Posted by Jim Taylor on Mar 09, 2018
Embrace Aging
Guest speaker Joan Buttorff came to the club this last Thursday morning to talk about Embrace Aging Month, a program she has organized for the last five years. Past President Judy Guido helped to emphasize the point by having a birthday this week.
Joan Buttorff is a professor at UBC Okanagan in the Nursing faculty. Five years ago, they offered four small workshops about aging. The response was so good, the program has expanded every year since. This year, there’s an event almost every single day of the month, and some days there are two events.
The most notable event will be an evening with Jay Ingram, for many years the host of CBC Radio’s Quirks and Quarks science program. Ingram has made extensive study of dementia — what it is, how it can be treated, and in some cases, what can be done to prevent it. He’ll be speaking at the Kelowna Community Theatre Tuesday evening March 20, at 7:00 p.m. The event is free, but the organizers request registration in advance — online at, or by phone at 250-807-8072.
Joan also talked about some specific workshops.  One — the same Thursday evening as her talk, unfortunately — about sleep. Researchers at UBC-O are finding that getting adequate sleep is crucial for seniors’ health, just as important as getting enough sleep is for children and youth. Many seniors think they’re getting enough sleep, because they go to bed at 10:00 and get up at 7:00. But if their sleep is disturbed, or broken, they may be getting much less sleep than they think. But there are practical techniques — and in some cases, equipment such as CPAP machines — to improve the quality of sleep.
Another event deals with exercise. Again, researchers have found that elderly men and women need different kinds of exercise for maximum benefit.
A third program, next Thursday night on the UBC-O campus, will focus on techniques for “auditory rehabilitation” — trying to restore some hearing loss through exercise and socialization.
The biggest health problem for elderly people, Joan said, is often loneliness; loss of vision and hearing isolates them from other people. Social contacts in the right environment encourage seniors to make more use of the hearing they still have.
Enhance Aging Month is co-sponsored by Interior Health and Interior Savings Credit Union.
In other news
Next week’s speaker will be Gail Harrison, talking about the proposed JoeAnna’s House — something like Ronald McDonald House in Vancouver — where families from out of town can stay while their children, parents, or spouses are hospitalized in Kelowna.
Looking ahead, Saturday April 28 will be Rotary at Work Day, probably clearing brush along the walking trails on Spion Kop.
May 9 will be a Blood Donor Clinic, sponsored by our Rotary club, in the community gym at the Secondary School. Volunteers will need to be trained at the Canadian Blood Agency’s premises on Dilworth Drive in Kelowna. We will probably need about eight volunteers.
And remember that Ladies’ Movie Night is April 14. All hands on deck!