April 6th Weekly Update
Posted on April 6 2020
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 and suspended most services to support social distancing measures. We are working remotely and continue to respond to essential needs. Staff are monitoring their emails and voicemails daily.
The Seniors Safe House programming will continue 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.
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.
Our colleagues at the Edmonton Social Planning Council have created an easy to navigate 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-19 WEB PAGE RESPONDS TO SENIORS' NEEDS
In an effort to support seniors during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Edmonton Seniors Coordinating Council has developed a COVID-19 resource web page, which will be maintained and updated regularly in the coming weeks. This page includes updates from seniors' organizations and information to support seniors and their families during this challenging time.
For immigrant, refugee, and newcomer seniors, information about the COVID-19 pandemic has been translated into different languages for ease of access.
REACH has also been collecting links for information on COVID-19 that provide multilingual resources. Please click on the links below for more information.
Government of Canada (GoC) information:
GoC awareness resources - some of these resources/posters have a further drop-down option for language preference:
AHS signage & posters:
AHS multilingual information:
Please call the hotline at 211 or check out their spreadsheet with a list of resources (English only)
The BC Centre for Disease Control has resources in multiple languages:
The World Health Organization translates its resources into several languages (top right on the webpage):
HEALTH AND WELLNESS
Non-Essential Medical Appointments
If your family physician or other health-care provider is unable or unwilling to receive you during this time, you can find a family doctor near you who is accepting new patients through the Primary Care Networks and the College of Physicians & Surgeons of Alberta offer online tools. Visit https://albertafindadoctor.ca and https://search.cpsa.ca/physiciansearch.
Virtual Care Medical Appointments
Many people are concerned about accessing their local physician during this time. If you need to see your doctor, consider asking if they have virtual care options available in their practice as many doctors and clinics have begun to roll out virtual care programs.
For those who do not have a local physician, Shoppers Drug Mart is now providing a virtual care platform for customers to access medical services during the COVID-19 pandemic. The pharmacy is teaming up with technology platform Maple to launch virtual care services for patients wanting to speak with doctors and other health care providers.
In addition to providing COVID-19 screenings, virtual primary care visits will include diagnosing and providing prescriptions for minor ailments like bladder infections, UTIs, skin issues and more.
Sage is thrilled to partner 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/events
ONLINE YOGA AND ZUMBA CLASSES
The Edmonton Seniors Centre has embraced technology and is offering online FREE classes for seniors (with plans for more in the works).
Yoga and Meditation
DATES: Monday, March 30 to Wednesday, April 29
ESC is offering the following live, instructor-led classes using Zoom:
Monday: Senior Yoga, 9:30 - 10:30 a.m.
Tuesday: Stress Reducing Meditation, 9:30 - 10 a.m.
Wednesday: Senior Yoga, 9:30 - 10:30 a.m.
Wednesday: Chair Yoga, 10:45 - 11:45 a.m.
To participate in these classes, seniors must receive a Zoom invitation that gives access to the class. Email the instructor to receive an invitation. ESC has created instructions for how to download and use Zoom.
Chair Zumba Gold
ESC's longtime Zumba instructor has created a playlist on YouTube that seniors can use to participate in Chair Zumba Gold activities. The instructor will be adding to the playlist, so seniors can also subscribe to get updates when new videos are posted.
8-WEEK FITNESS PROGRAM FOR SENIORS
Thanks to our friends over at Westend Seniors Activity Centre for providing seniors a great fitness video series designed to help all seniors stay active during this pandemic.
Edmonton Transit Service (ETS) customers are encouraged to travel only if it’s essential, and when possible, travel during off-peak hours.
Enhanced Saturday service is provided during the weekdays and regular Saturday service on the weekends. This allows more time for buses and LRT trains to be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected when they are out of service.
There are NO fares for transit at the time including bus, LRT or DATS. There will not be any refunds or prorated reimbursements for March transit passes, but if you have already purchased an April transit pass you can apply for a refund by calling 311.
Able bodied passengers are requested to board through the bus back doors.
Those requiring use of the ramp or bus kneeling feature are welcome to continue using the front doors.
DATS service is still available for registered clients. There are fewer clients per vehicle to provide safe physical distancing.
For the most up to date information see takeETS.com
Edmonton’s first intergenerational podcast, The Shared Mic: Conversations for the Ages, released the final episode of it’s first season on March 30. The podcast, conceptualized by AFE Champions Salima Suleman and Eric Storey, has provided an interesting experiment by providing a forum for people of different ages and backgrounds to discuss diverse themes. If you haven’t heard the most recent episodes, there’s lots to catch up on! Click here https://mailchi.mp/b8bb59f2fb02/age-friendly-edmonton-newsletter-august-640884?e=d00e4de141#podcast
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
You may hear the word, “physical distancing” replace the word, “social distancing” in the upcoming weeks. The Government of Canada has released a guide and a short film on what the phrase, “physical distancing” means and has provided educational information on how you can help Canada flatten the curve by embracing physical distancing. https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/video/covid-19-physical-distancing-alberta.html
BEWARE OF COVID-19 FRAUD
This bulletin released by the Government of Canada details scams that have arisen from the COVID-19 pandemic. Currently, opportunistic fraudsters want to profit from consumers' fears, uncertainties and misinformation.
Fraudsters are exploiting the crisis to facilitate fraud and cyber crime. This bulletin provides helpful information about reported scams so you can take precautions to protect yourself.
Applications for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) will open up on the week of April 6. The CERB provides $500 a week for up to 16 weeks for individuals who qualify for relief.
For information on how to apply please click here: https://www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/ei/cerb-application.html
For those waiting on their GST rebate for individuals who normally receive the GST/HST credit and have filed a 2018 tax return, payments will be issued on April 9, 2020.
EI DURING COVID
COVOD- 19 related changes to EI (EI sickness benefits provide up to 15 weeks of income replacement and is available to eligible claimants who are unable to work because of illness, injury or quarantine)
The one-week waiting period for EI sickness benefits will be waived for new claimants who are quarantined
People claiming EI sickness benefits due to quarantine will not have to provide a medical certificate
People who cannot complete their claim for EI sickness benefits due to quarantine may apply later and have their EI claim backdated to cover the period of delay
RENTAL PROTECTIONS IN ALBERTA
The Government of Alberta is providing security for Alberta residential renters during the COVID-19 pandemic. The new protections mean:
Payment Plans and Eviction Process
Effective immediately, tenants cannot be evicted for non-payment of rent and/or utilities before May 1.
Effective immediately, rents will not increase while Alberta’s state of public health emergency remains in effect.
Effective April 1, late fees cannot be applied to late rent payments for the next three months.
Effective April 1, landlords and tenants need to work together to develop payment plans while the state of public health emergency is in effect.
While Alberta is in a state of public health emergency, landlords must attempt to work out a payment plan with tenants who are unable to make their full rent when payment is due. The Residential Tenancy Dispute Resolution Service (RTDRS) will not hear applications that could lead to eviction due to non-payment unless a reasonable attempt has been made to work out a payment plan.
Until the state of public health emergency has been lifted, landlords cannot raise the rent on residential properties or mobile home sites, even if notice of an increase has already been given.
Until June 30, landlords cannot further penalize tenants who are late on rent by charging late fees, even if the signed rental agreement states that a late fee can be applied. Landlords will also not be able to retroactively collect late fees for this period.
Are you a professional working with seniors? The National Council on Aging has collated COVID-19 resources for professionals. Click here to learn more.
If you have questions, please refer to our website: https://www.mysage.ca/. You can also call Sage at 780.423.5510 and leave a message. Please note that it may take us longer than usual to get back to you.