Keeping seniors’ benefits safe from fraudsters:

With new financial supports to seniors during the pandemic, they may face an increased risk of being targeted by fraudsters.

The Government of Canada is providing a one-time, tax-free payment of $300 for seniors eligible for the Old Age Security pension and an additional $200 for seniors eligible for the Guaranteed Income Supplement.Allowance recipients will also receive $500. Seniors do not need to apply for the payment and they should not share any personal or banking information to receive it. Both direct deposit and cheque payments will be issued the week of July 6, 2020. Seniors who reside in Canada should expect to receive the payment that week. Those abroad will receive it in July.

Working seniors who stopped working due to reasons related to COVID-19 are eligible for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit, worth $2,000 a month. Seniors should be wary of people they don’t know offering to help them apply for the benefit, often for a fee. You can easily apply online or by phone (1-833-966-2099) yourself. Seniors should also keep in mind they only have access to the benefit if they were working, earned over $5,000 in the previous year and stopped working due to the pandemic. 

Here are a few tips to help protect yourself from financial fraud:

You may get phone calls, emails and texts on COVID-19. Be cautious when receiving them:

  • remember that if you didn’t initiate contact with a person or a business, you don’t know who you are dealing with
  • never click on links or attachments in unsolicited or suspicious emails
  • never give out your personal or financial information by email or text
  • note that financial institutions will never ask you to provide personal, login or account information by text or email
  • when banking online, enter your financial institution’s website address in your browser yourself
  • beware of questionable cures for sale: if it seems too good to be true, it probably is


For more information, check out our Little Black Book of Scams and the Canadian Anti-fraud Centre. More tips on how to stay protected from Financial Fraud are available here


Feeling lonely? There is someone there…


613-692-9992 or 1-855-892-9992


What A Friendly Voice is: A Friendly Voice is a telephone friendly visiting line for seniors. Every day of the year, our trained volunteers are available to receive calls. Our volunteers visit with the callers and, when asked, can help identify programs and services in their community for the senior to contact.

What A Friendly Voice is not: A Friendly Voice is not a counseling service, distress or crisis line nor emergency service. Any calls of that nature will result in immediate contact or referral to the appropriate responders, agency or service.

A Friendly Voice is not a referral service.


Support-A-Senior Program

Make a Tele-Friend and Volunteer today to Brighten a Senior’s Day! The Support-a-Senior program is a way to help Thunder Bay residents who are self-isolating due to COVID-19 feel less lonely by providing them with a tele-friend, a person they can connect with through phone conversations. This is a difficult time for everyone, but particularly hard for seniors who live alone and have little outside support. Hospice Northwest has launched this program as a way of offering companionship, support and a sense of connection to those needing it most. Contact the office at 626-5570 for more information.


Telemedicine – Visit a doctor online for free

Telemedicine allows convenient, at-home access to health care for all. Seeing patients remotely also allows doctors to work more efficiently, allowing more people to receive care. This helps to reduce unnecessary hospital visits and take some of the burdens off of our healthcare systems. Ontario recently allowed for telehealth coverage under the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP). This means that you can access safe, secure medical advice, answers, and treatment from licensed physicians from the comfort of your home. Modern technology has allowed us to give Ontarians the ability to choose how and when they receive care, safely and securely. Click the link below to start your online doctor’s appointment:

https://cover.health/

Clinic Hours: Mon – Fri: 9 am – 10 pm and Sat – Sun: 10 am – 8 pm

COVID -19 Information

As a precautionary measure and to help prevent the spread of disease, all Age-Friendly Thunder Bay Steering Committee meetings and Working Group meetings are postponed until further notice. Thank you for your cooperation and understanding. If you require any information, please contact the coordinator at bonniekrysowaty@gmail.com.

Returning from travel

Anyone who has travelled outside of Canada should:

  • self-isolate for 14 days when they return. People who are self-isolating should not go to work
  • monitor themselves for symptoms of the 2019 novel coronavirus for 14 days after returning to Canada
  • contact their primary care provider or Telehealth Ontario at  1-866-797-0000 if they experience symptoms of the 2019 novel coronavirus

In addition:

  • Workers who have travelled and are part of workplaces that are essential to daily living are able to return to work as long as they do not have symptoms. However, they should self-monitor for a period of 14 days and identify themselves to their employer so that a plan can be put into place to ensure the protection of those workplaces.
  • Children under the age of 16 years who have travelled outside of Canada should also self-isolate for a period of 14 days. Parents should actively monitor their children’s symptoms. Children who are self-isolating should stay at home and avoid social gathering points such as community centres or parks.

Learn about travel advisories related to the 2019 novel coronavirus.


Declaration of emergency

The province has enacted a declaration of emergency to help contain the spread of COVID-19 and protect the public.

As a result, the following establishments are required to close immediately:

  • all bars and restaurants, except to the extent that such facilities provide takeout and food delivery
  • all facilities providing indoor recreational programs
  • all public libraries
  • all private schools
  • all licensed child care centres
  • all movie cinemas
  • all theatres, including those offering live performances of music, dance and other art forms
  • all concert venues

Additionally, all organized public events of over 50 people are prohibited, including parades, events and communal services within places of worship.

These orders will remain in place until March 31, 2020, when the province will reassess for an extension or end the closures.



Hand Hygiene


Preventing coronavirus

Do you think you might have COVID-19? Use our self-assessment tool to find out what to do.

Canadians should continue to think ahead about the actions that they can take to stay healthy and prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Canada, including:


Self-monitor, self-isolate and isolate

There is a difference between advice to self-monitor, advice to self-isolate and advice to isolate. It is important to note these measures are in place to protect the health and safety of Canadians.

Self-monitor

You need to self-monitor if you:

  • have no symptoms and
  • may have been exposed to COVID-19 in the last 14 days or
  • are in close contact with older adults or people who are medically vulnerable or
  • have been asked to do so by your Public Health Authority

Self-monitoring means to:

  • monitor yourself for 14 days for symptoms of respiratory illness, such as cough, fever and difficulty breathing
  • avoid crowded places and increase your personal space from others whenever possible

If you develop symptoms, isolate yourself from others immediately and contact your public health authority as soon as possible.

Self-isolate

Self-isolate if you:

  • have no symptoms and
  • may have been exposed to COVID-19 as a result of:
    • travelling outside of Canada within the last 14 days or
    • coming in close contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19
  • have been asked to do so by your Public Health Authority

Self-isolation means to:

  • stay at home
  • monitor yourself for symptoms, even if mild, for 14 days
  • avoid contact with others

If you develop symptoms, even if mild, stay home, avoid other people and contact your Public Health Authority as soon as possible.

Isolate

You need to be isolated if you:

  • have symptoms, even if mild, associated with COVID-19 or
  • have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or
  • are waiting for laboratory test results or
  • have been advised to do so by your Public Health Authority

Isolating yourself means to:

  • stay home until the local public health authority says you are no longer at risk of spreading the virus
  • avoid contact with others

If your symptoms get worse, immediately contact your healthcare provider or Public Health Authority and follow their instructions.

Social distancing

Together, we can slow the spread of COVID-19 by making a conscious effort to keep a physical distance between each other. Social distancing is proven to be one of the most effective ways to reduce the spread of illness during an outbreak.

This means making changes in your everyday routines to minimize close contact with others, including:

  • avoiding crowded places and non-essential gatherings
  • avoiding common greetings, such as handshakes
  • limiting contact with people at higher risk like older adults and those in poor health
  • keeping a distance of at least 2 arms-length (approximately 2 metres) from others

Hygiene

Proper hygiene can help reduce the risk of infection or spreading infection to others:

  • wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after using the washroom and when preparing food
    • use alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available
  • when coughing or sneezing:
    • cough or sneeze into a tissue or the bend of your arm, not your hand
    • dispose of any tissues you have used as soon as possible in a lined waste basket and wash your hands afterwards
  • avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands
  • clean the following high-touch surfaces frequently with regular household cleaners or diluted bleach (1 part bleach to 9 parts water):
    • toys
    • toilets
    • phones
    • electronics
    • door handles
    • bedside tables
    • television remotes

When Physical Distancing is Challenging

You may consider using a face covering (i.e. non-medical mask, such as a cloth mask or bandana) to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 in areas where physical distancing may be challenging or not possible, such as:

  • when using public transit
  • at smaller grocery stores or pharmacies
  • when you are receiving essential services

Medical Masks

Save medical masks (i.e. surgical, medical procedure face masks and respirators, like N95 masks) for use by health care workers and first responders.expand_lessFace coverings will not protect you from getting COVID-19

The best way to protect yourself is to practice infection prevention and control measures:

  • Stay home, except for essential reasons.
  • Avoid close contact with others outside of your household.
  • Practice physical distancing by keeping at least 2 meters (6 feet) from others outside your household.
  • Practice good personal hygiene by washing your hands regularly.
  • Practice proper cough etiquette by covering your mouth and nose with a tissue or your upper sleeve or elbow when you cough or sneeze.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unclean hands.
  • Keep your environment clean.

For more details, visit the Infection Prevention and Control page.expand_lessWho should NOT use face coverings

Face coverings should not be placed on or used by:

  • Children under the age of two
  • Anyone who has trouble breathing
  • Anyone who is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance

How to Properly Use a Face Covering

If you choose to use a face covering, you should:

  • Wash your hands immediately before putting it on and immediately after taking it off (practice good personal hygiene while you are wearing the face covering as well).
  • Make sure the face covering fits well around your nose and mouth.
  • Avoid moving the face covering around or adjusting it often.
  • Avoid touching the face covering while using it and when taking it off (touch the straps/ elastics).
  • Do not share the face covering with others.

How to Clean or Dispose of Face Coverings

Face coverings should be changed when they get damp, soiled or crumpled. 

If the face covering can be cleaned, you should:

  • Put it directly into the washing machine or a bag that can be emptied into the washing machine.
  • Wash it with other items using a hot cycle with laundry detergent (no special soaps are needed), and dry thoroughly.
  • Wash your hands after putting the face covering into the laundry

If the face covering cannot be cleaned, you should: 

  • Throw it out into a lined garbage bin.
  • Do not leave any discarded face coverings in shopping carts or on the ground.
  • Wash your hands immediately.