Lifestyle for Seniors

Meditation for Mental Health

Incorporating meditation into your daily life  does not have to be a silent hour in a quiet place. Scientists  have found that as little as 3 – 5 minutes of mantra chanting promotes mental and physical health benefits. Also online apps are useful which might suit you more, such as “Smiling minds” or “Stop, Breathe and Think” for relaxation and meditation.

What is a Stroke?

A stroke happens when blood supply to the brain is interrupted. Blood is carried to the brain by blood vessels called arteries. Blood contains oxygen and important nutrients for your brain cells. Blood may be interrupted or stop moving through an artery, because the artery is blocked (ischaemic stroke) or bursts (haemorrhagic stroke). When brain cells do not get enough oxygen or nutrients, they die. The area of brain damage is called a cerebral infarct.

Brain cells usually die shortly after the stroke starts. However, some can last a few hours, if the blood supply is not cut off completely. If the blood supply can be returned in the minutes and hours after the stroke, some of these cells may recover. If not, they will also die.

A transient ischaemic attack (TIA) happens when there is a temporary interruption to the blood supply to the brain. It causes the same symptoms as a stroke, but these go away completely within 24 hours.

Even though symptoms may go away it is also important to get treatment as quickly as possible by calling 000

If you are with a loved one do the FAST test to save their lives and to act early so the effects of the stroke are minimized.

How do you know if someone is having a stroke? Think… F.A.S.T.

The F.A.S.T. test is an easy way to remember the most common signs of stroke.
Using the F.A.S.T. test involves asking these simple questions:

Face Check their face. Has their mouth drooped?
Arm Can they lift both arms?
Speech Is their speech slurred? Do they understand you?
Time Is critical. If you see any of these signs call 000 straight away.

 This information is from the National Stroke Foundation and the Stroke Foundation – Their website provide further information and resources.

Safety in your surroundings

Slips and falls in and around the home are a major cause of injury to seniors. Tread carefully. While out walking be aware of your surroundings, uneven paths, drains, unexpected holes or construction obstacles, overhanging foliage, slippery moss covered paths and during autumn fallen rotting leaves. When it is raining watch the traffic and be aware. Wear proper safe shoes, comfortable garments that do no hinder walking or boarding and alighting from public transport.

When doing home maintenance do not do home repairs when a qualified tradesman should be contacted. This may affect claims on your insurance policy if things go wrong. Electrical work should be done by an A grade electrician. Certificate of electrical compliance must be shown on request.

Gas Heaters

Now winter is here with us gas heaters should be serviced and checked at least every 2 years. Old heaters (over 15 or 20 years or more) need to be replaced as they can become quite unsafe.

Signs of a faulty gas heater

A faulty gas heater can cause serious problems. Health problems that seem to be worse, or only occur when the heating is on, may be caused by carbon monoxide from a faulty gas heater. Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include:

  • tiredness
  • shortness of breath
  • headaches
  • dizziness
  • nausea
  • weakness
  • confusion
  • chest pain.

High levels of carbon monoxide are very dangerous and may cause people to pass out or even die. If you suspect you may be affected by carbon monoxide, open windows and doors, turn off the appliance and go outside to fresh air. See your doctor and ask whether your symptoms may be related to carbon monoxide.

Where to get help

  • Energy Safe Victoria Tel. 1800 652 563
  • Department of Health (Environmental Health Unit) Tel. 1300 761 874
  • Your doctor
  • Licensed gasfitter
  • Plumbing Industry Commission (to check that you’re dealing with a licensed gasfitter) Tel. 1300 815 127

Further information can be obtained from Department of Health, State Government of Victoria




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