Caregiving can last for decades, new research shows

Understanding different lifetime patterns of caregiving can inform supportive policies to help people cope, say U of A researchers

Caregiving can last for decades, new research showsTo most people, ‘caregiving’ means looking after ailing relatives in their final years. But the reality is much different, with the actual workload lasting up to 30 years for some, according to University of Alberta research. The study, the first of its kind to gauge caregiving across a person’s lifetime, debunks the myth that looking after an…

The overblown panic of COVID-19

We trampled, in fear, over memory and institutions, obsessively protective and morally dismissive of dignity and human life

The overblown panic of COVID-19The schizophrenic aspects of Canadian culture and their influence on governments’ behaviour are increasingly evident. The most palpable example lies in how we trampled, in fear, over memory and institutions, obsessively protective and morally dismissive of dignity and human life simultaneously. The COVID-19 lockdown has been a strange time for people who are struggling to…

New guidelines help people with dementia stay safe if lost

U of A researchers tap into experiences and ideas of people living with dementia to fill public information gap

New guidelines help people with dementia stay safe if lostResearchers have developed a new guideline to help people with dementia stay safe if they get lost, based partly on the experiences of those who are living with the condition. “By including people with dementia, it tells them they can be active agents in their own care and they can keep themselves safe,” said lead…

The lockdown failed our most vulnerable

Political spin to distract from the disaster in senior care centres will solve nothing. The industrial warehousing model must be questioned

The lockdown failed our most vulnerableThe COVID-19 lockdown sought to protect the health-care system and the most vulnerable. Health authorities quite early identified that the elderly and those with chronic conditions were most vulnerable. Various leaders reminded us that among those most at risk were members of the Greatest Generation, the Canadian men and women who defeated the Nazi scourge.…

Cubii Jr. offers an easy, quiet workout while you sit

Regardless of your age, abilities or lifestyle, you can benefit from a low-cardio seated elliptical workout

Cubii Jr. offers an easy, quiet workout while you sitIt’s always smart to inject a little more physical activity into our lives, regardless of where we are on our fitness journey. But sometimes we lack the time or energy for that much-needed workout. The good news is the solution, Cubii Jr., can sit right under your feet. Cubii Jr. is a compact elliptical trainer…

We need to restart our lives with care and planning

It’s time for government officials to focus on helping old and vulnerable people re-integrate into mainstream society

We need to restart our lives with care and planningNo doubt many Canadians remember drinking from school water fountains long before students carried water bottles. When the school day began, some elementary students would rush to get a drink while the other children queued in an orderly fashion. Learning about queuing culture was a major lesson for students in elementary school. There were, of…

Sweden forged a COVID-19 path that preserves freedom

The Swedish achievement in the face of international panic lies in remaining true to political traditions and democracy

Sweden forged a COVID-19 path that preserves freedomMuch attention has been given to Sweden for its distinct approach to COVID-19 among Western nations. As more jurisdictions wrestle with lifting economic restrictions, Sweden is praised and condemned. People readily condemn Prime Minister Stefan Löfven’s Social Democrat (Sweden’s NDP equivalent) government for not emulating China and for violating what Swedish academicians called the “lockdown…

Has war been declared on the elderly?

COVID-19 fallout has revealed a genuine hostility on the part of the young toward the old, especially baby boomers

Has war been declared on the elderly?The Great Plague of 2020 has revealed some interesting things about Western society’s attitudes toward old people. In Italy, the shortage of medical equipment to treat patients suffering from COVID-19 led hospitals to sometimes rule that people over the age of 60 couldn’t be fully treated. That was essentially a death sentence for some pensioners.…

Pandemic has exposed our scandalous neglect of the elderly

Canada has shunted vulnerable people to nursing homes where staff slave in sometimes filthy, and now dangerous, conditions

Pandemic has exposed our scandalous neglect of the elderlyI hadn’t really thought of moving to Norway until the last week, when I began to pay attention to how that country cares for its elderly citizens. While North Americans warehouse aging people, who have spent lifetimes contributing to society, there are cultures around the world that take a completely different approach. And Norway, it…

Use science, not speculation, to save seniors and businesses

Locking down society, and business, makes no sense in the battle against COVID-19. It's time to take a more measured approach

Use science, not speculation, to save seniors and businessesChris Hadfield has posted a video on YouTube entitled An Astronaut’s Guide to Self Isolation, in which he offers some valuable advice. The Canadian pilot and astronaut spent 166 days in the International Space Station in isolation. He says it’s an extremely dangerous environment where astronauts thrive in finding ways to be productive. The number…

Combating the over-medication of seniors

Seniors are particularly vulnerable to the effects of too many prescriptions

Combating the over-medication of seniorsWorking aggressively to reduce their daily medication burden may be the single best thing we can do to improve the quality of life of our aging parents and grandparents. The issue of too much medication in Canadian seniors is finally starting to be recognized as the serious problem it has become. Seniors are particularly vulnerable to…

Put end-of-life wishes at the top of your to-do list

People who have conversations about their end-of-life preferences are much more likely to be satisfied with the care received

The new year is a good time to put making end-of-life wishes at the top of your to-do list. It's a perfect time to tell family and friends your health-care preferences in case one day you're unable to speak for yourself. This advance care planning is good for your peace of mind and for your loved ones,…

More isn’t always better when it comes to prescription medications

By thinking twice before prescribing and talking with patients about the risks of medications, clinicians are tackling overuse

More isn’t always better when it comes to prescription medicationsBy Karen Born and Wendy Levinson University of Toronto Canadians are living longer than ever and we are also taking more medications than ever. And this can make us sicker, not healthier. A report from the Canadian Institute for Health Information found that one in four seniors in Canada take 10 or more medications. That’s…

Medical errors too common but patients are paving the way for change

The Elizabeth Wettlaufer case should serve as a warning to all of us about the issue of patient safety

Medical errors too common but patients are paving the way for changeBy Fiona MacDonald University of the Fraser Valley and Karine Levasseur University of Manitoba We’ve all been there: it’s 3 a.m. and your partner, child, sibling or parent becomes ill suddenly and needs medical care. Will they be safe? The public inquiry into the safety and security of residents in the long-term care homes system…

When disasters strike, seniors need priority attention

The majority of deaths and injuries resulting from natural disasters involve seniors

When disasters strike, seniors need priority attentionBy John Hirdes and Sandy van Solm University of Waterloo The combination of an aging population with increases in natural disasters has had deadly consequences for seniors. Quebec health authorities estimated that as many 70 people died as a result of the 2018 heat wave with a humidex of over 40C. Most heat-related deaths in Montreal involved…
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