ROUNDUP 2019 11 16 NEWS & VIEWS FROM AROUND THE WEB

News Items

Depression linked to nutrition in middle-aged and older Canadians

New Results: Innovative program is improving lives of seniors with dementia in Newfoundland & Labrador and Prince Edward Island

Food bank use up in Lethbridge for seniors & single adults

Alberta will study already ‘compelling case’ for its exit from CPP: Kenney

Alberta pension plan split not about efficiency, says former CEO of AIMCo

For older adults, new hepatitis C treatments are safe and effective, study suggests

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Depression linked to nutrition in middle-aged and older Canadians

Your diet can put you at risk of depression, according to a new study. The study also found that the likelihood of depression is higher among middle-aged and older women who were immigrants to Canada when compared to Canadian-born women.

“Lower intakes of fruits and vegetables were found to be linked to depression for both men and women, immigrants and those born in Canada,” said Dr. Karen Davison, Health Science Program Chair at Kwantlen Polytechnic University in Surrey, B.C., who led the study. “Men were more likely to experience depression if they consumed higher levels of fat, or lower levels of omega-3 eggs. For all participants, lower grip strength and high nutritional risk were associated with depression.

The consumption of fruits and vegetables was protective against depression in our study, which has also been found in previous research. Anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant components in fruits and vegetables may account for this relationship.”

Various minerals and vitamins (e.g., magnesium, zinc, selenium) present in fruits and vegetables may reduce plasma concentrations of C-reactive protein, a marker of low-grade inflammation associated with depression.

“We were interested to learn that omega-3 polyunsaturated fats were inversely associated with depression among men.” said co-author Yu Lung, a doctoral student at University of Toronto’s Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work (FIFSW). “Future research is needed to explore the pathways but it is plausible that increased omega-3 fatty acid concentration in the diet may influence central nervous system cell-membrane fluidity, and phospholipid composition, which may alter the structure and function of the embedded proteins and affect serotonin and dopamine neurotransmission.”

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New Results: Innovative program is improving lives of seniors with dementia in Newfoundland & Labrador and Prince Edward Island

Today, the Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement (CFHI), the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, and Health PEI announced the results of a successful collaboration to appropriately reduce the use of antipsychotic medication among people with dementia who are living in long term care organizations in Newfoundland and Labrador and Prince Edward Island.

More than half of participating residents Newfoundland and Labrador and Prince Edward Island prescribed antipsychotics without a diagnosis of psychosis had these medications safely reduced or discontinued. This improves their care experiences and lives while also reducing the risk of negative health outcomes.

The Appropriate Use of Antipsychotics (AUA) is a person-centred approach to care that engages people living with dementia, their families and staff to understand the causes of behaviours and underlying issues (such as pain), and respond to an individual’s unmet needs based on their personal history. The approach involves reviewing the appropriateness of antipsychotic medication and creating individualized care plans with alternative activities that are meaningful and enjoyable, like exercise, pet or music therapy. This also provides an opportunity to create supportive environments that help the person to feel calm, safe, and comfortable.

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Food bank use up in Lethbridge for seniors & single adults

The Interfaith Food Bank, in partnership with Food Banks Canada, has released the findings of their 2019 Hunger Count.

It looks at how many Canadians are accessing food banks, the root causes of why people are needing to access them, and what they feel should be done about it.

In the image below, the column on the right, labeled “Interfaith March 2019” shows the numbers for the Lethbridge Interfaith Food Bank (IFB), but does not include information from the Lethbridge Food Bank (LFB), the ULSU Food Bank, or the LCSA Food Bank.

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Alberta will study already ‘compelling case’ for its exit from CPP: Kenney

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.

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Alberta pension plan split not about efficiency, says former CEO of AIMCo

The former chief executive officer of the organization that would administer a separate Alberta pension plan says the proposed switch from the Canada Pension Plan doesn’t make much sense from an efficiency point of view.

Leo de Bever, who retired from the Alberta Investment Management Corp. in 2015, says the threatened move by the Alberta government to pull out of the national plan is really about asserting the province’s place in the country in the face of opposition to pipelines for its vital oil and gas industry.

“Look, it would be better if all of Canada had one plan, OK, from an efficiency point of view,” he said in an interview Thursday, noting there are economies of scale from having one investment manager. “But I think this is just a symptom of something much deeper. . . . If you’re invading our turf and telling us what we cannot do, then maybe we should take away some stuff that we’ve given to you to administer.”

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For older adults, new hepatitis C treatments are safe and effective, study suggests

Viral hepatitis is a disease that causes inflammation of the liver. There are three viruses responsible for most cases of the disease: hepatitis A, B, and C. Hepatitis A is typically caused by consuming contaminated food or water. Hepatitis B and C usually occur when someone comes in contact with infected bodily fluids, such as blood. The severity of hepatitis can range from a mild illness lasting a few weeks to a serious, lifelong illness.

In 2016, there were an estimated 2.4 million people living with hepatitis C, one of the more severe forms of the disease, in the United States. A hepatitis C infection can be particularly serious for older adults, since many don’t seek treatment until the condition is in advanced stages. What’s more, hepatitis C is considered harder to treat for older people who have lived with the condition for a long time compared to younger people are. Treatment is often unsuccessful, too, because many of the common treatment options aren’t easy for older adults to tolerate or may no longer be effective as our body changes with age.

Thankfully, newer treatments known as interferon-free direct-acting antivirals offer a promising approach to addressing hepatitis C. These medications offer cure rates of more than 90 percent in clinical trials and in real life, but they haven’t been studied extensively for older adults. A team of researchers studied this issue and published their findings in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. The researchers examined how well people older than 65 tolerated interferon-free direct-acting antivirals compared with younger patients.

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