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82-Year-Old Grandma Reveals Her Secret To A Long Life

Mabel Sparling has a bus pass and she uses it several times a week to visit the mall near her retirement community.   At the mall, Mabel gets her daily dose of exercise, meets her granddaughter Jenny for coffee, and visits the greeting card aisle of her favourite gift shop – specifically – she spends copious amounts of time reading the humorous cards.   “That’s the ticket to a good day,” says Mabel, “you’ve got to get your laughter in.”   At 82, Mabel is well-known to everyone in her seniors' community, along with several city transit drivers who find themselves buoyed by her sunny disposition. By all accounts, Mabel is perpetually cheerful.   “It’s contagious - her sense of Read More...

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Dancing for Good Reason – It’s Great For Your Health and Wellness!

If you Google ‘old people dancing’ – I guarantee you will be entertained! Seniors everywhere are letting it be known that a little grey hair and a knee replacement or two does not mean the dance is over!   Check out this dancing queen… she’s amazing… and happy too!     Ellie Harding is a perfect example of a senior who doesn’t let her age get in the way of her two-stepping. At 80, she still hosts a lively dance night with friends and family once a month at her Varsity residence in Calgary.   “I may be getting up there but boy I’m telling you – dancing keeps me young!” She told a group of us mid-lifers – friends gathering to celebrate her daughter Jill’s 50th birthday. None of us had any idea Jill’s mom would be the life  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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