Articles written by Christian M. Hartley


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  • Staying safe in the summer heat

    Christian M. Hartley, For Senior Voice|Jul 1, 2024

    Summer is a wonderful time of year but even here in Alaska the heat can sometimes be intense, especially for seniors. That's why it's important to know how to prevent and treat heat-related illnesses like heat exhaustion and heat stroke, as well as sunburns. Sunburns To prevent sunburns, apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher to all exposed skin before going outside. Apply more every two hours, or more often if swimming or sweating. Wear protective clothing, such as...

  • First-aid basics: Knowing how to treat minor injuries

    Christian M. Hartley, For Senior Voice|Jun 1, 2024

    As the weather warms up and people become more active, keeping first aid in front of our minds is important. Whether you are enjoying a hike, playing sports, or working in the garden, accidents can happen when you least expect them. By knowing basic first aid, you can treat common injuries and prevent more serious complications. One of the most common injuries during outdoor activities is falls. If you or someone you know experiences a fall, remember to stay calm. Check for any signs of injury...

  • Household tips for a safer spring

    Christian M. Hartley, For Senior Voice|May 1, 2024

    Spring has sprung and the blooming flowers, buzzing bees, biting mosquitoes and trip hazards abound as you can finally get out of the house more often. With a few simple preparations, you can enjoy the summer months while minimizing potential risks to your health and well-being. One aspect of summer home safety is ensuring your air conditioning system is in good working order if you have one. Before the heat arrives, schedule a professional to inspect and maintain your AC unit. This will help...

  • Spring cleaning for wildfire safety

    Christian M. Hartley, For Senior Voice|Apr 1, 2024

    As the weather warms up and the days grow longer, it's the perfect time to tackle some spring cleaning around your home. This yearly tradition is not just about tidying up; it's also a good way to prepare for the upcoming wildfire season. By taking a few simple steps, you can help reduce the risks you face. First, let's start with the exterior of your home. Take a walk around your property, looking for any dead or dry vegetation such as leaves, twigs and branches. These can easily catch fire...

  • Staying steady as spring approaches

    Christian M. Hartley, For Senior Voice|Mar 1, 2024

    Falling down is no joke it's a serious threat for many people. But with some simple precautions, you can keep your balance and stay upright. I've slipped up a few times myself, so I've learned some tricks to avoid taking a tumble. Let me share what's helped me stay steady on my feet. First things first, stay active. I know it's easier said than done, but exercise truly is key. Something as simple as a daily walk keeps your muscles and joints limber. Yoga and tai chi are great, too. Just be sure...

  • Options for assistive devices for mobility

    Christian M. Hartley, For Senior Voice|Feb 1, 2024

    Getting around and maintaining our independence gets more challenging every year. During some times of the year, it gets worse by the hour and the weather forecast. Fortunately, there is equipment to help people of all levels of mobility. These items, called assistive devices, are available through insurance or self-pay and can often be found in pharmacies. They range widely in price and upkeep needs, so here is some information on several types. Canes ($15-$75) are the most affordable option....

  • A checklist for preventing winter falls

    Christian M. Hartley, For Senior Voice|Jan 1, 2024

    The ice, snow and cold of wintertime are hazards, but with caution and preparation, people can stay safe and enjoy the winter season with a decreased risk of falls and injuries. This is vitally important for people with poor balance, but applies to everybody. Keep clear pathways and remove tripping dangers. Keep walkways and hallways clear of clutter and debris and make sure there are no tangled extension cords or other hazards. Improving lighting, placing handrails on both sides of stairs, and...

  • Adapting to winter weather with your car

    Christian M. Hartley, For Senior Voice|Dec 1, 2023

    As cold winter months intensify, it’s important that drivers take prepare their vehicles in case of snowstorms and the like. It’s especially important to have the proper supplies and safety items on hand in case you get stuck or stranded while driving in wintry conditions. Being prepared can help ensure your safety and peace of mind. One of the most important things to pack is a basic emergency kit. This should include items like blankets, warm clothing layers, gloves, hats, food that won...

  • Remember safety when celebrating the holidays

    Christian M. Hartley, For Senior Voice|Nov 1, 2023

    The holidays are a time for celebration with loved ones, and to share stories about the past year. However, it's important to remember that safety should always be a top priority so that we can make it to the next year's celebration, too. Bringing guests into your home can increase your risks, but there are ways to address that. Prepare your home. Before your guests arrive, take some time to prepare your home for safety. This includes removing any tripping hazards like loose rugs or cords. Ensur...

  • Remember safety when firing up the woodstove

    Christian M. Hartley, For Senior Voice|Oct 1, 2023

    There is nothing that sounds like winter more than crackling wood in a woodstove and the thuds and groans of children stacking firewood. But it's important to remember that a maintained stove is a safe stove. Get an annual inspection from a chimney sweep. They'll check for creosote buildup, damage and function in the chimney. To find one, contact local woodstove vendors and ask them for referrals. Ask friends with fireplaces to get referrals or remind them to clean their own. Add a second...

  • Stay on the road with better driving skills

    Christian M. Hartley, For Senior Voice|Sep 1, 2023

    As people age, it becomes more important for them to match their driving habits to their abilities. Safe driving habits ensure everyone’s well-being on the road, not just the driver. While aging does not necessarily mean a decline in driving abilities, certain changes in vision, reaction time and strength may require adjustments. By adopting specific habits, the more experienced drivers can enhance their driving skills and reduce the risk of accidents. Start with maintenance Schedule regular h...

  • Use these tips for safety from online scammers

    Christian M. Hartley, For Senior Voice|Aug 1, 2023

    Today, it seems like we get more emails and phone calls from scammers than we do from our actual family and friends. These contacts pose a very real threat to people of all ages but particularly the seniors who can least afford to lose what they have been able to save. I hope to provide some sage guidance to help you safeguard yourself from online scams. All it takes is one mistake for half of a second and you can lose all of your personal data, your finances, or your social media account. Stay...

  • Remember to play it safe when playing outdoors

    Christian M. Hartley, For Senior Voice|Jul 1, 2023

    Staying active is crucial for physical and mental health. Walking is a low-impact exercise that provides numerous health benefits. As we all head outdoors for our walks, we need to take every chance we can to reduce the risk of accidents and injuries. Know your route Like going on a drive across country, a walk across the neighborhood means first picking the right route. Use well-lit paths and trails. Look for routes with pathways separated where possible and stick to the main routes so you...

  • Safety in and on the water for older Alaskans

    Christian M. Hartley, For Senior Voice|Jun 1, 2023

    Water safety is essential for all ages but particularly important for seniors. As people age, they often experience changes in their physical abilities and health that can make them more vulnerable to accidents and injuries in and around water, but self-awareness doesn't always keep up with those limitations. Understanding water safety is critical to prevent accidents and enjoy the many benefits of water activities. The most important aspects of water safety for seniors are the risks associated...

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