As a caregiver, Dick Strayer knew what it was like to feel alone and not know where to turn. He is a founder of the Saskatoon Council on Aging’s [SCOA] Caregiver Support and Information Centre, a program that provides support for seniors who are caregivers. Through his work with the program, he spoke with hundreds of caregivers in Saskatoon and area.
“One of the best medicines is for caregivers to talk to other caregivers. Caregivers experience feelings of loneliness and it is great to find out that you are not alone, that there is someone there to help and where you can get advice.”
I’m a firm believer in the cause and I have a tremendous amount of respect for the organization. They deserve all the support that I can give them.” ~ Dick Strayer
Dick’s vision for the future would be a provincial Caregiver program, training for caregivers and for people to know more about SCOA’s work.
“I devoted a lot of time to something that I truly believe in. It’s had an effect on my life no question.”
Dick gives to SCOA because “I’m a firm believer in the cause and I have a tremendous amount of respect for the organization. They deserve all the support that I can give them.”
“SCOA and Caregiver are at the top of my list always.” ~ Dick Strayer
You can help us build a better future for older adults and caregivers – Donate now!
How to donate: 1. By Phone: 306.652.2255 2. in person at our office in the Saskatoon Field House, 2020 College Drive 3. Online at CanadaHelps
Did you know that the Saskatoon Council on Aging (SCOA) serves over 80,000 older adults in Saskatoon and area? SCOA is a non-profit organization which began operations in 1991 and is dedicated to promoting positive aging for all in an age-friendly community.
Positive aging means feeling good, as you grow older. The key to positive aging is staying ACTIVE, ENGAGED and INFORMED.
You can stay ACTIVE through SCOA’s Globe Walk Program.
You can stay INFORMED through SCOA’s information/resource centre and caregiver information and support centre and our publications.
Through SCOA’s Age Friendly Saskatoon Initiative the City of Saskatoon now belongs to the World Health Organization’s Global Network for Age-friendly Cities and Communities. The network was established to foster the exchange of experience and mutual learning between cities and communities worldwide who are striving to better meet the needs of their older residents. .
What is the Vestibular System? How does that relate to Balance? And what happens to it with age?
By Leah White B.Kin., M.P.T., C.A.F.C.I.
Q: What is the vestibular system? How does that relate to balance? And what happens to it with age?
A: The vestibular system comprises our peripheral vestibular apparatus and our central nervous system. The peripheral vestibular apparatus includes the inner ear and the associated nerve (the vestibulocochlear nerve) that connects it to the brain. The inner ear organ provides information about acceleration (e.g., taking off in an airplane) and rotational speed (e.g., bending, rolling over, looking up at the sky) of our body in space. The central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord) takes this information and combines it with signals from various sensory organs in our body including our eyes, and our muscle and joint receptors, particularly in our feet and neck, to create stable balance and vision. In short, the three most important components of balance are our visual system (eyes), our vestibular system, and our proprioceptive system (joints and muscles). Problems with balance can produce symptoms like dizziness, vertigo, nausea, blurred vision, and unstable gait, among others.
As we age, structures degenerate in all aspects of our body at varying rates. We can also succumb to various disease processes that cause decreased function in the affected organ. Changes in muscle and joint flexibility can affect the ability of the receptors to send appropriate signals to the brain about joint position in space and also limit our ability to respond to those changes and maintain our balance. For example, the majority of people will begin to experience decreased range of motion and strength in the ankle joint as they age. This lack of mobility limits the body’s ability to accommodate to perturbations in our balance and makes us prone the falling.
Disease processes like glaucoma or macular degeneration can impact the visual input that our brain relies on to determine our body position relative to the horizon. As a result, we are forced to rely on the other two major components of balance listed above; our inner ear and our joint receptors. This may require us to use a gait aid like a cane for extra tactile feedback with the ground which creates more proprioceptive input for our balance system to rely on. Or, we may walk slower, take shorter steps and not lift our feet as high which can again make us prone to falling, especially if we have to rush unexpectedly to the washroom or to answer the phone or doorbell.
Alternatively, tiny particles can become dislodged in the inner ear and cause our peripheral vestibular apparatus to lose its ability to determine which way is up and makes us feel as though the world is spinning. This dizziness can be nauseating and debilitating or it can be a mild annoyance. If you believe you may be experiencing any of the above, or simply believe you have poor balance, contact a physical therapist in your area that has specific training in vestibular and balance dysfunction. They can help determine why you may be dizziness and help devise a treatment plan to assist with your problem.
Make your voice heard – Be part of a friendly, growing community of older adults [3600+]
You can help us build a better future with older adults –
Become a member today! Single memberships $25/Couples $35/Corporate $250/Nonprofit $25/Associate Free
Memberships renewed yearly [April 1 to March 31]
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC): Supports for aging in place
Canada has many housing options available for seniors that suit a wide range of budgets, health needs and personal preferences. CMHC staff will provide an overview of housing and financing options to help you make an informed decision. In addition, the presenters will touch on helpful tips to avoid fraud and financial abuse related to housing.
CPAS provides access to, and determines eligibility for Long Term Care Homes (permanent admission and respite care), Community Day Programs, Home Care, Community Therapies, and Volunteer Services. CPAS also provides information on other housing options like, Private Care Homes and Assisted Living Homes. CPAS staff will provide an overview of the role the Health Authority plays in housing transitions for older adults.
When: Tuesday, November 12, 2019 1pm-3pm
Where: Saskatoon Council on Aging, 2020 College Drive [Saskatoon Field House]
Cost: $10 registration fee
The 2020 Community Police and Fire Academy will be running between February 12 to April 15, 2020. The 2.5 hour sessions will be held every Wednesday morning between 9:30 am and noon in the Community Room of the Saskatoon Police Service (76 25th Street East) or the Community Room of Fire Station No. 3 (2613 Clarence Avenue South). Enrollment is limited to 20 participants and is free to attend.
Application forms are available online at or at the Saskatoon Council on Aging (SCOA) office (2020 College Drive). The application deadline is January 15, 2020.