Yorkton This Week | www.YorktonThisWeek.com | Wednesday, January 29, 2020
SENIORS Our Monthly Feature ...For Seniors and about Seniors
James Andreas tells the stories of people By Devin Wilger Staff Writer As an author, and a person, James Andreas is focused on people. He recently spoke at the Yorkton Crossing retirement community, where he now lives, about his life and work. Andreas began writing because of his interest in people. He said this goes back to his childhood, when he knew the homesteaders and they would tell him stories. “They told me a lot that they wouldn’t tell my grandparents.” His belief in the equality of people started from a young age, when his parents told him to never make fun of an accent. Because of this, he said he was open to learning about people from all backgrounds, and interested in learning their stories, which served as an inspiration for his own. His goal was to write stories that are difficult to put down. A life of travelling around the province, whether with education, sports, music or working with the Catholic church, gave Andreas plenty of opportunities to meet people from everywhere. They inspired his writ-
ing. “I could write for six or eight hours a day, no problem.” One of his interests was also the homebrew trade, and he’s still interested in finding out more. He asked multiple people at the event what they knew about the town of Govenlock, which he said was part of the homebrew trade, with alcohol from this area shipped down there, which was 30 miles from the American border. “I knew the station agent down there and I phoned his daughter and I said, you know those two shacks by the railroad? She said yeah, those were railroad supplies. I said it wasn’t, it was homebrew.” While he wrote a book about homebrew, he said it was now the hardest of his books to find. Andreas says that his family’s ‘heart and soul’ is his wife Evelyn, who he has been married to for 69 years. Still very much in love, he has nothing but admiration for her. “She hasn’t got an enemy in the world. When I took her to see my two grandpas, ‘my cracking Jim’s got a good looker there!’ That’s how she was welcomed.”
James Andreas speaks to the crowd at Yorkton Crossing. His entire family lives in the province, including eleven children, 22 grandchildren and an increasing number of great-grandchildren, all within two to three hours of each other. Like their
grandfather, they all tend to poke gentle fun at each other. “I had one granddaughter who came up, she was in her late 20s, she came up and said “I was insulted grandpa.” I
asked, “why were you insulted?” “Someone said I was just like you!””
The reading came thanks to the staff at Continued on Page A16
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Five ways to protect against hearing loss A certain degree of hearing loss can be a normal part of the aging process. However, people who take steps to protect their hearing long before Father Time takes his toll can prevent the extreme hearing loss suffered by millions of seniors across the globe. John’s Hopkins Medicine states that approximately 15 percent of adults aged 18 years and older report some difficulty hearing and up to 39 percent of adults in their sixties have hearing problems. Lost hearing cannot be restored, though hearing aids and other devices can help people with hearing loss hear better. Hearing aids are not always an accessory people look forward to needing, so it’s good to know that a few simple strategies can protect people’s hearing over the long haul. 1. Get a baseline hearing exam. Speak with an audiologist, who can test your hearing and establish a baseline level against which future tests will be measured. This way it is easier to see if hearing loss is increasing over time. 2. Turn down the volume. Audio devices can contribute to hearing loss.
Earbuds are particularly dangerous because they fit directly next to the eardrum. The World Health Organization says that 1.1 billion teens and young
adults worldwide are at risk for noiseinduced hearing loss from unsafe use of audio devices. Set the maximum volume on audio devices below 60 percent
and wear headphones for no more than an hour a day. Keeping music low on other devices is also adviseable. 3. Wear protective gear. Protective gear includes ear plugs and protective earphones. This gear should be worn whenever you expect to encounter loud noises, such as when you mow the lawn, go hunting or shooting, attend rock concerts, or visit construction sites. 4. Limit use of cotton swabs. Ear wax is beneficial to the ears and can stop dust and other particles from entering the ear. Furthermore, using a cotton swab can potentially cause damage to sensitive organs in the ear if they are inserted too far or too roughly, advises the hearing testing service Ear-Q. 5. Avoid loud noises. Steer clear of fireworks, noisy city centers, loud performances, and other situations if you do not have hearing protection. Remember, hearing loss often doesn’t produce immediate symptoms or pain. However, over time, hearing loss can become noticeable. A proactive approach can help people avoid significant hearing loss as they age.
Put on your dancing shoes before you read this I have always been impressed with the Malanka celebration. Impressed because it seems the Ukrainian people have gone to great effort over the years preserving their culture. There are a number of Malanka “Generous Eve” events in the area and they most often include all ages dressed in wonderful attire with specialized dances representing areas in the “Old Country”. Their language has seemed to withstand the generations, more so than most of our languages in this diverse
Saskatchewan. The Malanka held in Yorkton at the Painted Hand Casino on January 10th, 2020, stands out for me. Why do I say that? Well the band, The Ukrainian Oldtimers started out the evening by saying they were going to share the history of the Malanka in their time. The spokesman talked about his personal experience on the farm 60-70 years ago when he was a child. How most people at the time had very little but endeavoured to have the 12 dishes of the meal. How
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Seniors in the Parkland they came with horses and good spirits to enjoy each other’s company. He often spoke in Ukrainian and had the audience saying yes, I remember that. Now, I honestly did not understand the Ukrainian language ( I am from a GermanFrench background) but he spoke enough English
that I understood the era he was talking about. I could paint the picture in my mind as I noticed others were doing. It was indeed a special time of the evening. To me, that night even went a step further. There was a gentleman by the name of John Stogan who came up
from the audience and returned the blessing by handing out wheat to the band members. John said he did this because over the years when this band and others would give out the blessing it was left at that. John felt this blessing should be reciprocated as it was meant to be. I could see that the band really appreciated this and was quite frankly taken by surprise because it had not been done before. The meal was not only traditional in composition but wonderfully delicious. And then we are to dance later on? How
could we not with the start of the evening showcasing four age groups of local dancers. And then with the music and wit of these Ukrainian Oldtimers how could one not get up onto the dance floor. There were very few times that the dance floor was not full. The people who attended this Malanka (average age of 70), having attended many Malankas over the years, went home with special memories. These memories were brought forth by the band’s historical and personal stories. They also went home knowing they had returned the blessing!
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Continued from Page A15 Yorkton Crossing knowing Andreas. He said he expects that someone heard about his history doing plenty of MC work
Near to loved ones. Far from worries.
for graduations, so they would have guessed that he was pretty good at talking to a crowd. He said that when he would MC, he wouldn’t spare anyone from a joke, noting that while plenty of people were reluctant to
give the gears to a parish priest, for example, he felt it was important to bring them down to earth. He has over 60 manuscripts which have yet to be published, but is leaving them in the care of his children. While he’s
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“I should have done this years ago.”
not interested in getting them published, because the business is tough – especially if you’re selfpublishing – he said that some of his kids might be interested in doing something with the manuscripts. He said that there were some publishers who were interested, but wanted total control, to increase the price, and thought there should be more sex and swearing, which Andreas thought was inappropriate for the stories he was telling. “We never ever did swear.” Andreas’ books are available at Yorkton Crossing while supplies last.
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Yorkton This Week | www.YorktonThisWeek.com | Wednesday, January 29, 2020
just for SENIORS
Health screenings men should discuss with their physicians Routine doctor visits are a vital component of a healthy lifestyle. Even men who feel healthy and live active lifestyles must make routine visits to their healthcare providers. Such visits can assess risk for future medical problems and offer men the opportunity to update vaccinations. Routine health checkups also give doctors a chance to screen for medical issues. Doctors consider a man’s age and other risk factors to determine when and how frequently he will need certain medical screenings. For
specific medical screenings with their physicians. The following are some general screening tests and guidelines recommended for all men between the ages of 40 and 64. Prostate cancer Most men age 50 or older should discuss screening for prostate cancer with their physicians. Ethnicity and family history are some of the recognized risk factors for prostate cancer. As a result, African American men and men with a family history of prostate cancer in a first degree relative younger
example, while men between the ages of 40 and 64 are often advised to get blood pressure screenings at least once per year, those with diabetes, heart disease, kidney problems, and other conditions may need more frequent screenings. No two men have the same medical histories, which only highlights the need for men of all ages to schedule annual physical exams with their physicians. Such exams can reveal potential problems and also make for great opportunities to discuss more
than 65 should discuss screenings beginning at age 45. There are pros and cons to prostate cancer screenings, and these should be part of men’s discussions with their physicians. Colorectal cancer All men between the ages of 50 and 75 should be screened for colorectal cancer. Physicians may recommend colorectal screening for men under age 50 with a family history of colon cancer or polyps. In addition, physicians may consider screenings for men under 50 who have a history of inflammatory
bowel disease. Cholesterol It’s advised for men to have their cholesterol levels checked every five years. Men with certain conditions, such as diabetes and heart disease, may need to be checked more often. Diabetes Diabetes screenings are recommended every three years for men age 45 and older. Men who are overweight and younger than 45 should ask their physicians if they should be screened before they reach 45. Osteoporosis Women are more like-
ly to develop osteoporosis than men, but that doesn’t mean men are immune to this condition marked by a weakening of the bones due to tissue loss. Fractures after age 50, heavy alcohol use, smoking, and low body weight are some risk factors that can make men vulnerable to osteoporosis. Health screenings can catch diseases and other conditions in their early stages when they’re most treatable. Such screenings should be a vital part of men’s health routines.
Ways to lend a helping hand to seniors Inviting elderly relatives or neighbors over to dinner and social gatherings is a great way to make them feel like valued members of your community. Men and women looking to give back to their communities can do so in various ways. Some might coach youth sports teams, while others might organize food and clothing drives for the less fortunate. Giving back to seniors in your town or city is another way to strengthen your community. Many seniors maintain their independence long past retirement age, but some may need a helping hand as they get older. The following are a handful of ways you can improve the quality of life of
seniors in your community. • Deliver meals. Seniors who are confined to their homes typically need to have their meals delivered to them. Men and women looking to help seniors can volunteer to work with their local Meals on Wheels program. Meals on Wheels boasts a national network of more than 5,000 independently run programs, and these programs rely on more than two million volunteers to deliver nutritious meals to seniors with limited mobility. The need for volunteers to help seniors figures to grow in the coming decades. • Help around the house. The work required to maintain a home is considerable no mat-
ter a person’s age, but that task is even more difficult for seniors. Even the healthiest seniors may not have the mobility or physical strength required to keep up with household chores. Offering to help a senior maintain his or her home is a great way to improve their quality of life. Visit an elderly relative or neighbor and offer to mow their lawn, take out their garbage or perform another task they might find challenging. Performing a few chores around a senior’s house won’t take long, but such gestures can have a big impact on seniors’ lives. • Invite seniors over for dinner. Many seniors suffer from feelings of isolation, which can contribute to depression.
Families are now more geographically diverse, and a senior’s children and grandchildren may not live nearby. In such cases, it’s easy for seniors to grow lonely and feel isolated from their communities. Inviting seniors over for a weekly dinner or to backyard social gatherings can help them maintain a connection to their communities and reduce their feelings of isolation. Extending such invitations also provides a great way for parents to instill in their children a respect for and appreciation of the elderly. • Arrange transportation for seniors who no longer drive. Many seniors stop driving when they realize their skills behind the wheel have dimin-
ished. But even though they may relinquish their drivers’ licenses, seniors still need to keep their doctor’s appointments and get out of the house. Speak with your neighbors who also want to help seniors to arrange transportation for those who can no longer get themselves around town. Explain to seniors’ physicians when you or your neighbors are most available to get seniors to their appointments. In addition, offer to drive seniors to the grocery store when making your own shopping trips. Many seniors made valuable contributions to the communities they call home. And those communities can give back by helping seniors overcome the demands of aging.
Exercise and aging: how to work out safely after 50 In an ideal world, people young and old exercise each day. But as men and women age, finding time to work out is not so easy. Commitments to work and family often take precedence over daily exercise. As a result, many people 50 and over might not have exercised regularly or at all in many years. But as children grow up or even move out, people facing down their golden years are often compelled to get back in the gym. That’s a wise decision that can increase a person’s chances of being healthy and happy in retirement. But before beginning a new exercise regimen, men and women over 50 should take heed of the following safety tips to ensure their efforts are not derailed by accident or injury. • Speak with your physician. The National Institute on Aging notes that even people with chronic conditions such as heart disease, diabetes or arthritis can be physically active. However, anyone with such a condition and even those who don’t fall into those categories should consult with their physicians
and light strength training so your muscles, tendons and ligaments can adjust. Initially, exercise every other day so your body has ample time to recover between workouts. • Choose the right places to exercise outdoors. Exercising outside provides the best of both worlds for many people, providing a chance to get healthy all while enjoying the great outdoors. When exercising outdoors, choose areas that are not remote and where
and receive a full physical before exercising. Such a consultation and checkup can shed light on any unknown issues, and physicians can offer advice on how to safely manage any problems that may arise. • Begin with lowintensity exercises. Even if you feel great and have maintained a healthy weight, don’t push yourself too hard at the start. Your body needs time to adjust to physical activity, so choose low-intensity exercises like walking
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others can see you and offer help if you suffer an injury or have an accident. Boardwalks, public parks and outdoor gyms are safer places to work out than wooded areas or other places well off the beaten path. • Stay hydrated. The
NIA notes that many people lose their sense of thirst as they age. But just because you aren’t thirsty does not mean you don’t need water, especially while exercising. Water regulates body temperature and lubricates the joints, thereby
decreasing your risk of injury during exercise. Exercising after 50 can help people live healthy well into retirement. But caution must be exercised when aging men and women return to exercise after a long break.
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OUR NEXT FEATURE - WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 26