Safety awareness keeps folks healthy

Wheatland Village will host a presentation on the topic on Wednesday.

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Staying safe is a great way to stay healthy, to avoid injuries in the first place. Wheatland Village retirement community, 1500 Catherine St., is hosting a presentation, "Safety Awareness," that will include staying healthy, preventing falls and a walker tune-up from 1-3 p.m. Wednesday.

The event is a collaboration between Wheatland Village, Adventist Home Health and Green & Jackson Medical.

The workshop is a great educational experience, focusing on being proactive. Preventing an accident is the way to take charge of your health, according to Wheatland's Marketing Director Tamara Gordon. "Remove the potential for accidents," she said.

Part of the presentation will be by Stan Schrader, physical therapist with Adventist Home Health and Dan Pyke, equipment specialist at Green & Jackson Medical. "We find meaningful partnerships to extend information to the community," Gordon said.

Wellness Director Shareen Hoar explained their positive approach. It isn't about falling, it's about safety awareness and what you can do to protect yourself and your loved ones. Making your home safer, getting rid of obstacles and other hazards is a first step. Important aspects include managing medications because some medications alone or in conjunction with others can make a person dizzy and more at risk of falling. "Talk with your physician or pharmacist," Hoar explained.

After the talk by Schrader, the walker clinic will provide participants with a safety check of their walkers. "Many of these people have had their walkers for a lot of time and have never even had a bolt tightened. It's about safety awareness, about protecting and improving your health and mobility, to improve their independence rather than take that away," Hoar explained.

Other important considerations are the home environment, overall fitness and foot health. In her wellness classes for Wheatland residents Hoar focuses on keeping people healthy, their strength and flexibility. General fitness and flexibility in the feet and ankles are important. "Your toes need to grip. Look at little babies, their toes really grip the floor. Many of these people can't even feel their toes, because of poor circulation or diabetes." According to Hoar, practicing gripping a towel with your toes is a good way to work on flexibility in that area. Strength in your feet and ankles is a good beginning for safeguarding yourself during everyday activities.

"You need strength to get up out of a chair," she said. "You need to get out of a chair correctly. When a person gets out of a chair incorrectly, they can end up falling." Building strength and flexibility are important for overall fitness. "Keep people moving. Keep them busy and active," she said. Hoar recommends you talk with your physician about your medications before getting started on an exercise program.

Because seating is limited for the event, call 509-527-9600 for a reservation.

Contact Karlene Ponti at 526-8324 or karleneponti@wwub.com.

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