Personal Best: Library opens up doors

The Vernon branch of the Okanagan Regional library is one of the best things to happen to the community in a long time

This time of year can be pretty discouraging if you have old bones, and even somewhat younger bones can be fearful of falling on ice and snow. I have already had my fall of the season so don’t have to worry any more this winter.

A week ago I fell in the parking lot of one of our major grocery stores because a metal strip was not fastened down securely and I went face-first into a row of parked grocery carts. As I lay there, right after the fall, a gamut of thoughts went through my head. Broken bones, hospital, nursing home, never being able to be in my own home again, and all the terrible things that result from a bad fall. Fortunately for me none of these things happened. Two very kind guys helped me to my feet and asked if I wanted an ambulance, which I declined. One of these guys helped me to a nearby walk-in clinic where ice was provided for my now purple, yellow and green swollen face until I could see the doctor.

I was very lucky according to my own doctor, other than neck and shoulder strains that are still evident and a face that changes every day into different patterns of purple and yellow bruises, I came out of my fall relatively OK.

The key here is that no matter what you do, no matter what precautions you take, there are hazards that will get in your way and trip you up from time to time.

And we cannot let this possibility get in our way of living and enjoying life, no matter how limited it may be for some who find it difficult to get around in winter.

One of the things that I find so encouraging is the remarkable attitude and openness of our new library to become more involved with this community. It is a beautiful, comfortable building and one all of us should be able to enjoy more. If you have a mobility problem the underground parking couldn’t be better. I remember when it was first constructed not wanting to try out the underground parking, and then playing tag with all the cars coming and going and vying for a parking space on the street. It was worth your life while the underground parking was almost empty. Not anymore and I am so thankful I tried it and got used to it. No ice, no snow, no waiting. All doors are automated and a short elevator ride to the first floor. The new library is one of the best things Vernon has done and with its new openness to the community has more than proven its value.

Their recent programs for adults are exciting and well-attended and I hope they will continue to provide them. A writers’ workshop was held in November and other programs are an Idea Exchange evening and a mystery role-playing evening. There is also a library newsletter you can sign up for so check out the Vernon library Web site or ask at the library for upcoming programs in the new year.

To help boost our energy level so we can partake in the opportunities this community provides check out the following tips gathered from WebMD: Ensure you have a balanced diet. Go for a walk. Increasing physical activity can increase your energy level. Take a power nap. Don’t skip meals, especially breakfast. Reduce stress and deal with anger through relaxation activities. If your energy levels are still low, consult your doctor. Getting involved in something new also increases your energy level.

If you have any comments or questions, e-mail or call 250 542-7928.

Pat Black writes about issues of concern to seniors in the North Okanagan, appearing every other Sunday.

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