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Join me on the road…

During the next few months I'll be travelling to many cities in Canada to talk about heart disease and other medical issues. I hope I have a chance to meet many of you at the following events:

Tuesday April 29
OAKVILLE, ON – LECTURE – 7:00 pm
Le Dome Banquet Hall, 1173 North Service Road East

Saturday May 3
GEORGETOWN, ON – LECTURE – 2:00 – 3:00 pm
Halton Hills Home Health and Happiness Show, Mold-Masters Sportsplex, 221 Guelph Street
There is a cost to this event, $2 for individuals and $5 for families

Friday May 2
VINELAND, ON – MEET & GREET – 12:00 – 2:00 pm
Sangsters Health Centres, 3916 Victoria Street

Wednesday May 7
HANOVER, ON – LECTURE – 1:00 pm
Royal Canadian Legion, 493 8th Avenue
Sponsored by Good Health Mart. Please RSVP by calling the store at 519-506-3002.

Wednesday May 7
OWEN SOUND, ON – LECTURE – 7:00 pm
Bayshore Community Centre, 1900 3 Avenue East

Thursday May 8
OWEN SOUND, ON – MEET & GREET – 10:30 am – 12:00 pm
Nutrition House, Heritage Place Mall, 1350 16th Street East

Wednesday May 14
MISSISSAUGA, ON – LECTURE
1 – 2 pm – Presentation at Henry's Camera, next to Nature’s Source
2 – 3 pm – Book signing at Nature's Source. Please RSVP by calling the store at 905-502-6789.

Thursday May 15
ORILLIA, ON – MEET & GREET – 1:00 – 3:00 pm
Gaudaur Natural Foods, 17 Andrew Street North

Thursday May 15
ORILLIA, ON – LECTURE – 7:00 pm
Best Western Plus Mariposa Inn & Conference Centre, 400 Memorial Drive

Wednesday May 21
SAULT STE. MARIE, ON – TWO LECTURES – 1 pm & 7 pm
Algoma Water Tower Inn, 360 Great Northern Road

Tuesday June 10
CHARLOTTETOWN, PEI – 7:00 pm
Delta Prince Edward and PEI Convention Centre, 18 Queen Street

Thursday June 12
ST. JOHN’S, NFLD – 7:00 pm
Delta St. John’s Hotel and Conference Centre, 120 New Gower Street Algoma

Friday June 13
HALIFAX, NS – 7:00 pm
Future Inns Halifax & Conference Centre, 30 Fairfax Drive

Thursday June 19
KITCHENER, ON – LECTURE - 7 pm
Fiddleheads, 25 Bruce Street
Please RSVP by calling the store at 519-745-7800.

All of Dr. Gifford Jones lectures are free and on a first come, first serve basis and there is no registration (unless otherwise noted). Arrive early as seating may be limited.

Potassium: Like Sex and Money, Just the Right Amount

"Why would anyone be so foolish to carry on this asinine habit for so long?" This was my immediate reaction to an article, published by LiveScience and reported at the European Heart Rhythm Association. In effect, the article shows how a most innocent habit, carried out for a long period, can send y...

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Do Seniors Indulge in Sex?

One University survey recently revealed that 80 per cent of students thought their parents didn’t have any “amour”. Talk about youthful denial! Society in general seems to believe that seniors just pull up the covers and fall asleep. But sex doesn’t fade from the radar at age 60, 80 or even in the nursing home. Besides, the Danes have discovered that sex even decreases the cost of medical care! North Americans should take note.

Sure, sexual activity changes with age. You may no longer hang from the chandelier while having sex. But for some couples, slowing down and being less acrobatic enhances the experience. Besides, 50 percent of people over 50 are either widowed or divorced and in need of “tender loving care”.

Years ago a song titled “Saturday night is the loneliest night of the week” was popular. But at Thorupgaarden nursing home in Copenhagen, Denmark, it’s not lonely anymore.

I couldn’t stop reading about this nursing home. I just wish I had been a fly on the wall when staff were debating one earth-shaking proposal. They decided in their infinite wisdom that pornography had a more calming effect on seniors than Prozac. So every Saturday night pornographic videos are available on the home’s internal program.

But before my proper readers go into a state of shock, I’d suggest they sit down to hear the next decision. If some residents continue to feel lonely and remain depressed after viewing pornographic videos, there’s no need to despair. These residents can go the next step and request that a prostitute be allowed to visit. Wow, can you imagine that happening in this country?

But the Danes believe such measures are logical. A spokesperson for the Danish Seniors Lobby Group says pornography is healthier, more economic and easier to use than medication. If you walk into many senior facilities on this continent, you will witness seniors half-drugged, depressed and immobile. I believe she has a point.

So how has this unorthodox treatment been accepted by the Danes and residents? Maj-Britt, a department head at Thorupgaarden, says that sexuality is often overlooked in nursing homes. Moreover, there’s only been one complaint since the video program started three years ago. Danish gerontologists (those who specialize in caring for the elderly) also agree with this practice.

What about political reaction? Kudos to the Danish government which issued a report confirming that sexuality is an integral part of life for both seniors and disabled people. It agreed with the caregivers.

As many readers know, I believe that alcohol in moderation is a beneficial medicine for many patient symptoms. And that a pub in every hospital would do more good than a cartload of the pills prescribed for seniors. A wee tipple along with occasional sex might cut down on the mandatory nightly sleeping pill that whacks patients into never-never land.

Of course I’m against child pornography. I’m also convinced that the general morality of this nation has gone to hell. But I believe we should get over the tendency to label seniors who are interested in sex as “dirty old men” or “dirty old women”.

No doubt I have shocked some readers. But at least this column may have kept you from dozing off. Remember, it’s the job of a journalist to make people think, possibly remind them that we should never ask for whom the bell tolls. One day some of us may be sitting alone in a lonely room looking at four blank walls. No doubt we will be bored as hell and desperate for a little excitement. We might even conclude that the Danes are much more realistic and that a pornographic movie on a Saturday night wasn’t such a bad idea.

Since I’ve never sat on the fence when it comes to contentious issues, would I apply for a bed at Thorupgaarden in my dotage? Yes. It seems to be a pretty lively place. Besides, when my time comes I’d prefer to be with a lady-of-the-night and a glass of Chardonnay than falling out of my rocking chair.

Will this ever happen in this country? Hell will freeze over first.

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