February 4, 2021
SENIOR SECTOR NEWS
COVID-19 VACCINE ROLLOUT
Government of Alberta
The Government of Alberta has indicated February marks the start of Phase 1B of its COVID-19 vaccination plan. This phase includes Albertans 75+ and those 65+ who are living in a First Nation community or Métis settlement. Please note, this timeline is subject to change, depending on vaccine availability.  

REMINDER: LOOKING FOR YOUR FEEDBACK
Edmonton Seniors Coordinating Council
Thank you to those who have taken the time to provide feedback on the ESCC’s newsletters.

The ESCC is looking to create a single monthly newsletter that combines the best elements of our existing newsletters, Link Letter and ESCC updates.

We need your help — let us know about the information that is most relevant to you here.

We also need help naming this new newsletter. The link includes a spot where you can suggest a name.

Fill out the survey to be entered into a draw to win one of three $5 Tim Hortons gift cards. If we select your newsletter name suggestion, you will receive a $15 Tim Hortons gift card. The deadline is Friday, February 19th.

If you subscribe to multiple newsletters from ESCC, you only need to fill out the survey once.

HIGHLY AFFECTED SECTORS CREDIT AVAILABILITY PROGRAM
The Government of Canada
The Federal Government announced it is looking to support Canadian businesses impacted by COVID-19 through the Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program (HASCAP). HASCAP offers eligible businesses loans from $25,000 up to $1,000,000. The program opens on February 1, 2021, and businesses have until June 30, 2021, to apply through their financial institution. 


INITIATIVE TO REINSTATE THE OFFICE OF THE SENIORS ADVOCATE
Carp Association of Retirees and Pensioners (CARP) Calgary
Since the abolishment of the Seniors Advocate, seniors-serving organizations have seen a surge in calls, requests and complaints from seniors and their caregivers. Seniors and senior-serving organizations are without a resource for fielding complaints and accessing much needed information, navigational tools and supports. The Canadian Association of Retired Pensioners (CARP), Calgary Chapter, has been leading an initiative to have the position of Seniors Advocate reinstated. Their open call for support is being circulated throughout Alberta to mobilize government action on this pressing need within the entire seniors-serving sector. 

More seniors sector news
(links to the ESCC News for Seniors Organizations web page)
RESOURCES
THE SOCIAL MEDIA TRENDS REPORT
HubSpot
User-generated content is nothing new, but the way it has been created, sourced, and shared is contemporary. Remixing is on the rise through apps like TikTok, Koji, and Instagram Reels. Remixing is the art of taking existing formats, templates, or ideas, and recreating them to express a user’s own personality or ideas. Expect 2021 to bring even more opportunities for remixing, with brands engaging with new audiences and creating additional content that stands out from the crowd. Learn more in this report featuring social trends for this year. 

VIRTUAL MEETINGS FOR BOARDS
Edmonton Chamber of Voluntary Organizations
With social distancing regulations in place for the foreseeable future, comes the rise in popularity of virtual meetings. The ECVO has come up with a guide to help organizations with the transition to online board meetings. 


THE AGE WELL STUDY REPORT
Mather Institute
What factors are related to the happiness and life satisfaction of Life Plan Community residents? This question was explored in great depth in the latest findings from the landmark, five-year Age Well Study being conducted by Mather Institute and Northwestern University. The results reinforce the effects of happiness on multiple areas of health, underlining the importance of providing residents with opportunities for strengthening their optimism, resilience, and feelings of community belonging, thus increasing their happiness.  

More resources for sector staff
(links to the ESCC Resources web page)
LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES
AGING IN PLACE - TECHNOLOGIES TO SUPPORT SENIORS AND CAREGIVERS
McGill University Research Centre for Studies in Aging (MCSA) 
Feb. 9; 10–11:30 a.m.
Free 
Over 80% of seniors prefer to age in the comfort of their homes. Hear about the technology solutions available on the market that enable seniors live a healthy life independently and stay connected and supported by their caregivers. 

IMPACTS OF INTERGENERATIONAL TRAUMA WORKSHOP
Calgary Foundation 
Feb. 23 OR Feb. 25; 10 a.m.-1 p.m. 
Free
This online workshop touches on the current realities facing Indigenous communities and increases awareness on the need for specific Indigenous cultural supports in service delivery. This workshop will explore how the legacy of historical processes and policies continue to have an impact on Indigenous peoples and provide suggested ways participants can heal together from these impacts. Space is limited, so please register by Feb. 15. 

THE IMPORTANCE OF STORYMAKING AND STORYTELLING FOR POSITIVE AGING
University of Toronto Institute for Life Course and Aging 
Mar. 15–Apr. 12 
$240; $120 students/seniors  
In this online workshop, participants will examine the meaning of wisdom in contemporary society and explore various ways that psychological scientists have gone about studying this ancient concept. This workshop will emphasize the importance of storytelling to the development, manifestation, and transmission of wisdom, and will offer suggestions for incorporating wisdom-fostering “life story work” into practice in family, community, and applied settings. 

More learning opportunities for staff/volunteers in the seniors sector (links to the ESCC Learning Opportunities web page)
NEWS FOR SENIORS
EDMONTON CART ROLLOUT
City of Edmonton
How you sort and set out waste is changing!  

Between March and August, Edmontonians will be receiving carts to sort and set out waste - meaning no more black garbage bags on your curb. New collection services include: 

  • A garbage cart that will be collected every two weeks. 
  • A food scraps cart that will be collected weekly in spring, summer and fall and every two weeks in the winter. 
  • Recycling collected weekly in blue bags with no volume limits. 
  • Two seasonal yard waste collections in spring and two in the fall with no volume limits. 

Residents will automatically receive a large (240L) garbage cart, but if they produce less waste, they can request a small (120L) garbage cart by Feb. 12. 

GREETINGS FROM HISTORY
Baskerville 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. There is no charge and no limit on how many people you can nominate. The campaign also needs donations to move forward. A small donation of $15 can help pay for postage, stationary, and time to craft these custom letters.  

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 to Aging 2.0’s Facebook and Twitter feeds.  


OPTOMETRISTS, OPHTHALMOLOGISTS, AN OPTICIANS - DO YOU KNOW THE DIFFERENCE? - presented by Everywhere Eyecare
Westend Seniors Activity Centre 
Feb. 9, 1 p.m. 
There are quite a few people with different skills and specialties that you deal with when you have vision issues. This online information session will define who does what, and how to know where to go to get the help you need. Learn all about what questions do you need to ask, and how to get the best care for your situation. To get a link where you can join the session email yunxuan@weseniors.ca
WHY DID ESTHER INVITE HAMAN TO THE PARTY?
Jewish Senior Citizen’s Centre 
Feb. 10, 1 p.m. 
Join Rabbi Daniel Friedman, a Senior Rabbi based out of London, UK, for a teaching about an important story from the Jewish faith. Please register in advance. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. 

ONLINE CHOIR
Southwest Seniors’ Outreach Society 
Tuesdays; 1–3 p.m. 
Free 
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.  
VALENTINE'S PACKAGES
Mill Woods Seniors Association  
$25 per package, including GST ($40 value) 
Treat yourself, a friend, or your sweetheart to a thoughtful surprise package this Valentine's Day. Packages feature an assortment of items, including homemade items by MWSA seniors! Quantities are limited, so order soon to avoid disappointment. 

WILDFIRE TEEN IMPROV FESTIVAL
Rapid Fire Theatre 
Various dates and times  
Admission by donation 
Edmonton’s young performers are getting creative during lockdown. This year, participant teams come from schools across Alberta and look forward to bringing lots of laughs and smiles in this engaging, entertaining, and fun online improv festival.  

More news and events for seniors
(links to the ESCC News and Events for Seniors web page)
VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES
MWSA SEEKING 2021-22 BOARD MEMBERS
Mill Woods Seniors Association
Are you passionate about the future of seniors in your community? The Mill Woods Seniors Association (MWSA) is seeking members to serve on its Board as President, and Directors. The goal is to create a high functioning and diverse board that is representative and inclusive of the community members we serve. View the poster for more details.

 
URGENT NEED FOR VOLUNTEER DRIVERS
Drive Happiness
Drive Happiness needs 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.  

(links to the Volunteer and Work Opportunities web page)
MORE INFORMATION
Link Letter includes new items biweekly. If you're looking for content that was included in a previous issue of Link Letter, refer to the ESCC website:



Link Letter submissions can be sent to memberservices@seniorscouncil.net
Review our submission guidelines for more information.