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Yorkton This Week | | Wednesday, September 25, 2019


just for

SENIORS Our Monthly Feature

…For Seniors and about Seniors

New book takes a look at migration to area By Devin Wilger Staff Writer Why are you here? It’s a question that is at the heart of genealogy, the history of movement, migration and family development that, eventually, leads to you. A new book by local author Gordon Matthews dives into the story of two migrations, which lead to settlement in the area. An Exodus to a Land of Promise follows migration of German people, specifically two migrations which happened a century apart. The first saw German colonists migrate east to the Galacia and Bukovina regions in the AustroHungarian Empire. The second saw those same colonists travel in the opposite direction, landing in Saskatchewan with the promise of 160-acres of free land. Why did they immigrate the first time? They colonists travelled first to the east to teach how to use western techniques of farming. The colonists were promised 40 free acres, but Matthews said it wasn’t just the land that drew those people east. Constant warfare in Europe in the previous century gave additional incentive. “They accepted this 40 acres free partly because it was free but partly because they were sick of warfare.” So why Canada?



After three generations, and division among sons, they had very little land left, and couldn’t make a living. Once they heard about the land up for grabs in Canada, it was an offer difficult to pass up. “They knew it was cold here, but they had to do it. There was another reason, at that time

Europe was getting pretty shaky, there were alliances being formed... The Germans who were given 40 acres of land, they were told they would never have to join the military. Three generations later, they broke that promise. So, they boys, they got of age of 16 they wanted to avoid three years in the Austrian army, plus the shortage of land, they took off. Even though it was cold.” While the book is primarily focused on German settlers, it also touches on Ukrainian history as well. They were part of the same immigration wave, and they were the second largest group of non-British homesteaders, just behind the Germans. Matthews said that you can’t talk about the German migration without the Ukrainians, because they are closely linked. The incentive to write the book came from Matthews growing up in the Neudorf area. He had heard that the Germanspeaking people in the area came from Austria, but after taking trips to Austria he thought it was strange that people from the area moved to Saskatchewan. In research through the Neudorf history, he realized that the path to Saskatchewan was not a simple one for the immigrants that eventually settled there. Through researching the history of Neudorf, he realized that the people were descendants of German colonists from the eastern edge of the AustroHungarian empire. Matthews was also interested in the history because of what he noticed when he was a superintendent in Melville schools, and how the communities were different.

“When I went in to visit the kids and teachers in Grayson, I realized that they were all Catholic, and Neudorf was all Protestant. I put the two together. The Protestants were from Galacia, and right next door, in Bukovina, lived the Grayson people. They settled and came over here, getting 160 free acres, and they settled just as they were... That was really what gave me a start.” The book has been in the works for about eight years. During a trip in 2012, a group of 20 went to the area, to visit the German colonies, embedded in Ukraine. While they were there, they visited the villages where the colonists lived – they were removed in 1939 due to an order by Hitler – they went to the original Neudorf, where they discovered a monument to the colonists, erected by their descendents, signifying the colony’s existence from 1783-1939. Matthews will be at the Yorkton Public Library on Oct. 19 at 1:305:00 p.m. for a book signing.

Gordon Matthews and his book An Exodus to a Land of Promise.

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Wednesday, September 25, 2019 | | Yorkton This Week

just for SENIORS

September 2019

Mature driver refresher course offered Saskatchewan Safety Council Mature Driver Refresher Course will be held October 17, 2019, 9:00 a.m. to noon, 1:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Yorkton Crossing Retirement Community, Balmoral Hall, 348 Morrison Drive, Yorkton, Sask. Cost is FREE but registration is required. It is sponsored by Yorkton Crossing Retirement Community and Saskatchewan Safety Council.

This completely Free 6-hour Mature Driver Refresher Course is strictly informational and offered in a positive, open class environment. Participant driver’s licenses are not affected and there are no required examinations. The Mature Driver Refresher Course helps reinforce safe driving habits. It will increase your confidence when navigating Saskatchewan’s increasing city and highway traffic. It provides

insight into how to adapt your driving habits based on the physical changes your body goes through as it matures. Some of the topics discussed in the course are: • Normal driving situations such as intersections, following distance and maintaining an open “gate” around your vehicle. • Hazardous driving environments such as skids, the head on collision,

hydroplaning, how to protect yourself while driving. • Traffic guidance such as sign recognition and pavement markings. • Review of safety devices such as seat belts and air bags. • Medication awareness, vision and effective use of your eyes. To register: Call Madalina at 306-7820005. Email:

Senses of smell and taste change with age Aging comes with several sensory changes, many of which people expect. Loss of hearing or diminishing vision are widely associated with aging. But one’s senses of smell and taste may diminish with aging as well. The senses of taste and smell work in concert. The sense of smell is vital to personal health, not only because inhaling pleasant aromas can provide comfort and stress relief through aromatherapy and help trigger important mem-

ories, but also because smell enables a person to detect the dangers of smoke, gas, spoiled food, and more. The National Institute on Aging says that, as a person gets older, his or her sense of smell may fade, and that will also affect taste. Some loss of taste and smell is natural and can begin as early as age 60. Adults have about 9,000 taste buds sensing sweet, salty, sour, bitter, and umami flavors, or those corresponding to the flavor of glutamates. Many tastes are linked

to odors that begin at the nerve endings in the lining of the nose. The number of taste buds decreases as one ages, and that remaining taste buds may begin to shrink. Sensitivity to the five tastes also begins to decline. This can make it more difficult to distinguish between flavors. Similarly, especially after age 70, smell can diminish due to a loss of nerve endings and less mucus in the nose. With the combination of the reduction of these important sensory nerves

in the nose and on the tongue, loss of smell and taste can greatly affect daily life. Changes in these senses can contribute to feelings of depression, diminish one’s enjoyment of food and cause harmful conditions, such as extreme weight loss from disinterest in food to problems associated with overusing salt or sugar. Although aging is often to blame, loss of smell and taste also may be tied to early symp-

toms of Parkinson’s disease or Alzheimer’s disease. Cancer treatments, medications, lack of saliva, colds, flu, and other factors may contribute to sensory loss. Changing medications or treatments may help. It’s important to bring up diminished flavors or smells with a doctor to rule out something more serious and to determine what might help restore pleasure from smells and flavors. An otolaryngologist, or a doctor who specializ-

es in diseases of the ears, nose and throat, may be able to help fix the problem, though some people may be referred to a neurologist or another specialist. Continuing to use one’s sense of smell and taste by cooking, gardening, trying new flavors, and experimenting with different aromas may help slow down the decline these senses. Although age-related loss of taste and smell cannot be reversed, some such cases may be treatable.

Pros and cons of joint replacement surgery To people outside the medical field, joint replacement surgery

might sound like a solution that’s considered only after all other

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options have been exhausted. But joint replacement surgery has become very common, even though some studies have suggested certain procedures are being performed unnecessarily. A 2014 study published in the journal Arthritis and Rheumatology found that one-third of patients who undergo knee replacement surgery may not be appropriate candidates for the procedure because their symptoms

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are not severe enough to merit aggressive intervention like surgery. The decision to undergo surgery is always a patient’s to make. Weighing some pros and cons of joint replacement surgery can help patients make the most informed decisions possible. Pros Many patients who have undergone joint replacement surgeries have experienced dramatic improvement within a relatively short time after undergoing the surgery. Much of that improvement is related to pain, which for many people becomes overwhelming prior to surgery. Another benefit to joint replacement surgery is the recovery time.

For example, patients who have knee replacement surgery are usually standing and even moving the joint the day after their surgeries. Within six weeks, those same patients are typically walking comfortably with very little support. While each patient is different, any fears that joint replacement surgery will require patients to be immobile for months after surgery are unwarranted. Joint replacement surgery also can be a longterm solution, whereas the alternatives might not be. Roughly 85 percent of knee implants will last 20 years, and that life expectancy figures to grow as technology advances. Cons


“I should have done this years ago.”

As beneficial as joint replacement surgery can be, it’s not without downsides. Cost is one such disadvantage. How much a patient pays for the surgery depends on his or her coverage, the average knee replacement surgery costs $31,000. Such costs can be prohibitive for aging men and women who are no longer working. Another potential disadvantage to going under the knife, especially for those who are borderline candidates for replacement surgeries, is the likelihood that surgery won’t have a significant impact on quality of life. A 2017 study published in the journal BMJ found that knee replacement had minimal effects on quality of life, especially for patients whose arthritis was not severe. Joint replacement surgeries are common. When deciding if surgery is their best option, patients should consider the pros and cons of going under the knife before making their final choice.

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Yorkton This Week | | Wednesday, September 25, 2019


just for SENIORS


Submitted Photo

40-years marked

The 40th Anniversary of Queen Elizabeth Court in Yorkton was marked Friday. The celebration included messages of congratulations from provincial Minister for Seniors Warren Kaeding, Yorkton Mayor Bob Maloney, and Yorkton MLA Greg Ottenbreit. The event was attended by both community members and residents.

How seniors can safely stay behind the wheel

Did you know? Your Pharmacist can write you a prescription for a variety of minor ailments.

A greater sense of independence is often cited as the reason so many young people anxiously await the day they earn their drivers’ licenses. But the connection between driving and independence is not lost on seniors, either. Aging can take its toll on drivers, prompting such drivers’ families to feel as if their loved ones’ ability to safely operate motor vehicles has been compromised. However, many seniors can still safely operate motor vehicles, and those who do can take steps to ensure they’re as safe as possible behind the wheel. • Avoid driving on days when aches and pains are strong. Aches and pains are common side effects of aging, and seniors know that some days are better than others. Seniors’ ability to control their vehicles may be compromised on days when stiffness, aches or pains seem particularly strong, so it’s best to avoid driving during these times. Fatigue may set in on days when aches and pains require extra effort to perform relatively simple tasks, and drivers of all ages should avoid driving while tired. • Don’t skip medical checkups. Few seniors may look forward to their medical checkups, but visits to the doctor can reveal issues that can help seniors be safer

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on the road. Schedule routine vision exams so eyeglass prescriptions are always up-to-date. In addition, seniors should discuss hearing screenings with their physicians so they can ensure they can always hear sirens and other motorists while on the road. Great strides have been made in regard to helping people with fading hearing hear better, and seniors would be wise to take advantage of such advancements, which include hearing aids that can be connected to smartphones. • Familiarize yourself with medication side effects. Whether they do so temporarily or permanently, many seniors take medications, and every medication comes with side effects. When filling a new prescription, carefully read the dosage

and description label to ensure that it’s safe to drive while taking the medicine. Make note of how you feel when taking a new prescription, avoiding driving if the medication makes you feel fatigued or drowsy or affects your motor functions. If the side effects of a new prescription are making it difficult to safely operate a vehicle, discuss potential alternatives with your physician. • Avoid driving in certain conditions. Driving in inclement weather, during rush hour and at night makes many drivers uncomfortable, regardless of their age. But such conditions can be especially dangerous for aging drivers whose vision and reaction times might be fading. Seniors who avoid driving in harsh conditions and heavy traffic may be more


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comfortable behind the wheel, thereby reducing their risk of accident or injury. Seniors need not give up their drivers’ licenses at the first signs of aging. But adjusting certain behaviors and exercising extra caution can help these men and women stay safe behind the wheel.

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just for SENIORS - IN PRINT AND ONLINE MONTHLY We want your feedback. Do you have a story idea or know a senior who should be highlighted? Contact us by phone 306-782-2465 or email


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