Wednesday, May 26, 2021 | www.YorktonThisWeek.com | Yorkton This Week
SENIORS Our Monthly Feature
...For Seniors and about Seniors
New Horizons eager to serve and keep history alive Since the late 1960’s the New Horizons Seniors Centre has provided seniors from the Yorkton area and across Western Canada with activities for their entertainment. The organization for people 65 and older can owe some of its beginning to the George Morris family, who owned its first-ever headquarters. Peter Legebokoff, the president of the Yorkton New Horizons Seniors Centre, said that without the Morris family, the New Horizons Centre might not be what it is today. “The family were early sponsors and supporters for the New Horizons Senior Citizens. They (New Horizons) used that building as their first headquarters, and they used it for a number of years.” The Morris’s contribution to the Yorkton New Horizons didn’t stop there. “The building only had limited sustainability, so the New Horizons Senior Citizens wanted a bigger, more sustainable premises, but they didn’t have the money,” said Legebokoff. “George and Helen Morris they loaned the group $25,000 for the down payment for the place (the current loca-
tion), and they provided an interest-free mortgage, and in 1976, the hall was purchased by the New Horizons.” The hall, which was first built in 1953 and used by the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, has had quite the makeover in its 68-year history. “Over the years that the New Horizon has been here to improve the building and did major updates to the building, and today you see a hall that has been renovated and upgraded numerous times with the help of grants from Ottawa, community donations, and the Painted Hand Casino.” Legebokoff adds that the most recent upgrades saw new maple flooring installed and the complete repainting and redecoration of the upper level, entirely new paint with most upgrades thanks to a donation from Vivian Murphy and money the New Horizons has saved up. While the buildings have been changed and upgraded, so have the activities that have been offered. Once, it was cards, bingo, and small social dances, with the building being used for public education for senior citizens. Now Legebokoff said that the
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A look at a dance happening before the hall was renovated card and bingo players have disappeared as those seniors moved into places like retirement homes. “The New Horizons Centre has had to react and adapt to these changing times and deliver the kinds of services and activities and that people need and want,” he said. “Another major change that we are confronted with is the changing demographic. The senior citizens of yesterday are pretty much gone, and the future senior citizens were yesterday’s baby boomers. Their needs, wants, aspirations, and expectations are going to be quite different from what was delivered to senior citizens of the past. The new generation of senior citi-
zens will be expecting a different kind of level of activities.” Legebokoff said that the pandemic has just accelerated these changes, and he expects that once things open back up, the New Horizon Centres will have to reinvent themselves. He says that the biggest challenge they face in the future is adapting to the new seniors. You will be looking to them for something to do in the community. Legebokoff said before the pandemic; he felt that the organization was in a very good place. “This was a well-managed, well-run organization; the volunteer administrators had always performed very well here, and we had
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good financial reserves, we could survive the shock of the pandemic, and the lost revenue and adapt to that,” he said. “Things like the public and social dancing will no doubt continue here because it was a very popular event. We are just waiting for the time when we can hold crowded-based events again, and there will probably be a continued demand and interest; in doing that here.” As for during the pandemic, it has been a quiet time, but they have never stopped looking and planning for when they are able to return to their services to the seniors, something Legebokoff is hopeful could happen by the fall. Legebokoff said he feels the Yorkton New Horizons Senior Centre is important because it gives seniors something to do, but it also is keeping a piece of Yorkton history alive. “It has served the
needs of seniors citizens in Yorkton and related groups, and it’s important to maintain this organization because needs will arise, evolve, and the New Horizons Senior Citizens has the experience and the capacity to meet these needs, some of which haven’t yet been identified. We will keep going, because we are also interested in maintaining this building, this hall, because it has elements of a heritage building, and it would be a pity if it would to disappear from the face of the year, but it has a role to play right now, and we are willing to maintain it’s operation. If it wasn’t for the senior citizens of Yorkton, this hall might have very well been shut down years ago and become a parking lot. We are interested in maintaining it as a characterbuilding and also serving the needs of the community for activities and social events.”
A sure sign The burial service for the elderly woman climaxed with a massive clap of thunder, followed by a bolt of lightning, accompanied by even more thunder. “Well,” said her husband to the shaken pastor when all the commotion ending, “she’s there.”
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Yorkton This Week | www.YorktonThisWeek.com | Wednesday, May 26, 2021
just for SENIORS
How to garden from a wheelchair Gardening is a wonderful activity that people from all walks of life enjoy. A garden full of fresh fruits and vegetables and/or beautiful blooms can instill a sense of pride in gardeners and turn their backyards into colorful, peaceful respites. Anyone with the will to do so can plant their own garden, and that includes people who are confined to wheelchairs. Gardening from a wheelchair may present some unique challenges, but such obstacles are no reason for wheelchair-bound gardening enthusiasts to steer clear of this rewarding activity. In recognition of the challenges
of gardening from a wheelchair, the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation offers the following tips to wheelchairbound gardening enthusiasts. · Match the garden to your abilities. Try to push beyond your limits can affect how much you enjoy gardening. Address issues that may impair how you can function in the garden, such as accessibility. For example, if the garden is far away from the physical structure of your home, you may feel exhausted by the time you get to the garden, which can affect your productivity and progress. Prior to starting a garden, consider the potential that such issues may arise and then try to build a
garden that makes it easy to overcome them. · Consider raised beds. When designing such beds, make sure they’re narrow so they can be conveniently accessed from your wheelchair. · Consider hanging baskets. Hanging baskets also can be a great option for anyone gardening from a wheelchair. Hanging baskets can provide aesthetic appeal inside and outside of a home, and such baskets can be accessed with a pulley system that makes it easy for gardeners to prune and water plants. · Use specialized tools. Such tools make it easier for people in wheelchairs to indulge their passion for planting.
Adaptive tools like trowels, cultivators and hoes can make it easier for gardeners to perform all the standard gardening tasks. Ergonomic adaptive gardening tools can help gardeners avoid the joint pain that can arise from using more traditional, non-ergonomic tools. · Make it a team effort. Gardening with a loved one can make the hobby even more enjoyable for anyone, including people gardening from their wheelchairs. Seniors can garden alongside their grandchildren and/or friends who also have mobility issues, ensuring no one gets too tired or falls behind. Anyone can enjoy gardening, and that includes people in wheelchairs.
How to prevent slips and falls in the bathroom Bathrooms can serve as sanctuaries, providing a warm tub to soak in after a long, weary day or a private place to retire for a few minutes of peace and quiet. Bathrooms also can be dangerous places, as various groups warn that most slip and fall accidents that occur at home will happen in the bathroom. The combination of hard surfaces and moisture from sinks and showers can create dangerous conditions. Furthermore, bathrooms tend to be small spaces, so should a fall occur, it’s more likely a person will hit various surfaces on the way down. The risk of falling in a bathroom increases with age. Seniors over age 65 have a 25 percent chance of falling in the bathroom. Seniors gener-
ally have less flexibility and balance than younger people, meaning falls can be life-threatening. Bones easily can become fractured and internal
bleeding may occur in serious cases. Bathrooms can be made more safe in a few simple ways. · Keep the bathtub clean. Soap residue or
other grime can contribute to slippery conditions in the shower and tub. Cleaning these surfaces frequently can improve traction.
· Declutter the space. Remove extraneous items from the bathroom that can pose as tripping hazards. · Choose the right bath mat. Bath mats can contribute to slips and falls. For those who cannot live without them, choose a mat with slip-resistant backings and add doublefaced tape for added security. · Limit moisture. Use a weighted shower curtain or install shower doors to prevent water from getting on the floor. Mop up any water or additional condensation to help dry the bathroom. Install an exhaust fan to help vent moisture that can condense and accumulate on the floor and fixtures. · Improve bathroom lighting. Make sure lighting in the bathroom illuminates all areas.
· Wear non-slip shoes. Wearing non-slip shoes when in the bathroom can reduce the chances of slipping on wet floors. · Install a walk-in shower or bathtub. These lipless fixtures can assist those who have difficulty entering a standard tub or shower. Grab bars also can help with maneuvering in and out of the shower area. · Use a raised toilet seat. A raised toilet, or one with a special seat that reduces the distance one has to go to reach a seated position, may help prevent falls. Any individual with a health condition that causes vision disturbances or difficulties with balance should work with a doctor to find a resolution. These conditions may contribute to falls.
The advantages of RV travel Individuals who are approaching retirement or those who already have said goodbye to the working world may find they are ready to make some life changes. Travel is something many older adults enjoy when they have much more free time to see the sights. Recreational vehicles are great ways for people to get out and about. An RV is more than just a way to get around; for many people it becomes a lifestyle. There have been more RVs on the road in recent years, and there are now more facilities to accommodate them. Individuals considering if the RV lifestyle is for them can refer to this list of RVing benefits. · Inexpensive travel (or living): RVers may be attracted by the idea
of low-cost travel that doesn’t involve hotels and airfare and greatly reduces their reliance on restaurants while traveling. RVs can be rented for roughly $100 to $500 per day, and RV parks usually run between $35 and $50 per night. To keep the costs down even more, certain truck stops, big box retailers, churches, hotels, movie theaters, casinos, rest stops and other roadside locations will allow free overnight parking. Just verify before staying to avoid being ticketed. · Freedom to come and go: When traveling in an RV, there are no set check-in-/check-out times to follow or boarding times to meet. RV travel can be strictly on your schedule. · Plenty of help: Others who have embraced the
RV lifestyle tend to be very friendly and ready to make new acquaintances at campgrounds and other stops. Those with more experience may be willing to share their expertise and pitch in to offer tips for better excursions.
· Creature comforts: People who vacation or choose to live in their RVs tend to keep familiar items and essentials on hand. Those can include preferred linens, clothing, toiletries, books, games, and more. When taking such items along, there’s no need to pack and unpack much for any trip. · Follow the weather: If desired, RVers can pick up and follow the jet stream. If 70-degree days are your thing, then follow those temperatures coast-to-coast. If you like skiing or snowboarding, you can head to colder climates. · Downsize: RVs are available across a wide range of price points. So if the idea is to trade in a stationary house for an RV, you may be able to do so for as little as $6,000 to
as much as $500,000. The RV lifestyle may attract soon-to-be retir-
ees. There are various advantages to getting on board.
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Wednesday, May 26, 2021 | www.YorktonThisWeek.com | Yorkton This Week
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Seniors, patients, astronauts will all benefit from new USask research on bone health By Sarath Peiris for USask Research Profile and Impact S A S K A T O O N – A University of Saskatchewan (USask) team led by kinesiology professor Saija Kontulainen has been awarded $200,000 by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) to research whether aerobic and resistance exercises can prevent bone loss associated with fat accumulation in muscles and bone marrow due to inactivity. The findings will help to reduce falls and fractures caused by weakened muscles and bones in older Canadians, aid in the recovery of COVID19 patients and others confined to prolonged bed rest after injury or surgery, and guide measures to maintain the bone health of astronauts during space flight. Kontulainen’s study, which focuses on bone and muscle health, is part of a 17-month
national project funded by CIHR to understand the health impacts of inactivity. Eight university teams across Canada have each been awarded $200,000 to study the effects of a 14-day bed rest period on the brains and cardiovascular and other physiological systems in a total of 24 volunteers—12 men and 12 women. “This project is unique because, for the first time, participants are in the 55-to-65 age group while previous bed rest studies involved only young people,” said Kontulainen. “With one-quarter of Canada’s population expected to be seniors by 2035, it’s important to understand mechanisms that cause bone deterioration through aging and inactivity.” Researchers from across Canada will get a unique opportunity to look at new scientific knowledge involving impacts of inactivity on different aspects of
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human physiology, and then combine data to look at the associations between body systems, she said. The team from McGill University, where the study will take place starting early next year, will lead the data collection and exercise intervention during bed rest for all eight teams. The Canadian Frailty Network and the Canadian Space Agency are partnering with CIHR on the Health Impacts of Inactivity project. Six males and six females will be randomly assigned either to an exercise or control group, each consisting of 12 participants at the McGill University Health Centre. Participants in the exercise group will do daily cycling and resistance training to strengthen muscles
terms of musculoskeletal health, inactivity, weightlessness, and lack of loading stimulus (from weight-bearing exercise) lead to bone loss. But we don’t know how bone tissue is altered, the mechanisms underpinning this change, or the mechanisms that exercise can counteract,” she said. “If we are able to discover that fat accumulation is linked to bone deterioration, we can then target the mechanism that makes bone more fragile with countermeasures like exercise, and test other interventions such as nutritional or pharmacological therapies, or a combination of these.” The USask group is employing advanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technology to look at both bone marrow and muscle adi-
posity, and link it to bone porosity. Researchers are also measuring bone structure in very fine detail to see if porosity is increasing, and whether these changes differ between exercise and control groups. What Kontulainen finds particularly exciting the opportunity to test the performance of a portable MRI prototype, which was developed in team member Gordon Sarty’s lab for use on the International Space Station, against the data obtained from top-of-theline MRIs in use today. “If the portable tool is shown to capture similar changes in muscle and bone, it can be used not only on space missions to the Moon or Mars, but in remote and rural areas in Canada and around the world,” she said.
Senior communities offering lifestyles Living life to the fullest does not need to stop when adults near or reach retirement age. Age-restricted housing communities once bore the stereotype of having limited recreational options and dated surroundings. But modern senior homes and facilities are all about catering to active lifestyles - with some communities offering resort-like amenities and pristine proper-
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in their arms and legs, while the control group will get no exercise. Researchers will measure bone porosity (tiny holes in the bone), along with muscle and bone marrow fat in the calves, thighs and forearms of all participants, before and after bed rest. Follow-up testing at two weeks and two months after the study will help determine how quickly, or if, the bones and muscles of participants are recovering. Kontulainen’s team is testing two hypotheses. First, that inactivity increases fat accumulation (adiposity) in muscle and marrow, as well as porosity in bone. Second, that exercise intervention will prevent or reduce these negative changes in muscle and bone due to inactivity. “We know that in
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ties. Furthermore, certain communities provide niche offerings for people who are looking for something even a little more different. Eligibility to live in these communities varies, but generally speaking one resident in the home must be age 55 or older. According to research by TRI Pointe Homes, of the 75 million people who comprise the Baby Boomer generation who are eligible for age-qualified communities, more than 32 million would consider living in such a community. The website 55places. com, which specializes in promoting age-restricted communities, indicates Florida has the most age-restricted communities in the country, followed by New Jersey. Arbutus Ridge Seaside Community for Active Adults was the first comprehensive retirement community built in Canada. Choosing an agerestricted community requires consideration of a host of factors, including the amenities residents most desire and the cost of a facility. The following factors can help people decide which community is most suitable for them. · Style of home: Homes built in retirement communities are designed to be comfortable and convenient for aging residents. Many are singlefloor units. Certain communities may be comprised of apartments,
condos or townhouses, while others may be single, detached residences. · Amenities: When comparing age-restricted communities, consider the amenities available. Do they include on-site dining, transportation, travel assistance, pools, fitness centers, walking trails, or outdoor sports facilities? Some communities have “aging in place” amenities, which means residents can move from independent living to assisted living to skilled nursing care as their needs change. Make a list of interests and then match them to a community that can fit your needs. · Costs: Costs vary considerably. Consider the community’s location and what is being offered, as these factors will affect costs. In addition to rent or mortgages, most communities also have
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monthly maintenance or homeowners association fees that need to be compared and considered. Read contracts carefully to see which other costs are included. · Specialized features: Unique men and women call for unique communities. If standard age-restricted communities do not fit the bill, 55places.com says there are specialized offerings for people who spend retirement in an RV; desire homes that align with their heritage; communities just for postal workers; or communities tied to a local college to continue lifelong learning. Age-restricted retirement communities are evolving and many specialize in catering to active lifestyles. Cost-cutting measures Recently, a man walked into my barbershop and asked how much for a haircut. “Eight dollars,” I answered. “And for a shave?” “Five dollars.” “All right,” he said, settling into the barber chair. “Shave my head.”
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OUR NEXT FEATURE - WEDNESDAY, JUNE 30