March 30th Weekly Update

Posted on March 30 2020

Monday, March 30, 2020

Sage is committed to sharing the most up-to-date information and resources on COVID-19 with seniors, caregivers, stakeholders, community partners, and professionals in the sector. You are receiving this email because you indicated you would like to receive regular updates from us. 

WHAT’S HAPPENING AT SAGE

Sage is working remotely to support seniors during the COVID-19 pandemic. We continue to have limited access to our building at this time:

  • Please note that the Seniors Safe House programming will continue to function as normal. In an emergency, call 911. If you are a senior, or know of a senior, experiencing abuse, please hang up and dial 780.702.1520 for our Safe House Intake. For 24-hour support, call the Seniors Abuse Helpline at 780.454.8888.
  • All non-essential programs and groups have been suspended, including the income tax clinic. 
  • Health services and social work programs are still seeing clients by appointment after a pre-screening. For those requiring appointments for the health services program, please call 780.423.5510 and press 3. For those needing social work services, please call 780.423.5510 and press 4 and leave a message.

Food Services

The Edmonton Food Bank has a contactless food hamper program which will deliver a food hamper to your front door if you meet the following criteria:

 

Food Resources Available for Low Income Individuals in Edmonton include:

  • Campus Food Bank (SUB, UAlberta) is closely monitoring updates in response to the COVID-19 situation. In response to the move to online classes on University of Alberta campuses, the Campus Food will remain OPEN on Wednesday and Thursday from 12pm to 6pm. 
  • Hamper Program Information
  • Halal Food Hamper (IFSSA) in partnership with Edmonton’s Food Bank. Call (780) 900-2777
  • Free Food in Edmonton: Inform Alberta’s directory to Free Food Services
  • Fresh Routes: If you are in isolation and are unable to get fresh food, Fresh Routes delivers food baskets at no to low cost depending on eligibility. For help, call Steve 403-249-8350

 

Grocery Store Information: (Seniors Hours )

  • Costco (all locations): 8:00 AM - 9:00 AM Tuesday & Thursday (over 60+ age or disability) 
  • IGA (9106 142 St NW): 8:00 AM - 9:00 AM everyday 
  • Safeway (all locations): 8:00 AM - 9:00 AM Monday - Friday
  • Save On Foods (all locations): 7:00 AM - 8:00 AM everyday 
  • Superstore (all locations): 7:00 AM - 8: AM Tuesday & Friday 

 

Grocery Delivery/Pickup Services:

  • Good Food: Meal ingredients and recipes delivered weekly
  • Instacart: Grocery delivery service, their shoppers will buy food and deliver to your door.
  • Save on Foods Online: Pick up & Delivery options
  • Superstore PC Express: Order online, grab and go at store or pick up locations
  • The Organic Box: Order online, focus on local, organic, and health food, including local farm fresh and organic produce boxes. Delivery.  

 

Senior’s Housing Edmonton

  • GEF Seniors Housing. At this point, GEF will still be conducting interviews with applicants who appear healthy, who are symptom free and who have not been in recent contact with someone who has tested positive for Covid-19. GEF will not offer tours of the entire building, but they will allow limited tours of the available suite. Currently, there are no move-ins permitted in accordance with the Alberta Government's COVID-19 guidelines.
  • VISTA Housing for Seniors. Vista will be conducting phone interviews with applicants who are interested. Vista is not allowing tours at the moment, but will allow move-ins. 
  • Operation Friendship Seniors Society. OFSS will not be conducting interviews or move-ins.

 

Applying for Emergency Protection Order

  • Symptom free individuals can still apply for an EPO in person at the EPOP office which is on the 3rd floor of the Courthouse. Hours are 9:00 AM - 4:30 AM Monday - Friday.  
  • For afterhours, please go to the John L Brownlee Building located at 10365 97 St NW, Edmonton, AB T5J 3W7.  

To access after hours support:

  • You will need to go to the WEST SIDE of the Brownlee building. 
  • You will see a LARGE METAL DOOR with a sign which reads "Edmonton Hearing Office".  
  • You must ring the buzzer and then inform the person who answers that you are there to apply for an EPO.  

 

Transportation: Fares Temporarily Suspended 

  • ETS transit continues to function as normal. There are NO fares for any ETS transit at the time including bus, LRT or DATS. Please note that the front bus doors are closed and all riders will need to board the bus from the rear door.
  • There will not be any refunds or prorated reimbursements for March transit passes, but if you have already purchased an April transit pass you can apply for a refund by calling 311.

 

PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT SUPPORT UPDATES 

 

Emergency Isolation Support

  • Eligible working Albertans can receive a one-time emergency isolation support payment of $1,146 if you meet the following criteria:
  • You have experienced total or a significant loss of income as a result of having to self-isolate, or you are the sole caregiver of a dependent who is self-isolating, and
  • You have no other source of compensation, such as workplace sick leave benefits or federal employment insurance benefits

 

Utility Deferral for 90 Days

  • Residential customers can defer electricity and natural gas bill payments for the next 90 days to ensure no one will be cut off, regardless of the service provider. It is recommended to contact your utility provider directly.
  • For more information about this supports for utility deferral, click here: http://www.auc.ab.ca/pages/short-term-billing-assistance.aspx

 

Service Canada In-Person Offices Closed

  • All service Canada offices offering in-person service will close, but Canadians will still be able to access their benefits. The best way to apply for benefits remains online at: https://www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/ei.html.
  • Employees at Service Canada sites will also serve Canadians over the phone to provide service support for EI and pensions applications, in addition to the services provided over the phone by their call centres. They made this decision to allow more Canadians to get the support they need, while better protecting both them and their staff. 
  • We will continue to monitor this situation and update information about these services.

 

Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)

  • This benefit provides $2,000 a month for up to four months for workers who lose their income as a result of the COVID-19pandemic. 
  • The CERB is a simpler and more accessible combination of the previously announced Emergency Care Benefit and Emergency Support Benefit.
  • The CERB will cover Canadians who have lost their job, are sick, quarantined, or taking care of someone who is sick with COVID-19, as well as working parents who must stay home without pay to care for children who are sick or at home because of school and daycare closures. 
  • The CERB would apply to wage earners, as well as contract workers and self-employed individuals who would not otherwise be eligible for Employment Insurance (EI).

 

GST Rebate Increase

  • Low and modest-income Albertans will receive a one-time special payment in May of up to $400 for single people and $600 for couples.

 

Eased Rules for RRIFs

  • The required minimum withdrawal from Registered Retirement Income Funds (RRIFs) will be reduced by 25% in 2020, in recognition of the impact of volatile market conditions on many seniors’ retirement savings.

 

Scams to be Aware of

 

HEALTH AND WELLNESS

Mental Health

  • To see a great, comprehensive resource on mental health during COVID click This article.
  • Alberta Health Services has created a texting service called TEXT4HOPE that provides daily texts aimed at improving mental health. You can sign up here.

 

Preventative Measures

COMMUNITIES CONNECTING 

  • Times like this can truly show the resiliency of the human spirit, as well as the strength of communities coming together to support one another. Here is a wonderful article which showcases a variety of feel-good stories of people coming together to help each other: https://www.goodmorningamerica.com/living/story/love-care-amid-coronavirus-crisis-good-news-happening-69624293
  • Staying connected is important. Sage has implemented a friendly call program. If you would like to be added to Sage’s friendly phone call list, please call 780.423.5510 and press 5 and leave a message requesting to be added to the list. 
  • Do you have a positive story about someone helping out another during this time that you would like to see highlighted in our weekly update? If so, I would love to hear it! Email Amber at aalexander@mysage.ca

RESOURCES

The Edmonton Seniors Coordinating Council has developed a COVID-19 resource page that will be updated regularly. The page includes updates from senior-serving organizations and resources to support seniors and their families during the pandemic, including: 

Are you a professional working with seniors? The National Council on Aging has collated COVID-19 resources for professionals. Click here to learn more. 

If you have questions, please refer to our website: https://www.mysage.ca/. You can also call Sage at 780.423.5510 and leave a message. Please note that it may take us longer than usual to get back to you. 

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