SENIORCENTRIC WEEK ENDING JUNE 19, 2021

Scanning the globe for news by, for and about Senior Citizens

Quotables:

The Government of Canada considers all forms of abuse and neglect of seniors to be very serious issues and we are committed to ensuring seniors are protected. Creating a federal definition of senior abuse will improve the tools we have at hand to better the lives of our seniors. We must take care of seniors across the country and ensure that their needs are met.

Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, David Lametti
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CANADA NEWS

Dramatic changes to continuing care system on the horizon

Residents of continuing care facilities across Alberta may experience quality of life changes over the course of the next several months.

Minister of Health Tyler Shandro announced a total of 42 recommendations have been put forward to improve quality of life at facility-based continuing care with a goal of “modernizing and transforming” the system.

The recommendations come following a review of the current system, which began at the end of 2019.

According to Richard Gotfried, MLA for Calgary-Fish Creek and chair of the review panel, over 7,000 Albertans responded to the review and provided feedback about the current system.

“The recommendations in this unusually forward report will be transformative for Alberta’s facility-based continuing care system and importantly for the care of older Albertans who need designated supportive living and long-term care,” he said in a statement.

“Not only will it set a new bar in Canada, it will go a very long way to eliminating the fear that many of us have of one day needing care ourselves.”

Facilities such as Wheatland Lodge, Meadowlark Care Home and AgeCare Sagewood in Strathmore are all licensed by the Alberta government as supportive living facilities.

Meadowlark and Wheatland Lodge, however, are privately owned and operated facilities that are not contracted with the Alberta government, do not fall under the “continuing care” spectrum and will not be affected by the recommendations or any changes.

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How an Edmonton continuing care facility kept COVID-19 from spreading

‘It was difficult, but we had to be decisive, we had to be quick,’ executive director says

The pandemic has been devastating for Alberta continuing care facilities, with outbreaks at some locations linked to dozens of deaths, but an Edmonton site has remained relatively COVID-free for the past 15 months.

The not-for-profit Canterbury Foundation houses 215 residents across three linked buildings in Edmonton’s Laurier Heights neighbourhood.

So far, the foundation has managed to keep COVID-19 from spreading within its walls. Not one resident has contracted the virus there.

COVID-19 has touched the organization. According to the foundation, three staff members acquired the virus outside of work and have since recovered.

One resident, a woman in her 90s, died on January 23 after being exposed to the virus during a hospital visit. The resident had isolated upon her return to Canterbury Court and tested positive for COVID-19 on the last day of her two-week isolation period. Because she had been separated from other residents, the virus did not spread beyond her room.

Executive director Wendy King said quickly putting precautionary measures in place has kept the facility COVID-free.

“It was difficult, but we had to be decisive, we had to be quick and we had to have a common goal, with our staff, residents and families, to keep COVID out,” she said Monday in an interview with CBC Edmonton’s Radio Active

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Senior, family housing upgrades coming to Spruce Grove

Much needed improvements are coming to seniors and family housing in communities across Alberta, including here in Spruce Grove.

The governments of Canada and Alberta are partnering to inject more than $31.9 million to complete crucial repairs and upgrades to seniors and family housing throughout the province. In Calgary and Edmonton, that includes upgrades to ventilation, air conditioning, heating, security and fire systems. Housing in other communities, such as Fort Chipewyan, Hinton, Okotoks, Olds, Wetaskiwin and Spruce Grove will receive nursing call systems, roofing and accessibility upgrades.

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WORLD NEWS

Juneteenth: After decades, Opal Lee finally gets her day off

Opal Lee was 12 when a mob of white supremacists vandalised and set fire to her family’s home in Fort Worth, Texas.

Helpless, she watched her home burn to the ground as police stood by, doing nothing to stop the violence.

The attack happened in 1939 on 19 June, a symbolic date that commemorates the end of slavery in the US.

Known as Juneteenth, the date would leave a lasting impression on Ms Lee, who channelled her experiences of racism into a life of teaching, activism and campaigning.

“The fact that [the attack] happened on the 19th day of June has spurred me to make people understand that Juneteenth is not just a festival,” she told Fort Worth Star-Telegram newspaper in February.

“It should be a unifier. The slaves didn’t free themselves.”

For decades, Ms Lee worked tirelessly to get Juneteenth recognised as a national holiday in the US.

Now aged 94, Ms Lee has finally got her day off.

‘We waited so long’

On Thursday US President Joe Biden signed a bill into law to make 19 June a national holiday commemorating the emancipation of enslaved black Americans.

Juneteenth marks the day on 19 June 1865 when enslaved black people in Texas learned they had been freed. They were among the last to be told the news, two months after the end of the Civil War.

The liberation came more than two-and-half years after President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation during the war, declaring all enslaved people in the rebellious southern states to be free.

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