Storrington Lions Club is giving the gift of sight this Christmas.
Located on the eastern edge of Frontenac County, the club donated $5,000 to replace an aging biometry machine at Hotel Dieu Hospital in Kingston.
It is one of the biggest donations in the club’s history.
The gift was part of a campaign by Lions Districts A-3 and A-4 to raise $30,500 for a new IOL Master 700 Eye Measurement Device valued at $70,000. The new machine will replace an outdated IOL Master 500.
“This new machine will help with eye measurements and allow patients to get quicker results which in turn will help process more patients,” says John Beskers, President of Storrington Lions Club. “As a Lion, it’s wonderful to bring equipment to our area that improves our residents’ quality of life.”
Storrington Lions Club has been serving the communities of Sunbury, Inverary and Battersea for almost 50 years.
“This Lions Sight Service Project showed that the Lions Districts can work together to accomplish what is needed,” explains Bruce Johnson, Treasurer of Amherstview Lions Club and chair of the fundraising campaign. “This was a local project which greatly impacts our communities.”
Listing 15 Lions Clubs and several private donors, Bruce notes, “Without these clubs and friends, we could not have reached our goal of $30,500.”
Passionate about the health and wellness of his community, Bruce presented a large cheque in late 2018 to Dr. Mark Bona, an Ophthalmologist at Hotel Dieu Hospital. The ceremony was attended by Lions Club members from across Frontenac County.
“Storrington Lions Club is working hard to make our community closer and stronger,” explains the club president. “This equipment will help thousands of people with vision issues. Our volunteers gave their overwhelming support to this campaign that will transform lives.”
To learn more about Storrington Lions Club, please contact:
November is Diabetes Awareness Month. To raise awareness of diabetes and to provide information on best management, the Sharbot Family Health Team Diabetes Education Team (Cathy Fox, Certified Diabetes Educator, Registered Nurse and Saman Shaikh, Certified Diabetes Educator, Registered Dietitian) at Sharbot Lake Family Health Team will be contributing weekly articles during the month of November.
Wouldn’t it be nice if your body had an “early warning system” to let you know when something was not right? Prediabetes is just that: an indication that your blood glucose (sugar) is higher than normal, but not yet high enough to be within the range of diabetes. Sometimes referred to as “borderline diabetes”, a diagnosis of prediabetes is a chance to change the future. Chances of a type 2 diabetes diagnosis increase if you have prediabetes, but not everyone with prediabetes will develop diabetes.
There are several risk factors that may lead to type 2 diabetes and being aware of these can be helpful in keeping on top of your health. People over 40 years of age are at higher risk of diabetes. A family history or genetic predisposition to diabetes can also be a major factor, along with being a member of a high-risk population such as Asian, African, Indigenous, Hispanic, or South Asian populations. Other risk factors include having high blood pressure or high cholesterol, being overweight (especially around your tummy), having sleep apnea, or taking medications such as glucocorticoids that may raise blood glucose. Women who have been diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome, or who may have had gestational diabetes during pregnancy, are also more likely to develop type 2 diabetes.
The good news is that research has shown if you take steps to manage your blood sugars when you have prediabetes, you can prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes. The treatment of prediabetes is usually based on making healthy changes in your lifestyle, though some medical professionals may prescribe medication to further reduce your chances of developing diabetes. If you are overweight, losing weight in healthy, sustainable way can also make a significant different in your health and quality of life.
A healthy, balanced diet that includes moderation of all foods, regular meals and snacks, and plenty of fruits and vegetables is beneficial. A healthy diet also includes minimally processed foods, whole grains, and little or no added sugar. Keeping well hydrated by drinking water and limiting sugary drinks such as pop and fruit juice is also important. As well, physical activity is necessary for a healthy lifestyle. Diabetes Canada recommends 150 minutes of moderate-vigorous aerobic activity each week (e.g. brisk walking, biking, jogging etc., for 30 minutes a day). If you are not used to such physical activity, you may have to start slowly and increase your activity level gradually.
If you have prediabetes, keeping on top of it can be paramount to preventing or delaying diabetes. People who have been diagnosed with prediabetes should have blood work done at least once a year to make sure your blood glucose level is not creeping up. If you would like to learn more about healthy eating and active living, or just need some support with setting goals and getting motivated, the Diabetes Education Program at the Sharbot Lake Family Health Team can help.
Please call the Sharbot Lake Family Health Team at 613-279-2100 to book an appointment to discuss your diabetes. Our Certified Diabetes Educators are here to help you learn how to best manage your diabetes or pre-diabetes.
A Registered Dietitian is available by appointment for patients of the Sydenham and Verona Medical Clinics on alternate Wednesdays. Patients of the Sydenham Medical Clinic can call 613-376-3327 to schedule an appointment. If you are a patient of the Verona Medical Clinic, please call 613-374-2077.
Monthly diabetes education group sessions are held at the Verona Medical Clinic. A Registered Dietitian and a Nurse Practitioner are available to discuss a range of topics related to living with diabetes and pre-diabetes. Everyone is welcome to attend. The next season is Thursday November 22nd, from 9 a.m. to noon."
Back in April, staff from the City of Kingston oversaw two distinct processes which were designed to provide a snap shot of the scope of the homelessness reality in the City of Kingston and in Frontenac County.
In Kingston, City staff worked with the United Way, who oversaw a one-night Point in Time (PiC) of homeless Kingstonians. They counted people in shelters and in locations where homeless people tend to sleep, using all the skills of the social service workers and others who work in the field, to come up with as much information about numbers of people and other details.
“Obviously,” said Ruth Noordegraaf, Manager-Housing and Childcare “you can’t go around Frontenac County in one night looking for homeless people, so we used a different method.
Over a two-week period from April 9-20, in collaboration with Southern Frontenac Community Services, Rural Frontenac Community Services, and Addiction and Mental Health Services KFL&A, local social service staff administered an enumeration survey during regular interactions with clients.
In the rural area, homeless individuals and households are more likely to be living with friends or family or in shelters which are not intended for long-term accommodation (e.g. recreational vehicles, hunt camps, cabins, etc.)
Surveys were done in 2013 and in 2016, using the definition of homelessness in the Canadian Observatory of Homelessness, “those whose accommodation is temporary or lacks security or tenure” which would typically include those “couch-surfing” with friends or family or other forms of housing that is unstable or inappropriate for long-term accommodation. The 2013 survey determined there were 54 homeless people in Frontenac County, and the number in 2016 was 30.
Although the 2018 number, 61, was higher, Noordegraaf does not look at the number comparisons as very useful in this case.
“The lower number in 2016 does not mean that it is necessarily on the increase, it could be because our process is getting better,” she said.
In fact, Noordegraaf thinks continuing improvement in surveying for homelessness in Frontenac County could mean that it will continue to be difficult to compare one era to another, but the value of the information that is gathered by the survey is significant nonetheless.
“Some of the detail in the report will feed into the review we are currently undertaking,” she said. The City of Kingston embarked on a ten year homelessness prevention strategy for the City of Kingston and the County of Frontenac five years ago, and is now involved in the 5 year review of that ten year plan,” she said.
The 61 people who self identified as homeless in 2018 represent 37 households. 15 are dependent children, 54% of the respondents are men, 46% are women, and 16% are youth between 16 and 24 years old. Just over half of the families, 51%, cited social assistance as their primary source of income. And 81% said that a lack of income is a barrier to securing permanent housing.
17 of the 37 homeless families in the survey (46%), identified themselves as First Nations of Indigenous descent. In the 2016 census, 5% of respondents in Frontenac County identified themselves as indigenous. However, as the release concerning the homelessness survey points out, “it is important to note that Indigenous individuals are usually under-represented in census counts.” Nonetheless, 46% is a high percentage.
Perhaps less surprising is the finding that 81% of the families identified the presence of a mental health issue in their family. 35% identified an addiction, 37% a physical disability and 43% a chronic or acute medical condition.
None of the respondents said they were immigrants or refugees, but almost 1/3 of the families said they had moved to Frontenac County within the last year.
(November is Diabetes Awareness Month and November 14 is World Diabetes Day. To raise awareness of diabetes and to provide information on best management, the Sharbot Family Health Team Diabetes Education Team (Cathy Fox, Certified Diabetes Educator, Registered Nurse and Saman Shaikh, Certified Diabetes Educator, Registered Dietitian) will be contributing weekly articles during the month of November.)
Did you know that a little preparation before your diabetes visit will help you get the most out of the appointment? According the Diabetes Canada, preparation for your diabetes-focused visit ensures you are prepared and know what to expect. Diabetes Canada and your Certified Diabetes educator have a few suggestions that will help you get the most out of your visit.
Try to have your blood work done before the appointment. This helps the doctor and the Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE) focus on the next steps in the organization of your diabetes care- including medication addition or change in dose.
Bring along your blood sugar log book or the actual meter. Your CDE likes to review your numbers to see if there are any adjustments that can be made.
You can also bring along your updated list of medications to ensure the medical records are the same.
Identify your goals. What do you want to get out of this visit? What are you trying to achieve? You most likely have good diabetes management at the top of the list, but there may be other topics you want to discuss, such as weight loss, becoming more active, learning to cook healthy meals or even becoming more involved with your community.
Bringing a list of written questions to your visit ensures all your concerns are addressed. Your concerns are important! Bring along a family member or friend for support. Sometimes two sets of ears are better then one! Maybe the family member or friend can take brief notes for you to review after the visit is over.
And finally, to achieve the most from your diabetes appointment, be honest with yourself and the CDE. We are here to help, not pass judgement. Discuss any possible barriers in your life, such as limited finances, or fears about diabetes. Your CDE can work with you to find a solution that is beneficial to you. Over time, the small changes that you have incorporated into your lifestyle will lead to sustainable diabetes control.
Remember, diabetes management is a lifelong process with ups and downs. A good working relationship with your CDE will help you in your journey through this process to achieve your goals.
The Sharbot Lake Family Health Team has hosted a Diabetes Education Program since 2006. Two on site full time Certified Diabetes Educators work closely with the other health care professionals to provide care to approximately 500 patients with diabetes or prediabetes in the community.
(Cathy Fox, Registered Nurse and Saman Shaikh, Registered Dietitian are both Certified Diabetes Educators and can help you learn how to best manage your diabetes or pre-diabetes. Please call the Sharbot Lake Family Health Team at 613-279-2100 to book an appointment to discuss your diabetes.)
Gary Paquin felt alive when he held a set of drumsticks.
Feeling the music pulse through his body, he played the drums with passion and pleasure. Like his father and brother, music was a large part of his life; tap a beat for the musicians around him and give the crowd a great show.
He played for years, travelling from coast-to-coast with several recording artists in Canada.
But that all changed when a tick hiding in the fur of his cat returned home and infected him with Lyme Disease. Gary was in his early-50s when his illness stole his ability to play the drums.
Now, at 57 years old, he’s fighting for his life.
Wearing a leather jacket in late October, Gary talks about the challenges he has endured. He isn’t looking for pity, but he would appreciate help to finance a potentially life-saving medical treatment he wants more than anything, including the ability to play his drums again.
“The hardest part of this disease is getting help,” says Gary who lives in South Frontenac Township.
Struggling to diagnose the condition that was stealing Gary’s motor function, doctors prescribed a variety of medication that were ineffective.
Finally, after 1.5 years of suffering, Gary spent $600 on a test in the United States to confirm Lyme Disease.
“There is a real problem within Canada,” he says thoughtfully. “Many doctors do not have a solid understanding of the disease and the doctors who do can lose their license for treating chronic Lyme, along with Ontario's flawed testing.”
With precious time lost, Gary returned to Canada to treat the disease that was creating havoc in a body already compromised by Type 1 Diabetes.
Dependent on insulin since he was nine years old, Gary’s immune system was powerless to fight the bacteria invading his cells.
“It’s a little bit complicated,” he says with a small smile when asked about his management and control of diabetes. “With the other conditions, I have a pretty good hold on that.”
What he hasn’t got a hold on is the Parkinson’s Disease that set-in two years ago from the long-term effects of chronic Lyme which damaged him neurologically.
“My motor skills are severely impaired. The chronic fatigue is incredible,” he says about the degenerative disorder of the central nervous system that mainly affects the motor system.
Already showing signs of shaking, rigidity, slowness of movement and difficulty walking, Gary knows the disease is progressive and relentless.
To stay alive, he has spent his savings and sold almost everything he owns, including his drum kit and acoustic guitar from his late father, to pay $500 a month for medications and visits to a naturopath.
“Alternative therapies have helped,” Gary attests. “In the end, you do what you can afford and hope it’s enough.
“Saying that, there is a huge urgency to get the funds for treatment as I fight to maintain my independence and dignity as the diseases take more of my life day-after-day. Time is not on my side.”
Looking tired as the night closes in, Gary admits, “Sickness has taken away most of the things I love. My drumming career has been completely squashed. I can’t function normally. When I couldn’t play the drums, I lost my heart.”
“I can’t button-up shirts or tie my own shoes,” he continues. “I try to stay positive because stress makes it worse. It’s hard not to be pissed-off, it’s an outrage. But I don’t feel sorry for myself. It’s anger more than anything and some acceptance because you have to accept what you can’t change.”
He notes solemnly, “I’m grateful just to be alive. I just buried a good friend last weekend who was only 52. It makes me grateful for the things I can still do such as the ability to feed and wash myself.
“My blessings are many,” he says, referencing the functions he still has and the friends, family and church who are rallying to support him through a fundraiser at Zorbas Banquet Hall on Nov. 18.
The fundraiser is to help offset the cost of stem cell transplant for Gary.
“It was a quite a process just to qualify for the treatment because you have to be the ideal candidate,” he explains. “They plan to harvest the stem cells from my own body. It’s regenerative medicine. The stem cell network will be working closely with me for at least two years to help me and gather research for future patients who might benefit from this treatment. They’re also trying to find better ways to improve and help other people who are suffering from a debilitating disease.”
Working to raise $10,000 to cover expenses not funded by OHIP, Gary’s voice sounds hopeful about his upcoming treatment which boasts a 63 per cent success rate with Parkinson’s symptoms. Calling it the new face of modern medicine, Gary says stem cell transplant should help with his Lyme Disease and some of the damage caused by years of diabetes. He hopes it will help him sleep better and reduce his chronic pain.
“People in worse shape than I am have been helped,” he says with confidence.
“I’ve been beaten-up pretty bad over the years,” he acknowledges softly. “But I keep coming back kicking. It’s hard to keep a good man down.”
Smiling at his joke, Gary is quick to thank the people who plan to support his fundraiser in November and who have donated to his Go Fund Me page.
“Some people who have contributed to the cause are in worse shape than I am,” he says kindly. “I’m very grateful for the friends and fellow musicians who are helping me with this whole process. I have an attitude of gratitude.”
November is Diabetes Awareness Month and November 14 is World Diabetes Day. To raise awareness of diabetes and to provide information on best management, the Sharbot Family Health Team Diabetes Education Team (Cathy Fox, Certified Diabetes Educator, Registered Nurse and Saman Shaikh, Certified Diabetes Educator, Registered Dietitian) will be contributing weekly articles during the month of November
You’ve Been Diagnosed with Diabetes. Now What?
Managing diabetes care can seem like a complicated balancing act. Meeting with a Certified Diabetes Educator is a great way to get support and guidance and one of the first things a patient should do when faced with a new diabetes diagnosis.
What is a Certified Diabetes Educator?
A Certified Diabetes Educator is a licensed health care professional, who specializes in helping people with diabetes learn how to manage their condition. Diabetes Educators have passed a national exam that certifies them with the Canadian Diabetes Educator Certification Board. Re-certification is done every 5 years to maintain the status of “Certified” Diabetes Educator
What does a Certified Diabetes Educator do?
Certified Diabetes Educators (CDE) assist people with self-management of their diabetes by offering evidence-based guidance to diabetes care. The CDE is a member of your health care team and works closely with the physician or nurse practitioner using the 2018 Diabetes Canada Guidelines to follow you in such areas as monitoring of blood glucose, medications, risk reduction of complications, monitoring of blood pressure, weight, waist circumference, feet, eyes and exercise. A Diabetes Educator helps makes managing your diabetes easier, working with you to develop a plan to stay healthy, and giving you tools and ongoing support to make that plan a regular part of your life.
The CDE can also provide specific tracking tools to help you monitor your diabetes. In your diabetes visit, the CDE will discuss your needs and goals and answer any questions you may have.
Certified Diabetes Educators can:
Empower and assist patients to make positive changes in lifestyle and self-care behaviors
Educate patients and caregivers in using diabetes devices, such as blood glucose meters, insulin pens and pumps, and continuous glucose monitors
Teach problem-solving strategies and skills to help people with diabetes live healthy, active lifestyles
Provide nutrition education that is individualized for each person and supports people with diabetes to adopt a healthy diet
Work with physicians and other members of your health care team to help manage medication regimens
Help you develop emotional coping skills
The Sharbot Lake Family Health Team has hosted a Diabetes Education Program since 2006. Two on site full time Certified Diabetes Educators work closely with the other health care professionals to provide care to approximately 500 patients with diabetes or prediabetes in the community.
Cathy Fox, Registered Nurse and Saman Shaikh, Registered Dietitian are both Certified Diabetes Educators and can help you learn how to best manage your diabetes or pre-diabetes. Please call the Sharbot Lake Family Health Team at 613-279-2100 to book an appointment to discuss your diabetes.
As a clinical Restorative Dental Hygienist for many years, I have performed countless oral cancer screening exams and have had to have difficult conversations with many clients regarding sexually transmitted diseases. When I first graduated, oral cancer was traditionally found in the middle aged population with a history of smoking and alcohol abuse. Unfortunately today the risk factors and demographics have changed. The human papilloma virus (HPV) is now considered the epidemic of oral cancers especially among men. The virus is now found in 70% of cancers and much more difficult to detect. There is no cure for HPV related cancers.
HPV is the most common STD virus and infection. It is the leading cause of oropharyngeal cancers primarily at the base of the tongue, tonsils, crypts and throat. There are nearly 200 strains of the virus but we are most concerned about HPV16 in oral, cervical, anal and penile cancers. Most sexually active individuals have been exposed to HPV and we could be carrying the virus without knowing for many years or decades before our body does one of two things: fosters the infection OR our immune system clears the virus. Most of us with a strong immune system will usually clear the virus within two years.
Risk factors for becoming infected are the number of sexual partners you have had or the number your partner has had, and a weakened immune system. It is transmitted from skin to skin genital contact (intercourse and oral sex). Condoms reduce the incidence of contraction as well as HPV vaccinations. Gardasil and Cervarix vaccines protect against HPV16 and millions of females starting at the age of nine have been safely vaccinated at no cost to them through our school boards. The vaccination needs to be administered at the PRE sexual age as it will not work if you have already been exposed to the virus. What about the male population?? Males are four times more likely to contract HPV and Ontario does NOT currently have a no-cost school based HPV vaccination for nontrans males. It is likely to change in the future but currently most males are NOT protected unless they seek vaccination through a private clinic at cost of approximately $540.00 for the three necessary doses. Some private insurances will cover the cost and I encourage all parents of young boys/men to invest in the vaccination. It could save their life.
DETECTION - Dentistry has a huge role to play in detection and education of these HPV related cancers. Dental exams when done thoroughly and properly saves lives! Ensure your dental professional is performing oral cancer screenings for you, your kids and grandkids. I am a huge proponent in education and not only should the screenings be done at every dental visit but young males who are around the age to becoming sexually active, should be informed of the higher risks associated to them due to lack of the vaccination and protection available to lower the incidence of this deadly disease.
WHAT CAN YOU DO? - It is important that you also perform your own oral cancer screening and there is a widely publicized “Seven Step DIY Oral Cancer Screening” that you can do that could save your life. Any sore/lesion, discoloration, irritation, hoarseness, induration or prominent tissue which does not resolve in two weeks should be checked by an oral health professional.
THE SEVEN STEP DIY ORAL CANCER SCREENING: Compete while facing a mirror with adequate lighting.
Step 1: Tongue – Stick your tongue out and hold the end with a cloth to give you some grip. Move your tongue to the right and left and look for any red and white patches. Do the same for the top and bottom of the tongue. Use your index finger to feel for any unusual lumps on the sides, top and bottom of the tongue
Step 2: Lip and cheek – Look around the edge of your lips for any lesions or sores. Using the thumb and index finger of both hands, pull back your upper and lower lips and look for red or white lesions/sores. Using these same fingers, feel for any lumps or bumps. Next, use your thumb and index finger to pull back the right side of your cheek looking for any red or white patches. Rub your cheek to feel for any lumps or bumps. Repeat on the left side.
Step 3: Floor of Mouth – Raise tongue to the roof of your mouth and look under where it rests on the bottom of your mouth for any white or red patches. Using one finger inside the floor of the mouth and another on the opposing surface from the outside (under your chin) feel for any lumps/bumps between your fingers.
Step 4: Roof of Mouth – Look at the roof of your mouth for any unusual sores or red and white patches. Rub the roof of your mouth and feel for new or unusual swelling.
Step 5: Head and Neck – Using all four fingers to rub in a circular motion, feel your neck for unusual lumps/bumps or tender areas. Repeat this on the back of your neck along your hairline and behind, under and in front of your ears.
Step 6: Say “ahhhh….” Press down on your tongue with a tongue depressor or teaspoon , say “ahhhh..” and examine the back of your throat looking for red/white patches or unusual bumps.
Step 7: Tell someone – Call your oral health professional and have any unusual findings checked – early detection is key!!
We can all be proponents for change for our at-risk youth. Let’s get talking about HPV … to one another, our kids, our insurance carriers and government officials for changes to Ontario’s policy to vaccinate our young men and save lives!
Cathy Byrnes is the recently retired as the restorative dental hygienist at the Sharbot Lake Dental Clinic.
November is Diabetes Awareness Month and November 14 is World Diabetes Day. To raise awareness of diabetes and share information on best management, the Sharbot Family Health Team Diabetic Education Team (Cathy Fox, Certified Diabetes Educator, Registered Nurse and Saman Shaikh, Certified Diabetes Educator, Registered Dietitian) will be contributing weekly articles during the month of November
Currently diabetes is reaching epidemic proportions as one in three Canadians is living with diabetes or prediabetes and an estimated 1.5 million are living with undiagnosed diabetes.
There isn’t a cure yet for diabetes but maintaining a healthy lifestyle can reduce its impact on your life. What you do every day makes a difference: eating healthily, staying physically active, taking medicines if prescribed, and keeping health care appointments to stay on track.
There are three main types of diabetes: type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes (diabetes while pregnant).
With type 1 diabetes, your body can’t make insulin (a hormone that acts like a key to let blood sugar into cells for use as energy), so you need to take it every day. Type 1 diabetes is less common than type 2 diabetes; 5% of the people who have diabetes have type 1. Currently, no one knows how to prevent type 1 diabetes.
Most people with diabetes—9 out of 10—have type 2 diabetes. With type 2 diabetes, your body doesn’t use insulin well and is unable to keep blood sugar at normal levels. If you have any of the risk factors below, ask your doctor if you should be tested for diabetes. The sooner you find out, the sooner you can start making healthy changes that will benefit you now and in the future.
Type 2 diabetes risk factors include:
Having prediabetes (blood sugar levels that are higher than normal but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes).
Being 45 years or older.
Having a parent, brother, or sister with type 2 diabetes.
Being physically active less than 3 times a week.
Ever having gestational diabetes or giving birth to a baby who weighed more than 9 pounds.
The Canadian Diabetic Association encourages everyone to visit www. Diabetestest.ca to take the online CANRISK test and learn their risk level for developing type 2 diabetes.
You’ve been diagnosed with diabetes or prediabetes. Now what?
Managing diabetes or prediabetes is a balancing act—food, activity, medicine, and blood sugar levels—but you can do it. Meeting with a certified diabetes educator is a great way to get support and guidance, including how to:
Follow a healthy eating plan.
Get physically active.
Test your blood sugar.
Give yourself insulin by syringe, pen, or pump, if needed.
Monitor your feet, skin and eyes to catch problems early.
Get diabetes supplies and store them according to package directions.
Manage stress and deal with daily diabetes care.
What is a Certified Diabetes Educator?
Certified Diabetes Educators play a significant role in managing Diabetes. A Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE) is a licensed health care professional, such as a nurse, dietitian or pharmacist, who specializes in helping people with diabetes learn how to manage their condition. The counselling and support that CDEs provide is known as diabetes education or diabetes self-management. To certify, the diabetes educator must pass a national exam that certifies them with the Canadian Diabetes Educator Certification Board. Re-certification is done every 5 years to maintain the status of “Certified” Diabetes Educator (CDE).
CDEs assist people with diabetes or prediabetes with self-management by offering evidence-based guidance to diabetes care. CDEs collaborate with the physician or nurse practitioner using the 2018 Diabetes Canada Guidelines to follow you in such areas as monitoring of blood glucose, medications, reducing risk of complications, monitoring of blood pressure, weight, waist circumference, feet, eyes and exercise. In your diabetes visit, the CDE will discuss your needs and goals, provide tracking tools to help you monitor your diabetes and answer any questions you may have.
Ask your health care provider about diabetes self-management education and support and to recommend a diabetes educator.
The Sharbot Lake Family Health Team has a Diabetic Team that includes 2 Certified Diabetes Educators (CDEs) who work closely with the rest of the Sharbot Lake Family Health Team health care providers to help you achieve the best health possible. Please call the clinic at 613-279-2100 for more information.
Low vision can significantly impact a person’s everyday activities. Vision loss is defined as loss of sight that can’t be corrected by medicine, surgery, or standard eyeglasses. Vision loss can affect a person’s overall health, independence, and community participation.
To boost the safety, independence and quality of life of individuals with vision loss is the aim of vision rehabilitation. In our region, the South East Ontario Vision Rehabilitation Service (SOVRS) is funded by the Ministry of Health to provide vision rehabilitation to people of all ages. SOVRS brings together healthcare providers and certified specialists from Kingston Health Sciences Centre and Vision Loss Rehabilitation Ontario. The SOVRS team works with people with vision loss to meet their individual needs and goals.
“Using Technology to Assist with Low Vision” is one thing that many people add to their vision rehabilitation plan. That is why SOVRS is offering a free, two-part workshop of this title at Connections Adult Learning’s site in Sharbot Lake. The dates are November 7 and November 21, 2018 from 1:00 to 3:00pm.
“Technology can really level the playing field for people with vision loss,” says Scott Birney, one of the workshop presenters. Scott sees the benefits of technology almost daily in his role as an Independent Living Skills Specialist on the SOVRS team. “There are so many devices and programs that have been specifically designed to help people with vision loss overcome day to day obstacles and assist with staying informed.”
Julia Foster, another presenter and an Occupational Therapist on the SOVRS team says, “So many beneficial features are actually built-in to most computers, smartphones, and tablets. Many of these devices can also be adapted to make it easier for the user to understand and control. Features like speech to text, onscreen keyboards, reading mode and magnification can make it easier for people with different types of disabilities.”
Those with vision loss who have learned to use technology have discovered possibilities they didn’t realize existed. For some, the benefits may be as basic as using a device for reading, playing games and connecting with loved ones. For others, it may be using technology to manage a schedule, do their banking, keep track of contacts, identify items in the store, take online courses, write their memoirs, or make their work demands more manageable.
In an article for the Kingston Health Sciences Centre, retired teacher and past participant, Catherine Whittaker, talked about the “life-altering” impact of vision rehabilitation and technology. “I don’t use that word lightly,” she says, “but after learning how to use an iPad to access online books, library services and more, I felt like I had finally entered the 21st century. I can get news and commentary, which means I can be a political person again and make thoughtful choices. I didn’t want to be sidelined by low vision. I wanted to keep learning, be independent and engaged in life. I have all that now, and I have hope.”
These workshops aim to provide a starting point for learning. No experience is necessary and Connections will have equipment to explore if participants don’t have their own. There will be options to receive follow-up one-on-one training from specialists from the SOVRS team or with Connections’ Computer Instructors.
While the workshops focus mainly on technology, individuals with vision loss can also access other training and services that support them in building skills to remain independent at home and to navigate within the community. Through a partnership with the Sharbot Lake Family Health Team (SLFHT), Anne Chiarelli, Certified Low Vision Specialist with SOVRS, will be at the the SLFHT one day a month for a low vision clinic. The next clinic is tentatively planned for November 2, 2018, but you will need to be referred to SOVRS ahead of time for an appointment. After gathering information on each person’s vision loss, and how they can best use their remaining vision, the broader SOVRS team works with each person to look at what type of techniques, equipment, or other adaptations might be best suited to that individual.
For referral to the SOVRS vision rehabilitation program, you can talk to your eye doctor, or your healthcare professional at the Sharbot Lake Family Health Team about sending in a referral form. You can also start the referral process yourself by calling 613-542-4975 extension 5081. Referral forms can be obtained from the number above or the Queen’s Ophthalmology website: https://ophthalmology.queensu.ca/clinic/SOVRS.
For more information about the “Using Technology to Assist with Low Vision” two-part workshop, see the flyer insert in this paper. To register, please contact Connections Adult Learning at 613-279-2499 or drop in to their site at 24719 Hwy. 7 in Sharbot Lake.
Perth – Saturday, September 8 is the date for the 2nd-Annual Lanark North Leeds Parkinson SuperWalk, which again will be held at Conlon Farm, 109 Smith Drive in Perth, starting at 10am. The event will be held rain or shine with music, food, demos and information about Parkinson’s. Patricia Boal, CTV Ottawa News Anchor, will emcee. Mayors John Fenik and Sean Pankow will be there to lend their support.
However, the relaxed 2km-or-so walk around the park and adjacent neighbourhood is not the most important goal of the walk. “The day,” says co-chair of the walk, Gayle Truman, “marks an opportunity for people with Parkinson’s Disease to come together for a common purpose: To raise funds and awareness while having fun at the same time.”
Last September, the notable success of the first local SuperWalk (over $31,000 was raised), underlined the need for increased services in Lanark North Leeds. Since last year’s walk, a support group and two new exercise programs have opened in Smiths Falls. An educational event was organized through the Ontario Telemedicine Network as part of Parkinson’s Awareness Month last April, bringing the expertise of a leading researcher and neurologist and neuro-physiotherapists to Lanark North Leeds, and information sessions have been organized with local health care providers.
Parkinson’s is the second most common neurological disease with over 100,000 people living with it in Canada. It is a chronic and progressive disease, meaning that symptoms continue and worsen over time. These range from loss of smell and muscle rigidity to tremor and depression. The obvious symptoms are usually the tip of the iceberg, with many others not apparent to most people. The average age of diagnosis is 62 with 30% diagnosed before the age of 50. By 2031, it is predicted that the number will double and the County of Lanark Leeds and Grenville, with the highest percentage of seniors in Ontario and already under-serviced, will face a particular challenge. “While there is no cure for this chronic and progressive neurological disorder, early identification and diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease is important so that people can educate themselves about what they can do to help delay the disease,” says Pat Evans, local advocate and a person with Parkinson’s, “People seem to be diagnosed much later here than they would be in an urban area. The reasons for this are not clear, but access to specialists may be one factor. There may also be increased isolation because of distance, and worries about being judged or stigmatized may prevent people from talking with their doctor.”
Dan Linton, a Smiths Falls resident who is 48, says that he had had symptoms since he was 38 and that diagnosis was only confirmed when the medication was prescribed. “It took a long time for me to be diagnosed because they weren’t expecting a 38-year-old to have Parkinson’s. But not everyone with Parkinson’s is 60 and has a tremor. That is why we need to continue our efforts to educate the public as well as health professionals about the disease.”
To register as an individual or team, to donate or to get further information, contact Alan Muir at 1 (800) 565-3000 ext. 3427 or visit online at donate.parkinson.ca/lanarknorthleeds