Spring Greetings from your Parish Nurse!
I hope you all are enjoying our beautiful weather even as we transition into the warmer summer days.
May I remind us all to drink six to eight, eight ounce glasses of water per day to preclude any episodes of dehydration and consequential effects. Also, a reminder that juice, tea, coffee, soda and other liquids are not suitable substitutes for water. However, feel free to supplement your water intake with these drink choices, after you have consumed your six to eight glasses of water in a given day. In the event you have fluid restrictions please follow your health care provider’s instructions and recommendations.
A reminder that your Parish Nurse is available the 1st and 2nd Sunday of each month after the first service in Room B for Blood Pressure Screenings and Question and Answer sessions to your health care concerns. In the event there is a line and you cannot wait, I invite you to call me and make a one-to-one in office appointment. You can reach me at 623-584-4602, extension 208. My office hours vary week to week, but are generally 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Thursday.
As promised, safety awareness with tips to keep you, your home, and surrounding environment safe and accident free continue this month. I invite you all to attend a very special Safety Awareness Class that will be held here at Desert Palms presented by the Sun City West Fire District. The class will be held Wednesday, June 12 in Fellowship Hall from 10:45 - 11:45 a.m. This will be an informative presentation on:
· General Home Safety Measures
· Latest Technology in keeping you and your home safe
· Fall Risk Awareness Assessment
· Focus on Preventing Falls
· Practical tips to assure we are all as safe as possible from falls, accidents and injuries, both in home and outdoors.
The class will be followed by a Question and Answer session for your concerns. Registration is required, therefore, please call the church office to register for this class at 623-584-4602. We will also be providing light snacks for all attendees. As your Parish Nurse, I guarantee, this class is well worth your time to attend.
Did you know that one out of three adults age 65 or older fall each year, but less than half talk to their health care provider about their fall? Twenty to thirty percent of people who fall suffer moderate to severe injuries such as severe bruising (hematomas), lacerations, hip fractures, bone fractures, internal injuries and head traumas.
Falls are the most common cause of traumatic head/brain injuries such as:
· brain aneurysm
· subdural hematomas, (which are discernable only on CT scan or x-ray).
According to the CDC, every year, at least 1.7 million traumatic brain injuries occur either as an isolated injury or along with other injuries. A traumatic brain injury is caused by a bump, blow or jolt to the head, or a penetrating head injury that disrupts the normal function of the brain. The severity of a traumatic brain injury may range from mild (a brief change in mental status or consciousness) to severe (an extended period of unconsciousness or amnesia after the injury). The majority of traumatic brain injuries that occur each year are concussions.
What can we do to prevent falls that lead to traumatic brain injuries?
1. Summon Emergency Medical assistance by calling 9-1-1 immediately after a fall in which a person’s head is hit on any hard object: floor, table, wall, concrete, etc. The fallen person can then be quickly and adequately assessed by a trained professional and transported to the Emergency Department for full examination, evaluation, testing and treatment.
2. Have your vision checked. Older adults should have their eyes checked every year and wear glasses or contact lenses with the correct prescription strength.
3. Begin a regular exercise program to build muscles and increase reflex response time. Lack of exercise can lead to weak and atrophied muscles and this increases the chances of falling. Exercise programs like the one held at DPPC Monday and Wednesday morning 9:30-10:30 aim to increase strength, improve flexibility and balance and make falls much less likely to occur.
4. Have your health care provider or Pharmacist review all of your prescription and over the counter medications you are taking. Some medicines or combinations of medications can have side effects like dizziness, drowsiness, confusion, vision changes, disorientation, forgetfulness, or cloudiness of mind and thought. This can make falling more likely. Having a health care provider or Pharmacist review all your medications can help reduce the chance of risky side effects and drug-to-drug interactions.
5. Make your home and surrounding areas safer by eliminating hazards. Approximately half of all falls happen at home. A home safety check can help identify potential fall hazards that need to be removed or changed, like tripping hazards, clutter and poor lighting.
6. Request your health care provider give you a prescription for out-patient Physical Therapy sessions to improve strength, flexibility, balance and muscle mass.
7. Wear proper fitting and adequate safety equipment during sports activities.
For more tips I invite you to attend the upcoming Safety Awareness Class noted above and stay tuned to the next couple of Parish Nurse Articles.
Until next article, stay safe (it is a choice).
Your Parish Nurse,
Lorraine A. Benjamin RN; FCN