Health & Wellness Workshops

We have staff that have been trained by COSCO to offer these workshops locally.

Over the last few years, thousands of people throughout B.C. have participated in one of the COSCO Seniors’ Health and Wellness Institute’s free health promotion workshops. Since we launched Falls Prevention in 2007, the demand for workshops and the number of workshops offered have grown exponentially.
We now offer 38 different workshops.
Each workshop is available free of charge to any seniors’ group. The sessions are 90 minutes long and are delivered by a trained senior volunteer facilitator who presents practical and useable information, free of technical jargon.
If your group would like to book a specific workshop, please contact us.

Living Better

ADVOCACY FOR CAREGIVERS – Advice for people who feel that they need to advocate for friends or family members or for people they are employed to assist. Outlines a step by step process and courteous but firm strategies.
CAREGIVING – Many seniors care for family members or friends and sometimes the workload and stress can harm the caregiver. We examine causes of caregiver burn-out and suggest how to avoid it. Sources of assistance are reviewed.
CHAIR YOGA – Presented by an expert yoga teacher.
CREATING AN AGE-FRIENDLY COMMUNITY – The importance of seniors promoting the World Health Organization’s age-friendly community goals cannot be overemphasized. This workshop will assist individuals and groups to achieve community environments that lead to health and well-being, not only for older adults but for all citizens.
HEALTHY EATING FOR SENIORS – We review Canada’s revised Food Guide and describe how to use food label information when making purchases

LIFE WITHOUT DRIVING – The difficult decision to no longer drive has a profound impact on many seniors. We explore warning signs of the need to consider other ways of getting around, encourage advance planning, and outline alternatives to driving.
MEMORY AND AGING – This workshop explains how memory functions and how it changes as we age. We give tips for maintaining and improving memory, and advice about when to seek professional help.
SENIOR SEXUALITY – This workshop explores the myths surrounding senior sexuality and provides factual information about the maintenance of intimate relationships as we age. Advice about health concerns is included.
SLEEP – Many older adults find it difficult to get enough sleep and this workshop explores the reasons and remedies. We give advice about lifestyle changes that may be help.
SOCIAL CONNECTEDNESS – Loneliness is a killer. This workshop examines the social determinants of health. It helps participants to determine the level of social connectedness they need and how to achieve it.
STAYING FIT AT HOME – If you’re not comfortable joining fitness groups or going to the gym, this workshop describes simple exercises that can be used at home to maintain and improve health and wellness.
TECHNOLOGY AND AGING – Many recent technological advances are of use to older adults. This workshop describes what is available now and what the future promises to provide.

Better Health

CHRONIC DISEASES – We outline the warning signs of four of the diseases that are most likely to affect the health of senior adults: Cancer, Diabetes, Heart Disease and Lung Disease. Early recognition is emphasized.
DEALING WITH STRESS – None of us can lead totally stress-free lives, and perhaps we shouldn’t want to. However, excessive stress harms the quality of life of many seniors. This workshop helps to identify and handle sources of stress.

HEARING – We review the anatomy of the ear, common causes of hearing loss, various remedies, and how to choose hearing aids.
HYPERTENSION – This workshop explains hypertension and encourages participants to be vigilant about monitoring their blood pressure. We review the effects of high blood pressure and treatment options, and stress the importance of prompt diagnosis.
IDENTIFYING ADDICTION – Three major kinds of addiction that seniors may need to deal with are Alcohol Abuse, Gambling Addiction and Medication Abuse. We examine the risk factors, and suggest how to approach a friend or family member when you suspect addiction.
KNOWING YOUR BLADDER – A case study approach is used to explain how the bladder functions and the causes of bladder incontinence. We discuss possible remedies and life style changes that can help to reduce or eliminate this problem.
MEDICATION AWARENESS FOR SENIORS – This workshop examines the potential misuse of medications and provides information about how seniors can interact with doctors and pharmacists to ensure safe and effective use of medications.
MENTAL HEALTH – Many seniors are probably more frightened of losing their mental health than their physical health. This workshop concentrates on ways people can contribute to their own mental health, ways in which the brain can be stimulated to remain healthy.
NAVIGATING THE HEALTH CARE SYSTEM – We review many of the available medical services and what you can expect from them. Effective communication between the patient and the health care provider is emphasized.
OSTEOPOROSIS, THE SILENT THIEF – This bone disease is often the underlying cause of falls which can be devastating in their impact on the quality of life for seniors. We discuss the causes, risk factors, and recent treatment options.
STROKE – As we age, the possibility of experiencing a stroke increases. We describe early warning signs and provide information about prevention.
UNDERSTANDING OSTEOARTHRITIS – This debilitating disease is the most common form of arthritis. We describe the symptoms, explain self-management strategies, and review various therapies.
VISION – We describe the structure of the eye and explain major diseases that may affect older adults. We stress prevention and explore possible treatments.

Legal issues

ADVANCE DIRECTIVES – This workshop explains new provincial legislation on advance directives to instruct care providers about your preferences for illness and end of life care.
FRAUD AND SCAMS – This workshop investigates the ways in which people are taken in by schemers whose sole purpose is to rob them of their money or possessions. Seniors are frequent victims, and need to be aware of how to protect themselves.
HANDLING MONEY – This workshop provides participants with strategies on how to make the best decisions about the use of their funds. We stress fraud and scam avoidance and provide information about banking and borrowing.
HOUSING – We explain options for various care requirements and review the procedures to consider when looking for solutions to your housing needs.
PENSION AND TAX OPTIONS: INVOLUNTARY SEPARATION, CAREGIVER AND DISABILITY TAX RULES – This workshop describes the potential pension benefits that may occur if a couple enters involuntary separation. The workshop also deals with the rules which govern tax allowances for caregivers and disabled people. The procedures and forms to use to apply for these allowances are reviewed.
PERSONAL PLANNING – We explain the role of Representation Agreements and other legal documents in planning for the possibility that you may need someone to speak for you regarding personal care, end of life care, and certain financial matters. The wisdom of having a personal plan is emphasized.
WILLS AND ESTATE PLANNING – We review the legal rules for preparing wills in B.C., the duties of an executor, legal terminology, and pitfalls to avoid.
Safety
EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS FOR SENIORS – When disaster strikes older adults need to be ready to take the necessary measures to survive for lengthy periods of time, sometimes without assistance. We explore the preparation of emergency kits, safety procedures in dangerous situations and give advice about when and how to seek help.
FALLS PREVENTION – We briefly review the alarming impact falls have on the well-being of seniors and health care services, and identify hazards that contribute to the likelihood of falls in homes and communities. We recommend safeguards and demonstrate exercises to improve balance and strength.
IDENTIFYING ELDER ABUSE AND NEGLECT – Abuse and neglect of seniors takes many forms. Participants learn how to identify suspicious signs and symptoms. We review potential causes, intervention techniques, and where to find help.
MATURE DRIVER ASSESSMENT PROCEDURES – For various reasons, people may be ordered to have their driving skills assessed. One of those reasons is reaching the age of 80. For many, this is a mysterious and frightening prospect. The workshop describes how aging may affect driving skills, and suggests how people may compensate. The B.C. assessment process is described in detail, and participants are advised how to do their best in the various testing situations they may face.
PEDESTRIAN SAFETY – Although walking has many benefits for older adults there is also the need to understand its potential hazards and to take the necessary precautions. This workshop also deals with the use of public transit and improving safety in the community.
SAFETY IN THE HOME – We provide detailed checklists of potential dangers both outside the home and every room indoors. We review fire hazards, medication use and childproofing the home. We show safety devices, and provide tips for effective renovations.