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Yorkton This Week | | Wednesday, December 25, 2019


just for

Our Monthly Feature ...For Seniors and about Seniors

From CBC to Santa: The legend of Phil DeVos Phil DeVos doesn’t exactly do boring. Consequently, he hasn’t exactly had a particularly boring life, either. He was a veteran newsman starting his career at CBC Television, but after a storied career in broadcasting that many would have been justifably proud to call it a day and hang it up there, DeVos was not to be outdone. He decided to do a complete 180 and figured hey – why not be a police officer? He did just that – joining the Prince Albert police service for a long time as a Constable. The broadcasting bug never really went away, though, and DeVos returned to radio. While you might know him as the recently retired top dog at YBID, the story of DeVos is just as colourful as his career itself. Yorkton This Week sat down with one of Yorkton’s most colourful and legendary characters to talk about his inside track to Santa, YBID, life as a police officer, and that time he clobbered Lloyd Robertson in the side of the cabasa with a snowball on CBC. Oops. “My first job was actually in Estevan,” Devos recalls, “and other than a brief stint back in Winnipeg at a radio station called CJOB, all the rest of my adult life has been spent in Saskatchewan. I left Winnipeg and I came to Yorkton. Actually, I left Estevan,” he says,

bemused. “I came to Yorkton, and I worked at CKOSTV, which was a CBC independent station [at that time]. I worked with a bunch of old war-dog announcers there that were pretty popular people – Linus Westberg, Roger Maclachlan, and Gerry Peppler was there then. Then I left and I went to Winnipeg [to] work for CJOB for a few years, doing some morning news runs and things like that. My wife’s actually from Roblin [Manitoba], and we just had this terrible urge to leave the big city and come back to ‘smallville’.” “At that time, Yorkton was quite a bit smaller,” he recalls. “We really enjoyed it here, so we came back and I started working at GX radio. Then, I became kind of disenchanted with broadcasting, which a lot of broadcasters do for some reason – mostly because of the money – and I joined the police force. I worked in Prince Albert and a couple of other smaller little areas over the course of the next several years, and then I went, ‘Well, I don’t know what I wanna do when I grow up,’ so I came back to Yorkton under George Gallagher under CJGX and started working there in promotions, and ended up back in the news department as the News Director for a little while.” From broadcaster to

law enforcement, where else is there to jump? How about politics? “From there, I ended up working for Gerry Breitkreuz as a Member of Parliament Constituency Assistant. I did that for four years. It was around that time that I thought I’d dip my toes in politics, so I ran for City Council and got elected for a three year term as a councillor. The Mayor at that time was Ben Weber, and he decided he was retiring. So I ran for Mayor and was successful! I got elected for two terms – two three year terms.” Phil then starts laughing. “Then I got fired as the Mayor.” Despite this, Devos thinks fondly of the Council. “I thought the council of the day did a pretty darn good job, and I’m still kinda proud of some of the accomplishments we had at that time [with] the Gallagher Centre being the jewel. If you were to try and take that facility away from some of the members of our community that were knocking it at the time, you might have a pretty big fight on your hands. So I like to think we were futuristic – a little bit of dreaming at the same time trying to keep some common sense in activities of [the] council. “You know, big city life never appealed to us. As I said, my wife was from Roblin – she was a farm girl. I had grown accustomed to smaller communities having lived both in Estevan and Yorkton for a while. I miss the feeling of being

Cst. Phil DeVos during his time as a K9 trainer with the police force a part of something bigger than me, and you can’t find that in a big city. But I could find it in Yorkton, so that’s why we came back here. We

Hon Lt. Col 10th Field 64th Battery in Yorkton


that I got a position as the Program Director at the

Continued on Page A14


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Wednesday, December 25, 2019 | | Yorkton This Week

just for SENIORS

December 2019

DeVOS Continued from Page A13

old GX radio when it was under Ed Lawrence and George Gallagher, and these two characters had a lot of experience. I learned a great deal from the both of them. And we have the Gallagher Centre which is named after him, and his family are still a part

of our community. He was a very formative man to my personal character. I’ll never be as successful as George Gallagher, but he taught me a great deal and I’ve always appreciated that from him. “Then I got into the economic development side of things. It led me to an opportunity [where]

When is a senior a senior? This is an often asked question these days. It may be for a discount on a product or the big 65 so that one can collect OAS. Let me ask this question from a different perspective. I have heard many “younger” seniors saying I don’t want to be involved with those old folks. What am I going to do at the “new horizons centre?” On the other side of the coin, comments are made such as, well I am too old for getting involved with senior

events or wait until they get to be my age and we will see what they can do. Quite frankly, I like to surround myself with folks that fit the void. People who say you are only as old as you think or I may not be as good as I once was but I am as good once as I ever was. I have been involved with the Saskatchewan Senior Fitness Association (SSFA) since I was 55 and haven’t regretted a moment. I have worked on senior specific projects with many folks over 70 and

I was then approached by the then Yorkton Business Improvement District to take on the role as the Executive Director. That would have been in 2007. One of the things I did as Mayor is I was approached by some businesspeople in Yorkton to take a close look at business improve-

ment districts, the way they worked in British Columbia. I went to a couple of conventions in B.C. To get an idea of what they did and how they were different from other organizations. The thing that’s different about them is that you’re not always in a funding mode. In other words,

you know from year to year what your funding is going to be.” Of course, Phil DeVos has a direct line to Santa Claus. “Yeah, we’re pretty tight,” DeVos admits. “In fact, he let me wear his suit a couple of times. I didn’t fill it out quite the way he did, but he’s

a pretty cool dude. He shared things with me, and he would tell me that there are certain individuals who are naughty and a certain bunch that are nice. It shouldn’t always be about rewarding the nice people but helping the naughty ones to get a little nicer so they can get some presents, too.”

court and had a great time. To me, the moral of this story is having some flexibility with the seniors you are involved with. There is a very good chance it will pay very good dividends. Even at 55 years of age there have been some life experiences that allow good knowledge to be passed on. Often seniors have a good sense of humour because they know the sun will come up the next morning and we need not sweat the small stuff. That said, do not

think that most seniors have become complacent about life. Quite to the contrary, they know life is special, having seen so many friends and family members already leave this world of ours. Often you will find that seniors regard time to be very special and quite frankly fill their days with plenty of activity. So, take a little time and spend it with a senior. Check your age, maybe you are in the void and don’t even know it. If indeed you are, smile, it is a great place to be.

Enjoying life in the void DAVID WEIMAN


Seniors in the Parkland have had a great time. I have played cards at senior centres and have been amazed on how quick some players minds’ are well into their 80’s. I have played competitive slo-pitch against

an 80 year old player who gets on base 70% of the time. What an inspiration. I have also played with a good mix of players ages 55 to 70 years old on the same pickelball

Find relief from menopause symptoms Exercise, healthy eating, supplements, and certain medicines may help alleviate menopause symptoms. Menopause is a natural part of the female aging process. During menopause, a woman’s body, which was once primed for reproduction, is no longer able to produce children. Part of menopause is the cessation of menstruation. However, changes to one’s period is not the only signal that menopause has begun. Menopause is a hormonal process that is different for just about every woman. The health and wellness resource Verywell Health advises that there are no hard and fast rules to menopause, and its start, duration and ending vary from woman to woman. For many, the transition will take around four

prefer not to, low-dose antidepressants also may decrease menopausal hot flashes. Gabapentin for seizures and clonidine for high blood pressure are other drugs that may be used off-label for hot flashes.

years. The symptoms women will experience are unique, but there are some that are relatively common. Addressing symptoms for comfort becomes a joint venture between women and their doctors.

Osteoporosis Doctors may recommend medication or supplements to prevent or treat osteoporosis. A reduction in estrogen, which occurs during menopause, is directly related to a decrease in bone density. Hormone replacement may be effective, and vitamin D supplements may help as well. Women whose bone mass was less than ideal before menopause may find that they are at a greater risk for osteoporosis than those who had good bone mass.

Hot flashes Hot flashes are known as vasomotor symptoms. They are often described as a sudden sensation of heat in the chest, face and head followed by flushing, perspiration and sometimes chills, advises Harvard Medical School. Up to 80 percent of women experience hot flashes during menopause. The Mayo Clinic says that hormonal replacement therapy is an effective way to alleviate hot flashes. For those who can’t take hormones or

Weight gain Women who are in perimenopause or menopause may find that excess body fat develops, especially around the waist. Healthline advises that women may have to cut more calories and increase physical activity in order to combat weight gain. A diet rich in fruits and vegetables helps a person feel full and is low in calories. Vaginal dryness The Mayo Clinic says that estrogen can be administered directly to the vagina using a cream, tablet or ring. This can help relieve vaginal dryness. For those who prefer nonhormonal avenues, lubricants also can add moisture to make intercourse more comfortable. It is important for women to be honest

with their doctors about menopause symptoms. Together they can work out a plan of action that

can include natural and medicinal remedies for common symptoms.

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Yorkton This Week | | Wednesday, December 25, 2019


just for SENIORS

December 2019

Don’t fall for trip hazards! It’s an unfortunate fact of life that there tends to be a correlation between an aging population and hospitalization rates. With Canada being comprised of an ever-growing number of senior citizens, it’s important to know what’s causing these hospital visits so we can help address these causes as a society. November 6 – 12 was National Senior Safety Week and this year, the Canada Safety Council shed light on the most common causes of injuryrelated hospitalizations among seniors. As a demographic, Canadians over the age of 65 are disproportionately represented in hospitalization statistics, which prompts

the question: what can we do to help? According to Statistics Canada, seniors aged 65 and above account for 35 per cent of our population – and this number is likely to continue its upward trend in the near future. And yet, according to new research by the Canadian Institute for Health Information, this same demographic is represented in 51 per cent of all injuryrelated hospitalizations in Canada in 20172018. (Hospitalization is defined as a patient being admitted and spending at least one night in the hospital.) An overwhelming

Quitting smoking can greatly improve smokers’ long-term health and can even begin paying dividends almost immediately. Smoking is a leading contributor to many diseases and harms nearly every organ of the body. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says smoking causes more deaths each year than HIV, alcohol use, illegal drug use, motor vehicle injuries, and firearmrelated incidents each individually. Smoking not only accounts for 90 percent of all lung cancer-related deaths, but also it increases the risk

for coronary heart disease, stroke, and cancers almost anywhere in the body. Nicotine is a toxic, colorless or yellow liquid that is the chief active constituent of tobacco. Because nicotine is addictive, people who want to quit smoking must recognize they will need to overcome their addictions en route to getting healthier. The good news is that, for people who smoke infrequently, most remnants of nicotine are gone within three to four days of quitting, says the Quit Smoking Community. It may take longer for nico-

majority of these 137,568 cases were fall-related, too ­– a whopping 81 per cent of all senior injury hospitalizations in 20172018 were due to falls. Comparatively, falls represent only nine per cent of all injury hospitalizations in Canada between 2015 and 2018. “In an aged population there are many influences that contribute to falls and injuries” said Gareth Jones, President of the Canada Safety Council. “The valued and often vulnerable members of this segment of our society rely on assistance and proactive measures to ensure their safety and ultimately their quality of life. Let’s work together and do our part

to assist.” If you’re helping to take care of a senior, fall prevention must be at the forefront of your mind. Between physical conditions, deteriorating health and potential medication side-effects, falls can be much more likely to occur. Follow these tips and you won’t have to live in fear of dealing with the repercussions of a serious fall. Physical activity can reduce the chances of a fall. Gentle exercise can improve flexibility, balance and muscle strength; all of these are important factors in maintaining stability. Make sure living areas

are well-illuminated. Bright lighting makes it easier to spot potential trip hazards ahead of time and avoid them. This should include a bedside lamp within reach of the bed, hallways, staircases and bathrooms. Consider keeping a few flashlights in easy-to-find places as well. Along those same lines, keep living areas as clear and free of trip hazards as possible. Keep furniture, boxes, electrical cords and any loose objects away from high-traffic areas. Loose rugs should be secured with double-sided tape or tacks to avoid slipping. Invest in a good pair of non-slip shoes. While convenient and com-

fortable, slippers and slick-soled shoes can be contributing factors in falls, as can wearing only socks. Comfortable non-slip shoes can also reduce joint pain and contribute toward more stability. Install rails, grab bars and other assistive devices around the house, especially highmobility areas like staircases and bathtubs. For everyday use, consider a cane or a walker as well. A healthy senior community benefits all Canadians and eases the strain on our healthcare system. It’s our responsibility to ensure that we’re doing our part to keep our loved ones out of harm’s way!

10 reasons to quit smoking right now tine to leave the bodies of heavy smokers or those who have been smoking for a long time. As nicotine levels decrease, the body will eventually recover from withdrawal symptoms and begin to feel better. The following are 10 reasons to quit smoking today. 1. Financial savings: The cost of a pack of cigarettes varies depending on where you live, but the cost savings of quitting can add up quickly. 2. Cleaner teeth: Smoking can stain teeth, so quitting smoking can prevent future smokingrelated stains.

3. Greater lung capacity: Many people find their lung capacity improves by as much as 10 percent within nine months of quitting, according to the World Health Organization. Within one to nine months of quitting, coughing and shortness of breath decreases. 4. Better circulation: Blood flow improves when smokers quit smoking, which can mean fewer feelings of “pins and needles” in extremities and warmer hands and feet. 5. Improved fertility: Nonsmokers often find it easier to get pregnant

Top causes of wrinkles Getting older brings about many physical and emotional changes. Wrinkles are one such physical change that is widely associated with aging. Some people begin fighting wrinkling long before their first wrinkle even appears. A poll of 2,000 women conducted, found that around 30 percent of women under 35 regularly use antiwrinkle products. The average millennial user starts at age 26 compared to the average currently 55-year-old woman, who began using wrinklereduction products at around age 47. As skin ages, its natural tendency is to become less elastic. However, other factors also contribute to the formation of wrinkles. Understanding the main culprits behind wrinkles can help people combat them more effectively. • Exposure to UV light: Ultraviolet radiation speeds up the natural aging process and is the primary cause of early wrinkling. UV from the sun can break down the supportive connective tissue in the skin, which includes collagen and elastin fibers. Using sunscreen and staying out of the sun as much as possible can help. • Exposure to pollution: Pollution can cause free radical damage that contributes to wrinkling. Other data indicates those who live in urban settings have more wrinkles and age spots than those who live in rural areas. Washing off skin contaminants from the air each day may be beneficial. • Smoking: The contaminants in cigarette smoke can damage the

skin, promoting wrinkles, states the skincare company Nivea. Also, dragging on a cigarette purses the lips and can form deep wrinkles around this area of the face. • Poor diet and stress: Stress and eating unhealthy foods, such as a diet high in sugar, may contribute to premature

aging of the skin. After sugar is ingested it goes through a process called glycation, which involves binding to different proteins in the body. These proteins include collagen and elastin. By binding to these building blocks of the skin, sugar weakens collagen and elastin and will lead to an

appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Stress can increase cortisol levels that affect the skin’s ability to stay hydrated and elastic. Avoiding wrinkle triggers and following a dermatologist’s advice on skincare products and care can help people stave off wrinkles.

because the lining of the womb is stronger and sperm is more potent. Quitting also can reduce the chances of birth defects or miscarriage. 6. Blood oxygen improvement: Within 12 hours of quitting, blood oxygen levels return to normal and carbon monoxide levels will drop to normal, offers the quitting helper QuitSmokingSupport. com. 7. Coughing decreases: Chronic cough due to tobacco smoke irritation, and damaged cilia in the lungs can abate over time. The cilia can recover, regaining mobility, and mucus production begins to return to a

normal level as well. 8. Better sense of smell and taste: Smoking can damage the nerve endings in the body, including those involved in taste and smell. People who quit may begin to taste flavors and experience aromas better than they did when they were still smoking. 9. Improved aroma: By quitting smoking, smokers will no longer have the odor of cigarette or cigar smoke clinging to their hair and clothing. That can make them smell more pleasant to themselves and others. 10. Longer life: Quitting significantly improves smokers’ chances of living a long, healthy life.

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