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Newsletter Vol. # 64 That's how I see it!


I wish to thank those that have stepped forward to lend a hand with our possible Fringe Festival production (#1 on Wait List). Of course we can still use more volunteers when we are accepted.

Old age is coming at a really bad time!

Caregiving for a Parent or Elderly Person        Pt. 2

A second controversial issue between elders and their offspring is independence, or the lack thereof. Mom has driveall of her adult life, only to be told now that she no longer possesses the ability or n to the grocery, drug store and all points in between good judgment to drive. In the best of circumstances this is stressful, but to those whose parents have truly lost the ability to make wise decisions behind the wheel of a car, it can be devastating. Now the subject of transportation becomes a major issue. Who is to take off work to transport Mom (or Dad) to the doctor? Chances are, Mom or Dad will disagree with their limitations, thus setting the stage for further confrontations. Battles never "solve" confrontations; they merely deepen the resentment already felt among all parties involved.

The loss of driving ability, the relocation of a parent, and the need for questions involving financial matters all are underlying causes of the biggest fear an elder has. This is the fear of losing independence. Although offspring caregivers must deal with numerous situations as they arise, the elder fears losing their "rights" more than the sum of all the other parts. There's a juggling of guilt vs. need for the elder. It is a battle that is never quite won. We as caregivers need to be fully aware of that battle raging inside the elder while we cope with the daily tasks of caregiving. Any adult child with the potential of caregiving should make it a priority to watch for signs of the onset of illness or failure n aging family members. Awareness can provide a caregiver with the advantage he/she needs to plan, take necessary steps, consult with health care professionals and be prepared for what may lie ahead. Refusing to face the inevitable cripples the caregiver, and ultimately the elder, when the caregiver has chosen to remain ignorant of choices that can and should be made.

Thousands of articles, hundreds of books and numerous movies have been based on the subject of caring for the elderly. What has not been emphasized to the full extent is the subject of what the elder experiences as his or her world collapses, health deteriorates and independence disappears. Those of us who are adult children and are caring for or have cared for an elder have no doubt witnessed firsthand the effects that the loss of independence have had on our loved ones. We take for granted so many of life's "little things." Last minute additions for dinner only require a short drive to the corner market. The batteries for the TV remote control have gone out and we have to manually get up to change channels. The phone rings and you remember the cordless phone is still on the charger instead of being perched by your easy chair, so you have to disengage yourself from the cushions if you want to talk to the caller.

These examples are common in our daily lives and are easily rectified, although most of us would classify them as impositions. Now realize what an elder who is barely mobile, or perhaps already bedridden, would go through in similar circumstances. In the first place, she wouldn't be fixing dinner and would only hope that a loved one would be preparing it for her. To her, that would be the imposition, having to cause further work for someone she loved. Secondly, if her remote's batteries ran out, chances are she would have to wait until a loved one remedied the problem, or merely shut off the television. There again, to the elder the imposition would be in having to rely on her caregiver for help instead of being able to handle it herself. And the phone ringing? Elders who are farther in their journey down the final path of life rarely want to talk on a phone, much less struggle to reach for it or find it amid their sheets or blankets.

We all want to believe our parents will live forever. We often don't see them as men or women. They are simply Mom and Dad. When we are faced with role reversals and find ourselves making the decisions and often saying "no" to the people who always made the rules for us, it affects all of us in different ways. There are no rules for this game, and no "rights" or "wrongs." There are merely guidelines from which we can take advice from those who have dealt with these issues before us and hope we do all within our power to make our elder's last years, months, and days on earth peaceful, comfortable and loving. We must go with our inner feelings much of the time as to what would be right or wrong for our loved one, and as our elder sees how difficult the attempts are on our part, he or she is often willing to compromise on situations that could have caused major rifts within the family. The issues with which we must deal are numerous and diversified, but the more open those involved can be with each other, and the better communication they can achieve, the more successful they will be in working toward the end in harmony and peace.  Patricia St. Clair.  

          Why do I have to press one for English when you're just gonna transfer me to someone I can't understand anyway?

Frustration, is always infuriating. The blocking of a goal (frustration) activates your aggressive drive (anger), which in turn causes you to behave aggressively (preferably toward what ever is blocking). Frustration always causes aggression.

In the list of things that make most people feel angry, frustration has to take its place after attacks to self-esteem; criticism of one's clothes, friends, and personality, a direct insult, or unfair treatment. Further, it turns out that frustration usually does not make people behave aggressively unless they think the aggression will get rid of the frustration. And finally, not just any frustration, but the belief that the frustration is unjustified, is what makes us angry.

At my age "Getting lucky" means walking into a room and remembering what I went in there for.

1077 Grant Avenue


Sol James Concert

Saturday March 25, 2017 7:30 pm

Sol James with Dylan MacDonald on guitar, Liam Duncan on keys and Roman Clarke on drums (aka The Middle Coast)

Winnipeg-based Sol James is a force to be reckoned with, with a voice to match. A unique take on roots/blues with a soulful flair, her music is joyful and honest, leaving audiences smiling, dancing, and celebrating the great stuff of life. Sol's stage presence calls out to even the meekest of souls, breaking down walls and bringing the light in. She does this with a dependable dose of hilarity; You can hear a Sol James audience laughing a mile away.


Many people are lured to exercise for its well known cardiovascular benefits and
because it makes them look good. As well, a growing number are working up a
sweat for the psychological benefits. Exercise can't transform an aggressive
Type-A personality into a calm Type-B, but scientists know that even moderate
activity, say a brisk walk at lunch time, can lift spirits or dispel tension. Therapists
are increasingly prescribing exercise to help their patients cope with the more
long-term psychological ailments, such as anxiety and clinical depression.
For instance, a study at the University of Western Australia in Perth compared
college students in an aerobic dance class with a sedentary group. After their
workouts, the dancers scored significantly higher on self-esteem tests than the non-

Another study at Brooklyn College in New York City found that students enrolled
in a swimming class reported having more vigour after spending 30-60 minutes in
the pool. They also had significantly lower levels of depression, tension and
anger. And in a 15 week study in Loma Linda (California) University, a group of
overweight, formally sedentary women reported significantly higher energy levels
than controls after walking for 45 minutes five times a week.
Exercise also improves mood. The effects are most obviously immediate after a
workout and last for several hours, says Psychologist Thomas Plant at Santa Clara
University. Even more importantly, long-term exercisers seem to possess an
overall sense of well-being that extends into other areas of their lives. Loma Linda's
Dr. Niemen found that after six weeks, the walkers in his study, had significantly less stress than the sedentary women.

There's even evidence that exercise helps the creative juices flow. In studies at
New York City's Baruch College, Exercise Psychologist Joan Gondola found that
students who ran regularly or took aerobic dance classes scored significantly
higher on a standard psychological test of creativity than students who hadn't
exercised. Dr. Gondola says that during her own workouts, she frequently slips
into an almost trance-like state, where feelings and intuition prevail over more
structured thoughts.

Long-term exercise may also help head off the decline in mental skills, including
the slow reaction time and loss of short-term memory that often accompanies
aging. Psychologists Ellen Hartley and Louis Clark-Smith of Scripps College in
Claremont, California, studied 300 men and women, 55 and over, who were either
sedentary or active. The exercisers who had run the equivalent of six miles a day
for many years scored higher on tests of reaction time, working memory, and non-
verbal reasoning than did their sedentary counterparts. By becoming active when
you are young, and staying active, says Dr. Hartley, you are guarding against the
mental deterioration that can occur with age and inactivity.

The impact of exercise on cognitive skills in the elderly may be due to superior
cardiovascular fitness, which assures adequate blood flow and oxygen transport to
the brain, and may slow the cell death that accompanies normal aging. The
alertness and vigour many people report immediately following exercise may also
be linked to increased blood flow to the brain. But exercise also triggers the
release of several key neuro-transmitters including epinephrine and
noro-epinephrine that are known to boost alertness.

Alternatively, exercise's calming effects may be due to the rise in body
temperature brought on by a vigorous workout. The temperature of the average
jogger, for instance, rises to over a hundred degrees, which produces a brief
tranquilizing effect, not unlike a lazy soak in a hot tub.

Exercise also reduces tension by desensitizing the body to stress. A vigourous
workout stimulates the body to pump out the so-called stress hormones, such as
cortisol and epinephrine that prepare your heart, lungs and muscles for fight or
flight. But regular workouts train the body to react less intensely to stress, leaving
exercisers better able to cope with anxiety provoking events.

Another reason to work up a sweat -- exercise acts as nature's form of Prozac,
boosting brain levels of nor-epinephrine, dopamine and serotonin, three
neurotransmitters that elevate mood. Studies have shown that depressed people
often have abnormally low levels of these chemicals. Most common anti-
depressants work by correcting this imbalance, and to some extent, exercise
does as well.

In fact, exercise may be just as effective as more traditional therapies when it
comes to treating psychological ills. In a study of74 depressed men and women at
the University of Wisconsin, Madison, Psychologist Marjorie Klein compared the
effects of two 45 minute running sessions a week with both meditation and group
therapy. After 12 weeks, Dr. Klein found that exercise was just as effective in
alleviating depression and that all three approaches reduced anxiety and tension.
Some scientists are skeptical of the endorphin high. "It's not exactly what
scientists would consider a tight story," says Neuro-Scientist Hudaa Akil at the
University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Some studies show that beta-endorphins
increase in the bloodstream during strenuous exercise. Whether they also increase
within the brain is unclear. For one thing, endorphins are barred from receptors in
the brain pleasure centre by the blood-brain barrier, a biochemical surveillance
system that protects the blood supply to the brain. "The high many athletes
describe," says Emery University Neuro-Pharmacologist Michael Owens, "may
not be an opiate induced euphoria, but rather a deep sense of relaxation and well-
A session at the gym may simply provide a time-out from unpleasant thoughts and
emotions. That may explain why even a slow walk can banish a bad mood. In
some ways then, exercise may not be much different than a hobby, meditation, or a

Whatever the mechanism, therapists are increasingly tapping into the prescriptive
powers of exercise to help troubled patients. I personally don't worry about why it
works, I just know that after a long walk or run, I come home energized and better
able to cope. I feel wonderful and much more alive. Perhaps in the future,
doctors will be writing prescriptions for athletic shoes instead of for anti-
depressant medications.                   Dan Rosin

The family and I are off to the Cayman Islands so this will be the last newsletter for a few weeks. Take care of yourself, check your basement daily (flood season), and watch for the computer scams.