News and list of events

2-1-1 has information on Make Tax Time Pay and Community Volunteer Income Tax Preparation, free programs to help low-income Edmontonians complete their taxes. “We have a list of sites, the days and times that they operate, their addresses and their phone numbers. All you need to do is call and make an appointment.”
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC) will hold its Alberta National Event in Edmonton at the Shaw Conference Centre from March 27 to 30. “Come and share your truth about the (residential) schools and their legacy. Witness and celebrate the resilience of Aboriginal cultures!” The event will include statement gathering, traditional ceremonies, survivor gatherings, an education day, witnessing survivor statements, cultural performances, films and more. “All gatherings are open to the public. Admission is free.” For more information, go here and here.
Workshop West Playwrights’ Theatre invites seniors to The Invention of Romance, its final production of the 2013-2014 season. Written by Connie Massing, the comedy follows Kate, a curator at a museum, as she begins an investigation of romance just as her elderly mother rekindles one with a man she dated 60 years earlier. The play opens March 27 at La Cite Francophone, 8627 – 91 Street, Edmonton, and runs until April 13. Tickets are $22 for evening performances and $11 for Sunday matinees. Call 780-477-5955, email tickets@workshopwest.org or go here.
International Women's Day is generally observed on March 8 but will be celebrated this year by the Indo Canadian Women’s Association at 6:30 p.m. on March 29. The keynote speaker will be Edmonton Police Service Deputy Chief Danielle Campbell. The event will be held at Woodvale Facility and Golf Clubhouse, 4540 - 50 Street, Edmonton. Tickets are $30. To purchase them call 780-490-0477 or e-mail info@icwaedmonton.org.
Seniors Assisted Transportation Society of Greater Edmonton (SATS) Walker-a-thon, March 30, 1 to 2 p.m., raises funds “so we can continue to offer more of our vital services: safe and affordable transportation to low-income seniors with the assistance of volunteer drivers. Walk as a team, walk with and for a senior you know, bring your parent or grandparent out, collect pledges, have fun. Tax receipts automatically given for support over $10. Pledge sheets available at SATS office or online here. For more information, call 780-732-1221 or email info@satsofedmonton.org.
“This April count yourself in! Census data for the City of Edmonton dates back to 1878 when it was conducted by the North West Mounted Police. Today, the City of Edmonton conducts a census every two years. So why is counting yourself in important? Population counts are used to calculate per capita grant funds received from different levels of government. Counting yourself in also assists the city, school boards and businesses in making informed decisions on delivery of services and programs used by you and your family.”
Beginning April 1, Alberta Health Services will use goals of care designations to communicate the focus of care for a patient. These will include “direction regarding the acceptance and refusal of life-saving and life-sustaining interventions.” The three goals are medical care, which includes tests and interventions to cure or manage a person’s illness; comfort care, which is for people with a life-limiting illness, when treatments can no longer change the course of that illness; and resuscitative care, which focuses on prolonging and preserving life, including resuscitation and intensive care. For more information, go here. To help you think about advance care planning, and how to have a conversation with family members, go here.
SouthWest Edmonton Seniors Association (SWESA) will hold its annual general meeting on April 2 at Yellowbird East Community Centre, 10710 - 19 Avenue. Registration and refreshments at 6:30 p.m., welcoming remarks and meeting at 7 p.m. Guest speaker Michael Walters, Councillor Ward 10, will present a grant cheque from the City of Edmonton. Results of SWESA’s recent needs assessment will be highlighted. For further information, call 587-987-3200.
Make Tax Time Pay is partnering with several private sector companies to host a one-day free tax filing event, April 4 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The service is intended for low income older adults age 55+ and the aim is to have them file their own returns with support and guidance from a tax expert. To see if you qualify and to book an appointment, go here.
The Edmonton Public Library, Stanley A. Milner Branch, hosts Enhancing Cultural Understanding Between Newcomer and Aboriginal Communities on April 10 from 6 to 8 p.m. It's free and no registration is required. An Intercultural Dialogues Celebration will be held on April 17 from 6 to 8 p.m. at City Hall. The events are organized by the Edmonton Immigrant Services Association (EISA), City of Edmonton’s Aboriginal Relations Office and Edmonton Public Library. For an event poster, go here.
A number of Edmonton and area Alberta Health Services’ Primary Care Networks are challenging seniors to Get Out, Get Active during the next three months. The goal is to walk 448,000 steps, enough to get to Jasper. Seniors can do this as individuals or as teams with a maximum of eight members. A kick-off party is scheduled for April 13 at City Hall from 2 to 4 p.m. For a brochure with more details about how to get involved, go here.
The Canadian Hard of Hearing Association – Edmonton Branch will hold a mini-conference on May 3 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Fantasyland Hotel. Registration for the Help is Hear: 2014 Hearing Loss Technology Seminar is $30 for members and $45 for non-members. The deadline to register is April 25. For more information and a registration form, go here. The conference is “open to everyone.”
The North Edmonton Seniors Association “Fun” Cribbage Club will hold its second annual doubles tournament on May 10. The cost to enter is $30 per team (includes 10 games and lunch). Play starts at 9:30 a.m., lunch is at 11:30 a.m. and play continues at 12:30 p.m. The first 70 teams that have registered and paid will be accepted. For more information and a registration form, go here.
The North Edmonton Seniors Association Choralaires present their 2014 Rags to Riches spring concert on May 10 at 2 p.m. at McClure United Church, 13708 - 74 Street. “The concert will showcase songs from Irving Berlin. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased from Choralaires members.” For more information call 780-496-6969.
 
The St. Albert National Aboriginal Day Committee will host a Senior’s Opry on May 16 at 2 and 7 p.m. at Servus Place, #400 Campbell Road. The event will include music by Country Swing, whose members are Calvin Vollrath, Alfie Myhre, Ray St. Germain, Richard Chernesky, Darryl Campbell, Ozzie Danyluk and Les Vincent. Tickets are $10. For more information, call Gwen at 780-717-6783 or email gwencrouse@hotmail.com. Fiddling and jigging competitions will be held on May 17 and 18 at 1 p.m. For a poster, go here.
Operation Friendship Seniors Society will hold a fundraising dinner and silent auction on May 26 from 5 to 9 p.m. at the Radisson Hotel Edmonton South, 4440 – Gateway Blvd. Tickets are $50 per person. Funds raised will be used to operate the McCauley Seniors Drop-in Centre, which serves three free meals a day to the city’s low-income seniors. For more information, go here. To purchase tickets, contact Jimmy Morrison at 780-408-2958 or jimmym@ofss.org.
“It’s not easy to talk about how you want the end of your life to be. But it’s one of the most important conversations you can have with your loved ones.” The Conversation Project has a starter kit that will “help you get your thoughts together and then have the conversation”. For more information and to download resources, go here.
Nearly half (47 per cent) of Canadians are “concerned about the safety of an aging family member on the road.” To address this concern, the Canadian Automobile Association launched a new online portal to help “seniors and their loved ones assess driving skills, learn about changing abilities, and, if needed, modify driving habits.” The web tool pinpoints areas of improvement, provides information about physical changes that affect driving, and includes tips and reminders for managing challenging driving conditions. To access the tool, go here.
Age Friendly Edmonton is offering a new Community Innovation Fund for community leagues. “Onetime only grants of up to $5,000/project are available for approximately four age friendly community projects this year. The projects should be inclusive, community-based and support the needs of seniors. Where possible, seniors should be involved with the planning and implementation of the projects. Matching contributions of funding or in-kind support is required.” To apply, complete the letter of intent found here or here. For more information on Age Friendly Edmonton, go here.
Edmonton Transit System now provides bus schedule information for all routes via email. “A few moments after sending an email to ETSLive@edmonton.ca with the stop number in the subject line, a customer will receive a return email with the next departure times for that stop. This new technology augments the ETS Live Bus Finder web service, http://etslive.edmonton.ca/, launched in November.”
Move is a free exercise program that provides the opportunity for Edmontonians to be physically active alongside a family physician and a kinesiologist.” The program “encourages participants to be active outside, without needing to go to a gym or buy any exercise equipment”. It combines walking, strength training and physical activity. “We meet at the southeast parking lot in Hawrelak Park every Wednesday from 1:30 to 3 p.m. year round. This program is targeted for beginner and intermediate fitness levels.” Register by emailing drdouglasklein@gmail.ca or contacting the Edmonton Oliver Primary Care Network at 780-701-5393.
A BMO Wealth Institute survey found that more than half of Canadians (54 per cent) recognize that the most serious drawback for families of not having estate planning conversations between parents, their children and their other heirs is the potential for conflict between surviving family members after the death of a loved one. “Hurt feelings and damaged family relationships can be avoided. Your personal legacy depends more on the effective communication of your values, plans and beliefs than on the items that can be neatly summarized in the paragraphs in your will.” To read more, go here.
Caring for an older adult can be fulfilling but the responsibilities can “impact you physically, mentally and emotionally. And that could lead to the kind of distress that could result in serious health problems.” To find out if you are experiencing more stress than you realize, CaregiverStress.com invites you to use its Family Caregiver Distress Assessment tool. To check it out, go here.
Senior Abilities Unlimited recommends 11 strengthening exercises to help older adults reduce their risk of falls. To try them out, go here.
The Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital's Older Adult Rehabilitation Team provides information and printed resources for caregivers of older adults. The information can be found here. If you wish to have a printed version of the resources, call 780-735-6142. Some of the topics presented are activities of daily living (hygiene, oral health, dehydration); behavior changes (signs and symptoms of delirium); safety in the home (falls, medication management); and caregiver concerns.
The Housing Opportunities Program for Edmonton helps "qualifying homeowners bring their homes to a minimum standard of health and safety relating to plumbing, heating, electrical, structural, fire safety, disability modifications and energy efficiency.” HOPE offers conditional grant funding up to a maximum of $20,000. Applicants will be considered for up to $2,000 in additional funding for energy efficient upgrades and may also receive up to $1,000 for exterior home improvements. For more information, including an application package, go here.
Wecan Food Basket Society is a non-profit organization that helps seniors “stretch their food dollars and buy healthy fresh food” at a reasonable cost. Every month the society organizes a group grocery buy and distributes the purchases through 30 depots in and around Edmonton. On or before the first Friday of the month, members (annual membership is $5 but potential members get a free one month tryout before they join) go to their nearest depot and pre-pay for their groceries. On the third Thursday or Friday of the same month, members return to the same depot to pick up their groceries. For more information, call 780-413-4525 or go to www.wecanfood.com. To find out if there’s a depot near you, go here.
The City of Edmonton's Waste Management Branch offers an assisted waste collection service for customers who have difficulty getting their recycling or garbage to the curb or lane. Collectors pick up garbage or recycling from outside the front or back door of the home. There is no additional charge for this service. For more information call 780-496-5698 or go to www.edmonton.ca/waste.
Edmonton Meals on WheelsSavvy Shopper service provides a personal shopper who will run errands and do personal shopping for any item and at any store the client wishes. For more information, go here or call 780-429-2020.
The Glenrose Senior’s Continence Clinic provides an “expert outpatient service for older people with problems related to their bladder or bowel function”. Services are available to older adults age 60+ in the Edmonton area. You can ask your family physician to make a referral or refer yourself. To make an appointment, call 780-735-8820 or email seniors.continence@gmail.com. For more information, and to complete a bladder control questionnaire that provides feedback on the seriousness of your symptoms, go here.
As you prepare for the transition from driving to being a passenger, or deal with the cost of transportation as an older adult whether or not you have ever driven a car, it may be helpful to budget for expenses with the knowledge of how much it costs to own and operate a vehicle on an annual basis. The Alberta Motor Association can help you with those calculations, based on national averages. For more information, go here.
Interested in using public transit but concerned about mobility difficulties? Edmonton Transit System’s Mobility Choices Travel Training provides free customized group and one-on-one training on how to use the transit service and features that meet your needs. Training can also be arranged for newcomers and agency representatives who work with seniors, newcomers and clients with mobility challenges. For more information or to book a training session, phone 780-496-3000 or email ETSTravelTraining@edmonton.ca.
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