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Sep 042017
 

(NC) Although we may contemplate it from time to time, most of us don’t think seriously about preparing a will. But it may be the most important document you will ever write, and there’s no time like the present to get it done and enjoy the peace of mind that comes with it. Here are a few guidelines:

Should I consult a lawyer? Some people try to save money by drafting a will on their own. While completing a ready-made will that can be purchased for a few dollars may seem appealing, it can end up costing more money for the people you wished to benefit with your estate.

The cost of having a professionally-drafted will is far less than most people realize. You can also save money by making sure you are organized and ready before seeing the lawyer by creating a record of your important documents and the names of your immediate family, executor and beneficiaries. The less time you spend with the lawyer, the lower your cost will be.

What will happen if I don’t have a will? If you don’t have a will, the court appoints an administrator to manage your estate. Provincial legislation will determine who your beneficiaries will be. This means some of the bequests you had always intended to make, such as to your church, your favourite health charity or organizations like Amnesty International that you supported in your lifetime, would be ignored.

What is an executor? An executor is the person you choose who will be responsible for using your assets as needed to pay any outstanding debts and file a final income tax return. Once all the financial obligations have been met and a clearance certificate from the Canada Revenue Agency has been obtained, the executor can then distribute the remainder of your assets according to your wishes.

Who can be an executor? Any adult can be an executor, including one or more of the following: your spouse, a family member, a friend, a trust company or a lawyer. The important thing is to choose someone who is both capable and willing to take on the responsibility of handling your estate.

A free information package on wills can be received by writing to Amnesty International, 312 Laurier Ave E, #315, Ottawa ON, K1N 1H9.

www.newscanada.com

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Aug 222017
 

(NC) Did you know that some of the vaccines you received when you were young won’t protect you forever? While you may know of a handful of vaccinations that are needed in adulthood, there are some that you probably didn’t know require additional doses.

“When you get vaccinated against a disease, you build up your immunity, making you stronger and more resistant to that disease,” explains Dr. David Williams, Ontario’s chief medical officer of health. “It’s important for adults to keep their vaccinations up-to-date, especially seniors and those with high-risk medical conditions.”

The protection offered by some vaccines only lasts for a certain amount of time. Having the right vaccines according to your age will ensure you keep yourself and those around you healthy.

The vaccine that protects against pertussis or whooping cough, is required once in adulthood. Vaccines that protect against tetanus or lockjaw, and diphtheria — a serious disease of the nose, throat and skin — are required every 10 years. Pneumococcal vaccine that protects against pneumonia and the shingles vaccine are recommended at age 65.

If you have special medical conditions or other high-risk factors, you may need additional vaccines. Women who are thinking about having a baby should also make sure they are up to date with their vaccines to protect themselves during pregnancy to keep the baby from contracting a serious disease. Talk with your doctor or nurse practitioner, or the local public health unit to learn more.

You may also need vaccines when you travel outside Canada. Check in with your health professional two to three months before you travel, especially if it’s a country where vaccine-preventable diseases exist.

More information about Ontario’s publicly funded immunization program and school immunization requirements can be found online at ontario.ca/vaccines. Find your local public health unit at ontario.ca/healthcareoptions.

Attention editors: This article is for distribution in Ontario only.

www.newscanada.com

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Aug 192017
 

(NC) Whether you are approaching your golden years or are caring for a parent or other family member who is aging, begin considering your options early. This way, when extra care becomes necessary a plan is already in place.

Aging at home is a viable option for many seniors. According to a recent survey, nearly 90 per cent of seniors want to “age in place.” Here are some reasons why the choice has many psychological and health advantages for seniors and any loved ones who care for them.

  1. Keep up a normal routine. Living at home allows the freedom to maintain independence longer and stay engaged with normal daily activities, including regular interaction and companionship with family and community.

  2. Receive individualized care. Making adjustments to one’s daily life can be very stressful and upsetting for seniors. But those who choose to age in place often just need to put supports in place, such as home modifications and personalized home care with customized services based on preferences and needs.

  3. Family members aren’t overwhelmed. Home care is usually provided by home health aides, licensed caregivers, nurses, or friends and family. Sharing the caregiver responsibility is integral in preventing caregiver fatigue and offers your loved one companionship when you are not able to be there.

  4. Lower risk of illness. In addition to improving quality of life, home care often helps extend life by eliminating stressors associated with aging in a senior care facility. In-home care can reduce the risk of catching illnesses, such as colds and flus, which spread quickly in a seniors’ facility. Home care can also speed up recovery, as a familiar environment is best for healing both mind and body.

  5. Balancing everyone’s needs. With care and support in their own home, seniors can maintain their independence and lifestyle, while the family has peace of mind, knowing they are safe and being well cared for.

Find more information at www.bayshore.ca.

www.newscanada.com

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.

www.newscanada.com

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.

www.newscanada.com

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.

www.newscanada.com

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.

www.newscanada.com

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.

www.newscanada.com

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