For those of you that spend a lot of time on social media, you’ll probably note that these days there seems to be a week or a day celebrating just about anything. By this we mean a day (or sometimes a whole week or even a month) set aside for a specific cause; a special event, or some day of significance like World Broccoli Day or Take Your Pet Ferret to Work Day.* It can be a little overwhelming. Is it really that important that we applaud National Kazoo Day or National Get Up Day? Shouldn’t every day we wake up and get up be a happy day? I sure think so! Did you know there is a National Pears Helene Day? What even is that? But I digress…….my plan today was to talk about all the “fun” celebrations set aside for those of us who are 50+. The good news is (as “seniors”) we get three whole weeks of celebrations: National Seniors Safety Week, Pain Awareness Week and Osteoporosis Week. Lucky us! These weeks all take place in November and I don’t know about you but I can’t wait to celebrate! Pain? What pain? For safety week I’m sporting some fashionable bubble wrap, lest I fall and break a bone due to my alleged osteoporosis! Thank goodness November ends with CPR Awareness so I can save myself should it be a heart attack (instead of that fall) that finally takes me down!
All joking aside, these kinds of “weeks of significance” can be full of good information, tips and resources but there’s a pretty big underlying assumption that us 50+ folks are frail. Why do “seniors” need a safety week set aside specially for them? The Public Health Agency of Canada has published a Safe Living Guide which claims falls are the leading cause of injury for those aged 65 or older. It outlines ways to senior proof your house which to my mind, are pretty darn reminiscent of when I child-proofed my home pending the arrival of two tiny terrors with raging cases of “curiosity.” Are us “mature adults” really that delicate? “The natural process of growing older,” the PHA states, “generally includes changes in abilities.” Well sure, I guess that’s true. I’m a way better cook than I was at age 22 and my laundry game is on point! No more pink-hued white clothing for me. I can even chew gum and walk at the same time now! Sure there are also some good tips like reminders to change the batteries in your smoke detector, ensure your outside steps are well lit and clear of debris, to keep a first aid kit in the house and any obstacles out of high traffic areas but I’m pretty sure whether I was 20+, 30+, 40+ – these tips would all be equally as applicable. Perhaps I’ll sum up National “Seniors” Safety Week with a simple: Be Careful Out There.
As for Pain Awareness Week, Osteoporosis Week and CPR Week, I don’t know what to say. I’m finding it hard to sit in my chair typing for too long due to my awareness of my sciatic pain. I don’t think my bones are brittle but I guess I’m on the younger side of “mature.” Maybe that’s coming. Perhaps all you more “Senior” seniors could weigh in on what we have to look forward to? The CPR thing? Well, that’s just common sense, isn’t it? CPR is knowledge we should all possess and I think it’s a part of just about all First Aid Training Programs like those offered by St. John Ambulance or the American Red Cross. We all have hearts and I think the mechanics are essentially the same, senior or otherwise. If you don’t know CPR and think you should, investigate your local sources for training and sign up today – because as the saying goes: “You might just save a life!”
Pain? What pain? Sure I wake up sometimes in pain but do we really need a whole week to celebrate pain? A whole week to talk up osteoporosis? Why are these weeks all in November when it’s already kinda depressing month with most regions experiencing the loss of leaves from the trees, cooler weather and in some areas the arrival of snow? Just because we’re 50+ doesn’t automatically mean we are consigned to the corner armchair, drinking tea and knitting doilies. It’s possible, however, just possible, that I’m taking all of this a bit too personally. So on a more serious note, if you’d like to know more about these and other senior health and safety-related issues, consider visiting the links to the sites provided above. As for me, I’m off to my first heli-skiing lesson. What could go wrong?
*I made those first two days up but for the record, March 30 is Turkey Neck Soup Day (gross) and November also features National Clean Out Your Fridge Day, I kid you not. So go ahead – clean out your fridge – NOW – if you’re not in too much pain that is!
Written by Sheralyn Roman