"Senior Years Newsletter"

Your newsletter of information, inspiration and education for seniors, boomers and caregivers on Pre- and Post-Retirement matters.
(Published by Hoffmann-Rondeau Communications - Seniors Services)

- July 2012 Issue -

Hello and welcome to this issue of the "Senior Years Newsletter". As usual I trust you will find this edition to be as informal, inspirational and educational as promised it would be. Your comments are always welcomed and interesting to me, so do write -- because I care to hear from you.

Blessings and good health to you,

Diane M. Hoffmann, CPCA

(Certified Professional Consultant on Aging)

Issue Article of the Month

by Diane Hoffmann, CPCA

Issues of Housing & Moving.

When reaching the pre-retirement phase of life (50+), people begin to think about housing: "When will I have to sell my house and downsize?" At retirement (65+) the question becomes "Do I sell my home now and downsize? and "Do I move from a house to an apartment or Condo -- Or to the basement of my children's home?"

I'll talk more about the last question in next month's newsletter. These issues need a lot of planning, discussions and decision-making. There are a lot of resources available for reading and considering, like seniors magazines, books on retirement at your local library, etc. Start to read early.

But, the purpose of this article is to share something that happened to my husband and I which I think will help many of you in that situation. When we reached our retirement age, we decided to downsize. The way we would do it is sell the house and move into an apartment -- which had good financial benefits for us.

However, after finding a nice apartment with ocean view and all the amenities for good living, we soon discovered that apartment living was not for us. We were still too active to go through the corridors, elevators and underground parking several times a week to get to our business and community involvements.

So we kept an eye open on the housing market to be ready for when the time came after our year lease came up. However, as we did that, we came across the perfect house for us and called the real estate listing agent to see the details. Having had a good pulse on what's available out there, we knew this house would be hard to beat and did not want to lose this opportunity.

So we thought, we'll sub-lease our apartment and buy the house and move in. Well, we immediately found out that some landlords are not enthusiastic about their tenants sub-leasing and will try and make it hard for you, even though they cannot refuse under the local Residential Tenancy Act -- which I found out during my extensive research.

To make a long story short, it took a lot of frustrating work to get permission to sub-lease our apartment which I would not wish on anyone. Then afterwards, it was not easy to find new tenants either.

The point to catch here is this: if you want to sell your house and move into an apartment, be prepared to stay put for a year, or find a place where you can have a month to month rental arrangement until you are sure that this is the life for you. The latter is what I would now do after learning it the hard way./dmh

Next month I'll talk about the later phase of relocation strategy for seniors.

(Following articles reproduced with permission from the CPCA ‘Maturity Matters’)

1. Feature article:

Is it Alzheimer's? Ten Warning Signs.

Memory loss that disrupts everyday life is not part of the normal aging process. It is a symptom of dementia, a gradual and progressive decline in memory, thinking, and reasoning skills. The most common cause of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease, a disorder that results in the loss of brain cells.

The Alzheimer Society, a national leader in the fight against Alzheimer’s, believes that it is critical for people with dementia and their families to receive information as early as possible.

To help family members and health care professionals recognize warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease, the Society has developed a checklist of common symptoms.

Memory Loss.

One of the most common early signs of dementia is forgetting recently learned information. While it is normal to forget appointments, names, or telephone numbers, those with dementia will forget such things more often and not remember them later.

Difficulty performing familiar tasks.

People with dementia often find it hard to complete everyday tasks that are so familiar we usually do not think about how to do them. A person with Alzheimer’s may not know the steps for preparing a meal, using a household appliance, or participating in a lifelong hobby.

Problems with language.

Everyone has trouble finding the right words sometimes, but a person with Alzheimer’s disease often forgets simple words, making his or her speech or writing hard to understand. If a person with Alzheimer’s is unable to find his or her toothbrush, for example, the individual may ask for “that thing for my mouth.”

Disorientation to time and place.

It’s normal to forget the day of the week or where you’re going. But people with Alzheimer’s disease can become lost on their own street, forget where they are and how they got there, and not know how to get back home.

Poor or decreased judgment.

No one has perfect judgment all the time. Those with Alzheimer’s may dress without regard to the weather, wearing several shirts or blouses on a warm day or very little clothing in cold weather. Individuals with dementia often show poor judgment about money, giving away large amounts of money to Tele-marketers or paying for home repairs or products they don’t need.

Problems with abstract thinking.

Balancing a checkbook may be hard when the task is more complicated than usual. Someone with Alzheimer’s disease could forget completely what the numbers are and what needs to be done with them.

Misplacing things.

Anyone can temporarily misplace a wallet or key. A person with Alzheimer’s disease may put things in unusual places: an iron in the freezer, a wristwatch in the sugar bowl, or a sandwich under the sofa.

Changes in mood or behavior.

Everyone can become sad or moody from time to time. Someone with Alzheimer’s disease can show rapid mood swings, from calm to tears to anger, for no apparent reason.

Changes in personality.

People’s personalities ordinarily change somewhat with age. But a person with Alzheimer’s disease can change a lot, becoming extremely confused, suspicious, fearful, or dependent on a family member.

Loss of initiative.

It’s normal to tire of housework, business activities, or social obligations at times. The person with Alzheimer’s disease may become very passive, sitting in front of the television for hours, sleeping more than usual, or not wanting to do usual activities.

For more information on Alzheimer’s Disease, please contact the Alzheimer Society of Canada www.alzheimer.ca

Source: Living Assistance Services, www.laservices.ca

2. Ask the Experts:

What Can I Do to Help a Bereaved Friend or Family Member?

A - As you very well know, this period in a person’s life can be very difficult. For a friend of someone who is grieving, you may not even know what to say to console your friend. Below are some tips on what to do to help your friend through this hard time.


~Do let your genuine concern and caring show.
~Do be available. Listen, run errands, provide food for out of town mourners or whatever you perceive is needed at the time.
~Do tell the family how sorry you are for their loss.
~Offer to be a friend. Deal with your grieving friend/family member gently and positively.
~Recognize that grieving has no time limit and varies from individual to individual both in the way they express their grief and the time required to stabilize.


~Don’t let your own sense of helplessness and inadequacies keep you from reaching out.
~Don’t avoid them because you are uncomfortable and unable to cope with your own feelings about death.
~Don’t say “I know how you feel” unless you really do.
~Don’t say “You should be coping better by now” or anything else which may appear judgemental about their progress in grieving.
~Don’t tell them what they should feel.
~Don’t look for some moral lesson or something positive in the situation.
~Don’t let your friends, family or co-worker grieve alone. There is a tremendous sense of isolation and abandonment during the grief process. You can help by caring, by being there and by being the best friend you can be.

Source: Article by, Bereaved Families of Ontario. Reprinted with permission from www.widowed.ca

3. Heart Healthy Recipe:

Shrimp Salad with Gazpacho Dressing

This is a perfect salad that highlights dark, leafy greens. It is light and refreshing – perfect for a summer evening. Makes 2 servings.

Ingredients -

375 ml (1 ½ cups) fresh tomato, diced,

125 mL (½ cup) cucumber, diced,

45 mL (3 tbsp) red onion, diced, 125 mL

1/2 cup yellow or red pepper, diced,

15 mL (1 tbsp) olive oil,

25 mL (2 tbsp) red wine vinegar,

15 mL (1 tbsp) fresh mint, chopped and packed,

5 mL (1 tsp) black pepper.

Salad -

750 mL (3 cups) romaine, chopped,

500 mL (2 cups) kale, chopped (remove tough rib),

½ medium avocado, sliced,

6 large cooked shrimp, (180 g/6.5 oz) chilled,

8 slices yellow or red pepper (half a pepper)

Directions -

Place the dressing ingredients in a food processor and puree. Makes 500 mL (2 cups). Set aside.

Place the romaine and kale in a big bowl and toss with 250 mL (1 cup) of the dressing. Save the rest of the dressing for another time.

Place ½ the lettuce mixture on one plate. Top with ¼ avocado, 3 shrimp and yellow (or red) pepper. Repeat for second plate. Serve immediately.

Nutritional Information Per Serving, 750 mL (3 cups) salad and toppings, 125 mL (½ cup) dressing - Calories: 288, Protein: 25 g, Fat: 13 g, Saturated fat: 2 g, Dietary cholesterol: 137 mg, Carbohydrate: 22 g, Dietary fibre: 8 g, Sodium: 254 mg, Potassium: 1,371 mg

Developed by Nadine Day, RD. ©The Heart and Stroke Foundation

4. Quote or Joke of the Month:


"If you can find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn't lead anywhere."

Frank A. Clark

Other Quotes and Jokes:

Growing Old...

"You don't stop laughing because you grow old.
You grow old because you stop laughing."

Michael Pritchard

I've Sure Gotten Old!...

I've had two bypass surgeries, a hip replacement,
new knees, fought prostate cancer and diabetes.
I'm half blind,
can't hear anything quieter than a jet engine,
take 40 different medications that
make me dizzy, winded, and subject to blackouts.
Have bouts with dementia.
Have poor circulation;
hardly feel my hands and feet anymore.
Can't remember if I'm 85 or 92.
Have lost all my friends. But, thank God,
I still have my driver's license.

Thanks to LadyBeth - New Jersey, seen on http://www.seniorark.com/Humor/humor.htm

5. Did you know?:

Seniors are More Educated Now

Senior Canadians are much more educated than were previous generations. Their education levels have increased considerably over the past decade—a change that is expected to continue in the coming years.

From 1990 to 2006, the share of men aged 65 and older with less than high school completion dropped from 63% to 46% and the percentage of postsecondary graduates increased. The same trends are evident among women aged 65 and older.

The higher educational attainment is especially striking among Canadians 55 to 64. The share of men in this age group with less than a high school education fell from 53% in 1990 to 24% in 2006, while the share with a university degree jumped from 10% to 22%.

Even more striking, the share of women in this age group with a university degree tripled, from 5% to 17%.

Source: Statistics Canada, www.41.statcan.ca

6. Seniors Tip:

Help to Prevent Wildlife Highway Deaths

Why did the porcupine cross the road? To get to the other side, of course. That's why millions of wild animals are killed by motorists each year in North America. These animals are unaware of the danger that awaits them as they cross roads and highways in search of food, shelter or mates.

Here are some ways suggested by the Canadian Wildlife Federation to avoid accidents involving wild animals next time you're out for a drive:

Never throw food or garbage from your car. By littering, you may be luring an animal to its death.

Take extra care on stretches of road where animal crossings are posted.

Reduce your driving speed near meadows, wetlands, or woodlands, where wildlife is usually abundant. This will give you more time to avoid an accident if an animal crosses in front of you.

Sometimes, no matter how careful you are, accidents involving wild animals are unavoidable. But remember to use common sense. Never put yourself or your passengers in danger.

If you do hit an animal, don't try to remove it from the road yourself; you could be injured by a passing vehicle. Besides, the animal may be diseased, so it's a good idea not to touch it. Instead, contact the nearest local police or wildlife authorities.

Source: www.seniorsgotravel.com

- End -

See you next month !

Don't forget to write to me using my "Contact Form" on the navigation bar at the left.


Return to Home Page


Issue Article of the Month
by Diane Hoffmann

1.Feature article

2.Ask the Experts

3.Heart Healthy Recipe

4.Quote or Joke of the Month

5.Did you know?

6.Seniors Tips