Monday, May 26, 2014

50+ Festival: Celebrate how aging is changing

The G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education announces line up for annual festival with a focus on the social and economic contributions of older people.
TORONTO, Ontario May 26, 2014 /Canada NewsWire/ - As a kick off to Senior's Month, The 50+ Festival, presented by The Programs for 50+ at The G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education at Ryerson University will celebrate how aging is changing. Running from Sunday, June 1 through Tuesday, June 3, the festival engages older adults interested in personal growth and continued learning.
"The 50+ Festival was developed to provide a forum to better understand what aging means today and to highlight the continued learning of older adults," says Sandra Kerr, Program Director for the Programs for 50+ at The Chang School. "We have more options and different challenges than we did ten or 15 years ago, so it is important that we consider the economic, social and cultural ripples of these changes."
The event will host a dynamic series of workshops that will stimulate the brain. From a talk by Dr. Jane Barratt, Secretary General of the International Federation on Ageing that will look at the economic and social contribution that older people make in different societies around the world, to a workshop in Conductorcise®, lead by renownedMaestro David Dworkin, 80, which will challenge participants to use their brain and their body to exercise the full self and better understand the effect that music has on the brain.
"Lifelong learning is the cornerstone of our programming," says Marie Bountrogianni, Dean, The G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education. "The 50+ Festival is the truest version of this, with a vibrant community who celebrates aging and all of the learning opportunities that it has to offer."
The Festival will be held on the Ryerson campus. For more festival information visit  Most sessions are free of charge, but participants must register in advance.
Festival Highlights:
Sunday June 1: Day one of the festival will look at music and the profound impact that it has on our psyche.
1:00 p.m. - 1:45 p.m.Opening Remarks and performance by the Long and McQuade New Horizons Band.
1:45 p.m. - 2:15 p.m.Dr. Amy Clements-Cortes: Talk entitled Let There Be Music! A Wellness Prescription.
2:15 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.Conductorcise® with David Dworkin: Move Your Body, Feel Your Soul.
Monday June 2: The most diverse day of programing, day two of the 50+ Festival features a closer look at what it means to get older.
9:15 a.m. - 9:45 a.m.Olivia Chow…A talk about her continuing journey.
10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.Dr. Jane Barratt separates facts from fiction - Discussion will look at whether older people are an asset or considered a burden?
6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.A screening of the short documentary, Father Figures, which follows a 46 year-old Canadian filmmaker, April Butler, throughout Asia as she examines her 73-year-old Caucasian father's romantic relationship with a 23 year old woman living in the Philippines.

Screening followed by a panel discussion including director/producer April ButlerMartha Ocampo, Race, Culture, and Mental Health consultant, and moderated by Associate Professor Dr. Lori Schindel Martin, Ryerson University.
Tuesday June 3Get Psyched! A series of conversations with experts engaging with aging and pyscology.
9:30 - 12:00Featuring Dr. Alexandra J. Fiocco: A conversation looking at the biological and psychosocial factors that contribute to pathological and successful aging in late life, and the importance of lifestyle choices.

Dr. Andrea Wilkinson, PhD: Evaluate the benefits and effectiveness of brain exercise programs that are designed to enhance the ability to ignore distractions - Do they work?
2:00 - 4:00Theatre out of the Box: Part of Programs for 50+The Estelle Craig ACT II STUDIO Theatre Out of the Box program presents new plays written, directed, and performed by older adults.
About Ryerson University's G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education (
With approximately 70,000 annual enrollments, The G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education is Canada'sleading provider of university-based adult education. There are over 1500 courses, workshops and seminars and 93 career-related certificate programs and numerous course series in which 20 certificate programs can be completed entirely at a distance. The school's mission is to be a leader in innovative, quality, lifelong learning that empowers adults to reach their life and career goals.
About Programs for 50+
At Programs for 50+, those 50 years and older can access academic tools and opportunities for personal enrichment, self actualization, and engagement in society with their peers and as part of an intergenerational campus dynamic through The Chang School.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Prostate Cancer Canada advocates for fair and equal access to prostate cancer testing

Ontario is one of only two provinces that don't cover PSA tests
TORONTO, Ontario May 23, 2014 /Canada NewsWire/ - Prostate Cancer Canada has launched a new campaign urging the Ontariogovernment to cover the cost of PSA screening tests for prostate cancer.
 One in 7 Canadian men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime. If prostate cancer is detected early through a simple and affordable PSA test, survival can be over 90%. But unlike 8 other provinces, Ontario does not cover the cost of the PSA test, leaving Ontarians to pay for it out of pocket.
 "We are asking Ontario residents to take 30 seconds to tell their provincial election candidates, in all parties, that they support coverage of PSA tests for Ontarians," says Rocco Rossi, President and CEO of Prostate Cancer Canada.  "We have made it extremely easy to do so via the online advocacy tool"
What is the PSA test?
The PSA test is a simple blood test, taken from your arm, that measures the amount of prostate specific antigen (PSA) in your blood. While there are controversies with the PSA test, high numbers serve as a powerful red flag for further investigation. Without testing for prostate cancer, the excellent survival rate afforded by early detection is lost and men are diagnosed at a much later stage, when death from the disease becomes more likely.
Breast Cancer and Prostate Cancer
Nearly 24,000 Canadian men were diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2013, about the same number of patients diagnosed with breast cancer. Prostate and breast cancer kill roughly the same number of Canadians each year, respectively 4,000 and 5,100.
Similar numbers, but with one major difference - while the costs of breast-cancer-related mammograms are paid for by the public health system in every province, the cost of PSA blood tests are covered in only 8 provinces.
"We are concerned that making men pay gives them the impression that the test isn't actually beneficial, if it isn't covered," says Rossi.  "We don't want men to have one more reason to ignore getting tested or having an informed conversation with their healthcare provider. When it comes to men taking charge of their health, we need to remove as many hurdles as possible. This campaign aims to do just that."
For more information, please visit
About Prostate CancMeer Canada
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer to affect Canadian men, impacting one in seven men over the course of their lifetime. Prostate Cancer Canada funds critical programs related to awareness and public education, advocacy, support of those affected, and research into the prevention, detection, treatment and cure of prostate cancer.  For more information visit and follow us on Twitter and Facebook

Friday, May 16, 2014

University of Guelph Theatre Professor Judith Thompson Acting in Play She Wrote

GUELPH, Ontario May 14, 2014 - University of Guelph News Release - It’s been about 35 years since she last appeared on stage, but noted Canadian playwright and University of Guelph professor Judith Thompson is performing in a new one-woman play written by herself that opens in Toronto this week.
Thompson is performing in Watching Glory Die. She portrays three women: Glory, a teenage prisoner; her adoptive mother, Rosellen; and a prison guard named Gail.
The play is based on the story of Ashley Smith, who committed suicide in 2007 while in segregation in the Grand Valley Institution for Women in Kitchener, Ont. A civil inquiry found corrections officers watched on a video feed while Smith was asphyxiated.
Thompson said she wanted to help audiences understand more about Smith’s life and struggles.
“I felt that theatre could address this story in a way that documentaries can’t,” said Thompson, a theatre studies professor.
“Glory is inspired by Ashley, Rosellen by Ashley's wonderful mother, Coralee, who has given her blessing to my play, and Gail was someone I created based on research and imagination.”
Thompson has written numerous plays, including the award-winning White Biting DogI am Yours and Lion in the Streets. In Watching Glory Die, she will perform for the first time since the late 1970s.
“I had been acting since I was 11 and continually until I was about 25; then, I was appearing in a very light Christmas farce and I thought ‘No more! I am just going to write.’ But I have always thrown myself into my public readings -- and when dramaturge Iris Turcott, someone whose opinion I value, insisted that I act for this play, I took up the challenge.”
Thompson, an Officer of the Order of Canada, is intrigued by acting again but a little nervous.
“Oh, it’s very exciting. Hopefully it will be like riding a bike. The only thing that scares me is learning the lines,” she said.
“The challenge in portraying the characters is to honour them in all their complexity.
“I want the audience to feel what Ashley felt, what her mother felt, and even what the guard felt, and ask themselves, ‘Where are they in this story? How are they implicated? Who is watching us, and who are we watching?’”
Watching Glory Die is at the Berkeley Street Theatre Upstairs in Toronto May 15 until June 1. Information is available at

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

What Mom Really Wants for Mother's Day: A Plan to Keep Her Living in Her Own Home

Bayshore HealthCare survey shows brunch and bouquets take back seat as mom gets older
TORONTO, Ontario May 6, 2014 /Canada NewsWire/ - Canadians with aging moms may want to rethink plans for Mother's Day. Remaining living at home for as long as possible is the absolute top priority for 90 per cent of Canadian moms 55 and older, says a new survey commissioned by Bayshore HealthCare.
The Mother's Day 2020 survey, which interviewed both aging moms and adults with moms who are starting to slow down, concludes that ensuring mom`s happiness requires some longer term planning. Taking mom out for a Sunday brunch is nice, but 85 per cent say cooking in her own kitchen is what makes her happy. Similarly, more than half say they would rather grow flowers in their own garden than receive a bouquet.
"As a company that provides home care for senior across Canada, I urge people to take this Mother's Day to get a game plan in place to keep mom happy five or ten years from now," says Stuart Cottrelle, President of Bayshore HealthCare. "There are a wide range of services and programs available to help keep mom living happily in her own home. It's ultimately about her quality of life."
The survey shows that the kids do get it. Ninety-one per cent of people with elderly moms know her top wish is living at home as long as possible. But helping her with personal care and household chores is already stretching the kids to the limit, with a quarter spending more than 20 hours a month caring for mom.
Virtually all moms polled (96 per cent) said they do not want to be a burden to their kids, and 79 per cent went so far as to say they do not want to end up living with one of them. Half of the kids say they also don't want mom living with them.
Home care services, which include nursing, personal care, meal prep, household chores and companionship, can help keep mom at home instead of a long-term care institution. Seventy per cent of the moms polled said they like the idea of home care and half have friends who use it.
Three-quarters of Canadians with elderly moms say they are willing to make some sacrifices to pay for home care – 48 per cent say they can go out less for dinner, 46 per cent are willing to cut entertainment expenses and 40 per cent are ready to spend less on travel.
"People will do whatever it takes to keep mom living in her home but our survey shows that only 14 per cent have researched home care," adds Cottrelle. "We encourage people to take advantage of our free consultations. With the average age of the population steadily increasing, home care is going to be playing a vital role in our lives."
About Bayshore HealthCare:
Bayshore HealthCare Ltd. is one of the country's leading providers of home and community health care services and a Canadian-owned company. Its services are purchased by government care programs, insurance companies, workers' compensation boards, health care organizations, the corporate sector and the public. The Bayshore brand extends across four business divisions: Bayshore Home Health (medical and non-medical home care and staffing services), Bayshore Specialty Rx (specialty pharmacy, infusion and pharmaceutical patient support services), Bayshore Therapy & Rehab (physiotherapy and rehabilitation services) and Bayshore Dialysis (dialysis centers). The company's goal is to enhance the quality of life, well-being, dignity and independence of Canadians of all ages. Bayshore HealthCare has been a recipient of Canada's Best Managed Companies award since 2006. For more information, call 1-877-289-3997 or visit
Mother`s Day 2020 Survey Methodology:
From April 30 to May 1, 2014, an online survey was conducted among two samples of Canadian adults who are also Angus Reid Forum panel members. The first group of 328 has a margin of error — which measures sampling variability — of +/-5.91%, 19 times out of 20. The second group of 711 has a  margin of error of +/-3.67%, 19 times out of 20. The sample was balanced by age, gender, region and education (and in Quebec language) according to the most recent census data. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Canadian Co-operative Association and The Co-operators partner for international volunteering program

GUELPH, OntarioMay 1, 2014 /Canada NewsWire/ - The Canadian Co-operative Association and The Co-operators announced today a new partnership on a pilot program offering international volunteering opportunities to Co-operators employees. The volunteer placements will allow employees to work for three weeks in co-operatives in the developing world.
A pair of staff members from The Co-operators group of companies will be volunteering with the African Confederation of Savings and Credit Co-operative Societies in Kenya and another two will work with Risk Management Solutions Incorporated in the Philippines.
"These volunteer placements are a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that offer both personal and professional growth to our employees," said Kathy Bardswick, president and CEO of The Co-operators. "Partnering with the Canadian Co-operative Association allows our employees to see first-hand the difference co-operatives are making in regions much different from our own."
"Canadian co-operators are working with their counterparts in the developing world to build lasting pathways out of poverty," said Jo-Anne Ferguson, executive director of the Canadian Co-operative Association. "We are proud to share this important work with volunteers from one of Canada's most recognized and progressive co-operative businesses."
Each employee receives one week paid time, and The Co-operators covers the expenses including travel, lodging, vaccinations, and other essentials of each participating employee.
The Co-operators is excited to give their staff the opportunity to learn about how co-operative principles are being put into action in developing countries. The Canadian Co-operative Association and The Co-operators are finding new ways to share the international co-operative development experience with a broader community.
About The Canadian Co-operative Association:The Canadian Co-operative Association (CCA) is a not-for-profit co-operative with strong links to Canada's co-operative sector and international development professionals.  CCA's mission is to establish and grow co-operatives, credit unions, and community-based organizations to reduce poverty, build sustainable livelihoods, and improve civil society in developing countries. CCA operates in 18 countries in AfricaAsia and the Americas delivering programs on behalf of the Co-operative Development Foundation of Canada (CDF) and other funders.
About The Co-operators:The Co-operators Group Limited is a Canadian-owned co-operative with more than $34 billion in assets under administration. Through its group of companies it offers home, auto, life, group, travel, commercial and farm insurance, as well as investment products. The Co-operators is well known for its community involvement and its commitment to sustainability. The Co-operators is listed among the 50 Best Employers in Canada by Aon Hewitt; Corporate Knights' Best 50 Corporate Citizens in Canada; and the Top 50 Socially Responsible Corporations inCanada by Sustainalytics and Maclean's magazine. For more information visit