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Newsletter Vol. #69 Thats how I see it!

The newsletter is kind of heavy this week---important information about where seniors and their families can get support when they need it---and Part 3 on anger, Parts 4-6 will come later in the summer---We can deal with this topic for just so long.

Would those folks who received a free copy of my newest book, Communication & Relationships and who said they would do a review or write a testimonial about the book, please forward their work to me at

Important Information for Seniors and their Families

Thank you Heather Emberley for putting this important information together.

The Winnipeg Regional Health Authority has many supports for mature people of which the general public is not fully aware. Their aim is to support those 55+ to live independently as long as possible. The Manitoba government spends $2 billion dollars each year on those 55+.

Information about programs, tenant resources, and specialized support services can be found at:
There are 39 personal-care homes in Winnipeg serving 5700 people.

There are 15,000 Home Care Program clients in Winnipeg with a staff of 400 and an annual budget of $200 million. Home Care is not mandatory, seniors are free to accept or decline. For more info., go to

Two of the most popular websites for mature folk are the Family Doctor Finder: and the Health Services Directory

The WRHA supported 3972 suites last year in 55+ housing blocks facilitating independent living. Unfortunately, the reality is there are not enough personal care homes in Winnipeg to meet the growing need. The WRHA has 35 congregate meal programs that served 285,049 meals last year. Their aim is not only to feed bodies but also to address the growing isolation of seniors.

The WRHA operates Senior Resource Finders with common services such as escorted transportation, yard and home maintenance referrals, and networking and educational community presentations.

Everyone 55+ should have an ERIK. That stands for Emergency Response Information Kit. It is to be posted on the fridge, for the paramedics, and contains necessary information such as a doctor's name and medications taken.

Age and Opportunity offers a service called This Full House for people who have issues with hoarding. They also offer counselling, information and referrals as well as specialized services for older immigrants.

Age and Opportunity, along with Klinic, offer an Elder Abuse Hotline: 1-888-896-7183.

ATTORNEY: How was your first marriage terminated?
WITNESS: By death..
ATTORNEY: And by whose death was it terminated?
WITNE SS: Take a guess.
ATTORNEY: Can you describe the individual?
WITNESS: He was about medium height and had a beard
ATTORNEY: Was this a male or a female?
WITNESS: Unless the Circus was in town I'm going with male.


Anger Part 3       Anger and Assumptions     (From Dan's book Finding Balance,)

 A client relayed a recent experience in which he was cooperating on an important work project with an individual whom he felt was a "bit of a slacker". Whenever this individual heard the phone ringing in the adjoining office, he immediately jumped up to answer it. My client assumed that the individual was using the ringing telephone as an excuse to get out of work, and he became very angry, uttering a few expletives under his breath.

When returning from one of his telephone excursions, this individual apologized and said that he had been expecting a call about his very ill father. My client felt embarrassed and very relieved that the person had not heard his inappropriate expressions of anger-a response that was based entirely on a false assumption.

Making an assumption about what someone says or does, without understanding their motivation or having all the facts, can lead to knee-jerk responses, frustration, agitation, anger and hurt feelings. Assumptions are dangerous, and because they are narrow in scope and made without all the information needed, they are often influenced by how the person making the assumption feels at that moment or by personal beliefs and values.

Quite often, when a person assumes less than positive things about others-causes, decisions, lifestyles, behaviours, beliefs-it is a reflection of that person's own low self-esteem. Those who make the negative assumption generally aren't all that comfortable in their own skin. They see things that aren't there and hear things that aren't true. And these things can be totally off the mark. Making assumptions instead of verifying the truth or checking the facts is a guaranteed way to raise tension in most relationships.

Below is an example from my previous life as a first-year teacher when I thought I knew everything and actually knew very little:

Jim was a good kid, an average student, but one morning he fell asleep in class, my class, and my extremely life-altering grade nine geography class at that. I yelled and embarrassed him. To think he could fall asleep in such an interesting class. Where was his head at? I discovered later that day his grandmother had died the previous night and he hadn't slept at all, but he didn't want to miss school. And I had yelled at him! Where was my head at? That experience influenced me to make fewer assumptions and to check things out before opening my mouth and putting my foot in it. Jim did hear an apology from one very humble teacher, and he did forgive me.

Responding with anger to any situation is a choice. Although there are times when it is appropriate to be angry, in most cases it is best to "talk" about what is causing an angry reaction and not to "be" angry. And it is almost never appropriate to choose anger based on an assumption. Be sure to check things out thoroughly before speaking.

                   Don't assume anything-get the facts first!

"Often the roots of anger can be traced back to earlier times you were hurt, abused, or neglected in your family of origin. The pain was something you carried, year after year. And may have left scars so that now it's hard to feel safe or loved or truly worthy Sometimes it doesn't take much of a provocation to trigger those feelings of being unloved, unworthy, or unsafe-and the anger rises up right alongside the old pain. You aren't to be blamed because you struggle with anger. You're not a bad person, but a person in pain." (McKay and Rogers, "The Anger Control Workbook")


PHILIPPE MEUNIER ~ Flamenco Guitar
RODRIGO MUÑOZ ~ Percussion
VICTOR LOPEZ ~ Guitar & Percussion

PHILIPPE MEUNIER, a Winnipeg-based Guitarist specializing in Classical and Flamenco Guitar, and various styles of Latin Jazz returns to the stage of the GRANT & WILTON COFFEE HOUSE. Together with friends and fellow musicians RODRIGO MUÑOZ and VICTOR LOPEZ, audiences can expect an evening of unforgettable moments of music virtuosity.

PHILIPPE MEUNIER is an active member of the arts community: teaching for over 20 years, and performing across Canada including the Canadian Francophone Games (MB), the Stream of Dance Festival (SK), the Saskatchewan International Jazz Festival (SK), Prairie Music Week (MB), the Regina Folk Festival (SK), the Flatland Music Festival (SK), and the Saskatoon Guitar Festival.

RODRIGO MUÑOZ, originally from Chile, brings over 25 years of music performances wowing audiences there, and in Canada. As a founding member of the well-loved 11-piece Salsa Band,  PAPA MAMBO, and the smaller Latin Jazz group, TRIO BEMBE, RODRIGO MUÑOZ has been  a mainstay in the local music scene.

VICTOR LOPEZ, renowned musician, also performing with PAPA MAMBO and TRIO BEMBE, specializes with Guitar and Percussion in Latin American and Caribbean Rhythms.

Special Guest
KIM LEVI, a graduate of the University of Manitoba, School of Music in Classical Performance on Piano, will perform a selection of Classical Pieces to start the evening.

   1077 Grant Avenue

Saturday, June 10, 2017 Doors open 7:00 pm, Tickets: $17, Advance $15,

Call ~ (204) 488-0207, (204) 895-1719

Anger   (Previously published in the newsletter)

A court mandated client ordered to see me for wife abuse explained, "Of course I couldn't act that way-get angry and lose control-at work because I would get fired or the guys would take me out behind the loading dock and beat the crap out of me." So I asked, "Let me get this straight, you slap your wife around but you wouldn't do that at your workplace because you couldn't get away with it. You would get fired or beaten up? You have discipline at work but not at home?" "I guess so but it's different! She didn't... (she made me do it)." I of course took great pains to explain that his anger is his responsibility and that nobody makes him angry. People/things can invite us to be angry but can't make us angry. It took a couple of sessions before he understood that his anger is a choice he makes to deal with a situation.

Winnifred Yu in her article, "Don't Let Anger Get The Best Of You" states,

Study after study has found that high levels of anger and hostility are associated with greater risk for heart disease, poor immune responses, and even a propensity for obesity. Men with high anger scores were three times more likely to develop heart disease than their calmer cohorts, a Harvard School of Public Health study found. And in women, arguments with spouses raise hormone levels and lower immunity- a real problem, since lower immune response may boost women's risk of cancer.

Anger unleashes a torrent of hormones that wreck havoc on our circulatory and immune systems. When we are angry, our fight-or-flight response prompts our adrenal glands to send out an extra jolt of adrenaline and cortisol. The two hormones then cause the heart rate to speed up, and the immune system to slow down- all helpful responses if you're going to fight or flee, but not if you're going to stand and seethe.

It doesn't seem to matter whether you release the anger or hold it in, experts say. The effects on your health are the same. "Anger is anger," says Redford Williams, M.D., director of the Behavioural Medicine Research Centre at Duke University Medical Centre. "Both are harmful to health."

The good news is it is possible to control your anger. "By evaluating it and using various techniques, you can talk yourself out of it," Williams says. "That's what's nice about us humans: we can always do something or not do something to change our behaviour."

Many people who are angry don't recognize themselves as angry. Dr. Richard Driscoll suggests that you ask your self these questions to measure your anger quotient: Do you feel as if others frequently mistreat you? Do you often consider minor inconveniences to be personal attacks against you? Do you complain often? Do you exaggerate the actions of others or take their affronts personally? On the road, do you frequently curse other drivers, to the point that driving has become unpleasant?

Winnifred Yu concludes: Angry people can learn to become happy people. They just have this personality type that sometimes gets them into trouble. They'll always have the tendency to get angry. But they can probably control it enough to keep it from damaging the their health (and hopefully their relationships).

So then how do we manage our anger? Here are a few general methods for anger management in point form,1 - 10 (which I claim to dislike):

1. Keep a "rage log."
How often during the day do you engage in aggressive actions, such as slamming doors, honking your horn, yelling at other motorists, or barking at retail clerks? How often do you provoke people to yell, scream, or honk their horns at you?
How often do you have negative thoughts about other people? "What a jerk she is!" "I'd like to punch him!" "Why don't these morons move faster?" How often do you blow your cool? Do you shout angrily, fantasize about physically
assaulting someone, or even explicitly threaten violence? How often do you find
yourself frowning, impatient, irritable, in a hurry, gritting your teeth? Take an honest look at your hostility level. Even if you think it is everybody else's
fault, make note of the frequency and intensity of your rage.
2. Talk to yourself.
Make an agreement with yourself to try to delay getting angry. Don't you have better ways to spend your time than flying into a rage? Many situations are too
unimportant for you to explode about. Your time and your health are much too
valuable. Don't jump to conclusions about the motives of the person who is annoying you. The person who is not moving through the traffic light on schedule is not deliberately trying to keep you from getting to work on time and is probably not a stupid idiot either. He or she is probably just tired and momentarily distracted. Besides, you are probably not going to be late anyway.
3. Cool it!
When you become aware of hostile thoughts or attitudes, yell at yourself "Stop!" or "Cool it!" It sounds silly, but yelling, "Stop!" at yourself interrupts your anger
program, decreasing the likelihood of you steaming yourself up by thinking of past injustices.
4. Distract yourself.
When your assessment of the situation leads you to the conclusion that your
irritation is unmerited or not worth the trouble, simply getting your mind off of the anger can be effective. For example, suppose you are waiting in line at the bank. You can become increasingly irritated, or you could read a magazine, book, or newspaper while you wait. You could also enjoy simply watching and observing other people.
5. Decide what you can do about the situation; then do it and let the anger go.
Let's go back to the bank. You have a right to be irritated if you are waiting in line. You have several choices. You can complain to the manager. You can also use the ATM, use the bank when it is uncrowded, or change banks. You don't have to stand in line and steam.
6. If you are chronically angry, take a look at yourself.
What belief are you trying to justify? Do you keep finding examples of situations
where life is unfair? It isn't fair. Life's unfairness is not a new discovery. What's the point of continually getting mad about it? It's also true that some people are jerks. Why bother getting mad about that?
7. Avoid over stimulation.
Get plenty of rest and exercise. When your body is in an agitated state, you are more likely to feel and express hostility. Too little sleep, operating under time pressures, and too many competing tasks all contribute to a state of agitation.
Give up or sharply cut back on sweets, caffeine, cigarettes, and / or alcohol. All these contribute to intense reactions and overreactions to people, situations, and stimuli.
8. Learn to listen.
When people talk, do you find yourself impatient, judging, or thinking about what you'll say next? Preoccupation with yourself and your judgements and lack of true attention to what someone else is saying are principal ingredients for an angry exchange. Start listening. Don't jump to conclusions. Fight the urge to break in with your own comments. Try to learn something new by listening. Don't turn conversations into cross examinations.
9. Assume other people have good intentions.
If you get angry a lot you probably don't trust other people. You assume the worst of them. Many times your evaluation of their motives may not be correct. Other people may be behaving more reasonably than you credit them for. Try to accept other people as they are, not as you wish they were. When you see a situation from another person's perspective, you will feel less threatened and judgmental.
10. Learn to laugh at yourself.
If you develop a sense of humour about yourself, you can laugh at some of the things that are truly too unimportant to work yourself up about. Getting yourself into and out of a trivial and petty state of anger can be quite amusing. Of course, don't judge yourself either.                 Author Unknown

The literature seems to indicate there is a link between stress and anger. Stress creates an internal feeling of tension and the greater the stress, and number of stressors, the greater the tension. It seems that the act of getting angry actually breaks the tension and one's body. However, each time you indulge in anger to cope with the stress and tension in your life, the easier and stronger are the outbursts of anger in the future. Your anger gets worse and harder to control. You may feel somewhat relieved after an angry outburst but it is short lived as there is the price to pay from those on the receiving end of your anger.

           Health Care Directive

A Health Care Directive is a legal document often referred to as a living will, which guides the health-care team when you cannot speak for yourself. The Health Care Directive can assign a proxy-a relative or a friend-who will work with the health-care team in making health-care decisions for you.

When you have a written Health Care Directive, it gives your family a better level of comfort when it comes to making difficult decisions about your health. When your physician or health-care team is aware of those wishes, they can take that into consideration in planning your care.

The wishes expressed in any Health Care Directive are binding on your friends, relatives and the health-care professionals and will be honoured by the courts. It is important that these people know you have a directive and where it can be found.

Susie Strachan, Winnipeg Health Region

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"Communication And Relationships", coming soon!

Have a great week!