Health and Wellness Newsletter - Week of March 8

Posted on March 12 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.

 

SAGE TELEPHONE TAX CLINIC

The Sage Telephone Tax Clinic is now open! 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 person,
    • 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

 

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 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.

One program that might be of particular interest during these challenging days is our “Managing Mental Health and Wellness” series, which runs every Tuesday in March from 4:00 – 5:30 pm. This is great opportunity to discuss mental health and well-being, and a 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. 

To join, click the zoom link here (when the meeting starts) or call toll-free at 1-855-703-8985 and key in “657 878 2877” as the meeting ID.

 

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.

 

SAGE ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

Sage will be holding its Annual General Meeting virtually on Tuesday, May 11 at 10:00 am. Members and other guests are invited to RSVP by emailing info@mysage.ca or leaving a message at 780-809-9417. Advanced registration is required. Sage will confirm your membership and send you a copy of the meeting package, along with instructions on how to join via Zoom or by phone.

 

COVID-SPECIFIC INFORMATION AND RESOURCES

 

ALBERTA COVID VACCINE ROLLOUT – UPDATED INFORMATION

Starting March 10, Albertans born in 1957 were eligible to book an appointment for a Covishield/AstraZeneca vaccine. Beginning the week of March 15, Alberta will be expanding the vaccine rollout to include Phase 2A. Appointment will be by age group. Those born in 1946 or earlier can book now. Here are some details.

  • 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.
  • Appointment times are between 8:20 am and 3:40 pm, seven days a week.
  • 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.

The Edmonton Journal has created a Q and A around the vaccine rollout – to view it (and submit a question) please click 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.  

 

COVID RESTRICTIONS

The Government of Alberta has a plan to relax restrictions as part of The Path Forward based on hospitalization numbers and other metrics. Effective March 8, Step 2 restriction changes have expanded to include:

  • Retail capacity increased
  • Banquet halls, community halls and conference centres reopened, with restrictions
  • College and university athletics
  • Adult performance activities

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

In February, 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

 

GOVERNMENT OF CANADA RECOVERY BENEFITS

On February 19, 2021 the Government of Canada proposed increase to number of weeks for recovery benefits and EI regular benefits to ensure continued support for Canadians who have been hardest hit by the pandemic. These changes would:

  • Increase the number of weeks available under the Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) and the Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB) by 12 weeks extending the maximum duration of the benefits through regulation from 26 weeks to up to 38 weeks;
  • Increase the number of weeks available under the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) through regulation from the current 2 weeks to 4 weeks; and
  • Increase the number of weeks of EI regular benefits available by up to 24 weeks to a maximum of 50 weeks through legislation, for claims that are made between September 27, 2020 and September 25, 2021.

The changes are subject to Royal Assent.

To learn my about each program, please click the hyperlinks above or call 1-800-206-7218. To learn more about the recent announcement by the Federal Government, please click here

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.

 

TESTED POSITIVE FOR COVID AND NEED SUPPORT?

If you or someone you know has tested positive for COVID-19 and you need information and support in your home language, please contact the multilingual emergency response centre toll-free at 1-833-738-7727. COVID-19 support and information is now available in 31 languages. Support for food, space for isolating, counselling and other basic needs is available.

This initiative is a project of the Edmonton Covid-19 Rapid Response Collaborative, a collection of community-based organizations and social service agencies supported by multiple levels of government. Click here to view the poster.

 

UPCOMING EVENTS, PROGRAMS, NEWS, AND ENGAGEMENT OPPORTUNITIES

 

FREE INTERGENERATIONAL CONCERT

Edmonton Seniors Centre (ESC)

March 21, 3:00 pm

 Join the ESC and fellow seniors for a free intergenerational concert of classical music (via Zoom) presented by young musicians! A great way to spend your Sunday afternoon. Click here to register for this free event.

 

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON AFFORDABLE HOUSING

The Rural Development Network Sustainable Housing Initiative needs your perspective on the development of affordable homes in Edmonton. Tell us about your experience and perspectives on where affordable homes should be developed, the kinds of housing that you’d like to see, and your past experiences with community engagement. Your feedback will help add to the conversation on housing affordability in Edmonton, and impact our future project decisions.

Click here to complete the survey.

 

HEARING STUDY

University of Alberta Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine

Hearing care professionals are interested in developing user-friendly online tools that allow Canadians to learn more about their hearing without having to travel to a clinic. This study will involve completing an online hearing activity that features techniques similar to those used in clinical tests. Our research team is working to develop and improve this online tool. Your help makes this possible!

Participants will complete a short activity that involves identifying numbers against competing background noise and typing the numbers you hear. The study will take about 10-15 minutes.

Click here to participate.

 

CAREGIVER CONNECTIONS

Canadian Mental Health Association Recovery College

Tuesdays, 5:30 – 7:30 pm

Support is available to those caring for a loved one with mental health challenges. Caregiver Connections is a peer support program for parents and caregivers of those with a mental illness or mental health concern. This group meets and is offered online.

Register to attend by clicking here

 

STEP AHEAD TECH HELP FOR SENIORS

Deaf & Hear Alberta

Deaf & Hear Alberta's Step Ahead program connects isolated Deaf & Hard of Hearing seniors with trained and screened volunteers for friendly conversation and learning opportunities. Reach out to be added to the program, refer a senior, or apply to volunteer, by contacting Leslie Barchman, Program Manager at leslie@deafandhearalberta.ca or call 403-284-6208.

Learn more by visiting their website

 

ETS FARE CHANGES

There are now 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 starting in March, as the Edmonton Service Centre remains closed due to COVID-19.

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.

 

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

 

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:

 

March 17, 5:00 – 7:00 pm "All You Need to Know About Infection Control and Prevention"

March 23, 5:00 – 7:00 pm "Supporting a Person with Dementia: Guidance for the Caregiver"

March 25, 5:00 – 7:00 pm "Navigating the Healthcare System"

March 31, 5:00 – 7:00 pm "Palliative and End of Life Care: Support for the Caregiver"

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 SPRING PROGRAMS!

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 Spring 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.

 

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

You know that the Seniors Home Supports Program (SHSP) connects seniors with professionals to help with snow removal, but did you know that they also can assist in linking older adults with businesses and organizations providing yard help, housekeeping, home repair and maintenance, personal services, and moving help? To learn more, visit the SHSP website!

 

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