In the Sagelink Blog you will find commentary that crosses three fields of focus: seniors health, knowledge translation and exchange, and South East Ontario. You'll hear diverse perspectives from our CSAH team members, as well as from guest bloggers in our community.
As a public health student, I've had the opportunity to study many different public health initiatives. Some of the most common examples that come up in class are programs that focus on increasing physical activity levels. Interestingly, these examples almost always focus on the youth population. In fact, society as a whole places a lot of emphasis on getting kids active. However, it is important to note that the advantages of physical activity exist throughout life, regardless of age. Physical activity has been shown to extend the number of years one is able to live independently, reduce disability, and improve overall quality of life for older adults. Furthermore, physical activity can reduce the risk of several health issues including arthritis, heart attacks and strokes, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, hypertension, anxiety, back pain, and colon and breast cancer.1 The benefits can be seen even if participation in physical activity does not occur until later in life, as long as it is performed consistently.2
Falls are a serious issue for older adults. An estimated 1 in 3 older adults fall each year1. In 2010, falls were responsible for the most injury deaths in Ontario and generated $2.8 billion in costs to the provincial economy2. Falls can disable, cause mental distress and may result in a loss of independence. The good news is that most falls are predictable and preventable. However, among the significant challenges for practitioners working in fall prevention is working in isolation, knowing where to find the best available evidence on what works and knowing who is already actively working on the issues to avoid duplication of efforts.
CONSENT AND CAPACITY: A BRIEF OVERVIEW OF THE LAW IN ONTARIO Law and medicine intersect when a patient and health care team discuss treatment. Ontario’s law of consent to treatment applies to all types of treatment and requires procedures to protect the rights of incapable patients. Here is an overview of the important principles and legislation in the province.
About 200,000 people in Ontario are living with dementia, and more than half will go missing at some point.1
Wandering is one of the most common and dangerous symptoms of Alzheimer’s/dementia – a disease currently affecting close to 747,000 Canadians.2 In 2013, Toronto’s 911 emergency services received 1200 calls about missing people with Alzheimer’s/dementia who had wandered, and many patients across the country have actually died as a result.3 The disease costs Canadians $33 billion a year in both medical care and lost earnings, and this number is continually on the rise.2 Family members are increasingly looking to support their loved ones to remain in their own homes and to maintain their independence for as long as possible – but safety is a top priority.