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September 2008


Vancouver Island’s 50+ Active Lifestyle Magazine


help Sue Hargreaves get her sea legs Grandmothers bike for Africa

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Photo: M. Waldie


Volunteers at the Goldstream Salmon Hatchery get knee-deep in their work. Story on page 12.

COVER PHOTO: Sue Hargreaves sits on the bow of the Delphina during the Sea Wise Womens Sailing Course she completed. Story on page 6. Photo: Enise Olding Publisher Barbara Risto Editor Bobbie Jo Sheriff Contributors Norman K. Archer, Tiffany Auvinen, Goldie Carlow, Judee Fong, Gipp Forster, Bryden Gage, Judith Millar, Chris Millikan, Rick Millikan, Pat Nichol, Enise Olding, Nadja Penaluna, Michael Rice, Vernice Shostal, Barbara Small, Judy Stafford, Mark Waldie, Claire Wilson Design Barbara Risto, Bobbie Jo Sheriff Proofreader Allyson Mantle Advertising Manager Barry Risto For advertising information, call 479-4705 Ad Sales Staff IMG Innovative Media Group Mathieu Powell 250-704-6288 John Dubay 250-294-9700 Ann Lester 250-755-7750 Barry Risto 250-479-4705 Shelley Ward (Comox Valley) 250-702-3731 RaeLeigh Buchanan 250-479-4705 Robert Doak 250-479-4705 Distribution Ron Bannerman, Gail Fattore, Jim Gahr, Lorraine Rhode, Barry Risto, Betty Risto, Sheila Rose Richardson,Ted Sheaff, Tanya Turner Contact Information Senior Living, 153, 1581-H Hillside Ave.,Victoria BC V8T 2C1 Phone 250-479-4705 Toll-free 1-877-479-4705 Fax 250-479-4808 E-mail (General) (Editorial) Web site Subscriptions $32 (includes GST) for 10 issues. Canadian residents only. No portion of this publication may be reproduced in whole or in part without written permission from the publisher. Senior Living is an independent publication and its articles imply no endorsement of any products or services. The views expressed herein are not necessarily those of the publisher. Unsolicited articles are welcome and should be e-mailed to Senior Living Vancouver Island is distributed free throughout Vancouver Island. Stratis Publishing Ltd. publishes Senior Living Vancouver Island (10 issues per year), the Housing Guide (January & July) and Senior Living Vancouver & Lower Mainland (10 issues per year). ISSN 1710-3584 (Print) ISSN 1911-6403 (Online)



FEATURES 6 Sea-Wise Women

Five women and five days at sea – they return competent sailors.


12 Fending for the Fish

4 The Family Caregiver

Lifelong fishermen give something back.

14 School Days

Dorothea Adaskin, 83, is registered and ready to go – back to school!

16 Pedaling for Hope

This month, 24 people will cycle 265 km from Campbell River to Victoria in support of Victoria Grandmothers for Africa.

18 Facing My Fears

Claire Wilson embarks on a new life while letting go of old fears.

22 Nadia’s Watercolour World Ambidextrous artist Nadia Shworan is having too much fun!

28 A Cruise for All!

Travel writers Rick and Chris Millikan find a cruise that meets the needs of mobility challenged travellers.

34 Active Aging

Local rec centres open their doors as people 50 plus are invited to a week of free workshops, activities and social events.

40 Presenting...

A small group of dedicated music lovers bring classical performances to Chemainus with St. Michael’s Presents.

46 Seaside Garden Whimsy Ingrid Hill fulfills her dream of building a garden paradise by the sea.

Barbara Small

10 Victoria’s Past Revisited Norman Archer

20 Scam Alert Bryden Gage

26 Ask Goldie

Goldie Carlow

32 Bygone Treasures Michael Rice

37 Courageous & Outrageous Pat Nichol

48 Reflections:Then and Now Gipp Forster


Home Support Directory 36 Crossword 38 Classifieds 39 Events 44

Stage 1 BYLAW

Water Conservation Bylaw

Effective May 1-Sept 30

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• Lawn watering is permitted two days per week as follows: - even numbered addresses may water Wednesday and Saturday from 4-10 am and 7-10 pm. - odd numbered addresses may water Thursday and Sunday from 4-10 am and 7-10 pm. • Established trees, flowers, shrubs and vegetables may be watered by hand any day and any time if watering is done by a hand-held container, a hose equipped with a shut-off nozzle, or a micro/drip irrigation system. • Established trees, flowers, shrubs and vegetables may be watered with a sprinkler any day from 4-10 am and 7-10 pm. • New sod or seeded lawns may be watered outside permitted days by special permit only.


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e seldom know in advance when we will find ourselves in the role of family caregiver. It could start simply – helping a bit here and there – and then suddenly, it’s a full-time job. Or we could find ourselves plunged into it when a health crisis hits. Providing care to a family member or friend carries many responsibilities and can be overwhelming. The impact of these growing demands can result in stress, anger, guilt, fatigue, depression and many physical symptoms. This collection of symptoms commonly experienced by family caregivers now has a name, “caregiver syndrome.” Caregiver syndrome was first mentioned on the CNN website in May 2008 in an article written by Dr. Andree LeRoy. In this article, Dr. Jean Posner, a neuro-psychologist in Maryland, described this condition as “a debilitating condition brought on by unrelieved constant caring for a person with a chronic illness or dementia.” Peter Vitaliano, a professor of geriatric psychiatry at the University of Washington and an expert on caregiving, said, “the chronic stress of caring for someone can lead to high blood pressure, diabetes and a compromised

Caregiver Syndrome

immune system. The stress is not only related to the daunting work of caregiving, but also the grief associated with the decline in the health of their loved ones.” Labelling the physical, emotional and mental impact of caregiving could help increase awareness amongst family members, healthcare professionals, the general public and family caregivers themselves. Although many family caregivers are burnt out, they seldom seek help for themselves. Their energy and attention – as well as everyone else’s – is usually focused on the care recipient. Caregivers might not connect the physical and emotional symptoms they are experiencing with the stress of caregiving. Many exhausted caregivers may not seek help because they don’t realize they have a recognized condition. Having these symptoms labelled can help validate caregivers’ experiences and perhaps allow them to recognize the signs and symptoms early enough to get help. Also, having a formal name for the impact of caregiving may gain the attention of the healthcare profession and encourage providers to take more time to ask questions that will determine whether the family caregiver’s own needs are being met. They could


then make recommendations on how and where the caregiver can get relief. Expanding a family caregiver’s support system, getting help with caregiving tasks, finding sources of respite and providing education and information to caregivers can decrease the incidence of this syndrome. Contact the Family Caregivers’ Network Society at 250384-0408 or visit www.fcns-caregiving. org to find out more information about products and services available to help support you in your role as a family caregiver. Take some time for yourself and remember to make an appointment with your healthcare provider to talk about the condition of your own health as well. SL Next month: Caregiving your spouse

Barbara Small is Program Development Coordinator for Family Caregivers’ Network Society.

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hen she was 10 years old, Sue Hargreaves read a book that sparked her lifelong dream to sail. Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome is set in the English Lake District not far from the coast where Sue grew up. As an only child, she was entranced by the story of sisters and brothers setting sail in their own boat, using skills taught them by their mother. “It’s the freedom of the story that appealed to me,” she says. Fifty-four years later, Sue realized her dream when she joined three other women on a Sea Wise Women Cruise out of Nanaimo. She’d heard from a friend about the cruise for women who were familiar with sailing but wanted to get more sea miles under their belts and try their hands at every aspect of skippering

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a boat under the guidance of a female instructor. Within a few hours of hearing about the cruise, Sue was booked and contemplating what lay ahead. Even though Sue has always led a busy and active life doing yoga, Scottish Country Dancing, hiking and biking while continuing to work as a Library Assistant, she wondered if she would be fit enough for what she thought she would have to do. Having been out on boats before, she had heard directions like “jumping on and off” and was alarmed at the prospect. “But it turned out beautifully because you never, ever jump on or off a boat,” she says with a grin. “I felt perfectly capable of getting on and off the boat because we were taught the right way. I didn’t fall behind in anything we did – even climbing into the dinghy.” On board the 35.5-foot (10.82m) Delphina were two women in their 60s, two in their 40s (one of whom was the skipper and instructor) and one in her 20s. One woman had a Coastal Cruising qualification and had sailed with her husband for 15 years but, because they’d divided the sailing tasks between them so efficiently, she was missing some skippering opportunities and wanted to regain confidence. Another woman lived on a 55’ (16.76 m) boat and wanted to know how to use the sails properly so her home wasn’t unduly tossed about or put at risk. The youngest crewmember had grown up on and around boats and, while comfortable, had not learned how to sail. Now, she wanted to know what it was her parents had done seemingly so effortlessly.

Then there was Sue, who was full of nautical theory after taking the Cape Lazo Power and Sail Squadron course, but lacking in practical experience and with a lifelong dream waiting to be fulfilled. The division of tasks, chores and duties on board fell smoothly into place. As everyone got to know each other better, laughter crept in and humour became a constant companion. Sue laughs at how many times the crew rescued Fred-theBread in countless man-overboard exercises, which served to use up the surplus bread on board while crew honed their boat handling and rescue skills. Not only did two navy ships slow down to take a closer look at the increasingly skilled manoeuvres being performed, but a line of seagulls spotted the various Fred-the-Breads floating on the surface and enjoyed unexpected snacks. Skipper Rowena’s expert guidance allowed each person to perform rescues using the man-overboard pole, a lost cap and slices of bread, each time bringing the vessel to controlled stability, which would, in real circumstances, allow for panicfree rescue of an overboard victim. The five days proved sunny and bright, some were windy with choppy seas and others brought calm waters. Either way, the practises for handling the boat were undertaken. Everyone did everything many times over and nobody was left to

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feel they hadn’t tackled the task to the point of comfortable confidence. Some found it a challenge to take accurate compass readings and use plotters to chart a course but, in the end, they did it. Others took a while to grasp the points of sail, but eventually caught on. Several anchoring repeats provided entertainment for the other boaters at a picturesque and sheltered cove near Ladysmith Harbour. Since each sailor had to practise anchoring the boat, onlookers saw rope being measured, the anchor going down, being set only to be pulled up repeatedly. Boaters are generally gallant types and so when offers of assistance came, nobody was surprised. But the dedicated learners persisted until everyone was okay with anchoring techniques. The good folks at Thetis Island Marina welcomed Delphina to use their docks for docking practise since there was plenty of space available. GraduDebra Rees ally, an audience gathered consisting of other boaters and some who settled in deck chairs with drinks on the dock for a front-row view. With a brisk wind and energetic currents, everyone was set for some potentially dramatic entertainment. What



they got, instead, was a series of superb worked hard and laughed lots, and Sue says demonstrations of how to dock a boat! she would go on another cruise in a heartSkipper Rowena calmly informed, beat. She urges others who have thoughts reminded and guided, at first, but with of booking a similar course to “just do it each attempt she’d intervene less until – don’t fuss around for as long as I did.” each person docked the boat skillfully For the five women of Delphina, the and unprompted. words of the youngest member will remain Many moments of triumph were ex- in their memories and sum up the experiperienced, much applause given, and ence: “I’m having the time of my life,” she some shed a few tears of relief after they was overheard telling her parents on her had surmounted what had previously cellphone, “and everyone’s ready to be been, for them, a real fear. certified!” Other tears flowed with the laughter And they were. Each woman achieved and banter that became part of life on her International Sail and Power Associaboard. But the trip was not without its tion’s Competent Crew and Day Skipper SL serious side. “We heard two maydays,” qualifications. says Sue, “and hearing them over the radio was sobering. It brought home the reality of it all to hear of people in a dinghy while their boat was on fire. We were having fun, but we had to do everything demanded by the way of safety.” Sue and crew spent five days and nights learning how to sail, including: engine care, boat systems, safety checks, navigation, CRUISING IN FO: points of sail, anchoring, res• The Seawise Women Cruis e is offered by naimo Yacht C cue techniques and rules of Naharters www.n an aimoyachtchar co the road. m 1-877-754-86 ters. 01 Each sailor had a chance • Tailor-made cruises can be designed to m your needs: be to skipper the boat and eet ginner to expe rienced practise every manoeuvre • Varieties of cr uise and learn options are av able from man as many times as each felt aily operators o n Va Check the Inte ncouver Island necessary. Every spare mornet or telepho . ne directory. ment was filled with dis• Boating theory , navigation and practical course and qualificatio cussion on sailing, boats ns are offered by a va za riety of organiing, mechanics, signals, tions including Canadian Pow er Squadron, C dian Yachting A navigation, boat mainteanassociation and In ternational Sail Power Associat nance and safety rules. and ion. They slept well, ate well,


The Family Mission Statement Take a Meaningful First Step to Estate Planning By April M. Dorey, B.Comm, FMA, FCSI

The transfer of wealth across generations should foster familial harmony and financial growth. Yet, few conversations can be more awkward or explosive than discussions about money. The passing of wealth between family members can unload emotional baggage, spark power struggles, and tap into a sense of anxiety spurred by the notion of death. Canadian baby boomers stand to inherit somewhere between $800 billion and $1 trillion according to a recent study by TD Canada Trust. The significance here is the tremendous difference in the way the two generations approach money. The World War II generation is careful, cautious, and riskaverse—and not just because they’ve reached a time in life where they should be more conservative. Scars from The Depression remain and unless they’ve had an advisor who’s coaxed them into taking some risks over the years, they’re often quite content to keep their money in the bank. Baby boomers, on the other hand, are optimistic by nature and don’t see the stock market as all that risky. Indeed, a bull market is all many of them have seen in their adult lives. With such powerful and contradictory feelings towards money, it’s no wonder that many families find it difficult to broach the topic! Estate planning is changing. New approaches bring together financial professionals, tax consultants, attorneys and family members in an effort to shape the direction of communities – and the world – for years to come. The Economist magazine noted that the number of foundations has grown from 22,000 in the early 1980s to over 65,000 today. Being clear about your intentions is even more crucial with so many organizations vying for your money. You can ensure that your wealth continues to do good work long into the future by establishing financial structures that create a legacy of financial unity and success. To do that, you’ll need to come up with a plan. The foundation of your plan could well start with something new: a Family Mission Statement. A mission statement is a written explanation of the values and beliefs that have led to success; it’s a plan many businesses use to organize their financial and human assets to ensure its future success. The family mission statement works in much the same way. It is a statement of family identity: who you are, what you believe in and what you will do in the future. This simple exercise can make a serious topic easier to discuss. You start by stating your goals and discussing the

legacy you want to leave with your family. Your children and grandchildren can offer their insight into the important values they’ve received from you. For those who are dedicated to the idea of helping others, a mission statement can assist future generations in continuing the philanthropic journey you’ve begun. Creating a family mission statement can have a profound effect, because it clarifies objectives and is a compelling

way to bring home your family’s ability to affect the future. Your actions today can help create family harmony, dispel hurt feelings, and address any looming tax or legal issues. April Dorey is an Investment Advisor with Raymond James Ltd. The views of the author do not necessarily reflect those of Raymond James. This article is for information only.

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t precisely noon on Wednesday, April 10, 1912, the ship’s whistle blew three times, the gangways were hauled up and the new magnificent ocean liner, Titanic, steamed slowly away from Southampton’s Dock 44 on its fateful maiden voyage. The gigantic vessel stood almost 11 storeys high, was four blocks long and weighed 46,300 tons. Captain Edward John Smith, 62, the “millionaires’ captain,” had planned to retire, but was persuaded by the White Star Line to take one more trip, so he had arrived by taxi at 7 a.m. that morning, resplendent in his bowler hat and overcoat. He and his officers had supervised the loading of 11,000 pounds of fresh fish, 1,750 pounds of ice cream, 6,000 pounds of butter, 1,500 bottles of wine, 36,000 oranges, two tons of tomatoes and countless other culinary delights. Among the passengers who had boarded the Titanic was the Fortune family. Mark Fortune was born in 1847 on an Ontario farm, but the lure of gold drew him to California. It was a disappointing venture, so he returned to Canada in 1871 to avail himself of the land that was up for grabs in Manitoba, following the crushing of the Métis. His speculation paid off as the city of Winnipeg grew up around the railway


and Portage Avenue was to run straight through his land. He dabbled in politics as an Alderman for Winnipeg West for a few years and prospered by the construction of the Fortune Building on Main Street. He built the family home on Wellington Crescent, where he and his wife, Mary, reared their six children. In January 1912, Mark decided to treat his family to a European vacation. His two oldest children declined the invitation, but his youngest son, Charles and three of his daughters were ecstatic at the prospect – particularly his youngest, 23-year-old Mabel, born November 3, 1888. Mabel was an attractive girl, but was high strung and thoroughly spoiled. Europe was a grand adventure. They toured Greece, Israel, Egypt, Italy and finally, London. While they were staying at the Shepheard Hotel in Cairo in February, a curious event happened that Alice, one of Mabel’s sisters, had good reason to recall for the rest of her life. While she was sitting on the hotel balcony, a dark, furtive figure crept up behind her and, grabbing her hand, whispered, “Let me tell your fortune!” Alice was too startled to move as the soothsayer peered closely at her palm and said, “You are in danger every time

you travel on the sea, for I see you adrift on the ocean in an open boat. You will lose everything except your life.” The stunned Alice slipped a coin to the man who disappeared as quickly as he had come. Alice was soon to be reminded of his prophetic words. The farewell party at the Carlton Hotel in London was delightful, but Mabel could only dream of being back in Canada caught up again in the waiting arms of her first love, Harrison Archer Driscoll, a jazz musician from Minnesota of whom her parents did not approve and hoped their daughter would soon get over. The family was booked to return on the Mauretania, but when Mark learned that friends of his were going back on the Titanic, he changed their plans. The Fortune family had reserved three outside starboard cabins on C deck in the first class section – numbers 23, 25 and 27. The departure from Southampton was not without incident. The family watched from the deck as the gigantic engines of the Titanic created such turbulence in the water that other ships anchored nearby were soon in trouble. Mooring lines snapped and the New York drifted helplessly into the Titanic’s path. “Full astern!” ordered Titanic’s Captain and the resulting wash drove the endangered ship away, but only by a few metres.

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The delay caused the Titanic to be an hour late for her next three ports of call but calm seas and good weather enabled the ship to make good time and it was soon running ahead of schedule. However, the new Marconi wireless system was causing problems and messages were piling up. After morning prayers on Sunday, Captain Smith noticed the wind was rising, so he cancelled the customary lifeboat drill. Sunday dinner was an opulent affair in the largest dining room afloat – 30 metres long and seating 500 people at any one time. The Fortune family thoroughly enjoyed sampling most of the 17 items on the main menu. After dinner, Mary and her daughters retired early while the men adjourned to one of the lounges. The first sign that Mabel realized anything was wrong was when she was awoken in the night by her mother who had felt a violent shudder. They lay motionless in their beds. The engines had stopped and all seemed eerily still. They heard nothing of the tumult on deck, or of the constant stream of passengers on the Grand Stairway. And even when they a dj Na

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realized that the ship had begun to tilt, they still thought nothing was wrong. It was 1 a.m. before Mark came into their cabins, wearing a heavy, matted, moth-eaten old Buffalo coat that he took everywhere as his good-luck charm, much against the protests of his wife. He told his wife and daughters to get dressed, leave everything, and then led the women to the stairs. Mark and his son Charles were told they had to remain where they were. That was the last Mabel ever saw of her father and brother. There was no time to say goodbye and their bodies were never recovered. When the women reached the tilting deck, they had to leap in the dark to get into Lifeboat Number 10, with Seaman Buley in charge. It was like a dream. It simply felt very, very cold. Mabel’s sister Ethel had refused to get in and went back to her cabin, only to be forcibly propelled back on deck by a seaman and made to jump from an enormous height and land safely enough in the boat as it was being lowered. The sight of the majestic Titanic being slowly sucked down to the depths, the cries of the helpless and drowning, the explosion of the boilers, the sound of the orchestra still playing were experiences forever etched on the memory

of Mabel Fortune. Lifeboat Number 10, with all passengers alive, was picked up by the Carpathia and taken to New York. The Fortune women checked into the Belmont Hotel where Mark had previously booked rooms and the girls’ uncle came from Winnipeg to take them home. No, Mabel Fortune did not forget her first love as her family had hoped. She married her jazz musician paramour, Harrison Driscoll in 1913 and they had one son, Robert. But her parents had been right all along. The marriage did not last. Mabel moved to Victoria to stay with her friend, Charlotte Armstrong, with whom she lived at York Place for the next 47 years. Robert was sent to boarding school. Mabel Driscoll, Victoria’s Titanic survivor, died on February 19, 1968 of a heart attack at the age of 79 in Richmond Heights Hospital and is buried in SL the Royal Oak Burial Park.

Norman Archer is an historical city tour guide in Victoria and the author of Tales of Old Victoria. Contact him at 250-655-1594 or



any of them started volunteering at the Goldstream Salmon Hatchery for the

same reason. “We fished all our lives, now the fish are struggling and we wanted to help get them back,” says volunteer Reg Ash. His brother, Ken, echoes that thought and several on their crew share similar sentiments. They are all part of the Goldstream Volunteer Salmonid Enhancement Association, which has about 80 volunteers and runs a hatchery located in the CRD Water District land on the Goldstream River.

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Photo: M. Waldie

Fending for the Fish M

The hatchery work was started in the early 1970s by a local angler named Howard English who, like many of the current volunteers, wanted to “give something back.” Howard involved people like Jack Stitson. “I was in the plumbing trade,” Jack recalls. “It was back in 1978. I belonged to the Esquimalt Anglers and Howard came and asked for people to help in building fences to catch brood stock on Craigflower Creek. And then he got me up to Goldstream and he knew my background, so I ended up building things and there’s always something to do.” And whenever something needed to be done, in the true spirit of the hatchery volunteers, Jack just went and did them. For his efforts, the Association once awarded him a strange trophy they call, “The Broom.” “Howard was tight fisted,” Jack laughs. “He didn’t want to waste money so we had this old broom we used until almost all the bristles came off.” Now, the Association awards the broom annually to a volunteer who has done a lot of hard work. But there’s not just work, there’s a lot of fun, too. There is always time for socializing with a diverse crowd, which includes everyone from retired teachers and tradesmen, as well as students, homemakers and people whose jobs allow them to volunteer. And sometimes their hatchery work is quite different from their careers. “When I retired from accounting, I


vowed I wasn’t going to be any organization’s treasurer,” chuckles John Mace. “Now I get to work outdoors.” A typical day at the hatchery starts before 9 a.m. with coffee and a few jokes. Then it is off to work. Sometime around 10:30 a.m., they have coffee again (and more jokes), then it’s back to work and when they finish off around lunchtime, they might go out and grab a beer. Different crews come in on different days, but everyone is there to help the salmon. October and November, means going into the river and catching the salmon as they return to spawn. They then take the eggs from the females and milt from the males and mix them together for fertilization. They place the fertilized eggs in incubators, pick out the unfertilized ones in January and in March they watch the eggs turn into alevin. A month later, when the alevin become fry, the volunteers release them into troughs and then into other storage tanks. Depending on the species, as the fish develop into smolts, the volunteers feed and nurture them for up to a year. But then comes the best part, releasing the fish back into the river, knowing that in a few years, they’ll hopefully come swimming back. The volunteers take pride in knowing that, despite decades of human destruction of fish habitat and over fishing, the volunteers have helped nature. “It’s just a great group, and we have a lot of fun,” says Jack, “but that’s what SL it’s all about.”

More fun than beachcombing … Register now for adult part-time courses starting in September!

FREE events this fall: Deans’ Lunchtime Lectures This popular series will be held at the Greater Victoria Public Library on Broughton Street, downtown Victoria—register early to make sure of a seat! Fridays, September 19 to November 28

Have fun, make new friends, or develop a new interest through UVic’s Continuing Studies—open to everyone! Choose from nearly 200 individual courses, seminars, workshops, lectures and community-based programming.

Cultivating Nature: Farmland as Natural Habitat

We’ve added 50 new courses this season! The Fall 2008 course calendar has already washed up at Victoria area libraries and you can also find it on our website.

Three free lectures that examine how viewing the farm or ranch as natural habitat provides a framework for reconnecting food systems with ecosystems. Thursdays, October 23, November 6 and November 20

Register for courses online or by calling 250-472-4747.

Censorship and the Arts: Current Issues and Controversies Public Issues Community Forum Thursday, October 23 or call 250-472-4747




Photo: Vernice Shostal


Dorothea Adaskin, centre, 83, is attending university in Denmark this month. Here, Parkwood Place presents her with a scholarship toward her studies.


ormer GI, single mom, community mental health worker and police officer Dorothea Adaskin is about to embark on a new challenge – one that will have her study in Denmark. Born of Danish parentage in Junction City, Oregon in 1924, Dorothea will attend Grundtvig Højskole, 30 minutes from Copenhagen, to experience and learn among today’s students. “There is always something old and new to learn,” says the veteran scholar and grandmother of three who will pursue her studies from the first of September to Christmas with the option of renewing her four-month visa and continuing studies, if she likes it. Dorothea received a $2,020 scholarship from Parkwood Place in Victoria, where she is a resident. Jan Bard, Executive Director of Parkwood Place and Parkwood Court, established the scholarship fund to help Dorothea with her 14


courageous and ambitious dream. “We believe in encouraging and honouring those residents who do extraordinary things,” says Director of Marketing Amber Reis. “To us, making the decision to attend university at the age of 83, and in a foreign country, was something to celebrate.” Attending school in Denmark is not new to Dorothea, who says a lifetime of events and experiences influenced her decision. The third oldest in a family of six children, Dorothea and her siblings grew up with the Danish language and traditions. “The Danes integrated into the greater society, yet their heritage was Danish,” says Dorothea. Like her siblings, she learned English by playing with other children. At age 22, after a two-year term in the navy (1944-46) where she served as a police officer on base, Dorothea first became interested in attending school in Denmark when a Danish teacher and

his wife visited Dorothea’s home in 1946. With $15 in her pocket, a one-way ticket and a college friend, she set out. Following a few months’ employment in a boys’ detention school, she and her friend enrolled in Asksov Højskole (194749). Since Dorothea had served in the U.S. Navy, the president of the college she attended prior to enlistment made considerable diplomatic effort to have the school in Denmark approved for the GI Bill. “The allowance made my studies, stay and return ticket home possible,” she says. Since her attendance at Askov Højskole, Dorothea made five more trips to Denmark to travel the country, visit friends and attend a classical music festival in Roskile. Dorothea received a bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Washington after which she and her baby daughter moved to California. She continued her studies in San Diego and received a master’s degree in psychiatric social work and a doctorate in psychiatric social work from Berkeley. From California, where Dorothea spent 25 years working in Community Mental Health, she moved to Anacortes, Washington to build a 4,000-square-foot earth shelter on a one and a quarter acre hillside overlooking Guemes Channel 1,000 feet below. Single, she wanted a low maintenance home, which took advantage of the south sun for heat and light. She fenced a large area against deer for an organic garden and grew shallots as a cash crop. According to the structural engineer, the house would withstand earthquakes. Much to her delight, the deer grazed the roof and yard that was not fenced. While in Seattle, Dorothea was recruited as a police officer, assigned to work with battered children and often went on drug patrols. At 64, while housesitting in Victoria, Dorothea met and married former University of Saskatchewan music professor and composer Murray Adaskin. Murray was 83. “Murray wrote a total of 130

pieces, 47 after we were married,” says Dorothea. “His last composition, Musica Victoria 2000, was written when Murray was 94 years of age.” He died in 2002. Now a Canadian citizen, Dorothea credits Elderhostel, a program of worldwide travel for people over 50, for helping her continue living her exciting life. “Not only is there study for every imaginable interest, but travel arrangements are all beautifully managed,” she says. “Enthusiasm, interest and a travel bag is all one needs to participate.” Carrying out a promise she made to her late husband that she would learn to golf when she became an octogenarian, her first experience with Elderhostel was a week of golf lessons and games, which soon became her passion. She is on her third set of clubs. Other experiences with Elderhostel were: immersion in Greek culture, history, Homer, the National Parks of Utah, and time spent in the Czech Republic, Austria and Hungary. Her latest adventure, to study in Denmark, came from an Elderhostel bulletin advertising that Scandinavian Studies assisted study arrangements in Denmark. Dorothea intends to continue with Elderhostel trips. When Parkwood Place became her residence in 2006, she gained an additional freedom. “Not only is daily life carefree and satisfying,” she says, “but being away for a short or longer time requires only that I turn the key in the lock. My home always welcomes me when I return.” Life in Denmark has changed, but “the Danes are a resourceful, creative, educated people. They appear to successfully meet the challenge of changing times,” says Dorothea, a philosophy that reflects her own lifestyle. “If I can’t do that, then I can do this,” she says. “I used to have big gardens, but now I can’t have that, so I do something else.” Dorothea watches sports and politics and plays darts. The highlight of her life was being married to Murray, with whom she travelled extensively. An optimist, Dorothea makes the best of whatever she does and wherever she is. SL


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oan Wenman, Jocelyn Green, and Elizabeth Rutherford lounge on an old-fashioned pillared porch that overlooks the ocean and sip tea on a sunny Sunday afternoon. They’re not just relaxing – but accomplishing some amazing work at the same time. All three are part of an impassioned group of Victoria grandmothers who raise money and awareness about millions of African grandmothers who are rearing their AIDS-orphaned grandchildren. In some countries, 40-60 per cent of the estimated 13 million orphans live with their grandmothers. And on September 5th to 7th, approximately 24 folks will bicycle 265 kilometres from Campbell River to Victoria for their second annual bike riding fundraiser. The Stephen Lewis Foundation founded the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign on March 7, 2006, the eve of International Women’s Day. Lewis’ own personal despair of witnessing the plight of these people inspired him to take action. Since then, over 200 groups of Canadian grandmothers have formed and raised over $3 million for the cause. The Victoria chapter has done their part by raising over $27,000 from last year’s bike ride, sales from their cookbook, Gifts from Grandma’s Kitchen, a garage sale, selling knitted dolls and other events. Elizabeth explains her role. “I have been an activist all my life and this is the most rewarding work I’ve ever been involved in. Generally, we’ve used my living room for meetings; I edited our cookbook and pressured a lot of people into buying who didn’t really want it. When I went to my hairdressers’ for money, I walked out with $200. Mention Stephen Lewis and the money starts rolling.” “If I went into my hairdressers’,” says Joan, “they’d just laugh.” “But you’re not Elizabeth Rutherford!” teases Jocelyn. Elizabeth has also rallied for dona-

tions for raffles, secured sponsors and, at 85, shows no signs of slowing down or not speaking her mind. When someone told her cookbooks were old hat and wouldn’t sell, it didn’t stop her. After offering to pay for the first printing herself just to prove them wrong, the cookbooks were printed and, since then, sales have reached over $6,000. And for last year’s bike ride, Elizabeth was one of the outriders - the support cars riding alongside the bikers. “Someone asked me, ‘Did you cycle?’” she laughs. “Could you imagine anything so stupid?” Considering Elizabeth broke her back last year while walking, biking isn’t such a good idea. But that didn’t prevent her from providing assistance during the hard ride, handing out fruit, drinks and, more importantly, motivational support. “When we’d go ahead of the bikers and be waiting, we’d see them coming down in single file wearing their funny yellow jackets – it was heart-warming.” Jocelyn, a wannabe grandmother who biked last year, is getting set for this year’s trip. A youngster at 60, she moved to Victoria from Ontario in 2005,

retiring from the health care profession. She wasn’t a road cyclist before moving here but, impressed with the active local seniors, she soon hooked up with a group called the Cross Canada Cycle Tour Society. That connection led her to this grandmother’s group, which coincides with the passion she already feels for Africa from her recent trip there. “I was touched by this grassroots organization of older women coming together with a real drive to help. Most of them can’t travel to Africa to do things, but they can make a huge contribution here,” says Jocelyn. “Having been in Africa myself and seeing the grandmothers raising grandchildren – it’s something you don’t forget. I have done a lot of fundraising: fancy dinner parties, art auctions, campaigns, but I thought, ‘if we can get on a bike and raise money – that would be fun.’” So much fun that Jocelyn is the co-ordinator this year, which means handling all the registrations, communicating with the other grannie groups, and making sure all the paperwork is completed. Joan is a step-grandmother and not a biker, but her contribution is equally as valuable. As the current chair, she organizes meetings, co-ordinates fundraising and is in charge of the publicity. “One of the appealing things about this group is that 100 per cent of the money raised goes to the Stephen Lewis Foundation,” says Joan, 60. “And less than 10 per cent of the money raised for them goes toward administration. They fund more than 100 projects in Africa and one of the most important things is that the requests come from the African grandmothers directly.” She shares a quote that has inspired their connection: “We have buried our own children. We will not raise children for the grave,” state the African grandmothers. “We will not rest until they can rest,” respond their Canadian friends. No rests for those who still have a lot of work to do before the big ride. Not all

the riders are grandmothers; some are folks who love to bike and raise money for a good cause. All riders pay $200 to enter, which gets them a T-shirt, the ferry ride for the Saltspring leg and lunches along the way, provided by other granny groups. The participants are responsible for any other costs, including accommodation. Last year, the group raised over $16,000. “The highlight from last year,” says Jocelyn, “was the camaraderie among the group by doing something very meaningful. The group bonded quite quickly; we ate our meals together, and it was positive and fun, but also productive. And it was inspiring, too. I may have been tired, but if there is an 86-year-old woman riding her bike in front, which there was, I would think to myself, ‘I am not going to walk my bike.’ We also made new friends, met new people, and had beautiful weather. It was just a group that got together who wanted to do this. It makes me cry actually, when I think about it.” A few more tears will be shed this September 7th, not coincidentally Grandparent’s Day, as the team comes riding into the Church of St. John the Divine on Quadra Street at 2:30 p.m. With their new, bright green T-shirts, they’ll be greeted by more than just a cheering crowd and refreshments, and they’ll be smiling for more than just being able to finally get off their bikes after a long three days – they’ll be touched knowing how much a difference they’re making in the lives of others. So, on Sunday, September 7th, drop by the church and support the returning riders. Have fun, have a drink, get a grandchild’s face painted, and help those worlds away to laugh and SL feel great too! For more information or to make a donation contact Jocelyn at 250-220-5329, or Joan at 250-4772916,

Above, Jocelyn Green volunteering with DevXchange International visiting an orphanage in Malawi, March 2007. The Mchinji orphanage has 500 orphan children, from newborn to 17 years.This infant was orphaned at a few days. The orphanage has African grandmothers care for all the newborns and little ones – some care for seven or eight babies at a time. Above left, Jocelyn prepares for this year’s ride to help raise money and awareness for African grandmothers.

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led me through my first attempts at kayaking. They seemed to understand when I insisted that there could be no ripples on the water; the bottom must always be visible; there could be no wind, no chop, and no salt spray. I advanced from fighting small children for space in shallow tidal pools at the beach to paddling beside the shore at Spider Lake. Finally, the tides, the moon and the weather were all in alignment. We launched our kayaks and paddled slowly parallel to the shore all the way to the Little Qualicum River. And then it happened. I forgot to worry about the depth of the water, ripples or currents. I watched as a mother deer grazed nearby with her two babies; I gazed in awe at the mountains in the distance and an eagle soaring overhead. A blue heron looked down its nose (Okay, its beak) at me. A harbour seal popped up in front of my kayak and, I swear, it grinned as I stopped to watch! On the trip back to shore, we turned our kayaks, rafted together and watched the sun sink below the horizon. When our kayaks hit the rocky shore, I was sad that the adventure was over. I put one tired leg over the edge of my kayak. It tipped. I slipped. And I came up sputtering and laughing. I have continued to enjoy paddling and have explored the lakes on Quadra Island and the Broken Group Islands; I’ve even gone through some white water rapids in the Stamp River. (Okay, other people would call them ripples; they were scary enough and fast enough for me to call them rapids.) Now that I have conquered one fear, my friends wonder what is next. Will I try motorcycle riding? No, I will nev… Well, maybe. SL Photos: Claire Wilson


ever say “never.” Believe me. I learned this the hard way. At some point in the past, I looked at a flimsy, tipsy kayak and stated, “You’ll never get me in one of those!” Somewhere, a cosmic force said, “Oh, yeah?” My friends, Steve and Jean, purchased a double kayak and requested that I photograph their return from a sunset paddle up the Qualicum River estuary. No problem. So long as I was on dry land, I’d be happy to oblige. Then it happened. As I raised my camera and framed the red and gold of the sunset, the joyful look on my friends’ faces, the gentle lap of the waves. Well, you get the picture; I wanted to be in that kayak too. That doesn’t mean I wasn’t scared spitless at the thought of sitting in the water in a tipsy kayak. I had failed beginner’s swimming lessons as a kid because I refused to put my head under water. I also refused to jump off the side of the pool into the shallow end or to release my fingers from their death grip on the edge. So, I dismissed the idea of getting into a kayak at my advanced age as a ridiculous thought that had somehow been summoned by that sunset experience. A few days later, I was picking up a memorial plaque to place in the cemetery where my husband’s ashes were interred. I looked across the street. “All Marine” read the sign. “Boats, Motors, Kayaks and Accessories.” “No way!” said the real me. “All right!” said the evil twin, who had taken over my mind and body and took me across the street, pointed to the single version of Steve and Jean’s kayak and said, “I’ll take that one.” The salesman did a good imitation of a fish on dry land. He looked at my graying hair, my black skirt and sensible shoes. Then he saw the look in my eyes. He gave me his spiel about this particular model, discussed options and safety equipment, took my cheque and helped me to load up. I was shaking with trepidation as I drove away, but I was also grinning from ear to ear. This was probably the first genuine smile I’d managed since my husband had died suddenly about four months before. My friends, Steve and Jean, are saints. Really. Although I did detect a few unsaint-like mutterings from Steve. They

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id you know that weatherizing your doors and windows could save you $450 per year? How about upgrading your existing gas furnace with a high-energy efficiency furnace and saving $260 annually? Recent changes brought on by carbon taxes, rising fuel costs and subsidies for energy efficient products, have many consumers contacting the BBB to find out more on how to save. While there are savings to be realized, when getting a consultation, do business with companies that are legitimate energy advisors. This is the season when many operators visit door-to-door offering furnace checks and, in some cases, offering home energy audits. Before you allow someone into your home, consider the following: Check their record. Start with the BBB to check their records and get

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quotes. Go to for more information. Make sure the company is licensed. If they offer to clean fans, blowers or furnaces, they require a gas fitters license. Ask to see their license from the BC Safety Authority.

If they claim to be energy advisors or provide home energy audits, check them out. If they claim to be energy advisors or provide home energy audits, check them out. Businesses that are qualified energy advisors are licensed by Natural Resources Canada to deliver the ecoENERGY Retrofit-Homes energy evaluation service in your area. Call 1800-O-CANADA to verify that they are licensed.

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Audits are partially refundable only if you make the improvements. If you are looking for a home energy audit, it may cost up to $300. The energy advisor will inspect your doors, windows, insulation, heating and cooling systems and provide advice and information on improving your home’s efficiency. The B.C. government may pay up to half, but you will only be refunded once you make the audit’s recommended improvements. Audit yourself. Start by doing a home energy audit by switching to energy efficient bulbs, turning lights, TVs and computers off when not in use, and maybe even hanging your clothes to dry to save on energy costs. For consumers who are curious to learn more about what they can do to become more energy efficient, and learn about government rebates and grants, check out Visit the Better Business Bureau for more helpful tips like these at vi.bbb. SL org Bryden Gage is the Acting Executive Director of the Better Business Bureau of Vancouver Island. If you believe you have been the target or victim of a scam, please call the Better Business Bureau Vancouver Island at 250-386-6348 in Greater Victoria or at 1-877-826-4222 elsewhere on the Island, so others can benefit from your experience. E-mail


Legion Manor Victoria - A Great Place to Call Home Legion Manor Victoria, situated on the beautiful Saanich Peninsula of Greater Victoria on Vancouver Island, is home to a vibrant group of residents enjoying their retirement. Opened in September 2006, our 68 suite Supportive Housing/ Assisted Living facility offers a warm, cheerful home-like atmosphere. Our delicious daily lunches and dinners are all prepared on-site by our professional staff and are served in our lovely and bright dining room. This thoughtfully designed retirement residence is the only one of its type in the Central Saanich area. Situated in an established residential area backing onto a serene farm field, Legion Manor’s five acre site offers a tranquil atmosphere. There is a hard-surface pathway on the perimeter of our grounds suitable for walking, as well as accommodating scooters and wheelchairs. Legion Manor is the culmination of countless hours of work by our Volunteer Board of Directors. The South Vancouver Island Zone Housing Society which operates Legion Manor is a non-profit organization.The Board is made up of individuals belonging to a number of Royal Canadian Legion branches, and has been operating the John O. Anderson seniors housing since the mid-seventies. The Directors identified an increasing need for Seniors Supportive Housing in this area, and under the leadership of Dave Sinclair, have created a topnotch retirement facility. The Vancouver Island Health Authority and BC Housing are in partnership with Legion Manor to provide 25 Assisted Living suites. Financial subsidy is available for the Assisted Living accommodation. People wishing to be considered for this program must have an assessment done by a case manager from VIHA. If they are approved for the program, they pay 70 percent of their after-tax income for accommodation and services. Legion Manor is open to all individuals 55 years of age and up. Legion membership is not a requirement. Our 68 suites are all one-bedroom, featuring a balcony or patio, kitchenette equipped with a fridge and microwave, spacious washroom with step-in shower, and emergency response system. Five of our suites are modified for wheelchair users, although all suites are wheelchair accessible. Services include daily lunch and dinner, weekly housekeeping and heavy laundry. Our monthly rates as of August 2008 are $2,000.00 - individual, or $2350.00 – couple. These prices include meals, housekeeping, all utilities and cable. Our amenities feature; an on-site hair salon; library featuring books, magazines, puzzles and videos; spa with side-step in tub; comfortably furnished sunroom for visiting or playing a friendly game of scrabble; multi-purpose room equipped with a digital keyboard, piano and organ for our resident musicians. The space is also used for movies on our large screen TV, chair fitness classes, Tai Chi and a variety of entertainers. Legion Manor also offers an arts and crafts program equipped with a kiln. Amongst our residents are some extremely talented artisans, as well as beginners, producing beautiful ceramics, knit or crocheted items and much more. There is another craft sale planned for December, a wonderful opportunity to shop for unique gifts.

There is also a Fitness Room featuring a variety of hydraulic equipment. Our Recreational Director takes time with new users to ensure they know how to exercise safely. He can also develop individual programs should a resident have particular limitations or problems. We also offer computers with internet access for our resident’s use, as well as computer tutorials if desired. Thanks to support from the Poppy Fund, Reg Midgley Kia, Kia Canada and other donors, we have a brand new seven passenger van available for a variety of uses such as shopping, medical appointments and outings. There is a wide selection of fun activities for residents to take part in, including bridge, church services, entertainment, outings, poker, bingo and much more. Legion Manor tours can be arranged by phoning 250-652-3261, or emailing More information is available on our website at Legion Manor’s Administrator is Susan Bauer. Susan has over 20 years of experience providing services to seniors, and is also a Certified Senior Advisor. Susan will happily meet with you or answer any questions you may have either by phone or email. Our residents make Legion Manor a “Great Place to Call Home.”



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er paintings have been described as optimistic and joyful, her colour choices vivid and bursting with energy. So, it’s surprising to learn that Nanoose Bay artist Nadia Shworan’s first palate was dark and dismal – and until she retired, she’d scarcely picked up a paintbrush. “I was pathetic,” she laughs, describing the first art course she took after moving to Vancouver Island from Calgary in 1992. “Everything I did was black and grey. I think I was the worst painter my teacher ever saw!” With her vibrant watercolours now widely exhibited and much in demand, Nadia’s come a long way. It’s been an artistic journey launched through tragedy. The former high school English teacher was employed as an elementa22


ry school principal when she lost both parents in a car accident. “I’m an only child,” she says. “They were healthy and lively, and then...” The trauma proved to be a turning point. She picked up, not a paintbrush, but a pen, and poured her emotions into a novel, which never saw the light of day, but which she describes as “the most cathartic thing I’ve ever written, a melting pot of everything that could happen in life – good and bad.” It proved therapeutic. A few months later, while recuperating from surgery, Nadia penned another novel, initially longhand. “I pretended I was too sick to make Christmas,” she chuckles. “The characters just came to me, it was the craziest thing. I enjoyed that so much that I took a course on writing novels,

Nadia in her home studio, with a brush in each hand, working on The Rose.

and I started writing a romance. Eventually, I was having so much fun I decided to quit, to retire early, in my late forties.” That romance novel would eventually be published by Avalon Books under the title Coming Home – but not before the Shworans “came home” in another sense. Nadia and her husband Walter had fallen for the beauty of Nanoose Bay, and when Walter retired from his role as a science teacher, they headed for the Island. It was here she decided to take that first painting course. “It was to help me with my writing,” she says. “To help me see a little better,


get creative, be more observant.” And if she was, as she maintains, “pathetic,” she was also determined. When the Nanoose Watercolour Group invited her to join in 1996, she initially panicked, feeling she wasn’t good enough. Then she contacted an artist friend who taught school in Nanaimo, trading art lessons to improve her skills for doing some of his computer work. “He taught me right from drawing,” says Nadia. “He was a very good artist. It was the ultimate course.” As she focused on painting and grew in technical skill, Na-

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dia came to see herself as an artist first, and a writer second. “The thing is, whenever I do something, I do it a thousand per cent,” she laughs. And although she’s published another book – a collection of short stories, anecdotes, poetry and art entitled One Woman’s Voice – since coming to the Island, her focus is now primarily on painting; and specifically on watercolours. While she occasionally works with oils or acrylics, watercolour remains her first love. “It’s about the surprise,” she says. She acknowledges she can get the vivid colours she now favours in acrylics too. “But when I do an acrylic, I put down the paint, and it’s there. When I do it with watercolour, the paint does things. It moves.” It’s also more difficult, she admits. “I have more failures,” she laughs. “But it’s exciting. Even when I botch it up. And then, when I botch it, what I do is I say ‘Oh, I can do it again.’ And then I do it again. And again.” In fact, Nadia often paints a series of paintings on a subject. She’s just finished three versions of an old farmhouse for a commission she accepted. She works until she’s satisfied, learning as she goes. “I think what I enjoy most is learning. That’s why I like painting, there is so much to learn.” Her message for others exploring art or any new experience: “Do something you’re a little bit uncomfortable with. Don’t be afraid to try things. Just have fun with it.” Nadia has certainly had fun experimenting. That’s how she learned to paint with both hands. A natural leftie who was trained to use her right hand in school, she’s discovered her left hand is “more creative” but her right hand does “a better job,” so she often paints with a brush in both! She’s also accumulated some wonderful work while “just having fun.” The walls of her basement stuSunday Sailing

dio – indeed the walls throughout her spacious home – showcase vivid florals, abstracts, landscapes, seascapes and still life subjects. Not to mention roosters that caught her fancy during a Mexican vacation. Nadia’s style, a combination of abstraction and realism, has attracted attention, awards and happy customers. Her work hangs in the Nanaimo Arts Council Gallery (Nanaimo North Town Centre Mall), the Oceanside and Englishman River Galleries in Parksville, and in numerous restaurants, cafés and community centres throughout the mid-Island. It can be viewed on her website, and art lovers are welcome to visit her Nanoose Bay home studio by appointment. When they do, they’ll notice the wall of honour Nadia has dedicated to displaying her grandchildren’s framed artwork. She’s as proud of their paintings as her own. “She works hard,” beams Walter. “Work?” she scoffs. “I SL like to play!” To see more of Nadia’s work, visit or call 250-468-5860 to arrange a studio visit.

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A Helpful Guide for Seniors Considering Their Residential Options

To Move or Not to Move?

To Move or Not to Move?

To Move or Not to Move? A Helpful Guide for Seniors Considering Their Residential Options


Published by Senior Living October 2007

14.95 Buy it now!





If you are a senior who has been wondering lately whether you should consider moving - either because you find the maintenance of your current home more difficult due to diminishing ability or energy, or you simply want a lifestyle that allows you more freedom and less responsibility - then this is the book that can help you ask the right questions and find the solution that is right for you. • What residential options are available? • Define your current situation - What residential option is right for you? • How to research and assess Independent and Assisted Living residences. • What do Independent, Assisted Living and Complex Care facilities have to offer? • How much does it cost to live in an Assisted Living residence? What subsidies are available? • Thinking of moving in with family members? Questions to consider before making your decision. • Are there any other residential options besides Independent, Assisted Living and Complex Care facilities? • If you choose to stay in your own home, what are your options and what should you plan for? • Who can help you decide what you can or cannot afford? • Funding sources available to seniors - tax deductions, housing subsidies, home care subsidies, equipment loan programs, renovation grants, etc. • Selling your home - how to find the right realtor or relocation services to assist your move. • Downsizing - Where do you start? How do you proceed? • Adapting your home to meet your mobility needs - tips and suggestions • Hiring home care services; do it yourself or hire an agency? • Legal matters - how to make sure you receive the care you desire should you not be able to communicate due to some incapacitating condition • AND MUCH MORE Advice from professionals who are experts in the area of assisting seniors with their relocation questions and concerns. A handy reference guide for seniors and their families wrestling with the issues around whether relocation is the best option. This 128-page book provides helpful, easy to read information and suggestions to help seniors and their families understand the decisions they need to make.

Purchase this book and pick up your free copy of the Vancouver Island Housing Guide for Seniors and Senior Living magazine at any Island Pharmasave store.

Books may also be purchased at these Island locations: • Crown Publications Inc 106 Ontario St., Victoria (250-386-4636) • Falconer Books #77 650 Terminal Av., Nanaimo (250-754-6111) • Home Instead #222 - 1595 McKenzie Ave, Victoria (250-382-6565) • Medichair Victoria 1856 Quadra St. (250-384-8000) • Medichair Nanaimo 2517 Bowen Rd. (250-756-9875) • Medichair Duncan #6, 2628 Beverly St. (250-709-9939) • Munro’s Books 1108 Gov’t. St., Victoria (250-382-2464) • Paradise Isle Senior Centre 1013 Victoria Cres., Nanaimo (250-754-9566) • Russell Books 734 Fort St., Victoria (250-361-4447) • Tanner’s Books 2436 Beacon Ave., Sidney (250-656-2345) • Volume One Bookstore 149 Kenneth St., Duncan (250-748-1533) SEPTEMBER 2008


Photo: Jason van der Valk

sistance with heavier work is requested, he can advise them to seek help in the advertisement section of local senior magazines and the daily newspaper. The cost is usually reasonable. BY GOLDIE CARLOW, M.ED This problem can be solved in a helpful manner without creating bad Dear Goldie: This may not seem like a very impor- feelings. Seniors do not always realize tant problem in the scheme of things, they are taking advantage of someone’s but I assure you it is very meaningful kindness, perhaps because their worlds have become smaller. If your husband to me. I have been happily married for 45 explains that he is nearby for real emeryears with two children and five grand- gencies but needs time for retirement children. Recently, we moved into an plans, I feel sure there will be few hurt apartment after years of caring for a feelings. Meanwhile, you both need to make large home and garden. Needless to say, we are looking forward to more vaca- definite plans for happy years ahead. tions and time together. My problem is that now my husband Dear Goldie: I enjoy reading your column but nevis at home, every widow in our apartment block sees him as a convenient er thought I would be asking for your handyman. This is not the way I thought help. About 12 years ago, I retired as a our retirement would be. What would manager of a local bookstore. So far, you advise me to do? –Z.A. I have remained active as a senior volunteer. I visit lonely seniors, help in a Dear Z.A.: Well, it does look like your antici- community soup kitchen and tutor repated retirement took an unexpected tired people returning to school. I never married and only have a brother left as a detour. You and your husband need to look family member. My problem concerns a recent proat this matter seriously. While it is wonderful to help people in need, you can’t posal of marriage. I have known this allow these ladies to take advantage of gentleman for several years, and we you. There is likely an element of lone- have always enjoyed a close friendship. liness in their requests. It will not be The problem is that I only care for him easy, but he must be firm in declining as a dear friend and have no interest in to help with any minor tasks. When as- marriage at this age.

ASK Goldie

What do you think? –Y.B. Dear Y.B.: I think you are a sensible person and have had a good life so far. Your letter sounds like you can acknowledge your own feelings. Sometimes people do marry when one or both have no feelings of romantic love. In rare cases, they fall in love later. However, I could never advise anyone to enter marriage with this assumption. Any marriage can face serious problems, and often it is love that holds it together. The relationship you have at present has many advantages. You obviously enjoy each other’s company but retain your independence, which can be an advantage when problems arise. You can share hobbies, theatre, dining out, travel, etc., but still find time for interests on your own. Any future obligations to each other will always be by choice. Only you can decide if marriage or single life is best for you. Think it over carefully. SL

SENIOR PEER COUNSELLING CENTRES Victoria 250-382-4331 Duncan 250-748-2133 Nanaimo 250-754-3331 Sidney 250-656-5537 Courtenay/Comox 250-334-9917 Salt Spring Island 250-537-4607 Port Hardy 250-949-5110

Goldie Carlow is a retired registered nurse, clinical counsellor and senior peer counselling trainer.

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Onboard Valor in Miami harbour

Swimming with Cayman stingrays

Roatan monkey business

The authors atop Incan Pyramid 28 28


board the Carnival Valor, we enter our spacious cabin, which glows with a peachy hue. The large bed is comfortable; the bathroom sparkles. A glass door opens onto a balcony, perfect for peaceful contemplations. A large fruit basket with a bottle of merlot, plate of chocolatedipped strawberries and card that says “Bon Voyage, Mom and Dad!” appear beside the silver ice bucket. On the coffee table, our Caribbean itinerary presents the exciting prospects of this accommodating cruise ship. My older sister, or anyone with disabilities, would be content here. Twenty-eight special cabins provide widened doorways and level thresholds for wheelchairs. Spacious bathrooms feature accessible sinks and large shower areas with grab bars and chairs. Beds have emergency buttons within easy reach. Shipboard doctors and nurses readily remedy most medical problems. Physically handicapped, deaf and blind passengers may bring service dogs; relief areas are set up on the balconies. As two of the directionally disadvantaged, on this large ship, I suggest another dog-gone-helpful idea. “Why not send St. Bernards with brandy kegs tucked under their chins to fetch lost passengers?” Our cabin steward grins. Strolling astern that Sunday evening, riding up an elevator, striding though a glittering mini-mall, passing lounge entertainers, through the alluring casino and descending another elevator, we enter our elegant dining room, navigate numbered seating and locate our table. Our waiter greets us and begins a week of recommending tantalizing menu items. Of course, we try to stick to tasty heart-smart items. Good conversation sweetens each delectable course; table acquaintances become friends. After every sumptuous, scrumptious repast, we’d return forward to enjoy comedians, ventriloquists, juggling acts and musical extravaganzas in the spacious Ivanhoe theatre. And once, after fabulous break-dancers wow us with amazing gyrations, much of the audience – including us – follow, watching them perform further bodily feats on the marble floor of the main lounge. Meeting up with passengers using electric scooters, wheelchairs or walkers, I’d usually smile asking, “How’s the cruise going?” One Quebec grandmother, Marie, voyages regularly with her family. We also meet a retired police officer rendered paraplegic. John tells us, “Shipboard life is great! This is my sixth enjoyable cruise with my wife and daughter. To explore ports, I swap this scooter for one of the ship’s light-weight wheelchairs.” At sea Monday, most passengers relax in the sun on tiers surrounding the forward pool. While some ageless youths climb four more decks to plunge 30 metres downward in a serpentine

waterslide. And some ascend these stairs to golf at the small putting green. Above its large Jacuzzi amidships, a trio plays Bob Marley hits. And in the evenings, movies are shown above on a huge screen. On the aft, another pool area offers adult-only serenity. Entering the swirling hot tub, we meet Pete and learn there’s an on-board team ready to assist needy individuals. Pete adds, “Our ports of Grand Cayman, Roatan, Belize and Cozumel offer terrific snorkelling! My companion will help me on and off the dive boats.” Anchoring off Grand Cayman Tuesday, we scramble into the high-speed tender. Our shore excursion includes a devilishly picturesque town named Hell, a tasty stop at a rum cake bakery, titillating time at a turtle refuge and boat trip to Stingray City. At this sandy shoal, 11 kilometres off the coast, fellow passengers and I wade undaunted among numerous swishy-tailed stingrays – with stingers intact! Some of us even pose for photos cuddling these docile 1.8-metre winged females. On Wednesday, costumed and masked Garifuna wildly dance to African drum music welcoming us to lovely, undeveloped Isla Roatan. In Coxen Hole, we strike a deal with David, a 16-year-old English-speaking guide and taxi northward along the turquoise coastal waters and upward to Gumbalimba Park. Entering through a pirate cave, we examine treasure troves, effigies of boisterous buccaneers and informative murals. Establishing his base, Captain Henry Morgan lived here amongst the local islands’ 5,000 blackguards. Emerging in profuse botanical gardens, we sight squawking macaws flashing scarlet against blue skies and observe other visitors gingerly crossing a rope suspension bridge over a pretty lagoon. At the Monkey Sanctuary, little white-faced furry chaps settle upon our shoulders inquisitively looking into our ears and noses, their slim fingers picking through our hair. We soon realize they’re looking for tasty tidbits while larger monkeys swing off through the rainforest. David takes us next to a popular beach to swim in crystal water and relax with frosty fruit cocktails. While the guys snorkel, the gals shop, bargaining for wooden beaded bracelets under shady coconut palms.


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View of Roatan from Valor

We conga back aboard ship while a trio sporting straw hats and embroidered shirts plays marimbas. At dinner, tablemates recount their visit to Sherman Arch’s Farm where 2,700 iguanas roam. Smiling, we all recall the shore briefing; “Iguana stew is a traditional delicacy. Now protected, you can hold these ‘chicken of the trees’ but ya can’t eat ‘em!” A black suited gent silently appears at our table wearing a tag: Rakesh Syam Table Artist. Rather than arranging flowers or folding origami napkins, Rakesh asks Chris to sign her name on a two of hearts, shuffles it into the deck and asks me to lift my dinner plate. There lays a small envelope enclosing a paper-clipped, folded card – Chris’s autographed deuce! We gasp! Valor’s amazing prestidigitator returns nightly casting more magic over our next three evenings. Rockin’ and rollin’ on a tender into Belize City on Thursday, we hear passengers chatting about plans to tube through limestone caves, visit the baboon sanctuary and shop for handicrafts. Our destination is Altun Ha, an ancient Mayan city. At the bustling pier, a perky guide escorts us onto an airconditioned bus. Heading into sparse green countryside, Ellen tells us about Belize, the only English-speaking country in

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Central America. Forty-five minutes later, she leads us over a level, hardpacked trail to grassy ceremonial plazas surrounded by large excavated temples. We wonder what lies still buried in other huge mounds. Once gathered, Ellen explains, “Archeologists believe Altun Ha was settled around 250 BC flourishing until the Mayan civilization collapsed around 900 AD. Once, 10,000 people thrived at this trading, agricultural and ceremonial centre. A priest-king’s tomb from 600 AD was discovered beneath one temple with 300 artifacts comprised of pearls, pottery, shell necklaces, stingray bloodletting spines, ceremonial flints and jade ornaments.” Temple of the Masonry Altars towers above the other structures. Puffing up steep stone steps, we reach its sacrificial altar and terrific panoramas on top. Ellen points below, “Other high priests were found entombed in those three lower temples. Burial relics discovered within this temple include a priceless nine-and-a-half pound jade head of the Mayan Sun God.” Proceeding to a riverside resort, we sip frosty drinks on the breezy terrace before returning down Rio Wallace. Once an important trade route, nowadays, small farms and resorts sport little docks sticking out into its swirling water. Cattle graze along shady banks. Further along pink blossoming May trees and orange tulip trees contrast with the rainforest greenery. Black frigate birds and vultures soar above; blue kingfishers hover and white egrets stalk below. Standing atop the bow, crewman Sammy points out bats clinging under a bridge, crocs sunning on snags, a swimming iguana and yellow pendulum birds flitting in-and-out of their woven nests dangling from Palm fronds. As Rio Wallace empties into the ocean, we witness a manatee herd bobbing in the waves. On Friday, colourfully costumed folk dancers welcome us to Cozumel. High above the old customs’ gate, mariachi quintets strum guitars, blare trumpets and joyfully harmonize during a joyful series of traditional songs. We notice Marie and her family shuttling into town aboard Pedal cabs. Perhaps they’ll next take a horse-drawn carriage or cab to explore colourful, historic San Miguel. After an insightful visit to Cozumel’s Museum, we saunter back along the scenic waterfront on the 14-block “malecon,” viewing delightful sculptures and Avenida Melgar’s bustle, its main street. Following a sunny, fun-filled week of Caribbean adventures, we head home packing fond memories. Discovering how inclusive and possible a cruise can be, we’ll recommend it to disabled friends, family and fellow adventurers. Perhaps these SL kindred spirits will join us on our next rewarding cruise. Special services: Delta Airlines, and click on Travellers with Disabilities under Planning and Reservations. Carnival, and click on Guests with Special Requirements, under Customer Help & Support.


Housing Guide for Seniors

Up-to-date listings of senior housing facilities throughout Vancouver Island, including Independent/Supportive Living, Assisted Living and Complex Care. This guide is an indispensable resource to:

• seniors looking for alternative housing • seniors moving to Vancouver Island from other parts of BC or out of province • children of seniors who are assisting their parent to select a housing option • professionals who work with seniors or their families • businesses that provide services to seniors

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Listings include addresses and contact information, housing costs, number of units in the housing complex, hospitality services, optional home care services, amenities and security features. Available at most libraries and senior centres. Call (250)479-4705 for a location near you. Now Available at all Island Pharmasave stores.

OR have a copy mailed direct to your home...

Please mail a cheque for $5.25 ($5 plus GST), along with your name, phone number and address, to Senior Living, 153, 1581-H Hillside Ave., Victoria BC V8T 2C1. We will mail you a copy of this resourceful housing guide upon receipt of payment.

253 Milton St. Nanaimo, BC V9R 2K5 • B 5262 Argyle St. Port Alberni BC V9Y 1T9 SEPTEMBER 2008


BYGONE Treasures Old Photographs: Who Are These People?


t’s been a while since we’ve visited the trunk in the attic, so I thought it might be interesting to pull out a box or two of old photographs. While attempts at developing a photographic process go back centuries using heavy glass plates, noxious chemicals and little sheets of iron (tintypes), we can thank George Eastman and his Kodak camera (“You push the button, we do the rest”) for bringing about the family snapshots we grew up with and which we have stored away in abundance today. The earliest photos you may have in your trunk would have been taken by professional photographers working from studios or who set up tents at travelling fairs. The prints were mounted on heavy dark cardboard and are called “cabinet photos” by collectors, as the photos were usually displayed at home in glass front cabinets. While the photographer’s name is often printed ornately on the cardboard mount, the names of the folks in the photo are often a mystery. With some imagination, these can become instant ancestors. It’s rare to see someone smiling in these early pictures, as a pose had to be held for up to 10 minutes while the photographer hid under a black hood and exploded trays of black powder at his hapless subjects. When the Kodak Brownie came along in 1903, families began busily snapping away at everyone and everything imaginable. My Dad took what we still call “Irish photos,” where he would gather as many people as possible into the shot, then move back 50 feet to take the picture. I’m usually the small child in the front squinting into the sun. The history behind most family photos pre-dating the Second World War is long gone. Even supposedly well-known relatives can be confused for others, and actually dating the photos can be a challenge worthy of a Mickey Spillane detective. Gathering the history of snaps showing buildings, street scenes and events is considerably easier. Your local municipal tax office records are invaluable in establishing dates of ownership, and volunteers at local museums and historical societies are very helpful in identifying locations and special occasions. As decades pass, you’ll find that your shoebox of photos has grown to several apple cartons as you inherit more from your parents who have inherited more from their parents. It’s worth spending time with an elderly relative for any reason, and sitting together with a box of old photographs playing “who’s this?” is fun and rewarding. Don’t forget a tin of chocolate biscuits and 32


a large magnifying glass! When you cover “who, when and where,” pencil BY MICHAEL RICE the answers lightly on the back of each photo, setting aside any which remain a mystery and where there is no personal or family attachment. How you store your old photographs is important. Exposure to sunlight causes fading and deterioration and, if pictures have been glued to album pages, it’s best to leave them alone as attempts to remove them may cause disintegration. Most photo albums fail to provide a healthy abode. If you’ve used those discount store albums with sticky pages and plastic sheets, which hold photos in place, remove your photos carefully, and save the albums for your next recycle pickup day. The plastic covering sheets break down over time, leaving an oily film on the photos themselves, and the adhesive on the pages will bond to the photos’ backs. I’ve heard that a few hours in the freezer may help dislodge such stuck-down pictures, though I’d suggest experimenting with snaps of least favourite cousins and dogs you didn’t like before you chance freezing the nose off Grandpa. How’s the market for old photos? Collectors are always looking for interesting examples in a range of categories, with a general rule being the larger the better. Popular now are old buildings, especially those under construction, as well as police and fire stations (and engines!), coastal steamships, long-ago politicians, First Nations peoples, early automobiles, soldiers and pioneers in period clothing. Remember, the “Summer of Love,” when you posed for a snapshot with your paisley-painted Volkswagen van, your guitar with the peace stickers, your fringed cloth shoulder bag, your long bushy hair and your granny glasses, when everyone called you “Moonbeam”? Yes, Jim, that old photo of you is in demand, too! Take a rainy Sunday afternoon, spread a boxful on the kitchen table and have some quality time. The photos you want to keep will stir some memories, and those you don’t may make a SL collector happy. Next time: “So, Who’d You Vote For?” Send comments and suggestions for articles to Michael Rice Box 86 Saanichton, BC V8M 2C3, or e-mail:

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����������������������� “Viewmont Heights has truly become my home since moving here in April. The warm, inviting atmosphere, close amenities and community feeling has made Viewmont Heights the perfect place to live. I and my Labrador Retriever Kobe love to explore the close by parks and trails.” Verna (Resident)

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To Move Or Not To Move?

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by George Greenwood One in four Canadians has been directly affected or knows someone who has been a victim of identity theft. The best prevention is to be aware of the problem and how it is carried out.

My Patchwork Life by Patricia O’Connor $14.95

The Search For Jacqueline by Patricia O’Connor $23.95

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Embrace the Journey

Nude On A Fence

The Spoils Of Angel’s War

Nature’s Bounty: Why Certain Foods Are So Good For You by Dr. Bala Naidoo $21.95

Nature’s Bounty: More About Foods For A Longer And Healthier Life by Dr. Bala Naidoo $21.95

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eople are similar to cars,” says Alan Bailey. “Just like a car needing oil, a person needs his or her exercise. People need to be active. Exercise keeps you well, healthy, and you can meet lots of people in exercise class.” Alan retired from his position as a Senior Technical Advisor with the B.C. Buildings Corporation in 1998. He has four children, and four grandchildren who all live in Victoria. Even as a busy family man, he finds time to instruct numerous exercise classes every week. Shirley, Alan’s wife, attends his classes too. “I have arthritis,” she says. “My Joint Works class specifically targets people who have arthritis or those who want to prevent arthritis.” Shirley attends three classes each week and says, “I have developed wonderful relationships with many people because I have been attending classes for 25 years.” Both Shirley and Alan encourage Victoria residents to attend Active Aging Week from September 22 to 28. Active Aging Week is an introduction to local recreation centres and the activities they offer. People 50 years old or older are invit-

Home Health Care

Better care for a better life

Home care designed especially for you ��������� ��������������� �������������� ���������������

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In the Victoria area, please call

250.370.2253 / 1.877.470.2253



ed to a week of free workshops, activities and social events. A brochure including a calendar of events is available during the first week of September from participating recreation centres, including Oak Bay, all Saanich Rec Centres, Crystal Pool, Esquimalt and the West Shore. No matter what age, everyone can reap the benefits of exercise.

Benefits of exercise: Exercise stimulates various brain chemicals, which may leave people feeling happier and more relaxed than before they worked out. They’ll also look better and feel better when they exercise regularly, which can boost confidence and improve self-esteem. Exercise even reduces feelings of depression and anxiety. Regular exercise can help prevent or manage high blood pressure. Cholesterol levels will benefit, too. Regular exercise boosts high-density lipoprotein (HDL), or “good” cholesterol while decreasing low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or “bad” cholesterol. This keeps blood flowing smoothly by lowering the build-up of plaques in the arteries. Regular exercise can help prevent type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis and certain types of cancer. When people exercise, they burn calories. The more intensely they exercise, the more calories they burn. Major chunks of time don’t need to be set aside for working out. The benefits can be realized by incorporating more activity into everyday life. Exercise delivers oxygen and nutrients to tissues. When the heart and lungs work more efficiently, they provide more energy to do enjoyable activities. Regular exercise can help a person fall asleep faster and deepen that sleep. Timing for exercise is personal, but for those who have trouble sleeping, they should try late afternoon workouts. The natural dip in body temperature five to six hours after exercise might help induce sleep. HARVEST D ANCE featu ring Shaky Regular exercise can Ground, nosta lgic classic s from the ’5 0s, ’60s an leave people feeling d ’70s to th e hit tunes energized and look- of today! Satu rday, Septe mber 27, ing better, which may 6:30–9:30 p.m . Cedar Hill Recreahave a positive effect tion Centre, $3 ea., $10 fo r o a f family five. Food on their overall lives. and refresh ments inGet involved in Active cluded. Grand parents, brin g along your childre Aging Week. n and gran dchildren fo Log onto this family ente r rtainment to learn tion of Active Ag ing Week! SL more.


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Campus Honda 506 Finlayson Street Victoria, BC V8T 5C8 Tel: (250) 388-6921 Fax: (250) 388-7968

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HOME SUPPORT SERVICES DIRECTORY A concise reference guide of services and products offered by businesses and organizations on Vancouver Island that make it easier for seniors to stay longer in their own homes.

Moving? Downsizing?

Live safely and independently in your own home

Contact the program nearest you. Victoria Lifeline 1-888-832-6073 Eldersafe Support Services 1-866-457-8987

South Vancouver Island and Ladysmith

Nanaimo Lifeline Program (250)739-5770 or (250)947-8213 Mid Island, Cassidy to Bowser

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Comox Valley Lifeline Society 1-866-205-6160 North Island, Cowichan Valley and Chemainus/Crofton

We Can Help Get You Moving! SENIOR RELOCATION SERVICES Free 1 Hour Consultation

(250)240-2816 Insured & Bonded

Parksville, Nanaimo and Surrounding Areas

• Companionship • Meal Prep. • Housekeeping • Shopping • Errands • Respite & Personal Care



PROFESSIONAL NURSING, PERSONAL CARE AND HOMEMAKING WeCare offices on the Island welcome new clients and are there to serve you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.





Victoria/Sidney/Sooke Cowichan Valley






Comox Valley

250-830-1140 Campbell River

Where peace of mind has a home address TM

You’re Independent. We help. Providing trusted personal care, homemaking, post operation and palliative care since 1995. As members of the Better Business Bureau you can always count on ElderSafe for the highest quality professional, caring and compassionate home support.

ElderSafe Support Services Victoria 385-0444�Sidney 654-0444

36 today SENIOR LIVING Call for a free in-home assessment



We have qualified staff available for all your needs. Where you need us. When you need us. 24 Hrs 7 Days a Week (250) 480-1666







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�������� ��������������� Home health care supplies to maintain your independent lifestyle. Compression stockings, fashionable canes and diabetic/orthopedic shoes, excellent heath care book selection, and full prescription service. 1530 Cliffe Ave, Courtenay 250-338-5665

The Friendly Family Pharmacy Feel at home here.


Courageous s u o e g a r t Ou EAT DESSERT FIRST


Photo: Frances Litman


ecently, I received word of a friend’s sudden death. A strong, healthy, hard-working man who, at the end of a workweek, had a massive heart attack and died. No chance to have that lunch he had promised to a long-time friend; no chance to say goodbye to his life-long partner. He was 62. Only two years stood between him and retirement. He didn’t make it. Fifty years ago, this was an expected lifespan. Now, with modern medicine and what we know about healthy living, it is

barely middle age. But, we don’t always know when our life is to end; so to honour Jesse, I want to share some ideas of what we should be doing today. Have you ever wanted to sing in a choir, but are unsure of your ability? Sing anyway. There are many choirs around and most of them would love to have more voices. Or, do something like we did on B.C. weekend: during the Symphony Splash, we sang out loud, we clapped in time to the music, we danced and we laughed with the people around us, none of whom we had met before. We shared laughter and joy with people who had been strangers a few hours earlier. Life is too short not to be having fun. Live in harmony with the age and the stage that you are. We are not 25 anymore. Our bodies don’t look the part, and our minds have grown so we have much more to offer. Everything I have done in my life has led me to where I am today. Life is giving us an opportu-

nity to use the knowledge and skills we have gained over the years to give back. Take what you have learned and earned and give back. Plant beneficial seeds with everyone you interact with and then let go. Most of the seeds we plant will not flower until after we are gone. Finally, eat dessert first, and eat it with a friend. How many people grew up being told that if they ate all their vegetables, which they could barely gag down, they would get dessert. Life is too short to eat lima beans first. Next time you are dining out, order and eat your dessert first. I’ve also decided that when I drink, I drink only champagne. I’m worth it. And so are you. SL

Pat Nichol is a speaker and published author. She makes her home in Victoria, but travels the world. She can be reached at

Go for the Gold!

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1708 Island Highway ������������������������



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an A Affordable Price Quality Retirement Living atANSWERS ����������������������

���������������������� Tranquil location on the beautiful Saanich Peninsula of Greater Victoria

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68 NEW one-bedroom suites with balcony Monthly rate starting at $2000 (single), $2350 (couple)

To book a tour or for other info, contact Susan at (250)652-3261 ������������� website: ������������� ��



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Classifieds HOME INSTEAD SENIOR CARE - Do you need a little assistance? Meal preparation, light housekeeping, laundry, shopping, errands, or respite. We also hire seniors. Call 250-382-6565. WANTED: OLD POSTCARDS, stamp accumulations, and pre-1950 stamped envelopes. Also buying old coins, medals and badges. Please call Michael 250-652-9412 or email HAIRSTYLIST has a private and comfortable studio in her Sidney home. Christine offers a full, professional service. Special senior rates. Please call 250822-4247. COLLECTOR SEEKING vintage/collectable cameras, binoculars and microscopes. Nikon, Leica, Contax, Rolleiflex, Zeiss, Canon, etc. Mike 250-3836456 or email: DRIVERS NEEDED! Saanich Volunteer Services seeks volunteers to drive clients to medical appointments, etc. For info call Heather at 250-595-8008. ANTI-AGING SKIN CARE. Reduce fine lines and wrinkles. Visible results. No needles. No procedures. Free samples. Call Patricia 250-889-4348 ARE YOU A SENIOR WHO WANTS TO STAY AT HOME? Are you a family member looking for care for your children or seniors? Pacific Live-in Caregivers has experienced live-in caregivers who are trained in senior and child care. or call 250-616-2346. THE BETTER BUSINESS BUREAU of Vancouver Island is located at 220-1175 Cook St., Victoria BC V8V 4A1. Toll-free phone line for Up-Island 1-877826-4222 (South Island dial 250-386-6348). www. E-mail:

RUTH M.P HAIRSTYLING for Seniors in Greater Victoria. In the convenience of your own home! Certified Hairdresser. Call 250-893-7082. RETIRED COUPLE LOOKING FOR CAR to rent privately while in Victoria from Nov. 22 - Mar. 31. Call 519-583-3860 or e-mail KIND COMPASSIONATE CAREGIVER provides companionship, delicious meals, light housekeeping etc. Honest dependable gentleman with experience and excellent references. Call Kent 1-250-228-1470.

MATURE, EXPERIENCED WOMAN with social work degree available for shopping, appointments, etc. $18 per hour. Call Margo @ 250-598-1810. IN NEED OF QUALITY FOOT CARE? Mobility an issue? I will come to you. Pedicures by Margo 250598-1810. NEED A HAND? Or have a senior family member needing help? Mid Island. When you can’t always be there, we are committed, trustworthy professionals specializing in helping seniors lead dignified and independent lifestyles. or 250-954-3733. PERSONALS SWF - NS - 60’s outgoing, loves dancing, traveling and camping. Your rig or mine. Have ‘coffee’ with respectful 60’s gentleman. Phone 1-250-474-0353.


Vancouver’s 50+ Active Lifestyle Magazine

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$30 for 20 words or less. $1.25 per extra word. Boxed Ad - Small (2.2 x 1.2) $95. Boxed Ad - Large (2.2 x 2.4) $180. Add Logo or color- $25 extra. Plus 5% GST. All Classified ads must be paid at time of booking. Cheque or Credit Card accepted. Ph. (250)479-4705 or toll-free 1-877-4794705. Deadline: 15th of the month. Make cheque payable to: Senior Living, 153, 1581-H Hillside Ave.,Victoria BC V8T 2C1

WORKED IN BRITAIN? You may be entitled to a British State Pension! Information from Canadian Alliance of British Pensioners. Call 604-683-3445, or toll-free 1-800-760-6633.




IRONMAN RUTH HEIDRICH Running Around the World

William Allister Artist. Author. Actor.


Classifieds now available in our Greater Vancouver Senior Living edition.

Call for details. 479-4705

Your gift to Make-A-Wish ensures the wishes of tomorrow. Planned giving enables individuals to make a future gift, lasting far beyond their lifetime.

Bri ti sh Columbia & Yukon Canad a

Contact the BC & Yukon Chapter : tel. 604 688 7944 toll-free 1 866 277 9474 email: web: SEPTEMBER 2008




Photo: Vernice Shostal

early five years ago, church Pianist Dwight Siemens and Choir Director Rachel Perkyns envisioned a concert series of excellent classical music to give fine artists and listeners more exposure to good music. Today, the concert series, St. Michael’s Presents, runs 10 months of the year at St. Michael and All Angels Church in the heart of Chemainus. The Anglican parish, a unique venue, built from locally milled first growth fir lumber, was constructed in 1891 with the help of Reverend David Holmes. It includes oak furnishings, stained glass windows and praiseworthy acoustics. A Yamaha C1 grand piano, a necessary part of the concert series, was purchased by donors who were invited to cover the cost of a piece of the new piano. Attendance at the concert series comes from the church community, and as far away as Campbell River, Victoria and Vancouver. A door prize and a Meet-the-Artist reception follow each show and are included in the ticket price. Organizers say it isn’t unusual for a performance to be sold out. “Such a dazzling performance,” wrote one anonymous patron. “Classical music lovers of the whole Cowichan Valley look forward to these Purchase a subscription to Senior Living for just $32 and never miss an issue! concerts, particularly after they have been to their first one,” says Artistic SUBSCRIPTION ORDER FORM Director Ann Mendenhall. “Everyone seems amazed and delighted at the high MAGAZINE  Yes, I would like quality of the performances and the to subscribe to Senior Name __________________________________________________ cozy atmosphere in which they all feel Living - Vancouver Address ________________________________________________ as if they have front row seats.” Island (10 issues). Ann’s own delight in music began at an early age when she started taking Enclosed please find City ___________________________________________________ piano lessons at the age of four in her Province ________________ Postal Code ____________________ my cheque for $32. hometown of Wichita, Kansas. Ann’s (Includes GST and S & H) Mail to: Senior Living 153, 1581-H Hillside Ave., Victoria BC V8T 2C1 mother, herself a pianist and vocalist, found the best piano teacher in the state for Ann and her brother, drove the children 85 miles to their lessons every Saturday and practised for one hour daily Build Confidence with each of them.  When Ann was eight, the family  Learn new rules & regs moved to Costa Rica, where Ann con Prepare for re-examination tinued piano studies with the director of  Compensate for age related changes the National Symphony Orchestra. After receiving a Bachelor of MuMonterey Oak Bay Nov 5 & 12 1 - 4:30 pm Register 370-7300 sic degree in Piano Performance from Oberlin Conservatory in Ohio, Ann re“ Roadmasters Safety Group Inc. 55 ALIVE” Refresher Course turned to Costa Rica, where she married, (250) 383-6041 Developed by the Canada Safety Council

Senior Driver Refresher



adopted two children and taught piano for six years until the family moved to Duncan. Studying music under Dr. Robin Wood at the University of Victoria, Ann received her master’s degree. Currently president of the Cowichan Valley Music Teachers Association, Ann teaches piano in Glenora, a few minutes southwest of Duncan, where she and her husband, Phillip, are raising two grandchildren, aged six and seven. Looking back, Ann says she had a magical childhood and a good life. The greatest difficulty she encountered was when, in hot pursuit of her master’s degree at UVic, she developed tendonitis, which forced her to stop practicing for an extended period. Gradually, she healed herself with ice, exercise and magnetic therapy and she changed her technique slightly to avoid re-injuring herself. When she couldn’t play the piano, Ann enrolled in singing lessons. She became involved with St. Michael’s Presents when her friend Dianne Schwestak recruited her to help on the committee. Vice President, Promotion and Publicity Coordinator Dianne Schwestak says that after experiencing a great loss in the amount of classical music played on CBC Radio Two, she feels that “SMP is the keeper of the heritage of music in our community.” At home, Dianne likes to have her radio tuned to classical music. It’s the kind of music that “sets the soul on fire,” she says. Born in Vancouver and raised in Duncan, Dianne moved to Winnipeg to marry Karl. A caregiver most of her career, she founded a special needs nursery school, taught art therapy for troubled teens, founded the Winnipeg Grand Parenting program, was a spiritual care provider in a personal care home and is currently working on developing a special program for Alzheimer’s disease. Her goal is to develop a program that can be taught in other care homes. Although the actual date of their Golden Wedding anniversary isn’t until December, Dianne and Karl are celebrating a few months early. “We thought when we reached this anniversary, we would be too old to enjoy it.” Nothing could be further from the truth. As active grandparents, the Schwestaks have a busy family life, marriage and volunteer schedule. “We look forward to the best that is yet to come,” says Dianne. “The work with SMP fulfills me now as never before.” Gloria Fraser became involved with St. Michael’s Presents with the aim of giving fine artists more performance opportunities and music-loving audiences more chances to hear superbly performed live music. She chaired the concert series for its first four years. Raised on a sheep farm on Saltspring Island, where both her maternal and paternal grandparents pioneered as farm families, she developed a love of gardening and nurturing life. Gloria retains happy memories of doing farm chores with her grandfather on sunny mornings, and remembers the first time she realized she was really reading. “It sometimes amazes me how many things I know I learned before I was 10,” says Gloria.


“Your Friendly Neighborhood Law Firm”

Derek Ashurst Victoria Pitt

Robert J. Salmond

• Wills & Estates • Estate Administration • Real Estate

Housecalls for Seniors with Mobility Challenges “It’s a relief to have your affairs in order.” (250)477-4143

1620 Cedar Hill X Road (Just off Shelbourne St. in Victoria) Conveniently open Saturday 10am - 2pm

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

can YOU

— Margaret Mead

make a


Volunteers are needed to offer social support to frail, isolated and lonely seniors before, during and after hospitalization.

“Return to Health” Program Call Jane at 382-4331 to register for our

INFORMATION SESSION on October 1, 1-2 pm Training will begin on Oct. 15, Wednesdays, 1-4 pm (7 wks.)

• Normal Aging Process • Nutrition • Mobility Aids and Safe Practices • Wellness and Community Programs • Effective Communication Skills • Managing Vision and Hearing Loss • Understanding Long Term Care & Healthcare Systems




Left, Ann Mendenhall (seated) plays a tune for Gloria Fraser (centre) and Dianne Schwestak (right). Page 40, the three ladies standing outside St. Michael and All Angels Church in Chemainus.

Photo: Vernice Shostal

music. As for singing, “At campfires, my cubs were inspired to sing louder than me,” says Gloria. She continues to work with St. Michael’s Presents as a volunteer at the Meet-the-Artist receptions as well as providing fresh flowers for each reception and helping with preparation and clean up. A feature of St. Michael’s Presents is “Have Your Cake and Eat it, too,” an opportunity for patrons to celebrate a special occasion, or to honour a guest with a cake and seating at the “head table” at the Meet-the-Artist reception following the concert. The next performance of St. Michael’s Presents is scheduled for Sunday, September 28 at 2 p.m. 2858 Mill St., Chemainus, BC. For more information about the concert series, or to purSL chase tickets, visit

A grandmother whose faith is the cornerstone of her life, Gloria says taking on the chairmanship of St. Michael’s Presents was a new experience for her. “There are many different jobs involved in producing a concert,” she says and none of her former jobs prepared her for chairmanship or



Sherwood House

Independent Retirement Living with Supportive Services 280 Government Street, Duncan 250-715-0116

How would you like to spend your freedom years?

�������������������� ����������������� • Wheelchairs & Seating • Scooters, Walkers & Rollators ������������ �������������������� • Vehicle Conversions & Adaptations* ��������������� • Bathroom Safety Products ����������������� • Porchlifts, Stairlifts & Home Elevators* • Incontinence & Wound Care • Blood Pressure & Home Diagnostic Equipment • Back Care, Supports & Braces • Aids to Daily Living � �

������������ ��������������� � �������� ��������� The last Thursday of every month is Senior’s Day! � ��������������� � ����������� Seniors receive a 20% discount with ����������������� a Shoppers Optimum Card. � ���������������� � �����������������

Imagine . . .

Independent retirement living in spacious one and two bedroom suites with supportive services allowing you to enjoy life to the fullest!

���������������������� 1561 Hillside Ave., Victoria ��������������������������������� �������������� (250)370-2984 ���������������� *20% seniors discount does not apply to these items.




• The Oak Bay Old Boys Soccer Club • Ron Bell - Magician

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And more coming in the months ahead. Coming in 2008 - more articles, more information, more interactivity, more fun... special offers and information from senior-focused businesses... the launch of our Senior Living E-TV! Email us at and let us know what YOU would like to see on our website. SEPTEMBER 2008





To celebrate the Port Theatre Society’s 10th Anniversary, bring family and friends to the Port Theatre for a free Open House! Have a guided tour through the building and learn how the magic is made with technical demonstrations on stage. Free Admission. 1pm–4pm, 125 Front Street, Nanaimo. 250-754-8550


Come for a free evening concert by Nanaimo’s next generation of rising stars. A variety of talented local emerging artists will dazzle you with a spectacular evening of entertainment. Complimentary tickets are available at the Ticket Centre, 250-754-8550, 125 Front St. Nanaimo.


Nanaimo Art Gallery (downtown), 150 Commercial Street. Oct 9 – Official opening and awards ceremony, 5pm–7pm, gallery open to public following jurying. More info: 250-668-5442 www.


Municipal Information Systems Association Presents: David Suzuki, scientist, environmentalist, and one of Canada’s National Treasures. Suzuki’s speaking engagement is part of a conference. Public seating will be balcony only. All seats $12, 1pm at the Port Theatre, 125 Front Street, Nanaimo.


Don Jones Productions presents: Stuart McLean, one of Canada’s most beloved storytellers and a best-selling author. His hit CBC radio show airs each week with over 750,000 listeners tuning in for an eclectic musical journey and to hear about the trials and tribulations of Dave and his family. Tix: $44.50, show starts 2:30pm at the Port Theatre, 125 Front Street, Nanaimo.





cupcake, face painting, lollipop hunt! Donations to the Stephen Lewis Foundation. 2pm–4pm at the St. John the Divine Church, 1611 Quadra St. at Mason. More info: 250-391-7377.


What do health, wealth, food, recreation and eldercare have in common? They are all part of a Seniors Fair, happening at the Anglican Church of the Advent (510 Mt. View Avenue) in Colwood. It’s fun, it’s free, and if you consider yourself a senior, it’s designed with you and your needs in mind. Come hear speakers on topics affecting seniors; browse many information booths and enjoy our homemade delicious refreshments. 1pm–3:30pm. Large parking lot and fully accessible facilities. 250-474-3031.

Come celebrate with Cowichan Green Community. There will be local chefs (Bradford Boisvert, Sean O’Connell), children’s activities, beer garden, local music, pie-baking contest, food and craft vendors, videos and workshops. Admission by cash and food donation for the local foodbank. 10am-7pm, Providence Farm, 1843 Tzouhalem Rd. Dinner by advance tickets $45 Contact: CGC at 250-748-8506, cgc@shawbiz. ca, 277 Craig Street, Duncan.


The Central Vancouver Island area is known for its rich diversity in eateries, breweries and wineries. The Bite of Nanaimo gourmet food festival is a perfect opportunity to sample offerings of some of the region’s finest, all at one venue, in one evening. TheatreOne invites you to celebrate gourmet food, local wine and beer, and delicious desserts at the 16th Annual Bite of Nanaimo fundraiser in support of live theatre. 4pm–9pm, Beban Park Auditorium. Tix: $10. Call 250-754-7587 or visit www.theatreone. org/tickets.php


Come for a day and discover 138 years of apples! 350 varieties of apples grown organically on 15 very diverse farms, each one an adventure. The sight and taste of red-fleshed apples will bring the real kid out in you! Tix: $10 available on day of festival at the Fulford Hall, from 9am–5pm at Fulford Hall (2591 Fulford-Ganges) on Saltspring Island. 250-653-2007 www.


The Carry on Grannies present a cupcake social to celebrate Grandparent’s Day and welcome the Cycling Grannies! Decorate your

Embrace the Journey - A Care Giver’s Story

To order, please send cheque for $19.84 ($14.95 plus $3.95 S&H & GST) payable to Senior Living. MAIL TO: Embrace Book Offer c/o Senior Living 153, 1581-H Hillside Ave., Victoria BC V8T 2C1 Please include your clearly written shipping address and phone number. Allow two weeks for shipping. SENIOR LIVING

Nanaimo Theatre Group is staging this hilarious farce by Allan Stratton. Matinees on Sept 28 and Oct 5. Curtain at 8pm and 2pm. The Bailey Studio – 2373 Rosstown Road, Nanaimo. Tix: or 250-758-7224. For info 250-758-7246.

by Valerie Green The very personal story of her own journey as a care giver to her elderly parents. This is a story which will touch many hearts and be relevant for numerous adult children who, in mid-life, are faced with a similar challenge and must make agonizing decisions and choices. It painfully addresses the problems encountered of ‘aging in place’ and the desire for loving couples to stay together in their home until the end of their lives. 96 pages. Softcover. 5.5” x 8.5” Published by Senior Living. Price $14.95





Celebrate BC’s 150th birthday, with the music of Tiller’s Folly and the stories of TW Paterson at St. Josephs School gym, 7:30pm. Tix: $12 at British Allsorts, Chemainus or call 250-2469102.


Mary and Laura Brackenbury – a MotherDaughter Duo! Sept 7 – Artists reception 1:30pm–3:30pm. Monday–Friday 9am–4pm at the Goward House Society, 2495 Arbutus Road, Victoria. More info: 250-477-4401 or


In lieu of the Parlour Show please bring your Christmas show designs for review. Expert assistance and support will be available as needed. New members and visitors welcome. 7:30pm at the Garth Homer Centre, 813 Darwin Rd, Saanich. 250-652-9334.


An endless summer evening with your all-time favourite hits! With original member and cofounding Beach Boy Mike Love at the helm, they continue to play an average of 150 shows a year. Tix: $59–$65 (plus applicable tax/charges) available at the Royal & McPherson Box Offices 250-386-6121 and Juan De Fuca Recreation Centre 250-478-8384. Show starts 7pm at Bear Mountain Arena ,1767 Island Hwy. 250-478-8384.

To avoid disappointment, check ahead to make sure the event you want to attend is still happening. If you have an event listing seniors might like to know about, e-mail info to




St. Michael’s Presents, charismatic harp virtuoso Josh Layne. Tix: $15, reservations and more information 250-748-8196.


Legends is the first presentation in a new 6part concert series celebrating woman in music. The concert features over 15 classic songs from these two international artists. A must see evening of music, voice and dance. Starring renowned vocalist NIQ Deanne with Yanik Giroux on piano. Alix Goolden Hall (Victoria Conservatory of Music) 8pm. Tix: $27.50 to $46.00 (Groups 10 or more 10% off) Contact McPherson Box Office 250-386-6121 or 1-888-7176121 or




Bake sale, cookbook sale, white elephant table, community lunch $4– soup & buns, beverage & dessert. 11:30am–2 pm. 3318 River Rd., Chemainus. More info: 250-246-9121.


September is Mentoring Month! Big Brothers Big Sisters is currently looking for volunteers, age 19–99 years, to mentor children for one hour


per week in elementary schools across Victoria. You don’t need special skills or experience to be a mentor – you already have what it takes! 250-475-1117, e-mail volunteer@bbbsvictoria. com or visit


John Adams, well-known local historian, will give an illustrated talk on the Ker family, pioneering industrialists, who were based in Victoria from 1859–1976. 7:30pm at James Bay New Horizons, 234 Menzies Street. Visitors welcome. 250-480-1061.


Enjoy coffee or tea and homemade goodies, by donation. All proceeds to Alzheimer research and patient/family support. 2pm–4:30pm at the Best Western Chemainus Festival Inn’s Emily Carr Room, Chemainus Road, Chemainus. More info, call Shelagh 250-246-9102.


Join the Canadian Federation of University Women Victoria to hear John Adams, historian, tour guide and author speak on “Discover the Past.” Guests Welcome. 7 pm Salvation Army Citadel, 4030 Douglas St.


Thousands of surplus books, low prices! Time to stock up for your winter reading. All proceeds to Great Victoria Public Library. Sept 27: 5pm– 8pm ($2) Sept 28: 9am–2:30pm Free admission, plus from 1 pm–2:30pm just $4 to take all the books you want!! Nellie McClung Branch Library on Cedar Hill Rd and Mckenzie Ave. 250-721-7847.


Your returnable bottles and tins (pop/alcohol/juice) can be donated at the drop-off site, south side of Alder St. between Willow & Croft, downtown Chemainus. From 10am–1:30pm. All proceeds to Bandshell security doors fund. 250-246-9102.


Come participate in the Tour De Rock and Ladysmith Chamber of Commerce Golf Tournament Fundraiser. Golf and dinner packages are $125 per person. Includes 18 holes, cart and a fabulous buffet dinner at Cottonwood Golf Course. Sponsor a hole, cart or donate a prize for the silent auction. Call 250-245-2112 to support and register to play!




ix years ago, previous owners kept hydrangea, rhododendron and yucca trees around this Sooke seaside house leaving the rest of the acreage undeveloped. Harsh winds, salt wash and deer made gardening especially challenging. Today, Ingrid and Greg Hill have created a garden paradise by the sea. STORY AND PHOTOS “Being an Aquarian, I’ve always BY JUDEE FONG been drawn to the water. A seaside ple of dragonflies to attach on the outgarden has always been my dream,” side of the house, a pottery mushroom Ingrid says simply. Smiling at her husband, she adds, for the garden and unique plants from a “Greg provides the muscle work and magical nursery tucked away at one end hard labour while I get to create with of the Island.” The result is an eclectic mix of comwild abandon.” With humour, the Hills recall how mon plants mingling with the unusual they cleared a portion of the garden by and interspersed with touches of whimaggressively chopping back the yucca sical charm. Visitors are greeted with a dramatic trees, only to have them grow back three display of scarlet red and mauve rhodotimes bigger! “My garden changes every year,” says dendrons. Adding their colours, oranIngrid. “I visit garden centres, impulse- gey-red cone shaped Kniphofia (“Redbuy my plants and then I find homes for Hot Pokers”), “Hot-Lips” Salvia, white them somewhere in my garden. Once I calla lilies, cheerful gazania, eucalyptus, decide where, I search for that special purple-leafed Fountain Grass and dainty ‘something’ that will make the garden corokia (cotoneaster), make an impresunique.” A quick smile lights up Ingrid’s sive display of colours and shapes. A statue of St. Francis of Assisi stands face as she tells of a recent trip to Salt among the foliage along with several Spring Island. “We came home with a small stone animals. Purple Allicarload of treasures: a couums and majestic Phygelius (Purple Trumpets) provide shade for the occasional ceramic toadstool. Nearby, Martha Washington geraniums and the combination of chives, oregano and marjoram happily thrive in a Mediterranean planter. Tucked in a sunny nook, two terracotta children hold large basins filled with bright yellow marigolds. With the Sooke Basin at



her doorstep, Ingrid’s love of the sea is reflected in her lifestyle as an enthusiastic year-round paddler. Skilled at kayaking, longboating and canoeing, Ingrid is currently in the midst of dragon-boat competitions. A well-used canoe, Blue, has been retired to the garden as a “vessel” for variegated Moor grass, Aubretia and nasturtiums. Framing the entrance to the seaside garden at the back, two grand male and female Windmill palm trees stand guard. “These palm trees have adapted to our climate,” says Ingrid. “I have people asking for the seeds to grow their own for they know these

palms are especially hardy for the seashore.” Emphasizing the waterside theme, Ingrid’s whimsical humour shows in a green “Sooke-a-borus” cheekily gazing seaward. Further along, unusual pieces of driftwood and some starfish add their ambiance to the small plants and shrubbery. Nestled among the azaleas, fuchsias and small cedars, a deep blue glass ball sits atop a beautifully crafted lavender blue “cabbage” leaf. White Gerbera daisies, tall purple Penstemons and young Fan Palms wave gently in the breeze. In the “Rockery,” a scenic terrace covered in small pebbles, ceramic containers of deep violet, Mediterranean blues and rich ruby reds hold Euphorbia, Fig, Boxwood and Ligustrum (Privot). “The Rockery was my mother’s vision,” says Ingrid. “She was suppose to move here but she developed Alzheimer and is now in a home. This is my way of honouring her. Whenever I tend it, I think of my mother in happier times.” Further along, a fat brown ceramic toad perches regally on top of a large toadstool while a smaller toad peeks mischievously from the foliage. Purple Erysimums (wallflowers) shade a small cupid watching birds gathered on a piece of driftwood. Nearby are comfortable seats to enjoy the tranquility of garden and sea. Butterflies, birds and two sleek cats roam the garden while in the distance eagles and hawks soar overhead. Volunteering weekly at the Sooke Food Bank, Ingrid’s deep respect for nature, people and a love of animals is further seen in a wooded area easily accessible by deer. “I keep

this corner as a sanctuary for the deer. They sleep in this bit of woods because I leave them deer-chow, fresh water and apples,” Ingrid explains. With a patient smile she adds, “They still tend to pillage my garden, especially the young ones, so I always plant three of everything - one for me and two for the deer!” “I have a passion for gardening so I don’t resent the hard work,” says Ingrid. “I like trying different things for I’m constantly getting new ideas.” And this Sooke garden is special for its delightful whimsy tucked among the many plants. “I find contentment in my ‘Garden-by-the-Sea’ and I have SL fun. This is something from my heart.”

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hy do men differ so from women when it comes to shopping? If I need electrical tape, I go to the store and buy some. There and back. But, let’s say a woman needs a new mop. She just may take two to three hours to get it. And come home not only with a new mop, but also with a roast, a bag of apples, a tube of toothpaste, a new pair of fluffy slippers and two lottery tickets. Now, I know these are necessities or she wouldn’t have purchased them (the lottery tickets and slippers I find suspect). But that’s beside the point. She went to get a mop. Plain and simple. How did she get distracted so quickly? I’ve heard it so often: “It wasn’t just a mop I was going for; it was numerous things. A mop was just one of them.” “Aha! But that’s not what you said. You said you were going for a mop.” Women, I believe, are compulsive. They can pick up signals from four aisles over and two counters down in any store. They zero in and, before you know it, a magazine with Oprah Winfrey in it, or a pair of shoes with needlelike heels or a bottle of nail polish is in their basket or shopping bag. They don’t seem to be able to help themselves!

Men, on the other hand, should we, say, need a new pair of socks, we go buy a new pair of socks. The colour choice is easy – white or black. We may need a new sweat top (I like to sound athletic) or sweat pants, which happen to be lying next to the socks, but we are not distracted by that. We came for socks and we’ll leave with socks. Sweat pants and tops are another journey. My wife and I often shop together at Costco. I don’t need anything. I’m just brought along to push the cart. I follow her, but I have to be careful. She’s always getting lost. I stop to look and she keeps on walking. Then bingo! She’s lost. She tells me she doesn’t have eyes in the back of her head. Well, I know that! We’ve been married for 18 years, for crying out loud! Even if I let her push the cart and wander along behind her, she still gets lost. I don’t know what I’m going to do with her. If I go to Costco alone, I’m in and out in five minutes. If my wife and I go together when it first opens at 10 a.m., I know I’m going to have lunch there. But, I’m not alone. Many other husbands are in the same boat. We all congregate at the lunch counter. The $1.99 hot dogs are great! And the price

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Photo: Krystle Wiseman


includes a Coke. The husbands don’t really know each other, but we recognize fellow victims with sad smiles, eat our hot dogs and drink our Cokes as our wives pick up a “few” things. If it wasn’t for the hot dogs, I doubt we would even be there. Christmas shopping is another “together” time. “Oh, look! This would be perfect for Sharon and it’s only $49.95.” Only?! I say: “Who the heck is Sharon?” “Your sister!” my wife sighs. “Oh, yeah. That Sharon.” I answer. All in all, I believe men to be better shoppers than women. We go for the jugular immediately and, like a good commando, are in and out of the store before anyone can say, “Will there be anything else?” But women! They immediately become prisoners of war. And only paying the high ransom will get them released from “merchantville.” Should my wife go away on a trip or something, and I have to shop for myself, it’s a breeze. Scoot into Thrifty’s or Safeway, pick up a jar of pickles, a couple of cans of corn, four packages of Kraft Dinner, a few wieners, a litre of chocolate milk and four chocolate donuts – in and out in under 10 minutes. I don’t know why women make such a fuss when they go shopping. I guess they’re just not trained enough! Women are also a contradiction in terms. They say they’re going shopping, are gone for four, five or six hours, then come home with nothing. What does nothing have to do with shopping? Oh well, different strokes for different folks. (I think that’s how the saying goes!) But I’m going to have to end this now, my SL Kraft Dinner is boiling over!

Because I love my independence. Independent Living Assisted Living Residential Care ERNST & YOUNG


The Wellesley Victoria, BC 2800 Blanshard St. 250.383.9099 ext.207

Casa Loma Seniors Village Courtenay, BC 4646 Headquarters Road 250.897.4033

Comox Valley Seniors Village Courtenay, BC 4646 Headquarters Road 250.897.4033

Call today for more information or to schedule a tour.

Nanaimo Seniors Village Nanaimo, BC 6085 Uplands Drive 250.760.2325

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Sunrise of Lynn Valley 980 Lynn Valley Road North Vancouver, BC V7J 1Z7 604-904-1226

Sunrise of Victoria 920 Humboldt Street Victoria, BC V8V 4W7 250-383-1366


Sept 2008 Senior Living Magazine Island Edition  

50+ Active LIfestyle Magazine for Vancouver Island BC Canada

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