This week is all about seniors

Sept. 29 to Oct. 5 is Seniors’ Week in Saskatchewan, which coincides with National Seniors Day and International Day of Older Persons on Oct. 1. Seniors deserve special attention all year, but this week in particular is to recognize how important seniors are in our families and communities and to celebrate their many positive contributions—past and present.

According to the Ministry of Health, one in seven people in Saskatchewan is currently 65 years of age or older. That’s a big portion of our population! And this number is expected to climb to one in six by 2020.

Think for a moment about a senior who positively impacted your life in some way. Continue reading

Colourful leaves bring reminder of home safety

It’s the first full day of fall! Exciting for some (my husband, Kelly). Not so exciting for others (like me.)

For hunters like Kelly, it’s the time of year when the elk start bugling and the deer enter full rut. Kelly painstakingly prepares all year for the short hunting season in fall when he gets to do what he loves most. For golfers like me, it means starting to lose my ball in the fallen leaves and having to wear multiple layers of clothing—often too many to maintain a proper swing—to stay warm for the 4-5 hours I’m out on the course. It also means I’ll soon be packing away my golf clubs for the long, cold winter that’s just around the corner.

Could hunting and golf be more different hobbies?! Let’s just say there’s an interesting dynamic in our household. Actually, it’s the best of both worlds. Kelly’s energy and excitement pick me up in the fall when I’m feeling blue about the golf season ending. And I reciprocate in spring when hunting season is over. We complement each other quite nicely.

Regardless of how you feel about fall, there are some seasonal dangers to keep in mind, especially for seniors who still live in a house or condo: Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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