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The July Edition | July 12, 2018
Katherine Peters
President & CEO

Message from the President

Greetings friend, and welcome to the July Comfort Connection!
Last month my husband and I took a 2,100-kilometer road trip to Guelph, Ontario. It was a lovely combination of business and visiting family and friends along the way. To prepare for the trip, my husband had our 2013 vehicle checked over. He is one of those people who likes to prepare for all the "what if's." We needed an oil change and a new CV joint was recommended. No problem: we had the work done and we were on our way!
We made it all the way to Guelph in less than 2 days, and a couple of days later started our trip back. About half an hour past London, Ontario there was a big clunk and we were stuck on the side of a single-lane highway busy with construction. There was no other alternative but to get towed back to London. It turns out it was the new CV joint... the one we had replaced! The original CV joint had lasted 150,000 kilometers, and this one only about 2,300 kilometers! After a large tow and repair bill, and a day’s delay, we were on our way again.
About five years ago, an elderly couple came to visit us in our office at Comforts of Home – Care. They were inquiring about our services even though they didn’t need any help yet. They came in to do their research in the case of "what if" they needed us one day.
Recently, we got a call from the wife. Her husband had been diagnosed with cancer. It was really bad. They set up services, but before we could even provide care in their home, he had to be rushed to the hospital and passed away.
Sometimes it doesn’t matter how prepared we think we are, things don’t work out as planned. We don’t know what is in the future. Does that mean we shouldn’t prepare ahead of time and do everything we think we should do?
On the contrary, being prepared helps us deal with life’s road bumps. When our vehicle broke down, it was not something we planned for, but we had enough cash and credit to deal with it. We had enough time margins built into our trip that it did not create any serious setbacks. The breakdown actually gave me a full day to rest, which was much-needed.
The elderly couple likely not only visited our company five years ago, but had checked out many other resources as well. They didn’t know what was in store for the future, but they were as ready as they could be. The pressure was off in the sense that they had the phone numbers ready. They didn’t have to do any research in a crisis.
How prepared are you for what may or may not be coming down the road? 
At Comforts of Home – Care, we are happy to help you prepare for help down the road. You can pick up the phone today whether you think you or your mom or dad needs help yet or not! Our friendly staff will answer any questions you may have. It doesn’t hurt to do your research ahead of time! Just phone 204.949.3234. My husband’s motto he lives by is, "Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst!" 
Enjoy the rest of your summer! It goes by so quickly in Winnipeg!


Katherine Peters
President & CEO

Comforts of Home – Care 

Tips for Organizing Health Information

Do you have your Emergency Response Information Kit?
The kit is ideal for seniors, chronically ill persons, those who live alone or who have caregivers, and others who have speech difficulties or communication barriers. 

Get your kit & place it on the fridge door for easy access!

By Kathy Porter
A trip to the emergency room made me realize why caregivers are advised to organize heath information. When mom broke her hip, I called an ambulance. When it arrived, I confidently recited mom’s Medicare number. When asked what medications she took, I pulled out our basket of pill bottles. At the hospital, the questions got more complicated. Still, I knew enough to fill out the forms.
However, while I did not know it then, I would be joining mom in the hospital the next day with an emergency of my own that kept me in the hospital for six weeks. As we both recovered, I looked for the best way to store her health information. I especially wanted an easy way to share it with others in case I am not around.
I now have a folder for paperwork that is portable and easy to maintain. It isn’t just for emergencies. We take it to every doctor visit. Now anyone who has the folder can see when mom had her last flu shot, what medications she takes, and that she had a malignant mole removed in 1981. We can all see when all medical appointments are scheduled. Even my brother, who lives at a distance, could answer medical questions if he had to take mom to the doctor while visiting.
Information to collect
You probably have most of this information readily available. If not, begin with what you have and add information as you can. Useful information to collect includes:
  • medical history,
  • health insurance and Medicare cards,
  • a list of medications including dosages, frequency, date started, and reason,
  • a list of emergency contacts, relationship, addresses, and all phone numbers,
  • any special logs such as blood pressure readings, blood sugar levels or symptoms,
  • a copy of a health care proxy, advanced directives, or living will, and
  • a power-of-attorney, if one is used.
What should you keep in a medical history?
  • Names of all physicians,
  • known allergies or reactions to medications,
  • all medications, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbs,
  • health conditions and date of diagnosis,
  • dates of most recent exams, tests, and immunizations,
  • dates and reasons for hospitalizations,
  • dates and details of surgeries,
  • dates and length of major illnesses,
  • history of smoking and use of alcohol,
  • location of living will or medical directives,
  • history of exposure to dangerous conditions or hazards,
  • family history including illnesses or conditions of parents and siblings, and
  • cause of death of parents and siblings and their age at death. 

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Recipe of the Month: Pesto-topped Grilled Summer Squash

Toasty rustic pesto takes simple grilled squash from ordinary to exceptional with tangy lemon and fresh garlic in this delightful recipe!
Serve as a side dish or chop the grilled squash, combine with the pesto, and toss with pasta for a light entree.

Click here for the recipe

Video: Your Care Starts with You

Your care starts with you!
Learn how a caring companion can make all the difference for you and your loved ones in this video.
"People who are vulnerable really need a place like Comforts of Home - Care they can trust."

Click here to watch the video now

A Great Summer Activity: Aquatic Exercise for Seniors

Many seniors have found that working out in the water is an excellent way to improve their overall well-being, from providing a variety of physical benefits to offering social time and a trip out of the house. The unique properties of water provide seniors with the opportunity to get relief from painful physical conditions such as arthritis and circulatory problems while deriving the benefits of low-impact exercise in an environment that minimizes the risk of injury. 

Why Water? 

Cardiovascular exercise and weight loss are common benefits of any type of aerobic exercise, but exercising while submerged in water provides some distinct advantages that set aquatic exercise apart from land-based activity. Age-related joint conditions like arthritis can be a painful impediment to a senior’s capability (and enthusiasm) for exercising. But water-based exercise puts significantly less stress on joints, allowing them to enjoy these activities for longer periods of time, and can also provide some relief from these chronic conditions. Swimming can also be relaxing and meditative, which may offer some stress relief, adding to its cardiovascular benefits. 

The Physical Benefits of Water Exercise

Cardio: It doesn't matter if a senior is water-jogging or swimming—using the water to get their heart rate up will increase aerobic capacity, burn fat, and decrease their risk for heart disease.

Balance: Reduced muscle tone and vision loss can affect senior coordination and increase their risk of falling. Aquatic exercise is a great way to help improve balance. Doing specific balance exercises in water helps build strength and coordination. Water provides the ideal environment for this type of exercise, safely allowing for a loss of balance, since their water-induced buoyancy will prevent them from falling.

Strength: Working with water “bar bells” or wrist bands can provide a great form of resistance-training which help build muscle strength and endurance without injury.

Work Out and Get Out

Socializing is an overlooked added benefit of many types of senior group activity, and aquatic exercise is a prime opportunity to get out of the isolation of the home and into a social environment—and in the case of outdoor pools, enjoying some sun (with sun protection, of course).

Studies have shown that the opportunity to socialize is one of the key reasons elderly people will maintain a successful exercise program. Group exercise classes provide an ideal opportunity for conversation.

Whether that be an exercise class, individual standing exercises, or swimmers using kickboards to kick side-by-side, there are many opportunities in the pool to socialize.

Getting Started

If you haven't been swimming in a while, start slowly. Try swimming laps for just five to ten minutes while coordinating your breathing, strokes, and kicking. A pair of well-fitting goggles is a must. A less strenuous option is just walking or running in water. Water aerobics classes are offered at a variety of levels, and often specifically for seniors. Check out your local senior center, community center, or YMCA for their summer offerings for seniors.

By Caren Parnes
For The Senior’s Choice

OLD-ish at the Winnipeg Fringe

Joke of the Month

Q: Why did gramma put wheels on her rocking chair?
A: She wanted to rock and roll! 

Comforts of Home - Care
P: 204.949.3234 | F: 204.949.9049 | E: info@cohcinc.com | W: ComfortsOfHomeCare.ca
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