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Holiday Stories from the 30s & 40s ~ Alice’s Story

Christmas in Yellow Creek, Saskatchewan Growing up on the prairies during war and depression was challenging. But Christmas was always a wonderful celebration in our home.   We decorated the tree with popcorn strings and paper streamers - the whole atmosphere in our tiny home was remarkably joyful.   Our most important tradition, being Ukrainian, was our Christmas Eve dinner when mom would serve a 12-course meatless meal. One course for each of Christ’s apostles and the absence of meat to mark Mary and Joseph’s difficult journey on the eve of Christ’s birth. As my father explained – they had to really struggle so we were meant to experience a sacrifice – a lesson in gratitude was the theme of this Read More...

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Tips on Proper Eating and Nutrition as You Age

Bread for the Journey As we March toward spring it is the perfect time to reinforce the importance of eating well. This can be especially challenging for seniors who live independently and alone, and are not inclined to put the thought and time into preparing a proper meal just for themselves. If poor appetite or simple disinterest is your problem, here are some tips that might help: Set the stage Choose a comfortable place to have your meals and create an inviting eating space with flowers, nice music and a favourite place setting. Alter the venue If the kitchen or dining table seems drab try having meals outside on the deck (temperatures permitting), or in front of a favourite TV program. You can also improve your meal time by perusing paper or reading a favourite novel while you eat. Work  Read More...

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Meet our Resident ~ Millie Robson (AgeCare Valleyview)

If there is such a thing as a gene for being caring and helpful, no doubt, Millie has it in spades. These qualities have been guiding her for much of her life, first as a nurse, then as a wife and mother, and now as a good Samaritan and friend to those around her at Valleyview.   Born and raised in Medicine Hat, Millie graduated high school and went on to become a nurse, where she found great passion in assisting with operations. “Ms. Beach, the head nurse at the time, put me to work in the operating room and I loved every minute of it,” she said.   Ironically, one of Millie’s nursing instructors some 50 years ago was Marjorie Middleton, another resident at Valleyview. Now friends, the two remember each other from days gone by and think it’s a coincidence that their paths brought them back under one roof. “Marj was the first person  Read More...

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Therapeutic Recreation for Seniors

Activities for the mind, body and soul! My sister and I recently toured a variety of independent and assisted living residences, seeking just the right ‘next move’ for our parents, now well into their 80s. After multiple visits to south Calgary residences, we found ourselves at AgeCare’s Walden Heights, where we encountered a plethora of amenities that checked all our boxes and made this facility a stand out.   “This might be the one!” we said out loud to each other; what a relief it would be to find a great new living situation for our parents after our lengthy and exhaustive search.   At AgeCare Walden Heights we were immediately impressed with the warmth and vibrancy of the supportive living residence. The staff we encountered were knowledgeable and professional, but it was their warmth and kindness we ultimately won  Read More...

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Meet our Resident ~ Bob Mackenzie (AgeCare Valleyview)

At 77 Bob has plenty to be thankful for, but like most, his good fortune did not come without some bumps along the road. When Bob shares the stories of his youth, he fondly recalls his love of farming, and he also details the struggles that undoubtedly build his strong character and enduring will.   Born in Skiff, Alberta, Bob was an only child to parents whom, when he was young, inherited their parents’ farm near Del Bonita, Alberta. Relocating the family to adopt the farmstead near the Alberta-Montana border came with many challenges for his parents, but Bob did appreciate the lifestyle it afforded him as a young boy.   “I loved the farm – we raised cattle and pigs,” he said with nostalgia. “I would run after my father who was on the tractor working the fields. We  Read More...

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The Loneliness Factor: Helping Seniors Feel Connected

Nowadays we often hear that people are living longer, but the reality is, those later years in life can be a lonely time for many.   “My husband is gone, my kids are busy with their own lives, it’s hard to meet people and feel in touch,” said 79-year-old JoAnne Wilson. JoAnne laments about her longing for the past. “I miss the days when we had a house full of kids and friends up and down the street. I never expected my life would be this empty.”   According to the National Seniors’ Council, isolation among seniors is both prevalent and concerning. Enough so that our government has instituted programs and services to try and fortify seniors with activities and social opportunities. The belief is that isolation leads to poor health and vulnerability.   Indeed this is a concerning issue  Read More...

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Heartwarming Gifts for Seniors

As you scour the malls looking for just the right gifts for your loved ones this Christmas, consider the fact that a gift that involves sharing and caring means so much more than any gift that will take up space in your loved one’s simplified living area. In other words consider giving a gift that truly hits the sweet spot … one that will fill up their hearts without cluttering their living space.   Here are wonderful gifts that have warmed the hearts of some seniors… in their own words:   Together Time “My daughter is incredibly busy with a full-time career and two young active kids. For Christmas she gave me the best gift ever… a whole day of helping her bake Christmas goodies. I shared all sorts of my favourite recipes and I even showed her my tricks  Read More...

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Seniors Grieving the Loss of Loved Ones: Suggestions for Support

At 81, Nellie is a robust Ukrainian woman who still makes delicious strawberry jam, walks her small dog twice daily and never misses a sporting event if one of her grandkids is playing. But lately she’s been lacking her usual vibrancy… obviously experiencing grief over the recent loss of her sister.   “At my age, death is not far up the road. If it’s not you getting there first, it’s your mate, your sister, or your long-time friend,” she told her daughter, as they drove home from the second funeral in as many weeks.   Illness, death and attendance at funerals are inevitable events in life for everyone, but for older people, these experiences are often front and centre, overshadowing the everyday pleasures they might otherwise enjoy. For some, sadness is a quiet personal journey; perhaps they come from an  Read More...

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Vibrant Seniors, Vibrant Communities: Happy National Seniors Day

Every day, seniors in Canada make a big difference in our community.   Today – National Seniors Day – is an occasion to recognize and celebrate the contributions, achievements, and diversity of Canadian seniors   In honour of National Seniors Day on October 1st, AgeCare along with its very committed partners have created the Seniors of Distinction Awards. At two of our communities, Lethbridge and Burnaby, we will be recognizing seniors and the valuable contributions they have made, and continue to make, in our communities, workplaces, and families.   Take the time to celebrate seniors and show our appreciation for everything they do. At Governor’s Walk Retirement Residence in Ottawa, they celebrated their residents by sharing their stories with the community.   However you choose to express your gratitude - whether with a simple thank-you note or by inviting a senior  Read More...

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Falling… a concern as you age

Fall Facts Have you or your aging loved one recently taken a tumble? If so, you are not alone, and if not, be aware – your chances of falling increase as you age. According to a recent study by the Public Health Agency of Canada, roughly 25% of seniors (aged 65 or older) experience a fall each year, and falling is the leading cause of injury-related hospitalizations among older Canadian. While these numbers might be sobering, they are likely not surprising to seniors who know the perils of falling and live in fear that they could be next. Causes and Risk Factors The reasons seniors are at risk of falling are as vast and varied as the individuals themselves, so needless to say there is no simple solution that can guarantee safe mobility. Below is just a sampling of the  Read More...

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6 Ways to Reignite the Joy of Eating

For most of our lives, eating brings us great pleasure. We have our favourite dishes, our staples, our nutritional considerations, our comfort foods and our treats. This love affair with food tends to be a world-wide phenomenon, and everywhere you go, people enjoy a multitude of rituals involving the planning, preparing and eating of food.   However, as people get older, eating and food sometimes lose their appeal. This can happen for a variety of different reasons. It may be that they don’t feel hungry or that loss of appetite is a side effect of a medication they are on. They may feel depressed and generally disinterested in most things in life – eating included. They may find it challenging to prepare meals and dislike what others prepare for them. Or perhaps they are having difficulty chewing or are experiencing  Read More...

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