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The April Edition | April 11, 2019
Katherine Peters
President & CEO

Message from the President

Greetings friend, and welcome to the April Comfort Connection! 
“I love my life!! I love what I do!”
How do you feel about your life? I had the joy of spending this past winter in Grenada, a small island in the Caribbean. I’ve had the joy of getting to know some very quality people. Just about every time we get together, Pastor Simon exclaims, “I love my life!! I love what I do!”
If I could broadly describe the people of Grenada, I would have to say they are just "happy." In Canada, people are generally busy and stressed. My son and I arrived in Grenada and while waiting to deplane, he looked out the window and saw a group of airport staff standing on the tarmac. One fellow had a dustpan with a long handle, and he was playing with it as if it were a golf club. My son exclaimed, “I get the feeling the people here are all about playing!” In my estimation, he summed up the culture of Grenada very quickly and very accurately.

It has been a blessing to rest, relax and recover in Grenada since my injury in October when 10% of my body was burned. It’s not just the ocean air, the warmth and the sea water. I have been supported and surrounded by positive people who genuinely love and care. I’ve been able to get out of the regular rat race pace and reflect on what is important.
The Grenadian culture has some things very "right." They love holidays and weekends, and they know how to take time off and celebrate. So what if just about everything is closed for 2 weeks at Christmas and trades will not work? Oh well, get over it and learn to relax!!
Do you "love your life"? I have learned so much from Pastor Simon who takes each day as it comes. He has a super genuine love for people and readily gives out meaningful hugs (and kisses) to many people he greets each day. Always a smile, and often laughter, I can usually hear him before I see him. He knows how to live in the moment and be present.
He said, “This moment will not come again for us to interact. We may see each other again, but this moment will be gone.” He is able to let go of the past and not let hurts and injustices done to him ruin his life. He has a clear vision for the future as he builds not only his church, but his construction business as well.
Some quotable lines from Pastor Simon are:
“Even when I can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel, I believe the light is there.” 
“I don’t spend time worrying about things I cannot fix.” 
“Success won’t come without failure.” 
And my favourite quote is this, “Your reality is your future, not your past.”
What would it take for you to "love your life"? What little changes and attitude shifts could we make to make our world a better place?
Happy April and Happy Easter! I hope to be bringing some Grenada sunshine with me when I return to Canada!

Katherine Peters
President & CEO

Comforts of Home – Care 

Our Brains Need Exercise, Too

Although life expectancy has more than doubled since 1900, our “mindspan”—how long we stay cognitively healthy—hasn’t kept pace. Forgetfulness, slower processing and feeling less sharp plague most of us as we age. One in five people develops mild cognitive impairment, a decline in thinking skills beyond normal aging, which may or may not advance to dementia.
After 65, your odds of developing Alzheimer’s disease are one in 10. It doesn’t have to be that way, mounting research suggests. Time and genetics alone don’t erode brain functions. How we spend our lives managing the modifiable risk factors that affect our genes is highly significant for our brain health, researchers say. 
Use brain health to motivate your health habits.
Advances in neuroimaging kicked off this new era of brain health by allowing scientists to see inside the brain. What’s become clear: All aspects of physical and emotional health affect cognitive ability. That’s powerful motivation the next time you’re tempted to skip a workout or not opt for a healthy meal, do nothing about stress or loneliness, or avoid treatment for conditions like depression, anxiety, diabetes and sleep apnea. Effects of all of these choices, and many others, travel north.
Resist too much habit and routine. Hallmarks of brain-stimulating activities that improve cognitive abilities, according to a 2017 report by the Global Council on Brain Health (GCBH) are novelty, high engagement, mental challenge and enjoyableness. If you like crosswords, fine, but push beyond to new games and challenges. Good examples from the GCBH: Tai chi, researching genealogy, picking up an old hobby you dropped, making art and community volunteering. When activities include a social component, so much the better.  
Work your brain harder, but not by multitasking. Your brain grooves on doing— but only one thing at a time. Multitasking stresses it. Researchers say one better alternative is a cognitive exercise called “strategic attention.”
The Strategic Memory Advanced Reasoning Training program at the University of Texas at Dallas, advises this: Every day, pick two substantial tasks requiring fairly deep thinking. They might be tracking and analyzing your household budget, planning a vacation, writing a memo or following a complex new recipe. Then carve out two 30-minute sessions to focus without interruption.
Turn off email alerts. Shut the door. No quick scrolls through your news feed that will take you off your task. It takes up to 20 minutes to refocus after a disruption. Over time, you’ll find that you’ll achieve much more, and much more quickly, with improved attention.
Do (the right kind of) nothing. It’s not all about activity. The brain needs two kinds of downtime to function optimally: Rest and sleep. Rest means taking breaks from active thinking. Try taking five minutes, five times a day, to sit still and do nothing.  
By Paula Spencer Scott

Click here to read the full article

Recipe of the Month: Warm Mushroom & Spinach Salad with Shrimp

Looking for an interesting side dish to add to your Easter meal?
You've never had a salad like this one!
With a variety of nutrients from the dark leafy greens, crimini mushrooms, shrimp, and farro, you'll love this healthy addition to your family gathering. 

Click here for the recipe

Video: A Second Family to Care for Your Loved One

It can be tough, caring for a parent. 
First of all, the rules have changed: you've got a person who used to care for you, and now you're caring for them. Emotionally and psychologically, it can be really really difficult.
People who are vulnerable need a place like Comforts of Home – Care that they can trust... a second family to care for your loved one! Your care, your way.

Click here to watch the video now

The Benefits of a Therapy Pet for Seniors

For many older adults, mobility limitations, health issues and low energy can keep them from the social engagement they once enjoyed. Especially in seniors who live alone, social isolation can lead to loneliness, depression and poor physical health. Pet therapy has been shown to benefit seniors by improving depression and anxiety symptoms, increasing self-care, and even improving heart-health. It turns out giving and receiving unconditional love is literally good for your heart.
Proven Benefits of Pet Companionship 
The Pets for the Elderly Foundation, a nationwide charity committed to connecting seniors with therapy animals, has collected research on pet therapy for seniors. These studies discuss the physiological and psychological impact of animals on seniors’ quality of life. Here are their findings:
Physical Benefits 
  • Heart Health—Frequent interaction with a pet can lower blood pressure and cholesterol, decreasing the risk of cardiovascular disease. 
  • Improved Activity—Walking, grooming or playing with a pet increases the frequency of physical activity and exercise, which in turn has countless health benefits. 
  • Healthy Behavior—Those who own a pet tend to take better care of themselves. Caring for a pet helps to develop a routine, encouraging owners to eat regularly or complete chores and other tasks.
Social & Emotional Benefits
  • Increased Interaction—Walking a dog gets senior owners out of the house and increases their opportunities to socialize with neighbors. 
  • Decreased Loneliness—Pets provide companionship, giving isolated seniors a source for affection, conversation and activity. 
  • Stress Relief—Being with a pet increases levels of serotonin, the “feel good” hormone that relieves stress. It also provides physical contact, which helps to calm anxiety. 
  • Better Self-Esteem —For seniors discouraged by their age, appearance or limited abilities, pets are welcome company, reminding seniors that they are still capable of being loved and needed. 
  • Sense of Purpose—The company of an animal provides a reason to get up in the morning. Pets combat depression symptoms by eliminating feelings of worthlessness or helplessness. Knowing that they are loved and needed enhances seniors’ mental health.
Things to Consider Before Getting a Pet
If you think your loved one would benefit from owning a pet, ask yourself these questions to help you make a wise decision:
  • What is the best choice for a pet? If your loved one has trouble walking or is more limited in their ability to provide constant attention to a pet, a cat might be a better choice than a dog. 
  • Is my loved one an experienced pet owner? Taking on the responsibilities of owning a pet could be overwhelming for a senior who has never had one before. 
  • Are finances an issue? Consider your loved one’s financial situation. Animal care can be expensive, and if your loved one is on a fixed income, owning a pet could cause financial burdens. Assess the costs before you commit. 
  • Choose the right pet. Do your research to find a pet whose age, size, personality and energy level fit well with your loved one’s. 
  • Could I adopt an animal in need? Older animals in shelters have a lower adoption rate than puppies or kittens and have a greater risk of being euthanized. Adopting an adult, healthy pet for your loved one can eliminates the stress of training, match your loved one’s energy level and save the life of a loving animal. 
By Caren Parnes
For the Senior’s Choice

Joke of the Month

My face in the mirror isn’t wrinkled or drawn.
My house isn’t dirty. The cobwebs are gone.
My garden looks lovely and so does my lawn.
I think I might never put my glasses back on!
Comforts of Home - Care
P: 204.949.3234 | F: 204.949.9049 | E: info@cohcinc.com | W: ComfortsOfHomeCare.ca
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