direct:  604 990 6464


Home Staging Worth the Money, Effort? Yes.

Nearly every home seller hopes to get their property sold quickly and at top dollar.

Staging may be just the thing to help in that quest, according to the National Association of REALTORS’® 2017 Profile of Home Staging (

Using things like furniture, color, lighting, and accent pieces, professional stagers transform for-sale homes from ho-hum to oh-ah and work to make a property appeal to the largest number of prospective buyers

And their work has an impact: 39 percent of sellers’ agents said that staging a home greatly decreases the amount of time the home is on the market, according to NAR’s report.

Here are some of the report’s key findings:


Additional findings include:

  • The most commonly staged spaces include the living room (83 percent), kitchen (76 percent), master bedroom (69 percent), and dining room (66 percent).

  • Staging the living room was found to be most important to buyers (55 percent), followed by staging the master bedroom (51%), and the kitchen (41 percent).

  • Seventy-seven percent of buyers’ agents said staging a home made it easier for buyers to visualize a property as a future home.




Wildfires already have been raging in British Columbia, and that’s good reminder to do everything possible to protect yourself and your house should a fire start in your region.


PreparedBC has helpful resources like the “Homeowners’ Manual: FireSmart Begins at Home”


It illustrates the steps you can take to reduce the risk of fires destroying your home, including using zones to make your outdoor space more fire resistant.


For instance the area closest to your house should be free of all materials that could easily ignite. It also shows you how to create fire breaks; prune and properly space trees; and choose trees and plants that are most resistant to fire.


Another guide, the “Household Preparedness Guide”, gives you tips on how to react to and prepare for an emergency.


It includes everything from creating phone lists and establishing meeting places, to understanding how to cut your utilities and what to pack in a grab-and-go-bag if you have to leave your house quickly.


Alzheimer’s disease is now the sixth leading cause of death in the United States and kills more

people each year than breast cancer and prostate cancer combined. Worldwide, over 46 million

people suffer from Alzheimer’s—a figure that’s expected to nearly double every 20 years into

the future.


Prevention is always preferable to treatment, and with Alzheimer’s disease, it’s currently the

only option.


What are the primary risk factors for developing Alzheimer’s?

• Little/no exercise - #1 preventable factor

• Depression – 15% of Alzheimer’s cases

• Smoking – 11% of Alzheimer’s cases

• Midlife hypertension – 8% of Alzheimer’s cases

• Midlife obesity – 7% of Alzheimer’s cases

• Low education/low mental stimulation – 7% of

Alzheimer’s cases

• Diabetes – 3% of Alzheimer’s cases


These factors, coupled with related research, point towards several ways you may be able to reduce

your risk, including:


Protect your heart – While Alzheimer’s attacks the brain, protecting your heart can shield both essential organs from life-threatening damage. This includes consuming a healthy diet, staying mentally and physically active, and maintaining normal blood pressure and cholesterol levels.


Eat well – A recent UCLA study found that the Mediterranean Diet (rich in fruits, vegetables, olive oil, legumes, whole grains and fish) is considered one of the best options for providing antioxidant-rich foods and reducing cognitive decline. Some studies indicate resveratrol, which occurs naturally in red grapes, red wine and dark chocolate can lower risk and slow the progress of Alzheimer’s. Of course, it’s also important to note that recommendations

regarding food and nutritional supplements are constantly evolving.


Limit anticholinergic drugs – The long-term use of many popular over-the-counter medications like Benadryl, Dramamine, Dimetapp, Advil PM, Paxil, Unison and other common sleep and allergy medications have been linked to cognitive impairment and dementia.


Manage stress – Stress has been proven to induce negative biochemical effects on the human body. Proven techniques for reducing stress include yoga, deep breathing, rhythmic exercise, Tai Chi, and daily meditation. Among meditation techniques, Kirtan Kriya (which takes only 12 minutes) has been shown to improve memory in those with documented memory decline issues.




Perhaps your desire to travel is great, but your budget to tackle your bucket list is minimal.

That’s ok. If you are willing to be a little less conventional in your approach to travel, you

can still save money while getting a more authentic experience.


Some of the best options for seniors include:


Hostels – No, they aren’t just for backpacking 20-somethings who have left home to “find”

themselves. Many overseas hostels are immaculate, loaded with amenities, and offer private rooms

with bathrooms. They are a “best kept secret” in travel circles. Learn more at



House sitting gigs – Homeowners often look for older, more mature individuals to do house

sitting—perhaps including care for the family pet(s)—and this can be one way for seniors to

travel on the cheap. Resources to learn more include,,



Couchsurfing – Yes, seriously. This increasingly popular mode of travel involves joining a social

network of fellow travelers ( who believe in fostering friendly cultural exchanges

through local meet-ups and/or hosting travellers (who stay on their couch, an air mattress or in a

spare bedroom). Visit the site to learn more and join in!


House swapping – For people who own their own home (or even live in an apartment, if the lease

doesn’t prohibit it) and are willing to “swap” with someone in order to travel without incurring hotel

and lodging fees, this may be a great option. Check out opportunities at and

HomeBaseHolidays (


Adventures – Enjoy a full immersion experience in another culture through a variety of travel styles

(and costs) by booking through one of these sites geared to adventurous explorers:,,, and


Volunteer – One way to travel for free (or at very low cost) is to volunteer in your area(s) of expertise.

Visit for thousands of opportunities in exotic locations. (In particular, explore options

with “housing available.”) Imagine helping out in a wildlife sanctuary in Brazil, at an orphanage in

Tanzania, for a community development program in Uganda, or conservation programs in Costa Rica. All these and many more are listed on the site.


So, regardless of your budget, there is a way to go forth and see the world.

MAXIMIZING SENIOR OPTIONS: Getting More, often for Less

Reigning in unnecessary expenses is only the first step in learning how to live large on a fixed income. The real fun is shifting the focus to discovering a world of budget-friendly opportunities to learn new things, enjoy new experiences, and establish new friendships. Consider sharing some or all of these ideas with your clients.


Healthier Eating Choices

It’s hard to enjoy anything when health issues arise, which means prevention should always be a top priority. Encourage yourself to expand your nutritional horizons by supporting local farmers and improving your own eating and cooking options.


Avoid fast food – As life slows down, there is often more time to shop for, prepare and consume healthy homemade meals. Eliminating fast food can lead to huge improvements in weight, health, mood, and budgets! It also opens up the opportunity to actually enjoy the cooking process. Many people say they “love to cook” but never have the time—until now.


Investigate what’s new – Improvements in cooking technologies are making home cooking quicker and easier. Energy-efficient induction burners speed up the cooking process, while combination pressure-cooker/slow cooker devices make it easy to add ingredients, program a meal, and serve it up with less effort and mess than traditional meals.


Cooking meals as a social event – Consider sharing cooking chores with a friend to assemble a week (or even a month!) of meals to freeze, while enjoying some social time. This may also be a great time to take a cooking class and meet new people while learning some new recipes.


Discover local resources – Enjoy fresh fruit and vegetables? Want higher quality eggs and meat? Discover and shop at your local farmer’s market, consider a “share” in a farm-based subscription service, or visit local farms that sell directly to the public. Try to find suppliers in your area.


Dig in the dirt – Perhaps you have always wanted to garden, but never had time. Even if your current home doesn’t offer a large yard, you can investigate container gardening, terraced gardening, or even a plot in a nearby community garden. Check out Outside of larger cities, local agriculture extension agents can help identify additional resources to share with clients on community garden options, local produce venues and individual farmers who offer meat, eggs, cheese, milk, fruit, and vegetables for sale to the public.


Music Magic

The health benefits of music are scientifically documented and dramatic—especially for older people and those suffering from heart, circulatory,stroke, memory and sleep issues. In addition to improving your quality of life by adding an enjoyable ambiance to your home, music has also been shown to:

• Ease pain (especially in geriatric care, intensive care and palliative care)

• Improve the quality of sleep

• Cause individuals to eat less

• Enhance circulation

• Reduce stress and anxiety

• Elevate mood and relieve depression

Listening to music also improves cognitive performance and the ability of dementia patients to interact (see, in addition to easing recovery in stroke, heart and cancer patients.


Keep Learning, Keep Moving

Have you always wanted to learn to paint? To write a novel? To do yoga? To ballroom dance? To take a music appreciation class or learn to play an instrument? Now is their opportunity. Local colleges and universities often provide lowcost or free classes to seniors. Who says maturity doesn’t have its benefits? Being a lifetime learner has been shown to help improve memory and can slow or even eliminate the onset of ailments like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.

Explore community education offerings and check with your local senior citizen center for educational and social options to share with your senior clients. Classes are also an opportunity to be social. What better way to meet interesting people than at an interesting event?


See More Places, Do More Things

Travel is one of the best ways to have new experiences. It offers a more active lifestyle than sitting at home, it’s more educational, and it helps to avoid the negative stress of loneliness that impacts many seniors. Plus, travel doesn’t have to be prohibitively expensive.

Budget-friendly options – Take advantage of off-season prices at resorts, on cruise lines, and even at campgrounds with an RV. Seniors may also want to select a credit card that accumulates airline miles and travel points while buying groceries and other necessities. As long as credit cards are paid off each month, this can be a good economic move to help finance travel.

Group travel – Look into group travel options, especially those designed for older adventurers. Start by contacting local travel agencies, local senior citizens centers and resources offered through AARP. Also investigate offerings through the Road Scholar organization (originally Elderhostel), the leader in the lifelong learning movement. (

Save on meals – In addition to taking advantage of any senior discounts, go to the nicer restaurants for lunch, rather than more expensive evening meals. Visit local markets for fresh dinner options. Pack food for daily jaunts and have an impromptu picnic when a wonderful spot is discovered.


Online travel discounts – There are also many online resources for individuals willing to research lower prices. Consider,,,,, and similar sites. Smartphone apps like Google Trips, Hopper, and Airbnb arealso good options for spotting travel discounts.

Stay flexible – Many online reservation systems help travelers find cheaper flights if they aren’t locked into particular dates. Typically, flights on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday are less expensive than weekend travel or Monday mornings. Also consider volunteering to be bumped for overbooked flights, which often results in free future tickets!

Plan in advance – Airline ticket prices usually climb as the date nears. Domestic flights are typically cheapest when booked 47 days in advance (except for travel over major holidays). Book much earlier for overseas trips—276 days in advance, if possible.

Eliminate expensive hotel bills – For several additional ideas for trimming costs for accommodations, give your clients a copy of thenew consumer one-sheet on the following page.


Closer to Home

Seeing new sights and enjoying new experiences shouldn’t be reserved for out-of-town trips. Find out when local entertainment venues offer discounts or “free days” for seniors, including the zoo, art galleries and museums, theatre productions, and matinee showings. Finally, don’t forget to schedule some “me time”to be alone and enjoy your own company, which can do as much for your outlook as travel and socializing. Consider meditation, journaling, reading, yoga, or even curling up with a blanket and a bowl of popcorn to watch a movie solo.



6 Superb Ways to Curb Costs

Many bills are the result of long-term habits. After years of raising children and working full time, it’s easy for old patterns to continue unchallenged. That’s why a comprehensive bill review is the first step for revealing expenses that are no longer necessary—as well as discovering more attractive andaffordable options (aimed at Americans), including:




When both spouses were working full time and getting children to different events, two cars may have been a requirement. Once scheduling demands change, however, the need for two (or more) vehicles probably no longer exists.


Compare the costs – Encourage your clients to examine what they paid over the past year for maintenance and repairs—particularly if they own older cars—to determine if it would be more cost effective to sell one (or more) cars, or perhaps even to buy a new (or newer) car. Why not own a nicer car if it ends up costing less?


Consider other options – Traditionally, public transit was not considered very glamorous, but the eco-friendly and green movements have changed many people’s views, while technology now offers attractive alternatives for those who don’t want to rely on taxicab prices. Some large cities have senior-specific transportation options, and services like Lyft and Uber are becoming more popular, even in less populated areas.




With the improvement of online streaming options, many people have decided they prefer selecting what they want to view (often avoiding commercials) over enduring whatever is available on cable (plus the wasted time flipping channels, trying to find something worth watching).


Several low-cost paid streaming services offer extensive on-demand programming options, (Netflix, Amazon Video, Showtime, HBO Now etc.) while many familiar television channels (including the major networks, popular cable stations and news channels) stream their content free of charge.


While it’s increasingly popular to view this content on a desktop, laptop or mobile device, it’s just as easy to attach a small, inexpensive device (like Roku, Chromecast, Amazon Fire, Apple TV and Nexus Player) to stream online content, via Wi-Fi, directly to your television.


In addition to giving you TV access to streaming services (like Netflix and Hulu) these devices alsomake it simple to enjoy web-only content, like YouTube. Some of the best YouTube channels include: The Paramount Vault, Timeless Classic Movies and other collections of movies from the silver screen era as well as more modern films.


Add another small investment in an over-the-air antenna and you’ll be able to tune in local hi-definition channels for no monthly fee. Cable and satellite services, and their often-exorbitant monthly fees are becoming a thing of the past for many households, and seniors are no exception.




For years, many people have dutifully paid monthly storage unit fees. Now is the time to eliminate this expensive albatross. Sort through and toss what’s not needed, re-home what’s going to the kids, and donate (and take the tax credit for) things that are no longer useful.


I can help you tackle this project by sharing a list of local downsizing specialists, Ebay valets ( and people who specialize in helping sell unneeded and unwanted stuff. It shouldn’t cost anything other than a percentage of the sales price to use these services.




Often, prescription drugs are both necessary and expensive. Despite this, most people simply select a pharmacy and stick with it, even though drug prices can vary dramatically—a missed opportunity to save hundreds of dollars a year (or more).


I encourage you to comparison shop. Take a list of all prescriptions to each local pharmacy and ask for itemized price quotes. You can also check local prices using online tools like or Even with insurance, it’s sometimes cheaper to pay out of pocket than the “co-pay” on certain drugs. Additionally, it’s a good idea to ask about discounts for cash payments.


Online pharmacies – Another option is to comparison shop for mail-order drugs. This has the added bonus of automatically delivering monthly meds without the hassle of picking them up! Online shoppers need to be sure the quality of the pharmacy they select is assured. Start by visiting




Major sales aren’t limited to Black Friday or Cyber Monday. Every year, various big-ticket items are often discounted seasonally, including: Cars – current inventory goes on sale right before or after the newest models arrive in the fall.


Computers – late March/early April (new models rolling out) and August/September (back to school).


Large appliances – September/October (new models rolling out). Be sure to ask for free delivery, hookup and old appliance disposal. Refrigerators are cheapest in May.


Televisions – Thanksgiving weekend and January (or early February) when old models are cleared out and new ones arrive in time for the Super Bowl.


Outdoor – lawnmowers in April and after Labor Day (clearance), along with grills; patio furniture in October/November.


Mattresses – Memorial Day weekend sales (negotiate for even-lower-than-advertised prices)




Amazon has become many online shoppers’ go-to source, but do you know about several sites that track Amazon’s prices? Use or to viewprice history charts and set up price drop alerts to save on purchases.


Even with great deals, however, remember to keep the focus on “living large”—in other words, using your time and energy to buy only what you need at the best possible prices!



As you age, your spine changes. It can lose thickness and elasticity, which affects your posture and overall health. Strengthen your spine, improve your posture and age gracefully with the following tips.

Why Is Posture so Important?

Poor posture affects your body in several ways: It causes you to slouch and allows your back muscles and bones to shift, increasing pain and stiffness. It also affects your overall alertness, breathing, digestion, blood circulation and organ function.

You may also experience headaches, neck and joint pain, and leg and feet issues because of poor posture — all important reasons to improve your posture as you age.

Sit Straight

Do you slouch as you work online, watch TV or play with your grandchildren? You may not realize that you're slouching, but your back will feel it. Slouching increases the pressure on your spinal cord by as much as 15 percent.

Make a conscious effort to stop slouching and sit straight. To do that, you'll need an ergonomic chair. It can be a traditional, kneeling, saddle or recliner chair and will include:

Height adjustment: A pneumatic adjustment lever allows you to raise or lower the chair. If you're using a traditional chair, your feet will be flat on the floor, your thighs horizontal to the desk, and your arms resting at desk height.

Backrest: With an adjustable height and angle, the backrest should be 12 to 19 inches wide and support the natural curve of your spine.

Seat width and depth: The right chair will include a seat that's wide enough for your body. Its depth will give you 2 to 4 inches of room between the back of your knees and your chair as you sit with your back against the chair's backrest.

Adjustable lumbar support: Raise or lower the lumbar support as needed so that you're comfortable as you sit in the chair.

Armrests: Adjustable armrests allow your arms and shoulders to relax comfortably.

If you sit at a desk

You can implement these suggestions to help keep your spine straight:

• Look straight ahead

• Put your feet on the floor so that your knees are level with your hips.

• Adjust the height of your chair or use a footrest, stool, box or pile of books if necessary.

• Bring your elbows in close to your side to prevent the temptation to lean.

• If you're looking at a computer screen or reading, place the monitor or book at eye level.

• Every 20 to 30 minutes, stand and extend your arms away from your body. This action opens your body, and when you sit down again, you'll automatically sit straighter.

Exercise Regularly

A strong body and good posture go together. You can achieve both results when you do several exercises regularly that support your spine and improve your back health and posture:

Strengthen your core. The muscles around your abdomen and pelvic area. When your core is strong, those muscles keep you in alignment. As a bonus, a strong core can reduce urinary incontinence and improve your athletic ability. Pilates, yoga, walking and various gym machines and exercises strengthen these essential areas.

Support your spine. The muscles around your spine weaken as you age, so use resistance bands or gym equipment to exercise your back, neck, pelvic and side muscles.

Stretch often. Whether you stand against the wall and make slow snow angels, perform lunges or do twisting lumbar stretches, stretching exercises improve your spine health.

Do resistance training. It can halt or reverse bone loss and osteoporosis.

Perform weight-bearing exercises. Walking, running, stair climbing and weight lifting build bone density. Walk daily or hit the gym as you strengthen your spine and posture.

Take up Pilates, yoga or Tai Chi. These disciplines improve your core, flexibility and strength. They're also easily adaptable to your needs no matter how flexible or strong you are.

Practice balancing. Start by standing with your feet together until you're able to remain steady. Then practice standing with a staggered stance. Finally, stand on one leg with support from a chair or wall and then without support. As you successfully balance, you also improve your posture.

Improve Your Diet

Believe it or not, what you eat can affect your posture. The right diet strengthens the bones and muscles that support your spine.

Ideally, a healthy spine diet includes an abundance of green, leafy vegetables and a variety of fruits. Eat enough protein and calcium, too. A multivitamin is also essential as you ensure you have enough vitamin D, calcium and other essential nutrients in your daily diet.

Be sure you stay hydrated, too. Water supports the elasticity of your spine's soft tissue, decreases painful disc bulges or ruptures, and helps your spine maintain its correct shape.

Check Your Medication

The medicines you take address your health issues, but they can affect your posture. Talk to your doctor about your posture and ask if any of your medications or dosages are negatively impacting your posture or spine strength.

Next, ask for a bone mineral density scan. It detects osteoporosis. With the results, you and your doctor can decide if you need hormone-based medications like calcitonin, Evista (raloxifene) or parathyroid hormone or bisphosphonates such as Boniva, Fosamax or Reclast. These medications can stop or reverse bone density loss, strengthen your back and improve your posture.

Your body and spine change as you age. You can fight back and strengthen your spine, though, in several ways. Start implementing these tips today, and you'll improve your posture and reduce your health risks


edgemont senior living a


Saturday, April 9 & Sunday, April 10, 2016 from 10am - 4pm

Presentation Centre - 3142 Highland Blvd, North Vancouver

RSVP to 604-929-6361 or





Life planning, like so many other things, is often harder to begin than to finish. Society shies away from discussing death and its impact on others. As a result, many things are often left undone until it’s too late.
In some cases, this just makes it harder on the person tasked with finding and pulling together all the necessary information. In today’s digital age, this can mean assets are lost forever.
STEP 1- Begin the Conversation
You can’t finish what you never start. Review these
online resources and choose an approach you find
most comfortable.
*The Talk of a Lifetime
offers a free workbook to get you started
*Deathwise (
download their “Wise Conversations Starter Kit”
*The Conversation Project
offers a free starter kit
STEP 2- Lead By Example
Don’t ask a parent or family member to do whatyou aren’t willing to do or haven’t yet done.By leading the way, you’re protecting your own familyfrom the frustrations of handling your affairs withoutguidance and access, should something unexpectedhappen to you.
Leading by example also helps you provide assistance to someone who is hesitant. With your newfound experience, it will be easier to show them how to pull their information together!
STEP 3- Use and Share Resources
– This online life planning service poses a series of questions to help customize plans, including “to do” lists, resources and forms based on your state. (The basic plan is free; $75/year for a premium plan with all options.)
– An unfortunate name, but an excellent resource for life planning. This site is the brainchild of Chanel Reynolds, who found
herself dealing with too many details while grieving the unexpected loss of her young husband. She urges everyone to plan ahead because, “It takes way more energy to worry about something than it does to be relieved.” (Free.)
– Offers both print and digital download versions of two planning products. (Priced from $15 to $95.)
NOTE:If you are a small business owner or own an online business, you have additional concerns. Discuss this with your real estate agent. They are small business owners too!

Walkable Neighbourhoods Bring health Benefits

You’ve already heard that Millennials, probable future buyers of your home, favor walkable neighborhoods where they can reach transit, restaurants, and shopping without a car. 

But there’s another reason to pick a walkable community when you’re downsizing or choosing a new neighborhood. Walkable communities can have a positive effect on your health, specifically your blood pressure.

That’s according to preliminary findings of a study (see: and by Dr. Maria Chiu, a scientist with the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

The research suggests that people living in walkable neighborhoods had a 54 percent lower risk of high blood pressure when compared to those who moved to less walkable areas.

Researchers used Walk Score ( site that allows you to type in an address to see just how walkable it is, and data from the Canadian Community Health Survey to see what happened to participants’ blood pressure as they moved from highly walkable neighborhoods to less walkable areas.

The theory is that those living in pedestrian-friendly areas incorporated physical activity into their routines as they went about taking care of the daily tasks of life.

So measuring the pedestrian friendliness of a neighborhood is worth considering when you’re vetting properties.

Senior housing challenges

Finding a walkable community is a great start for aging well. But more than walkability creates a good neighborhood for aging in place.

It also entails a host of other factors, including affordability and access to transit and home services.

A recent report, Seniors and Housing: The Challenge Ahead (, by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, outlines how well Canada is prepared for an aging population and what it needs to do to put in place the infrastructure that will allow the tsunami of seniors to live well.

There are challenges ahead and work to be done. Here are some study highlights. 

Growing demographic

Seniors are expected to account for almost one in four Canadians by 2036, with the most rapid population jumps expected among those 85 and older.

 Housing affordability

Close to 700,000 senior-led households face housing affordability challenges. One in four such households spend 30 percent or more on housing. And even though the majority of seniors would like to age in their own communities, there has been a steep decline in affordable housing options.

Government investment

The federal government’s annual contribution of $1.6 billion for social housing is scheduled to expire over the next 20 years. And by 2040, just when the senior population is expected to double, federal support for senior social housing will disappear.

Getting around

When people can no longer drive, their ability to age in place diminishes. How will seniors get to places to serve their basic needs – the grocery store and doctors’ offices – and the activities for social and psychological well-being without access to transportation?

Rethinking and retooling the design of cities and developing better transit options for aging Canadians remains a challenge.

Solving some of the problems require government intervention at both the local and federal levels, according to the research.

Among the report’s suggestions are finding ways for local government to deliver accessible transit and lower rental housing for seniors. And the federal government can reinvest in social housing and deliver incentives to build affordable housing and support programs to help seniors retrofit their homes for better aging in place.

Wintering well

The winter chill has already begun settling in. If you’re not a snowbird, the months ahead can be bleak and daunting.

Norwegians have a way to make winter less oppressive. They call it koselig, and it entails generating warmth, light, coziness, and conviviality.

The concept seems a bit vague, but several people have written about the more concrete aspects of it.


Some of the strategies may be worth a try this year.

So pull out your blankets, build a fire, light some candles, and throw a dinner party.

Celebrate the season.

And good luck.

Health Benefits of Resilience

Recent news

Maybe you’ve missed some important news stories in recent months.  They include the health benefits of resilience, ways for cities to better serve an aging population, and the woes of caregiving. Here are some links:

Health benefits of resilience: