Seniors’ Situation Room – Edition 10 by Dawn Ford

Dr. Samir Sinha
Dr. Samir Sinha

CFN – If you are interested in news on what is changing in the medical field for seniors, perhaps visit Dr. Samir Sinha’s  websites. He is a leading geriatrician at Toronto’s Mount Sinai Hospital. He has participated in providing information on geriatrics in a huge medical study of what needs to be changed in the medical field. These recommendations were presented apparently this fall to Health Minister Deb Mathews. An article this summer in the Ottawa Citizen (August 21, 2012) stated that he was advocating bringing in medical clinics into seniors activity centers. At first I thought that maybe it was a bit much as these centers are mostly for fun although some have exercise programs as well. If I think about going to my Tai Chi class at one of these activity centers, I can’t see myself going to a medical clinic there to have my BP taken or whatever. After my class I go to Hamburger Harry’s to get back all the calories I have just burned away. In other words, it is exercise but also a fun outing. But then it could a great resource for someone who needs it at the time. We could all be in that boat on any given day and it could be there to help us. So, the more I think about it and his explanation of having screening clinics at these centers, I realize that it could be good prevention and cost-effective, which leaves more health dollars for other medical issues. He is also interested, it seems, in bringing in measures which will be more realistic for keeping seniors in their homes. Additionally you will find information on fall prevention and deflecting dementia on the site and, if you still have your teeth, a message on keeping them for life. It is worthwhile reading the info.

An announcement has been made by the Provincial Health Minister Deb Mathews on the study and some info released about Dr. Sinha’s report called ‘Living Longer, Living Well‘  . Everything I have read about him points to his sincerity in helping seniors do just that. I think it would be good for any of us to write to him about our concerns since we live this life as seniors and voice our needs, suggestions and our hopes for more contented and healthy retirement years.

Other news on Dr. Sinha’s work: Article and article.

This past Christmas, The Comfort Inn had posters on the walls at the local nursing homes advertising a free stay for Christmas night for families of residents in the nursing homes, retirement homes and seniors residences . I am sure that some families took advantage of it and were able then to afford to stay a night or two longer. Kudos.

Solterra Co-Housing Ltd offers another alternative for seniors who would prefer to live in a house instead of apartment, living in residences or retirement homes. It is a shared housing and shared ownership opportunity with three or four people living in and owning the home.

Cornwall Transit has acquired three buses to add to their fleet. Apparently these buses will enable people with disabilities to ride the bus. This is indicative of their concern for all our citizens. Great news. Kudos

When I first went to an ENT specialist concerning a growing awareness of some hearing loss, he sent me to Rob Meagher of Davidson Hearing Center. After the hearing test, Rob told me that I had lost fifty percent of my hearing in one ear and the other was almost the same. I would need two hearing aids. I think I went into shock .

I don’t know what result I had expected but that was not it. What about my nursing career?? What about everything? Rob had worn hearing aids most of his life and he very compassionately and patiently let me talk, ranting and raving probably. I was only forty seven. This was not supposed to be happening until I was eighty-seven. Then, after my prattle was done, he said that we needed to focus on what we could do about the loss to help me hear well.

He said to me ‘this is what we can do’… and from that time he has never failed to help in anyway he could. He is always cheerful, calls his waiting clients by name and is always calm and professional. He has inspired me with his own ease of his disability. For about two years after receiving them, I think I whined about those ‘plugs’ in my ears to any one who would listen. I didn’t want those big ‘clodhoppers’ behind my ears, either. I chose dainty ‘in- the- ear aids’ which don’t show that much and I changed my hairstyle to hide them.

But, the day came when I began to be grateful I had any aids, grateful that I could hear at all and that I could hear the rain falling and a baby’s laughter. I think my transition from whiner and big baby to being a ‘grateful hard of hearing’ person was due to Rob and his calm example taking me all the way through all that anxiety, one step at a time. Recently, I dropped an aid, damaging it. The manufacturer refused to repair it because it was five + years old. Rob took it to the Davidson Center lab in Ottawa and they repaired it for me. He didn’t have to; he could have sold me a new one. I wouldn’t have known the difference. But that is the way he is – a nice, wonderful guy. I hope that he never retires. Kudos.

For all you die-hard baseball fans (me too), here is the good news which will make the winter seem shorter. The Toronto Blue Jays’ spring training schedule is out and the first game is Feb. 23rd. They will be playing Detroit Tigers, starting at 1:05 pm.. Hooray!! That’s music to my ears. And on the 24th at 1:05 p.m. they will be playing my beloved Yankees. Did you see the replay of the 1992 World Series during the Christmas week?? Seeing it all again was great and what excitement when they won in the sixth game! It was cold and snowy outside but the TV warmed everything up with baseball. It was so great to see some of the players again and just sit there and watch it happen. When we hear the Umpire on Feb. 23rd. call ‘Play ball’ we will feel like eight year olds again. What a nice way to get through the rest of the winter!

We can always enjoy a joke:
An elderly gentleman had serious hearing problems for a number of years. He went to the doctor and the doctor was able to have him fitted with a set of hearing aids that allowed the gentleman to hear one hundred percent. He went back in a month to the doctor said, “Your hearing is perfect; your family must be really pleased that you can hear again.” The gentleman replied,”Oh, I haven’t told my family yet. I just sit around and listen to the conversations. I’ve changed my will three times.!!”

Have a great week, Dawn

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