Health and Wellness Newsletter - Week of February 8

Posted on February 11 2021

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. Unless otherwise noted there is no cost to participate in any of the activities, programs, or initiatives listed below.

 

WHAT'S HAPPENING AT SAGE 

*Note - You do not need to have a Sage membership to participate in any of the programs and services offered by Sage.

 

VIRTUAL TAX CLINIC

Sage’s Virtual Income Tax Clinic will begin on March 1. We will start taking appointments for the virtual clinic beginning at 9am on February 16. To book an appointment, please call 780-809-9424 and leave a message with your name and phone number. We will return your call within five business days to confirm your eligibility and schedule an appointment with one of our registered income tax volunteers. Please note, this tax clinic is operating entirely over the phone and you will be asked to share tax information, including your social insurance number, with one of our registered volunteers over the phone.

Eligibility requirements:

  • Annual income
    • no more than $35,000 for a single,
    • no more than $45,000 for a couple
  • Simple return: can only have T3, T4 and T5 slips.
  • Cannot have income from rental properties, farming or capital gains (capital gains income listed on a T3 or T5 slip is OK).
  • Age 55+
  • Can be younger if on AISH
  • Couples must file taxes together

For more information, please call 780-423-5510.

AMAZING ELDERS FEBRUARY SPEAKERS SERIES

Amazing Elders is an arts, education, and speaker series curated by seniors for seniors, and facilitated by one of our Community Animators. This Speakers Series is being offered virtually on Friday afternoons, where various people are invited to speak about diverse topics that might be of interest to seniors. Here’s a list of upcoming events:

  • February 12, 1:00 – 2:00 pm
    “Podcast for Mental Health”, Brene Brown of Grow Forward Counselling
  • February 19, 1:00 – 2:00 pm
    “Understanding Gender-Fluid Pronouns”, Cindy from the Pride Centre of Edmonton
  • February 26, 1:00 – 2:00 pm
    “History presentation – King Leopold of Belgium and his Reign of Terror”, Dr. Piet
    Defraeye, University of Alberta

Please contact Kristine Nutting at knutting@mysage.ca for more information, and to register!

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 the Sage website.

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

Effective January 1, 2021, the Sage Health Services program is no longer receiving funding from the Alberta Ministry of Health. This means that there are no longer any Nurse Practitioners to address chronic or urgent health needs at Sage. However, the DRAGONFLY program continues to accept referrals for older adults who may be considered frail, and will work with these individuals to address any social or health needs in collaboration with social agencies and health providers in the community. To contact the DRAGONFLY Connector, please email dragonfly@mysage.ca  

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 programs for February. Need help getting started? Call 780-423-5510.

BECOME A FRIENDLY CALLER!  

The Friendly Call Program was set up by Sage at the start of the pandemic to reach out to lonely seniors, enhance their mental health, and connect them to resources. If you have some extra time and want to brighten the day of a senior in our community, please contact Barb Carroll at bcarroll@mysage.ca, or leave a message at 780-701-9014.

 

COVID-SPECIFIC INFORMATION AND RESOURCES

 

COVID RESTRICTIONS – UPDATED INFORMATION

As of Monday, February 8, the province has moved into Step 1 of The Path Forward – which outlines a roadmap to easing restrictions based on hospitalization benchmarks.

Effective February 8:

  • Restaurants will be allowed to re-open for in-person dining, with limited capacity.
  • Gyms will be allowed to re-open, with limited capacity.
  • Indoor and outdoor children's sport and performance (school-related) will be allowed to resume, with restrictions.

All other restrictions remain in effect.

Please continue to monitor the Government of Alberta website, as this information is subject to change. To learn more, please click here.

ALBERTA COVID VACCINE DISTRIBUTION

The Government of Alberta has indicated that February marks the start of Phase 1B of its COVID-19 vaccination plan. This phase includes Albertans 75+ and those 65+ who are living in a First Nation community or Métis settlement. Please note, this timeline is subject to change, depending on vaccine availability. 

For more information on the COVID vaccine roll-out, please click here.

COVID SCAM ALERT!

Some Canadians, particularly seniors, are being targeted by scammers. Here are some of the ongoing COVID-19 scams to watch out for:

  • Unsolicited calls offering to schedule vaccinations for a fee
  • Unsolicited calls claiming to be from a private company or from health care providers offering home vaccination kits for an upfront fee
  • COVID-19 or vaccination themed emails or text messages that require you to open attachments or follow links to unfamiliar websites that ask you to reveal sensitive personal and financial details

The vaccination is being provided at no charge to all Canadians. Alberta Health Services - or the Government of Canada - will never ask for payment for the COVID-19 immunization. If you receive one of these calls or e-mails, please report it to law enforcement.

COVID VACCINATION WEBINAR

Earlier this month, Food Allergy Canada hosted a webinar with representatives from Health Canada and researchers and physicians with expertise in infectious diseases, immunology, and allergies. This webinar provides a thorough overview of COVID-19 vaccine development, risks and benefits associated with the vaccine, and offers guidance for individuals with allergies.

View the webinar online by clicking here

TRANSPORTATION AVAILABLE FOR SENIORS SEEKING COVID-19 VACCINE

Drive Happiness

Local assisted transportation provider Drive Happiness is currently offering door-through-door transportation for seniors seeking a COVID-19 vaccine. This program is ideal for lower income seniors with mobility challenges or limited access to transportation. For more information, please contact Drive Happiness at 780-424-5438 or e-mail info@drivehappiness.ca.  

GOVERNMENT OF CANADA RECOVERY BENEFITS

The Federal Government has announced a variety of supports available to those affected the ongoing pandemic: 

  • Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB)
    The Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB) will provide $500 per week (taxable, tax deducted at source) for up to 26 weeks per household for workers unable to work for at least 50% of the week because they must care for a child under the age of 12 or family member because schools, day-cares or care facilities are closed due to COVID-19, or because the child or family member is sick and/or required to quarantine or is at high risk of serious health implications because of COVID-19. Learn more
  • Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB)
    The Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) will provide $500 per week (taxable, tax deducted at source) for up to a maximum of two weeks, for workers who are unable to work for at least 50% of the week because they contracted COVID-19, self-isolated for reasons related to COVID-19, or have underlying conditions, are undergoing treatments or have contracted other sicknesses that would make them more susceptible to COVID-19. Learn more
  • Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB)
    The Canada Recovery Benefit will provide eligible workers with $500 per week (taxable, tax deducted at source) for up to 26 weeks for those who are not employed or self-employed due to COVID-19 and who are not eligible for EI, or had their employment / self-employment income reduced by at least 50% due to COVID-19. Learn more  

Please click the links to learn more about each individual benefit. To contact the Government of Canada by phone, call 1-800-206-7218

FOOD RESOURCE PROGRAMS

Are you having difficulty finding the money to purchase food as a result of the pandemic? 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.

INFORMATION AND REFERRAL

Call or text 211 or visit the 211 website to get help finding resources in your community. 211 is a comprehensive referral system accessible to all Albertans. You can now also text 211 to get connect to the help you need.

 

UPCOMING EVENTS, PROGRAMS, NEWS, AND ENGAGEMENT OPPORTUNITIES

 

CITY OF EDMONTON ACTIVATES EXTREME WEATHER PROCOCOL

It’s cold! In response, the City of Edmonton has activated their Extreme Weather Protocol to help keep vulnerable Edmontonians safe during the cold weather expected in the coming days. Click the link to learn more, or see this quick guide for suggestions on how to respond if you see someone in crisis.

 BLACK HISTORY MONTH

February is Black History Month! Click on the links below to learn more about Black Canadian histories:

FAMILY CAREGIVER WELLNESS WORKSHOPS

NorQuest College, together with Chartwell Retirement Residences, is giving family caregivers the opportunity to register for a series of workshops - at no cost! Here’s a list of upcoming workshops:

  • Supporting a Person with Dementia: Guidance for the Caregiver
    March 23, 5:00 – 7:00 pm
  • All You Need to Know About Infection Control and Prevention
    March 17, 5:00 – 7:00 pm
  • Effective Communication: Guidance for the Caregiver
    February 11, 5:00 – 7:00 pm or March 11, 5:00 – 7:00 pm
  • Navigating the Healthcare System
    February 25, 5:00 – 7:00 pm or March 25, 5:00 – 7:00 pm
  • Palliative and End of Life
    March 3, 5:00 – 7:00 pm or March 31, 5:00 – 7:00 pm

Please click here to register.

GREETINGS FROM HISTORY

Barkerville Historic Town & Park

Participate in this creative campaign to “write letters to the lonely”. The historians from Barkerville Historic Town & Park in British Columbia have armed themselves with pens, paper, and a passion for connecting people and history. The team is working toward a goal of writing 2,000 personalized full-page letters this winter, sharing stories from history. If you know someone who would like to receive a greeting from history, please nominate them. There is no charge and no limit on how many people you can nominate. The campaign also needs donations to move forward. A small donation of $15 can help pay for postage, stationary, and time to craft these custom letters. 

Learn more by clicking here.

 BALANCE YOUR COVID RISK WHILE PROMOTING MENTAL HEALTH WITH NORDIC WALKING

Edmonton Federation of Community Leagues (EFCL)

Walking outdoors is a low-risk and tried-and-true method of promoting mental health. The EFCL offers a walking program that is growing rapidly in popularity. Just add some hiking poles to elevate your walking regimen to new levels!

Click here to learn more about the EFCL Seniors Walking Program, or connect with Kim by emailing kim.mah@efcl.org or calling 780-217-2087.

STORIES OF INSPIRATION, IMPACT, AND INNOVATION TO CONNECT GENERATIONS

Aging 2.0 The Collective, 21 Days, 21 Stories Campaign

In January, Aging 2.0 launched a storytelling campaign to highlight stories of inspiration, impact, and innovation from around the world that are connecting generations and fighting loneliness and social isolation. The stories feature 18 countries that have overcome insurmountable obstacles. See what organizations from all around the world are doing to increase connection and fight isolation. Stories are posted on Facebook and Twitter

ONLINE CHOIR

Southwest Seniors’ Outreach Society

Tuesdays; 1:00 – 3:00 pm

If stage fright has ever stopped you from joining choir, now is the time to try it! Participants will meet Rhonda (Choir Director) on Zoom for further instructions. No prior choir experience is necessary. If you’re interested in joining, please email Rhonda at rmceachen@edmontonsuzukipiano.ca. Pre-registration required to participate. 

MWSA SEEKING 2021-22 BOARD MEMBERS

Mill Woods Seniors Association

Are you passionate about the future of seniors in your community? The Mill Woods Seniors Association (MWSA) is seeking members to serve on its Board as President and Directors. The goal is to create a high functioning and diverse board that is representative and inclusive of the community members they serve.

Learn more and apply by clicking here.

ONLINE PROGRAMS FROM CNIB

Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB) Foundation

Try something new with CNIB! Whether it's career support, tech training, youth groups, cooking classes or book clubs – these free, virtual programs are guaranteed to keep you entertained and engaged. Here are a few examples of what’s happening at CNIB: 

  • Virtual Bingo: Thursdays; 11:30 am – 1:30 pm hosted via teleconference
  • Friday Fun Trivia: Fridays; 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm hosted on Zoom
  • Relaxation Yoga: Saturdays; 1:00 –1:30 pm hosted on Zoom

Click here to learn more and register.

URGENT NEED FOR VOLUNTEER DRIVERS

Drive Happiness

Drive Happiness is in need of volunteer drivers to provide affordable assisted transportation to low-income seniors. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for accessible transportation is greater than ever before. Your volunteerism could make a huge difference in the life of a senior. Call 780-424-5438 for more information.

CANADA CENSUS JOBS

The census paints a portrait of Canada's population and the places where we live. Information from the census will ensure that your community has the data it needs for planning schools, daycare, housing, hospitals, emergency services, roads, public transportation, and employment skills training.

Click here to learn more and apply.

REGISTER FOR WINTER PROGRAMS!

Various organizations 

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, Edmonton’s senior’s organizations continue to offer a great selection of online programming. Registration deadlines are coming up soon for many Winter 2021 sessions - inquire with your local seniors centre by selecting one of the links below for more information about current program offerings. Please note that, throughout the winter months and beyond, course offerings are subject to change due to the effects of the pandemic.

HEAR A STORY

Storytelling Alberta Edmonton

Sharing stories with one another is a human tradition dating back to the dawn of civilization. During these times of social distancing, listening to stories shared by skilled storytellers can be an excellent way to feel connected to the wider community. Storytelling Alberta Edmonton is currently offering storytelling sessions for Edmontonians 65+. Due to COVID-19, storytelling sessions will take place online. To register, please click here.

For more information, please contact Caroline at 780-424-9678 or email carolinel.stuart@gmail.com. 

 ESSENTIALS FOR MOBILE DEVICES

GLUU

Gluu Essentials are free online courses that teach the digital skills you need to turn your smartphone and tablet into a must-have tool. Online materials make it easy to walk through each class at your own pace and repeat lessons when needed. By learning the essentials, you’ll have the knowledge and confidence to do more with your mobile device.

To learn more and register, please click here.

WORKSHOPS RELATED TO HEALTH, SAFETY, AND FINANCES

ACES (Association of a Community Engaged in Sharing)

Various dates

ACES is offering a variety of community-based online workshops on the topics of Health & Safety, Mental Health & Nutrition, Financial Empowerment, Fraud prevention (Elder abuse). All workshops will be offered to any and all interested individuals, especially seniors, and will provide information and skills enhancement required to navigate daily tasks and challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic.

To learn more and register, please click here.

LIVING STRONG PROGRAM

Alberta Council on Aging

The online Living Strong Program for older adults encourages participants to explore various components of wellbeing: physical, mental, environmental, spiritual, and getting your paperwork in order. Do the program on your own, with peer support, or with a group.

To learn more and register, please click here.

EDUCATIONAL WEBINAR FOR OLDER ADULTS

University of Alberta Division of Geriatric Medicine

February 15

In this webinar you will learn about the different types of urinary incontinence and how to manage it via lifestyle modifications targeting weight, physical activity, dietary changes, and smoking. Once participants have registered, a Zoom teleconference link for the webinar will be sent to the email address provided. Please note that a laptop or desktop computer, or a smartphone or tablet that is capable of downloading the Zoom app, will be required to attend the webinar.

To register, please click here. To learn more, please contact Marina Kirillovich by calling 780-974-5535.

CITY OF EDMONTON CART ROLLOUT

The way we sort, set out, and collect waste is changing. The City will provide all single-unit and some multi-unit homes with a garbage cart, a food scraps cart and a food scraps pail between March 2021 and August 2021. Residents will receive a large (240L) garbage cart, but a small (120L) one is available by request. The citywide Edmonton Cart Rollout begins spring 2021.

The new system includes four collection services:

  1. Garbage: Collected every 2 weeks year-round, using a cart provided by the City.
  2. Food Scraps: Collected weekly from spring to fall, and every two weeks in the winter, using a cart provided by the City.
  3. Recycling: Collected in blue bags all year round. There are no changes to recycling collection.
  4. Yard Waste. Collected twice in spring and twice in fall in clear plastic bags or double-ply paper yard waste bags and/or bundles wrapped in biodegradable twine.

To learn more, please visit the Waste Management page on the City of Edmonton website by clicking here.

HIRE A NEWCOMER SENIOR

The Multicultural Health Brokers Co-operative, Gateway Association, and Sage Seniors Association have come together to help newcomer seniors enhance their work search skills, develop workforce connections, and secure customized employment opportunities that are responsive to the unique abilities and contexts of newcomer seniors.

Learn more by clicking here.

THE SHARED MIC PODCAST: EPISODE 8 OUT NOW!

Age Friendly Edmonton

Recent years have witnessed calamitous climate events. From the bleaching of coral reefs to the melting of the polar ice caps, the effects of climate change are becoming harder to ignore. This conversation brings together two individuals from different generations who both have thoughts on how we can move the needle on climate change. In this candid conversation, the pair discuss possible solutions to this pressing issue, including promising technologies. They also discuss challenges, including changing minds in a time when misinformation runs rampant.

Learn more and listen by clicking here.

SHARE YOUR STORY – PAINT A PICTURE OF GROWING OLDER IN EDMONTON

Age Friendly Edmonton is trying to “paint a picture” of what healthy aging looks like in Edmonton, and to celebrate diversity and make Edmonton a place for all people to enjoy the gift of older age. Older adults have much to offer through their life experience. We all benefit when older adults are respected, included, and supported. Let's expand the narrative around aging, together to build a more inclusive Edmonton. Add your voice to the conversation by clicking here. Tell us about your experiences: the joys and the challenges. To thank you for participating, Age Friendly Edmonton is providing $5 Tim Hortons gift cards on a first come, first served basis. 

 GET YOUR FLU SHOT

Influenza immunization is more important this season than ever before. All Albertans, six months of age and older, are eligible to be immunized, free of charge. This year, AHS is working with pharmacists and physicians to offer immunization to different age groups and demographics.

In 2021, Alberta Health Services clinics will only offer a vaccine through pre-booked appointment to children under five years of age and their family and household members. All other vaccines will be provided by pharmacists and physicians. Unless you live in a household with young children, please contact a pharmacist or physician to arrange for influenza immunization. 

For more information, please click here.

SENIORS HOME SUPPORTS PROGRAM

Don’t get snowed in this Winter! To make sure you aren’t left in the cold, contact the Seniors Home Supports Program (SHSP) - 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.

 

 

 

 

 

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