Lunch @ Swiss Chalet on June 12

Enjoy a special menu from Swiss Chalet with your friends!

Call quickly to reserve your spot on Wednesday, June 12, 2018

To reserve, contact Laura, our Community Dining Coordinator, at 416-653-3535 Ext. 240

More information below:

 


A West Toronto Support Services (WTSS) news blog post.

Please be sure to subscribe to get news updates directly to your email inbox.

Read more about WTSS services

WTSS-logo

Election day is June 7, 2018 – did you know the alternate ways to vote?

Between May 17 and 25, Elections Ontario should have sent you a Voter Information Card which goes to all registered voters and contains information on when and where to vote. If you missed the information form, don’t worry. You can find out where to vote by using Elections Ontario’s Voter Information Service. Simply input your area code and you’ll be provided with the location of your polling station.

What do I do on voting day?

Head to your polling station and you’ll be presented with a personalized ballot by the election officials there. On the ballot, you will find a list of candidates in your riding and directed to a voting booth where you can mark the ballot.

To vote, mark an X in the circle next to your chosen candidate. Don’t worry if you make a mistake. Simply ask for another ballot and the election official will write ‘canceled’ onto the back of the ballot.

Can’t make it to the polls on Election Day?  You can still vote!

  • Vote by Mail:  by sending Elections Ontario your Special ballot application.  Applications are available on our website, at your local returning office or by contacting Elections Ontario (see below).  We will mail you a ballot and instructions.  You then send your completed ballot to Elections Ontario by 6:00pm, (Eastern Time) on election day.
  • Vote at Home: by contacting your Special Ballot Office at 416-761-1675
  • Vote at your returning office or advance polls.  Contact Elections Ontario (see below) for days and times you can vote.

What if I don’t want to vote for any of the candidates?

You can decline your ballot. Tell the election official that you are declining your right to vote. The ballot will be marked as “declined” and put into a special envelope, to be counted after the polls close as “declined ballots.” In the last provincial election in 2014 just under 30,000 votes—or 0.6 percent of those who turned out to vote—were declined, a 1,200 percent jump from the previous election.

Who do I vote for?

Well, we can’t tell you that. But if you want to know where the parties stand on the issues that matter to you, check out Maclean’s party platform guide.

Do you have a question?  Contact Elections Ontario:

Phone: 1-888-668-8683

TTY: 1-888-292-2312

Email:  info@elections.on.ca

http://www.elections.on.ca


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

The Artful Garden

Build strong relationships and enhance your quality of life through creative arts.

This new FREE program will run regularly every Thursday from 3 – 5pm at 1167 Weston Rd.

To register, please call 416-249-7946

More information on our poster below:


A West Toronto Support Services (WTSS) news blog post.

Please be sure to subscribe to get news updates directly to your email inbox.

Read more about WTSS services

WTSS-logo

Roses & live Music for Mother’s Day 2018

Our Community Dining department was at it again this year – providing not one, but two events this time!   At 1709 Bloor St. W. and 55 Rankin Cres. with LA Active Living Centre.

The events were very successful with over 50 attendees.

Enjoy some photos from our 1709 Bloor St. W. location – Photographer: Heather K.


A West Toronto Support Services (WTSS) news blog post.

Please be sure to subscribe to get news updates directly to your email inbox.

Read more about WTSS services

WTSS-logo

Annual Garden Sale – June 2 *cancelled*

May 31 Update:

The Annual Garden Sale on June 2 has been CANCELLED.  Due to unforeseen circumstances we will not be able to host the event this year.  We apologize for any inconvenience. 


Please come and support West Toronto Support Services with our Annual Garden Sale!

Beautiful flowers, plants and crafts for sale all cared for and made by our seniors

  • Date: Saturday, June 2, 2018
  • Time: 11:00 am to 3:00 pm
  • Where: 1167 Weston Road (Eglinton Ave. West & Weston Rd)

For more information please call  (416) 249-7946

Annual Garden Sale flyer 2018


A West Toronto Support Services (WTSS) news blog post.

Please be sure to subscribe to get news updates directly to your email inbox.

Read more about WTSS services

WTSS-logo

Journey to Montana’s Cookhouse on May 16

Enjoy an outing to the popular Montana’s Cookhouse.

Read our poster below for more information.

Call ahead to reserve!


A West Toronto Support Services (WTSS) news blog post.

Please be sure to subscribe to get news updates directly to your email inbox.

Read more about WTSS services

WTSS-logo

 

Celebrate Mother‘s Day Lunch – May 10

Thursday May, 10th 2018

1709 Bloor St W. at 12:00 PM

Tickets are $14.00 each – please call Laura to reserve at (416) 653-3535 Ext. 240

 


A West Toronto Support Services (WTSS) news blog post.

Please be sure to subscribe to get news updates directly to your email inbox.

Read more about WTSS services

WTSS-logo

Adult Day Service offer relief for Caregivers in West Toronto

Did you catch our recent media article that highlighted “seniors who are isolated suffer more depression”?

In the GTA, the proportion of those aged 65 and older climbed to almost 17% and exceeded the share of those under 15 years old. As we know, this significant change in demographics has a profound impact on health care and social services. We are fortunate in West Toronto to have access to Adult Day Service (ADS) that provide necessary daycare responsive to the needs of individuals who are cognitively impaired, frail, physically disabled, as well as offering relief to caregivers.

Wise words at the Humber ADP

With waiting lists growing across the GTA, it’s important to know that the West Toronto Support Services (WTSS) Weston/Mt.Dennis Site at 1167  Weston Rd. is now accepting new clients.  Please call Tel: (416) 249-7946 to arrange an appointment or view our space.

In an interview with Laura Miller, the Lead Programmer at the WTSS Weston/Mt.Dennis Site, Laura sheds insight on this essential  service.

We learned that when our ADS Calendar is developed every month, staff diligently seek feedback from clients, caregivers and fellow co-workers. Attention to detail in the day-to-day schedule reflects the passion of everyone involved.  Agata Krol, the Manager of both ADS locations, helps to ensure that all WTSS best practices are shared between the Bloor and Weston/Mt.Dennis site. One best practice for example, is the upgraded Quiet Room which is always open (complete with easy to operate massage chairs).

Enjoy the quiet room at the Humber ADP

The staff at WTSS Weston/Mt.Dennis Site has recently grown with Emma, a newly hired Personal Support Worker and graduate of George Brown College. Together with Mandy and Laura, their team offers programming to cover all areas of social, emotional, physical, intellectual and spiritual support – crucial for wellness.

Historically in North America, the healthcare system was focused on disease and illness. However, there has been a major shift to view health from a more positive perspective. Experts in the field of dementia agree that staying active, eating a balanced diet and brain health are crucial for caring for our population over 65.

As a caregiver, you can learn more about WTSS Weston/Mt.Dennis site.

See our May Calendar for the ADS Weston/Mt.Dennis site

A day’s activities at Humber ADP

Stay tuned for future ADS Calendar news from the Weston/Mt.DennisWeston/Mt.Dennis site that will include visits to the nearby Toronto Public Library, restaurants, coffee shops, recreational centres and Toronto Parks. On the radar are more ideas such as intergenerational programs involving children.

Big changes for this spring at the Weston/Mt.Dennis site included: new day lighting, whiteboard communications, and rooms organized to create a sense of space and ease of movement. “We are receiving lots of positive feedback from caregivers and clients”, Laura Miller.

Here are just a couple of Client Testimonials expressing their gratitude for the changes since WTSS’ merger:

“I am happy to be here because my children don’t want me to be alone at home. I enjoy the social environment and being challenged with intellectual games.” ~ Prathoo

Prathoo enjoys the social environment and being challenged

“My favourite program is exercise, it keeps us healthy. I want to come every day. I love Laura and Agata. I was a single parent, working hard, taking care of my family – and my daughters found this program for me. I am so comfortable here and I feel happy!” ~ Kalawatee

Kalawatee seen here in the Green Room is happy and comfortable with the program

 

More pictures of our Adult Day Service – Weston/Mt.Dennis site below:

 

Adult Day Service – Weston/Mt.Dennis Site at 1167 Weston Rd. 

Call us to book an appointment at: (416) 249-7946


A West Toronto Support Services (WTSS) news blog post.

Please be sure to subscribe to get news updates directly to your email inbox.

Read more about WTSS services

WTSS-logo

Volunteer Appreciation Night @WTSSorg Humber Site

For volunteers who have been a part of Humber Community Seniors’ Services (Humber site) prior to the agency merge, April 19th was an evening of saying “Thank you”!

The event is an annual tradition that reflects upon the many hours and skills that volunteers have contributed to the Humber site. Many volunteers have been with the agency for several decades including Bella Jane Smith who’s been giving back to her community for over 50 years.   The Humber site has had a rich history of enlisting volunteers from the local community and engaging them in the agency.  We would like to thank you all for your contributions and let you know you are valued.  Without your dedication and commitment our services would not be possible.   Thank you for volunteering!

The evening was served with a delicious lasagna meal, dessert and the DJ provided a karaoke and dancing experience.

The Volunteer Appreciation event was held on Thursday, April 19th at 1167 Weston Rd.    The Bloor site will be hosting their appreciation event in June.

Learn how you can get involved with our Volunteer Team!

 


A West Toronto Support Services (WTSS) news blog post.

Please be sure to subscribe to get news updates directly to your email inbox.

Read more about WTSS services

WTSS-logo

National Volunteer Week @WTSSorg – #NVW2018

Join us for National Volunteer Week (NVW) 2018 as we “Celebrate the Value of Volunteering – building confidence, competence, connections, and community”.

DSC01058Volunteering is often seen as a selfless act; a person gives their time, skills, experience, and passion to help others, without expecting anything in return. And while volunteering is a form of service, many volunteers will tell you that “you get more than you give”. From opportunities to develop new skills, to finding deep and meaningful personal connections, the magic of volunteering is that it creates social and economic value for all: for individuals, families, organizations, neighbourhoods and communities. That immense richness is something to be celebrated.

When people volunteer, everyone benefits. This year during National Volunteer Week from April 15 to 21, 2018, we will be celebrating the diverse value and far-reaching impacts of our volunteers and we are asking you to reflect on the social and economic impact volunteers have on the quality of their lives and community support agencies like West Toronto Support Services.

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


A West Toronto Support Services (WTSS) news blog post.

Please be sure to subscribe to get news updates directly to your email inbox.

Read more about WTSS services

WTSS-logo

2018 Lawn Care Service

The 2018 lawn care season is fast approaching, and we 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!

If you would like to sign up for our lawn cutting service, please fill out and return the following form by April 23, 2018, or call 416-249-7946 if you have any questions.

Download the complete 2-page form (.pdf)

More details below:

 


A West Toronto Support Services (WTSS) news blog post.

Please be sure to subscribe to get news updates directly to your email inbox.

Read more about WTSS services

WTSS-logo

Join us for Fish & Chips!

Enjoy some traditional English fare this month with 2 different popular Fish & Chips restaurants this month.   Register quickly for these popular events and take note of the different telephone #’s for sign-up.

WTSS Humber location

Our team will take you to the Olde Yorke Fish & Chips on Wednesday, April 18th.

The Escorted Monthly program is once-a-month outings planned to local points of interest for clients, such as shopping, lunch, theatre, craft shows, etc.  All clients are picked up and dropped off at our Humber site office.  Bus transportation is included.

To register or ask any questions, please contact our WTSS Humber site directly by telephone at: (416) 249.7946

Read the Olde Yorke Fish & Chips poster for more information


WTSS Bloor location

Laura will return to the well known High Seas Fish and Chips on Wednesday, April 11th.

This event is part of the regular Community Dining program.  The Community Dining service offers a chance to get out and experience a lunch with friends. It provides a weekly opportunity for socialization and recreation.  Meals are a mix of affordable and delicious selections and also offer the chance to participate in our group dining at restaurants.

To register or ask any questions, please contact Laura at the WTSS Bloor site directly at (416) 653-3535 Ext. 240 

Read the High Seas Fish & Chips poster for more information 


A West Toronto Support Services (WTSS) news blog post.

Please be sure to subscribe to get news updates directly to your email inbox.

Read more about WTSS services

WTSS-logo

 

 

 

Elder Abuse Workshop series finishes with Self Defence

Our monthly interactive elder abuse workshop series have come to a successful close.

All five sessions were free to the community and provided a ‘lunch and learn’ opportunity in elder abuse.

The final workshop on March 21st featured a lesson in self defence for seniors with a guest speaker from SAFE International.   They provided an effective and highly memorable personal protection instruction to participants and taught them new defensive skills to use if needed.  The session was not a martial arts program however, but rather, a practical and realistic approach to personal safety.

The workshops sessions have provided an education program to teach and empower seniors about the risks of financial abuse and fraud.   Seniors who attended were given support and the resource tools to ensure they do not fall victim to these types of abuse.  They were hosted at 1709 Bloor St. W. from October of 2017 to March 2018 with professional guest speakers from different backgrounds.

Thanks to our partners, LA Active Living Centre and LAC

The Elder Abuse Workshops have been funded by the Government of Ontario through the Seniors Community Grant.

 


A West Toronto Support Services (WTSS) news blog post.

Please be sure to subscribe to get news updates directly to your email inbox.

Read more about WTSS services

WTSS-logo

An Irish Celebration #SaintPatricksDay2018

On March 17, the world came together to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day which is a holiday dedicated to St. Patrick, the Patron Saint of Ireland. People typically celebrate by wearing green, drinking beer, and singing Irish folk songs. Parties are very popular on this holiday. It’s a time to celebrate friendship, family, and beauty of the Irish countryside.

The essence of this holiday is about celebrating Irish heritage.

Last Thursday, March 15th, a sea of green clothing and decorations livened up the main floor at 1709 Bloor St. W. for the annual St. Patrick’s Lunch. There was an attendance of over 50 people participating in the spirit of the event.    Popular tunes belted out by the One-Man-Band kept the crowd entertained.

Attendees were treated to a full course meal of a green salad with pecans & cranberries, beef stew, sides and of course… green Guinness beer!

The event was in partnership between West Toronto Support Services, LA Centre for Active Living and LAC

A BIG thank you to our Community Dining (CD) volunteer team –  we couldn’t have done it without you!

 

 


A West Toronto Support Services (WTSS) news blog post.

Please be sure to subscribe to get news updates directly to your email inbox.

Read more about WTSS services

WTSS-logo

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).

For more information about the CVITP, or to find a participating community organization other than WTSS in your area, go to www.cra.gc.ca or call the CRA at 1–800–959–8281.

WTSS Income Tax Clinic

The clinic runs from March 2 until April 30th, 2018.

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

Details

 Appointment slots available from 9:30am to 3pm, between Monday 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

You may be eligible if you meet these income levels:

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

Learn more about #SmartCityTO and get involved

THINK BIG! How would you improve Toronto through data and technology?

The City of Toronto will compete in the Federal Smart Cities Challenge and we need your help.

Using data and technology, smart cities have the potential to improve all aspects of livability and opportunity in a city– from transportation, the environment, economy, communities, engagement and social services.

The City is committed to continuously improving and modernizing public services, now and in the future – and we want to know what you think the biggest challenges facing Toronto are and your ideas for how innovation and technology can make a meaningful impact to life in Toronto.

Get Involved – Share your idea!

THINK BIG – complete this short survey to let us know what you think the most important challenges facing Toronto are and share your #smartcityTO ideas. Hardcopy surveys are also available at all Toronto Public Library branches.

Take the survey


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

Help to Get You Through Cold and Flu Season

How do you protect yourself and those you care for from the cold and flu this winter.

Courtesy of everythingzoomer.com

1) The minute you feel a cold coming on rinse out your sinuses

This helps to flush out the virus invaders and reduce your risk of the infection settling in, says Julie. You can use the centuries-old Neti Pot, which looks something like a teapot and serves to flush out the nasal passages with a salt water solution you mix yourself. (But it’s very important to follow the instructions and use only distilled or sterilized water, not tap water.)

Alternatively, you can buy pre-mixed, pre-loaded saline nasal sprays at the drugstore, which Julie says have about the same salt-to-water ratio as your own tears. But even if you don’t manage to ward off that bug, rinsing out your sinuses can help to reduce the mucous and stuffy nose that always seem to accompany a cold.

2) Gargle with unpasteurized honey

Any non-pasteurized Canadian wildflower honey will do, but if you want one with a super powerful punch, Julie recommends Manuca honey from New Zealand, which is known for its high concentration of anti-bacterial elements. But all unpasteurized honeys, she says, contain hydrogen peroxide which helps to kill off microbes in your throat.

“There’s real science behind that,” she says. Julie recommends making a gargle solution out of warm water, not boiling, and dissolving a teaspoon of honey in it. Alternatively, you can drink ginger tea with lemon and honey, but let it cool down a bit before you add the honey so you preserve its active ingredients. You can also dissolve half a teaspoon of unpasteurized honey in your mouth, just like you would a lozenge.

3) Dig into that “ever-loving garlic”

“Raw garlic is so, so strong,” says Julie. The active ingredient in raw garlic is allicin and it’s known to have antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties, which she says “are especially great for lung infections.”

But make sure you eat it raw since its power is diminished in the cooking process. You can use this powerful nutraceutical in pesto, salad dressings and salsa.

4) Eat mushrooms

Certain mushrooms, like Shiitake, are very good for preventing colds and flu, Julie says, and are especially easy to add to soups.

5) Stay super hydrated

“Viruses love dry sinuses, plus our whole immune system runs on fluid,” says Julie. “So if you suspect you’re getting a cold, make some tea right away and drink at least 10 cups throughout the day.”

And avoid alcohol, which has high sugar content and is dehydrating. “White sugars have been shown to slow the white blood cells response to infection,” Julie says. (Sorry, but those Hot Rum Toddies you always thought were good for a cold are not on her list.)

So does Julie ever get sick herself?

Not much, she says. “The only thing that takes me down is missing sleep, then getting on a plane. Planes are so dry and crowded. You’ve got all those people coughing in a tiny little cabin. I always advise people to power hydrate during their entire flight. After clearing security, buy one of those huge water bottles and make sure you drink the whole thing. That little half a cup of fluid they give you on board just doesn’t cut it.”


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

Welcome to our new agency!

As of January 1st, West Toronto Support Services (WTSS) and Humber Community Seniors’ Services (HCSS) have become one agency called West Toronto Support Services.   We would like to thank our staff and volunteers for their dedication to clients and commitment to building an even stronger organization for the future.  We look forward to continuing to work with our partners to improve the health and well-being of our communities and the clients and caregivers we are privileged to serve.

What changes can you expect?

There are in fact, little to no changes for clients using our services currently.  The merged agency will continue to operate from the two existing sites – 1709 Bloor Street West and 1167 Weston Road.  In the interim, clients can expect to continue to receive the same great service from our two agencies that they’ve come to expect.

You may also see new services or new programs offered online and in our newsletter over the months and we’ll be working hard to keep you informed.

Telephone numbers that you’ve been using to call HCSS or WTSS will remain the same for now, but we will be updating our directory in the near future.

Quarterly Newsletter

As a result of the merger, we are making a change to our printed newsletter distribution—we will now be releasing them on a quarterly basis beginning with our February (Winter) issue.   Future issues will be released in the Spring, Summer and Fall.  You will continue to receive all our news and events and you can still subscribe to us online.

More information

If you’d like to learn more about the merger or you’ve missed our pass communications, you can visit us online at https://wtss.org/about/wtss2017merger/

If you would like to have your say about this merger or for any of the services you receive, please follow the steps indicated on our feedback page.

Let’s make a bigger difference in 2018! Remember, every interaction on #BellLetsTalk counts.

The winter chill has really begun to set in over the past few weeks. You might be feeling a little down due to the end of the holiday season, but for almost fifteen percent of Canadians, the shift in weather causes notable depressive cycles more commonly referred to as the “winter blues”. Another two percent of Canadians suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder, a type of depression causing severe depression during certain seasons. These forms of depression often run their course undiagnosed, and sufferers rarely discuss their symptoms due to the stigma surrounding mental illness. As such, victims of Seasonal Affective Disorder and the “winter blues” are at greater risk of suicide at this time of the year.

There is hope for these individuals, and for all sufferers of mental illness. Various government-funded programs and support groups exist for the sole purpose of helping sufferers of depression, addiction and other disorders in their journey towards recovery. To help them advantage of these resources we need to break the stigma surrounding mental illness. Bell Let’s Talk Day aims to educate the general population about mental illness, and promote discussion surrounding its prevalence in today’s digitally-driven society. By raising our voices together, we can make it easier for those who suffer from mental illness of all kinds to get the help they need. Read the facts below to learn more about mental illness in preparation for this much-needed health awareness day.

How many people suffer from mental illness in Canada? What effect does this have on my loved ones.
The Canadian Mental Health Association reports that one in five Canadians is experiencing a form of mental illness at any given time. In simpler terms, there is a good chance that you know someone who lives with the struggles of mental illness. Around half of all Canadians will personally experience a mental health disorder at some time during their lives. Although common, the effects of these disorders can be life-threatening when not handled accordingly. Suicide – commonly driven by mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety – is the leading cause of death amongst adolescents and young adults. The best way to prevent these deaths is with education and support.

What can I do to help on Bell Let’s Talk Day?
Tweet about your experiences with mental illness, or send a text to a loved one who might be in need of a helping hand. Every social media post with the hashtag #BellLetsTalk will result in a five cent donation towards mental health initiatives. Alternate ways of supporting via call and text are also available.

Bell also offers a free mental health toolkit with all the information you need to build a positive space for mental health discussion wherever you are. Have a look at it by exploring the Let’s Talk website below:
https://letstalk.bell.ca/en/

How can I help those around me with mental illness?
Become a supporter of good mental health by practicing the following good habits:

  • Mind your language. Refrain from using harmful words like “schizo” or “crazy”, and instead refer to mental illnesses and their sufferers with respect. After all, such disorders are not things to poke fun at; they drastically affect the way people live every day.
  • Empathize. Talking with mental illness sufferers help you gain a better understanding of their disorders, while letting them know that someone cares. Sometimes, even the smallest gesture of kindness can set the stage for recovery.
  • Stand up for those who can’t. If you witness prejudice against those with poor mental health, do something about it! Confront the offenders and explain why their actions were wrong. Try to get them to see the issue from a new perspective. By educating others about the prevalence of mental illness in our society, we can make the world a safer place for sufferers, aiding them on the road to recovery.

Clearly, mental health is just as important as its physical counterpart. So why don’t more people take first aid courses that cover mental health emergencies? St. John Ambulance offers a mental first aid course which teaches you everything you need to keep victims of mental health crises calm until emergency medical services arrive.

 


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

Key areas to address in anticipation of or in response to taking over a parent’s finances

Reposted from the Financial Post to help educate our WTSS Clients and Caregivers.

Author: Jason Heath is a fee-only Certified Financial Planner (CFP) and income tax professional for Objective Financial Partners Inc. in Toronto, Ontario.

While this summary will hardly be exhaustive, I am going to touch on some of the key areas to address in anticipation of or in response to taking over a parent’s finances. Let us assume that there is either an outright requirement for you take over their affairs due to health problems or that there is an explicit request made by them to you to do so.

CASH FLOW

Take a close look at your parent’s income and expenses to make sure you know how they are funding their lifestyle and whether it is sustainable. If your involvement in their financial affairs is due to a physical or mental impairment that could result in higher medical or care costs, it is important to get a sense of what those future costs could be and how best to fund them.

You should talk about whether care in the home or care in a facility is preferable. If a home will not be sold, it may impact how you draw down on their investments, borrow against their home or provide support yourself.

If there are insufficient financial resources to fund future expenses, it is important to come up with a game plan early. The plan may be for family members to help pay for care costs or for a parent to move in with you or a sibling. And if the best alternative is for a parent to eventually move into a government subsidized long-term care facility, it is important to note that wait lists can be long and priority is given to those who need the help the most.

TAX

Make sure your parent’s tax returns are up to date. Some seniors are prone to owing money on their tax filing since neither investment income nor minimum withdrawals from a Registered Retirement Income Fund (RRIF) are required to have tax withheld at source. Some seniors may also be entitled to government benefits that are based on their annual tax filing and will not be paid if a tax return is not filed.

You can have your parent sign a form T1013 to authorize you as their tax representative with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).

If your parent has a severe and prolonged physical or mental impairment, they may qualify for the Disability Tax Credit.

There are other tax deductions and credits related to medical expenses, caregivers or modifications to a home that you should investigate as well.

INVESTMENTS

A parent will be able to authorize your involvement with their bank or investment adviser, whether you all take part in discussions, they give you trading authority or you formally take over accounts as power of attorney for property.

The first thing you should do with your parent’s investments is take inventory of what they have in the first place. Statements are a good starting point, but check out past tax returns to see if they had tax slips from companies that are not included in their investment statements.

It is not uncommon, for example, for someone to own shares of a company that are held with a custodian, or shares of an insurance company they received because they owned a life insurance policy when the Canadian insurers demutualized in the 1990s. They may not get an investment statement in this case — possibly just a T5 slip each February. T5 and T3 slips will help you match up investment income to investment accounts.

Once you have everything summarized on one page, you can take stock of whether they have enough money to fund their future expenses, whether on your own or with the help of a professional. You can also get a sense of what they are invested in and whether they have a suitable overall asset allocation.

My experience has been that older investors are more prone to having their savings stashed in high-fee mutual funds that were the only investment game in town in the 1980s and 1990s. The available alternatives have significantly evolved over the past 20 years. You should be considering whether your parents are paying a reasonable fee for their investments and whether their asset allocation is appropriate.

If you find yourself solely responsible for their investments or you have the green light from a parent to consider alternatives, avoid the tendency to do things the way they have always been done. A different investment strategy or a different investment company may be well worth pursuing.

Be mindful of tax considerations from selling investments and most importantly, treat the money like it belongs to your parent. Some children have a tendency of treating what could someday be their inheritance like it belongs to them before it really does.

ESTATE PLANNING

Make sure your parent’s will and powers of attorney are up-to-date. I encountered a situation recently where a power of attorney for an incapacitated senior was signed incorrectly, so up-to-date not only includes accurate, but also, valid.

If a parent is still of sound mind, they can change their beneficiary designations, so make sure account and insurance beneficiary designations are all accurate as well. In some cases, naming their estate may be fine, but in others, it may be advantageous for a parent to name individuals as beneficiaries.

Joint partner and alter ego trusts can be effective tools for seniors with large estates in provinces with high probate fees, besides providing additional benefits.

Beware the common, often misguided advice to place assets into joint ownership between your parents, you and your siblings. There can be tax, estate and family law consequences that arise from this practice.

INSURANCE

Determine life insurance polices that are in-force and confirm any required ongoing premiums.

Review health and long-term care insurance policies to see which medical expenses are covered now or may be covered in the future.

SUMMARY

There is a good chance you will be called upon someday to assist with a parent’s finances. It may be a role you play for many years or it may more short-lived.

A parent’s money belongs to them until they give it away or until they die. Respect this fact and respect if they choose not to talk to you about their finances. I think it is important for children to try to talk to their senior parents about money, even if it is short, sweet and high-level. You do not necessarily need to know all the details.

And for parents out there who think they are going to manage their financial affairs well into their 90s, it is certainly possible, and I hope that is the case for you. But also consider the possibility that a time will come when you least expect it and your family will be managing your financial affairs. They may really want to talk to you about it, but not know where to start. You could always be the one to start the conversation.

 


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

Mark your Calendar: January 25, 2018 – The link between our ears, the brain and dementia

Join Alzheimer Society Toronto for their first AST Speaker Series event of 2018 with guest speakers from Baycrest! This talk is titled, “Mind Your Hearing: The link between our ears, the brain, and dementia.” You will learn about:

• How aging affects the way we process sound

• How to get help for hearing loss

• How to protect your hearing

• Hearing loss as a risk factor for dementia

Guest Speakers:

Marilyn Reed is a Practice Advisor with Baycrest’s Audiology Department and an instructor with the University of Toronto’s Department of Speech-Language Pathology and Rehabilitation Sciences.

Dr. Claude Alain is a Senior Scientist at Baycrest’s Rotman Research Institute who studies the brain in relation to hearing and an Associate Professor at the University of Toronto’s Institute of Medical Science and the Department of Psychology.

Date: Thursday, January 25, 2018
Time: 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM

Address:
789 Yonge St.
Toronto, ON M4W 2G8

If you’d like to attend this event you can RSVP online by clicking on the image below or http://on.alz.to/site/Calendar/455821209?view=Detail&id=106250

AST Speaker Series: Mind Your Hearing


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

 

New Year’s Resolution: Get More Sleep

Did you make any New Year’s Resolutions? We suggest getting more sleep in 2018!

Nearly one out of five people sometimes have trouble with insomnia. It is often difficult to say why someone is sleeping poorly. Using relaxation techniques and changing sleeping habits can help you fall asleep faster and get more restful sleep.

The aim of relaxation techniques is to achieve physical and mental relaxation. They are meant to reduce physical tension and interrupt the thought processes that are affecting sleep. Studies show that people who have learned relaxation techniques sleep a bit longer at night. The main benefit of the relaxation techniques was being able to fall asleep somewhat more quickly. But these approaches don’t help everyone.

There are different types of relaxation techniques:

  • Progressive muscle relaxation, also called Jacobson’s or deep muscle relaxation: This technique involves tensing groups of muscles all over the body one by one and then consciously relaxing them again. You can learn muscle relaxation by visiting a course or using an audio training course.
  • Autogenic training (AT): Autogenic training involves focusing awareness on different parts of the body and consciously relaxing them. At an advanced level, even involuntary bodily functions like pulse and breathing can be influenced to achieve deep physical relaxation. Autogenic training is taught in courses.
  • BiofeedbackThis method helps you to feel how your body reacts to tensing and relaxing. It involves placing electrodes on your body to measure muscle tension, your pulse and brain activity. You can monitor these different measurements on a screen and see how muscle relaxation or thinking particular thoughts affects them. Biofeedback can be done at the doctor’s or by using a portable biofeedback device at home once you’ve been instructed in how to use it.
  • Imagery (visualizations): Another common type of relaxation training is imagery, where you visualize peaceful, pleasant scenes or imagine yourself breathing quietly, gently falling asleep and having a good night’s sleep.

Studies suggest that changing your sleeping habits can help improve the quality of your sleep. People who had been instructed about sleep habits slept more peacefully and didn’t wake up as often. There are courses that teach you about how you can change your sleeping habits. In these studies a typical course lasted four weeks with one session per week.

There are many different things you can do to change your sleeping habits. Here we list some of the more common ones. But it is difficult to tell from the research which of them are most likely to work.

Sleep hygiene

The following set of “sleep hygiene” habits can have a positive effect:

  • Not drinking alcohol, coffee or tea and avoiding other stimulants four to six hours before going to bed.
  • Avoiding smoking before bedtime or during the night.
  • Avoiding heavy meals and spicy foods before going to bed.
  • Getting more physical exercise during the day, but avoiding exercise right before going to bed.
  • Trying to make sure your bedroom is quiet, dark and not too hot or cold.

Source: https://www.informedhealth.org/relaxation-techniques-and-sleeping-habits.2179.en.html


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

January is Alzheimer’s Awareness Month #ilivewithdementia

The Alzheimer Society announced today that while awareness about dementia has increased, stigma and negative attitudes around it continue to persist. The Society is releasing findings of a new survey to coincide with Alzheimer’s Awareness Month in January and to kick off its new social awareness campaign –I live with dementia. Let me help you understand – to spark conversations and encourage Canadians to see dementia differently.

The Leger-led survey, which questioned 1500 Canadians between the ages of 18 and 65 online, also reveals that 46% of respondents would feel ashamed or embarrassed if they had dementia, while 61% of those surveyed said they would face discrimination of some kind. The survey also shows that one in four Canadians believe that their friends and family would avoid them if they were diagnosed with dementia, and only five per cent of Canadians would learn more about dementia if a family member, friend or co-worker were diagnosed.

“These results validate our thinking, that stigma is one of the biggest barriers for people with dementia to live fully with dignity and respect,” says Pauline Tardif, CEO at the Alzheimer Society of Canada. “The findings underscore the work we must still do to end stigma once and for all. There is no shame in having dementia. We can’t let negative perceptions stand in the way of people with dementia seeking help and support. Life without discrimination is a right for anyone affected by this disease.”

To tackle stigma, the Alzheimer Society is letting the experts do the talkingpeople living with dementia. People like Roger Marple. For this proud father and grandfather, who developed young onset Alzheimer’s three years ago at age 57, his diagnosis was a tough pill to swallow. But with time, Roger overcame his initial shock and sadness. He had too many dreams to pursue. “I still do things that have meaning in my life, like getting out, playing golf and travelling. I’ll continue to enjoy life for as long as I possibly can to the best of my abilities. Isn’t that what we all aspire to do?”

Roger and others invite Canadians to hear their inspiringstories and take a few pointers from them on how to be open and accepting towards people with dementia.

Their stories are featured on a dedicated campaign website, where visitors will also find tips on how to be more dementia-friendly, activities to test their knowledge, and other resources to take action against stigma and be better informed about a disease that has the potential to impact every single one of us.

To help stop stigma and read the full survey, visit ilivewithdementia.ca – and use the hashtag #ilivewithdementia to help spread the word.

Alzheimer’s disease is one of the main causes of dementia. Did you know that it accounts for approximately 80% of all cases of dementia in Canada?

Although dementia mainly affects older people, it is not a normal part of aging. While no cure has been found yet, there is lots of evidence available for those worried about it or caring for someone living with it. January is Alzheimer’s Awareness Month in Canada, making it a perfect time to learn more about the warning signs and check out our other resources: https://www.mcmasteroptimalaging.org/hitting-the-headlines/detail/hitting-the-headlines/2018/01/10/alzheimer-s-awareness-month

Ending the stigma around Alzheimer’s disease


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

Congratulations to staff for 10 years plus!

At our recent AGM, we recognized those staff members that have provided dedicated service for over 10 years at WTSS (an amazing 30% of our entire staff) for their unfailing commitment. We are very proud of the outstanding service of all our staff and volunteers.

These 10 plus tenured staff members embody our values, values that are critical to meet our mission. Please watch this video and help us to congratulate them on their successes over their years of service!

Visit our West Toronto Support Services YouTube channel and subscribe.

 


A West Toronto Support Services (WTSS) news blog post.

Please be sure to subscribe to get news updates directly to your email inbox.

Read more about WTSS services

WTSS-logo

WTSS Holiday Hours 2017

Wishing you a safe and happy Holiday Season from the West Toronto Support Services Team!

Please note that we have holiday hours below. Contact your program staff if you have any questions or need assistance over the break.   We’ll be back in the New Year!

WTSS Holiday Season Hours

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

  • Monday, December 25, 2017
  • Tuesday, December 26, 2017
  • Wednesday, December 27, 2017
  • Monday, January 1, 2017

Our news blog will be taking a break at the end of this week and will be returning in January.

‘Tis the holiday season! Sticking to your healthy eating plan can be more difficult at this time of the year, but don’t be too hard on yourself. It’s great to enjoy the foods you love, but it’s also important to remember that a healthy diet is important to optimal aging. Try to stay the healthy course with your festive eating habits, while giving yourself some wiggle room to indulge.

Read these resources for valuable evidence-based insights on this topic! 


A West Toronto Support Services (WTSS) news blog post.

Please be sure to subscribe to get news updates directly to your email inbox.

Read more about WTSS services

#GivingTuesdayCa A Global Giving Moment – November 28, 2017

GivingTuesday is a global day of giving that happens each year after Black Friday and Cyber Monday. It’s a time when Canadians, charities and businesses come together to celebrate giving and participate in activities that support charities and non-profits.

“We have two days that are good for the economy. Now we have a day that is good for the community too.”

If you’d like to help West Toronto Support Services, please connect with us by:

  • Volunteering your time to help with one of our services or,
  • Donating towards our agency to help support the agency.

In honour of GivingTuesday’s 5th year in Canada, CanadaHelps is giving you a chance to WIN a $5,000 donation for your favourite charity! Enter for your chance to win and tell them what you plan to do this GivingTuesday: volunteer, donate, fundraise or spread the word.

This contest closes Tuesday, November 28th, 2017.

 


A West Toronto Support Services (WTSS) news blog post.

Please be sure to subscribe to get news updates directly to your email inbox.

Read more about WTSS services

WTSS-logo

11 yrs & 11 climbs in support of @unitedwaytyr

Celebrate with us by watching our video below!

The CN Tower climb is an annual tradition for our agency.  2017 marks the 11th consecutive time we’ve gathered a team in support of the United Way of Toronto & York Region.

The climb is an important pillar in kickstarting our workplace campaign for West Toronto Support Services.

Thank you to all our team members, past and present and especially our donors who made these climbs possible.

Join us next year as we continue our journey to the top!

 


A West Toronto Support Services (WTSS) news blog post.

Please be sure to subscribe to get news updates directly to your email inbox.

Read more about WTSS services

WTSS-logo

#DementiaFriendlyTO Toronto has joined the global movement to build dementia-friendly communities!

In a dementia-friendly community, people living with dementia are included in all aspects of community life and their rights are respected. Community members, businesses, and organizations promote the independence and safety of people living with dementia by learning, raising awareness, and working together. The Alzheimer Society of Toronto’s goal is to change social and physical environments so that our neighbourhoods are places where people living with dementia and their care partners feel valued and empowered.

We need you to take action now to help us build a dementia-friendly Toronto! Here are some simple things you can do that will have a big effort in our neighbourhoods courtesy of The Alzheimer Society of Toronto:

  1. Email the Dementia-Friendly Toronto video and website to your family and friends.
  2. Invite Alzheimer Society of Toronto to do a FREE Dementia-Friendly Communities training for your team or community group. BONUS: You’ll receive an official badge for your organization once all training is complete!
  3. Join the Advisory Committee if you are a person living with memory loss or a care partner.
  4. Distribute Dementia-Friendly Toronto postcards to local businesses and organizations.
  5. Join the conversation online using the hashtag #DementiaFriendlyTO.

Watch this video to learn more:


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

Did you know the following programs are offered FREE? @AlzToronto

The Alzheimer Society of Toronto hosts amazing Events. Did you know the following programs are offered FREE?

Increase your knowledge and understanding of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia by registering for FREE dementia workshops hosted by Alzheimer Society of Toronto. Their workshops are led by  social workers and education coordinators and are held on a regular basis.

Register directly via the links below.

Minds in Motion for People with Dementia and Care Partners

At Islington Senior’s Centre

Thursdays, November 7-28 and December 5-19 from 10:00am – 12:00pm

Register

Dementia 101 – Training for Families

At Alzheimer Society of Toronto Main Office

Saturday, Nov 18 from 10:00am – 12:00pm

Register

Peer Support Group for Caregivers

At Toronto Public Library – Main Street Branch

Wednesday, Nov 15 from 6:00pm – 7:30pm

At Alzheimer Society of Toronto Main Office

Thursday, Nov 16 from 11:00am – 12:30pm

Register

TIFF Seniors’ Film Fridays: In the Heat of the Night

At TIFF Bell Lightbox

Friday, Nov 17 from 11:00am – 1:00pm

Register

 


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

We did it! 1,776 steps to a good cause #UP4COMMUNITY

West Toronto Support Services completed another early morning climb last Saturday.  144 floors or 1776 steps up the CN Tower to be precise.

It’s our 10th consecutive year at this annual fundraising event. 

Thanks to our climbers, returning and new, and all the donors who helped make this possible.  Together we raised over $1,000

All money raised goes towards supporting United Way of Toronto & York Region

The WTSS CN Tower Climb Team for United Way of Toronto & York Region


A West Toronto Support Services (WTSS) news blog post.

Please be sure to subscribe to get news updates directly to your email inbox.

Read more about WTSS services

WTSS-logo

Overuse of Technology Can Lead to ‘Digital Dementia’

Reposted from Alzheirmers.net

Undeniably, modern society is dictated by our constant connection to technology. Plain and simple, we are married to it – for better or worse. But it’s actually quite serious. In fact, more and more young people who’ve been raised in a digital age are showing signs of short term memory dysfunction as a result of their addiction to technology. What can be done and what does this mean for future generations?

An eye-opening study in Seoul, Korea – where more people are connected to digital devices (over 67%) than anywhere in the world –  as well as U.S. study conducted at UCLA has revealed some alarming information about the developing brains of young people.  They’re spending upwards of 7 hours a day attached to their iPads, smartphones, computers and gaming consoles. And the effects to their brains are proving to be very damaging.

It’s Called Digital Dementia

“Digital Dementia”, a term coined by top German neuroscientist Manfred Spitzer in his 2012 book of the same name, is a term used to describe how overuse of digital technology is resulting in the breakdown of cognitive abilities in a way that is more commonly seen in people who have suffered a head injury or psychiatric illness.

Individuals who rely heavily on technology may suffer deterioration in cerebral performance such as short term memory dysfunction. While many of us grew up remembering phone numbers and other key information simply by memorizing it, most kids today have grown up not needing to remember things like phone numbers because we have devices that do it for us.

“Over-use of smartphones and game devices hampers the balanced development of the brain,” Byun Gi-won, a doctor at the Balance Brain Center in Seoul, told the JoongAng Daily newspaper.

It may seem like an easy way out, but can lead to development of the rational, linear, fact-finding skills of the left side of the brain at the expense of the right side which is more intuitive, imaginative and emotional.

The U.S. study blamed modern lifestyles for the problem –  saying that spending time on a computer and texting prevents people focusing and memorizing information.

They also blamed stress, saying hectic lifestyles prevent concentration information retention.

A growing number of adults, too, are susceptible to constant connection and overuse of technology which can lead to lateralization of brain function  which means the brain suffers imbalance. Damage to the right side of the brain is associated with deficits in ability to concentrate, short attention, memory span, and emotional disturbances, such as depression.

How many of us have a smartphone filled with our contacts whose phone numbers we can readily access but we don’t truly know? Or what if we can’t remember the name of the lead actress in a favorite film? Instead of spending the extra few minutes to recall that information organically — by accessing our natural memory and using our brain — we just go look it up on Google.

We’ve become terrifyingly dependent upon technology to the point that we are ruining our brains.

Can Digital Dementia Be Reversed?

Current thinking seems to say it can. So that means that many of us, including kids who grew up with technology and those of us who adopted it in our later lives as part of living in the modern world, may not be destined to digital dementia indefinitely after. But if we are to reverse the damage, we must take an active — rather than passive — role in the health of our brains.

And we need to start right now.

So how can we do this? Manfred Spitzer asserts that all digital technology should be removed from classrooms. That seems unlikely. But, according to neurologist Dr. Carolyn Brockington from St. Luke’s Roosevelt Medical Center in New York City, we can do other things simply by ‘exercising our brains.’ For example,

1. Use Your Head. Retrieve information from your brain organically – rather than automatically turning to Google to look up that actress you can’t remember immediately. Sit there and concentrate until you can recall it.

2. Crack Open a Book. That’s right. Reading an actual book rather than a tablet has been shown to improve memory retention.

3. Learn a new language. Putting you outside your comfort zone helps your brain work harder, which makes you smarter.

4. Play a new instrument. Instruments require the use of both side of the brain – like the piano or the guitar, for example, which help strengthen and balance it.

5. Get physical. Physical exercise increases blood flow and accelerates the transport of vital nutrients to your brain.

Essentially, we need to be doing anything that can lead to the healthy restructuring or ‘rewiring’ of our brains. We need to be spending less time relying on technology and more time relying on our brain power.

What Can You Do Today?

Use it or lose it, the experts contend. The brain, just like a muscle in our body, can atrophy if we don’t use it.

Perhaps consider a digital sabbatical — like Baratunde Thurston did which was famously published in Fast Company last summer. Although it’s not easy or ideal for most of us who are ‘plugged in’ due to our jobs and the needs of the modern world, we should, at the very least unplug during the weekend. Work can — and should — wait. Facebook can wait. If we focus instead on having real conversations, reading books, getting out into nature, and disconnecting from technology, we will be taking care of our brain health and our emotional health as well.

Have you or a loved one grown too dependent on technology? What can you do to encourage more real conversations and less texting, more reading and less video games? Please discuss your thoughts in the comments 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

Benefits Pets Bring to Seniors

Pets provide a comfort system and actually produce  a chemical chain reaction in the brain that helps to lower levels of of the stress-inducing hormone, cortisol, and increase the production of the feel-good hormone, serotonin. In fact, pets have been shown to reduce blood pressure and stress levels in humans and can actually help lower cholesterol, fight depression and help protect against heart conditions. All great reasons for seniors to have a pet!

However, it’s important to ask these 4 questions before getting a senior a pet (read more):

  1. Is anyone allergic?
  2. Who will care for Fido?
  3. What breed makes the best couch potato?
  4. Who will choose the new pet?

This Huffington Post article discusses how “caring for an animal stimulates physical activity and gives many people a feeling of purpose.” This is especially important for seniors as exercise and purpose promote healthy living. The article further discusses that the relationship is not one-sided; the benefits are reciprocal to both pet pet and owner.

Happily, there are resources for older pet owners to keep their pooch or beloved cat or pair pets with older people. Programs are springing up around the country to keep man and “beast” together.

Owning a dog or cat — or for that matter, any animal that depends on you and provides companionship — can lower depression, anxiety, stress, blood pressure and triglyceride levels. You’ve undoubtedly read about many of the scientific benefits of having a pet, which also includes:

  • Improving mood and eating
  • Boosting activity levels and social interaction
  • Encouraging routine

In addition to these benefits, pets can also enhance quality of life by reducing loneliness, which leads to poor mental and physical health. Pets bring purpose to older people’s lives, especially at a time when fewer people depend on them. Not only can they distract a senior from his or her own health issues, but, in the case of dogs, keep them from being sedentary. They also provide the human touch that is vital to people of any age.

Often a pet is the only “family” someone has nearby, if at all. It’s important to remember that for most, giving up a pet is the equivalent of sacrificing your first-born child.

Keeping Pet and Parent Together

If you are looking to help keep your parents or a senior loved one together, bone up on these tips:

1. Analyze the situation. Does Dad have a physical limitation and/or financial constraints? Is his dog lacking exercise? Reach out to friends, family and neighbors. Can your son give the dog a bath? Consider doggie day care, with pick up/drop off, socialization and exercise. A neighborhood kid could take the pooch to the park or change kitty litter.
2. Find a veterinarian who makes house calls. Are there groomers in your area that will wash and gussy up your “baby” in a van parked outside? Does your parent need a dog walker? Let’s Join Paws is a website that matches owners and caregivers.
3. Explore pet health insurance.
4. See if the place is pet-friendly.
5. Rule out puppies and kittens if your parent wants to get a pet. A dog that is housebroken and been taught manners will be less work and less rambunctious than a puppy or kitten (although older pets have more health issues and can be costly).


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

Reasons to Get a Hobby. Hint: They are Important.

Having a hobby that we enjoy brings us joy and enriches our lives. It gives us something fun to do during our leisure time and affords us the opportunity to learn new skills. And did you know that volunteering is a hobby?

According to Psychology Today you need hobbies because:

Hobbies help you structure your time. According to Parkinson’s law, “work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.” More simply, things take as much time as you have. So, when the evening stretches out before you, unscheduled, you might find yourself laboring over that work project or answering emails into the wee hours. Chances are, if you had choir practice or a book club meeting that night, you would get those tasks done much more quickly. So, hobbies can seem to create more time by encouraging efficiency.

Hobbies promote flow. Left to our own devices, we often opt for passive leisure—TV and web surfing are at the top of most people’s lists. And, sure, we all need to veg out from time to time. But we are so much more invigorated by active leisure, the sort of thing psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi calls flow activities. If you’ve ever lost yourself in a sport, art project, or other challenging, absorbing activity, you’ve experienced flow. Time flies, self-consciousness disappears, and you are fully immersed in the activity at hand. Hobbies, especially those that stretch our skills, foster this desirable and increasingly elusive state.

Hobbies can foster new social connections. While some hobbies are solitary endeavors, many get us out in our communities, meeting people we otherwise wouldn’t, sharing our passions, and forming new bonds. Countless studies have found that social connection is a key component of happiness and a meaningful life, and hobbies have the potential to create precious new ties.

Hobbies make you interesting. Hobbies give you something to talk about at parties and around the water cooler. They add layers to your identity, richness to your selfconcept. People want to be around those with passions, with a sense of curiosity, with stories to tell. You not only feel more inspired when you have a rich and active life, but you will inspire others as well.

Hobbies help you cope with stress. Imagine a rough day at the office, where you were harshly criticized by your boss. Coming home and turning on the TV may provide a brief distraction, but it doesn’t address your damaged ego head-on. Now imagine that after work you head out to your soccer league or pottery class. These activities are more than merely distracting. They remind you that that are many facets to your self-concept. Employee, yes, but also athlete or artist. As such, a blow to one aspect of your identity is less damaging. Simply put, your eggs aren’t all in one basket.

And the benefits can spill over into other aspects of your life. If you can designate an hour a day or even a few hours a week for something you feel truly inspired and enlivened by, don’t be surprised if some of that newfound zest carries over into your work and family life!

The best way to cultivate a new hobby is to try something new. As a West Toronto Support Services volunteer, you are committed to forming a world where the elderly can live independently and with dignity for longer, feeling respected, supported and counted. Your investment of time and talent is needed and will be immensely valued, either on an occasional or a consistent basis. Get started today.


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

5 Free Workshops on Financial Abuse and Fraud – registration required @WTSSorg @LACseniors

Financial Abuse and Fraud 

A Free Workshop Series for 55+

West Toronto Support Services is please to announce the launch of monthly interactive workshop sessions in partnership with LA Centre for Active Living and Loyola Arrupe Corporation. Join us for practical hands on tools and a self-defence class.

Registration is required and space is limited so please call as soon as possible: Claudia (416) 452-4530 or Sandra (416) 452-4875.

Mark your calendar for these five informative workshops:

  • Wednesday, October 18th
  • Wednesday, November 15th
  • Wednesday, January 17th
  • Wednesday, February 21st
  • Wednesday, March 21st

All sessions will take place from 12 noon to 2pm at 1709 Bloor Street West in the Lower Level Activity Room.

FREE Lunch Learns (for 55+)

Click on image to download and print PDF file



A West Toronto Support Services (WTSS) news blog post.

Please be sure to subscribe to get news updates directly to your email inbox.

Read more about WTSS services

WTSS-logo

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.

Advanced Care Planning

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!

Sign-up to our news blog to receive more

 

 

Self-care for caregivers

Attention caregivers! Read these tips about taking care of YOU.

Thank you McMaster Universitiy for the researsch

Did you know that 80% of older adults with long-term health conditions are cared for at home by family and friends? While informal caregivers take a huge amount of stress off the healthcare system, they take on a lot personally, often to the point where they end up needing care or treatment themselves. Self-care is so important for everyone but it’s important that caregivers take care of themselves so they can better help others. Self-care tips for caregivers include the following:

1.Get enough sleep.

2. Make time to exercise and remain physically active.

3. Fuel your body with nutritious foods.

4. Review your own medications with your doctor or pharmacist to ensure they are       safely meeting your personal wellness goals.

5. Stay social – personal connections play an important role in healthy aging.

6. Get support through support groups and access handbooks, toolkits and other resources online or in person. Case managers and support workers can help connect caregivers to services available in their community.

Remember, self-care is not selfish. Read these evidence based resources about caregiving.


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

World Mental Health Day is October 10

World Mental Health Day is observed on 10 October every year, with the overall objective of raising awareness of mental health issues around the world and mobilizing efforts in support of mental health.

The Day provides an opportunity for all stakeholders working on mental health issues to talk about their work, and what more needs to be done to make mental health care a reality for people worldwide.

Mental health in the workplace

During our adult lives, a large proportion of our time is spent at work. Our experience in the workplace is one of the factors determining our overall wellbeing. Employers and managers who put in place workplace initiatives to promote mental health and to support employees who have mental disorders see gains not only in the health of their employees but also in their productivity at work. A negative working environment, on the other hand, may lead to physical and mental health problems, harmful use of substances or alcohol, absenteeism and lost productivity.

Depression and anxiety disorders are common mental disorders that have an impact on our ability to work, and to work productively. Globally, more than 300 million people suffer from depression, the leading cause of disability. More than 260 million are living with anxiety disorders. Many of these people live with both. A recent WHO-led study estimates that depression and anxiety disorders cost the global economy US$ 1 trillion each year in lost productivity.

Source: http://www.who.int/mental_health/world-mental-health-day/2017/en/


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

Thanksgiving Day is October 9th

Please Note:  The West Toronto Support Services offices will be closed on Monday, October 9, 2017 for the Thanksgiving long weekend. Contact your program supervisor if you have any questions or concerns.

We are grateful for our clients, caregivers and volunteers!
Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.

Thank you @MastercardCA employees for your help today! @unitedwaytyr ‏#DayOfCaring

United Way’s Day of Caring have been busy this week helping our agency and once more we had a group of helpers – this time from Mastercard Canada.

A big thank you to Rebecca, Meenu, Lisa, and Talia for helping us with our special Thanksgiving Community Dining lunch today at 1709 Bloor St W.

Their time and energy, as part of the United Way Day of Caring, is much appreciated.   The event allows employees to experience community programs funded through United Way Toronto & York Region.

Today’s crew worked alongside our other amazing volunteer crew to help set-up, prepare, serve, and clean-up – but it’s not as simple as that!  They became an invaluable part of our volunteer team, working together to deliver a program in the community.

Thank you Mastercard Canada!


A West Toronto Support Services (WTSS) news blog post.

Please be sure to subscribe to get news updates directly to your email inbox.

Read more about WTSS services

WTSS-logo

 

Thank you @TD_Canada employees for your help today! @unitedwaytyr ‏#DayOfCaring

A big thank you to Mart, Chris, Jonathan, Mohammed and Tara for helping us with our Tuesday Community Dining lunch today at 1709 Bloor St W.

They were here to lend their time and energy to our Community Dining team as part of the United Way Day of Caring.   The event allows employees to experience community programs funded through United Way Toronto & York Region and provide some extra hands.

Today’s crew helped set-up, prepare, serve, and clean-up – but it’s not as simple as that!  They became an invaluable part of our volunteer team, working together to deliver a program in the community.

Thank you TD!


A West Toronto Support Services (WTSS) news blog post.

Please be sure to subscribe to get news updates directly to your email inbox.

Read more about WTSS services

WTSS-logo

 

 

October 1 is National Seniors Day #SayThanks

October 1 is National Seniors DayCelebrating the day annually will help raise awareness about seniors’ contributions and the important roles they play in Canadian society.

The Government of Canada is proud to pay tribute to the seniors who have helped build our country and continue to make valuable contributions to Canadian communities, workplaces and society.

National Seniors Day is an occasion for all Canadians to appreciate and celebrate seniors. There are lots of ways for individuals, community groups, schools, employers and families to celebrate National Seniors Day—whether you are participating an event or simply meeting a senior for coffee.

All Canadians are encouraged to connect with seniors and recognize them for the important role they play in their lives, our society and our economy on Twitter using the hashtag #SayThanks and to visit and like our Seniors in Canada Facebook page, which is an engaging space for seniors, families and communities to receive the latest information about Government of Canada initiatives that benefit seniors.

National Seniors Day is important because it formally recognizes and raises awareness of the importance of contributions seniors have made in shaping this great nation.

National Seniors Day is intended to complement the government’s concrete actions to help seniors. The Government of Canada is working hard to help improve the lives of seniors on many fronts.

  • Public pensions are an important part of the retirement income of Canadians, particularly for lower-income single seniors who face a high risk of living in poverty. In Canada, the vast majority of low-income seniors are single and live alone; a significant portion of this group are also women.
  • On March 22, 2016, Budget 2016 announced important changes to address the needs of vulnerable low-income seniors, including:
  • Restoring the age of eligibility for Old Age Security
    With Budget 2016, the age of eligibility for the Old Age Security (OAS) pension and the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) was restored from 67 to 65 and the Allowances from 62 to 60. In 2012, the Old Age Security Act was amended to gradually increase the age of eligibility for the OAS pension and the GIS from 65 to 67 over six years. The changes were scheduled to start in April 2023 with full implementation by January 2029.
  • Increasing the Guaranteed Income Supplement for single seniors
    In July 2016, the GIS was increased by $947 annually for single seniors with the lowest incomes.
  • This helps support seniors who rely almost exclusively on the OAS pension and the GIS and may therefore be at risk of experiencing financial difficulties. This measure improves the financial security of about 900,000 seniors across Canada.
  • Increasing benefits for couples living apart for reasons beyond their control
    Amendments to the Old Age Security Act will be introduced to ensure that couples who receive GIS and Allowance benefits and have to live apart for reasons beyond their control (such as a requirement for long-term care) will receive higher benefits based on their individual incomes, not combined incomes.
  • Supporting affordable housing for seniors
    The Government will support the construction, repair, and adaption of affordable housing for low-income seniors through an investment of $201 million over two years starting in 2016-2017 to help the many seniors facing challenges in accessing affordable housing. While funding is being provided under the Investment in Affordable Housing (IAH) initiative, provinces and territories will not be required to cost-match these investments.

Source: https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/campaigns/national-seniors-day/faq.html


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

World Heart Day is Saturday September 29

Since 2000, heart disease has remained a leading cause of death in Canada. To raise awareness about the many ways in which we can prevent heart disease in our lives, the World Heart Federation organizes World Heart Day every September. This year, the World Heart Foundation wants you to “share how you power your heart and inspire millions of people around the world to be heart healthy”. We encourage you to participate in any of the walks, runs, concerts, and other events which have been organized as part of this incredible event.

Here are some tips that will keep your heart as healthy as it can be:

Keep a food diary. Writing down everything you eat can influence you to make better dietary choices, since you will have a physical record of your meals. In the long term, you will have a better idea of what you eat and why you eat it. Based on these results, you will be able to make it easier for yourself to make healthy choices. For example, if you notice that you eat junk food and snacks when you return home from work, place fresh fruit on the counter to distract you from your pantry.

To start you off, here are some things you should and should not eat to develop a healthy circulatory system:

Consume:

  1. Fruits and vegetables. These foods are known for being rich in vitamins and minerals, but ultimately, dietary fibre is the reason why fruits and veggies are on this list. Eating fibre reduces bad cholesterol levels in your bloodstream by binding to the molecules and preventing your body from absorbing them.
  2. Fish. Fish are a healthy source of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 has been proven to reduce inflammation in the body, which in turn, reduces blood pressure and your chance of heart problems.
  3. Small daily servings of dark chocolate. Studies show that dark chocolate above 70% cocoa may contain high enough levels of flavonols to boost your metabolism and lower your blood pressure.

Don’t consume:

  1. Foods containing fats – especially saturated fats – and sugar. These have high levels of cholesterol, which clog up your veins over time. Avoiding them will help your circulatory system function at its best.
  2. Foods with high salt content. Salt breaks down into sodium and chlorine ions when dissolved in water. As we mentioned in our July newsletter, sodium is an electrolyte which helps your body retain water. Though this is good when you are nearing dehydration, an excess of sodium can bring too much water into your blood, raising your blood pressure. This puts unnecessary strain on your heart.
  3. Too much alcohol. Over time, drinking alcohol can weaken your muscles – particularly your heart. It also increases your blood pressure, putting you at risk of a heart attack.

Stop smoking. The damages of smoking don’t end with lung cancer. Tobacco wreaks havoc on blood cells and vessels. This damage may make it easier for plaque to build up in your circulatory system, and increase your chances of heart problems.
Exercise. Cardio exercises – exercises that raise your heart rate – are the most beneficial for your heart. By raising your heart rate, a workout forces your heart to get stronger. This reduces the chances of your heart developing problems in the future – but only if you do it often! The Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology recommends doing at least 150 minutes of exercise per week to reduce your risk of heart disease.
Monitor your mental health. When you’re down, you’re less likely to make healthy choices. Try avoiding things that trigger negative emotions, and slowly get back into a healthy routine should you fall off track due to a rough phase. Rushing the recovery process could deteriorate your mental health, so it is important to acknowledge that it takes time to adopt a healthy lifestyle, especially if you haven’t partaken in one for a long time. Different precautions must be taken if you suspect that you are suffering from a mental illness. Mental illnesses take their tolls on the body as well as the mind. Depression is reported in as many as 33 percent of heart attack patients in the United States, says the American Heart Association. For this reason, if you feel that you are suffering from a mental illness, it is crucial that you seek medical attention.

Heart disease symptoms are often difficult to detect, as they are easily dismissible. Here are some common heart disease emergencies along with their treatments and symptoms, courtesy of the Heart and Stroke Foundation, so that you are prepared in the event of a cardiovascular emergency.

Heart Attack: Call 9-1-1, take nitroglycerin (if you have a prescription) and Aspirin, and rest. Keep a list of your medications in your wallet so that it’s easily accessible when EMS needs it. Symptoms include:

  • Sweating
  • Overt chest discomfort: Pressure, squeezing, fullness, burning, and heaviness all fall under this umbrella.
  • Upper body discomfort: Particularly in areas above the heart, like the neck, jaw, shoulder, arms, and back.
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Shortness of breath

Cardiac Arrest: Call 9-1-1, and attempt CPR. Use an AED if you have access to one. Symptoms include:

  • Unresponsiveness to touch and sound
  • Sudden collapse
  • Abnormal or lack of breathing

SADS (Sudden Arrhythmia Death Syndrome): Seek medical attention from a family doctor, cardiologist, or electrophysiologist. All immediate relatives should be tested, as the condition is hereditary. Symptoms include:

  • Fainting or seizure during physical activity
  • Fainting or seizure from distress or being startled
  • Family history of death that is sudden or unexplained

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

WTSS 32nd 2017 AGM Highlights

“We are confident that, by combining our agencies’ strengths, we will be able to expand the services that enable clients to live independently in the community, and better serve west-end seniors and adults with disabilities.”  ~ Annual Report 2016/2017

On Thursday September  27, 2017, West Toronto Support Services (WTSS) held its 32nd Annual General Meeting at 1709 Bloor St. W. 2nd. Fl.   The focus of the meeting was confirming and discussing the announced amalgamation of WTSS and Humber Community Seniors’ Services (HCSS) which will take effect January 1, 2018.

A special thank you to all members, volunteers, staff and special guests that actively participated, including LA Centre for Active Living, Humber Community Seniors’ Services, Storefront Humber, and representatives Bhutila Karpoche for MPP Cheri DiNovo and Dawn Gordaneer for MP Arif Virani

Our Executive Director, Thom Burger, and our Chair from the WTSS Board of Directors, Brandon Makins, led the evenings agenda. Updates were shared live on social media. Plus Thom recognized those staff members that have provided dedicated service for over 10 years at WTSS (an amazing 30% of our entire staff) for their unfailing commitment. These 10 plus tenured staff members embody our values, values that are critical to meet our mission. Please watch this video and help us to congratulate them on their successes over their years of service!

Please take a moment to read our 2016/2017 Annual Report below for a highlight of the last years achievements and what our new amalgamation will bring to WTSS in 2018.

Click to download full Annual Report 2016-2017 document 


A West Toronto Support Services (WTSS) news blog post.

Please be sure to subscribe to get news updates directly to your email inbox.

Read more about WTSS services

WTSS-logo

FREE Brain Health Workshop with @AlzToronto @WTSSorg. RSVP Required.

Today is . Let’s celebrate big strides, like , and keep advocating for awareness & support.

Yesterday, Alzheimer Society of Toronto conducted an excellent workshop right here at the West Toronto Support Services Office and there is another one scheduled for October 18th. Please see details below!

All of the Alzheimer Society of Toronto workshops are led by social workers and education coordinators – packed full of useful and relevant information for caregivers dealing with dementia. As a caregiver, you have many diverse responsibilities. These programs offer educational, engaging and interactive experiences to support you in this role while learning from a group of your peers.

Learning from your peers is the surprising benefit of these workshops for many attendees. It’s important to make time for yourself. Enrol today!

The program is open to all the public. As a member of this community, it is important to be aware and educated about the world around you. Did you know that you can contact the Alzheimer Society to have a Public Education Coordinator come to your office and provide an educational overview of dementia?

West Toronto Support Services is hosting the Alzheimer Society for another interactive and useful Caregiver Workshop on the topic of brain health.

Come and learn about the risk factors of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, and how to improve and maintain the health of the brain.

COST: This workshop is FREE

Date: Wednesday, October 18, 2017
Time: 5:30 PM – 7:00 PM
Address:
West Toronto Support Services
1709 Bloor St. West, 2nd Floor
Toronto, ON M6P 4E5

Click to register now, space is limitedhttp://on.alz.to/site/Calendar/1360509750?view=Detail&id=105942

Brain games workshop

 


A West Toronto Support Services (WTSS) news blog post.

Please be sure to subscribe to get news updates directly to your email inbox.

Read more about WTSS services

WTSS-logo

CN Tower Climb for United Way – Join our team on Nov. 5, 2017! #UP4COMMUNITY

We’re looking for climbers to join the West Toronto Support Services (WTSS) team!

WTSS is once more aiming to reach the top in support of United Way of Toronto & York Region on:

Sunday, November 5th 2017 @ 7AM

Click here to join — >  http://bit.ly/2x2y0Sq

  • It’s a fun, early morning climb towards the top for a good cause!
  • If you don’t like climbing consider supporting someone who is – every little bit helps!
  • Contact Tim at (416) 653-3535 Ext. 233 or tanderson@wtss.org if you have any questions.

All funds raised go towards United Way of Toronto & York region of which West Toronto Support Services is a member agency.

“While celebrating a tall personal feat in conquering all 1,776 steps, you’ll also be making meaningful change possible for thousands of individuals and families, elevating our community as a whole” ~United Way of Toronto & York Region


A West Toronto Support Services (WTSS) news blog post.

Please be sure to subscribe to get news updates directly to your email inbox.

Read more about WTSS services

WTSS-logo

 

 

Social isolation: what is it and why is it important to your health?

Media outlets from around the world continue to report on the ‘loneliness epidemic’ as a major risk to optimal health.  Mounting research evidence confirms that social connections are a fundamental human need – crucial to both wellbeing and survival. Loneliness and social isolation are linked to depression, cognitive decline, decreased mobility and early death.  Many people feel lonely and lose social connections as they age.

If you feel lonely, you are not alone.

Read these amazing resources on the topic of social isolation, including evidence-based insights and tips around the importance of social engagement: https://www.mcmasteroptimalaging.org/hitting-the-headlines/detail/hitting-the-headlines/2017/08/17/the-loneliness-epidemic

A reminder that West Toronto Support Services also provides Friendly Visiting. Our wonderful volunteers provide social visits to older adults who are isolated and have little or no opportunity to participate in activities outside their home.

And did you know Seniors can volunteer WTSS? Your investment of time and talent is needed and will be immensely valued. Read our previous blog post here and learn about what volunteering can do: https://wtss.org/2015/10/26/did-you-know-seniors-can-volunteer-wtssorg/


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

Support Group for Portuguese Speaking Caregivers @WestNHouse

What is the CARERS program?

The CARERS program is a therapeutic skills training designed to address the needs of family CARERS who provide care at home to individuals with dementia.

Participation in the program will help you:

  • Develop more effective problem solving skills.
  • Develop skills to improve communication and manage dementia related behaviours.
  • Learn new ways to cope with common caregiving dilemmas.
  • Feel less isolated.

Who can participate:

  • You are Portuguese speaking and your family member has been given a diagnosis of dementia.
  • You provide direct care to your family member.

Programming for the family member with dementia is available during the group time.

Mondays September 25 – December 4, 2017

10 Weeks

1-3:30pm

West Neighbourhood House – 248 Ossington Ave

For more information or to register please call:

Melanie 416 532-4828 ext 146 or Noémia 416 570-14

 


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

What’s Open & Closed Labour Day Weekend in Toronto

Please Note:  The West Toronto Support Services offices will be closed on Monday, September 4, 2017 for the Labour Day long weekend. Contact your program supervisor if you have any questions or concerns.

For an up to date list of what’s open and closed this Labour Day Weekend in Toronto, check out this link: http://www.toronto.com/things-to-do/whats-open-closed-labour-day-weekend-in-toronto/

Looking for some long weekend inspiration? Toronto.com has some fun ideas of what you can do on the Labour Day long weekend in Toronto, from September 1-4, 2017.

Labour Day in Canada is a federal holiday and officially celebrates workers and the labour union movement, however, most of us only think of it as the last long weekend of the summer!

As summer in the city winds down and kids (and parents!) prepare for back-to-school, there’s still time to pack in a few more summer memories.

And watch this video to remember why Canadians celebrate Labour Day:

 


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

WTSS’ 32nd Annual General Meeting – Sept. 21, 2017

Our Annual General Meeting is coming soon – reserve your place today!

When: Thursday, September 21st at 5:30pm

Where:  West Toronto Support Services, 1709 Bloor St. W. 2nd Fl in the Adult Day Service (Entrance off Indian Grove)

Please RSVP before August 31st at (416) 653-3535 Ext. 221 or email: gdsouza@wtss.org

More information below:

 


A West Toronto Support Services (WTSS) news blog post.

Please be sure to subscribe to get news updates directly to your email inbox.

Read more about WTSS services

WTSS-logo

Annual Community BBQ @HumberSeniors – Fri. August 18th

Join the team at Humber Community Seniors’ Services for their annual BBQ

Friday, August 18, 2017 at 12 noon.

1167 Weston Road (Eglington and Weston Rd.)

Everyone welcome!

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

%d bloggers like this: