"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)

~ September 2014 Issue ~

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

I hope you all had a wonderful 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)

Harvest Festival at New Horizon Community of Care

I want to thank "New Horizon Community of Care" for holding an annual "Harvest Festival" for the celebration of their senior residents and the community.

I was privileged to be able to provide the music program for the 3rd year again this year. We all had a wonderful time, especially giving an opportunity for fellowship with the seniors and their family.

And thank you to all those who provided the music that went on from 11 am to 4 pm, and the volunteers, and Thrifty Foods and London Drugs who provided the tents. The residents say "Thank You".

Here's a photo of the event...

1. Feature article:

Reach Your Goals

10 Tips to Boost Your Memory
When we reach our mid-30s, our memories begin to fade and we’ll continue “forgetting” as we age. That’s normal. As we age, we become busier and have more to remember. Here are 10 tips to boost memory:

1. Get organized. Make a list of tasks, or jot things on your calendar or in your daily diary. Don’t put things off; do them as soon as possible so you won’t forget.

2. Take time to remember things. Normal aging changes the brain, making your mind less efficient in processing new information. Slow down and pay full attention. Repeat what you want to remember several times to yourself and you probably won't forget it. Listen carefully during conversations to remember details and people's names.

3. Diet is important too. Fruits and vegetables provide antioxidants - substances that protect and nourish brain cells. Essential fatty acids found in fish and vegetables also protect and maintain proper functioning of the brain. And drink water: dehydration causes fatigue, making it hard to concentrate.

4. Mental exercise stimulates the brain’s nerve cells to produce new dendrites (connections between nerve cells that allow cells to communicate with one another). This helps the brain store and retrieve information, at any age. Challenge yourself with ongoing education, games and sports that require strategy and concentration (like bowling, golf, chess, crosswords, puzzles), start a new hobby, learn a new language, or learn to play a new instrument.

5. Regular, moderate, physical activity increases the neurons (nerve cells) in the brain. Exercise improves cardiovascular health, which improves blood flow to the brain. Those who stay physically fit, also remain mentally fit.

6. Learn to manage stress. Stress and anxiety interfere with concentration, so it's important to have relaxation time. Spend at least 15 minutes daily to breathe deeply and clear your mind. Soak in a hot tub or treat yourself to a massage. Take regular vacations.

7. Think positive. Being happy and having a positive outlook makes you more alert. When you're alert, your senses are more open to receiving information.

8. If you are worried about your memory, get evaluated by your doctor or a specialist. Many factors contribute to memory problems. These include using certain medications, poor vision and hearing, vitamin deficiencies, fatigue, depression and stress. Depression, in particular, can cause problems with memory and concentration; it’s often mistaken for Alzheimer's disease in older adults.

9. Get regular medical checkups. Abnormalities in blood pressure, cholesterol levels, blood sugar levels, and thyroid gland can affect your brain's functioning.

10. Don't worry about being forgetful. You're not the first person to drive off with your coffee cup sitting on the roof of your car. Unless you feel your forgetfulness is unusually frequent, don't panic.

Staying calm improves alertness and, therefore, keeps your memory sharp.

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


2. Ask the experts:

What Should a Person do After Surviving a Heart Attack?
My husband recently had a heart attack and I'm worried it could happen again. What can we do to help prevent another incident?

Once you've had a heart attack you are at increased risk for another. Which is why it's even more important to take your medication and make some lifestyle changes.

Adopting healthy behaviours can help lower your husband's risk and help you make healthy changes at the same time. These include exercising regularly (at least 150 minutes each week), eating a healthy diet (five to 10 servings of vegetables and fruit each day) and reducing stress. Being smoke free is also really important as is limiting alcohol consumption. Take these changes one step at a time.

Also, a cardiac rehabilitation program can help your husband recover to the best extent possible and support him to adopt and maintain healthy changes. Rehabilitation makes survivors feel better and improves their quality of life. Taking advantage of these programs when available is essential because they are shown to improve participants' health and to lower mortality by as much as 25 per cent. If he has not been sent on to a cardiac rehabilitation program ask your doctor to do so.

Thanks to medical developments over the past 60 years, we are making progress and reducing the odds of serious problems in people who suffer a heart attack. Advances in prevention, surgical procedures and drug therapies have helped make this possible – many of which were supported by research funded by the Heart and Stroke Foundation. Since its inception, the Foundation has committed more than $1.39 billion to heart and stroke research, and helped create the 165,000 survivors of heart disease and stroke who went home to their families last year.

To learn more visit www.heartandstroke.ca

Dr. Beth Abramson, Heart and Stroke Foundation, www.newscanada.com


3. Heart Healthy Recipe:

Crowd-Pleasing Turkey Chili

This must-try chili is so versatile, the possibilities are endless. It can be enjoyed on its own or transformed into other dishes. Just one jalapeño pepper adds some heat to this recipe. Handle it with care by washing your hands well before and after touching it. Makes 8 servings.


1 lb (500 g) lean ground turkey,
2 tsp (10 mL) canola oil,
1 onion, finely chopped,
1 green pepper, chopped,
4 cloves garlic, minced,
1 tbsp (15 mL) chili powder,
2 tsp (10 mL) dried oregano,
1 tsp (5 mL) ground cumin,
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced,
1 can (28 oz/796 mL) diced tomatoes,
1 can (19 oz/540 mL) red kidney beans, drained and rinsed,
1/2 cup (125 mL) sodium reduced vegetable broth or water,
1/4 cup (60 mL) tomato paste, 2 bay leaves.


In a large saucepan, brown turkey, breaking up with spoon. Drain using a colander and set aside. Return the empty pot to medium heat. Add oil and cook onion, green pepper, garlic, chili powder, oregano and cumin for about 3 minutes or until softened. Stir in turkey and jalapeno pepper and cook, stirring for 1 minute. Add tomatoes, beans, broth, tomato paste and bay leaves. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, cover slightly and simmer, stirring occasionally for about 20 minutes or until thickened. Remove bay leaves before serving.

Nutritional Information Per Serving (1 cup / 250 mL) - Calories 185, Protein 16 g, Total Fat 5 g, Saturated Fat 1 g, Trans Fat 0 g, Cholesterol 49 mg, Carbohydrates 19 g, Fibre 6 g, Sodium 325 mg, Potassium 600 mg.

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

4. Quote or Joke of the Month:

The Internet, What’s that?

“C’mon Ma you have got to try it”, the daughter pleaded to her elderly Mother.

“Ok” the mother said reluctantly settling down by the computer and slowly putting on her reading glasses “what do I do now?”

“Now I’m going to open the home page of google”, her daughter explained. “OK here it is!"

"Now type in ANY question you want into the bar over here and you will find an answer to your question.”

The mother glanced warily, thought for a second, and slowly began to type, "How is Gertrude doing this morning?"

Source: http://www.greatcleanjokes.com/jokes/senior-jokes/


5. Did you know?

It is estimated that over 65.7 million Americans are caregivers for a family member or loved one. In Canada the figure is relative at around 8 million.

Being a caregiver can impact your physical, emotional, and financial health and well-being. Some facts about cancer caregivers:

    Approximately 2/3 of caregivers are women. These may be spouses, partners, siblings, children or neighbors. One-third of caregivers are caring for two or more people.

    Although men were not traditionally the family caregivers, about 1/3 of people with cancer are cared for by a man. This group may have to take on tasks that they never performed before, such as laundry, shopping, and cooking.

    Coordinating the patient's care by various specialists can be one of the challenging roles of caregiving.

    85% of caregivers found the satisfaction of caring for their loved one to outweigh the disadvantages, but 10% found caregiving to be a burden.

    Caregivers report higher levels of insomnia, anxiety, fatigue, poor appetite and depression than their non-caregiving counterparts.

The Caregiver Action Network created these "10 Tips for Family Caregivers":

    Seek support from other caregivers. You are not alone!

    Take care of your own health so that you can be strong enough to take care of your loved one.

    Accept offers of help and suggest specific things people can do to help you.

    Learn how to communicate effectively with doctors.

    Caregiving is hard work so take respite breaks often.

    Watch out for signs of depression and don't delay in getting professional help when you need it.

    Be open to new technologies that can help you care for your loved one.

    Organize medical information so it's up to date and easy to find.

    Make sure legal documents are in order.

    Give yourself credit for doing the best you can in one of the toughest jobs there is!

Source: http://www.oncolink.org/coping/article.cfm?c=440&id=1027


6. Seniors Tip:

Bathing Tips to Help an Elderly Relative

Caring for an aging family member comes with numerous responsibilities and often requires thoughtful considerations. The lighter tasks such as home maintenance and preparing meals usually comes naturally, but assisting an elderly parent with bathing may conjure up feelings of fear or embarrassment.

To better protect the person's dignity and privacy, look to the person you are caring for to show you the skills they are able to perform and also where you can jump in to assist. Here are a few more helpful tips:

• Encourage the family member to wrap a towel around themselves and secure it with a clip or with Velcro tabs.

• Try to prep the bath and showering area ahead of time before assisting the individual into the washroom.

• A hand-held showerhead can greatly assist in tasks such as rinsing off body wash or washing out shampoo.

• Consider installing grab bars in the shower or toilet area. For example, the Delta Faucet line offers decorative grab bars that enhance the décor of one's bathroom space while meeting the ADA requirements. Find more at www.deltafaucet.ca

• Test the water temperature with your elbow or forearm to make sure it is a comfortable temperature.

In addition to these tips, relax in the knowledge that increased comfort in the bathroom will come with time. Immediately however, there is a lot of joy in assisting a loved one who needs you.

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!

P.S.: Help your friends and loved ones by encouraging them to sign up for my newsletter at this link.

Check out the new "Caregivers Inner Support Club" at this link.