- December, 2009:
and life will love you back.
Love people and they will love you back.
Kolt grew up in Winnipegs North End as a first generation
Canadian. Her parents were of east EuropeanPolish/Czechoslovakiandescent.
up in the North Enda community then rich with many ethnic
backgroundsSophie developed an appreciation of people
of all cultures, forming a common bond and common purpose
here where she developed her sense of family and community
and has carried it with her all throughout her life.
were a huge influence. Her father, Joseph, was always encouraging
Sophie and her siblings to do and be the best that they can,
emphasizing the importance of education. Joseph came to Canada
at the age of 18 and then worked for the railroad. Later he
set up the Polish Press establishing the bilingual Czas/Polish
Times magazine in 1914, serving North America. Sophie was
informed three summers ago that her late father would be honoured
by the Dafoe Library in Winnipeg for his role with the Polish
of education, music, sports and literature were instilled
in the youth by family and the community as a whole. This
is also where Sophies love of learning stems from. These
early beginnings have shaped Sophie into the caring, compassionate,
full-of-life and wonder individual she is today.
wont let life slip by without taking advantage of all
it has to offer. She spent her career, with a Masters
degree in Social Work, travelling around rural Manitoba for
the provincial government. She often flew up north to Barons
River and Bloodvein utilizing the only means of air travel
to the north at the time, with a bush pilot, where take off
and landing were on skiis in winter and pontoons in summer!
Eventually, she developed a love of flying, especially in
small planes. And she also developed a fondness of the north
and the people living there. When Sophie travelled to these
remote northern communities, Thompson or Pinawa did not yet
exist. They started developing in the early 1950s. She
precedes these communities, in her words.
retired, she was introduced to Creative Retirement Manitoba
(CRM). Retirement for Sophie is a process of living and loving
things with kindred spirit. Thats what Creative Retirement
offers to her... and more. Sophie is a past president of CRM
and sits on the Program Committee with Ingrid Wedelake. She
enjoys volunteering, and simply being, there. It is
complimentary of people and acceptance. Its a win-win
for me, states Sophie. There are so many choices
here. Its action-directed with a purpose, with a visual
show of results.
with other senior-oriented organizations in Manitoba, are
participants of Age-Friendly Manitoba a
program to make communities in Manitoba more age-friendly
with a goal of making Manitoba the most age-friendly province
in Canada. Sophie, herself, contributes to this effort in
many ways on her own. She is a major advocate for seniors
rights with a focus on safe and affordable housing. She volunteers
on the Advisory Committee at 64 Nassau, a senior housing complex,
to promote public policy on behalf of its tenants. Poverty
in Winnipeg among seniors is another sad issue she tries to
address. She has been informed that many seniors are living
a life of quiet desperation due to poverty. She would
like to see government address these issues more.
there are numerous resources for seniors available, she feels
that its each persons responsibility to make themselves
as well as possible to remain independent. Aging in
Place is a nice philosophy, but Sophie feels it needs
more support from families and government to be more effective.
involvement with Partners Seeking Solutions with Seniors (PSSS)
as an active member allows her to help address addictions
in older adults. PSSS is a coalition of over 50 stakeholders
from across Manitoba who meet regularly and address issues
of seniors and substance misuse and abuse. Sophie helps to
educate people of their choices so they can take responsibility
for their own lives.
used to be shy, but volunteering cured that. Volunteering
is great for anyone, as status is never an issue, she explains.
It doesnt cost money and its a win-win for everyone
involved. Youll find resources in yourself that
you never thought you had, she says.
encourages anyone who wants to realize a dream, that its
now, not tomorrow. She says to try new things. Give
yourself the privilege of being curious, she says. Help
and be helped. The first important step is to make a choice.
Find your passion. Its worth the risk.
made that first step a while back when she got involved with
the University of Winnipegs campus radio program at
CKUW. 95.9 FM. She co-hosted a program called Better
Than Chocolate. Later she joined the team of hosts for
the 2000 & Counting program.
continues to dream and realize her dreams. She is one year
short of a degree in musiccontemporary, popular music
of the 20th century. She asked if she could be a student at
the Faculty of Music in a jazz program, reviving her dream
to further her musical knowledge. She was accepted and currently
is having the time of her life. Because she is over 65, there
is no fee, either! She prides herself on being a good student,
although her short term memory isnt as keen as it used
to bean infliction that often happens as you get older.
But she addresses that by appearing an hour earlier to prepare
Sophies efforts have not gone unnoticed. She recently
was the recipient of the 2009 Murray Smith Award presented
by the Manitoba Council on Aging, for her leadership and contributions
to improve the quality of life for older Manitobans and her
with Partners Seeking Solutions for Seniors. She is extremely
honoured for this as she knew Murray Smith and his wife Muriel
personally. She felt that her learning was enriched by his
teachings and personhood. He was so unassuming, yet
so powerful, she explains.
realizes that when shes helping her community, she is
also helping herself. When Sophie isnt advocating for
some cause or other, she seizes opportunities to enjoy nature
and beauty. She is a notorious cloud-watcher and enjoys a
beautiful sunset. She loves the crunching sound of walking
on crisp snow. She loves plants, joining the
St. James Horticulture Society 10 years ago. She loves learning.
She loves the magic of life. She simply loves life.
more in the Dec/09 issue
of Senior Scope)
Annual Be a Santa to a Senior program - providing holiday
cheer to Winnipeg seniors
Senior Care and Age & Opportunity have joined together
to bring this new program to the older adults living in the
Winnipeg area. The purpose of Home Instead Senior Cares
community service program, Be a Santa to a Senior,
is to positively impact the community by providing holiday
cheer and gift giving to older adults who are least likely
to receive a present during the holiday season, those who
are lonely and/or financially challenged. This affords the
opportunity to include other like-minded agencies and community
partners involved to reach out to older adults and let them
know about programs and services that are available to them
all year long.
Be a Santa to a Senior program was a bigger
success than last year. These gals made it all happen...
with a little help, of course.
L-R: Julie Donaldson of Home Instead Senior Care; Deborah
Lorteau, Project Coordinator - Housing Program, Age &
Opportunity; and Stacey Miller, Manager, Community Services,
Age & Opportunity.
150 gifts were delivered to older adults in the community.
This year, we reached out to about 276
participants. Some of them in the project last year commented
on how lonely it is during the holiday season when their families
are far away or passed on, and one commented that this was
the first time someone had bought her a gift for Christmas.
Others asked for teddy bears or fleece blankets to have something
warm and cuddly to hug or hold onto. The gifts generally range
up to a price of $25.00 per gift, but many of the sponsors
generous and bought the participants extras to make it more
special for all involved. Some of the agencies involved last
year included the Fort Garry Womens Resource Centre,
Holy Rosary Church, Lions Place, the Senior Healthy
Aging Secretariat, the offices of the Personal Care Homes,
the Westhaven, Victoria & Phillips Lifeline, West Broadway
seniors group, and Oakview Place. Many of the staff
and volunteers from Age & Opportunity sponsored gifts
and volunteered their time to help in the delivery of gifts.
This year, there was a wider variety of volunteers, many of
whom bought, wrapped and delivered the gifts as a group from
a group effort at the gift wrapping party at the Westhaven.
You dont have to be an elf to be a Santas
who volunteered together, even brought a supper to each of
the seniors they were visiting
are three ways to get involved in this worthwhile project:
sponsor an older adult, refer an older adult to the program,
or volunteer to be a driver. Participants are informed of
the project and are asked for their consent to receive the
gift and visit.
number of gifts wrapped and delivered this year totalled
about 276, nearly doubling last years amount.
project is wrapped up for another year thanks
to all of the hard working volunteers!
Lorteau thanked the Santas helpers at the Westhaven
who volunteered to wrap gifts, but it was they who were thankful.
thank you for giving us the Christmas spirit," expressed
Gladys McNeill. Another stated, This program allows
each of us to open our hearts a little more during a holiday
season that can be difficult for so many people no matter
what age. Once again I want to say thank you for
this small gift of helping out."
information visit www.santatoasenior.com
or contact Julie Donaldson @ 612-9257.
For volunteer or sponsorship information, contact Stacey
Miller or Deborah Lorteau @ 956-6440.
more in the Dec/09
issue of Senior Scope)
ID fraud and holiday shopping
retail season of the year is about to begin, and with an increase
in financial transactions comes an increase in opportunities
for fraud artists. This year, keep your holiday shopping joyous
by taking a few extra precautions:
Even though you will be rushed and thinking about a thousand
things, try to remain alert to your surroundings.
When paying with a credit or debit card, never lose
sight of your card. Whenever possible, swipe your card yourself
rather than giving it to the cashier.
Never leave receipts at bank machines, bank wickets, in trash
cans or at unattended gasoline pumps. Shred all paperwork
that you no longer need.
Do not keep a written record of your bank PIN number(s)
or your social insurance number in your wallet or hand bag.
Shop only from your home computer its
much safer than shopping at a terminal in an internet café
If you plan to buy something, go directly to a stores
website by manually typing its address into your web browser.
Dont click on links in an
e-mail message even if you know who sent it.
Verify secure connections. When shopping on-line, do
not enter any financial information if you see a broken-key
or open padlock symbol on your Internet browser. This means
the transaction is not secure and could be intercepted by
a third party. When the key is complete or the padlock is
locked, your browser is indicating a secure transaction.
Consider using a company acting as escrow (reliable
third party), a credit card with a low credit limit or a single
use payment card.
Unlike secure order forms on a web site, e-mail messages are
not private. Do not send confidential personal or financial
information by e-mail.
Avoid spam (unsolicited marketing
e-mail) by being careful about disclosing your e-mail address
both on and off-line.
Monitor your bank and credit card and statements on-line.
Electronic statements allow you to review your purchases and
payments as they happen rather than waiting until the end
of the month to review your paper statement. Immediately report
any discrepancies to your bank or to the company that issued
the credit card.
Promptly remove mail from your mailbox after delivery
and do not leave pieces of mail lying around your residence
Shred or otherwise destroy pre-approved credit card
applications, credit card receipts, bills and related information
when theyre no longer needed.
Do not provide personal information such as your SIN,
date of birth, credit card numbers, or PIN over the telephone
or via e-mail. There are more secure methods for providing
this valuable information when it is legitimately required.
Avoid mail or telephone solicitations disguised as promotions.
Criminals involved in this type of scam typically offer you
an instant prize or an award for the purpose of obtaining
personal information, such as your credit card numbers.
This holiday season, be a Scrooge with your personal information.
If, despite your best efforts, you feel youve been victimized
by a scam or a fraud, you should report it immediately to
the police service of jurisdiction in your area.
Commercial Crime Section
more in the Dec/09
issue of Senior Scope)
a Safe Holiday
holiday season is a busy time. Between now and the end of
the month we will spend time with relatives, reconnect with
old friends and join in community events. The holidays, for
many, mean changes in schedules, traveling, overeating and
a whole lot of stress. Here are a couple things to consider
when preparing for the holidays with your health in mind.
Research published by the American Heart Association has shown
that the holidays can be a dangerous time with an increase
in accidents and heart disease particularly for older
adults. Let us look at a few of the possible risks during
the holidays and what you can do to keep yourself safe.
Celebrating with friends and family is an important part of
the holiday season, but do not let these events wreak havoc
on your health.
People with diabetes sometimes find it hard to join in on
holiday celebrations. When planning holiday events keep regular
meal times in mind, make sure to provide low-sugar or sugar-free
options, and have a variety of diet drinks on hand.
much to do
The holidays can be very stressful with all the running around,
all the money to spend, and all the people to see. Make sure
to keep the holidays in perspective.
Try prioritizing holiday events. Set the most important parties
and dinners in your calendar first and only accept invitations
to holiday functions you have the time to enjoy.
on a trip
Holiday travel often involves staying with relatives. Stairs
and other falling hazards should be something to keep in mind
when planning your holiday travel. Talk to your family about
your safety needs. Staying at a hotel may be a safer idea
if you have limited mobility.
Many people put off seeing their doctors during the holiday
season, especially when traveling away from home; remember
that your doctor and other health care professionals are your
best source of information about your health.
When planning your holiday visits, consider people for whom
the holidays may be a lonely time, especially older adults
who are separated from their families.
aid and CPR training can be a great way to keep you and your
family safe year-round and first aid kits can make a unique
and stress-free holiday gift. We hope these tips help you
to have a safe and joy-filled season.
more info on First Aid and CPR Training, contact St. John
Ambulance at 784-7000 or visit www.sja.ca/mb.
more in the Dec/09
issue of Senior Scope)
MSOS Senior Idol named
Ed Lefteruk third place; Bonnie Gabbs second
place; Kimberly Wiehs, MSOS Executive Director; and Wilfred
R. Perry, Senior Idol.
R. Perry is Manitobas Senior Idol after his performance
of Cry, Cry, Cry, followed by some lively jigging,
was judged the best of 14 acts at the Manitoba Society of
Seniors (MSOS) Senior Idol finals on Nov. 18 at Club
Regent Casinos Jaguars Dance Club.
Donna Gabbs won second place and singer Ed Lefteruk placed
the finalists put on an excellent show, said MSOS executive
director Kimberly Weihs. This event shows the many talents
of Manitobans age 50 and over.
first-ever Senior Idol event was a partnership between MSOS
and Manitoba Lotteries. A capacity crowd of approx. 325 attended
the finals. Celebrity judges were Marcy Markusa, CBC Radios
Morning Show co-host; Moose, HANK-FM Morning Show co-host;
Doug Speirs, Winnipeg Free Press columnist; and Rob Altemeyer,
MLA for Wolseley.
Manitoba Society of Seniors is a non-profit organization formed
in 1979. Our mission is to represent Manitobans age 50 plus
by promoting their needs and concerns and by presenting a
positive image of older adults in the community.
more information, contact:
Manitoba Society of Seniors
204-942-3147, ext. 302
more in the Dec/09
issue of Senior Scope)
Fraud & Internet Scams
who uses the internet or email has most likely encountered
some form of fraud or scam, even if they did not recognize
it for what it was. Others have been made painfully aware
they were involved in a fraud or scam after losing money or
sensitive information to one.
frauds and scams may seem a daunting task at first, but there
are some simple, effective steps you can take to help prevent
being the victim of a fraud or scam online.
thing to do is ensure you have your computer and email properly
use generic passwords to access their email accounts, such
as 1234 or, password. While this certainly
takes the difficulty out of having to remember and enter a
complicated password, it also leaves your email account extremely
vulnerable to a hacker which can then use your contacts and
email identity to their advantage for a fraud or scam.
your email password is difficult to guess. Adding a few numbers
on the end of a word used for a password is also a good idea,
as it adds extra security. For example, if your password is
redshoes adding a 93 to the end will increase
its security significantly. If you are concerned about
forgetting the password, write it out on a sticky-note and
affix it to your computer monitor so you will have it handy
a proper antivirus program is essential for keeping your computer
secure. Many viruses and malware will steal your information
such as passwords, email contacts, banking information, etc.
So, even if your email password is something no one could
ever guess, it wont do you much good if a virus is taking
down that password and sending it off to someone anyway.
most anti-virus and internet security programs marketed to
consumers offer very poor protection, are difficult to use
and will slow your computer down to the point where it is
hardly working. It seems odd, but the companies that offer
the worst programs are also the companies that are the most
well known and, coincidentally, also the most expensive. Luckily,
there are a number of excellent, easy to use, and free antivirus
products available, if you know where to look.
program we recommend and use on a regular basis is Avira.
It is made by a European company and is quite popular in Europe.
They offer a residential version for free, and it can be downloaded
The reason we use Avira over other programs is it has consistently
offered better protection and detection capabilities than
other antivirus programs, it is free and it also uses very
little system resources so it does not slow down your computer.
way to avoid fraud and scams is simply to use caution when
it comes to online correspondence. Even if you are receiving
an email from an address that you know is your friends
address, dont provide them with passwords or monetary
info until you have verified with them either in person or
over the phone that the request they have sent you is legitimate.
In the same way, when receiving emails from companies or people
you do not know saying you have won contests or they want
you to cash a money order for them, etc., dont respond
or provide information to them, either, as those are emails
intended to draw you into scams or frauds, or steal information
beware of companies or organizations that you believe you
know asking for your passwords or account information via
email or online. For example, if MTS is your internet service
provider, and you receive an email from a sender whose name
appears as MTS or MTS Internet Service
or something similar, and that email asks you for your passwords
or billing information, call MTS to ensure the email is legitimate,
as most companies or internet service providers will NEVER
ask you for that information online or via email. Most scams
and frauds are done by the scammer pretending to be a person
or company that the individual they are scamming trusts, which
is why it is important to be extra cautious, and verify through
non-email or online means the legitimacy of the requests for
information or money you receive.
after reading this, avoiding online fraud and scams may not
be as difficult as it might have seemed.
Winnipeg Computer Pros
(204) 885 - 2177
more in the Dec/09
issue of Senior Scope)
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