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YURA Person-to-Person March 2015 Vol 5 No.4

A YURA member who prefers to remain anonymous suggested that it might be interesting if we wrote what job we liked best to do at York or what part of our job (if we had only one) we liked best. If I am allowed, it seems to me that one could also talk about what you disliked or hated the most to do!
The following is a letter from Christine Jonas-Simpson who is a faculty member in the School of Nursing at York University and the Academic Co-lead for the Bitove Wellness Academy for persons living with memory loss at the University Health Network. She has copied Maureen Coyle who is the manager of the academy and a scholar of Dr. Peter Whitehouse.

We are seeking volunteers for our academy, which opens doors for new learning and engaging conversation for persons living with memory loss. Much of the curriculum is offered through the arts and movement. Social engagement and engagement in new and interesting ideas are also significant components of the curriculum. We have had visiting scholars (e.g. Drs. Peter and Cathy Whitehouse) facilitate engaging conversations with persons living with memory loss, their care partners, community members, faculty and staff.

We are interested in learning if any of the retired York professors are interested in volunteering time to engage persons living with memory loss in engaging conversation about different concepts/ideas that they have written about, researched, discovered etc. The key is engaging conversation, we are not requesting a lecture format.

Here is a CTV clip that introduces you to the Bitove Academy:

Here is our Website:

Looking forward to hearing from you. Cheers Christine (Jonas-Simpson, RN, PhD)
York-UHN Academy Director Rm. 321 HNES Bldg. Toronto, ON, Canada, M3J 1P3
Contact: 416-736-2100 ext. 21019 Email:

CATHETERS (oh, joy!)
I found the following in the May 2014 Consumer Reports on Health. Urinary catheters are a leading cause of infection and death in hospitals in the US. The advice they give: “Ask whether you really need a catheter. Insist on clean hands. Check for proper technique (the bag should be attached with a leg strap and emptied regularly). Watch for signs of infection.”
Hoarding Disorder: When Acquiring Possessions Is Out of Control
I read the following in the Scientific American Health After 50 in the February online issue. It’s interesting. I am quoting word for word.
“No one wants to throw away something that might later prove to be useful or valuable. But a person who compulsively acquires items most people would view as worthless -- and is unable to discard anything without experiencing intense anxiety -- may suffer from hoarding disorder, a condition psychiatric experts have recently recognized as a unique disorder.
Why people hoard. Researchers aren't exactly sure what causes hoarding, but many people who develop hoarding disorder experienced a stressful or traumatic event as a child or adult. In a study of 751 adults with hoarding disorder, 94 percent had gone through a major relationship change, such as divorce or death of a loved one; 76 percent had experienced violence or abuse; 70 percent had financial problems; and 61 percent had experienced loss of or damage to possessions.
Recent research on hoarding suggests that people who develop the disorder might have differences in how their brain functions. People who hoard may have abnormal activity in the anterior cingulated cortex and insula -- areas of the brain linked to making decisions and identifying the emotional significance of items, together these difficulties could make it hard for them to throw things away.
Hoarding in older adults. Hoarding is more common in older adults, and some research suggests the disorder might get worse with increasing age, although the evidence is mixed. Because of physical and cognitive limitations, older adults may be more prone to hoarding-related health risks, including falling, fire, poor hygiene, poor nutrition, difficulty taking medications and insect infestations.
One study found that in older adults, the severity of hoarding symptoms was strongly linked to problems with executive function -- a set of mental processes such as working memory and concentration that people use to plan, organize and manage their time and attention. These deficits may also make it difficult for older adults to participate in or be helped by cognitive-behavioral therapy for hoarding disorder.”

These chuckles were contributed by Rachel Lewin.
The boss walked into the office one morning not knowing his zipper was down and his fly area wide open. His secretary walked up to him and said, 'This morning when you left your house, did you close your garage door?' The boss told her he knew he'd closed the garage door, and walked into his office puzzled by the question.
As he finished his paperwork, he suddenly noticed his fly was open, and zipped it up. He then understood his assistant's question about his 'garage door.'
He headed out for a cup of coffee and paused by her desk to ask, 'When my garage door was open, did you see my Hummer parked in there?'
She smiled and said, 'No, I didn't. All I saw was an old minivan with two flat tires.'

Morris, an 82 year-old man, went to the doctor to get a physical.
A few days later, the doctor saw Morris walking down the street with a gorgeous young woman on his arm.
A couple of days later, the doctor spoke to Morris and said, 'You're really doing great, aren't you?'
Morris replied, 'Just doing what you said, Doc: “Get a hot mamma and be cheerful.''’
The doctor said, 'I didn't say that. I said, 'You've got a heart murmur; be careful.'

The following chuckle is contributed by Sheila Creighton.
A young man named John received a parrot as a gift. The parrot had a bad attitude and an even worse vocabulary.
Every word out of the bird's mouth was rude, obnoxious and laced with profanity. John tried and tried to change the bird's attitude by consistently saying only polite words, playing soft music and anything else he could think of to 'clean up' the bird's vocabulary.
Finally, John was fed up and he yelled at the parrot. The parrot yelled back. John shook the parrot and the parrot got angrier and even ruder. John, in desperation, threw up his hand, grabbed the bird and put him in the freezer. For a few minutes the parrot squawked and kicked and screamed. Then suddenly there was total quiet. Not a peep was heard for over a minute.
Fearing that he'd hurt the parrot, John quickly opened the door to the freezer. The parrot calmly stepped out onto John's outstretched arms and said "I believe I may have offended you with my rude language and actions. I'm sincerely remorseful for my inappropriate transgressions and I fully intend to do everything I can to correct my rude and unforgivable behaviour."
John was stunned at the change in the bird's attitude. As he was about to ask the parrot what had made such a dramatic change in his behaviour, the bird spoke-up, very softly, "May I ask what the turkey did?"

For responses, questions, helpful advice and suggestions, and anything of interest to our members, please email Anne-Marie Ambert (Facilitator) at If you prefer, your contribution can remain anonymous.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in PTP reports are those of individuals and may not reflect the official policy or opinion of YURA.