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JANUARY 2011

Vancouver’s 50+ Active Lifestyle Magazine

Get Moving!

The Fitness & Recreation Issue Turn Back Your Biological Clock Programs adapt to meet the needs of an active aging population


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Play Together

Play at The Mulberry. Phone for your personal tour. 604.526.2248

7230 Acorn Avenue, Burnaby 604.526.2248 | www.themulberry.ca

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Eat Together

What to do today? Play WiiTM bowling with some friends. Share opinions in the current events group. Work out with a fitness class. Join a sing-a-long. So much choice. Our residents love to connect with others. That’s why we offer plenty of social activities and lots of unscripted fun. Anything that appeals to the desire to stay active. What are you doing for fun today?

HIGHGATE VILLAGE MALL

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Me-n-Ed's Pizza Parlor

Edmonds Centre for 55+

To Edmonds SkyTrain

Part of Pacific Arbour Retirement Communities The Mulberry has received the industry’s highest professional designation, the BC Seniors Living Association’s Seal of Approval.

Where good things come together.

What to have for dinner today? Pistachio-crusted Pacific salmon with herbed rice. Maybe vegetarian lasagna and Caesar salad. Then seasonal fresh fruit for dessert – or orange crème brûlée. So much choice. Through our exclusive TasteBuds™ program, our residents choose from a variety of wholesome, homemade meals that are served in the comfort of our dining room – and in the company of friends. What’s on your menu today? Dine at The Summerhill. Phone for your personal tour. 604.980.6525 135 West 15th Street (off Lonsdale) North Vancouver | 604.980.6525 www.the summerhill.ca Part of Pacific Arbour Retirement Communities

Where good things come together.


������������������������������� ������������� ��������������� 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.

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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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JANUARY 2011

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JANUARY 2011

www.seniorlivingmag.com

Publisher’s

A

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

COLUMNS 4 The Family Caregiver

6 Finally On Track

by Barbara Small

Track & field competitor Christa Bortignon.

8 Building Stronger Communities

Community centres adapt for the future.

16 Forever Young by William Thomas

27 Ask Goldie

10 Adjust Your Biological Clock

by Goldie Carlow

Aging is up to nature, decay is up to you.

30 Have Fork, Will Travel

12 Easy Rider

by Sally Jennings

One cyclist’s dream to journey across Canada.

31 BBB Scam Alert

14 Vancouver’s Soccer Soul

by Lynda Pasacreta

Can the city get back to the glory days of soccer?

32 Reflections: Then & Now by Gipp Forster

18 My Addiction

Photographer and global explorer Ursula Easterbrook.

22 Age-Friendly Communities

Policymakers grapple with tough questions.

23 Keep On Trekking

Nordic walkers reap the benefits of the sport.

24 First-degree Burns

Famous poet’s birthplace museum opens in Scotland.

Cover Photo: Alpine Club of Canada Vancouver Island Section’s Rick Johnson makes his way up the “UnJudges Route” at Mt. Arrowsmith. Read the full story on our website www.seniorlivingmag.com/alpine-club Photo: Sandy Briggs

26 Preventing Osteoporosis

What can you do to strengthen your bones as you age?

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

Senior Living (Vancouver & Lower Mainland) is published by Stratis Publishing. Publisher Barbara Risto Editor Bobbie Jo Reid editor@seniorlivingmag.com Copy Editor Allyson Mantle Ad Designer/Coordinator Faye Holland Advertising Manager Barry Risto 250-479-4705 Toll-free 1-877-479-4705 sales@seniorlivingmag.com Ad Sales Staff Mitch Desrochers 604-910-8100 Ann Lester 250-390-1805 Mathieu Powell 250-589-7801 Barry Risto 250-479-4705 WWW.SENIORLIVINGMAG.COM

Head Office Contact Information: Box 153, 1581-H Hillside Ave., Victoria BC V8T 2C1 Phone 250-479-4705 Fax 250-479-4808 Toll-free 1-877-479-4705 E-mail office@seniorlivingmag.com Website www.seniorlivingmag.com Subscriptions: $32 (includes HST, 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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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.

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We can help businesses market to seniors throughout the Vancouver Island and Greater Vancouver areas. Whether print, web, or a combination of both, you can place your advertising message with confidence, knowing it will reach your intended audience. Over 120,000 readers per month Up to 75,000 unique visitors per month

13 Carepanions 13 Northern Sound Hearing Clinics 25 Accessibility Solutions BK COV Rick Hoogendoorn, Realtor

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JANUARY 2011

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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

BY BARBARA SMALL

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 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

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Barbara Small is the Program Development Coordinator for Family Caregivers’ Network Society located in Victoria, BC. www.familycaregiversnetwork.org


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JANUARY 2011

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Fitness & Recreation

Finally On Track

BY KEVIN MCKAY

Photo: Attilio Bortignon

married for 26 years now.” For the better part of the past quarter century, Christa has competed in tennis tournaments and has done very well, winning 13 of them, including two age-group victories in the Stanley Park Open. Unfortunately, she developed osteoarthritis in her wrists along the way. She kept playing, however, until the arthritis bothered her to the point where she was unable to play two days in a row. Needing to find a different activity, Christa chanced across a story about a record-setting senior track and field athlete named Olga Kotelko. Christa contacted Olga and the two women met. “Two days later, Olga asked me to sign up to compete in the Canadian Masters Track and Field Championships, which were being held in Kamloops in July 2009,” Christa reChrista Bortignon on the podium at the World Masters Championships in Puerto Rico. calls. “She kept pushing me, and I thought he 100-metre dash has always been considered one it would be a nice trip up to the Okanagan, so I signed up. When of the marquee events of any track and field com- we got there, I looked around and saw how all the other athletes petition. During the race for women aged 70-74 at were dressed and all the equipment they had, and I decided to pull the 2010 North Central Caribbean World Masters out. My husband talked me into staying, telling me I might as well Championships, Christa Bortignon of West Vancouver was compete since we had come all the way there.” That decision led to Christa becoming an “overnight sensation” leading with less than 10 metres to go. “It was an extremely hot day and the track was made of a at the age of 72. With only two weeks of training and no coaching, funny surface that was more like a carpet underlay,” she says. Christa found herself about to enter her first track meet since her “With five metres to go, I stumbled and fell flat on my face. school days. Her first event was the long jump and on her first atDespite the fall, I picked myself up and still won the bronze tempt, she set a B.C. record for her age group. Eventually, she had to settle for silver as another competitor did her one better, but it medal.” An amazing result, given the circumstances, but not as was a formidable start. Next up was the 100-metre race and Christa instantly realamazing as Christa’s meteoric rise to success in the competitive ized she had much to learn. “I didn’t know how to use the starters world of track and field. Not much of an active participant in athletics while growing blocks and watched what the others were doing,” she says. “I had up, Christa obviously had great potential as was revealed in her never run a 100-metre race and I couldn’t see the finish line, so I results later in life. Her first opportunity to display her athletic asked the official how far the race was. He held his hands apart prowess happened after she moved to Vancouver in 1981 with and said, ‘This is one metre. You run 100 of them.’ My time was her two children. Divorced and in her 40s, she decided to try under 19 seconds, which was very respectable for my first try.” That September, Christa competed in the B.C. Senior Games her hand at tennis. “There are a lot of people who play in Stanley Park who think in Richmond, entering the same two events along with the high they own the courts,” says Christa. “I saw this guy practising by jump, shot put and triple jump. “I won two gold and three sliver at the Senior Games and it hitting balls against a wall and asked him if he wanted to rally. He said, ‘Why not?’ and we immediately hit it off. We’ve been was quite exciting because my triple jump was only one centimetre

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off the Canadian record,” she says. “I was really happy. What I liked even more is how everyone helps one another. One competitor showed me how to improve my shot put toss and I got an extra metre on my next attempt. It was really encouraging to see all the friendliness between competitors. I never saw that in tennis.” Christa had briefly joined the West Vancouver Track and Field club, but she did not enjoy being one of only two adult members at the time. An Internet search led her to the Greyhounds Track and Field club, based in Surrey, and she joined them in May 2010. “Olga told me I should get a proper coach, so I was delighted to find Harold Morioka coaching the Greyhounds. I practised with them a few times before the B.C. Championships held in Langley that year. I entered six events and won six gold medals, including setting a Canadian record in the triple jump. One of the events I won was the javelin and I had only practised with it once before the competition. It hurt my wrist to throw it, though, so I won’t do it now unless I enter a pentathlon.” A month after the B.C. Championships, Harold told Christa there was a meet coming up in Burnaby called the Trevor Graven Meet. She entered the 100 metres, high jump, long jump, triple jump and shot put – and won all five. One week later, she was off to compete in the Canadian championships in Toronto. “In Toronto, I entered the same five events as I had the previous week only this time I was competing against people from all over Canada. I got my time in the 100 metres down to 17.4 seconds, a personal best, and broke my own record in the triple jump by reaching 7.3 metres. This record still stands now. In the shot put, I made a misstep on my best throw, so it did not count, but I still won the gold medal with my second best throw. ” Next up was the World Masters in Puerto Rico where Christa stumbled and fell in the 100-metre event. In that competition, she won gold in the high jump, long jump, triple jump and 400 metres, as well as silver in the shot put and 200 metres to go along with her hard-earned bronze in the 100 metres. “I won the most medals of any competitor there,” she says. “What was the most amazing thing for me was that after the long jump, they held this lovely podium ceremony with the Canadian flag on it. It was really cool to be part of that. I have a really nice photo of myself with the other two medal winners from Mexico and Trinidad. It was a wonderful experience.” After competing in a couple more track meets, Christa finished 2010 having competed in 33 events, receiving medals in each one with a total of 28 gold, four silver and the lone bronze she won in the ill-fated 100-metre dash in Puerto Rico. If her health holds, she plans to continue competing in 2011, hopefully including the world championships in Sacramento. Christa does not consider herself special and offers advice to other seniors, “If you really challenge yourself, you can do it. It was a great move on my part to join the Greyhounds. Everyone helps one another and you develop a real team feeling. The medals are just a bonus. When I went to my first event, it was just to participate and see how I could do.” SL She did just fine.

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Are you a Care Giver or expect to be one?

You are not alone! Embrace the Journey - A Care Giver’s Story

96 pages Softcover 5.5” x 8.5” Price $14.95

Valerie Green’s personal story as a care giver to her elderly parents is the most relevant book on “aging in place” I have read to date. It provides a powerful insight into the challenges faced by every care giver. It unveils the challenges, heartaches, struggles and agonizing decisions that often need to be made along the way. If you are currently a care giver, or anticipate being one in the near future, this book is a must-read. - Publisher Barbara Risto, Senior Living magazine

To order, please send cheque for $20.12 ($14.95 plus $3.95 S&H & taxes) payable to Senior Living. Please include your clearly written shipping address, phone number, and name of book you are ordering. MAIL TO: Senior Living 153, 1581-H Hillside Ave., Victoria BC V8T 2C1

WWW.SENIORLIVINGMAG.COM

Allow two weeks for shipping. JANUARY 2011

7


Fitness & Recreation

Building Stronger Communities BY KEVIN MCKAY

F

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 programming specifically for them in new and exciting ways. 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 Dan Kennedy, 87, working out with his trainer they have demonstrated they Lisa Steele at Guildford Recreation Centre, Surrey. don’t have the same interests as their parents. As this demographic grows, proIf community centres wish to remain grammers are looking to the future to relevant to this segment of the populaaccommodate the needs and wants of tion, they will need to adapt and pay atthis segment of the population, who tention to the wants and needs of this have been enjoying programs and mak- new generation of seniors. Some of these changes are beginning ing friends here from the time they first opened their doors. One thing that has to happen as part of BC Recreation and changed, however, is the type of pro- Parks Association’s (BCRPA) Active Aging Strategy and some have been grams and activities. Photos: Kevin McKay

or more than half a century, community centres have been providing recreation programs and services to their communities. Community or “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 rec centre’s clientele – is seniors.

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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. With pre-seniors, mid-seniors and elders, one size does not fit all. Programmers have to keep in mind that though they 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. “We now have three generations of seniors here, and we are catering to all of them,” says Kerrisdale Community Centre’s Susan Mele. 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, using a variety of pieces of equipment including balls, weights, bands and cords. Many older adults 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. “The age and fitness level of seniors is changing and we have to be able to accommodate the younger seniors,” says Kitsilano War Memorial Community Centre’s Cathy Almaas. An important aspect to healthy aging is mental fitness, in addition to physi-


cal 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. “We ran a training and educational program called ‘Creating Intercultural Connections through Brain Games,’” says Claudine Claridge of John Braithwaite Community Centre in North Vancouver. “Eighteen seniors were trained to teach and support brain game programs.” So, in addition to accessing programs, seniors are also contributing to them by sharing their skills and teaching others. As one of the more multicultural provinces, British Columbia welcomes 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 appreciation for new cultures, new arrivals get a chance to meet people and make some new friends in a comfortable environment at their local rec 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 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 available. 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. “With the younger semi-retired seniors, we are seeing less commitment to programs, so we offer one-day or shorter sessions to accommodate their needs,” says Susan. Another reality for community centres is budget restraints. 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. “We received funding for a sport sampler program from the BCRPA, and we will be adding an educational and leadership component to our Iranian Peer Support program with funding provided by the Lower Lonsdale Legacies Program,” says Claudine.

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.

Evelyn Chu, 65 In short, programmers 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 programs at their community cenSL tres to satisfy their wants.

Retirement Living in Grand Vancouver Style. Suites le b AvailaW! NO

Call Julia to arrange a personal visit 604.738.8380 1570 West 7th Avenue Vancouver

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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 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” Exercise is the only way to engage your body and your physical before he caught himself and reversed direction. brain, but if you do it, you will get “younger,” says Dr. Harry. Dr. Harry Lodge is 47, a medical practitioner, teacher and Chris tells us how. “After age 50, six days of exercise is mandaman of science. His message is simple: After 50 we start to de- tory. No negotiations. No give. No excuses. Six days, serious exercay. Unless we signal our bodies to keep growing by exercising cise, until you die.” six days a week, our bodies head downhill after 50. Chris and Harry are constantly asked why it has to be six days. “There is an immutable biology of aging, and you can’t do Isn’t some exercise better than none? Chris pulls no punches with anything about it,” says Dr. Harry. “Hair gets grey, gravity takes his response. its toll. Your maximum heart rate declines steadily over time, “No,” he says. “It’s not better than nothing! We don’t even want regardless of how active you are. Your skin degenerates, regard- you to think about it. It will sap your strength and drain your reless of lifestyle. You will look old, no matter what. But you do solve. It will put you on the beach. It’s six days because it has to be. not have to act old or feel old. Actually, it should be seven.” He says exercise provides the signal that jolts our cells into reRelaxing our vigilance toward exercise is like being squeezed pairing and renewing themselves and releases the chemicals that by a boa constrictor. People think boa constrictors squeeze, but they bathe our brains in positive feelings. Seventy per cent of aging don’t, says Chris. “They just wrap around you and wait. You let out after 50 is governed by our lifestyle. Half of all sickness and seri- a breath... they take up the slack. Do it again... they take up the slack ous accidents expected after age 50 can be virtually eliminated if again. Until you’re dead.” Not exercising religiously acts like the we learn how to live younger. boa. Relax and decay will take up the slack, every time. “Aging can be a slow, minimal and surprisingly graceful So how does one maintain such vigilance? Chris offers some process. Even on the appearances front, there is a huge differ- sage advice. ence between a great-looking healthy older person and one 1. Join a gym. There’s a structure of routine and accountability who has let go.” that nothing else provides. Even if you love exercising outdoors, In our 40s and 50s, our bodies switch into a “default to join a gym anyway. You need it for rainy days. For winter. For the decay” mode, says Dr. Harry. There is only growth or decay. group classes and the weight machines. You need a place to go, Your body looks to you to choose between them and the keys every day. to overriding decay are daily exercise, emotional commit2. Find a gym with a decent mix of young people and some your ment, reasonable nutrition and a real engagement with living. own age. But it starts with exercise. 3. Get a trainer. Find one whom you like but who’s a real motiDr. Harry puts much of the blame for our decay on our vator. modern lifestyle – junk food, too much TV, long commutes,Hockey4.Hall TryoftoFame do at least 20 minutes of aerobic training, 20 minutes Broadcaster Jim Robson job stress, marital stress, family stress, poor sleep, artificial of strength training, with proper warm-up and cool-down periods at in the his home office.and end. light, noise and no exercise. beginning 10

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5. Classes or group activities are great motivators: spinning Fast-forward 10, 20 or 40 years, and visualize yourself as old class, step class, aerobic dance, yoga, Pilates. You’re more likely and fit: hiking with your grandchildren or your friends, active to go because there’s a set time for class and that creates a certain and appealing. Now visualize yourself as old and frail. Bent over discipline. You’re far less likely to dog it once you get there. a walker. Tentative, passive, dependent. 6. It’s easier to exercise if you have a regular time. Same time You really are likely to live long enough for one of those every day, so there’s no new decision to make. No one has the char- two scenarios to come true. Active or dependent. You pick. acter to make the fresh decision every day to go to the gym. Go on Aerobic exercise saves your life; strength training makes it “automatic” or you’ll quit. worth living. Your personal best is still ahead and you have years and years of getting 7. Don’t miss a chance to make this fun and close to enjoyable. Younger Every Year. Studies predict that of the But Dr. Harry said you could get 70 million boomers born between 1946 Thank you to the authors “younger.” How does that work? and 1964, approximately three million Your body is made of meat, of Younger Next Year for Women whose book I used sinew, fat and many other parts will live to the age of 100, or beyond. that break down over time and to develop most of the conThe question is: What shape do you have to be constantly renewed. tent for this article. I encourThe muscle cells in your thigh are want your body to be in, if you are one age you to buy a copy. You’ll completely replaced, one at a time, learn much more about the sciof those three million? day and night, about every four months. entific reasons behind exercise and Brand-new muscles, three times a year. The how much it can benefit you as you age. If solid leg you’ve stood on so securely since childhood is you are one of those over 50 persons who is giving in to mostly new since last summer. Your blood cells are replaced ev- steady decay caused by inactivity, it’s never too late to move SL ery three months, your platelets every 10 days, your bones every in a new direction. couple of years. Your taste buds are replaced every day. In other words, your body is renewing itself all the time. To calculate your target heart rate, visit Senior Living online Exercise is the foundation of positive brain chemistry. And at www.seniorlivingmag.com/younger-next-year that leads directly to the younger life Dr. Harry promises, including heightened immune system, better sleep, weight loss, insulin regulation and fat burning, improved sexuality, 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. 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 (visit www.seniorlivingmag. com/younger-next-year). 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. WWW.SENIORLIVINGMAG.COM

JANUARY 2011

11


Fitness & Recreation

EASY RIDER From Mile 0 to Mile 0

“I

was so happy and excited, I felt like a kid at Christmas waiting for Santa Claus,” recalls Marlene Gervin, her eyes shining. But it wasn’t Christmas; it was May 2nd, 2001. And she wasn’t waiting for Santa; it was her husband’s arrival at their pre-arranged meeting place. “I couldn’t believe I was on my way at last; that 13 kilometres and oneand-a-half cycling hours from home, my dream was coming true.”

BY JOAN W. WINTER

enjoyed only a little recreational cycling around the Lower Mainland, nothing too strenuous. But the dream persisted; it wouldn’t go away. “At that time, I thought I might have to go solo,” she says, referring to her dream. “Gordon didn’t want to cycle across Canada. Nor did he want to camp out along the way.” But Canada is a huge country and there would be long stretches of highway with little habitation. With a whole day’s pedal-power only being equal to

Photo: Gordon Gervin

Cross-country cyclist Marlene Gervin wheel-dipping at Mile 0, Newfoundland.

Five years earlier, Marlene, then 60, dreamt that at age 65 she would cycle across Canada – from coast to coast – dipping her front wheel in the ocean at Mile 0 in Victoria B.C. and then cycle to Mile 0 in Newfoundland, through all 10 provinces. It wasn’t likely to happen. After all, she and her retired husband, Gordon, 12

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one-hour’s driving distance (about 80100 km), some overnight camping was inevitable. Two years later, Marlene met Karen, a young woman in her 20s who had cycled across Canada. At Karen’s suggestion, Marlene visited her doctor and dentist for checkups. Not good. She required dental work, was not in great shape, had high WWW.SENIORLIVINGMAG.COM

cholesterol and a suspected heart-murmur. Later, the latter diagnosis proved wrong. Simultaneously, conscientious staff at the shop where Marlene had taken her ordinary bike for an overhaul, refused to fix it when they heard of its intended purpose; it was entirely unsuitable. So, Marlene bought a new Canadian-made Devinci. She liked the bike, but found the pedal clips difficult to manage. On an early run to Mile 0 in Victoria in 2000, accompanied by Karen, who was completing her nationwide ride by cycling to Mile 0 with her, Marlene fell off her bike twice, badly skinning her knees. Karen worried as she saw her friend picking stones out of her wounds. Marlene’s heart was set on making the trip across Canada, but hadn’t found a compatible group to travel with. Surely, she wasn’t thinking of going alone? Then, just four months before Marlene’s departure date, Gordon returned, shocked and unbelieving, from their apartment storage area. Someone had stolen her bike. That’s it. Let’s face it, fini, Marlene thought. With too many obstacles in the way, she relinquished her dream. But soon, the urge to cycle across Canada returned, stronger than ever. Replacing the Devinci was impossible because the shop was out of stock, but kinder winds of change were blowing. On Broadway, in Vancouver, Marlene discovered La Bicicletta, a shop that specialized in custom-built bikes. Marlene contracted for a made-to-measure bike, delighted to find the cost would be only slightly higher than a ready-made. La Bicicletta’s Phillip, efficiently in charge of assembly and construction, produced amazing results. The bike was beautiful – perfect. “I never thought I could be so happy about someone stealing my bike,” Marlene says with a smile. “When you’re travelling alone, you need


to know how to do everything,” became Marlene’s motto, so she set about learning. She attended workshops for bike care and maintenance; oiled chains, changed wheels and checked brakes; she volunteered at a community bike shop and repaired flat tires – dozens of them. Finally, in January 2001 at age 65, with bike and health issues resolved, Gordon suggested buying a motorhome: while Marlene cycled, he could haul supplies and be her support team. With 13 kilometres down and 7,055 to go, Gordon arrived 45 minutes late at their first meeting place; he’d underestimated Marlene’s cycling speed, and she fretted that he’d been in an accident. Cellphones were purchased to improve communications, and they were on their way. Unable to travel at the same speed, Gordon would leave each stop a little later than Marlene, let her ride for three to four hours, catch up, see how she was making out, and meet her at the next checkpoint. Marlene cycled for no cause or reason other than seeing Canada and having fun, but at beautiful Mount Terry Fox Provincial Park at the B.C.-Alberta border, while reading Terry’s inspirational story, she experienced a revelation, a sudden profound feeling of happiness and gratitude for the privilege of being there; for Gordon’s support and the giving of his time. “My focus changed,” she says. “I had been thinking only of myself; now, I wanted Gordon to have fun too.” Starting with a relaxed afternoon at Rocky Mountain Rodeo the next day, the trip became a shared holiday adventure. A daily routine was established. Up at 4.30 a.m., breakfast and ready to roll at first light, Marlene, an easy rider, cycled a comfortable 60-95 km a day. Around noon, the pair stopped to do some sightseeing or attend community events. At night, before bedtime at 8 p.m., Marlene would check her bike so it would be ready for the next day. Physically, she felt great. While fitness had not been her objective, it was definitely one of the benefits. She lost weight, and medical tests after her trip showed she had acquired the fitness of a healthy 16, not 65, year old and reduced her cholesterol level by half. But the going was not always easy. As terrain and the elements varied, each new day presented challenges. Toiling up mountains, Marlene remembered her yoga mantra: Think strength. Think power. Hurtling down the other side with her hands numb from clutching the brakes, she sought to overcome fear. She fought strong prairie winds, blinding rainstorms and, worst of all, sudden extreme changes of temperature. At Alberta’s icefields, nine kilometres of blowing ice rain caused her to suffer hypothermia. In the shelter of their motorhome, Gordon thawed her out with blankets and hot drinks. But most days, happily at one with nature, Marlene rejoiced in the beauty and diversity of each province, the sound of birdsong and sweet smells of earth. She was awed by the kindness of the people she met: of the considerate drivers, especially professional truckers, who moved over to allow her space. It was an unbelievable adventure – the experience of a lifetime. And, 164 cycling days and 7,220 km after leaving Vancouver, Marlene joyfully dipped her wheels at Mile 0 in SL Newfoundland. WWW.SENIORLIVINGMAG.COM

JANUARY 2011

13


Heritage

Vancouver’s Soccer Soul BY IAIN FERGUSON

14

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Photo: Kevin McKay

O

n the new terraces beside the PNE, Vancouver has an opportunity to win back its title of North America’s No. 1 soccer city. Forget those plans for a waterfront home for the Whitecaps. It may be that BC Place Stadium’s restored bubble will be worthy of a Major League Soccer team but, in the meantime, the Whitecaps will play at Empire Fields, in the shadow of the PNE’s wooden roller-coaster. For the many fans that remember the glory days of B.C. soccer, this transitional season is a chance to revive the roar of Callister Park. B.C. soccer truly began back in the 1920s in Vancouver’s East End, on the magical block bounded by Renfrew, Oxford, Cambridge and Kaslo streets. People knew it then as Con Jones Park, named after the Australian tobacconist and entrepreneur. Its name would later be changed to Callister Park, in honour of the soccer-mad landowner whose daughter entrusted it to the city. It was at Callister Park that the Pacific Coast Soccer League would mature and grow strong in the 1950s. No city in Canada could match Vancouver’s consistent commitment to top-flight soccer. The first professional match in Canada was in 1910 and it took place here – between local clubs Callies and Rovers, beneath the awe-inspiring North Shore Mountains. In the 1920s and 30s, big crowds gathered at Royal Athletic Park and then at Callister to see British touring sides, such as the Glasgow Rangers take on local teams like Sapperton FC. In the 1950s, the Canadian World Cup qualifying team was made up entirely of players from the PCSL’s B.C. contingent: Firefighters, Vancouver St. Andrews, New Westminster Royals, Halecos and North Shore United. All-star local sides took on the mighty Tottenham Hotspur and an Irish FA squad boasting Sir Stanley Matthews. Robert (Bob) Allen, 72, who got his first taste of soccer at Sunday school in the 1940s, remembers Callister Park as the classic soccer field, intimate and exciting. “Picture yourself in a small English town’s little stadium, the crowd is right on top of you, just six feet (1.8 metres) from the action. That was Callister Park,” he says. Bob, who played from 1950-73, mostly as a halfback for the famous Vancouver Firefighters, recalls crowds of up to 5,000 people packed into the stadium. “It was all seated, with the seats under cover. The crowd came from the East End – immigrants, especially Italians like the Lenarduzzis, grew up around Callister.”

“The Dean of Soccer” David Fryatt played at Callister Park in 1946.

Callister Park was the crucible for that most essential element of soccer: bitter local rivalry. The Firefighters’ favourite enemy was the Italian team Columbus, even until the 1960s. Another “Fireman” stalwart, Bob Mills, 74, remembers that after a long run of derby defeats, a triumphant Columbus team paraded a casket around Callister Park. “I still run into people today,” says Bob, “who say that Callister was the park. In those days, soccer was on the front page of the sport section – held in really high regard.” It’s time for the Callister spirit to soar again at Empire Fields. Here – beside the ups and downs of the coaster, and one big clearance kick away from the site of the old park – a true soccer education is possible. This education takes place in the open, in the sunshine – and the wind and the

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rain. Longtime supporters and youngsters alike will feel the intensity of a small, tightly packed stadium, and realize – or remember – that this is how every fan should experience the beautiful game. They might look up at the coaster and be reminded that Vancouver soccer, too, has had its ups and downs. Many soccer-mad Vancouverites cite the move to BC Place as the slippery slope for the team last time around. This time, the roof is retractable – hopefully the sun can shine on professional soccer in the city so that it takes root once and for all. It’s not the first time that the soul of soccer has been forced to move. Callister, once a beautiful grass field, was viewed greedily by the PNE as a potential car park. They held rodeos –even a demolition derby – on the grass during the off-season. Eventually, the grass became cinders and sand. Soccer at Callister ended with its demolition in 1971, when the Pacific Coast Soccer League moved to Empire Stadium. The Empire, too, earned a pedigree as a venue for big games – most notably its first clash between the U.S. and Canada (actually Everton vs. Aberdeen!) in ’56; Manchester United under Matt Busby just two years after the Munich Disaster against Hearts; in ’61 the all-conquering Real Madrid with De Stefano and Puskas in a 5-1 rout of Toronto FC. The Empire was simply building on Callister’s lead. In 1949, touring sides began to grace the field on Renfrew; in ’49, Newcastle versus the B.C. All-Stars; the following year an English FA team came; followed by Fulham, Spurs, the Irish Internationals, Glasgow Rangers and Huddersfield. David Fryatt, now 89, remembers all those games. He played at Callister as a centre-half with Collingwood on his return from active service in 1946. Known to his contemporaries as “The Dean of Soccer,” David became an administrator for the BC Soccer Association, organizing tours and tournaments. For him, Callister has a special atmosphere: “I recall against Tottenham, it felt like there must have been about 8,000 in Callister.” The Whitecaps never played on that hallowed turf. Their first game at the old Empire was a 1-2 defeat to San Jose in front of 17,343 on May 5, 1974. Eventually, that famous team would play to sell-out crowds at the Empire, packing in 32,000. By 1984 when the NASL folded, average attendance was down to less than 14,000 – at BC Place. Today, with the MLS coming to town, there’s a lot to play for. This city of vigorous and vibrant ethnic diversity, can build on its existing soccer genealogy. Just a quick glance at the make up of the Greater Vancouver Regional District shows that soccer bloodlines are still in abundance here: families of English, Scots and Irish descent making up 52 per cent, with Germans, French and, of course, soccer-mad Italian families making up 21 per cent. In addition, there are more and more emigrants coming from Russia, Croatia and Poland, Mexico and a host of South American countries. However, the biggest recent wave comes from Mainland China: 18 per cent of Vancouver residents. China’s soccer pedigree may not be as ancient as 16th century Florentine Calcio,

but there were reputedly 28 million Manchester United fans in that vast nation in 2003. A love of soccer has always run in the veins of Vancouverites. No one over 40 can forget when the Whitecaps reached the very top of the success curve, and Vancouver was the No. 1 soccer city in North America. Famously, during the team’s run to the final in 1979, a New York commentator quipped that the city must have looked like a deserted village. The peak of the Villagers’ performances came when they defeated first the New York Cosmos and then Tampa Bay Rowdies to bring the Soccer Bowl home. The streets of Vancouver were literally jammed with fans to see the homecoming of the NASL championship trophy. The future looks bright for MSL soccer in Vancouver. Nevertheless, many would vote that the team remains in the East End of the city – near the port, Little Italy, the horse track and the fairground. There needs to be a little of the East End in BC Place. Last time the Caps went west, it was a dip in the roller-coaster ride for Vancouver soccer. Look at the photos of soccer fans watching a game at Callister. There’s a sea of flat caps watching the round ball, and there’s a roller-coaster in the background. It’s easy to see where the soul of the game lives in Vancouver. Let’s hope that in 2011 when the Whitecaps play their opening game, the ancient roar of Callister can still be heard in the SL terraces of BC Place.

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JANUARY 2011

15


FOREVER BY WILLIAM THOMAS

MADS: Men Against Drunk Shopping

I

enjoy watching infomercials on TV. They’re like dramas written by Stuie King, Stephen’s older brother, who works fulltime driving a recycling truck. There’s the villain, the star of the infomercial, whose role it is to sell you something you don’t need or want. And the secondary characters in the audience oooh and ahhh like their hometown boy just won an Olympic medal or the homecoming queen successfully bought back and destroyed her sex tape. They gasp when the pie comes out of the oven. They actually applaud when Swivel Sweeper cuts a clear swath through the carpet’s dirt and grime. Whenever I see an infomercial audience give a standing ovation to an ultra-absorbent tea towel, I think somewhere there’s a theme park in Florida missing its seal trainer. But the infomercial drama could never work and the ads themselves would die a quick death, if it were not for the dumb schlep on the couch at home, the victim of the drama. The typical purchaser of these toogood-to-be-true products is not very bright, lonely, naive – What? Okay, so I bought a darn Slap Chop while watching the infomercial on TV. Sue me! It was Boxing Day and I was in the den at a family gathering having a glass of wine by myself in order to avoid children. And a guy Vince comes on and he’s chopping carrots and slicing tomatoes “Wham! Bam! Slap Chop 16

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style. Vince is having way too much fun than a man is supposed to have in the kitchen by himself. “Slap, slap, slap your troubles away.” Set to some really cool music, Vince is hammering this little round, plastic guillotine. One slap and potatoes become home fries, fruit becomes salad and when Vince whacked the mushroom, the green onion and ham three times, there was an omelette awaiting only the eggs. I didn’t love his nuts as much as Vince said I would, but everything else from the strawberries that topped the ice cream to the onion that shed its own skin made one wonder where Slap Chop had been all my life. Oh yeah, Vince could sell Bibles to al-Qaida. Vince combines the very latest in snake oil offerings with the confidence of a snake charmer. Yes, Vince is a snake, a rake and a shill with attitude, but as I kind of grooved to the music with a second glass of wine in my hand, I wondered how much the Slap Chop costs. If you’ve ever watched an infomercial, you’re going to be amazed that the Slap Chop, for all its wondrous applications was not $59.99, not $49.99, not $39.99. No, basically, Vince gave it to me for the cost of shipping and, and I got Graty – the gourmet cheese grater – at no extra charge. Graty not only grates cheese, it, no, that’s pretty much it, cheese. But like the Slap Chop, Graty comes WWW.SENIORLIVINGMAG.COM

apart in seconds for easy cleaning. Not that that’s a big deal for me because I already own Streak-Free, “the next generation’s cleaning cloth” as well as Didi Seven, “the worlds’ greatest stain remover in a tube.” In fact, I sometimes use Grill Daddy to clean my George Foreman Grill, which I purchased late one night after I jotted the toll-free number down at the Belmont Hotel. Did you know you could also cook salmon fillets in the George Foreman Grill? Once, I made a mistake and used Spotless Paw to clean my Compact Showtime Rotisserie & BBQ Oven, which came with a free recipe booklet and stainless steel pick for only $59.99, plus shipping. “Set it and forget it” – this thing could roast a pig, if I could find one small enough. I bought the easy-to-assemble rotisserie oven after a Robert Burns single malt tasting I hosted a few years ago and, is there a pattern developing here? Now, there are a ton of complaints on the Internet that the Slap Chop is a piece of junk. Apparently, you have to cut stuff with a knife to make it small enough for Slap Chop to chop it, blah, blah, blah. I know nothing about this because I have never taken Slap Chop or Graty out of their respective boxes. After the holidays, I realized that chopping vegetables on a cutting board while watching the 6 p.m. news is a mindless pleasure at the end of my day. Plus, it’s


a good idea to have a big knife in your hand when whackos like Bill O’Reilly and Laura Ingram come into your kitchen at night. So, the Slap Chop has triggered calls for the screening of products sold on TV and performance inspections, and I couldn’t care less about any of that stuff. You know that breathalyzer device the police are pitching, the one that would not allow you to start your car if your blood alcohol is over the legal limit? Well, I want one of those things adapted to my telephone. If I’ve had more than one glass of wine, my Bell Breathalyzer feature would not allow me to dial any tollfree number in North America. If, somehow, I were able to trick it, any conversation that included the words “As seen on TV” would automatically terminate the call. Looking back, I think I got off easy buying just the Slap Chop and Graty. If there had been a CD with the theme song “Slap Chop Rap” or a video of Vince “making America skinny, one slap at a time,” I’d have bought them too. For the record, no, I have not purchased Shoe Dini: the shoehorn on a stick that helps old people put their shoes on. And the Pocket Fisherman has been temporarily out of stock for months. The Bell Breathalyzer? I hope SL to star in the infomercial. William Thomas is the author of nine books of humour including The True Story of Wainfleet and Margaret and Me. Visit his website at www.williamthomas.ca

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JANUARY 2011

17


MY ADDICTION

Arts & Entertainment

Photographic Artist & Global Explorer Ursula Easterbrook

F

rom the icy glaciers of Antarctica to the searing deserts of Africa, from Alaska’s Kodiak Island to the tropical Caribbean, Tsawwassen-based Ursula Easterbrook documents nature in all its glory. The extent of her photographic travels is astonishing: Japan, China, India, Nepal, Russia, Germany, Switzerland, Scotland, Orkney Islands, Ireland and North America. It has meant getting up-close and personal with bears, penguins, owls, zebras, elephants and a multitude of birds, plants and outdoor scenes. And these photos are not ordinary travel snapshots; they are spectacular, unique images that have won awards, graced wildlife calendars, featured in gallery exhibitions, and appeared in magazines. Reminiscing about a recent 25-day photographic expedition to the Antarctic, Ursula shared photos and experiences with an enraptured audience. “In the Antarctic, we photographed un18

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Photo: Bev Yaworski

BY BEV YAWORSKI

til we dropped. And yes, it’s cold, colder than expected,” says Ursula. “It’s far away and you know you are going to have to cross some of the most turbulent ocean in the world – with huge waves. There were some days when we weren’t able to go outside because it was too dangerous.” Seasickness became a regular part of the voyage. Ursula also strained her back on the expedition’s ship from climbing up and down her second-storey bunk bed, but that did not stop her quest to photograph and enjoy this rare adventure. The boat held 77 passengers, a crew, photo instructors, a biologist and passengers from countries including Germany, Australia, South Africa and the U.S. “Typically, we’d have to get up at 5 a.m., have our breakfast and leave at 7:30 a.m. in a zodiac, which would take us back and forth from the main ship,” explains Ursula. “It was hard work getting on and off the ship and in and out of the zodiac, climbing and photographing birds and WWW.SENIORLIVINGMAG.COM

more birds. Each time, we also had to have all of our bags vacuumed so we wouldn’t take anything that could negatively affect the natural life there. We also washed off our shoes, so we did not track anything on or off the islands.” But for all the challenges, it’s clear her trip was worthwhile. Decked out at times in huge hip waders to capture the perfect shot, Ursula came back to her Tsawwassen home with hundreds of stunning images that she describes as “fantastic icebergs in an icy desert of a wilderness of snow inhabited with many penguins, sea lions, seals, albatross and other marine creatures. Some of the icebergs were 500-feet (152-metre) high, breaking off the shelf.” At the same time, Ursula returned with questions about the ethics of going to remote locations such as the Antarctic. How much are humans changing the environment by visiting beautiful but rare natural places? At times on this voyage, she even expressed displeasure with photographers who got far too close to the wildlife – an action that could possibly affect their natural wildlife habitat and daily life. This comment got her the label of “troublemaker” – a description some say is a “badge of honour” – recognition of the importance of treading lightly when walking into the wilderness. As a result of her Antarctic trip, Ursula expresses comfort in knowing that the seals and penguins appear to have recovered in this part of the world. Her own philosophy is: “try to be a naturalist first and a photographer second.” She says, “I also aim to make people aware of our fragile world and the beauty of it, hoping that they will then appreciate it more and protect it.” Ursula’s involvement with photography started at an early age. “I started taking pictures with my mother’s camera when I was quite small in postwar Germany – black and white only,” she


Photo: Ursula Easterbrook

Antarctic single penguin.

Ursula’s real passion for photography started after taking a six-day photo workshop in the Rockies in 1986. Today, she continues to share her photographic knowledge with others through teaching, mentoring, exhibitions, competitions, photo clubs and the editing of a B.C. photographic newsletter. “Photography is now my hobby, my passion and my way of managing stress,” says Ursula. “Photography gets me into nature, into the company of like-minded individuals and to other parts of the world. To put it another way: photograSL phy is my addiction.”

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says. “Once in Canada, I got a Brownie camera and eventually started taking colour when it became available to the public, and then colour slides. I took photography in high school and even became the president of the camera club, but my main love was painting. I continued to photograph, but not very seriously.” Ursula studied Medical Laboratory Technology in Toronto and once she started to work, she began to travel. “This increased my picture taking,” she says. “By this time, I had switched from prints to slides and shortly after that from painting to photography as my main hobby. Then digital came along – now my love of nature makes it possible to pursue birds and animals, to capture their lives by taking the many photos required to get a good one.”

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Health & Wellness

HEALTHY LIVING THROUGH AGE-FRIENDLY COMMUNITIES BY JULIAN BENEDICT

H

ow easy is it to engage in fitness and recreational activities in communities? Is public transportation accessible and affordable? Do neighbourhoods offer green space, community centres and seniors centres that are both inviting and secure? Do affordable housing options meet communities’ needs? These are just some of the questions that policymakers are asking themselves as they grapple with the changing needs of an aging population. For many regions, the solution is making communities more “age-friendly.” Surveys suggest that seniors like the move towards more accessible and inclusive neighbourhoods. According to a recent poll by Canada’s Association for the Fifty-Plus (CARP), for example, respondents said they want more flexible housing options, improved street lighting and signage, more public seating and washrooms, and expanded access to public transit services. Interestingly, the poll also found that almost 20 per cent of older adults surveyed wanted a more direct role in developing these communities through age-friendly municipal advisory councils. For its part, British Columbia is emerging as a leader in new investments in age-friendly initiatives: “We are increasingly focused on helping older adults stay mobile, physically active and healthy through age-friendly community initiatives,” says the former Minister of Healthy Living and Sport Ida Chong. “Last year, the province invested $1.8 million on projects like accessible community parks in 18 different communities across B.C.,” she explains. The need to get more seniors involved in community planning was also the inspiration behind Simon Fraser University’s latest Outreach DVD, A Place for Everyone: Age-Friendly Communities. This one-hour roundtable discussion is moderated by CBC Radio’s Mark Forsythe, who hosts a successful daily current affairs program called BC Almanac. Panellists include gerontologist Elaine Gallagher, architect and planner Lewis Villegas and former Vancouver City Councillor Gordon Price. The discussion explores a wide variety of age-friendly issues, from housing and transportation to better use of public space. 22

SENIOR LIVING

SFU Continuing Studies Dean Helen Wussow is pleased with the university’s developing role in this area. “We hope this DVD will enhance a national conversation among older adults about what they want in their communities,” she says. Acting Seniors Program Director Dr. David Gordon Duke agrees. “We hope to hear more from seniors, especially how they believe society can build better neighbourhoods that support their needs.” The video examines how more creative thinking and flexibility can make “seniorfriendly” planning solutions a reality. Panellist Gordon Price suggests that neighbourhood renewal begins with changing attitudes about what works. “We design and market our housing for one class of people, at one point in their lives, and then we strive to keep it that way,” he explains. “But when we become seniors, we often find our community can’t accommodate our changing needs.” Architect Lewis Villegas agrees: ideal communities of the future should have most daily amenities available within a short five-minute walk. “People should enjoy access to all the basic services they need nearby, such as groceries, everyday medical supplies, recreation centres, libraries, restaurants, banks, parks and, most importantly, transit.” Gerontologist Elaine Gallagher suggests sometimes making communities age-friendly simply means reorganizing existing resources in a different way – especially transit services. “Most bus schedules are set up to meet the needs of workers during rush hours,” Gallagher explains, “but some municipalities redeploy school buses after the morning rush, so that seniors can get around town during the day.” Seniors interested in participating can view the DVD free of charge online through the SFU Seniors Program website at www.sfu.ca/seniors, or pick up a copy of the DVD at selected libraries, community centres and seniors centres in their area. Viewers are encouraged to download and complete an evaluation form, detailing what they would like to see in their future age-friendly community. A final report compiling all feedback from seniors about the DVD is now available on the program’s website, with copies being made available to municipalities SL and planning departments across the province.

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Fitness & Recreation

KEEP ON TREKKING

BY DEE WALMSLEY

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Nordic walkers train for their annual event – the Vancouver 10k Sun Run (below).

Photos: Dee Walmsley

ot all pole walkers are Scandinavian. In our group of happy wanderers, there is a retired Blue Bomber defenceman, a neurologist, some pensioned teachers, nurses, artists and a few who are still walking towards their gold card. We meet three mornings a week for our one to one-and-ahalf hour treks averaging five kilometres for two of the days, and aim towards 10km on Fridays as we build up stamina for the 10K Sun Run held each year in Vancouver. Residing in the South Surrey/White Rock areas affords us choices. We can choose to walk by the sea, through parks, urban forests and around local neighbourhoods. In fact, we have so many options that on Fridays we pick three areas from a deck of “location cards.” We walk, talk and share jokes, rain or shine. Our social club is growing faster than the cottontails on our woodland trails. Nordic walking, or urban poling, as it is also known, works the whole body; walkers breathe deeper, and both the upper and lower body gets plenty of action. Janna Nicholson is the Community Recreation Co-ordinator from the White Rock Community Centre and believes in the benefits of urban poling. “It is easy to do and requires little investment cost in equipment,” she says. “Participants need comfortable, supportive walking shoes (waterproof, if walking in wet inclement weather) and Nordic walking poles.” The sport takes walkers outside and encourages exploration of the community. It is both a cardiovascular exercise (works heart, lungs and circulatory system) and it provides toning for all the upper body muscles, which are not used in regular walking. “Beneficial for all ages, urban poling provides a full workout of both legs and upper body, it improves posture and it provides stability as there are four points of contact with the ground,” says Janna. “In addition, it helps keep the crossing reflex (opposite leg to arm) strong, which helps with balance and co-ordination.” The three Ps is often referred to as the process: plant, push and propel. One pole is placed or “planted” on the ground and the arm is then used to “push” down on the pole, which “propels” the opposite leg forward. The process is then repeated with the opposite arm, leg, and so on. The pace is similar to walking and it resembles cross-country skiing. Double poling is used to provide more intensity and can be considered as a component of interval training. When both arms are used to plant, push and propel one leg forward, double the amount of muscles are used in the upper body and hence the workout intensity is increased. The technique is very similar to cross-country skiing; in fact,

skiers use it for their training during summer, which is how the exercise first became popular. So, get yourself a good pair of walking shoes, a partner to keep you motivated and a pair of poles. If you are just beginning and not wanting to spend much, check out a local thrift shop for some ski poles, cut them off at the bottom for a customized fit. Stand up straight with elbows bent at right angle to the ground. Little rubber booties can be purchased at a pharmacy to add extra spring to each step. A light backpack for car keys, water, gloves and cellphone is also a good idea along with a waterproof breathable jacket for those days that keep B.C. green and beautiful. Our group’s goal is the annual Sun Run, but you can log in each walk and cross Canada or trek around the world, just SL keep on trekking. For more information, visit the Canadian Nordic Walking Association’s website: www.canadianordicwalking.com

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JANUARY 2011

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

BY IAIN FERGUSON

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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

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Should auld acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind? Should auld acquaintance be forgot, and auld lang syne? What I held so gingerly were the socks of the poet who wrote the most widely sung song in the Englishspeaking 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.

Display at The Robert Burns Birthplace Museum.

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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:

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ary 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: 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.

The poet’s socks.

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 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. 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 Janu-

Fiere is a friend and a right gude-willy waught is a goodwill drink. Burns is strange that way; you may not know exactly 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 Photos courtesy of The Robert Burns Birthplace Museum, Alloway, Scotland. Copyright The National Trust for Scotland.

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25


Health & Wellness

Preventing Osteoporosis BY ELIZABETH GODLEY

A

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 2 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. 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. “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); long-term (more than three months) use of drugs such as prednisone; medical conditions such as celiac disease and Crohn’s disease; and primary hyperparathyroidism. 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 their absorption, calcium supplements must not be taken with bisphosphonates, but at another time of day. Talk to a doctor about side-effects. 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 SL are recommended.

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. 26

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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! 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

Senior Peer Counselling Centres (Lower Mainland) New Westminster 604-519-1064 North Vancouver 604-987-8138 Burnaby 604-291-2258 Richmond 604-279-7034 Vancouver West End 604-669-7339 Coquitlam – Tri-Cities 604-945-4480 Vancouver Westside 604-736-3588

to do with all that time on my hands. Somehow, I now have little interest in any of those activities, 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. 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 your family. It is common for people to hesitate, as you have, right after retirement. 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! Goldie Carlow is a retired registered nurse, clinical counsellor and senior peer counselling trainer. Send letters to Senior Living, Box 153, 1581-H Hillside Ave., Victoria, BC V8T 2C1.

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

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JANUARY 2011

27


Have Fork, Will Travel BY SALLY JENNINGS

t was a Sunday evening at the end of summer and already dark. I was expecting the family I worked for to be home soon, after their weekend away. They rented the house as diplomatic representatives; I was filling in between French au pairs. An au pair did a little light housework and looked after the children. Actors who were “resting” did the hard jobs like cleaning out the oven! For three hours of vacuuming, dusting and ironing in the mornings, I was paid £3 a week, with room and board. The house was on Warwick Avenue by Little Venice, a peaceful canal system in London. It was owned by the governor of a Caribbean island and was a towering white threestorey corner house in a street of elegant homes. When I heard a knock at the door, I was surprised. The family used their keys. I opened the big heavy double doors of this beautiful 18th century townhouse and looked outside; on the front step stood a small, tired South Asian man, nicely dressed. “Oh hello.” “Hello. Is the family in?” “I’m sorry, I’m waiting for them to come back.” “I’m a friend. I’ve come to stay. Would you mind if I came in and waited for them?” I was a bit dubious. Alone in the house filled with precious antiques and paintings, I was responsible for their welfare. At 22, I was far too polite to ask for further details. He noticed my hesitation and, with exquisite grace, explained that he was the Indian Minister of Defence. He told me he had just flown in from India and was tired and needed to rest. I let him in and he settled gratefully into a large pale blue comfortable chair in the living room. “Can I get you a drink? Are you hungry?” I asked. He

looked relieved when we decided on an omelette. I had rarely cooked because there was no need for me to interfere in my mother’s domain, but I could manage this one specialty. It requires the separation of the whites and yolks, and then you beat them, spoon them together and cook it gently, folding the omelette over only at the end. The omelette looks like a soufflé, so it’s quite a party piece, but it’s simple to make. I decorated it with slices of tomato and cucumber and it was a great success. The family came home, eventually, and welcomed their distinguished guest, to my relief. The next day we all played tennis together and I no longer had to cook. Method: Melt a knob of butter in a frying pan. Separate the yolks and whites into two bowls (3 eggs per person). Whisk the yolks. Beat the whites until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the yolks into the whites. Pour into frying pan and cook on low heat. Fold the omelette to serve (it will be fat and fluffy). Few people have seen an omelette like this, and only one Indian Minister of Defence has eaten one. SL

Sally Jennings is a writer, editor, tour guide. She has lived and dined on five continents, with no regrets. pto_edit@yahoo.ca

Senior Living Vancouver is available at most Recreation Centres and Libraries in the following municipalities: • VANCOUVER • BURNABY • NEW WESTMINSTER • WHITE ROCK • NORTH VANCOUVER • LADNER / TSAWWASSEN • PORT MOODY • COQUITLAM • PORT COQUITLAM • SURREY • RICHMOND • WEST VANCOUVER • LANGLEY • ABBOTSFORD • PHARMASAVE STORES THROUGHOUT BC

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An Omelette in Distinquished Company


BBB Better Better Better Better

Business Business Business Business

Bureau Bureau Bureau Bureau

SCAM ALERT

BY LYNDA PASACRETA

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 others 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. In 2010, the Better Business Bureau serving Mainland B.C. received over 3,500 inquiries about health centres: an increase of 14 per cent since 2008. 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 www.mbc.bbb.org or calling 604-682-2711 (1-888-8031222 in the Interior). 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

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. 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.

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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 long- and 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

Lynda Pasacreta is President of the Better Business Bureau of Mainland B.C. www.mbc.bbb.org To contact Lynda Pasacreta, e-mail president@mbc.bbb.org

JANUARY 2011

31


Photo: Krystle Wiseman

Reflections THEN & NOW WISDOM

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 absentminded. 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 like I am. In the Bible, the wise men are usually depicted as tall and lean. That doesn’t work for me, and I don’t 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 that’s SL where my wife is!

In the Bible, the wise men are usually depicted as tall and lean. That doesn’t work for me, and I don’t think a camel is up to the challenge.

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BY GIPP FORSTER

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To Move or Not to Move?

BC EDITION

A Helpful Guide for Seniors Considering Their Residential Options

Published by Senior Living

JANUARY 2009

14.95 Buy it now! �

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

questions and concerns. A handy reference guide for seniors and their families wrestling with the issues around whether relocation is the best option. This 128-page book provides helpful, easy to read information and suggestions to help seniors and their families understand the decisions they need to make.

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Read my article on the Senior Living website at www.seniorlivingmag.com

Senior Living Magazine Vancouver Edition January 2011  

50+ Active Lifestyle Magazine for Vancouver & Mainland BC Canada

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