Minute by minute, hour by hour, day after day, it works very hard to your immense benefit.
It’s time to give back.
With February being Heart Month, Activity Haven Senior Centre (180 Barnardo Avenue, Peterborough, 705-876-1670) is providing the opportunity to pay some serious attention to keeping your ticker healthy.
On Thursday, February 11th from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., the Heart Healthy Seniors Fair will be home to more than 40 vendors, guest speakers, workshops and demonstrations. The free admission event is jointly presented by Activity Haven, the Ontario Seniors’ Secretariat, and the Older Adult Centres Association of Ontario (OACAO).
Organizers have scored a major coup in the person of Dr. Vivek Rao (MSc, PhD, MD, FRCSC) who, in his address, will touch on a number of heart-related topics.
A leading Canadian cardiac surgeon and researcher, Dr. Rao is based out of Toronto General Hospital, a member hospital of the University Health Network. He’s among nine surgeons with Toronto General’s division of cardiac surgery that perform some 1,800 open heart surgeries annually. In addition, Dr. Rao is division head of cardiovascular surgery at the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre based at the hospital.
As a busy man with daunting responsibilities — he’s off to New Orleans later on the same day as the event — how is it that organizers secured Dr. Rao’s valued participation?
Well, for one, he does offer Peterborough clinical services, so there is that connection. But according to Activity Haven executive director Shirley Shaw, it’s also a simple case of someone knowing someone who knows someone. According to Shirley, her office manager is friends with Dr. Rao’s wife. One thing led to another and he confirmed his attendance.
While Dr. Rao’s 10 a.m. presentation is the highlight, it’s not the only featured event. At 11:15 a.m., Best of Hearing Centre owner Sharon Canzi will give a presentation, followed at noon by chiropractor Dr. Doug Lukinuk. At 12:45 p.m., Tom Daly and Valerie Way-Nee will lead a Tai Chi demonstration, making room at 1:30 p.m. for Heather Clarke who will talk on the health benefits of yoga.
“This isn’t about just being heart healthy … it’s about being healthy in general,” stresses Shirley, noting this is the fourth health-related seniors fair Activity Haven has hosted, the last being in 2014 which was “very well attended.”
“It’s a lot of work, for sure. I have two staff and that’s it. If we didn’t have our volunteers, we couldn’t make it happen,” notes Shirley, adding available funding from the Ontario Seniors’ Secretariat and the Older Adult Centres Association of Ontario is also key.
While Activity Haven provides numerous recreational and social opportunities to its 1,300 members, Shirley notes that another component of its mandate is to educate on matters of importance and interest to those aged 50-plus.
She points to a recent Cyber Seniors session which saw 40 people register for computer, internet and social media help provided by nine young people with the Peterborough Youth Council. The Heart Healthy Seniors Fair speaks directly to that mission as well.
“We have an awful lot of community partnerships,” she says, noting some of those partnerships are in the form of groups renting space at the City-owned Queen Alexandra building which greatly helps Activity Haven pay the monthly rent.
“I’m really excited about the fair,” says Shirley, who is in her 19th year as Activity Haven’s executive director following a career in nursing and, later, administration.
“It’s a full agenda with lots of great information to be provided by our vendors. There really is something for everyone.”
For more information about Activity Haven’s many programs, or to download a membership form, visit www.activityhaven.com.
Michelle Ferreri profiles the Heart Healthy Seniors Fair at Activity Haven
List of Vendors
- Best of Hearing Centre
- Canadian Association of Retired Persons (CARP)
- Canadian Diabetic Association
- Canadian Hearing Centre
- Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA)
- Cardinal Coach Tours
- Community Care Access Centre (CCAC)
- Community Care Peterborough
- Denturist Association of Ontario
- Dr. Doug Lukinuk Family Chiropractic Centre
- Driving Miss Daisy
- Feet First Mobile Nursing Home Care
- Gliding Shelf Solutions
- Hear Right Canada
- Helix Hearing Care Centre
- Home Suite Home Transitions
- Jackson Creek Retirement Residence
- Live A Legacy Life
- Living Well Mobility
- Merit Travel
- Motion Specialties
- Multiple Sclerosis Society
- Nightingale Home Maintenance
- Ontario Ministry of Finance
- Ontario Ministry of Government and Consumer Services
- Osteoporosis Canada
- Partners In Aging Well
- Peterborough Regional Health Centre Foundation
- Peterborough Retirement Residence
- Peterborough Sport and Wellness Centre
- Pressure Point Therapy
- PRHC Cardiac Cath Lab
- Rubidge Retirement Residence
- Sage Relocation Services
- Senior Secretariat/OACAO
- Shoppers Home Health Care
- St. Elizabeth Home Health Care
- Stepping Stones To Better Health
- Telecare Distress Centre of Peterborough
- Therapeutic Touch Network of Ontario
- Victorian Order of Nurses
All photos and images courtesy of Activity Haven except where noted.