Holiday coping skills when someone you love has dementia

During the holidays it is not only hard for the person living with this disease, but it is also hard for family and friends to journey alongside and provide the required care.

Within the next 5 years an estimated 937,000 Canadians will be living with Alzheimer’s disease or some form of dementia.

Joy Birch, COO of Highview Residences, outlines these key points to consider as you plan for family gatherings

  1. Safety is the highest consideration.
    Keep things simple. Avoid decorations that look like food or candy. Limit sugar and alcohol consumption. Designate one strong person to assist with any travelling, even for short trips from the car to the front door.
  2. Determine what your expectations are and keep them realistic. Rather than long periods together with large groups. plan for shorter amounts of quality time, each with fewer family members.
  3. Ask yourself what traditions are most important? For each activity make a list weighing the challenges, for example, stairs, too many noise distractions, blinking lights, bathroom concerns, etc.
  4. You, and any hosts whose homes you might visit, will need to know what your loved one with dementia requires. Make a list identifying strategies to overcome each.

For example, if your loved one requires a quiet area, be sure to have a space readily available for them to rest and remove themselves from a crowd.

Joy Birch is the COO of Highview Residences, a specialized, purpose built care home for people with dementia. Joy combines years of operational and hands on experience to provide coping mechanisms that will help support caregivers this holiday season.

SOURCE Highview Residences

Motorcyclist Not At Fault for Crashing in “Agony of the Moment”

Today’s guest post comes from B.C. injury claims lawyer Erik Magraken

The legal principle of “agony of collision” sometimes also called “agony of the moment” gives wide latitude to a Plaintiff who is confronted with a sudden and unexpected hazard on the roadway due to someone else’s negligence.  This principle was in action in reasons for judgement published today by the BC      Supreme Court, Vancouver Registry.

In today’s case (Biggar v. Enns) the Plaintiff was operating a motorcycle and was riding in a staggered fashion behind the Defendant who was also operating a motorcycle.  The Defendant rounded a curve and was out of sight of the plaintiff.  During this time the Defendant took his eyes off the road and drifted into the oncoming lane of traffic.   He crossed back over the centre line and re-entered his intended lane of travel roughly perpendicular to the proper direction of travel.

At this moment the plaintiff rounded the corner, saw the Defendant in his lane and braked hard losing control of his bike and crashing.

The Defendant argued the Plaintiff was partly at fault as a more prudent motorist could have avoided the hazard he posed.  The Court disagreed and in doing so relied on the agony of collision principle finding the Defendant fully at fault.  Madam Justice Sharma provided the following reasons:

[50]         In my view, the phrase “agony of the moment” aptly describes the plaintiff’s situation. The plaintiff’s first reaction was to avoid colliding with the defendant, or an oncoming vehicle.  Therefore, it was a reasonable course of action for him to brake hard which caused his bike to fall and slide. The defendant agreed that in order to avoid hitting him, the plaintiff had to brake hard, and that made the plaintiff’s bike fall.

[51]         In my view the evidence is clear that the plaintiff was riding in a prudent and careful manner. There is no evidence that his speed was inappropriate for the conditions of the road or any other circumstance.

[52]          As noted earlier, I do not accept the defendant’s argument that once he lost sight of the defendant in front of him, the plaintiff should have slowed down more than he did. Also, I have already concluded the plaintiff was driving at an appropriate rate of speed, and that he had already slowed down.

[53]         Drivers are entitled to assume that other people will be driving in a prudent and safe manner. In Bern v. Jung, 2010 BCSC 730 the plaintiff lost control of a bicycle because of a sudden and unexpected presence of the defendant’s vehicle travelling in the wrong direction. The Court noted, at paras. 13-14, that the plaintiff was forced to act quickly and apply his brakes quickly and that he should not be found contributorily negligent for doing so.

[54]         In this case the plaintiff was entitled to assume that his friend had negotiated the curve safely; coming upon the defendant situated in front of him and perpendicular to his line of traffic was unexpected and sudden. The plaintiff cannot be blamed for doing what I find to be the only reasonable thing he could do to avoid a more serious accident: applying his brakes hard. I conclude it was the defendant’s string of actions (looking to the canyon, and trying to get back in position instead of waiting on the shoulder) that caused the accident.

[55]         For all those reasons, I find the defendant 100% liable for the accident.

How long should you stand – rather than sit – at your work station?

Jack Callaghan prepping a study particpant at standing workstation.

Sitting behind your desk all day is bad for your health and experts have long been advising people to stand at their workstations for about 15 minutes an hour. But a University of Waterloo professor says his research shows that people should be standing for at least 30 minutes per hour to get health benefits.

Using advanced ergonomic and health risk calculations, Jack Callaghan, a professor in Waterloo’s Department of Kinesiology, has found that the ideal sit-stand ratio lies somewhere between 1:1 and 1:3  – a vast departure from traditional wisdom.

“Historically what has been preached is a three to one ratio, but we found the opposite will give you the benefits of not sitting as much, but not inducing problems from standing.” For an eight hour work day, the highest ratio works out to standing for a full 45 minutes every hour.

It’s all about striking the right balance according to Callaghan, a Canada Research Chair in Spine Biomechanics and Injury Prevention. In the first ever laboratory-controlled study of sit-stand workstations, Callaghan found that 50 per cent of participants developed low back pain when asked to stand at an ergonomic desk for two consecutive hours.  None of the participants were previous back pain sufferers.

“Sitting has been demonized in the media, so people’s gut reaction is to try and stand all the time instead,” said Callaghan, who helped developed a new sit-stand workstation with the ergonomic furniture company, Teknion, last year. “There is no question a sedentary lifestyle negatively impacts health, but you can’t just all of a sudden take away people’s chairs, because it’s going to cause pain. And it’s not pain that will go away.”

Study participants who developed back pain while standing were three times more likely to experience chronic back problems later.

Move early, move often

According to Callaghan, the key to avoiding back pain while still reaping the benefits of standing, is to move early and move often.

It’s the same concept as dehydration during exercise,” he says. “If you wait until you’re thirsty it’s too late. If you wait until you have pain before you change positions, it’s too late. This pain is hard to get rid of, so you have to be moving and changing positions before it starts.”

Train away the pain

Although standing-induced back pain is difficult to remedy once triggered, study participants who performed certain core exercises reported a significant decrease in pain.

Callaghan suggests some of the best core exercises to help reduce low back pain from standing include:

  • arm and leg extensions performed while quadruped (on hands and knees)
  • bridging in the prone (belly towards the floor) and supine (back towards the floor) position, commonly referred to plank and reverse planking
  • side planking with weight supported by the feet and forearm.

“I think it’s important to stand,” says Callaghan. “Even if the health risks of sitting are exaggerated in the media, the health risks associated with sitting are sobering and the mentality of sitting being bad is out there. Workers want to change, companies want to change, so something has to be done.”

Sun Life Canada president stepping into new vice president role

TORONTO _ The president of Sun Life Financial Canada is leaving his position to take a new vice-president role at the insurer focused on developing innovation and partnerships.

Kevin Dougherty will be replaced in his current role by Jacques Goulet who is currently president of health and wealth at global consulting firm Mercer Canada.

Sun Life says the leadership changes are effective Jan. 15.


Alberta challenges Saskatchewan licence plate ban under free trade rules

EDMONTON _ Alberta is challenging Saskatchewan’s licence plate ban, filing the paperwork to have the issued resolved by an arbitration panel under the free trade New West Partnership.

Alberta Economic Development Minister Deron Bilous says Saskatchewan’s ban is, in his words, ‘petty” and a clear violation of the inter-provincial deal.

Bilous says Alberta stands to be awarded up to $5 million in a process that could take until next fall to be resolved.

He says he and Alberta officials will still meet with their Saskatchewan counterparts in Lloydminster next month to try to resolve the dispute and any other outstanding issues.

Last week, Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall’s government announced a ban on Alberta plates on any trucks doing business on future Saskatchewan government road and building contracts.

Saskatchewan Economy Minister Steven Bonk they hope to level the playing field for workers who are being outbid by Alberta workers because of lower insurance costs.

Bonk says the ban is in retaliation for similar rules on Alberta job sites, but Bilous says those rules don’t exist and there is no discrimination against drivers with out-of-province plates.

Intact Financial Corporation Announces Leadership Changes

Press Release:

Charles Brindamour, Chief Executive Officer of Intact Financial Corporation (TSX: IFC) As of Nov 14, 2017 Intact announced changes to the roles and responsibilities of members of the company’s leadership team, effective January 1, 2018.

“With consumer expectations changing at an accelerated pace and our recent entry into the U.S. market we are better positioning ourselves to adapt to our new North American scope, accelerate our customer driven transformation, optimize our distribution of services to Canadians across all channels and build on our outstanding talent,” said Charles Brindamour, CEO.

Building on his deep knowledge of all distribution channels and disruptive mindset, Louis Gagnon currently President, Service and Distribution will become President of Canadian Operations, overseeing all channels in addition to Personal and Commercial Lines and our Marketing operations.

Leveraging his extensive knowledge of specialty lines and proven track record of execution, as recently announced, Mike Miller continues as President of U.S. Operations and North American Specialty Lines.

Building on his considerable knowledge of claims, IT, data and large operations, Mathieu Lamy will become Chief Operating Officer for IFC, with North American accountability for Claims, Technology, Intact Lab and Data Lab, Ventures and People operations.

Louis Gagnon, Mike Miller and Mathieu Lamy will report to Charles Brindamour.

Jean-Francois Blais currently President of Intact Insurance will be retiring from Intact, following a considerable contribution to the business. He joined the company six years ago through the AXA Canada acquisition, playing a pivotal role in the successful transition of employees and brokers.

“I would like to acknowledge and thank Jean-Francois Blais for his contributions over the past six years. He has made a strong impact in the broker network and played a pivotal role in the development of Intact Insurance,” added Charles Brindamour.

About Intact Financial Corporation

Intact Financial Corporation (TSX: IFC) is the largest provider of property and casualty (P&C) insurance in Canada and a leading provider of specialty insurance in North America, with close to $10 billion in total annual premiums. The Company has over 13,000 full- and part-time employees who serve more than five million personal, business, public sector and institutional clients through offices in Canada and the U.S. In Canada, Intact distributes insurance under the Intact Insurance brand through a wide network of brokers, including its wholly-owned subsidiary BrokerLink, and directly to consumers through belairdirect. In the U.S., OneBeacon Insurance Group, a wholly-owned subsidiary, provides specialty insurance products through independent agencies, brokers, wholesalers and managing general agencies.

SOURCE Intact Financial Corporation

Media Inquiries: Canada: Stephanie Sorensen, Director, External Communications, 416 344-8027,; U.S.: Carmen Duarte, Director, Marketing and Communications, 781 332-7268,; Investor Inquiries: Ken Anderson, Vice President, Investor Relations and Treasurer, 855 646-8228 ext. 87383,


Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from ILSTV

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Pin It on Pinterest