Health and Wellness Newsletter - Week of February 22

Posted on February 25 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! 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

MANAGING MENTAL HEALTH & WELLNESS SERIES DROP-IN

Tuesdays, March 2-30 (five weeks), 4:00 - 5:30pm

Zoom Link:  https://zoom.us/j/6578782877  

Toll-free call-in: 1-855-703-8985   

Meeting ID: 657 878 2877 

This is great opportunity to discuss mental health and wellbeing as well as variety of other topics related to general health. The facilitator will share and discuss information on each weekly topic and allow for group discussion and sharing (if participants want to participate). Learn about mental health and how it affects everyone, and also build some community with fellow participants. Come to one session or join us for all of them! Sessions are drop-in.   

AMAZING ELDERS MARCH 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:

March 5, 1:00 – 2:00 pm

“City of Edmonton Bus Route Changes”

An ETS representative explains the recent service changes.

 

March 12, 1:00 – 2:00 pm

“My Secret Life as a Hollywood Screenwriter”

Sage’s very own Amber Alexander talks about her other life as an in-demand screenwriter working with some of Tinsletown’s best and brightest.

 

March 19, 1:00 – 2:00 pm

“We Were Kings and Queens”

Professor Feisal Kimura takes us through East African history to inspire our own understanding of the African Diaspora in Canada.

 

March 26, 1:00 – 2:00 pm

“Medically Assisted Death – What You Need to Know”

An AHS representative answers your questions.

 

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

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 March. 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 keep seniors connected, enhance their mental health, and provide access to information and resources when needed. 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

 

ALBERTA COVID VACCINE ROLLOUT – UPDATED INFORMATION:

Since Wednesday, February 24 at 8:00 am, community seniors 75 and older are able to book vaccine appointments. Here are some details:

  • Seniors who are 74 turning 75 are eligible to book.
  • Vaccinations can be booked for the first and second doses by contacting Health Link at 811 or through the online booking system by clicking here. Please be patient when booking; staffing for Health Link has been increased, but AHS expects an enormous demand.
  • Appointment times are between 8:20 am and 3:40 pm, seven days a week. Plans are underway to extend these hours in mid-March as more doses arrive.
  • The patient’s Alberta Health Care number and date of birth must be available at the time of booking.
  • Seniors will be able to book at 1 of 58 sites across the province to enable people to receive doses closer to home, whether they book online or through Health Link.
  • Seniors must return to the same clinic to receive their second dose to ensure appropriate timing between doses and to help manage vaccine supply.
  • Seniors must bring photo ID and Alberta Health Care card to confirm their ID and age.
  • Families, friends, and service providers are able help book appointments on behalf of eligible seniors with all the necessary information through the online booking system or Health Link at 811.

Transportation

  • If seniors do not have the means to get to their vaccine appointment by getting a ride from a family member, friend, taxi, or an alternate transportation source, they should call 211 for help connecting with local community transportation supports.
  • Community organizations able to provide vaccine transportation supports, please contact 211 Alberta ASAP at 780-392-8722 or database@ab.211.ca to ensure your services are captured in their database and can be offered to seniors in need.

Continue to visit Alberta Health Services vaccination page for the latest updates.

COVID RESTRICTIONS

The province is still in Step 1 of The Path Forward – which outlines a roadmap to easing restrictions based on hospitalization benchmarks, as it has been since February 8. The following restrictions were eased as part of Step 1: 

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

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

 

FEBRUARY IS INDIGENOUS STORYTELLING MONTH

Did you know that February is Indigenous Storytelling Month in Saskatchewan? It’s true!  The telling and sharing of stories is a deeply rooted tradition for many Indigenous peoples across the country, and sharing these stories is an important part of reconciliation because it helps to break down stereotypes.

Click here to learn more.

ETS FARE CHANGES

There are three different categories for senior annual passes, based on your individual income.

  • Regular annual pass (income above $33,034) - Pass is $385.
  • Low-income annual pass (Tier 2) (income between $29,071 and $33,033) - Pass is $139.
  • Low income annual pass (Tier 1) (income below $29,070) - Pass is free.

Senior annual passes are valid from April 1, 2021 until March 31, 2022. Passes need to be mailed because the Edmonton Service Centre remains closed due to COVID-19. Passes will be available starting February 1, and will be mailed in March (or later, if you apply later in 2021).

Starting February 1, first time applicants must fill out and submit this application form, along with proof of residency, proof of age, current mailing address, and proof of income (if you are applying for either of the low income annual passes).

Click here to learn more.

 ICE AND THE CITY - 2021 BOARDWALK ICE ON WHYTE SCULPTURE TOUR

Ice on Whyte Festival

Ongoing until March 7

Boardwalk Ice on Whyte is brightening up winter in Edmonton by adding breathtaking ice sculptures from award-winning artists to winter patios around downtown and Old Strathcona! Check out this map for sculpture locations.

Click here to learn more

FLYING CANOË VOLANT FESTIVAL 

Centre Communautaire d'Edmonton

March 1 to March 6

Join one of Edmonton's great winter celebrations! The Flying Canoe Volant Festival is a creative and interactive cultural event that celebrates local history and everything that is great about a long winter's night. Extending from the Mill Creek Ravine to La Cité Francophone, this large-scale community event offers something for everyone. In the ravine, you’ll step into a magical surrounding as you encounter artistic lighting installations and engage in Métis jigs/reels, bannock making, storytelling, drumming, and conversation.

Click here to register!

LGBTQI2S DEMENTIA STUDIES FOR OLDER ADULTS AND CAREGIVERS

National Institute on Aging, Ryerson University, Ted Rogers School of Management, Egale

Both older LGBTQI2S adults and their caregivers are invited to take part in a research study. Findings from this study will inform how care provision and support in Canada can be improved. Your involvement in this project will include a 30-minute introductory meeting and 2-hour focus group (both conducted on Zoom). As thanks for participating, you will receive a $50 Amazon e-gift card. A diversity of perspectives is important and the study welcomes the perspectives of people with various social identifications and particularly seeks to amplify the perspectives of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Colour) and those who live in rural areas.

Click here to complete the survey

WINTER MENTAL HEALTH – A GUIDE FOR GOOD PRACTICES

Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) - Edmonton

Every year, winter creates greater challenges around mental health, from reduced daylight hours to cold and often treacherous weather that can create barriers to activities.

Over the past several months of the pandemic, many of us have found solace in outdoor activities, from leisurely social gatherings in backyards and on patios to evening outings that take advantage of the long summer days. With winter here, we face a new set of challenges to maintain good mental health and well-being.

With many of our usual activities either limited or unavailable due to the pandemic and gathering restrictions, this winter figures to be tougher than most for a lot of us. We’re already feeling the strain of several months of restrictions and adjustments due to the pandemic, with several more in front of us. It’s going to be a challenge, but it’s not a challenge you have to face alone. It’s more important than ever for each of us to reach out to friends, family, colleagues, and neighbours. To offer support, and to offer friendship. To do that, we have to take care of ourselves first.

See the full guide by clicking here

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:

 

Palliative and End of Life Care: Support for the Caregiver

March 3, 5:00 – 7:00 pm

 

Effective Communication: Guidance for the Caregiver

March 11, 5:00 – 7:00 pm

 

All You Need to Know About Infection Control and Prevention

March 17, 5:00 – 7:00 pm

 

Supporting a Person with Dementia: Guidance for the Caregiver

March 23, 5:00 – 7:00 pm

 

Navigating the Healthcare System

March 25, 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! Also, please consider making a small donation to help with the cost of postage.

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. 

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. 

 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, and 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.

 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.

THE SHARED MIC PODCAST: EPISODE 8

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 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. 

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.

MONTHLY HEALTH AND WELLNESS FEATURE

February is National Psychology Month! This month-long event is intended to raise Canadians’ awareness of the role that psychology plays in our lives, schools, and communities.

Psychology seeks to understand our thoughts, feelings, and actions. This helps communities flourish, employers create better workplaces, and governments develop more effective policies. COVID-19 has brought a new set of challenges to everyone, including psychologists. Mental health issues have been made worse as a result of the virus and resulting lockdowns, and Canadian psychologists have been on the front line in responding to these challenges. 

Here are some tips from psychologists to maintain mental wellness as we continue to navigate the ongoing pandemic:

  • Maintain a consistent routine whenever possible
  • Be mindful of your use of time
  • Take breaks when needed
  • If working, seek to understand your employer’s expectations
  • Establish effective boundaries between yourselves and your family

To learn more, go to the Canadian Psychological Association and College of Alberta Psychologists web cite at by clicking here.

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