Community News
Small Heart- Healthy Changes

It’s heart month! Heart disease is the second-leading cause of death in Canada. A heart-healthy lifestyle means eating right, sleeping enough, and exercising every day. But what does that mean? Eating healthfully: you don’t have to give up cookies; add in fruits and vegetables every day. Exercise: walk for 5–10 minutes a day, or do windmills with your arms if mobility is an issue. Sleep—try for at least 7 hours per night. Heart health doesn’t have to mean huge lifestyle changes that can feel overwhelming. A little bit at a time is all you need!

Emotional & Physical Support

In the spirit of a new year’s dual nature, consider the ancient wisdom of acupuncture to aid in navigating the path forward. Drawing from Chinese medicine, acupuncture acts as a holistic guide, harmonizing the body’s energy flow. Much like Janus, who guards transitions, acupuncture targets specific points along the meridians, promoting balance and facilitating a smooth flow. As we embark on new journeys or bid farewell to the past, acupuncture can offer physical and emotional support. It’s a gentle nudge toward equilibrium, addressing imbalances that may hinder progress. Acupuncture provides a mindful and balanced foundation for the exciting chapters unfolding in the months ahead.

Take Care of Your Heart

Every year, more than 60,000 Canadians suffer a heart attack. A healthy diet and regular exercise can reduce the risk. If you have cardiovascular disease, follow your treatment carefully and take medicine as prescribed. Common signs of a heart attack include: *chest pain; *discomfort or pain in the neck, jaw, shoulder, back, or arm; *shortness of breath; and *dizziness. If you are having a heart attack, call 911 immediately, follow operator instructions, stop all activity, stay calm, and rest in a comfortable position while waiting for help. Ask our pharmacist for more information about heart health.

Loneliness and Isolation Can Affect Senior Health

For seniors, maintaining social connections and staying in touch with loved ones not only improves quality of life, it improves health. Socially isolated seniors have a 59% greater risk of mental and physical decline than those who do not experience social isolation. Socialization has been shown to slow Alzheimer’s and Dementia patient’s decline. Having care givers can help stem the existence of loneliness in the lives of our seniors. We enjoy conversations, daily walks, shopping, cooking and folding the laundry together. These can be moments of joy when done together in the right way. Comfort Keepers engage the human spirit.

Living in the Margins

It’s cold and dark. There is nothing in the cupboard to make a meal—at least not one with any nutritional value. No propane. Rent is past due. No lunch for school. There is no money for medications or past-due bills. This is what living on the margins looks like. That’s why SOS’s Winter Emergency Fund is such a lifesaver. By providing vouchers for groceries, propane for warmth, and other critical supports to residents who are experiencing hardship, we can bring light to the darkness. To make a difference this winter, please donate on our website or come by our Community Services Centre in Parksville. Thank you!

Sleep Changes & The Elderly

Seniors generally wake up more often during the night and earlier in the morning, have a harder time falling asleep, and spend less time in deep, dreamless sleep. Some measures to help you sleep better include: 1) Eat a light bedtime snack. 2) Avoid caffeine for at least 3 or 4 hours before bed. 3) Avoid napping during the day. 4) Exercise regularly, but not within 3 hours of bedtime. 5) Practice relaxation techniques at bedtime. 6) Don’t watch TV or use devices while in bed. 7) Go to bed and wake up at the same time each day.

Community Event – CNOY

Have you registered to walk in the Coldest Night of the Year (CNOY) walk? This family-friendly walk helps ICCS run programs that provide shelter, care, and holistic support to empower people to step forward to independence and hope. There is no registration fee to enter. Team up, walk and fundraise! If you raise $150, you will receive one of this year’s amazing toques. The event takes place on February 24th and features family-friendly 2 or 5 km walks. See the website for details on how you can get involved. Join tens of thousands of Canadians in over 180 communities who are participating to support their local community.

Support is a Game Changer

2024 Post-holiday debt can pile up quickly and become overwhelming. The stress of overdue bills can tempt us to use gambling as a quick fix. Gambling can cost us everything—not only our money but our mental and physical health, especially when we are seeking financial or emotional relief. Free tools and confidential supports are available, including voluntary self-exclusions, gambling-blocking apps (GamBan, GamBlock), a 24/7 toll-free phone line, credit counsellors, financial advisors, ministers, pastors, podcasts (Fold ’Em), or connect with us. Support is a game-changer!

Danger of Negative Thoughts

Do you find yourself having negative thoughts? Negative thinking can be very harmful to our mental and physical health and make us weak. If we think, “I can’t do this” or “I am worthless,” we start to believe that it’s true. It is up to us to dismiss them. Thoughts are like clouds floating in the sky. We have the choice to latch onto them or to let them float by. What we latch onto most, whether positive or negative, becomes the trend. Positive thoughts make us strong. Make 2024 the year to be strong in mind and body.

Health Benefits of Acupuncture

Acupuncture, an ancient healing practice, offers holistic wellness benefits. By stimulating specific points in the body, it promotes energy flow, aiding in pain relief, stress reduction and improved circulation. This technique, rooted in traditional Chinese medicine, can alleviate migraines and back pain, and even aid in managing chronic conditions like arthritis and other inflammatory conditions. Acupuncture also supports mental health by reducing anxiety and enhancing relaxation. Incorporating acupuncture as a complementary therapy alongside modern medicine fosters a balanced approach to health. Boost the effectiveness of an acupuncture session by being well-hydrated. Acupuncture is covered by Extended Health Care Plans.

Enriched Living in 2024

In retirement homes, seniors are redefining their golden years with purposeful goals. Far from idle, residents are embracing hobbies, exercises and wellness programs they never had time for before. The pursuit of mental and physical wellness remains a priority, fostering a sense of vitality. Amidst the serene setting of retirement homes, seniors are crafting a narrative of fulfillment, proving that age doesn’t diminish the zest for life; instead, it enriches it. Dynamic hubs where the pursuit of personal goals is complemented by the joy of shared moments, proving that a fulfilling and vibrant life is possible.