"Senior Years Newletter"

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)

- October 2012 Issue -

Hello and welcome to this issue of the "Senior Years Newsletter".

I hope you had a wonderful month and that you have enjoyed the great weather we've been having.

And I hope also that you had someone thinking of you and doing something special last October 1st which was National Seniors Day.

I sent a news release to our local paper ahead of the date, but did not see it come out. And I did not hear much about it from anywhere. So, if you've seen some celebration taking place, please write to me and let me know.

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 -- because I care to hear from you.

Well, I'm glad to report that the "Seniors to Seniors" Internet Radio Show started on target last month.

It is an audio magazine on Seniors issues with reminiscing music from the 20's, 30’s, 40’s and some 50’s, discussing issues concerning seniors in our community and the nation in general.

It comes out on Saturday night at 8 o'clock. But if you miss the time, just go to the archives and you will be able to hear any broadcast there.

If you don't have Internet, just ask a friend or family member to bring their laptop when they visit you and you can listen to it then. Or you may have someone in the building who has a computer that can be accessed.

The link to it is http://www.michaelharrison.ca/mikeonvoice-radio.html

Blessings and good health to you,

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

Some news items:

"Writing Your Memoirs" Workshop

Please make a note for November 7 coming up. I'll be doing a free workshop at the Campbell River Library on "Writing Your Memoirs". The time is from 2 to 3 pm.

Kindle Books

I noticed a lot of Seniors have Kindle readers. Well, I'm pleased to announce my new Kindle Book Page at Amazon, where you will be able to check my books. I'm adding weekly, so check regularly. Visit now...

Here's my Amazon author page link

Issue Article of the Month

by Diane M Hoffmann, CPCA

Understanding The Baby Boomer Phenomenon In Demographic Terms

The Baby-boomer generation is well known because of its significant influence on the economy and large numbers that make up close to a third of the Canadian population.

Although the Baby-boomer cohort is known to be the generation born between a twenty-year span from 1947 and 1966, it is often confused by the lack of recognition that there are two important sub-groups within that time span.

These sub-groups are known as the “front-end” boomers who were born from 1947 to the mid 1950’s and “back-end” boomers born from the mid 1950’s to 1966.

The other confusion, according to the book “Boom, Bust & Echo”, by David K. Foot and Daniel Stoffman, takes place at the “back-end” sub-group where the writers of the media often mix-up Generation-X with the "Baby-bust" generation that came after it -- thinking that Generation-X are the children of the boomers.

However, this is not the case. Most boomers were not old enough to have children when Gen-X came along. Generation-X is the "back-end" of the same cohort.

In case you're wondering about some of the phenominal split trends of the boomers, it is also helpful to understand the major differences between these two sub-groups in order to be fair to the back-end group who did not have it as well as the front-end for reasons beyond their control.

According to studies reported by Foot and Stoffman, the front-end boomers did well as they entered the workforce over the 1960's. Opportunities were created for them by a growing economy and by the younger baby-boomers entering in the 70's and 80's which in turn created new needs in products, services, government programs, universities and endless expansion. .

Because the front-end boomers got there first, they got the good jobs in both the public and private sectors. As the leading edge, they understood the needs of the baby boomers.

However the back-end boomers had it tougher. Unlike their front-end peers, they were less positioned to profit from that knowledge and expansion when they entered the workforce.

As the front-end and back-end of a generation goes, apparently these folks just barely managed to get a house which crashed in value in the first part of the 90's, as the peak of the boom swept through its purchasing years. They were in careers but going nowhere, because the older boomers, still going strong for the next 15 to 20 years before retirement, clogged up the rungs ahead of them.

By the time they entered the labour market, the millions of front-enders who preceded them had already driven up the rent and house prices, and claimed all the best jobs and opportunities. As if this wasn't enough, back-enders were now also facing a recession that gripped the Canadian economy and made job opportunities virtually nil.

By the time recovery finally began to create new demand for workers, the Gen-Xers were told they were either too old for entry-level jobs or not experienced enough for the more senior level positions. No wonder the 30-year olds were still living at home in the mid 90's.

To add to this, back-end boomers had the extra load of having to face their worst element yet -- coping with their parents who were from the Depression generation.

These were the folks sitting at the top of the corporate ladder who were approaching the end of highly successful careers and unable to grasp the reason why their offsprings were still living at home. The tension was in the fathers placing their successes on their own merits while seeing their sons' failures as the result of a lack of drive and ambition.

(Information gleaned from the book “Boom, Bust & Echo”, David K. Foot and Daniel Stoffman).

If you'd like to read more about this phenominal demographic report, get the book from Amazon at

this link

1. Feature article:

Accepting Help is Essential

It is natural for a person to feel overwhelmed and stressed by the responsibilities of caregiving. An increased amount of time and energy is used to navigate the healthcare system, find resources or figure out how to meet someone else's personal and medical needs. Don't burn out; it is essential to ask for help and support.

Asking for help is important to the well-being of both the family caregiver and the person receiving care. When you share the responsibility, you will have more time and energy for a normal relationship with your family member, and to take care of yourself as well. You are less likely to be angry and resentful. Having the opportunity to interact with more people will also enrich the care recipient's experience.

Despite the fact that family caregivers may be overtaxed with responsibility, they often do not ask for help or reject help when it is offered. Asking for help can be difficult when we don't know what we need, we don't want to be a bother, or we feel guilty that we can't do it all ourselves. Beliefs such as "no one can do this as well as I can" can also be an obstacle to asking for help.

It's true. No one will do it the same as you, but that does not mean that they cannot be helpful in their own way.

Recognize that asking for help is a sign of strength, not weakness.

It means you are acknowledging the challenges of the situation and are being proactive in resolving problems and preventing stress. It is a sign of strength because it requires putting your pride aside and acting in the best interest of your family member and yourself.

First, you need to admit that some help will make a difference to the care recipient's quality of life and, therefore, yours. You need to identify what help you need: tasks that are easiest to ask others to do; what you want to do yourself; and if you can afford to pay for assistance.

Discuss your needs with family members and friends who might be willing to help. They may want to contribute but don't know how.

Create a list of tasks. Then focus on each individual's strength. Some people may be better at personal care while others may be better able to help around the house or run errands.

Contact your local health authority to see what services are available to assist you, such as home support and respite. There are many businesses, community and volunteer agencies that offer services to reduce your load.

People may not realize you need help if you don't ask for it. Remember, you have the right to ask for help. Everyone will benefit from sharing in the caregiving.

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

2. Ask the Experts:

Should Iron Deficiency Be a Concern for Seniors?

A – Seniors must correct an Iron Deficiency. Iron deficiency affects a large population of women in their child bearing years globally, generally due to menstruation. But after the change of life, for both men and women, iron deficiency is also a big problem.

Seniors generally require 10 mg/day of iron. However, 15 to 30 per cent of those over 70, both men and women, are iron deficient. Iron deficiency in seniors is linked with poor health, fatigue, depression and increased dependence on others.

Symptoms of iron deficiency in seniors include decreased cognitive function, dizziness, and apathy. Other symptoms of iron deficiency may include decreased ability to concentrate, increased frequency of infection, paleness, dark circles under the eyes, brittle hair and nails, shortness of breath, restless legs, and cold hands and feet. Iron deficiency is the first step towards anemia, and anemia is a big problem in seniors. Up to 44 per cent of seniors are anemic, which increases after age 65 and sharply rises after 85.

“Pick up on the iron deficiency before anaemia develops, and it is safer to treat and easier to correct,” says Dr. Cathy Carlson-Rink, a licensed naturopathic physician and registered midwife. “A serum ferritin test is the best way to identify iron deficiency.”

A healthy diet coupled with the use of a high-quality iron deficiency prevention product will help symptoms to diminish. Iron-rich foods include leafy green vegetables, such as spinach, kale, or even seaweed, as well as raisins, prunes, apricots, lean meats and eggs.

More information can be found online at www.requiredforlife.com or toll-free at 1-888-436-6697.

Article by, www.newscanada.com. Reprinted with permission from Senior Living Magazine, www.seniorlivingmag.com

3. Heart Healthy Recipe:

Turkey and Barley Shepherd's Pie
Serves 6


Potato Topping

2 cups (500 mL) diced Yukon gold potatoes (approx 2 large)
3 cups (750 mL) diced sweet potatoes (approx 3 medium)
2 tbsp (25mL) non-hydrogenated margarine
¼ cup (50 mL) 2% milk


2 tbsp (25 mL) olive oil
1 cup (250 mL) diced onion
1 cup (250 mL) diced carrot
1 cup (250 mL) diced celery
1 lb (454 g) ground turkey
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp (10 mL) dried thyme
1 tbsp (15 mL) Worcestershire sauce
1 cup (250 mL) frozen peas
½ cup (125 mL) pearl barley
1 cup (250 mL) sodium-reduced chicken stock


1. Place potatoes and sweet potatoes in a large pot of water and boil until soft enough to mash. About 20 minutes.

2. Drain potatoes and mash with margarine and milk. Set aside.

3. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large stock pot. Add onion, carrot and celery and cook over medium heat until softened. About 10 minutes.

4. Add ground turkey and cook until no pink can be seen. Break apart large chunks with a wooden spoon.

5. Add in remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.

6. Preheat oven to 350º F (175º F).

7. Place turkey mixture into a 6 cup (1.5 L) casserole dish and top with the mashed potatoes.

8. Bake in oven for 30 minutes or until the potatoes start to brown.

Make ahead: Assemble the casserole and keep in the fridge for 24 hours. Reheat in the oven for one hour or until heated thoroughly.

Nutritional Information Per Serving:

Calories: 325; Protein: 21 g; Fat: 10 g: Saturated fat: 2 g
Dietary cholesterol: 58 mg: Carbohydrate: 40 g
Dietary Fibre: 8 g: Sodium: 323 mg
Potassium: 868 mg

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

4. Quote or Joke of the Month:

Norma Findlay, Room 302

A sweet grandmother telephoned St. Joseph 's Hospital. She timidly asked, "Is it possible to speak to someone who can tell me how a patient is doing?" The operator said "I'll be glad to help, dear. What's the name and room number?" The grandmother in her weak tremulous voice said, "Norma Findlay, Room 302." The operator replied, "Let me place you on hold while I check with her nurse."

After a few minutes the operator returned to the phone and said, "Oh,
I have good news, her nurse just told me that Norma is doing very well. Her blood pressure is fine; her blood work just came back as normal and her physician, Dr.Cohen, has scheduled her to be discharged on Tuesday."

The grandmother said, "Thank you. That's wonderful! I was so worried!
God bless you for the good news." The operator replied, "You're more
than welcome. Is Norma your daughter?" The grandmother said, "No, I'm
Norma Findlay in 302. No one tells me anything!"

Building Your House

An elderly carpenter was ready to retire. He told his employer-contractor of his plans to leave the house-building business to live a more leisurely life with his wife and enjoy his extended family. He would miss the paycheck each week, but he wanted to retire. They could get by.

The contractor was sorry to see his good worker go & asked if he could build just one more house as a personal favor. The carpenter said yes, but over time it was easy to see that his heart was not in his work. He resorted to shoddy workmanship and used inferior materials. It was an unfortunate way to end a dedicated career.

When the carpenter finished his work, his employer came to inspect the house. Then he handed the front-door key to the carpenter and said, "This is your house... my gift to you." The carpenter was shocked! What a shame! If he had only known he was building his own house, he would have done it all so differently.

So it is with us. We build our lives, a day at a time, often putting less than our best into the building. Then, with a shock, we realize we have to live in the house we have built. If we could do it over, we would do it much differently.

But, you cannot go back. You are the carpenter, and every day you hammer a nail, place a board, or erect a wall. Someone once said, "Life is a do-it-yourself project." Your attitude, and the choices you make today, help build the "house" you will live in tomorrow. Therefore, Build wisely!

Author Unknown

5. Did you know?

Seniors and Inflation

Senior households have very different spending patterns than other households. However, inflation is not much different for seniors—prices rose 26.1% for their households from January 1992 to February 2004, compared with 24.4% for other households.

Seniors spend proportionally more on travel, recreation and sports services. The prices of some of their preferred forms of recreation have increased, such as cable subscriptions and travel. This pattern may contribute to higher inflation for senior households.

Source: www41.statcan.ca

6. Seniors Tip:

Hotel Safety

If possible, choose hotels that have unmarked ‘swipe cards’ rather than numbered keys for each room. If you lose your swipe card or if it is stolen, the thief won’t know which room to rob.

Take note of emergency exits, stairwells, fire escapes and emergency plans.

Always lock your hotel door when retiring for the night. If there is a chain included, use it.

When arranging to meet people you’ve never met before (such as business associates), wait for them in the lobby. Don’t ask them to come up to your room.

Article by, Darryl Wilson, Reprinted with permission from Senior Living Magazine, www.seniorlivingmag.com


See you next month !

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