! What are we going to do with Mom until Tuesday? She can’t be left alone, and she gets up at least 4 or 5 times a night. The time is 5:30 pm before the long weekend. You start calling home-care companies to try to find someone who can stay with Mom... NO ONE IS PICKING UP THEIR PHONE!!!
Then you call Comforts of Home – Care and you hear a cheery voice on the other end of the phone. "Yes, we can help you. You need someone tonight? Sure! Not a problem!" You spend another 20 minutes on the phone giving as many details as you can. RELIEF! They tell you they have found someone who can do all three 12-hour night shifts this weekend. You have family members who can stay with her during the day.
This really happened. This is not the first call we have gotten late on a Friday at Comforts of Home – Care for urgent services on the weekend. In the early years, I remember getting those calls on the weekend and setting up a client within the hour. Now the staff I have is just as dedicated as I am. Kimberley and Shannon stayed at least an hour past their shift end time to make sure this client was able to get the help they needed this August long weekend. And the staff person on-call will make sure everything continues to go smoothly for the rest of the weekend.
I’m proud of my staff and the company we are. We are here to help no matter what time or day it is! 


Katherine Peters
President & CEO

Comforts of Home – Care 

How to Safely Assist a Loved One After a Fall

Senior falls can be very frightening for both the senior and the caregiver. And once in this situation, caregivers are often unprepared for how to get an aging loved one safely back on their feet. How to proceed will depends upon whether the senior was injured in the fall. If there is any question, it is always wisest to call 911 for help. If you do not feel able to assist your loved one, first responders are experienced in getting patients on their feet safely, and can confirm that they don’t need to go to the hospital. If you do wish to assist your loved one yourself, it is best to educate yourself on the steps necessary to safely get your loved one up after a fall, and avoid injuring yourself in the process.
Following are steps that can help you get a loved one upright, without hurting them or yourself in the process. Only attempt to help the person if you feel that both of you are able to safely work together. Otherwise, call for assistance. Again, these strategies should only be used when you are confident your loved one hasn’t sustained an injury. Excess movement can cause further harm.

Steps for Assisting a Senior After a Fall 
  • Have your loved one lie still for a few moments. Stay calm yourself, and help your loved one to remain calm by encouraging them to take slow, deep breaths. 
  • While lying in place, have them perform a self-assessment to determine if they are injured. Ask them if they are experiencing any pain, where it is located and how severe it is. Examine them yourself for injuries like bruises, bleeding, possible sprains and broken bones. 
  • If they have a serious injury (like a broken bone), then don’t move them. Call 911 and keep your loved one as warm, comfortable and as still as possible until help arrives. 
  • If they aren’t hurt and they want to get up, proceed slowly. Stop and call for help if at any point they experience pain or become too fatigued to get all the way up. 
  • Note: Your responsibility in this process is to guide them through these steps and keep them steady, not lift their weight. Your loved one needs to be capable of doing the physical work required to get up. If they cannot do this, then call 911. 
  • Find two sturdy chairs. Place one near the senior’s head and the other down by their feet. First, help your loved one roll over onto their side. Have them rest on their side for a few moments to allow their body and blood pressure to adjust. 
  • Next, assist them in getting from their side onto their hands and knees. You may wish to place a towel beneath their knees to make this step more comfortable. 
  • Move the chair closest to their head directly in front of where they are so that they can place their hands evenly on the seat and assume a kneeling position. 
  • Ask your loved one to lean forward on the seat and help them bring their strongest leg forward, leading with the knee to place their foot flat on the floor. The senior should look like they are in a kneeling lunge at the end of this step. 
  • Move the second chair directly behind the senior, and have them use both their arms and legs to push themselves up and sit back into the second chair. You can help keep your loved one steady, but keep your back upright and make sure they are doing the physical work to lift themselves. 
  • Let the senior rest in a seated position until you are confident they can stand and move around without falling again. 
  • It is important to notify their doctor that they have had a fall, and to monitor them for emerging pain or any signs of injury.
Fall Prevention Strategies
Family members can work together to devise solutions to minimize the risk of falls in your loved one’s home. Small modifications like eliminating trip hazards, installing grab bars and improving lighting can greatly reduce risk.
If your loved one needs extra help around the home, we can help! Call 204.949.3234 for more information about this topic.

By Caren Parnes
For The Senior’s Choice 

Click here to get a checklist for how to prevent falls

Recipe of the Month: Pineapple Chicken Stir-Fry

This recipe features a tropical twist on a classic dish! Packed with colourful veggies, enjoy this good-for-you stir-fry over a bed of brown or wild rice. Add your favorite vegetables for even greater nutrition benefits.  

Click here for the recipe

Video: Step-by-Step Guide to Helping Someone Up After a Fall

Do you know how to help someone up after a fall?
After reading the above article in this newsletter, check out this video to get a visual step-by-step instruction for a slightly modified procedure for getting the senior off the floor when a bed or sofa is close by: 

Click here to watch the video now

Some of the Ways Wearables are Helping Seniors

Most of us think of wearables in terms of smartwatches and fitness trackers, gadgets that can help us be fitter and more efficient. But for some people, they're far more important than that—these wearables are the difference between dependency and freedom. Wearables for seniors are fast becoming an essential way to keep them safe and healthy. There is some impressive technologically available—or on the horizon—to improve the lives of those later in life, and they are easy enough for even the most averse of technophobes to use safely and happily.

1. Keeping them safe

One of the best-known uses for wearables for seniors safely connects them to relatives or emergency services in the event of an accident, even if they're unable to call for help themselves. UnaliWear’s KanegaWatch can detect falls and long periods of non-movement and raise the alarm. Working through voice control, the watch notices if the wearer has been immobile for a while and asks if they're OK.
If there's no response, the device can contact designated people or the emergency services. It also records some location information so it can guide the wearer home if they get lost. The wearable even offers medication reminders at appropriate times, reading out dosage instructions if the user asks for them. Similarly, the CarePredict wearable monitors sleep, personal care and daily patterns, alerting caregivers if something seems out of the ordinary: If the wearer used the bathroom more than usual last night, for instance, or got up later than they normally do. Lively's Safety Watch system goes a step further, using a home hub connected to a series of sensors around the home to check that medication's been taken, meals haven't been missed and the user is moving around as normal.

2. Keeping them nearby

To monitor seniors with conditions like dementia, a critical need can now be met through technology. The upcoming Proximity Button, invented by the daughter of a dementia caregiver, is designed to be an effective and affordable way to keep loved ones safe without intrusive tracking. Connecting to the caregiver’s phone with Bluetooth, the button simply sends an alert when the patient goes out of bounds. The Proximity Button will begin crowdfunding this summer through Indiegogo.

3. Saving them from falls

One of the biggest concerns for older people is the risk of falls. One of the more radical ways tech firms are addressing this is by developing wearable airbags that automatically deploy when a fall is detected. Products by companies like ActiveProtective and the Wolk Company are worn as belts, making them less intrusive and noticeable. Packed inside the ActiveProtective belt is a folded airbag, a fall-detection system and a gas inflation mechanism to quickly open the airbag when the wearer is falling.

Click here to continue reading the article

Joke of the Month

Yesterday my daughter e-mailed me again, asking why I didn't do something useful with my time.

“Like, me sitting around the pool and drinking wine is not a good thing?” I asked. "Or reading all the books I ever wanted to read?"

My "doing-something-useful" seems to be her favorite topic of conversation.

She was "only thinking of me," she said, and suggested that I go down to the Senior Center and join something. I did this and when I got home last night, I decided to play a prank on her: I e-mailed her and told her that I had joined a Parachute Club.

She replied, "Mother, are you nuts? You are 78 years old and now you're going to start jumping out of airplanes?”

I told her that I even got a Membership Card and e-mailed a copy to her. She immediately telephoned me and yelled, "Good grief, Mom, where are your glasses? This is a Membership to a Prostitute Club, not a Parachute Club.”

I calmly replied, "Oh my, I think I'm in real trouble then, because I signed up for five jumps a week!!”

The line went quiet and her friend picked up the phone and said that my daughter had fainted.

...sometimes life as a senior citizen can be a lot of fun!
Comforts of Home - Care
P: 204.949.3234 | F: 204.949.9049 | E: info@cohcinc.com | W: ComfortsOfHomeCare.ca
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