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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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Jun 222017

(NC) Sizzling summer days call for lounging at the cottage, entertaining in the backyard and adventures outdoors. When having fun under the sun, don’t forget to drink plenty of cool liquids before you feel thirsty to decrease your risk of dehydration. Here is a breakdown from Health Canada on the differences between popular thirst quenchers.

Water. Water really is the best hydrating liquid. Your need for water will vary depending on your activity level, diet, exposure to heat, perspiration rate and sodium concentration in your sweat. Canada’s Food Guide recommends drinking more water in hot weather or when you are very active.

Juices and sports drinks. Considering that you need to be well hydrated in the heat, choosing these popular drinks can be hard on your wallet and could be dangerous for diabetics. If you want to give plain old water a tasty boost, try flavouring it with natural fruit for a more refreshing and budget-friendly alternative.

Caffeinated beverages. Caffeine is a diuretic that increases urination, but regular caffeine drinkers have adjusted to its effects and may continue to drink it during extreme heat. If you don’t have a regular latte habit, during the midst of a heat wave isn’t the time to start or to increase your consumption.

Fruits and vegetables. Finding it difficult to drink enough liquids with your busy schedule? Fruits and vegetables are a great snack to increase daily water consumption, and their high water content can help improve your hydration. Think fresh watermelon on the patio or orange slices after a soccer match.

Remember that thirst is not a good indicator of dehydration, as many people, especially older adults, may have a reduced ability to feel thirst. Drink before you feel thirsty, and try to leave yourself cheerful reminders, like sticky notes or a colourful glass to drink from.

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Jun 032017

5 aging-in-place bathroom upgrades to make while you’re young(er)

(BPT) – Is it ever too early to think about aging in place, and making home improvements that will allow you to remain living in the same house well into your golden years? Homeowners in their 60s and 70s are no longer the only Americans investing thought and money into preparing their homes to meet their needs as they grow older — and that’s good news, according to HomeAdvisor’s 2016 Aging-in-Place report.

“If homeowners start early, they can spend sufficient time researching and planning to avoid wasted time and suboptimal solutions,” Brad Hunter, HomeAdvisor’s chief economist, says in the report. “Homeowners can protect, and possibly even raise, resale value of the home by making (it) more appealing to buyers in all age groups with modifications that have broad appeal.”

The report notes universal design improvements, such as wider doorways and open floor plans, “can enhance the quality of life in a home even as they make the home safer … and can be just as beneficial to a homeowner in their 30s or 40s as they are to a homeowner in their 70s or 80s.”

Universally beneficial upgrades

Incorporating universal design principles into your home can facilitate aging-in-place goals, while comfortably addressing the diverse needs of all ages and mobility levels using your home. Features like single-story design, bedrooms and bathrooms on the ground floor, daylighting through larger windows and skylights, and wider doors and hallways appeal to users of all ages.

However, if you’re considering aging-in-place upgrades, making improvements in the bathroom can deliver the greatest return on your investment. The bathroom is often referred to as the most dangerous room in the home for all ages, but especially for seniors with increased risk of falling in showers or bathtubs, or around the toilet area.

Upgrades to improve a bathroom’s usability and safety can help people remain in their homes for longer. Here are bathroom improvements to consider:

  • Replace a step-in bathtub with a walk-in option — Falls send thousands of older people to the emergency room each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For those with mobility issues and muscle weakness, lifting their legs to step into or out of a bathtub can be a fall risk. Tub manufacturers offer a range of solutions with walk-in bathtubs designed to provide enjoyable bathing with safer accessibility. For example, the American Standard walk-in bathtub includes an outward opening door for easier access, molded seating for added comfort, and convenient grab bars for security. Plus, it offers a Quick Drain feature that removes water from the tub in less than two minutes, preventing the user from getting chilled sitting in the draining water.

  • Shower seating — Showers also present a fall risk that affect people of all ages. Adding seating in a shower — whether a removable chair or bench, or built-in options — can allow you to relax in the shower with less fear of falling.

  • Chair-height toilets — Standard toilets have a bowl height of about 14 to 15 inches. Toilets with higher bowls at 16 1/2 inches, similar to the familiar height of a chair, make it easier for everyone to stand up without a lot of effort. Water-conserving models like the American Standard VorMax high-efficiency Right Height elongated toilet are not only more comfortable, but they also facilitate cleanliness with powerful flushing action and technology that keeps the bowl cleaner. Toilets with built-in bidets are another smart option for those with dexterity and mobility issues, making it easier for them to maintain personal cleanliness without daily bathing.

  • Pedestal sinks — Standard sinks are about 30 inches high. Installing a higher sink to reduce the amount of bending a user needs to do is another worthwhile bathroom improvement. While you can find vanity sinks set at a higher level, pedestal sinks of about 36 inches high have even more advantages. The slimmer, sleeker profile of a pedestal provides more maneuverable floor space for people with mobility issues or those using wheelchairs or walkers. Plus, the reduced footprint makes floor-cleaning easier.

  • Easy-to-use faucets — Twist faucets can be difficult to manage for people with arthritis or decreased flexibility, as well as for small children just learning to use the facilities. Lever-style or single-handle faucets make controlling the water flow much easier for people of all ages and with varying skill levels.

Universal design home improvements can benefit all ages within your home. Making these upgrades at a younger age can prepare your home to meet your needs in your golden years, while allowing you to enjoy the comforts early on.

IMAGE CAPTIONS: ——————————————- Caption 1: This universally designed bathroom suite features an easily accessible walk-in bathtub with a convenient outward-opening door, a 16-inch VorMax Right Height toilet for more comfortable use, and a classically styled 36-inch high Town Square pedestal sink for less bending during use, all from American Standard. Caption 2: The SpaLet AT200 Electronic Bidet Toilet from DXV is the highlight of this bathroom suite. It provides indulgent personal cleanliness, conveniently and easily.

May 262017

(BPT) – Mental health disorders impact thousands of people every day, including many of our friends, neighbors and co-workers. Everyone reading this likely knows someone struggling with mental illness and is aware of the toll it can take on individuals, families and communities. Mental health challenges do not discriminate — they affect people from all walks of life regardless of age, gender, ethnicity and socioeconomic level.

While stress, anxiety, depression and other mental health disorders impact an estimated 43 million adults nationwide each year, the World Health Organization reports that only about one in four people with a diagnosed disorder is likely to pursue treatment.

Unfortunately, barriers prevent people from getting the mental health care they may need. The reasons are many. Consider these statistics: 4,000 areas in the U.S. have only one psychiatrist for 30,000 or more people; the average waiting time for a first psychiatric visit is 25 days; and stigma is the fourth highest-ranked barrier to help-seeking.

The good news is that people who access care more quickly may be more likely to engage in their treatment and have a better outcome. With the right treatment and support, people can recover from mental health disorders to live healthy, self-directed lives as valuable members of their community. Sometimes all it takes is a gentle nudge from a friend or loved one to help someone take that first step on their path to recovery.

For some people, that best first step may be a virtual visit with a mental health provider via a mobile device or computer. For many, access to virtual care may already be available as part of their health care benefits.

Virtual care can shorten wait times for an appointment, fit work and personal schedules, and eliminate travel time and expense. An appointment conducted in the safe, comfortable environment of home may reduce stigma. And, research shows that outcomes of a virtual visit with a mental health provider are similar to in-person sessions for multiple disorders.

Raising awareness and reducing stigma around mental health issues are keys to supporting well-being within our communities. Today, people can access effective, proven treatment in a variety of formats, including using video-calling technology. It’s up to all of us to reach out and encourage our friends, neighbors and family members in need to access these available resources.

For more information and links to recovery support resources in your area, visit To learn more about available health care benefits, call the number on the back of your health plan identification card.

May 142017

By []Karen Coffield

Seniors are often under-covered when it comes to oral care, if they are covered at all. Many government programs like Medicaid do not offer the coverage that seniors need, and out of pocket expenses can be so high that it makes going to the dentist seem like a dream that will never come true.

Seniors are no longer limited to government insurance options when it comes to going to the dentist. More companies are seeking to close the gap in coverage, and help seniors get the care they need, giving seniors more options for paying their dentist bills than ever before.

Dental Plans

These plans are increasing in popularity for individuals over the age of 65. These offer savings just like insurance, but being a member is a lot cheaper than paying for insurance. Most plans offered are customized to meet the growing needs of seniors, such as denture care.

Instead of paying for insurance coverage, individuals become a member of the plans. They then pay a monthly or years membership cost, and receive a discount card. The discount card is presented to the provider, and the patient will receive services at a lower cost than they normally would.

In addition to the savings that is offered on dentist bills, members usually receive additional savings on things like prescriptions and vision care.

Free Clinics

Dentists and hygienists volunteer to go to local events all around the country to provide people for care that they cannot afford. Often, these events will provide free fillings, tooth extractions and cleanings.

This may not help individuals that have dentures, but these events are also full of resources. If the dentists on hand cannot provide the care needed, they will try to help patients find someone that can.

The Dental Life Network

The Dental Life Network provides free or discounted services only to the elderly or handicapped. The list of services provided is comprehensive, and can include everything that a person needs. If cheaper alternatives like dental plans are still over budget, options like these are a great way to get care without having to pay anything out of pocket.

Referral Services

By calling 211, patients can find the resources they need in their area. This is a referral service that connects people that call to a live person. They will then search a database to see if there are any services available in the person’s area. It is run by United Way, and they also have a website.

Keep in mind that most of the services provided may be based on income, and everyone may not be eligible for free services.

Dental Schools

These schools are known for offering services at lower prices than dentists. These schools are full of students that need experience, and this is the perfect way for them to get it. A quick online search can help individuals find schools in their area, and then a quick phone call can help patients learn what services are offered and how much they will cost.

The older individuals get, the more important dental care is. Unfortunately, this group is the most under covered population. Most individuals are not aware of resources available for free care, or care at a reduced cost. Many people over the age of 65 are mistaken, believing that they are limited to government insurance or paying for expenses out of pocket.

Fortunately, there are so many resources available now that going without care is no longer an option. Regardless of how much income a person has, there is a resource that can help them get the care that they need.

Avia Dental was established in 1994, with a goal to help every person get the care that they need. They currently offer several discount programs for families, individuals and groups in order to help their customers afford better care without having to pay full price.
Although Avia Dental does not offer dental insurance, the discounts that customers receive help to greatly offset the cost of medical care, saving them as much money as some insurance plans do. Various plans are available to meet the needs of different individuals and groups. Members can receive discounts on prescriptions and vision at no additional cost. Visit-

Article Source: [] Dental Coverage for Seniors: Options Beyond Medicaid

May 102017

(NC) Moving to a new country can be both exciting and overwhelming. It’s a time of change from the familiar, and being prepared and knowledgeable about the first few things to attend to can go a long way.

“While moving your family across the world is not easy, establishing a routine can help you settle and integrate into life in Canada, setting you and your family up for success right from the beginning,” explains Ivy Chiu, senior director of cultural markets at RBC.

The first 100 days are important. Here are some tips on what to prioritize when you first arrive:

  1. Make a visit to your local government service office to apply for important government-issued documents you need. These include a social insurance card, which you’ll need to work or to apply for government programs and benefits; a health card that provides coverage for a range of services; and a driver’s license. Learn more by visiting online at

  2. The next step is finding healthcare providers including a family doctor in your community. While your health card allows you to access many services for free, not everything will be covered and you will also need to find what additional insurance coverage you might require.

  3. Open your first Canadian bank account and start building credit history right away. Credit and credit history are needed in Canada for bigger purchases like a home or car, but may also be required for cell phone bills, rent and other monthly expenses. Additional information about banking for newcomers is available at

  4. Start building a social network in your new community. There are lots of free services and community organizations for newcomers. You can even start researching before arrival to set up meetings and social events in advance.

  5. Stay in touch with your roots by joining cultural associations. This familiarity may help with the transition to your new life and you will make friends along the way.

Jan 142017

(NC) If you’re a family caregiver to your aging parents or another elderly loved one, it’s essential to

be aware of the signs of stress and take steps to prevent burnout. Common signs include trouble sleeping, difficulty concentrating, losing interest in your favourite activities, and getting sick more often.

Remember that you can’t support others effectively if you’re physically and emotionally exhausted — so use these tips to take care of yourself and your family.

  1. Educate yourself. Read books, attend workshops and consult with healthcare professionals. Even if the person you’re caring for doesn’t have a specific condition, it’s still useful to gather general information about aging and elder care.

  2. Maintain your own physical and mental health. Make sure you’re getting enough sleep and eating healthy, well-balanced meals. Exercise, rest, meditation and other activities can reduce stress. Support systems are critical, so join a caregiver support group or discuss your situation with family and friends. Seek medical help if you notice signs of depression or anxiety.

  3. Take care of financial, legal and long-term care planning matters. If they are still capable of providing input, try to involve your loved one in decision-making and consider their wishes related to future care and end-of-life issues.

  4. Make time for yourself. Pursue interests beyond your caregiving role and other obligations you may have, like work and the kids. No matter how much you may enjoy all of these aspects of your life, it’s important to do something just for you — like exercise, hobbies or art projects.

  5. Seek additional support. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, a change or help might be what you require. You may need to call on other family members, explore community resources or hire professional assistance. Bayshore HealthCare provides personalized home care services across Canada. This additional support can allow you to spend quality time with your elderly loved one, while enhancing quality of life and independence for you both.

Find more information at

Jan 112017

(BPT) – Innovations in modern medicine have brought many artificial joints and bionic body parts to patients. Although these devices have been used for years, a prosthetic replacement for the meniscus – the tissue pad located between the thigh and shin bones – is not yet available. Now two clinical trials underway across the U.S. may help make the “artificial meniscus” a reality, providing a new treatment option for millions of Americans with persistent knee pain caused by injured or deteriorated meniscus.

The meniscus is highly vulnerable to tearing, both from physical activity and excess weight. Once damaged, it has a very limited ability to heal. More than 1 million partial meniscectomies to remove or repair a torn meniscus are performed in the U.S. every year – about the same as the total number of hip and knee replacement surgeries combined. However, many patients still experience persistent knee pain following meniscus surgery.

New York area volunteer firefighter Tracy Cullum was diagnosed with a meniscus tear eight years ago, when the 42-year-old mother of two was experiencing a constant ache and the inability to put any weight on her left leg. Although she underwent a partial meniscectomy to treat the tear, her knee pain became progressively worse and resulted in a constant limp while walking.

“I went from working out seven days week to having to stop any exercise activities,” Cullum says. “And my work as a part-time volunteer firefighter was challenging, since it was difficult to move any equipment and my mobility was compromised when responding to an emergency scene.”

With her activity severely limited, Cullum sought out options to treat her persistent knee pain and discovered that a hospital near her home town is participating in the clinical trial of the NUsurface Meniscus Implant – the first “artificial meniscus” designed to replace the damaged one for patients like Cullum with persistent knee pain due to injured or deteriorated meniscus cartilage.

“There are limited options for patients who experience persistent knee pain following meniscus surgery,” says Dr. Richard Alfred, orthopedic surgeon at Capital Region Orthopaedic Associates and VENUS study investigator. “It is our hope that the NUsurface implant alleviates pain in these patients, allowing them to return to their previous levels of activity.”

Cullum received the implant in July 2016 through a small incision in her knee. She completed a six-week rehabilitation program, and she has now returned to daily leisure activities like hot yoga and her work as a volunteer firefighter.

“In the six months before receiving the NUsurface Meniscus Implant, my knee pain had peaked to where I had a constant dull ache and a limp while walking,” Cullum says. “Now my range of motion is improving, and I am ecstatic to be able to resume one of my favorite activities – volunteering together with my husband and children at our local fire department.”

The NUsurface Meniscus Implant, made of medical-grade plastic, is an investigational device that is inserted into the knee in a minimally invasive procedure through a small incision. It has been used in Europe since 2008 and Israel since 2011.

“It is important to note that NUsurface is an investigational device that is limited by United States law to investigational use,” Dr. Alfred says. “Responses to the NUsurface can and do vary with each patient, so those interested in the trial should discuss their individual situations with a clinical trial physician.”

To be eligible for the clinical studies, you must be between the ages of 30 and 75, have pain after medial meniscus surgery and have had meniscus surgery at least six months ago. To find a study site near you, visit

IMAGE CAPTIONS: ——————————————- Caption 1: Tracy Cullum received the NUsurface Meniscus Implant in July 2016 through a small incision in her knee. After completing a six-week rehabilitation program, she has now returned to daily leisure activities like hot yoga and her work as a volunteer firefighter.

Jan 062017

(NC) Did you know that there are only two risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease that we cannot control? These are genetics and aging, but other risk factors can be reduced by making the right lifestyle choices for your body and brain in order to age successfully.

Confused Senior Man With Adult Daughter At Home

“While there’s no way to prevent Alzheimer’s disease, a healthy brain is able to withstand illness,” explains Holly Quinn, Chief Nursing Officer at Bayshore HealthCare, which provides home and community healthcare services and often works with Alzheimer’s and dementia patients and caregivers.

Maintain a healthy brain and reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s disease with these simple lifestyle choices:

  1. Diet. A healthy diet is important for your overall body health, and especially a healthy brain. Eating nutritious food long-term also helps maintain brain function and slow memory decline. Choose foods rich in omega-3 oils, whole grains, and fruits and vegetables of many different colours.

  2. Mental exercise. It’s important that you exercise your brain and body on a daily basis. Growing evidence suggests that regular mental stimulation may help reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease by enhancing cognitive reserve ( the mind’s resistance to damage. Try puzzles, playing chess, learning a new hobby or musical instrument ( anything you enjoy that engages your brain can help create new mental pathways or develop infrequently used ones.

  3. Physical exercise. What’s good for your heart is also good for your brain. Exercise is great as it gets the blood moving and keeps the heart and brain healthy through constant nourishment from increased circulation. If possible, aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity at least five times a week.

  4. Quit smoking. Smoking is extremely dangerous to your health and body, and your brain is no exception. Recreational drug use and excessive alcohol consumption are also best avoided.

  5. Manage stress. It’s very important to fix any underlying problems that are causing stress, as stress increases blood pressure and makes the heart beat faster. It also releases the stress hormone cortisol, prolonged levels of which can have a negative effect on the body. Relax your body and mind by managing stress with physical activities, breathing exercises, yoga or meditation.

Find more information at

Jan 022017

(NC) Digital health awareness is at an all-time high — it’s top of mind for some 75 per cent of Canadians.

In growing numbers, we’re online booking appointments, getting prescription renewals, viewing our health information and consulting with our doctors. This is according to the 2016 Connecting Patients for Better Health. The report, commissioned by Canada Health Infoway, captured perspectives from some 6,000 adults over three years by way of four public opinion surveys.

Key among the findings was the fact that Canadians report that digital health improves their knowledge of their health (77 per cent), improves their confidence in self-management of their health (69 per cent), and supports more informed discussions with their doctor (74 per cent).

While the actual availability of online tools is lagging behind interest level, access is growing and options are increasingly being integrated into the healthcare system.

In Ontario for example, Telehomecare is designed for older persons coping with chronic conditions like congestive heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. A program of the Ontario Telemedicine Network (OTN), Telehomecare puts remote patient monitoring technology in the home and couples it with health coaching by phone.

Telehomecare can be life changing. “Enabling people to monitor their vital signs and better manage their care at home means we have helped to reduce unnecessary emergency room visits and hospital admissions by more than 50 per cent for these patients,” says Laurie Poole, vice present of telemedicine solutions at OTN. “And that means less worry and stress for patients and their caregivers.”

The free program provides easy-to-use equipment like a weight scale and blood pressure device to help patients monitor changes that could mean their condition requires more attention and management. The information is shared with the patient’s physician to better inform care.

For more information about Telehomecare and to find out how to access it, call 1.855.991.8191 or visit

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

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