ROUNDUP 2019 11 09 NEWS & VIEWS FROM AROUND THE WEB

News Items

Alberta to study ‘compelling case’ of withdrawing from Canada Pension Plan, Jason Kenney says

Oral health for older adults

A Handful of Lucky College Students Live With Senior Citizens in This Minnesota Mansion

Florence Graham’s passion for people is palpable

Canada lags behind OECD countries for patient safety

Seniors’ home confines 94-year-old blind woman to bedbug-infested room for 2 weeks

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Alberta to study ‘compelling case’ of withdrawing from Canada Pension Plan, Jason Kenney says

But one pension expert says an exit from CPP would not be beneficial for taxpayers and would be done out of ‘pure spite’

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney says there’s a “compelling case” to be made for his province to exit the half-century-old Canada Pension Plan — an idea sure to face increasing scrutiny over the coming months.

With growing frustrations in his province about its place in the federation, Kenney has revealed that a deeper analysis is on the way to consider Alberta’s potential withdrawal from the national pension plan.

The move, if it goes forward, would pull Albertans’ multibillion-dollar share from the $400-billion pool of assets that are handled by the investment manager, the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board.

The proposed departure, Kenney said, will be examined by a panel his government intends to create as a way to assess “fairness” for Alberta within the federation.

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Oral health for older adults

Older adults are at an especially high risk for mouth and tooth infections and the complications that can come with these problems.

Losing teeth, which is mainly caused by infection, not only leads to changes in our appearance but may also make it harder to chew certain foods.

That can make it harder to receive the nourishment we need to function. Complete loss of all teeth (also known as edentulous) is less common now in developed countries like the U.S., but it still becomes more common as we age regardless of where we may live.

Practicing good oral hygiene, using fluoride treatments, and getting regular dental care reduces oral infections and their complications. A recent article published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society offers a helpful overview of oral health for older adults, as well as tips for keeping your teeth and mouth in tip-top shape. Highlights from the article are summarized here.

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A Handful of Lucky College Students Live With Senior Citizens in This Minnesota Mansion

When Winona State University student Ashley McGaw skateboards home after a long day of nursing classes, she’s greeted by an unusual entourage: the elderly residents of a Minnesota assisted living facility called Senior Living at Watkins.

According to WFAA, McGaw and several other college kids live there with 45 seniors as part of Winona Health’s “Students in Residence” program, in which students volunteer their time with residents in exchange for discounted rent. For 10 volunteer hours per month, it’s $400, and doubling your hours drops it to just $200 per month. Not only does that include meals, it also gives students the chance to forgo the usual college dorm building for the stately glamour of an old mansion—their rooms are located in the historic Watkins Manor House, which is attached to the assisted living facility.

For freshman Joel Olson, the opportunity seemed like a no-brainer.

“’All you have to do is spend some time with some really nice people?’” he remembers thinking, according to KARE 11. “Of course!”

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Florence Graham’s passion for people is palpable

Florence Graham spent most of her teaching career helping young children “experiment and explore.” Now, she helps seniors live happy, fulfilling lives.

When someone rings the doorbell at Abbeyfield House in Saskatoon — a sprawling bungalow just steps from the South Saskatchewan riverbank — Florence Graham is often the one who greets them.

The 79-year-old spends so much time at the communal 11-room home for independent-living seniors that you’d think she’s a resident. Graham, a 15-year volunteer, is definitely the “face of the place” (she even has a room named after her), and her husband Walter likes to joke that it’s her future home.

“He says, ‘You move in, and I’ll come visit you,’ ” Graham says. “I don’t think I’d be able to live here because I would have to be willing to sit back, not try to help all the residents, and that would be really difficult.”

Graham volunteers as the house manager — a paid, live-in position that Abbeyfield Saskatoon has struggled to fill. Some days, she doesn’t get home until midnight.

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Canada lags behind OECD countries for patient safety

Canada’s standard of healthcare is certainly exemplary on a global level. Indeed, its standard of quality of care outshines many of the other developed countries, with survival rates for breast and colon cancer among the highest in the world. In-hospital deaths due to heart attacks and strokes across the country have declined by more than 20 per cent over the past five years and now 61 per cent of Canadian seniors receive a flu vaccine compared with an average of 45 per cent in other Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries.

However, OECD figures recently released by the CIHI (which come around every two years and include over 30 countries for comparison) have revealed that Canada performs below the international average in four out of five patient safety indicators, including foreign objects left behind in patients – which has increased by 14 per cent in the last five years – and obstetrical trauma rates, which are twice as high as the OECD average.

“While Canada’s healthcare systems are often admired, the international comparisons show that there is room for improvement,” said Johnson. “We are lagging behind OECD countries in areas of patient safety. These are serious issues that are often preventable and improving our performance in these areas will result in safer care for patients.”

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Seniors’ home confines 94-year-old blind woman to bedbug-infested room for 2 weeks

Sienna Senior Living apologizes to family, admits actions ‘should have been better’

Rita Bedford, 94, was kept confined to her apartment in a Chilliwack, B.C., senior care home for two weeks last December over the holidays — while bedbugs multiplied on her mattress.

She is blind, and a staffer alleged in emails to provincial authorities that employees of The Cascades facility were ordered not to tell Bedford what was happening.

But, so disturbed by what she saw, the staffer took photos.

Another took video — capturing bedbugs scurrying across Bedford’s mattress, bloodstains, and bedbug carcasses on the floor. They sent the images to Bedford’s daughter in Ottawa, early in the New Year. 

“I couldn’t believe my eyes,” said Anne-Marie Burgon, recalling how she played the video several times, trying to absorb what she was seeing. “I’m so grateful that [the employees] were willing to stand up for their beliefs, for doing the right thing, the moral thing.”

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