Tag Archives: Healthcare

My Best of 2017: The Best of #RedHeartBlueSign


This year I have written over 60 posts, this is post number 199 on #RedHeartBlueSign since October 2010.

thank youOver the past 12 months I can say I am happy with each post, though some I have greater pride in writing. The five posts below represent what gave me the greatest pride. Each has its own beginning, that being, what was the motivation for me to write and post each of them.  Thank you for taking the time today and throughout 2017 to read #RedHeartBlueSign.

The Battle for Vanier (November 2017)

The city of Ottawa had two big battles with its residents this year. The first was the relocation of the downtown/main branch of the Ottawa Public Library; the second was a proposal from the Salvation Army to vacate its Byward Market building for brand new building on Montreal Road in Vanier that would house almost all it services under one roof, include approximately 350 beds (some long term and some emergency shelter beds. The response from the community was SOS Vanier, a well coordinated effort of raising the community’s opposition to a plan that goes opposite of the city plans. The big battle was strictly a fight between building use and land use – two very different concepts.

This was my most widely read post of the year, if you haven’t already you can click here to read it: https://redheartbluesign.wordpress.com/2017/11/26/the-battle-of-vanier-land-use-vs-building-use

Choose your healthcare cycle (September 2017)

The healthcare system in Ontario and across Canada is at a crossroads. Also at a critical point is the population of Canadians as the Baby Boomer Generation retires and the Boomers’ children and grandchildren are going to be relied upon to work and fund pension programs and healthcare needs for seniors. The point of the post was to emphasize the need for each generation to support the healthcare they need now, through fundraising, radio-thons and telethons and not necessarily the care that was used in the past. More and more provincial budgets will spend more on healthcare that all other departments combined. Hospitals and healthcare organizations count more on donations from the public to close the gaps left from reduced government funding.

My thoughts about this are here for you to read: https://redheartbluesign.wordpress.com/2017/09/20/choose-your-healthcare-life-cycle

When did it become legal to do illegal things (October 2017)

The line between helping others and protecting property is a thin one and easily causes words and sometimes actions that have a ripple effect. At the heart of this post was the opinion that the City of Ottawa was not acting fast enough to help stop the opioid crisis and prevent needless deaths. What been approved was a safe injection site in Sandy Hill, but was not ready yet, so Opioid Prevention Ottawa (OPO) set up a tent without approval and permits in a neighbourhood park where children and families played – they refused to close up and not many in City Hall would force the closure including the Police who said they were waiting for the city to tell them to shut it down. I wanted to include the a bit about the illegal Pot Shops that are opening up ahead of the legalization of marijuana but if I had I would have had to leave too much out of the OPO story.

To read all about OPO and the fight for safe neighbourhood and the fight to save lives from overdose clink on this link: https://redheartbluesign.wordpress.com/2017/10/09/when-did-it-become-legal-to-do-illegal-things

Confessions of a casual commuter cyclist (August 2017)

2017 was the summer that I became a cycling commuter, taking my bike to work almost everyday. I have to say I got my money’s worth in the spring tune-up. I wrote about my experiences on two wheels, observing not only other cyclists and pedestrians but also drivers of cars and trucks. I had one close call, but I transferred my defensive skills to my bike and stayed safe. I have to say though that cycling defensively is not as well received by other cyclists,

Read my Confessions of a casual commuter cyclist here: https://redheartbluesign.wordpress.com/2017/08/16/confessions-of-a-casual-commuter-cyclist

836,484 (December 2017)

This post came about from big news on two fronts. First was that the Toronto Star and the National Post were ‘flipping ownership on a large number of small local newspapers and few free daily papers (Metro and 24 hours). The other show dropped when 40+ of these papers were being told that they were closing, a few on the same day that the announcement was made. The largest of the local papers affected was the Barrie Examiner, which has been in operation longer than the British North America Act has been in force. All told I estimated that almost 840,000 Canadians lost a newspaper in one day. Since the day the presses stopped, many independent local papers have spoken loudly to reinforce the fact that local newspapers are still printing and distributing news.

Read 836,484 here: https://redheartbluesign.wordpress.com/2017/12/03/836484

Thank you for reading this post; to catch all my posts and be notified as new ones come up please follow me on WordPress. I can be found Twitter @robertdekker, @rdmediaottawa and on Facebook at http://tiny.cc/n5l97. I can be reached at rdmedia@bell.net


Choose your healthcare life cycle

This is not a sponsored post, but it is written as a supportive post for Bruyere Continuing Care on Ottawa. Locally known as the best and largest palliative care centre in Ottawa and Eastern Ontario, Bruyere has been growing and adjusting with new programs for the aged and handicapped. Bruyere has opened an adaptive affordable housing complex and started new programs that encourage older Canadians to stay in their homes for as long as possible. I have been volunteering for the annual Bruyere Radiothon for several years.

Bruyere 2When it comes to healthcare we go through phases in our life. For most of us, our attention to healthcare normally starts when our first child is born.   Prior to that it would have been our parents that took us for shots, check ups and for the broken bones from sports activities. As the years pass the experiences we have in hospitals and who we have those experiences with will change.

When do you start thinking about your future healthcare needs, meaning at what point do we start to think about being proactive and not reactive? What does it mean to be proactive in our personal health care planning?

For me, it means that I think about where I might end up when I need care in the months and years approaching. Will I need physio after a fall? Will my memory start to fade? What about rehab following a stroke? Let me add that I intend to do everything I can while I am in my late 50’s to prevent needing any of the above-mentioned care and treatment. Of course, nothing is for certain but I do have the opportunity to shape what care I might need by being proactive and practicing preventative care. This is important because our current health care systems are not preventive, they are reactive – it will take a generation maybe more of governments to change that.

I’ll leave how the government will handle the change to the politicians and healthcare agents.  For my care and what I want to have available to me, that will rely on my efforts. That means I’ll look to support a hospital that will work to have the needs of my generation, the late edge of boomers, in their plans for care and innovative.

The annual Bruyere Radiothon is being held this week, the once a year radio campaign to raise money for the organizations #LifeChanging campaign. Early this week I attended a private event announcing the goals for the campaign, $30 Million that won’t go to any brick and mortar buildings, but rather to programs and care focusing in Brain Health and Memory; Integrated Senior’s Health and Rehabilitation and all be powered by the sector leading Bruyere Research Institute.

BruyereThe most life changing plans revolve around Brain Health and Memory. As the number of Canadians suffering from dementia is expected to double before 2037, Bruyere will reduce the incidence of dementia by 50% in those same 20 years. Just as important is redefining geriatric care that will allow us to stay in our homes and out of expensive healthcare facilities as we age.  Life changing care is because living longer means living better.

I am not naïve enough to believe that by reading this you’ll support Bruyere and their plans, but what I hope you will do is look forward to your future healthcare.   When you do make that decision you’ll have to consider how you can ensure that care is there because you cannot count on the government to cover the increasing cost of your healthcare 100%.

The need for fundraising by hospitals will only increase as demand and cost grow. Choose your healthcare cycle and support it, for you and your future care.

Please take a moment and click here https://www.bruyere.org/en/life-changing-day and be a part of Bruyere’s #LifeChanginDay

Thank you for reading this post; to catch all my posts and be notified as new ones come up please follow me on WordPress. You can also see me on www.redheartbluelife.wordpress.com where I post about the little things in life I see and do.

I can be found Twitter @robertdekker, @rdmediaottawa and on Facebook at http://tiny.cc/n5l97. I can be reached at rdmedia@bell.net