Website Update

As part of the integration between West Toronto Support Services and Reconnect Community Health Services, the wtss.org website will be closed down as of December 1, 2020. After that date, all visitors will be able to access all of the combined services of these two organizations via the Reconnect website at reconnect.on.ca.

WTSS response to COVID-19 UPDATES

To help curb the spread of the COVID-19 virus, WTSS has canceled all client group activities and programming (Wellness Programs, exercise, and Fall Prevention classes, Community Dining, Income Tax program, etc) and Adult Day Services till further notice.  Meals on Wheels and Toronto Ride continue providing services while following strict protocols to curtail the spread of the COVID-19 and prioritize essential services.

Supportive Housing and other PSW- based programs such as Right Place of Care, Hub and Spoke, Respite and Home at Last continue operating and offering essential services to high-risk clients.

In addition to changes to programs, WTSS has limited the number of people that can access our sites, and has been actively screening all staff and volunteers – this includes completing a respiratory screening questionnaire. Those who present symptoms are asked not to come to work or provide visits.

Staff providing services in the community will complete a screening questionnaire for clients prior to providing care.

All WTSS sites are open, and a dedicated screener has been appointed to each of them to increase safety.

WTSS has been actively and frequently disinfecting all locations as outlined by our best practice guidelines.

We are enforcing risk mitigation strategies such as:

  • Reducing the number of participants in meetings or changing the venue to prevent crowding;
  • Staggering arrivals and departures;
  • Increasing access to hand-washing stations;
  • Asking clients and staff to adhere to personal protective practices such as social distancing, hand hygiene, respiratory etiquette, and staying home if ill.

Staff are required to use personal protective equipment such as gloves and gowns when necessary and appropriate.

WTSS management and care team have been meeting since the end of February reviewing and assessing the impact of the virus and planning and implementing best practices to support all staff and clients.

WTSS will continue to support all clients who need care. This may take the form of phone calls, dropping off supplies, supporting caregivers in the home, or entering the home to assist if required.

This is a fluid situation and we anticipate details will change over time.

We are monitoring the situation surrounding COVID-19 very closely and will provide further updates as required.

To ensure that staff and clients remain safe we have a dedicated team working to monitor the situation and ensure our readiness daily.


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Board Message to staff re Corona Virus

Read the full .pdf document 


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IMPORTANT NOTICE

Updated March 19, 2020

Please note:

The following WTSS programs are suspended until further notice:

  • Income Tax Clinic 
    • Clients with appointments will be rescheduled.
    • CRA has released news that the return filing due date for individuals will be deferred until June 1, 2020
  • Adult Day Program – both locations 
  • Community Dining Program – All locations 
  • Wellness Programs 

West Toronto Support Service foremost priority is to protect the health and well-being of all WTSS community members, staff and volunteers.  If you are experiencing COVID-19, or have come in contact with someone with symptoms, please do not visit West Toronto Support Services.  Instead, please phone Bloor Site: 416-653-3535 or Weston Site: 416-249-7946


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Merger Announcement!

We are pleased to announce that on February 26, 2020, the WTSS Membership voted in favour of WTSS integrating with Reconnect Community Health Services.  The integration will take effect on April 1, 2020 whereby WTSS’s assets, services and programs will be transferred to Reconnect Community Health Services.  Mohamed Badsha, the current CEO at Reconnect will lead the combined organization as of April 1, 2020.  All of WTSS programs and services will continue to be provided.

Mohamed can be reached at mbadsha@reconnect.on.ca or at 416-558-6891.

Reconnect’s website: www.reconnect.on.ca

Wady Dyson
CEO


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Announcement regarding accreditation

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Coronavirus update

West Toronto Support Services is committed to the safety of our clients and families as well as our staff and service providers.  We have the recommended practices in place to monitor and manage the Wuhan Coronavirus, and we are being vigilant in following proper infection prevention procedures.

We do not anticipate this situation will have any impact on our ability to provide care to our clients.

The Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health has indicated the risk to Ontarians remains low.

Please visit the Ontario Ministry of Health website for further information.


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WTSS Christmas Bazaar – Sat. Dec. 7

Get some early shopping in or buy some treats at our annual Christmas Bazaar on Saturday, December 7 at 1167 Weston Rd.   Proceeds go towards supporting our Seniors Group.

For more information, please call (416) 249-7946


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Snow Removal Service 2019-2020

Click on the image to read further details.

Read here for more information


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VOICES, of those we serve, their beloveds, and those we serve beside…

When you walk through the double doors at WTSS Bloor site you will be greeted with the widest, and warmest of arms – Nadia. Nadia is the “welcome” on the phone, the voice who ensures you reach the person you need, often leaving her post to walk down the halls of our offices, knock on our doors to say, “come, someone needs you”.  Nadia weaves us together in that way, where you are excited to sit a minute, while you wait for an appointment, where those just passing by as they enter the building to visit, look up and say hello – she’ll see you and notice if you have not been around in a while. It is with this presence of loving kindness WTSS and the most wonderful volunteers, students, staff and leadership craft services and programs.

Participant’s partner, wife, caregiver…

My husband has been attending to the Adult Day Program at WTSS for seven years.  We have experienced the service before and after WTSS merged with Humber Community Seniors’ Services and we have felt the difference directly.  My husband often felt excluded, as though watching the day pass – he now feels a part of the day, included in a way that he is seen, uniquely noticed and invited in. The staff are so patient, with him and seem to understand the stress I experience both with and apart from him. They embrace me, as a welcomed friend and neighbour.

Participant’s partner, husband, caregiver and former volunteer with Meals on Wheels (MOW)…

My wife and I used to be volunteer drivers for MOW, now my wife is part of the Adult Day Program. She loves it and it’s a very familiar home away from home. She attends with a new and daily excitement to craft, sing, and greet a community of individuals that are a part of her life.

Community Caregiver whose father receives services…

There are times I am here where I just listen, I listen to the ways the staff see those who attend to the day, as if each day is brand new and full of possibility.  I listen to the workers refer to the Professor, as “Prof” as though he is about to commence a lecture of great importance.  I listen to their inquiries from the Accountant, his calendar of meetings, deadlines, and financial advice.

I see the magical world created by a group of people who care deeply for their community and serve them as though they are their Mothers, their Fathers, and their family. And I know my father-in-law is here now, safe and seen.

~ WTSS Leadership

 

“We have to dare to be ourselves, however frightening or strange that self may prove to be.”  

 By May Sarton


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Are you providing care for a loved one and in need of Respite and/or Home Help?

WTSS has two subsidized programs that SUPPORT CAREGIVERS at an affordable fee.

Respite Care offers relief in the home to caregivers who are providing care to frail and/or disabled older adults who cannot be safely left alone.

Home Help provides light housecleaning, including laundry help, meal preparation, grocery shopping, and prescription pick-ups.

WTSS Respite and Home Help Teams provide Caregivers with an option to ensure they are able to attain personal balance by re-energizing, spending time with family, friends, shopping, exercising and interests that bring them pleasure and fulfillment.

The benefits of Respite and Home Help include:

  • Renewal and Relaxation – Taking a walk, strolling leisurely through the mall, visiting a museum or doing whatever brings joy can calm you, decrease your heart rate and improve your mood.
  • Energy – To be effective in your busy life, you must take time to re-energize. Even an automobile won’t run on empty.
  • Space – Getting away from the caregiving situation for even just a few hours can help you relax and bring a renewed sense of purpose.
  • Pleasure – As a caregiver, you must remember that you have the right to enjoy life. You have no reason to feel guilty.
  • Identity – You must be purposeful in maintaining your sense of self. You are important, too!
  • Perspective – Time away from caregiving allows you to see more clearly and keep things in proper perspective. You might even think of better ways of doing things and other resources you can tap into.
  • Engagement – Social isolation can be a huge problem for caregivers. It’s important to take time to engage with your friends and family by sharing lunch, taking a shopping trip or doing whatever gives you personal enjoyment.

For more information please call 416-653-3535


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WTSS Holiday Lunch – December 12 @ 12!

Join us for a festive lunch – tickets are limited so please RSVP quickly!

 


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Community Dining

WTSS delivers Community Dinning opportunities at several locations in west Toronto, including:

Community Dining provides opportunities for older adults to share a nutritious, well balanced meal in the company of others. Community Dining programs help to decrease isolation and support healthy, engaged, and independent living.

They often also provide links to other services for older adults and provide an avenue for seniors to connect to municipal and community supports and civic engagement opportunities. Community Dining programs have proven to be an effective age-friendly strategy for building resilience among senior populations by promoting community engagement, enhancing social connections and reinforcing independent living.

For more information about Community Dining, please call 416-653-3535 Ext. 240

You are not alone!

You and your loved ones are an important member of the WTSS’ Community and we want to meet your needs.


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Brain Health Workshop – August 22nd

Join us for a Brain Health Workshop on August 22

In partnership with Alzheimer Society of Toronto.

Call (416) 249-7946 to register

More info below:

 


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Tips for Staying Cool

Stay hydratedBe aware of the signs of dehydration for yourself and use these tips to keep cool throughout the summer — and don’t forget to take that water bottle wherever you go!

  • Wear cool clothing: See that the person is dressed in light-weight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing, preferably of natural fabrics like cotton. Use hats and umbrellas outside. If the air conditioning appears to bother the person, offer layers, such as a long-sleeved shirt or sweater over the shoulders, or a light cloth over the ankles.
  • Use air conditioning: Keep the air conditioning on below 26 degrees C. If you don’t have air conditioning, invest in a room air conditioner or use room fans to circulate inside air. If possible, drive the person a short distance to an air-conditioned place where they can sit, such as a library, mall, restaurant or theater. But avoid overcrowded places and rush hours.
  • Cover windows: During the day, pull the curtains on all windows that are in direct sunlight. Open windows at night and use fans or cross-ventilation to circulate cooler air. (An open, uncovered window during the day will simply make the inside temperature the same as outside.)
  • Avoid direct sun: Stay indoors during the hottest hours, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Drive as close to the door of destinations as possible, but don’t leave the person in the car where temperatures can soar quickly. If the person wants to be outside, make sure it’s during cooler hours and that he or she is in the shade, on a covered porch, or under an umbrella. Also check the news for information about temperatures, humidity levels and air pollution alerts.
  • Eliminate or limit physical activity: If the person’s physician approves light exercise such as walking and movement exercises, limit them to short periods during cool hours. Eliminate entirely on very hot days.
  • Drink plenty of fluids: Give the person plenty of water and fruit or vegetable juice even if they say they’re not thirsty. No alcohol, coffee or tea. Seek medical help if you suspect dehydration.
  • Light meals: Avoid hot, heavy meals and don’t use the oven.
  • Monitor medications: Find out if the person’s medications increase his or her risk for heat stress. Be sure to ask a physician about all the medications being taken, including off-the-shelf items.
  • Take cool showers: Help the person take a cooling shower or bath. Lay a cool, moistened towel over the forehead or back of the neck and replace often.
  • Check in often: If the person lives alone, check in daily or ask a neighbor to look in several times a day. If the person lacks transportation, make sure someone takes him or her to and from appointments, grocery stores, etc.
  • Inform others: If the person is in a nursing home or other facility, make sure the facility has a plan for dealing with rising temperatures and is following the tips mentioned above. Visit as often as possible.

Be alert: Remember that a cognitively-impaired person may not be able to tell you when he or she is feeling hot or ill. Also, older people tend to feel colder than younger people so they may not sense the danger of hotter weather.

 

Adapted from The Family Caregiver Alliance


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Dance, laugh & have fun with Musical Paintbrush

An exciting new program at our Weston Site!

Discover your inner artist and let your imagination fly.

For more information, please call us at (416) 249-7946


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Reconnect Community Health Services -West Toronto Support Services Integration Announcement

The Boards’ of Directors of Reconnect Community Health Services and West Toronto Support Services (WTSS) are working toward integrating our organizations to create a combined entity that will better serve our clients and communities. The Boards of Directors have signed a Letter of Intent confirming the parties’ commitment to merging the organizations into a single corporation.

Integrating our services will increase our ability to impact and improve health outcomes for the client populations we serve. It will enable us to meet the challenges and respond to the opportunities in our transforming health care system while ensuring organizational sustainability.  The Integrated Organization will merge Reconnect’s expertise in services to seniors, mental health, addictions, and family and caregiver supports with West Toronto Support Services’ expertise in community support services for seniors, resulting in an  organization with a much broader range and geography and an increased ability to provide holistic services to those served by Reconnect and WTSS.

The integrated organization will make available a fuller continuum of services for children, youth, adults and seniors in our respective client communities, funded by the Toronto Central Local Health Integration Network.  It will have a high degree of focus on, and ability to, provide bundled and coordinated care for service users. As well, an increased back office capacity will mean increased ability to focus on decision support, analytics and quality improvement.

The Boards of Directors are leading the process of bringing the two organizations together.

We remain dedicated to the client populations we serve. We want to reassure our clients and other stakeholders that as an integrated organization we will continue to serve these clients and support our communities at all our current locations.


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Celebrating the Value of Volunteering @WTSS.org #NVW2019

Join us for National Volunteer Week (NVW) 2019 as we celebrate the value of volunteering!

When people volunteer, everyone benefits. This year during National Volunteer Week from April 07 to April 13, 2019, we will be bringing special attention to our large contingent of committed volunteers from both Weston and Bloor Sites.

They span across several departments such as Meals on Wheels and Community Dining and are often the core of the service that keeps it going.   Other services include Administration Assistant, Adult Day Service, Wellness Group and Friendly Visiting.

Please say a “Thank you”, when you come across one of our volunteers – they are an integral part of our team and their support to our agency and the community is appreciated more than words can describe.

The goal of National Volunteer Week is celebrating and appreciating the value of the volunteers that contribute so much to our communities. Thank you!


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Need help with your lawn and leaves?

The 2019 lawn care season is fast approaching, and West Toronto Support Services look forward to again providing you with our professional and reasonably priced lawn cutting service between May 1 and November 30.

Pat Chapelle, our lawn care specialist, will again look after your lawn cutting needs this season. Pat has over 15 years experience in providing quality lawn care services. He is committed to continuing our tradition of helping you keep your lawn looking its best!

You can view the form online

Follow the directions in the form and we’ll have you set up for the season.

For any other questions, please call our Weston site at (416) 249-7946


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Help with Home Cleaning

If you’re struggling to get those home cleaning tasks done and need a little support, try our Home Help service.

We will send a Home Support Worker to your home to do those tiresome chores.

Home Help is an accredited WTSS service.

Telephone us at (416) 653-3535 or (416) 249-7946 to learn more

 


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Presto Card Donations Please

West Toronto Support Services is looking for Presto Card donations.

We are accepting new or used, unregistered Presto cards.  

Presto cards grant easy access to the TTC transportation network and donated cards will go towards helping meal delivery and supporting our Volunteer dept.

Follow these steps to start your Presto Card donation:

  1. You can Buy a card for $6 at:
  • Fare Vending Machine at subway stations
  • Shoppers Drug Mart locations
  • Online at prestocard.ca
  • TTC’s Customer Service Centre
  1. Load your card with money (optional)
  • You can load money on your PRESTO card at a:
  • Fare Vending Machine at subway stations
  • Shoppers Drug Mart locations
  • TTC’s Customer Service Centre
  1. Contact Jayvi at (416) 653-3535 Ext. 234 to arrange your Presto Card donation to WTSS or to get more information.

Thank you for your continued support!


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Enjoy lunch at the Canadiana

Join the Monthly Outing group on March 21st at the Canadiana Restaurant!

Call Laura at 416-249-7946 to RSVP

Sign-up today!

 

48 hours notice is required to cancel to avoid being billed. Payment is due on the day of the trip. Volunteers are available to provide assistance to participants. Bus will leave from 1167 Weston Road . City parking lot next to office is easily accessible.


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Keeping Warm on a Budget

Heating a home can be expensive and not everyone lives in one that is 100% efficient.   Below are a few tips to help save money in the colder months ahead.

  1. Consider installing a programmable thermostat. It will turn the heat up before you wake, turn the heat down when you leave home and back up when you return – automatically.
  2. Consider setting your programmable thermostat a couple of degrees cooler in the winter. You can save as much as two per cent on your energy bill for every degree Celsius you adjust on your thermostat.
  3. Close registers or vents for forced air systems in rooms that are not being used so you’re not wasting heat.   Close the door to these rooms as-well.
  4. Keep your curtains and blinds open during winter days and closed at night. This helps to heat your home on cold days & reduces energy used by your furnace.
  5. It is important to keep your furnace clean, lubricated and properly adjusted with annual maintenance. Furnaces working at peak efficiency use less energy and are less costly to run. You should also clean or replace the filter every 1-2 months – dirty filters reduce airflow, causing the furnace to take longer to heat your home.
  6. Reverse that ceiling fan.   By reversing its direction from the summer operation, the fan will push warm air downward and force it to re-circulate, keeping you more comfortable.   Here’s how you know the fan is ready for winter: As you look up, the blades should be turning clockwise.
  7. Another trick is to have a large scatter rug on the floor if you don’t already have carpeting.
  8. If modern windows are too expensive an option, a more affordable and temporary solution is to buy a Window Insulator Kit.   It’s plastic sheeting that’s affixed to a window’s interior with double-stick tape.  A hair dryer is then used to shrink-wrap the sheeting onto the window (It can be removed in the spring).  Stores like Canadian Tire sell these kits and there are several brands.   It can be an effective solution despite its “un-pretty” look.
  9. Also inspect the caulking around the exterior windows and doors of your house.
  10. Be active. Moving around produces body heat! The more you are active, the better your blood circulation will be. This will mean that hot blood gets to your fingers and toes, keeping them warm.

Remember to always practice safety whenever making any changes to your home.  If unsure of something or too strenuous, then find someone to help.

And finally, wear warm clothes such as a sweater, thick socks or layers.   Don’t forget to make a hot drink to warm up your core temperature – a simple and fast way to help relax and keep warm.


A Community News blog post

West Toronto Support Services writes articles about events and news in the community that closely align with our agencies mission of living independently and promoting your health & wellness.   Articles posted under community news don’t necessarily mean we directly endorse them – they are articles of interest that you can pursue further.   We believe a healthy community is a diverse and connected community!

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Feeling the effects of the “winter blues”? Try Light Therapy Lamps @torontolibrary

Spring is around the corner, but if you’re feeling ‘blue’ in the last throes of winter, you might want to visit your library.

Research by the Canadian Mental Health Association suggests that 2-3% of the general population of Ontario have Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and another 15% have a less severe experience.

Light therapy lamps are designed to mimic spring and summer light levels as a way to treat the “winter blues” or SAD, a type of depression with symptoms that include fatigue, lethargy, anxiety, weight gain and sleep disorders.

But light therapy lamps can be expensive to purchase.    Your local Toronto Public library may be of assistance – some of their branches have these lamps which you can use to help alleviate SAD symptoms.

Toronto Public Library has light therapy lamps available to the public at:

Each location has two lamps, available on a first-come, first served basis. The lamps cannot be taken out of the library. Turn the lamp on and sit, read or work in front of it for 20-30 minutes.


A Community News blog post

West Toronto Support Services writes articles about events and news in the community that closely align with our agencies mission of living independently and promoting your health & wellness.   Articles posted under community news don’t necessarily mean we directly endorse them – they are articles of interest that you can pursue further.   We believe a healthy community is a diverse and connected community!

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Benefit and tax credit programs for seniors and people with a disability

As you begin to think about your Income Tax return for 2018, you may want to check and see if you are eligible for any of these tax benefits.

And don’t forget, we run our own Free Income Tax Clinic beginning March 4, 2019.

Changes to your taxes when you retire or turn 65 years old

Some additional Ontario Tax Benefits include:

Seniors

If you’re 65 years or older, find out if you could get a tax credit to help with public transit costs.

You could get money to help with the cost of making your home and vehicle more accessible if you or your child has a disability that restricts mobility.

If you are 65+ years old and receive the federal Old Age Security pension and the Guaranteed Income Supplement payments, you could get up to $83 per month to ensure your income stays above a certain amount.

If you have high prescription drug costs and a low household income, you may be able to pay $2 or less for every prescription.

Find out if the cost of your prescription drugs are covered by the province.

If you are 64+ years old and own a home, you could get up to $500 to help with the cost of property taxes.

People with a disability

If you or your child has a long-term physical disability, you can apply for help to pay for some needed equipment and supplies.

You could get money to help with the cost of making your home and vehicle more accessible if you or your child has a disability that restricts mobility.

Income and employment support to help people with disabilities and their families to live as independently as possible in their communities.

Dental care services such as oral exams, x-rays, fillings and extractions may be provided for free to ODSP recipients and their family.

Find out if the cost of your prescription drugs are covered by the province.

If you have high prescription drug costs and a low household income, you may be able to pay $2 or less for every prescription.

To see all these programs and more, visit:

https://www.ontario.ca/page/tax-credits-and-benefits-people


A Community News blog post

West Toronto Support Services writes articles about events and news in the community that closely align with our agencies mission of living independently and promoting your health & wellness.   Articles posted under community news don’t necessarily mean we directly endorse them – they are articles of interest that you can pursue further.   We believe a healthy community is a diverse and connected community!

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Income Tax Clinic for 55+

It’s that time of year again!

We will be hosting our annual tax clinic again between March and April.

The program is provided in part by the CVITP (The Community Volunteer Income Tax Program) whose objective is to help eligible taxpayers who do not know how to prepare their income tax and benefit returns, and who have low to modest income and a simple tax situation.

The CVITP is a collaboration between the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and community organizations like West Toronto Support Services (WTSS).

WTSS Income Tax Clinic

The clinic runs from March 4th to April 30th

Call Shirley at (416) 653-3535 Ext. 247 to register.

Details

Appointment slots are available from 9:30am to 3pm, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.

  • Location #1: 1709 Bloor St. W. 2nd Floor. Steps from Keele subway station (entrance off of Indian Groove)
  • Location #2: 100 High Park Ave. (Rec Rm.).  Steps from High Park station.

Need a ride?  Contact our main office at   (416) 653-3535.  (Regular fees apply)

Eligibility

Am I eligible for help at a free tax clinic?

You may be eligible for help at a free tax clinic if you have a modest income and a simple tax situation.

In general, you have a modest income if based on your family size, your total family income is less than the amount shown in the chart below.

Suggested income levels

Family size           Total family income

  • 1 person              $35,000
  • 2 persons             $45,000
  • 3 persons             $47,500
  • 4 persons             $50,000
  • 5 persons             $52,500
  • more than 5 persons, $52,500 plus $2,500 for each additional person

Returns not eligible

Volunteers do not prepare returns for individuals who:

  • have self-employment income
  • have business or rental income and expenses
  • have capital gains or losses
  • have employment expenses
  • file for bankruptcy
  • are deceased in the year

Income Tax Slips

Remember to bring your tax information slips and receipts with you to your appointment

How to get your slips

If you need to, you can get your current year and prior year old age security (OAS), employment insurance (EI) and Canada pension plan (CPP) tax slips electronically. This service is found by visiting Service Canada.  Or you can call 1-800-206-7218.

Don’t leave it to the last minute!  Our program fills up quickly.

TIPS

This automated phone service is provided by the CRA and provides information about your taxes.  You can get personal and general tax information on a number of tax topics to help you file your current-year return. It is available 24 hrs/day, 7 days a week,

Call TIPS at 1-800-267-6999

Other options:

If our locations are not convenient for you, there are other free clinics in Toronto.   You can search for other participating community organizations by clicking on www.cra.gc.ca or call the CRA at 1–800–959–8281.


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What are your 2019 resolutions? Try this staying fit guide for 65+

Do you have any New Year’s Resolutions? Share them with us.

Just a friendly reminder, adults age 65 and older are encouraged to participate in a variety of physical activities that are enjoyable, safe, and get their bodies moving and hearts pumping. Regular movement can help older adults age well and maintain independence.

Check out the ParticipACTION Benefits and Guidelines: – Engaging Canadians to Get Healthy by Being Active

 


A Community News blog post

West Toronto Support Services (WTSS), as part of our communications, writes articles about events and news in the community that closely aligns with our agency objectives of living independently and promoting your health and wellness.   An article posted under community news doesn’t necessarily mean we endorse them – they are articles of interest that you can pursue further.  A healthy community is a diverse and connected community!

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Combatting loneliness during the winter

The holidays can be a happy time, with many opportunities to get together with friends and family to celebrate. It can also be a tough time for some, often exacerbated by illnesses or the loss of a loved one.

Loneliness is also more marked during significant moments of the day or the year: during meals, festivities, holidays and long winter evenings and nights. Healthcare and social care professionals, friends, family members, and neighbours can help break the cycle of loneliness, by identifying isolated older adults, providing them with care without infantilizing them, and visiting them regularly. It’s also important to maintain a network around them, promote inter-generational activities, and encourage them to participate in activities that appeal to them and that give them a taste for life, such as painting, music, and walks. Together, it is possible to make a breach in the walls of solitude affecting our older adults.

If you live an hour or more away from a loved one you care for, you are a long-distance caregiver. Caring for a loved one can be challenging: scheduling medical appointments, ensuring they take their medication as prescribed, managing their finances and paying their bills, making sure there is food in the fridge, providing emotional support, making sure they are happy and safe… Caregivers play many significant roles, which can be particularly complex when they have to be accomplished remotely.

According to Statistics Canada, more than 8 million Canadians provide care to a friend or loved one with a chronic health condition or disability.  It is estimated that approximately 12% of family caregivers provide support to a family member who lives at least an hour away by car.  If you are one of these long-distance caregivers, it’s important to realize that you are not alone.

West Toronto Support Services can help. Give us a call.

Source

Start the new year with your Emergency Contact Sheet (ICE Form)

What better way to ensure another safe and healthy year by checking to see if your Emergency Contact Sheet (ICE Form) is up to date!

Emergency situations can be hazardous, especially seniors and adults with disabilities.   Please ensure it’s up to date and keep it somewhere safe in your home.   We have provided a popular version of the form below from Toronto Paramedic Service, but you can also make your own that is clearly labelled ‘ICE’ or In Case of Emergency.

Note: This form is voluntary – do not send it back to us.

ICE FormTo ensure you get the proper care in the event of an emergency, the Toronto Paramedic Services  have developed a sheet called “In Case of Emergency”, or ICE for short.   We encourage everyone to fill out the form and keep it in an easily accessible place (For example:  your fridge, the back of your front door and/or your wallet or purse).

The sheet is easy to read and contains valuable information for paramedics and healthcare providers should you not be able to speak for yourself or remember important information in an emergency.

This form is voluntary and assists healthcare providers take care of you as efficiently as possible in the event of an emergency.  We urge you to include information of one person whom emergency personnel can reach on your behalf, as well as any medical conditions and/or allergies that would be beneficial for emergency personnel to know.

Forms can be downloaded by clicking the image above.

It also available in several different languages.   They offer translations of the ICE form in Arabic, Chinese (Traditional/Simplified), Farsi, French, Tagalog, Greek, Hungarian, Tamil, Italian, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi, Russian, Spanish and Vietnamese.

Visit Toronto Paramedic Services website to get your copy.


A Community News blog post

West Toronto Support Services writes articles about events and news in the community that closely align with our agencies mission of living independently and promoting your health & wellness.   Articles posted under community news don’t necessarily mean we directly endorse them – they are articles of interest that you can pursue further.   We believe a healthy community is a diverse and connected community!

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WTSS Holiday Hours 2018

Please note that we have holiday hours below for December. Contact your program staff if you have any questions or need assistance over the break.

WTSS Holiday Season Hours

The West Toronto Support Service offices will be closed on the following days:

  • Monday, December 24, 2018
    • Bloor Site: Open 9:00 am to 1 pm
    • Weston Site: Open 8:30 am to 1pm
  • Tuesday, December 25, 2018
  • Wednesday, December 26, 2018
  • Monday, December 31, 2018
    • Bloor Site: Open 9:00 am to 1 pm
    • Weston Site: Open 8:30 am to 1pm
  • Tuesday, January 1, 2017

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Stay Healthy This Flu Season

Getting the flu vaccine is the best way to prevent the flu. It takes two weeks for the vaccine to boost immunity. The flu vaccine will not protect against colds and other respiratory illnesses not caused by the influenza virus.

Toronto Public Health flu vaccination clinics are now complete. It’s not too late to get your flu vaccine. Flu vaccination is free at doctors’ offices, walk-in clinics and local pharmacies.

Seniors

Seniors are at risk of serious complications from the flu. The high-dose flu vaccine is the preferred choice for seniors. It provides better protection against influenza A. This vaccine is free at doctors’ offices, long-term care homes and walk-in clinics.

Stay Healthy this Flu Season

  1. Get your flu shot early.
  2. Wash your hands often.
  3. Cover your cough or sneeze.
  4. Disinfect toys, door handles, cell phones.

Need more information?

Please contact:

Immunization Information Centre
Toronto Public Health
235 Danforth Avenue, Floor 2
Toronto, Ontario M4K 1N2
Monday – Friday
8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Telephone: 416-392-1250

Source


A Community News blog post

West Toronto Support Services writes articles about events and news in the community that closely align with our agencies mission of living independently and promoting your health & wellness.   Articles posted under community news don’t necessarily mean we directly endorse them – they are articles of interest that you can pursue further.   We believe a healthy community is a diverse and connected community!

Sign-up to our news blog to receive more

Christmas Bazaar in Mt. Dennis – Dec. 8, 2018

Delicious baked good and more!

Come attend our annual Christmas Bazaar and support our Wellness Group

Saturday, December 8, 2018 at 11am, 1167 Weston Road.

For more information please call, (416) 249-7946

 


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The 2019 Safe Seniors Calendar is now available!

With support from Co-operators Insurance, the B.A.S.S.I.C. partners develop and print a calendar every year for older adults focusing on safety. The calendar offers tips and suggestions on how seniors can keep safe in their homes and communities.  It also reminds individuals of their OAS and CPP payment dates.  

To get one you must:

Act fast—they disappear quickly!


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Corporate Volunteers Help Out – United Way Day of Caring 2018

The United Way Greater Toronto has been sending corporate volunteers to WTSS for many years.

This year is no exception!   Between both the Bloor and Weston site, we have a record number of SEVEN events this year.

Volunteers from EY and the United Way prepare for our Thanksgiving Lunch on October 4

The projects allow employees from various corporations to experience community programs through The United Way Greater Toronto member agencies.   Participants not only provide valuable help to our agency but gain insight into where their corporate donations go and the valuable work that the United Way does.

So far we’ve had the pleasure of welcoming:

  • EY
  • The Insurance Bureau of Canada
  • Ministry of the Environment Conservation and Parks
  • BMO

And,

Enbridge Gas Distribution, CIBC and Enterprise Holdings Inc. will be joining us in November.

Volunteers from Insurance Bureau of Canada and the United Way helped deliver hot and frozen meals in the community on October 16

Each group has been actively participating through-out October in our Community Dining and Meals on Wheels.

Individuals became an invaluable part of our volunteer team, working together to deliver much needed programs in the community.

Photo for Cover3

Volunteers from BMO help deliver meals to the Mt. Dennis and Weston community

Thank you to everyone!


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The Rotary Club of Toronto continues to support WTSS Transportation Service

West Toronto Support Services (WTSS) has received a new vehicle for our fleet donated by The Rotary Club of Toronto. To learn more about the good work they do, visit their website http://www.rotarytoronto.com/

Staff from WTSS Transportation Service pose with new donated vehicle

The Rotary Club of Toronto recently provided us with a new 2019 Honda Odyssey four-door mini-van to replace an older vehicle in our Toronto RIDE fleet. The Rotary Club’s donation will help WTSS to continue to provide safe and affordable transportation to our clients for rides to medical and other appointments.

Toronto RIDE is a partnership led by SPRINT Senior Care of 14 not-for-profit community support services agencies across Toronto to ensure clients get to their destinations and to meet the rising need for transportation services for an aging population. It is an increasingly important transportation alternative for adults with disabilities and adults 55 and over for clients who have mobility challenges and do not qualify for other means of transportation, or cannot use public transportation. It is a vital service to help individuals remain mobile.

Thank you Rotary!


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Christmas Holiday Lunch – Dec. 13, 2018

Reserve your tickets soon!

The season is fast approaching and our Community Dining team have already put together our Christmas Holiday Lunch menu.

To RSVP: You may visit our offices at 1709 Bloor St. W. or call (416) 653-3535 Ext. 240

Read our poster below…

 


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What Is Advance Care Planning? Full Workbook Download

Imagine—one day, without warning, you find yourself in a hospital. You can’t communicate Who would speak for you? Who will make healthcare decisions for you?

Most people will develop a chronic illness during their lifetime. It’s important to plan ahead, for a time when you may not be capable of making your own healthcare decisions.

We’ve included a link to a workbook put out by the HealthLinks to help you start thinking about what’s important to you about your health and your healthcare. It can help you start conversations with your substitute decision-maker (SDM), family, close friends, and healthcare providers.

As part of WTSS’ Quality Improvement Plan we will be publishing this information annually to ensure our client, members and the community have access to government information on advance care planning.

Click on the image below to read the full workbook.

For more information:

Advance Care Planning:

  • Speak Up: http://www.advancecareplanning.ca/
    Canada’s Speak Up campaign encourages all Canadians to think about Advance Care Planning. Please make sure you are looking at the information for Ontario.
  • Advance Care Planning, Informed Consent and more:
    Advocacy Centre for the Elderly: http://www.acelaw.ca
  • The Ministry of the Attorney General of Ontario:
    They have a booklet that will help you complete a Power of Attorney for Personal Care and a separate Power of Attorney for Property (finance). You can also ask a lawyer to assist you with this.
    Phone: 416-314-2800 Toll-free: 1-800-366-0335 TTY: 416-314-2687
    Direct link to the forms:
    https://www.attorneygeneral.jus.gov.on.ca/english/family/pgt/poa.pdf

A Community News blog post

West Toronto Support Services (WTSS) is committed to engage our readers with relevant community news and access to resources, services and programs in our community.  A healthy community is a diverse and connected community!

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2018 1st Annual General Meeting Highlights

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Click to download full Annual Report 2017-2018 document

“WTSS is poised to embark on an exciting new chapter in its history and is well positioned to address the challenges that lie ahead in our sector…We are confident that the collective strengths of the merged agency will enable us to improve access and expand the services that help our clients to live independently in the community…”  ~ P.Mueller, Board of Directors Chair & W. Dyson, Acting CEO.

On Thursday September 13, we held our 1st Annual General Meeting at The Learning Enrichment Foundation.  A special thank you to all Members, Volunteers, Clients and Special Guests that actively participated.

Please take a moment to click on the cover of 2017/2018 Annual Report and read the entire message from the Board and Acting CEO.

Enjoy these photos of the event:

 


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2018 Thanksgiving Celebration Lunch – RSVP by Oct. 3!

Don’t miss out on this annual traditional!

Our Community Dining team will be serving up a full menu with entertainment on Thursday, October 4th

Please contact us as soon as possible to get your ticket.

Read more on ticket purchases on our poster:

 


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October is Community Support Month

Community support services support nearly one million Ontarians each year, including seniors and people with disabilities. They help clients live independently in their own homes and communities for as long as possible, and reduce the burden on family caregivers and other parts of the health care system. As Ontario’s population ages, community support services will become even more important.

October is Community Support Month, an opportunity to celebrate and raise awareness about the value of these services.

​Over 25 different community support services are provided by hundreds of charities and not-for-profit agencies across the province. Services include personal care and home help, Meals on Wheels, Alzheimer and adult day programs, transportation to medical appointments, friendly visiting, caregiver support, hospice and palliative care services, and much more.

The sector employs over 20,000 people and engages up to 100,000 volunteers. Each year, they deliver nearly 3 million meals, provide 2 million rides to medical appointments, and serve 30,000 Ontarians in adult day programs and 25,000 with assisted living services.

Agencies receive partial government funding, but are also supported by community foundations, individual donations and thousands of dedicated volunteers.

Service Celebration Dates for 2018

  • ​October 1 – Respite Services Day
  • October 3 – Congregate Dining Day
  • October 5 – Supportive Housing/Assisted Living Day
  • October 10 – Client Intervention and Assistance (CIA) Services Day
  • October 7-13 – Community Care Worker Week
  • October 12 – Friendly Visiting/Telephone Reassurance Service Day
  • October 19 – Home Help/Maintenance Services Day
  • October 26 – Attendant Services Day
  • October 28 – Hospice and Palliative Care Services Day
  • October 1-7 – Meals on Wheels Week
  • October 8 – Transportation Services Day
  • October 14-20 – Adult Day Program Week
  • October 16 – Capacity Builders PSW Training Day
  • October 16 – OCSA AGM
  • October 17-18 – OCSA Annual Conference

About OCSA 

Across the province each year, over one million people receive home care and community support services – and the need is growing. The Ontario Community Support Association (OCSA) champions a strong, sustainable home and community support sector for all Ontarians. Our not-for-profit, community-based member organizations provide a wide variety of health and wellness services which help a full range of clients including seniors and people with disabilities remain independent in their own homes and communities. These compassionate and cost-effective services improve quality of life and prevent unnecessary hospitalizations, emergency room visits and premature institutionalization. They are the key to a sustainable health care system for Ontario. For more information, visit www.ocsa.on.ca.


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Town Hall on Rights for Disabilities – Aug. 16th, 2018 @viraniarif

On June 20, 2018, our government introduced the Accessible Canada Act: An Act to Ensure a Barrier-Free Canada. The Accessible Canada Act represents the most significant piece of federal legislation for the rights of persons with disabilities in over 30 years – we are finally putting “Nothing about us without us” into action, legally requiring the participation of people with disabilities in decision making that directly impacts their lives.

Join Arif Virani, MP for Parkdale-High Park for an informative Town Hall and bring your questions and comments about this critical issue.

Confirmed panel of expert guests include:

  • Jeff Adams (Canadian Paralympian and a six-time world champion in wheelchair sports)
  • Luke Anderson (Executive Director, Stop Gap Foundation)
  • Connie Dejak (President and CEO, Runnymede Healthcare Centre)
  • Nancy Smith (Accessibility and Built Forms Specialist/Building Code, Government of Ontario)
  • Deborah Gold (Executive Director, Balance for Blind Adults)
  • Renu Mandhane (Chief Commissioner, Ontario Human Rights Commission)
  • Madeline Burghardt (Director at Large, West Toronto KEYS to INclusion)

Please register here, as space is limited.

More Information below:

 


A Community News blog post

West Toronto Support Services writes articles about events and news in the community that closely align with our agencies mission of living independently and promoting your health & wellness.   Articles posted under community news don’t necessarily mean we directly endorse them – they are articles of interest that you can pursue further.   We believe a healthy community is a diverse and connected community!

Sign-up to our news blog to receive more

Invitation to the WTSS’ 1st Annual General Meeting 2018

West Toronto Support Services welcomes you to attend their 1st Annual General Meeting (AGM).

Thursday, September 13th, 2018

Please RSVP to Margarita at (416) 249-7946 by August 31st.

This years event will be held at 116 Industry Street (Learning Enrichment Foundation).

Free transportation will be offered to any clients/members requiring assistance.  Please contact us as soon as possible.

See complete invitation below:

 


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Need a reason to volunteer? Older adults who volunteer are happier and healthier

Did you know that older adults who stay active by volunteering are getting more out of it than just an altruistic feeling? They are receiving a health boost!  A study published in Psychological Bulletin shows evidence regarding the psychosocial health benefits and we thought it was worth sharing again.

Among the key findings:

  • Volunteering is associated with reductions in symptoms of depression, better overall health, fewer functional limitations, and greater longevity.
  • The “sweet spot” appears to be at about 100 annual hours, or 2-3 hours per week.
  • More vulnerable seniors (i.e. those with chronic health conditions) may benefit the most from volunteering.
  • Feeling appreciated or needed as a volunteer appears to amplify the relationship between volunteering and psychosocial wellbeing.

“Taken together, these results suggest that volunteering is associated with health improvements and increased physical activity – changes that one would expect to offer protection against a variety of health conditions,” said Dr. Anderson. Indeed, a moderate amount of volunteering has been shown to be related to less hypertension and fewer hip fractures among seniors who volunteer compared to their matched non-volunteering peers.

West Toronto Support Services appreciates all our amazing volunteers! Thank you!

Interested in volunteering? Let us know.


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Introducing online & telephone banking

West Toronto Support Services is pleased to announce that you now have the option of paying your bill for services received using online or telephone banking.   This applies to clients from either our Bloor and Weston sites.

Instructions for paying online:

  1. Simply add “West Toronto Support Services” as a payee when paying bills through your online bank.
  2. Use your 14 digit client number as your account number. (Found on your monthly invoice)
  3. When you are ready to pay your bill, you just need to log into your bank account and make a payment.

Instructions for paying by telephone:

  1. Call your bank to inquire how to pay your invoice over the phone with your telephone banking information.
  2. Make regular payments through your telephone and bank each month.

(Note: Online and telephone banking does not work with Royal Bank at this time)

Please continue to pay by cheque if you do not use online or telephone banking.

If you have any questions, please call our office at (416) 249-7946.


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Annual Community BBQ at our Weston site – Fri. August 31st

Enjoy a community BBQ at our Weston site!

Friday, August 31st!  – 12-2pm

Freshly cooked Hamburgers and Hot Dogs outside!

Details below:

 


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Lucy celebrates 100th Birthday in style with @viraniarif

Nicholas, Adlan and Samantha from Parkdale-High Park Member of Parliament Arif Virani’s office join Lucy Werner and her daughter.

 

Lucy Werner celebrated her 100th birthday on July 4th in our Adult Day Service.

Family, friends and staff attended the party that included live entertainment, lunch and a special cake!

Special guests included representatives from Arif Virani MP‘ office to present a 100th Birthday certificate to Lucy.

Have you reached your own milestone?

You can request a congratulatory message if you or a senior in your life is marking a milestone occasion.

Get information about requesting a message from:

  • Her Majesty The Queen – for Canadians celebrating birthdays of 100 years or more and for couples celebrating wedding anniversaries of 60 years or more (at five-year intervals)
  • The Lieutenant Governor of Ontario – for Ontarians celebrating birthdays of 90 years or more and for couples celebrating wedding anniversaries of 50 years or more.
  • The Prime Minister of Canada – for Canadians celebrating birthdays of 65 years or more (at five-year intervals) and for couples celebrating wedding anniversaries of 25 years of more (at five-year intervals).
  • The Premier of Ontario – for Ontarians celebrating birthdays of 80 years or more and for couples celebrating anniversaries of 40 years or more.

You can also contact your Member of Provincial Parliament (MPP) or Member of Parliament (MP) for a variety of occasions.

Find your electoral district to contact the constituency office of your local representative.


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Automatic External Defibrillators (AED) come to WTSS

As part of our continuing quality improvement, the Joint Health and Safety Committee have purchased and installed two Defibrillators.

AEDs are electronic devices used to restart a person’s heart if it has stopped beating and can help save lives if there are no emergency personnel present.

They are in the process of being installed and can be accessed at both our 1709 Bloor St. W. and 1167 Weston sites.  The AEDs support the clients we serve in our Adult Day Service, as well as our staff and volunteers in the event of a medical emergency.

Nadia Hassan, member of the WTSS Joint Health & Safety Committee


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Weston Farmer’s Market

WTSS joined the Weston Farmer’s Market again this year on June 16th for their opening Day celebration – a festive, fun-filled event, that commemorates the opening of the market, and celebrates the rich diversity of the Weston community, and local enterprises!

Watch the video:


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Oh Canada…! Did you get your ticket for our annual event?

It’s the long weekend and our nation is celebrating Canada’s 151st Birthday!

With warmer weather coming our way, it’s a great time to enjoy some firework festivities and picnics – find one that’s close to you.

At WTSS, we will be celebrating with our annual Canada Day BBQ.   Yes, that means MUSIC, HAMBURGERS and lots of RED & WHITE.

It’s very popular, so call ahead to make sure there are tickets still available.  (Limited tickets available)

Read about it on our 2018 poster:

 


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