Golden Years 2021

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The

GOLDEN Years 4TH ANNUAL

MERRITT’S GUIDE FOR SENIOR LIVING

LOOK INSIDE

for Community Information, Healthy Living, Legal Tips and so much more


AS WE AGE IT IS IMPORTANT that we, as seniors, have the supports we need to be as healthy, active and independent as possible; and to be able to age in our homes and our communities. I am working hard to ensure that the programs and services that seniors need, particularly during this time, are in place in our rural communities.

Jackie Tegart, MLA for Fraser-Nicola

Merritt Constituency Office #2-2152 Quilchena Ave. Merritt, B.C. Ph: (250) 378-8831 • TF: 1-877-378-4802 Em: Jackie.Tegart.MLA@leg.bc.ca

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Mayor’s Message

On behalf of Council and staff at the City of Merritt, I am pleased to provide an introduction to the latest Golden Years Merritt’s guide for senior living. This is a great annual guide for seniors currently living in the community and those considering the Nicola Valley for their future home. This guide is available in print and online at www.merritt.ca. This way, our senior community members have up-to-date information available at their fingertips. I would also like to invite you to view our latest Merritt Activities Guide produced quarterly. Our staff are committed to providing activities and programs that you, our citizens, want and enjoy. We provide these activities to support the great quality of life for all of our residents and work hard to attract new community members to our beautiful Nicola Valley. Please feel free to contact our Economic Development department at the Merritt City Hall at 250-378-8619 for relocation information and New Resident Welcome Packages. I am proud to be the Mayor for our growing community, with the framework provided through our Official Community Plan and individual Project Focused City Strategic Plans. These, along with

What’s inside 4 5 6/7 8/9

Merritt Transit

Cataract Surgery

10 12/13 14-15 16-17 18-19

Exercise Tips

Florentine Creativity

20&23

Exercising your Brain

Emergency Numbers Mental Health Coping with Empty Nest

Symptoms of Dementia Estate Planning Merritt Hospice Society Grief During COVID

Editorial: Jake Courtepatte Sales: Ken Couture and Theresa Arnold Production: Theresa Arnold and Darla Gray Photo credits: Michele Funtography Contributors: Interior Health, Merritt & District Hospice Society, BC Centre for Palliative Care, BC Crime Prevention Association, Community Policing Office.

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the new City of Merritt accessible website and the City of Merritt AgeFriendly and Accessibility Advisory Committee, helps bring residents together of all ages to engage in important community-wide projects. I would like to thank our dedicated staff and loyal sponsors for their contributions and efforts in advancing the City of Merritt towards being the jewel it is meant to be! I personally wish you and your loved ones well in your journey in our beautiful community. Be safe, have fun, and enjoy connecting with others! Sincerely, Linda Brown, Mayor

Supporting Seniors

Merritt is blessed to be home to a wide range of seniors’ complexes, services, organizations, and facilities that help keep seniors healthy and active. We also have incredible healthcare workers, staff and volunteers in our medical and social services who support our seniors in their daily lives. Thank you to all of them for the work that they do. There are also many provincial resources residents in their golden years can rely on, such as 8-1-1 — a service that will contact you with a health service navigator to help you find health information and services, connect you directly with a registered nurse, a registered dietitian, a qualified exercise professional, or a pharmacist. This is not to say that more cannot be done to ensure seniors are happy and healthy. In a year that has brought unprecedented challenges to our communities and especially our seniors, now is the time for us to re-evaluate the supports in place to ensure that seniors have the support and services they need to maintain their physical and mental health and age in place. I will continue to advocate on behalf of the seniors of FraserNicola to ensure they have access to the quality of long-term care and assisted living services they deserve so they can live happy and healthy lives and enjoy their golden years in their homes and hometowns. Sincerely, Jackie Tegart, MLA

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MERRITT REGIONAL TRANSIT SYSTEM • 250-378-4080

THE MERRITT TRANSIT SYSTEM OPERATES TWO BUSES: Bus 1: a fixed transit bus service Bus 2: a shared transit on request, curb to curb bus service to and from destinations in the Merritt area. *All customers are eligible to use the on request, curb to curb bus service. Bus 1: Operates Monday through Saturday, between 6:15 am and 11:00 pm. Bus 1 departs for Route 4, Lower Nicola, four times a day, departs Civic Plaza, 7:12, 11:12, 5:12, 10:27. There is no bus service to Route 3, Diamond Vale and Route 2, Collettville, at these times. Operates on Statutory Holidays. Bus 1: Operates Sunday between 8:15 am and 6:11 pm. Includes hourly runs to Diamond Vale and Collettville. There are no Route 4, Lower Nicola bus runs on Sunday. Operates on Statutory Holidays. Bus 1: Customers can transfer to Route 4, Lower Nicola. Monday through Friday, two times a day, Bus 1 meets with Bus 2 departing for Route 4, Lower Nicola. Bus 2 departs Civic Plaza, 8:12 and 2:12 Bus 2: Shared Transit Bus Service: Operates Monday through Friday and departs four times a day to Route 1, North End and two times a day to Route 4, Lower Nicola. Operates Statutory Holidays, not falling on a weekend. Bus 2: Route 1, North end. Bus 2 departs from Mamette at Voght, sheltered bus stop near Subway & Yaki Joe’s and arrives back downtown at the Civic Plaza a half hour later. Departs Mamette at Voght: 9:15, 10:15, 1:15 and 3:15 Arrives Civic Plaza: 9:41, 10:41, 1:41 and 3:41 Bus 2: Route 4, Lower Nicola. Bus 2 departs from the Civic Plaza bus stop, Mamette at Voght and arrives back downtown a half hour later. Near Subway & Yaki Joe’s Departs Civic Plaza: 8:12, 2:12 Arrives Mamette at Voght: 8:45, 2:45 Bus 2: Customers can transfer to Route 1, North end, Monday through Friday, two times a day. Bus 2 meets with Bus 1 departing for Route 1, North end. Bus 1 departs Mamette at Voght near Subway & Yaki Joe’s Bus 2: On request, Curb to Curb Bus Service, operates an on request, curb to curb bus service, 4 times a day, Monday to Friday, with four, half hour bus pick up trips. Departs Civic Plaza: 8:45, 9:45, 12:45 and 2:45 Operates on BC Statutory Holidays, not falling on a weekend. *SHARED TRANSIT ON REQUEST, CURB TO CURB BUS SERVICE TO AND FROM DESTINATIONS IN THE MERRITT AREA. • On request service is limited to two, wheelchair/scooters per trip. Priority is given to the first to call and people with mobile challenges. • This is not a Handy Dart service. If you need assistance from another person to board or exit the bus, please have an attendant with you to assist. Attendants ride free. • Bus pick up: Book 24 hours ahead. Bookings received less than 24 hours ahead will be subject to availability - Call 250-378-4080. • Please be patient waiting for the bus. Other folks may have booked the curb to curb bus service. • Drop off: Confirm with the driver when you board. • Examples of locations: A house, hospital, medical centre, school, or employment site. • Trips are limited to the general Merritt area.

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SAIL

Seniors Abuse and Information Line

Phone: 604-437-1940 Toll Free: 1-866-437-1940 Monday to Sunday, 8am to 8pm TTY Teletype Phone: 604-428-3359 Toll Free: 1-855-306-1443 Language interpretation available 9am to 4pm Monday to Friday MEDIA/VOLUNTEER/OUTREACH INQUIRIES: outreach@seniorsfirstbc.ca GENERAL INQUIRIES: info@seniorsfirstbc.ca

Call SAIL if you feel an older adult is in an abusive situation of any kind.

EMERGENCY NUMBERS These are Non-Emergency Numbers

POLICE FIRE

AMBULANCE

MERRITT LOGAN LAKE PRINCETON SPENCES BRIDGE LOWER NICOLA DOUGLAS LAKE

378-4262 378-5626 1-800-461-9911 523-6222 523-6225 1-800-461-9911 295-3325 295-3325 1-800-461-9911 458-2233 1-800-461-9911 378-4262 1-888-378-9660 378-4262 350-3344 1-800-461-9911

OTHER EMERGENCY NUMBERS CRIME STOPPERS/TIPS �����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������1-800-222-8477 GAS LEAKS OR ODOURS (FORTISBC) ������������������������������������������������������������������������������������1-800-663-9911 24 HOURS - EMERGENCY PROGRAM - PROVINCIAL EMERGENCIES ONLY (EARTHQUAKE, FLOOD, DANGEROUS GOODS SPILL, TSUNAMI) ����������������������������������������������������� 1-800-663-3456 FOREST FIRE REPORTING ONLY ��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������1-800-663-5555 POWER OUTAGES & EMERGENCIES ��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������1-888-769-3766 PROVINCIAL EMERGENCY PROGRAM INFORMATION ����������������������������������������������������������1-250-371-5240 MERRITT VICTIM SERVICES �������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 1-250-378-5699 The Golden Years • www.merrittherald.com

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Geriatric psychiatry provides support through aging Many positive changes come with aging. Financial independence, freedom to pursue hobbies and more time to spend with loved ones are some such benefits. But as men and women age, they also must give consideration to those changes few consider until they’re happening. Retirement, loss of a spouse, distance from family, downsizing, and fears of illness must be given their due attention so aging adults can get the assistance they need when they need it. Geriatric psychiatrists can fill the gaps where others cannot. The American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry defines the profession as a Doctor of Medicine or Doctor of Osteopathy with special training in the diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders that may occur in older adults. These disorders may include, but are not limited

to, dementia, depression, anxiety, late life addiction disorders, and schizophrenia. Although geriatric psychiatrists can treat these and more, they also may help adults navigate emotional, physical and social needs that come with getting older. The AAGP estimates that the rate of mental illness among older adults will double over the next 10 years from what it was in 2000. Many of the people treated will need assistance with symptoms of dementia. The organization Alzheimer’s Disease International indicates there are more than 9.9 million new cases of dementia each year worldwide. Geriatric psychiatrists can provide specialized care to this unique demographic. Geriatric psychiatrists often focus on prevention, evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment

Memory care a component of assisted living Aging brings about many changes, including some that may compromise seniors’ ability to remain independent. In such instances, many families consider assisted living facilities for their aging relatives. While communities and homes provide various services, one service in particular may be needed for seniors with Alzheimer’s disease, other dementias or memory problems. Memory care units are separate facilities that cater to people with dementia or other memory issues. According to the senior residence referral and resource guide A Place for Mom, memory care is a distinct form of long-term skilled nursing. Also called special care units, memory care facilities provide 24-hour supervised care for individuals. This care is often carried out in a separate wing or floor of a residential facility or community. Memory care facilities aim to provide a safe and secure environment for residents. This means limiting entry or egress to other areas of the facility for those who may have trouble navigating and remembering where they started out. The Alzheimer’s Association notes that six in ten people with dementia will wander and become disoriented. This is dangerous for the individual and others. Memory care units often have alarms and “wander 6

guard” precautions in place to make sure residents cannot roam unsupervised and risk injury. Another goal of memory care is to provide a stressfree, structured lifestyle that has set schedules and routines, states Brookdale Senior Living. This can help keep distress minimal and make for more comfortable and happy residents. In addition, memory care units offer programs that help slow the progression of dementias and cultivate cognitive skills. Fitness exercises, games, specialty food programs, activities, and much more may be offered to make residents more comfortable. Memory care facilities include common spaces for socialization, meals and activities. “Alzheimer’s patients must maintain their activity, walking, interacting with music, and art,” says Lory BrightLong, MD, CMD, of the American Medical Directors Association. “We have to awaken the senses so that the memory can have a hook. This is accomplished in the memory care setting.” It is important for those considering assisted living and nursing home facilities to inquire about specific memory care units if a loved one requires this environment.

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MERRITT

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of mental and emotional disorders in the elderly, says the American Psychiatric Association, an advocate for improvement of psychiatric care for elderly patients. Geriatric psychiatrists understand how medication dosage and therapy treatments may need to be customized as one ages. These psychiatrics also can consult with experts in neurology and primary care physicians when there are symptoms across various fields, which may be the case when patients are experiencing memory impairment, anxiety and depression. Geriatric psychiatrists suggest speaking with mental health professionals early on if symptoms of low mood, restlessness, insomnia, and other hallmarks of potential mental dysfunction are present in elderly patients. This way doctors can step in early and improve their quality of life.

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VETERAN SUPPORT AND SERVICE: Need help? That’s what the Legion was built to do. The Legion’s Veteran support services has been a pillar of the organization since it was founded in 1926. Our services are offered free-of-charge to all Veterans and their families regardless of whether or not they are members of the Legions. Generally speaking, we offer two avenues of assistance. 1. Assistance with Disability Claims through Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) 2. Emergency Financial Assistance through the Poppy Fund Who is eligible to apply? • Any person who is in service or who has honourably served in the Canadian Armed Forces, RCMP and their dependents; • Merchant Navy personnel who have been awarded campaign stars or decorations and their dependents; • Ex-service personnel of Commonwealth countries and their dependents who are resident in Canada; and • Ex-service personnel of allied countries and their dependents who are resident in Canada. How can I apply? Contact our Services Officer at Royal Canadian Legion -96 - 1940 Quilchena Ave., Merritt, BC Telephone: 250-378-5631 Open - Thursday – Saturday 1pm to 8 pm

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To contact us: Go to our new website: merrittcurling.ca (email through ‘contact us’) or phone 250-378-4423 in September and leave a message. 7


Coping with an empty nest Many people find it rewarding to start a family and raise children. Watching kids grow through the years and sharing in their experiences can bring life to a household. Mothers spend 18 years or more devoted to their children, and often their identities are defined as “Mom” above all else. As a result, it can be difficult to think ahead to life without kids in the home, especially when children are toddlers or school-aged. But children will someday grow up and move out, and the emotions that

Reconnecting with your spouse is one way to combat feelings of loss that can stem from a suddenly empty nest. resonate when that day comes can be overwhelming. Many parents feel a sense of sadness and loss when their last child leaves the family home. Referred to as “empty nest syndrome,” these feelings are not officially labeled as a clinical mental health issue, but 8

they are very real for many people. While parents encourage their children to become independent and branch out in their own lives, not every parent can cope with an empty nest. The parenting and family resource Verywell Family states that mothers with empty nest syndrome experience a deep void in their lives that oftentimes makes them feel a little lost. Moms who are feeling the pangs of sadness due to an empty nest can employ some strategies to alleviate these feelings. • Keep friends close. Use this opportunity to spend more time with close friends and put yourself first. Schedule all of those activities you may have temporarily put on hold while caring for children through the years. • Make time for travel. New experiences can broaden anyone’s horizons. Travel as a couple or with a group of friends. Put the focus on fun and then share the experiences later on with your adult children. • Redefine yourself. The experts at Psychology Today suggest finding new roles and interests to explore, or spend more time exploring existing hobbies. For example, if you’ve thought about doing community theater, do so now that you have some free time. Or maybe you’ve always had a goal of going back to school? Now may be the time to make that happen. • Reconnect with your partner. Recall the years before you had children when it was only the two of you and devote time to making more memories as a couple. Plan date nights, go to sporting events, attend a summer concert, or pursue other shared interests. • Change things up at home. Turn children’s rooms into spaces you can use for your own interests. One can be a crafting room or a home office. Another may be a home theater. No longer labeling those rooms as the kids’ spaces can help the transition. Empty nest syndrome is real, but there are many ways to move past the mixed emotions synonymous with this phenomenon. www.merrittherald.com • The Golden Years


What to expect from cataract surgery Cataracts are a clouding of the lens of the eye that can cause blurry vision and increase glare from lights. The Mayo Clinic indicates that cataracts can make it difficult for people to carry out their normal activities or interfere with treatment of other eye problems. In such instances, doctors may recommend cataract surgery. Cataract surgery involves removing the lens of the eye when it’s cloudy. A cloudy lens can make people feel like they are looking through a foggy or dusty car windshield. That’s because a cataract-plagued lens cannot refract light rays effectively. Many images appear hazy and blurry, or less colourful. Surgery is the only way to effectively treat cataracts. The cloudy lens is replaced with an artificial clear lens called an intraocular lens, or IOL, says the AAO. Cataract surgeries have become routine and most operations are successful. The National Institutes of Health says as many as 95 percent of people who undergo cataract procedures experience an improvement in the sharpness of their vision. Replacement of the damaged lens is the goal, but there are different types of cataract surgery that vary based on the size of the incision and the technology used to remove the cataract. Phacoemulsification is one popular procedure during which a surgeon will make a two- to three-millimeter-long incision in the front of the eye for an ultrasonic probe. The probe utilizes vibration to break up

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the cataract and removes the fragments with suction. A foldable lens is then inserted through the incision. Here are some things to expect from cataract surgery. • A week or more before the surgery an ultrasound test will measure the size and shape of the eye. This helps to determine which type of IOL will later be inserted and become a permanent part of the eye. • IOLs can come with different features, such as blocking ultraviolet light or being monofocal or bifocal in nature. Others correct astigmatism. An eye doctor will discuss which type of lens is best. • Medicated eye drops may be prescribed before surgery to reduce the risk for eye infections. • Patients may need to stop taking certain medications prior to surgery. • You will be awake for the procedure, but your eye will be numbed. Some doctors provide a sedative to help with relaxation. • Typically the surgery is an out-patient procedure, meaning you’ll be able to return home the same day. However, you will not be able to drive, so arrange for transportation. • Medicated eye drops may be prescribed, and recovery may include limiting activities for a few days. A Cataract surgery can give people a new lease on life through improved visual clarity. The procedure is relatively easy and successful for the majority of people.

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Effective exercises for senior Losing interest in an exercise regimen is a situation many fitness enthusiasts have confronted at one point or another. Overcoming a stale workout routine can be simple for young athletes, whose bodies can typically handle a wide range of physical activities. That flexibility allows younger athletes the chance to pursue any number of physical activities when their existing fitness regimens grow stale. But what about seniors who have grown tired of their workouts? Even seniors who have lived active lifestyles since they were youngsters are likely to encounter certain physical limitations associated with aging. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the likelihood of dealing with one or more physical limitations increases with age. CDC data indicates that eight percent of adults between the ages of 50 and 59 have three or more physical limitations. That figure rises to 27 percent among adults age 80 and over.

Physical limitations may be a part of aging for many people, but such obstacles need not limit seniors looking to banish boredom from their workout routines. In fact, many seniors can successfully engage in a variety of exercises that benefit their bodies and are unlikely to grow stale. • Water aerobics: Sometimes referred to as “aqua aero10

bics,” water aerobics may involve jogging in the water, leg lifts, arm curls, and other activities that can safely be performed in a pool. The YMCA notes that water aerobics exercises are low impact, which can make them ideal for seniors with bone and joint issues like arthritis. • Resistance band workouts: Resistance band workouts can be especially useful for seniors who spend a lot of time at home. Resistance bands are inexpensive and don’t take up a lot of space, making them ideal for people who like to exercise at home but don’t have much space. Resistance bands can be used to strengthen muscles in various parts of the body, including the legs, arms and back. Resistance bands can be pulled or pushed in any direction, which allows for more versatility in a workout than weight machines and dumbbells. That versatility allows seniors to spice up their workout regimens when things get a little stale. • Pilates: Pilates is another low-impact exercise that can be ideal for seniors with bone and joint issues. According to SilverSneakers®, a community fitness program for seniors that promotes living through physical and social engagement, Pilates can help seniors build overall strength, stability and coordination. SilverSneakers® even notes that seniors can experience improvements in strength and stability by committing to as little as 10 to 15 minutes of daily Pilates exercises. • Strength training: Seniors on the lookout for something more challenging than a daily walk around the neighborhood should not overlook the benefits of strength training. The CDC notes that seniors who participate in strength training can stimulate the growth of muscle and bone, thereby reducing their risk for osteoporosis and frailty. In fact, the CDC notes that people with health concerns like arthritis or heart disease often benefit the most from exercise regimens that include lifting weights a few times each week. Physical limitations are a part of aging. But seniors need not let such limitations relegate them to repetitive, boring workouts. www.merrittherald.com • The Golden Years


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Signs and symptoms of dementia

Dementia is a global issue that affects people’s daily lives in a myriad of ways. According to the World Health Organization, dementia is a syndrome marked by deterioration in memory, thinking and behavior. That deterioration affects dementia patients’ ability to perform everyday activities, potentially robbing them of their independence. The WHO reports that approximately 50 million people across the globe have dementia and there are nearly 10 million new cases diagnosed each year. Though the hallmarks of dementia, such as memory loss, might be the same, the WHO notes that dementia affects each person differently. That’s due to certain factors, including a patient’s personality prior to becoming ill. Early stage: Signs and symptoms that mark the early stage of dementia are often chalked up as side effects of aging. Dementia is not a normal part of aging, so its signs and symptoms, even if they are not yet severe or significant, should not be written off as a byproduct of growing old. Common symptoms in the early stage of dementia include forgetfulness, losing track of the time and becoming lost in familiar places. Middle stage: Life becomes more difficult during the middle stage of dementia, when signs and symptoms become more apparent. The forgetfulness present in the early stage now becomes forgetfulness of recent events and people’s names. People in the middle stage also may become lost in their own homes and experience a growing difficulty with communication. People in this stage may need help caring for themselves, and some experience behavioural changes such as wandering and repeated questioning. Late stage: Memory disturbances are significant in the late stage of dementia, when people are almost entirely dependent on others. People in late stage dementia may have difficulty recognizing relatives and friends and be unaware of the time and place. Many people in this stage need assistance with self-care and they may have difficulty walking. Behavioral changes may escalate, and some people in this stage become aggressive, even toward their loved ones. Dementia affects tens of millions of people across the globe. Though there currently is no cure for dementia, the WHO emphasizes the importance of early diagnosis. 12

How aging adults can mainta Aging is associated with or linked to a host of mental and physical side effects. For example, many adults expect their vision to deteriorate as they grow older. Such a side effect can be combatted with routine eye examinations that may indicate a need for a stronger eyeglass prescription, a relatively simple solution that won’t impact adults’ daily lives much at all. While physical side effects like diminished vision might not strike much fear in the hearts of aging men and women, those same people may be concerned and/or frightened by the notion of age-related cognitive decline. Some immediately associate such decline with Alzheimer’s disease, an irreversible, progressive brain disorder that gradually destroys memory and cognitive skills, ultimately compromising a person’s ability to perform even the simplest of tasks. But age-related cognitive decline is not always symptomatic of Alzheimer’s disease. Learning about Alzheimer’s and how to maintain mental acuity can help aging men and women better understand the changes their brains might be undergoing as they near or pass retirement age.

Is Alzheimer’s disease hereditary?

The National Institute on Aging notes that only a very rare form of Alzheimer’s disease is inherited. Early-onset familial Alzheimer’s disease, or FAD, is caused by mutations in certain genes. If these genes are passed down from parent to child, then the child is likely, but not certain, to get FAD. So while many adults may be concerned about Alzheimer’s because one of their parents had the disease, the NIA notes that the majority of Alzheimer’s cases are late-onset, which has no obvious family pattern.

Can Alzheimer’s disease be prevented?

Studies of Alzheimer’s disease are ongoing, but to date there is no definitive way to prevent the onset of the disease.

How can I maintain mental acuity as I age? Researchers have not yet determined a way to

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ain their mental acuity prevent Alzheimer’s disease, but adults can take certain steps to maintain their mental acuity into retirement. • Exercise regularly. Routine exercise may be most associated with physical benefits, but the NIA notes that such activity has been linked to benefits for the brain as well. For example, a 2011 study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America found that aerobic exercise training increases the size of the hippocampus, leading to improvements in spatial memory. The NIA also notes that one study indicated exercise stimulated the brain’s ability to maintain old network connections and make new ones vital to cognitive health. • Read more. Avid readers may be happy to learn that one of their favorite pastimes can improve the efficiency of their cognitive systems while delaying such systems’ decline. A 2013 study published in the journal Neurology by researchers at Chicago’s Rush University Medical Center found that mentally active lifestyles may not prevent the formations of plaques and tangles associated with Alzheimer’s disease, but such lifestyles decreases the likelihood that the presence of plaques or tangles will impair cognitive function. • Stay socially connected. Maintaining social connections with family, friends and community members also can help women prevent cognitive decline. Epidemiologist Bryan James of the Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Center studied how social activity affected cognitive decline, ultimately noting that the rate of cognitive decline was considerably lower among men and women who maintained social contact than it was among those with low levels of social activity. The idea of age-related cognitive decline strikes fear in the hearts of many men and women, but there are ways for adults to maintain their mental acuity well into their golden years. Are Alzheimer’s disease and dementia the same thing? There are many different forms of dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease is one of them. In fact, the WHO notes that Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia, potentially contributing to as many as 70 percent of dementia cases. But people diagnosed with dementia do not necessarily have Alzheimer’s.

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WILLS AND POWER OF ATTORNEYS: WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE? By Morgan Hampton

Merritt welcomed a new Notary Public this year, Julia Trela, who moved from North Delta to fill a vacancy left by Cherry Inglis’ retirement.

A Notary Public has the same powers in specific areas of law, such as real estate and personal planning, as a lawyer does, but they may be more accessible to you. These services are particularly important for seniors who are entering their Golden Years and looking to make plans for their future health and wellbeing, as well as the eventual dispersal of their estate. What is the difference between a Will, a Power of Attorney (POA) or a Representation Agreement, and why are they important? “A Power of Attorney is important, especially if you’re in a care home, or you have mobility issues, a Power of Attorney would let somebody else take care of things for you, someone you trust of course,” said Trela. “It lets someone go to the bank and do banking for you; it lets them sign a contract to sell the property if you wish to. There are protections in the law so that they can’t use it for fraud, for example they can’t transfer the property to themselves, but it’s obviously recommended to give those kinds of documents only to the most trusted, like your children.” 14

There are two types of POA. The standard POA expires when you lose your capacity, such as if you were to enter a coma or other non-responsive state. An enduring POA lasts as long as you are alive, only expiring once you pass away and your will comes into play. A Representation Agreement revolves around healthcare and the long-term care you may need as you experience physical decline. “These are often used to get into a care home, or if you’re in the process of a separation or you have a child that you don’t want to make your decisions for you, a Representation Agreement for healthcare lets the doctors know that you don’t want that person making healthcare decisions for you,” explained Trela. A Representation Agreement will also handle your requests surrounding withdrawal of life support at end of life. “There’s no such thing as a living will anymore,” Trela cautions, advising that individuals consider a POA, enduring POA or a Representation Agreement to suit their needs. “Wills are especially important if you still own property,” said Trela. “If you still have real estate, then that really helps the family, and it doesn’t leave the burden on the children or your closest relatives. It makes it easier; it makes the process much more streamlined.” It is important that you make all preparations for these documents while you are still of sound mind and body. “You don’t want to be doing it last minute, because then it’s too late,” said Trela. Failure to do so can lead to lengthy and expensive complications for your estate, and those who will be handling your affairs, such as your children. “That will cost your estate a lot of money in court fees. If they have to sell a property and it has to go to Committeeship or anything like that, that’s thousands of dollars out of pocket. It’s easier for the relatives and www.merrittherald.com • The Golden Years


much more cost efficient for you to do it while you still understand what’s going on.” Wills handle the major decisions that will need to be made after you pass, such as the dispersal of your property, money, and assets. Although it is possible to go into further detail, it is generally recommended that directions be left in simple, concise terms. For example, if there is a family heirloom or particular item of sentimental value, it could be provided for in your will, but there is a more straightforward approach. “They could, but I don’t recommend it, and I personally don’t do that,” Trela said, of Wills containing numerous individual items and details.

“A more effective way of disposing of a specific item, they’re called articles in a Will, is to leave a note. A Will generally states that the executor has to listen to the notes left. There should be a list, or even putting stickers with names on the back of things of who you want it to go to, that saves a lot of fighting after you pass away.” It is also important that your POA, Representation Agreement and Will be kept up to date, and any life changes that affect those documents, such as becoming widowed, divorcing, having an executor pass or a preferred executor come of age, are all reasons to reassess your personal planning documents and make any necessary changes.

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Merritt Hospice Society supporting the terminally ill for 35 years By Morgan Hampton

The Merritt Hospice Society has been providing services to the community of Merritt for 35 years, supporting the terminally ill and their families since 1986. You may be wondering, what is hospice? If you have never had a terminally ill loved one, you may be unfamiliar with the service this organization provides to those who are reaching the end of their life. “Hospice is caring people working in cooperation with physicians and other members of the health care team to offer support to the terminally ill and their families,” said Jill Sanford, chairman of the Merritt Hospice Society. “We also support individuals who are grieving, with one-on-one support and grief support groups.” It is the firm belief of those within the Hospice Society that no one should die or grieve alone, and all work is done to support this belief. The Society is staffed by volunteers, and no clients are ever charged a fee for what is provided. “All volunteers complete a three-day training session, a criminal record check and sign a confidentiality agreement,” said Sanford, who has been a hospice volunteer herself for more than 35 years. “Our volunteers are adults from various backgrounds and experience, and are consciously paired with clients best suited for them. They are very compassionate individuals that want to make a difference, and enjoy helping people.” Volunteers visit clients wherever they are in their journey, whether it is at home, in a care facility or at a hospital. They offer services such as bedside sitting, where they provide conversation, or merely comfort, to someone at end of life who is bedbound; “time-out” for the primary caregiver, similar to respite care, as caring for a terminally ill loved one can often be physically and emotionally

16

draining; companionship in the form of letter-writing, reading or other small tasks the ill person may not be able to do themselves, and also listening without judgement. “We offer support for the friends and family with the client, including staying with their loved ones so that they can take breaks and feel comfort knowing their loved ones are in good hands,” said Sanford. www.merrittherald.com • The Golden Years


ADVANCE CARE PLANNING is a process of thinking and talking about what is important to you. This helps you and those closest to you to prepare for future health decisions. THINK: • What matters most to you? • Who could make health care decisions if you could not? TALK: • Discuss your thoughts with those closest to you and your health-care providers

“Quilts are donated to our society from the local ‘Quilters Guild’ and these quilts are given to the clients in care that are then passed on to the family to keep.” Referrals for hospice support are made automatically by Home and Community Care personnel, but a friend, family member or the patients themselves are also able to make a referral. Hospice does not discriminate based on religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, ethnicity, age of patient or type of illness. Anyone facing end of life is welcome to reach out to hospice for support. The Hospice Coordinator will meet with the client and/or family to discuss how the program works and how it might best serve the client’s needs and wishes. Should the client or family agree to receive hospice services, a specific volunteer will be assigned to support the family throughout the journey. The Merritt Hospice also provides other services including individual and group support. “We also offer community education about various aspect of palliative care and grief support, and Advance Care Planning Sessions to the public,” said Sanford. “We maintain a comprehensive lending library and we have been doing the ‘Celebrate-A-Life’ Memory Tree during Christmas for over 30 years.” For those who have lost a loved one there is also ‘grief support’ offered by hospice volunteers. This may include oneon-one support or inclusion in the ‘Living with Loss’ confidential grief support group. ‘Living with Loss’ was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but plans have been made to begin the meetings again sometime this month. For more information, call 250-280-1701. The Merritt Hospice is a member of the BC Hospice Palliative Care Association, the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association, and the BC Bereavement Helpline. If you, or someone you know, is in need of any of the hospice’s services, call 250-280-4040 for more information.

The Golden Years • www.merrittherald.com

PLAN: • Record your wishes • Share your plan with those closest to you and your health care providers

Forfuther furtherinformation information visit: For visit:www.bc-cpc.ca www.bc-cpc.ca or contact Merritt Hospice or contact Merritt Hospiceatat250-280-4040 250-280-1701

Email: merritthospice@shaw.ca • Website: merritthospice.org

Merritt & District Hospice Society Ask yourself: Who in my neighbourhood is challenged with a serious illness, mobility issues, or is experiencing grief? Are you feeling lonely, or need someone to talk to? We are here to offer client support over the phone, and one to one support. Come visit our office to check out our library and many resources available.

FREE Grief & Loss Support for individuals & families who are struggling with any loss that impacts their lives.

Office is open every Thursday from 9am-12pm 2025 Granite Avenue Call 250-280-1701 for more information. Email: merritthospice@shaw.ca • Website: merritthospice.org 17


Grief During COVID-19 The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted our lives all over the world. Many people are struggling with change and uncertainty about safety and have worries about their future finances, and the well-being of friends and family. You may find that you feel “not quite yourself”. You may be distracted, anxious, irritable, angry, and fearful. You might feel alone, with a sense of despair or hopelessness. The pandemic has stirred up emotions and thoughts that are very similar to those we experience when we grieve.

Death is not the only time we grieve. It is normal to grieve whenever you lose something or someone important to you. COVID -19 has led to a whole series of losses that are affecting our sense of safety, social connections, personal freedoms, and daily routines. At the same time it has caused significant changes and losses in our healthcare, economic, and government systems. It is normal to have thoughts or questions that may not have 18

answers especially when you grieve. There are some things you can do that may help you through the Pandemic and may help you feel better, such as: Feel what you feel - Feelings are not right or wrong. Let your emotions move through you. When you suppress or avoid these feelings they tend to become bigger. Stay informed but set limits on exposure to “bad news” - It’s important to know what’s happening, but set limits on how much time you spend on the news reports and “bad news” stories. Focus on the positives, such as kindness, humour, and creativity. Focus on what you can control – Follow the guidance of the Public Health experts. Try to look after yourself by healthy eating, exercise, and getting enough sleep. Connect with others – Have regular phone calls with family and friends. Connect using Skype, FaceTime or social media. Help friends or neighbours, following guidelines for social distancing. Show support and appreciation for those in essential service roles. Get support for your mental health – If you need more help, reach out. Many national and provincial mental health programs have set up online and telephone supports. Check out the local mental health and other support services such as Merritt Hospice and BC Bereavement Helpline. Connect or reconnect with your faith community. When you are in the depths of your grief, it can be hard to believe that you can heal and take part in life again. Grief comes in waves. It’s more like a hilly, winding road than a mountain. Everyone grieves differently. The changes you see in yourself and those around you could be your responses to grief. Try to be kind and patient with yourself and others in these challenging times. Adapted from Canadian Virtual Hospice www.merrittherald.com • The Golden Years


SENIORS’ CREATIVITY SHINES THROUGH DONATIONS By Jake Courtepatte Seniors at the Florentine retirement facility have been keeping busy during these hot and dry months, creating change in Merritt through homemade creations. The gift shop at the Florentine is chock full of everything from homemade jewelry, to slippers, hats, and slippers. Also included are shelves and shelves full of teddy bears. These bears, looking brand new, are found at garage sales, through thrift, etc. throughout the community, brought back and cleaned up. The seniors then hand-make outfits and costumes for the bears, and sell them for twenty dollars apiece, with all proceeds going to the Nicola Valley Food Bank.

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How puzzles promote health and wellness

Puzzles are fun and entertaining, but their benefits go beyond simple recreation. In fact, playing and solving puzzles on a regular basis can benefit adults in various ways. Puzzles often stimulate problem-solving centres in the brain and can improve brain health. Researchers have found that, by completing crossword puzzles, playing challenging games or doing other puzzle-related activities, individuals may be less likely to develop brain plaques that have been tied to Alzheimer’s disease. Beyond their health benefits, puzzles offer some additional perks.

SUDOKU

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• Puzzles boost vocabulary. Puzzles such as crosswords or codewords/cryptograms introduce people to new words. This helps people expand their vocabulary and can help them improve their spelling. • Puzzles teach patience. Puzzles can be challenging, and such challenges can promote patience in regard to approaching and realizing goals. • Puzzles can reinforce lessons. Teaching through puzzle play is an effective way to tap into memory retention while making lessons fun.

• Puzzles reinforce concentration. Concentration is required to find words hidden in a word search puzzle or to solve a brainteaser. According to data on SelfGrowth.com, puzzles naturally induce a state of creative, focused meditation. • Puzzles improve visual-spatial reasoning. When solving a jigsaw puzzle or working one’s way through a maze, players have to look at different shapes and figure out where they fit within the larger picture. Better visual-spacial skills can help with packing, driving and using a map and can be valuable career tools in fields such as architecture. Puzzles are a fun recreational activity that also can boost brain health. 20

Here’s How It Works:

Sudoku puzzles are formatted as a 9x9 grid, broken down into nine 3x3 boxes. To solve a sudoku, the numbers 1 through 9 must fill each row, column and box. Each number can appear only once in each row, column and box. You can figure out the order in which the numbers will appear by using the numeric clues already provided in the boxes. The more numbers you name, the easier it gets to solve the puzzle!

Answers located on page 22

• Puzzles may improve intelligence. Engaging in puzzles can force players to think and reason using general knowledge, memory, spatial imagery, and logic. These skills help to sharpen intellect over time. Researchers at the University of Michigan even found that adults could boost their IQs by four points after spending 25 minutes a day doing puzzles.

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32. Alaskan town 33. Covered with ivy 34. Loose granular substances 36. Native American tribe 37. Written American English 38. Holiday (informal) 40. Add up 41. Small brown and gray rails 43. Get off your feet 44. Express disgust 46. Surface of the ground 47. Put into a silo 49. Belief 50. British noblemen 51. Tennis game 52. Dry, protective crust 53. Swiss river 54. Large integers 57. La __ Tar Pits, Hollywood 58. Every one of two or more 59. “Deadpool” actor Reynolds 61. Earlier 62. Peter’s last name

36. KAW 37. SAE 38. VAC 40. SUBTOTAL 41. SORAS 43. SIT 44. PAH 46. SOD 47. ENSILE 49. TENET 50. EARLS 51. MATCH 52. SCAB 53. AARE 54. TENS 57. BREA 58. EACH 59. RYAN 61. AGO 62. PAN

SODUKU ANSWERS FROM PG 20

42. ENOW 43. SUE 44. POCKED 45. TAP 46. SIB 47. EAR 48. ADS 49. TOTTENHAM 52. SATED 55. OAS 56. SABER 60. CAEN 61. ATRIP 63. TRAY 64. ARNE 65. GALLA 66. CECA 67. BEST 68. OLSEN 69. HAHN

CLUES DOWN 1. Fifth notes of major scales 2. Region 3. Your consciousness of your own identity 4. Georgetown athletes 5. They follow A 6. Spoke 7. Hairdressers’ domain 8. Extravagantly theatric 9. End-blown flute 10. Heroic tales 11. Member of a Semitic people 12. Members of a priestly caste 13. Southern Ghana people 21. Counsels 23. Body of water 25. Awesome! 26. Calendar month 27. Native of region in Caucasus 28. Indian city 29. Exclusive

SOLUTIONS DOWN 1. SOLS 2. AREA 3. SELF 4. HOYAS 5. BCD 6. ORATED 7. SALON 8. OPERATIC 9. NEY 10. SAGAS 11. ARAB 12. MAGI 13. AKAN 21. REDES 23. SEA 25. RAD 26. DEC 27. OSSET 28. PATNA 29. SCOOP 32. SITKA 33. IVIED 34. SANDS

41. Smooth fabric 42. Enough (archaic) 43. Institute legal proceedings against 44. Scarred 45. Draw from 46. Brother or sister 47. Body part 48. Commercials 49. London soccer team 52. Satisfied 55. Surgical technique (abbr.) 56. Fencing sword 60. French industrial city 61. Intellectual property organization (abbr.) 63. Helps to carry food 64. “Rule, Britannia” composer 65. One-time Empress of the Roman Empire 66. Intestinal pouches 67. None better 68. “WandaVision” actress 69. Comedic actress Kathryn

SOLUTIONS ACROSS 1. SASH 5. BOSON 10. SAMA 14. OREO 15. CRAPE 16. ARAK 17. LELY 18. DALEY 19. GAGA 20. SAFAR 22. TOR 23. SABIN 24. SERENADES 27. OPS 30. DAD 31. TEA 32. SIS 35. SACKED 37. SIC 38. VIVA 39. STOAS 40. SAC 41. SATIN

CLUES ACROSS 1. Fashion accessory 5. Subatomic particle 10. Ethnic group of the Philippines 14. Popular cookie 15. Fabric 16. Alcoholic liquor 17. Peter __, Dutch portrait painter 18. Longtime Chicago mayor 19. A famous “Lady” 20. Islamic calendar month 22. Rocky peak 23. Polio vaccine developer 24. Songs sung in open air 27. Military movements 30. Male parent 31. Beloved hot beverage 32. Female sibling 35. Tackled the QB 37. Set a dog on someone 38. Long live! (Spanish) 39. Porticos 40. Pouch

22

www.merrittherald.com • The Golden Years


Senior Programs City Hall

phone: 250-378-4224 email: info@merri�.ca

Nicola Valley Aquatic Centre Senior Programs phone: 250-315-1050 phone: 250-378-6662 Merritt Civic Centre email: fpeat@merri�.ca

email: alegouffe@merri�.ca

Senior Programs Nicola Valley Aquatic Centre

City Hall

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Seniors Free Swim Stretch and Stability Mondays |Yoga September 14 - November 2* | 7 weeks - Friday September - December Vinyasa @ |Civic Centre Stretch &Mondays Stability @ Aquatic |Centre Wednesdays | 9:00 - 10:00 am Mondays | Wednesdays Fridays Mondays | November 16 December 14 | 5 weeks 11:00 am 11:45 am | Regular Admission September - November 2* | 7 weeks Ongoing Mondays - Friday | September - December starting Sept 29 10:00Mondays -10:45 am| and at 12:00 14 -12:45 pm 5:30 -| 6:30 pm | $7016/ -$50 Mondays | November December 14 | 5 weeks 11:00 amThis - 11:45 amwill | Regular class buildAdmission on maintaining proper form b Tuesdays Thursdays 5:30 6:30 pm | $70 / $50 This class will build on maintaining proper form bystable core. Vinyasa a crea�ve, flowing yoga experience. Vinyasa keeping well-aligned spine and @ CivicaCentre 7:00 - 7:45 amis Yoga Vinyasa @ Civic Centre StretchYoga & Stability @ Aquatic Centrecore. Vinyasa is a crea�ve, flowing yoga experience. keeping a well-aligned spine and stable *No class Oct 12. Suitable for all fitness levels. Mondays | Sep 13 – Oct 18 | 5 wks Mondays | September 14 for - November 2* | 7 weeks Mondays - Friday | September - December *No class Oct 12. Suitable all fitness levels. | Nov 1 – Dec 13 . 6Aqua wks Fit @ Aquatic Centre Aquafit Instructed by Trish Davey. Noon Hour Mondays November 16 - December 14 | 5 weeks Mondays 11:00 Hour am - 11:45 am |@ Regular Instructed|by Trish Davey. Noon Aqua Fit AquaticAdmission Centre 5:30 6:30 pm | $50 / $60 Mondays | Wednesdays | Fridays | 11:00 -11:45 am 5:30 - 6:30 pm | $70 / $50 This class Mondays will build|on maintaining proper form by- December Friday | September Mondays Friday September December Vinyasa is a creative, flowing yoga experience. Suitable This class combines running, interval training and a Vinyasa is a crea�ve, flowing yoga experience. keepingpm a 12:00 well-aligned spine and Admission stable core. 12:00 12:45 pm | Regular pm 12:45 pm Regular Admission for all fitness levels. Instructed by Trish| Davey. variety exercises designed tofor decrease body fat, *Noofclass Oct 12. Suitable all fitness levels. This class combines running, interval training and a This classFitcombines running, training and *No class Oct 11* increase cardio-vascular efficiency, improve strenght Instructed by Trish Davey. Noon Hour Aqua @ Aquatic Centrebodyinterval variety of exercises designed to decrease fat, Golf Course 250-378-9414 and help people get into a routine of regular exercise. variety of exercises designed to decrease body fa Golf Course 250-378-9414 Mondayscardio-vascular - Friday | September - December increase efficiency, improve strenght Lawn Bowling 250-378-2095 Gentle Fit increase cardio-vascular efficiency, 12:00 pmpeople - 12:45 | Regular Lawn Bowling 250-378-2095 and help getpm into a rou�neAdmission of regular exercise.improve stren Assoc. 250-280-0105 Mondays | and Thursdays | September –into December Intro toPickleball Aqua Board help people get a rou�ne This class combines running, interval training and a of regular exer Pickleball Assoc. 250-280-0105 Senior Society 250-378-3763 9:00 – 10:00 am . $1/drop-in Thursdays - 6:45 am variety of exercises designed to decrease Stand Tall, Don't Fall @ Senior's Centrebody fat, Golf6:15 Course 250-378-9414 This program works on strength, balance, stability and Oct 7Senior –Tennis 28 (4)Society |Club Nov 4 – Dec 2250-378-5687 (4)250-378-3763 increase cardio-vascular efficiency, improve strenght Lawn Bowling 250-378-2095 Mondays & Fridays | August - December* Stand Tall, Don't Fall @ Senior's Centre mobility. Good for all ages and fitness levels. $34.40 for 4 week session Legion 250-378-5631 and help getam into a rou�ne Tennis Club 250-378-5687 10:00 ampeople - 11:00 | $1 Drop-inof regular exercise. Pickleball Assoc. 250-280-0105 Instructed Mondays by Julia Wingleman or Illa| Jackson Challenge your balance to the core! Learn how to get & Fridays August - December* *Noclass class on stat holidays and every 2nd Friday Senior 250-378-3763 Legion 250-378-5631 *No on any stat holidays* on and off theSociety anchored aqua boards while focusing on Stand Tall, Don't Fall @ Senior's Centre 10:00Instructed am - 11:00 am | $1 Drop-in of each month. by Illa Jackson. Tennis Club 250-378-5687 strength and cardio. Mondays*No & Fridays | August December* class on stat holidays and every 2nd Frid Legion 250-378-5631 10:00 am - 11:00 am | $1 Drop-in of each month. Instructed by Illa Jackson. Golf Course 250-378-9414 | Pickleball Assoc. 250-280-0105 *No class on stat holidays and every 2nd Friday Senior Society 250-378-3763 | Tennis Centre Club | Legion 250-378-5631 Nicola Valley Aquatic Options and Fees of 250-378-5687 each month. Instructed by Illa Jackson.

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