Seniors First BC is a charitable, non-profit, provincial society which provides assistance and support to older adults and third parties assisting older adults, who are dealing with abuse or mistreatment as well as provides assistance to navigate systems that impact older adults. Services are provided through a helpline, victim services, legal advocates and an elder law clinic. Seniors First BC continues to assist seniors through these challenging times. But in order to ensure the health and safety of our senior clients and our staff and their families, we are adjusting our operations. More Information. 

Our Province-wide confidential Seniors Abuse and Information Line (SAIL)  is a safe place for older adults, and those who care about them to talk to a trained intake worker about abuse or mistreatment, receive information and support about issues that impact the health and well-being of an older adult. For more information contact us at 604-437-1940 or Toll-Free 1-866-437-1940, 8 am to 8 pm daily (except statutory holidays)
The Elder Law Clinic operated by Seniors First BC offers pro bono legal services to eligible older adults residing in British Columbia on a wide range of legal matters, including:
•    Preparing wills, powers of attorney, representation agreements     
•    Understanding your legal proceedings and what to expect in court 
•    Reviewing court documents 
•    Preparing your own case and submissions 
•    Representation at certain court hearings in the Supreme Court of British Columbia and the Provincial Court (Small Claims Division) of British Columbia 
•    Assistance in matters of adult guardianship
•    General legal advice 
Contact our legal services division at 604-336-5653 for further information or to arrange a consultation with a lawyer.
While we do not offer legal services in either family or criminal law, we can direct persons to organizations who may be able to assist. 

Consenting for the COVID-19 Vaccine

As COVID-19 vaccines are being rolled out, health care providers are in the process of obtaining informed consent prior to administering the vaccine. There are certain criteria to be met for what is counted as consent. For example, informed adults and seniors can consent on their own, but if they are not able to, others may be able to consent on their behalf, such as the adult’s guardian or a Public Guardian and Trustee. For more information on the process of consenting for a vaccine, please visit the Public Guardian and Trustee of British Columbia website. 


New Variants Of The Virus That Causes COVID-19
Three variants of COVID-19 have been found globally. The rapid spread of these variants is causing a resurgence in COVID-19 cases and straining healthcare systems worldwide. Recent studies have shown that COVID-19 vaccinations will be effective against these new strains. The UK variant called B.1.1.7, which was identified in fall 2020 and now found in many countries worldwide, spreads quickly and may increase the risk of mortality. Another variant called B.1.351 was found in South Africa in January 2021. Some mutations of this variant are similar to the B.1.1.7, and it was detected in the US in January 2021. Lastly, the Brazilian variant called P.1 was detected in Brazilian travellers at a safety screening in an airport in Japan. 

Joint Statement on Black History Month
A joint statement in recognition of Black History Month was issued by Premier John Horgan and Rachna Singh, the Parliamentary secretary for anti-racism initiatives. They acknowledged and appreciated the contributions of Black Canadians and Black community organizations in creating social justice and equity. As part of the initiative to address gaps in service delivery, they have introduced a race-based data collection system. 
Government of BC


Canadian Revenue Agency Direct Deposit Now Available 

If you receive payments such as tax credits or other benefits from the Canadian Revenue Agency and have a Canadian bank account, you can now use direct deposit to receive your payments! You can sign up online using MyCRA, through your financial institution, or by phone with the CRA at 1-800-959-8281. For the phone service, you will need social insurance number, current address, your most recent income tax payments, and banking information. For more information, visit the CRA website here.

Via CRA Website

ICBC Rebate Due to Decreased Crashes
Owing to the decreased number of crashes during the COVID-19 pandemic which saved 600 million dollars, ICBC will be offering a one time rebate averaging $190 to its customers this spring. Most customers who had an active policy from April 1st to September 30th, 2020 will be eligible, with their rebate amount based on a portion of what they paid for during that period. Exceptions to this include customers with policies that reflect lower usage, such as short-term, storage or distance-based policies. Rebates will be issued in mid-March. 

Via ICBC Website

Healthy Aging
HealthLinkBC provides information on staying physically active, maintaining mental and emotional health, challenging the brain, eating a balanced diet, getting enough sleep, maintaining social connections. For more information visit HealthLinkBC 

Tips to Get Active for 65+
Physical activity is crucial in maintaining good health. It improves cardiovascular health, enhances mood, strengthens bones and reduces the risk of falls. For optimal results, 2.5 hours of cardio and 2 sessions of muscle-strengthening exercises weekly is recommended. But, it is important to start slowly and not overexert the body. Additionally, small lifestyle changes to keep the body moving, such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator, walking instead of driving whenever possible are highly recommended.

Mask Tips for Those with Hearing Loss or Dementia
This article provides suggestions for those who struggle with hearing loss and/or dementia. Individuals who face hearing challenges may normally rely on lip-reading and the interpretation of facial expression which are hidden when someone is wearing a mask. Individuals who have dementia may face the issue of not remembering why masks are suggested to be worn or have trouble recognizing an individual under their mask. This article also outlines the benefits that mask-wearing can have in conjunction with social distancing. Some of the suggestions made include using hand gestures, and gradually increasing the length of time wearing a mask. 
Qualicare Home Care

Tips for Fall Prevention 
Falling is a major health concern for older adults because of the risk of severely injuring one’s hip. Dr. Jaza Marina from Atlanta suggests contacting the doctor if someone is frequently feeling dizzy or tired in an attempt to prevent future falls. In addition, to reduce the likeliness of falls in the house one can remove clutter such as loose cords or bulky rugs, add a rubber bath mat to the shower, and add night-lights to the hallways and bathroom. To see more suggestions for fall prevention, visit Senior News


Online Workouts for Seniors to Stay Safe and Fit Indoors
With thousands of exercise videos at our fingertips, online workouts have become part of the daily routine for many people. However, choosing what to do and how to do it safely can be tough. Professor emeritus Stuart McGill at the University of Waterloo, he recommends matching your workout to your capabilities, considering chronic conditions and medications. To learn more about how to get your online workout routine started, read this article which provides moves, tips, and online fitness videos such as the 15-60 minute workout routines for seniors from the National Institute for Aging.

BC's COVID-19 Immunization Plan
According to the BC Centre for Disease Control, everyone who would like a vaccine and who is eligible to receive one will have the opportunity to be vaccinated. The COVID-19 vaccine is free for everyone living in B.C. For more information visit: Province of BC.

COVID-19 Resources for Older Adults, Government of Canada

The Government of Canada has compiled a list of COVID-19 resources for seniors and caregivers. They include tips for staying healthy, taking care of your physical and mental health, and resources to stay healthy. For more information visit: Government of Canada

Thank you to our volunteers for contributing to these articles!
Linda Yauk, Meeka Marsolais, Thi Ngoc Ha An, Margaret Ovenell, Kuldeep Kaur Padda, Shu Min Yu, Georgia Greiner, Justin Lee, Ekaterina Galysheva. 

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