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GoodLife Fall 2012

inside A Guide to

Senior Living & Activities

• Iona Campagnolo battles hard for what she believes in. • Gardening can lengthen lifespan • How to avert caregiver crisis

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Wednesday, October 17, 2012


RESPONSE BETTER WITH NEW NETWORK Support Our Seniors (SOS) is working to create stronger community networks to help seniors in the Comox Valley Renee Andor Record Staff According to SOS chair Jennifer Pass, SOS initiated the creation of a Community Response Network (CRN) in the Comox Valley. CRNs exist in various communities throughout the province, and according to the BC Association of Community Response Networks, a CRN is “a diverse group of concerned community members who come together to create a co-ordinated community response to adult abuse, neglect and self-neglect.” Pass points out CRNs are there to help all adults, but SOS obviously has a focus on helping seniors. “There are a lot of seniors in the Valley who are quite tentative as they move forward in life. They have a lot of concerns and they don’t feel that society is making it any easier for them,” she says, adding her work with SOS has shown

her some of the issues seniors face, and when she heard about the CRN organization she felt it would be good to have in the Comox Valley. “I came into contact with the CRN organization — which I realize is broader but is concerned about everyone in society, every adult in society — where are we having difficulties, where do we feel that, you know, that we can’t talk to people or who do I talk to, who do I phone? “So I think the CRN is to devise networks so people know how to connect.” So far, nearly 20 community groups have joined the Comox Valley CRN. They are, in no particular order: Comox Valley RCMP; RCMP Victims’ Assistance; ValleyLinks; Comox Valley Transition Society; Comox Valley Community Justice Centre; Comox Valley Social Plan-

SUPPORT OUR SENIORS chair Jennifer Pass (centre) was one of the people who helped initiate a Community Response Network in the Comox Valley. A meeting is scheduled for Oct. 23, which the public is welcome to attend. ning Society; LUSH Valley Food Action Society; Community Living BC; Comox Valley Multicultural and Immigrant Support Society; Comox Valley Nursing Centre; Wachiay Friendship Centre; Comox Valley Senior Peer Counselling Society; Evergreen Seniors Club; Keystone Eldercare Solutions; Vancouver Island Health Authority; and L’Arche Comox Valley. Pass notes CRNs are about “rebuilding communities on the

model of caring neighbourhoods.” “It’s about how we can be available for people who need information and need to know how to go through the system,” she added. “For example, if I have an issue, I may not know whether I should phone a social worker or a police officer or a teacher, you know, I may not know how to get assistance, so it’s to build strong community networks so the various associations or groups that help

people can integrate better.” The Comox Valley CRN is still quite new, and Pass noted the group has met only a couple of times with one meeting and a small workshop earlier this year. But a meeting, open to the public, is scheduled for Oct. 23 at noon at the Florence Filberg Centre. Although the public is welcome to attend, Pass asks that people register by calling her at 250-334-2321.


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Wednesday, October 17, 2012



BATTLES HARD FOR WHAT SHE BELIEVES IN Well-known Canadian politician, the Honourable Iona Campagnolo, may have slowed down in her political work during her golden years — but she’s still a busy woman who fights for what she believes in. Renee Andor Record Staff Iona Campagnolo has accomplished plenty in her nearly 80 years of life. She started out in municipal politics in Prince Rupert in the 1960s, then moved into federal politics with the Liberals, and received numerous honours and awards — she even became the first female Lieutenant Governor of B.C. in 2001, a title she held until she was succeeded in 2007. She also had a broadcast career and was active with many organizations promoting causes she believed in throughout her career. She now spends much of her time in the Comox Valley, and says she is very aware of being in her later years of life. “I’m very much conscious of being in the last act and realize the new challenges that that represents, so it’s another phase of life to be confronted and used creatively, I hope, and youthfully,” says Campagnolo. She is an honourary director for the Music By The Sea festival and music school in Bamfield; an honourary member of the Seaforth Highlanders Patron’s Corps; an honourary patron of the Barkerville Heritage Trust; an honourary director of the Child Honouring

IONA CAMPAGNOLO, 79, may have retired from politics but she’s still active in various groups and organizations. Campagnolo was the first female president of the national Liberal Party and the first female Lieutenant Governor of B.C. Institute; an honourary life member The Union of B. C. Municipalities; honourary life member of the Planning Institute of British Columbia; an honourary member of 19 Wing Officer’s Mess; she works with the Fraser Basin Council on their Collaborative Watershed Governance Initiative; and she’s an honourary director with the Comox Valley Community Justice Centre. The Community Justice Centre’s Bruce Curtis says the centre asked her to become a patron and serve as an ambassador for restor-

The government of the day, of which I was part, passed a moratorium so that tankers could not in fact traverse the Inside Passage and the proposed Kitimat pipeline of that time did not go ahead.


ative justice five years ago. He notes that while she’s celebrating he 80th birthday this month, she’s “still as active as ever.” “She brings a real gift of interest and engagement to our volunteer recognition events, she creates a real sense of occasion, with

an air of significance and dignity,” says Curtis. “Her passion for justice, women’s rights, democracy, and citizen engagement are legendary and she has been incredibly supportive of the CJC’s initiatives in combating racism, homophobia and hate crime.”

Campagnolo says she still pays attention to politics with avid interest; lately she’s been watching how things are shaping up for the provincial election. She also writes letters for causes close to her heart — she wrote a letter to Canadians opposing the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline, which was posted on the World Wildlife Fund-Canada blog in the summer. “Forty years ago, people who are my age, will remember that there was a great battle against having (oil)

tankers in the Inside Passage in British Columbia,” she tells the Record. “The government of the day, of which I was part, passed a moratorium so that tankers could not in fact traverse the Inside Passage and the proposed Kitimat pipeline of that time did not go ahead. She says she doesn’t miss her old life in politics because she still keeps up with her contacts on the latest issues, and she says the province is especially important to her.

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garden can grow some vegetables. Or is your â&#x20AC;&#x153;garden patchâ&#x20AC;? in the form of a balcony? No problem. Gardening is an enjoyable activity at any There are some dwarf varieties available age â&#x20AC;&#x201D; from the very young to the elderly. now that do very well in pots and produce a But it is not all flowers and vegetables tidy little harvest. that are reaped from the soil. There is a hidWhen it comes to exercise, maintaining a den benefit â&#x20AC;&#x201D; longevity. garden provides an excellent program with Researchers have discovered that of the all the walking, kneeling, lifting, raking, seniors in their case digging and pruning, study who were not to mention being approaching the outside in the fresh air It has long been known century mark, most that the keys to longevity are eat- and sunshine. were gardeners. Muscles and joints ing the right foods, getting plenty are kept strong and Not surprising of exercise and minimizing stress flexible through the really. It has long been various gardening levels. What better place to find known that the keys all three but in a garden? activities. to longevity are eatWhen intent on the â&#x20AC;&#x201D; LESLIE COX tasks at hand, howing the right foods, getting plenty of ever, it is very easy exercise and minimizing stress levels. What to forget the passage of time and work long better place to find all three but in a garhours. Or worse yet, overexert yourself. It is den? important that you work within your limits. Few can dispute the honest-to-goodness Beginning each gardening session with taste of fresh vegetables and fruits harsome stretching exercises and a gentle vested from your own garden. Even those warmup will reduce the risk of injury and who have downsized from the larger famstrain. ily home with spacious yard into a smaller, It is also important that you pace yourmore-manageable abode with a postage-size self. Take breaks or vary your tasks to give Special to the Record



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muscles a rest. Be careful of your back, keeping it as straight as possible and lifting from the knees to avoid undue strain. Not to be left out, people with disabilities such as arthritis sufferers, recovering stroke patients or even those diagnosed with Alzheimer’s can benefit from a little bit of gardening. Raised garden beds and ergonomically designed tools help to keep them actively involved in the process. With Alzheimer’s patients sometimes it is the very act of planting seeds in pots that rekindles memories of happier times long past. Many gardeners experience a tremendous sense of accomplishment and personal satisfaction through the act of creating their own garden. Being able to spend time in the garden invokes a spiritual peace through experiencing its smells, sights and sounds. Working in and around plants, you are irretrievably drawn closer to nature. What you see there slows you down, thereby reducing your stress level and inducing an intense feeling of tranquility. Fragrances of newly opened flowers and sunkissed herbs floating past on a gentle breeze uplift your spirits and make everything

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

IF YOU GARDEN regularly, it can extend your lifespan. brighter in your little part of the world. It is small wonder gardeners live to a ripe old age. Leslie Cox co-owns Grow-

ing Concern Cottage Garden in Black Creek. She writes a gardening column that appears every second Friday in the Comox Valley Record.

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professor emeritus at the University of Toronto where he taught cell biology, develRecord Staff opmental biology, molecular biology and Paul Horgen and his wife Ilona bought biotechnology. He also directed the master of property in 2000 in the Comox Valley, where biotechnology graduate program. they wanted to retire around the middle “I went there in 1972 and I stayed there part of the decade. until 2007 officially,” said Horgen, who sits When the couple first moved to Comox on the Vancouver Island board of directors in 2005, they agreed if of the Canadian National they didn’t adapt to Valley Institute for the Blind. life they would sell their Horgen was diagnosed Since I’ve been in property and move back to the Valley I can’t see the in his 20s with an eye Toronto. But they caught disorder called retinitis beautiful view from my the Valley bug, involved pigmentosa where the home anymore, but I still eye slowly deteriorates. themselves in ElderCollege and decided to stay. He was told he would can do lots of things. “It’s a great commufirst lose his peripheral — PAUL HORGEN vision and then his cennity,” said Horgen, board chair of the Comox Valley tral vision in his 60s. It Project Watershed Society, who is involved happened exactly that way, but he considers with the North Island College program for himself lucky to have worked until age 63. students on the far side of 55. “Since I’ve been in the Valley I can’t see He and llona first served on the Elderthe beautiful view from my home anymore, College curriculum committee, after which but I still can do lots of things,” said Horgen, she became committee chair and he started who has retained a bit of his eyesight. He teaching courses such as the natural history uses voice-activated computers. of the Comox Valley, making sense out of After settling in the Valley, Horgen biotechnology and doo-wop music. He used contacted the B.C. Guide Dog Association, to lead a doo-wop singing group in Toronto. learned to use a white cane, underwent Horgen is a past department chair and an assessment and qualified for guide dog

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working group. He became vice-chair of the Project Watershed board and two years became board chair. The non-profit society promotes community stewardship of local watersheds through education, information and action. Horgen speaks proudly of the Blue Carbon Pilot Project that proposes to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, decrease fossil fuel dependence and create jobs. The society hopes to reap $100,000 from carbon offset funds. “The Blue Carbon Project involves restoration of vegetation in the estuary that sequesters carbon, removes greenhouse gases from the environment. The restoration also is a way of adapting to climate change. It provides friction in the water that prevents against storm surges and heavy wave damage and shoreline resilience...When you restore vegetation, you also provide wildlife habitat. So it’s a triple win-win-win situation.” Last fall, the regional district committee of the whole approved a letter to the Province to request local governments be eligible for carbon offset funding. The same resolution passed in April at the Vancouver Island Association of Municipalities, and last month at the Union of B.C.

school. Upon graduation in 2008, he was teamed with Kona, a yellow lab who turns five this year. “Both she and I had to go into training, which was a pretty exhausting thing for an old guy. I was training with two kids that could have been my grandchildren.” Horgen involved himself with the local White Cane Club and became its vicepresident for a number of years. Along with the CNIB board, Horgen was also asked last year to sit on the national research board. “Which is a pretty distinguished board of mainly ophthalmologists and scientists that deal with the eyes. I like to say I’m the token blind scientist, even though I’m not a medical scientist.” Horgen was also elected chair of a community committee seeking national historic status for the Courtenay River estuary and ancient First Nations wood stake fishing trap systems. He has written a song called Our Estuary, recorded at Dove Creek Recording Studios. Mary Murphy sings, and Paul Keim plays guitar and bass. It can be heard at In 2008 Horgen attended the Heart of the Watershed Symposium and became interested in the estuary

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

GUIDE DOG KONA accompanies Paul Horgen wherever he goes, including the Courtenay River Estuary. Municipalities convention in Victoria. The Project Watershed board has appealed to Comox Valley MLA Don McRae to spur the Province’s interest in the project. Through McRae, the board began interacting with the climate action secretariat and the Ministry of



Environment. In August, the Blue Carbon team gave a presentation to Tim Lesiuk, executive director of the Climate Actions Secretariat, who paid a visit to the Valley. “I think we made a very good impression on him,” Horgen said, noting the group took Lesiuk on a boat

tour of the estuary and wound up at the Deep Bay Marine Station. It also put together a research grant proposal with Lesiuk’s assistant. Last month, Horgen addressed representatives from the climate action secretariat, the Education Ministry and the Pacific


Institute for Carbon Solutions at UBCM. The group is now compiling as many proposals as possible to secure funding to launch something major in the next year or so. “That keeps me out of trouble, as my wife says,” Horgen said.

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To help facilitate a successful transfer of ownership for family businesses, many advisers adhere to strict technical, financial, and legal structures that govern succession planning. However, to develop and implement a strong, personalized plan, advisers must also understand the goals of all involved in the transfer — they must understand the “why” behind the succession plan. In order to determine the “why,” an adviser needs to recognize, and remain sensitive to, the interpersonal relationships relevant to the family business. Each family business has unique assets, as well as challenges and personalities that need to be taken into consideration. For example, it’s quite common for family members to make assumptions regarding the transition of management, and this can easily lead to personal conflicts. For that reason, it’s important to establish strong communication channels between business owners and their immediate family members. This maximizes the potential for a successful transition, and minimizes misunderstandings. It can also help quell any suspicions surrounding favouritism or opportunism between family members. A communications strategy may seem like an obvious

requirement for a succession plan, but it is often neglected or overlooked. As part of the communications strategy, an adviser should work with family members to help determine what role they each want to play post-transition, or more importantly, what role they’re best suited to play. Personality profiling systems can be helpful to assess each person’s strengths and interests in relation to the business. This process can also help create realistic expectations about the succession, especially regarding management roles. The next step is a clear, mutually agreed upon delineation of duties and responsibilities. This is an important part of ensuring the business’ future viability, and allows family members to fully contribute to the overall, long-term success of the organization. Having a common goal, and understanding what role each member plays in achieving this goal will facilitate an ease in owner transfer, and strengthen the business’ overall vision and culture. Having a common goal for the future is energizing, and a successful succession plan should inspire the next generation of business owners. Rob Radloff is a chartered accountant and a financial and estate specialist with Covenant Planning Group. Neil Harker is a family transition specialist with the Covenant Planning Group.


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PROVIDES ‘FUN, SOCIAL ENVIRONMENT’ The Evergreen Club has launched into a busy fall season — programs, activities, volunteer opportunities and special events are in abundance! The 2013 Membership Renewal Campaign is in effect and runs until the end of December. Current members can renew early and save $5.60 by purchasing 2013 memberships at the discounted rate of $19 plus HST. Beginning Jan. 1, an Evergreen Club membership will cost $24/person plus HST. And remember, Evergreen members also receive a 25-per-cent discount on program fees. The club provides a fun, social environment to get involved as a volunteer! It needs people to help as committee members, special events convenors, muffin heroes and food service hostess/hosts. For more information on this, and all other items mentioned in this article, call the Florence Filberg Centre at 250-338-1000 or visit

Get your mind and body active with upcoming programs! Evergreen is expanding our computer classes to help you join the information age — sessions are available Monday through Thursday mornings and are listed in Evergreen’s monthly newsletter. For those looking to get active on the courts, badminton runs Monday, Thursday and Fridays (at the Lewis Centre) from 1 – 3 p.m. until Dec. 14. Or try your hand at pickleball, a mini tennis game, on Tuesdays and Thursdays (at the Native Sons Hall) from 2:30 – 4:30 p.m. until Dec. 6.

The fee for both badminton and pickleball sessions is $2.50 for non-members and $1.50 for members. Need some motivation to get active? Have a personal training exercise program designed for you — sign up for a basic consultation in the Lewis Centre weight room — $48 for nonmembers and $36 for members. And there are plenty of special events to look forward to — all are held at the Florence Filberg Centre in Courtenay. Be sure to get your tickets early at the Filberg office. Remember the ‘40s at our second annual birthday party celebration! Oct. 31, noon – 2 Celebrate the ‘40s — come in attire from that era; there will be prizes for best costume. Enjoy a light lunch, birthday cake and entertainment. Annual Christmas bazaar and luncheon Nov. 7, 10:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. Come browse and shop for that special someone — an assortment of items include wooden toys, baking, knitting, Christmas ornaments, crafts, jams, and much more. — Courtenay Recreation

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FSNA ADVOCATES FOR RETIREES FROM FEDERAL GOV’T Call them the National Association of Federal Retirees (NAFR) or call them the Federal Superannuates National Association (FSNA). Either way, for retiring federal public servants, RCMP, military or judges, it’s just a good idea to call them. CECILE AND BILL Turnbull peruse a copy of On Guard, the national FSNA newsletter.

Earle Couper Record Staff Call them the National Association of Federal Retirees (NAFR) or call them the Federal Superannu-

ates National Association (FSNA). Either way, for retiring federal public servants, RCMP, military or judges, it’s just a good idea to call them. The FSNA, operating as the

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NAFR (FSNA), is the largest and most influential advocacy group promoting the interests and protecting the benefits of retired Canadian federal employees. “It is the largest such group

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ers a broad area from Bowser to Port Hardy. Other Island branches are in Duncan, Nanaimo, Sidney and Victoria. Bill Turnbull, health benefits officer of the local branch, says the FSNA was started 49 years ago in Victoria by a retiree named Fred Whitehouse. “There was a concern there was no one representing this group (retired employees and spouses from the Public Service of Canada, the Canadian Forces and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and federal judges). If potentially some government decided to change the rules, pensions or some of the benefits that these people are eligible for, there was no one really to speak for them.” What began as a grassroots movement with branches scattered around the country eventually formed a national office in Ottawa. “Technically we’re a not-forprofit organization dedicated to protecting the rights and enhancing the benefits of retired federal employes, of members primarily,” Cecile stated. “We’re also interested in the plight of veterans, particularly disabled veterans and RCMP, and seniors’ issues in general,” added Bill. “First and foremost (FSNA) is a lobby (or advocacy) organization,” Bill said. “A couple of the members of our Ottawa staff are registered lobbyists.” “We advocate with federal ministers, and because of our numbers they really take notice,” Cecile

The local branch recently donathealth insurance, dental insurance, said. “One hundred and seventy ed $1,000 to the Soldiering On prosomeone has passed on and there’s thousand seniors across Canada gram run by the Vancouver Island a survivor and that person may is a fairly good voice,” she noted of Society of Adaptive Snow Sports, not be in best frame of mind to the FSNA national membership. which each year brings disabled cope, if we can help out ... it’s that “The bureaucrats might not veterans to Mount Washington for sort of thing.” always (take notice) but the politia week of skiing. The cians are much more Cancer Car Project is sensitive to those types another program the of numbers,” Bill said. local FSNA branch sup“As an example, our ports. (local) area of responCecile notes the local sibility pretty much branch will make preencompasses the riding sentations when groups of Vancouver Island hold pre-retirement North — there’s 2,000 seminars. “We show potential votes there the benefits of joining in a riding that tends FSNA, including Affinto swing by a few hunity Programs such as dred.” personal alarm care At the provincial and and rent-a-car dislocal level, the group counts. MEDOC (travel deals with MPs and insurance and home MLAs, with the top The bureaucrats might not always insurance) is one of concern being health (take notice) but the politicians are much our biggest Affinity Procare. grams.” Cecile said the local more sensitive to those types of numbers … The Turnbulls note branch originally operAs an example, our (local) area of responsikeeping in touch with ated for a short period their members is a big of time, then dissolved. bility pretty much encompasses the riding job. “In 1993 it became of Vancouver Island North — there’s 2,000 “Our branch covers a re-established and has large area. A lot of these been going very strong potential votes there in a riding that tends people only get conever since. We have a to swing by a few hundred. tacted through our local very active membernewsletter (Staying in ship here.” — BILL TURNBULL Touch) and On Guard, The volunteer board which is our national of directors meets once The Vancouver Island North newsletter,” Cecile said. “The bulk a month and general memberbranch enjoys giving back to the of our members are here in the ship meetings are held four times community. Valley, but there’s probably just a year plus an AGM. Regular “One of our objectives is, from about as many retirees that aren’t luncheons are popular with the the funds we collect from our mem- members here. That is something members. berships, we like to give donations we would like to try to work on in Bill notes the FSNA fulfills in the area, dealing mostly with the future, is bringing them into many needs. seniors and veterans,” Cecile said. the fold.” “If someone needs assistance,

Bill added that, nationally, about one-third of eligible members are actually members. “That’s probably the same here. That would suggest there would be 6,000 to 7,000 eligible people and we’ve got a little over 2,000.” The best way for those interested in joining the FSNA or seeing what they have to offer can check them out online at either fsna. com or The latter has links to all the Vancouver Island branches, and includes a list of directors of the local branch with their contact information. The newsletter contains a wealth of information; the September issue has an article compiled by Bill on scams that target seniors. Regular items include luncheon news and membership updates. As a volunteer, not-for-profit organization, the local branch has no office space. “Our only fixed asset is a post office box in Comox,” Bill said with a smile, adding that only larger branches such as Ottawa, Vancouver and Montreal operate out of buildings. The Turnbulls have been with FSNA for about eight years. Bill was with the air force and after retiring in Ottawa they grew tired of the snow and headed west. “We’ve been in the Valley since 1999,” Bill said. They note quite a few of their members are retired military. “They either served part of their time here then chose to come back again, or after they did retire they came back on their own.”

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RIGHT NOTES “I’m a retired musician,” exclaimed Lola Snively Betty Donaldson Special to the Record

LOLA SNIVELY is still going strong as a ‘retired’ pianist nearing her 88th birthday. PHOTO BY BETTY DONALDSON

The Happy Gang and The Country Girls & Guys Band members hosted a party, but everyone knew her late blooming “career” as a piano player wasn’t over. Her piano occupies the dining table space in her patio home. When Lola and her second husband moved to Courtenay, it was loaded into the moving truck and carted north. “My grandparents homesteaded in Canada,” (Valparaiso, Sask.), so they wanted to explore her heritage. In 1967, they discovered the Comox Valley and purchased seven acres on Fraser Road for $6,000 before the land boom. His daughter and her son came with them from Oregon. Her married daughter remained in the States and another son has since passed away. Lola was employed as a nurse at St. Joe’s. When Charlie’s health deteriorated, she was his

caregiver until he passed. They were founding members of the Filberg Centre in Courtenay, helping to finance the new building with donations that were matched with a Centennial Grant. In retirement, the Evergreen Seniors Club played an important role in their lives. Lola’s piano-playing career began when she was 72! That’s when she began taking lessons at the Filberg. Her skills peaked at Grade 8 conservatory level, a competency many students envy. Lola sits down, plays a riff, fingers travelling quickly from one end of the keyboard to the other. Then settles into Beethoven’s Bagatelle. To really relax, she plays Bearcat Boogie. “I just like to use the piano for enjoyment, not to be somebody.” Debbie Ross (All Keyed Up Music Lessons) now visits Lola’s home, where adaptive equipment takes up more and more space. “Teaching Lola is fun because she enjoys it so much.” Between 80 and 85, shortterm memory becomes a problem

Early Bird Café Come see what’s cooking! Specializing in fresh homemade Breakfast & Lunch! Check Out Our Seniors Menu!

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but that “doesn’t mean we don’t know what’s going on.” For years she was a Driftwood Mall Stroller but getting there is too difficult now. She doesn’t knit afghans much any more either. “Someone once told me, ‘When you wake up in the morning say: I woke up today. I have one more day and I’m going to be happy.’ ” However, one challenge is the passage of friends. Each year, there are fewer people with shared memories. “It gets lonely.” Music influences the quality of life for seniors. It forces more brain activity, maintains physical mobility, and provides intellectual challenges. Most importantly, it evokes the mysteries and pleasures of life. When Lola ripples out some tunes on her piano, listens to Tchaikovsky via CD, or shares a few appreciative hours with friends, music enriches her life. Lola handles aging very well. She retired from the hospital 28 years ago, so her retirement musical career has been substantive. It’s her 88th birthday Dec. 28.



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S be Cham SINE LL BU SMA HE YEAR OF T 010 2 Record Staff Comox Valley ElderCollege will host a Third Age Learning (TAL) Conference this spring. The conference, called The Wonder Full Years: A Conference on Third Age Learning, will run from May 9 to 11, and is designed to attract leaders of TAL and stand-alone programs, as well as potential new programs, according to Comox Valley ElderCollege vicechair and conference chair Ilona Horgen. She adds there’s a few reasons why Comox Valley ElderCollege is pleased to host the conference. “It’s a recognition that Comox Valley ElderCollege is perhaps one of the older and well established — I mean it has approximately 800 members, which is really quite large for this area,” says Horgen. “I think it also emphasizes the relationship between North Island College and ElderCollege, and I think that’s positive. And hopefully, it’ll bring some people to visit the Comox Valley and perhaps incorporate it into their vacation plans.” Horgen notes there was a TAL conference in May 2011 at Capilano University in Vancouver. At the end of that conference, attendees started talking about


ELDERCOLLEGE and learning. Horgen expects 120 to 150 people will attend the conference. Friday, May 10 kicks off with the keynote speech in the morning, by none other than well-known B.C. funnyman Arthur Black. After that, attendees will

whether they should hold another one, and if so, where it should be. Comox Valley ElderCollege volunteered to be a host. The conference has four main objectives: • To give leaders of TAL programs an opportunity to meet and to learn from peers

It’s a recognition that Comox Valley ❝ ElderCollege is perhaps one of the older and well established — I mean it has approximately 800 members, which is really quite large for this area. — ILONA HORGEN

about similar activities in B.C., surrounding areas and other jurisdictions; • To build a network to facilitate ongoing sharing, communication and collaboration for new and established programs; • To facilitate collaboration between programs and to explore how information and resources can be shared; • To enhance the understanding between health

head into smaller discussion group sessions. Horgen notes the sessions will be based on four themes of interest: • Organizational development and resource-sharing for new and established groups; • Curriculum ideas; • Networking with each other; • Connection between health and learning. Horgen points out the

idea of health and learning is one reason Comox Valley ElderCollege members take courses, according to a recent survey of members. “One (reason) is certainly to gain more information and have that intellectual interaction,” she explains. “But there’s also a great interest in the socialization, and that’s particularly amongst our older members, and we all know how important it is to stay active, be around people, that type of thing.” She adds the Comox Valley is lucky to have so many people willing to teach courses — for free. Not all ElderCollege models are the same. Horgen notes even ElderColleges at other North Island College campuses have differing models, which is part of the reason the conference between TAL leaders is so important — because they can learn from each other. For more information about the conference or to register, e-mail and write ‘interested’ in the subject line. For more information on courses, lectures and membership to ElderCollege, call 250-334-5000 or visit www. ElderCollege lectures and courses are open to people aged 55 and older.

Series exploring music Comox Valley ElderCollege is exploring music in the Comox Valley by featuring musicians and their music in the Saturday morning lecture series. It happens Saturdays at 10 a.m. at the Stan Hagen Theatre at the Courtenay campus of North Island College. The next one will happen on Oct. 20. Other lecture dates are: Oct. 27, Nov. 3, Nov. 17, Nov. 24 and Dec. 1. There is no lecture Nov. 10 on the Remembrance Day weekend. This series highlights many different genres of music. Each performer or group will talk about their particular experience of music, with stories about how they got started and why they do what they do. Most MUSICIAN JENN FORSLAND presentations feature is one of the presenters in a musical perforElderCollege’s Saturday Fall mance. Lecture Series. The series includes: The Art of Choral Conducting with Jenn Forsland; My Life in Music with Doug Cox (Vancouver Island MusicFest); Music is a Jealous Mistress with pianist Sarah Hagen; Jazz is a Silly Word with Rick Husband and Dale Graham; the Strathcona Symphony Orchestra with Pippa Williams; the History of CYMC – Comox Valley Youth Music Centre presented by Lindsey Sterk, Lori Mazey and Diane Maxtead. Seats are still available for the remaining seven Saturday lectures. For more information, call 250-3345000 or visit — Comox Valley ElderCollege

EXCITING NEW THINGS ARE HAPPENING! Come see what it’s all about We are branching out!

1782B Comox Ave. • 250-339-5050 •


Wednesday, October 17, 2012





A report recently released by Alzheimer’s Disease International during World Alzheimer’s Month, put a spotlight on stigma as a real issue that impacts individuals and families who are living with the heartbreaking illness. In their global survey, findings indicated that 75 per cent of people with dementia feel there is a negative association with the disease. Forty per cent of respondents living with Alzheimer’s disease reported being treated negatively, including loss of friends and isolation. One in four cited stigma as a reason to conceal their diagnosis from others. But the Alzheimer Society of B.C. wants British Columbians to know that there is hope. “There are ways of overcoming stigma and by doing so we can all better support families on the dementia journey and work with decision-makers,”

explains Jean Blake, CEO, Alzheimer Society of B.C. “Isolation and stigma does not have to be a part of the journey if we are reach out, connect, and break down the barriers of stigma.” The Society, which has a North and Central Island Resource Centre, provides support groups and social programs like Minds in Motion that can help to reduce isolation often experienced by people with dementia. Minds in Motion is a fitness and social program for people experiencing early stage memory loss due to Alzheimer’s disease or another dementia and a friend, family member or care partner. A certified fitness instructor conducts the fitness portion of the program. “Minds in Motion is a great opportunity to meet others who are on the similar dementia journey, while having fun and getting

some exercise,” explains Tina Biello, First Link co-ordinator at the North and Central Vancouver Island Resource Centre for the Alzheimer Society of B.C. “It’s in a central location at the Filberg Centre and can help with those who may be concerned or struggling with isolation and need to get out and meet new people in a nonthreatening environment. It is one of the most popular programs we offer.” There are two Minds in Motion programs available in Courtenay taking place at the Filberg Centre on Wednesdays. Registration is required and can be done by calling The Filberg Centre at 250338-1000. Learn more at www. or by calling the local North and Central Vancouver Island Resource Centre at 250-734-4170 or toll free 1-800-432-2833. — Alzheimer Society of B.C.

Funeral Planning Introducing Rosemarie Clark Certified Pre-arrangement Counselor Piercy’s-Mt. Washington Funeral Home Rosemarie’s passionate, resultsdriven service attitude has been key in developing relationships with integrity and respect. She comes to us with 10 years experience with First Memorial Funeral Services, Victoria.


Are you 55 years or older? Then come join us at ElderCollege, your active seniors’ learning community in the Comox Valley. WWW.NIC.BC.CA

Rosemarie invites you to call her for your complimentary “Personal Rosemarie Clark Family Service Advisor Planning Guide” and if you are a member of a group or service organization and are searching for a dynamic speaker for a 15-minute presentation on “Dying to know before you go” please call 250-334-4464. A door prize and cake will be offered for participants.

LET’S GET STARTED! Over 50 courses are offered each term: Learn about digital photography, iPad, world religions, T’ai Chi, film and politics, Spanish, The Joy of Beer, scenic hikes, and so much more. Search courses online: Or pick up our newsletter at North Island College.

Call 250-334-5000 ext 4602 or email



Wednesday, October 17, 2012




KEEPING UP WITH THE SEASONS Celebrating Oktoberfest one of the diversions available to residents With the season of autumn arrives the joy of a new variety of activities of interest at Comox Valley Seniors Village and Casa Loma. To keep busy and entertained as the leaves change colour outside in the gardens, the staff and residents have been heading out to explore and enjoy theatre productions, dinners at local restaurants, shopping and museums. If the residents prefer to stay close to home, they partake in the fitness classes, baking, arts and crafts or their movie choices in our theatres. Oom-pah! October brings Oktoberfest. Residents, friends, family members and invited guests share in the festivities with German tastes and entertainment. Once everyone has had a few days to reflect on the fun they had at Oktoberfest — it is time to get busy creating costumes for the Hal-

To keep busy ❝ and entertained as the leaves change colour outside in the gardens, the staff and residents have been heading out to explore and enjoy theatre productions, dinners at local restaurants, shopping and museums.

loween masquerade party. It is a good thing there are some craft classes and tea parties in between to help get the creative flair going and time share ideas on what to dress up as. To share the campus fun with other seniors, Comox Valley Seniors’ Village and Casa Loma have teamed up for the next two months with Delaney Relocation Services. If you hire Delaney’s team of professionals, they will to take care of you

or your loved one’s move to our campus and Comox Valley Seniors’ Village and Casa Loma will pick up the tab (up to $2,900 within the Comox Valley and $3,600 from elsewhere on the Island). Want to be all moved in, unpacked and set up by supper time on move day? Delaney is excited about working with Comox Valley Seniors’ Village and Casa Loma. Call Anne Delaney at 250-334-9922 for move details. The folks at Comox Valley Seniors’ Village and Casa Loma are always welcoming visitors who would like to explore options and find what living on the campus is like. The staff encourage you or your loved ones to call 250-331-4104 for more information and/or to book a personal visit appointment. — Comox Valley Seniors’ Village and Casa Loma

Comox Valley’s First Personalized Service for Seniors


Pearl Ellis Gallery in Comox presents: GALLERY EVENTS Oct. 23 – Nov. 10: “Showcase 2012” Presented by: Comox Valley Camera Club Opening Reception - Saturday Evening, Oct. 27....7-9pm

Sun., Nov. 4: Annual General Meeting 1:00 PM in the old gallery location next door to the LIONS DEN

Nov. 13 – Dec. 2: Brushworks Show & Sale Meet & Greet – Saturday, Nov. 17 – 1-4pm

Dec. 4 – 23: Pearl Ellis Gallery Fundraiser Show & Sale Opening Reception – Saturday, Dec. 8 – 1-4pm



Tuesday to Saturday from 10am until 4pm Sundays 1pm until 4pm

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LEARNING SPECIALIST ARABELLA Benson shares the d’Esterre dance floor with Eric Lam and members of the Comox Seniors’ Association.

The Comox by the Sea ‘gem’ Like a magnet, Comox by the Sea continues to draw awestruck visitors and locals to this Eden of boundless beauty. A little gem, with breath-taking ocean views, d’Esterre House emerges more splendidly each year. Arabella Benson Special to the Record

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Fresh from its brilliant ballroom renovation, the rest of the building is undergoing a complete renovation. The dining room is lighter and brighter, with classy closets and new carpet, still open to the stunning views. The building seems to be growing younger yearly, with its update of class and glass, the rest of the building following suit. If you haven’t visited this gem, you’ll discover its appeal for rental for your meeting or celebration or a stomping ground close to home. But even better than the building is what people do in it. It is not an “old folks’ centre” — it’s a haven of activities for the young at heart — 55, 95 or a half century younger; where lifelong learners get new skills, or simply enjoy activities with kindred spirits. Over 50 offerings weekly speak of the variety offered: Fitness, Euchre, Woodworking, Table tennis, Craft, Bingo, Mah jongg, Bridge, Whist, Line dancing, Singing, Celtic dancing, Tai Chi, Crib, Quilting, Conversational Spanish, Soapstone Carving, Carpet Bowling, Painting, Ceramics, Weights, Stained Glass, even Belly Dancing. Then there are the Brain Boosters programs whose variety appeals to all ages. Its Nia program is fun and funky, yoga classes have a waiting list, dance lessons are customized to student needs and monthly

Sunday dances continue to attract all styles of dancers. In November, there is Yoga for Digestion and Food to Boost your Brain. For winter months, plans are in place for Alexander Technique, Enhancing Your Vision Naturally and an 18-day cruise on Cunard’s luxurious Queen Elizabeth offering a myriad of activities, and access to food 24/7. There is Christmas dinner, a wonderful time to share the spirit of the season when loved ones are away. Some take their whole family to celebrate at d’Esterre where, for a nominal sum, they can enjoy the celebrations without having to spend all day preparing the Christmas meal. The original feisty seniors who moved Heaven and Earth to make 1801 Beaufort Ave. their home would be proud of the Comox Seniors Association’s excellent caretaking, with contributions from the Town of Comox, Rotary and individuals who love and support d’Esterre. If you haven’t discovered this gem yet, call 250-339-5133, or visit Get the current newsletter listing events and activities. Better still, come to d’Esterre House between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. weekdays. Will Rogers said, “Strangers are friends you haven’t met yet.” Such friends will be waiting for you at d’Esterre House, this lovely gem of Comox by the Sea.

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Wednesday, October 17, 2012



your aging parents, spouse or yourself, it’s a safe bet to know that the unexpected will happen. Here’s some advice: • Start now. Don’t wait for a crisis to happen. • Build your support team. Start talking about it with your spouse or partner so they understand the type of demands that may be placed on you and the family in the coming months and years. • Bring your siblings on board. Be sure you are all

Special to the Record The buzzing topic at dinner parties, water cooler breaks and evening trail runs is elder care. Although day care and Montessori are still high on the list, dealing with aging relatives is today’s talk of the town. The growth of our Canadian aging population was modest until last year when the first Canadian baby boomers turned 65. This simple statistic has staggering and complex implications for not only boomers but successive generations on how society is going to deal with the planning and caring for their aging loved ones. Regardless of whether you are a boomer, zoomer or in the Sandwich Generation, most of the time individuals are completely caught off guard about being a caregiver. Many boomers are entering retirement only to find themselves caring for their spouses or aging relatives while the Sandwich Generation is dealing with growing families and failing parents. Unlike having a baby or preparing for a marathon,

caregiving often happens with no warning, leaving families completely unprepared physically, financially or emotionally. What’s even more astounding for individuals 50 and older is the likelihood of them having to kick in to help finance their aging loved one’s care. It can be anywhere from $5,000 to $50,000 per year! This caregiving crisis isn’t on most people’s radar. It tends to simmer on the back burner when it should be on the front burner setting off the smoke alarm. But caregiving isn’t all

doom and gloom. Being a caregiver to a spouse or aging loved one can be a beautiful human experience and gift to each other. Where it falls apart is when families haven’t made time to clarify expectations around care, be it the care recipient or those giving care. Or worse, families make assumptions about what type of care Mom needs and Mom is thinking she wants something completely different. Although there is no crystal ball to predict the lifespan and well-being of

aware of the choices you may have to make and agree on how those decisions will be made and who is responsible for each of the designated areas. Even siblings who are far away may have strong feelings about certain things. • Understand what your aging loved one wants. Get a better idea of how much independence they want to preserve and for how long. • Ask parents or spouses how they feel about accepting help as well as how they

want to be cared for. Do they want you to visit daily? Would they accept having a private provider come into their home? Will they ask for help or do they feel too uncomfortable asking? How do they feel about having family checking their bills? Wendy Johnstone is the founder of Solutions for Seniors Eldercare Planning. Her Sandwich Generation column runs every second Friday in the Comox Valley Record.

Be HEALTHY with us! Register now for fall programs

Courtenay Recreation Lewis Centre 250-338-5371

The LINC 250-334-8138

Filberg Centre 250-338-1000



Wednesday, October 17, 2012

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Erin Haluschak Record Staff

She knew she wanted to focus on helping others, and four years ago Patricia Edgar turned her idea into reality — and into her business. Edgar is the entrepreneur behind Caring For You Today, a Comox Valley-based senior care service, which also includes a wheelchair van service and complete household management, for families or individuals of any age. “My goal is to help people age comfortably and safely in their own home,” explained Edgar, who moved to the Island from Vancouver after years of owning her own business. “I wanted to set up something that offers the best care possible and that’s affordable.” Edgar is available seven days a week for senior services, which include rides, compan-

When you think “Mortgage” think “The Mortgage Centre”

ionship, medical advocacy and social outings. She also is available for other services such as grocery shopping, light housekeeping and accessible transport within and beyond the Comox Valley. Edgar said she has come from a long line of health professionals, as her dad was a doctor, along with other relatives who are nurses. She noted she considered returning to college to enter nursing, but decided to focus her strengths on starting her company. Edgar is entering her third year of operating Caring For You Today, and recently hired a care aide to assist. Edgar hopes as the business grows, she will be able to employ other caregivers such as nurses or drivers. For more information about Caring For You Today, call Patricia Edgar at 250-8717270, e-mail or visit

Visit our booth at the Berwick 50+ Expo on Sunday, October 21 at the Filberg Centre.

Come & Meet Special Guests:

Your GO TO place for Mortgage g g Information

Kees Hendricks: CHIP Representative

Did you know CHIP is available to any homeowner who is at least 55 years old? It is very easy to qualify and no payments are required as long as you remain in your home.

Trevor Cook:

Comox Valley

Seniors’ Investment/Insurance Specialist

108-2100 Guthrie Road, Comox Phone (250) 898-8821 •

Can’t make the show?

Private appointments with either Kees or Trevor can be made through our office.

Each Mortgage Centre is independently owned and operated

Angela Zumbo BBA, AMP

Gary Snider

Amanda Jacobson



THE NEWLY NAMED Gardens on Anderton hosted a series of music concerts this year (left) and also has a labyrinth.


Erin Haluschak Record Staff It’s a place to relax, a place to walk, a place to grow vegetables and a place to get hands dirty. The Gardens on Anderton is a two-acre property that provides a unique experience for everyone, explained Len Landry, president of the Anderton Therapeutic Gardens board. “Anyone can come out and take part in a garden or enjoy them,” he said. The gardens began in 1997 when founding members Joy and Bill Georgeson leased the farmland behind Anderton Nursery out toward the Little River ferry terminal. The property was transformed over the years with the help of members, who created a setting featuring an array of beautiful garden spaces. “The space is filling up slowly over the years,” explained Landry, who added there are currently

100 to 110 members who help with some of the manual labour duties. In addition to the variety of flowers and displays, the property features a butterfly garden with many species of Island butterflies, and an apiary of honeybees, owned and maintained by a volunteer. There is also a meditation garden and labyrinth, as well as a rose garden that features more than 30 species of the flower. For those who want to grow a garden, there are 36 allotment plots available to rent for a nominal fee. “It’s a real social group who meet once or twice a week. It’s not just gardening either,” Landry explained, adding there are presentations and other meetings. The Green Thumb Program has no age limit, and Landry said people gain overall wellness from “being in the garden, with their hands in the soil, enjoying their surroundings. It’s a great program to grow

the community, friendship, and make new connections, especially for those new to the Valley or living in apartments. This year, said Landry, the board has began a name change for the gardens proper from the Anderton Therapeutic Gardens to The Gardens on Anderton. Although the gardens are closed for the season (from May to September, they are open seven days a week, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.), Laundry explained The Anderton Therapeutic Gardens will host their annual Christmas House Tour, which is entering its fifth year. He added it is a major fundraiser for the society, which allows the public to view designer-decorated homes from Nov. 23 to 25. The Gardens on Anderton are located at 2012 Anderton Road. For more information, visit, or call 250-7024186.

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Wednesday, October 17, 2012


Come visit our booth this weekend!


October 17, 2012  

Section Y of the October 17, 2012 edition of the Comox Valley Record