This article is from the February 2019 Issue of Forever Young

2019 february feature

By AJ Williams

The Highest, the Newest, the Largest, the Most Expensive, the Fastest….. all descriptions we heard on a recent “Quick Trip” to the middle east. Dubai’s glittering skyline and high end shopping are omnipresent, but there’s a contrast to this place that’s not to be missed. It’s a fact that the world’s tallest building sits smack dab in the middle of downtown, and going to the top is an absolute must while in Dubai. But it’s also true that there are architectural marvels that don’t tower above the city - even the Metro is gleaming and modern.

The city is truly the playground of the rich and famous, rapidly becoming the ‘Las Vegas of the Middle East.’ But with apologies to Sin City, Dubai takes it all to a much newer (and dare I say classier) level! Dubai has more than 3 million residents, but despite its size, it’s clean, organized, virtually crime-free, easy to navigate and an urban planning marvel.

We decided on Dubai for an epic mother-daughter adventure, and it was a great choice. Flying on very chic Emirates Airlines made the 14-hour jaunt from Seattle to Dubai a breeze. Even in economy, the service, food and beverages are outstanding. An in-flight entertainment system with thousands of options helps the time pass quickly. For a real treat, upgrade to Business Class or better yet, First Class, where you’ll enjoy a private cabin experience like none other.

With just five nights in Dubai, we hit the ground running for the ‘musts’ while there. Regular followers of our ‘QuickTrips’ know that we often do a ‘hop on, hop off’ bus tour when visiting a new place. It’s a great orientation to a city, and we found it a helpful way to start our Dubai adventure. Sitting up top in the air conditioned, covered section avoids a nasty sunburn on day one.

After getting our bearings, it was time for our afternoon and evening adventure – a desert safari. In a very comfortable Land Cruiser, we made our way to a nearby nature conservation area, but before you think it was all just air-conditioned leisurely driving through the desert, not so fast. Once our tires were deflated to the acceptable level, we kicked into high gear (or probably low actually) and the hoots and hollers could be heard as we 4X4’d in the sand dunes – courtesy of our adept but daring driver!

This article is from the January 2019 Issue of Forever Young

fyng 2019 january feature

There are endless winter health myths that we have heard from well-intentioned grandparents and parents. They have become so ingrained in us that we take them as cold hard facts. Of course, everyone wants to stay as healthy as possible during the frosty months. In order to do so sensibly, internist and gastroenterologist Dr. Niket Sonpal offers the following myth-busting advice.

Myth: Allergies go away in the winter

Allergies might be the real source behind your stuffy nose and scratchy throat. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, one in five people suffer from indoor/outdoor allergies, and the indoor variety can actually be worse in the winter. Dr. Sonpal cautions that, “If your symptoms last longer than 10 days or ease up after taking an antihistamine, it might be time to visit an allergist.”

Myth: I wash my hands all the time with hand sanitizer, so I should be fine

Hand sanitizer will kill most viruses, but not all. You must make sure you use the right amount of hand sanitizer and let it dry completely. Dr. Sonpal points out that, “Some viruses, like norovirus, which causes vomiting, is not killed by hand sanitizer. Soap and water are best to get rid of all bacteria and viruses, but the hand sanitizer is better than nothing at all.”

Myth: It’s cold out, I don’t need sunscreen

The sun’s rays are just as strong in the winter months as they are in the other seasons. Snow and ice can reflect even more sunlight, up to twice as much. Grab the SPF 30 and put it on, regardless of the temperature. Don’t forget those sunglasses to keep your eyes safe as well.

By Pam Molnar

This article is from the December 2018 Issue of Forever Young

fyng december 2018 feature image

Take time to honour the caregivers you know, whether they are a family member, friend, neighbour or co-worker. By showing them your support, you are taking away a bit of their burden, sadness, guilt or pain, if only for a moment. Not sure how you can help? Check out these 12 suggestions below.

1. Give them much needed time off. Offer to sit in their place while they attend their child’s game or spouse’s work dinner. You can drive to routine doctor appointments, take their patient on a small outing or simply be on call for the day in the caregiver’s place.

2. Make them a home cooked meal. The caregiver often lets their own health go while taking care of their loved one. As you plan your own dinner, make a double batch to take over to the caregiver’s house. Use disposable containers and deliver the meal ready to eat. If you are not a cook yourself, offer the family a restaurant gift certificate so they can enjoy family time alone.

3. Offer to do a task. Caregivers have their hands full with their patient and the immediate needs of their family. Everything else takes a back seat. Don’t offer a general “let me know what I can do to help.” Instead, if you specifically offer to shop, mow the lawn, walk the dogs or handle a carpool, they will most likely take you up on it.

4. Write a handwritten note of encouragement. During this stressful and often sad time in the caregiver’s life, they need to be reminded that they are doing their best. Your letter will most likely be read and reread when the caregiver has a quiet moment and needs an extra pick me up. They might also enjoy you sharing a memory of their loved one during better times.

5. Bring awareness. While the caregiver is busy taking care of their sick patient, their friends and supporters might like to donate time and money to their cause. Gather people for a Relay for Life, organize a fundraiser in support of breast cancer awareness or sponsor a golf outing with the proceeds going to their cause. Check with the caregivers for local needs or support the hospital where treatment
is being received.

By Glenna Turnbull

This article is from the November 2018 Issue of Forever Young

feature image november 2018

What do you think of when you hear a bell ringing?
For many of us, there are four things that come to mind: food, school, fire alarms and church/community. Perhaps that is why it’s so fitting that Salvation Army kettle drive volunteers get to ring bells as the money that gets donated goes to help in all of these areas.

As a child, it was always a thrill when my aunt would let me ring her beautiful brass bell to call everyone to the table for dinner. When you hear the Salvation Army bells ringing, know that one of the many uses your donations go towards is making sure those less fortunate get to have a dinner – and in one rare case, a table to eat at.

Capt. Darryl Bury, executive director and lead pastor of the Central Okanagan’s Salvation Army explains how, among the many roles their Rutland Road Community Life Centre has, it acts as a distribution hub thanks to the generosity of various local businesses. He tells the story of a large dining room table that had been too damaged for Costco to resell so they’d donated it to the centre; and of the very large family in need that it was gifted to. “When they received it, the mother cried,” he notes. “It meant that, for the very first time, they’d be able to sit and eat together as a family.”

For Pavlov’s dog, the sound of a bell means there’s food coming. For clients of the Community Life Centre, being able to access food comes courtesy of funds brought in from the bells rung at kettle drives and the generous donations of local farmers, businesses and individuals.

“We see hundreds of families each week that come in and get support here,” notes Darryl as we tour the giant food storage room in the centre. Working in conjunction with the local food banks, they are able to step in and help those who either haven’t met the food bank’s residency requirements or have already used up their allotted food for the month.

“We have a team of about 30 volunteers who are in here every week to put together these bundles,” he says of the numbered bags that line several shelves, sorted by how many people per household they’re designed to feed, “then we’re able to supplement produce and proteins…and workers can adjust the bags for special dietary requirements or allergies.”

Another bell is ringing. Years ago, schoolteachers would come outside and ring their bell when it was time for class. These days it’s all done on an automated system, however, bells still ring at every school and kids in school require basics such as backpacks for elementary age students and all supplies plus high price items such as scientific calculators for teens in high school. Those are just some of the items the Salvation Army’s caseworkers are able to gift to those in need, thanks to the twoonies and green, purple and blue bills you toss into their kettles.

But the caseworkers at the Community Life Centre do so much more than hand out vouchers for clothing, food and school supplies. They truly care about their clients and that makes a world of difference. Darryl tells the story of one family who didn’t arrive to pick up their children’s school backpacks. The caseworkers took the extra steps to follow up and quickly learned there had been a family crisis and was able to step in and help with other issues they were facing.

You’ll also find counsellors and other staff at the Community Life Centre who are able to help with everything from grief and trauma counselling to hosting life skills courses and creating programs that help deal with isolation. During a recent strategic planning meeting to discuss the biggest issues clients were facing, the obvious ones such as affordable housing and addiction were raised, but what Darryl notes is, “The underlying issues for a lot of those challenges was isolation and loneliness.”

By Glenna Turnbull

This article is from the October 2018 Issue of Forever Young

oct 2018 Liz Jarvos

For some, the smiling face of Liz Jarvos is synonymous with the flight attendant who tended to passengers at 20,000 feet or higher for 26 years; for others, Liz’s smile belongs to the woman who puts on one of the most buzzed about fundraising sales of the year; but for several of the orphans with cerebral palsy in a Podanur orphanage in the South India, that smiling face belongs to the kind woman whose hand feeds them their meals whenever she’s in town.

“It started over 40 years ago,” recalls Liz when asked about her volunteer work, as I catch up with the septuagenarian during her brief stopover in Kelowna between purchasing trips to Kathmandu, Nepal and China.

After a friend adopted two children from one of the Families For Children (FFC) orphanages back in the 70s, they both joined a group that held fundraisers in Vancouver (where she was flying out of at the time), to help support this non-profit, non-sectarian organization. Even after Liz moved to the Okanagan in 1990, she continued to drive a cargo van back and forth over the Coquihalla with what she could collect or make for their annual FFC fundraising events in Vancouver.

“After about seven years, I decided to get off my lazy butt and organize an annual sale here,” she recalls. (Note: anyone who has witnessed Liz’s energy and drive to travel around the world obtaining items to donate for these sales would be quick to argue she could never be labeled as lazy!)

Using the travel passes she still receives from her 25+ years working in the airline industry, Liz is able to jet around the world collecting things that range from silver jewellery made with semi precious stones in Nepal to pearls and scarves from China along with raw silk shirts and other ware from the women’s coops set up by the FFC orphanages to help women earn fair wages. She then donates all the items to be sold in support of the cause.

“The first year I held the sale here in Kelowna, I held it in my home,” Liz recalls, “and we raised $1200.”

Once word of mouth began to spread about the high quality items she was selling at her fundraisers, popularity of the little sale swelled and before long, she had such a line up out her front door of people waiting to get in that she realized she needed a bigger venue.