Meeting Highlights - 2016

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November 2016 - General Meeting Highlights

The Post Polio Network (MB) held a winter celebration luncheon on November 29th at the Masonic Memorial Temple located on Corydon Ave. in Winnipeg.  A turkey dinner was provided by the catering company - “The Butler Did It”. The meal was enjoyed by all.  Ms. Colleen Stebbe played the piano and lead the attendees in a Christmas Carol Sing Along.

PPN would like to express their thanks to Ms. Stebbe for volunteering her time and her talent and to Ms. Michelle Scoffield for donating door prizes to the event. Thanks also to Donna Remillard and Cheryl Currie for also arranging door prizes.  Congratulations to all our winners.

October 2016 - General Meeting Highlights

Bonnie Hopps has been an aquacise instructor for people with disabilities since 1976. The Post-Polio members started attending the classes circa 1986. Bonnie presently works for the City of Winnipeg as an aquacize instructor. She recently retired from the Arthritis Society where she worked for many years as an Education Facilitator.

Aquacize is for all ages and is beneficial especially for older adults. The classes that are good for people with disabilities are called "Specialty Arthritis" in the Winnipeg recreational program. The classes are held at the Margaret Grant pool, the Boni-Vital pool, and the St. James Civic Center.

Aquacize is beneficial for: pain management, arthritis, immune deficiencies, respiratory issues, pulmonary diseases, cardiovascular problems etc. and as a help in fall prevention. Aquacize helps increase muscle strength and improve balance. Even walking in water is beneficial.

The Ai-Chi a slow moving exercise program similar to Tai Chi. It is Japanese based and designed for underwater movement (shoulders and arms). Just with the external pressure of the water on the body, the heart opens and allows up to 32% more blood volume. It involves relaxation and diaphragmatic breathing.

September 2016 - General Meeting Highlights

Kathrine Nelson, a social worker from A&O Support Services for Older Adults presented on Elder Abuse.

A&O is a non profit organization that is governed by a Board of Directors and is a United Way agency. For adults over 55, most of the programs at A&O are free. There are three Pillars of Service; safety & security, social engagement and counselling.

The Safety & Security Pillar is most known for elder abuse services. These services provide counselling for persons 55+ experiencing physical, emotional, sexual, financial abuse or neglect; assistance accessing resources to reduce any dependency on abuser; and safety planning. There are protection order designates that attend Law Courts with client, fill out court order and accompany client in the court room. The Safe Suite Program provides safe housing for those experiencing any form of abuse at no cost for up to 60 days. There is practical assistance with arranging finances, housing, legal and support services. Older Victim Services' workers provide counselling and practical assistance for individuals 60+ that have been victims of crime. The Winnipeg Police Services provides direct referrals to this service. The safety & security pillar also has the SafetyAid program which offers a free home safety and fall prevention audit. The program will provide the installation of home safety and falls prevention devices for qualifying older adults or those that have experienced B&E/home invasion. The Full House program assists those living with hoarding disorder.

Social Engagement is another service pillar. Social networking helps to play a big role in elder abuse. There is the Senior Centre without Walls and the Connect Programs that address isolation and loneliness issues. There are many programs in the social engagement pillar.

The Counselling pillar staff offer counselling services on a variety of issues including: grief and loss, financial, depression, family issues, loneliness/isolation, and loss of health. The Housing Program provides one-on-one hosing consultations.

The Senior's Abuse Support Line (1-888-896-7183) is available 24 hours per day, 7 days a week. This line is totally confidential. After hours Klinic Crisis Centre supports the line.

Elder abuse is NOT defined as a crime in Manitoba. In cases of elder abuse the police criminal charges such as "holding against will", theft, etc. would be laid against the abuser. However, if a person is in a hospital or a personal care home elder abuse can be directly charged for elder abuse.

June 2016 - General Meeting Highlights

The June general meeting was held on June 20, 2016 at the Canad Inn Polo Park. The meeting was a Summer Celebration Luncheon. In fact, the 20th was the first day of summer and the longest day of the year.

There were 47 members and guests in attendance.

A wonderful buffet lunch was enjoyed by everyone. We would like to thank the staff at Canad Inn for helping to make the luncheon a success.

Have a great summer and we'll meet again on September 27th at the Katherine Friesen Centre on Notre Dame.

May 2016 - General Meeting Highlights

The May general meeting was held on May 31st at the Katherine Friesen Centre, 940 Notre Dame Ave., Winnipeg.


  1. The Provincial Council of Women of Manitoba will hold an interactive session to discuss issues affecting Manitoba Women. The session will be held, June 2 at SMD, Room 202.
  2. A Celebration of Life was held on May 19th , 2015 in memoriam to Albert Patenaude. The celebration was attended by many of the Post Polio Network’s members.
  3. The June Summer Celebration Luncheon will be held on Monday, June 20, 2016 at the Canad Inn Polo Park starting at 11:30 a.m. The luncheon is free for members and $5.00 for guests.


Mr. John Thiessen from Easy Street presented this afternoon.  The Easy Street Program is a unique rehabilitation program where clients can re-learn the skills they need after a life-impacting health change.  Easy Street is located in the Misericordia Health Centre.   Easy Street is a multidisciplinary program that has one full time physiotherapist, 1 equivalent full time Occupational Therapist that is shared by three therapists, 1 part-time dietician, 1 part-time social worker and once/month a speech therapist.   The social worker helps facilitate access to programs and funding; the speech therapist helps with access to the programs at Deer Lodge. The goal of Easy Street is to help people stay in their homes.

As the physiotherapist at Easy Street, John sees clients with neurological conditions such as strokes, M.S., Parkinson’s and Post Polio Syndrome.  He also sees clients that require physiotherapy for issues such as back problems. As everyone is different, John works with one’s individual issues.  Post Polio affects everyone differently.  One of the issues is that what one could do before, now is becoming more difficult as we age, for example climbing stairs.  As a physiotherapist, he targets the issue and moves forward.  He can’t fix everything but might make things easier.  For example to improve balance go barefoot and rock side to side.  This recreates the movement of walking and the brain develops responses from knees and hips to help with balance.  The brain is always changing, “neuroplasticity” and constantly rewiring.   John gives one exercises or things to do to control that and help rewire ones brain. A MIR scan will show the new physical connections.  Another balance exercise is “rock around the clock” where one foot goes to the hour on the clock and comes back then goes to the next hour on the clock and so forth.  This also recreates walking.   Another excellent exercise is dancing.  Become more childlike and repeat and repeat as a child does and try to just do it.

The services at Easy Street are covered by Manitoba Health, even if you self refer.   There is some equipment at Easy Street such as parallel bars and recumbent bikes; but, mostly it is home programs.

The sessions are 50 minutes long.  The first session is an assessment, then once/week for a month, then twice a month and then once per month.  However, John is available to talk at any time after leaving the program.  During the assessment the discussion is “What can we change and what we can work with,” and “this is what I want to do and how?  John advised that “this is what you can do to help and let’s see what happens.    An informative question and answer period followed.

John provided handouts to those in attendance that included:

  • An Easy Street Referral application.  He advised that one can self refer
  • What is Easy Street? information sheet
  • Easy Street Rehabilitation Program Client Information Brochure
  • Easy Street Business card

April 2016 - General Meeting Highlights

The April general meeting was held on April 26th at the Katherine Friesen Centre, 940 Notre Dame Ave., Winnipeg.


  • Speaker for the May 31st meeting was announced.   The speaker will be Mr. John Thiessen of Easy Street.   Easy Street is a physiotherapy program that develops a program specifically for a person’s special needs.  The program is free when space is available.
  • The June 20th or 27th (please note that this is a Monday) will be PPN’s Welcome to Summer Celebration.  Lunch will be at a local hotel or facility.  Our telephoners will advise you of where and when once everything has been arranged.  
  • BROCHURE:  The May newsletter “has been put to bed” and will be in the mail early May.

It was unfortunately but our scheduled speaker, Kerri Irwin-Ross, was not able to make the meeting.  Our program co-ordinator, Lorna Richaud, contacted the Alzheimer’s Society the night before the meeting.   Lo and Behold, Jennifer Licardo, the Educational Co-ordinator for the Alzheimer’s Society was able to meet with us on such short notice.   Kudos to both Lorna and Ms. Licardo. 

As the Educational Co-ordinator of the Alzheimer’s Society in Manitoba, Ms. Licardo provides awareness, education and training to family, friends, and caregivers of persons with Alzheimer’s disease and helps train professionals.

The talk was based on four different areas:

  1. Be Aware of the Basic Facts (BROCHURES:  What is Alzheimer’s disease? and Dispelling the Myths)
  2. Brain Health (BROCHURE:  Heads up for Healthier Brains)
  3. How to interact with a person that has a dementia
  4. Available Resources

1. Be Aware of the Basic Facts:

Alzheimer’s disease is just one of 100’s of types of dementia; but, is the most common.  The two hallmarks of the disease:

  •  Plaques - Brain protein form plaque that destroy brain cells which leads to memory loss and confusion.
  •  Tangles.  Tangles occur inside the nerve cells and can interfere with vital processes.

The changes in cognitive and functional abilities are affected, emotions and moods are affected, behavioural changes and physical abilities are affected as the disease progresses.

There is no identified cause and no cure.  However, symptoms can be minimized with the use of drugs.

“Is It Alzheimer Disease?  10 Warning Signs” (BROCHURE)

These signs are:

  • Memory loss that affects day to day function
  • Difficulty performing familiar tasks
  • Problems with language
  • Disorientation of time and place poor or decreased judgment
  • Problems with abstract thinking
  • Misplacing things
  • Changes in mood and behaviour
  • Changes in personality
  • Loss of initiative

2. Brain Health (BROCHURE:  Heads up for Healthier Brains)

Will health lifestyle choices prevent Alzheimer’s disease?  There are no guarantees; but, evidence suggests that health lifestyles help the brain maintain connections and even build new ones.   Some risk factors can’t be controlled; such as, genetic makeup and getting older.

Take action for a Healthier Brain:

  • Challenge your brain
  • Be socially active
  • Choose a health lifestyle
  • PROTECT your head

3. How to interact with a person that has Alzheimer’s

It is necessary to have “person centred” relationship with someone with dementia.   Remember all behaviour has meaning.  Try to find out what triggers that behaviour?   There are always numerous possibilities.

  • Watch for non-verbal communication. 
  • Pay attention to expressions. 
  • Reminiscing is very good to let the person share their past.  
  • Treat people with the disease with respect.

4. Available Resources

The Alzheimer’s Society has programs and support groups for the person with the disease, caregivers, and family.

The Alzheimer’s Society:

  • Offers information, support and education programs for people with dementia, their families and caregivers.
  • Funds research to find a cure and improve the care of people with dementia.
  • Promotes public education and awareness of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias to ensure people know where to turn for help.
  • Influences policy and decision-making to address the needs of people with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers.

March 2016 - General Meeting Highlights

On March 29, 2016, the Post Polio Network (Manitoba) Inc. held their 29th Annual General Meeting.  The meeting was conducted by the President, Cheryl Currie.  

Guests were welcomed from the Rotary Club and SMD Clearinghouse and new members introduced. Steve Gallagher, Pres. Fort Garry Rotary spoke briefly on Rotary’s involvement on worldwide eradication, and included some statistics. It was announced that Rachelle Hebert, a new board member, will take over as Privacy and Safety Chairperson.

Prior to the Business Meeting announcements were made:

  1. Disability Matters: Vote 2016.  Barrier Free Manitoba and Abilities Manitoba have partnered to head a disability campaign for the upcoming April election. 
  2. Private Member’s BILL C239 – The Fairness in Charitable Gifts Act.  Ted Falk MP for Provencher is proposing that Federal tax credits for donations to registered charities be raised.  Contact your member of parliament and lend your support to this bill. 
  3.  Easy Street is a unique rehabilitation program offered by the physiotherapy department at the Misericordia Hospital.  There were some spaces in the program and they have contacted PPN
  4. New Co-operative Living Development scheduled to begin in June 2016 in the Wolseley District. Occupancy for early 2018.  Contact:    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view
  5. Manitoba 55+ Games will be held in Brandon, June 14 -16, 2016.  Registration is open.   Lots of fun and things to do.  Cards/games/sports.  Contact:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; (204) 261-9257 or 1-855-261-9257
  6. British Polio has just published, Jan 2016 “Post-Polio Syndrome: A Guide to Management for Health Care Professionals” Copies available at $8.00 to cover postage and copying expenses.

The minutes from the 28th Post Polio (Manitoba) Inc. AGM, held in March of 2015, were accepted as written.  Annual Reports were presented by Program Chairs, President, Vice-President and Treasurer. (Reports will be included with the minutes of the 29th AGM).

Cheryl Currie and Donna Remillard were re-elected for a two year term by acclamation as President and Treasurer of the Post Polio Network.  Mr. Roger Currie volunteered to become a Board member and assume the position of Publicity Chair.  

After the meeting there was a social gathering.