May 19th Newsletter

Posted on May 19 2020

Tuesday, May 19, 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 older adults 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.

  • 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.

 

ALBERTA'S PLAN TO RELAUNCH

The Provincial Government has released a phased strategy for reopening Alberta. The relaunch is slated to take place in three phases, with restrictions lifting at each phase. Phase one of the plan will launch May 14, 2020.

Sage is encouraging our readers to remain cautiously optimistic about this next phase. Going forward, we are urging everyone to continue to take the strongest precautionary measures. We can work together to practice physical distancing, refrain from leaving our homes except for non-essential trips, we can wear a mask in public, and practice regular handwashing. 

I know many have questions about what to expect when businesses reopen. Although ‘open’ signs will begin to appear in storefront windows, we want to prepare everyone that business will not be “business as usual” until there is a treatment or vaccine for the coronavirus. 

 Alberta Health Services is also reminding individuals to monitor their health for signs and symptoms of COVID-19. If you’re not feeling well, they recommend staying home at this time. If you decide to go out, maintain the 6-feet physical distancing guidelines.

 

HEALTH SERVICES UPDATE AT SAGE

Sage is pleased to announce that our Health Services program has been authorized by Alberta Health to offer short-term supports to seniors who are struggling to access health care during the pandemic. This includes ongoing support for any of our previous clients who have been unable to access new providers. 

Nurse Practitioners can be consulted about an urgent problem, or to address ongoing chronic health conditions which may be affected during this time of physical distancing. NPs can provide telephone consults, virtual visits, and can also come out for a home visit should this be required.

Call 780-809-9402 to make a virtual appointment, or call the Sage main number at 780-423-5510 and choose option 3. One of our health services staff will connect back to you to confirm an initial telephone screening.

 

TAX CLINIC

Sage’s income tax clinic is now operating virtually! Through the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program, volunteers are working remotely to ensure that seniors are able to file their income tax return. The eligibility requirements for accessing the services are: annual income of less than $35,000 for singles or $45,000 for a couple; no income from rental property, farming or self-employment; no capital gains (except as reported on a T3 or T5).

To get your income tax return completed please call 780-809-9424 and leave your name and phone number and a staff member will get back to you within 3 business days to gather the information needed to begin filing the return.

Sage isn’t the only organization offering free tax clinics. Please click here to access lists of organizations who are currently filing income tax for seniors and/or low income individuals free of charge.


GOVERNMENT PAYMENT TO SENIORS

Seniors will be receiving a one-time payment of up to $500 to help offset any increases in the cost of living due to COVID-19. Seniors Minister Deb Schulte said on Tuesday, May 11, 2020 that seniors who qualify for Old Age Security (OAS) will be eligible for a one-time, tax-free payment of $300, and those eligible for the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) will get an extra $200.

Those eligible for both will receive $500.

Seniors who already are receiving OAS and GIS will receive the one-time benefit automatically; they will not be required to apply for it.

 

DEFER UTILITY COSTS

Albertans who are experiencing financial hardship directly related to the COVID-19 pandemic can work with their utility company to defer electricity and natural gas bills until June 18, 2020 without any late fees or added interest payments.

In addition, no Albertan can be cut off from these services or see their services reduced during this period.

You are eligible if you are experiencing financial hardship and cannot make your regular payments as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, you:

  • have been diagnosed with COVID-19

  • have been directed by health authorities to self-isolate

  • have lost your job

  • are taking care of a family member

Albertans who are able to pay their utilities are strongly encouraged to do so to allow greater support for those in need.

Albertans in arrears or behind in payments before the deferral program launched on March 18 are also eligible for a deferral.

 

HOW TO DEFER UTILITY PAYMENTS

To arrange for a deferral and repayment plan, contact your natural gas or electricity provider directly. You can sign up for the deferral at any time; however, the deferral ends on June 18, 2020. Starting June 19, the agreed upon repayment plan will be implemented.

In situations where rent and utilities are combined, contact your landlord directly to discuss the circumstances.

The Consumer Protection Act was amended to ensure sub-metering agreements, such as those between tenants and landlords are captured by the utility payment deferral program.

 

REPAYMENT

Payments will be required at the end of the deferral period, but you will not be required to pay for the entirety of the deferral on June 18.

Contact your utility provider to discuss repayment plan options.

In addition to the agreed repayment plan, consumers may:

  • put down additional payments towards their balance

  • pay one month and defer the next during the period between March 18 – June 18

  • make changes or amendments to a payment schedule – including automatic payments

For support in negotiating a repayment plan that fits your budget or in resolving any service or billing issue, contact the Utilities Consumer Advocate.

 

WHAT TO DO IF YOU FEEL SICK

If you have symptoms including fever, cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, sore throat or runny nose, you MUST self-isolate for 10 days after the onset of symptoms and until your symptoms have resolved (whichever is longer). Under no circumstance should you leave your property during self-isolation. Complete the COVID-19 Self-Assessment for more information. DO NOT visit a hospital, lab or healthcare facility without consulting Health Link 811 first. Call your family doctor first before going in.

 

COVID INFORMATION PHONE LINE

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

 

MULTILINGUAL COVID-19 FACT SHEETS

COVID-19 Health Literacy Project and Harvard Health Publishing

This resource collection provides information about COVID-19, including tips about prevention and how to manage the illness if you do become sick. These resources are currently available in 35 languages. Additionally, the initiative is accepting help from translators willing to provide volunteer translation services. To lend a hand, reach out to the project coordinators by completing their web form.


INDIGENOUS CARE ELDER PROGRAM

The CARE Elder Program, funded by NationTalk, is sending out an automated wellness call once daily to Elders. You can find the latest information and details at www.thecareprogram.ca.  

 

MENTAL HEALTH SUPPORTS

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

It is important to remember during this time of uncertainty to stay connected with your loved ones. We encourage you to phone your family, friends and neighbours who are isolating.

 

MENTAL HEALTH AND SUBSTANCE ABUSE SUPPORT

Wellness Together Canada

 This resource collection was developed in response to the anxiety many Canadians are feeling due to COVID-19. These learning modules are designed to help individuals get back on track and include help for addressing low mood, worry, substance use, social isolation and relationship issues. 

 
EDMONTON FOOD SECURITY RESOURCES LIST

This document provides a listing of cereal breakfasts, bagged lunches, take-away hot meals, and hamper services available throughout the city as well as listing locations, contact information, and operating hours.

Click here to access the list.

 

SENIORS 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.

This web page lists

Please click here to access the resource page: 

 

PROVINCIAL AND GOVERNMENT SUPPORTS

For information other financial support programs available during the COVID-19 pandemic, visit:

 

MEN'S SHED

COVID has created a more immediate need for men to stay connected, and to address these needs, the Men’s Shed Program will virtually launch its city-wide program on Friday, May 15. 

Men will have the opportunity to participate in virtual discussions on topics such as cars, politics and community projects.

“As the COVID-19 pandemic looks set to continue for the foreseeable future, it’s even more likely that men will feel alone and isolated. We know that isolation is a key predictor for mental health challenges, so we want to provide a unique opportunity for Edmonton men to come together, regardless of their background and life experiences,” says Punch Jackson, President of Men’s Sheds Edmonton. 

“We are seeing success with our current sheds, which is a clear indication that a program like MSE is desperately needed in our community. Men virtually come together in a safe space to collaborate, work on group projects, build community initiatives and share stories and ideas.” 

Those interested in joining the program are encouraged to signup on the MSE’s Facebook page found here https://www.facebook.com/MensShedsEdmonton/, where they can virtually meet up with other participants until social distancing measures ease. MSE will launch its full new website on July 1, which will include more tips, tools and support services for men across Edmonton.

For more information please email Punch Jackson at  punchj@telus.net or call 780-463-1096.

 

MAY TELEPHONE PROGRAMS FOR SENIORS

Seniors' Centre Without Walls 

Free

 Want to socialize and make new friends during the pandemic? The good news is, you can do this safely from home with telephone programming from Seniors' Centre Without Walls. There are some great programs coming up! History buffs will enjoy learning about Indigenous Canadian history in "Indigenous Canada'' and hearing how Maritime inventions shaped the world in "Nova Scotian Inventions & Innovations". Want to have a dinner party but can't have company because of COVID-19? Join the virtual dinner party, "Come Dine with Us''. Musically-inclined folks will enjoy belting out old favourites during the "Sing-a-Long and Live Music Night". 

These offerings are just a sneak peak of all available programs. Reference SCWW's May announcement and schedule for full details. 

 

FREE VIRTUAL COMMUNITY ART NIGHT

Nina

Apr 28-May 26

Thanks to Mill Woods Seniors Association for alerting us to this opportunity hosted by the Nina (Nina Haggerty Centre for the Arts). Nina is hosting free community art nights, Tuesdays 6:30-8:00 p.m. via Zoom. 

Free materials for the classes can be arranged by calling Lorraine at 780-919-9627 or email at hello@lshulba.com.

 

SHUMKA AND BALLET CLASSES

Shumka

Shumka has moved their popular Seniors Can Shumka and Silver Swans (inclusive ballet and movement) classes to an online format. The sessions can be done in a small, confined area and will lead through Zoom. 

Call June at 780-455-9559 to register.

 

8 EXERCISES TO IMPROVE FELXIBILITY

Centre for Active Living

Stretching keeps muscles flexible, strong, and healthy, and it helps to maintain a range of motion in the joints. This helpful resource shows stretching exercises that can be done safely from home. 

 

PHONE LINE OFFERS SUPPORT FOR OLDER ADULTS

Joy4All

Free

A group of Calgary recreational leadership students launched a phone project to keep people engaged and provide a bit of levity in these tough times. The project offers listeners a range of pre-recorded messages of positivity, poems, stories, jokes, and letters to reduce feelings of isolation. 

To listen to a message, call 1-877-569-4255. To submit content for the project, email joy4allproject@gmail.com.  

 

SYMPHONY, OPERA AND CHORAL MUSIC

Local arts organizations are showcasing their talents virtually since in-person performances are on hold. Enjoy these musical options.

There’s a wonderful website found here which showcases free screaming theatre and art shows from around the world.
 

WINSPEAR AND ESO

The Winspear and Edmonton Symphony Orchestra present a new digital series, Live at the Winspear: From Stage to Screen featuring ESO musicians. Check the Winspear website for live streams and video releases or watch past performances. You can also watch on Facebook and YouTube.

The ESO musicians also have their own Facebook page where you can participate in Q&As and learn about the musicians. 

 

EDMONTON OPERA

Edmonton Opera at Home is a great way to indulge your passion for opera. Enjoy videos of past performances, kitchen concerts (members of the Edmonton Opera Chorus share a favourite recipe and sing some of their favourite songs live from their kitchen), and happy hour (share a favourite cocktail recipe and chat opera with a performer from the upcoming season).
 

PRO CORO CANADA

Pro Coro Canada has curated a collection of their past video and audio performances and a documentary that fans of choral singing won't want to miss.

ONLINE JAZZ FEST

Calgary Jazz Festival

 The TD JazzYYC International Jazz Days Festival is moving to an online format this year. From April 30 until May 27 you can view performances nightly at 7 p.m. on Facebook Live and YouTube. You can find links to the livestreams and the schedule on the JazzyYYC website.  


MANCHESTER INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL 

The festival is putting full shows, musical performances, talks, Q&As and more online for free. Check out the YouTube channel here.


ELECTROLYTE

The award-winning gig theatre piece by Wildcard Theatre is being streamed for a week from 18 May. Find out more here.

 

ANDREW LLOYD WEBBER'S MUSICALS

The Lord himself is getting in on the free streaming act – every Friday he'll be presenting a brand new show for free on YouTube. Find out more here.

 

CIRQUE DE SOLEIL

Though live circus might be unavailable, the iconic troupe Cirque du Soleil is regularly putting hour-long free shows on its YouTube channel to keep audiences sated.

 
SHAKESPEARE'S GLOBE

The venue will release 40 (yep, you read that right, 40) free titles over the next month, with six mainstage shows accompanied by 34 that were created as part of the venue's epic "Globe to Globe" series of international performances. A proper treat! Find out more here. The theatre has also released two shows on BBC iPlayer.

ESSENTIAL TOILETRY KITS NEEDED

Edmonton Meals on Wheels, in collaboration with Age Friendly Edmonton and other senior and cultural organizations, is taking action to address this issue through their Essential Toiletry Kit initiative!

Essential items needed:

  • Toilet Paper

  • Bar Soap

  • Body Wash

  • Toothpaste

  • Shampoo

  • Facial Tissue

New, unopened toiletries can be dropped off at St. Andrews United Church (9915 148 Street NW) from Tuesday to Friday between 9 am – 1 pm. 

To protect the safety of their staff and volunteers, please do not bring the toiletries directly to Edmonton Meals on Wheels at this time.

You can also support this initiative by making a donation that will go towards purchasing the listed items. Monetary donations can be made through their online form or by calling 780.429.2020. For every $20 that is raised, an Edmontonian in need will receive an Essential Toiletry Kit that will take care of their basic hygiene needs. 

Referrals to this project can be made to the outreach or home support program at participating senior centers or directly to Edmonton Meals on Wheels by calling 780-429-2020 or by email at emow@mealsonwheelsedmonton.org


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.  Click here to download this week’s booklet.


SENIORS' WEEK JUNE 1 - JUNE 7, 2020

While we can't celebrate in-person due to COVID-19, Age Friendly thought it would be the perfect time for an online celebration.  When older adults are empowered and supported, aging can be a beautiful process with each passing year offering new opportunities for growth.  

To this end, Age Friendly is commemorating older Edmontonians by asking them to share their perspectives. For Seniors’ Week 2020, they are asking seniors to share what they're looking forward to about growing older

To participate, go to growolderwithme.net and use the online form to submit your name, age, a photo of yourself and a brief paragraph about what you're looking forward to in the years to come.  

By the time Seniors' Week rolls around on June 1, Age Friendly hopes to have a collage of stories showcasing the many positives of growing older. Together, let’s shift the narrative on aging and disrupt ageism.   

Stories will be shared on growolderwithme.net and on the Age Friendly Edmonton Facebook and Twitter pages. As a thanks for participating, Age Friendly will be giving out $5 Tim Horton’s gift cards to the first 100 participants. Some restrictions apply. See our full release form for full details. 

For more information, email us at  agefriendly@edmonton.com. 

 

SOME GOOD NEWS!

John Krasinski highlights some good news around the world (including weather from Emma Stone) and has his friends from The Office join in to surprise a newly married couple. Special thanks to Emily Blunt for the intro and Zac Brown for the live performance! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NDjNX3nEfYo

 

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

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