Wednesday, November 28, 2018 | www.YorktonThisWeek.com | Yorkton This Week
SENIORS Our Monthly Feature
…For Seniors and about Seniors
In 2010 Gerry Peppler was recognized for 25 years on the local housing board.
Gerry Peppler and then Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan Lynda Haverstock.
Volunteerism keeps Peppler active By Calvin Daniels Staff Writer It is almost a case of two lives for Yorkton’s Gerry Peppler. For years Peppler was a familiar face of local television. But when retirement did come, Peppler simply expanded on her volunteer efforts remaining active on a wide range of boards and community activities. Peppler said it has all been about being involved in the community she has been part of her entire life. Born at Kessock, a now gone community near Wroxton, she moved to Yorkton as a young girl, and for the most part stayed in the city. “I married a farmer,” she noted, but that only meant time on the farm in the busy seasons. “It was my cottage at the lake I always said,” noted Peppler adding like most farm wives of the era her job was well-defined and important. “My job was to supply the meals.” But Peppler also worked, basically from the time of her graduating Grade 12, initially at Parks Jewellers although she quickly learned that was not the job that suited her. “I decided I couldn’t be on my feet all day,” she said. So like many she tried a couple of jobs, including at the local John Deere dealership, and a dress shop, before the right thing came along. In Peppler’s case the right thing turned out to be a job at the local television station. It was a job that when first offered Peppler said no to. “I was quite happy where I was,” she said, but added she was eventually swayed to take the job. “I started as a receptionist,” she said, adding that was in June 1958. From there Peppler would grow with the station, becoming the co-host of the daily midday talk show when it was launched alongside Linus Westberg. “I did it really because Linus was the sports director,” said Peppler with a smile. Until 1992, when Peppler had to retire at 60 based on company policy, she did the talk show five days a week, although along the way she did add the role of
station program director to her resume as well. The list of those interviewed included local organization heads, volunteers, city councillors along with three Saskatchewan Premiers Grant Devine, Roy Romanow and Lorne Calvert, and the wife of a Prime Minister Mila Mulroney. “I had the opportunity to sit down and ask people anything I wanted,” she said with a smile. For some that would have been a huge task. In fact there were cases where being on the other side of the table seemed to intimidate people. But, Peppler said her role rather suited her. “I was always involved with people,” she said, adding she took doing the interviews, even with famous guests, in stride. While her career had kept Peppler busy, she had been asked, and accepted a few roles on voluntary boards, liking that it was an opportunity to give back to her community. So when she had to retire from her long-time job, Peppler turned her extensive energies to increased volunteerism. While the list of her volunteer efforts is long, a few do stand out. Peppler said she recalls when Crime Stoppers was new to Saskatchewan with Larry Wells of Yorkton “a key representative at the time.” Likely because of that connection “one day I got an invitation to come on the board,” she said, adding she was eager to accept. “I was 10-years on that board,” including two years as president.
And then there was the start-up of Parkland Victims Services. The new organization was going to be unique for its time as the first RCMP-driven organization, and then City Councillor Barry Farrell wanted Peppler involved. “He (Farrell) said I should have got a letter,” recalled Peppler of a random meeting one day. The letter did come, and she did say yes, staying involved with the board of Victims Services until this day. Another letter would arrive, this one via a City Order in Council, and Peppler found herself appointed to the Yorkton Housing Authority, finally managing to get off that board only by moving into a home the Board had authority over, meaning she had to step down. In 2017, when asked to do so, Peppler tracked her volunteer hours for Canada’s 150th anniversary. The
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total, including board meetings, working at the summer fair, and helping at the local hospital hit 337 hours. “I was surprised,” she admitted. “To me it just gets me out of the house. I still meet new people.” Peppler’s volunteer efforts have not gone unnoticed. In 1999 the Regina YWCA presented Peppler with an award for her contribution to a rural community. The following year she was presented a Saskatchewan Volunteer Medal by then Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan Lynda Haverstock. And then just a few weeks ago the Yorkton Chamber of Commerce bestowed a life membership on Peppler. But, it isn’t for the awards Peppler continues to volunteer. “What I do is because I like to do it. It gives me a sense of worth. I’m not sitting in a chair and getting old. It’s a reason to get up in the morning,” she said. There is no intention to stop either. “I’m still enjoying it, and as long as I enjoy it and make a contribution, I will do it,” said Peppler.
C. Stuart Houston and C.J. Houston talk with Gerry Peppler about their book Pioneer of Vision.
Gerry Peppler receives recognition for 15 years on the Board of the Yorkton Housing Authority.
Betty Cheavins and Gerry Peppler discuss the Miss Teen Yorkton contest in 1988.
Visiting loved ones in assisted living facilities you are visiting, and he or she can do the same. A sitting room or an outdoor area can be a nice place to spend time away from television or other people’s conversations.
For many seniors, a day arrives in their lives when it is no longer safe or practical to live at home alone. Assisted living facilities can help seniors adjust to their new situations. Such facilities typically offer comfortable surroundings, caring staff and all the amenities of home. Although fellow residents can provide companionship and friendships can develop over the course of time, assisted living facility residents also enjoy regular visits from family and friends. Such visits keep seniors connected with their loved ones and break up routines that, over time, may become monotonous. Some people may feel anxious or awkward visiting assisted living facilities because it may shed light on the frailties or specialized needs of loved ones. This may be especially true if a loved one has a physical, neurological or mental illness.
Plan an excursion
Rather than avoiding visits, individuals can follow these guidelines.
Time visits right
Many residents have the most energy in the morning or early afternoon right after meals. Call ahead to find out if there are any medical appointments or outings planned. Visiting during meals or activities can be fun because you’ll be engaged and will have something to keep both of you busy.
facility where you can spend time with your loved one. This way you can focus most of your attention on the person
If you are able to take the resident off of the property, arrange to take them somewhere that would interest them. Do not plan too much, because you want the excursion to be fun, not taxing.
Bring along items
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Gifts are not necessary, but photos, books, puzzles, or even keepsakes from home can serve as catalysts for wonderful conversations.
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dementia, visits can be especially challenging. However, simply being present can be comforting for the person even if conversation is stilted. Be patient and positive. Find topics that stimulate responses, and fill in if things get quiet.
Wednesday, November 28, 2018 | www.YorktonThisWeek.com | Yorkton This Week
just for SENIORS
25 Oct 2018
Gift ideas for the seniors in your life With lifetimes of experiences and seemingly everything they could ever want or need in life already at their disposal, seniors can be difficult to shop for come the holiday season. Many even insist that their family members save their money and not buy them anything for the holidays. But if the thought of Grandpa or Grandma not having something to open come the holidays is simply unacceptable, consider the following gift ideas. Activity Assistance Devices The realities of getting older often mean the body slows down and activities may not be as easy as they used to be. Many active seniors are not ready to live sedentary lives, nor should
they be forced to do so. Plenty of products exist that can make life easier and more comfortable for older adults. Television amplifying headphones are one product that can be a great fit for seniors, particularly those having difficulty hearing their televisions. The headphones amplify the sound of the programming without disturbing others in the room, and many such headphones even allow users to mute their televisions. This feature is perfect for someone who likes to watch TV while a spouse is sleeping or reading in the same room. Other devices that can make life easier for seniors include magnifying products or bookholders. In addition, gel seat cushions can take pressure off of the spine in the car or
at home. Food Food is always a handy gift because it doesn’t take up much room and can be enjoyed at a recipient’s leisure. Perhaps there is something the senior in your life used to enjoy as a child but now finds hard to come by. A search of the Internet may uncover that special treat. You may be able to ship a specialty soft drink or favorite cookie that is not available in a nearby store. Otherwise, ask a store manager if a particular item that’s not in stock in the store can be a special order. Photos What grandparent does not enjoy looking at his or her family members? Computer-savvy men and women can use
photo software to design personalized photo books, calendars, mugs, and other photo-related gifts. Just about anything can be emblazoned with a photo, including tote bags and pillows. Another idea is to collect old photos and compile a memory book. Scan the images so they are preserved digitally and then print out the images in a book that includes the family history. Time Seniors who truly do not want or need anything probably will likely jump at the opportunity to spend time with loved ones. Treat a friend or family member to a meal out or simply spend a few hours chatting at his or her home. Sometimes the company of a new face and good conversation is the ideal gift.
Money-saving travel tips for retirees munity, religious organization or another program, can save travelers substantial amounts of money. Many hotels and tourist attractions offer steep discounts for group tours, which can even be arranged through travel agencies. A hidden benefit of signing up for a group tour is the chance to meet new people and develop new relationships with fellow globetrotters. Many working professionals hope to spend
the bulk of their retirement traveling the globe. While such a goal is pot-
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entially costly, there are various ways to save and still see the world.
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many participate, some do not, and those that do not may instead work independent of travel websites or partner with travel agencies. Travel agencies have access to the latest information, and many specialize in certain countries, knowing all the attractions visitors to their countries want to see. Travel agencies may offer packages that include admissions to popular attractions, which can be more affordable than planning a trip a la carte. 3. Travel as part of a group. Group travel may not appeal to everyone, but it should appeal to older, budget-conscious travelers. Retirees who are uncomfortable driving at home will likely be even less comfortable driving in foreign countries where the rules of the road are not the same. Traveling in groups, whether it’s with a retirement com-
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during retirement, honesty is the best policy. Many businesses that cater to travelers offer discounts to seniors. Car rental agencies, hotels, travel agencies, and cruise lines may offer direct discounts to customers 65 and older, while membership in organizations may make seniors eligible for additional discounts. Discounts on lodging and airfare might net the biggest savings, but even discounts on various smaller expenses can add up to big savings. 2. Don’t overlook travel agencies. While many prospective travelers’ first instincts are now to visit various travel websites in an effort to find the most affordable trips, it’s important that travelers not overlook travel agencies when planning trips. Travel websites, though a valuable resource, only list the hotels and airlines that agree to be included on their sites. While
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Though a transient lifestyle is something few people aspire to during much of their lives, come retirement, the idea of staying in a place for only a short time has more appeal. A small percent of baby boomers want to spend their retirements traveling. Many are succeeding in doing just that, as a study from travel networks found that today’s seniors spent an average of just over $11,000 per year on travel. That was more than any other generation, highlighting just how much older adults like to get out and explore the world. Retirees who fear they cannot afford to travel can explore the various ways for seniors to cut costs and still satisfy their wanderlust during retirement. 1. Take advantage of age-related discounts. Some adults prefer to hide their ages, but when it comes time to travel
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