Kawartha North Family Health Team

Another thing to add to the list….

Do you ever turn on the radio and hear that it is “National __________ Day” and think to yourself – do we have a day / week / month for everything? If you said yes, you are not alone and like myself, you have likely also thought – WHY do we have a day for that?

Well as I listened to CBC the other day, it was brought to my attention that November is “Make a Will month” and I had those very thoughts. Later on, I reflected on the fact that I was thinking about my will, something that like many Canadians, I try to avoid considering for obvious reasons and it dawned on me that without that notice I would likely not be pondering this necessity.

So, I use this opportunity to spark a difficult conversation. I hope that you have heeded our advice over the years and consequently are living a healthy and long life, but some things remain inevitable despite our best efforts. I trust we all know the reason to have a will so I would like to take this one step further and say – do you also have a Power of Attorney for your Personal Care? If, heaven forbid, you become unable to make decisions about your health or your housing, is someone in a position to do so on your behalf? If you have answered yes, you are already ahead of many Canadians. If you have discussed your wishes with your Power of Attorney to ensure that they will be able to speak effectively on your behalf and have advised your Health Care Provider who this person will be, you have tackled one of the most difficult subjects and we commend you. If not, why not take Make a Will month as an opportunity to start a difficult conversation?

So be healthy, but also be prepared.


Effective January 2, 2018 we will change our lab hours to Monday and Tuesday 8:00am – 3:00pm, CLOSED FOR LUNCH 11:30-12:30.  Please note that we will no longer be open on Wednesdays unless Monday is a holiday.

Happy New Year.

Important holiday hours!

There will be no lab services over Christmas and our walk in will run Dec 28 noon-2 in Bobcaygeon and Dec. 29 9-noon in Fenelon Falls.  happy holidays

Bone health


We have all heard that women over a certain age are at an increased risk of Osteoporosis, but that is where our knowledge often ends.  Did you know that both men and women typically reach their peak bone mass in their early twenties?  How about the fact that while one in four women in Canada over age 50 has Osteoporosis, according to McLeod Medical, one in eight men do as well.

So what can you do to halt the development of osteoporosis and improve your overall bone health?  First and foremost of course is nutrition.   Bone is a living tissue which constantly renews itself and therefore we need to provide the basic building blocks.  For persons over 50, Canada’s Food Guide recommends three servings of milk and alternatives (including yogurt and cheese) per day.  If you are lactose intolerant, remember that goats’ milk is lactose free, many of the soy and almond beverages are calcium fortified and canned salmon with bones is not only high in calcium but also Omega fatty acids.

In addition to calcium, bones are also made up of protein which gives bones their strength and flexibility.  Again, Canada’s Food Guide recommends 2-3 servings of meat or alternatives per day for adults over 50.  These include the obvious (beef, pork and chicken), but also beans, lentils, kale, nuts, tofu and egg whites.  Not only does lack of protein lead to weakened bones, but also to weaker muscles and increased falls.

Of course simply feeding your muscles and bones won’t do it, we also have to exercise to keep them strong, prevent falls and slow bone loss.  Combining strength training, and no you don’t have to lift your own body weight at the gym – the weight of a soup can will do it, with weight bearing aerobic exercise such as walking or Tai Chi is the perfect bone building combination.

So stay healthy and don’t forget about your bones when considering your healthy body.

Your friends at the Kawartha North FHT

Are you playing safe?

The finding that Jeremiah Perry, the young man who recently drowned during a trip to Algonquin Park, failed to pass his mandatory swimming test has made me think about how many of us take our life by the lake for granted.

I spend a great deal of time on and near the water and am constantly amazed at the number of people who choose not to wear life jackets and more importantly, do not encourage their children to do so. I know, I have heard all the logic – “this lake isn’t very deep, I am a good swimmer, I am right here with my son/daughter…” During the hazy, lazy days of summer, it is all too easy to relax to the point of being dangerous, so while I don’t want to be a spoil sport, let’s all just remember some basic water safety.

  1. I personally consider myself to be an excellent swimmer and I spend a lot of time in a canoe, however, a number of years back I flipped my canoe in early November and the cold water completely stunned me. I was fortunate that the water was very shallow and I could stand as I certainly could not think to swim when I first went in, the shock simply overwhelmed me. Take that one step further and think what happens if you were hit with that boat or canoe as you go in? These days, there is no reason not to wear a Personal Flotation Device, they are comfortable and fashionable if you choose and will save your life!
  2. Of course, the first line of protection is still learning to swim. Aside from being great exercise and good fun, living in this region swimming should be considered a life skill not only for ourselves, but those around us. That being said, remember that if your kids are not strong swimmers, they should be within arms’ reach at all times or wearing a PFD. Think about how difficult it is to move through water quickly, even a short distance can prove too far so keep your children safe at all times.
  3. And last but not least is that daredevil elephant in the room…. Cliff and bridge diving. Don’t get me wrong, I have leapt from some heights in my younger days, including the 10m diving board, but unless you know the exact water conditions it is not safe. Even in a controlled environment like the pool, landing wrong will lead to serious concerns and potential harm, so think before you leap.

All that being said, let’s all get out and enjoy what the Kawartha Lakes have to offer but let’s be safe doing it.

Your friends at the Kawartha North FHT

Summer fun in the sun!

Summer is a fun time that can be packed with activities but it is also a time to be wary of long-lasting health impacts, so before you head for the beach, the park or even the back-yard, Health Canada recommends you take a few minutes to learn about sun safety. You can protect your family and still have fun.

  • If possible, avoid being in the sun between 11:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.
  • Look for shade or stay under a tree.
  • Protect your eyes by wearing UV blocking sunglasses.
  • Clothing such as a broad brimmed hat, long-sleeved shirt, and long pants can protect your skin. Tuck a handkerchief under the back of your hat to help prevent sunburn on the neck.
  • Some medication can make skin more sensitive to UV rays; consult your doctor if you have any questions.
  • Protect your health by using a broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15.
  • Get children used to wearing sunscreen lotion and don’t let them play or sleep in the sun while in a stroller or play pen.
  • Use the recommended amount of sunscreen and respect the waiting period between application and exposure to the sun.
  • If you are sweating heavily or swimming, reapply sunscreen often to get the best protection.
  • Remember that you can combine sunscreen and insect repellents. Apply the sunscreen first, followed by the insect repellent.
  • Drink plenty of fluids and have cottage drinking water tested by a Provincial or private laboratory if it is not municipally tested.


So get out there and enjoy the summer sun safely!

Your friends at the Kawartha North FHT


Free Lyme Disease Workshop

At this time the workshop is limited to healthcare professionals. However, please contact us if you would like to be put on a waiting list. If there is room in the workshop we will do our best to accommodate you.

This workshop will be delivered by Internationally renowned Lyme expert, Dr. Petra Hopf-Siedel, a neurologist and psychiatrist.

The workshop will be held July 5th 2017 from 1-4pm.

It will take place at the Bobcaygeon Municipal Service Centre (upstairs)

123 East St. S. (Hwy 36) Bobcaygeon.

Please register by emailing [email protected] with your contact information

Please click here for additional information.


Getting out – part 1 (for the birds)

Let’s be honest, we all have good intentions to get outside, get fresh air and exercise but when it comes time to follow through there is always another load of laundry waiting, a bit of drizzle or a multitude of other reasons to put it off. So this will be a multi-part series on “reasons” to skip your chores, grab your umbrella and get outside.

Over the years, I have come to appreciate the joy of watching our fine feathered friends in their natural habitat and have come to realize that we don’t need to take a week-long excursion to get the joy of seeing the variety and beauty in our surroundings. Simply walking as far as you are comfortable, will expose you to a number of species; and it is amazing the sense of accomplishment the first time you know each one you encounter without peaking at your reference guide. Make it a contest with yourself or friends. Play “birding bingo” and see who first spots a row of five species. Remember, any excuse to get out is a good excuse.

And if the physical benefits of going for walk in the fresh air aren’t sufficient, how about a recent study by the University of Exeter that showed “watching birds near your home is good for your mental health”. The study found that even exposure to the most common types of birds was found to lower levels of depression, anxiety and stress.

So pick up a reference guide and meet a new feathered friend for the good of your health.

Your friends at the Kawartha North FHT