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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How to talk to elderly loved ones about unsafe driving

As we grow older how we feel about our ability to drive shifts. When you get your driver’s license for the first time you get a new sense of freedom and independence. As an adult the privilege of being behind the wheel is one many of us rely on. Also, as you age more and more your driver’s license becomes a valued symbol of self-sufficiency.

However, aging can come with a number of common physical changes that can make driving increasingly difficult and eventually dangerous.  Stiff joints and weaker muscles can make it harder to turn your head, brake in a safe manner, or turn the steering wheel quickly enough. Reduced quality of eyesight and hearing can become dangerous when it comes to taking in visual and auditory signals on the road. Also, slowed reflexes and side effects from medications can impact your driving ability.

If a loved one of yours is becoming an unsafe driver due to age, having a conversation with them about turning in their keys for good can be a difficult conversation to have. Following some of these tips might help make it smoother:

Avoid confrontational language

When initiating a conversation with an elderly loved one about their ability to drive it can be easy for them to feel like a calling-out of their deteriorating ability to drive is an attack rather than an expression of care and concern.  Make sure to emphasize your concern.  When deciding what you will say and how you will say it, structure your statements referencing yourself more than them.

Focus on safety

After a lifetime of driving to everything they love, feeling a push to give up driving can also feel like a push to give up everything else they love. Make it clear that the focus in getting them to stop driving is on safety, and that they can still continue doing the things they love.

Have alternatives prepared

Offering reliable alternatives instead of driving can make prospects of them giving up driving not as daunting. It’s possible that they may not be aware of what is available to them. Help them find more information if needed to start using alternative modes of transportation or, if possible, help by driving them.

Use specifics and multiple voices

You want your loved one to take this conversation seriously. Avoid sounding like one person nagging. If multiple people have concerns let them come together with you on this to show your elderly loved one that they have a group of people who care about them and are concerned about their safety. Also, when having the conversation voice generalizations less and offer specific examples instead.

Show empathy

This is likely a difficult conversation for your loved one to have or thing for them to hear. Make sure to approach the conversation with an empathetic view of how they may be feeling when facing these prospects. Be supportive, show respect and offer positivity.

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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Using mindfulness to cope in the wake of an injury

How meditation can help you when the future is uncertain

After an injury, your life can be thrown into flux. What once was your normal everyday life can be turned on its head. In an instant, everything can change—not only physically, financially and socially, but mentally as well.

Dealing with this change can be overwhelming. While there is always a circle of care available to help you along the recovery journey, the physical and mental strain of your situation can still weigh heavily on your mind. In order to cope with the changes caused by your injury, finding things that work for you personally is key. While trying to find what works for you, something you may want to try is meditation.

What is meditation?

Meditation is the practice of putting all of your attention on a single thing—the present moment. It’s a practice of the state of mindfulness, which is awareness of the present. This can be done by focusing on a single thing, like a mantra, an object, or a part of your body.

Different types of meditation and other mindfulness practices can be used for various different purposes, so depending on the results you seek through meditation that will dictate the meditation practice you choose.

Coping with change

In the case of using meditation to cope with change brought on by injury, meditation can help you become more aware of your experience, specifically paying attention to your thoughts and body sensations. This awareness can allow you to experience the changes in your life and then give you space between experiencing them and reacting to them, allowing you to start practicing flowing with changes rather than struggling with them.

Mindfulness practices have shown to have a number of both physical and mental health benefits. Studies have also shown a trend towards positive outcomes specifically for those suffering from traumatic brain injuries.

In the face of a life-changing injury, meditation and mindfulness practice can be a key tool in helping you cope with both the physical and mental impacts of injury, the challenges of the recovery journey, as well as riding with the changes in your life.

There are many resources available to help you along your recovery journey, including lawyers who are there to protect you and your rights.

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

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For brain injury victim family members

6 tips to help ease your way through recovery

Brain injuries don’t just affect those who are injured, they can affect entire families. If a family member of yours has experienced a brain injury chances are it might have placed emotional, social or financial challenges in your path. Every family’s experience is unique but all can experience the same types of changes.

It can be helpful to take some guidance from experts who understand your situation. Thankfully the Ontario Brain Injury Association has created a number of recommendations for family members of those experiencing brain injury. Some of these six tips might work for you:

1. Share responsibility

If you are becoming the main caregiver for the injured person the massive life change that your loved one’s injury can bring to your life can bring a lot of stress as well as personal strain. Know that you are not alone. If your injured loved one is capable of helping you in any way, allow them to help around the home.

While it can be challenging living with someone who has sustained a brain injury, there are support networks around you to help, whether that’s friends, family, support groups, programs or organizations.

2. Ask the nurses

Knowledge is power. While caring for someone who is recovering from a brain injury it’s a good idea to learn as much as you can about their condition. Your loved one might have medical problems specific to their injury. You’ll want to learn all you can about the problems your loved one will be facing and how to properly manage them. Nurses who are caring for your loved one can be a great resource to ask questions that you may not have been able to get in when talking to specialists or doctors and walk you through specifics so you are more prepared for providing care on your own.

3. Consider getting a neurophysical evaluation

A neurophysical evaluation can give you a better understanding of your loved one’s injury, including how their abilities will be affected by the injury. Knowing this can help you in a number of ways. Because a brain injury can have significant affects on your loved one’s cognition and behaviour, this can cause significant changes in their life going forward. It’s important to understand what your loved one is facing. Secondly, knowing what these challenges are can help you moving forward in being able to care for them and look out for their wellbeing. Knowing what specific challenges they face, and what they are capable of doing, can help you predict issues in upcoming situations as well as know what you can expect of them.

4. Join an organization

There are many organizations and groups available to offer you support and resources, like brain injury associations. The information and community they provide can help you to improve your loved one’s quality of life on the recovery journey ahead.

5. Push for what you need

It’s important to be a strong advocate for your loved one. You have the expertise in what they were like before their injury, as well as the knowledge you gain from daily interaction with them. Ask questions, learn about their rights, and be firm when it comes to having their needs met.

6. Consult a lawyer

Talking to an attorney should be an urgent priority. Make sure to talk to a lawyer experienced in representing brain injury victims, especially before signing any paperwork.

An experienced lawyer is valuable to brain injury victims for a few reasons. They can help guide you through your options after the injury and help you find valuable resources for yourself and your loved one. The help of a personal injury lawyer can remove a lot of the stress that comes when a loved one suffers a brain injury.

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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Spinal cord injury recovery and nutrition

Here's how what you eat affects your health

No matter who you are, what you eat affects your health. Fueling your body with good food ensures that it can function at it’s very best. We often get used to certain types of foods and the quantity of those foods that make us feel our best. But, after a spinal cord injury our life and our body can change, forcing us to adjust our habits.

These changes and adjustments can affect your diet. Spinal Cord Injury Ontario outlined in their Nutrition after SCI Series how bad diets usually follow spinal cord injuries. They mentioned that changes in economic status, transportation, digestion, food preparation challenges and the nutrient values associated with comfort food contribute to the development of poor diets after spinal injury.

But the period after experiencing a spinal injury is a crucial time to give your body what it needs to heal. Nutrition, the fueling of your body with the nutrients in what you choose to eat, has a major affect on your health. Ensuring that you are eating an appropriate diet after your injury can help your body to avoid, or reduce the effects of secondary health complications.

Some health complications that can follow a spinal cord injury are pressure ulcers, pain and inappropriate bladder management, as well as increased risks of developing other medical concerns like diabetes, elevated cholesterol, weight gain and osteoporosis.

Avoiding any possible secondary health complications, or using your diet in order to minimize them or make them easier to deal with can be beneficial for your overall and long-term health—which can make your recovery journey a little easier. The food you consume has a major impact on many of these secondary health complications.

There are many great resources available to help you educate yourself on the effect a spinal injury has on your health and the dietary changes you can make to help alleviate the negative effects. For example, the Spinal Cord Injury Ontario Nutrition after SCI Series (as mentioned before) breaks down nutritional information by secondary health complication, including weight, pressure sores, cardiovascular disease as well as bowel and bladder issues. Also, the University of Washington’s report on Everyday Nutrition for Individuals with Spinal Cord Injury breaks down dietary information after a spinal injury.

Seeking out advice on how your diet should adjust after your injury, including what, when and how much you should be eating, is valuable information that can help you improve your overall health. While there is lots of information available online when it comes to how you should change your diet, getting professional advice can ensure that you are making the right dietary choices in your specific case.

Do your research and speak with your doctor about reaching out to a registered dietitian for guidance. They can ensure that you are on the right track. With the number of changes already in your life that come with a spinal injury changing your diet can be difficult. But even though transforming your diet can be overwhelming, making changes gradually can help you ease into the process and make your diet changes less difficult.

After a spinal injury, your first priority should be your recovery. We can help you focus on your health by taking care of the legal part of your recovery journey.

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

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