April 28th Weekly Newsletter

Posted on April 28 2020

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

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


WHAT'S HAPPENING AT SAGE

Sage is working remotely to support seniors during the COVID-19 pandemic. Please note that we have closed our building, but are working remotely and continue to respond to essential needs. Staff are monitoring their emails and voicemails daily.

  • The Seniors Safe House programming continues to function as normal. In an emergency, call 911. If you are a senior, or know of a senior, experiencing abuse, please hang up and dial 780.702.1520 for our Safe House Intake. For 24-hour support, call the Seniors Abuse Helpline at 780.454.8888.
  • All non-essential programs and groups have been suspended, including the income tax clinic and the Life Enrichment programming scheduled for May.
  • Sage has been partnering with Edmonton Seniors’ Without Walls to offer a variety of interactive telephone-based social and health programming, free of charge. You can access all these programs with your phone from the comfort of your own home. Click here to learn more about the Seniors' Centre Without Walls and how you can join us by phone or computer!You can access the calendar of events on our website by clicking here: https://www.mysage.ca/event
  • Health services and social work programs are still seeing clients by appointment after a pre-screening. For those requiring appointments for the health services program, please call 780.423.5510 and press 3. For those needing social work services, please call 780.423.5510 and press 4 and leave a message.
  • Staying connected is important. Sage has implemented a friendly call program. If you would like to be added to Sage’s friendly phone call list, please call 780.423.5510 and press 5 and leave a message requesting to be added to the list. 


EXPANDED COVID-19 TESTING
Alberta Health continues to closely monitor outbreak situations, and is working with employers and Alberta Health Services to expand testing to asymptomatic residents and staff in continuing care facilities and outbreak sites. All workers from all companies at outbreak sites will be offered this opportunity. Additionally, Alberta’s testing capacity is expanding rapidly and anyone with symptoms anywhere in the province can now be tested. Those with symptoms of COVID-19, including cough, fever, runny nose, sore throat, or shortness of breath, should complete an online COVID-19 self-assessment. After completing the form, there is no need to call 811.

FAMILY VIOLENCE PREVENTION
Rates of family violence, including elder abuse, increase during and following natural disasters, public health crises and economic downturns. It is important to know where to turn if you or someone you know is experiencing family violence during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Alberta’s One Line for Sexual Violence is available at 1‑866‑403‑8000, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Information sheets and other resources on family violence prevention are available at alberta.ca/COVID19.

 

MENTAL HEALTH SUPPORTS
Albertans can call the Mental Health Help Line at 1‑877‑303‑2642 or the Addiction Help Line at 1‑866‑332‑2322, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for confidential support, information and referrals.

Talk-In Counselling
Drop-in counselling through the Family Centre is now offering "Talk In" Counselling phone appointments.  If you are in need of counselling, you can contact them through the live chat feature on their website, you can email them or phone them:

Email at therapy-leads@familycentre.org
Call at 780.900.6423
They will then connect you with a mental health therapist as soon as they are available.

Your first session is free and no referrals are needed https://www.familycentre.org/counselling.

Centre for Online Mental Health Support
Free
These mini sessions are great mental health boosters in a time when we need it most. The worldwide pandemic weighs heavy on all our minds, but these sessions provide techniques to alleviate some of this pressure and help us achieve a healthier, happier state of mind.

The Science: April 29 and 30, 3 - 3:30 p.m. (Mountain) 

Mindfulness for Adults:April 29 - May 1, 4 - 4:30 p.m. (Mountain) 
 

Senior’s Positivity Hotline

In need of a smile? Then be sure to check out this wonderful free phone line resource! Seniors can call to hear a pre-recorded joke or story. You can call 1-877-569-4255 or 403-209-4300

Here is a news article regarding Alberta’s plan to expand Covid-19 testing

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/alberta/article-alberta-plans-to-dramatically-expand-a-covid-19-testing-system-that/


Caregivers Alberta

Online Peer Support: In response to the evolving COVID-19 situation Caregiver Alberta has added new online Caregiver Support Community groups which happen each Monday and Thursday! Learn More & Register Here.

Caregiver Advisor: Need one-on-one support? A Caregiver Advisor can connect you to the resources you need, offer personalized support and is there to listen when you just need to talk. You can connect to a Caregiver Advisor by:

Well Connected

Caregivers Alberta has collaborated with ElderCare Edmonton to support family caregivers, enrich lives and promote engagement by offering an at home day program. No matter your age or where you are in the province, you can stay connected by participating in activities, education, and friendly conversation. Both caregivers and care recipients are welcome to participate! Groups facilitated by ElderCare Edmonton therapeutic recreation specialists. Learn More & Register Here.

Watch Past Online Workshops: You can watch past online workshops on the Caregivers Alberta YouTube channel at any time.
 

GOVERNMENT OF ALBERTA COVID-19 FAQs
The following questions and answers were prepared by the Government of Alberta, with input from Alberta Health, the Chief Medical Officer of Health’s office and the Provincial Operations Centre, which is managing the government’s response to the pandemic. This information was released on April 22, 20202. For the most up-to-date information, please go to alberta.ca and click on the COVID-19 link
 

How do you protect yourself and others from COVID-19? 

  • Practice physical distancing. 

  • Stay home and away from others if sick or in isolation. 

  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. 

  • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or your elbow. 

  • Avoid touching your face. 

  • Avoid travel outside Canada. 

  • Watch for COVID-19 symptoms: cough, fever, shortness of breath, runny nose or sore throat. 

 

What is physical distancing? 

  • Physical distancing involves taking steps to limit the number of people you come into close contact with. It can help you reduce the risk of getting sick. 

  • This is not the same as isolation. You do not need to remain indoors, but you do need to avoid being in close contact with people. 

  • We are asking all Albertans to practise physical distancing to help protect themselves and limit the spread of COVID-19. 

 

How do you practice physical distancing? 

  • Keep at least six feet (the length of a bicycle) from others when going out for groceries, medical trips and other essential needs. 

  • Limit the number of times you leave your home for errands; try to limit grocery store visits to once a week. 

  • Try to have only one person in the household do the shopping. 

  • Try to shop at less busy times. 

  • Order online to have groceries or other items delivered if possible .

  • Go for a walk in your neighbourhood or park while maintaining distance from others. 

  • Avoid overcrowding in elevators or other enclosed spaces. 

  • Follow Alberta’s mandatory restrictions on gatherings. 

  • Wash or sanitize your hands after touching communal surfaces. 

 

What are the prohibitions about gatherings? 

  • No gathering of more than 15 people is allowed in one indoor or outdoor location. 

  • Examples of indoor and outdoor gatherings include the following: Weddings, funerals, religious services, informal events, conferences, educational seminars and workshops, group volunteering initiatives 

  • All individuals found to be in violation of gathering restrictions are subject to a $1,000 penalty. 

 

Can I continue going to my place of worship? 

In light of the extraordinary circumstances, restrictions have been issued on mass gatherings to limit the potential spread of COVID-19, this includes faith-based gatherings. 

  • No gatherings with more than 15 people are allowed. 

  • Places of worship are encouraged to offer virtual or live-streamed activities instead of in-person events. 

  • If gatherings with fewer than 15 people do happen, there must be proper mitigation measures in place. 

 

Why should an individual isolate? 

  • Isolation means avoiding situations where you could infect other people. It is a good way to help prevent the spread of infections like COVID-19. 

  • When you are exposed to an illness, there is a time between the exposure and when you start to feel sick. This incubation period is usually 2 to 10 days for COVID-19, but can be up to 14 days. Not everyone who is exposed will get sick, but it is necessary to wait the full 2 weeks to be sure you are not infected. 

  • There is a very small chance you can spread the germs before you feel sick, as many people have very mild symptoms at the start of their sickness. Staying home means that if you do start to feel sick, it won’t happen while you are in a public place, which lowers the chance the virus could spread to others. 

 

Who should isolate? 

  • You are legally required to isolate for a minimum of 10 days if you have a cough, fever, shortness of breath, runny nose, or sore throat that is not related to a pre-existing illness or health condition. 

  • The mandatory isolation period is 10 days from the start of symptoms, or until symptoms resolve, whichever takes longer. 

 

What should I do if I tested positive for COVID-19?

  • You are legally required to isolate for a minimum of 10 days if you have tested positive for COVID-19. 

  • Isolation period is for 10 days from the start of symptoms, or until symptoms resolve, whichever takes longer. 

 

What should you do if you have symptoms, but tested negative for COVID-19 

  • If you tested negative and have known exposure to COVID-19, you are legally required to isolate for 14 days. 

  • If you tested negative and have no known exposure to the virus, you are not legally required to isolate. However, it is important to stay home until your symptoms resolve so that you do not infect others. 

 

Close contacts of confirmed cases 

  • You are legally required to isolate for 14 days and monitor for symptoms if you are a close contact of a person who tested positive for COVID-19 (provides care, lives with or has close physical contact without appropriate use of personal protective equipment, or comes into direct contact with infectious body fluids.) 

  • If you become sick with cough, fever, shortness of breath, runny nose or sore throat during this time, you must isolate for an additional 10 days from the beginning of symptoms or until you are feeling well, whichever takes longer. 

 

Travellers 

  • You are legally required to isolate for 14 days if you returned from travel outside of Canada after March 12 and monitor for symptoms. 

  • If you become sick with cough, fever, shortness of breath, runny nose or sore throat during this time, you must isolate for an additional 10 days from the beginning of symptoms or until you are feeling well, whichever takes longer. 

 

How do you isolate? 

  • Stay home – do not leave your home or attend work, school, social events or any other public gatherings. 

  • Avoid close contact with people in your household, especially seniors and people with chronic conditions or compromised immune systems. 

  • You are prohibited from taking public transportation like buses, taxis or ride-sharing. 

  • Do not go outside for a walk through your neighbourhood or park. This includes children in mandatory isolation. 

  • You can get fresh air in your backyard, if you have one, but you must remain on private property not accessible by others. 

  • If you live in an apartment building or highrise, you must stay inside and cannot use the elevators or stairwells to go outside. If your balcony is private and at least 2 metres away from your closest neighbour's, you may go outside on the balcony. 

 

Where can seniors find support in the community? 

  • If you need to find support in your community, reach out to 211 or Alberta Supports. 

  • 211 is a comprehensive informational referral system accessible for all Albertans. Call or text 2-1-1 or visit ab.211.ca. 
     

What if you do not have COVID-19 symptoms and you need medical assistance for another reason, but cannot get treatment?

(For example if medicentres are closed and doctors are turning patients away or you can’t get through to Health Link)

  • If your family physician or other health-care provider is unable or unwilling to receive you, we recommend you contact another health-care provider. 

  • To find a family doctor near you who is accepting new patients, Primary Care Networks and the College of Physicians & Surgeons of Alberta offer online tools. Visit https://albertafindadoctor.ca/ and https://search.cpsa.ca/physiciansearch 

  • The Government of Alberta is recommending the postponement of any non-essential visits at this time.

 

Can I visit my loved one in long-term care, supportive living, congregate living, hospice care or acute care? 

  • As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, AHS is taking additional steps to ensure that those most at risk of contracting the virus are protected. 

  • No visitors are permitted to long-term care, supportive living, congregate living, hospice care and acute care facilities in Alberta. 

  • Exceptions will be made for maternity care and children who are patients in acute care/outpatient settings, and for visitors attending to a resident who is dying in a continuing care facility. 

  • Visitors who are permitted under these exceptions must be verified and undergo a health screening prior to entering the facility. They are also required to wear a mask during their visit. 

  • Families and friends of those in these facilities to think of other ways besides visiting that they can support and encourage their loved ones through this difficult time. 

  • For more information, visit https://www.albertahealthservices.ca/topics/Page17001.aspx. 

 

Can I take my loved one out of a continuing care facility and bring them home if they have tested negative for COVID-19? 

  • Decisions to relocate a resident from a facility must be made in conjunction with their care team and physician. 

  • Families will need to be prepared to provide care for the resident (which may include additional home supports) and be responsible for their care until the facility can safely re-admit them. 

  • The Government of Alberta encourages you to speak with your loved one's care team and physician to make an informed decision. 

 

What is happening to the Seniors Information Services Office? 

  • Effective immediately, the Seniors Information Services Office, located on Jasper Avenue in Edmonton, will be closed. 

 

Why did the government close this storefront location? 

  • To protect the health of staff and clients during the COVID-19 pandemic, our government has decided to close the office. 

 

What is the Seniors Information Services Office? 

  • The Edmonton Seniors Information Services Office provides in-person service to clients in need of information and support to access provincial seniors financial assistance programs. 

  • This storefront setup is unique to Edmonton. Seniors in all other areas of the province access information in-person through the Alberta Supports Contact Centres or via the Alberta Supports phone line. 

 

Where should seniors go for information and supports now that the office is closed? 

  • Seniors can contact Alberta Supports at 1-877-644-9992. 

 

When will the office reopen? 

  • We have closed the Seniors Information Services Office until further notice. 

 

Are there resources available to caregivers? 

Caregivers can receive supports in the form of referrals and a listening ear by calling Caregivers Alberta’s Caregiver Advisor line at 780-453-5088 or 1-877-453-5088. 

 
FINANCIAL EMPOWERMENT NEWSLETTER
The City of Edmonton compiles a regular electronic newsletter called Earn, Save, Build. Due to COVID-19, the newsletter reflects the current emergency resources provided by the Federal, Provincial, Municipal and private sectors.

Issue #10 which was released on April 17, 2020 can be accessed by clicking here: 

Issue #10 Released April 17


RETURN OR REPAY CERB

If you received CERB based on a recommendation from a friend, received it, and then realized that you should not have received it, you will most likely be asked to repay it. 

You may want to return or repay the CERB if you:

  • return to work earlier than expected

  • applied for CERB but later realize you’re not eligible

You have the option to return or repay your CERB payment now.

If you still have the original CERB cheque, you can return the cheque by mail to the address below. If you don't have the cheque or were paid by direct deposit you can mail your repayment to the CRA. Be sure to:

  1. make payment out to "Receiver General for Canada"

  2. indicate it is for "Repayment of CERB"

  3. include your Social Insurance Number (SIN) or your Temporary Tax Number (TTN)

Mail your payment to:

Revenue Processing – Repayment of CERB

Sudbury Tax Centre

1050 Notre Dame Avenue

Sudbury ON P3A 0C3

https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/benefits/apply-for-cerb-with-cra.html#return

 

RESOURCE LIST

The Edmonton Social Planning Council has a very informative resource page which will help you access the latest information for financial and government aid, food service programs in Edmonton, and resources for physical and mental health. The resources cover a wide range of topics and the intent is to inform people about their options and available support, and provide them with tools to continue isolating, social distance, remain in quarantine, or access health care support.

Please click here to access the resource page: 

https://edmontonsocialplanning.ca/covid-19/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=espc_news_covid_19_resources_and_clothes4comfort&utm_term=2020-04-03

 

COVID INFORMATION LINE

A toll-free phone line providing information to Canadians about COVID-19.
Dial 1-833-784-4397

 

EDMONTON WINDOW ART

Karen Parker created the new Edmonton Window Art Map. The map makes it easy for people to plan “window walk” routes. Just click on a location near you to find the windows decorated with messages and art. You can use the map to go for a "window walk," or decorate your windows and add them to the map.

  

ELDERCARE EDMONTON ACTIVITY BOOKLET

Every week, Eldercare Edmonton will release a new weekly activity booklet which includes a wide variety of trivia, crossword puzzles, word searches, fun recipes and many other physical activity and cognitive activities.  

Copy and paste the link below into your web browser to access the booklet:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1nUYZV_hapvit_PNf4GnTjKVgvVQBJUiI


CREATIVEBUG LIBRARIES

Free with your Edmonton Public Library card

Hey crafters and artists! Your EPL card now grants you access to ""CreativeBug Libraries” a virtual platform hosting arts and crafts classes. Enjoy thousands of award-winning art and craft instructional video classes taught by recognized design experts and artists. From crochet to calligraphy, this online resource has something for everyone. 

If you have not have previously had a library card, the EPL can register you online or over the phone. Their main phone line, 780-496-7000, is being staffed Monday - Friday; 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM. They are also happy to provide phone support for any tech or information needs.

 

VISIT THE VANCOUVER AQUARIUM - VIRTUALLY!

Vancouver Aquarium

Free

See cute, aquatic critters live on your digital device. The Vancouver Aquarium has set up live cams to record and share the activities of their marine residents, including sea otters, penguins, and jellyfish. https://www.vanaqua.org/

 

EDMONTON ARCHIVES VIRTUAL EXHIBITS

City of Edmonton 

Free

Want to learn more about Edmonton's history? The City of Edmonton Archives' virtual exhibits found here: https://www.edmonton.ca/city_government/edmonton_archives/virtual-exhibits.aspx draw upon records held at the Archives to tell stories about our city and our history. 

With stories documenting the first schools, life on the homefront during the first world war, the origins of Halloween in Edmonton, and more, this collection of historic photos and stories will show you an interesting new side of the city we call home. 

 

#WRIGHTVIRTUALVISITS SHARES ARCHITECTURAL MARVELS ONLINE

Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation and Unity Temple Restoration Foundation

Thursdays, 12 p.m. (Central)

Free

Calling all architecture nerds! Take part in a virtual tour of a different Frank Lloyd Wright site every week. The tours will be shared as videos on social media. To find tours, search the hashtag #WrightVirtualVisits on social media. Past tours will also be posted here: https://savewright.org/news/public-wright-sites-swap-virtual-visits/ 

 

WORKOUT VIDEOS

City of Edmonton Recreation Centres

Does quarantine have you feeling sluggish? Boost your energy levels and work up a sweat from home with gentle yoga sessions, vigorous spin classes, dance routines, and more. This video series https://www.facebook.com/watch/edmonton.reccentres/ has something for everyone and most activities can be done with equipment you have at home. This channel also includes video tips from a personal trainer to help you get the most out of your workouts. 

 

COMMUNITIES CONNECTING

  • Staying connected is important. Sage has implemented a friendly call program. If you would like to be added to Sage’s friendly phone call list, please call 780.423.5510 and press 5 and leave a message requesting to be added to the list. 

  • Do you have a positive story about someone helping out another during this time that you would like to see highlighted in our weekly update? If so, I would love to hear it! Email Amber at aalexander@mysage.ca

 

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITY FOR CRAFTERS

Mill Woods Seniors Association

Enjoy sewing? MWSA is looking for volunteers to sew fabric masks. Materials are provided, however, you must own a sewing machine. If you want to help, email Michele at bookkeeper@mwsac.ca to arrange for delivery of mask materials. Video instructions for the mask are available here: https://anest.ufl.edu/clinical-divisions/mask-alternative/. The mask you will be making is "mask prototype 2". 

 

ALBERTA CARES CONNECTOR

The Government of Alberta launched a new tool to connect Albertans with volunteer opportunities during this unprecedented global crisis. The Alberta Cares Connector will build on the success of everyday Albertans who answered the call to action, by providing an easy one‑stop‑shop for those looking for service opportunities. It will ensure those organizations and programs that depend on the generosity and assistance of volunteers are able to continue to provide support to those in need.

 

RESEARCH PARTICIPANTS WANTED

University of Toronto, Occupational Science & Occupational Therapy

This research study is being conducted to better understand social interactions and social isolation among Canadian senior citizens, with a focus on how older adults use technology for socializing. The researchers are seeking participants who are aged 55+ and living in Canada to take part in an online survey. For more information, call 1-416-946-8573.

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