Scanning the globe for news by, for and about Senior Citizens


Art is a powerful tool that allows us to express creativity, thoughts, and feelings. Some even say that “art is food for the soul,” but can it also be “food for the mind”?

McMaster University
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Take care of your mental health during COVID-19 lockdown

People experiencing issues with their mental, emotional and physical health are being asked to take care of themselves as the second COVID-19 pandemic lockdown continues.

Overall health is important to maintain during this time, according to Jack Veitch, manager of community engagement and education for the Canadian Mental Health Association’s Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge office.

“We know surrounding yourself with important people, your family, your friends, your loved ones, your peers, people who are important to you is imperative for strong mental health,” Veitch said.

Isolation is one of the worst things people can do to impact mental health, if it is already an issue, he said.

“When people feel those feelings of anxiety or depression that can be that natural impetuous to sort of drift away, to go back to (their) room, apartment, to (their) home and kind of lock my door,” Veitch said.

The pandemic has altered people’s daily routine, something that they used as a sense of purpose, he said.

“I am sure you see people like this in the community every day, the older gentleman that wakes up and drives down to Tim Hortons and he sits down, and he has a coffee every morning,” Veitch said.

Interruption of such routines because of the lockdown can really interfere with people and their mental health because it negatively affects how they feel, he said.

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Top 2021 senior living challenges: Clinical risk management upgrades, systemic understaffing issues

The COVID-19 vaccine started to roll out across the United States in mid-December with assisted living and nursing home staff members and residents, as well as other healthcare workers, first in line for inoculations. For the long-term care industry, however, the recovery will be a hard-fought effort.

The industry was under substantial pressure even before the pandemic. But now it’s at the brink, financially and operationally. By late November, The Atlantic magazine’s COVID Tracking Project found that infections at facilities, including assisted living communities and care homes as well as nursing facilities, had reached a new weekly high of 46,000, the worst week in six months. Cases among the sector’s residents and staff members made up just 5.7% of all the U.S. COVID cases but accounted for 39.3% of the deaths.

The 2021 outlook is grim. Getting through it will hinge, to a large extent, on financial rescue programs at the federal and state levels. In addition, it will be important how well operators manage developing and/or deepening trends. Here’s what to look out for.

Clinical risk management has never been more important

A San Francisco Jewish senior housing complex made it through the first three months of the coronavirus pandemic without experiencing a single case. How? It had stocked up on personal protective equipment and masks for employees and residents. It stringently screened everyone walking through the door. Everyone was educated on best mitigation practices and symptoms and infection prevention protocols. One executive said an early start mattered … and their doorknobs had never been so clean.

The right procedures and controls do make the difference in disease transmission. It’s a lesson that must drive improvements to the industry’s clinical risk management programs in 2021 and beyond. COVID-19 is not likely to be our last pandemic.

Now, the industry faces an as-yet undetermined liability over COVID deaths even as insurers are responding to the uncertainty. Before COVID, premiums were escalating dramatically and coverage availability was tightening. It’s much worse as we move into 2021, though, particularly for professional liability, general liability, management liability and workers’ compensation. It makes the case to reduce your exposures and strengthen ties with your broker. 

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British police appeal for next of kin after elderly Irishman dies alone

Police in the UK have issued a social media appeal to find the next of kin of an elderly Irish man who died alone in Scarborough, Yorkshire in England. 

Attempts to find relatives of the man who died aged 70 have so far been unsuccessful and the North Yorkshire Police asked people in Ireland to help. 

A statement published on Facebook asked: “Our coroner’s officers are appealing to people in Ireland as they continue their search to find the next of kin of Simon Curtis Smith who died at his home address in Scarborough aged 70.

“Enquiries following Simon’s death – reported to us on January 2- have not revealed any next of kin.

“They now believe he may have relatives in Ireland, although it is not known whereabouts. We would really appreciate any shares with your Facebook friends in Ireland – either Northern or Southern – to help us trace his family.

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