Community Health Centre:
Healthy People, Vibrant Communities

Fall 2022 Newsletter

Upcoming Programs & Events 

  • 2S-LGBTQQIAP+ Community Hike takes place November 24th at 5pm at the Bognor Marsh. Look for progress flags! 
  • Check in and Chat: Are you feeling alone? Are you still isolated and lonely? Or are you worried about someone living on their own? We have locally trained volunteers who make weekly or bi-weekly phone calls to our participants to help them stay connected to the community. To register or for more information about participating or volunteering in this program, please contact Geoff Van Geem at 519-369-2222 x 6375 or 226-379-8423 or email geoff.vangeem
Check out the event calendar for more program information! 
The Southgate Seniors Advisory Committee hosted the Southgate Seniors Health Fair on Wednesday, September 21, 2022.  Over 55 Exhibitors filled the Dundalk Arena, ranging from the Dundalk Fire Department and Grey Bruce Health Unit, to Community Connection 211 and the Alzheimer Society Grey Bruce.  After such a long stretch of having no community fairs during the pandemic, it was great to see SO many familiar faces including: The Cowtown Lunch Bunch, The Dundalk Young at Heart, United Seniors Citizens of Ontario (USCO) local chapter and Hillside Seniors/Swinton Park.  There was a free nutritious lunch and hot coffee for all to enjoy.  There were many interactive demonstrations, including Tai Chi and Pickleball, as well as various workshops that supported this year’s theme ‘Seniors Quality of Life’.  The CHC hosted 3 sessions:  Registered Dietitian, Donna Martin facilitated “Healthy Eating on a Budget”, Executive Director, Alex Hector hosted “Rural Primary Care” and Director, Tanya Shute facilitated the Q&A on Elder Abuse after a riveting performance by SHEATRE “Ye Canna Throw Yer Granny off the Bus”.  Thank-you to our CHC team members, Geoff Van Geem and Kathy Fraser for supporting the SAC with planning and a BIG CONGRATULATIONS to the organizing committee for another successful event.

Photography by Mary Fowler and Mary Green
Flu Shots & Covid-19 Boosters
Submitted by Sarah Ellis, Director of Clinical Services 
As the weather gets colder and more people gather inside to keep warm, respiratory viruses are common. Influenza (flu), and COVID-19 are two common respiratory viruses.
Vaccination against influenza and COVID-19 save lives and helps our health care system by reducing the number of people who need medical care.
  • Influenza is very contagious and can spread quickly and easily.
  • Some people with the flu only get mildly ill. Others, like those over 65 years and young children, can get very sick.
  • It is recommended by Public Health Canada that everyone 6 months and older should get an annual influenza vaccine (flu shot).  
  • This vaccination is especially important for people at high risk of health complications from the flu and COVID-19.
  • The virus that causes COVID-19 has evolved over time and some of these changes have created new variants. Manufacturers have updated their vaccines to provide better protection against these variants.
  • The updated vaccines are called "bivalent" because they target 2 strains of COVID-19 virus: the original strain and an Omicron strain.
  • Original COVID-19 vaccines and bivalent vaccines are both very effective in protecting against severe illness and outcomes from COVID-19.
  • Bivalent vaccines are only approved for use as a booster dose (Dose 1 and Dose 2 COVID-19 vaccine should not be bivalent). 
Both influenza vaccine and COVID-19 Booster doses are available at South East Grey Community Health Centre and local pharmacies. Be sure to call ahead and book an appointment.
Vaccines for COVID-19 -
Flu (influenza): Get your flu shot -
COVID‑19 vaccines |
National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI): Statements and publications -
Patient Spotlight – meet Linda Woods
When my Nurse Practitioner informed me back in April 2022 that I had prediabetes and offered a referral to speak to a dietitian, I was a bit hesitant. I was hesitant because I was worried that I was going to be put on a diet and feel hungry all the time! However, to my surprise, that didn’t happen. The dietitian helped me understand how my food choices effected my blood sugar. She ensured that I wasn’t hungry by encouraging me to eat protein to not only help manage my blood sugar but also to help me feel full. The changes I made were not drastic so I never felt like I was on a “diet”. My dietitian encouraged me try new foods which would be beneficial for my health, which I would have never tried before.

I live on a farm and have always been an active person so my activity level didn’t change throughout the process.

At my most recent appointment with my nurse practitioner, I was over the moon with my results:
  • My three month blood sugar average went from “prediabetes” range to “normal” range
  • My blood pressure improved
  • My cholesterol improved
  • I went down two pant sizes
I was surprised that by changing what I am eating could effect so many aspects of my health but it makes sense as it is all related!

I am so grateful to receive care at the South East Grey Community Health Centre.
- Printed with consent from Linda Woods

Submitted by Tanya Shute, Director of Integrated Health Strategies & Partnerships 

Diwali, also spelled Divali, is a religious festival celebrated worldwide by Hindus, Jains, Sikhs and some Buddhists. Known as the ‘festival of light’, Diwali commemorates the spiritual victory of light over darkness and is characterized by the use of stunning lights, candles, and oil lamps.  The name is derived from the Sanskrit term dipavali, meaning “row of lights”.  Diwali is generally a time for visiting, exchanging gifts, wearing new clothes, feasting, helping those less fortunate, and setting off fireworks. 
Diwali occurs every year after the conclusion of the harvest to coincide with the new moon that comes out between October and November - it symbolizes the triumph of knowledge over ignorance or, in other words, light over darkness. The monsoon season in the Indian subcontinent tends to wrap up around October time and the festival also marks the end of this time - representing the start of a new year and the lead-up to winter. Diwali lasts for five days. The third day of Diwali is the main celebration.  This year, Diwali was celebrated on Monday, October 24, 2022
Can you say Happy Diwali?
In many Western cultures we commemorate our holidays and festivals with phrases like “Happy Halloween”, “Merry Christmas”, “Happy New Year” and so on but this practice is not consistent with all cultures.

For example, in China’s iconic Dragon Boat Festival it would be considered inappropriate to wish someone a “happy” Dragon Boat Festival as the historical context of the celebration holds somber roots. However, according to the Times of India, saying ‘Happy Diwali’ is okay but there are longer greetings available which you can also use.  Here is a list to spread festive cheer during Diwali:

Happy Diwali wishes to you and your loved ones. Best wishes and regards ahead of Diwali to you and your family. On the occasion of Diwali, I wish you happiness and glory, prosperity and blessings. May you have a fantastic Diwali with your loved ones.

May the mirth and merriment of the magical festival of lights give you endless moments of joy and love.

May the Goddess of wealth and the God of Knowledge bless you with their choicest blessings.

Let’s make this Diwali joyous and bright,

Let’s celebrate in true sense this festival of light.

May the merriment of this wonderful festival of Diwali fill your life with infinite joy. Happy Diwali to you and the ones who matter to you!

Falls Prevention
Submitted by Physiotherapists Sara Ward & Annette O'Reilly 

With the change in temperatures, comes the change in seasons. As the seasons change as do the surfaces that we walk on. They become more wet, slippery, and dare we say that the dreaded “S” and “I” (snow and ice) words are not far around the corner.
As such, now is an important time to discuss, slips, trips and general fall prevention.
Grey Bruce Health Unit – Preventing Falls for Older Adults
A fall can have a devastating impact on a person and can result in injury, chronic pain, reduced quality of life, but even without injury can also cause one to lose confidence in their abilities and as such, reduce their daily activities (Parachute, 2022).
Here are some recommendations to remember when it comes to falls prevention (Parachute, 2022):
  • Exercise: focus on building your strength and improving your balance. If you need help developing a program in this area, consult with your doctor or nurse practitioner and they can refer you to the appropriate provider.
  • Get enough sleep.
  • Take your time – especially when walking or changing positions.
  • Balance your body through good nutrition and hydration.
  • Get your sight and hearing checked regularly.
  • Manage your medications and review them regularly with your pharmacist, doctor or nurse practitioner as some may make you prone to dizziness and falling.
  • Wear well-fitting, sturdy shoes.
  • Consider using a cane or other mobility device if needed.
  • Maintain proper use of eyeglasses and hearing aids.
  • Make sure you have proper lighting in hallways, stairs and walkways, as well as in the bedroom and bathroom within your home.
  • Keep stairs free of clutter and exterior stairs and walkways free of clutter, ice or snow.
  • Install hand rails along stairs and safety grab bars in the bathroom.
  • Check your home for slipping and tripping hazards, and use non-slip mats or rugs.
  • Ensure regularly used items are within reach.
Grey Bruce Health Unit – Preventing Falls for Older Adults
Parachute. (2022, August 4). Falls in seniors.

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