Health and Wellness Newsletter - Week of October 5

Posted on October 9 2020

Sage is committed to sharing the most up-to-date information on COVID-19, along with Health and Wellness resources for older adults, caregivers, stakeholders, community partners, and professionals in the sector. The following information has been curated from reputable and trusted resources..

Do you have an item that you’d like to see highlighted in this weekly update? If so, I would love to hear it! Email John at jvandenbeld@mysage.ca

 

WHAT'S HAPPENING AT SAGE

 

PPE AND MASKS AVAILABLE

Do you need masks? As part of the Edmonton Coordinated Pandemic Response Group, Sage is distributing essential personal protective equipment (PPE) supplies and other resources to seniors throughout Edmonton while supplies last. To get a package, please call 780-701-9007 and leave a message: a staff member will call you back to organize delivery and confirm which supplies are still available.   

SAGE PANDEMIC RESPONSE

Sage is working to support older adults during the COVID-19 pandemic. Although our building remains closed, we are continuing to provide essential services, and staff are working remotely to address client needs. For more information on our ongoing, proactive response to the pandemic, please visit our website.

TAX RETURN HELP

The payment due date has now passed, but Sage volunteers are still available to help with tax returns. To have your income tax return completed, please call 780-423-5510 extension 550 and leave your name and phone number.

SENIORS SAFE HOUSE

The Seniors Safe House continues to function as normal during the pandemic. If you are a senior, or know of a senior, experiencing abuse, please dial 780-702-1520 for our Safe House Intake. For 24-hour support, call the Seniors Abuse Helpline at 780-454-8888. In case of emergency, please call 911.

HEALTH SERVICES PROGRAM

Are you struggling to access health care during the pandemic? Our Health Services program offers short-term supports to seniors, including ongoing support for any of our previous clients who have been unable to access new providers. Nurse Practitioners (NPs) can be consulted about an urgent problem, or to address ongoing chronic health conditions which may be affected during this time of physical distancing.

To make a virtual appointment, please call 780-423-5510 ext. 336 or call the Sage main number at 780-423-5510 and choose option 3. You will likely need to leave a message for our staff if they are working off site. One of our Health Services staff will connect back to you to confirm an initial telephone screening.

SOCIAL WORK PROGRAMS

Our social work programs are still seeing clients by appointment after a pre-screening and following the latest guidelines from Alberta Health to prevent community transmission of the coronavirus. For those needing social work services, please call 780-423-5510, press 4, and leave a message.

VIRTUAL PROGRAMMING CALENDAR

Our building might be closed, but we still want to connect with you! Sage continues to offer Life Enrichment programming online and by phone – click here to see the October calendar. From virtual yoga to coffee chat groups to ukulele sing-alongs, there’s something for everyone! Need help getting started? Call 780-423-5510. 

SAGE FRIENDLY CALL PROGRAM

Staying connected is important, especially during these trying and uncertain times. Are you feeling lonely, anxious, or just want to talk to a real live human? Then sign up to be added to the Sage Friendly phone call list! It’s easy – just call 780-423-5510, press 5 and leave a message.

We are also looking for friendly call volunteers. If you have some time and would like to brighten the life of a senior, call 780-423-5510, press 5 and leave a message.

DAY OF OLDER PERSONS

October 1 was celebrated as Day of Older Persons in Alberta. Sage’s Executive Director, Karen MacDonald, was pleased to accept the invitation of the Honourable Josephine Pon, Minister of Seniors and Housing, for an official flag raising ceremony to recognize this event. See a picture from the event by clicking here.

Sage also held a virtual event on that day featuring musical performers, stories from the Shared Mic project: Conversations for the Ages, and uplifting workshops celebrating the ongoing resilience of seniors and the vital role they play in the lives of our community. Thank you to everyone who attended and participated!

 

COVID-SPECIFIC INFORMATION & COMMUNITY RESOURCES

 

GOVERNMENT OF CANADA SPEECH FROM THE THRONE

On September 23, 2020 the Governor-General delivered the Speech from the Throne, which articulated Federal Government priorities in the upcoming Parliamentary session . The Government committed to action on critical issues for seniors in the Speech including:

  • Increasing Old Age Security once a senior turns 75, and boosting the Canada Pension Plan survivor benefit.
  • Taking additional action to help people stay in their homes longer.
  • Working with the provinces and territories to set new, national standards for long-term care.
  • Creating a new Canadian Disability Benefit modelled after the GIS and a better process to determine eligibility for disability programs and benefits.
  • Accelerating steps to achieve a national, universal pharmacare program.
  • Ensuring everyone—including in rural and remote areas—has access to a family doctor or primary care team.

Click here to read the full text

TAPPING AWAY STRESS

Caregivers Alberta 

October 13, 1:00 – 2:00 pm  

Location: Online 

Free 

The 'Emotional Freedom Technique', also known as "tapping" is a great way to relieve stress, pain, fear, and many other troubling emotions. Tapping is a practice that anyone can use and it can be modified for limited mobility or capacity. Register to learn more about this calming wellness technique. 

CANADA RECOVERY CAREGIVING BENEFIT

The new Canada Recovery Caregiver Benefit (CRCB), will be effective from September 27, 2020 for one year. The benefit will provide $500 per week per household, for up to 26 weeks. Eligible Canadians are unable to work because they must care for a family member with a disability or a dependent because their day program or care facility is closed due to COVID-19; or a family member with a disability or a dependent who is not attending school, daycare, or other care facilities under the advice of a medical professional due to being at high-risk if they contract COVID-19.

To learn more about the Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit, including eligibility requirements and contact information, please click here.

FAMILY CAREGIVER WELLNESS WORKSHOPS
NorQuest College 

The COVID-19 pandemic made clear the crucial role of caregivers, but also added stress and unique challenges to those looking after loved ones. You can empower yourself, reduce your stress, and take more effective care of loved ones by taking any of NorQuest College’s nine online workshops. Available at a reduced cost of $15 per session thanks to a partnership with United Way and funded in part by the Government of Canada, learn the skills to be confident and empowered as a family caregiver.
 

Upcoming Workshops: 

Join NorQuest College and Caregivers Alberta on November 17th & 18th for a free virtual event for family caregivers! Activities will include a keynote from Dr. Jasneet Parmar, a vendor showcase, a look at new assistive technologies, and caregiver focused workshops from NorQuest College and Caregivers Alberta. Learn more & register by clicking here

PROTECTING RESIDENTS AT CONGREGATE CARE FACILITIES 

Expectations for visiting residents living in supportive living, long-term care facilities, and hospice settings have recently changed by order of the Government of Alberta. These changes will ensure at-risk Albertans are protected while helping them remain socially and emotionally connected.

The changes include the expectation that operators develop a safe visiting policy and process in collaboration with residents and families. Other changes include:

  • Each resident or alternate decision maker may identify up to 2 designated family/support persons who are essential to maintaining resident mental and physical health.
  • Multiple residents may have the same designated family/support persons.
  • Non-designated family/support persons may be allowed to visit.
    • This will be determined by resident health and circumstance and the risk tolerance assessment of the site.
  • Designated family/support persons are not required to be present for visits from others.

Any visiting person with symptoms of COVID-19 or known recent exposure to COVID-19 will not be permitted entry. All visiting persons should know their risk of unknown exposure to COVID-19 and take steps to protect residents and staff including consistent hand hygiene practices, physical distancing and wearing a mask indoors.

RETURN TO THE WORKPLACE: A PSYCHOLOGICAL TOOLKIT FOR HEADING BACK TO WORK 

Canadian Mental Health Association, Mental Health Works and Bounce Back Ontario  

This toolkit provides guidance on how to support the mental health of individuals as they plan safe transitions back into their workplaces, and to help employers as they develop policies and procedures for supporting staff returning to the work environment. This toolkit also helps to unpack the common emotions people may be feeling as they think about returning to their workplace and guides readers through coping strategies.

ONE-TIME TAX-FRE PAYMENT FOR SENIORS

In June, the Government of Canada announced that seniors eligible for the Old Age Security (OAS) pension, the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS), or Allowances would be receiving a one-time, tax-free payment of up to $500. Eligible seniors should have already received this benefit automatically, either via cheque or direct deposit. If you have not received these payments that you qualify for, please visit click here for more information or call the Outreach Support Centre at 1-877-631-2657.

COVID-19 RESOURCES PAGE

Sage how has a COVID-19 information resources page – click here to check it out. The Edmonton Seniors Coordinating Council website for senior-specific information on their website – click here to view.

CITY OF EDMONTON MASK BYLAW

Since August 1 it has been mandatory to wear a mask or face covering in public indoor spaces in Edmonton. Sage has created a fact sheet with questions and answers about the Bylaw - click here to check it out.

For more information on how to properly wear, take off and dispose of a mask, please click here.

ELDERCARE EDMONTON ACTIVITY BOOKLETS

ElderCare Edmonton has put together resource to help seniors stay physically and mentally healthy from home, including a Weekly Activity Booklet that is released every Monday. You can access the latest resources by clicking here. For more information, please email clmanager@eldercareedmonton.ca or call 780-434-4747.

GOVERNMENT OF CANADA EMERGENCY RESPONSE BENEFIT INFORMATION

In response to the Covid-19 situation, the government has extended the Canada  Emergency Response Benefit up to 24 weeks as part of Canada’s Economic Response Plan. The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) is available and can be accessed here.

Require assistance with these critical services and benefits? Service Canada can help! Click here to complete an application: once the service request is submitted, a Service Canada representative will contact you within 2 business days.

Service Canada Outreach Support Centre staff are available between the hours of 8:30 am and 4:00 pm Monday to Friday to ensure that those who do not have access to the internet or face other barriers get access to the critical benefits they need.

FOOD RESOURCE PROGRAMS

Are you having difficulty finding the money to purchase food? The Edmonton Food Bank might be able to help. To request a hamper, please call 780-425-4190 Monday - Friday, between the hours of 8:30 am and 4:30 pm to speak to someone who will assess your needs and refer you to a depot near your home. Please don't wait until you run out of food - it can take a few days for the hamper to arrive at the depots.

For more information, please visit the Edmonton Food Bank website.

HOME SUPPORTS  

Call or text 211 or visit their website to get help finding resources in your community. 211 is a comprehensive referral system accessible to all Albertans.

TIPS FOR OLDER ADULTS WITHOUT TECHNOLOGY TO AVOID SOCIAL ISOLATION

The pandemic has disrupted our daily lives in profound ways, leaving many of us lonely and yearning for connection. Staying engaged via the internet is one way for some people to stay connected. But what about the senior who isn’t “plugged in”? Thankfully, the Canadian Frailty Network has created this tip sheet with suggestions on how older adults without technology (or those who prefer to do things the old-fashioned way!) can avoid social isolation during COVID-19. Click here to check it out!

 

UPCOMING EVENTS, PROGRAMS OF INTEREST & ENGAGEMENT OPPORTUNITIES

  

ADD YOUR VOICE – CMHA ALBERTA’S MAJOR DEPRESSIVE DISORDER SURVEY CLOSES OCTOBER 9

Canadian Mental Health Association

Are you a Canadian diagnosed with depression? Have you tried two or more medications and experienced little or no improvement in your mental health? 
 

If yes, your experience is valuable to CMHA’s research. Take the short, 10-minute survey by clicking here.

The Alberta Division of CMHA is running a Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) survey open to all Canadians impacted by depression who have found two or more medications ineffective in treating their depressive symptoms. 
 
For a complete toolkit, including information on depression, social media graphics and website assets, please visit our online MDD Toolkit. 

CELEBRATE AND SUPPORT SENIORS IN ALBERTA – TIP SHEET

Seniors are a vital part of our communities. As parents and grandparents, mentors and friends, employees and employers, they make a difference in our lives. It is important that we continue to recognize, celebrate, and support seniors during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Government of Alberta offers a tip sheet that provides suggestions on how Albertans can continue to celebrate, support, and keep seniors safe while respecting public health measures in place. Click here to learn more!

NEW PROGRAM ANNOUNCEMENT – NO LIMITS COMMUNITY CONNECTION

Black Canadian Women In Action

The No Limits Community Connections (NLCC) program aims to help visible minority seniors aged 55+ increase their mental, social, and emotional wellbeing during the pandemic with virtually engaging activities that also promote inclusion and community.

Activities include:

  • Intro to computers and devices
  • Navigating the internet
  • Staying connected online
  • Internet Safety
  • Online learning tools
  • Mental Health topics
  • Recreation Activities

They are also looking for volunteers to match with seniors to have regular weekly virtual meetings with. The goal is for them to interact with the seniors to provide companionship and connection through conversations and activities, as well as troubleshoot basic questions about devices, the internet, and social media. 

For more information please visit their website or call (780) 707-0893.

 GRIEF AND PET LOSS STUDY

Have you had a pet die? Would you like to talk about your grief?

Researchers at the University of Alberta and University of Calgary invite you to participate in a research study if:

  • You are a woman 55 or older
  • Your pet died in 2019
  • You were living alone at the time

Please contact Professor Cary Brown at the University of Alberta at cary1@ualberta.ca for more information about the study.

CENTRE FOR PUBLIC LEGAL EDUCATION LAUNCHES “CPLEA-TV!”

The Centre for Public Legal Education Alberta (CPLEA) has been educating Albertans on the law since 1975. Through its many websites, print resources, and workshops, CPLEA provides understandable information to Albertans about the laws that affect their lives. As part of this mandate, the Centre has recently launched CPLEA-TV - a series of video-presentations on a variety of popular topics, from finding good legal information to landlord and tenant issues to wills and estates. You can access CPLEA-TV offerings on their YouTube channel. New titles include:

  • Legal Information vs Legal Advice
  • Finding Good Public Legal Information: Is it Reliable?
  • Planning for the Future 1: Personal Directives, Enduring Powers of Attorneys and Wills
  • Planning for the Future 2: Mental Capacity
  • Planning for the Future 3: Decision-Making Tools
  • Top 10 Housing Issues: Deposits, Landlord Entry, Repairs, Pests, Guests and Shared Accommodations
  • Top 10 Housing Issues: Evictions, Human Rights and Housing, and Dispute Resolution
  • Top 10 Housing Issues: Residential Tenancies Act, Rental Applications and Leases

For more information, please visit the CPLEA website.

CPLEA is excited to offer a new free webinar discussing personal debt issues on Wednesday, October 28 at 10:00 am. Click here for more information or to register.

IN-PERSON PROGRAMMING RETURNS AT SELECT SENIORS CENTRES

Several local seniors' organizations have resumed in-person programming for the fall. Centres resuming in-person programming are following strict safety protocols, including limiting class sizes, practicing social distancing and observing stringent cleaning standards. The following centres are currently offering in-person programming:

  • Mill Woods Seniors Association: View fall program guide
  • North Edmonton Seniors Association: View fall program guide
  • SouthWest Edmonton Seniors Association:  View registration page
    • Note - currently open in reduced capacity with classes operating out of Blue Quill Community Centre only
  • Strathcona Place Society: View fall program guide
  • Westend Seniors Activity Centre: View registration page     

SENIORS HOME SUPPORTS PROGRAM

Don’t get snowed in this Winter! To make sure you don't get left in the cold, contact the Seniors Home Supports Program - a referral service that gives seniors referrals to screened service providers who offer snow removal, yard help, housekeeping, home repair and maintenance, personal services, and moving help.

Through the program, you will be provided with quotes from screened local businesses offering snow removal. View the map on the SHSP website to find the contact information for your nearest home supports coordinator.

 DESIGNATED CARE PARTNER TRAINING PROGRAM

Alzheimer Society of Calgary

Free

Are you a caregiver for a person who lives in long-term care in Alberta? Protect yourself and your loved one by learning how to properly use Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and increase your understanding of Infection Prevention and Control protocols (IP&C). The training includes:

Canadian Red Cross training

  • Infection transmission routes
  • How to prevent infection and disease transmission
  • Proper handwashing techniques
  • Types of Personal Protective Equipment
  • Proper donning, doffing and disposal protocols for PPE

Please note that training sessions are offered online, and space is limited. Visit their website to register, or email kim@dementianetworkcalgary.ca for more information.

WATCH ESCTV!

ESCTV – presented by the Edmonton Seniors Centre - is an innovative service that streams local content curated for the 55+ community. No software to download. No fees to pay. All you need is an internet connection!

Watch ESCTV by clicking here. To learn more, please visit their website or e-mail esctvyeg@edmontonseniorscentre.ca.

2021 CENSUS OF POPULATION QUESTIONAIRE NOW ONLINE

The 2021 Census of Population questionnaire has been published on Statistics Canada’s website! Click here to complete the Census online. The information you provide is converted into statistics used by communities, businesses, and governments to plan services and make informed decisions about employment, education, health care, market development and more. 

ELDERCARE EDMONTON “WELL CONNECTED” PROGRAM

ElderCare Edmonton, in partnership with Caregivers Alberta, invites you to take part in   Well Connected! They will be hosting a virtual, community-based day program through Zoom every Wednesday from 10:00 am to 11:00 am. Well Connected is open to individuals of all ages in Alberta and will help participants to stay engaged with their community, keep their mind and body active while reducing social isolation.

 

Participants are invited to register through Eventbrite. Once registration is complete you’ll receive a Zoom link to the program. Please call 780-434-04747 with any questions.

EDMONTON SENIORS' CENTER WITHOUT WALLS

Seniors Centre Without Walls has released their calendar for the next 3 months! Please note that they are asking new participants to register with the program before calling into sessions, so they know who is in the program and get on the mailing list for the winter schedule. Feel free to get in touch with the SCWW at scww@espcn.ca if you would like to send a referral or to get more information about upcoming sessions! 

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