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Meet Our Resident ~ David (AgeCare SkyPointe)

Poet Walt Whitman once said that if you “keep your face always toward the sunshine [then the] shadows will fall behind you.”   Both his towering 6’2” stature and his friendly disposition have enabled AgeCare SkyPointe resident David to continually keep the sunshine on his face.   Growing up, David’s family and friends recognized that there was something unique about his disposition. However, it was not until he was almost 40 that he was given an official diagnosis of Asperger’s Syndrome, which is now classified as Autism Spectrum Disorder.   Whatever shadows his diagnosis may have cast for him, however, David has found sunshine and purpose through his passion and talent for music.   David recalls grade school as being Read More...

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Meet Our Resident ~ David (AgeCare SkyPointe)

Poet Walt Whitman once said that if you “keep your face always toward the sunshine [then the] shadows will fall behind you.”   Both his towering 6’2” stature and his friendly disposition have enabled AgeCare SkyPointe resident David to continually keep the sunshine on his face.   Growing up, David’s family and friends recognized that there was something unique about his disposition. However, it was not until he was almost 40 that he was given an official diagnosis of Asperger’s Syndrome, which is now classified as Autism Spectrum Disorder.   Whatever shadows his diagnosis may have cast for him, however, David has found sunshine and purpose through his passion and talent for music.   David recalls grade school as being a difficult time.  Public schools in the 70s and 80s did not make accommodations for neuro-diverse students like David, and  Read More...

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

Christmas in Belleville, New Brunswick One of my favourite Christmas memories surrounds mom’s wonderful Christmas fruitcake. My mouth waters just thinking of it now!   The memory of mom baking that cake is just so special … I think because it represented the beginning of the much anticipated and very exciting Christmas season. My mom put so much time and so much love into this cake and of course, it was rich with spices, raisins, mixed fruit, and our very own strawberry preserves.   Once the cake was baked it needed time to mellow, so mom would carefully and lovingly place it in this round metal tin and she then stored it in the coolest room of our house, one of the upstairs bedrooms that we closed off to save heat during the winter months. This was a very safe  Read More...

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

Christmas in Ashern, Manitoba Christmas in our home growing up was a very exciting time for us kids for many reasons, not the least of which was that there was baking in the house! This was rare because Mom had very little time to bake and there were sugar rations because we were in a time of war.   Dad would cut down an evergreen and often it went right to the ceiling. Then we kids would make paper decorations and strings of popcorn for the tree and for the whole house – though it was only maybe a few hundred square feet.   On our dinner table, there would be a perfectly formed wheat sheaf – hand picked by Dad in the fall, to represent ‘Father Time’. Under our dinner table Dad scattered fresh straw, to represent the manger,  Read More...

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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 holy evening for us.   The table looked so beautiful to me, set with a linen tablecloth and candles. Dad  Read More...

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4 Ways to Simplify Financial Affairs

It can become increasingly difficult to manage financial affairs, as we age. For many seniors, diminished ability to deal with money and personal business is a concern. If possible, the best solution is to engage a trusted family member in the process of paying bills and tending to financial obligations early on. This step, along with other actions, can bring much-needed resolve to the stress of managing finances. If your loved one is coming to a stage where they need this kind of help, the following measures are also worth considering:   1)    Lend a Hand If your loved one is still relatively independent but is expressing concern about staying on top of bills, taxes and other aspects of their financial affairs, this is your cue to lend a hand. Consider scheduling a monthly sit down with your loved one  Read More...

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Taking the STRESS out of a Senior’s Move

Often the thing that keeps seniors from considering a move from their home to a Retirement Living community is the daunting task of …. well everything to do with moving!   This is understandable, given that a move can take a huge toll on any of us at any age.   According to 79-year-old Mary Gunther in Calgary, there is absolutely no question in her mind, the best choice she ever made was to hire a company that ‘does it all for you’.   Mary’s kids were in all different cities, with full plates of their own. Mary hated the thought of tasking anyone – family or friends – with the hours that it would require to empty out her bungalow (her home of 27 years) and help her relocate to a retirement living community.   “I said to the  Read More...

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Meals Matter to Seniors

If you ask most people, a good meal matters. Seniors are no different. In fact, as you get older many people say that food becomes increasingly important since you are less able to enjoy other pleasures that you once took for granted.   “I used to spend a lot of time hiking, biking, exotic travel, long drives with my wife in the country. Now I can’t do any of those things, but I can still eat just fine and I don’t mind saying, I look forward to every meal,” said George Sinclair, a Calgary senior.   The problem is, says George, he is not exactly enamored with the menu at the place he chose to reside, but at the age of 80, he is reluctant to move.   At AgeCare, when it comes to food, listening is top of mind.  Read More...

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Music Tunes Up the Wellness of Seniors

Music is magic.   It is a soothing balm for old wounds, a creative tool for self-expression, a profound elixir for any number of medical conditions, and a potent mood booster for anyone, any age, any day.   For seniors, music is particularly golden. It can help improve their attitude and it paves the way for important socialization. It requires little effort, skill or cost and provides boundless entertainment and joy.   At AgeCare, music is a highly prized activity, offered in various forms at all locations.   AgeCare Orchard Manor in Brooks, Alberta offers regular music programs including acapella sing-alongs, and musical entertainment featuring singers and instrumental performers.   “I read somewhere that music is the glue that holds our memories together - it helps, even people with cognitive impairments, to recall memories that might otherwise be lost,” said  Read More...

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The Art of Engagement — Bringing Seniors into Focus

In retirement residences across the country, recreational staff are busy innovating and planning - striving to create just the right complement of programs and activities to entice the residents who call the facility home. No doubt it can be a bit of a challenge, hitting the mark with such a diverse array of people from all walks of life.   For Rosal Yade, Activities Coordinator at AgeCare’s Governor’s Walk in Ottawa, the formula is simple: “We look at each resident as a whole and unique individual, taking into account their full life up to retirement and bringing their background and life experiences forward into the next phase of life,” said Rosal. She adds, “I make it my mission to get to know everything I can about each one of them, beyond their needs, preferences, medical requirements. To really make someone  Read More...

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Seniors Flourish in the Company of Kids

It’s not rocket science. When you put seniors in the company of kids there is an instant connection … joy abounds.   “I can’t describe it,” says 87-year-old Louise at Calgary’s Kirby Centre program that invites seniors and kids to do art together. “Just being around these little people lifts my spirits.”   This vital connection is the subject of many news stories from coast to coast and is the basis of a nation-wide government initiative pronouncing June 1 as Intergenerational Day Canada.   As noted on the BC government website: “Research shows that intergenerational programs increase self-esteem and feelings of well-being for older and younger participants. Friendships between older and younger people help make communities stronger.”   At AgeCare Walden Heights in Calgary, the concept of uniting kids and seniors is highly prized.   “In our view, our multi-generational  Read More...

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