New online resources now available to address risks associated with distracted driving

 Press Release:

Canadian Coalition on Distracted Driving (CCDD) today launched a new web-based information hub at www.diad.tirf.ca/ehub. It was designed as a resource with tools to help governments and interested stakeholders develop effective strategies to reduce distracted driving. The hub contains the latest research, stats and data on distracted driving, laws and penalties in Canada, and a variety of educational tools and resources. This initiative is led by the Traffic Injury Research Foundation (TIRF), and its Drop It And Drive® program, in partnership with The Co-operators.

Despite increasing fines and penalties for distracted driving, nearly one in four fatal crashes in 2013 involved distraction. Concern continues to grow as an increasing number of jurisdictions across the country report that distraction is a leading factor in road fatalities. “All agencies are incredibly concerned about the safety of Canadians, their workforce, and their families and friends. Everyone has the same questions about the size of the problem, what is known, what data are available, and what strategies can reduce distracted driving,” said Robyn Robertson, TIRF president and CEO. “We designed the E-Hub so organizations can spend less time looking for answers and more time working on solutions.”

The CCDD is a coalition of concerned organizations that spans several sectors including education, enforcement, academia, government, health and industry, including insurance, automotive and trucking industries, and the not-for-profit sector. “As an insurer of over a million vehicles in Canada, we have a significant responsibility to educate Canadians about the risks posed by distracted driving. Consider that a driver traveling at 100km/hr travels the length of a hockey rink within just two seconds while distracted. It’s easy to see why distracted driving is a recipe for disaster,” said Rob Wesseling, president and CEO of The Co-operators. “The work of the CCDD continues to provide actionable solutions that communities and workplaces can embrace to help resolve this growing issue, and make meaningful changes to protect drivers and pedestrians.”

In March 2017, the CCDD released a National Action Plan on Distracted Driving, and the new E-Hub was just one of the components. The E-Hub resource is housed on the newly designed Drop It And Drive® website at www.diad.tirf.ca. It contains a wealth of information that is relevant across sectors, disciplines and communities of practice. It includes summaries of more than 100 research studies and articles along with links to full studies and the organizations that produced them. Access is also provided to examples of educational resources and tools that are available, the latest data that have been published, and current laws and penalties across the country.

In addition to the fully bilingual fact sheets that were released by the CCDD in November, other elements of the Action Plan are also underway. A call to action for health practitioners was published in the Journal of Orthopaedic Physical Sports Therapy. Work groups involving insurance, enforcement, the trucking industry and health professionals are being established to increase awareness in these sectors and build partnerships to reduce distracted driving. The third annual meeting of the CCDD is scheduled for Spring 2018 and will focus on technologies and their role in reducing distracted driving.

CCDD fact sheets

National Action Plan & 15-point Action Plan

About the Traffic Injury Research Foundation:
The mission of the Traffic Injury Research Foundation (TIRF) is to reduce traffic-related deaths and injuries. TIRF is an independent, charitable road safety research institute. Since its inception in 1964, TIRF has become internationally recognized for its accomplishments in identifying the causes of road crashes and developing programs and policies to address them effectively.

About The Co-operators: 
The Co-operators Group Limited is a Canadian co-operative with more than $48 billion in assets under administration. Through its group of companies, it offers home, auto, life, group, travel, commercial and farm insurance, as well as investment products. The Co-operators is well known for its community involvement and its commitment to sustainability. The Co-operators is listed among the Best Employers in Canada by Aon Hewitt and Corporate Knights’ Best 50 Corporate Citizens in Canada. For more information, visit  www.cooperators.ca.

SOURCE The Co-operators

Benecaid Health Benefit Solutions Inc

Press Release:

Benecaid Health Benefit Solutions Inc is a health benefit company providing health insurance plans for small and medium sized businesses. Our personalized solutions can be adapted to the changing demands of your growing company. Ordering a health plan at Benecaid you can be sure that you can always manage the bottom line and pay only for what you really need.
At Benecaid our major goal is transparent and affordable health benefits administration to allow small company owners provide their employees with best health coverage, extended health care and thus ensure their safeness. Thousands companies all over Canada rely on us.

About Benecaid:

In 2000, Benecaid was formed by a group of Health Benefits Professionals who knew there had to be a better way. Since then, we’ve emerged as the leading alternative provider of health benefits plans for Canadian small and medium sized businesses. We know your business and employees are important, and you want to protect them.

Your trust is essential. That’s why we are members of the Third Party Administrators Association of Canada (TPAAC), the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans (IFEBP) and the Better Business Bureau. In addition, our claims adjudication is overseen by independent trustees who are Chartered Accountants.

Contact Us: 1-800-646-4964

health benefits plans

185 The West Mall, Suite 800, Toronto, Ontario, M9C 5L5

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

Why should summer have all the leafy fun? Try a winter salad

By Melissa D’Arabian

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Summer may officially be the season of green salads, but wintertime versions have advantages that make them worth exploring.

The cooler weather seasonable greens are hearty and darker green, which makes them nutrient-rich. And, these thicker-leaved greens such as kale or spinach, can hold up to the addition of warm ingredients, opening up the possibilities for topping your salad with roasted goodies in a way that delicate butter lettuce never could.

Have some hearty root veggies in the fridge? Toss them (and some whole garlic cloves _ yum!) in some olive oil and roast them up, and add warm to raw kale leaves with lemon juice, Parmesan and black pepper and you’ve got a winter salad rivaling anything you’d make in July.

Today’s recipe takes inspiration from this season’s holiday cooking pantry ingredients that I always seem to have on hand. Apples, leftover from apple pie, are the salad’s real star, while the pumpkin vinaigrette _ also of pie fame _ plays an important supporting role.

I cut the apples into small cubes and quickly roast them in a little salt and rosemary at high heat, and the little cubes turn into sweet, herbaceous nuggets of flavour _ like raisins, but better _ and make other ingredients almost unnecessary. I add leftover turkey for protein, almonds for crunch and tomatoes for a tiny bit of acid.

You could even add blue cheese or feta if you happened to have some floating around the house, leftover from a cheese party platter. Feel free to swap out ingredients to match your pantry: As long as you are topping winter greens with something warm, whether roasted Brussels sprouts or pan-seared salmon, you’ll be on your way to a tasty winter green salad.

GREEN SALAD WITH PUMPKIN VINAIGRETTE AND ROASTED APPLES

Servings: 4

Start to finish: 30 minutes

Salad:

2 large tart apples (such as Granny Smith), cut into 1-inch cubes (unpeeled), about 3 cups

2 teaspoons fresh minced rosemary

5 cups baby spinach or kale, or other hearty greens

1/2 cup baby tomatoes, halved or quartered

1 1/2 cups shredded cooked white meat chicken or turkey

1/4 cup marcona almonds

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Olive oil in a mister

Pumpkin Vinaigrette:

1/4 cup pumpkin puree

1 tablespoon water

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon maple syrup

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 teaspoon minced rosemary

1 teaspoon minced shallot

a few turns of freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 425 F. Place the cubed apple on a parchment-line baking tray and spray with an olive oil mister to coat the cubes. Sprinkle on the minced rosemary and salt, and gently toss the cubes to coat. Bake just until tender and edges are starting to turn golden, about 12 minutes.

Remove from oven and set aside to cool just a few minutes. While the apples are roasting, make the vinaigrette. Place the pumpkin puree, water, vinegar and maple syrup in a small bowl. Whisk the olive oil into the mixture until well-blended. Add the rosemary, shallot and black pepper and stir.

To assemble the salad: place the spinach in a bowl or platter and top with the tomatoes, chicken, almonds and warm, roasted apples. Drizzle with pumpkin vinaigrette, toss, and serve.

___

Nutrition information per serving: 239 calories; 75 calories from fat; 8 g fat (1 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 45 mg cholesterol; 336 mg sodium; 21 g carbohydrate; 6 g fiber; 12 g sugar; 20 g protein.

___

Food Network star Melissa d’Arabian is an expert on healthy eating on a budget. She is the author of the cookbook, “Supermarket Healthy.”

Manulife Vitality program now offering Apple Watch, encouraging members to live a more active lifestyle

Manulife today announced the launch of its new Manulife Vitality Active Rewards with Apple Watch program, a further enhancement to the Manulife Vitality program. The program motivates Canadians who have purchased Manulife Vitality program linked life insurance, to get more active by offering them the opportunity to earn Vitality points and get Apple Watch Series 1Apple Watch Series 3 (GPS) and Apple Watch Series 3 (GPS + Cellular) when they meet physical activity targets through their insurance contract.

Manulife redefined life insurance in 2016 with the introduction of the Manulife Vitality program, which allows members to save significantly on their premiums and earn valuable rewards by taking small steps to live healthy lives, like walking, exercising or getting regular check-ups.

“By growing our Manulife Vitality program and offering it to new and existing members, we are continuing our promise of helping Canadians to live a long, healthy, active and fulfilled life,” said Michael Doughty, President and Chief Executive Officer, Manulife Canada. “By offering Apple Watch, we are helping Canadians be active and live healthier today, while aiming to protect their financial future.”

“The data from U.S. Apple Watch users is encouraging – we’ve motivated Vitality members to be more active, with the number of active days per week increasing by 40 per cent,” said Tal Gilbert, CEO of Vitality Group USA. “Not only have we seen people getting more active, we’ve seen the largest increases in the most at-risk populations, and we’ve seen those improvements persist over time with the program running for over a year now.”

Get Apple Watch. Get Active. Get Rewarded.
Through the Manulife Vitality Active Rewards with Apple Watch program, members who want to participate simply sign up, choose their Apple Watch, pay an initial activation fee (plus tax), and then receive an Apple Watch to get started. Whether they like to walk, run, bike, swim or hit the gym, it’s easy for participants to track their activities and earn Vitality Points that go towards monthly payments for their watch over two years. Members will be able to fund their Apple Watch by meeting monthly Vitality Active Rewards targets that are achievable over 24 months.

John Hancock Vitality life insurance also expands Apple Watch Program – Part of global initiative to encourage healthy living of policyholders
Today, Manulife’s U.S. division, John Hancock also announced an expansion of its Vitality program. It is expanding the Apple Watch program, launched last year, to all new and existing John Hancock Vitality life insurance policyholders. Now, in addition to permanent life insurance buyers, the four million Americans who buy lower-cost term life insurance every year will have the opportunity to protect their financial future for less than $15/month1, while earning an Apple Watch, for achieving monthly physical activity goals and making healthy lifestyle choices.

1 Varies based on age, amount of coverage, underwriting status and term period selected.

For further information on the Manulife Vitality Active Rewards with Apple Watch program, please visit: Manulife.ca/Vitality or for advisors, Repsource.ca/Vitality.

About Vitality
Vitality changes the economics of healthcare by integrating expertise in wellness, insurance, and technology to change behaviors to improve health. By driving engagement in healthier lifestyles, Vitality provides benefits from day one to members, employers, and society. Vitality brings a global perspective through successful partnerships with employers of all sizes and best-in-class insurers around the world, in countries including the United StatesUnited KingdomGermanyFranceSouth AfricaChinaSingaporeAustraliaHong KongThailandMalaysiathe Philippines and Japan. Drawing on behavioral economics, Vitality supports, guides and incentivizes individuals to improve their health, and then prices their risk dynamically over time based on their engagement in the Vitality program. This shared value insurance model results in material benefits shared between the employer (lower health claims), insurer (more profits), members (greater health and financial rewards) and society (a healthier, more productive workforce).

Vitality Group is a member of Discovery Ltd., a global financial service organization and pioneer of the Shared-value Insurance model. The Vitality program currently serves more than 7 million members in 14 countries around the world with plans to launch in an additional 10 markets over the next two years. For more information about Vitality Group, please visit www.thevitalitygroup.com and follow on Twitter: @VitalityUSA.

About Manulife
Manulife Financial Corporation is a leading international financial services group that helps people achieve their dreams and aspirations by putting customers’ needs first and providing the right advice and solutions. We operate as John Hancock in the United States and Manulife elsewhere. We provide financial advice, insurance, as well as wealth and asset management solutions for individuals, groups and institutions. At the end of 2016, we had approximately 35,000 employees, 70,000 agents, and thousands of distribution partners, serving more than 22 million customers. As of June 30, 2017, we had over $1 trillion (US$780 billion) in assets under management and administration, and in the previous 12 months we made $26.7 billion in payments to our customers. Our principal operations are in AsiaCanada and the United States where we have served customers for more than 100 years. With our global headquarters in Toronto, Canada, we trade as ‘MFC’ on the TorontoNew York, and the Philippine stock exchanges and under ‘945’ in Hong Kong.

SOURCE Manulife Financial Corporation

Economical recommits support for Prostate Cancer Canada to help men realize importance of early detection

HALIFAXSept. 25, 2017 – Prostate cancer is the most common cancer to affect Canadian men. During their lifetime, one in seven men will be diagnosed with the disease, including an estimated 21,600 Canadian men and their families facing a diagnosis this year. Thanks to a $17,000 donation, Economical Insurance, one of Canada’s leading providers of home, auto, and business insurance, is continuing to help raise awareness of prostate cancer in Atlantic Canada.

“A man’s best chance of survival is early detection,” said Karen Kaminska, Economical’s Regional Vice-President, Sales and Distribution, Atlantic Canada. “We want to help men over 40 realize the importance of getting their PSA checked annually to establish their baseline. That’s why we’re so proud to once again sponsor the annual Wake Up Call Breakfast events in Saint John on September 26Moncton on October 25Halifax on October 30, and Cape Breton in February 2018.”

“Sadly, a high percentage of men aren’t aware of their chances of developing this disease,” said Ellen Townshend, Executive Director of Prostate Cancer Canada, Atlantic Region. “We are so grateful for Economical’s generous support once again this year. These Wake-Up Call Breakfasts help us bring the community together to get people talking about prostate cancer and the importance of early detection.”

Since 2001, Wake Up Call Breakfasts across Canada have attracted more than 26,000 business professionals and raised more than $3 million to fund Prostate Cancer Canada’s research, education, and survivorship initiatives. For the past 16 years, the death rate has been declining significantly by an average of 3.3% per year from improved testing for prostate cancer and better treatment options.

About Prostate Cancer Canada
Prostate Cancer Canada is the leading national foundation dedicated to the prevention of the most common cancer in men through research, advocacy, education, support and awareness. As one of the largest investors in prostate cancer research in Canada, Prostate Cancer Canada is committed to continuous discovery in the areas of prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and support. For more information please visit prostatecancer.ca or follow us on Twitter @PCCAtlantic or Facebook at Prostate Cancer Canada.

About Economical Insurance
Founded in 1871, Economical is one of Canada’s leading property and casualty insurers, with more than $2.2 billion in annualized premium volume and more than $5.5 billion in assets as at June 30, 2017. Based in Waterloo, this Canadian-owned and operated company services the insurance needs of more than one million customers across the country. Economical conducts business under the following brands: Economical Insurance, Economical, Western General, Economical Select, Perth Insurance, Sonnet, Petsecure, Economical Financial, and Family Insurance Solutions.

SOURCE Economical Insurance

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