Look after dem bones

Osteoporosis is pretty common in older men and women. It makes bones thin and more likely to break, and it is a major reason for fractures in women after menopause. If bones are fragile, even a minor fall can cause fractures.

I broke my arm once while high-jumping in a high school gym class. It was just a hairline fracture, but it was oh so painful. I never want to experience another fracture. Ever.

How can we keep our bones strong? Continue reading

Self-care a necessity for family caregivers

Family caregivers are special people. They make time in their busy schedules to care for elderly loved ones, and often put their own lives—and health—on hold. Their intentions are wonderful, even admirable. But providing help to elderly family member, especially one with dementia or a physical disability, can be super stressful and exhausting and can also lead to serious health problems if left unchecked.

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Historic Bell Barn the perfect venue for barn dance

Now that it’s September, it kind of feels like summer is over. But not just yet. There’s one more Olde Tyme Barn Dance coming up on Sept. 27 at the beautiful Historic Bell Barn in Indian Head, just 40 minutes from Regina.

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Growing older is awesome

Some of you may be thinking … “Who the heck wants to get older?!” I too have my moments when I’m thinking (sadly) about how fast the seasons now turn and how many more wrinkles and laugh lines are popping up on my face. But think for a moment about what growing older means … what it really means.

It means we have experience … maybe in our professional lives but most certainly in our personal lives. It means we have succeeded and failed. We have been healthy and sick, some of us with minor ailments and others with life-threatening disease. We have gained wisdom from living and from watching how others live. And we are alive. Yes, we are growing older as I write this. And it’s awesome. Continue reading

Queen City Ex for all ages

It’s exhibition time in Regina! The Queen City Ex runs from July 30 to Aug. 3, but there’s plenty happening today to kick off the event:

  • A Strawberry Social takes place at the downtown City Square Plaza today from 11:30-1:00, featuring Regina’s own Rory Allen. Hot dogs, strawberry shortcake, coffee and lemonade will be on sale, and all proceeds benefit Special Olympics Canada.
  • A parade starts at 7:00 PM at Cameron Street and Dewdney Avenue, heads east to Broad Street, goes south to Broadway Ave., and concludes at the Tartan Curling Club.
  • Fireworks will cap the day at dusk in Wascana Park.

All of this before the Ex even officially begins! Continue reading

Real food vs. meal replacement drinks

I was raised to believe that whole, natural food is better than processed, packaged foods. (Thanks, Mom.) Don’t get me wrong. We ate plenty of processed food growing up in the 70s and 80s. But a single mom raising three kids doesn’t always have the luxury of regular grocery store visits or the time to make meals from scratch. Whatever we ate, Mom always made sure we understood the difference between “real” and processed foods, and she managed to instill in me the ability to choose whole, healthy food more often than not.

When it comes to meal replacement drinks, like Ensure® and Boost®, I knew there was probably a time and place for them, but not as a regular alternative to food. Continue reading

Long live the Lifelong Learning Centre!

I had been a Continuing Education student at the University of Regina for decades—oh my, time flies!—before I ever heard of the Lifelong Learning Centre. In fact, I learned of it only a few months ago from a friend … a friend who’s 76 years young and attends classes there regularly. (She fancies the art-related classes.)

The Centre is located at the College Avenue Campus. Established in 1977, it was originally called the Seniors Education Centre. Over time, it evolved and now serves learners of all ages.

No prior formal education is required for the nearly 200 non-credit courses offered at the Centre each year, and most have no assignments or homework. That’s right … no grades, no assignments, and no exams. Continue reading

Alive Inside

Music has remarkable power. It can conjure up memories from the past, transport us to another place, and make us feel incredible joy or profound sadness.

Music & Memory is a program that helps seniors in care facilities suffering with Alzheimer’s and dementia find renewed meaning and connection in their lives through the gift of personalized music. The program trains senior care professionals how to set up personalized music playlists, delivered on iPods and other digital devices, for those in their care. Musical favourites can bypass failing cognitive systems to tap deep memories and bring seniors back to life, often enabling them to converse, socialize, and stay present. Continue reading

Canada is cool!

We live in the best country in the world! We enjoy breathtaking landscapes, clean water, fresh air, exceptional food, and beautiful people. I love it all. To me, the best part of our amazing country is the freedom we enjoy. Freedom to speak. Freedom to be ourselves. And freedom to choose our leaders, our career, our friends, our life partner, and how and what we celebrate.

I know what you’re thinking … What about the weather in Canada? Continue reading

Keeping our brains young

I truly admire people who remember faces, names, birthdays, and especially your last conversation with them. “How was your niece’s grad?” a friend said to me recently. Wow, I don’t even recall telling her about my plans to attend, and here she was—days, even weeks later—asking me about the event! Impressive.

If I’m having trouble remembering things like this in my 40s, I certainly have some work to do to catch up with others my age and to offset the memory challenges that go hand-in-hand with getting older.

Thankfully, there are lots of things we can do to keep our brains sharp and working well throughout our life … what some researchers call “cognitive vitality.” Continue reading