All posts by lifestyles55

Ecological engineering a new way to say use our natural systems to clean up waterways

Back in the good old days we went to work in a plant to make things. Today, we are learning to let plants do the work for us. This was the essential message of a panel of experts about using natural assets to work with and even replace some of our engineered infrastructure to deal with waste and run off from urban environments.

What does all that mean? Simply that natural wetlands, sloughs and urban forests can do much more of the cleanup in our communities than we have allowed them to do over the past century. Continue reading Ecological engineering a new way to say use our natural systems to clean up waterways

Falls can be serious

A fall is serious no matter what your age, but once you are past 65, the dangers increase. One out of three persons over the age of 65 falls.

After a serious fall, older people can suffer post-traumatic stress disorder stemming from concern about falling again and this can result in anxiety and depression – even delirium and dementia. While only 10 per cent will have serious physical injuries from a ground level fall, a broken bone can lead to hospital stays where you are in danger of picking up some secondary, hospital–related condition – anything from sepsis to C. difficile to urinary tract infections, all common in a hospital setting.

Falls can also result in unseen internal injury that can damage internal organs, internal bleeding and even a splenic rupture. If you fall, be sure the doctor gives you a thorough examination and watch for secondary symptoms after you go home.

So, just don’t fall.

While it may seem counter-intuitive, staying active is the best advice. Going to a gym where you can work out with other people provides an opportunity to socialize at the same time as you are getting the exercise you need to keep your body healthy and your osteoarthritis from becoming too painful. Exercise strengthens your muscles and bones and helps to keep your joints flexible. The first time out, it may hurt for a little while, but as you move, the pain is reduced. Gentle stretching at the beginning and end of exercise will also help. Building strength helps to maintain balance. Balancing exercises help even more.

Watch out for trip traps

Every house has them: places where it is easy to trip and fall; loose scatter rugs, uneven surfaces transitioning from one room to another, furniture you have to manoeuvre around; slippery surfaces, slippery bathtubs. Take a tour and decide to deal with these hazards today. Don’t forget to include your front and back entrances or the stairs to your garage. These trip taps can occur anywhere. You probably already know where most of them are because chances are you have saved yourself more than once at these spots

Shoes and do’s

Do take a look at your favourite pair of slippers. Are they easy to put on and easy to slip off? If so, they are probably easy to slip on – meaning, you can slip on them! Replace them with some snugger fitting wear – with backs. Yes, you may have to bend over to get them on, but that’s just more good exercise and stretching you should be dong anyway.

Outdoor shoes should have non-slip soles. That doesn’t mean you need to abandon the high heels for a special night out, but everyday use requires some common sense foot wear. Running shoes are comfortable and trustworthy.

Lighting and vision

Sometimes we trip because we can’t see where we are going. Make sure you have the right glasses and if the fancy trifocals don’t work for you, get something that will.

Be sure stairs are well lit and use the lights. We all too often think we know where everything is so why turn on the lights? But where one misstep can spell disaster, why take the chance?

We hate to admit, but as we age, some things don’t work as well as they used to. So make sure you are protecting yourself as best you can. Chances are you should be taking a vitamin D supplement in the winter – ask your doc – and if you are having balance problems ask him to check your B vitamins. Too little or too much can both cause balance issues.

Memories of Christmas

Jim Pappas

I remember going to the old Tivoli Theatre across from Westminster Church to a Saturday matinee as a young boy. Every Saturday there was a double bill of two movies with cartoons, newsreels, and several serials that we all loved to cheer or jeer at.

One Saturday, as was our usual trek with our allowance burning a hole in our pockets, my brother Chrys and I were off to our Saturday movie. Much to my surprise the movie was called “O. Henry’s Full House” and what stayed with me was a charming vignette called “The Gift of the Magi” with Jeanne Crain and Farley Granger. As I have always been a very sentimental person, I loved the story and the fact that they both gave up something that was precious to themselves to get a gift for one another. Continue reading Memories of Christmas

‘Twas the night before Christmas…

Domestic abuse is not a “women’s issue.”

Myrna Driedger, MLA Winnipeg Manitoba Progressive Conservative (PC) caucus
Myrna Driedger
Broadway Journal

Deck the Halls… Joy to the World… Silent Night… As we rush around doing our shopping and getting ready for Christmas, we hear Christmas carols and dream of family get-togethers, chestnuts roasting in an open fire, shortbread cookies and all the wonderful sights and smells of Christmas. But do we set ourselves up for failure? Do we have unreasonable expectations of providing an idyllic experience over the holidays? Continue reading ‘Twas the night before Christmas…

It’s great to be grand – the health benefits of a close grandchild-grandparent bond

“Young people need something stable to hang on to — a culture connection, a sense of their own past, a hope for their own future. Most of all, they need what grandparents can give them.”

– Jay Kesler, author of Emotionally Healthy Teenagers.

Krystal Simpson
Healthy Living

With the holiday season upon us, the ties that bind us are never more pronounced than they are at this most wonderful time of the year. Steeped in family tradition, the holidays give us a reason to connect with the ones who matter most. Some of my fondest holiday memories are of my grandparents and our trips to the small prairie town they called home. A pot of tea was always ready for our arrival and the smell of fresh baking drifted into the opening of the doorway when we stepped into their old Victorian house. Continue reading It’s great to be grand – the health benefits of a close grandchild-grandparent bond