By Deborah Lorteau
the last time you got pruny on purpose? I am not
talking about eating prunes, though those little fruits really
pack a punch if you need to get things moving.
No I am talking about something much closer to living a life
of hard work and leisure, and how getting pruny
takes on a whole new meaning.
of all lets look at the different ways a person can
become pruny. Some of you might be wondering,
okay, she better have a point soon. I do. While doing various
jobs and tasks around the home and at work I have discovered
some surprising ways where your hands actually get the pruny
look. While gardening with rubber gloves for instance, or
while working in a dish-room in an institution style kitchen,
while washing clothes outside, while doing spring cleaning,
and while doing dishes the old fashioned way in a tub with
cold water standing outside near a tent.
us rely too much on modern shortcuts such as a dishwasher.
Personally I find doing dishes to be a good time to reminisce
or review the days events. As the scent of Sunlight
drifts up to my eager nostrils, I am swept back in time to
when as a young girl I stood at the sink and washed sink after
sink of dishes. My sisters and I would tell jokes, share stories
or trade hysterical gossip to pass the time. One person washed
the dishes, one person dried them, and the other put it all
away and swept the floor. There was a camaraderie and feeling
of closeness that a dishwasher does not bring to the process
of the meal. I washed dishes until my hands were pruny
and to me it meant several things. A good meal was served,
many people were at the table, effort was put into the meal,
and we all shared in the task of the cleanup and preparing
for the next one. We always had faith in there being a next
one, which made the task enjoyable.
time my hands got very pruny while camping in
the lovely area of Roseau River with a multitude of friends
on some private land. There was no running water at the campsite
but the owners had a nice big barrel that caught rainwater
that we could use to our hearts content. There was never a
huge amount of dishes to be done but the task was made so
much more pleasant by being outside, hearing the birds cheering
us on, and doing it at a pace that was slow to some, but sooo
relaxing to us.
spending some time up north at a fishing camp, I had to resort
to washing my clothes by hand and hanging them to dry on a
makeshift line outside my tent. I was one of two females in
the entire camp and my
fellow campers were confused as to why I would need to wash
clothes at all. These men all thought why bother, we are camping.
We were there for three weeks and as a woman I tell you that
is a long time to go without washing your clothes, I dont
care what you guys say. So there I was washing, scrubbing
by hand with no washboard and then hanging the clothes up
on the line. It was cold, and my hands felt like they were
going to start cracking but then the pruny effect
took over and the chore had triggered some memory from long
ago. When I was growing up we lived in some housing that did
not have running water so we had to melt snow in the winter
and hang the clothes outside. The pants would stiffen up like
frozen scarecrow legs but when they thawed out from the heat
of the wood stove there was a smell that you cannot find anywhere.
The clothes smelled fresh, clean, and wild from the wintry
air. Our hands got pruny but the effect was worth
it considering what had to be done to achieve that special
me to getting pruny in another way. When was the
last time you got pruny from sitting too long
in a bathtub? When we were kids we would sit and soak forever,
playing with our toys, making Mohawk hairdos out of bubbles
or pretending to float and listening to our heartbeats. These
times were spent in honeysuckle splendor, with mirrors fogged
up and our little hands turned pruny; telling us we
were truly clean. The dirt of our childhoods had nothing left
to hold onto. There are now companies in town that can refit
your tub so you can once again soak to your hearts content
in a safe and affordable way. This is a pleasure no one should
be denied at any age.
saved the best for last though, which is getting pruny
from the life that you have led. When your days have been
filled with caring for children, running a household, building
communities, planting a garden, or
taking frozen clothes off the line, your body becomes filled
with the memories of all that you have done much in the same
way your body becomes filled from the bathwater resulting
in a distinctive pruny look. That is a look to
be proud of and to strive to achieve. Leave plastic surgery
to the stars that need them, I prefer to shine with my pruny
skin that reflects how much life I have lived.
more in the Feb
10 /2010 issue of Senior Scope)
the warning signs of fraud
and frauds come in various forms largely depending on the
creativity of the criminal. Many of the frauds targeting Canadians
have been categorized or given a title to distinguish one
from the other, but they all share some commonalities and
in the end they are designed to deprive you of your hard earned
money. Here are a few tips for you to recognize, prevent,
and stop fraud:
it sounds too good to be true, it is.
You've won a big prize in a contest that you don't
recall entering. You're offered a once-in-a-lifetime investment
that offers a huge return. You're told that you can buy into
a lottery ticket pool that cannot lose.
must give them your private financial information.
The caller asks for all your confidential banking and/or credit
card information. Honest businesses do not require these details
unless you are using that specific method of payment.
the manager calling
The person calling claims to be a government official, tax
officer, banking official, lawyer or some other person in
authority. The person calls you by your first name and asks
you a lot of personal or lifestyle questions (like how often
do your grown children visit you).
a limited opportunity and you're going to miss out.
If you are pressured to make a big purchase decision immediately,
it's probably not a legitimate deal. Real businesses or charities
will give you a chance to check them out or think about it.
can I do to protect myself?
legitimate telemarketers have nothing to hide
However, criminals will say anything to part you from your
Be cautious. You have the right to check out any caller by
requesting written information, a call back number, references
and time to think over the offer.
business people will be happy to provide you with that information.
After all, they want the "bad guys" out of business
too. Always be careful about providing confidential personal
information, especially banking or credit card details, unless
you are certain the company is legitimate. And, if you have
doubts about a caller, your best defence is to simply hang
up. It's not rude it's smart.
Commercial Crime Section
more in the Feb
10 /2010 issue of Senior Scope)
on Aging - Senator Sharon Carstairs, Chair of the Special
Senate Committee on Aging - Final Report 2009
Payne (left), Acting Director for Centre on Aging, and
Senator Sharon Carstairs.
on Aging presented keynote speaker, Senator Sharon Carstairs
to give the final report on Canadas aging population.
Senator Carstairs, Chair of the Special Senate Committee on
Aging and Minister with special responsibility for palliative
careas well as teacher, politician, authorreported
that Canada really isnt ready for an aging population.
was established in November, 2006, to determine if Canada
was providing suitable programs and services for seniors when
they are needed in an effort to combat ageism.
is defined as discrimination on the basis of age that:
Makes assumptions about capacity;
Removes decision-making process;
Ignores older persons known wishes; and
Treats the older adult as a child.
Carstairs pointed out that, Aging is not a disease.
Its a natural life-long process. Seniors are a rich
and vibrant part of our country.
study, they looked at four categories:
1) defining seniors;
2) the diversity of seniors and their needs;
3) promising policy approaches;
4) the role of the federal government.
information from seniors, senior organizations, caregivers,
practitioners, policy makers, politicians, etc., and looked
at issues including Health, Finance, Housing and Transportation
visited communities across Canada including Halifax, NS; Moncton,
NB; Sherbrooke, QC; Welland, ON; Ste. Anne and Sagkeeng First
Nation, MB; plus Vancouver and Victoria, BC to learn first-hand
from the people of those communities what they feel is needed
to improve situations for the aging.
final report, the Special Senate Committee on Aging established
recommendations, not only for the federal government, but
also for every Canadian, province, territory, municipality,
for every business, and for every volunteer organization,
and so on, so we can all address the challenges of an aging
population. These are only recommendations in hopes that it
will trigger action at every level and aspect of our society.
their research, the Committee learned that, Ageism is
a two-way street. Active aging eliminates aging, says
Senator Carstairs. Some concerns they recognized were seniors
living in isolation or inappropriate homes due to inadequate
housing and transportation, and those living in poverty where
basic needs were not met with their current income security
measures. As Sophie Kolt pointed out from the audience, isolation
can also lead to more serious consequences such as alcohol
and pharmaceutical abuse or improper use, which in turn can
lead to seniors unnecessarily utilizing emergency and hospital
beds, also due to the fact that there are no programs or services
to address the issues before it reaches that critical point.
also recognized that health and social human resources are
not prepared to handle a quickly-aging society. Harry Paine,
board member and columnist for MSOS, pointed out that pediatricians
outnumber geriatricians approximately 6 to 1. Senator Carstairs
says that geriatric training should be included in basic physician
training. Also recognized is the fact that caregivers are
inadequately supported, many having to choose between their
jobs or caring for a loved one.
Carstairs wonders why the transition from working full time
to retiring cant be a gradual process, allowing people
to work part-time for a period without sacrificing their pensions,
which currently are based
on their last two years of income. She also wonders why doctors
are given the responsibility of taking away drivers licenses
of the elderly. There should be board to decide that fate.
And why cant there be graduated licenses, similar to
that for the younger generation, which might allow a senior
to drive to the local grocery store in their small town, but
not on a major freeway or highway with high-speed traffic.
She also would like to support the Barrier Free Living concept
of having building codes on all new structures to include
wider doors to accommodate those in wheelchairs and other
are not only living longer, but longer and in good health,
as well. Statistics Canada stated that the number of people
over 100 increased 50% from 1996 to 2006 - in only 10 years!
And its expected to triple to more than 14,000 by 2031.
With the baby boom population aging and Canadians having fewer
children, its inevitable that we are rapidly shifting
into an aging country and changes need to be made to accommodate
report, seniors were also defined as older
Canadians and some categorized them even further as
young old, middle old, and frail
senior and older Canadian are used
interchangeably in the report to accommodate each individuals
view of themselves. Many older people have a positive view
of the term senior as it can suggest a sense of
wisdom and experience accumulated throughout ones life,
whereas others resent the label of senior and
the so-called stigma attached to it in some cases.
of defining a senior by their age, they are defined in the
report as those eligible for retirement, those retired, and
those in long-term care facilities. There is an emphasis on
the frail senior to ensure that human dignity is recognized
in options available to them.
the Committee on Aging submitted to the federal government
Move immediately to take steps to promote active aging and
healthy aging and to combat ageism;
Provide leadership and coordination through initiatives such
as a National Integrated Care Initiative, a National caregiver
Strategy, a National Pharmacare Program, and a federal transfer
to address the needs of provinces with the highest proportion
of the aging population;
Ensure the financial security of Canadians by addressing the
needs of older workers, pension reform and income security
Facilitate the desire of Canadians to age in their place of
choice with adequate housing, transportation, and integrated
health and social care services; and
Act immediately to implement changes for those populations
groups for which it has a specific direct service responsibility,
and in relation to Canadas official language commitments.
list consists of 32 recommendations.
can be downloaded at:
more in the Feb
10 /2010 issue of Senior Scope)
the Road to Awareness
March 18 & 19, 2010
The Fort Garry Hotel
333 Broadway Avenue Wpg
a conference that examines the tough issues of mental health,
substance use and driving as it pertains to aging. It is organized
by Partners Seeking Solutions With Seniors and Transportation
Options Network for Seniors.
professionals, older adults, caregivers of older adults, and
professionals in senior serving organizations are invited
Senator Sharon Carstairs Senate Report on Aging 2009:
Senator Sharon Carstairs, co-chair the Senate Special
Committee on Aging will discuss the findings of the 2009 Senate
Report on Aging on growing older in Canada and the many ways
we need to examine and respond to help Canadians age well.
Elliott Paus Jenssen Changing the Dialogue on Ageism:
This presentation is about ageism: our stereotypical thinking
about older adults, prejudice, discrimination and the resulting
adverse consequences. It explores the pervasiveness of ageism
in our society through individual acts and institutional practices
and policies. Ageisms insidious effects are discussed
with special emphasis on the compounding effects of ageism
with other isms. The presentation will include
discussion of changes we need to make to change the
dialogue in order to reduce the barriers to participation
by all older adults in society.
Economic Impact of Seniors in Vibrant Communities panelists
from Manitoba and Saskatchewan
participants: Dale Worobec, Communications Manager, Saskatoon
Council on Aging,
Cal Abrahmson, Mayor of Mont Marte
Saskatchewan, Eileen Clarke,
Mayor of Gladstone, Manitoba
presentation, Dale Worobec will discuss the paid and unpaid
roles of older adults and how communities benefit when their
senior residents are engaged. The Mayors of Mont Marte and
Gladstone will present best practices on the successful engagement
of older adults in their communities.
Ruth Anne Craig Empowerment
Craig, Executive Director CMHA Manitoba, will be discussing
Empowerment as it refers to increasing the spiritual, political,
social or economic strength of individuals and communities
and how it often involves the empowered to develop confidence
in their own capacities.
Syva-Lee Wildenmann (MB) & Pat Harcolt-Peever (SK)
Caregivers Mental Health
Syva-Lee Wildenmann, Program Director Ruperts Land Caregivers
Services & Pat Harcolt-Peever, Caregiving Program, Saskatoon
Council on Aging. This presentation will explore the issues
of caregivers mental health as a result of our aging population
and the shift of health care services from institution to
community based settings.
Manitoba Public Insurance De-mystify the process of
losing your drivers license
This presentation will help to demystify the process of losing
your drivers license through a voluntary decision or medical
reason. Chris Beck will discuss the Manitoba Public Insurance
policy pertaining to driver licensing and Linda Johnson will
discuss the Driver Assessment Process and tools that are used
when assessing peoples skills and abilities in relationship
The Dream of Peer Helping Lynn Crawford, Coordinator
PSSS Peer Helpers, and
Deb Kostyk, Addictions Foundation of Manitoba.
This workshop will provide a historical look of peer helping
in Manitoba and also illustrate current highlights of peer
helping developed and implemented by Partners Seeking Solutions
with Seniors. Older adult peers will share stories about their
work that will inspire participants and affirm the value of
peer helping programming.
conference program and registration forms are available on
the websites: www.tonsmb.org
and registrations can be faxed to:
Early Bird (Jan. 4 Feb. 12)
Regular (Feb, 13 Mar.12)
/General Public :
$150 / 2 days (early bird)
$200 / 2 days (regular)
$100 / 1 day (early bird)
$125 / 1 day (regular)
$50 / 2 days (early bird)
$80 / 2 days (regular)
$35 / 1 day (early bird)
$45 / 1 day (regular
information, please contact:
Partners Seeking Solutions With Seniors
or 943-8176 or
Transportation Options Network
more in the Feb
10 /2010 issue of Senior Scope)
William J. Thomas
Captain, My Captain, run for your life
toured the ancient Mayan ruins at Chichen Itza in Mexico's
Yucatan Peninsula. After walking the sacred grounds which
the Maya established 1500 years ago, most people feel a deep
spiritual transformation. Me, I came away thrilled that I
wasn't good enough to make their ball club.
the Maya of Mexico are a friendly, peace-loving, docile people.
Sweet is an apt description of these squat, copper-toned Indians.
But back in 500 AD, their ancestors were quite the brutal
and blood-thirsty bunch.
Itza, they've discover secret cinotes or deep natural wells
where 13-year-old girls, weighted down with heavy jewelry,
were once sacrificed to the gods. And when the Mayan king
died, his man-servant had to die as well in order to take
care of him in the next life.
Itza ball court consisted of a long and grassy field, walled
along the sides with a temple at one end, a grandstand for
the elite at the other. Hordes of spectators lined the court
as the captain stood on an elevated knoll under a stone ring
very high up the wall and attempted to knock a three-kilogram
hard rubber ball through the ring using only a knee, a hip
or an elbow. His six teammates used bats on the field to gain
possession of the ball from their six opponents then fired
it at the captain who would redirect it for the score.
hit the ring, he scored a point but when he miraculously powered
the ball clean through the hole in the ring, a tremendously
difficult feat, the game ended immediately and triumphantly.
in the mother of all award ceremonies, for leading his team
to victory, the captain was immediately decapitated by the
sword of the losing captain.
exception of Toronto Maple Leaf fans, who will go Stanley
Cup-less for this, the 37 th consecutive year, I don't know
of anybody who would root for this kind of victory celebration.
Don Cherry would like to see human decapitation in professional
hockey, but I'm sure he'd insist on a five-minute major to
go with it.
captain's head was then impaled on a sharp stick and planted
in a nearby garden where the dripping blood provided the enrichment
for new life to spring forth from the soil.
killing your captain is a very bad idea and I couldn't help
but feel sorry for Enrique of the Chichen Itza Eagles.
this is the luckiest day of your life."
King just named you captain for today's game against the Toltec
know coach, I'm flattered, I really am but I'm not what you
call a born leader. Now you take Chuchalub over there, he's
the guy the boys would follow into a cinote full of crocodiles."
I'll tell you, Enrique, that shot you made in practice yesterday,
that was to die for!"
I'm great in practice but let's face it, coach, I'm a game
day dud. Boy that Chuchalub, he's got an elbow like the great
today's the biggest game of your life, Enrique, and as you
know, Xavier, the captain of the Toltec Serpents is out for
what happened to Kukula, our previous captain?"
ended his career on a high note, Enrique. Won his last game.
Now he just putts around in the garden."
don't know coach, I'm a lot more comfortable on defense."
Enrique, all you have to do is go out there and play like
there's no tomorrow."
I don't know, the thrill of victory just doesn't do it for
Enrique, you're the guy. Without your leadership, the Eagles
look like a bunch of Chickens running around with their heads
.. their heads .. their heads up their cavities. Besides,
you get to wear the big "C," you get to do the coin
toss and if you're lucky, you get to catch the half-time show."
for the brass ring?"
sorry Enrique, we're Mayas not Jacksons."
I'll talk it over with my family."
a done deal, Captain Enrique. Say, would you save me a trip
and leave this new sword in Xavier's locker. By the way, your
daughter Regina? What's she about 13 years old now?"
she's much older, just short for her age."
her to the game. There's a party at the cinote afterwards."
fifty-pound necklace for your little princess. Pure jade.
She'll love it."
for being such a good sport Enrique, the King is going to
make your father his new man-servant."
yeah. Easy job. Between you and me, the King is on his last
thanks for dropping by, coach."
the coin toss? Don't take heads."
William J. Thomas lives on Sunset Bay in Wainfleet, Ont. He
is the author of seven books of humour, including The Dog
Rules Damn Near Everything (Damn Near Everything!). www.williamthomas.ca
more in the Feb
10 /2010 issue of Senior Scope)