In the News

In the News

Be Careful Seniors: It is Flu Season

Every winter we like to remind everyone, but particularly seniors, to get a flu shot and to take precautions.   Globally, 5 to 10% of adults each year get the flu.   People over 65 are at the highest risk of serious complications from the flu, even death.    The best defence is a combination of the flu shot, regular proper cleaning of hands, sneezing into your sleeve, eating well and getting sufficient sleep.   With the flu shot being available at over 2,600 pharmacies as well as doctor offices, its very easy to get the flu shot for you and your family.

Our medical director Dr Kim Panovka and her family get the flu shot each year.

Visit to find a flu shot clinic near you.

Below, we include an article from Dr David Williams, the Chief Medical Officer of Health for Ontario.

Article from Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer



Speed Training for Brain Has Greatest Benefit in Reducing Dementia

A ten year study released in 2016 showed that speed training – computer games that help adults visually process information more quickly – reduced risk of dementia ten years later by 30 to 48%.     Equally, the study showed that other forms of brain exercises (working on memory or reasoning) had minimal impact on reducing dementia.

See bottom of blog post for a Wall Street Journal article on this study as well as a video from Dr Sanjay Gupta of CNN.   I also include a link to the computer game used for speed training called Double Decision.

Screen Shot of Double Decision Speed Training Game

Study Summary and Context:

The encouraging result was that even adults who only did 11 to 14 hours of speed training for a period of weeks at the start of the study had a 33% lower incidence of dementia ten years later.     As parents we tell our children to play less video games, but in this case a specific video game that helps seniors process visual information more quickly turns out to be very beneficial.

We should remind you that while this was a credible long term study, it has not yet been peer reviewed and more research is required on optimal speed training.   There is no cure for Alzheimer’s, and no consensus on the mechanics underlying the disease.    In general terms, brain exercises are believed to work by leveraging neuroplasticity – the brains ability to re-organize itself by creating new connections.

The study was funded by the US based National Institute on Aging, and studied over 2,800 health adults for 10 years.    Adults were split into memory training, reasoning training and speed training.   The study was released at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in Toronto in July of this year.

See Links Below:

WSJ Article on Speed Training Study for Dementia

CNN’s Dr Sanjay Gupta on Dementia Study

The primary computer game used to conduct speed training is called Double Decision.  See below for the website that sells that game (no affiliation to our company).

Site to Purchase Access to Double Decision Speed Training Game

Hospital Discharges: Occupational Therapists Are Key!

A hospital discharge can be very challenging.   “How do you get back to everyday routines, especially if your body and mind aren’t able to do what they did so easily before?”  The key resources are Occupational Therapists (OT’s).    This great Toronto Star article below explains what OT’s do to help people recover the ability to do what they need and want to do.

Image result for hospital discharge

At My Healthcare Concierge, we assign an Occupational Therapist on each case since we believe that every seniors should be “active” and engaged, whether they are using a walker, recovering from a stroke, or struggling to find new routines after the loss of a spouse.   We believe that OT’s are the secret sauce for better seniors care, whether you have been discharged from hospital or simply wanting a high quality of life despite normal physical and mental declines that come with aging.

Record Busting 85 year old Marathoner!

Ed Whitlock, an 85 year old resident of Milton, smashed the record for his age group by 40 minutes at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon on Oct 16th.    He ran the marathon in just under 4 hours!

Many of us at My Healthcare Concierge are runners, so we know that most runners (in their 30’s and 40’s) aspire to run a marathon in under 4 hours.    I have tried twice and failed, so I am particularly proud of Ed to do it at his age.

While Ed is the exception, he is a reminder of the power of remaining active and healthy.   Life can throw many health curveballs at us even if we do everything right, but it certainly helps to exercise regularly and live life to the fullest.

Congratulations to Ed Whitlock!   See the great article below in the Globe and Mail.

Canadians Worried About Seniors Health and Home Care

A new Ipsos  poll  shows that Canadians top priorities for health funding are seniors health, mental health, prescription cost drugs, palliative care and home care.

The poll was part of the annual report from the Canadian Medical Association.    At My Healthcare Concierge, we see families struggling with gaps in the system in those  areas.    There have been suggestions that the funding formula is changed so that provinces with a larger percentage of elderly residents receive additional funding.     That makes sense.

Given funding challenges of all governments, there will always be gaps.   Governments should certainly address seniors health, mental health, drug costs, palliative care and home care.  However families and caregivers will always need to advocate for themselves and, where they can afford to, supplement with the additional support and services they need to improve health, solve care challenges and maintain quality of life.

See the Globe and Mail article: