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Newsletter. Issue 2006-16. August 05, 2006
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Health & Wellness

The Region of Peel has declared a Heat Alert for the City of Mississauga and an Extreme Heat Alert in the city of Brampton and the Town of Caledon for today, Tuesday, Aug. 1.

An Extreme Heat Alert is forecasted for the cities of Mississauga and Brampton and the Town of Caledon for tomorrow, Wednesday, Aug. 2.

Residents are encouraged to keep cool, stay hydrated, and check on friends and neighbours.

For more information on heat safety guidelines and heat alerts in Peel, check out
www. hotweatherinpeel.ca
or call the Region of Peel at 905-791-7800.

Important Information About West Nile Virus
Prevention and Control Protect Against Bites
From PEEL PUBLIC HEALTH visit www.peel-bugbite.ca

A mosquito bite may be only a nuisance to some individuals but it could also cause a severe West Nile Virus infection in others.

Put mosquitoes out of touch. You can help reduce the number of mosquitoes in your area by ridding your property of stagnant water - the breeding grounds for mosquitoes.

For personal protection against mosquito bites, use a repellent and wear light-coloured long-sleeved shirts and long pants when outdoors. Remember to apply repellent according to the manufacturer's directions.

Preventative Measures that You and Your Family Can Take

Avoid areas with large numbers of mosquitoes
Consider staying indoors from dusk to dawn when mosquitoes are most active
Wear light-coloured clothing, including long sleeves, long pants, socks and a hat whenever you are outdoors (even when you are in your back yard) especially from dusk to dawn
Check all window and door screens in your home to ensure there are no tears or holes for mosquitoes to get through

Boomers Bear the Health Burden of Smog
From: http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/July2006/31/c2323.html
Ontario's aging population will be hit the hardest by the health impact of smog.

TORONTO, July 31 /CNW/ - Ontario Doctors are warning the baby boomer population about the dangers smog can have on their health. Alarming new data released today by the Ontario Medical Association (OMA) shows that almost 6,000 Ontarians will die prematurely due to smog.

"Our figures show that more and more people in Ontario are going to suffer from the effects of smog," said Dr. David Bach, President of the OMA.

"People should be aware of the potentially deadly effect of smog so that they can take the necessary action to protect their health."

Since 2000, the OMA has been measuring the impact of smog with the Illness Cost of Air Pollution (ICAP) model. ICAP is a computer model that
provides forecasts of health and economic damages for expected or desired future air quality conditions in Ontario.

New ICAP data shows that between 2006 and 2026:

- 85 per cent of the projected increase in hospital admissions due to smog will be in those over 65.
- Seniors will account for over 80 percent of the increases in smog-related emergency room visits and premature mortality.
- Annual smog-related premature mortality in those over the age of 65 is expected to increase by almost 4,000.

The ICAP report shows that smog is not just impacting those who are already ill, but also those who are functioning well and who, without the impact of smog pollution, do not have any expectation of early death. This includes those who are healthy, those who think they are (e.g. someone with an unknown heart condition) and those who are managing with known diseases.

Since the release of the OMA's 2005 smog data, the number of emergency room visits, hospital admissions and premature mortality rates have increased.

The following are the new 2006 ICAP estimates of smog's annual health burden in Ontario (for all age-groups combined):

- Premature Mortality = 5,940
- Hospital Admissions = 17,070
- Emergency Room visits = 60,640

"There are few things as essential as the air we breathe. This is why we need the efforts of the provincial government, communities and individuals to clean up our air and reduce pollution," said Dr. Bach. "As we work towards improving our air quality, doctors can help patients develop a plan to reduce the impact of smog on their health."

The OMA's Smog Wise Tips on how to reduce the health impacts of smog can be found at www.oma.org

Message posted on:

By: Ciril de Quadros

Elderly often targets of greed (in this week's edition of The Reflector newspaper, Vancouver, Washington) Bill Myers, staff reporter.

(Ciril writes: Jessica Dimitrov is my sister Tereza's youngest daughter (Tereza worked at the Standard Bookshop, Acacia Avenue in Dar many years ago, and now lives in Vancouver, Washington).)

Members of a recently-formed task force in Clark County want to prevent vulnerable adults from getting ripped off by greedy friends or relatives.

Vancouver attorney Jessica Dimitrov, who helped form the Clark County Vulnerable Adult Task Force, said Washington law RCW 74.34.005 specifically protects vulnerable adults from abuse, neglect, financial exploitation or abandonment.

The law authorizes the state Department of Social & Health Services and law enforcement agencies to investigate such complaints.

Formation of the task force, with a representative from the state Attorney General's Office and members of state and local social welfare and law enforcement agencies (including major crimes detectives), brings focus on financial abuses, said Dimitrov.

Clark County prosecutor Art Curtis, a member of the task force, said elder abuse is increasing with the aging of baby boomers. Cases of financial abuse need to be prosecuted where appropriate, he said. A recent example of abuse now in the hands of Clark County prosecutors involves a father charged with 18 felony counts of theft for allegedly taking more than $200,000 from a developmentally-delayed son. In another case, Battle Ground police allege that Terri Tweedell, president of the Battle Ground Chamber of Commerce, took assets from a now-deceased man she had befriended.

In her Vancouver practice, Dimitrov specializes in cases involving financial exploitation of vulnerable adults. She has worked on such cases for 11 years, and teaches other attorneys on the subject in Washington State Bar Association continuing education classes. Dimitrov said that all too often, children or grandchildren will, without knowledge of other close family members, use powers of attorney, wills, quit-claim deeds or purchase and sale agreements to take assets from an elderly person who lacks the capacity to give consent. A goal is often to remove assets so a parent or grandparent will qualify for medicaid, said Dimitrov. This is done to shift costs of rest home care to taxpayers who pay the medicaid bills, she said. Dimitrov described how a daughter, without notifying two siblings, depleted the assets of her elderly mother.

The daughter began helping her mother when Mom began suffering memory lapses. The daughter convinced Mom to add the daughter's name to the mother's bank account.

As the mother's condition worsened, the daughter wrote to her mother's physician, telling him that her mother had Alzheimer's Disease and was frequently getting lost. The daughter urged the doctor to examine her mother and provide a written report.

The doctor examined the mother and diagnosed, "Alzheimer's type dementia."

Three months later, the daughter, with help from a friend in the real estate business, prepared a power of attorney and a quit claim deed.

They took the mother to Mom's bank, and the mother signed her home over to the daughter, "for love and affection."

The daughter and her husband then moved into Mom's home. They had a $60,000 addition added for living space, but within two months placed the mother in a care centre.
The daughter and her husband then began spending the balance of the mother's savings.

Two siblings, concerned about their mother, began inquiring about their mother's condition and her funds that would be needed for her care.

When the daughter with power of attorney refused to provide information, the siblings contacted Dimitrov.

Dimitrov said she filed a petition for guardianship on behalf of the siblings, and filed a complaint against the real estate agent for the unauthorized practice of law. A civil court ordered the errant daughter to return assets to Mom's estate.

Dimitrov described another case involving two sons who were co-trustees of an aging parent's estate.
A "springing" power of attorney activated when one of the sons was able to get a physician to diagnose dementia, said Dimitrov. The son, without the knowledge of his sibling, took $500,000 from the estate in six months.

A reluctance by parents or grandparents to file criminal charges against relatives who have taken their assets makes prosecutions difficult, said Dimitrov. Victims of family members are more inclined to resort to civil actions.

Friends and acquaintances can also let greed show in such situations, said Dimitrov. Dimitrov described a situation in which an elderly woman gave a hair dresser power of attorney.
In another horror tale, an man in his 90s, after a female caregiver provided him with nude pictures of herself in provocative poses, gave her power of attorney over his estate and named her beneficiary of $50,000 in his will. She allegedly told him, "I'm the only one who loves you."
Civil actions in the above cases brought partial remedies.

Tips to avoid problems Dimitrov said senior citizens, while still in possession of all mental faculties, should hire a competent attorney. The attorney should be a will, trust or estate specialist, and the senior should visit the attorney alone, outside of influence of family members, she said.

Next, seniors should choose a person or persons they trust completely to handle their affairs.
This is usually, but not always, a close family member, said Dimitrov. A power of attorney or appropriate trust document should be executed by the attorney.

"No one should pick an offspring just because he/she is a son or daughter," said Dimitrov.

Dimitrov said that whoever is selected needs to have the ability to handle finances. They should not have a history of bankruptcy or convictions for felonies, she said. The person or persons designated should have stable work and personal histories.

Dimitrov said both competency and a willingness to take on the responsibility of managing someone's financial affairs are important.

"An untrustworthy person in charge of an estate can be devastating and the legal system might not be able to recover all losses," she said. Getting power of attorney, will or other legal forms from the Internet may seem like an easy way to save a legal fee, but such self-help could ultimately be very costly, said Dimitrov. Get such work done by a professional even if it costs $200, she said.

In such documents, "It is important for a person to give only the authority that he or she wants to give," said Dimitrov.

For example, a senior may intend to sign a power of attorney to authorize an agent only to pay bills and keep accounts balanced. If the power of attorney is not properly constructed by an attorney, the sky could be the limit.

Helping employees beat depression
Susanne Ruder
Canadian Business Online, October 27, 2005
Click for more

Your star employee suddenly starts taking more sick days. When she is at work she's irritable, slow and prone to making unusual errors. What gives?

Such notable changes in behavior and work habits could be a sign your employee is depressed. According to a recent study by Toronto-based Leger Marketing, one in five working women in Canada has been diagnosed with or shows symptoms of depression or anxiety. Left untreated, depression can result in personal hardships for employees, and may have devastating impacts on your business, too. Fully 66% of CEOs that responded to a study by FGIworld, a provider of employee assistance programs, say that stress, burnout and health issues are the main issues limiting workplace productivity and competitiveness in Canada.

"Depression is a huge issue," agrees Dr. David Goldblum, senior medical advisor, education and public affairs, at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) in Toronto. "In Canada, the estimated cost just in terms of lost productivity, is about $30 billion a year."

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