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Hamilton Grey Power March 2018

The Hamilton Grey Power Magazine is a localised edition of the National Grey Power Magazine, reporting on the policies of the Grey Power Federation, concerns of the elderly and reader interest articles which keep the members informed on issues that directly effect them.

Preventing falls Falls

Preventing falls Falls are among the most common and serious problems facing the older person. Falling is associated with considerable mortality, morbidity, reduced functioning and premature nursing home admission. BY DAWN SMITH Falls generally result from an interaction of multiple and diverse risk factors and situations. Both the incident of the falls and the severity of falls-related complications rise steadily after age 75 years. It is estimated falls in the community dwelling population over 65 years is 35-40 percent. Risk factors can be ‘intrinsic’ ie: • Lower extremity weakness • Poor grip strength • Balance disorders • Functional and/or cognitive impairment So regular health care provider visits and open discussion plus visual checks. Or extrinsic ie: • Multiple medications ie four or more prescription medications • Environmental – poor lighting, loose carpets/mats • Ill fitting footwear or slippers • Lack of bathroom and toilet safety equipment Falls are one of the main causes of long standing pain, functional impairment and disability and even death. the older person needs: • Regular health care provider visits for monitoring and adjusting of medication • NB: Medications not in use should not be kept to avoid confusion • Exercises, particularly training to improve balance • Safety related skills and behaviors • Environmental hazard reduction A home hazard check list for safety: • Eliminate potential tripping hazards – clutter, throw rugs • Having stair/step railings • Add non slip floor surfaces • Adequate lighting • Rails in toilets/bathrooms • Well fitted footwear • Do not stand on stools, chairs etc when alone (or not at all) Falls and injuries can be life changing and life threatening with tremendous loss of independence, denting confidence and creating insecurity. Be careful – think – be safe – enjoy life. Special days to celebrate in March; April and May MARCH St Patrick’s day – March 17 So as per this quarter magazine’s theme we look at St Patrick’s day which was made an official Christian feast day by the Irish in the early 17th century. The patron saint of Ireland is celebrated world- wide with cultural and religious festivities. People wear green and generally make merry with dancing, singing, eating and drinking Irish beer. Our recipe this month from Mrs Kitchen is a traditional Irish dish. Other March days are: NZ Children’s day and also World book day – March 4 International Woman’s day – 8th March A time to catch up and acknowledge the important women in your life. APRIL April Fools Day – April 1 This traditionally is a day when people play harmless jokes, pranks and hoaxes on others. It needs to be remembered that the joker can only do this until midday as after the clock strikes noon then the joke turns back onto them. Origins of this day appears to read back to Chauser’s Canterbury Tales in 1392. Remember to put your clocks back one hour on this Sunday, not a joke even though it is the April 1. Anzac day – April 25 An important national day of remembrance both in New Zealand and Australia. A time to remember those who gave their lives in all wars, conflicts and even peacekeeping missions. Dawn services are held throughout both countries on this day. MAY Mother’s Day – May 13 A special day to honour the Mothers in your family and is celebrated in more than 40 countries around the world. So don’t forget to treat your mother with love and respect on this day. National Youth Week – May 21 This is a celebration of the talents, passions and success of our young people. Events are designed during this week to encourage young people to take on challenges, share ideas and work together over a period of nine days. It first commenced in New Zealand in the early 1990s and is now run under the umbrella of Ara Taiohi. This year’s theme is, “Be who you want to be.” World no smoking day – 31st May So time to stub out smokers. 10 Hamilton greypower Magazine | March 2018

Thailand sadness and joy in one week It was my privilege to visit Thailand on a very special and important week in the local people’s lives. On October 26 the day after my arrival in Bangkok the whole of Thailand was silent, all shops were closed and the people only dressed in black. They were in mourning as this was the day of the cremation of their beloved King Bhumibol Adulyadej. Tears flowed throughout the country as this King was seen to be the ‘Father Figure’ of them all and huge respect and love was shown for him. Many lined the streets for days to watch, pray and give thanks as the procession slowly made its way from Dusib Malia Prasat Throne hall to the cremation site after a year of mourning. Born on December 5, 1927 in Cambridge Massachusetts USA, where his father was studying, and died in Thailand on October 13, 2016 aged 88 years. For seven decades he served as King and put his heart and soul into helping the people of Thailand to have a better life. He turned part of the palace grounds into experimental places of development in agriculture, forestry and small scale industry so that people could learn to make life better for themselves. Over his life time he visited every province in the country in an effort to find ways to improve the lives of the poor. He had electricity installed in villages, looked at ways of improving irrigation, made sure that the children of the nation received milk every day at schools. He was a good mediator when required to balance the thoughts and ways of the leading military and their Generals. So it was an honour for me to watch the amazing pageant as it slowly made its way to the cremation site. A Royal Chariot dating back to 1796 carrying the cremation urn, pulled by soldiers manually with red rope. This was a spectacle which drew on both Hindu and Buddhist traditions and was humbling in its glory and respect. A few days later On November 3 at the end of the rainy season, life and colour had come back to the streets of Thailand as the Thai people celebrated Loy Krathong. This is one of the most picturesque festivals I have ever seen. The full moon rises and the people converge on lakes and waterways to pay respect to the Goddess of Water and to honour the Bhuddha by releasing lotus shaped rafts of flowers (Krathong) adorned with flickering candles and incense onto the water. This is a way of releasing all negative thoughts and memories and bringing a new beginning to those who participate. People dress in colourful clothes and children in schools make the rafts out of banana leaves and lotus flowers, ready to float them into the water after sunset. The waterways become an enchanting spectacle of light and flowers and the Krathongs are not only meant to help remove the worries and problems of life, they are also supposed to act as vessels to cleanse the water from pollution which the people apologise for damaging. Many hotels on the riverways hold feasts and provide music and dancing in a truly Thai fashion for all to see and understand the tradition. Firework displays add to the spectacle and light of the floating Krathons as people release these beautiful floating baskets, and the smell of incense wafts in the evening air. What a pleasure it was for me to be part of this celebration with my Grandchildren so that we could float our Krathongs in the river hopefully releasing any negative thoughts for us in 2018. Liz Beautiful Caskets, Beautiful Funerals Hamilton greypower Magazine | March 2018 11

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