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JANUARY 2011 TM

Vancouver Island’s 50+ Active Lifestyle Magazine

Get Moving!

The Fitness & Recreation Issue Programs adapt to meet the needs of an active aging population

Alpine Club of Canada New

Computer Column


Renewal is what you A perfect will find when you become pace is what you a Peninsula resident.

“Beautiful young people are accidents of nature, but beautiful old people are works of art.”

Asta, a Peninsula resident.

~ Eleanor Roosevelt

willand find when you A beautiful comfortable retirement community come home to the offering many opportunities Peninsula. A beautiful to enjoy adventures and and comfortable excursions - and at your doorstep is the charming retirement community seaside town of Sidney. It’s offering many easily accessible - just ask Asta which way opportunities to to the beach. enjoy adventures and excursions, all at your own pace.

Enjoy Independent and Assisted Living options in Enjoy Independent and Assisted Living options in beautifully appointed beautifully appointed studio, one or one two suites. studio, or bedroom two bedroom suites. 2290 2290 Henry Henry Ave. Ave. Sidney, Sidney, BCBC| www.peninsulaatnorgarden.ca | www.peninsulaatnorgarden.ca || 250.656.8827 250.656.8827

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AUGUST 2010 VANCOUVER ISLAND

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

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.

TO ORDER a copy... 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.


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JANUARY 2011

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JANUARY 2011

www.seniorlivingmag.com

Publisher’s

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s I hang a new calendar on my office wall, I feel extremely thankful for the blessings of the past year. 2010 had its fair share of struggles. Like many other businesses, we experienced hills and some valleys. Still, we survived. We are very grateful to those businesses that continued to support us with their advertising. If I could ask one favour, it would be to encourage our readers to patronize the senior-focused businesses you find within the pages of Senior Living. Without the support of these advertisers, this magazine could not exist. More and more businesses are repositioning themselves to better serve the growing senior consumer market. Senior Living is in an ideal situation to assist with this endeavor both through our magazines and our website. We welcome the opportunity to work with any business that has a desire to promote their products or services to seniors. Thank you to every reader. Your words of encouragement and positive response to our magazine has kept us going through the tough times of 2010 and clearly demonstrates the loyalty we can expect in the year ahead. Our readers tell us the thing that keeps them picking up our magazine is the inspiration demonstrated by the people we profile in our articles. Where better to find inspiration than in the life of someone who has been around the block a few times and still sees life as an adventure? In this issue, we focus on fitness, a vital ingredient to one’s overall well being. The options to better your physical health are extensive. I hope you will be inspired by this issue and make 2011 the year to get fit so that you, too, can live a life of adventure. 2

SENIOR LIVING

FEATURES 6 Sharing a Passion

44 Women & Waves

Surf’s up in Tofino for a reluctant first-timer.

Mom and daughter reach new depths in the Caymens.

8 Building Stronger Communities

Rec centres adapt for a growing senior client base.

12 Turn Back Your Biological Clock Aging is up to nature, decay is up to you.

16 Get to the Top

Alpine Club of Canada’s Vancouver Island section.

20 Grounded in the Earth

Author and caregiver Lynn Longmuir.

22 Age-related Macular Degeneration Early detection is key.

24 Into the New Year

This year’s Dos and Don’ts. Take ‘em or leave ‘em.

26 Baby Boomers Defy Dementia Tai chi conditions body and mind.

DEPARTMENTS 40 Classifieds 46 BBB Scam Alert

COLUMNS 4 The Family Caregiver by Barbara Small

30 Bygone Treasures by Michael Rice

41 Ask Goldie

by Goldie Carlow

28 First-degree Burns

42 Senior Tech NEW!

31 Strengthen Your Mind

47 Outrageous & Courageous

Famous poet’s birthplace museum opens. Brain Gym offers tools for healthy mind games.

32 Preventing Osteoporosis

What can you do to strengthen bones as you age?

34 Never Too Old to Tri

by David Pankhurst by Pat Nichol

48 Reflections: Then & Now by Gipp Forster

A son’s actions ignites a dormant spark in his mom.

36 Bushwalking

In Australia’s Blue Mountains.

38 The “I DO” Business of Vegas Marriage vow renewals are on the upswing.

Senior Living (Vancouver Island) is published by Stratis Publishing.

Cover Photo: Senior Living writer Enise Olding diving in the waters off Caymen Islands. See story on page 6. Photo: Julia Simmons

Publisher Barbara Risto

Head Office Contact Information: Box 153, 1581-H Hillside Ave., Victoria BC V8T 2C1

Editor Bobbie Jo Reid editor@seniorlivingmag.com

Phone 250-479-4705 Fax 250-479-4808 Toll-free 1-877-479-4705

Copy Editor Allyson Mantle

E-mail office@seniorlivingmag.com Website www.seniorlivingmag.com

Ad Designer/Coordinator Faye Holland Advertising Manager Barry Risto 250-479-4705 For advertising information, call 250-479-4705 sales@seniorlivingmag.com Ad Sales Staff Ann Lester 250-390-1805 Mathieu Powell 250-589-7801 Barry Risto 250-479-4705 WWW.SENIORLIVINGMAG.COM

Subscriptions: $32 (includes GST, postage and handling) for 12 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 editor@seniorlivingmag. com Senior Living Vancouver Island is distributed free throughout Vancouver Island. Stratis Publishing Ltd. publishes Senior Living Vancouver Island (12 issues per year) and Senior Living Vancouver & Lower Mainland (12 issues per year). ISSN 1710-3584 (Print) ISSN 1911-6403 (Online)


������ seniorlivingmag.com Enjoy the contents of both Vancouver and Vancouver Island magazines... plus much much more!

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seniorlivingmag.com Professional advice and information on a variety of products and services that suit your needs are published on the Senior Living website.

THE ADS OF THESE ASK A PRO CONTRIBUTORS CAN BE FOUND WITHIN THE MAGAZINE.

SENIOR EXPO PAST & FUTURE

LOCAL EVENT LISTINGS

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COV MEDIchair - Victoria 4 Eldersafe Support Services 7 Hot Health Systems Ltd. 13 Enabled Financial Solutions 18 Nurse Next Door Nanaimo 19 My Care Givers 25 Macquarie Private Wealth - Harp Sandhu

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25 Changing Places 29 CIBC Wood Gundy - Ryan Taves 31 Beltone Nanaimo 33 Horne Coupar 33 SAS Comfort Shoes

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THE FAMILY CAREGIVER

The Importance of Empathy in Caregiving

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mpathy plays an important role in caregiving, especially during stressful times. During those times family caregivers can often feel frustrated, irritated and resentful. The person they are caring for may seem to be “not cooperating” or “too demanding.” Empathy is the ability to understand another person’s circumstances, point of view, thoughts and feelings, and is different than sympathy. With sympathy you feel sorry for someone, but you don’t necessarily understand what they are feeling. With empathy you are placing yourself in that person’s circumstances and reflecting on their thoughts and feelings. When my siblings and I were caring for my dad who had colon cancer, I discovered I was a lot less irritated and frustrated with him and the situation when I was able to put myself in his shoes. I imagined what it must be like to be in pain, to be facing my own imminent death, to be dependent on others in order to do the simplest daily tasks such as eating or going to the bathroom, to have total strangers (home support)

providing me with personal care and to have no privacy. When I put myself in my dad’s shoes and thought about his experiences, I was more patient and caring. I recognized that if I was in that same situation, I would likely be demanding and grumpy as well. I realized he was embarrassed by his dependence on others, and this recognition shifted my view of the whole situation: he wasn’t trying to be difficult or to make more work for us. In caregiving, empathy can expand beyond the caregiver having empathy for the care recipient’s situation. Empathy can also help the care recipient and other family members acknowledge and understand what the primary family caregiver is experiencing. What might it be like for your son or daughter to be providing care to you while also caring for their own family and going to work each day? How might your spouse be dealing with the awareness that he or she may be alone soon? What about your sister who has temporarily put her life on hold in order to move in with your elderly parents? How would you

BY BARBARA SMALL

feel and behave in these situations, if it were you? Everyone has the right to their feelings, whatever they may be. This, however, does not give them free rein to express them in a way that is mean or cruel to another person. But by simply being curious and recognizing the feelings that might be underlying someone else’s behaviour, we can change our own emotional reaction to their comments or actions. With empathy, we are less likely to be triggered and react SL without thought. Next month: When Providing Care at Home is No Longer an Option Barbara Small is the Program Development Coordinator for Family Caregivers’ Network Society located in Victoria, BC. www.familycaregiversnetwork.org

The Family Caregiver column is brought to you by the generous sponsorship of ElderSafe Support Services

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Senior Expo ‘

TUESDAY, MARCH 15, 2011

A TASTE OF THE 50S

9am - 4pm I Pearkes Recreation Centre 3100 Tillicum Rd., Victoria BC

PRESENTED BY:

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MAGAZINE

BUSINESS EXHIBITORS

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SENIORS EXHIBITORS

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1950s Performers

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COMING FROM UP-ISLAND?

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FEATURING ELVIS TRIBUTE ARTIST: ���������� ����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� ������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� ����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� ���������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� WWW.SENIORLIVINGMAG.COM ������������������������������������

JANUARY 2011

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Fitness & Recreation

SHARING A PASSION BY ENISE OLDING

The author (right) and her daughter/ dive instructor Julia Simmons.

T

he year was 1977. A 44lb 9oz lobster was caught off Nova Scotia, ABBA’s Dancing Queen was a No. 1 hit, Elvis died, the rings of Uranus were discovered, Star Wars opened in cinemas, caftans and ponchos were in fashion along with flared trousers, I took a scuba diving course in B.C.’s Okanagan Lakes and got my diving certificate. Through the winter months, I spent hours studying, acquiring the required skills in swimming pools, hauling my equipment-laden self into a none-toowarm lake and, along with the rest of the class, invested a great deal of time, effort and money in becoming a competent, well-equipped diver. It was not without its misery, as when the frigid lake water seeped into my wetsuit and the unforgettable feeling of being hit across the forehead with an iron bar as the cold found my sinuses. Soon, how6

SENIOR LIVING

ever, the water trapped in the wetsuit would warm and exploration of the lake bottom would take my mind off the previous discomforts. Some dives yielded old cabin trunks looming through the gloomy water, which had been shoved out on the frozen lakes in years gone by and when the ice melted they sank to the bottom. For a diver, it was a treasure trove of old-style liniment bottles, white and blue glass apothecary and canning jars. Trips to B.C.’s coast opened up underwater vistas of incredible sea life. But, a year of ‘round-the-world travel to prime dive sites was the proverbial icing on the cake. While I was diving, my two daughters, Karen, 7, and Julia, 9, were there and, whenever they could, took to the water snorkelling. Fast-forward 30-odd years. My dive gear and interest in diving waned years ago, and the nearest I get to water now is on a sailboat. The children are women WWW.SENIORLIVINGMAG.COM

and have long since embarked on their own careers and activities, and live in different parts of the world. They both took up scuba diving a few years ago, and have gone diving together. On a recent visit with Julia, now a diving instructor in the Cayman Islands, it was expected that I would go diving. Now, this sounded possible: warm water, abundant sea life, easy water access, and readily available equipment. But, was I up for it, I wondered? I felt obligated after lugging Julia around the world while I did nothing but dive, and it would feel like a cop out if I didn’t at least try it. There was nothing but encouragement from all quarters for me to go diving again – what a wonderful experience and opportunity, how exciting! I am usually quite active, but in the past year dealing with aging parental issues, I had let regular physical exercise lapse. I thought: What if my knees give out while I’m trying to stand up with that tank strapped to my back? I wasn’t much worried about being underwater, or diving, or getting into the water, mostly it was whether or not I had the strength to manoeuvre out of the water, and whether I had the stamina to dive again. I packaged up my anxieties, told everyone who’d listen about them, and then I went for it. Before heading out, we did a pool session where I got used to the equipment and reawakened my diving skills. As an instructor, Julia was clear, patient, calm and inspired confidence in me. I was quite buoyed up and ready to tackle a real dive, off a boat, and looked forward to being in those wondrous tropical waters again. My original scuba certification is still valid, but I thought I’d give my-


self an extra challenge and take the entire course again – this time from my daughter. I purchased the books and equipment and started in on the studying, watched the DVD and talked endlessly with Julia about diving. I got myself worked up, as I would mentally go through manoeuvres that I’d need to do to become qualified. All of a sudden, I turned this anticipated recreational mother/daughter dive holiday into a mutually desirable but challenging project for both of us. It never crossed my mind to think of my instructor as a novice diver, or myself as an experienced one. We were both divers with lots of experience, but MEDICAL RESEARCH WARRANTY one of us had had a 30-year hiatus. As������ ����� ���������� ��� ��������� ����������� ��� ������ ��������� ��� ������������ the intensely dive-focused visit went University of Technology, Sydney, Australia - Postural steadiness improved Hot Health Systems Ltd. warranty the significantly after 8 weeks of training and was most significant in those with the most on, we dove together from boats and diminished postural control. Whole Body Vibration Trainer for 3 (three) the shore – in rough waters and calm. ������ ��� ������ ����� ���������� ��������� ���� ��� ������������ Observations: years for parts, service and labour within �������������������������������������������������������������������� I was put through my paces and passed ������������������������������������������������������� a radius of 250 km from the home office of Fifty per cent of the divers on the boats all the requirements for my diving cerSchool of Rehabilitation, Medical Sciences, Tehran University, Tehran, Iran. - Whole Lethbridge, AB. body vibration training improved proprioception and balance in athletes with I was on were 50+ years of age. The oldest reconstructed ACL. tification. I must admit I did experience person Renee of Cayman Diving School ������������������������������������������������������������������� some anxieties as I contemplated the Parts are warranted beyond that distance ������������������������ out was 86 years old. Sciences Graduate Education * Research, Canadian Memorial next day’s required skills, butSports once inResident,took for 3 (three) years with manuals and/or Chiropractic College - Many studies have reported an increase in muscle performance With assistance from dive boat staff, DVD videos available for self-service of afterfine. whole-body vibration, but none have evaluated the possibility of vibration the water, and doing them, I was application as therapy for functional restoration after injury. The results of this case is the made easy convenient. study imply that vibrationdiving therapy has potential to aid and in the management of parts replacement. Eventually, the pair of us swam easacute soft tissue injury and the sequel of disuse and immobilization. The equipment is still ungainly but the ily together, marvelling at the������������ prolific ���������� ��������� ���������� ��������������� ��������� �������������������������������������� -----------------------payoff is being weightless in a magical unreef life, taking photos and sharing a Department of Exercise Physiology, Katholieke Universiteit, Belgium - Knee extensor derwater world. It now strength increased significantly after 24 weeks of training. It has comes the potential in to various passion that had begun some 30 induceyears strength gain to the same extent as resistance training at moderate intensity. We are so confident that you will love sizes, when I started it was all man size! ���������� ���������� �������� ���������� ������ ����������� ���������� ��� ago. Those years fell away and it was your Vibration Trainer that we are pleased �������� Corrective lenses for goggles can be as if time had telescoped us both into to offer a 15-day money-back guarantee Faculty of Health and Welfare, St. Catherine University, Matsuyama, Japan into(hardening a mask in arteries) no time. - Background: Increased popped arterial stiffness of the is a wellthe same dimension, two women, two PROVIDED THAT all packaging materials established cardiovascular risk factor. WBV mechanically stimulates abdominal and leg arteries and may decrease arterial stiffness. WBV is feasible in vulnerable Rental equipment is readily divers, both in love with what and weimmobilized werehumans. These results suggest that WBV acutely decreases arterialavailable, are retained and the Trainer is returned stiffness. but if you’re going to dive regularly it’s best in ALL of its original packaging and in its doing and feeling privileged to�������������������������������������������������������������������� be able to have your own to get used to it. original condition by means of the original ����������������������������������������� SL to do it together as equals. Katholieke Universiteit, Belgium - After 24 weeks vibrationwas trainingas significantly shipper. Money will be returned as soon The dive course exacting and increased bone mass density of the hip and might be useful in the prevention of osteoporosis. No vibration side effects were observed. This may be an effective way as the Trainer is received by Hot Health thorough as the one I took originally. to modify well-recognized risk factors for falls and fractures in older women. www.caymanislands.ky Systems Ltd. My knees didn’t�������� give out. ���������� ��� ������� www.caymandivingschool.com����� �������� ��� �� ����������� �����������������������������������������������

Underwater photos: Julia Simmons

Fitness & Recreation

Sports Medicine Laboratory, University of Rome, Italy - Whole-body vibration is a suitable training method to improve knee extension maximal strength, countermovement jump, and flexibility in a young female athlete. Flexibility is important not only for performance but also for the prevention of muscle-tendon injury.

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143% improvement in physical function 77% improvement in equilibrium 60% improvement in vitality 57% improvement in quality of walking 41% reduction in pain 23% improvement in general health

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Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, St. John Hospital, Budapest, Hungary

“We are so confident that you will love your ���������������������������������������������������������������������� Vibration Trainer that we offer a money-back guarantee.”

Medical University of Vienna, Austria - This pilot study indicated that whole-body

—�������������������� vibration may positively influence the postural control and mobility in MS patients.

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JANUARY 2011

7


Fitness & Recreation

Building Stronger Communities

F

or more than half a century, recreation centres have been providing programs and services to their communities. Rec centres often evoke images of young children and families playing, taking swimming or skating lessons and learning new skills. But a significant portion of the community – and the recreation centre’s clientele – is seniors. As this demographic grows, programmers are looking to the future to accommodate the needs and wants of this segment of the population, who have been enjoying programs and making friends here from the time they first opened their doors. One thing that has changed, however, is the type of programs and activities. For many years, seniors could expect to choose between bingo, bridge and other card games, possibly some arts and crafts, a day-trip outing from time to time, and a few teas or lunchtime special events throughout the year. Over time, a handful of centres added some new programs but, for the most part, nothing changed significantly. Holding on to the status quo, however, is no longer the norm. Instead, more and more rec centres are paying attention to their senior population and pro-

BY KEVIN MCKAY

gramming specifically for them in new and exciting ways. “The biggest change in programming for seniors is the involvement

Evelyn Chu, 65 of seniors in the delivery of our programs,” says Panorama Recreation Centre’s Aquatic Co-ordinator Dan Ovington. “We have a huge pool of se-

nior volunteers with a variety of skills looking to give back.” This is an important and significant shift given the huge change in senior demographics. The first of the baby boomers turn 65 this year. The world has never seen a generation like the boomers, who have been catered to and marketed to in unprecedented ways their entire lives. It would be folly to believe they will expect any less now that they have started to reach their pensionable years. Not only will they expect and demand services and programs, they will have the voice and the numbers to back up those demands. And they have demonstrated they don’t have the same interests as their parents. If recreation centres wish to remain relevant to this segment of the population, they will need to adapt and pay attention to the wants and needs of this new generation of seniors. “There is a greater focus on lifelong active living,” says West Shore Parks & Recreation Centre Manager of Recreation Cindy O’Regan. “Programs and services are aimed at getting seniors more active and then keeping them active well into their 90s. There is also focus put on getting seniors back to doing traditional activities that they use to participate

Yoga, Pilates, Personal Training, Aquafit, Aqua Joints, Aqua Flow, Weights to Water, Nutrition, Rehabilitation, Swimming, Skating, Computers, Dance, Arts, Culture, Sports................

The options to Live Well and Have Fun are endless! 8

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www.panoramarecreation.ca 1885 Forest Park Drive North Saanich, BC 250.656.7271


in such as skating, swimming, ballroom dancing, and introducing them to new actives such as fitness programs, weight room training, water fit and running.”

Have fun, meet friends & get active with us!

For enjoyment, laughter, fun & relaxation.We have it here for you. Discover all the activities within minutes of your home at any of our four recreation centers.

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Photos: Kevin McKay

Stay Fit & Active with the

Nanaimo Athletic Club! Dan Kennedy, 87, and his trainer Lisa Steele.

Some of these changes are beginning to happen as part of BC Recreation and Parks Association’s (BCRPA) Active Aging Strategy and some have been happening for years. Smart programmers realize that even without the boomers, there is a constant need in the field of recreation to stay abreast of current trends. Rec centre programmers must project to the future to determine what types of offerings will be clamoured for by the people wishing to frequent their facilities in years to come. “Sometimes, it’s a bit of trial and error, but with support and ideas from our community, we tend to find ways to meet the needs for the future,” says Saanich Parks and Recreation Manager of Community Services Steve Meikle. With more people than ever living into their 90s and later, the person programming for seniors is now often working with three different generations – all considered seniors. With pre-seniors, mid-seniors and elders, one size does not fit all. Programmers have to keep in mind that though they

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may want to bring in new initiatives, they still need to address the needs of the seniors who have been coming to their centre for years and are not necessarily looking for change. It becomes a balancing act. “There is a demand for a continuum of services for ages 50 and up,” says Steve. “Programming tends to focus on offering a range of choices at any age, however, the focus tends to shift from physical benefits and outcomes to more social outcomes at the older end of the spectrum. The population over 50 is diverse, and we’ve tried to keep the doors open to allow for choices and options.” One area of change: fitness classes. Fitness for the third age has been around for more than 20 years, but even within that field, there have been changes and advancements. Classes are being offered in Pilates, balance on the ball, yoga, osteofit, joint works and other fitness types. Many offerings focus on stretch and strength training, which use a variety of equipment including balls, weights, bands and cords. Many older adults also use the weight room, not so much to turn into body builders but to improve muscle tone and maintain bone density. To take it outside, some centres even offer walking, cycling or hiking groups. An important aspect to healthy aging is mental fitness, in addition to physical fitness. Learning can – and should – continue throughout life. With the rise of dementia, continued learning may be a factor in helping to turn the tide on that dreaded condition. Some of the programs that facilitate mental fitness include second language lessons, brain energizer, mind matters, minds in motion, cooking demonstrations, armchair travellers and more. “Elder colleges and senior volunteer programs are starting to become the norm at most recreation centres,” says Dan. As one of the more multicultural provinces, British Columbia welWWW.SENIORLIVINGMAG.COM

comes people from diverse cultural backgrounds every day. Young and old, newcomers bring with them a fresh perspective and a rich, cultural background full of traditions and customs, which everyone can enjoy. So, multicultural programs are popping up in many places for both families and senior-specific programs. In addition to helping people already living in Canada gain an understanding and

Young Keun Lee, 68

appreciation for new cultures, new arrivals get a chance to meet people and make some new friends in a comfortable environment at their local recreation centre. There are many cultural festivals and special events, as well as support groups to be found there. Classes in flamenco dance, belly dancing, Polynesian dance, Scottish Country dancing and tai chi are all examples of skills that are part of the Canadian


Featured Business fabric and readily available. Another change to senior programming is not so much content as the way programs are offered. Years ago, most classes tended to be offered on a seasonal basis, usually running for eight to 12 sessions; now, there are many more short-term or one-off classes offered. Examples include antique appraisals, a Chinese New Year dance, hoedowns, murder mystery evenings, home-energy saving workshop, mature-drivers course, soap making and assorted cooking classes. Another reality for rec centres is budget cuts. This is not the same in every centre, but for those feeling the pinch, it is important to spend money wisely and be budget-conscious when developing programs. Whether a direct offshoot or not, more partnerships with other agencies and organizations are emerging. “In general, over the last decade, recreation has increased partnerships and options in health and wellness to include rehab services in our facilities from post-cardiac care programs to aqua therapy to weight training,” says Steve. “There is certainly a growing connection between health services and recreation services.” Technology consumes society and many seniors want to keep up. Programs available in Internet browsing, how to use email, digital photography, web design and more allow seniors to stay connected – both in their community and beyond. In short, programmers at recreation centres will face a tremendous challenge in the years ahead with growing demands on their resources, a craving for what is new and relevant from their clientele and an ever-shifting landscape as the speed with which new technologies present themselves continues to accelerate. The one certainty is that with free time in retirement, more and more people will depend on recreation centre SL programs to satisfy their wants.

FRIENDLY, RESPECTFUL Fitness & Rehabilitation in a Motivational Environment By Starr Munro

When it comes to movement and fitness Florence Bongiovanni-Russell, kinesiologist and owner of EverFitt Movement, believes creating a nurturing environment filled with laughter, fellowship and individualized instruction is what makes her personal training and rehabilitation program so successful. “Let’s face it. Exercise can be really boring for some people. Bringing humour and camaraderie into your fitness routine makes all the difference,” says Flo. “At Everfitt Movement we try to create an environment that is safe for people to explore exercise and movement. We work to challenge your balance, flexibility and strength, while injecting compassion and laughter into your experience.” Working from their office at the Cedar Hill Recreation Centre in Victoria, Flo and her team of personal trainers provide professional consultation, personal training, rehabilitation services and exercise programs designed for all ages and fitness levels. The team brings decades of experience and knowledge in balance and mobility training, injury prevention, pre and post surgery conditioning, as well as disorder and disease rehabilitation. Flo herself has been a kinesiologist for over 20 years and has taught movement for nearly 35 years. “Everyone who comes to me, comes with a different set of physical issues and challenges that they need to overcome,” says Flo. “We have to learn to respect our limitations, work with what we have and build up what is available to us. At Everfitt Movement we work on getting the details of each exercise and movement pattern correct. Understanding the details may help to prevent injury, rejuvenate our physical being, and develop our confidence.”

It’s eight a.m. on a Wednesday morning and the gym at Cedar Hill Recreation is filled with about a dozen Everfitt Movement clients chatting, laughing, and encouraging one another through a series of different activities. Some clients are participating in a group training session, while others are working privately with a trainer. Ann Moore has been coming to Flo for nearly10 years. She is considered one of Everfitt Movement’s ultimate success stories. “Ann is amazing, truly amazing,” says Judy Avila, a kinesiologist and trainer with Everfitt. “She can do things fitness-wise that even young people cannot. It’s all because of her dedication, she keeps active, she keeps coming every week and working hard.” When Ann started the program at Everfitt she had a number of physical challenges. Now, well into her eighties Ann moves spryly around the gym tackling various exercises and pieces of fitness machinery with confidence. “This is the best thing I’ve ever done for myself,” says Ann. “The exercises themselves are hard work, but the atmosphere here is wonderful,” says Fiona Hyslop, who has been a client of Flo’s since 1999. “The great thing about Flo and the team at Everfitt Movement is that they are all about positive reinforcement. And the best part of coming here is having fun!”

Balancing Exercises, Strength Training. and The Everfitt team: Judy Avila, Flo Bongiovanni-Russell & Wendi Mitchell.

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Florence Bongiovanni-Russell 3220 Cedar Hill Road, Victoria BC V8P 3Y3 JANUARY 2011 11 WWW.SENIORLIVINGMAG.COM 250.475.7134 flobong@pacificcoast.net


Fitness & Recreation

Aging is up to Nature, Decay is up to You Turn Back Your Biological Clock

BY BARBARA RISTO

A

s we conducted our research for this fitness issue, we discovered not only some individuals who have defied the norms of what one would expect a senior to be doing, but we hit upon some health professionals whose own research has shown that being fit not only helps you live stronger and longer, but it can actually turn back the biological time clock. None seemed to have as direct a message as Chris Crowley and Henry S. Lodge, M.D., authors of the book Younger Next Year for Women. (All of this advice applies to men too!)

Chris is described as “a recovery case, years younger at 70 than when he retired from a Wall Street law firm and began wondering who the hell he would be, once stripped of his professional status.” He found himself sliding into “flab and foolishness” before he caught himself and reversed direction. Dr. Harry Lodge is 47, a medical practitioner, teacher and man of science. His message is simple: After 50 we start to decay. Unless we signal our bodies to keep growing by exercising six days a week, our bodies head downhill after 50. 12

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“There is an immutable biology of aging, and you can’t do anything about it,” says Dr. Harry. “Hair gets grey, gravity takes its toll. Your maximum heart rate declines steadily over time, regardless of how active you are. Your skin degenerates, regardless of lifestyle. You will look old, no matter what. But you do not have to act old or feel old. He says exercise provides the signal that jolts our cells into repairing and renewing themselves and releases the chemicals that bathe our brains in positive feelings. Seventy per cent of aging after 50 is governed by our lifestyle. Half of all sickness and serious accidents expected after age 50 can be virtually eliminated if we learn how to live younger. “Aging can be a slow, minimal and surprisingly graceful process. Even on the appearances front, there is a huge difference between a greatlooking healthy older person and one who has let go.” In our 40s and 50s, our bodies switch into a “default to decay” mode, says Dr. Harry. There is only growth or decay. Your body looks to you to choose between them and the keys to overriding decay are daily exercise, emotional commitment, reasonable nutrition and a real engagement with living. But it starts with exercise. Dr. Harry puts much of the blame for our decay on our modern lifestyle – junk food, too much TV, long commutes, job stress, marital stress, family stress, poor sleep, artificial light, noise and no exercise. Exercise is the only way to engage your body and your physical brain, but if you do it, you will get “younger,” says Dr. Harry. Chris tells us how. “After age 50, six days of exercise is mandatory. No negotiations. No give. No excuses. Six days, serious exercise, until you die.”

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Chris and Harry are constantly asked why it has to be six days. Isn’t some exercise better than none? Chris pulls no punches with his response. “No,” he says. “It’s not better than nothing! We don’t even want you to think about it. It will sap your strength and drain your resolve. It will put you on the beach. It’s six days because it has to be. Actually, it should be seven.” Relaxing our vigilance toward exercise is like being squeezed by a boa constrictor. People think boa constrictors squeeze, but they don’t, says Chris. “They just wrap around you and wait. You let out a breath... they take up the slack. Do it again... they take up the slack again. Until you’re dead.” Not exercising religiously acts like the boa. Relax and decay will take up the slack, every time. So how does one maintain such vigilance? Chris offers some sage advice. 1. Join a gym. There’s a structure of routine and accountability that nothing else provides. Even if you love exercising outdoors, join a gym anyway. You need it for rainy days. For winter. For the group classes and the weight machines. You need a place to go, every day.

Living past 100. Studies predict that of the 70 million boomers born between 1946 and 1964, approximately three million will live to the age of 100, or beyond. The question is: What shape do you want your body to be in, if you are one of those three million? 2. Find a gym with a decent mix of young people and some your own age. 3. Get a trainer. Find one whom you like but who’s a real motivator. 4. Try to do at least 20 minutes of aerobic training, 20 minutes of strength training, with proper warm-up and cooldown periods at the beginning and end. 5. Classes or group activities are great motivators: spinning class, step class, aerobic dance, yoga, Pilates. You’re more likely to go because there’s a set time for class and that creates a certain discipline. You’re far less likely to dog it once you get there. 6. It’s a lot easier to exercise if you have a regular time. Same time every day, so there’s not a new decision every time. No one has the character to make the fresh decision every day to go to the gym. Go on “automatic” or you’ll quit. 7. Don’t miss a single chance to make this fun and close

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Fitness & Recreation to enjoyable. But Dr. Harry said you could get “younger.” How does that work? Your body is made of meat, sinew, fat and many other parts that break down over time and have to be constantly renewed. The muscle cells in your thigh are completely replaced, one at a time, day and night, about every four months. Brand-new muscles, three times a year. The solid leg you’ve stood on so securely since childhood is mostly new since last summer. Your blood cells are replaced every three

ity, dramatic resistance to heart attack, stroke, hypertension, Alzheimer’s disease, arthritis, osteoporosis, diabetes, high cholesterol and depression. Cardiovascular disease kills more women than breast cancer and the next seven leading causes of death combined, but most cardiovascular disease is preventable. Seventy to 80 per cent of heart attacks and strokes are caused by lifestyle, which means that making different choices, starting with exercise, will greatly reduce the chances of getting any of these diseases.

Think of exercise as a one-a-day pill. Think of doing exercise as sending a constant “grow” message, telling your body to get stronger, more limber, functionally younger, in the only language your body understands. months, your platelets every 10 days, your bones every couple of years. Your taste buds are replaced every day. In other words, your body is renewing itself all the time. Exercise is the foundation of positive brain chemistry. And that leads directly to the younger life Dr. Harry promises, including heightened immune system, better sleep, weight loss, insulin regulation and fat burning, improved sexual-

Do something every day, six days a week for at least 45 minutes. Out of the six days of exercise per week, four need to be devoted mostly to aerobic exercise. Aerobic exercise is anything that uses the large muscle groups, rhythmically, maintaining your heart rate at 60-80 per cent of your maximum (see Sidebar). Aerobic activities include walking, biking, jogging, swimming, aerobic classes and cross-

country skiing. Never quit early. And never stay home. Ever. Or you’ll start to slack off completely. Make a realistic assessment of the shape you’re in today and then make a start that matches your condition. Start too easy and you’ll get bored. Start too hard and you’ll quit or hurt yourself. See your doctor before embarking on any exercise. It is possible, at your age, that you have a condition you’re totally unaware of that could make a sudden, new exercise program a grave threat. Don’t take the chance. By now, you should be seeing your doctor once a year anyway. Fast-forward 10, 20 or 40 years, and visualize yourself as old and fit: hiking with your grandchildren or your friends, active and appealing. Now visualize yourself as old and frail. Bent over a walker. Tentative, passive, dependent. You really are likely to live long enough for one of those two scenarios to come true. Active or dependent. You pick. Aerobic exercise saves your life; strength training makes it worth living. Your personal best is still ahead and you have years and years of getting Younger Every Year.

Buy a heart rate monitor. After a warm-up, slowly increase the intensity of whatever you’re doing and get your heart rate up to 60-65 per cent of your max and level off. Work up (as slowly as you need to) to a 45-60 minute workout including warm-up and cool-down. Thank you to the authors of Younger Next Year for Women whose book I used to develop most of the content for this article. I encourage you to buy a copy. You’ll learn much more about the scientific reasons behind exercise and how much it can benefit you as you age. If you are one of those over 50 persons who is giving in to steady decay caused by inactivity, it’s never too late to move SL in a new direction.

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Featured Business How to Calculate Your Target Heart Rate While Exercising Aerobically To take your heart rate, place your hand on the pulse of your wrist – this is called the radial heart rate. With your fingers, not your thumb, find the pulse. Take the pulse by counting the beats for 10 seconds. Multiply that number by six to get your beats per minute or take your pulse for six seconds and add a zero. To get your working heart rate you must take your pulse after vigorous exercise that has lasted for at least five minutes. Keep marching or moving while you are taking your pulse. Everyone needs to exercise at the correct heart rate to get the most cardiovascular benefits and to stay safe. This heart rate is called your target or training heart rate – the rate you want your heart beating at during vigorous exercise. Most fitness experts recommend exercising between 60 per cent and 80 per cent of your maximum heart rate for optimal benefits. The way to find your target heart rate is to do this formula: Take your age and subtract it from 220 – this is your maximum heart rate. Now, to find your target heart rate (between 60 and 80 per cent) multiply that number by .6; and, multiply the same number by .8. For example, if you are age 60, subtract 60 from 220 to get 160 as your maximum heart rate. To be in the aerobic zone, you should aim to be within 60%-80% of your maximum heart rate. In this case, between 96 and 128 heart beats per minute. A pulse somewhere in the middle will be the best for optimal performance and in the safest range. Always seek the advice of your doctor before embarking on any SL form of exercise program.

HAZARDOUS TO YOUR WEALTH Avoiding the Common Mistakes Retirees Make in Volatile Times By Starr Munro For the past three and half years, Kenn Springer and Daniela Morrison have been presenting their seminar series “Hazardous To Your Wealth” to educate clients on how to avoid making costly financial mistakes. (See their Senior Living ad for future seminar dates, times and locations). “The purpose of the seminar is to review different financial strategies that are available to individuals and demonstrate how these can be applied,” says Kenn. “Financial planning is about much more than simply choosing appropriate investments, it’s an examination of all of the aspects of your life that impact your financial situation and planning accordingly,” says Daniela.

��������������������������������� �������������������������������������� ����������������������������������������������� ������������������������������������������������ ������������������������������������ “It’s never too late to get organized. You can save hundreds of thousands of dollars by having your financial affairs in order,” says Kenn. As senior financial consultants with Investors Group in Canada, Kenn and Daniela employ a client focused approach to protecting people’s assets and standard of living. They provide ongoing advice on investment management, yearly tax planning, estate planning, risk management and charitable giving, all in the context of a collaborative team environment. “You have all these professionals in your life - your investment advisor, lawyer, accountant, insurance agent, etc., but the problem is that these individuals generally don’t speak to each other,” says Kenn. “It is our job to get all of the different professionals communicating, to get everyone working from the same page.” “We work closely with our in-house team of accountants, lawyers, actuaries, and tax and estate planning specialists to arrive at a solution that is unique for each client, says Daniela.

Daniela Morrison B. Comm, CFP

Kenn Springer CFP, EPC

Kenn and Daniela’s client service is comprehensive and includes: • A detailed discussion to understand your situation; • A risk assessment to determine how you feel about market volatility and the type of portfolio most suitable for you; • An estimation of your current tax liability; • A tax review with an accountant to determine if your yearly income tax can be reduced; • An estate planning meeting to ensure that your final wishes are fulfilled; • The preparation of a regularly updated financial plan; • Timely review meetings to ensure that you stay on track. “We approach financial planning as a vital, ongoing activity - something that must be done at regular intervals on a continuous basis, says Daniela. Your life is constantly changing and to ensure you successfully build and preserve your wealth, you need to design, adapt and adjust your financial plan to your life.” Individuals who attend a Hazardous To Your Wealth presentation are invited to a complimentary review of their current situation and provided with a detailed summary letter to assist them in taking action.

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GET TO THE TOP Fitness & Recreation

Alpine Club of Canada

W

hether a hiker, backcountry skier, snowshoer, ice climber, rock climber or

16

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Photo: Sandy Briggs

BY VERNICE SHOSTAL

mountaineer, the Alpine Club of Canada Vancouver Island section (ACCVI) has an activity for all outdoor enthusiasts. Established in 1906 by Elizabeth WWW.SENIORLIVINGMAG.COM

Parker, a Winnipeg Free Press journalist, and Arthur Wheeler, a Canadian surveyor and mountaineer, the Alpine Club of Canada has 20 sections. The


Chris Ruttan with Karen van Dieren rappeling off Gratton, northeast of Gold River, Vancouver Island.

Photo: Jules Thomson

Vancouver Island section was established in 1912. Its first president, Colonel William Foster, was the first ascendant of Mt. Robson, the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies and the first to climb Mt. Logan, Canada’s highest peak. Approximately 65 kilometres west of Campbell River, the fourth highest peak on Vancouver Island is named after the colonel. Retired biomedical researcher turned computer scientist and current ACCVI Chair Cedric Zala is a hiker and a scrambler. “Scrambling is when you’re using your hands as well as your feet, but you’re not necessarily going straight up. You’re going up something, which is reasonably steep and you can’t just walk up it, but you use hands.” Born and raised in Victoria, Cedric received his PhD from Manchester University in England and did medical research and later studied computer science in Montreal, but friends, family, the ocean and mountains drew him back to Victoria. Cedric and his wife, Lissa, now live and work on their vineyard and lavender farm in Saanichton. A former member of the Victoria Canoe and Kayak Club, Cedric joined the Alpine Club at age 53 when his daughter, a member of UVic’s outdoors club (associated with the Alpine Club) told Cedric the ACC did the kinds of things he liked. “I went to an event and I went out on a couple of hikes and I have blessed the day ever since,” says Cedric. “I liked it so much I started volunteering for the executive.” Cedric maintains that the strength of the club is its educational program, which highlights topics like basic equipment and how to use it, safety training, leadership development and general alpine skills such as using an ice axe and crevasse rescue. “Once you learn some snow and glacier travel skills, the range of places you can get to expands enormously.” A seven-year member, Cedric says his best experiences so far have included climbing Mount Baker (3,286 m), the culmination of an introduction to mountaineering course, and a two-weekend course that involves rope, glacier and other travel skills. “It was fabulous, absolutely fabulous,” he says. “[The course] is designed to take someone with a hiking

background and lead them right through to a moderately technical climbing capability,” says Rick Johnson, a leader who has been climbing most of his life. “Beyond that, we pass them off to certified guides.” Travel agent, Alpine Club leader and long-time member, Rick was introduced to mountaineering and rock climbing in 1975 through Claremont High School’s outdoor education program. Since Rick joined the Vancouver Island section of the ACC, the membership has grown to over 300, almost half women and many over the age of 50. In his early years, Rick spent weekends and entire weeks in Squamish, building his experience and moving to longer and harder routes. As rock climbing became more popular and routes became more crowded, he turned to Alpine climbing. “Little did I realize at the time how much more rewarding this would be,” says Rick, who has climbed the Cascades, the Rockies, the Selkirks, the Purcells, including the Bugaboos, the Coast Range, as well as mountains in Europe, Scotland and England. Rick started leading trips and, in 2001, was one of a dozen experienced leaders selected to attend the first joint

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» JANUARY 2011

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Fitness & Recreation

Alpine Club of Canada Vancouver Island section President Cedric Zala going up Iconoclast.

North Face/ACC Mountain Leadership Course. “This opened up a whole new dimension as we focused on the skills and details on leading people in the mountainous terrain,” he says. “To introduce others to the skills that will allow them to safely enjoy their mountain experiences gives me a great satisfaction. At 52, I can say I wouldn’t have traded a moment of it.” Born in Winnipeg, former ACCVI chair Julie (Jules) Thomson received an undergraduate degree from the University of Manitoba, took dental

science at the University of Alberta and obtained a graduate degree in Leadership Studies from the University of Victoria. Looking through a View-Master with a round disk when she was five years old, Jules saw photos of mountaineers trudging up an arête, a thin knife-like edge of snow, and knew one day she would be a mountain climber. She started climbing in her 40s. Jules led her first climb, Redwall in the Mackenzie range, 75 kilometres west of Port Alberni, in the late ’90s. “The first

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climb that I led was my most memorable climb,” says Jules, “because I was in my 50s and I led four younger men.” Another favourite climb for Jules is Mt. Rainier in Washington, a volcano with 26 major glaciers and 36 square miles (58 square kilometres) of permanent snowfields and glaciers, where she has led three climbs. “Rainier is the most aesthetic mountain that I have ever seen, stunning with gorgeous alpine meadows full of colourful alpine wildflowers. Standing below, looking up at Rainier, one is simply overwhelmed by the expanse of glaciers, crevasses and sky.” An avid birder and amateur botanist, Jules is a member of the Victoria natural history society. A scuba diver for 30 years, she enjoys cold water diving. Although Jules has a private pilot’s licence and has flown gliders in Alberta and British Columbia, her current focus is mountaineering and nature. She enjoys the completely alpine experience including the “camaraderie, which is something quite special.” The ACCVI is committed to cherishing, respecting and protecting the mountains. Turning Arrowsmith into a regional park for the Nanaimo Regional District was one example of their contribution. Their most recent initiative has been advocating the prohibition of vehicle access, particularly ATVs, from the Sea to Sea Regional Park in Sooke. The Vancouver Island Section of-

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Featured Business fers a wide range of mountain-related activities from local hikes to challenging climbs in the VI mountains coastal ranges, Rockies and beyond. In addition to these trips, there are summer hiking/climbing camps and winter ski/ snowshoe camps, downhill and crosscountry skiing. Educational courses and workshops include ice axe handling, crevasse rescue, avalanche safety and introductory mountaineering. All walks of life, experience and ages are welcome to join the club. Is it dangerous? All three members agree the most dangerous part of mountaineering is the trip to the mountain. A monthly slide show is open to the public and prospective members are welcome to come on two or three section trips to see how they like it before SL making a decision to join. For more information or to join the Alpine Club of Canada, go online to www.accvi.ca

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EXPERIENCE THE WORLD With Canada’s Leisure Experts By Starr Munro

Merit staff at the Shelbourne Plaza location. From left to right, Janice Dalziel, David Wright, Junko Urushidani, Paul Dixon, Sharon Crozier.

When it comes to vacation planning, the mission of Merit Travel Victoria is to connect clients to exceptional travel experiences. Specializing in travel for retirees, Merit Travel Victoria offers a diverse range of vacation packages customized for the 50+ generation. Whether you are looking for an escorted or hosted tour, cruise or longstay vacation, Merit Travel Victoria promises to arrange the ultimate vacation experience. “Our job as travel agents is to fit the trip to the traveler,” says Paul Dixon, Merit Travel’s Vancouver Island Regional Manager. “Clients today often come to us with a wealth of research about where they want to go and what they might like to do. Our job is to make sure the experience the client is seeking is something they will truly enjoy. We do this by really getting to know our clients, by building a relationship with them.” Founded in 1991, Merit Travel Group has grown to become the largest privately held specialty travel company in Canada. With a staff of over 500 travel professionals in 56 different offices across the country, Merit Travel Group serves 500,000 individual and group travelers. Serving the Victoria community for nearly 10 years, the agents at Merit Travel pride themselves on their customer service and travel knowledge.

“One of our very popular programs is our hosted tour, in which we arrange for a Merit agent or outside person with a specific area of expertise to travel with your group, acting as a liaison,” says Paul. “There is no added cost, just added value. The host provides an extra layer of security and assistance on the tour, helping travelers with everything from changes in itinerary, to food and language issues. The great thing about sending a local liaison out is that we really understand just exactly what a travel experience entails. This allows guests to stop by our offices and get in-depth knowledge about the tours and to actually meet the staff person who will be hosting the tour.” “Whatever kind of vacation you are looking for our friendly staff will help you navigate through the many vacation options out there, to ensure the right choice, and the right experience is created for you.”

UPCOMING HOSTED DEPARTURES – BOOK NOW! New York New York Departs May 2011. Hosted by Colleen Donnelly from Merit Colwood and Collette Vacations. Tour includes airfare, city tours and two Broadway shows. A Voyage to the Orient Departs April 2011. Hosted by Bev Snyder from Merit Colwood and Princess Cruises. This cruise takes travelers from Singapore to Beijing and everywhere in between. European Baltic Cruise Departs August 2011. Hosted by Janice Daiziel from Merit Shelbourne Plaza and Holland American Line. Cruise on the Prinsendam from Amsterdam through Kiel Canal, the Baltic Sea, St. Petersburg and more, before returning to London.

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JANUARY 2011

19


Author Profile

Grounded in the Earth “D BY VERNICE SHOSTAL

iscover the importance of your own self-care as a caregiver,” says registered aromatherapist, certified reflexologist, reiki master, educator, professional speaker and author of Peace of Mind, Care for the Caregiver Lynn Longmuir. The book, an easy-to-follow practical working guide for family and friends looking after a chronically ill loved one at home, includes understanding the importance of self-care and nurturing the caregiver.

Primary caregiver to her late husband, Niall, who was diagnosed and lived with multiple sclerosis for 12-and-a-half years, Lynn describes the disease as chronic, debilitating and finally, palliative. “I learned how to cope, many days putting a square peg in a round hole,” she says. “We had no children, so I did not even have the experience of children being sick.” Frustrated with not knowing what to do during her husband’s illness, Lynn decided to record her deepest thoughts 20

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and fears in a journal. “Crying your heart out or going into a dark room and closing the door and never coming out or being verbally abusive to people does not work,” she says. “You have to find a middle ground that works for you.” Lynn decided to put a plan in place and follow the dots. Sharing her personal story in her book, she recognizes that each person’s journey may be different. “It was important for us both,” says Lynn, “that I kept my health and sanity and not become the ‘nurse’ or ‘mother,’ but remain his partner walking side by side to listen and convey his needs to the health-care staff and never exclude him from the discussions. It is necessary to be heard and not expect health-care workers to read your mind. Ask for what you want and need.” Lynn’s goal was to give her husband as much quality of life as possible for however long while, at the same time, nurturing her own soul and building support systems tailored to their unique needs. At first, the care of Niall occupied a few hours daily but, eventually, it became 24/7. Not easy, but worth it, she says. Born and raised in Scotland, Lynn and Niall immigrated to Canada six days after their wedding, at the age of 21. They returned to Scotland many times and called both countries home. In Scotland, Lynn spent five years training as a hairdresser. She continued her career in Canada, owning and operating her own salon and teaching hairdressing. Educated in anatomy and physiology, medical issues were of interest to Lynn and, in 1993, her curiosity in holistic medicine led her to begin training in aromatherapy and working with essential oils. “I used essential oils on Niall right up until he died,” she says. During his healthy years, Niall was an active person. In addition to the experience he gained in the navy reserve in his youth, Niall had a background in banking and a licence in glider flying. His other interests were fly-fishing, fly tying, woodworking, crossword puzzles and cooking while Lynn went for walks with their dog. Although Lynn and Niall had separate interests and

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Planned Giving

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valued their independence, together they played bridge, were active in the Sons of Scotland and loved Scottish Country Dancing. They spent many weekends camping with their dog, exploring Vancouver Island, Salt Spring Island and Thetis Island. In the evening, at their camp, they played Yahtzee. The loser was obliged to get up first in the morning to put on the coffee and make breakfast – not a problem for Lynn who didn’t like lighting the Coleman stove; Niall had to get up anyway. When not camping, the couple enjoyed their timeshare at Pacific Shores, a place Lynn continued to go for her own respite when Niall could no longer join her. At least once a month, the couple joined friends for a potluck dinner, an event that continued even when Niall was ill. “The person who is ill is still the same person,” says Lynn. A nature lover, Lynn sees the heron in its natural habitat as symbolically representing security in exploring the mind and emotions, teaching self-esteem, how to balance life’s tasks and how people should look deep into themselves to bring out their innate wisdom and become selfreliant. Spiritual and emotional insights become clearer when, like the heron, people can ground themselves in the earth. An introspective, compassionate and self-reliant person, Lynn enjoys meditation, going for walks in the woods and along the ocean, attending theatre, listening to music, taking long baths, reading, journaling and going for coffee with friends. In the winter, she knits scarves with fuzzy colourful wool. For the last six years, in addition to running her business, Lynn and her dog, Magic, have contributed time to P.A.T.S., a volunteer establishment where people take their pets to assisted living and longterm care homes. A caregiver with experience, Lynn offers compassion and peace of mind to families providing home care for a loved one with a chronic or debilitating illness. SL For more information, visit Lynn’s website at www.lynnlongmuir.com

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JANUARY 2011

21


Health & Wellness

AGE-RELATED MACULAR DEGENERATION

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BY ELIZABETH GODLEY

or anyone 50 years old or better, the thought of developing age-related macular degeneration, a disease of the eye’s retina that can lead to tunnel vision and eventual blindness, is frightening. But the good news is that this condition can be slowed down or completely stopped if it is treated early. Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a condition that typically affects older adults. Approximately 25 per cent of those 65 years and more have signs of AMD. The condition results in a loss of vision in the centre of the visual field (the macula) because of damage to the retina. The disease can make it difficult or impossible to read or recognize faces, although enough peripheral vision may remain to allow other activities of daily life, such as walking and shopping. There are two forms of AMD, known as “dry” and “wet.” In the dry form, cellular debris called drusen accumulate behind the retina. In the wet form, which is more severe, blood vessels grow behind the retina. In both forms, the retina can become detached. AMD can progress quickly and patients who are not closely monitored by

a physician can lose their sight rapidly. A genetic component means that there is a 50 per cent chance that someone with AMD inherited risk factors from their parents. One in five of these individuals will lose vision as they age. Early detection and treatment can prevent AMD, but most patients don’t see an eye doctor until they have some vision loss. By then, it is too late. As Dr. Paul Chris, Executive Director of the Vision Institute of Can-

progression of cataracts, another agerelated eye condition. The study, sponsored by the National Eye Institute in the U.S., found that people at high risk of developing advanced AMD lowered their risk by about 25 per cent when treated with a high-dose combination of vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene and zinc. “The vitamin formula does not prevent macular degeneration, but it can reduce its progress,” says Dr. Chris, an optometrist with a special interest in nutrition. He points out that people in their 60s do not absorb nutrients the way they did when they were younger. However, he says, the particular combination of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants recommended, “Almost changes from week to week.” One 2009 study recommended folic acid, B-6 and B-12, while another study supported a combination of vitamin C, beta-carotene, zinc and copper. In 2006, a second AREDS study was launched to determine if a modified combination of vitamins, minerals and fish oil could further slow the progression of vision loss from AMD. This study, known as AREDS2, refined the findings of the original study by adding lutein and zeaxanthin (plant-derived

AMD can progress quickly and patients who are not closely monitored by a physician can lose their sight rapidly. ada, points out, research suggests that AMD may be treated and its progress halted with certain vitamins. Results of the Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS), reported in the Archives of Ophthalmology (October 2001), indicated that high levels of antioxidants and zinc significantly reduced the risk of advanced age-related macular degeneration and its associated vision loss. The same nutrients had no significant affect on the development or

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yellow pigments that accumulate in the macula), as well as omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA (derived from fish oils) to the study formulation. Previous observational studies have suggested these nutrients may protect vision. However, for those who believe they have symptoms, visit an eye specialist for an AMD test before running out to spend a bundle on vitamins and minerals, cautions Dr. David Maberley, an ophthalmologist with the University of B.C.’s Centre for Macular Research. High doses of these substances can cause side-effects, particularly in smokers, who may be at increased risk for lung cancer. Men who consume high doses of these vitamins may also increase their risk of prostate problems. Dr. Maberley also notes new genetic tests are available at a cost of several hundred dollars for close relatives of AMD patients who are concerned SL about their prospects. For more information, go online to www.macularisk.com

Next Month in Senior Living...

Housing Options • Explore senior housing options for yourself – or your parents. • Ready to downsize? What to do with all that “stuff!” • Retirement homes now offer upscale menus for today’s sophisticated palates.

Featured Business

Creating Health and Wellness One Body at a Time By Starr Munro Pain and suffering caused by health problems such as arthritis, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, and stroke can seriously impede your quality of life. But with regular use of Hot Health System’s Whole Body Vibration Trainer you can free your body from the shackles of pain and find the freedom to live your best life. “Easy to operate, the Whole Body Vibration (WBV) Trainer is an exercise machine that applies Vibration Exercise technology to stimulate the body’s natural response to vibration,” says Sharry Yaeck, Vice President of Hot Health Systems, retailer of the WBV Trainer. “It only takes ten minutes on a WBV Trainer to achieve the same health benefits as if you went for an hourlong run.” “The machine works by sending vibrations or waves of energy throughout the body, which activate muscle contractions at 30 to 50 times per second. The vibrations help stimulate blood circulation. This in turn moves more oxygen through the body, helping muscles to become more flexible and aiding the lymphatic drainage system to remove waste substances that cause pain,” says Sharry. “The benefits of this gentle, yet effective, therapeutic training machine are just amazing.” Originally invented in the 1960’s by Russian scientists seeking a cure for osteoporosis, Vibration Exercise technology has been utilized extensively within the aerospace industry. Russian astronauts used it to strengthen their bodies to combat the weakening effects of living in zero gravity. American astronauts training on conventional fitness equipment were only able to sustain 120 days in space, while Russian astronauts using Vibration Exercise were able to spend 420 days in space. Medical researchers are currently exploring the impacts of Vibration Exercise for victims of stroke and spinal cord injuries.

“Regular use of the WBV Trainer results in more stamina and energy; increased flexibility, mobility and coordination; and rapid recovery of muscles tissue,” says Sharry. “Managers of seniors residences tell us that the residents who use the Trainer are finding their incontinence improved and restless legs a thing of the past. They’re getting rid of their canes and walkers due to increased muscle strength and improved balance, and getting rid of inhalers while cutting down the amount of time they need to be on oxygen. Sciatica and back pain are relieved.” “People who use the WBV Trainer are always saying ‘thank you,’ ‘thank you.’ ‘I no longer have arthritis pain, I’m sleeping better now, my back pain is gone.’ Our clients are so grateful,” says Sharry. “It is a matter of personal integrity that our customers are not only happy with their purchase, but impressed with their overall improved health.” “I used to have a very fast heart rate - over 90 bpm - now my heart has gotten stronger and my heart rate has lowered to just over 80 bpm on average. And I am losing weight!” - Joanne, Regina, SK “I have sciatica from my hip to my toes and this machine reduces my pain for the full day. I don’t know what’s doing it but I generally feel much better. I wouldn’t be without it now!” - Dave (age 91) “My mother had a very severe stroke a year ago and we could never get her to go for physiotherapy. After starting to use the vibration machine, she got her balance back and started getting stronger. So now she is willing to go out for physio treatments.” - Ian,Victoria BC “I had a very bad accident falling off a ladder. My foot caught and was badly mangled. After using the Trainer just a few times, I have been pain free for the first time in 12 years.” - Randy, Wainwright, AB

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JANUARY 2011


Into the New Year

Do you get the Senior Living Readers Newsle�er? Sign up today by visi�ng our website at

www.seniorlivingmag.com Each month, we email subscribers our latest newsle�er containing informa�on you won’t find in our magazine. You never know what we’ll include! We have ar�cles on: • successful re�rement • seasonal recipes • computer �ps • gardening • travel • health • fitness • housing • finances • caregiving, etc. PLUS: Info on upcoming magazine features, events, senior-focused adver�sers, advice ar�cles on our website and interes�ng videos.

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his year, among my New Year resolutions, I promised myself not to be drawn into following diets and seeking ways to extend my life. I immediately broke my promise by reading, and being bored to death, by three books on advice to the aging. No, I won’t name them, but I was so overwhelmed by their advice that I considered the option of dying in preference to the guilt and confusion of trying to stay alive by performing the many tasks the books suggested might be useful in order to lengthen my life by a few years. Still, I didn’t want to totally reject the words of such hard-working writers, since I know the difficult task of getting a book off one’s desk and into print. I decided instead, to simplify the information and chose 20 “Dos” and 20 “Don’t Dos” from the three books. I know that following these authors’ recommendations may not do much to lengthen my life, and they definitely won’t put off my death, but I thought they might give me the illusion that I am still in control. Following my first resolution that I should be more generous this year, I decided I’d generously share my summary of advice about how to approach the New Year, and the rest of your life. So here goes: WWW.SENIORLIVINGMAG.COM

BY NAOMI BETH WAKAN

THINGS TO DO: 1) Plan lifelong learning (Elder Hostels will help you here). 2) Get your finances in shape (out of debt and saving 10% of income). 3) Balance play and meaningful work. 4) Keep your body parts working. 5) Get strong, stay strong. 6) Keep your mind stimulated (not just Sudoku). 7) Find a purpose in life, if you don’t have one already. 8) Finish the projects you’ve started (or scrap them, but either way, get them out of the way). 9) Celebrate when you feel there is something worth celebrating. 10) Exercise, exercise, exercise. 11) Sleep at least eight hours a night. 12) Volunteer. 13) Eat lots of fruit and veggies and nuts and seeds. 14) Gather a few close supportive friends around (In Martha Grimes detective story, The Black Cat, one character says, “I don’t think it’s sickness or being penniless that’s the hardest; it’s being forgotten. The worst thing about getting old is that people don’t look in.”). 15) Keep in touch with friends and family and make the contacts multigenerational (this takes a load of energy, but it’s important to have a few


babies, children and adolescents in your life; it offers a nice balance). 16) Gather your health team in preparation. 17) Be supportive of yourself. 18) Be supportive of others. 19) Tell the truth (it saves energy; lying means you have to remember the lies you’ve told, and remembering the details are exhausting). 20) Stay flexible to changing circumstances and welcome a challenge.

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THINGS NOT TO DO: Don’t

1) Decline away in a retirement home. Just because you’re in a retirement home doesn’t mean you have to surrender your authenticity. 2) Abuse your body – with drugs, alcohol, or unsafe sex. 3) Stay in an abusive relationship. 4) Have a meaningless retirement. 5) Waste time with non-supportive, negative people. 6) Eat sugar and drink coffee. 7) Argue with your partner. 8) Be grossly overweight (although social isolation is more damaging apparently). 9) Over-analyze everything. 10) Try to change others. 11) Try to please others (an impossible task). 12) Surf the Web mindlessly. 13) Overspend. 14) Whine. 15) Be negative about yourself. 16) Smoke. 17) Be too puritan about giving yourself a few treats from time to time. 18) Plan too much – leave room for spontaneity. 19) Watch TV mindlessly (or do anything mindlessly). 20) Worry too much and be ungrateful. Well, I squeezed 21 into both lists, but who’s counting? So, I’ve thoughtfully planned the whole of the New Year (and the rest of your life) for you. Don’t bother thanking me – just go for it! SL

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Harp Sandhu, BA, Econ., CSA, Investment Advisor T: 250 412 3412 | E: harp.sandhu@macquarie.com W: www.macquarieprivatewealth.ca/sandhu Macquarie Private Wealth Inc. No entity within the Macquarie Group of Companies is registered as a bank or an authorized foreign bank in Canada under the Bank Act, S.C.1991, c.46 and no entity within the Macquarie Group of Companies is regulated in Canada as a financial institution, bank holding company or an insurance holding company. Macquarie Bank Limited ABN 46 008 583 542 (MBL) is a company incorporated in Australia and authorized under the Banking Act 1959 (Australia) to conduct banking business in Australia. MBL is not authorized to conduct business in Canada. No entity within the Macquarie Group of Companies other than MBL is an authorized deposit-taking institution for the purposes of the Banking Act 1959 (Australia), and their obligations do not represent deposits or other liabilities of MBL. MBL does not guarantee or otherwise provide assurance in respect of the obligations of any other Macquarie Group company. Macquarie Private Wealth Inc. is a member of the Canadian Investor Protection Fund and IIROC.

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JANUARY 2011

25


Fitness & Recreation

BABY BOOMERS DEFY DEMENTIA BY BARBARA HOPKINS

B

linked together to develop a sequence. A form can have as few as four movements, while an experienced practitioner may undertake a form compromised of over 100 movements. Each of the tai chi movements is an exercise in balance, co-ordination, physical control and the regulation of

ing, especially for those aged 60+. The benefits of tai chi are many and far-reaching, including the promotion of healthy brain cells to aid in the prevention of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. The causes of these conditions are still relatively unknown, apart from genetics and the aging process. Tai chi is a set of movements that are performed slowly and smoothly. The set of movements is called a “form” and there are many different forms. Tai chi forms are simply a collection of controlled and precise movements,

breathing. The practice of these movements involves using both left and right sides of the brain, together with body co-ordination. Mental awareness is necessary to perform the sequences and it’s the synchronicity of mind and body, of learning combined with physical activity, leading to improved supplies of both blood and nutrients to the brain that is thought to be key in maintaining and improving brain, as well as physical, health. Physically, the forms increase

strength and make the body suppler. Blood circulation is improved and the flow of “chi” or energy around the body boosts the immune system. Tai chi also increases strength and stamina, while the gentle nature of the exercise promotes natural deep breathing, inducing calm and delivering oxygen more efficiently to the brain, thought to be another factor in promoting healthy brain cells and delaying their degeneration. Gentle Tai Chi, recommended for those of more mature years who are just beginning this form of exercise, also has benefits for joint problems: because of improved circulation, vital nutrients are delivered to cartilage gently and without the force exerted by other forms of exercise. Debbie Pentland, a fitness instructor for 16 years, specializes in older age groups; she became a trainer for tai chi when she realized the range of health benefits it offers. She is a passionate advocate for tai chi, especially for the more mature age group. Debbie teaches the 12-movement form, which she finds is ideal for her students. As an experienced teacher, Debbie has added some adaptations of her own. She finds the positive feedback she receives from every class is a true motivator. “The benefits for an older age group are huge,” says Debbie. “A movement as simple as walking backwards improves balance and reduces the chances of falling.” She goes on to explain that Photo: Courtesy of the Tai Chi Union, Scotland.

aby boomers are enjoying a fulfilling, varied and active lifestyle – and are keen to maintain their health to continue it. The ancient Chinese art of tai chi is proving successful in contributing to improving health and well-be-

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Fitness & Recreation very gentle turning movements slowly turn the spine, working on the central nervous system, which aids relaxation. Other movements in this form improve circulation and help to stabilize blood pressure. As well as strengthening bones and muscles, Debbie’s students report improved heart and lung function as well as better sleep patterns. Norma Rulf, 65, has been practising Gentle Tai Chi for the past 18 months. Norma was diagnosed with asthma and emphysema (fluid on the lungs) just over two years ago and was given a number of information leaflets to help herself in slowing the progression of her condition. She finds the breathing exercises very beneficial, and enjoys being in a group situation. “I practise at home on my own,” she says, “but I also enjoy this form of exercise in a group situation with like-minded people.” Norma tried yoga and Pilates, but finds that tai chi gives her the most benefit for her condition.

Seventy-one-year-old Angela Lindsay has been a member of a tai chi group for three years. She heard about it from her walking group and, determined to maintain her good health as she grows older, went along. She was keen to improve her posture and help a

The practice of these movements involves using both left and right sides of the brain, together with body co-ordination. back problem. Angela says, “The feelgood factor after a session of tai chi cannot be overestimated.” Like Norma, Angela feels that learning together in a friendly group is much more beneficial than trying to do it alone. An unexpected bonus has been the friendly advice from other members of the group on all aspects of good health. The participants in Norma and An-

gela’s group range in age from early 60s to well into their 80s. The exercises can be done sitting down, if necessary, and even those in wheelchairs can derive benefit. Angela stresses that they follow the Gentle Tai Chi program, which as she says, may not be enough for younger people, “but it suits us perfectly!” In Western culture, it may be difficult to believe that these slow movements will produce the health benefits people seek. Having been exhorted to undertake vigorous aerobic exercise since the late 1960s, with Jane Fonda later encouraging everyone to “go for the burn,” it takes a shift in perspective to realize that the slow and gentle movements of tai chi are a potent weapon against aging. The Chinese believe so strongly in the benefits of tai chi’s contribution to a long and happy life that a simplified form is part of their national SL curriculum.

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Heritage

First-Degree Burns A new world-class museum opens at the birthplace of Scotland’s hottest poetic property

BY IAIN FERGUSON

I

have touched the socks of Rabbie Burns. I have inspected them at very close quarters. I perceive that they would fit a small man with well-developed calf muscles. What’s more, I see that they are extensively darned at the heels. Now, my holding Rabbie Burns’ stockings may not strike many as much of a feat; please forgive the pun. But think again. These may be the socks that were muddied and wet when ploughing up the ‘wee tim’rous beastie’ of To A Mouse. Still not impressed? In that case, consider that these hose might be the very same that he wore to woo the female inspiration for A Red, Red Rose. Still underwhelmed by my encounter with 18th century worsted toe-warmers? I suspected as much, reserving my best and Burns’ greatest until last. Dear reader, these may well be the socks that kept Robert Burns’ chilblains from throbbing on a winter night as he penned the immortal verses of Auld Lang Syne. Yes, now I see the dawn of knowledge alight in your eyes. You recall, I detect, many a New Year’s Eve with glass in hand as bells peal, and the strains of a half-familiar song fill the air: Should auld acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind? Should auld acquaintance be forgot, and auld lang syne?

The poet’s socks.

What I held so gingerly were the socks of the poet who wrote the most widely sung song in the English-speaking world after Happy Birthday. Scratch that on two counts. Many people sing Auld Lang Syne whose first language is not English. And the lyrics are not English. It is written, if not always sung, in the Scots language. So you begin to see, I hope, that these are socks of some significance. Indeed, I would venture to say that we all are connected to these socks through the singing of a song that, quite literally, unites the world once every year. Burns would have been delighted. He was all for the brotherhood – and the sisterhood – of humankind. Now that you are duly impressed, I will let you into a 28

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little secret: you can tell a lot about a world-class poet by looking closely at his socks. First, Burns had socks of reasonable quality. As I said, they are shaped at the calf, as was the fashion. They have a beige trim. The wool is not so rough. You can tell that he had improved his station in society. In Burns’ day, a common labourer might have no socks to speak of. Burns had ambition to leave his plough behind. This much you can tell from the very existence of his socks.

Let us return to the heels. These are darned, with evidence of many repairs. You can imagine many long walks in ill-fitting shoes. You can sense a blister or two. This man had to make his own way on foot. The curator of the Burns Museum, David Hopes, said the darned Victorians meddled with Burns’ memorabilia and repaired the socks. In turn, they replaced previous work, perhaps by the poet’s wife Jean Armour. Last, but most decidedly not least, we come to the shapely calves of Burns’ socks. These are not the leg warmers of some spindly society dandy. Burns was fit. The physical labour of his young life was not for naught. He was, in today’s parlance, buff. Hence, his socks betray one source of Burns’ attraction to the opposite sex: he had good legs.

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Display at The Robert Burns Birthplace Museum.

actly what all the words mean but you know how they feel. That, in essence, is the process that the new Burns Museum seeks to reverse. You know how his songs and poems make you feel; here, you can find out what they really mean. This is the first museum in the U.K. to be fully interpreted in Scots (though English translations are available.) Should auld acquaintance be forgot? Absolutely not. You should, at the very first opportunity, visit the new Burns Birthplace Museum and reacquaint yourself with the man behind the SL world’s favourite Scots words. For more information, visit www.burnsmuseum.org.uk

These storytelling socks are now safely inside a protective glass case at the newly opened Burns Birthplace Museum in Alloway, Scotland. Of course, there’s much more than socks to be found in this £21 million storybook. There are Bibles, locks of hair, inkwells, desks, a cast of his skull and manuscripts of Auld Lang Syne, adding up to 5,000 items. Outside, the museum is linked by a sculpture walk to the churchyard where Burns set Tam o’Shanter, arguably the greatest ghost poem in British literature. You can visit the memorial erected after his death, the smallholding where he worked as a child and the humble whitewashed cottage where he was born. The anniversary of Burns’ birthday, on the 25th of January 1759, is celebrated around the world. Auld Lang Syne is world famous. And yet, few people really understand what Burns was saying. Admit it – when was the last time you didn’t hum along to the last verse of the world’s party piece:

Photos: Courtesy of The Robert Burns Birthplace Museum, Alloway, Scotland. Copyright The National Trust for Scotland. The cottage where Burns was born.

The Robert Burns Birthplace Museum, Alloway, Scotland.

And there’s a hand, my trusty fiere! and gie’s a hand o’ thine! And we’ll tak a right gude-willy waught, for auld lang syne. Fiere is a friend and a right gude-willy waught is a goodwill drink. Burns is strange that way; you may not know ex-

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JANUARY 2011

29


BYGONE Treasures View of Roatan from Valor

A

The Change in Your Dresser Drawer

lmost everyone has a jar, a tin can or a box filled with old coins and other bits and pieces, untouched for years and virtually forgotten. Go dig out yours and let’s look! Start by separating out the buttons, paper clips and the souvenir swizzle stick from that wild night you had at Morty’s Supper Club in 1962. Then set aside cufflinks, earrings, lapel pins or anything else that once served as jewelry. (We’ll come back to those in a bit). What’s left should at least look like coins. Despite appearances, some of these aren’t coins but, at one time, they may have served a similar purpose. Every box of old coins I see during house calls has wartime meat ration tokens, BC Electric transit tokens, Washington State sales tax tokens and one of those bronze medals that every school kid in Canada got to celebrate the Royal visit of 1939. None of these have collector value and you can’t spend them, though, at the price of meat, one can be forgiven for thinking rationing is still in effect. The types of non-coin tokens collectors want are those issued by dairies, corner stores and saloons. Usually these will say “Good for 1 Quart of Milk” or “Good for 5c in Trade” or something similar. These are worth checking further as values can range from a dollar or two to over $100. As to the coins themselves, pull out all those made of silver. Use a magnet – if the coin sticks, it’s not silver. All Canadian dimes, quarters and half dollars dated 1966 or earlier are worth more than their face value. All Canadian coins dated 1969 or later, which came from your pocket change can be spent or donated. U.S. dimes, quarters and half dollars dated 1964 or earlier

BY MICHAEL RICE

are worth more than face value – a bit more than comparable Canadian coins, as the silver content is higher. Any Canadian or U.S. coins dated before 1937 are worth setting aside to be checked. If you brought foreign coins home from a trip abroad made in the past 30 or 40 years, most of those that predate the Euro have been demonetized and can be given to a thrift shop that can sell them as curiosities. To answer a few oft-asked questions, the “brown” nickels from the war are worth well under a dollar, the 1951 “factory” nickel is worth perhaps a dime, and you can spend your Mountie quarters. There is a variety on the Mountie quarter where the beads around the Queen’s head are right up against the rim, worth around $30. If you can see space between the beads and the rim, it’s not a winner, but you still have a quarter. When you’ve finished with the coins, go through that little pile of cufflinks and other jewelry bits to check for gold or sterling silver. At current metal prices, even a pinch is worth some money. If you have one-dollar or two-dollar banknotes that you put aside when the loonie took their place, hoping they’d go up in value, put them in your bank account. The slightest crease or wear and tear makes them useless to collectors. If you’re feeling particularly mischievous, take a couple into a fast food restaurant and use them to pay for your burger. The kid behind the counter won’t know what they are, and neither will the 19-year-old manager. Just tell them you don’t get out much, and have a good laugh while they phone their head office – or S.W.A.T. If you find anything strange among your coins, send me an email with a description, and I’ll let you know what SL you have.

All Canadian dimes, quarters and half dollars dated 1966 or earlier are worth more than their face value.

Kelowna Canning Company token – these were used to pay fruit pickers, and could be spent at local stores who would accept them as coins. 30

SENIOR LIVING

Comments and suggestions for future columns are welcome and can be sent to Michael Rice, PO Box 86, Saanichton, BC V8M 2C3 or via email to fenian@shaw.ca

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Health & Wellness

Strengthen Your Mind

E

xercising one’s mind has gained popularity in the form of brain games such as Sudoku and crossword puzzles. Since people are living longer, the need to avoid symptoms of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease are on the rise. Now is the time to keep the mind as sharp as a tack, and ensure it stays that way. Brain Gym, a concept developed over a span of 25 years by California-based author and educator Dr. Paul Dennison, is “Educational Kinesiology.” Dennison holds a doctorate in education, specializing in curriculum development and experimental psychology, and has developed 26 exercises from studies he conducted on the relationship between movement and perception, and the impact of fine motor and academic skills. The uniqueness between the brain, and the Brain Gym activities, along with activities such as learning another language, listening to music and/or playing a musical instrument encourage using both hemispheres of the brain simultaneously. Such multisensory activities open the door to deeper, more concrete learning and allow better concentration at work, play or to drive. Studies have shown that older adults who dance regularly decrease the risk of developing dementia or Alzheimer’s disease by 76 per cent, and those who play an instrument reduce the risk by 69 per cent. Both of these activities stimulate the brain with their cross-lateral actions. Using both hemispheres of the brain aids in focus, organization, clearer and quicker thinking, improved memory, increased alertness, awareness, self-esteem, confidence, better performance at sports and overcoming learning challenges. Brain Gym exercises are now used in more 80 countries and are sweeping through Canada in elementary schools, high schools, retirement and long-term residences. Beyond doing Brain Gym exercises, one of the secrets to enhancing one’s life is to make the beverage of choice water – and lots of it! Water is crucial for learning and thinking. It helps the lungs stay moist to ease breathing, and keeps cells healthy. Along

BY MELISSA MARTZ

with a nutritionally balanced diet, healthy ways of coping with stress and regenerative sleep, Brain Gym exercises can help a person lead a long and lucid life. Here are some sample exercises that can be performed daily: BRAIN BUTTONS Place one hand over the navel, while the other hand rubs the indentation between the first and second ribs, directly under the collarbone. The hand over the navel brings attention to the gravitational centre of the body. Rubbing under the collarbone is thought to stimulate blood flow through the carotid arteries (the first arteries out of the heart that supplies nutrients and freshly oxygenated blood to the brain). CROSS CRAWL This exercise involves walking in place. Touch your right elbow with your left knee, and then the left elbow with the right knee. Large areas of both brain hemispheres are activated simultaneously. (It’s most effective to do the cross crawl movements very slowly, as it requires more fine motor skills and balance.) ENERGY YAWN Massage the muscles around the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) while yawning. TMJ is located right in front of the ear opening and is the joint where the lower jaw meets the upper. The simple action of yawning stimulates waking up the brain and helps to focus your attention. No wonder we yawn in the mornings – the brain is trying to wake up. At night, though your body may be tired, your brain knows you have a lot to do, so it wants to stay awake for you to accomplish unfinished business. Activities that complement Brain Gym include learning sign language, music (singing, listening or playing an instrument), yoga and tai chi, as all are multi-sensory activities using both SL sides of the brain that stimulate the body-brain balance. For more information on Brain Gym International, a non-profit organization, or to find local instructors, visit braingym.org

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JANUARY 2011

31


Preventing STAY ACTIVE Osteoporosis BY ELIZABETH GODLEY

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• Improves mobility • Quickly increases bone density • Can be used with or without calcium supplements • Only one small capsule per day

s people age, their bones grow more porous and brittle – indeed, the word “osteoporosis” means “porous bone.” Women are particularly vulnerable – when estrogen levels drop at menopause, the decrease in bone density is dramatic. Bone density is formed during a person’s 20s and 30s, and depends partly on heredity and partly on how active a person is at that age. Peak bone density occurs at age 16 in women, age 20 in men. So female teenaged couch potatoes, especially those who smoke and think exercise is for jocks, will be particularly at risk in their senior years. According to Osteoporosis Canada (www.osteoporosis.ca), a charitable organization, almost two million Canadians now are living with OP. One in four women and at least one in eight men over 50 have the disease, which can result in fractures, usually of the wrist, spine and hip bones. Fractures of the hip, especially, typically lead to a seriously decreased quality of life and, in some cases, death.

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In 1993, Canadians suffered some 25,000 hip fractures. Eighty per cent of hip fractures are osteoporosis-related, and end in death in up to 20 per cent of cases. But it’s never too late to do something about OP, say the experts, including those at the Mayo Clinic (www. mayoclinic.com). First step: ask a family doctor for a bone density test. Depending on the results, exercise and dietary changes may be recommended, as well as some drugs, to increase bone density. Be aware that only “weight-bearing” exercise, such as walking, jogging and resistance training builds new bone, swimming and cycling do not. Osteoporosis Canada recently lowered its recommended calcium requirements for people 50 and better to 1,200 mg a day, down from 1,500 mg, according to Tanya Long, National Education Manager for the Toronto-based organization. Recommended vitamin D intake is from 800 to 2000 IUs day. Long says it is preferable to get as much calcium as possible from food, rather than supplements.

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“One of our key messages is understanding fracture risk,” she added. Bone density is only one of many risk factors for fractures. Others include being 65 or older; a history of spine compression fracture; a fracture with minimal trauma (such as a broken wrist) after age 40; a family history of fracture (especially if the person’s mother had a hip fracture); longterm (more than three months) use of drugs such as prednisone; medical conditions such as celiac disease and Crohn’s disease; and primary hyperparathyroidism. Recent evidence from a Toronto research team suggests that, in addition to exercise, vitamin D and calcium, women at risk for OP should be consuming lycopene, an antioxidant found in tomatoes, papaya, watermelon and red carrots (sometimes found at farmers’ markets). Between 30 mg – the equivalent of two glasses of tomato juice – and 70 mg a day are recommended. There is also a family of pharmaceuticals designed to counter osteoporosis called “bisphosphonates.” They must be taken following very specific instructions. Following these allows the body to absorb the drug properly and may help minimize side-effects. Because calcium interferes with the absorption of bisphosphonates, calcium supplements must not be taken with bisphosphonates, but at another time of day. Talk to your health-care provider about side-effects SL and the best options for you.

The recommended amount of calcium for those over 50 is 1,200 mg, accompanied by at least 800 IUs of vitamin D, or as much as 2000 IUs, to help its absorption. A cup of milk contains 300 mg of calcium, while three-quarters of a cup of plain yogurt contains, on average, 290 mg. An Extra Strength Tums tablet contains 300 mg of elemental (bioavailable) calcium, and five tablets taken throughout the day with meals (900 mg) is the recommended dose. One cup of milk contains 100 IUs of vitamin D, so a supplement is usually required.

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Fitness & Recreation

Never Too Old To Tri

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SENIOR LIVING

genes. I never divulge that my son’s father was actually a running powerhouse in his teens. My strengths, which have increased with passing years, include stamina, wise pacing and a talent for consistently recharging my energy thus avoiding burnout. Race savvy was acquired over years. Completing many 5K, 8K, 10K and Half Marathon distance events was part of the proces. The author racing through Stanley Park in the 2007 BMO Vancouver Half Marathon.

Photo: MarathonFoto

W

hen my first born, Gordo, won the 2002 Ultraman Hawaii three-day triathlon event, I realized that my lifestyle had to change or I would be left behind in the wake of a turbo-charged global community of vibrant triathletes. It took me just over two years to join my local triathlon association, upgrade my swim stroke and commit to a regular triathlon training schedule. Almost 60, at the time, age didn’t cut it as an adequate excuse for nonparticipation. Through my speedy metamorphosis, I benefited from my son’s online coaching services and from a book he had co-authored with Masters triathlete Joe Friel. When I was ready to attempt my first full tri-training session, I glided through the swim, stayed focused on the bike and sailed through the run to a sprint finish. I then set my first triathlon goal – completing a real triathlon race held each year on campus at the nearby University of British Columbia. What impressed me as I undertook my late-in-life reinvention was the friendliness of the triathlon community. Athletes of all ages and skill levels compete side by side. Who knew that being older and being new to swim, bike, run routines would actually garner encouragement and admiration. Much to my surprise, my son’s friends and fellow coaches helped launch me with tips, gifts of cool tri gear and race strategy ideas. Now, every person I encounter at events seems available to help speed my athletic goals into reality; as the parent of a world-class athlete, there are certain advantages. Plenty of folks comment about my

BY JACKIE BYRN

Becoming a later-life triathlete has presented quite a few grim challenges. One year, for example, during the annual Ironman Canada Week in Penticton, B.C., age-group champion Sister Madonna Buder (now 80) blithely invited me to join her for a swim in the lake. Petrified, at the time, of openwater swimming, I politely declined WWW.SENIORLIVINGMAG.COM

the invitation. Within two years of that experience, I had ramped up my swim stroke and had left all phobic inclinations far behind. With focus on breath and stroke rhythm, I learned to calmly move through every swim portion of each triathlon race I entered. While many triathletes start their races paralyzed with apprehension during swim starts, I discovered that this aspect of the sport, which I grew to love, was actually my strength. Overcoming my fear unleashed my greatest athletic advantage – my inner swim diva! As I look forward to many more years of competition my zeal for sharing my experiences with other triathlete novices increases. My sureness each race day revolves around a reliable flowchart-training poster, which includes everything from my highlighted course map to a list of required nutrition for before, during and after my race. With luck, I am almost guaranteed a spot on the podium every time I compete simply because my winter event presents weather conditions that most women my age wish to avoid; by training in the worst possible situations and having a realistic goal of simply finishing, my first place medals are usually guaranteed. Of the most benefit during my reinvention: knowing that my son’s actions had ignited a spark dormant in me. Without his guidance, companionship at the outset and skilful demonstration of required race protocols, I would have remained on the sidelines. As fate would have it, I am now on course, often watched and cheered on by youth and young adults. I could never have imagined that getting old SL could be this much fun!


SENESCENCE S

BY JEANNE CASHIN

enescence. It means old age. I had to look up the word but it sounded better to my ear and to my ego than “growing old.” The word has an appealing texture of grace. It is, simply put, the latter part of the organic, growing process of life. Senescing, Senescent, Senesce. It’s my turn to grow old, my turn to senesce. And I’ll do it on my terms; sitting up straight and tall with my head held high. It’s finding the word that’s made all the difference to me. It’s the sound of the word mostly – senescence – the soft, sliding S, reminding me of other words like “siesta” or “effervescence”

or “patience”; all three of which resonate with me somewhere, for their sound if for no other reason. And I’ve been told all my life, or had it suggested to me anyway, that I should write from life. That writers write from what they know, and writers know life. As much as I tried, I’ve never been objective enough about life, about my life, to write from it. In fact, I’ve been living a completely subjective life; tossed around in dizzying waves of life’s ups and downs, like a bottle in a roiling sea of emotion and mood. But I’ve found that word; that new perspective; that more graceful way of describing the part of my life of which

I’ve been most afraid and have been ignoring even exists. And when I first said the word aloud, I felt the sound of it slide across my teeth and I felt the first stirrings of objectivity. Of clarity. Finally, I can write. From life. From what I know. SL Senescence.

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JANUARY 2011

35


Travel & Adventure

Bushwalking in Australia’s Blue Mountains

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tiny gecko, sunning itself on a sandstone outcrop bordered by towering banksia and eucalyptus trees, skittered off at the sound of our footsteps, seeking shelter among fallen leaves and lichen-encrusted rocks. We were on a four-hour guided bushwalk near Leura, one of 10 small towns linked by rail and highway in the Blue Mountains National Park, two hours’ drive east of Sydney. Hiking from one waterfall to another through the damp shady forest, where clumps of ferns sprouted from crevices between the rocks, we delighted in the cool, fresh air, such a contrast to the muggy heat of Australia’s eastern coast. Stopping for lunch around noon, we basked in the sunshine and enjoyed the magnificent views below us of the Valley of Waters. Beyond, range after range of blue-tinged cliffs continued to the horizon, shrouded in eucalyptus forest. At just over 1,000 metres above sea level, the Blue Mountains are hardly alpine by world standards. But when the summertime humidity reaches 99 per cent on Australia’s east coast in December and January, Sydneysiders gaze longingly at the azure peaks visible through the haze to the west of the city, where temperatures are cooler than Sydney’s by up to seven degrees. The Blue Mountains parks, named a UN World Heritage site in 2000, comprise more than a million hectares of valleys and escarpments, basalt peaks left over from long-extinct volcanic vents, narrow canyons carved deep into the sandstone, granite outcrops and limestone caves. For many years after Sydney’s first settlement in 1788, explorers tried unsuccessfully to penetrate the mountains, seeking an overland route to the country’s interior. It wasn’t until 1813 that three 36

SENIOR LIVING

BY ELIZABETH GODLEY

feisty men – Gregory Blaxland, William Lawson and William Charles Wentworth – finally traversed the ancient plateau, eroded over many millions of years by wind and water into myriad crooked canyons.

Our bushwalk, led by Adam McRae of Tread Light Eco Tours, took us along part of the old National Pass track, built between 1906 and 1907 with picks, shovels, crowbars and dynamite. Although much of the track was easy to create, part of it – the Grand Stairway – was cut into the living rock, from the bottom up. This zigzag stairway, partly cut into the bedrock and partly supported by drystone wall, is the tallest outdoor staircase in Australia. It presWWW.SENIORLIVINGMAG.COM

ents quite a challenge to hikers, and as we trudged up, we had to pause a couple of times to catch our breath. Modern conservation policies would now prevent the construction of the Grand Stairway, since it involved blasting away some of the cliff face. Today, Australians consider this trail a national treasure. And rightly so. Thanks to the diversity of the landforms, the National Pass area is home to some 80 distinct vegetation communities. Fifteen per cent of Australia’s 700 eucalypt species are found in the Blue Mountains and dominate the region’s forest, mixed in with a further 1,400 species of trees and shrubs. Perched high on the ridges, hanging swamps act as giant sponges, filtering water that cascades into the valleys, where prehistoric temperate rainforests survive and flowering plants attract birds – some 265 species – and insects. Also making their home in the mountains are numerous species of frogs and tortoises, as well as kangaroos, wallabies, wombats, possums, platypus and echidnas. Even the occasional koala can be spotted here, according to our guide, but most of the wildlife is nocturnal and rarely seen. If bushwalking isn’t appealing, the villages in the Blue Mountains offer a plethora of other attractions. In Leura, Bygone Beauties displays more than 3,000 teapots and serves a traditional Devonshire cream tea. Not far away is The Everglades, a 1930s-era estate planted with European trees and shrubbery and complete with its own grotto and waterfall. A Shakespeare festival is held in the gardens every January. Tea and lunch are served in the restored art deco home. Entry is CAD $7 for adults. In Katoomba, a view of the Three Sisters, three magnificent sandstone needles that rise out of the Jamison Valley, is a


short bus ride from the train station and costs absolutely nothing. From there, a trail leads down to the valley floor via more than 800 well-maintained steel and stone steps and on to the base of Katoomba Falls. Walkers who don’t wish to climb back to the top can take the Katoomba Scenic Railway back to civilization for about $10 one way.

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The Three Sisters, Jamison Valley.

IF YOU GO: A variety of accommodations are available in the Blue Mountains, from hostels for the budget-minded to the luxurious JembyRinjah Eco Lodge at Blackheath. For more information, go online to www.bluemts.com.au Tread Lightly Eco Tours was recently acknowledged as one of the top 50 ethical, responsible and sustainable businesses in Australia.

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Leura, Katoomba and the other nearby villages all boast outdoor farmers’ markets, art galleries, antique shops and clothing boutiques, as well as restaurants and cafés to suit every budget. You can play golf for about $15 a day at the Springwood Country Club or explore the limestone Jenolan Caves, in Oberon, where you can try adventure caving and or enjoy a night tour. Katoomba hosts a wine festival in January, and during the same month, life-drawing classes are held in nearby Faulconbridge. An excellent way to explore the Leura-Katoomba area is via a refurbished trolley that, for about $20 for a day pass, stops at SL 29 different attractions. (www.trolleytours.oom.au)

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37


Travel & Adventure

The “I DO” Business of Vegas BY EVELYN C. WHITE

I

n a town infamous for quickie, kooky unions, Cliff Evarts is proud of the response his establishment generates. “‘This looks like a place where normal people might get married,’” says Cliff, recounting feedback from visitors to Vegas Weddings. “It always brightens my day.” To be sure, the tasteful stained-glass sanctuary near the Las Vegas marriage license bureau stands in sharp contrast to the scores of gaudy roadside chapels in a city that boasts more than 300 weddings daily. To say nothing of the hundreds of Elvis impersonators available for hire to “officiate” or serve as a “celebrity” guest at Vegas nuptials. “You want an Asian, Scottish, Black or Jewish Elvis, no problem,” says Joni

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Moss, an official with LV Wedding Connections. “We’ve got them all.” Since its beginnings as a popular railroad town in 1905, Las Vegas has thrived as a landscape of infinite possibilities. Consider the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino where scuba diving-certified couples routinely tie the knot inside a shark tank in the hotel’s aquarium. “It takes walking down the aisle to a whole other level,” says a hotel official. Despite skyrocketing divorce rates in North America, the “I do” business is booming in Las Vegas. Building on the upscale hotels, gourmet restaurants and quality entertainment that has flourished in the desert town in recent years, Vegas has emerged as a destination for traditional “storybook” weddings as well as the offbeat. Marriage vow renewals and anniversary ceremonies (from low-budget to lavish) are also on the upswing. Wedding experts trace the rise to the September 2001 terrorist attacks, noting that the World Trade Center tragedy prompted many to place a greater emphasis on love, marriage and family.

“After that, I think lots of people became committed to nurturing personal relationships,” says Cliff. “Their values changed.” The rising senior population has also contributed to the trend, especially in the renewal of vows. “We’re seeing lots of couples who couldn’t afford a splashy wedding when they first got married,” says Cliff. “But now the mortgage is paid, they’ve put the kids through college and they want to affirm themselves.” Recently, Cliff worked on a surprise with an older gentleman who’d arranged a vow renewal ceremony. “His wife thought they were just coming to Vegas for a vacation. But he’d secretly put together a beautiful ceremony, in-

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cluding appointments for her hair, make-up and manicure. She was over the moon about it.” Featured in films such as Ocean’s Eleven and The Hangover, The Bellagio Hotel and Casino also offers a range of wedding and vow renewal packages. Famed for its musical fountains, the hotel also contains an impressive botanical garden and showcases 2,000 hand-blown glass flowers. For entertainment: LOVE, the Cirque du Soleil tribute to the Beatles, wows audiences at the Mirage hotel, as does The Phantom of the Opera at the Venetian. Zumanity, an adult-themed Cirque extravaganza packs the house at the New YorkNew York hotel. Ditto the all-male Chippendales revue at the Rio. Like the vibrant nightlife, food and drink abound in Vegas. A sampling of choices includes the exquisite brunch at the Four Seasons Hotel, soul food at B.B. King’s in the Mirage, and Japanese fare at Sushi Roku in Caesars Palace. Carnivores will rejoice at the Burger Joint in the Flamingo and Les Artistes Steakhouse in the Paris Hotel. For a romantic dinner, the Mix restaurant in the Mandalay Bay delivers magnificent meals and breathtaking views. Say “cheers” with a signature Mixapolitan cocktail! Hungry for the vintage vibe of Vegas fashioned by headliners such as Frank Sinatra, Liberace, Sammy Davis, Jr., and

Wayne “Danke Schoen” Newton (who is still going strong)? Then visit Madame Tussauds in the Venetian. Visitors are encouraged to mingle with life-size wax figures of the legends (some “newcomers” include likenesses of Whoopi Goldberg, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt). “There are no ropes, security guards or barriers between the figures and guests,” says Kim Wasik, event co-ordinator at Madame Tussauds. “We’ve arranged weddings, vow renewals and receptions. People love getting up close and perSL sonal with the ‘stars.’ It’s a lot of fun for everyone.”

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CLASSIFIEDS SAANICH VOLUNTEER SERVICES needs volunteer drivers to take clients to medical appointments. No special insurance required. Call 250-595-8008 for info. SENIOR CONCIERGE SERVICES Marvelous companionship with personalized services. Grocery shopping, errands, and memorable outings. Call Agnes Campbell 250-588-5509. www.catch-the-moments.com

BBB ACCREDITED PROUD MEMBER Home Instead Senior Care has professional non-medical CAREGivers who are passionate about their work, and are looking for new clients to serve. Call Alistair for a complimentary consultation 250-382-6565. FOOT CARE BY HOME VISIT Nurse Foot Care Specialist Marcia Goodwin R.N.,B.Sc.N. • Caring • Comprehensive • Professional • Gentle 250-686-3081 (Victoria)

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 fenian@shaw.ca

MOBILE FOOT CARE NURSE home visits in greater Nanaimo, Cedar to Parksville. John Patterson LPN, qualified nursing foot care for toenails, corns and calluses. 250-390-9266.

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 1-877-826-4222 (South Island dial 250-386-6348). www.bbbvanisland.org Email: info@bbbvanisland.org

WATERDOWN IN-HOME BATHING SERVICES. A business aimed at the bathing needs of those living in their own homes. Services include; client environment assessment, tub shower or bed bath, finger and toenail care, dress-

HOME AGAIN SENIORS TRANSITION SERVICES: Downsize and move with ease. We offer a caring hand. Call (250)984-4044 or visit www.seniorshomeagain.ca

ing assistance, linen change and clean up. For further information or to make an appointment call Tina at 250-516-2351 or waterdown@shaw.ca

FOOT CARE IN YOUR HOME Victoria Region by Foot Care Specialist / Foot Nurse Marcia Goodwin R.N., B.Sc.N. 35 Years Nursing Experience. Call 250-686-3081.

CREMATION URNS. Reasonably priced cremation urns delivered right to your door. Beautifully designed. Make your choice now. www.eternalvessel. com (250) 885-5871.

COMPUTER BASICS IN YOUR HOME. Patient senior computer lady to show you e-mail, surfing. Hourly fee. Connect with your world. 250-516-5980.

WATKINS PRODUCTS available in Nanaimo, Healthy Living for Home Care, Personal Care, Home Remedies, Natural Spices and Food Products. Phone 250-751-2454, e-mail jacinthelaramee@yahoo.ca

WRITTEN A BOOK? Aldridge Street Editing can get your manuscript print-ready. Transcription - Editing - Cover Design - Book Layout. www.aldridgestreet.com Call 250-595-2376.

CHERISH MEMORIES. Slides/Prints to DVD Movie with movement, music, titles. Special senior rates. 250-383-4220 (leave message); or christinefbk@hotmail.com

RUTH M.P HAIRSTYLING for Seniors in Greater Victoria. In the convenience of your own home! Certified Hairdresser. Call - 250-893-7082. WANTED TO BUY, older well maintained Japanese car. Prefer 4 cyl. Under 200,000kms. Call 604-566-4483 Vancouver or 250-756-1155. Email bobmcc@shaw.ca

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CLASSIFIED ADVERTISING $30 for 20 words or less. $1.25 per extra word. BW only. Boxed Ad - Small (2.2 x 1.2) $110. Boxed Ad - Large (2.2 x 2.4) $210. Add BW Logo - $25. Red spot color 10% extra. Plus tax. All Classified ads must be paid at time of booking. Cheque / Credit Card accepted. Ph. (250)479-4705 or toll-free 1-877-479-4705. Deadline: 15th of the month. Make cheque payable to: Senior Living, Magazine 153, 1581-H Hillside Ave., Victoria BC V8T 2C1

HAZARDOUS TO YOUR WEALTH “The average investor is not merely underperforming the markets...he is underperforming his own investments.” - Nick Murray , Behavioral Investment Counseling

Attend the next Hazardous To Your Wealth presentation in your area to find out how you can avoid these and other costly mistakes.

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Wednesday, January 19th at 2:00pm Juan De Fuca Library

To reserve your complimentary seats, please call (250) 479.5554 ext 518 ������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������ ���������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������

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SENIOR LIVING

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OCTOBER 2009 39


Photo: Jason van der Valk

ASK Goldie BY GOLDIE CARLOW, M.ED

Dear Goldie: I am a senior and have been for many years. Some time ago, I met a very attractive widow of my age group and we have been wining, dining and theatre going for a few years. She has kindly invited me to her home regularly, and not just for coffee! A short time ago, her eldest daughter made a surprise visit and found us in bed together. I was therefore dispatched to purgatory by the daughter and asked not to return. Nonetheless, the lady and I wish to renew our friendship and, by the way, neither of us looks at marriage as an option. Perhaps from your experience (I don’t mean being found in bed with a man), you may be able to help us find a way to satisfy a family of all women. Sincerely, R.J. Dear R.J.: There seems to be a little confusion about life roles in your letter. From your description of activities, I assume your lady friend is in good health physically and mentally and lives alone. So, why would her daughter be in charge of her

mother’s decisions? When people become seniors they do not automatically reverse roles with their children. Independence is their greatest asset in order to continue a good life. It is time for your friend to take a stand and inform her daughter of her rights. She should remain in charge as long as life and health permits. By the way, I have never found a decision that satisfies completely a family of all women – or all men either! Dear Goldie: I have been retired for five years. In my working life, I always dreamed of retirement and the things I would be able to do with all that time on my hands. Somehow, I now have little interest in doing any of those things, and time is marching on. I have a loving wife and family. How can I change these feelings and get on with my life? –W.D. Dear W.D.: You sound quite depressed about your present life situation.

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My first suggestion is to make an appointment with your medical doctor to see if you are in good health. If all is well, then you can proceed with plans to change your present lethargy. Five years is too long to waste. Some of your former dreams may not be practical now, so make a new list and arrange it in order of importance to you. Discuss ideas with that good family you have. It is not unusual for people to hesitate, as you have, on first retiring. You now need to get into action before you find yourself in a rut. This is a period of new beginnings for you. How exciting! SL Best of luck! 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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JANUARY 2011

41


tech I

How To Shop For Your First (Or Next) Computer

don’t own a car. Living downtown, it’s easy to walk anywhere – it’s good exercise, plus I have an answer about what I’m doing for the environment! But not having a car has another advantage: I can’t remember the last time I was in a car showroom, or needed to haggle over a vehicle. Still, I do remember the lure to buy more than I needed, or an unsuitable model. Like cars, computer shopping can be a chore. The salesperson can show you products that give you premium power, but at a premium price, as well as pricey extras you may or may not need. So, if you’re in the market for a computer, here’s a look at what you do need, and what you don’t.

What Should You Shop For?

Like a car, there’s no use buying a computer until you can test-drive it. So, before you shop, try someone else’s computer to see how it works, and get an idea about what you’d like to use it for. Even an hour or so spent watching someone else work with it will help – although hands-on is far better. Early in your shopping you’ll have to decide – Windows or Macintosh? These are the names of the controller programs for each computer (and also the product name for the Macintosh computer). Both get the job done, but from slightly different perspectives: Macintosh computers emphasize ease of use and artistic expression with their software, whereas Windows computers are more business oriented. However, Windows computers have a much larger share of the market, with more software available, and more users. This can be significant when you have a problem, since a friend with the same computer means they can help you when you’re stuck. In fact, you may find you buy the same computer as your friends for exactly this reason. What about laptop versus desktop computer? They each have advantages: besides portability, a laptop has a built-in monitor and webcam, and consumes less power. Desktops, by letting the monitor and keyboard be set up exactly the way you want, trade portability for comfort.

Today’s Computers Are Ready To Go (And Use)

The good news: Just about any new computer you can find locally is powerful enough for what you’ll want to do, such as browsing the Internet, watching videos or emailing others. Even adding pastimes like writing or simple game playing, like soli42

SENIOR LIVING

BY DAVID PANKHURST

taire or chess, and you’ll still be fine. There was a time when you had to know details, like how fast the computer “ran” (processor clock speed), the amount of slots in the system for component extras, hard drive size (for permanent data storage, such as for photos and typed documents) and RAM size (for temporary data storage). But today’s computers are complete and don’t need extras, although a salesperson will happily sell you them. However, if you want to spend on worthwhile upgrades, go for extra RAM memory and a larger hard drive. For example, a new personal computer with Windows 7 should have at least 3 GB (gigabytes) of memory, and more is welcome (4-8 GB, with a gigabyte being about one billion bytes of storage). And a hard drive of at least 100 GB is worthwhile, with 500, 1,000, or 1,500 even better.

Finding The Extras

To go with your personal computer, you’ll need a monitor – unless you buy a laptop computer – and probably a printer. Monitors are a personal decision, so I recommend you sit in front of one for a few minutes to see if the size is right for you, and that glare is not a problem. For printers, the two choices are laser, which works much like a photocopier; and ink-jet, which spits droplets of ink out onto the paper. Both are fine, although laser printers tend to be preferred for mostly black and white business printing, and ink jets are better quality for colour images (such as photo printing). Exceptions exist, of course, so always look at a printing sample before buying any printer. Also, take care to ensure the printer works with your computer model, and research online for the cost of consumables, since printer companies make a good deal of their money from ink and toner sales. And the final add-on: Internet. Locally, both Shaw and Telus offer Internet connectivity; either is fine and with their different levels of service you can start small and add upgrades as you need them. Like car shopping, computer shopping can be confusing, and it’s easy to spend more than you planned. But today’s models offer what you need at every price point. So, there’s no reason not to go out and get yourself that new toy to open up the Internet, communicate with others, or find someone to SL play online chess with!

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WOMEN&WAVES Fitness & Recreation

BY JANE CASSIE

I

’ve never had great balance. Nor am I crazy about dipping into the frigid Pacific. So, when my daughter, Emily, suggests that we head to B.C.’s West Coast for a little surf time, I’m sure she’s flipped her lid. In my 55-plus years of living, I’ve never set foot (or body) on a board – and I’m not sure that now is the time to start. But I don’t want to let her down. Over the past month, she’s been slammed with exams, work and pre-wedding pressures. And I feel honoured that she’s chosen me to be the one to escape with. “Check out the wave scale, Mom,” she says with a diehard kind of glee that makes me nervous. “It’s extreme!” Sure enough, the arrow on Tofino’s roadside rating board is nearly off the chart. For my adrenaline-craving daughter, this is a dream come true. For me, it strengthens a fear-induced goal – to somehow switch my surf lesson to a spa treatment. As well as being a popular summer playground, during these winter days, when southeast gales produce mammoth waves, Tofino lures surfers by the drove. While unlashing Emily’s board from the roof of her SUV, I’m reminded that we’re included in this crazy mix. My heart rate immediately goes into drum-roll mode. “This is like watching reality TV,” she says, as we saunter into the hotel lobby. I secretly wonder if I can remain cocooned here for the entire stay. For the first day we do. In our suite, we yack about everything from wedding venues to reception menus, watch chick flicks until the wee hours and

The author (right) and her daughter Emily tackle the surf.

lavish in some ocean-viewing tub time. In a final attempt to build muscle mass before riding the crests, we do a little workout in the fitness room. At dinner, Danny, our server, is a pro at pairing up each meal with the perfect glass of wine. “Here’s to your big surfing debut, Mom,” Emily says, in a final toast. “Chill out, you’re going to love it.” I’m pretty sure I can live up to this request the following morning – or at least the first part of it. Under swollen low-lying cloud, Tofino, a once thriving fishing village, is now a happening home to artisans and adventures, one being the Pacific Surf

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School. After nervously signing life-releasing waivers, we head back to Chesterman Beach with a dozen other fit and firm surferwannabes, all of whom are at least half my age. “Fear not,” reassures Hannah Stevenson, one of our three experienced guides. “Last week, I taught a family of three generations, and the oldest was 70.” Although this helps build my confidence, I feel more like an oversized seal than a surfer in my second skin of neoprene. Uneasiness grows again, when we sit through the training tips and safety talk. “Keep your arms out, paddle like the dickens, then pop up on your board,” we’re told. “Stay clear of riptides and don’t lose sight of us. The next landmark is Japan!” The spa is calling out my name more than ever, but I can’t turn back now. And with board in tow and Emily by my side, we attack the thunderous waves like whales in mating season. Raging rollers are formed in the distance, their crests and curls navigable only by the pros. Within seconds they’re upon us and either we catch the wave or risk the chance of being pummelled by its whitewater wake. After a few royal washes, my body meets the board and by the end of the lesson, I’m gliding on all fours and literally going with the flow. “Next time, you’ll master the pop-up,” Emily later reassures. Finally at the spa, Emily and I sit side-by-side soaking our worn and weathered feet. Then, for my daughter, it’s a hot stone massage. For me, it’s the Hishuk Ish Tsawalk Awakening Treatment, which infuses the elements of life with indigenous traditional techniques. Under the capable hands of Melios, (a handsome masseuse who could dub as a Greek god) my salt-filled aging pores are exfoliated, cleansed, steamed and rubbed. He says the Nuu-chah-nulth chant, a phrase of wisdom, declaring we are all connected and one, and while breathing in the heady scent of cedar and listening to the drone of the howling wind and distant pounding waves, I’m drifting off into a relaxed state and dreaming about my next encounSL ter with the surf. WHAT TO DO: Pacific Surf School 1-888-777-9961 info@pacificsurfschool.com www.pacificsurfschool.com Tofino Sea Kayaking Company 1-800-TOFINO-4 (1-800-863-4664) E-mail info@tofinoseakayaking.com www.tofino-kayaking.com For other ideas, check Tourism Tofino www.tourismtofino.com WHERE TO STAY: Wickaninnish Inn 1-800-333-4604 Reservations Line info@wickinn.com www.wickinn.com

DEALOLOGY Experiences of Merit Travel Talks Join us for our free presentations to learn more about travel to your favourite destinations. Jan 20 Disneyland – A “Multi-Generational” Family Destination Feb 10 Exploring Europe: Coach Tours vs. Cruises (River and Ocean) Feb 24 The Plains of Africa – with Collette Vacations Mar 10 South America – Focus on Peru Presentations held in your local office at the following times: Shelbourne Plaza: 10am | Sidney: 2pm | Colwood: 7pm Space is limited – please RSVP to guarantee your seat. Sidney 105–2506 Beacon Ave. | 250.656.0961 Colwood 1913 Sooke Rd. | 250.478.9505 Victoria 3617 Shelbourne St. | 250.477.0131 1.800.409.1711 merit.ca ON–4499356/4499372 | BC–33127/34799/34798 | QC–7002238 | Canadian owned.

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SCAM ALERT BY ROSALIND SCOTT

Get Ripped – Not Ripped Off!

E

ach year, thousands of consumers across B.C. follow through with their New Year’s resolution to get fit by joining a fitness or health club. Most people who join health clubs are pleased with their choices, but oth-

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SENIOR LIVING

ers are not. They have problems with high-pressure sales tactics, misrepresentations of facilities and services, broken cancellation and refund clauses and lost membership fees as a result of spas or clubs going out of business. The Better Business Bureau advises consumers to consider the following tips before joining a fitness club: Shop around. Compare clubs to find one that matches your interests and your budget. Check the company’s reliability report with the BBB before making a long-term commitment by visiting vi.bbb.org or calling 250-3866348 (or toll-free 1-877-826-4222). Take your time. Give yourself time to make your final decision, and don’t cave in to high-pressure sales. A hasty commitment to take advantage of a limited time offer may cost you more in the long run. Ask about free trials, and see if you can sample the services and equipment before you buy. Read the contract carefully. Get any verbal promises in writing. Determine if you can afford the payments and total cost. Make sure you’re satisfied with the cooling off period and cancellation rights. What happens if you move, lose your job, become sick, or the club relocates or closes? In the event of the latter, you may be able to use your membership card at another facility (if WWW.SENIORLIVINGMAG.COM WWW.SENIORLIVINGMAG.COM

the club belongs to a chain or association allowing you to use another gym’s membership, for example). However, keep in mind your original purchasing decision was not based on a fitness club you’ve never been to at an inconvenient location. Find out if the club is suitable for you. Make sure the hours and location are convenient, and that you’re satisfied that the staff is qualified and helpful. Find out what sorts of programs and fitness classes are offered to match your lifestyle, and if those programs are included in your membership fees or cost extra. Know yourself and plan a routine. Assess how often you’re going to use the club and compare the costs of longand short-term memberships with drop-in visits. BBB suggests paying by credit card in case the club suddenly closes, but don’t part with any funds before signing a contract. Finally, never sign up with a club that hasn’t yet opened. SL

If you believe you have been the target of a scam, call the Better Business Bureau Vancouver Island at 250-3866348 in Greater Victoria or at 1-877826-4222 elsewhere on the Island, so others can benefit from your experience. E-mail info@vi.bbb.org


Delaney Relocation Services

Photo: Frances Litman

Courageous ous

e g a r t u O

������������������� ��������������� � ��������� ������������������������������������� ������������������������������������������������ ����������������������������������������������� �������������������������������������� ��������������������������������������� Anne Delaney, CSA �������������������������� ������������������� ������������������������� �������������������

BY PAT NICHOL

PUT YOURSELF FIRST

P

ut yourself first – what cult resolutions you ever take on. After a concept! I can just see years of taking care of everyone around the looks of disbelief you, it is your turn. Your turn to set prias they pass over your orities, establish healthy boundaries, faces. The cries of anguish – that is and focus on what is most important so selfish! So what if MY life is frag- for your own personal growth. mented, disorWhat do you ganized and need to be the scattered as a whole, healthy, Gradually, by thinking of result of taking and happy indiputting yourself first each care of everyvidual you were thing and evmeant to be? time you go to help, take eryone around What could you over or volunteer, you will me? This, my do right now to friends, is what begin to take at least be considering is known as an care of yourself the possibilities. E-type personfirst? It doesn’t ality: the need have to be huge. to be everything You don’t have to everyone. Time to break this trend to race off to an exotic spa on some and learn a new trick for the upcom- fabled island (although that would be ing decade. lovely). Maybe you could take those The resolution I want you to make toes and treat them to a pedicure. Learn as we move into 2011 is this: “I resolve to say no when asked to volunteer to take care of myself first.” I know, – again. Take that extra five minutes of resolutions are made and meant to be quiet just for you. Resolve to take care broken. Frankly, my dears, I don’t care of yourself first. As we begin a new decade, make if you break this resolution regularly throughout the year. All I want is for the commitment to rediscover yourSL you to think about putting yourself self. Happy New Year! first. Gradually, by thinking of putting yourself first each time you go to help, take over or volunteer, you will at least be considering the possibilities. Pat Nichol is a speaker and published This may be one of the most diffi- author. www.patnichol.com WWW.SENIORLIVINGMAG.COM

Live Safely and Independently in Your Own Home www.bclifeline.com

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

������������������������������ ������������������������ JANUARY 2011

47


ReflTHEN ections & NOW

BY GIPP FORSTER

I

’m an older man now, which means I’m supposed to be wiser. At least that’s what the proverbs tell me. My wife just told me that if I were wise, I wouldn’t write another word about wisdom! We wise people sure have to put up with a lot of abuse! I guess it would be wisest if I don’t say anything though – and guarantee my dinner! Living with wisdom can be very tedious after a while. But I think I am up to the challenge. Just recently, I was involved with two people who were arguing over the ownership of a valuable hockey card. They asked me to mediate. While they were in a heated discussion, I used a pair of scissors to cut the card down the middle, and gave half to each of them. It worked for Solomon. I left in quite a hurry though. They were yelling at me, shaking their fists, and threatening me. Like my wife, they didn’t understand wisdom. We wise people walk a lonely mile. I don’t know why some people insist on having it all and are not satisfied with half. Oh well, one day they will appreciate what I have done and my wisdom – perhaps not any day soon,

but maybe one day. I have one problem though. My wife just said, “One? I can get the file out if you like!” What a smart aleck! Anyway, I don’t know how a wise person is supposed to look. I have white hair and a white beard. I’m certain that helps! I wear glasses (all wise people wear glasses). I am absent-minded. That’s because of my wisdom. No matter what my wife says, it’s not the first stage of senility. (I must learn to have patience with the less gifted.) When I walk, even if it’s only for 10 or 15 feet, I walk slowly. Wise men do that. They keep their heads down as they tackle difficult and overwhelming questions that need answers. The world depends on them. I am ready for deep thoughts, but none have surrounded me yet. So, when my head is down, I’m actually looking for lost change. (No need to let my wife know. She wouldn’t understand.) When I get the thoughts, I’ll forget about the change. I wonder if wise men are supposed to be overweight. In the Bible, the wise men are usually depicted as tall and lean. That doesn’t work for me, and I don’t

“Reflections” MAIL-IN ORDER FORM Reflections, Rejections, and Other Breakfast Foods Name_____________________________________ by Gipp Forster A collection of Gipp’s humorous and nostalgic columns. A wonderful read for Reflections, ���������� yourself, and a and Other Breakfast Foods thoughtful gift for friends and family members.

Address___________________________________ City______________________________ Prov ____ Postal Code____________ Ph _________________ ____ BOOKS @ $14.92 each = $_______

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48

SENIOR LIVING

MAGAZINE

A Collection of Published & Unpublished Writings by Senior Living Columnist Gipp Forster

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Photo: Krystle Wiseman

WISDOM

think a camel is up to the challenge. “Accumulation of years,” my wife says, “can be a choice of wisdom or inches.” She also says that by the measurement of my waist, I have made my choice and to stop tempting fate. Someone recently asked me if they should go to a certain place or stay at home. I guess they had heard about my wisdom. I know he was impressed by how long I pondered his question. If I smoked a pipe, it would have been even more impressive. But I don’t, so it wasn’t. Finally, gazing off into the invisible distance, I said with great depth, “If you don’t go, then you’ll have to stay.” I was pleased with my answer, even if its meaning made no immediate sense. But that is what wisdom is all about, right? The person who had put forth the question looked at me in what appeared to be awe. His mouth was agape and he was shaking his head and mumbling as he walked away; too much to comprehend all at one time, I guess. Well, I’m going to see if my wife needs anything solved with my wisdom. Proverbs say, “Wisdom shouts out in the streets... She cries out in the public square.” That’s good! But I think I’ll start smaller – in the kitchen – because SL that’s where my wife is!


BC N IO T I D E

A Helpful Guide for Seniors Considering Their Residential Options

To Move or Not to Move?

Published by Senior Living January 2009

ONLY

$

9.95

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. 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.

Books may be also purchased at these Island locations: (Please call first to confirm availability)

ORDER FORM - “To Move” Name______________________________Address _______________________________ ___ BOOKS @ $14.60 each (includes $3.95 S&H plus 5% GST) = TOTAL $____________

___ Cheque (payable to Senior Living) ___ CREDIT CARD # _________________________________ Expiry ___________ Name on Card ____________________________________

Mail to: Senior Living 153, 1581-H Hillside Ave., Victoria BC V8T 2C1

Please allow 2 weeks for delivery

City______________ Prov ___ Postal Code____________Phone ____________________

• Falconer Books, Nanaimo (250-754-6111) • Home Instead, Victoria (250-382-6565) • Medichair, Victoria (250-384-8000) • Medichair, Nanaimo (250-756-9875) • Medichair, Duncan (250-709-9939) • Munro’s Books, Victoria (250-382-2464) • Pharmasave Campbell River ((250-287-3222) • Pharmasave Comox (250-339-4563) • Pharmasave Cook St (250-386-6171) • Pharmasave Duncan (250-748-5252) • Pharmasave Esquimalt (250-388-6451) • Pharmasave Hillside Ave (250-595-8106) • Pharmasave James Bay (250-383-7196) • Pharmasave Ladysmith (250-245-3113) • Pharmasave Quallicum (250-752-3011) • Pharmasave Sidney (250-656-1348) • Pharmasave Tuscany Village (250-477-2225) • Pharmasave View Royal (250-881-8887) • Pharmasave Westhill Centre Nanaimo (250-740-3880) • Pharmasave Mill Bay (250)743-9011 • Tanner’s Books, Sidney (250-656-2345) • Volume One Books, Duncan (250-748-1533) • Crown Publications (250)386-4636

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������������������������������� ������������� ��������������� Senior Living Housing Directory is a valuable online resource for seniors and family members looking for alternative housing to match their desired lifestyle, or medical/mobility needs. Over 500 senior residences and housing communities throughout BC are listed in this comprehensive directory. Compare services, amenities, and prices. Sort your selection by region, or type of care. This directory is published by Senior Living, a monthly magazine distributed to approximately 850 locations across BC.

������������������������ ������������������������������������ Coming soon: residential listings for Alberta and Saskatchewan.

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������������������������� ������������������������� �������������������������� �������������������� ������������������������� �������������������

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Senior Living’s online searchable senior housing directory is a perfect complement to its semi-annual senior housing special editions in February and August. Senior Living also publishes a 128 page book called “To Move or Not to Move? A Helpful Guide for Seniors Considering Their Residential Options.” We have sold over 3,000 copies of this book. No other magazine we know of has such a comprehensive, interconnected group of housing resources. For more information about any of these products or services, call (250)479-4705 or toll-free 1-877-479-4705. Or email office@seniorlivingmag.com

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Senior Living Magazine Island Edition January 2011  

50+ Active Lifestyle Magazine for Vancouver Island BC Canada

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