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Lisa Tower blog

Hi everyone! My name is Lisa Tower and I am currently a 4th year B.A. English undergrad at Ryerson University, and ConnectCare´s summer student. Some of my favourite hobbies include reading books , writing , travelling , shooting film photos , and drinking a good cup of tea .

Thanks for stopping by this blog. Hopefully you will discover some useful information here! So please grab a cup of tea, get comfortable, and enjoy!


We are lucky to have a summer student working for us at ConnectCare. One of her projects is creating a weekly blog featuring some of our community partners.

Keeping Your Cool with “Cool-Aid”

When I was a little kid, I would sip Kool-Aid Jammer after Kool-Aid Jammer. It was a delicious drink made from sugar, food colouring, unnatural fruit flavouring, and even more sugar. It was glorious. For those of you unlucky (or maybe lucky) enough to have never tried Kool-Aid, let me fill you in ... it´s a brand of flavoured drink mix, mostly targeted towards kids (or those who don´t want to accept adulthood!) Theses days I have replaced my Kool-Aid with water or tea, but I will never forget drinking my Kool-Aid Jammers!

Now I hear there is a new 'Kool-Aid' on the block, one that, in my opinion, is way more beneficial than an overly sugary juice: the Cool-Aid Program.

For those readers who aren´t familiar with the Cool-Aid Program, it´s basically a folded up medical information form that is to be stuck on the “coolest” place in the house-the fridge! Along with it comes a sticker that says “Middlesex-London EMS, Cool Aid” to place on your window or door. When EMS and responders to the scene see the sticker, they know the form will be on the fridge. This saves them important time in an emergency. The form will tell them what medications you are on, what you´re allergic to, if you´ve had any recent surgeries, your health card number, family doctor, emergency contacts and much more. For example, if an individual has had a stroke, or is unconscious, and is unable to provide information, the paramedics are able to identify if the person is taking any medications, their medical history, and who to call in the event of an emergency, all without saying a single word!

After speaking with Miranda, Public Education Coordinator with Middlesex-London EMS, I now understand how important it is for people to be educated on emergency preparedness. I also asked her for her advice on senior safety. She came up with a few handy tips to use in conjunction with the Cool-Aid Program. One tip was to print off your most up to date prescription and staple a copy to the Cool-Aid form on your fridge. Another great tip she offered was to always make photocopies of your Cool-Aid form so that there´s no need to rewrite your form if it becomes lost or damaged. One other thing she mentioned was to stop and take a deep breath; this is an effective way to avoid the “3 o´clock fall”.

How do you get involved with this program? Call or e-mail Middlesex-London EMS! Miranda mentioned that people generally hear about this program through word-of-mouth, so make sure to tell your friends, family and neighbors all about this program!

I always like to ask people what´s the best part of their job. It´s so interesting learning about different occupations! Miranda mentioned that interacting with people of all walks of life, young or old is something she appreciates with her job. Not only that, but she said being out in the community, and having one-to-one interaction with people was a great perk! From educating young kids, to helping out seniors, we have to be sure to thank our EMS team for doing such an incredible job at providing us with the information we need to help keep our city safe!

A big thank you to Miranda Bothwell, PAD/Public Education Coordinator at Middlesex-London EMS. For more information on the Cool-Aid Program, call 519-679-5466.

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A Good Place to Be: Horton Street Senior´s Centre

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Last week The Horton Street Senior´s Centre was willing to extend a welcoming hand to me, to visit and explore, and so I happily accepted! You can tell by the brightly painted doorways, the loud voices of children attending summer camp, and the quiet laughter of those in the waiting room, that this place is a welcoming, happy, positive space. There's this feeling of fun energy in the building, full of laughter and life!

The Horton Street Senior´s Centre operates out of the Boys & Girls Club of London at 184 Horton Street here in London, Ontario. Sharing the building with the Boys & Girls Club means that during the summer and other school holidays there is an energetic invasion of children that adds to the building´s fun atmosphere! You won´t be bored here!

The Horton Street Senior´s Centre's main goal is to provide recreation and fitness programs to aging adults and is open to people 55 years, or older. There are many programs available to fulfill your interests and passions. From exercise, sports and leagues, social programs, arts and crafts, and even pool activities, there are many options to choose from. If you´re interested in fitness and working out, there are several programs you can choose from that focus on getting fit. The facility can even tailor your exercises for your personal goals and/or limitations.

One of the biggest draws for the Horton Street Senior´s Centre is that since it operates out of the Boys & Girls Club, the pool is also available for members. The Aquaplex pool is fully accessible, has a ramp and water wheelchair, is a warm 83 degree temperature and is 25m in length. Many of the aquatics programs that are conducted here are designed to strengthen, stabilize, and keep you fit. The Wellness Pool, another aquatics offering, focuses on smaller class sizes, and is considered more of a therapeutic pool. Classes like Gentle Fit and recreational swims are conducted in the Wellness Pool. The Wellness Pool is a warm 91 degrees, it´s also fully accessible with a hydraulic chair lift.

If you´re anything like me, sometimes you may want to take a little break here and there from physical activity and take the time to focus on more creative activities. The Centre provides many different arts and crafts programs such as drawing and painting, wood carving, “Stitch, Kit, Quilt, and Chat”, and much more. There are different social programs such as Book Club, Coffee Club Francais, the Café, and 2 choirs such as Young at Heart Singers and Joyful Renditions. For all the card sharks out there, there are leagues like bridge, cribbage and euchre.

Now, you may be asking, are there any fees involved? The fees here all depend on your household income, ranging from $70-$200 per year. If you want to try out the Centre for a day, there is a visitor´s fee of $3 which gives you access to activity programs, afternoon recreational swims, and your parking! If you´re a busy beaver and don't necessarily have the time to participate in multiple programs, there is an option of a yearly Activity Pass.

A big part of the Horton Street Senior´s Centre´s focus is to de-isolate seniors in the community. By not only providing an accessible space, but also transportation services, the Centre is able to bring the community in, ensuring everyone can participate. The transportation services available help provide isolated seniors with a sense of community and social atmosphere by providing easy to use services and transit options.

After touring the Centre, I can confidently say it contained so much positive energy! Thanks to Shelley, Manager of Seniors´ Programs and Karen, Program and Volunteer Coordinator, I was able to learn more about the Centre I have been hearing so much about. Sitting in the Senior´s Lounge, I noticed a level of comfort amongst the patrons present in the room; surrounded by books, art, and people, it was nice to enjoy the company of others in a cared-for space. As I was getting up to leave, seniors filtered in and out of the room, taking a spot on the cozy couches, gearing up for their Coffee Club meeting, laughing, chatting, and catching up on each other´s lives.

The main thing I noticed during my visit was that people here are genuinely interested in hearing all about you, from how your day is going, to what your vacation plans may be. The bottom line is, people really do care! The Horton Street Senior´s Centre´ logo is “A good place to be.” With all of these programs, and positive atmosphere, it just makes sense - this Centre is a good place to be, indeed!

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