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Aug 162017
 

F818D5 Northern Red Anemones and Nodular anemones underwater in the St. Lawrence Estuary in Canada

(NC) Despite space being the “final frontier,” our oceans are an even bigger mystery. We often hear that we know more about the surface of the moon or Mars than the ocean floor. In fact, 95 per cent of the world’s oceans are unexplored.

Oceana, an advocacy group focused on ocean conservation, has been conducting expeditions around the world for more than a decade, discovering marine habitats off the coasts of Europe, the Philippines, Chile and the United States. Now, it’s Canada’s turn.

Alexandra Cousteau—filmmaker and granddaughter of world-renowned explorer Jacques-Yves Cousteau— joins Oceana Canada and leading Canadian scientists to explore never-before-seen areas of the sea floor in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. The expedition uses some of the most advanced tools in deep-sea exploration to document the incredible diversity of life.

This is the most in-depth visual exploration of the seafloor of the Gulf of St. Lawrence in Canada’s history. For the first time, anyone can take part through a 24-hour live broadcast – from a first-hand view of the seafloor, to daily life on a research vessel and scientists at work in the control room.

According to Cousteau, it’s only through exploring our oceans that we can protect them.

“This expedition continues a legacy that traces its roots back to my grandfather. The expedition team shares the passion that my family has had for generations and are using the latest technology to make research and ocean exploration a reality for all ocean enthusiasts.”

The Gulf of St. Lawrence and the Gulf of Maine are some of the most complex marine ecosystems in the world. They are rich in biodiversity, home to such species as cold-water coral, crusteans like lobster and groundfish like Atlantic cod. They also serve as important feeding grounds for species like endangered right whales and sea turtles.

To view behind-the-scenes expedition footage, visit oceana.ca/expeditions.

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Aug 072017
 

(NC) Today, many homeowners are downsizing not just for the cost savings, but to free up time and money to lead a more exciting and colourful life. If you’re not ready to squeeze into a condo just yet, then a land lease may be an attractive option for you.

In a land lease community, homeowners own the house but lease the land it is situated on. Some perks include lower monthly housing expenses, home maintenance services like snow shovelling and mail collection, and home watch security. For those looking to stay active, there are a variety of other benefits as well.

Exercise and wellness. Many communities have facilities such as indoor and outdoor pools, fitness centers, organized fitness classes, as well as walking and biking paths. Homeowners in these communities often form groups, clubs or classes to enjoy physical activities together, making it easy to lead an active and healthy lifestyle.

Social family. The land lease model of individual homes in walkable neighbourhoods fosters a true sense of community and social connectivity. Many communities have clubs or residents’ associations that organize and facilitate dinners, dances, golf tournaments and more to encourage friendships and a thriving social life.

Opportunity to travel. Freeing up cash tied up in your existing home means you’ll now have the financial freedom to pursue your dreams. Finally afford the snowbird lifestyle you’ve been pining after, or that annual cruise you’ve been wanting to build into your travel schedule.

Entertaining guests. With a land lease, you’re able to enjoy the advantages of your own home without any of the drawbacks. For example, Parkbridge Lifestyle Communities offer smaller-styled, quality homes with well-designed floor plans that are easily adaptable to individual tastes and have enough room for guests and family visitors. Homeowners also have their own private outdoor spaces for gardening, entertaining and recreation.

Find more information at www.parkbridge.com.

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Aug 032017
 

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Aug 022017
 

(NC) Caring for a loved one can be a rewarding experience, but intense or long-term care can often have negative effects on a caregiver’s health and well-being. If you’re feeling stressed and overburdened as a member of the sandwich generation — those who care for both aging parents and young children — it’s important to know that there are plenty of options that can help.

Respite care is a type of assistance that allows the family caregiver to take a break from caregiving. This type of care focuses on helping family caregivers recharge, ease their stress and avoid burnout. Respite care provides assistance and support to the family caregiver. Keeping them healthy and supported results in higher quality time spent together.

Respite care can be provided at home or in a long-term care facility. Care can be provided by friends, family members, volunteers or a home health care service provider. Some examples of respite care services include personal care, companionship, meal preparation, light housekeeping and more.

Respite care also has benefits for the person receiving care by developing and nurturing their social, recreational and life skills; improving long-term functioning; and preventing crisis situations and elder abuse.

If you’re a caregiver for a loved one, find some time to focus on you as you prepare your family’s fall schedule. Family caregivers often struggle with balancing their supportive role with their own family’s needs and paid employment. This often leads to a situation of feeling overwhelmed and a risk of depression, anxiety, chronic stress, lack of sleep and personal financial problems. You deserve an extra hand or some time to take care of yourself, so don’t be afraid to seek support if you need it.

Find more information at www.bayshore.ca.

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Jul 302017
 

(BPT) – Bobby Barrera’s career as a Marine ended abruptly at age 21. While in Vietnam, on his first mission, a land mine explosion took his right hand at the wrist and left arm at the shoulder, and left him with severe burns over 40 percent of his body and face.

Coping with the physical challenges of his injuries and struggling to find a new purpose for life was almost easy compared to dealing with the psychological impact of war trauma: something that would remain with Bobby for the next 40 years.

Bobby went on to marry and have a family. His children had children, and he created a fulfilling and meaningful life for himself. He returned to college to earn a master’s degree in guidance and counseling. For nearly four decades, Bobby counseled veterans with mental health challenges caused by war and volunteered with DAV (Disabled American Veterans), a veterans service organization that helps veterans of all generations get the benefits and services they’ve earned. He went on to become the national commander of DAV in 2009. What Bobby didn’t realize — or want to admit — was that for more than 40 years, he was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

It wasn’t until Bobby and his wife moved to San Antonio, Texas, to retire that his PTSD symptoms became overwhelming. After moving, Bobby felt immediately lost. Being new in town, losing his network of friends, no longer working and coping with chronic pain triggered long-suppressed symptoms of PTSD. Soon, the nightmares began. Then came mood swings, increased anxiety, and feelings of isolation and hopelessness — and eventually, thoughts of suicide.

Bobby’s wife pushed him to seek help — which led to a PTSD diagnosis. He questioned how he could have overlooked his own signs of PTSD for so many decades, while helping countless other veterans who struggled with it.

PTSD symptoms are caused by experiencing traumatic events and not by an inherent individual weakness. Roughly 15 percent of Vietnam veterans are impacted by PTSD, and an estimated 20 percent of recent war veterans have symptoms of PTSD or depression. It can lead to a higher risk for unemployment, homelessness or suicide.

Bobby is learning how to cope with his diagnosis. He is meeting more people, getting involved at church and spending time with his family. He began to volunteer again. His recovery is ongoing. Bobby credits his wife for encouraging him to ask for help and believes that doing so gave him yet another chance at life.

If you are struggling with symptoms of PTSD, you are not alone. Resources are available at www.DAV.org/veterans/resources. If your situation is critical, please call the Veterans Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255.

Jul 262017
 

(NC) Everyday, technology is getting better at saving homeowners time, energy and money. In recent years, appliances of all brands have set their sights on pushing the limits of development and innovation. What used only to exist in futuristic films can now be found in your local Home Depot. Here are a few recent insights into what’s new in appliances.

Flexibility. Imagine owning a washer that can run two separate loads at once, or a dryer that lets you dry delicates and everyday garments at the same time. Newly developed technology brings this dream to life, and even include Wi-Fi connectivity so that you can receive alerts, start, stop and monitor cycles remotely.

Saving time. Some appliances have smart home capabilities so busy professionals can monitor their kitchens via their phone or laptops. This means you can now purchase high-tech ovens, dishwashers and fridges that are equipped with cameras, allowing you to check on your roast from the bedroom or draft a shopping list from the supermarket.

Saving money. Have you ever been hungry and indecisive, letting all the cool air out while you ponder in front of an open refrigerator door? LG brings state-of-the-art technology to their new door-in-door fridge design, which provides easy access to drinks and snacks without opening the full fridge door. It’s almost like magic — simply knock twice on the glass to illuminate the contents within.

Simplified design. As the heart of the home, the kitchen fills an increasing number of functions including cooking, socializing and dining. Designers are finding new ways to embed intelligent technology into countertop surfaces that help keep the space clean and uncluttered. Homeowners now have the option to integrate wireless charging hotspots directly into hard surfaces like Corian countertops, which allows for embedded tech. So, when you get home after a long day at work, simply place your smartphone on the designated counter area and juice up that battery while you get dinner started.

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Jul 222017
 

(NC) It can be tough juggling medical appointments, care and treatment options when you or a loved one is

“My diagnosis with advanced cancer has brought my family even closer together. They’ve been right by my side this whole journey,” says Lyall Woznesensky. (Photograph by John Lehmann)

struggling with an acute or chronic illness. But research shows a strong support system is crucial for better physical and mental health.

As a former CFL defensive lineman, Lyall Woznesensky thought he knew how to be strong. He’d played one of the toughest games in sport over eight seasons with six different CFL teams across Canada. But when he was diagnosed with advanced cancer in January 2016, Woznesensky realized that the type of strength he needed to face this challenge wasn’t just physical, it was mental and emotional too. And he couldn’t face it alone.

Since his diagnosis, Woznesensky has leaned on the support and positivity he gets from his two sons, siblings, former CFL teammates and especially his wife of 29 years, Debbie.

“My wife is only 5 foot 3, but she’s stronger than me. She’s the pillar of our family. She keeps my two boys strong and me strong even though she’s gone through a lot,” he explains.

The good news is that although the number of newly diagnosed cancer cases in Canada is increasing, survival rates are also going up. Overall, the five-year net survival for Canadians diagnosed with cancer is around 60 per cent, up from 53 per cent in previous decades.

Woznesensky is one of the growing number who are outliving their cancer diagnosis. He recently received good news from his doctor who said his cancer has receded.

Recently profiled in CancerChanged, a photo-documentary series that celebrates those who are living longer with advanced cancer, Woznesensky shares his journey to bring hope to others dealing with a challenging diagnosis. Read more about his story and others online at saveyourskin.ca/conected.

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Jul 202017
 

(BPT) – Retirement is the time in your life when you can throw off the shackles of your daily responsibilities and truly enjoy the fruits of everything you spent years working toward. It’s an empowering feeling and you’ve earned it. You’ve planned and you’ve saved, but now that you’re here, don’t make the mistake of believing your financial planning is over.

In fact, in some ways, it has only begun.

Continuing to support your financial strength in retirement

On the day you enter retirement, your financial focus shifts, but its importance doesn’t diminish. As a retiree, taking an annual review of your finances is more important than ever. You deserve to live the retirement you want. To be sure your finances are up to the task, here are a few specific items to review in your annual post-retirement financial checkup.

1. Life expectancy

When you first created your retirement plan, you likely discussed an end-of-life age with your adviser that you could use as a benchmark and plan toward. Now it’s time to revisit that age again and take an objective look in light of your overall health and any existing conditions you may have. And don’t be surprised if you find out you’re poised to live far longer than you expected all those years ago. It’s great news, but it also means you must adjust your finances accordingly.

2. Life insurance

Look at your life insurance policy. You should take the time to determine if it is still needed or affordable now that you’ve entered retirement. As you review your life insurance policy, you may determine you don’t need it anymore because your children are no longer dependent on you and you have minimal outstanding debts. You may also find that the premiums have increased in recent years and the policy is too costly to maintain. If this is the case, you may want to sell it. It’s one less financial burden you need to worry about, and the influx of additional cash will be a welcome surprise.

It’s important to remember that your life insurance policy is your own personal property and you have the right to sell it, just as you would any other financial assets or physical possession. The sale of your policy to a third-party investor is known as a life settlement transaction, and selling the policy could bring you as much as seven times the amount you would earn for surrendering it. Typical candidates for a life settlement transaction are age 70 or older with a policy of $100,000 or more, according to the Life Insurance Settlement Association (LISA).

3. Asset allocation

During your working years, you probably reviewed your assets several times, and you may have even done some rebalancing to ensure you had the right mix of bonds, stocks and cash in your financial portfolio. But this practice doesn’t end simply because you’ve entered retirement. Look at your assets and take the opportunity to rebalance — just as you did during your working years — to ensure your money is meeting both your short-term needs and your long-term goals.

4. Home equity

Your home is often your most valuable asset. If you own the home where you live, take a moment to assess the amount of equity you have tied up in it. This may be the perfect time to downsize. You could also consider a reverse mortgage, which would allow you to convert some of the equity in your home into cash you could use for other needs. The money you acquire through a reverse mortgage or through the sale of your home via downsizing could then be used to invest in a fixed-income investment — such as annuities or bonds — that will provide ongoing income.

Enjoy retirement on your terms

Your working years may have ended, but your financial management is ongoing. Whether you manage your money yourself or you work with a financial adviser, take charge of your retirement by revisiting your assets and your options. Remember, you’ve worked hard for your retirement, and with a few small changes along the way, you have the ability to make it even greater.

To learn more about life settlements, how they work and whether you’re eligible, call 888-521-8223 or visit the LISA’s website at www.lisa.org.

Jul 172017
 

(BPT) – Summer break is an American institution, and that midyear break is often best enjoyed through travel. This year is no different; in fact, many experts expect this year’s summer travel season to be among the busiest ever. That is particularly true when it comes to air travel.

According to research from Airlines for America, a record 234.1 million passengers are expected to travel by air this summer on United States-based airlines. That figure represents an increase of 4 percent over last year.

So why are so many people taking to the skies? Below are five reasons air travel is going to be hot this season. They might just motivate you to go and book your trip.

* More disposable income. An increase in the United States’ gross domestic product, coupled with a lower unemployment rate, means more Americans have disposable income they can use to travel. Trips that were once considered road destinations are now being targeted for flights, allowing travelers to spend more time at their final destination and less time trying to get there.

* Increased entertainment options. The days of planning to simply sleep on a plane are over. Travelers now have access to fast, consistent and global in-flight Wi-Fi with Inmarsat’s GX Aviation, powered by Honeywell’s JetWave hardware so they can stream their favorite Netflix shows, YouTube videos and even use Facebook Live. This advancement provides high-speed, in-flight Wi-Fi with the reliability travelers are used to having at home or in the office. And best of all, this Wi-Fi is the first service to span the globe, meaning you can stay connected traveling at 35,000 feet around the world.

* Reduced travel expenses. Air flight used to be seen as a luxury expense, but that is no longer true. Improved airline efficiency and increased competition in the market have sent the price of airline travel down for several years. The reasonable price of crude oil has also helped keep airfare a much more affordable option for summer travels than it was even five years ago.

* A more comfortable, reliable flight. A flight delay or turbulence can start any summer trip on a negative note. According to a recent survey by YouGov, 47 percent of U.S. adults who’ve flown in the past 12 months are most frustrated by late arrivals or departures while 35 percent said on-time arrivals and departures would make them most excited to fly again. Improved technology is reducing those risks while making the entire flight more comfortable. Honeywell’s GoDirect Weather provides data that pilots can access through a mobile app to find real-time weather reports along their flight path. GoDirect Weather also provides crowd-sourced, real-time weather data that’s shared from other planes flying in the sky. Pilots can then use this data to adjust their flight paths in response to the conditions they will face, meaning fewer flight delays and a safer, smoother flight for travelers.

* Still the safest way to travel. You’ve heard the statistics that you’re more likely to suffer a fatal collision on your way to the airport than in the air, and it’s true. Every year, the number of fatalities associated with flying dramatically pales in comparison with driving, and this trend is expected to continue. New flight technologies introduced every year are helping pilots avoid bad weather and overcome maintenance problems that can cause airline accidents, resulting in an increased number of safe, uneventful flights. So plan your vacation with a flight in mind. It’s a secure, quick way to make the most of your summer trip this year.

Read more about Honeywell Aerospace on the Follow the Aero blog.

Jul 152017
 

(NC) Getting healthy can sometimes feel like an impossible feat, and you don’t always know where to start. It’s important to begin with simple steps that will become habits. Before you know it, they will be a part of your everyday routine and you’ll see benefits soon.

  1. Keep hydrated. Drinking the recommended eight glasses of water a day helps your body function properly. It keeps you hydrated and eliminates toxins. Take a reusable water bottle to work and keep it on your desk as a reminder to sip throughout the day.

  2. Eat colourful food. The more colourful the foods you choose are, the more likely they’ll be packed with vitamins, antioxidants and minerals. For example, adding one serving of vibrant yellow Zespri SunGold Kiwifruit to your daily diet provides all your vitamin C needs and as much potassium as a medium banana. Cut and scoop SunGold kiwis for a tropical sweet snack or pair them with other colourful foods for a nutritious meal.

  3. Add exercise to your day. Everyone has their own preferences when it comes to working out — some like yoga classes, others prefer visiting a gym, some like a long walk after dinner. Discover what works for you and add it to your day in the timeframe that suits your schedule. Remember, if it feels like a chore, it will be harder to build into your regular routine.

  4. Rest up. Silence your phone and get a good night’s sleep. Getting seven to eight hours of sleep is proven to help your overall well-being. It is important for maintaining hormonal balance, increasing cognition and memory, and aiding in digestion.

  5. Repeat. Repetition is key to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. The more you incorporate healthy habits into your everyday, the easier it will become.

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