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Celebrating Grandparents

Grandparents Day is the second Sunday in September and it gives families everywhere an opportunity to celebrate how grandparents enrich all our lives. Some of my fondest memories are of my grandparents and our trips to the small prairie town they called home. A pot of tea was always ready for our arrival and the smell of fresh baking drifted into the opening of the doorway when we stepped into their old Victorian home.

Physical Activity Equals a Healthier, Happier You!

There’s no better time to talk about the benefits of physical activity then summer because being active is as easy as stepping out your front door! When I see people walking, jogging, biking, or skateboarding around the city I know it’s finally summer in Winnipeg! And everyone looks so happy because physical activity and a little Vitamin D from the sun can enhance your mood, reduce stress and contribute to your overall health and well-being. So, if you’re looking for a reason to get moving this summer, keep reading to find out why physical activity is so darn good for you.

Living Green: what the past can teach us about sustainability

‘Living green’ is a trend that has dominated social discourse over the last decade, representing a growing movement to reduce the impact human behavior has on the environment.

Celebrating Mothers through caring connection

May brings with it the promise of a beautiful summer and on the second Sunday of the month, a day set aside to honour mothers everywhere. Many families have their own mother's day traditions that may include breakfast in bed or a day of pampering for the family matriarch. For those of us who have lost our mothers, it can be a day filled with wonderful memories tinged with sadness.

The Value of Volunteering

Murray McNeil, a retired RCMP officer who spent 34 years keeping the community safe, now spends his days helping people feel safe and secure in their own homes. Murray personifies what it means to be a volunteer. He goes above and beyond the call of duty in his role as a Home Service Representative (HSR). If another HSR calls in sick, Murray will cover the shift, no questions asked. He comes to the office with a smile on his face and a willingness to help out however he can.

7 ways for older adults to stay active – try one today!

Staying active, both physically and mentally, is important for people of all ages and abilities. More specifically, social participation has proven to be a key predictor of overall health and well-being for older adults.

Beating the Winter Blues

February may be the month synonymous with love, but for many Canadians, it’s the time of year when the winter blues set in. After months of cold temperatures, snow days and overcast skies, some of you may start to feel a little down in the dumps and you’re not alone! In a recent survey of Canadian workers from Benefits Canada, nearly half of all respondents said the winter weather negatively affects their mood.

Make 2019 the year you drink more water!

Here’s a new year’s resolution we can all stick to – make 2019 the year you drink more water! Adequate water intake is essential for good health, yet over seventy percent of Canadians in a recent online survey admit they do not drink enough of it. Before you pour yourself a glass of sugary soda or juice, think about this – every single cell in your body (and there are over 37 trillion of them) needs water to function. The human body itself is made up of 65 percent water. Not only do we need water to survive, we need it to thrive. This is especially true for older adults who are at a higher risk of dehydration due to age-related changes.

The gift of peace of mind: helping loved ones accept change

“All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves.” French novelist Anatole France Why do people resist change? Is it because we are habitual creatures, craving the comfort of what we know versus the discomfort of what we don’t? When faced with an impending change or even the possibility of change, some of us stubbornly dig in our heels and resist. And if that resistance involves someone you love, perhaps an aging parent who won’t accept any help, how can you successfully transition from the old to the new?

The gift of your time: Connecting with isolated older adults during the holiday season

Older adults are often the most isolated population over the holiday season. Victoria Lifeline has been helping seniors remain independent in their homes for the last 30 years and we have seen first-hand the effects of social isolation and poverty. Our volunteers are in the homes of older adults every day installing the Lifeline service and we hear the heartbreaking stories of loneliness and financial hardship.

Fear of Falling: How to break the cycle of increasing risk

November is fall prevention month and there’s a very good reason why an entire month is dedicated to raising awareness about the risk of falling. One in three older adults aged 65+ falls each year and it's the leading cause of injury hospitalization in Manitoba.

Social isolation & mental health - why it's so important to stay connected

Human beings are social creatures. It is often the relationships we have with each other that give life meaning and purpose. As John Donne famously wrote in 1624, “No man is an island, entire of itself.” Simply put, we need each other.

Do something good for yourself today - read a book!

A study published in the journal Neurology found that people who read frequently throughout their lifetime experienced cognitive decline at a slower rate than those who didn’t. Furthermore, according to an article published in Psychology Today in April of 2018, “remaining an avid reader into old age reduced memory decline by more than 30 percent compared to engaging other forms of mental activity.” The article also purports that renowned billionaire Warren Buffet spends at least 80 percent of his day reading.

Poor sleep hygiene? Here's how to clean up your act

There is one persistent myth about sleep that just won’t take a snooze – the older you get, the less sleep you need. Sleep requirements actually remain quite consistent throughout your lifetime, with experts recommending around seven to nine hours a night, regardless of age. And while you may need the same amount well into your 60s and 70s, a quality, uninterrupted night’s sleep may be harder to come by.

There is no health without mental health

In the last fifty years, advances in the field of medicine have helped our understanding of the prevention, diagnosis and management of physical disease. The result? People are living longer as the average life expectancy in Canada is now 82 years of age. In recent years, however, research has shown that mental health is an important component of overall health and well-being. In fact, a summary report by the World Health Organization (WHO) states unequivocally that, “There is no health without mental health.” Mental health is now on the forefront of many awareness campaigns and research projects for good reason. Mental health matters.

Grow your way to health

There's nothing like eating a fresh vegetable from your very own garden. Nurturing a tomato plant in a backyard garden and watching it grow to become food on the table can be very gratifying. Eating a crisp cucumber or a sweet bell pepper picked the same day not only delights your taste buds, it also nourishes your body like a store bought vegetable never could. If you’ve never planted a garden before, why not consider the many health benefits of growing your own food?

Going Green: The benefits of exercising outdoors

Stepping outside into the warmth of a summer day is one of my favorite moments of the year. After a long cold winter, those first few bursts of summer air seem to rejuvenate my weather worn soul. That mental health reboot is just one of the many benefits the great outdoors has to offer, and believe it or not, our ancestors have something to do with it.

Keeping the brain healthy as you age

Here’s a new twist on those old resolutions. Have you ever thought about getting your brain in shape? Keeping your brain active is equally as important as being physically active. And like any other part of your body, your brain needs to be worked out to stay healthy. So maybe it’s time to put the brain on a fitness program. Ready, set, learn!

Happy Anniversary - Victoria Lifeline turns 30!

Victoria Lifeline installed their very first client on May 18, 1988. He was an 84-year-old gentleman named Murray who immediately felt more confident with a Lifeline help button on his wrist. When interviewed about Lifeline all those years ago, Murray declared, “If anything happened, I know I could reach out and touch someone.”

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