How self-care can help injury recovery

Self-care—it’s one of those buzz words that’s been floating around, entering the everyday and medical world. But what does it really mean?

The fact that self-care is very personal and situational can make it hard to define, but a general definition is that self-care is “any necessary human regulatory function which is under individual control, deliberate and self-initiated.”

Practicing self-care can be a valuable practice that can be catered to anyone’s recovery journey. While your individual injury and situation can dictate what you are capable of doing for yourself (and what will work for you), incorporating self-care into your life can be a key skill to aid in your recovery and adjusting to your new life post-injury. It can help you put yourself in charge of your recovery.

Physical Self-care

After an injury it is likely that your physical needs will change. Whether that’s how long you need to sleep for every night or your eating habits, talking to your doctor about the physical aspects of your life that you will need to adjust after your injury is key to equipping yourself with the knowledge required to make the life adjustments you need.

Making sure you are getting the appropriate amount of sleep can ensure that your body can get the rest it needs to help itself repair. Eating nutritious food that fuels your body is important to giving yourself what you need during and after recovery. Also doing activities within your abilities to energize your body can help you feel better, like stretching, swimming, running, doing yoga, etc.

Mental Self-care

An injury can bring a lot of stress into your life. While stress can be helpful by giving you the ability to deal with challenges and threats you face, lots of it over time can take a toll on you. What helps people destress is a very personal thing. If you already know things that help you destress make time for them in your life. But, if you don’t know what can help you destress, or if you are no longer able to do what used to help you relax before your injury try some new ways and see what works. Taking a long bath, starting a meditation practice, and/or finding a new hobby are all things that could help.

Emotional Self-care

Self-care can also help you cope with the emotional toll an injury can take on your life. Spending time to dedicate to your emotional health, like seeing a counselor, journaling, taking time to talk and spend time with people you love and/or writing down gratitude lists can help

you be with the range of emotional challenges an injury can force you to experience. Among them learning to adjust to your life post-injury can be difficult. Trying to write a new mission statement for your life going forward is a great way to frame your new perspective of success and fulfillment.

Self-care after an injury makes you an empowered member of your circle of care—the team that is there to help you on your recovery journey. Another important member of your circle of care is a personal injury lawyer that can secure the legal, financial and personal support necessary following an accident. That’s where Dye and Russell can be there for you following your accident.

If you have been injured, and need legal assistance, call #1000 on your cell phone for free. We will offer you a free claim assessment.

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Summer BBQ safety tips

There are few things that go better with a summer evening than a cold beverage and barbecue.  But barbecues can cause serious injury if they aren’t used properly. To help keep your summer full of delicious barbecue, as well as safe for you and your loved ones, here are some tips from The Government of Canada:

  1. Do a safety check

Before you start barbecuing it’s important to do a safety check of your grill—especially if it hasn’t been sitting unused for a long period of time. Look for blocked burners, damaged seals and leaks in the hoses or fittings. To check for leaks in the hose or fittings coat the hose and fittings with a soapy water solution. If bubbles form and grow that’s a sign of a leak.

Also, make sure your grill is clean. Cleaning excess grease or fat build-up on your barbeque can remove a source of fuel for dangerous flare-ups and help keep you safe.

  1. Make sure it’s in a safe location

How you position your grill can prevent a fire from happening. Barbeques should be used outdoors (not indoors or under overhangs, enclosures, etc.) in a well-ventilated area and be at least three meters away from any building on an even surface. Also, keep an eye out for other items nearby that could catch fire, like umbrellas or hanging baskets.

  1. Turn on with caution

Before you even think about grilling it’s important that you have read the instructions that came with from the barbecue’s manufacturer to get to know your grill and how to operate it properly.

While going about lighting your barbeque never have the lid closed or lean over the barbeque. If you’re using a gas-powered grill and it doesn’t light right away turn off the gas valve and wait for the gas to go away before re-lighting.

  1. Have the proper tools handy

Preventing an injury can only happen if you’re ready. Make sure you prevent burns by cooking with long-handled utensils and heat-resistant mitts. Have a spray water-bottle handy to help manage flare-ups and a fire extinguisher close in case of a fire.

Also, be very careful while using metal-bristled barbeque brushes. The bristles can come loose, stick to your grill and eventually end up in your food—which can result in serious digestive injuries. Inspect your brush and your grill carefully for loose bristles, throw away brushes when you notice bristles becoming loose, replace brushes often and consider buying non-metal barbeque brushes.

  1. Pay attention

While you’re barbequing never leave the grill unattended and be aware of how much food you are loading onto it. If a fire starts they spread quickly, so your grill needs constant attention. Also, over-loading your grill (especially with fatty meat) can cause an excess of oil or grease and create large flare-ups.

If you have been injured, and need legal assistance, call #1000 on your cell phone for free. We will offer you a free claim assessment.

 

 

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How to stay safe in the summer sun

Being outdoors and embracing the warm weather can be lots of fun. Whether you like going on adventurous hikes, swimming at the beach or playing in the backyard—whatever you love doing in the outdoors can create great memories for you and your loved ones. However, while the hot sun can make for a great time to be outdoors it also comes with dangers. It’s important to protect yourself, and those you love, to prevent an injury from happening and to stay safe.

Here’s what you should be paying close attention to:

Ultra violet rays

It’s important to protect yourself against the sun’s harsh rays while outdoors. Too much exposure to the sun’s ultra violet rays can cause burns, eye damage and lead to skin cancer.

While outdoors shade yourself by spending time in shaded areas rather than areas with direct sunlight and wearing a wide-brimmed hat (especially mid-day when the sun’s rays are strongest). Also, use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a sun protection factor of at least 30 and make sure to reapply it at least every 2 hours.

Protect your eyes by wearing sunglasses that block a minimum of 99% of UV light and by never looking directly at the sun.

Heat

Exposure to heat can cause health issues like heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke (which is life-threatening). To help protect yourself and your loved ones from heat there are some simple preventative measures you can take.

While out and about never leave children or animals inside a vehicle as temperatures can rise quickly to dangerously hot levels. While you’re outdoors, wearing clothing that is light in colour and weight, as well as loose-fitting, can help you avoid absorbing the sun’s rays with dark colours. Also, staying hydrated is very important. Make sure to have lots of fluids with you to drink while avoiding caffeine and alcohol.

Try to avoid strenuous activities and scheduling events during the midday sun and heat. Check in on friends and family that don’t have air conditioning, and who spend much of their time alone. If you don’t have air conditioning finding air-conditioned locations that you can go to during midday heat (like cooling centers, libraries or malls) is a great way to avoid heat related illnesses.

While you can protect yourself from the sun while you’re out and about this summer, unfortunately sometimes you can get injured in other ways. If you or someone you love has been injured, and need legal assistance, call #1000 on your cell phone for free. We will offer you a free claim assessment.

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Getting back to green: economic recovery after injury

Personal injury can seriously impair your personal finances. Injuries can upend all areas of life, including your career and finances. While much focus is given to physical recovery, financial recovery is crucial as well.

Your financial situation can tie into your mental and emotional recovery and, in turn, your physical recovery. Here are some tips for getting back to green after a personal injury:

  1. Consider a new line of work

An injury may make you unable to return to your past line of work (if it’s too unsafe or demanding). This can be very frustrating, especially if you were very passionate about your previous line of work or if you have been very successful in your career. However, there are other career possibilities ahead that may be better suited to you post-injury.

You may even find a new career that you love even more. If you’re able to work in any capacity it can do more than bring you increased financial stability and momentum. Working can also give you a new sense of identity, personal achievement, social contacts, skills development and a sense of structure—all of which can help with your mental health and in turn your physical health.

  1. Ask for help

If you have family or friends that would be able to help you financially consider asking them for help. You might be surprised by their willingness to help, especially if they have seen the effects of a personal injury on your life.

  1. Budget wisely

Recovering from injury can tighten up your finances. Budgeting is vital and can reduce risk of debt or insolvency. If this task seems monumental, ask for help from a family member or friend. Find unnecessary expenses, that you made prior to injury, and eliminate these.

Budgeting creates a solid financial basis for later success. It’s important, when budgeting, to assess your needs and wants differently and to be ruthless and honest with yourself and your finances.

  1. Get legal help

If you’ve been injured, damages may be owed to you. It’s crucial to ask for legal help. A personal injury lawyer can help you to navigate the best course of action. Further to this, they will be able to get you more money than an independent inquiry. These extra funds can be critical for seeing you through recovery.

If you have been injured, and need legal assistance, call #1000 on your cell phone for free. We will offer you a free claim assessment. Find out what you’re owed and start your journey back to green.

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How to be safe on a jog

Summer jogging is a great way to stay fit without shelling out big bucks on a gym membership. It’s also a great way to see more of your neighbourhood. Many areas of Ontario have jogging trails and paths of varying length and incline.

Staying safe on a jog, however, can be a challenge. By following some safety steps, you can greatly reduce your risk of injury while on a run. You might not know about many of the safety risks you could face while jogging. Here are some helpful tips on staying safe on a jog.

1. Bring some basics

When disaster happens, be it injury or crime, what you’re carrying can be vital and even save a life. Bringing a phone with you on a jog can mean a way to call for help. A phone can also be a map if you’re lost. Carrying some form of identification can come in handy in case of an emergency.

Other basics for jogs include water, keys, a whistle and even mace (if jogging in a wild or unsafe area). Much of this depends on when you’re jogging, how long the jog is and where it’s happening. It’s always good to be overprepared rather than underprepared.

2. Don’t jog alone

Bringing a jogging buddy can greatly reduce the risk of injury. Wild animals are less likely to attack, and someone may think twice about committing a crime if it’s double the risk. Bringing another jogger also means that if injury happens there is someone to call for help, give a statement and ensure immediate danger is minimized.

This is also a great way to enhance the overall jogging experience and motivate yourself to jog faster and longer.

3. Be traffic safe

Traffic collisions are a common cause of injury to joggers. For joggers, there are ways to avoid traffic-related injuries. By facing oncoming traffic, you have more of a chance to see an approaching vehicle and you improve your response time significantly. For vehicles, this gives them a clear view of you, meaning collision is less likely.

Wearing brightly-colored clothing, such as glow-in-the-dark clothes or runner’s lights, can reduce risk of injury as well. Most of all, don’t jog on the road at night.

4. Know yourself

Jogging is physical activity and we all have limits. It’s good to be ambitious with your fitness plan but also be realistic. If you’re planning to do a marathon distance on a jog, bring enough water to last you and maybe a small snack, especially if your blood sugar drops routinely. Account for distance back home on the jog.

On the jog, monitor yourself. If you’re struggling, don’t force yourself to finish a jog that’s going to injure you. It’s better to slowly make progress than injure yourself and make no progress at all.

If you have been injured, and need legal assistance, call #1000 on your cell phone for free. We will offer you a free claim assessment.

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Brain injury and memory

Strategies to improve memory after a brain injury

Brain injuries can radically impact your quality of life. One of the areas that can be most affected by a traumatic brain injury is memory. Conversely, memory is a critical function for daily life.

“Memory is your brain taking in, keeping, recalling and using information,” says BrainLine. “A brain injury can affect any of these areas of memory. A brain injury can also make it hard to learn and remember things.”

If your memory has been damaged as a result of a brain injury, or a brain injury has exacerbated existing memory problems, how do you recover what was lost?

Here are three steps to strengthen your memory after a traumatic brain injury.

1. Write it all down

For some, this means keeping a journal or calendar and writing down detailed descriptions to help them throughout the day. For others, this is simply writing cues or prompts to help them remember tasks or objectives. It is helpful, however, to have all of your prompts concentrated in one place to guard against loss.

Other ways to use writing to help you throughout the day are creating checklists, labelling items in shared spaces, making ‘cheat sheets’ for your wallet or cue cards for where items are located.

2. Make smart purchases

If you take medication, a pill organizer can be hugely helpful for those with memory problems. Purchasing appliances that shut off automatically can be helpful to ensuring home safety. If you’re opening a bank account, specify automatic bill payment or authorize a protective payee on your behalf.

3. Use PQRST

PQRST is a technique to help attain and retain information. First, preview the material, casually reading it over to understand what it is about. Second, question it by making a list of queries that you need answered to fully grasp the subject. Third, read! Read the material over again carefully, referring back to the questions list you generated. Fourth, state it in your own words. This could be out loud or on paper. Would you be able to

teach someone this material? Fifth, and finally, test yourself or ask someone else to test you. Repeat as necessary until you are confident you have fully retained the information.

Fast dial #1000 free from your cell and we’ll get you the support you need.

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A parent’s guide to pool safety

With summer making its arrival in Canada, pool season has begun. Pool safety is an important topic this time of year. According to the Lifesaving Society, hundreds of Canadians die each year from drowning. Parents, take note – for children under 10, drowning is the second leading cause of preventable death and children under five are the most at risk of drowning.

So, before you, or your children, dip your toes into the backyard pool, it’s important to review some pool safety tips.

1. Appoint a supervisor

Children of all ages require active supervision when in the pool. This means a parent/guardian who is placing their whole attention on the water. Accidents can happen quickly, and a rapid response time is critical. Don’t be fooled by Hollywood films – drowning is quiet and splashing or screaming doesn’t occur. The attention of a parent/guardian can be the difference between life and death.

2. No diving in shallow pools

Most backyard pools are not deep enough for diving, no matter the age of the diver. This is a frequent cause of injury. It’s important to do your own research into what your pool’s size allows. Establish clear rules with your children about diving in the pool, especially in the shallower end. Some parents choose to put up signage, which is available from many hardware stores, as a reminder. Most importantly, talk with your kids and make sure they understand your family’s pool safety rules.

3. Ensure proper fencing

Small children’s curiosity can lead to drowning by falling into pools. Multiple items are available for purchase which can prevent unsupervised access to water by young children. Examples include latching gates and four-sided fencing. It’s important to comply with any local fencing bylaws in your area so make sure to research these before you open your pool for the summer.

4. Arms’ reach matters

For children under 5, it’s important to keep them within arms’ reach when in the water. While supervision may be sufficient for older kids, younger children require the physical support and balance of a parent. This is a great opportunity to teach your kids the basics of swimming and create lasting memories.

If you have been injured, and need legal assistance, call #1000 on your cell phone for free. We will offer you a free claim assessment.

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8 things to do after a car accident

Driving, whether you’re slowly cruising down a local road or doing a long trek on the highway can be a dangerous. In 2016 alone there were 160,315 injuries from reported traffic collisions on Canadian roads. Chances are, at some point during your lifetime on the road you’ll be involved in a traffic collision.

When you’re in this situation it’s best to be prepared. The last thing you want to do is to be lost as to what to do next when involved in a traffic collision. Here’s what you need to know:

Keep calm

A car collision can bring a lot of emotions with it. Being calm and trying to stay calm throughout the next steps is vitally important to help you through the situation at hand. Whether you feel stressed, angry or scared (or something else entirely) it’s important to try and calm yourself down. Take a moment in your car to collect yourself, your thoughts and your emotions before taking any more action.

Prioritize safety

Avoid any further danger. Look for potential dangers—especially oncoming cars. If it is unsafe to get out of your car don’t venture out. Instead make sure to put on your hazard lights to notify other drivers.

Seek medical help

If you, or any passengers in your car are seriously injured call 911 for medial help.

Get their information

Collect as much information as you can. The key points you’ll need going forward are the personal details of the driver, or drivers, involved. They will likely ask for yours as well. Make sure you obtain all drivers’:

-full names

-phone numbers

-addresses

-license information

-insurance company names and policy numbers

Take photos

When collecting information, it’s best to go beyond just getting the necessary details from other people involved. Taking photos is an easy and fast way to collect evidence at the scene that can be very valuable later on. While taking photos after the traffic collision make sure that you have photos of any damage to your vehicle and the road, or property around the road, that happened as a result of the collision.

Look for witnesses

A traffic collision can draw the attention of onlookers. If there were people who saw the collision occur collect their personal information as well, including their full name and phone number, or other method of contact.

Contact your insurance company

Make sure to contact your insurance company to inform them about the collision.

Contact a personal injury lawyer

If you or someone in your vehicle has been injured during a traffic collision, it’s important to know your rights. The aftermath of a traffic collision injury can have a strong and lasting impact on your life. Contacting a personal injury lawyer after the accident is an important step on the road to recovery by connecting you with the legal, financial and personal support you need.

Fast dial #1000 free from your cell and we’ll get you the support you need.

 

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Top tips to prevent dog bites

Whether you’re a dog lover, owner or just have dogs in your life they can bring lots of joy and companionship. But sometimes dogs can bite or launch a full-blown attack. However, before it gets to that there are things you can do to prevent dog bites and dog attacks from happening. Here are some key points from Best Friends Animal Society on safety when it comes to canines:

Build on their social skills

Dogs are very social animals and require a lot of attention. Socialize your dog by integrating them into regular activities both inside and outside your home as early as possible. Your aim should be to give your dog a series of positive social experiences to progressively build on their social skills. However, while introducing your dog to new situations, places, people and animals it’s important to exercise caution. Think about where your dog is at in their socialization progress to avoid overwhelming them or putting them in a negative social situation that could end badly.

Take the right approach to training

Training your dog with a certified professional is a great way for your dog to learn suitable behaviour in an effective way. Using positive reinforcement is a great way to encourage positive behaviour over negative behaviour in your dog while building the bond between you and your dog. Using physical punishment or rough play are things that you should avoid with your dog.

Give them lots of exercise

Whether it’s fetch, frequent walks or hiking trips, giving your dog lots of exercise is vitally important. Interaction with your pet with play strengthens the bond between you and the exercise will burn off their energy.

Avoid tying them up and letting them roam independently

Putting your dog in situations where they can potentially feel vulnerable can make them more likely to bite. When your dog’s ability to run away from potential danger is inhibited it can leave them feeling vulnerable, and when potential danger approaches (like another animal or person) they can feel forced to attack. Also, when you let your dog roam on their own it can leave them feeling vulnerable and lead to aggression if they feel confused or scared.

Pay close attention to their behaviour

Take note of your dog’s behaviour and tendencies. If you notice behavioural changes they could be a sign of an underlying medical issue. Take them to the vet to make sure everything is alright.

If you have been injured, and need legal assistance, call #1000 on your cell phone for free. We will offer you a free claim assessment.

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Easy ways to improve your driving

Even though you may be an experienced driver, over time you can pick up bad habits. Not only do bad habits put you at risk on the road but they also endanger those driving around you.

If you are looking to progress your driving there are some simple ways to get better that will help keep you safer behind the wheel. Here are some quick tips:

  1. Go back to basics

It’s nothing out of the ordinary to see drivers forgetting to execute the basics that you learn in driving school. But forgetting to do so is dangerous. Simple things, like entering the left lane of the street you’re turning on to when turning left at an intersection, signaling when changing lanes or when backing out of a parking spot, and coming to a full stop at stop signs, are key for your safety. Also, bad habits like driving when you’re in a rush, distracted or over-tired are all dangerous habits that can lead you to drive recklessly. Try to only drive when well rested, give yourself time to make the trip and put the phone away when you’re behind the wheel.

  1. Adjust your mirrors

Make sure your side mirrors are adjusted properly. While you can’t completely eliminate blind spots, and need to fully turn your head to check them before changing lanes or turning, having your mirrors adjusted optimally can greatly reduce them. To adjust your driver’s side mirror, move the mirror so you can barely see the edge of the vehicle in the mirror’s right-hand side when your head is against the left-side car window. To adjust the passenger side mirror, move it so that you can barely see the side of the vehicle in the left-side of the mirror when your head is just above the center console. This will give you much better view around your vehicle while driving.

  1. Learn high-beam protocol

High-beams are a key tool to help you see on poorly lit roads at night and extreme daytime weather, but they can also be blinding. Make sure to turn off your high-beams when approaching another vehicle to prevent other drivers from becoming blinded by your lights. If other drivers on the road fail to do this it’s recommended to look at the right side of the road and follow the painted edge line instead of looking directly at the lights.

  1. Make your left turns safer

When waiting to make a left turn point your wheels straight rather than to the left. If a car strikes yours from behind and your wheels are turned left you will be pushed into oncoming traffic. Stay safe by keeping them straight.

  1. Keep your eyes moving

Don’t go into auto-pilot with your eyes while driving. Make sure to be checking your mirrors, looking far ahead and at the vehicles around you. Some drivers have a tendency of focusing solely on the car in front of them which can make it harder to realize that you’re getting closer and closer to them.

  1. Keep your distance

While driving we can get in the habit of not leaving enough room between our car and the one in front of us. Time the distance between your car and the one in front of you by noticing when the car in front of you passes a marker on the road. When it does, time how long it takes for you to reach that same marker. A recommended time-distance to leave between your car and the car in front of you is 4 seconds which gives you enough reaction time in case the car in front of you suddenly breaks.

  1. Go back to class

Over time the rules of the road change. If it’s been a long time since you last took a driving course perhaps a driving refresher course would be good for you. Doing so can help keep you up to speed on changed driving rules as well as keep your driving skills sharp.

  1. Study your car

Get a deep understanding of your car’s features. Vehicles today are coming out with an increasing number of safety features on them, like rear-view cameras and lane departure warnings. Take time to research to learn their abilities and limitations so you don’t over rely on them but also take advantage of all your vehicle has to offer.

  1. Learn how to properly use a roundabout

The one thing that many experienced drivers are still daunted by is roundabouts. If you find roundabouts intimidating focus on learning how to use them properly. There is an online guide available from the Ontario Ministry of Transportation.

  1. Go to the optometrist

Having good eyesight is key for keeping your driving skills sharp. As you age eye problems can arise gradually, so they can be difficult to notice yourself. Getting your eyes checked regularly by an optometrist can help you catch any problems and allow you to have them addressed.

While you can be a very safe driver, sometimes accidents do happen. Fast dial #1000 free from your cell and we’ll get you the support you need.

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