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Senior CALGARY

February 2014

“Heart of the New West” - Your Senior Connection

Volume 12, No. 2

IN THE FAST LANE

A group of Silvera for Seniors’ residents recently took their race machines to Shawnessy Community takes the controls in this friendly competition of speed and skill. Photo by Silvera for Seniors

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Seniors demand meeting with Redford

Potential changes in drug coverage spark concern

By Colin F. Smith The occupation by a group of seniors of Alberta Health Minister Fred Horne’s constituency office last month was a partial success, according to organizer Noel Somerville. The office in Edmonton was taken over January 16 by a number of seniors in protest against potential changes to seniors’ drug coverage. They demanded a meeting with Horne and Premier Alison Redford over their concerns that the government is planning to get rid the current program in favour of a meanstested system. The seniors, from a number of organizations that make up the Seniors Task Force of Public Interest Alberta, were promised a February 13 meeting with Horne. Several vowed to stay in the office until Redford also agreed to a meeting, but left about 12:40 a.m. the next morning after a request by police. “Alison Redford met with many of the seniors groups, including Public Interest Alberta when she was running for leader of the PC Party, and she has clearly said that her government would not cut or change the current seniors drug plan,” said Noel Somerville, chairperson of the Seniors’ Task Force of Public Interest Alberta. “We will have the meeting with Minister Fred Horne that he only agreed to because of our sit-in, but to say we are disappointed in the premier is an understatement.” The Seniors Task Force first sought a meeting last September when they sent Horne a copy of the PharmaCare position paper they’d developed. A number of follow-up phone messages did not receive any response. The issue, as task force members see it, is a government plan to plan to replace the current seniors drug coverage with a means-tested plan, despite earlier committing not to do so. They point to the announcement in the March 2013-2014 budget of a new seniors’ drug plan expected to save the government $180 million in following years. Implementation of the

plan was later postponed. “If the Redford government is getting rid of the current universal seniors’ drug plan and replacing it with an income-based system, where seniors above a yet to be announced low-income threshold are expected to pay 100 per cent of the cost of their drugs, then that can only be described as a cut in seniors benefits,” said Somerville. According to Horne, however, it is inaccurate to say that the government is cutting seniors’ benefits. “I would like to correct the record,” he said. “At no time have we indicated we would cut benefits, and to suggest so is misleading.” Somerville remains unconvinced. “If, as the minister states, ‘this initiative is not to cut benefits or costs as has been suggested’ then why does the provincial budget say ‘the new PharmaCare program is expected to generate $45 million in savings in 2013‑14 and annual savings of $180 million beginning in 2014‑15?” he commented. The taskforce has a number of questions that its members need to be addressed: What will need to be cut to save $180 million when the population of seniors is growing and the price of drugs is increasing? Who will not be covered in order to make these savings a reality? What drugs will be covered and will the list of available drugs under the PharmaCare plan be cut further? They are also concerned about closed-door consultations that may be going on with industry and the fact that public or seniors groups have not been asked to participate. “The Minister also states that, “a number of stakeholder groups contacted my ministry and MLA colleagues requesting that more time be allocated for consultation prior to implementing a new plan.” They are seeking the minister’s explanations about: Who approached him to ask for more time to implement the new drug plan? See DEMAND, Page 5

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2 February 2014, CALGARY SENIOR

Amnesty Love of animals advocates for leads to wildlife Canadians volunteer role wrongly jailed abroad

Hamid Ghassemi-Shall is greeted by his wife on his return to Canada. Credit: News Canada photo

(NC) -- Hamid Ghassemi-Shall spent five-and-a-half years in Iran’s notorious Evin prison on charges of espionage, and faced the death penalty. He was released from prison on September 23 and returned to Canada on October 10. Throughout the time that Ghassemi-Shall was detained, members of the human rights organization Amnesty International (amnesty. ca) wrote hundreds of letters and signed tens of thousands of petitions and post cards, calling on the Iranian authorities for his release. Ghassemi-Shall’s return to Canada gave human rights supporters reason to celebrate. In his darkest moment, he said that his hope was renewed knowing that his wife in Canada and family in Iran were doing everything possible to ensure that his nightmare would come to an end. While this one man is home, thousands of others remain behind bars in Iran, including Abdolfattah Soltani, a human rights lawyer and Saeed Malekpour, a Canadian permanent resident. Saeed Malekpour was originally sentenced to death after a webbased program he developed was used by others to post pornographic images to the Internet. He has reported being tortured while held in solitary confinement in Evin prison. His death sentence was later reduced to life imprisonment.

Amnesty International is calling for his unconditional release if he is being held solely for the creation of his web-based program. Amnesty International continues to campaign on behalf of other Canadian citizens who remain imprisoned abroad following unfair trials, including Huseyin Celil and Bashir Makhtal. Huseyin Celil is an indigenous Uighur from the Xinjiang Uighur autonomous region of the People’s Republic of China. In 2006, while visiting his wife’s family in Uzbekistan, he was detained by Uzbek police and deported to China without the consent of the Canadian government. Mr. Celil was sentenced to life imprisonment following an unfair trial because he advocated for democratic and religious rights for Uighur Muslims in China. His wife and children live in Hamilton, Ontario. Canadian citizen Bashir Makhtal, imprisoned in Ethiopia, also hopes that someday he will be able to come home to Canada. Bashir Makhtal was arrested in Kenya in 2006 and illegally transferred to Ethiopia. He was held in secret detention, with no access to lawyers, family, or Canadian consular officials. Eventually he was accused of providing support to an armed group, the Ogaden National Liberation Front and sentenced to life imprisonment after an unfair trial in 2009.

By Jane Milburn “I love to see children get excited Dr. Gayleen Jorgensen is a mem- about wild life and start to care. ber of the Calgary Wild Life Reha- Unless people have connections, bilitation Society, a non-profit char- they are never going to care and it itable organization that rescues and makes a big difference if they are rehabilitates orphaned and injured really close to a creature. It is not wildlife and provides outreach and the same as seeing it on television. education services. They need to be introduced to birds, She volunteers at the society’s reptiles, mammals, insects and wildlife centre, which treats wild arachnids.” birds and small mammals. Following the zoo, Jorgensen Jorgensen has been interested in moved to the wildlife centre. Here the natural world for all her life. she lectures to groups of children “I always loved animals,” she said. and seniors, interpreting animal “All my relatives lived on farms and life and behaviour. as soon as we arrived I was out the “Volunteering at the wildlife cencar and into the barns, gathering tre has been very instructive for up every kitten I could find and I me as I knew more about African would come back with armfuls of wild life, than I knew about Alberta creatures.” wild life, which She became an is fascinating,” avid bird watcher she said. “I have and has look at handled perebirds all over the grine falcons and world. snowy owls and “Probably my foxes, and really absolute favorite learned about Albird is the penberta wild life. guin. One of my “Many city goals is to see all dwellers will not eighteen species, ever see Canain the wild. Curdian wildlife, rently I have seen except perhaps twelve species. It when they may does not count if occasionally spot you see then in a coyote, but not captivity. Only realize how very five species are to important they be found in Antare to the whole Gayleen Jorgensen shows off a arctica but you ecosystem. tarantula spider. also have to go She feels that to the Galapagos, South America, families to be provided with an opAfrica, New Zealand and the sub- portunity to interact with the aniAntarctic islands.” mals so they can learn to appreciate “Penguins are fascinated by tri- the co-inhabitants of our environpods” and most have no fear of hu- ment. mans,” she added. “They will walk “Every creature has an important right to you and study you, stand- role, and an important job to do in ing up right looking very human. this world. You must respect them They are so comical.” as they can be dangerous, but value “I fell in love with spiders!” she the role they play in the ecosystem, said. “I was in the Amazon and along with valuing clean air and there was a tarantula that lived in water. “That is why I like educathe rafters and the guide got it down tion, for by connecting children with with a stick and I asked a couple of one animal I can teach children the questions. ‘If it bites me will I die?’ relationship of all life.” ‘No!’ ‘If it bites me will I get really As part of its ongoing work, the sick?’ ‘No!’ So I put my arm out and society has rescued ducks, geese it walked up my arm, and around and fauns endangered by last year’s my neck, and down my back.” flood. “Tarantulas are really gentle and “We receive no direct governthey will not bite you unless you ment funding and have very little hurt them,” she remarked. “I am on overhead,” Jorgensen said. “Every the side of creatures that get a bad donation received has a direct and rap that is really unjustifiable.” meaningful impact on the care that Jorgensen started off working we can give our animal patients. with wildlife as a volunteer at the Further information about the soCalgary Zoo, where she was an edu- ciety is available at http://calgarycational docent for 13 years. wildlife.org.


CALGARY SENIOR, February 2014 3

A BLAST FROM THE PAST

Cars of the Big and Small Screen is an exhibition of iconic movie and television cars of the last 50 years taking place at Heritage Park’s Gasoline Alley. Among the 10 vehicles is a Ferrari featured in the 1980s TV series Magnum P.I., modified to fit star Tom Selleck’s six-foot four-inch frame. The car is displayed courtesy of Wayne Sharp. This is the first exhibition of Heritage Park’s 50th anniversary year and runs until April 21. (inset) Among the 10 vehicles is Fred Flintstone’s car from The Flintstones TV cartoon series. The vehicle is displayed courtesy of Jay Ohrberg’s Hollywood Cars. Supplied by Heritage Park

Pension changes not needed to ensure plan health: study

(Staff) -- Alberta’s largest publicsector pension plans are healthy and on the way to returning to fully funded status, a recent actuarial study has found. The report from actuaries at Vancouver-based George & Bell Consulting indicates that the two biggest plans, the Local Authorities Pension Plan and the Public Service Pension Plan are sustainable and healthy over the long-term without any changes. The George & Bell study was commissioned by a coalition of unions and associations that have members in the plans. Union leaders say it refutes arguments used by the Redford government to justify its plan to roll back pensions covering about 300,000 public-sector workers and pensioners in Alberta. “Despite all heated rhetoric that the government has been using to justify their slash-and-burn plan for pensions, the reality is that there is no crisis,” said Guy Smith, president of the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees. “Our pension plans are healthy. In fact, they’re on track to getting even healthier without mak-

ing any major changes.” In the fall, provincial Finance Minister Doug Horner announced that major changes would be made to Alberta’s public-sector pension plans. Legislation to be brought in the spring of 2014 would allow him to eliminate guaranteed cost-of-living adjustments and all early retirement incentives for workers. The proposed changes would slash the value of pensions earned by Alberta public-sector workers by 25 per cent or more on benefits earned after January 1, 2016, according to union figures. Horner justified the changes as necessary to ensure the sustainability of Alberta’s pension plans. “Where’s the government’s evidence?” asked Marle Roberts, president of the Alberta Division of the Canadian Union of Public Employees. “We’ve commissioned an independent actuarial study showing that Alberta pension plans are healthy and getting healthier, even without cuts or changes. Why hasn’t the government released its own actuarial study? Could it be that their actuary came to the same conclusion as the actuaries at George & Bell?”

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The George & Bell study concludes that, under the most likely economic scenario and with no major changes to benefits, both the Local Authorities Pension Plan and Public Service Pension Plan will return to fully funded status within nine years. The total costs of the plans are also expected to drop. Costs for the Local Authorities plan will drop to the equivalent of 20 per cent of payroll (split between employers and employees) and costs for the Public Service plan will drop to 16 per cent (also split between employers and employees). In the most pessimistic scenarios, the plans would still dramatically improve their funding status and keep costs under control, without resorting benefit cuts. “These pension plans are the cornerstone of retirement security for hundreds of thousands of Albertans,” declared Gil McGowan, president of the Alberta Federation of Labour. “If the government is going to unilaterally undermine that security, then they had better have a damn good reason. What this study shows is that the government hasn’t man-

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aged to get its facts straight. They’ve failed to make the case for the big rollbacks they’re proposing.” Heather Smith, president of the United Nurses of Alberta, described the government’s planned pension cuts as “unjustified, unfair and reckless.” “In the name of sustainability, they’re actually going to make the plans less sustainable by tying the hands of the people who manage the plans and undermining the confidence of the workers and employers who participate in the plans,” she said. The coalition that commissioned the study includes the Alberta Federation of Labour, the Alberta Fire Fighters Association, the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees, the Amalgamated Transit Union, the Canadian Union of Public Employees, the Health Sciences Association of Alberta, the United Nurses of Alberta and a number of smaller unions. The study was submitted to the finance minister in support of a brief from the coalition opposing the government’s proposal to make major changes to the pension plans.

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4 February 2014, CALGARY SENIOR

Digest

Silvera for Seniors holding second annual games Move over Sochi, in addition to the Winter Olympics there is also some major competition taking place in Calgary this month, as Silvera For Seniors stages the second annual Silvera Games. The games take place at Silvera’s Spruce Community on February 19, with opening ceremonies. Participants from the senior housing provider’s 20 communities will compete in bean bags, bowling, shuffleboard, and synchronized walk/dance, while roller ball will played as a demonstration sport. Closing ceremonies will take place at 1:45 p.m. Program workers move The government employees who administer the Alberta Seniors Benefit, Seniors Property Tax Deferral and Special Needs Assistance programs are changing departments. Affected are about 100 people working in the Seniors Financial Assistance and Seniors Supplementary Support branches, which will now be part of the Human Services department rather than Health. The aim of the measure is to consolidate financial support programs at Human Services, which administers AISH, income supports and child benefits. The changeover is expected to be complete by the end of the government’s fiscal year, March 31.

Seniors and technology Most Canadian aged 68 and older now own a cellphone but only much number of them have a smartphone. According to a report by Media Technology Monitor based on surveys done last year, 61 per cent of these seniors had a cellphone, while 13 per cent used a smartphone, About 12 per cent of those polled had a tablet, most commonly an iPad. Some 17 per cent of the seniors said they sent text messages and 23 per cent said they use social media, of whom about 87 per cent were on Facebook. Benefits increase Benefit rates for the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) and Old Age Security (OAS) increased on January 1. CPP benefits will increase by 0.9 per cent for those already receiving CPP benefits, Employment and Social Development announced. The maximum CPP retirement benefit for new recipients will increase from $1,012.50 to $1,038.33 per month. Rates are reviewed annually. OAS benefits, which consist of the basic OAS pension, the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) and the Allowances, will increase by 0.1 percent. OAS payments are also based on the CPI, but

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are reviewed quarterly, in January, April, July and October, and revised as required to reflect increases in the cost of living as measured by the Consumer Price Index. The maximum basic OAS pension will increase from $550.99 to $551.54 per month. For further information see the Employment and Social Development Canada website at www.hrsdc.gc.ca. Family member immigration Applications to allow parents and grandparents to immigrate to Canada can once be made following the relaunch of the program aimed at family reunification at the beginning of the year. Applications under the program had been suspended since 2011, while Citizenship and Immigration Canada worked to clear a backlog. The new Parent and Grandparent program will have tighter admission criteria and a cap on applications. For further information see www.cic.gc.ca. Canada-Norway agreement A revised agreement on social security between Canada and the Kingdom of Norway has come into force. The agreement help seniors, people with disabilities and survivors to qualify for pensions from Canada and Norway based on their affiliation to each country’s pension system. Periods of residence in Norway after 1936 and prior to 1967 can now be considered for Norwegian pensions granted prior to 1991, so Norwegian pensioners residing in Canada are encouraged to request a pension recalculation if their pension was granted before that date. Age-friendly BC Twenty-six communities throughout British Columbia will receive provincial government Age-friendly BC grants in 2014. The grants will go to support programs aimed at helping older adults to stay mobile, physically active and healthy, with a particular emphasis on elder abuse prevention, dementia care and non-medical home support. Quebec health report In Quebec, 84 per cent of people aged 65 and over not living in an institution reported having a chronic health condition. However, the majority (60%) of seniors in the province consider themselves to be in excellent or very good health when they compare themselves with other people of their age. The information comes from a statistical report by released today by the Quebec Institute of Statistics (Institut de la statistique du Québec). The aim of this report is to document the needs of Québec’s seniors as well as their use of services based on their health status.

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CALGARY SENIOR, February 2014 5

Canadians support palliative care but need more info (CNW) -- Nearly every Canadian believes that hospice palliative and end-of-life care are critical and should be available to anyone in need, but most do not know what services are available - or how to access them. A new Harris/Decima survey reveals that while the vast majority of Canadians support hospice palliative care, and integrating services as early as possible for people who are critically ill or aging, there remain many barriers to connecting people with those programs and services across the country. “We know that introducing a broad range of palliative services earlier to people who are very ill, aging, or frail improves quality of life for people to live well until they die. It also provides a sense of control and reduces stress for the family,” says Sharon Baxter, executive director of the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association. “But most Canadians don’t know what services are available -- or that these services are available to people living at home. Given we are all living longer, often with chronic illness, this needs to change.” The Harris/Decima survey was conducted for The Way Forward, a three year nation-wide initiative that is working with healthcare professionals and governments to integrate high quality hospice palliative care earlier into the ongoing care of Canadians with serious life-limiting illness. The Harris/Decima survey identified five main findings: There is nearly unanimous support among Canadians for hospice palliative care (96%), with the vast majority believing it has a positive impact in reducing stress and the burden on the family (93%) and im-

DEMAND

From Page 1 How he claimed that they are holding consultations when they have never clarified the exact thresholds and details of the plan? If there have been consultations, who have they been consulting and when have these meetings taken place? “We know the lobby group for the insurance industry has communicated with him and said they would not be able to implement any changes within twelve to eighteen months,” said Sandra Azocar, executive director of Friends of Medicare. “So we wonder if this is who the minister is referring to when he says people have asked for the new plan to be delayed. “The minister needs to say who else he is listening to because it is certainly not the seniors of Alberta,”

proving quality of life (94%). Most Canadians (87%) believe that a palliative approach to care should be available early on in the course of a disease and most (94%) believe it should include all of their care providers -- whether a family physician and nurse, a disease specialist and other health professionals. Nearly all Canadians (93%) believe palliative care services should be available in the setting of their choice (e.g., home, long-term care, hospital) but less than half (49%) are aware they can access these services outside of a hospital, hospice or facility and relatively few (21%) report having any personal experience with palliative care services. Although nearly all Canadians (96%) believe it is important to have a conversation with loved ones about their wishes for care, not many (34%) have actually had a discussion, and only 13% have completed an advance care plan to communicate their wishes. The majority of Canadians (73%) would like to get more information from their doctors so that they can plan and begin these important conversations. And most Canadians (80%) also feel these conversations should start when they are healthy or when they are diagnosed with a life-limiting disease. “It’s clear that we need to better integrate palliative care services in the places where people want to live and die -- and we also need to encourage patients, families and health care teams to talk about goals of care so more Canadians get the care want and deserve up to the end of life,” says Nadine Henningsen, executive director of the Canadian Homecare Association. Launched in 2012, The Way For-

Azocar added “We are pleased that the minister agreed to meet with the PIA Seniors’ Task Force on February 13, but his statement misses the point that Premier Redford made very clear and specific undertakings to various seniors’ groups when she was running for the leadership of the PC Party,” stated Bill Moore-Kilgannon, executive director of Public Interest Alberta. Moore-Kilgannon was referring to a letter signed by Alison Redford that was written before she won the leadership of the PC party, in which she undertakes to retain the current universal seniors’ drug plan. She further notes “that income-based supports are poor repayment for the efforts of Alberta seniors.”

ward initiative funded by the Government of Canada seeks to change how Canada thinks about and approaches aging, chronic, serious and life limiting illness and dying; A further goal is to extend the benefits of hospice palliative and endof-life care, and advance care planning, to as many Canadians as possible. “Our government understands the very difficult challenges faced by Canadian families when they are caring for aging parents and other loved ones who need palliative care,” said federal Health Minister Rona Ambrose. “Supporting The Way Forward initiative will help to deliver palliative care in a range of settings, by a Palliative care resources Tools and resources to help people learn more about palliative variety of pro- and end-of-life care services and to start the conversation with viders, while a loved one can be found at the Canadian Hospice Palliative providing ser- Care Association website, www.chpca.net, as well as through vices in a cost- Speak Up: Start the Conversation about End-of-life Care, effective and www.advancecareplanning.ca. Information about work underway s u s t a i n a b l e to integrate the palliative approach to care through The Way Forward initiative can be found at www.hpcintegration.ca way.”

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6 February 2014, CALGARY SENIOR

Comment

Social investment contributes to longer life expectancy By Jody Heymann & Douglas Barthold Here’s a fact most Canadians probably don’t know: Canadians live longer than people in the United States. Specifically, women in Canada live an average of 83 years, compared to 80 in the U.S.; men live over 78 years on average compared to 75 in the United States. Why is this the case? There are clear links between mortality rates and the way countries invest in healthcare and improving social conditions. Recently we published a study in the American Journal of Public Health on the efficiency of healthcare systems at extending lives over the past two decades -- and it’s good news for Canadians. For every additional hundred dollars spent on healthcare in Canada, life expectancy was extended by nearly two months. The same expenditures were only associated with less than half a month of increased life expectancy in the United States. The study assessed the gains in life expectancy from health spending in 27 countries, as well as across genders within each nation. After controlling for economic development, social expenditures, and behavior, we found significant differences in international levels of efficiency. Canada ranked 8th of 27 countries, while the US came in at 22nd. In other words, it’s not only how much money is spent, but how the money is spent that matters. And it’s not only spending on healthcare that makes a large difference to health outcomes. In our study, a country’s social investments contributed to significant increases in longevity. Findings from a global review of research conducted by the World Health Organization underscore the importance of social determinants of health, demonstrating how social conditions -- from access to education and income, to improved early childhood care and good working

conditions -- have a powerful effect on our health. Fortunately, federal, provincial and territorial policy makers across Canada have invested in much of what matters -- from a social safety net to early childhood care, from parental leave to affordable university education. So the Canadian portrait compares favourably to the American, but how does our healthcare investment compare to other developed nations in the study? Here, Canada falls short. While Canada’s life expectancy improvements have been far greater than that of the U.S. for the dollars invested, it has done only half as well as Germany. The efficiency differences could stem from a number of sources, and learning more about the characteristics that define the strongest performers is necessary to improve our own system. How much does it have to do with healthcare providers, their training and the incentives placed on them? How much does it have to do with patients, their access to and the price they pay for care? And how much does it have to do with the structure of the delivery system? Studying the best performers may offer us important lessons in medical care delivery. Beyond medical care, we need to address further how social conditions shape health. The countries outperforming us make effective social investments to promote health and wellbeing among children and adults alike. While Canada is far ahead of the U.S. in measures to promote population health, this work remains uneven and lags behind many competitors. If Canadians are going to continue to increase life expectancy, we’ll need to invest in preventing disease and promoting health, while ensuring that we learn the most efficient ways to spend healthcare dollars for those who do become sick.

CALGARY SENIOR Published By: ALBERTA BUSINESS RESEARCH LTD. No part of this publication may be copied or reproduced without the written permission of the publisher.

Letters to the Editor

Public trustee clients being charged high fees

Editor, I’m a low-income senior. I’m the single parent of a handicapped adult son. He has a public guardian and a public trustee. My son gets AISH and lives in a private group home. In the past five years the public trustee has seized $6,000 in administration fees from my son. I’ve been dealing with the public trustee since 1971. Why do we suddenly have administration fees? Why are they so unreasonably high? Why haven’t clients of the public trustee been informed about the administration fees? The fees are applied to any estate of $10,000 or more. It seems that clients with a little money are paying the same fees as those who may have hundreds of thousands of dollars. Any senior who has a public trustee ought to be warned about the secret seizures of administration fees. Sincerely, Isabelle Foord

Eliminate AHS to save money, improve efficiency

Editor, I am certainly no New Democrat. But present NDP leader Brian Mason and past leaders Dr. Raj Pannu, Ray Martin and the late Pamela Barrett have my respect for their stands on healthcare for Albertans. Brian Mason’s insistence that Alberta Health Services (AHS) be folded into the Alberta Health ministry and be run directly by Minister Fred Horne and his deputy ministers is on the mark. When Alberta Health previously ran things, sure there were some inefficiencies, but healthcare in Alberta was a lot cheaper. With direct control, billions of dollars less were wasted. With the one exception of Dr. Gerry Predy, AHS is a joke. It should be reabsorbed into Alberta Health and Dr. Predy named as the head deputy minister. This will save major money and increase overall efficiency so that our beloved seniors (and all Albertans for that matter) can get timely access to the absolute best of care! Most respectfully, Rory J. Koopmans

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and the crowd was sure that He would not respond to a beggar that they all ignored. But Bartimaeus would not be quieted. In fact, “he cried out all the more.” This was his moment. Jesus will never pass this way again. But he will not give up. He will discover what the Bible later records, “that He is a rewarder of those who diligently [persistently] seek Him.” In response to his cry, the Bible says, “Jesus stood still.” He stops everything to respond to the cry of a desperate man. He calls Bartimaeus to come. And He invites you today to come. Once Jesus said, “Come unto Me all you who are weary and heavy-laden and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:8). When Jesus saw Bartimaeus, He was moved with compassion. His heart went out to him and He cared. There is a lot about God that I do not know, but one thing I know is that He cares. When Bartimaeus was called to come, he took a very significant step of faith. He cast away his garment and came to Jesus. Now blind people in those days wore an identifying garment. The garment was the equivalent of the white cane. He threw it away because he knew he would never need it again. Wisdom says to throw it away after you are healed. Faith sees the situation as already changed. He implicitly knew that Jesus would heal him. Perhaps, today, you too have a great need. Jesus is available. Tell Him your need. Rely upon His mercy and compassion and you too will receive an answer for your need. Denzel Fenn was in fulltime ministry for 53 years. He was senior pastor of the Calgary Full Gospel Church for more than 30 years.

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One of my favourite stories in the gospels is the healing of blind Bartimaeus. We meet him on the road outside the city of Jericho. Jesus is on His final journey through Jericho on His way to Jerusalem. In a very short time He will die on a Roman cross. As He exits Jericho, He intersects with a man named Bartimaeus. We discover that Bartimaeus has a great need. He is blind. How long he has been blind we do not know. But we know that he was unable to work, and because there was no social security net, his only option was to beg. The prognosis was not good and his future was bleak. But all of this suddenly changed when Jesus passed by. Jesus can change our night to day. Jesus can change despair to hope. Jesus can change sorrow to joy. He can enable us to begin again. Oswald Smith wrote a song about this: “One sat alone beside the highway begging. His eyes were blind, the light he could not see. He clutched his rags and shivered in the darkness. Then Jesus came and bade his darkness flee.” When Bartimaeus was told that Jesus the Healer was going to pass by, he began to cry out with a loud voice. He made his need known. He knew the importance of asking. The Bible says, “We have not because we ask not.” The old hymn said: “Oh what peace we often forfeit Oh what needless pain we bear All because we do not carry Everything to God in prayer.” Bartimaeus cried out for Jesus to have mercy on him. Mercy is to receive something that you can’t earn and don’t deserve. Mercy is God’s disposition to pity, to forgive and be kind. God is a God of mercy. Bartimaeus knew that he had nothing with which to merit his healing so he cast himself on God’s mercy. Most of the people around him bade him be quiet. Jesus was surrounded by people and by needs

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8 February 2014, CALGARY SENIOR

Health Health Link Alberta expands nutrition, medication support (Special) – Calgarians who have nutrition and medication concerns are now able to talk about them to registered dietitians and drug specialists through Health Link Alberta. They are an addition to the registered nurses who now staff Health Link Alberta, telephone service that answers health questions from Albertans 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The Health Link Calgary number is 403943-5465 and there is a toll-free number, 1-866-408-5465, for the other areas of the province, as well as a separate number in Edmonton. Callers with con-

cerns about medications are now connected to information specialists at the Poison and Drug Information Service (PADIS). These individuals can respond to questions beyond the scope of the registered nurses who provide callers with most health advice. Those with complex nutrition questions and concerns will have the option of having a registered dietitian call them back to provide more specialized information and advice. To access the medication or nutrition services, callers can contact Health Link Alberta as usual, speak to a registered nurse about their health concerns and,

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if required, connect the caller to a PADIS information specialist or make the request to have a dietitian follow up. PADIS medical director Dr. Mark Yarema says the increasing number of prescription medications and alternative therapies such as herbal products means it’s important to help Albertans make informed choices about their use. “Our information specialists at PADIS can answer questions about using medications and herbal products, and the possibility of having an adverse reaction after using them,” he said. “The service is free, confidential and available 24/7. We’re very proud to partner with Health Link Alberta to provide this important service.” Alberta Health Services nutrition services manager Stephanie Moriartey says having nutrition support through Health Link Alberta will help Albertans get the resources they need. “We are thrilled to be able to support callers across the province and help more Albertans access dietitians for their complex nutrition questions,” she said. Common nutrition concerns include allergies; supplements; intolerances to certain foods; and infant and toddler eating. Dietitians can provide referral information for local community resources should callers require additional support. “These are both great additions to Health Link Alberta,” said Lara Osterreicher, di-

rector of Health Link Alberta operations. “Both medication management and nutrition can significantly impact our overall health. If we can give better access to information and advice in these areas, it will go a long way in improving the health of Albertans and building healthier communities.” More than 950,000 Albertans called Health Link Alberta last year and more than 10 million calls have been received since the service launched in 2000. Of those callers needing medical advice, registered nurses were able to provide self-care information to almost half of them so they could care for themselves or their loved ones at home. It’s estimated about 350 Albertans avoid a trip to an emergency department every day, thanks to advice they received from Health Link Alberta. “These stats show us what a huge impact Health Link Alberta has on relieving pressure from other parts of the health system and supporting Albertans in getting the right care at the right time by the most appropriate provider,” says Osterreicher. In addition to supplying health advice, Health Link Alberta provides a variety of other services, including helping Albertans find health services, interpreting calls in 120 languages, sending via email health information on infant growth and development to new parents, and developing and approving health content for www.MyHealth.Alberta.ca.


HEALTH - CALGARY SENIOR, February 2014 9

Self-administered test helps spot early dementia (Special) -- Researchers say they have developed a self-administered test that can help doctors spot early symptoms of cognitive issues in their patients, like Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. Best of all, the test is cheap, self-administered, and can be taken virtually anywhere. Memory disorders researchers visited 45 community events where they asked people to take a simple, self-administered test to screen for early cognitive loss or dementia. Of the 1,047 people who took the simple pen-and-paper test, 28 percent were identified with cognitive impairment “What we found was that this self-administered test correlated very well with more detailed cognitive testing,” said Douglas Scharre, MD, who developed the test with his team at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. “The difference is, this approach simply requires a pen, paper and about 10 minutes of a patient’s time.” The Self-Administered Gerocognitive Examination, known as the SAGE test, is made up of 22 questions designed to evaluate a person’s orientation; language; reasoning/computation; visual spatial; executive (problem solving) and memory abilities. Missing six or more points on the test usually warrants additional follow-up by a physician, Scharre said. While the test cannot definitely diagnose problems like Alzheimer’s disease, it does allow doctors to screen for any cognitive deficits and to obtain baseline cognitive functioning that could be monitored over time. “We can give them the test periodically and the moment we notice any changes in their cognitive abilities, we can intervene much more rapidly,” he said. The SAGE test could also provide health care

Dr. Douglas Scharre goes over Alzheimer’s test results with a patient.

providers and caregivers an earlier indication of life-changing events that could lie ahead. Earlier research by Scharre found that four out of five people (80 per cent) with mild thinking and memory (cognitive) issues will be detected by this test, and 95 per cent of people without issues will have normal SAGE scores. Early intervention is considered key to good treatment outcomes, but patients with Al-

Credit: Supplied

zheimer’s disease, for example, often wait three to four years after their symptoms first appear to seek treatment. “Hopefully, this test will help change those situations,” Scharre concluded. “We are finding better treatments, and we know that patients do much better than if they start the treatments sooner than later.” The test is available at sagetest.osu.edu.

Alzheimer Society calls for dementia partnership funding (CNW) – The Alzheimer Society is calling on the federal government to provide $3 million in startup funding for a partnership to deal with the growing problem of dementia in Canada. At a January 15 hearing in Toronto, Alzheimer Society of Canada CEO Mimi Lowi-Young requested the funds be allocated in the 2014 federal budget. It is estimated that 747,000 Canadians currently living with dementia, sand if left unchecked, it will affect 1.4 million Canadians by 2031, with economic costs soaring to $293 billion per year by 2040. The $3 million would fund creation of the Canadian Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia Partnership.

The Partnership would bring together thought-leaders, planners and advocates across the government, health, research, academia and industry sectors, as well as families impacted by dementia, to facilitate and develop a national dementia plan. Elements of the plan would include increasing investment in research; enhancing support for family caregivers; increasing dementia skills and training of health-care providers; improving early diagnosis, treatment and prevention; and strengthening the integration of care and support. “No doubt we’re living in tough economic times, but dementia is a long-standing issue we we’ve been lobbying for and which requires bold measures,” Lowi-Young said.

“Canada has excellent resources, skills and research capital. What we need now is a comprehensive plan to pull these elements together. “Canadians with dementia deserve care and service that is cost-efficient, and effective and improves their quality of life. We can’t afford to let this opportunity slip by.” Last December health ministers from G8 countries, including Minister Rona Ambrose, agreed upon 12 declarations at the first-ever G8 Summit on Dementia in London, England. Chief among these was that national government must start developing plans to tackle the spiralling human and economic costs of

dementia. “2013 was an incredible year for dementia,” said Lowi-Young, who was invited by G8 president David Cameron to attend the conference. “It was gratifying to see our government participate in this summit, which is bringing dementia to a new international level. “We were equally encouraged to see the government renew its commitment to dementia research in the recent federal throne speech, and we’re pleased to be invited by Minister of State for Seniors Alice Wong to make our case.” More information about the Canadian Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia Partnership and the Alzheimer Society is available at www.alzheimer.ca.


10 February 2014, CALGARY SENIOR - HEALTH

Alberta Health care coverage extended for snowbirds

Be on the lookout for diabetic eye disease (NC) -- Former photographer Bill Power has an important message for fellow Canadians with diabetes: get your eyes checked regularly. Power says he wishes he’d gotten that message 20 years ago when he was first diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. A few years ago he woke up one morning and saw a red dot that wouldn’t go away. He went to see his eye doctor who diagnosed him with diabetic macular edema. Diabetic macular edema is caused by damage to the blood vessels of the retina. When these blood vessels swell and leak, the leaking fluid can cause swelling in the macula, the central part of the retina at the back of the eye where sharp vision is determined. This can then result in blurred vision and can lead to permanent vision loss over time.

Power’s vision deteriorated quickly and he is now legally blind. His vision loss has taken an emotional toll - and it has taken him a long time to come to terms with his new reality. Now he says he’s ready to help others avoid his fate. “Had I known type 2 diabetes could result in my losing my vision I would have been checking my eyes regularly,” Power says. It is estimated that vision loss resulting from this condition affects approximately 2.5 per cent of the nearly 2.4 million Canadians with diabetes, or approximately 60,000 Canadians, making it a major cause of adult-onset vision loss. For more information about diabetic macular edema and other eye conditions, visit www.cnib. ca.

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(Staff) -- Albertans in who head off to find the sun winter can now extend their stay an extra month while maintaining health care coverage. Associate Minister of Seniors, Dave Quest, announced the change in December at Calgary International Airport. Snowbirds and other long-term vacationers can now be out of Alberta up to 212 days (seven months) a year while keeping their eligibility for Alberta health care insurance coverage. This is a 30-day increase from the previous 182-day limit (six months). “We want Albertans to have the flexibility to go on extended vacations while having the peace of mind that their health care coverage is there for them if they need it,” said Quest. Increasing the amount of time longer-term vacationers are permitted out of the province allows Alberta residents to remain eligible for health coverage as long as they have not established permanent residence elsewhere. The increase brings Alberta into line with other Canadian provinces, including British Columbia, Ontario and Manitoba. Newfoundlanders remain eligible for coverage for 240 days. The new policy comes into effect immediately, and includes travelers who are already outside of the province. “This is welcome news for our members who told us they wanted the option to visit other countries for several months at a time, without sacrificing their health care coverage,” said Michael MacKenzie, executive director of the Canadian Snowbird Association “Extending coverage for an extra month gives travelers more flexibility.” Albertans who plan to be out of the province for extended periods need to contact Alberta Health each year before leaving, to ensure their health care coverage remains current.


HEALTH - CALGARY SENIOR, February 2014 11

Calgary 55 Plus seeks volunteers By Dan Guglielmin Smart organizations make sure to develop people, give them more responsibility and make a commitment to increase their skills and abilities. We at Calgary 55 plus try to keep that statement in mind when we seek out new volunteers for our organization. There will always be experienced directors and coordinators to help out the new volunteers. There are many benefits that people gain from their experience in volunteering such as meeting new friends,

making new contacts, using and gaining personal skills, achieving recognition and helping other people stay active. One major benefit would also be productively using your leisure time. Volunteers for Calgary 55 plus belong to a group whose mandate is to encourage, promote and develop recreational and cultural opportunities for members 55 years of age and older who have their permanent residence within the city limits of Calgary and pay their property taxes to the City of

Calgary. Calgary 55 plus will be holding 14 different activities in our summer fun games this year. We will also be hosting 13 winter activities playoffs this fall and winter to qualify representatives to participate in the Alberta 55 Plus Winter Games to be held in Lethbridge in February 2015. As you can see, members of Calgary 55 plus will be very active in 2014. Calgary 55 plus is currently looking for a number of volunteers for various positions in our organization as

a result of the retirement of members who have served for a number of years. The following positions will become vacant in the coming year: vice president, treasurer, publicity director, events director and arts and crafts coordinator. There are also several other activity coordinator and assistant activity coordinator positions that will become available this year. If you are interested in any of these positions, please get in touch with either of the two people below

to discuss the position that may be of interest to you. To contact Dan Guglielmin, past president and nomination chair,

call 403-289-0352 or guglield@telusplanet. net. Contact Barrie Dargie, president, at 403-247-9949 or micat@shaw.ca.

Even low-intensity activity shows benefits

(Special) -- A newly published study looking at activity trends and outcomes among U.S. adults found that you don’t need to kill yourself by running 10 miles a day to gain health benefits – you merely need to log more minutes of light physical activity than of sedentary behavior. And the bar is pretty low for what constitutes light physical activity, researchers say. It can mean sauntering through a mall windowshopping instead of ordering online, fishing along a riverbank, or ballroom dancing. In other words, casting a spinner or spinning on the dance floor can help offset our sedentary ways. The problem, the authors say, is that nearly half of those surveyed did not engage in a sufficient amount of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (more than 150 minutes a week) and, in fact, spent more time in sedentary mode than even doing light physical activity. “That’s actually rather frightening,” said Bradley Cardinal, codirector of the Sport and Exercise

Psychology Program at Oregon State University and co-author on the study. “About half of the people in this country are incredibly sedentary – basically, couch potatoes. And that can have some very negative effects on one’s health.” Results of the study have been published online in the journal Preventive Medicine. The study looked at the activity patterns of more than 5,500 adults through the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Participants wore accelerometers recording movements that could be broken down by the minute, and the researchers found that 47.2 percent of people engaged in less than 150 minutes a week of moderateto-vigorous physical activity and, perhaps more importantly, logged fewer minutes of light physical activity than of sedentary behavior. They found that when the balance was on the positive side – adults spent more time moving than sitting – there was a strong association with favorable levels of triglycerides and insulin.

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“It is preferable to get at least 30 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity in each day, but we now know that if you sit for the remainder of the day after getting this dose of exercise, you might not necessarily be escaping the risk of developing chronic disease,” said Paul Loprinzi, lead author on the study, who is an assistant professor at Bellarmine University. “These findings demonstrate the importance of minimizing sedentary activities and replacing some of them with light-intensity activities, such as pacing back and forth when on the phone, standing at your desk periodically instead of sitting, and having walking meetings instead of sit-down meetings,” he added. Cardinal said results can vary with individuals, based on age, fitness levels, movement “pace” and other factors. In general, however, when even light activity minutes in a day surpass sedentary minutes, it can result in improved triglyceride and insulin levels. “Someone just ambling along on

a leisurely stroll may not get the same benefits as someone moving briskly – what we call a New York City walk,” Cardinal said, “but it still is much better than lying on the couch watching TV. Even sitting in a rocking chair and rocking back-and-forth is better than lying down or just sitting passively. “Think about all the small things you can do in a day and you’ll realize how quickly they can add up,” Cardinal pointed out. Some of the ways people can get in some light physical activity without Olympic-style training: • Go on a leisurely bicycle ride, at about five to six miles an hour; • If you want to watch television, do it sitting on a physioball; • Use a Wii Fit program that requires a light effort, like yoga or balancing; • Do some mild calisthenics or stretching; • Play a musical instrument; • Work in the garden. “Remember, it’s making sure you’re moving more than you’re sitting that’s the key,” Cardinal said.

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12 February 2014, CALGARY SENIOR

Finance

Seniors, Albertans most satisfied with finances: poll (Staff) – Seniors in Alberta are probably the happiest people in the country as far as finances are concern. That’s the conclusion suggested by recent CIBC poll findings that the degree of financial satisfaction is greater in Alberta than any other region and that nationwide seniors are the most satisfied of any age group. The poll conducted by Harris/Decima found that 76 per cent of Canadians feel confident they will reach their financial goals as they start 2014, part of a 4-year trend of increasing confidence in their financial future. Although confidence in reaching goals is increasing, Canadians’ feelings about their current financial situation have not changed. Seventy per cent say they feel positive about their finances

today, a number that has not increased measurably compared to the same poll in 2011. Canadians aged 65 or older are the most confident among all age groups about meeting their financial goals, at 81 per cent compared to the all-age average of 76 per cent. They also the happiest with their current financial situation, with 79 per cent
feeling positive about it compared to the 70 per cent average. Regionally, 84 per cent of Albertans were confident when it comes to their financial goals and 82 per cent were positive about their financial situation going into 2014, both the country’s highest percentages. The national average among regions for confidence about attaining financial goals

was 76 per cent and for feeling positive about the current financial situation, 70 percent. “It is encouraging that Canadians are more confident about reaching their financial goals in 2014,” said Christina Kramer, a CIBC executive vice-president. “The next step is to turn that confidence into action by putting plans in place at the start of the year that will help you achieve what matters to you.” While confidence in the future is climbing, Canadians feel much the same about their current financial situation as they did three years ago. That suggests to Kramer that while Canadians want to take positive steps in managing their money, some may be having some difficulty getting results.

She pointed to concern paying down debt, which has consistently been noted in CIBC research as a priority by Canadians, yet it remains a key financial concern in 2014. “The fact that debt reduc-

tion has been top of mind for many Canadians for a number of years in a row suggests that some Canadians are not making as much progress against their debt reduction goals as they would like,” Kramer stated.

Investor behaviours to avoid in RRSP season (NC) – While it’s easier said than done, Registered Retirement Savings Plan contributions should be approached objectively to avoid the pitfalls of emotional investing. “The markets change daily and monthly – that’s the reality of investing,” explains Philip Bensen, head of national sales at Franklin Templeton Investments. “Historically, however, markets have risen over the long run, and #205, 5917 - 1A Street S.W., Calgary, AB T2H 0G4

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investors should be cognizant of the power of investing to fund their life goals. “For example, the S&P/ TSX Composite Index, the major Canadian stock market indicator, has risen in four of the five years since the 2008 global financial crisis. Investors who were spooked by the market downturn would have missed out on these strong gains.” Bensen has some advice for investors looking to get

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the most out of their RRSP contributions this year: Don’t blindly follow the crowd. Just because one particular asset class is performing strongly now doesn’t always mean it’s the right choice for you. Consult your advisor before making any decisions. Understand perception vs. reality. While headlinedriven markets can experience periods of volatility, over time, equity markets have historically risen.

There’s a lot to be said for taking into account longterm trends and knowing when to see things from a glass-half-full perspective. Avoid too much of one thing. Concentrating your investments in just one or two asset classes, even if deemed “safer” (such as bonds) may have a negative impact on your investments. Diversifying your investments across a variety of asset classes and even parts of the world can

help capture different opportunities and manage risk. Emotional investing can get in the way of achieving long-term retirement goals. If you are concerned about what to do or where to invest, it’s important to speak with an investment advisor to gain some insight and make informed decisions. More information is available online at www. franklintempleton.ca.

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finance - CALGARY SENIOR, February 2014 13

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14 February 2014, CALGARY SENIOR

Homes

Calgary sees growth in home prices

(CNW) – Calgary home prices have risen strongly over the past year, according to the Royal LePage House Price Survey and Market Survey Forecast released in January. The Calgary market saw price appreciation in all categories, with average prices for detached bungalows increasing 6.4 per cent year-over-year to $468,967 and standard two-storey homes increasing 6.1 per cent to $461,089. Standard condominiums saw the greatest price growth, rising 7.0 per cent to $269,778. “Prices in the Calgary market have gone up across the board in the fourth quarter,” said Ted Zaharko, broker/owner, Royal LePage Foothills. “There are three good reasons for this: a longstanding shortage of inventory, the steady influx of individuals to the area and the city’s healthy economy.” Zaharko stated that

unit sales have been very healthy, but would have been even healthier if there was the inventory to meet the existing demand. “There is a tremendous amount of pent up demand from would be buyers looking to purchase a home in Calgary. There are simply not enough homes for sale to meet the needs of the market.” With continued supply scarcity expected in the year ahead, Royal LePage predicts that average prices for homes will increase by 5.1 per cent. The total number of home trading hands is predicted to increase by 5.0 per cent, but this will still not be enough to satisfy the demand from locals, new Canadians and migrants from other provinces. “Unless there is a surge in the number of homes available, it is likely that we will continue to see rising prices and bidding wars in 2014,” concluded Za-

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to maintain momentum into 2014, with Royal LePage projecting a 3.7 per cent increase nationally from 2013 and a shift to a seller’s market in the first portion of the year in a number of regions. “A few short months ago, the country’s housing market emerged from a yearlong correctional cycle of dramatically slowed sales volumes,” said Phil Soper, president and chief executive of Royal LePage. “Later 2013 was marked by a transition to buoy-

ant sales volumes and above average price growth. “In the absence of some calamitous event or material increase in mortgage financing costs, we expect this positive momentum to characterize 2014. In fact, we expect a market tipped decidedly in favour of sellers for the first half of the year, after which we project a shift to a more balanced market.” Soper said continued upward pressure on home prices is expected moving toward the

spring market. “In addition to normal demand, housing prices in Canada this year will be influenced by buyers who put off purchase plans in the very soft spring of 2013,” he said. “Talk of a ‘soft landing’ for Canada’s real estate market in the new year is misguided. We see no landing, no slowdown, and no correction in the near-term. Conditions are ripe for as strong a market as we saw in the post-recessionary rebound of the last decade.”

Budget-friendly outdoor renovation ideas Homeowners are increasingly extending their living spaces outside the walls of their homes. Expansive and intricate stonework patios and deckedout outdoor kitchens are the kind of additions many homeowners dream of. Those with unlimited budgets can enjoy just about any look they desire, but many homeowners may not have the money to go all the way with their outdoor living spaces. But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to create budgetfriendly spaces that are functional, fun and eye catching. Decks and patios are popular gathering spots outside a home, and homeowners have numerous inexpensive options at their disposal when choosing patio

materials. Instead of higherpriced composite or resin decks, homeowners can go with standard wood, which will need to be stained periodically. Scaling back the size of the deck means less materials to buy and less labor involved. The cost of patio blocks depends on the material and style. Poured concrete patios will cost less than placed blocks or stones because concrete is less labor-intensive. For those who desire the look of patio blocks without the cost, stamped concrete can mimic the look for less. Homeowners may not need to replace patio furniture, even if chairs and tables have seen better days.

A can of spray paint can cover up any rusted areas or spots where paint has peeled off due to exposure to the elements. Updating cushions and purchasing a coordinating umbrella can revitalize the patio’s entire look. BUDGET-FRIENDLY, on page 15

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HOMES - CALGARY SENIOR, February 2014 15

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Over the last several decades, more and more homeowners have embraced the notion that homes need not all be alike, and that an individual’s home can cater to his or her personal tastes and needs. The trend of modeling a home after one’s own tastes has extended beyond choosing furniture or other replaceable elements to structural changes and full-scale renovations, thus upping the financial ante for homeowners who want to turn their homes into places more in tune with their own personalities. When it comes to improving their homes, many homeowners associate cutting costs with cutting corners, which can put residents’ safety at risk. But there are ways for homeowners to save money on home improvement projects while still ensuring their homes are safe and sound. Work with recycled materials. Homeowners about to undertake small-scale do-it-yourself projects can often save money by using recycled materials. Homeowners should know that many contractors do not work with recycled materials in an effort to avoid liability should something go awry during the project or after it is completed. But DIYers can benefit from using recycled materials, which can be purchased at various locations. Get your hands dirty. Homeowners about to embark on a rebuilding project can chip in and do some of the demolition on their own. For example, when replacing sidewalks, they can simply break up and remove the existing sidewalk on their own rather than paying their contractors to do such work for them. It’s best for homeowners to leave interior labor to the professionals, as

they are more knowledgeable about how to find load-bearing walls and plumbing fixtures than the average weekend warrior homeowner. Homeowners who mistakenly take out fixtures inside their homes in an attempt to cut down on labor costs might find such miscues are far more costly than simply paying for the labor from the get-go. Remember how flattering imitation can be. As the old adage goes, “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.” Homeowners working on tight budgets can opt for imitation materials that appear and feel just like more costly authentic materials. When opting for imitation materials, homeowners should know that they or their representatives cannot falsely represent the materials as authentic when selling the home, no matter how much materials look and feel like the real thing. Try not to customize. Though the driving force behind many home improvement projects is to create a dream home that caters to homeowners’ individual needs, going overboard with customizing is expensive. Larger-than-normal dimensions may seem like a great idea, but unless they’re absolutely necessary, they’re best avoided by budget-conscious homeowners. Building supplies are sold at certain dimensions because those dimensions are the most common. Altering these dimensions unnecessarily is only driving up the cost of the project, so it’s best to stick with stock sizes when money is tight. Home improvement projects are often expensive undertakings. But such endeavors need not break the bank.

Budget-friendly From Page 14 Also, very often stores run sales to clear out merchandise for new displays. Defining edges of planting borders and refreshing the landscape may be all that is needed to improve the yard. This is easily achieved with inexpensive mulch and some vinyl edging. While cleaning up the yard, use a pressure washer to clean stains off of siding and patios and create a like-new appearance. End-of-season sales can also be the ideal opportunity to purchase big-ticket items like a pool, a hot tub or an outdoor fireplace/fire pit. Shoppers can learn when stores discount their merchandise to make room for new inventory and then

use these sales as opportunities to save. Sometimes saving means repurposing antiques or items found at garage sales. Thanks to the Internet, people can easily advertise items they no longer need or desire. A person can search for backyard items they need at a deep discount if they are fine with previously used materials. From patio furniture to masonry blocks to above-ground pools, patient homeowners can find just about any item they may need to upgrade their backyards. Though not all homeowners can afford to create the backyard of their dreams, with a little ingenuity and some sweat hard work, homeowners can still create an outdoor oasis.

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16 February 2014, CALGARY SENIOR

Leisure ON THE TOWN Compiled by Denise Daubert

ATTRACTIONS AND EVENTS Calgary Public Library Programs – Between January and April Calgary Public Library’s 18 branches are offering a number of programs of interest to seniors including: 50+ Coffee and Conversation, Chess in the Library, Stitch and Chat, Wii and Tea 50+, Cyber Seniors, Book Club for Seniors and Talking Book Club. Ph. 403-2602600. Unique Lives and Experiences Lecture Series – February 4 Deborah Grey: Never Retreat, Never Explain, Never Apologize March 5 Chris Hadfield: The Most Famous Astronaut Since Neil Armstrong Both presentations at 7:30 p.m. Jack Singer Concert Hall at EPCOR Centre. Further info and tickets: 1-866-449-8118. Calgary Boat & Sportsman’s Show – February 6 to 9 BMO Centre, Stampede Park. Ph. 403-261-0101. National Geographic Live Series – February 11 Exploring Mars: The Next Generation Speaker: Kobie Boykins, mechanical engineer for NASA. March 4 Grizzlies, Piranhas & Man-Eating Pigs Speaker: Joel Sartore, National Geographic photographer. EPCOR Centre, Jack Singer Concert Hall. Box office: 403-294-9494. Chinook County Historical Society Program – February 25 Speaker Tyler Trafford will present a program entitled Almost a Great Escape: A Found Story. Free and all are welcome 7:30 p.m. at Fort Calgary’s Burnswest Theatre, 750 9th Avenue S.E. Ph. 403-261-4667. Calgary Home & Garden Show 2014 – February 27 to March 2 BMO Centre and Corral. Ph. 403-253-1177.

Scandinavian Centre Choir – Ongoing Wednesdays between September and May This mixed adult choir provides lots of learning and fun singing and the challenge of performing in different languages. New members are welcome! Rehearsals are held at 739 20 Avenue N.W. on Wednesday evenings. Further info: 403-2831299. Calgary Music Makers Senior Citizens Choir - Ongoing Practices on Thursdays Consider singing for fun by joining this group of enthusiastic seniors! This mixed-voice choir welcomes new members aged 50 and over. Practices are held at the Fairview Baptist Church, 230-78 Avenue, S.E., between 9:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. Further info: 403-243-8503 or 403-289-9326. Calgary Farmer’s Market – Ongoing Friday, Saturday and Sunday Year-Round Over 75-plus permanent vendors. Hours are Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. 510-77 Ave., S.E. (just off of Blackfoot Trail and Heritage Drive S.E.). Further info: 403-240-9113. Seniors Alpine Ski Club – Ongoing If you are 55-plus and enjoy downhill skiing, you’ll want to learn more about becoming a member of the Seniors Alpine Ski Club. This club offers affordable prices for ski tours. Also featured are ski days, ski improvement programs, social functions (for example, dances and a summer golf tournament). Further info: 403-266-0003.

IN CONCERT Music At Noon Series – Wednesdays Throughout the Year Music At Noon is presented by the Pro Arts Society. Concerts take place every Wednesday from 12:10 p.m. to 12:50 p.m. at Cathedral of the Redeemer at Seventh Avenue and First Street S.E. across from Olympic Plaza. Bring your lunch and enjoy music in the midst of the day. Concerts are free but donations gratefully accepted. Further info: 403-269-1904. Calgary Opera – February 1, 5 and 7 The Flying Dutchman Performances at the Arrata Opera Centre, 1315 7th Street S.W. Box office: 403-262-7286. Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra – February 8 Bowfire: Sizzling Strings February 14 and 15 Romantic Rachmaninoff and Ravel February 19 The Splendour of China Butterfly Lovers and Yellow River February 21 and 22 Cirque Musica Aerials and Acrobats February 28 and March 1 Tchaikovsky and Brahms with Stafan Jackiw All concerts (except the February 19 concert) at 8 p.m. at the Jack Singer Concert Hall at EPCOR Centre. Box office: 403-571-0849. Festival Chorus – February 9 And So It Goes The guest jazz trio: Derek Stoll, Kodi Hutchinson and Greg Baker. 2:30 p.m., Eckhardt-Gramatte Hall, Rozsa Centre, U of C. Box office: 403-2949494.

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Calgary Folk Club – February 14 Rani Arbo and Daisy Mayhem February 28 Ellis Paul. Venue is the Dalhousie Community Centre, 5432 Dalhart Rd. N.W.. Box office: 403-220-7202. PCL Blues Series – February 22 Curtis Salgado Performance at the Engineered Air Theatre at EPCOR Centre. Box office: 403-2949494. Spiritus Chamber Choir – February 25 MidWinter Harmonies 7:30 p.m., Christ Church Elbow Park, 3602 8th Street S.W. Box office: 403922-7021. Calgary Pro Musica Society – March 2 & 3 Imani Winds 7 p.m. performance on March 2 and 8 p.m. performance on March 3. EckhardtGramatte Hall in the Rozsa Centre, U of C. Box office: 403-244-8277.

THEATRE Lunchbox Theatre – February 3 to 22 The Surrogate March 3 to 22 Brick Showtimes Monday to Saturday at 12:10 p.m., Friday nights at 6:10 p.m. and “date night” at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday nights. 160 9th Avenue S.E. Box office: 403-265-4292. Stagewest Calgary – February 6 to Second Week of April Unnecessary Farce 727 42 Avenue S.E. Box office: 403-243-6642. Broadway Across Canada – February 11 to 16 West Side Story Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium. TicketMaster: 1-855-985-5000. Theatre Calgary – February 11 to March 9 Major Barbara EPCOR Centre. Box office: 403294-9494. Jubilations Dinner Theatre – Ends February 16 Best of Friends Reunion! February 21 to April 27 Elvis & The Las Vegas Hangover! Jubilations Dinner Theatre is located at 1002 37 Street S.W. Box office: 403-249-7799.

MUSEUMS AND ART EXHIBITS Lougheed House Photographic Exhibition – January 8 to March 2 Unbridled A solo exhibition of Cathy Simone’s equine photography; this exhibition celebrates the essence of the horse and the spirit within. 707 13 Avenue S.W. Ph. 403-244-6333. Heritage Park’s Gasoline Alley Museum – January 23 to April 21 A new exhibit entitled Cars of the Big and Small Screen The cars are the stars in this exhibit – classic vehicles that have become part of pop culture. Heritage Park is located at 1900 Heritage Drive, S.W. Ph. 403268-8500. Glenbow Museum – February 8 to May 4 Two exhibits: Made in Calgary: The 1990s and Worn to be Wild: The Black Leather Jacket. February 23 to May 4 Photographer Bryan Adams Exposed The Glenbow Museum is located at 130 9th Avenue S.E. Ph. 403-268-4100.

DANCE

Razom 2: A Fusion of Ukrainian Dance – February 9 Featuring Tryzab (Calgary), Yevshan (Saskatoon), Tavria (Regina) and Rusalka (Winnipeg). 2:30 p.m., Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium. TicketMaster 1-855-985-5000. Alberta Ballet – February 20 to 22 Ailey II Alberta Ballet hosts company’s first visit to Alberta;. 7:30 performances all dates plus a matinee on February 22. Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium. Box office: 403-245-4549.

BEYOND CALGARY Airdrie

Events at Airdrie Public Library – Ongoing Check with the library to learn about the following: Evening Book Club, Airdrie Knitter’s Group, Chess Club, Scrabble Club, Writers Club and Genealogy Group. March 4 An exhibit launch between 6 and 7 p.m. of True Colours, an exhibit by local high school students. Airdrie Public Library is located at 111 – 304 Main Street. Ph. 403-948-0060. Bert Church Live Theatre – February 7 Blackie and the Rodeo Kings February 15 Illusionist Ted Outerbridge and his new show: Clockwork Mysteries. February 22 Sass Jordan In Concert March 1 Abrams Brothers in Concert All four events start at 7:30 p.m. 1010 East Lake Blvd. N.E. Box Office: 403-948-8824. Continued on Page 23


leisure - CALGARY SENIOR, February 2014 17

Coffee Break Truffes au Chocolat Tailor-made for Valentine’s Day indulgence Valentine’s Day is known for many things. Youngsters associate the day with exchanging homemade valentines with their classmates, while couples look at the day as an annual opportunity to express their feelings for their partners, often over a nice dinner. But no Valentine’s Day is complete without sweets. On Valentine’s Day, healthy eating often takes a backseat to indulging in various confections, as seemingly everyone finds a way to enjoy a special treat on February 14. Those who want to experience how Parisians might indulge their sweet tooths on Valentine’s Day can try the following recipe for “Truffes au Chocolat” from Sarah Woodward’s “The Food of France” (Kyle Books). Makes 20 to 24 truffles • 1 cup heavy cream • 2 tablespoons super fine sugar • 1 tablespoon Cointreau or Armagnac (optional) good quality cocoa powder • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter • Scant 1/2 pound dark chocolate with at least 70 percent cocoa solids Scald the cream with the sugar by just bringing to the boil and then removing from the heat immediately. Whisk in the chocolate piece by piece until you have a smooth emulsion. Allow to cool slightly then whisk in the butter, again in pieces, followed by the alcohol if you are using it. Chill the mixture in the freezer 20 minutes. Now stir the mixture well and, using either two teaspoons if you are dexterous or your fingers if you don’t mind getting messy, fashion the truffles into small balls. Place on parchment paper or foil on a baking sheet and put in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or so. Roll well in the cocoa powder and leave in the refrigerator at least overnight before serving.

CLUES ACROSS 1. Int’l. language specialist’s org. 6. Filament container 10. Amounts of time 14. Double curves 15. Clumsiness 17. Incapable of compromise 19. Mekong River people 20. Chinese broadsword 21. Rescue squad 22. Cablegram (abbr.) 23. Mold-ripened French cheese 25. Don’t know when yet 27. Rivulet 30. Wild Himalayan goat 32. Astronaut’s OJ 33. Scientific workplace 35. Xenophane’s colony 36. Exchange 38. Semitic fertility god 39. Chit 40. Sylvia Fine’s spouse Danny 41. Sole 42. Benne plant 44. Small amount 45. Sodas 46. Sino-Soviet block (abbr.) 48. UC Berkeley 49. Express pleasure 50. __ Paulo, city 53. History channel’s #5 show 59. Divertimento 60. Ridge on Doric column 61. Pastries 62. The “It” Girl 63. Hand drum of No. India CLUES DOWN 1. Labor 2. North-central Indian city 3. About aviation 4. The sheltered side

5. Salem State College 6. Twofold 7. Unusually (Scot.) 8. Floral garland 9. Birthplace (abbr.) 10. Tooth covering 11. Confederate soldiers 12. Signing 13. Point midway between S and SE 16. Ground where each golf hole begins 18. A lyric poem with complex stanza forms 22. Atomic #73 23. Thin wire nail 24. Ancient Germanic alphabet character 25. Jupiter’s 4th satellite 26. Woman’s undergarment 28. African antelope 29. Afrikaans 30. Vietnamese offensive 31. Expression of sorrow or pity 32. Scot word for toe 34. Journalist Nellie 36. Compress 37. Whiskies 38. Feathery scarf 40. White clay for porcelain 43. Keeps in reserve 44. Infectious lung disease 46. Draws off 47. Chinese chess piece 48. Parrot’s nostril opening 49. Once more 50. One from Serbia 51. Fleshy, bright seed appendage 52. Plural of os 53. The horned viper 54. Japanese apricot tree 55. Taxi 56. Bustle 57. Feline 58. Malaysian Isthmus

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Sleeping Beauty Castle By Sheree Zielke Think you are too old for Disneyland? Think you are too infirm for Disneyland? Maybe you should think again. After nearly 60 years, the Disney gates in Anaheim, California are still flung open for all, including those who are in the twilight of their life or who have mobility issues. There is no good reason to pass up a day or three at “the happiest place on earth.” Getting there Check with the AMA or WestJet for Disneyland packages. Visit during low season times like mid-January through mid-March or midSeptember through mid-November in order to miss the throngs of people that pack the park in high seasons like Christmas, spring break, or the first week of January. Where to stay If you are not buying a travel package, you can choose from many credible hotel chains such as Comfort Inn and Suites, Holiday Inn and Staybridge Suites. All offer family friendly environments and handicapped suites complete with a free hot breakfast and Wi-Fi internet access in the rooms. Transportation to Disneyland You can always take a cab from your hotel for

about $12 a trip, but why bother when you can buy a 3-day ART shuttle bus pass for the same $12? You will be picked up or dropped off every 20 to 30 minutes right outside the hotel. The buses are clean, wheelchair friendly, and their drivers are very helpful and informative. Buses usually start running at 6:20 a.m. to get you to the park for early Magic Morning openings. At the park gates Buses pull into designated parking spots near the gates. Note your route number -- you will see a posted sign. You will pass through a security checkpoint where all backpacks and bags will be given a quick search. Have them off your backs and opened to speed up the process. No alcohol or glass containers are allowed in the park. Those will be confiscated. The park gates are not the place to buy tickets; the line-ups are long and the prices are higher. Buy your tickets in advance, online or through the AMA. The three-day “Park Hopper” pass with one “Magic Morning” is an extremely good buy. Adults can expect to pay about $247 per ticket. This type of ticket allows a holder to go between the two Disneyland parks at will. Once through security, you will see Downtown Disney ahead of you, California Adventure Park to your left and the beloved Disney Park (Magic Kingdom) with its iconic fairy tale castle to your


travel - CALGARY SENIOR, February 2014 19 Fastpasses are free. You simply find the dispensers, insert your park ticket, and the machine spits out a pass indicating the time you can return to the ride. You will be able to breeze past the crowd. A word to the wise If you ride California Soarin’ (one of the best rides in the California Adventure park), do not put anything valuable, such as your passport, money, credit cards, and identification, under your seat, which the announcer advises riders to do. I forgot my purse containing all my valuables and I did not notice I had left it behind until an hour later. Luckily, I got it back intact, but the time during which I thought I had lost everything was not pleasant. Pack plenty of bottled water. You can purchase water at outside convenience stores or fast food restaurants like Del Taco far more economically than in the park. Bring your own food. Raid your hotel`s free breakfast and grab fruit and muffins. Do seek out the rides with Fastpasses and get your passes early in the day. Fastpasses are limited in number and some can run out by 9 a.m. Wear comfortable walking shoes. You could spend up to 17 hours a day in the parks. Remember sunscreen. California sunshine can be very hot, even in January. Bring a warm jacket or hoodie.

The nights get very cool. Wear a convenient neck lanyard with a plastic case for holding your park pass, Fastpasses, and shuttle bus ticket. In trouble? Need info? Need assistance? Go immediately to the Chamber of Commerce in the California Adventure Park or to the City Hall in the Disney park, or ask any “cast member” to help you. Ride the Disneyland train around the park. This is a fun ride and a great way to rest. Visit any and all attractions, even those that seemed designed for the very young guests. You may be pleasantly surprised. Toontown is a charming visual delight. The Aladdin Musical Spectacular is an excellent way to pass 45 minutes in a comfortable theatre seat. Cars Land in the California Adventure Park is a must-see. This tribute to the Disney Cars movies will enchant baby boomers with its Route 66 themed shops and attractions. Here is where you will find the Radiator Springs Racers. The Grizzly River Run is a great ride if you don’t mind getting wet. Early morning is best in order to avoid the crowds, but a Fastpass is an option. Isn’t it time you indulged the kid inside you? A ride on the Radiator Springs Racers, Space Mountain or the Mark Twain Riverboat, or a hug from Goofy might be just the thing to pull you out of your winter doldrums.

Disneyland Railroad Station right. Choose a park and head toward the entry gates, where your ticket will be scanned, your picture will be taken and you can pick up a map and a list of seasonal events. Mobility issues I can walk, but I have a very bad knee and standing on cement for hours creates so much pain that I am crippled by the end of the day. So for the first time in my life, I needed help. Thank goodness you can rent a scooter, known as an electronic convenience vehicle (ECV). If you have any kind of mobility issue, before entering either of the parks, head toward the right side of the Disneyland Park gates. Here you will find the stroller/wheelchair/motorized scooter rental booth. Rental prices are very reasonable: $12 a day for a wheelchair or $50 a day for a scooter, plus a $20 refundable security deposit. My husband and I love the scooters. They afford so much freedom, and you can get into almost every ride and attraction while remaining on your scooter. There is a special scooter parking area from which you transfer to the actual ride. When the ride is over, hop right back onto your scooter and beetle away. Scooters make getting around the park an absolute joy, even in thick

crowds. You will always have a place to sit, too. The park also provides special handicapped parking areas from which you can watch events such as the daily parades or the World of Color evening show. There is never any worry about breakdowns. Our electric scooter ran out of power about half way through our day, but we called the number on the key tag, and within minutes a “cast member” (Disney staffer) found us and gave us a replacement scooter. It was that simple. Also, you can leave your scooter at any time to take washroom breaks or to go into restaurants or shops. Just park and take the key with you. No concern over somebody making off with your ride. If you are going to rent a vehicle, do it first thing in the morning. Disneyland offers a limited number of wheelchairs and scooters, and they do run out. Make the most of the day Fastpasses allow visitors to avoid standing in long lines and are a must for many rides such as the extremely popular Radiator Springs Racers. You must go first thing in the morning to join the Fastpass line-up for this ride or expect to wait in a regular line-up for two to three hours in high season.

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20 February 2014, CALGARY SENIOR - travel

Sea of Cortez beach resort offers taste of paradise

By Jane Milburn I’ve found myself in a bit of paradise. I’m not completely sure how, but I am happy to let you all into my secret. It is the Costa Baja Resort, located on the southern half of the Baja Peninsula, near the city of La Paz. Many Canadians have “discovered” the resort community of Cabo San Lucas, at the southern tip of the peninsula, but La Paz, which is on its west side, is less familiar. However it is easy to reach on Westjet and relatively cheap to fly there. I arrived at the Costa Baja Resort at night. Having just jetted out of snowstorm and -30 temperatures, I was intrigued to find the foyer was completely open to the elements and a huge back wall was not glassed in as I had thought, but was a balcony, vaulted over a vision pool. The view

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stretched endlessly, to a wide starlit bay, fringed by twinkling city lights. By day, what meets the eye are gorgeous beaches of the magnificent Sea of Cortez. I returned to earth with a bit of a bump on looking at the hotel tariff, but paradise does not come easy or cheap. It took me a few days to realize the extent of Costa Baja Resort project. The architects must have had a ball, as they seem to have been let go to indulge their every fancy. There are vaulted rock walled theatres; housing complexes tumbling down the mountains sides; and intimate shopping parades nestling next to the luxury marinas. The Hyatt business hotel, in regulation modern style, looks a bit severe, next to the warm Mexican abode-type buildings. The outdoor restaurant/bar is located on a white, white beach. From this vantage point you can observe the sun worshippers, while sheltered under a rattan-roofed cabana and enjoying a large cool ice laden drink. This is golfer’s heaven. Gary Player designed

the signature golf course that “challenges all levels of player.” I would be challenged to keep my eye on the ball and not be distracted by the sight of multi-million dollar yachts gliding into the marina. The rich and famous come to play in the Baja and use this point as a convenient harbour from which to explore the islands and observe the sea life that abounds in the safe, warm waters. Whales arrive and nurse their babies. Dolphins and flying fish frolic in and out of the waves. Pelicans work the sea and circling vultures pick up any remains. If you need therapy the hotel spa is state of the art and uses organic oils to pamper you. You can be wrapped in herbs and coiffured and pedicured, while your husband refuels the yacht. This beautiful site has been developed to be as “eco-friendly” as possible. Water is pumped from the ocean and desalinated to provide for guests and plants alike. Should you wish have your own piece of Costa Brava’s paradise, you can buy here, whether a house or a condominium or a fraction thereof.

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Jane Milburn (left) and Laura Kanter enjoy sun and sea at the Costa Baja Resort on Mexico’s Baja peninsula.


travel - CALGARY SENIOR, February 2014 21

Calgary Senior Travel Photo Contest

Golf carts come in handy for getting around the 500-acre Costa Baja Resort.

You even can even start from square one at the bottom and buy a piece of land and design your own unit to fit your purse. You can be part of the larger community by heading down the road to La Paz. La Paz is a dear little town (population about 220,000) and safe. I wandered up and down the Malecon, the waterfront promenade, and while I had to be careful because of the condition of the sidewalk, the only person to accost me was a friendly American He told me that all sorts of English-speaking folks gathered at the marina at the Club Cruceros de la Paz. This confirmed the information I was given by ‘Super Gina� who was manning an art gallery. She had told me that from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. all sorts of people gathered at the marina, to drink coffee and exchange news, and they would welcome me as a friend or as a renter, or even as a hand at cards. So for 100 pesos you get a social life, and can find rental properties and even radio people on the boats. La Paz is full of Canadians and Americans, along with Mexicans going about their business. The first place you bump into on the way into La Paz is a giant Costco. The city also has a Sears and cute little shops as well as high quality restaurants that grill meats and swordfish on mesquite wood to achieve the correct bouquet! Canadians often worry about their healthcare but if you can get used to trusting a foreign doctor, you get very good care by going to a doctor, who will give you a diagnosis and a prescription at a low cost. If you should want to buy here, I found a realtor who English-speaking realtor. Gordon G. Herpst has lived in the district forever and knows all the ins and outs of buying property in the Baja. His email is omnilapz@ gmail.com. Should you need more information on living in Mexico contact mexicanlaura@gmail.com. La Paz is a beautiful and undiscovered area with access to wonderful sea life. It is a jumping off place for visiting pristine islands. You can camp or fish or scuba dive or just loaf around on the beach and eat delicious seafood. If you are rich go to Costa Baja and if you are looking for a bargain go to La Paz. I hope you enjoy paradise as much as I did.

Lanzarote, Canary Islands. Submitted By Edward Visser

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Imagine a warm-weather destination that will allow you to live well on your savings and pension. Enjoy the winter at our new independent retirement houses in Colonial Mexico. Includes 3 healthy meals/day and a crash course on living and retiring in Mexico. Classes such as Spanish, Cooking, Zumba, Swimming, Art, History, and an Introduction to Mexican Culture offered 5x/week.

Call Your Hosts: Laura & Rudy Kanter

(403) 241-2707 (587) 899-0116

email: mexicanlaura@gmail.com

visit: www.southboundsolutions.com


22 February 2014, CALGARY SENIOR

Bring Your Passport! Stay, Play & Shop at

COEUR D’ALENE Bingo/Casino RESORT HOTEL

MAY 1 - 5

How to get healthier by employing the buddy system with your pet (MS) -- Adopting a healthier lifestyle is not always so easy. Men and women who want to lose weight and get healthier often find it’s easier said than done. But one of the ways in which many people reach their fitness goals is to employ the buddy system, which enlists the help of a friend or family member with similar fitness goals to keep you motivated as you work toward a healthier you. But you don’t necessarily need to lean on a brother, sister, spouse or neighbor to help you make your fitness goals a reality. Man’s best friend, who might benefit from a healthier lifestyle himself, can make just as good a partner on your journey to a healthier lifestyle. The following are a handful of ways you and your four-legged friend can start living a healthier, more active life.

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Total Package including Shuttle into Spokane Mall & 3 nites accomm at Coeur D’Alene Resort Hotel

(Over 2000 slot machines)

Total $399 Can. (Dbl./Occu.) * Only $379 w/$20 Off Coupon if booked/paid before Apr 20, 2014! Ph. Laurel at Travel Team 1-800-756-4348 or Bill 780-466-5940

CALGARY Senior launches Pet PHOTO of the Month

“Emma & Sadie” Photo Submitted by Noreen Hansen Eat more fresh food. This may seem like an easy resolution. However, it takes time and preparation. For humans, this means incorporating more fruits and veggies into your diet. For pets, this means ensuring that their pet food uses ingredients such as fresh turkey, salmon and duck, fresh omega-3 and omega-6 oils (from coconuts and canola), wholesome berries and fruits and vegetables like peas, spinach and carrots. Now Fresh premium pet food by Petcurean is a great example. You can learn more about choosing a pet food with the freshest, healthiest ingredients at petcurean. com. Get more exercise. Did you know pets can decrease our blood pressure and cholesterol levels and increase our opportunities for exercise, outdoor activities and socialization? Exercising together will not only help optimize your health but also allow you to spend more time together. Schedule activity time with your pet. Most of us schedule time for other appointments and meetings, so why not set aside some priority time for pets, too? Just like you would a more typical fitness routine, schedule daily activity time with your pet. Your pet will appreciate the extra attention, and both of you will benefit from daily physical activity.

Do you have great photos of your pet? One of them could win you PRIZES or $50 in cash. Just enter them in the Calgary Senior Pet Photo Contest. Every month the best photo is selected by a panel of judges and wins the prize. Email your photographs to senior@abr.greatwest.ca or send prints by postal mail to:

Pet Photo Contest,

Calgary Senior, #310 16 Midlake Boulevard S.E., Calgary, AB T2X 2X7


Classifieds

CALGARY SENIOR, February 2014 23

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ON THE TOWN

Family Day 2014 Event – February 17 Drop in skating, soccer, volleyball and gymnastics. Spray Lakes Sawmills Family Sports Centre, 800 Griffin Road. Ph. 403-932-1635.

BEYOND CALGARY

Lethbridge

Continued from Page 16

Banff Banff Whyte Museum of the Rockies – February 1 to March 30 Two exhibits: The Photographs of Scotia Waterous and Sarah Fuller: My Banff. 111 Bear Street. Further info: 403-762-2291. Banff Centre Events – February 11 Elmer Iseler Singers with the Bow Valley Chorus February 12 Barefoot Divas: Walk A Mile In My Shoes Eric Harvie Theatre. Box office: 403762-6301.

Canmore 20th Alberta Winter Games – February 6 to 9 Athletes ranging from 11 to 17 years old will complete in traditional winter sports and various indoor sports. There will be 3,000 athletes, coaches and officials taking part. Weekend games passes and family weekend games passes are available. Games office: 403-678-2002.

Cochrane Cochrane Valley Folk Club – February 15 Del Barber & Rose Cousins Cochrane Alliance Church, 902 Glenbow Drive. 7:30 p.m. performance. Tickets available online at www. cochranefolkclub.com.

Galt Museum and Archives – Ends February 25 Archives Exposed: Lavish Living – 19th and 20th Century Country Catalogue Culture Mail order shopping with catalogues such as those produced by Eaton`s transformed consumer habits and lifestyle for rural communities. 502 1st Street S. Ph. 403-320-3898. New West Theatre – February 27 to March 8 Harvest A hit comedy. Performances at Yates Centre. Box office 403-329-7328.

Medicine Hat Performances at Esplanade Arts & Heritage Centre - February 6 Brett Kissell & One More Girl (country music). February 7 Matt Anderson (blues and folk music). February 15 Shumka at 50 (dance). February 19 Zakk Wylde (guitar). February 20 Bryan Adams (The Big Bones Tour). February 27 Celtic Dance Passion: Claddagh (dance). March 1 Jessie Cook (blues guitar). March 2 Wayan Bros. (comedy). 401 1st Street S.E. Box office: 403-502-8777. Art Exhibits at Esplanade Arts & Heritage Centre - Ends February 8 Two exhibits: Linda Gordon: The Eye of the Heart and Vision Circle: The Art of Roy Thomas. The Esplanade Arts & Heritage Centre is located at 401 1st Street S.E. Ph. 403-502-8793.

Okotoks Rotary Performing Arts Centre – February 22 Ella Doty In Concert An evening with this singer/ songwriter from Okotoks. 8 p.m. March 1 Cori Brewster In Concert An evening of folk and roots country music. 8 p.m. The Rotary Performing Arts Centre is located at 3 Elm Street E. Box office: 403-938-3204. Okotoks Art Gallery – Ends February 22 Two exhibits: Homeward Bound, an exhibit of oil paintings by Greg Pyra, and Under Box Mountain, an exhibit of charcoal drawings by Debra Rushford. 3 North Railway Street. Ph. 403-938-3204.

Red Deer Red Deer College Arts Centre Events – February 6 to 15 The Three Musketeers Theatre Production February 23 Dale Wheeler Piano Recital Concert Series. Venue is Red Deer College (mainstage). Tickets through Black Knight Ticket Centre: 403-755-6626. Red Deer Museum & Art Gallery – Ends February 17 Exhibit entitled Expedition Arctic. A travelling exhibit produced by the Canadian Museum of Civilization in collaboration with the Canadian Museum of Nature. 4525 47A Avenue. Ph. 403-309-8405.

LIST YOUR SENIORS EVENT WITH US IN ON THE TOWN CALL 1-866-425-3722


24 February 2014, CALGARY SENIOR

Resolve to Hear Better. “The service and follow-up care I received from Sonus was very impressive. I was amazed how the first step was not the last step.” Michael A., Sonus Customer

Discover in 75 days** how better hearing can improve your life. New Year’s resolutions can be tough to keep, especially if you’ve set lofty exercise goals or sworn off your favorite desserts. But there’s one resolution that’s easy to keep: the decision to finally do something about your hearing loss. Sonus is here to help you reach that goal and get 2014 off to a great start.

AQUARIS A truly waterproof hearing instrument, even when swimming or showering. • Waterproof (up to three feet)

• Visit our open house for a complimentary hearing screening.*

• Dustproof

• If the screening uncovers a problem, we’ll conduct a comprehensive exam.

• Shock resistant

• If needed, we’ll recommend a hearing solution to fit your unique needs.

eCHARGER

• Then, you can test the solution out with a 75-day trial.**

No need to bother replacing all those tiny batteries. Your compatible hearing aids can be charged in six hours, saving you nearly 52 batteries per year.

Experience the Sonus Difference Call (403) 253-4327 to schedule your complimentary

hearing screening* or go to Sonus.com/calgary to learn more about hearing loss and the solutions we offer.

Dr. Syed Ahmed, Au.D., R. AUD, M.Sc.(Audiology), M.B.B.S., Clinic Manager

COMPLIMENTARY HEARING SCREENING Good only at participating Sonus locations. Limit one coupon per customer. It cannot be combined with other offers, and it does not apply to previous sales. May not be valid with all insurance benefits. Cash value: 1/20 cent. Offer expires 2/28/14.

©2014 Sonus-USA, Inc.

• Doctor of Audiology • Registered Audiologist • 20 years of experience

Hearing screenings are always free. This is not a medical exam. **Hearing aids must be returned within 75-day period to qualify for refund. In some locations a full deposit is required and a re-stocking fee may apply. †Hearing aids cannot restore natural hearing. Success with hearing aids depends on a number of factors, including hearing loss severity and ability to adapt to amplification. *

6813ROPA/FP


Calgary Senior News 2014 February