Registed Nurses' Association of Ontario

Health Education Fact Sheets

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Breastfeeding provides the very best food for babies to six months of age, and for young children up to two years and older, with the addition of age-appropriate foods. As the person who provides breast milk, you also benefit. You will be less likely to have serious illnesses, such as breast and ovarian cancers or diabetes. Breastfeeding can also help you with contraception and spacing pregnancies.

You are an important part of the health-care team. Speaking with members of the health-care team will help you get the information you need to understand any changes in your health and what it means for your situation. These changes are known as care transitions. Do not be afraid to ask questions so you know what to expect.

Many older adults have problems with shortness of breath.
If you are over the age of 40 and are a smoker you may be at risk for developing Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).

Les infirmières et autres fournisseurs de soins de santé veulent que vous sachiez qu'ils peuvent vous aider à composer avec une grave menace pour votre santé : les mauvais traitements et la négligence. Saviez-vous que les signes d'abus et de négligence ne sont pas toujours faciles à repérer? Vous pourriez être maltraité sans même le savoir. C'est pourquoi il est important d'en discuter avec une infirmière ou un fournisseur de soins de santé spécialisé.

When children eat well and are active every day, they will be healthier now and in the future.
Making wise food choices is important for good health in both children and adults. Healthy eating habits that children learn in their early years will last a lifetime.

Be a role model for your child. All family members should follow Canada’s Food Guide to Healthy Eating when planning meals.

Based on original guideline from 2005.

Constipation is a frequent health concern for older adults and their care providers.
Fortunately, there are many ways to prevent constipation. Understanding the reasons for constipation is the first step. If you have chronic constipation, talk to your nurse, doctor or nutritionist.

Many older adults are affected by delirium, dementia and/or depression. These conditions are not part of normal aging. Delirium, dementia and depression are different from one another, but it can be hard to distinguish between them because their signs and symptoms may be alike.

Sometimes a person has more than one of these conditions at the same time. Alert health-care staff if you or someone you know shows any of these signs or symptoms.

Many older adults are at risk for delirium. Delirium is a condition that comes on quickly (within hours or days) and affects the brain. It can often be prevented, but if it develops, it needs to be treated right away.

Family members and friends can do a lot to help prevent delirium. They can also support the health-care team to deal with the symptoms of delirium.

Many older adults have problems with shortness of breath.
If you are over the age of 40 and are a smoker you may be at risk for developing Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).

Smoking is the main cause of COPD, but breathing in second hand smoke, other chemicals and pollution may also put you at risk.

This fact sheet is geared toward the client and offers tips on how to prepare before visiting the health-care provider, what ask during the visit and before leaving.

This fact sheet is geared toward the health-care professional. It highlights the best practice guideline recommendations and offers tips on how to facilitate client centred learning.

Nurses and other health-care providers want you to know they can help you deal with a serious threat to your health—abuse and neglect.

Did you know that signs of abuse and neglect are not always easy to spot? You may not even know that you are being mistreated. That’s why it is so important to talk about the issue with a trained nurse or health-care provider.

You may need to seek assistance from a health-care professional when you have concerns about people you care for who are in pain.

Uncontrolled pain is a common problem. Pain can affect anyone at any age and include people who are unable to communicate that they are experiencing some form of pain. If people have pain during their day-to-day activities or during any medical procedure, this can affect the way they behave and function. This behaviour may cause you to feel helpless and distressed, especially if you can not help them with their pain and they are not able to speak for themselves.

Helping you control your asthma: A fact sheet for adults living with asthma
Many people with asthma restrict their daily activities and suffer needlessly. But with proper asthma care, you can reach asthma control.

What is asthma?
Asthma is a chronic swelling of your airways. Asthma symptoms may begin suddenly or may get worse over time. Some common symptoms are:

Why you should seek assistance from a health-care professional when you are in pain?

Uncontrolled pain is a common problem. Pain can affect anyone at any age. If you are experiencing uncontrolled pain it can affect day-to-day activities and make you feel upset or sad. Members of your family may feel helpless too, especially if they do not know how to help.

Urinary incontinence is a symptom, not a disease. It affects one in four Canadians over the age of 65. There are some things related to age that can contribute to the problem.

Breastfeeding provides ideal nutrition for infants. The World Health Organization (WHO) states that children should receive only breast-milk for the first six months of life. Additional foods are recommended only after this period of time, with breastfeeding continuing for up to two years and beyond.

Why should I be concerned about foot ulcers?

Foot ulcers increase the risk of infection (a germ or bacteria that invades and damages the tissues) and may reduce your quality of life. While most foot ulcers heal, when they are left untreated, they could lead to foot amputations. This could lead to lost income, longer hospital stays and a need for special therapy.

Smoking cigarettes and other forms of tobacco is mentally and physically addictive. More than 45,000 Canadians over the age of 35 are estimated to die every year as a direct result of smoking. Tobacco use increases your risk of heart disease, cancer, lung disease, pregnancy complications, stomach problems and gum problems.

Perinatal depression is a common mental illness that affects your mood. It occurs during pregnancy and/or within one year of childbirth. It can also impact your entire family, including your partner, baby and other children. Too often, perinatal depression is not recognized and the person does not get the care or support they need and would benefit from. Fortunately, there are many ways to get better and recover.

The health care you receive should be tailored to your unique needs and goals. Person- and family-centred care invites you and your family to partner with your health-care team, helping you make decisions best suited to you.

Healthy Eating, Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviours: Healthy Habits That Will Last a Lifetime

In Canada, one in three children are overweight or obese (PHAC, 2011). Overweight and obese children are at increased risk for health problems such as diabetes, lung, heart, gut and muscle diseases, depression, low self-esteem and social issues (e.g. bullying)

As people age, some experience changes to their vision, unsteady gait and poor balance. Others are affected by health problems like arthritis, osteoporosis, Parkinson’s disease, and side effects from taking multiple medications. These are only some of the many potential risk factors.

Staying active is one of the most important ways you can stay on your feet and avoid falling.
Many people are afraid of falling, especially if they have fallen before, have fragile bones, or have challenges with their balance or strength.
Think about what you can do to keep your body in good condition and to avoid falls.

Venous leg ulcers can occur in both men and women; and may develop as a result of any injury to the leg or conditions such as varicose vein, blood clot in the leg, multiple pregnancies, overweight and standing for long periods of time (e.g., job related situations).

Pressure injuries (also known as pressure ulcers) are caused by intense and long-lasting pressure that damages the skin, and the tissue under the skin. They can develop in a very short time and take a long time to heal. Pressure injuries can negatively impact a person’s relationships, physical and mental health, and ability to perform day-to-day activities. In most cases, pressure injuries can be prevented. And when they do occur, they can be healed.

Asthma is one of the most common chronic conditions, affecting 2.3 million Canadians over the age of four. Although most people with asthma can gain good asthma control, many do not.

A crisis is an emotional and physical reaction to a life event. The life events that can cause a crisis are diverse, and may include receiving a new medical diagnosis, loss of a loved one, experiencing violence, witnessing a natural disaster, or being exposed to triggers that bring back past trauma. A crisis event may interfere with your ability to cope and do daily activities. This fact sheet goes over what to do during a crisis, who to go for help and how to cope with a crisis in the future.