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By doing so, we are maintaining seniors benefits for those most in need, ensuring vulnerable seniors can count on a stable source of income. Alberta’s most vulnerable seniors will continue to receive one of the highest income supplements in the country, with the lowest seniors poverty rate in Canada.Alberta’s Minister of Seniors and Housing Josephine Pon
Natalie Tomczak, press secretary
The ‘Godfather of Coral’ who’s still diving at 72
The 91-year-old policeman still patrolling the streets
Pandemic Qs: When does Canada stop treating our seniors like scrap iron? Have they not contributed enough tax dollars over the course of their lives? Is it their fault that we have a pandemic? Are they not suffering enough? Whatever happened to respect? https://t.co/2n1j9lrI9k
— Charles Adler (@charlesadler) February 26, 2021
When the first known case of COVID-19 was confirmed in Canada a little over a year ago, not a lot was known about the virus. By the time a global pandemic was declared in March 2020, trends were becoming clearer. The health impact was greatest on those with pre-existing conditions and people over the age of 70. With this in mind, responding to the needs and concerns of Edmonton’s seniors during a pandemic was of paramount importance.
The Edmonton Seniors Coordinating Council, the City of Edmonton, and SAGE Seniors Association set up a Coordinated Pandemic Response (CPR) Model to address seniors’ needs and ensure they were not isolated, that their basic needs were being met, and that they had access to health care, information, and resources to keep themselves safe. The focus was on critical services which included food and transportation, outreach, and psychosocial programming.
Recently, the CPR Steering committee released a summary report reflecting on its work from the start of the pandemic in mid-March 2020 up until mid-November 2020. The report captures a moment in time and lists various initiatives undertaken by a number of seniors serving organizations in order to keep their clients safe and supported. During this eight-month period, seniors serving organizations in Edmonton received about $1.8 million in emergency funding from the federal and provincial governments to enhance or expand their services, which was instrumental in meeting the needs of seniors. The funding was used by agencies to provide supports such as the distribution of personal protective equipment (PPE), tax preparation, emergency food hampers, and essential goods delivery/pick-up.
Although there were a number of successes in meeting the needs of seniors, there were a number of challenges identified. These challenges included virtual meeting burnout, a lack of resources and funding to contribute to the coordinated efforts, the need for clarification on the model and its purpose, and on top of that, the need to simultaneously incorporate and apply equity and anti-oppressive frameworks into ongoing work. In addition, the pandemic has impacted many seniors who reported increased social isolation, elder abuse, worsened mental health, and continued challenges in meeting their basic needs. Seniors living in intergenerational households were at increased risk of contracting COVID-19. Furthermore, caregiver burnout and staff shortages were also identified as contributing to, and exasperating, these risk factors.
Seniors in Red Deer and central Alberta will have more avanues to access the COVID-19 vaccine starting in the first week of March.
Alberta Health announced Wednesday in its expanded vaccine distribution plan that Alberta pharmacies will be able to administer the vaccine as of next week.
There are nine pharmacies in Red Deer participating in the program, including Johnstone IDA, Real Canadian Superstore, London Drugs (south), Notre Dame Phramasave, Save-on-Foods (Glendale), Shoppers Drug Mart (Clearview and Bower Place), The Medicine Shoppe Pharmacy and Wal-Mart (Parkland).
Those pharmacies started to book appointments for seniors 75 and older as of Wednesday.
“This will make it easier for seniors to get their dose, as quickly as possible,” said Alberta Health Minister Tyler Shandro.
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