Transformed cancer solarium boosts patients’ spirits

A space at Victoria General Hospital’s Buhler Cancer Centre has recently been transformed to help women face cancer with confidence.

Women living with cancer suffer the effects of the disease and the treatment, which may include appearance-related changes such as hair loss, bruising and skin conditions. Research shows that understanding and effectively dealing with these changes helps women to better cope with their disease. Continue reading Transformed cancer solarium boosts patients’ spirits

DNA & genealogy – discovering your background

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

What would you think if you discovered that your ethnicity was vastly different from your sibling’s though you have the same parents? I know what I would have thought! Well, genealogy and DNA testing can provide some interesting and often unexpected results. For example, one man was surprised to find out that his ancestry showed that he was 70 per cent British and 30 per cent Irish and his sister was almost the complete opposite. How could this be? Continue reading DNA & genealogy – discovering your background

WSO marks a splendor-filled 70 years

As you’d expect, the season opens on a high note, with Itzak Perlman, and is still there for family fun, The Tenors and ABBA.

Alexander Mickelthwate
Random Notes

Dear Friends,

As you may have heard, next year we celebrate the 70th anniversary of the WSO. For 70 years, you have been our partners. Thank you!

The journey started in 1948 when Walter Kaufmann launched the first regular season of the WSO at the Winnipeg Auditorium. The years that followed were filled with one high note after another. Two tours to Carnegie Hall, international guests including Pierre Monteux, John Barbirolli, Leon Fleisher and Jacqueline du Pré, the move to the Manitoba Centennial Concert Hall, and the launch of the Winnipeg New Music Festival. Continue reading WSO marks a splendor-filled 70 years

Ageism creeping into Canadian dialogue

Dorothy Dobbie
Issues in the News

The National Pensioners Federation just released a response to the latest federal budget, citing the fact that Canadian seniors, now more numerous than kids under 15, were mentioned only 20 times in the budget as opposed to “women (276 mentions), children (79 mentions) and First Nations (181 mentions)”. Even veterans out-distanced seniors with 90 mentions.

While the Pensioners Federation went on to outline a number of deficiencies in dealing with the needs of low income seniors, the above statistics sharply illuminate a systemic attitude against elders by the youth-first approach of the Trudeau government. Continue reading Ageism creeping into Canadian dialogue

Deer Lodge set to study chronic care patients and their needs

“It’s a population that isn’t understood yet,” says Deer Lodge Centre’s chief nursing officer. “We want to really define chronic care, find out what resources are available to our patients and determine the gaps we need to fill.”

By Ryan McBride

As Deer Lodge Centre wraps up its 100th anniversary year, the Manitoba geriatric healthcare and research facility is looking ahead to the future of chronic care.

“Most people associate Deer Lodge with veteran and senior care,” says Daryl Dyck, clinical nurse specialist at the centre. “Fully a third of our facility is dedicated to people of all ages who need to live in a supported environment.”

Deer Lodge currently provides 120 long-term, chronic care beds spread out across three floors to people living with conditions that can’t be managed outside an institution, including ALS, advanced respiratory disease, renal failure, neurological injuries or disorders, and complex wounds. “We often see patients coming in with several conditions at once,” says Dyck.

Many chronic care patients are in their senior years, but some are much younger. “Today, we have a young man in his early 30s living in chronic care who has Duchenne’s muscular dystrophy and needs round-the-clock nursing support. We’ve cared for other patients as young as 18.”

As the aging of Manitoba’s population continues to accelerate, the demand for chronic care will likely grow, says Shannon Guerreiro, chief nursing officer at Deer Lodge.

“Health care is now so advanced that people are staying at home longer and aging in place. But when they do come to us, they’re far less functional than the patients we were treating 20 or 30 years ago.”

These changes have prompted Guerreiro and Dyck, who sit on Deer Lodge’s research advisory committee, to endorse a study for next year that will examine the uses and needs of chronic care in the centres.

“This is a population that’s not fully understood yet,” says Guerreiro. “We want to really define chronic care, find out who our patients are, what resources are available to support them and determine the gaps we need to fill.

“We want to help other health care facilities understand what makes someone a good candidate for chronic care, because we have the capacity and the expertise to provide data that’s available to few other centres.”

The view that chronic care is “the end of the road” for a patient is also due for a rewrite, says Cara Windle, clinical service leader in physiotherapy at Deer Lodge. She and other allied health professionals, who include social workers, occupational therapists, dietitians, and other specialists, have played a key role in improving quality of life for chronic care patients at Deer Lodge.

“For instance, we have been able to wean some patients off their feeding tubes after exploring their interest and ability to take foods again by mouth. Little gains turn into bigger gains over time for our patients when we focus on quality of life. In more than a few cases, we’ve been able to discharge people to less intensive levels of care – because they don’t need us any more.”

The research study’s ultimate aim, says Dyck, is to help Deer Lodge fully live up to its motto, “Making lives better”. “What that really means is: nurturing potential, exploring possibilities, delivering compassion. When you arrive here, we’re going to do our best to improve your quality of life.”

“Because we want everybody who chooses Deer Lodge – whether you’re choosing for your mom or dad, or for yourself – to feel like you’ve made the right choice,” says Guerreiro. “We want you to feel that this is the best place for you to be.”

Ryan McBride is the Communications Coordinator at the Deer Lodge Centre Foundation.

All about living in the age of maturity

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