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Newsletter Vol. # 63 That's how I see it!

I informed you last week about a play we, my friend Frank and I, are hoping to produce for the Fringe Festival this July. The production is about seniors/aging/getting old- what ever this journey is called. There is music, humour, and lovable characters who interact on their home stage called the Encore Estates- a rundown retirement home.

I will be giving you more information and how you can get involved in later newsletters. But for now I need help with computer stuff and fund raising. In the not to distant future, I need to identify a few people who are willing to help establish a Twitter and Facebook presence/campaign for our production.

If you have only an hour a week, I will definitely appreciate your help.



Take care of self first... 
Healthy, well-balanced people do better, relate better to others, and give more to their jobs and the people they love than those who are unwell.

The key is: before you can give to others, you first must be healthy and well yourself.

In my writings, workshops and keynotes, I tell my audiences to "Take care of yourself first, then take care of others". At a recent workshop, a person got himself very upset and told me that I was all but undermining the entire extracurricular program in that school division. I was frustrated by this 'ridiculous' accusation until I realized that he had misinterpreted "Take care of yourself..." to mean "... and to heck with others".
"Take care of yourself first and then take care of others" is not self-centred but rather an expression of self-care. Yes, you DO have to take care of others. That is often what you get paid for, or have signed on for as in being a mother. But to be able to do that, you first need to take care of yourself. Not everyone knows how - or is able - to give themselves permission to take care of themselves. Consequently, they hear "self-centred" because they don't see a balanced way of living as an option for themselves or for others.

I firmly believe that no matter what job you have, healthy, well-balanced people get more done, and miss work less often.

Too many people I have had the privilege of working with as a counsellor/therapist have not consciously set their priorities of - first self, then partner, family/friends, and then work. As a result, they have paid dearly with poor health, loss of quality of life, and the disintegration of relationships.

The message here is that it's okay to continue with your "work life" as long as you take care of your "real life" first - yourself, your partner, your family and friends. That way, everyone will get their share of your time and 'best' energy, and you'll get many well-deserved strokes for being in balance and having a life outside your job. Your self-esteem will soar, and you will feel good about yourself and your life. Hopefully!

Of course, if you really want to give all your best time and energy to your workplace and not have a life, fine! But please don't hide behind "If I don't spend all this time I'll lose my job" or "I am doing it for the greater good" (sometimes true). Instead, own the fact that creating a balanced lifestyle takes determination, commitment, courage and relatively high self-esteem. Know what you want, what is good for you, know that you deserve it, and then make it happen!

There is a saying, "If you don't know what you want from your life, then someone else will tell you.", and their request is most often based on their needs, not yours. It is essential that we be pro-active when it comes to our own health. We need a Plan, a Health Plan, a daily/weekly reminder that reflects our commitment to the Fun (quality of life activities) and Relaxation (re-energize) part of our life.

                         Fun, Relaxation and Work in Balance=Quality of Life.

Dr. Dan Rosin is the author of "Finding Balance". For more information and to purchase the book on-line (under Site Navigation) see: He can be reached at (204) 299-9399 or


The Cayman Report
The Kimpton -Pt. 2

Suzanne, Brad, and I walked through the Kimpton hotel. The foyer is open and spacious with hallways lined with fine art and bookshelves. The reception desk weighs several tons and had to be put in with a crane. One of the workers lost a finger as it was put into place. So much to say about it, let me sum it up--ostentatious.

Outside in the sunshine there are several areas with different themes where people can gather to get their rather expensive tan. I was impressed with the use of tile both on the building and on walkways. They spaced the tiles with Astroturf in between and it gave it a wonderful effect and was interesting to walk on. Lots of plants, trees and bushes to keep things green and the various themes separated. Brad, our son the carpenter, did the woodwork on several parts of the outdoor restaurant, bar and cabanas. A striking inlaid wood ceiling highlighted the bar area.

We stopped and had a drink and some food and as I gazed out over the beach and the ocean, the thought crossed my mind, "How long before they would miss me back home?" The food was just adequate but we decided that it had been only four days since they opened and we wouldn't be too critical.

At night the building takes on a magnificence as hundreds of lights highlight entrances, walkways, gardens, and the building itself. Truly a crown jewel!



Reader Response

Your comments about what we pick up in our learning system via our history, and which become part of our person, certainly resonated with me. Nevertheless, it is no simple challenge to add the "balance" for one's own well being when others have come to count on you and your traits knowing that your sense of responsibility will ensure things will be done, and done well, as may be required within the time frames available. I'm not sure I could change to a more balanced approach, and still maintain my level of self esteem, even if I wanted to.    Wayne

Once again, my friend, you sent out a profoundly useful and challenging newsletter. Thanks for the articles on Wellness and also the one on Stress - on going issues in life in the "fast lane" which seems to be every lane except in the stores, and in the bureaucratic systems we deal with in our everyday life, as you point out.            Jake 



In response to a reader's suggestion,

Care-giving for a Parent or Elderly Person-Pt.1

"In one way, it is a privilege to still have parents around and in another way it is a burden. Likely most of your readers past this care-giving stage, but if not, it would make a good topic to open up in your newsletter,"

Throughout our lives we are usually identified by our roles as son, daughter, brother, sister or parent.

Thank you Merika! Thanks to your suggestion I have put together several articles over the next several weeks on Caregivers.

As our parents age, however, roles often reverse or take on new meanings. Because today's baby-boomers increasingly find themselves assuming the role of "caregiver," they begin to feel the necessity to become proactive in the care of one or both parents. Issues surface that have remained buried. Parents often find themselves battling their adult children for authority in decision-making.

Adults with elderly parents need to educate themselves, not only with written information but also with personal knowledge of their parents' habits and problems. Timing is everything, and that old adage certainly applies to assisting a parent make the transition from independent to needy or problematic.

Open communication with elderly parents is the optimum situation but one that is not an option in many families. Short of this, adults with elderly parents need to realize that they will always be the "child" in the eyes of their parents. Baby boomers not only respect authority but are much more health-conscious than those over 65 who feel surprise at their still-existence on earth. Elderly parents may never openly admit a problem or ask for help, but the educated, alert offspring can easily pick up subtle clues. Visiting parents presents an opportunity to notice changes in habits. Slowness in dressing, eating and walking are obvious changes. A prolonged delay in opening mail or driving a familiar route should be considered a cry for help.

A brief review of the medicine cabinet can also provide offspring with important medical knowledge as to what medicine is being prescribed, not necessarily taken, by their parent. This is by far one of the most common problems children face when dealing with parents who are just beginning to fail. While a parent may give up the fight in going to a physician, and while the same parent may follow through in getting a prescription filled, it is quite common for the untouched bottle to remain in a medicine cabinet or nightstand drawer. Breaking down and taking the medicine would be admitting to themselves that a problem exists, and this is simply not an option to many elders. Therefore, adult children should be keenly aware of the types of medicines prescribed and familiarize themselves with the medical problems to which the medicines are correlated.

Rather than involve the court system or attorneys as elders begin to fail, adults need to reach out to siblings, relatives, church friends and volunteer services. Many siblings today live hundreds of miles apart, and in many cases also live far distances from their parents. Family members, all of them, need to become proactive in the management of their parents' healthcare. The familiarization with prescribed medicine is the first important step, and if the elder refuses to discuss their medical problems, offspring should establish a relationship with their parents' physician. The medical community often welcomes this show of caring; however, others dissuade the intrusion. Family members should never withdraw when the first door slams in their face, but should persist until finding a method to establish some sort of common ground with their parents' healthcare provider.

The alert, knowledgeable offspring will also be more prepared to deal with deeper issues as the patient's condition worsens. Nursing homes and home healthcare, in combination with finances can become a full-time concern. Parents are often reluctant to discuss both their medical condition and financial situation with adult children, but when health deteriorates to the degree that outside help is necessary, it is vital for the primary caregiver to be aware of both.

Most importantly, children should be aware of their parents' insurance and exactly what it covers. Financial awareness is crucial here, for few elders are totally covered by any insurance plan. When nursing homes appear to be the only alternative to independent living, children often begin to question the feasibility of having a parent move in with them. Ironically, government aide is available to eldercare housing facilities but not to adults who care give to parents within their homes. The financial burden to children is often the deciding factor in the decision made regarding the elder's future home. Again, the more knowledgeable the offspring is regarding insurance and costs of facilities (including transportation, medicine and meals) vs. cost of moving a parent into the child's home, the easier a reasonable decision can be made.                             Patricia St. Clair

Pt. 2 next week  



Have a great week!

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