Our New Location

As promised in an earlier post, your West Toronto Support Services Team have officially moved.  This new location will also be home to our Adult Day Services (ADS) in a newly renovated program space: 1709 Bloor St. W. 2nd Fl., Toronto, ON M6P 4E5 – located at the intersection of Bloor St. West and Keele St.

We will be hosting an official launch in the new year.   If you are a client, your Program Supervisor will have also been in touch with you.  In the meantime, as we continue to settle in our new home, here is a view of the new location from the side entrance with Tim and Thom (some of the friendly familiar faces at WTSS).

 

West Toronto Support Services

United Way – Pancake Breakfast!

Pancake Fundraiser

On November 19th starting at the early hours of 8 AM, fresh pancakes were being cooked up for residents and community members at 1709 Bloor St. W.

It was an all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast event to raise funds for the United Way of Toronto.   Early and late risers alike had a chance to line up and grab their meal courtesy of our in-house pancake expert, Agata.    Chocolate chips, fresh strawberries, raspberries and no less than 4 different sauces were among some of the toppings you could heap upon the generous helping of pancakes.

The event was a success and it provided a nice morning buzz to the lobby.    Thank you to everyone who came to participate – stay tuned for more to come!

West Toronto Support Services is a member agency of the United Way of Toronto.   We are proud to support their campaign once more this year!

A Caring Clown

A Caring Clown Program

Caring Clowns shared joy makes their work therapeutic and healing.
~Lynda Del Grande, Caring Clown Program, 50+ Programs, Ryerson University

A Caring Clown tells a story about the authors friend, 86 year old Inge Gei, and her desire to help others by injecting cheerful visits into the lives of others.  Inge graduated from Ryerson’s Caring Clown Program at Ryerson University and now visits Long-Term Care Homes on a regular basis.  She finds the experiences challenging but very rewarding.   Many of the patients she encounters respond in a positive manner to her smiles and singing voice.

Inge has always had a talent for singing and acting since she was a little girl and now her community work is helping others to heal and providing an inspiration for them.

Continue reading Inge’s story and see more pictures at A Caring Clown.

Flu Season

Toronto Public Health

The Flu season is close at hand.   If you missed the flu clinics available throughout November, you can inquire at your Doctor’s office or the Pharmacy.  Call the number provided below for more information on flu clinics.

Influenza, also known as the flu, can spread to others before symptoms appear. Symptoms include headache, chills, cough, fever, loss of appetite, muscle aches, fatigue, runny nose, sneezing, watery eyes and throat irritation.

In addition to getting the vaccine, Toronto Public Health recommends: washing hands frequently, sneezing and coughing into sleeve if no tissue is available, avoiding touching eyes, nose and mouth with unclean hands, and staying home when sick.

For the full schedule of flu vaccination clinics, call 416-338-7600 or visit http:// bit.ly/1FwZ8rs.

Individuals can also book an appointment online at http:// www.tphbookings.ca.

Snow Removal Services

Snow Removal

DO YOU REMEMBER LAST WINTER?

Humber Services for Seniors (HSS) will keep your home’s sidewalks, driveway and walkways safe and clear of snow this winter at an affordable and competitive fixed price. Their snow service works like this:

Between Dec. 1, 2014 & April 1, 2015 they will automatically come and clear your snow (no need to call them) after the snow has stopped and the accumulation has reached 2 in. (5 cm) or more.

They provide service 7 days a week (normally within 24 to 36 hours after the snow stops), with the exception of Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year’s Day and Family Day. Please note that they do not provide salt, but will put it down if it is provided by the homeowner.

Private residential snow removal typical costs $600 to $700 or more, plus 13 % HST for the season.  HSS’ snow shoveling service is much more affordable than a private commercial service.

Their price is $425 for the entire season! And they do not charge HST. You have 2 payment options:

  • Pay the full amount of $425 before December 15, 2014
  • Or, pay in 2 installments – $225 by December 15, 2014, and $200 by January 15, 2015If you have any questions, please call 416-249-7946 and ask for Seetama. If you would like to sign up, ask for the form by Nov. 24, 2014:Seetama Kartick
    Humber Community Seniors’ Services Inc. 1167 Weston Rd.
    Toronto, ON M6M 4P5

We Did It Toronto! Some Inspiration from the WTSS CN Tower Climb Team.

WTSS West Toronto Support Services CN Tower Climb 2014

You likely already know that West Toronto Support Services (WTSS) is a committed member of the United Way Toronto Agency Team. But did you know that a core team from the WTSS Staff have volunteered their time and raised money to support the Annual CN Tower Climb for the past 7 years!

We shared this event with many other outstanding organizations and climbers who took on the 1,776 step challenge. We showed some serious altitude, raising vital funds for our city and everyone who lives here. Official climb times are posted now: http://www.unitedwaytoronto.com/climb

All funds raised for the 2014 Enbridge CN Tower Climb for United Way go directly into helping to build a city where every person is able to reach their full potential. A city where families in every neighbourhood are thriving. A city where young people can grow into healthy, confident adults. A city where everyone can build the foundations of a better life.

 

The Ontario 2014-2015 Care Guide

Staying at home is the preferred choice of most of us when we age.

West Toronto Support Services offers a wide variety of services to help in situations such as this.

The Care Guide is another online and print resource that brings you information and resources to help facilitate the process as-well.  Everything from Home Safety, including safety proofing your home in general and for those with memory care issues, to renovations, like making accessible bathrooms, including tax incentives to do so, are covered.

They also give you information about other Community Support Services, such as meals, social and transportation services, Adult Day Care, Senior Centres and Home Care Services that are available to make living at home easier for you and your care giver.

The Health and Wellness section gives useful information about diets, physical and mental exercise and emotional well being.

And last but not least, the Care Giving section addresses issues around care giving.

Here is a link to the guide.

Adapt your Home for Change

The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) has created a useful online resource for seniors and caregivers that are considering adapting a home to make it more accessible.  Click image below to access fact sheets, check lists and guides which will show you ways to adapt your home to meet your changing needs.

CANADA MORTGAGE AND HOUSING CORPORATION

Click on image to access CANADA MORTGAGE AND HOUSING CORPORATION website

A knock on the door can be costly

Everyday across Ontario, in big cities and small towns, contractors are working hard to ensure their customers get quality service and craftsmanship for a fair price. Most contractors, that is.

According to advocates for elderly Ontarians, small handfuls of unscrupulous workers are preying upon seniors, tricking or intimidating them into going forward with wildly expensive and often unnecessary renovations.

Lori Flaxy is the director of Ontario Senior Services, an organization designed to help senior citizens remain independent in their homes.  She says that bullying of some of Ontario’s most vulnerable citizens is, unfortunately, widespread.

“We’re getting a lot of reports of roofers or handymen showing up uninvited at seniors’ homes, and starting a job and not finishing…or taking money up front for a job and then just not showing up.”

The Ontario College of Trades (the College), the new industry-driven provincial regulatory body that protects the public interest by regulating and promoting the skilled trades, is aware of the dangers faced by scammers and is doing its part to protect the public.

The College’s website features a free public register that allows anyone with an Internet connection to confirm that someone in a compulsory trade – such a plumber or an electrician – has the required qualifications to do the work.

“One of the College’s core mandates is to protect the public interest, and the public register does just that. If you’re going to hire someone to re-wire your home or do some plumbing work, all you have to do is check the registry to make sure that person is certified for the job. It’s that easy,” said David Tsubouchi, Registrar and CEO of the College.

To confirm a certification, all one needs to do is type in the individual’s membership number, or their first and last name. If the person is a member of the College and a certified journeyperson or apprentice, the name will pop up, as well as details on their qualifications.

Though she considers it to be a “big problem” already, Flaxy of Ontario Senior Services expects that even more seniors will in coming years be ripped off.

“It’s going to happen more. Some parts of Ontario are so economically depressed…more people will be willing to prey upon seniors.”

Flaxy says that when her organization works with a tradesperson on behalf of a client, it routinely checks to see if that person is certified with the Ontario College of Trades.

That’s because all Ontarians deserve peace of mind in the safety of their homes.

Volunteer Appreciation Night

Volunteer AppreciationOur annual Volunteer Appreciation Night took advantage of the nice weather and access to the buildings patio to host a festive BBQ dinner event.

The event is in recognition of all the hard work our volunteer team puts into our agency each year.   You’ll find them assisting with Meals on Wheels, Community Dining, Adult Day Services, Administration and several other roles.

Hamburgers were cooked up with munchies, dessert and wine.  Paula, our Volunteer Coordinator presented everyone with Certificates of Appreciation and there was a raffle to give away several prizes.

Thank you to everyone for coming and making it a success this year!

World’s Oldest Living Man At Age 111

Dr. Alexander Imich was awarded the Guinness World Record title of Oldest living man on May 8, 2014 at the age of 111 years and 93 days. Watch this video of Dr. Imich accepting his World Record to learn a few secrets of his long life and read below:

Dr. Imich was born in present-day Częstochowa, Poland, which was then part of the Russian Empire, on February 4th, 1903. In 1951, he and his wife, Wela, immigrated to the United States from the Soviet Union and Imich has lived in Manhattan alone since she passed away in 1986. He was a parapsychologist and retired chemist.

Alexander credited his Father’s good genes and healthy lifestyle for his long life. His motto: “always pursue what one loves and is passionate about”.

From the video, we learn that: “It was his work that he was most proud of, and he was happiest when the attention included his scientific work,” his longtime friend Michael Mannion said. “He had such an ability to turn adversity into something positive. That intense curiosity was there until the last days,” said Mannion.

However, Imich was not the oldest living person. There are 66 women older than him!

And according to The Guinness World Records, Thomas Peter Thorvald Kristian Ferdinand ‘Christian’ Mortensen holds the World Record for oldest living male. Thomas died aged 115 years 252 days.

Did you know? The greatest fully authenticated age to which any human has ever lived is 122 years, 164 days by Jeanne Louise Calment of France, who died in 1997.

We’re Moving!

Silver Circle-West Toronto Services for Seniors (SC-WTSS) will be moving our offices in July of this year.

The demand for our services has increased over the years and with it, an expansion of staff and resources. To allow for more program and administration space the new offices will have 10K sq. ft. approx. (40% more space than our current location). The new location will also be home to our Adult Day Services (ADS) in a newly renovated program space. The new address will be:

1709 Bloor St. W. 2nd Fl.
Toronto, ON
M6P 4E5

New office at 1709 Bloor St. W. Please stay tuned for further details regarding our new location. We will address your questions regarding the move, invoices, bills and other matters.

Program Supervisors will also be in touch with you as we progress with relocation in the coming month.

Emergency Contact Sheet (ICE Form)

This article is part of our regular bi-annual promotion of the ICE (In Case of Emergency) Sheet.

Emergency situations can be hazardous for anyone, especially seniors and adults with disabilities. To ensure you get the proper care in the event of an emergency, the Toronto Medical Emergency Services (EMS) have developed a sheet called In Case of Emergency, or ICE for short. We encourage everyone to fill out the form provided in this newsletter 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 valued information for paramedics and healthcare providers should you not be able to speak for yourself or remember important information.

This form is voluntary and assists healthcare providers take care of you as efficiently as possible. 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.

If you have any questions or would like assistance in filling out this form, please call Dolma (416) 653-3535.

Please pass along the form to anyone you feel will benefit from its use. Additional forms can be retrieved online .
Remember to ensure your form is always current and updated!

Exercise for Seniors at UCCST

UCCSTUkrainian Canadian Social Services Toronto (UCCST) is a non-profit charitable organization. Their social services program supports individuals and families in need and provides culturally and linguistically sensitive services. The Social and Recreational Programs at UCCST promote physical and emotional well-being, prevent isolation and enhance the quality of life.

Among their other weekly programs, they have Free exercise classes for Seniors on Tuesday and Thursday 10:30 AM

They’re easily located just outside the Jane subway stop.   Give them a call and find out more information!

2445 Bloor Street W. (Jane and Bloor St. W.)

(416) 763-4982
toradmin@ucss.info
www.tor.ucss.info

New FREE Exercise!

Increase your Strength, Balance & Flexibility.

Join ESS for a new set of exercise classes beginning this month.

There is no cost!

All adults 55+ are welcome to join!
Conveniently located near Keele subway.

1709 Bloor St. W.
(Keele St. and Bloor St. W.)

Classes will be a mix of Fitness classes on Mondays and Fridays beginning at 2pm. There will also be Fun Therapeutic Prevention Classes on Mondays and Fridays beginning at 3pm.
For more information,
please call (416) 243-0127

esslhin

Tuesday Lunch Continues

Our trial lunches that began in January at 1709 Bloor St. lunch have been a success.   Lunches will continue on the first Tues. of each month.  Thurs. weekly lunches will also continue.  Call (416) 653-3535 Ext. 240 for details

sandwich

Grocery Shopping Expands!

Our Grocery Shopping program has proven to be extremely popular.   To meet the growing demand of this service, we are now offering the service on every other Tuesday.

If you are currently using the Friday slot for our shopping program and find it busy, please consider trying one of our Tuesday dates.

For safety concerns and space restrictions, please note the following.  Participants are limited to four bags or 1 shopping cart of food for each trip.

grocery

 

 

 

 

 

The Transportation Dept. is reached at: (416) 653-3535 Ext. 242

 

 

Swiss Chalet in May

Swiss

 

 

 

Sign up early for one of our most popular trips!

On May 14th our Monthly Restaurant lunch is heading to Swiss Chalet!

Price and exact location to be determined.

Call (416) 653-3535 Ext. 240

 

Lawn Care Service

There are several community agencies that offer Home Maintenance in the summer. This service usually includes mowing the lawn, light garden work and raking leaves in the fall. Each agency may have different rates and only service a portion of west-end Toronto. Please call them for details.

York Fairbanks Centre for Seniors
(416) 651-8300

CANES
(416) 743-3892
http://www.canes.on.ca

Storefront Humber Support Services
(416) 259-4207
http://www.storefronthumber.ca

Toronto Intergenerational Partnerships
(416) 531-8447
http://www.tigp.org

Humber Services for Seniors
(see Ad bottom of post)
http://www.humberseniors.org/

311
You may also try calling 311 and they
will direct you to the appropriate agency

Humberservices

Client Fee Increase

excla

Dear Clients,

As the cost of delivering our services is increasing (i.e. the cost of gas and program supplies/food), Silver Circle – West Toronto Support Services is in a position where we will need to increase the fees for our Adult Day Service, Meals on Wheels, Home Help, Respite Care, and Grocery Shopping programs.  We have made every effort to make the increase as minimal as possible.  The fee increase will be effective as of June 1, 2014.  As always, we are committed to delivering quality service and value your understanding and continued support of the agency.

Please see below for the new fee schedule.

prices

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please direct any questions regarding fees to the appropriate Program Coordinator.

Thank you for your understanding and we look forward to serving your needs.

You’re Invited! Junction Townhall Meeting

Come join the celebration and learn!

The Ontario Trillium Foundation funded Feasibility Study for converting the old police station at 209 Mavety into a Community Hub is now complete!  With the assistance of Silver Circle-West    Toronto Support Services (WTSS), the Junction Commons Project (JCP) was able to hire a consultant to determine if the building could be re-purposed for a community centre.

At the Town Hall, you’ll get to learn more about the mission of the JCP and how it relates to you!  There will be a detailed explanation of the    feasibility study, the current action plan and hopes for the future of the Junction neighbourhood. Light refreshments will be served by Jayne’s Gourmet.  Everyone is encouraged to come!

Free Tickets:

http://junctioncommons.brownpapertickets.com

(you can still show up at the event without a ticket but registering helps prepare the event)

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Masonic Temple

151 Annette St, 7 – 9pm

To volunteer or ask questions: junctioncommoner@gmail.com

 

What’s in a Name?

It’s time to get our clientele’s and community member’s feedback again. It’s been just over five years since we had a branding exercise that introduced Silver Circle to our agency name.   With this new image came a new look, new brochures and a new website.

And now we want to know if it’s working.   As part of our strategic goals, we need to increase our  visibility and this requires us to have a clear vision of who we are.  We need to hear from you and get your feedback so we can continue to improve our brand image.  We’ve included a survey to gather some feedback.  In short, we want to know how you feel about our name.   If you have additional comments, you may write them on the survey.

You may return your survey with payment, drop off at our main  office (80 Ward St.) or if neither of these are convenient, you may call our office.   Call (416) 653-3535 and ask for extension 233.  You can leave a message and someone will get back to your shortly.

Thank you for your cooperation!

Survey for WTSS

Annual Client Satisfaction Survey

Silver Circle – West Toronto Support Services’ (WTSS) 2013 client satisfaction survey was developed in order to give clients and caregivers the opportunity to provide direct and measurable feedback to WTSS. The results will be used to help steer the organization forward by evaluating and improving services as well as identifying areas for new programming. Respondents were asked for quantifiable answers followed by qualitative questions. Client names, other than those of the Adult Day Service (ADS) program, were chosen randomly from a sampling of the WTSS client list.  Responses remained anonymous and were categorized by department.

The surveys were conducted by a volunteer over a period of approximately 2 months.  With the exception of ADS, all department surveys were conducted by phone and took between 5 – 20 minutes each.  Responses were then entered online into surveys created in SurveyMonkey. SurveyMonkey is an online survey tool that assists with managing and analyzing survey results.  The ADS surveys were mailed out to clients/caregivers – of the 40 that were mailed out, 16 were completed and returned.

The findings of this survey suggest that overall clients and their caregivers are satisfied with the services provided by WTSS. The majority of clients is satisfied with WTSS’ services and feels that services help them remain independent at home.  The majority of clients also feel they are treated courteously by WTSS staff and that they feel safe when receiving services.  Areas in need of improvement or investigation have been documented and will be addressed by the appropriate staff.

If you’d like to receive more detail about the results, please contact the Manager, Operations & Development at (416) 653 – 3535 Ext. 234.

SPRINT Senior Care Doubles Number of FREE Exercise Classes

SPRINT has recently doubled its number of free exercise classes for seniors.  Their classes are great for keeping fit and having fun. They also include chair-based exercises, low-impact cardio, bands and balance, and chair yoga.  For information go online at http://sprintseniorcare.org/  or call SPRINT Senior Care at (416)481.6411.  The classes are potentially ideal for anyone living in the east part of our catchment. SPRINT Senior Care is a community support service such as West Toronto Support Services.

 

Did you Know?

Toronto Public Library

If you can’t get to the library, the library can come to you!  The Toronto Public Library offers the following services for those that may have mobility issues:

Home Services
Home Library Service is available for Toronto residents who are homebound for three months or longer due to age, illness or disability. A variety of library materials, including books, paperbacks, large print books and talking books, are selected and delivered to you free of charge.

Senior Apartment Services
Get small collections of library materials delivered to seniors’ apartments for residents to enjoy. The collections are changed up to four times a year.

On-site service is provided by the institutional staff, residents and/or volunteers, not by library staff.

For more information, call us at (416)395-5557 or visit http://www.torontopubliclibrary.ca/accessibility

Junction Seniors Gathering

The Junction Seniors Gathering meet twice a week socially for an hour in the Junction Neighbourhood.   Enjoy conversations at the local coffee shops with friends – everyone is welcome!

Meetings:

  • Tuesday mornings 10 am to 11 am at   Agora Cafe, 3015 Dundas Street W.
  • Friday afternoons 2 pm to 3 pm at      Pascal’s Baguette & Bagels,2904 Dundas Street W.

For more information, contact Eleanor Batchelder by email: eob62@yahoo.com, or by phone: (647) 235.0843, or visit the website:

http://www.junctionra.ca/junction-seniors/

 

Knitting Club gives back to Community

Every Tuesday, you can find a group knitting away downstairs at 100 High Park Ave.   Organized by Silver Circle – West Toronto Services for Seniors, the group brings older adults together to socialize and use their knitting experience to a good cause.   New members are always welcome and just need a willingness to learn if they don’t have a lot of experience.  Knitted hats, scarves and mittens are made by the group throughout the year and given to those that may need a little extra warmth during the winter season.   On December 10th, the staff from Yonge Street Mission dropped by to collect numerous bags of these donations to be used for such a reason by their clientele.   To join or learn more about the Knitting group, you can contact Holly at (416) 769.4605  Ext. 224

Knitting Group at 100 High Park

Voice your Opinion on Canada Post

Canada Post is looking at ways to modernize operations to battle the decreasing use of regular mail.  Some of these will impact seniors and adults with disabilities such as eliminating home delivery and increasing postage rates significantly.

Over the next five years, Canadian households that receive their mail at their door will be converted to community mailbox delivery.  These are large communal mailboxes located close to a neighbourhood and can be accessed with a key.  The transition is expected to take 5 years to complete on a national scale.

A new pricing structure will take effect March 31, 2014. Under these changes, the cost of a stamp will also jump from $0.63 to $0.85 for bulk purchase of stamps, or $1 for individual stamps.

If you feel these changes may impact you negatively, you can call your local MP’s office or visit http://petition.ndp.ca/stop-the-cuts-to-our-postal-service to sign an online petition.

 

Income Tax Clinic

It’s that time of year again.   We will be hosting our tax clinic in the same location as past years with our partners.

This 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 who host tax preparation clinics and arrange for volunteers to prepare the returns.  Each year community organizations and volunteers help over half a million Canadians file their tax returns.

Income Tax

Additional Income Tax Clinics

There are other Income Tax clinics in the neighbourhood should they be more convenient.  We’ve listed two below and you may also visit the CVITP online page for more clinics:  http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/tx/ndvdls/vlntr/

1.   Jonah Schein MP Income Tax Clinic

1674 St. Clair Avenue West,

Call (416) 535.3158 to register

2.   Peggy Nash MP Income Tax Clinic

Call (416)769-5072 to register

Various locations in Parkdale-High Park area.

March 22—April 12

TTC Support Person Free to Travel

TTC

Support persons travelling with people with disabilities will no longer pay a fare on the TTC.

As of Jan. 1, a support person accompanying a TTC customer with a disability will no longer be required to pay a fare. The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act defines a support person as someone who assists a person with a disability with communication,  mobility, personal care/medical needs or with access to goods,    services or facilities.  A new TTC Support Person Assistance Card is now available that permits one  support person to travel with a fare-paying customer with a disability on a single fare. Additional travel companions must pay a fare. Until March 29, the TTC will permit a support person to travel on a single fare with a paying customer on the honour system. Starting March 30, customers will be required to show a Support Person Assistance Card when they are accompanying a fare-paying customer with a disability. Application forms are now available on the TTC website and must be certified by a health care professional.

The TTC will hold several photo ID sessions at select subway stations in early 2014 where eligible customers can submit their application and have their photo taken for a Support Person Assistance Card.

Locations, dates and times will be posted at ttc.ca and communicated widely when they become available. Customers may also submit an application in person at the Sherbourne Photo ID Centre or Davisville Customer Service Centre. Alternatively,    customers may submit their application by mail with two passport photos accompanying their application.

Call Customer Service at (416) 393.3030 for more information and mailing address.

Food Safety

food

Residents who have been without power, or recently had their power restored, are advised to reduce the risk of a food borne illness:

  • If you have been without power for 24 hours or longer, all food in the fridge should be thrown out.
  • During a power outage of 48 hours or longer, all food in the freezer should be thrown out.
  • Any leftover cooked food that cannot be reheated or stored in a working       refrigerator or freezer should be thrown out.
  • Never eat food that looks or smells strange – when in doubt, throw it out. More food safety tips are available at:   http://bitly.com/Jxt79e.

Emergency Preparation Kits

emerg

Emergency situations such as black outs in the winter can be hazardous to anyone and it’s best to be prepared with an emergency kit.  It should be kept in an accessible location and easy to carry.  Stored water should be changed every six months.  Kits should be reviewed once a year and    batteries should be replaced.  Here are some   suggestions: 

WATER: Store one gallon per person per day for  drinking, food prep and sanitation.

FOOD: Store a 3-day supply of Non-Perishable food.

TOOLS AND SUPPLIES:  Identification in a waterproof bag (see below)  Battery operated radio and extra   batteries,  Flashlight and extra batteries, Phone (wired- does not need electricity), Cash in small bills or change, Manual can opener, Utility knife,  Matches and candles in waterproof container, Plastic garbage bags/ties, Change of clothes, Hat, gloves, Mylar blanket or sleeping bag, First Aid Kit

INFORMATION

  •   Your OHIP number
  •   Your phone Number
  •   An emergency contact
  •   Your doctors phone number
  •   Current medications & allergies

Snow Removal

shovel

There are other options to have your snow  removed near or on your property.   The  services can vary from each neighbourhood and not every option will be available or may not apply to everyone.

 

City of Toronto

Some of the sidewalks in Toronto are cleared of snow within 36 hours if the accumulation is greater than 8 cm (approx. 3 in.). However, on streets with continuous on-street parking and where sidewalks cannot be cleared by mechanical ploughing, residents are required to clear ice and snow from sidewalks adjacent to their property within 12 hours of a snowfall.

If you are a senior or if you are disabled and live in an area where sidewalk snow clearing is not automatically done, you can obtain  information on how to register by calling (416) 392-7768.

For assistance with private property snow clearing, seniors and the disabled can use a Community Support Service.

Community Support Services (CSS)

Several agencies offer snow removal as part of their programming and will do private  properties such as walkways and driveways.   These are usually offered for a nominal fee and the agency may act as a   broker to help match adults and students with people requiring snow shoveling.  Rates are hourly and vary per agency.   They also  restrict services to catchment areas and may not be available for your area.  CSS services like Humber Services for Seniors offer a flat rate that guarantees a professional will come and remove snow.

Some CSS contacts for the west end:

  • CANES (416) 743-3892
  • Syme55+   (416) 766-0388
  • York Fairbank  (416) 651-8300
  • Toronto Intergenerational Partnerships  (416) 531-8447
  • Humber Services for Seniors  (416) 249-7946

311

You may also contact 311 Toronto to obtain a list of organizations that provide snow removal services.

If in doubt, you can also try calling the City of Toronto help line for free and you will be  directed to the appropriate agency or contact number.  Dial 311 or email 311@toronto.ca.  TTY customers: 416-338-0TTY (0889).

Preventing Frozen Pipes

If you don’t have heat for your home and the temperature drops to well below freezing, consider leaving a tap open enough for a trickle of water so there is some movement of water in pipes that might be vulnerable to freezing.

If you are leaving your home because of no heat, you can shut off the main service valve in your basement and open your lowest tap to drain the water out of your plumbing lines to prevent them from freezing.

You can read more about the causes and prevention of frozen pipes by going HERE.

Swansea Lunches Return!

We continue to provide monthly lunches at Swansea Town Hall with the Swansea Area Senior’s Association into the new year.

For only $5.00 a lunch of Soup and Sandwich, dessert, homemade soup and tea/coffee and juice will be served.

The first lunch is on:   Monday, January 27 at 12:30 pm

93 Lavinia Ave.

Retirement Security Forum

With  Peggy Nash MP & Murray Rankin

Faced with an aging population, growing  inequality and increasing costs of living, the federal government must take action to  ensure that all Canadians can retire in dignity rather than poverty.  On January 25, 2014, Peggy Nash hosts an informative discussion on pensions and retirement security in Canada alongside colleague Murray Rankin, the Official Opposition’s Pensions Critic and the Member of Parliament for Victoria.

This Retirement Security Forum will be held at 11:30am-1pm on January 25 at the Swansea Town Hall, 95 Lavinia Avenue.

A New Lunch at Loyola

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Join us as we extend our popular Thursday lunches to another day!  At 1709 Bloor St. W. we will be adding an   additional date to our lunches.  A three month trial on January 7, February 4 & March 4 (the first Tuesday of each month) at 12pm.  Same team, same Soup & Sandwich you love!  Call (416) 653-3535 Ext. 240 to learn more.

Keeping Warm in your Home

As we begin the new year and look forward to warmer weather, we  provides some additional insight into dealing with the cold and persistent snowy weather of late.  Temperatures have been colder than usual and you’ll find some tips and tricks to help make your home a warmer without adding significant costs.

Blackouts such as we experienced during the ice storm before the    holidays can be more challenging during winter and it’s important to ensure you have some basics at hand.

Finally, we’ve included a listing of some other snow shovelling services in Toronto that is a great addition to our article in the last issue. Each is beneficial depending on where you live and your property needs.

Below are a few tips to help save money in the colder months ahead.

  •  Consider installing a programmable  thermostat. It will turn the heat up before you wake, turn the heat down when you leave home.
  • 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 aswell.
  • Keep your curtains and blinds open during the day and closed at night. This helps to heat your home on cold days & reduces energy used by your furnace.
  • Keep your  furnace well maintained and replace the filter every 1-2 months.  Dirty filters reduce airflow, causing the furnace to take longer to heat your home.
  • 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.
  • Have a large scatter rug on the floor if you don’t already have  carpeting.
  • Also inspect the caulking around the exterior windows and doors of your house.
  • If modern windows are too expensive an option, a more     affordable and temporary solution is to buy a Window  Insulator Kit.  The Kit is a plastic sheeting that’s affixed to a   window’s interior with double-stick tape.   It can be an   effective solution despite its “un-pretty” look.   Also  inspect the caulking around the exterior windows and doors of your house.
  •  Be active. Moving around produces body heat! finally, wear warm clothes and don’t forget to make a hot drink to warm up your core temperature.  Keep warm!

 

Toronto Public Health eCounselling Service

Toronto Public Health now offers free, confidential and anonymous online counselling for Toronto  residents.  Their nurse and dietitian can provide information on a wide range of topics.  Some examples   include:

  • Chronic Disease Prevention (e.g., diabetes, cancer, heart disease
  • Senior’s concerns
  • Mental Health Promotion
  • Nutrition
  • Prenatal and Postpartum Depression and Anxiety
  • Sexual Health Promotion
  • Substance Misuse Prevention (e.g., drugs, tobacco and alcohol)

Service Availability:  Monday to  Friday 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. (excludes statutory holidays)  Need more information? If you have questions about this service, call (416) 338-600.

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Help Give Back

Help give back to Meals on Wheels.

 

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Meals on Wheels Facebook Donation Campaign

Meridian Credit Union has started a social networking campaign to support Meals on Wheels in Ontario. For every “like” they receive on their Facebook holiday photo on the Meridian Credit Union Facebook page they will donate $2 to Meals on Wheels (to a maximum of $10,000).

Head on over and “like” their photo!https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151819074737965&set=a.211371877964.133553.205943942964&type=1&theater

The photo currently has 710 likes (that’s $1,420!!!), but we need to get this number up to 5,000 likes. A small act can make a big impact! If you’ve not already done so, please click here to like the image and please share it among your networks.

OSCA www.ocsa.on.ca will act as a banker for the funds raised and decide how best to spend them to support Meals on Wheels.

Swansea Area Senior’s Association

Retired and looking for something new?  Why not zoom down to Swansea Town Hall and meet some new people and have some fun!

The Swansea Area Seniors’ Association (SASA) is located in the Swansea area of West Toronto in The Swansea Town Hall.   They  offer a wide variety of engaging programs that bring out the creativity in people with a focus on active living.  Programs include Art classes, Osteofit, Yoga, Taoist Tai Chi, Line Dancing, Bridge, Chinese Brush Painting, Zumba Gold and the Art of Conversation.  SASA also       organizes several trips outside Toronto. This year members visited Niagara Falls for dinner and wine as well as a Grand River Cruise with live musical entertainment.   The facilities are large and comfortable to accommodate     several programs running at once.  They also have a full size billiards table and an informative information board on  community programs and support.

West Toronto Support Services in partnership with SASA continues to provide affordable and delicious lunches on every last Monday of the month.  Come enjoy a selection of sandwiches and homemade soup and visit the library upstairs or join another class!

SASA is run entirely by a volunteer Board of Directors and staff as well as through  partnerships in the community.   To be eligible and join SASA you need not be sixty-five.

SASA is a 10 min. walk down Windermere from Bloor St. W. or you can take a bus from Runnymede Station among other travel  methods. 

The annual Membership fee is $12.00.  Some classes or trips may have additional fees and will be pro-rated if joining mid-term.  The premises are wheelchair accessible. 

For more information, you can call: (416) 416-392-1953 or visit their website at http:/www.swanseatownhall.ca/q-programs-seniors.php

Time to renew your Membership!

Silver Circle – West Toronto Services for Seniors (SC-WTSS) was founded by  community members to serve older adults 55+, frail elderly and care givers. Members bring the voice of the community to the agency and enhance our service.  Consider being involved by becoming a member of SC-WTSS.  

Membership is valid from Jan. 1, 2014 to  Dec. 31, 2014

You will enjoy these benefits of membership:

  • Receive a monthly newsletter!
  • Stay current about our services and events.
  • Invitations to our Annual General Meeting & special events.
  • The right to nominate candidates and elect the Board of     Directors.
  • The right to vote on SC-WTSS by-law changes.
  • Be engaged with your community and assist seniors.

Membership Application

Please send the following information below to our office:

Name:  _________________________________________________

Street Address:  __________________________________________                      

City:  _____________  Province:  ______  Postal Code:  __________

Email:  ______________________  Phone #: __________________  

Please enclose a membership fee of $10.00

Make cheque payable to “West Toronto Support Services”

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If you would also like to make a donation to help ensure that older adults in need receive services, please indicate the amount of your donation. 

Thank you!

United Way Wrap-Up

Our United Way Campaign has wrapped up this year.   We raised a total of $3,070.00!!  This is an     increase over last year’s fundraising.  All proceeds will go towards  supporting United Way of Toronto. Our largest money making event this year was the CN Tower climb, followed by our staff pledge drive.   In the office, employees were able to participate in a Turkey Lunch, a Sphaghetti Lunch and our popular Dessert  Raffle.  Thank you to   everyone who   volunteered their time and/or have contributed to this years campaign.

To read more about United Way and the programs/agencies they support, please go to:  http://www.unitedwaytoronto.com/

 

West Toronto Community Legal Services

West Toronto Community Legal Services, located near Bloor St. W. and Dundas St. W., provides legal assistance to vulnerable individuals. The legal services centre may     assist with ODSP issues, social assistance, housing and landlord issues, pensions,  poverty law among other things.  The clinic is funded by Legal Aid Ontario.  Fees are waived if individuals meet certain area and financial eligibility requirements.

For more info call (416) 531-7376

Snow Shoveling Service

Are you looking for help with snow shoveling this season?

Consider the services offered by Humber Services for Seniors – they are offering their service this year for the first time in our catchment.

Click to download printable pdf document

Click to download printable pdf document

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