Wednesday, 19 June 2013

The uncertainty of life

Like so many others Australians, I was shocked to see the devastation in Oklahoma, USA, after the tornado that recently ripped houses to shreds and destroyed lives in the blink of an eye. It turned what should have been a normal day at work and school into a living nightmare for those affected and it’s only one of many natural disasters.

What this incident reinforced to me is that bad things can suddenly happen to good people and life is fragile and uncertain one minute to the next. We are further reminded of this by the daily stories we see in the media such as vehicle traumas and other tragedies, including the Queensland floods and bushfires across many parts of our own nation earlier this year.

When we think about the dangers we face on a daily basis it’s almost enough to put us off going out of the front door in the morning! The reality is though, that life must go on and the one thing we all share is a collective need to live each day of our lives to the fullest. While we may never be able to remove all of the risks we face, we can take active steps to better protect ourselves and those we love.

I see that positive attitude time and again when I speak to MedicAlert members from across Australia who face a wide range of health issues and who take solace in the peace of mind that comes with being a member of our organisation.

Some choose a life moment to join, such as a newly diagnosed medical condition (like diabetes or a clotting disorder that might be a danger with the birth of a child). Maybe there’s an impending interstate or overseas trip on the agenda, or after a ‘near miss’ with a confused loved one who has wandered away from the family home and spent a cold and lonely night alone and in danger.

Whatever the reason, MedicAlert Foundation continues to reinforce the importance of our emblem in times of emergency or other need to a wide range of healthcare and other professionals. We want them to always look for our distinctive emblem which could literally mean the difference between life and death. If it’s helped you or a loved one even once, that’s priceless.

Sandra Turner

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Men's Health Week

Men’s Health Week serves as a timely reminder for us all to stop and give thought to the health of boys and men across Australia.

Many Australian males that I know often embrace the “she’ll be right” attitude to life, but when it comes to health issues all too often they are not alright.

Right from birth, boys suffer more illness, more accidents and die earlier than females. It’s sobering to learn that an Australian boy born in 2010 has a life expectancy of 79 years while a girl will on average, live to 84 years old. 

Accidents, cancer and heart disease account for the majority of deaths amongst Australian males, but this week should be a celebration of the good things that men bring to our community and a focus on what they can do to improve their health.

The MedicAlert team often hears stories about men who thought they were bullet-proof and only decided to wear one of our distinctive emblems after a near-miss or near-fatal incident.

Whether you've got a heart condition, take regular medication, have an allergy or some other medical ailment that healthcare professionals and emergency crews need to know, then use this week to turn thought into action and become a MedicAlert member as part of your personal risk-management strategy.

To me it is ironic that many men encourage their wives and partners to wear our distinctive Medical ID when they themselves should also be making the same decision and enjoy the same peace of mind.

Men’s Health Week is a reason to look out for your mates and loved ones and to give them a little nudge to better care for themselves. Life might be short but with some greater understanding and enhanced effort we can all be here for a while longer.

My parting thoughts to all men, young and old this week are; if something doesn't feel right or hurts, then get it checked – don’t wait and see if it fixes itself and always listen to your body because you're the one who can make the difference.

Sandra Turner