Article                                                    Philanthropy...the Love of Humanity

Seniors Tip: 
                                     Caregiver Considerations  

Heart Healthy Recipe:
                    Zesty Bean Dip and Chips    

Did You Know? 
                                Nostalgia or Agnosia

#3 Heart Healthy Recipe: Zesty Bean Dip and Chips
Makes 12 servings.

Ingredients-6 small whole wheat flour or corn tortillas, 3/4 tsp (4 mL) chili powder, 1 can (19 oz/540 mL) black beans, drained and rinsed, 1/2 cup (125 mL) medium or hot salsa, 1/4 tsp (1 mL) grated lime rind, 2 tbsp (25 mL) lime juice, 1 small shallot, minced, 1/2 tsp (2 mL) ground cumin, Pinch fresh ground pepper, 3 tbsp (45 mL) chopped fresh cilantro, 2 tbsp (25 mL) chopped fresh basil (optional).

Directions-Cut each tortilla into 8 wedges and place in a resealable plastic bag. Spray tortillas with cooking spray and sprinkle with chili powder; seal and shake bag to coat tortilla wedges. Place on large baking sheet and bake in preheated 400°F ( 200°C) oven for about 8 minutes or until golden and crisp. Let cool completely before using. In a food processor bowl, puree beans, salsa, lime rind and juice, shallot, cumin and pepper until smooth. Scrape into bowl and stir in cilantro and basil, if using. Serve with tortilla chips.

Nutritional Information Per Serving (3 tbsp (45 mL) dip and 4 chips)-Calories 94, Protein 4 g, Total Fat 2 g, Saturated Fat 0 g, Trans Fat 0 g, Cholesterol 0 mg, Carbohydrates 16 g, Fibre 3 g, Sodium 164 mg, Potassium 181 mg.

Recipe developed by Emily Richards, P.H. EC. Reprinted with Permission from The Heart and Stroke FoundationType your paragraph here.

To live content with small means; to seek elegance rather than luxury, and refinement rather than fashion, to be worthy, not respectable, and wealthy, not rich; to study hard, think quietly, talk gently, act frankly, to listen to stars and birds, to babes and sages, with open heart, to bear all cheerfully, to all bravely await occasions, hurry never. In a word, to let the spiritual unbidden and unconscious grow up through the common. This is to be my symphony.”

–William Henry

#2  Caregiver Considerations

Being a long-distance caregiver for an extended period of time can be stressful and place a heavy burden on all areas of your life. One of your first reactions may be to minimize the distance and move your family member to where you live or uproot your life and move to where they live. Before you make this decision, consider first whether this move may be more disruptive and stressful for everyone involved than caregiving from a distance.
Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Are you prepared to have your family member live with you in your home? What would this arrangement look like? Will your house need to be adapted or renovated to meet their health needs? How can you ensure that everyone has some degree of privacy? How do the other people in your home feel about this change? How compatible are everyone’s different lifestyles, eating schedules, sleeping habits, etc.?
  • Are you prepared to be your family member’s only social contact once they have moved away from what is familiar to them? What impact could that have on your free time and on your current relationship with them?
  • What will be the impact of moving your family member away from what is familiar to them – their doctor, friends, church, favourite shops, a community they may have lived in for most of their life?
  • What is your family member’s health situation and what kind of care will they require? How could the stress of the move affect their health? How much assistance can you realistically provide given your current situation?
  • If they are coming from out-of-province or out-of-country, when will they qualify for medical services in your province?
  • What financial arrangements need to be discussed? Who will pay for what?
  • What has your past relationship been with your family member? How long has it been since you lived together in the same house or even the same town? Are there any unresolved issues between you that are likely to flare up again under the stresses of the new living arrangements or the stresses of a caregiving situation?
  • If the new living arrangement doesn’t work, what is the back-up plan?
  • Consider how you will manage the actual move. How long has your family member lived in their current residence and how much time will be involved in packing up the current home?
  • If you decide to move there, are you ready to give up your job, friends and home and move to a new location where your family member may be your only contact? This situation can become isolating. How will you deal with this change so you don’t become resentful?
  • An open and honest discussion with your entire family, including the person needing care, is essential before making any decision about relocating. Take time to discuss how each person feels about the move, what their concerns are and what they imagine the outcome will be once the move has occurred. Everyone’s expectations need to be articulated. For some families, this change could work out well. For others, continuing to caregiver from a distance may be the best choice.

Article by Family Caregivers’ Network Society, Reprinted with Permission from Senior Living Magazine, www.seniorlivingmag.com

#1 Philanthropy ... the Love of Humanity

When we think of giving, we turn our thoughts to giving money, gifts and perhaps even the gift of service.  Donating to worthwhile causes and offering the gift of our time and talents are important contributions.  I wonder, however, how often we consider the power of the gift of recognition – of seeing and acknowledging the unique essence and value of another person.

Giving is associated with the notion of philanthropy .  When we look to the derivation of the word, we find that philanthropy refers to the love of humanity, the love of what it means to be human for both the benefactor and the beneficiary.  What it means to be human goes beyond the surface, of what we look like, what we know, and what we possess.  Expressions of our humanity are who we are.
Imagine the impact of this practice!

Your relationships with your clients, family, and friends could take on a new level of expression!

#4 Nostalgia or Agnosia

 It is tempting, as we grow older to get caught in the nostalgia trap, especially as we start losing things that we used to take for granted. It is a fact of life that change is the only constant and the rate of change has accelerated exponentially in our lifetimes.  So who can blame a person for retreating to fantasy now and then about the “good old days”?

But science has discovered that our memories are reconstructed every time we retrieve them so they are always edited and influenced by our present perceptions. Nostalgia puts a warm sepia glow over everything, conveniently omitting the gritty details and unpleasantness of the facts.    

While it may comfort us temporarily, wallowing in that imagined past could mislead us and make us oblivious of our very real present. So nostalgia can become agnosia, “an inability to process sensory information. Often there is a loss of ability to recognize objects, persons, sounds, shapes, or smells while the specific sense is not defective nor is there any significant memory loss.”

In other words, we lose the ability to see what’s right in front of us because we are driving with our eyes fixed on the rear view mirror. Of course, we can also keep replaying bad memories that only entrench our sadness, bitterness or sense of loss. But this is forgetting that the true value of the past is to mark how far we’ve come, not to leave us stuck in the mud. Memories are wonderful. Without them we would be starting from scratch as individuals and as a society everyday of our lives. But they are not infallible. If we’re lucky and alert we can learn from our errors and celebrate our victories so that we can appreciate today and muster the courage to face tomorrow. 

By Alan Atkins, CPCA