Author Info

Pat Fream

Pat Fream is a wife, mother and 30-year writer with extensive experience in the human services industry. In all avenues of life, Pat seeks opportunities to hear and tell stories and finds joy in the magic of connecting people with shared experiences. An impassioned fan of seniors, Pat draws wisdom and inspiration from her aging parents and their friends, many of whom are living well in vibrant senior communities.

Author Blog Posts

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How to Enhance the Holidays for Seniors ~ Gift Giving & Activity Suggestions

Gifting to Seniors As you set your sights on just the right gift for your senior loved one this holiday season, consider the fact that gifts that involve sharing and caring mean so much more than any gift that will take up space in their compact living area. Here are a few gift ideas that don’t include wrapping or clutter: Homemade baked goods or other favourite edibles A special outing (such as a Christmas concert, a play, afternoon tea, or a scenic drive) Personal pampering (nails, hair, foot care, or for grandpa - a hot towel shave) An afternoon together looking at pictures and sharing memories Enjoy a classic Christmas movie together A special church service, senior’s hymn sing, or Christmas tea   Making Holiday Plans With Seniors   Keep in mind that the holidays can be stressful for seniors,  Read More...

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The Truth about Getting Old ~ as Told by George Bowler

George Bowler stopped me in the hallway as I was hurrying along the corridor, trying to catch my stepdad before he assumed his usual spot in the dining room. George is my stepdad’s neighbour across the hall in the retirement community, where they’ve both resided for the past few years.   While George evidently remembered that I was coming to collect Ed for our Tim Horton’s lunch date, it was apparent that Ed had forgotten and gone about his usual lunch routine.   George greeted me with a robust "hello", and said he wanted to have a word with me. He said Ed had told him that I am a writer and he had a few things he wanted to say to a writer.   As we walked toward the dining room and witnessed Ed begin eating the inhouse lunch  Read More...

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10 Simple Ways You Can Help Seniors Overcome Loneliness

Loneliness and isolation are problematic at any age. But it's especially concerning when the people suffering are seniors with limited resources.   According to Statistics Canada, as many as 1.4 million elderly Canadians report feeling lonely, and according to the National Institute on Aging, loneliness and isolation can pose serious health risks, including cognitive decline and depression.   (more…)

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Living Proof That Pets Enhance Life as You Age

Millie Jameson lost her husband of 49 years suddenly at age 75.   After months of feeling paralyzed with shock and distress, what finally helped her grief subside, was adopting a cat from a local rescue agency. (more…)

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Simple Ways to Enjoy the Last Weeks Summer

As we enjoy the last remaining weeks of summer, you can still enjoy all kinds of activities that are less accessible in the looming colder months.   For some, it’s that fix of art, music and cultural experiences that will bring them joy. For others, it’s reconnecting with nature and the outdoors. For those who enjoy food, summer brings a chance to get out and sample a plethora of culinary treats.   Whatever the interest, there are many wonderful ways for seniors to live their best life when the sun is shining and the flowers are still in bloom.   In case you need some suggestions, here are some fun summer activities to enjoy:   Music   Every city and town has a vast assortment of summer music concerts of every imaginable genre.   Some will opt for outdoor concerts  Read More...

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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 (more…)

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Excelling in Retirement: The Practices Helping 3 Seniors Flourish

This week a colleague has gone off to Vancouver Island to celebrate her mom’s 98th birthday.   Her mom is healthy and robust and living comfortably in a senior’s residence in Victoria.   When I asked my friend (Leanne) what she believes is the key to her mom’s astounding resilience, she relayed her belief that there are several keys …   Most importantly she credits her mom’s wholeheartedness and specifically, her attitude of gratitude. She said her mom has had a life-long habit of seeing the world through wondrous eyes and giving perpetual thanks for all things big and small.   After our discussion, Leanne sent me this YouTube video on Gratitude - a family favourite by Louie Schwartzberg.   That led me on an investigation of other key factors contributing to a long life, all equally interesting and inspiring.   Of  Read More...

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5 Tips for Better Brain Awareness in Seniors

There’s this buzz word out there that's not exactly new, but still has a sparkling effect; that sensation that makes us all want to sit up and take note.   Positive Aging. Sounds good right? (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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