January 21, 2021
SENIOR SECTOR NEWS
CREATING A NEW ESCC NEWSLETTER
Edmonton Seniors Coordinating Council
Following the news we shared in the previous Link Letter regarding the development of a new ESCC newsletter, we want to hear from you. 

Link Letter is one of two newsletters the ESCC distributes (the other is called ESCC Updates). We know your time and inbox space is valuable, so we are looking to combine these two newsletters into a single monthly newsletter. 

We want to ensure we maintain the best from both worlds — that’s where we need your help.  

We have developed a survey asking for your feedback on the information that is most relevant to you. If you subscribe to multiple newsletters from ESCC, you only need to fill out the survey once. 

We also need help naming this 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.

COORDINATED PANDEMIC RESPONSE GROUP ISSUES REPORT ABOUT 2020 EFFORTS
Edmonton Coordinated Pandemic Response Group
The Coordinated Pandemic Response Group--initiated by the Edmonton Seniors Coordinating Council, Sage Seniors Association, and City of Edmonton--was developed as an emergency response to meet the needs of older Edmontonians during the pandemic. 

Many Edmonton-based seniors serving organizations collaborated to form a Steering Committee. Three task groups were created in the areas of, "food and transportation", "outreach and home supports", and "psycho/social programming in community". Task groups were designed to address the needs of older Edmontonians in a holistic manner that is centred around the senior.  

In January 2021, a final report for the task group was created to showcase the significant outcomes of the group's efforts. 

COVID-19 UPDATE
Government of Alberta
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted us all but we must continue to do our part to stop the virus from spreading. Your choices matter. By wearing a mask, keeping your distance, and avoiding gatherings and non-essential outings, you are keeping yourself and others safe.  

Exposure tracking 
Download the COVID Alert app, Canada's free COVID notification app. It can alert you to possible exposures before you have symptoms.

COVID-19 vaccine 
Canada anticipates that by September 2021, there will be enough doses to vaccinate everyone who is approved to receive the vaccine or for whom the vaccine is recommended. Immunizations for the below populations are expected to be available starting February, pending vaccine availability.
  • Seniors 75 years of age and over, no matter where they live 
  • First Nations, Métis and persons 65 years of age and over living in a First Nations community or Metis Settlement 

Travel  
The Government of Canada recommends against non-essential travel. It is safer to stay at home in Canada and receive the vaccine here.  

New mask recommendations
To improve the level of protection of non-medical masks, the Public Health Agency of Canada is now recommending that you consider using a 3-layer non-medical mask. You do not have to discard your 2-layer non-medical masks. Rather, if you are making or buying more masks, you should consider 3-layer non-medical masks for better protection.

Get your flu shot 
If you have not done so already, make sure to get your flu shot. Getting the flu shot is the best way to prevent the flu and reduce the severity of flu-related complications. 

More seniors sector news
(links to the ESCC News for Seniors Organizations web page)
RESOURCES
LOOKING FORWARD WITH BRUCE MACDONALD
CharityVillage and Imagine Canada
The Small Nonprofit Podcast
As we say goodbye to 2020, now is the perfect time to reflect on the year that was and look ahead to how we might choose to shape our sector in 2021. Take a listen to a recent episode of CharityVillage’s Small Nonprofit podcast where Imagine Canada President & CEO Bruce MacDonald explains why we shouldn’t expect or want to go back to “business as usual” after the pandemic and offers his three best tips for how charities can be equipped to face future storms.

PATHS FORWARD IN FINANCIALLY TROUBLED TIMES - A RESTRUCTURING AND INSOLVENCY GUIDEBOOK FOR CHARITIES AND NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATIONS
Muttart Conservatory and Miller Thomson LLP 
This new resource can assist non-profits cope with the financial hardships that are now upon them.  

THE AGE WELL STUDY REPORT:
3 YEAR FINDINGS
Mather Institute
Findings from the third year of this five-year longitudinal study focus on happiness and life satisfaction among Life Plan Community residents. It provides data that can help organizations strengthen programs and strategies to support residents’ emotional wellness. Findings are based on responses from 4,191 residents from 122 Life Plan Communities around the United States. 

More resources for sector staff
(links to the ESCC Resources web page)
LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES
BOARD DEVELOPMENT WEBINARS
Government of Alberta 
Various dates and times available 
Free 
The Government of Alberta Community Development Unit offers programs on topics such as strategic planning, board governance, building leadership capabilities, fund development and grant writing, evaluation, public and stakeholder engagement, developing partnerships and collaborative relationships tailored to your community groups, non-profit organizations, and volunteer teams. 

INTIMACY AND SEXUAL BEHAVIOUR AMONG OLDER ADULTS IN LONG TERM CARE
Institute for Life Course and Aging  
Feb. 1–Feb. 28 (4 weeks)  
$240 general; $120 seniors/students 
The goals of this online workshop are to explore our own values and beliefs about intimacy, aging, and the relationship between these sensitive topics; to appreciate the challenges presented by the desire for intimacy when faced with physical, mental, psychological, social and environmental barriers; and to increase our awareness of strategies and opportunities we can embrace.

FUNDRAISING TRENDS OF 2021 THAT MAY INFLUENCE YOUR STRATEGY FOR A SUCCESSFUL YEAR
CharityVillage 
Feb. 4, 1 p.m. (Eastern)  
Free 
With so many unknowns surrounding the future, and especially the future of fundraising, this course is a great resource for organizations preparing fundraising strategies for a successful and lucrative 2021. 

DEMOCRACY, CIVIL SOCIETY, AND DIGITAL TECHNOLOGY
Stanford Social Innovation Review 
Feb. 17-18 
$495 USD 
This course is designed to help non-profit teams identify digital technologies that can strengthen our democracy and civil society, reduce inequities, improve the operation of non-profit organizations, and empower the kind of informed, democratic participation which is a vital underpinning of civil society.  

More learning opportunities for staff/volunteers in the seniors sector (links to the ESCC Learning Opportunities web page)
NEWS FOR SENIORS
SCAMS AND FRAUDS PREVENTION
Edmonton Seniors Centre and Canada Revenue Agency 
Jan. 27; 1–2 p.m. 
$2 
Did you know Canadians lost 1.2 MILLION dollars to COVID-19 scams between March 6 and May 7, 2020? Edmonton Seniors Centre invites you to this informative presentation to help you recognize scams, fraudulent communications, and how to protect yourself from identity theft. Examples will include recent COVID-19 scams. Please forward this information to whoever you feel may be interested and would benefit from learning more about scams and frauds. 

WINTER PHONE PROGRAMMING AVAILABLE FOR ALBERTA SENIORS
Alberta Seniors’ Centre Without Walls (SCWW) 
Various dates & times available 
Free 
Check out Alberta Seniors’ Centre Without Walls winter programs! Join SCWW for weekly coffee chats, French conversation clubs, exercise programs and more.

ANTI-SEMITISM IN THE WORLD: PAST AND PRESENT
Jewish Senior Citizen’s Centre  
Feb. 9, 16 & 2; Tuesdays 1–3 p.m. 
$30 members; $45 non-members  
This course explores anti-Semitism from the Middle Ages to the mid-20th centry emergence of Nazism, and beyond. The course explores the context of racism in western societies and how this dark past culminated in the holocaust during World War II. It will also explore manifestations of anti-Semitism locally in Alberta, both before and after World War II. Finally, this course will investigate what’s happening right now as we witness the insidious resurrection of racist populist movements worldwide. You will need to pre-register to participate in this course. Following your registration, you will receive a join link with further instructions. Members can take part in this course at a discounted rate. Membership costs $30 per year and gets you access to great courses like this one at the best rates. Call 780-488-4241 for more information.  

CONNECTING THROUGH WRITING WORKSHOPS
Sage Seniors Association 
Feb. 25–Mar. 18; Thursdays; 3:15–4:15 p.m. 
Free 
In this workshop series, you will learn to write, share, and work through life experiences. Registration for this course is limited to a maximum of 12 participants, so register soon to avoid disappointment! The registration deadline for this course is February 22. Register by emailing Rachel at rtassone@mysage.ca or by calling 780-701-9016. Following your registration, you will be sent the Zoom link (for those accessing the course online) or phone-in information (for those accessing the course by telephone).  
BALANCE YOUR COVID RISK WHILE PROMOTING MENTAL HEALTH WITH NORDIC WALKING
Edmonton Federation of Community Leagues (EFCL)
Walking outdoors is a low-risk and a 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. Due to current COVID-19 restrictions at the time of this publication, most walking groups are suspended. However, EFCL Seniors Program Walking Advisor, Kim Mah, is happy to provide you with gear tips and how to get started practicing on your own. Urbanpoling.com is another resource for those interested in learning about this fun activity. You can connect with Kim by emailing kim.mah@efcl.org, or calling 780-217-2087. 

ONLINE NEHIYAWEWIN: CREE CLASSES
Edmonton Public Library 
Ongoing until May 12; Wednesdays; 6–8 p.m.  
Free 
Whether you want to reconnect with your ancestral language or discover Alberta’s rich Indigenous heritage through language, this online class is for you! This class is suitable for beginners and those with previous language knowledge. Learning a new language is a fabulous brain workout for all ages, with benefits including an increase in the volume and density of gray matter, better brain connectivity and improved working memory.

ONLINE PROGRAMS FROM CNIB
CNIB Foundation 
Various dates & times available 
Free 
Try something new with CNIB! Whether it's career support, tech training, youth groups, cooking classes or book clubs – these virtual programs are guaranteed to keep you entertained and engaged. Programs are free and available to Canadians who are blind or partially sighted as well as their families, friends, and caregivers. Here are a few examples of what’s happening at CNIB: 

  • Virtual Bingo: Thursdays; 1:30–3:30 p.m. (Eastern); hosted via teleconference 
  • Friday Fun Trivia: Fridays; 11 a.m.–12 p.m. (Eastern); hosted on Zoom 
  • Relaxation Yoga: Saturdays; 12–12:30 p.m. (Central); hosted on Zoom 

DELICIOUS CAFE LUNCHES AVAILABLE
Mill Woods Seniors Association (MWSA)
The MWSA 2nd Floor Cafe is offering lunch to go for only $8 per meal! Pre-order your meal online or call 780-496-2997. Lunch pick-up is available between 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday. 

SHARE YOUR SMILE...WITH LIPREADING MASKS!
Canadian Hard of Hearing Association-Edmonton
The Canadian Hard of Hearing Association-Edmonton is selling lip reading masks! These clear masks are a great resource that can improve accessibility for Edmontonians who are deaf or hard of hearing. Masks are $22 and can be picked up at the CHHA-Edmonton office or shipped to your doorstep for $5.  

STREAM MOVIES & TV SHOWS
Edmonton Public Library 
Ongoing 
Your EPL card does so much more than just renting books. Access almost a dozen streaming television and movie sites for free using your EPL card. These sites include "Acorn TV" which streams world-class mysteries, dramas, and comedies from the UK, as well as "Kanopy", which hosts over 30,000 films from hundreds of producers, including "The Great Courses", "PBS", and thousands of independent filmmakers. 

More news and events for seniors
(links to the ESCC News and Events for Seniors web page)
VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES
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. 

(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.