"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)

~ October 2014 Issue ~

Hello and welcome to your October 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:

Dementia, Wandering and Tracking Technology

According to the Alzheimer's and Dementia Caregiving Center, 6 out of 10 people with dementia will wander.  Wandering and getting lost is common among people with dementia and can happen during any stage of the disease.

What does this mean for a family responsible for the direct care of loved ones with early onset dementia?

Balancing the right of a family member’s freedom with a caregiver’s responsibility to ensure their safety can be challenging and many caregivers turn to tracking technology to play a role in keeping their loved one safe. With search times for a wanderer averaging 9-12 hours, a tracking solution is very appealing.

Technology reality check: why smart phones aren’t the ideal device for keeping family safe.

So why not just give aging parents a smartphone with GPS? Many think GPS (Global Positioning Satellite) systems used in everything from cars to smartphones, can address wandering. GPS trackers work by picking up radio signals from at least three satellites in the sky.

Personal Emergency response systems (PERS) like Phillips Lifeline have been around for years and allow the wearer to press a button calling for help using a landline. PERS only work within the range of the base station, around the house and possibly limited outside range. PERS do not work when they’ve left the range of the base station, for example running errands to the store or going for walks. PERS have long battery life of up to one year.

Mobile Personal Emergency Response System (MPERS)

A new generation of devices is entering the market, Mobile Personal Emergency Response System (MPERS). MPERS are similar the PERS, however they use cellular and GPS technology to call for help. The disadvantages of MPERS include short battery life (24-48 hours), and the fact that the large device can only be worn as a pendant or on a belt, presenting a problem for those who forget to put it back on. GPS enabled device limitations apply to these products as well.

Both types of systems require action on the part of the wearer – pressing a button to call for help. This is an impractical approach with family members suffering from cognitive impairment.

Public Safety Program Using Technology

Project Lifesaver is the best public safety program available, with a 15 year tracking record in North America for locating seniors with dementia and Alzheimer’s, as well as children or teens with autism or down syndrome who have dangerous wandering or bolting behaviour.

Project Lifesaver tracking technology is basic and elegant; it uses a small, Very High Frequency (VHF) transmitter worn on the wrist or ankle. If and when a person enrolled in Project Lifesaver wanders, their caregiver calls local first responders who use specialized VHF tracking equipment typically locating the individual in 30 minutes. This standardized program is run by trained professionals and due to its technology, works where GPS may not. While Project Lifesaver is proven to save lives, there are some limitations to the program. It is only available in jurisdictions that offer the program (currently in 1200 communities in North America.)

Clearly each caregiving situation is unique and no one technological solution addresses them all. Families must consider the pros and cons of each solution and select the best option for their needs.

Article by David Rittenhouse, www.connectedindependence.ca


2. Ask the experts:

How to Recognize the Signs of a Stroke:

According to the Heart and Stroke Foundation, a stroke is a medical emergency. Recognizing and responding immediately to the signs of stroke by calling 9-1-1 or your local emergency number can significantly improve survival and recovery.

Here are the five signs of stroke according to medical experts:

1. Weakness: Sudden loss of strength or sudden numbness in the face, arm or leg, even if temporary.

2. Trouble speaking: Sudden difficulty speaking or understanding or sudden confusion, even if temporary.

3. Vision problems: Sudden trouble with vision, even if temporary.

4. Headache: Sudden severe and unusual headache.

5. Dizziness: Sudden loss of balance, especially with any of the above signs.

If you experience any of these symptoms, call 9-1-1 or your local emergency number immediately.

There's a good article on Depression after a Stroke at the following link:


3. Heart Healthy Recipe:

Creamy Clam Chowder

This East Coast favorite makes for a delicious starter. Or pair it with a salad for a satisfying lunch. The mushrooms give this soul-warming soup a hearty texture. Makes 4 servings.


2 tsp (10 mL) canola oil,
1 pkg (8 oz/227 g) mushrooms, chopped,
1 small onion, diced,
3 cloves garlic, minced,
2 stalks celery, diced,
2 tbsp (25 mL) chopped fresh parsley or 1 tbsp (15 mL) dried parsley,
1 tbsp (15 mL) chopped fresh tarragon or 1 tsp (5 mL) dried tarragon,
3 tbsp (45 mL) all purpose flour,
2 cups (500 mL) skim milk,
1 cup (250 mL) sodium reduced vegetable or fish broth,
142 g (1 can) baby clams, drained and rinsed,
1 cup (250 mL) corn kernels.


In a soup pot, heat oil over medium heat and cook mushrooms, onion, garlic, celery, parsley and tarragon for about 8 minutes or until liquid starts to evaporate.

Stir in flour until well coated.

Pour in milk and broth; bring to a gentle boil.

Stir in clams and corn and simmer gently for about 5 minutes or until thickened and bubbling slightly.

Nutritional Information Per Serving:
(1.25 cups or 300 mL) - Calories 208, Protein 18 g, Total Fat 4 g, Saturated Fat 1 g, Trans Fat 0 g, Cholesterol 21 mg, Carbohydrates 27 g, Fibre 3 g, Sodium 126 mg, Potassium 886 mg.

Recipe developed by Emily Richards, P.H. EC. Reprinted with Permission from The Heart and Stroke Foundation.


4. Quote or Joke of the Month:


"There is no education like adversity."
                          Benjamin Disraeli

Where is God?

Two small boys were known to be mischievous. If anything naughty happened in the community, everyone looked on to these boys.

One day, the mother had enough. She went to the priest, a big, tall man with a bellowing voice, and asked if he would speak to the boys.

The priest agreed to do it, one boy at a time.

He called in the first of the two brothers and asked him softly, "Where is God"?

The boy didn't answer.

The priest asked again in a louder voice this time.

The boy was getting nervous but did not answer.

A third time, the boy was asked "Where is God" in a loud and firm voice.

The boy got scared and jumped out of his seat, ran home and hid in the closet of his bedroom.

His older brother, who shared the bedroom with him, went over to the closet to ask what had happened to him.

Trembling, the younger brother said, "They lost God and they think we did  it".


5. Did you know?

Do You Have a Dormant Bank Account?

The U.S. federal government holds $17 billion in unredeemed savings bonds, and hundreds of billions of unclaimed dollars in IRS refunds, retirement and Social Security checks that went undelivered or weren't cashed.

In December 2013, there were about 1.4 million unclaimed balances worth approximately $532 million dollars on the books with the Bank of Canada*.

These funds can be in the form of a deposit account, bank draft, certified cheque, deposit receipts, money order, GIC, term deposit, credit card balance, or traveller’s cheque.

Have you ever wondered if you have a dormant bank account? Where there has been no owner activity or the owner cannot be contacted by the financial institution, the institution will hold the funds on account for 10 years. 

After 10 years, the balance is transferred on December 31st of the 10th year to the Bank of Canada. The Bank of Canada will hold deposits under $1,000.00 for 30 years, and deposits over $1,000.00 for 100 years from the date of transfer from the holding Financial Institution.

Over 93% of unclaimed balances’ are under $1000.00, representing 29% of the total value on account with the Bank of Canada. After this time, if the balance has not been claimed, the funds are transferred to the Receiver General of Canada. So if you are wondering if you have a dormant bank account with the Bank of Canada, visit this link http://ucbswww.bank-banque-canada.ca/scripts/search_english.cfm

In the USA, go to the following link to find out about your inactive accounts: http://www.helpwithmybank.gov/get-answers/bank-accounts/inactive-accounts/bank-accounts-inactive-accounts-quesindx.html Happy browsing!

Article by Kat Downey, www.legacymatters.ca


6. Seniors Tip:

Tips for Staying Safe on Social Networks

Social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter can be a great way to stay in touch, share photos and broadcast what's on your mind. Unfortunately they're also a great way for cyber criminals to find out information about you.The federal government has provided some tips for safer social networking. These can be found on GetCyberSafe.ca:

Check out the privacy and security settings and use them to control who sees what. If someone you don't know tries to “friend” you, ignore it. There's no way to be sure they are who they say they are.

Before you post pictures, think about whether they give away too much information about you. For example, does that shot show your street name or license plate in the background? Avoid geotagging photos. Most smartphones and many digital cameras automatically attach the exact location where a photo was taken, which can give away your address or let criminals know that you're on vacation, making your home a target for break-in.

Don't mention things like going away on vacation, big purchases or events that include your address in your status updates.

Never include banking information – not even the name of your bank.

Visit GetCyberSafe.ca for more information about social networking, including types of scams to look out for. Remember, taking simple precautions online can protect you from major headaches down the road.

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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