Retired Teachers focus on healthy and happy retirement

Have you ever heard someone joke that if they’d known they would live so long they would have taken better care of themselves? Living well in retirement is about more than having enough money; good health is also a critical factor.

With that in mind, twenty-six members of the South Bruce Retired Women Teachers of Ontario/ Organisation des enseignantes retraitées de l’Ontario (RWTO/OERO) met in Southampton at the Walker House on October 25th to socialize, conduct business and enjoy a mini wellness fair.

South Bruce branch President Pat Emmerton welcomed the ladies including visiting RWTO/OERO Provincial President Sharron Colter.

(L) Pat Emmerton welcomes Sharron Colter

In her address to the group, Colter emphasized the benefits of belonging to RWTO which include maintaining social connections, community outreach opportunities and additional health insurance benefits.

Retired teachers know that social interaction and personal relationships are very important to a happy retirement. That’s why each meeting of the South Bruce branch incorporates ample time for casual visiting to give members a chance to catch up on personal news.

In the business portion of the meeting, Betty Johnson was recognized and thanked for her many years of service as the branch’s insurance convenor. Christina Weylie was welcomed as the new convenor.

Another warm welcome was extended to new member Gail Hughes.

Lynda Cerson and Christine Roberts reported on their experiences at the RWTO/OERO 2018 convention held in early June in Alliston. Roberts highlighted the vital roles performed by members of the branch which was one of seven who organized and hosted the annual provincial gathering.

In a touching memorial service, Audrey MacDonald paid tribute to the lives of two South Bruce members who died in the past months: Leona Cavanaugh of Southampton and Margaret Ferguson of Ripley.

After taking care of business, there was more social time and a delicious lunch served by the staff of the Walker House Restaurant.

The program following the meal consisted of three short wellness presentations on the topics of nutrition, falls prevention and pain relief through acupuncture.

   (left) Delegates Christine Roberts and Lynda Cerson flank a display of materials from the RWTO 2018 provincial convention

Nicole Ruff, a registered Dietician with the Grey Bruce Health Services, stressed measures to prevent loss of independence by maintaining muscle mass through exercise and proper nutrition. She explained the changing nutritional requirements of older adults and provided handouts to help plan meals that contain enough vital protein.

Emily Powell, a Health Promoter with the Grey Bruce Health Unit, focussed on risk factors that lead to falls, ensuing loss of independence and often, hospitalization. In her address, dehydration was identified as one of many common and easily remedied risk factors. She also provided many useful materials including safety checklists for the home and exercises that can easily be done at the kitchen sink.

Tessa Shier is a self-employed registered acupuncturist in Kincardine. She chronicled her personal and professional journey from massage therapist to her embrace of Chinese medicine and subsequent training and accreditation to become an acupuncturist. Although pain relief is the most common treatment application, Shier outlined many other conditions that can be alleviated through acupuncture.

With instructions for the November 15th Christmas Tea at the Kincardine Baptist Church and inspired by the passion of the presenters, the ladies of the South Bruce RWTO left the meeting armed with new knowledge and tools to make improvements in their healthy and happy retirement.

If you are a retired woman teacher from any part of the world, please consider joining RWTO/OERO. Regardless of whether or not you are collecting a teacher’s pension, or how long you taught, our organization offers many benefits: the opportunity to continue networking, maintain friendships and enjoy camaraderie and the opportunity to participate in the various insurance plans which are available to all members.

Retired women teachers throughout South Bruce County whether newly retired, new to their community or new to RWTO, are always welcome as a guest or new member. Interested ladies should contact President Pat Emmerton, 519-396-1120 or Treasurer Carole Machan, 519-395-6589.