February is the shortest month and is known to be the month focusing on showing love to others. But did you know that February is Heart Month in Canada? Heart (cardiovascular) disease is currently one of the leading causes of death in Canada, second only to cancer, and yet public awareness is shockingly low.
Why is this important to me?
Heart health has had a personal effect on my family. Both my dad and brother had heart attacks, and then had open heart surgery.
Why should this be important to all of us?
It could be your dad or brother, mother, sister, friend, neighbour, etc. Most Canadians have at least one risk factor of heart disease and stroke. This means it’s incredibly important to understand the warning signs of these serious conditions and ensure you’re taking the best possible care of yourself.
In February, the effort to bring awareness to this vital issue of heart health often focuses on some practical ways individuals can reduce complications or improve their health through lifestyle choices like eating better, exercise, managing stress or stopping smoking, as a few examples as prevention is key. But what happens when it is too late for that advice and we are faced with an emergency situation? How can we quickly help and make a difference? Having recently participated in a renewal class for CPR, we learnt statistics and were given training and tools to optimise a positive outcome in an emergency situation. One of these tools was an AED. External Defibrillator (AED) is a small, lightweight device used to assess a person’s heart rhythm. If necessary, it administers an electric shock to restore a person’s normal heart rhythm during sudden cardiac arrest.
What are 3 important facts you should know about AEDs?
- AEDs are easy to use.
- AEDs can be used on adults, children and infants.
- AED usage within the first three minutes of SCA can increase survival rates over 75%
While AED and CPR training are available and recommended for those responsible for managing an AED, training is not required, as machines have voice prompts to easily assist a novice in successfully using the device. It is important for bystanders who witness the collapse of an individual to act quickly. If a person does not need the shock of an AED, the machine will not deliver a shock. It is not possible to seriously injure someone with an AED; they can only be used to save someone’s life.
How can YOU help when help is needed the most?
Here are 7 simple but important ways:
- KNOW where to look. Start with public spaces. Schools, libraries, RCMP, big box stores, gas stations, gas stations, movie theatres; grocery stores; arenas; gyms.
- ASK: If public places don’t have one, ask why not?
- DOWNLOAD the Pulse Point AED app to know the current locations of AED’s in our local community (this is one app that makes this easier, and it even has very simple prompts in the app on very basic CPR.)
- ADD more AED locations to the Pulse Point App, as we see them around the local community (currently only ONE listed in the Stony Plain area, but EIGHT in the TRI in Spruce Grove).
- SHARE the app and SPREAD the word. The life you may help save could be your mom or dad. Or brother/sister or neighbour.
- CPR: Are you a coach, teacher, parent, volunteer? Why not get your CPR?
- BTW, Did you know there is also an app through them for 1st Aide? Broken bone? Deep cut? Burn? And more… basic prompts on what to do.
Throughout the remainder of February, I encourage my family, friends, and community to take the time to learn more about the RISK factors for heart disease and what can be done to prevent it. Making one small change towards a healthier lifestyle can make a big difference.
Please share with me any other ideas you have to bring more awareness to heart health
♥️ NOTE: The Heart and Stroke Foundation details further information about heart health on their website. Should you experience any of the listed symptoms, you should call 911 or have someone make the call for you.
If you or an ageing loved one are considering Home Care in Spruce Grove, please contact the caring staff at Serving Hands Senior Care today. Call (780) 963-1516
Premiere Home Health and Senior Home Care services in Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Devon, St. Albert, Edmonton, Onoway, Leduc, Parkland County and surrounding communities since 2016.
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