SENIORCENTRIC WEEK ENDING JULY 24, 2021

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

Quotables:

Families often wonder if dementia is inherited. The older someone is, the less likely there is a specific heritable gene. There are heritable factors but they usually consist of several genes.

Dr. Kenneth Rockwood, QEII geriatrician, clinician scientist and director of geriatric medicine research
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BBC Reality Check debunks viral videos of Covid vaccines appearing to attract magnets

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Restrictions at long-term care facilities had just started to relax. Then the wildfires came

Residents describe being forced to flee fire-threatened care homes

Raging wildfires in the Interior of British Columbia have forced thousands of people to evacuate their homes, including vulnerable seniors in long-term care homes who have already weathered an incredibly challenging year.

Less than a month after the provincial government lifted the pandemic state of emergency, another emergency was declared in response to the fires. More than 4,300 properties are under evacuation order across the province and 17,700 more are on alert as of Thursday morning.

Residents of Carefree Manor, an assisted-living home in the town of 100 Mile House, are among those who have already been evacuated — and while staff and tenants were prepared it was still a significant logistical challenge, said Riz Gehlen, owner and operator of the 36-bed facility.

Gehlen, speaking Thursday on CBC’s The Early Editionsaid the facility was alerted to the possibility of an evacuation order on July 14 but didn’t wait to start moving people out of harm’s way.

“You want to get the vulnerable seniors out at the point of an alert,” said Gehlen. “It’s not easy to to pull this off.”

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Canadian seniors are casualties in wars they cannot fight

A pandemic and climate change have highlighted the vulnerability of Canadian seniors.

The heat in British Columbia has contributed to the deaths of just over 800 people, half of them seniors. And this is the second year in a row where our Canadian seniors are sitting ducks, casualties in wars they cannot fight.

I would think that there would be contingency plans to protect the most vulnerable if and when certain events occur. For example, with global temperatures rising, we could ensure that buildings where seniors live are sufficiently air-conditioned or, if there is an airborne virus spreading like wildfire, maybe we should ensure adequate staffing in nursing homes to protect seniors.

Paramedics in B.C. are saying the emergency response system is fundamentally broken with people having to wait four to six hours for 911 calls to be responded to because there are just not enough paramedics.

This brokenness of health systems is in all provinces. I was reading about nurses in Quebec quitting in “droves” … that was the word they used. I will not even touch on Ontario!

What I do know is that tragic events, most system failures and, dare I say, leadership failures affect the most vulnerable in communities and seniors are among those groups regardless of race or colour.

Frontline workers will continue to quit and are replaced by new inexperienced ones who will also quit not because they do not care but because the broken systems have broken them. If the existing processes in place do not work and there have been huge cracks that have resulted in adverse events, including one or two preventable deaths, then why has nothing been done?

Those on the ground, including nurses, have been pointing out the gaps and problems and begging for help from the powers that be. The response has been many well-written reports with recommendations, inspections, promises and speeches expressing regret, deepest condolences and more words.

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A new start after 60: ‘I was sick, tired and had lost myself – until I began lifting weights at 71’

Joan Macdonald faced growing health problems before she began lifting weights, shattering preconceptions about what’s possible in your eighth decade

oan Macdonald has not always looked like a bodybuilder. At 71, she weighed 90kg (14st 4lb), and had rising blood pressure and kidney troubles. She was also on medication for cholesterol and acid reflux, and her doctor wanted to double the dose.

Her daughter, Michelle, expressed Macdonald’s dilemma bluntly. “You’re going to end up like your mother did in a nursing home!” she told Macdonald. “And people are going to have to look after you. Do you want that?”

“Of course I didn’t want it,” Macdonald says now. “I was sick and tired of being sick and tired.”

Macdonald’s thoughts swirled for two weeks. She thought: “I want to earn Michelle’s respect. I mean, she loves me, but you can love a person without even liking them.”

She left her home in Ontario, Canada, to join Michelle and her husband, both fitness coaches, in Tulum, Mexico. Macdonald learned to make protein shakes. She visited the gym. She followed Michelle’s workout programme, using the machines, then light weights – 2.5lb (1kg) – working up to heavier ones. She mimes raising a barbell and lowering it behind her head. She can do this with 25lb (11kg).

“Wow! Your back!” people in the gym told her. “It’s so defined!” They took photos. “I’m going: ‘Wooh!That looks pretty good! I’ve got some muscles here.’” Within nine months, she was off all medication.

“There is a misconception that people over 65 cannot produce hypertrophy [growth] of the muscle,” says Mark Peterson, an associate professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation at the University of Michigan“Muscle is a tissue that can adapt with stimulus.” The key is to check with a doctor first, and start slowly.

On Instagram, Macdonald posts photos of herself in sports tops, or jumping waves in beachwear. She has 1.4m followers and a partnership with the retailer Women’s Best. “I have a tendency to do things that anyone else would say: ‘Oh my God! What’s she doing now?’”

Macdonald celebrated her 75th birthday this year by zip lining. She has always liked a challenge, always liked “building something”. In DIY projects, her husband is supervisor and Macdonald “dogsbody”. But now, she says: “I’m building me instead.”

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