"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 2014 Issue ~

Hello and welcome to your July 2014 issue of the "Senior Years Newsletter".

I hope you are enjoying the wonderful new summer season. As usual, I trust you will find this edition to be as informational, inspirational and educational as promised it to be. Your comments are always welcomed and interesting to me, so do write (address/web site at the bottom) -- because I care to hear from you.

Blessings and good health to you, always,

Diane M. Hoffmann, CPCA
(Certified Professional Consultant on Aging)

1. Feature article:

Reach Your Goals

As one sage put it: If you don't know where you are going, any road will get you there. And yet many of us do not have specific goals to focus on and motivate us to "get up and go." In fact, a lack of goals may be robbing us of an active, interesting life as a senior. Goals make a difference no matter what your age.

You may have heard of the kindergarten teacher who walked around her classroom observing each child's artwork. As she got to one little girl who was working diligently, she asked what the drawing was. The girl replied, "I'm drawing God." The teacher paused and said, "But no one knows what God looks like." Without missing a beat, or looking up from her drawing the girl replied, "They will in a minute." That little girl knew exactly what she wanted to accomplish, a drawing of God, one minute from now. That was her goal statement; a clear, concise statement of an end result.

Most people don't spend much time thinking about their goals. They accept what comes their way and move with the flow wherever it takes them. Seldom do they stop to think that they can in fact control their time and their life if they want to. That's because most people are not sure what they want.

If you happen to be at a fork in your road, anxious to change but unsure of what to do, start taking control of your life by setting goals and establishing priorities. Goal setting will cause you to focus on what you really want, and move you in the direction of a more fulfilling lifestyle. For the 50-plus group there are at least six goal categories worthy of pursuing: family, health & wellness, financial, educational, social & pleasure, and spiritual. Your goal must be a clear, concise statement of an end result or desired outcome. Follow these five guidelines to get that result.

Put it in writing: When you write a goal you create a contract with yourself and set in motion a process that helps you carry through. Furthermore by putting your goals in writing you clarify your thoughts and arrive at a precise statement of what you want to accomplish.

Get personal: Your goals must belong to you and state what you want to achieve for your own reasons.

Make it measurable: A written goal statement must be specific and include such things as dates, times and amounts so that your achievement or lack of it can be measured. If for instance, you write a goal statement about becoming more physically active, you must include a start date.

Be realistic: When writing a physical activity goal, take into account your present age and your health. If you are not sure, consult with your health-care professional. Don't set your goals so high there's no hope of achieving them, for then you're sure to fail and that's no fun.

Focus on results: When preparing your goal statement, focus on the goal, not the action steps of how to get there. By its very nature, a goal is a statement of something you intend to accomplish in the future and that's your focus.

Here's a Health and Wellness goal statement. Note that it's personal, measurable, realistic, and identifies an end result.

By July 15th, I will be walking briskly for at least 30 minutes, 4 days a week.

Action Steps: Your goals will not become a reality just because you write them down, or because you would like to see them accomplished. You must take action to make them happen. To identify the steps necessary to reach your goal, ask yourself these questions. What information, knowledge or skills do I need to achieve this goal? What assistance or resources do I need? What roadblocks will I have to overcome?

Possible Steps required to accomplish the above goal

    -Develop a plan that will allow you to start off slowly, increase your distance, and your pace over a period of time.
    -Decide upon one or more walking routes.
    -Find a walking partner to help you stick with it.
    -Find out what the community centres have to offer in your area.
    -Learn more about the health benefits of regular activity.
    -Determine what activity alternatives are available during the winter months.

Write your own 'Health and Wellness' goal statement and action steps.

Your Goal and Action Steps required to reach your goal. Goals are not cast in stone, they reflect your best judgment today and they are subject to revision as your life changes. Good luck.

Article by Jim McDonald, Reprinted with Permission from Senior Living Magazine, www.seniorlivingmag.com


2. Extra Feature:

Respecting a senior’s moment

by Cathie Roy, Associate Publisher, ©Coast Reporter,

re-printed by permission.

We’ve learned something from our new series on aging on the Sunshine Coast, and it’s not particularly pleasant. It’s an interesting phenomenon that in this wonderful, tolerant country of ours, ageism has become the only acceptable form of discrimination. It’s the only group to escape the dreaded politically correct mavens. Even the elderly poke fun at the elderly in Canada.

If we forget where we’ve laid something, we’re having a senior’s moment — never mind how old we are. And if we’re actually in the dreaded “S” age bracket, then we do a mental cross of the fingers behind our back and say a little prayer to the patron saint of old folks that we’re not actually in the clutches of some form of dementia — while fervently hoping our little lapse went unnoticed by our families and friends.

If per chance we actually are experiencing a breakdown of grey cells, then we do our level best to hide that information from health care professionals who may be able to help us. We don’t want to become the butt of the lousy jokes that have taken the place of Newfie jokes in our society.

At one time it was a badge of honour to be a senior. With grey hair came respect from the masses and an opportunity to shape public opinion with the wisdom the years had imparted. Because Canadians weren’t so far removed from our mostly immigrant societies, our families looked upon seniors’ contributions as valuable. Our First Nations neighbours gave their elders their due. They were regarded as resources, not drains on resources.

Over the years a subtle change has happened. It’s become acceptable to treat anyone over a certain age as slightly addled. The rest of society chose to forget the contributions of these people. And because we slighted them it became easy for the less scrupulous among us to take advantage of older people.

Loneliness and isolation play a big role in the abuse of seniors. If an older person living on their own has no friends or meaningful relationships, it doesn’t take long for a freeloader to worm his or her way into the life of the solitary person. Many times family has moved to another area and isn’t even aware this is happening.

And even more insidious, sometimes it’s a family member who is taking advantage of an older relative. Age-related physical and mental impairments can make it easy for an oldster to end up at the mercy of a monster.

But there are ways all of us can help to make sure this doesn’t happen, beginning with the easiest step of all — friendship. Look out for your neighbour. Watch for unexplained changes in their routine. Old age isn’t “catching,” it’s just a fact of life. And most of us, with a little luck, will end up there someday.

So we think it’s time to cut the crassness, up the kindness and prepare to reap the karma sure to come our way when we recognize ageism for what it is — discrimination.

Source: Cathie Roy, Associate Publisher, http://www.coastreporter.net/authors?author=Cathie%20Roy
©Coast Reporter, http://www.coastreporter.net, re-printed by permission.


3. Heart Healthy Recipe:

Summery Vegetable and Spaghetti Salad

Makes: 6 servings. Spaghetti gives this pasta salad fun kid appeal, and adults will love the colour and flavour of grilled vegetables. It’s good served warm or cold.


    4 oz (125 g) spaghetti, broken in smaller pieces
    2 carrots, sliced lengthwise
    1 eggplant (about 1 lb/500 g), sliced lengthwise
    1 each orange and yellow pepper, quartered
    1 zucchini, sliced lengthwise
    1 tbsp (15 mL) canola oil
    2 cobs of corn, husked
    3 tbsp (45 mL) apple cider or balsamic vinegar
    2 tbsp (25 mL) vegetable broth
    1 tbsp (15 mL) prepared basil pesto
    Pinch freshly ground black pepper
    1/3 cup (75 mL) chopped fresh basil


   1_ In pot of boiling water, cook spaghetti for about 8 minutes or until al dente. Drain and rinse with cold water. Drain well and place in large bowl.

    2_In another large bowl, toss carrots, eggplant and zucchini with oil to coat. Place on greased grill with cobs of corn over medium high heat for about 10 minutes, turning once or until vegetables are tender and golden.

    3_Place vegetables on cutting board and cut into bite size pieces; add to spaghetti. Cut kernels off cob of corn and add to salad.

    4_In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar, broth, pesto and pepper. Pour over vegetable mixture, add basil and toss to coat evenly.

Nutritional Information Per Serving-Calories: 180, Protein: 5 g, Total Fat: 4 g, Saturated Fat: 1 g, Cholesterol: 1 mg, Carbohydrates: 32 g, Fibre: 5 g, Sugars: 5 g, Sodium: 55 mg, Potassium: 363 mg

Recipe developed by Emily Richards, PH Ec. Reprinted with Permission from ©Heart and Stroke Foundation


4. Quote or Joke of the Month:

Success and Failure
"Most great people have attained their greatest success one step beyond their greatest failure."

Napoleon Hill


5. Did you know?

Don’t Let “Phantom Energy” Power Up Your Hydro Bill

Did you know that up to 40 per cent of the electricity used by home electronics is consumed while they're turned 'off'?

Sometimes called 'phantom load', 'idle current', 'vampire power' and 'wall wart', this phantom usage sucks extra energy from the grid into your home when you don't need it. Phantom energy can account for about 10 per cent of an individual home's electricity use. The most common culprits include:

• Chargers for cell phones, cameras, and laptops;

• Televisions, DVD players, computer monitors;

• Clocks with permanently illuminated digital displays;

• New larger appliances, such as washing machines and air conditioners.

By conserving energy at home or investing in new appliances, you can cut down on hydro bills and even qualify for tax-free government rebates. Here are some tips from Sears Home Services:

• Unplug devices that aren't being used. Plug TVs, DVD players and computers into power bars and shut down the bars when you aren't using them.

• Rather than setting your gadgets to “standby”, ensure they're completely shut down. Standby or phantom power load can range from a few watts to as much as 20 or even 40 for each device.

• Consider replacing battery-powered devices, such as cordless phones or rechargeable razors, with corded alternatives. It cuts down the standby power required to charge the battery and reduces energy lost while charging or from discharging inefficiencies.

Article by www.newscanada.com


6. Seniors Tip:

No Need to Change Batteries in Newest Smoke Alarms

Keeping your family safe just got a whole lot easier. A new line of 'worry-free' smoke alarms addresses the most common complaints about current devices, namely: “They go off when I cook; They chirp in the middle of the night when the battery needs changing; I don't know which alarm to install where; and, I'm not sure when to replace them.”

Based on consumer research, leading home fire safety company Kidde developed new models that substantially reduce nuisance alarms by using “intelligent” photoelectric technology. This new technology is deemed to be better at determining if smoke is from a real fire or another source. As well, new product packaging clearly suggests where to install each model. And, alarms will now chirp near the end of their 10-year lifespan, reminding you it's time to replace them.

But the loudest kudos from consumers and firefighters relate to the 10-year sealed lithium batteries built into the “worry-free” alarms. They cannot be removed and most importantly, they never need to be changed for the entire lifespan of the alarm.

“Consumers spoke and we listened,” says Carol Heller, a home fire safety expert for Kidde. “Homeowners love the convenience of never having to replace batteries and they appreciate the money that they save. The new line includes carbon monoxide alarms too.”

More information and family safety tips are found at www.safeathome.ca

Article by www.newscanada.com



We've come to the end of this newsletter. I'll be looking forward to see you again in the next one.

Blessings to all,

Have a great month!

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