Deborah “Deb” Schulte PC MP is a Canadian politician who was elected to represent the riding of King—Vaughan in the House of Commons of Canada in the 2015 Canadian federal election. A graduate of Princeton University, Schulte has a degree in mechanical and aerospace engineering. She is the current Minister of Seniors
It may be time to rethink how we measure and define old age in the UK because more people are surviving into their late 80s and beyond, say experts.
The Office for National Statistics team says although 65 has traditionally been seen as the start of old age, 70 could be seen as the “new 65”.
That’s because many people who reach this milestone birthday can still expect to live another 15 years.
Remaining life expectancy may be a better marker of old age, they say.
What age is old?
Traditionally, 65 has been taken as the entry point into old age.
For decades it has been the official retirement age for men when they can start drawing their state pension.
But working patterns are shifting and the pension age is rising for both men and women – it will reach 66 in 2020 and 67 by 2028.
Act used illegally to stifle people from speaking out about conditions, Ontario lawyer says
Mary Sardelis wasn’t allowed to visit her 97-year-old mother’s Ottawa retirement home for almost a year.
Sardelis lives less than five minutes away from her mother Voula, but the home prevented Sardelis from seeing her, using sections of Ontario’s trespass law.
“For 316 days … I was banned from entering the home,” she said. “You have no idea of the toll it’s taken.”
She could call, but her mother’s hearing is poor and she often couldn’t understand what her daughter was saying.
“All I could hear was her fears or concerns. And I couldn’t even soothe her.”
Sardelis was banned from City View Retirement Community under Ontario’s Trespass to Property Act. So-called trespass orders allow private property owners to limit who can come onto the premises and, some experts say, are being increasingly used to keep out family members who complain about conditions in retirement and long-term care homes.
It’s difficult to know how often homes ban or restrict family members, since families have to breach the trespass order for there to be any record of it.
Start slowly, create categories and seek help if you need it
Organizing. and getting rid of, extra belongings can make it easier to downsize, clean a home and entertain guests.
But what should be done with a stack of boxes containing memorabilia stashed in a closet? Or a basement filled with items that represent the past 30 years?
“Clutter is real, and stuff follows us to the end,” says Felice Cohen, author and professional organizer based in New York City who teaches online organization classes to older adults.
Sorting through last week’s coupons can be much easier than tackling a bin filled with memories from the past.
“As someone at the beginning of decluttering our large home in preparation for retirement, or at least moving into an apartment, we, like many friends, are dealing with the added, painful issues of what to keep from the home of close relatives who have passed away,” says Joel Poznansky, 61, who lives in Bethesda, Md. “There are questions about items — like overly revealing love letters or divorce papers that raise significant issues — fraught with overwhelming emotions.”
Those emotionally charged items can be tough to evaluate rationally.
“Sentimental clutter is the hardest clutter to part with,” Cohen explains.
How a nasty virus can be life-threatening and what to do to protect yourself
Nanci Ballantyne, 65, is a stickler for getting a flu shot each fall. But the flu season started early this year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirms, and the development director in Chapel Hill, N.C., got sick before she’d had the chance to roll up her sleeve.
“I was spiking a fever of 102 every day, had a hacking cough that I couldn’t shake, chills, fever — all the standard symptoms,” she says. When her symptoms worsened, Ballantyne returned to her physician’s office. “I burst into tears and said, ‘I’ve never been this sick before in my life.’ “
It turned out that Ballantyne’s illness had morphed into pneumonia and she needed antibiotics to clear the bacterial infection in her lungs. She was sick for a month, from October 3 until November.
Although Ballantyne was never in serious danger, many people aren’t so fortunate.
“Depending on the severity of the flu season, about 750,000 to 1 million people are hospitalized each flu season in the U.S., and 30,000 to 80,000 people die from it,” says Ryan Oyer, M.D., an infectious disease specialist for Kaiser Permanente in Denver.
On Nov. 1, the ribbon was cut at the official grand opening of the new designated supportive living facility in Wetaskiwin for local and area seniors with complex care needs.
“It is an honour for me to be a part of this community and play a role in taking care of the people who live here,” said general manager Tamara Thomas.
Located in the city’s northeast, Points West Living Wetaskiwin offers 82 supportive-living spaces, including 53 spaces specifically for seniors with dementia, where residents can get support for their health and personal needs in a home-like environment.
“I’m so pleased this fantastic new facility will provide seniors with a new home and a range of health and care services that will meet their needs and keep them safe and healthy in their community,” said Tyler Shandro, Minister of Health. “Congratulations to all the partners on the grand opening of this new Wetaskiwin facility. We’re committed to supporting Alberta seniors and families, including the growing population of people with dementia, and we’re backing that commitment with $184 million over the next four years to upgrade and open new continuing care facilities across the province.”
PWL Wetaskiwin is owned by Points West Living Wetaskiwin Inc. and operated by Connecting Care Inc., with Alberta Health Services (AHS) providing operational funding for all 82 supportive living spaces.