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


‘My view is that reconciliation is a way of life,’

Mary Simon Canada’s 30th Governor General
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Federal modelling warns of fourth COVID wave driven by Delta if reopening is too fast

Federal officials are warning Canada could be on the brink of a fourth wave of COVID-19 driven by the Delta variant if the country opens too fast before enough people have been vaccinated.

Long-term forecasts released Friday indicate a hasty reopening could lead to a sharp resurgence of the virus by the end of summer, Canada’s chief public health officer said as provinces including Alberta continued to ease restrictions.

Dr. Theresa Tam also urged younger adults to become fully vaccinated as soon as possible, noting they continue to lag among age groups but are associated with highest rates of disease transmission.

While robust vaccination rates are already credited with dropping hospitalizations and deaths, she said inoculations must rise further to avoid renewed strain on hospitals and the health-care system.

“Almost 6.3 million people are not yet vaccinated with a first dose … plus over five million people have not received the second dose,” Tam told a news briefing in Ottawa.

“This ‘call for arms’ is to shoot for the stars in vaccination coverage. With just over five weeks until Labour Day in Canada, this time is crucial for building up protection before we gather in schools, colleges, university and workplaces this fall.”

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Chickens come to roost at seniors’ home

Urban hens have become popular during the pandemic, but four hens in particular are a hot topic at a seniors’ residence in the hamlet of Villeneuve.

The story of Lucy, Louise, Jackie and Melvina — the names of the hens — began when Donna Sheehan, the daughter of one of the residents, received a chicken coop from her children as a retirement gift earlier this year.

“I was talking on the phone to my sister and she suggested that I donate it to West Country Hearth,” said Sheehan, who lives on a farm near the seniors’ residence in Sturgeon County. “I told her I couldn’t donate my gift.”

But the conversation stuck with Sheehan, and she started thinking about her sister’s suggestion, and how much joy having chickens at the residence would bring to the seniors, many of whom are retired farmers.

So she got on the phone and talked to the families of other residents, and they pooled money together to buy a chicken coop. They purchased four chickens from a Hutterite colony, which were then brought to the residence as an early Father’s Day present.

The families also consulted with Annette Borlé, manager of West Country Hearth (a short drive west of St. Albert), to get permission and make sure their chicken coop was compliant with local bylaws.

“We had to look up the requirements for having chickens in an urban area, and had to build onto the chicken coop to make it compliant,” said Borlé.

But there was no problem getting buy-in from the seniors.

“Lots of our residents grew up in a rural area, so they enjoy seeing the crops from their window, and the wide-open spaces,” she said. “We tend to get a lot of people who have been raised in the country. The chickens went along really nicely with that. It just brings back some memories for the residents.”

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Seniors’ minister praises lodge staff for pandemic work

Pioneer Lodge staff received a personal thank you Thursday from Alberta’s minister of seniors and housing.

Josephine Pon, who was on a tour of seniors’ lodges in southwestern Alberta, praised staff for their work during the pandemic.

“You worked so hard looking after the seniors and making sure they were safe,” Pon said.

“On behalf of Premier Jason Kenney and my colleagues, accept our appreciation for your hard work.”

Pon and Livingstone-Macleod MLA Roger Reid were at Pioneer Lodge for a brief visit, during which they shook hands and spoke with each resident and staff member.

Reid welcomed the opportunity for an in-person visit for the first time in more than 18 months due to the pandemic.

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Mary Simon officially becomes Canada’s first Inuk Governor General

As she was sworn in officially today as Canada’s 30th Governor General — the first Indigenous person ever to hold the position — Mary Simon praised Canadians’ “selflessness” and vowed to “bring people together.”

Simon — an Inuk from Kuujjuaq in northeastern Quebec — took her oaths this morning in a ceremony at the Senate chamber in Ottawa.

“I have heard from Canadians who describe a renewed sense of possibility for our country and hope that I can bring people together,” she said in her address.

“Every day, inside small community halls, school gyms, Royal Canadian Legions, places of worship, and in thousands of community service organizations, there are ordinary Canadians doing extraordinary things. As governor general I will never lose sight of this — that our selflessness is one of our great strengths as a nation. I pledge to be there for all Canadians.”

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A guide for seniors trying cannabis for the first time, a fascinating look at the menopausal brain and a Footloose-inspired protest from a group of Newfoundland seniors

It’s been nearly three years since Ottawa legalized the recreational use of cannabis and one of the big surprises has been just how many seniors are utilizing pot products for health reasons — or just plain fun. Statistics Canada found that while cannabis use is still less among seniors than other age groups, it is growing among the 65-plus group faster than any other age cohort, from about 40,000 recent users in 2012 to 400,000 in 2019.

Those numbers have likely grown since. For older Canadians who are thinking about using cannabis, either for their health or recreational use, the good news-bad news is that there is a bewildering array of options at the local (legal) cannabis store; from “flower” (dried cannabis that can be smoked or vaped as well as pre-rolled joints), oil concentrates, edibles, creams and other topicals and beverages. Given the overwhelming variety of pot products available, older Canadians might want to seek out some advice from trusted friends, cannabis store vendors and last but not least, medical professionals. Paul Brent sought out some advice for first time cannabis users.

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General manager of Ontario retirement home charged after residents’ door handles removed

Media reports in February said some residents locked in rooms had tested positive for COVID-19

The general manager of a retirement home in Courtice, Ont., is facing charges after he ordered staff members to remove door handles at some units at the White Cliffe Terrace Retirement Residence in February.

Durham Regional Police Services launched an investigation on Feb. 12 after receiving a complaint against staff members at White Cliffe, which is on Highway 2 in Courtice, about 60 kilometres east of Toronto.

The complaint alleged that during the pandemic, staff removed door handles to some units at the home. Police announced the charges on Wednesday against Tawab Karimi, 40, of Oshawa, Ont. He is charged with two counts of unlawful confinement. He has been released on an undertaking, which means he must fulfil certain conditions and appear in court. Police confirmed to CBC News that Karimi was the general manager at the time of the incident.

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