AFSCME holds Zoom meeting to discuss senior safety
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On Monday, August 9 the AFSCME Sub-Chapter #87 Retirees held a Zoom meeting for current members, new members and retired seniors.
President, David Spinner welcomed everyone to the meeting and thanked Louis Goseland, Executive Director of the Illinois Alliance for Retired Americans for being the Zoom Host.
Spinner introduced the guest speaker, James Hurtte, a Senior Safety Program special- ist who conducts safety training and workshops for Vincennes University. Hurtte opened the meeting with the saying of the Pledge of Allegiance.
He presented a Power Point illustration showing what every senior citizen needs to know in order to stay safe during the aging years. The basic things are more difficult now that we are in the aging process. He said that Senior Safety starts with eating healthy, exercise, get regular medical check-ups (annual Physical) and vaccinations. Improved living standards, better healthcare, greater awareness of importance of a healthy diet and taking regular exercise lead to more people enjoying life into their 80s and 90s.
Hurtte commented that on and off the job the nationwide leading cause of injury referred to as STF (Slip, Trip and Fall), that fifty percent of the injuries are from around the house and thirty-five percent of accidents are treated at the emergency room.
Hurtte said the main injuries that seniors are most suscepti- ble to include; bruises, cuts, wounds, broken bones, disloca- tions of wrists, elbows and shoulders. The largest propor- tion of accidents are falls from stairs or steps. He added to avoid falls on the stairway you should use the handrails and make sure the stairs are care- fully maintained to prevent mishaps. He stated that pets, pets’ toys, dishes, children or grandchildren’s toys can pose a serious fall hazard.
Hurtte outlined the following safety issues:
Ways to insure you can get help when needed is to have a phone with you and use some sort of life alert device such as One Call Alert, Life or Medical Alert. Always keep doors and windows locked and install some type of security system.
For driving safety you should always wear seat belts, obey speed limits, stay focused, no texting or using cell phones and keep your vehicle in safe condition. Getting in and out of car is also a high accident cause for seniors.
You need to use common sense for outside safety. When mowing the lawn, using weed eater (wear long pants), wear hard toed shoes, not “flip- flops”, if pulling weeds use gloves, safety glasses and hear- ing protection. When doing roof work outside or cleaning the gutters use the proper ladders.
The question was asked, “can someone drown in 3” of water”? Always wear life jackets when on the water, or when NEAR water where there is danger of falling in. Also if you have any serious medical con- ditions have someone with you when working around water. Personally wear a medical alert to identify your condition.
Safety to Avoid House Fires
To prevent house fires you need to be prepared by main- taining your house wiring, install a fire extinguisher, smoke alarms, carbon- monoxide detectors, don’t overload receptors, don’t smoke in bed and don’t leave candles or fire- places unattended. If you should happen to have a house fire be sure and have an escape plan for you and your family and a meeting place. Every year over 4,300 people die in house fires.
Some pointers for senior safety with regard to hotel, restaurant and shopping. Wherever you go, look for alter- nate exits. Before going to sleep in a hotel, take notice of stairways for fire escape. Keep your back to a wall and face the entrances whenever possible when eating in a restaurant.
Some tips to avoid Senior Scams. Government agencies do not leave phone messages. Don’t open emails or texts if you don’t know the sender. Never open attachments to emails and texts unless you know the sender. Don’t allow people to do home repairs before consulting the BBS, family and friends. Never give money in advance unless you are sure the contractor is legitimate and never give out personal information such as social security number over the phone.
In conclusion Hurtte said that “Life is Precious” so handle it with care!
President Spinner spoke regarding the upcoming AFSCME Virtual Fall Convention which is scheduled for October 13, 2021. Spinner and Bobby Hall were voted to be delegates and attend in per- son. If you are interested and would like to sit in via Zoom, please give him a call at 217- 324-2018 or email him at Bspinner@consolidated.net.
Next, Spinner asked Louis Goseland to give everyone a legislative update.