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THE GOLDEN YEARS PHOTO: FIRST LAST LIVE BETTER, LONGER Enjoy your seniors years to the fullest through essential finanical planning, vital healthcare support and maintaining a sense of community. Living longer Developing research on aging Insurance Protecting you and your family’s future Retirement living Mapping out all available options June 2013 A SPONSORED FEATURE BY MEDIAPLANET 3 FACTS ABOUT AGING IN ONTARIO READ ON TO FIND OUT HOW TO WIN A FREE CRIUSE FOR TWO!

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Page 1: Insurance June 2013 The golden · Enjoy your seniors years to the fullest through essential finanical planning, vital healthcare support

The golden Years



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live better, longerEnjoy your seniors years to the fullest through essential finanical planning, vital healthcare support and maintaining a sense of community.

Living longerDeveloping research on aging

InsuranceProtecting you and your family’s future

Retirement livingMapping out all available options

June 2013

A sPonsoReD feAtuRe by MeDIAPLAnet


rEAd On TO Find OUT hOw TO win A FrEE CriUSE FOr TwO!

Page 2: Insurance June 2013 The golden · Enjoy your seniors years to the fullest through essential finanical planning, vital healthcare support

2 · June 2013 A sponsored feAture by MediAplAnet

ChallengesEnjoying your retirement years means not having to worry about your money, your health, or where you live.

The changing landscape of aging in ontario

Many people who are r e a c h i n g retirement age feel like they’re entering into

a period of uncertainty regarding their finances and health, but this needn’t be the case.

With some conscientious finan-cial, health, and lifestyle plan-ning, and an understanding of the options available to them as their health declines, retirees can be free to relax and truly enjoy their golden years.

Planning ahead“Financial planning is unbelievably important,” explained Shirley Rob-erts, Author of Doris Inc.: A Business Approach to Caring for Your Elderly Parents. “People fail to realize that they may eventually need to live in an assisted-living residence, or a nursing home. The annual cost of these options can range from $20,000, for basic accommodations in a nursing home, to $45,000+ for a private apartment in an assisted-living retirement residence.”

retirement livingWhether you decide to enter a retirement community or you opt to stay at home, there are posi-tives attached to both aspects of retirement living. What some don’t realize is that standards of home health care are just as high as those in assisted-living, so that shouldn’t be a worry.

Deciding to remain at home can be preferable for the staunchly independent individual who is suited to living alone or with a spouse. Alternatively, in a retire-ment home there are always orga-nized events and days out, so resi-dents are sure to stay physically, mentally, and socially active.

insurance Personalized insurance plans are an effective way of ensuring that funds are in place if a medi-cal problem does arise. “If you get to the point where you can’t care for yourself, money comes to you tax free,” explained Cynthia Schindler, Director of Advertising and Public Relations at MyDignity. “People need to have that piece of mind, and that will only come

when they’re being educated about what’s available to them.”

It can be troublesome to be approved for such an insurance plan though; 50 percent of all applications are denied. “All the more reason for people to source out those entities that have a clear understanding of the problem,” said Schindler. “Entities with an understanding of how to get

around issues, and find the solu-tions so that people are not left high and dry.”

PreventionExecutive Director of the Ontario Gerontology Association, Norm Shulman, believes that, as well as planning for your financial and domestic future, it’s important to think about how you will spend all of the free time that retirement suddenly thrusts upon you.

“Think seriously about what your life is going to look like when you don’t have to go into work anymore, and how you’re going to keep yourself involved,” he said.

“You need some structure to your week; it may be that on Mon-days you volunteer somewhere, on Tuesdays you play cards with the boys, and on Wednesday you golf. Be as physically and men-tally active as you can possibly be. It appears that physical, men-tal, and social activity postpone dementia.”

Julie wongLearn about implementing simple lifestyle changes to help preserve your memory.

We recommend

the golden years5th edition, june 2013

Publisher: madisyn mcKee [email protected] developer: miguel Van den [email protected] Managing director: joshua [email protected] Manager: maggie [email protected] designer: alana [email protected]: laura [email protected]

Contributors: david Blodgett, stacey daub, stephen frank, andy Kovacs, lori holloway, robin hurst, Pauleanna ried, chris riddell, joe rosengarten, gordon and jean Vokey, terrance Whitney

distributed within: toronto star, june 2013this section was created by mediaplanet and did not involve the toronto star or its editorial departments.

Mediaplanet’s business is to create new customers for our advertisers by providing readers with high-quality editorial content that motivates them to act.

folloW us on faceBooK & tWitter!

Joe RosengaRten

[email protected]

PAge 7

norm Shulmanexecutive Director, ontario gerontology Association

Shirley robertsAuthor of Doris Inc.: A Business Approach to Caring for your Elderly Parents

Cynthia SchindlerDirector, Advertising and Public Relations, MyDignity


OnTAriO hAS OvEr 900


Page 3: Insurance June 2013 The golden · Enjoy your seniors years to the fullest through essential finanical planning, vital healthcare support

June 2013 · 3A sponsored feAture by MediAplAnet

■ Specified medical or paramedi-cal services (eg services from chi-ropractors, physiotherapists, podiatrists, osteopaths and optom-etrists)

■■ Vision care (eyeglasses and con-tact lenses)

The need for insurance It is for this reason that over 10.7 million of Ontarians enhance their government coverage with private health insurance. Many individu-als access supplemental coverage through their employer. Alterna-tively, individuals can purchase individual coverage to help defray any unexpected medical costs.

One size does not fit all, however, and there are many different kinds and levels of benefits offered by insurers in Ontario. So it is impor-tant to carefully review the features of your group plan, or an individual plan you are considering purchas-ing, in order to make sure it is appro-priate for your individual needs.

Professional helpRetirement planning involves looking at how your needs will change over time and how you’ll meet them. Start with the basics and understand their costs. For example, what will you pay for essentials like food, clothing, and housing? Then determine how things like travel, family time or volunteering fit into the lifestyle you’d like. It’s also important to consider emerging health expenses. As we get older, we need more help, which comes at a cost.

There are products to help ensure you have guaranteed income to cover some of your expenses. An advisor can help create a plan that includes the right products for your needs and help you retire with confidence.

neWs in Brief


generally speaking, OhiP provides comprehensive coverage of all insured medically necessary services provided by physicians. This also includes any treatment or prescription drugs that are provided in hospital.

Covered or not covered? Once an individual moves beyond their physician’s office and the hos-pital, the situation becomes more complex. The province will some-times cover, in whole or in part, cer-tain other types of health care pro-viders for individuals who qualify. For example, services provided by podiatrists and physiotherapists may be partially covered under OHIP but often must be covered privately through insurance or out of pocket. The same is true of dental surgery and eye examinations.

Similarly, if you are over the age of 65 or on social assistance, your prescription drugs will be covered by the Ontario Drug Benefit pro-gram. Otherwise, individuals are responsible for covering the costs of their prescription drugs up to a maximum amount of roughly four

percent of family income.

Knowing the facts So what does this mean for Ontari-ans? It means Ontarians are largely responsible for their own costs for a wide range of medical services, including:

■■ Long-term care and home care■■ Prescription drugs/medicines

■■ Semi-private or private hospital accommodation

■■ Special nursing services■■ Ambulance services■■ Hospital and medical expenses

incurred outside canada■■ Artificial limbs, prostheses and

medical appliances■■ Wheel chairs and other durable


Why insurance matters

stephen fRank

[email protected]

andy kovacs, cfp® cLU® chs™ sUn LIfe fInancIaL advIsoR,

MUtUaL fUnds offeRed by sUn LIfe fInancIaL InvestMent

seRvIces (canada) Inc. [email protected]

Planning an annual getaway or a dream vacation? Make sure you know your:

■■ Medical history When apply-ing for travel health insurance, the conditions you have been diagnosed with and any treat-ments and medications you are taking and why, will determine your eligibility to purchase and whether or not some conditions are excluded from coverage. Dur-ing your trip, you and your travel-ling companion should both know your medical history so someone can inform the treating physi-cian to ensure safe and effective treatment.

■■ Policy information before

leaving home, avoid surprises by reviewing your travel insurance policy carefully to understand the benefits and coverage limitations.

■■ Travel assistance con-tact information Most insurers require you to notify their travel assistance service in a medical emergency — before treatment if possible and no later than 24 hours after receiving treatment or being admitted to hospital. this service ensures you receive treat-ment according to the terms of your coverage.

traVel tiPs for seniors

Stephen FrankVice President, Policy Development and Health,Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association Inc.

davId bLodgett, pResIdent &

chIef execUtIve offIceR

gRoUp MedIcaL seRvIces

[email protected]

Page 4: Insurance June 2013 The golden · Enjoy your seniors years to the fullest through essential finanical planning, vital healthcare support

4 · June 2013 A sponsored feAture by MediAplAnet


■ Question: Where can families find help when providing homecare for their elder loved ones?■ Answer: Professional healthcare providers have the expertise and skills to share the load and make things much easier for family caregivers.

Homecare services are becom-ing more important than ever. In Ontario there are 1.9 million people over the age of 65, and over the com-ing years it’s estimated that 1 in 4 people will be seniors.

With this aging baby boomer popu-lation, many families are taking the responsibility upon themselves to care for their elder loved ones. In Ontario there are approximately

5 million family caregivers, and as the senior population increases so too will the number of family mem-bers dedicated to caring for them.

“People want to stay at home,” says Natalie Strouth, nurse and information specialist with Saint Elizabeth Health Care. “Home is where people have their memories. It’s where they have their com-munity. It’s where they probably raised kids, and they’d like to stay there in the comforts of their own space as opposed to going into an institution which is less familiar and less comfortable.”

Take a break when neededBeing a family caregiver can be emotionally taxing. A person’s well being has three main compo-nents—mental, physical, and social.

Being at someone’s side and attend-ing to their every need demands personal sacrifices.

“Burnout is very common among family caregivers,” says Jackie Hickey, RN and community health advisor at Bayshore HealthCare Ltd. “It’s a high stress environment. For those of us who work in the healthcare profession we work nine to five, but as a fam-ily caregiver you’re there 24/7 so it’s really impor-tant to take that time for yourself, get out, and recuperate.”

Family caregivers can also find solace in joining the Canadian Caregivers Coalition. It’s a broad organization with 59 member groups and family caregivers are welcome to join.

“They come together and talk about issues specifically related to the caregiver role, and trying to highlight the fact that caregivers do play a really important part in the healthcare system,” says Sue Van der Bent, executive director with the Ontario Homecare Association. “Everybody I talk to says they’re a

professionals offer vital services to family caregivers

chRIs RIddeLL

[email protected]

Did you know that 1 in 3 seniors will fall each year? This can lead to serious injury. Saint Elizabeth has developed the S.T.O.P. (Scan, Talk, Organize, Plan) model to help you prevent falls.■ Scan: Look around your home and make a list of any safe-ty hazards, including cluttered hallways or steps, uneven pave-ment, cords on the floor, stairs without railings, bathtubs with-out bars or non-slip mats, and throw rugs. ■ Talk: Share your list with a home health care profession-al like a nurse, personal support worker or occupational thera-pist. Have a conversation about a regular exercise program for strength and balance, like walking.■ Organize: Make a safety plan and have someone help re-move risks. Install grab bars be-side the toilet and bathtub, re-move clutter and rugs from stairs or hallways. Get proper-ly fitted for shoes with non-slip soles and wide heels. ■ Plan: Put your safety plan in-to action! Remember to ask for help from a health care profes-sional. Living well independent-ly begins with a safe home.

RobIn hURst Rn, Mn,

advanced pRactIce consULtant,

senIoRs & MentaL heaLth,

saInt eLIzabeth heaLth caRe,

[email protected]

! checK this out

“Home is where

people have their memories. It’s where

they have their community.”

natalie Strouthnurse and Information specialist

saint elizabeth Health Care

caregiver of some sort. Everybody has a story about caregiving.”

getting professional assistanceEventually, it becomes necessary

to hire a professional caregiver to share

the load. Many people try

to do it all themselves, but they soon reach a point where it’s

impossible to go on.“The major-

ity of homecare services are pro-

vided by a personal sup-port worker,” says Hickey. “They

can go in and do the activities of daily living—the bathing, dressing, and feeding. They’re a vital part of homecare services.”

Taking a blended approach to homecare for seniors is a sensible solution. No one can handle it for long under their own strength. Employing professional help makes caring for our elderly population a little less onerous.

hELPing hAndSMany people are taking on the responsibility themselves to care for their elder loved ones. Photo: istock


in 2007, A STUdy FOUnd 70% OF AT-hOME



Page 5: Insurance June 2013 The golden · Enjoy your seniors years to the fullest through essential finanical planning, vital healthcare support

June 2013 · 5A sponsored feAture by MediAplAnet

what advice would you give retirees looking into the various living options?

how has your living choice helped you enjoy your golden years?

Look for a place that takes care of people in various ages and stages of retirement. Somewhere that provides care from morn-ing to night… and caters to your exact needs. Look for a residence where you are not forced into doing anything. For example, the team members never say ‘you must go’. There should be a lot of options for things to do.

My wife and i really enjoy travelling to Florida every winter, and have for years, so I would suggest living in the warm weather in the winter months. You’re more likely to injure yourself due to weather conditions in Canada than you are in the warm weather so for us safety has been a factor.

we feel that the best place we can be is at Sunrise. We are able to come and go as we please. And at any time, if we need assistance there is always someone here to help us. It gives us peace of mind too, knowing that there is an emergency button in every room should we need any immediate help, although so far we’ve never had to use it. Our children are always able to visit us and come and go whenever they want. We really are happy here.

The choice of living in Florida half of the year gives us the opportunity to exercise all year around by golfing, walking, and swimming. Staying active has helped us to keep up our health and enjoy our life. Many of our friends live in the community we’re in so we also have been able to maintain an active social life as well.

The golden Panel

Terrance whitney (age 85)active lifestyle community, sarasota florida

gordon vokey (age 93) and Jean vokey (age 88)retirement living community, sunrise of unionville

Page 6: Insurance June 2013 The golden · Enjoy your seniors years to the fullest through essential finanical planning, vital healthcare support

6 · June 2013 A sponsored feAture by MediAplAnet

Our increase in life expectancy is considered a major worldwide achievement. But as people live longer and healthier, there’s a shared responsibility to accommodate Canada’s aging population.

We live in a time where 80 percent of people over the age of 65 live very healthy independent func-tional lives in their own homes and communities. With 20 percent of seniors suffering from complex health issues, it is imperative that we redesign our healthcare system to provide support to meet their needs. “Prior generations built our society. They sacrificed so future generations could have good lives. We owe them respect and grati-tude,” states Josie d’Avernas, Vice President, University of Waterloo Research Institute of Aging.

Planning aheadWe plan for most things in life — going to school, our work and careers, purchasing a home, hav-ing children, vacationing, retir-ing. However, we often don’t think about how we want to age and what would be most important to us at that stage of our life. There are some basic questions to consider:

1. where do i want to grow old?

2. what are the most important things i enjoy and want to continue to be able to do as i age?

3. who are my most impor-tant supports and what role will they play in my life?

4. what will i do if i need help or if i get seriously ill?

Growing older is natural and for most a wonderful time of life. Ageing sometimes can present changes and challenges, includ-ing not being able to do things you’ve always done, fear of los-ing independence, dealing with illness, and in some cases, social isolation. Ageing gracefully isn’t always easy, but an attitude of preparedness can go a long way. The worst time to plan for a big life

reshaping the lives of Canada’s baby boomers

aging gracefully

paULeanna ReId

[email protected]

stacey daUb, ceo,

toRonto c entRaL ccac

[email protected]


Bringing health care homeToronto Central CCAC delivers home and community health care and connects people to other services in the community. | 416-506-9888 |

dr. Parminder rainalead researcher, canadian longitudinal study on aging

Family caregivers and the elderly both require growth and opportunity — from healthcare training and more long-term beds, to fundamental services like dance groups to strengthen balance, muscular endurance, flexibility and range of motion as it is a fact that older adults get the least amount of exercise than other age groups.

The brighter side of thingsAdvanced research is well under-way to increase knowledge on the aspects of aging from a bio-logical, social, clinical, and an economic standpoint.

The Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging is the largest of its kind; collecting data from 50,000 Canadian participants between ages 45 and 85. “Aging is a huge accomplishment of our society. It is an opportu-nity as well as a challenge and we should embrace both,” says Dr. Parminder Raina, Lead Researcher, Canadian Longitu-dinal Study on Aging.

Wisdom and experience can be taken from the older genera-tion and they should be the driv-ers of services and programs. “If you want to know what an older adult needs or wants, ask them,” declares Spadafora.

Challenges do exist, but can be fixed“The whole area of longevity is to be celebrated,” says Pat Spadafora, Director, Sheridan Elder Research Centre, Sheridan College, Oakville campus, which is known for help-ing older adults stay healthy for as long as possible.

inSPiring rESEArCh LEFT: Engaging in hobbies, like playing the piano, is not only emotionally, but also mentally fulfilling.Photo: istock

righT: Pat Spada-fora, of the Sheridan Elder reasearach Centre, finds her inspiration through caring for her elderly father.Photo: Pat sPadafora

“Our belief is that you can age well and healthy and have a good quality of life whether you’re liv-ing in your own home or a long-term care facility,” states Spada-fora. The healthcare system has many demands on it from every-one not just older adults.

change is in a crisis. So, once you know your wishes, it’s important to share these with family and friends: if they know what’s criti-cal to you, you can plan together.

Knowing your optionsKnowing your options is impor-tant and can sometimes be a chal-lenge. There are many supportive services available to help manage the lifestyle changes that come with getting older. Some are pub-licly funded, accessible within your community, and some may be available privately at a cost. In Ontario, 14 government funded agencies, called Community Care Access Centres (CCACs), spe-cialize in connecting people to health and community services. Care coordinators employed by CCACs are health professionals who work with you, your family, and often your other health care providers to find what care and services you need to stay safely and independently at home, or, if living at home becomes too dif-ficult, to guide you through the process of understanding long-term care options.

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June 2013 · 7A sponsored feAture by MediAplAnet

it is estimated that over 500,000 Canadians have Alzheimer’s disease or other dementia. Currently there isn’t a cure, but preventative methods can keep your brain healthy.

Alzheimer’s, a progressive degen-erative disease of the brain is the most common form of dementia and usually occurs in older adults typically described as age 65 and up. “The best way to detect it is to go to your family doctor and men-tion specific signs and symptoms you’ve noticed,” says Julie Wong, Public Education Co-ordinator, Alzheimer Society of Toronto.

Use it or lose itIn order to prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s and dementia, it is important to stay mentally stimu-lated. Try implementing simple lifestyle changes to help preserve your memory and the ability to process information.

“As we age we tend to not stim-ulate our brain as much and go back to routine and practice,” states Wong. Crossword puzzles, Sudoku exercises, physical activ-ity and healthy diet are some of the factors that play a role in delaying or minimizing the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

But the most important risk prevention factor is to make sure your head is protected from injury of any sort. For older peo-ple, it’s about ensuring hallways are clutter free and good shoes are always worn.

Community supportSocialization is encouraged whether you suffer from this disease or not. Participating in community groups and staying connected to the world around you is very beneficial to your well being. It could be as simple as joining a dance group or a club.

In terms of increasing aware-ness, there are educational work-shops provided by the organiza-tions like the Alzheimer Society of Toronto which offer informa-tion and education about brain health, understanding demen-tia, Alzheimer’s disease, and keeping the home safe.

“People who have dementia can still have a good quality of life and connect with the world and the people around them,” says Wong.

your brain and good health

paULeanna ReId

[email protected]


Julie wongPublic education Coordinator,Alzheimer society of toronto

KEEPing ACTivEABOvE LEFT: Music is a great therapeutic tool for those living with Alzheimer’s.Photo: istock Staying active at the annual Alzheimer Society of Toronto dine & dance in the Afternoon.Photo: rebecca tisdelle-Macias

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8 · June 2013 A sponsored feAture by MediAplAnet


services in the communityThese days, Canadians are living healthy active lives well beyond retirement age thanks to improvements in public health and significant breakthroughs in treatment for acute conditions, but as our population ages, many people will need assistance to maintain their health and wellbeing.

More people are choosing to age in their own homes and manage their health conditions. This desire, along with an increased demand on our hospitals and long-term care facilities, is generating a need for additional resources within the community that can assist people

in their homes or in a clinic setting.Community support services,

such as Meals on Wheels, adult day programs, home maintenance and homemaking, transportation services, and friendly visiting, are key to preventing unnecessary and more costly interventions such as emergency room visits, hospital admissions and premature long-term care placement.

The benefitsThese services are a cost effec-tive component of the health care system and a good investment for government to support. On aver-age, for every dollar of govern-ment funding, $1.35 in services is provided due to client fees, com-

munity donations, and the use of volunteers for the delivery of some programs.

Community developmentAs more people manage their health in their own home and

community, it is more critical than ever to provide services that support independence, mobility, wellness, and social inclusion. We must place greater emphasis on addressing the social determi-nants of health through commu-nity development, volunteers, and the idea that the most vulnerable in our community should never be left behind. Through investments in community support services we can ensure we are delivering the right mix of programs to give an aging society the option to live at home as long as possible.

LoRI hoLLoway

natIonaL dIRectoR of heaLth,

the canadIan Red cRoss

[email protected]

hOME SwEET hOMEwith all the options and support available, remaning in the home maintains a sense of independence. Photo: istock


By 2025, An ESTiMATEd 20% OF ThE POPULATiOn wiLL BE OvEr 65