“Old Age Ain’t for Sissies”

Mixed Company Theatre presents “Old Age Ain’t for Sissies”, a production created by Seniors for Seniors, touring to senior homes and senior’s centres from November 4th – 22nd 2013.

This show explores the Bette Davis quote, “Getting old ain’t for Sissies.”

The production highlights the many realities of aging in a fast paced, and culturally diverse city and the project is generously funded by the Ontario Trillium Foundation and The Rotary Club of Toronto.

We are excited to report that this production will be coming to our Adult Day Services  program on November 20th at 1pm.   If you would like to attend or learn more, please contact our ADS program at (416) 653-35335 Ext. 229

If you miss the chance to catch the group at our ADS program, you don’t have to miss out.   MCT is presenting Old Age Ain’t for Sissies at the Tarragon Theatre (30 Bridgman Ave, Dupont St. & Bathust St.)  from November 25th – December 1st 2013!   Bring yourself or a group.

For more info on the production, contact: Mixed Company Theatre

T: 416-515-8080  info@mixedcompanytheatre.com



Junction Commons Project

JCP - Photo Op (Nov. 8, 2013)Did you know that Silver Circle-West Toronto Services for Seniors (SC-WTSS) not only provides services but also advocates in the community where projects may have benefits to our target audience in different capacities?

JunctionCommonsProject-funded byRecently, we have been approved for a collaborative grant through the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) with the Junctions Commons Project (JCP).

JunctionCommonsProject-logo.pngIn 2011, the Toronto Police Service Division 11 moved from its former location at 209 Mavety Street to a new facility.  This unoccupied two-story building is approximately 60 years old and 25, 000 square feet.   In the latter part of 2012, a group of residents grabbed the   opportunity to talk to the community about the future of the former Division 11 building.  They formed the JCP to help focus their efforts.  Their intent is to convert the building into a community space that provides area  residents a place to meet, work, play and participate in various community activities.

The JCP has been working hard to generate public discussion focusing on the general needs and interests for a community space in this rapidly changing neighborhood.   With secured funding from the OTF a feasibility study is now in the process of being conducted by Peter Thoma of urbanMetrics Inc, a local area resident.  Work is already under way to consult with the Junction community to assess the various services and activity needs and gaps in the area.

We need your assistance!

To get involved you can participate in the community consultation in the Junction:

  • Sat. November 9th from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon Farmers Market
  • Sun: November 10th from 2pm-4pm  Jane/Dundas St. Library – 620 Jane Street
  • Wed: November 13th from 6:30-8:00pm Galaxy Donuts – 369 Keele St

You can also participate in an online survey through


Additional information and daily updates can be read online at:  http://junctioncommons.wordpress.com

SC-WTSS will be assisting the JCP to host a Photo Op on Friday, Nov. 8th at 3pm in front of 209 Mavety building to announce and bring awareness to the project.

Special guests include:

  • Cheri DiNovo, MPP Parkdale-High Park
  • Jonah Schein, MPP Davenport
  • Sarah Doucette, City Councillor Ward 13

We encourage everyone to attend!

BMO Lends a Hand

On Thursday, November 7th, a team of four volunteers from the Bank of Montreal lent their energies to helping our Community Dining Program.

The event was organized through the United Way of Toronto as a means for corporations who contribute to the annual campaign to experience first-hand where the funds are used.

Our agency may host several of these events through-out the year. For yesterdays, our recruits were introduced to our weekly lunch program at 1709 Bloor St. They quickly learned the many skills required and contributed to food preparation, setting up and interacting with the attendees. The experience was a very positive one for everyone and we’d like to thank Afrothete and her team for joining us and helping out!

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Volunteer Profile: Alex Lee

Alex Lee – Meals on Wheels Dept.

Screen Shot 2013-10-25 at 1.27.46 AMOne knows when Alex has arrived.   He’ll show up with an air of friendly confidence and gladly greet each and everyone with a “Hi”. Not one to waste time, he’ll happily go about making sure that everyone is ready to get started.    Alex has a few roles at our agency – helping to prepare our newsletters for delivery and Meals and Wheels preparation.

He enjoys the problem solving of labeling and sorting meals each day but finds it can be a little chaotic.  To do a good job, it is paying attention to the little details that are important he says.  While helping with the newsletter, he gets to work with other volunteers sometimes and enjoys the race to meet tight deadlines.

Alex attained his position here through the assistant of an agency called CORE.  They specialize in helping individuals receive the skills they require for employment and independent living.    In Alex’s case, this was to pursue his interest in administration work in an office environment.    He enjoys working at SC-WTSS and has already been here for 2 years.   He aims to use the practical skills and experience he’s acquired here as a stepping stone to full-time employment.

Alex enjoys socializing, going out for good food with the family and travelling overseas.   He has family in  Taiwan but has also been to Europe, England and Las Vegas.  His interests go beyond the digital slot machines however – he’s well-read in many topics and enjoys military history in particular and the many vehicles involved.   In fact, his home library is so “massive” that he often has to pick and choose which to keep.

The idea of marriage is not too high on his priority list because he’s just too busy     working, swimming or travelling to new destinations.   When recommending SC-WTSS to others, he has these words to say: “There’s enough cookies to knock your socks off!”

EMS Emergency Contact 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 Holly McGravey  (416) 653-3535  Ext. 333

Please pass along the form to  anyone you feel will benefit from its use.  Additional forms can be retrieved online through


Remember to ensure your form is always current and updated!

Free Community Forum – Retirement and Pensions

Free community forum – Retirement and Pensions – of special interest to those not on a company Pension Plan.

Bring a friend, neighbour or one of your adult children.

Since 1969 Ontario’s Canadian Pensioners Concerned has had income security as a priority. Retirement for present and younger generations is our concern.

Join us on Tuesday, November 5th – North York Civic Centre, Committee Room 3
Time: from 6:45 pm to 8:30 pm Light refreshments and beverages.

Speakers: Patrick Longhurst and Jason Pereira

Easy access by TTC subway. North York Centre Station

Telephone 416-368-5222 for more information and RSVP.

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Online Caregiving Videos

Your team at West Toronto Services for Seniors, recognizes the importance of current advice and resources for Canadians providing care for aging relatives and friends.  It is our goal to include information from a variety of resources:  our agency, government, and other private or public organizations*.

In the news today, Thursday October 24, 2013:

RBC has just introduced a series of online caregiving videos and articles within its new Seniors Finance and Caregiving. Topics covered include The Emotional and Financial Impacts of Caregiving, Caregiving from a Distance, Balancing Work and Caregiving, Financial Costs of Care and Avoid Caregiver Burnout – Ten Top Tips.

Here is a video on the topic:  Prepare yourself for a caregiving situation.

*West Toronto Services for Seniors is not responsible for products or services, advice or information provided to you by Elder Caring Inc or RBC. No endorsement of any third parties or their advice, opinions, information, products or services is expressly given or implied by WTSS.

United Way 2013 Campaign – Showing some Altitude

As a United Way (UW) member agency, SC-WTSS climbed the CN Tower as a team on Oct. 20th followed by several office events for staff.  Money raised goes towards UW and its goal of making a difference across Toronto.

The big climb is over!

Thanks to everyone for participating and contributing to this years’ CN Tower climb for United Way of Toronto.  This year we raised a record breaking $2405.00!

Team members woke up and met in the early hours of Sunday morning to start their big climb. Congrats to Michael for the fastest time again clocking at just over 13 mins!! And to Marc and Anna who deserve recognition for best improved time over last year.

The CN Tower Climb is an annual event that kickstarts our United Way Campaign at Silver Circle West Toronto Services for Seniors. With 1,776 steps this is an event that really has a “Wow” feeling once completed.

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Team Page for 2013 CN Tower

Program Notice: Grocery Shopping Program

Program Notice:  Grocery Shopping program

Due to space restrictions and safety concerns, please note the following in regards to carrying limit for the Grocery Shopping program:

shopping limit

Please remember that this program is to help individuals with their grocery shopping (food items).   Thank you.  Please call our  transportation dept. with any questions

(416) 653-3535 Ext. 242

Poverty Among Toronto’s Elderly should be Top of Mind

The issue of poverty among elderly Toronto residents isn’t being paid enough attention, says the executive director of a seniors’  charity.

Photo by Peter j Mason from the Torontoist Flickr pool.

Photo by Peter j Mason

According to Thom Burger, of Silver Circle West Toronto Services for Seniors, a range of problems—from an inability to leave home, to health and financial issues—can combine to negatively affect the well-being of vulnerable older people.

WTSS assists 4,800 elderly people in a swath of the city’s west end. About half of those live alone, Burger said.

In all, according to Statistics Canada, there are more than 354,000 seniors in Toronto. The 2011 census found that 95,205 of them were living alone.

According to population predictions, nearly half a million seniors will be living in Toronto by 2030.

“Poverty in this age group is one of the big unspoken issues, especially in Toronto where rental rates are higher, and housing is more difficult to access,” Burger contends.

“We could be talking more about people who are left alone in their own homes and can’t  afford to maintain them, so they fall into disrepair. Even just basic things like getting the paths cleared, general

maintenance, is a problem. The City will help in some areas, but in others it doesn’t. These can turn into big issues for  people living alone.” A study by the City found that more than 70,000 Toronto seniors qualified as low-income in 2006.

Access to food can also be a problem.  “There are lots of meals on wheels services out there,” Burger said. “[Silver Circle] has one, but these are not free services. You might be looking at $5.50 for a meal, seven times a week. That all adds up. So you might have someone who is just having one meal a day. The whole concept of eating has become an issue.”

Social isolation is another major issue for this segment of the population.

“We see people who are very isolated. There can be compounding causes, loss of family, personal-care issues. Money can be a big  problem. People get stuck inside their own homes, loneliness is a big issue.”

Burger believes the mental health of older people should also be paid more attention.

“What we see is a lot of people degenerating rapidly,” he said. “For example, take a senior who may have had a health issue, has been in hospital and returns home without the right supports in place. There can be rapid deterioration within a few days. It’s a slippery slope if people are not supported.”

While most Toronto seniors live in privately owned properties, the Toronto Community Housing Corporation serves more than 26,000 residents who are 59 years or older.

A spokesperson for Toronto Community Housing said it is aware of the issues seniors face.

“We recognize that some vulnerable residents, including some seniors, need access to  supports to stay healthy and maintain their housing. We do not provide direct supports, but we work to connect residents with community organizations to ensure they have the help they need,” the spokesperson said.

Author:  Jennifer Hough

Published in the Torontoist (www.torontoist.com) in August 2013.  Reprinted with permission.

Volunteer Profile: John Scheffer

Department:  Meals on Wheels

John Scheffer

John Scheffer

On one particular day, John Scheffer had a new route and met a 97 year old man.   The man was a piano teacher and promptly invited him to listen to one of his pieces.   It was this musical interlude that reinforced John’s belief about the work he does and the appreciation of meeting people who are living and enjoying life independently well into their years.

John has been a driver for our Meals on Wheels department for almost 13 years.   He’s seen many changes of staff and began his time when WTSS was located on Roncesvalles in a church.   He first got involved after hearing that his sister from Oregon, U.S. was  volunteering in a similar capacity.  Both his parents also drove MOW routes when they were in their 70’s.   Helping the clients is something John looks forward to.  John’s route remains the same for the most part each week and allows him to meet many individuals.  The support he provides in the role and the daily interactions offers him a rewarding and interesting experience each week.

John had a fascinating career before he finally switched his wings for wheels.  He worked with an aircraft initially in the Airforce as a navigator and later part of the flight crew of the Boeing 747 airplanes.   He’s seen the  industry change as computers have taken on more responsibilities and it later had an influence on his own decision to leave.  After 25 years as a flight navigator he decided to pursue other interests.

John was born in Holland and moved to Edmonton, Canada when he was 8 years old.  He studied Engineering Design and finished his degree at the University of Edmonton.  John believes people should give back to their  community and with an outstanding 1,298 hours under his belt as a volunteer at WTSS, John is dedicated and always there to support the team.  He helps with double shifts and last minute calls without a moment’s thought.

Words alone cannot describe the invaluable contribution he’s made to the agency over the years.

Thank you John!!

Frozen Food Home Delivery

Do you want minimal hassle?
Like to eat on your own agenda?
Need to continue a lifestyle?

Every week you have a chance at selecting over 65 delicious entrees, 14 soups and a wide selection of regular and low-sugar desserts.   These numbers do not include our separate menu for clients who require or prefer renal, lactose and gluten free diets.

One week you may find yourself enjoying Traditional Pot Roast or you may fancy a   selection from our vegetarian fare.  All our meals are diabetic friendly.

Meals are packaged together and delivered each week to your doorstep by our volunteer team.

Regular Entrée: $4.75
Pureed Entrees: $4.50
7 Entrée Package Deal: $31.85
5 Entrees with 5 Soups or 5 Desserts: $31.00
Soups: $1.50
Desserts: $1.50

Our Food Providers:

frozenfood3Humanistic Fare
Humanistic Fare provides meal solutions   produced in plants that are HACCP           recognized and CFIA inspected. They specialize in offering the best selection of ready to heat food to meet the nutritional  clients needs for Meals on Wheels and Community Services.

frozenfood4Apetito Canada
Apetito produces food with the right nutrition and best taste.  In addition to their regular meals, they can also meet dietary needs such minced and pureed foods.  They ensure their are frozen for freshness, and will not compromise on the ingredients to achieve full, fresh, home cooked flavours.

The Gendered Lens Project

genderedlensA report was released this spring entitled The Gendered Lens:  A Report on Women’s Experiences with Video Surveillance and Urban Security in Toronto.    Silver Circle – West Toronto Services for Seniors had a role in contributing to the  report by arranging to have a group of our clients participate.   The project looked at  various women in different demographics to see how they felt about surveillance cameras in public places.   In recognition of the different groups of women, participants were recruited from a variety of community based              organizations.  The project was funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and published by Ryerson University with the research done by Emily van der Meulen & Amanda Glasbeek.

Accreditation Celebration

accreditationThank you to everyone who came to our Open House on June 21 to celebrate our newly accredited status with a Pancake Breakfast.   After years of hard work, CARF Canada has accredited Silver Circle – West Toronto      Services for Seniors for a period of three years for its Adult Day Services (ADS), Case Management and Home and Community    Services programs.  This is the first         Three-Year Accreditation that the international accrediting body, CARF, has awarded to  SC-WTSS.  The open house was a  wonderful mix of clients, volunteers, health professionals and partner agencies.  The ADS team did a       fantastic job of creating a welcoming   ambiance with the décor and music.  Need we mention the excellent pancakes – toppings for everyone to enjoy!

Silver Circle – West Toronto Services for  Seniors provides the solution in the form of its Frozen Food program.

Cheri DiNovo speaks at SASA Community Dining

On June 24, Cheri DiNovo, MPP for Parkdale High-Park was a guest speaker at our Swansea Area Senior’s Association (SASA) Swansea  Dining Program at 95 Lavinia Ave.    She spoke to the group about issues affecting older adults and government business on the provincial  level.  There was time for a question and     answer period before everyone dug into their dessert.   Thank you to Cheri for her time and sharing this information – we look forward to having her back again.   Look for coverage of the event in the August edition of SNAP Bloor West.  For more information on Cheri’s work you can visit http://cheridinovo.ca/

To contact her local Constituency office:
2849 Dundas Street West
Toronto, ON M6P 1Y6
Phone: (416) 763-5630
Fax: (416) 763-5640
Email: dinovoc-co@ndp.on.ca

Fruit and Veggie Baskets delivered to your home!

Silver Circle—West Toronto Services for Seniors offers a solution for individuals and couples who are looking for another option to get their fresh vegetables and fruit.

Twice a month, we deliver a random assortment of vegetables and fruit right to your front door.   A sample of your box may include apples, bananas, broccoli, carrots, corn, lemons, lettuce, potatoes, cantaloupe as part of your variety of choices.

fruitandvegg1Vegetable and Fruit Baskets are delivered  every other Wednesday between 11am and 1pm by our dedicated volunteer team.   They will leave it with you at the front door or bring to your kitchen counter if desired.

The cost of a basket is $13.50

All orders need to be placed the week before delivery on the Tuesday by 12pm.

fruitandvegg2Our Fruit and Vegetable baskets are brought to you through a partnership with FoodShare Toronto.    Foodshare is a non-profit  community organization whose vision is Good Healthy Food for All.   Working “from field to table,” they focus on the entire system that puts food on our tables: from the growing, processing and distribution of food to its purchasing, cooking and consumption.

fruitandvegg3FoodShare Toronto is Canada’s largest  community food security organization,        recognized as an important innovator of  effective programs that have been reproduced all across Canada. We facilitate empowerment and community development from the ground up, cultivating awareness, building citizenship and enhancing individual and community    participation, all the while striving to improve access to good healthy food.

Visit www.foodshare.net for information.

West Toronto Services for Seniors Accreditation

“We did it!” Announcement of Accreditation Status

We are pleased to report to you that Silver Circle – West Toronto Services for Seniors (SC-WTSS) has been accredited for a period of three years for its Adult Day Services, Case Management and Home and Community Services programs. This is the first Three-Year Accreditation that the international accrediting body, CARF, has awarded to SC-WTSS.

By pursuing and achieving accreditation, SC-WTSS has demonstrated that it meets international standards for quality and is committed to pursuing excellence.

This accreditation decision represents the highest level of accreditation that can be awarded to an organization and shows our organization’s substantial conformance to the CARF standards. An organization receiving a Three-Year Accreditation has put itself through a rigorous peer review process. It has demonstrated to a team of surveyors during an on-site visit its commitment to offering programs and services that are measurable, accountable, and of the highest quality.

SC-WTSS is a not-for-profit organization that has been providing Adult Day, Case Management and Home and Community services in the West Toronto area since 1985.

CARF is an independent, nonprofit accrediting body whose mission is to promote the quality, value, and optimal outcomes of services through a consultative accreditation process and continuous improvement services that center on enhancing the lives of persons served. Founded in 1966 as the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities, and now known as CARF International, the accrediting body establishes consumer-focused standards to help organizations measure and improve the quality of their programs and services.

We believe our organization is a valuable asset, and our CARF accreditation underscores our commitment to the community we serve.

Join in our celebration on Friday, June 21st between 8 and 10am at our Adult Day Services.

We will be hosting an Open House with a delicious pancake breakfast and you can learn more about our accredited Adult Day Services, Case Management and Home and Community Services. Please call Agata for more information at (416) 653.3535 Ext. 229.

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