March 2019 Proactive Seniors Monthly Newsletter

March 2019 Proactive Seniors Monthly Newsletter

Welcome to our fourth newsletter. Thank you for joining us.  We have created the Proactive Seniors monthly newsletter to provide useful information, tips and strategies that seniors or people who are blessed with seniors in their lives, can use to make life better. Feel free to pass it along to a friend or family member who would benefit from this kind of information. Subscribe by clicking the link at the bottom of the newsletter or by visiting our website at  
Be Heart Smart 
80% of premature heart disease and stroke cases are preventable through healthy lifestyle behaviours.  Eat well, get moving, maintain a healthy weight, stop smoking and manage your stress. Stay on top of conditions such as high blood pressure, cholesterol issues, diabetes and atrial fibrillation.
What Does a Heart Attack Look Like?
Provided by Comfort Keepers Calgary – Social Media 

Most of us have a specific idea of what a heart attack looks like: someone feels an abrupt, strong pain that causes them to stop in their tracks and clutch their chest. While some heart attacks do happen suddenly, many start slowly, with pain or discomfort. A person can have symptoms for hours before they even realize they’re having a heart attack.

Knowing what signs to look for can save critical time, and it’s important to be aware of the signs:
  • Chest discomfort – The chest pain associated with a heart attack doesn’t feel the same for everyone. Some people experience squeezing, discomfort or a feeling of fullness.
  • Pain or discomfort throughout the body – Heart attack pain isn’t limited to the chest area. Heart attack symptoms can include soreness in the neck, arms, jaw or back, or a combination of these. Women are more likely than men to experience jaw and back pain when suffering from a heart attack.
  • Shortness of breath – Shortness of breath is a heart attack symptom that is not usually recognized as one. However, those vulnerable to heart problems should be aware of any sudden breathing problems, especially if combined with other symptoms
  • Nausea – Lightheadedness, vomiting, cold sweats and nausea are also symptoms that are not often associated with a heart attack, but can signal the onset of one. 
Early detection of a heart attack can help prevent damage to the heart, brain and body. If you witness someone having these symptoms, or you feel them yourself, it’s important to call 911 and seek medical attention immediately.
How to be Heart Healthy  
You can help keep your heart and blood vessels healthy by taking steps toward a healthier lifestyle. Healthy lifestyle habits include healthy eating, getting active and being tobacco free. An assessment of your heart health can help to identify your risk of a heart attack or stroke and further identify what you can do to reduce your risk.  

A heart-healthy lifestyle is important for everyone, not just those with existing health problems.  If you already have heart or blood vessel problems, such as high cholesterol or high blood pressure, a healthy lifestyle can help you manage those problems. 

Be Tobacco Free
Reducing or quitting tobacco use is one of the most important things you can do for your health.  Tobacco use is still the number one cause of preventable death and disability world-wide and is linked to many illnesses, including heart attack, stroke, diabetes, pulmonary disease and many others. When you quit using tobacco, no matter how old you are, you will decrease your risk of these health problems. 
Eat Healthy
Healthy eating helps promote and maintain a healthy weight when combined with active living. Eating more vegetables and fruit offers additional benefit of lowering blood pressure and the risk of heart attack, stroke, diabetes, vascular dementia and kidney disease.  

Get Active  
Increasing your physical activity is good for your heart and blood vessels, as well as the rest of your body. Being active helps lower your risk of health problems and helps you feel good. 

Know Your Risk – Heart Disease Risk Calculator 
A Heart Disease Risk Calculator is now available to tell you your heart age and chances of having a heart attack or stroke in the next 10 years. If you do not already have a diagnosis of heart disease or stroke, which means you’re already at high risk, and you are over 30 years of age, try this calculator to find out your heart age and what can be done to reduce your risk.  

This risk assessment looks at your age, blood cholesterol levels, blood pressure and family history to calculate your risk score. To find out more and to calculate your heart risk see below:  
From AHS Wellness Articles – February 2019
Be Aware of Signs of Stress
In tough times we can be more vulnerable to stress, worry, anxiety and depression. It’s important to take care of ourselves.  Remember, it’s normal to feel stress from time to time in everyday life. Everyone who goes through stressful events can be affected in some way. Sometimes these stress reactions may not appear for weeks or months following an event. It is important to watch for warning signs. 
The warning signs of stress can be physical or emotional. Some people call this “storing” stress in the body (physical) or in the mind (emotional). 
Common physical symptoms of stress include:
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Headache
  • Stiff neck and/or tight shoulders
  • Backache
  • Rapid breathing
  • Sweating and sweaty palms 
  • Upset stomach, nausea, or diarrhea
You also may notice signs of stress in your thinking, behaviour, or mood. You may:
  • Become irritable and intolerant of even minor disturbances
  • Feel irritated or frustrated, lose your temper more often, and yell at others for no reason
  • Feel jumpy or exhausted all the time
  • Find it hard to concentrate or focus on tasks
  • Worry too much about insignificant things 
  • Doubt your ability to do things
  • Imagine negative, worrisome, or terrifying scene.
  • Feel you are missing opportunities because you cannot act quickly
It’s important to recognize signs of stress and know how to cope. Stress relief is different for each person. For some ideas to see which ones work for you visit: My Health Alberta at and search managing stress.  If you are finding you are not coping well, contact Health Link at 811 to find help near you.

From the Alberta Health Service Wellness Articles – 2019
Recognizing Signs of Stroke   
By Chuck Terlesky – Owner Home Care Assistance Calgary
It’s late in the evening when your elderly father calls complaining about a sudden headache when he moves, and his speech is slurred and he sounds confused. Is he just tired? A bad day? Or is this something much more serious?
There’s a chance he’s having a stroke and doesn’t know it.

Stroke accounts for almost 10% of the 50 million deaths worldwide annually, with the number climbing if the trends keep going in the wrong direction.

A stroke occurs when blood flow and the oxygen it provides to the brain is stopped, and that can show up in a variety of ways. Depending on what area of the brain this happens, the symptoms will vary and the victim may not even know it’s happening to them.

The best defence against letting a loved one become a statistic is early recognition of symptoms. There are several things to watch out for with the body’s responses that may be a warning sign:
  • Face — When he or she smiles, does one side of the face droop?
  • Arms — Can he or she raise both arms without one drifting downward?
  • Speech — Is there a pronounced slur when he or she speaks?
  • Tongue — Does the tongue deviate to the side when sticking it out?
If those symptoms are prevalent, seek immediate medical attention. Be mindful, however, that there may be other warning signs that are more difficult to identify. These could include a sudden headache that worsens upon movement, changing positions or coughing. There can be sudden sleepiness or complete unconsciousness, numbness or tingling on one side of the body or a loss of senses such as difficulty hearing, tasting, seeing or feeling pain. Confusion or memory loss is another common sign, as well as dizziness, vertigo or loss of balance.

Exercise, a healthy balanced diet, limiting use of alcohol, quitting smoking and a healthy state of mind can all help reduce the chances of suffering a stroke. In fact 80% of strokes can be prevented with a few changes in life style. Embracing a healthier way of life is a matter of choice for most of us, but in aging seniors with limited mobility and social connections, this can be a daunting objective. This is where Home Care Assistance Calgary can help. Our caregivers are specifically trained in our proprietary Balanced-Care Approach and can offer the support your aging parents need to live their best life — active, happy and healthy in their own home.  If your loved one does suffer a health set back, we can be there when you are not. Our caregivers are well trained to respond in times of crisis and to help through the recovery process.
Featured Service – Dementia Navigation and Coaching  
Proactive Seniors – Dementia Navigation and Coaching

Living with dementia and being the caregiver for a loved one with dementia are both difficult journeys.  We help families by assessing their current situation and creating a care and support plan so that they can have the strategies they need to optimize the health and wellness of both the individual with dementia and their caregiver.  We help families by identifying the community services and supports that are available and best suited for their situation.  Every dementia journey is different and every family faces challenges that are unique to them.  Our dementia specialist, registered nurse, provides ongoing coaching to help problem solve through the day-to day challenges that arise as dementia progresses. By providing valuable and thoughtful insights and strategies on an as-needed basis families get the help they need, when and were they need it. 

Getting To Know Shawna Reid

We are so pleased to have Shawna re-join Proactive Seniors after a brief hiatus. She is a true asset to our organization and brings a wealth of experience and a depth of knowledge in the realm of dementia care that few people have.   Most importantly, she is very compassionate and caring as well evidenced by how she describes her calling  “caring for people with dementia and those who love them”.
Shawna has been a Registered Nurse for 15 years, 12 of those years helping to care for older adults.  She received her Master of Nursing with a specialty in aging from the University of Alberta in 2015.  Shawna feels strongly that our older adults deserve to be well-cared for in their sunset chapters, and does all she can to bring them joy, comfort, dignity and integrity.  Older adults with dementia hold a special place in her heart, as caring for them presents challenges, but is also the most rewarding nursing she has experienced.    
Presentations and Events
Upcoming Presentations  
  • Huntington Pioneer Association
  • Rotary Club Heritage Park Chapter
If you are part of a group or organization that would like to hear more about Planning Ahead for Proactive Seniors or Seniors Housing Options in Calgary, drop us a line. We’d be happy to accommodate.  
Please help us spread the word.  

The services we offer at Proactive Seniors are not offered anywhere else.  However, because we are a new company, many people don’t know that we are here to help.  Please share our newsletter and follow us on facebook so that more people will know that there is support available to families for Seniors Planning and Seniors Housing . Plan Ahead / Live Well 

We Appreciate Your Referrals!

At Proactive Seniors most of our clients come through word-of-mouth referral. We are very proud that our clients and care partners show their trust in us.

To say thank you, each month we draw a name from the growing pool of people who have referred a client to us.  For  March our winning referrer is Kit. There is a $50 dinner gift card on its way to you!   

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You can reach us at:
Phone: 403-809-1971
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Phone: 403-809-1971

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