The City of Saskatoon is planning for the strong possibility that Saskatoon will be hit by a severe winter storm this weekend. This includes lots of snow on Saturday and Sunday and high winds. There is the possibility that a severe enough storm could result in power disruptions due to wet, heavy snow interfering with power lines.
We all need prepare for the possibility that we might need to stay home for a few days and plan accordingly. This may cause additional hardships for older adults.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
Report power outages, fallen tree limbs, or icy road patches to 306-975-2476.
Have a 3-day supply of what your family needs on-hand including water, food, any medical requirements.
Plan in case the power goes out.
Avoid travel – stay home
Make sure that you keep connected to your family and neighbours.
As we look beyond the COVID-19 pandemic, the Saskatoon Council on Aging (SCOA) believes there must be a partnership among older adults, government and key stakeholders to address issues that impacted older people during this crisis.
SCOA wants to ensure that: 1. Voices of older adults are heard; 2. Diversity of perspectives of older adults is reflected in government public policy; 3. Older adults are engaged as co-leaders in developing policies that impact them directly. Now is the time to seize the opportunity to improve policies, protocols and programs to address ageism, enhance the age-friendliness of communities, enable healthy, positive aging and support the well-being of older people across the province. Plan to talk to candidates in the upcoming provincial election! The pandemic is an opportunity to shift thinking, reset priorities and take action. Please use this information as you question candidates in your riding.
Date: Wednesday, September 16, 2020 Time: 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Online via ZOOMRegister here:
Once you register, you will receive a confirmation email with a link to join the meeting. In advance of the AGM, we will send all registered attendees the AGM meeting materials and step-by-step instructions for joining. Hard copies can be picked up at the Field House by September 9th. You can participate on your computer, ipad, or phone app. Deadline to register: September 14.
If you have not used ZOOM before and would like additional help please contact our office 306.652.2255. The staff will be pleased to answer any questions and set you up with a student volunteer to assist you.
The safety of older adults and the community are top priorities to the Saskatoon Council on Aging. Current Saskatoon Council on Aging Response:
As safety is paramount, we voluntarily remain with our office closed to public access.Our staff continue to work from home to ensure that older adults have access to resources and information. We can be reached by phone 306-652-2255 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org for referrals. We maintain a dedicated COVID-19 resource page for older adults on our website www.scoa.ca.
We have a plan in place to reopen when it is safe to do so in compliance with guidelines set out by the Government of Saskatchewan. We plan to prepare our facilities in a way that will allow us to maintain the safety of all involved. We also adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic and physical distancing measures by creating new opportunities for older adults to stay connected. These include our Telephone Visit Program and a program that shows older adults how to use ZOOM technology to join social groups online.
Once the City of Saskatoon allows SCOA to use their leased space in the Saskatoon Field House [DATE TBA]our organization will continue to operate with the majority of staff working off site and office closed to the public. The office will use a contact-less business model.
Facilities precautions include but are not limited to:
A maximum of two staff members will work out of the office with their work space being more than 2 meters apart.
Shared facilities, office equipment, and common touch surfaces such as telephones, computers, reception desk will receive increased cleaning and disinfection
All staff must wash hands upon entry and exit of building
Aside from the regular mail services, clients and staff picking up or dropping off items need to schedule times. Pick ups and drop-offs can be done just outside the front entrance of the Field House.
Classes, Programs and Events
We plan to host fall programs and classes online via ZOOM. Check our website scoa.ca for updates and class schedules
Potential: SCOA acknowledges the potential challenges brought about by situations such as these. We will continue to do our utmost to remain responsive, flexible, and cooperative in the effort to deliver services and resources to older adults and the community. We will continue to evaluate this model and adjust as necessary as the situation evolves.
One truth that has emerged from the Covid-19 pandemic is how important virtual communication has become. Sometimes it’s the only means of communication possible. In hospital settings and nursing homes where visitors are not allowed to visit, virtual communication becomes the only way (besides trying to talk through a window) to reach a loved one and keep them (or yourself) from feeling totally abandoned.
And please don’t throw up your hands and say: Oh, that’s so beyond me; I’ll just phone; my family will be there for me; I haven’t needed it in the past 20 years and I don’t need it now! Really? You may need it tomorrow if you have to be admitted to a care facility or hospital.
Got your attention? Let’s start with the common cell phone. I think everyone should have one for safety sake in any case, and should, at the very least, know how to text, send emails, use FaceTime and just for fun, learn how to take photos. These basic functions will allow you to keep in touch with your family and they with you.
So why not prepare now for a worst possible communication scenario?
Even if you never have to endure the trauma of mandatory visiting restrictions keeping you from a loved one, note that there are many other advantages to a cell phone. Texting is the fastest way to reach the grandkids!! FaceTime brings them right to the edge of your chair. And they can teach you the basic functions of a cell phone! And photos are fun!
Why not give it a try?
Isn’t it everyone’s responsibility to learn to communicate virtually?
Like many other organizations we have cancelled and postponed events until it will be deemed safe by government and health authorities. As a result of COVID-19, older adults are at high risk for social isolation. They lack opportunities to stay engaged and socialize with others; a key component to health and wellness. They also lack access to current or reliable information as many do not use or cannot access the internet. This may further impede their ability to access basic necessities such as groceries, health products or medical assistance.
The Saskatoon Council on Aging is working with community organizations on a new project to support isolated older adults. We will launch a Telephone Visit program that matches seniors with trained and screened volunteers from community organizations. The volunteers will connect with older adults once or twice a week to chat. Conversations can be short or long and can cover any topic from pets to gardening. The volunteers are not social workers, doctors or any other health care professional. They are just regular people that want to help and touch base with older adults. The only information that will be shared is a first name and a phone number. Seniors can also pick the best time for volunteers to call.
SCOA will be a central intake agency to provide callers with referrals and support relating to COVID-19. If the senior is experiencing isolation they would be connected to friendly volunteers that would be a “telephone buddy” .
To register phone SCOA 306.652.2255
Funded by the Government of Canada’s New Horizons for Seniors Program
In partnership with United Way of Saskatoon and Area.
The Saskatoon Council on Aging [SCOA] serves the approximately 80,000 older adults 55 and over in Saskatoon and area. The coronavirus outbreak has profoundly impacted the lives of older adults. They are at a high risk to become socially isolated due to necessary social distancing measures designed to keep them safe.
Prior to the crisis, SCOA provided many opportunities for older adults to socialize and stay connected. We presently have a membership of 4500 older adults. We keep people informed through our one stop information and resource centre, caregiver information and support centre, newsletters, directory of services for older adults, spotlight on Seniors trade show and our websites. Our programs and services including seniors neighborhood hub clubs, century club, life- long learning programs and globe walk program keep older adults socially connected, engaged, active and healthy.
As older adults have a higher risk of getting very ill after exposure to COVID-19, the Saskatoon Council on Aging [SCOA] is very concerned about this situation.
• The safety of older adults and the community is paramount – SCOA wants to play our part to help flatten the curve for our healthcare system.
• We are cancelling and postponing our social events to ensure that older adults stay safe and also to ensure safety of the community.
• We are also communicating with our membership about basic precautions to take such as hand washing, social distancing et cetera to slow the spread of the virus and also where they can go for more information.
• We urge everyone in the community to stay updated and follow the precautions outlined by the Province of Saskatchewan and Government of Canada
Please watch our website http://www.scoa.ca or call our office 652-2255 for further updates.