"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)

~ November 2014 Issue ~

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

I hope you all had a wonderful month. 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:

Holiday Gift Ideas for the Family Caregiver

Caregiving does not stop during the holiday season. Often it can become even more stressful with the added demands, expectations and emotions associated with this time of year. When it comes to gift giving, rather than simply buying another “thing” for the family and friend caregivers in your life – focus on gifts that will help reduce the demands of caregiving and allow the caregiver to get time away with an opportunity to enjoy and replenish themselves. Some of the following gift ideas will have a monetary price and others will simply mean giving your time and energy. Give the gift of:

Respite: Arrange to stay with the care recipient while the caregiver takes some time to do something for themselves – whether inside the home or elsewhere. Or give them a gift certificate from a home support agency so they can arrange to have a home support worker come in and supply respite. Also, most private residential care facilities have respite beds available for a fee for a few days or a few weeks.

Freedom from chores: Often the regular household chores and daily errands get pushed aside by the more essential requirements of caregiving. Either arrange to do some of the household chores yourself or purchase a gift certificate for a service that will take care of some of these daily demands such as cooking, house cleaning, grocery shopping or gardening.

Fun and laughter: Take the caregiver out for a meal, to a play or a holiday event. Arrange for the care recipient to be cared for while the caregiver is out. Or bring fun to their home – bring dinner in, rent a funny video, play cards or have a games night. Include the person receiving care as well if appropriate. This can give both people an opportunity to participate in an activity that is not focused on caregiving.

Relaxation: Treat the caregiver to a pedicure, massage or other relaxing experiences with a gift certificate. If finances are a concern, ask family members and friends to chip in.

Appreciation: Acknowledge the caregiver’s hard work with verbal appreciation or a thank you card. Recognition of their time and effort is often enough to make a caregiver feel appreciated.

Taking time to show your gratitude to the family caregivers in your life can help them stay strong, healthy and better able to caregive for as long as is needed.

Article by, Family Caregivers' Network Society, Reprinted with Permission from Senior Living Magazine, www.seniorlivingmag.com

P.S. from the editor:
These gift ideas should not be done just for one day around Christmas time... but, if you can, offer them once a month or once a week... it is a commitment but for many, these can be our share of caregiving toward a senior loved one or a friend in a seniors home. We are all responsible to help one another. 


2. Ask the experts:

November is Financial Literacy Month

By Diane M. Hoffmann, CPCA

From an article on the Winnipeg Free Press, November 1, 2014, November is "Financial Literacy Month".

We don't often talk about the financial aspect of senior living, but since November is "Financial Literacy Month", and this is the November edition of the Senior Years Newsletter, it is appropriate that we talk about a financial situation that most of us would rather not want to face.

Experts from BDO Canada financial institution say that our Seniors make up the fastest growing segment of bankrupt folks in the country. This is not very encouraging nor pleasant to read about, especially when retirees are supposed to be enjoying the fruits of the labour of their life's career.

Part of the problem  is that, today, seniors are living longer and they just haven't saved enough for their retirement days. Another common situation is that the new economy of the last generation, often times, has left seniors with the extra burden of having to help their adult children and grandchildren with their financial shortfall.

For many, this has caused them to turn to using credit cards that couldn't be paid in the end. Many seniors have had to continue working after retiring.

Often, aging Canadians have to spend all or more of what they earn. If required to come up with money for an unexpected situation, these people say they would be hard pressed to come up with the money at all. It is reported that over 60% of Canadians live, literally from paycheck to paycheck.

In any case, the result is that they need more dollars to get through their retirement years. Pension income which were thought to be sufficient in previous years, are failing to cover the increasing cost of living and unexpected health issues.

Another part of the long-term problem is that there isn't enough teaching or talking about this financial side of life as we go and grow through life.

For example, as part of the planning of one's retirement, many people don't know that you can now buy Extended Health Care Insurance for   long-term home and health care services after other coverages have elapsed. Check with your insurance broker early in life -- the older you get the more expense it is.

Does talking about finance in retirement help seniors who are already in their retirement and struggling? May be not much can be done after the working capability has left an otherwise able body, but it is important that the rest of the population be made aware of the facts. Perhaps children of seniors who think everything is well with mom or dad in their senior phase of life, will be prompted to think again and find out what the reality is and offer ways to help more./DMH


3. Heart Healthy Recipe:

Chili Rubbed Pork Tenderloin and Sweet Potatoes
Tuck this one-pan meal into the oven, and you’ll have time to prepare a salad and set the table. Roasting an extra tenderloin gives you the make ahead for our delicious Pork tenderloin and bean stew (go to www.heartandstrokefoundation.com  to get this recipe).

Makes 6-8 servings.


    1/4 cup (50 mL) orange juice
    2 tbsp (25 mL) chili powder
    1 tbsp (15 mL) dried oregano leaves
    2 tsp (10 mL) Dijon mustard
    2 cloves garlic, rasped or pureed
    3 pork tenderloins, about 2 1/2 lb/1.25 kg total
    2 sweet potatoes (about 1 1/2 lb/750 g), peeled and sliced
    1 onion, sliced
    8 oz (227 g) green beans, trimmed
    1 cup (250 mL) sodium reduced chicken or vegetable broth
    2 tbsp (25 mL) cider vinegar
    2 tbsp (25 mL) chopped fresh parsley
    1/4 tsp (1 mL) fresh ground pepper


In a large bowl, stir together orange juice, chili powder, oregano, mustard and garlic. Add pork tenderloins and rub paste all over; set aside.

Lay potatoes and onions in a roasting pan and sprinkle beans over top. Drizzle broth and vinegar over top and sprinkle with parsley and pepper. Place pork tenderloins on top.

Roast in preheated 400 F (200 C) oven for about 40 minutes or until pork tenderloin reaches 155 F (68 C) and vegetables are tender crisp.

Remove 1 tenderloin and reserve for Pork tenderloin and bean stew.

Thinly slice remaining tenderloins and serve with vegetables.

Nutritional Information Per Serving:

Calories 296, Protein 33 g, Total Fat 6 g, Saturated Fat 2 g, Cholesterol 71 mg, Carbohydrates 26 g, Fibre 5 g, Sodium 227 mg, Potassium 911 mg.

Recipe developed by Emily Richards, PH Ec. Reprinted with Permission From Heart and Stroke Foundation 2014.


4. Quote or Joke of the Month:

Without Failure There is No Success

“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”  -- Michael Jordan

Money Jokes

Borrow money from pessimists, they don’t expect it back. -- Anonymous

Living on earth may be expensive, but it includes an annual free trip around the sun. - Anonymous


5. Did you know?

Dance for Good Health

Dancing is a great workout for the mind and body. A 150-pound adult can burn about 150 calories doing 30 minutes of moderate social dancing. And by concentrating on your dance steps, you’ll boost brain power by improving memory skills. Dancing builds confidence, reduces stress and tension and provides the social opportunity to meet others.

Dancing can be quite a workout – just watch the reality television show Dancing With The Stars to see the physiques and fitness levels dancers can obtain. If you are less fit, you can vary the level of physical exertion.

Dancing improves agility, balance and coordination. Its multidirectional movements benefit joint mobility and it’s a weight-bearing activity that helps thicken bone density. Dancing can be a mild aerobic workout with the more aggressive dance styles offering excellent cardiovascular benefits. It helps people of all ages and physical abilities get and stay in shape.

In a recent study reported in the Journal of Aging & Physical Activity (July 2013), 40 people in their sixties participated in a dance program twice a week for 12 weeks. At the study’s end, all participants experienced significant health benefits, including lower levels of depression and disability limitations, and marked increases in physical function.

There are many types of dance to explore, from creative ballet to fast-paced Scottish Country Dancing, which is a great aerobic workout. There’s rumba, foxtrot, tango, aerobic dance, square dancing, swing, line dancing, folk (or ethnic) dancing, salsa, flamenco, jazz, hip hop, tap, modern, clogging, and even belly dancing, to name just a few. Ballroom dance is another rigorous activity that uses the larger muscle groups. It’s even a recognized Olympic sport, and may possibly become a medal sport in the Olympic Games.

You can find dance classes at dance schools, health clubs, community recreation centres, YMCAs and even some churches. Also, consider doing your own thing by putting on some music or checking out a dance video on YouTube and dancing around the house. And don’t forget the evening hot spots with a good dance band!

Article by Eve Lees, Reprinted with Permission from Senior Living Magazine, www.seniorlivingmag.com

P.S. from the Editor:

Dancing is not the only thing that one can do for beneficial activities. There is also walking, exercise, aerobics or muscle-strengthening, etc.

If you're 65 years of age or older, are generally fit, and have no limiting health conditions you can follow the very comprehensive guidelines listed at this link:

For others with a more frail condition, seek your local personal trainer within your seniors home location or community center for advice, your caregiver, doctor or health professional.


6. Seniors Tip:

The Health Benefits of Cutting the Salt in Your Diet.

Want to prevent heart disease, high blood pressure and more? Cut the salt.

According to a recent article in the New England Journal of Medicine, excess salt in the American diet contributes to high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke and heart attacks. Eliminating three grams of salt from our diets would do as much or more to reduce our risk of suffering from these diseases as reducing tobacco use, obesity and cholesterol.

Everyone needs salt. Without it we could not keep fluid inside our blood cells or transmit signals from our brains to our nerves and muscles.

Since salt, or sodium chloride, cannot be made by the body, we have to get it from our diet. The US Departments of Agriculture and Human Services have recommended that about four grams of salt is all we need.

Most natural foods contain salt, so eating a healthy diet will give you enough. You certainly want to cut back on the salt you add at the table or during food preparation, but you need to do more if you want to reduce your intake by three grams. That's because most of our salt is already in the foods we buy. Here is what you need to know about processed foods:

Sodium is added to processed foods for flavor and as a preservative. You must read the Nutrition Facts label on all your packaged foods to check the salt content. Watch out for high sodium in foods like tomato sauce, soups, canned goods, lunch meats and condiments. The best processed foods are those labeled "sodium-free." Sodium free means less than five milligrams of sodium per serving. The term "reduced sodium" means that the salt content has been reduced by only 25 percent.

Here are some salt-saving suggestions:

Choose fresh or frozen food over canned whenever possible.
Eliminate salty snacks.
Buy unsalted or sodium-free foods.
Use salt substitutes like herbs, pepper or lemon juice.
Do not be fooled by sea salt. It has the same amount of sodium chloride as the regular variety.

Article by www.parentgiving.com  Reprinted with Permission from Living Assistance Services, www.laservices.ca

P.S. from the Editor:

From an article on CBC news/Technology & Science, covering a report on sodium intake from Statistics Canada, April 2007, the following is a recommended adequate sodium intake:

    1,000 mg for children age one to three.
    1,200 mg for children age four to eight.
    1,500 mg for people age nine to 50.
    1,300 mg for adults age 51 to 70.
    1,200 mg for seniors over 70.

Consuming more than 2,300 mg of sodium per day increases your risk of health problems.

Canadians consume — on average — 3,400 mg of sodium every day, mostly through processed foods.


There is some good reading on this issue of salt at the Heart and Stroke foundation web site here:




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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