A Special Appreciation
Thank you for the remarkable work that you are doing to support our most vulnerable individuals during this unprecedented time. I have been extremely impressed with the innovation and speed at which you have altered your programming and outreach to support those you serve. Together, CPLF has successfully adapted to a pandemic of epic proportions and now we must remain diligent until life can return to normal.
Please read through the following resources and notices for up-to-date information on how our organization is prioritizing the safety of our community.
I want to again thank you for all your hard work and dedication during this pandemic. Together, we will get through this.
COO, Calgary Progressive Lifestyles
The services provided by CPLF are considered an Alberta essential service and we are committed to meeting this challenge together. CPLF has re-tooled quickly to meet the demands of this new environment we find ourselves in with the following Pandemic Response measures:
- Administrative Offices: Closed to the public. Administration staff are encouraged to work from home whenever possible.
- Lifestyles Bistro & Catered by Lifestyles: Closed until further notice
- On-site group activities and programs: Cancelled until further notice (includes bingo, dances, art classes, etc.). Remote activities and services will be offered in their place (see below)
- Homes: Support Staff and clients are to no longer enter each other’s homes unless vitally necessary. Vitally necessary supports are to continue in homes for those clients who are bed ridden, complex needs, and/or guardians working in an essential service such as health care. There may be other extenuating circumstances.
- Walks: Support staff can wait on the front porch for their client if they would like to go for a walk.
- Vehicles: Staff can transport clients in their car while observing Pandemic Driving Planned Positive Procedure Protocol.
- Temperature Readings: CPLF is encouraging temperature reading of both client and staff to be shared before social distancing activities, such as going for a walk. Abnormal readings may indicate symptoms of COVID-19.
During the COVID 19 related shutdowns, regular trips to agencies and programs that have been closed were put on a suspension until April 30. Since that date is fast approaching, please consult Access Calgary to check if trips for your clients will be suspended beyond April 30. Please advise us of any extended suspensions no later than April 24. Trips will begin to generate starting April 27 and will then need to be cancelled if the suspension has not been extended. Please respond to AccessCalgaryBookings@calgary.ca by April 24.
Reporting COVID-19 and Limiting Movement
Report any confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19 impacting clients or CPLF staff to your Case Manager and/or CPLF Human Resources Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In line with recent updates from Alberta Health Services, our community needs to limit the movement of staff who are working for more than one employer or working in long term care facilities, old age homes, nursing home and group homes of other service providers. To best mitigate risks to our community, please contact your Case Manager or our CPLF Human Resources Manager at email@example.com and together we will address limiting of your movement for the protection of our community
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
With a better understanding of the virus we are taking steps to ensure safety for everyone. The basic understanding is that both client and staff are to consider themselves to be asymptomatic with a potential to spread the virus.
If CPLF support workers and/or clients need any PPE then support workers need to contact their Case Manager with a list of items to be issued or refilled. CPLF hopes to have masks, gloves, wipes, hand sanitizer and thermometers continuously available. Upon approval by your Case Managers, they will forward your request to Dora. Dora will keep track of PPE offered and coordinate a time with you to come to our offices and receive the requested PPEs. For those who cannot drive, Dora will coordinate other CPLF staff to make deliveries.
- Reimbursement: CPLF will reimburse staff who are incurring reasonable additional expenses to mitigate risk during this pandemic. This includes items such as disinfectant wipes, sanitizer, masks, face shields, gloves, etc. Case Managers must approve these reasonable expenses and submit receipts for reimbursement to CPLF Finance. This includes both Supportive Roommates, Day Program staff, and Admin Staff.
- CPLF Administrative Staff have access to the BCT Communicator App, which allows them to call and maintain phone contact with staff, guardians, and clients.
- Administrative Staff can create remote video conferences using Zoom, limiting the need for in-person gatherings and discussions.
- Administrative Staff can use CPLF’s Remote Desktop application, which gives them secure access, to our server and database (including client records, contact details, and service documentation) from any location.
- CPLF is in the process of implementing DocuSign, which will allow guardians and various providers to complete and submit documents remotely. This will be implemented soon.
Finance & Human Resources
- Payments are now being issued via direct deposit.
- If CPLF staff require a letter recognizing that they are integral to our company’s essential work operations as identified by the Alberta Government, we can issue appropriate documentation.
New CPLF Remote Services
- Remote Music Therapy: Develop mental, physical, emotional coping techniques through music via video conference. Individual and group sessions available at $20 per session. Contact Hilary MacAulay at firstname.lastname@example.org for further details.
- Remote Counselling Service: For those wanting to speak to a psychologist, CPLF’s Counselling Service is available at $75/hr. Feel free to contact Veena Prasaad at email@example.com for further details.
- Private Facebook Group: CPLF Friends is for all staff, guardians, and clients to get together and stay engaged with their community. This is a private group that’s moderated by CPLF. We’ll strive to ensure discussions stay family-friendly and positive.
- CPLF Group Remote Sing-Alongs: Join your friends at CPLF for a remote group sing-along with Bryan! Even though we’re all in our own homes, we can still connect online to share our love of music together. We will have three different groups consisting of weekly sessions for 10 weeks. Each group has a maximum size of 20 participants. The cost is $60 per group, and participants are welcome to register for multiple groups. Contact May or firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up and provide the participant’s name, the email(s) to be invited to remote meeting, and the email and name of the individual receiving the invoice for payment.
- CPLF Remote Bingo: We’re happy to announce that we’re bringing back one of our favourite activities. Starting June 1st, every Monday and Friday from 1:30-2:30pm we’ll be running bingo sessions via Zoom. There won’t be any cost to participate, so come join in the fun for free! Email email@example.com to register.
How can you help?
- Donate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): We welcome items such as masks, gloves, thermometers, hand sanitizer, or medical garments. Contact us for further details via (403) 276-1016 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- Get a Lifestyles Bistro Gift Card: If you would like to support our social enterprise, you can purchase gift certificates at Rally for Restaraunts. For every $25 or $50 gift card you buy, Stella Artois will contribute an additional $10. Give your favourite restaurant the funds they need today and visit them to redeem your gift card for a delicious meal when this is all over.
- Donate to CPLF: You can give directly via PayPal or consider other opportunities to show your support.
Extra Information & Resources
Activities from Home: Need to find a way to stay busy and healthy? This resource guide has plenty of ideas.
Official Informational Resources
- Federal COVID-19 Economic Benefit Plans
- COVID-19 info for Albertans
- Information for AHS Staff & Health Professionals
- COVID-19 Self Assessment Tool
- Fines: $1000 fines can be issued for disobeying Public Health Act per occurrence. Courts also have increased powers to administer fines of up to $100,000 for a first offence and up to $500,000 for a subsequent offence for more serious violations. See Global News for further details.
- Visits to Long-Term Care & Group Homes: Alberta is banning most visits to long-term care and group homes to try to limit the spread of COVID-19. See the Globe and Mail for further details.
- Home made Face Masks: When an N95 mask is not available and social distancing is compromised, there is an opportunity to create your own mask that can support not touching your face and filtering large droplets of saliva from getting into your respiratory system.
- Cleaning N95 Masks: If you have (or get) an N95 mask, it’s not ideal to reuse them. The current supply of masks is scarce, however. Read this this article on How to clean and reuse an N95 mask if you need to reuse what you have.
- Proper Use of PPE: Even the best protective equipment only works if it’s being used properly. Please follow Alberta Health Services’ guide to using PPE, and learn more here.
Mental Health Resources
- Mental Health Portal: If you need more information related to mental health, visit the Wellness Together Canada: Mental Health and Substance Use Support website. It provides tools and resources to help get Canadians back on track, including modules for addressing low mood, worry, substance use, social isolation and relationship issues.
- Coronavirus: Guidance for Better Mental Health: A great overview and collection of helpful tips to maintain your mental wellbeing during the COVID pandemic. Also includes basic health precautions.
- Mental Health First Aid: The Mental Health Commission of Canada provides a document that serve as a reference guide to help you deal with mental health challenges.
- Miscellaneous Crisis Lines
- Alberta Health Services Mental Health Help Line: 1‑877‑303‑2642, every day 7am-11pm
- Alberta Health Services Addiction Help Line: 1‑866‑332‑2322, every day 7am-11pm
- Canada Suicide Prevention Service: 1-833-456-4566, available 24/7
- KidsHelpPhone: 1-800-668-6868 via phone or text 686868. For anyone aged 20 years and under
- First Nations and Inuit Hope for Wellness: 1-855-242-3310, available 24/7
- Canadian Indian Residential Schools Crisis Line: 1-866-925-4419
- Trans LifeLine: 1-877-330-6366, all ages.
- Distress Centre Calgary Crisis Line: (403) 266-4357, available 24/7 for Calgary and surrounding areas
- ConnecTeen: (403) 264-TEEN
- Canadian Mental Health Association Crisis line: 1-888-787-2880 or (403) 327-7905, available 24/7 for Chinook Health Region and south part of Calgary
- Calgary Crisis 24 Hours: 1-800-563-6106 or (403) 299-9699
Symptoms of Depression & Anxiety
During troubling times, it is not uncommon to feel depressed or anxious. Symptoms can include the following:
- Psychological: sense of doom, fear of dying, distractibility, speeding thoughts, insomnia, irritability.
- Physical: racing heart rate, flushing, shortness of breath, headache, sweating, dizziness, nausea, muscle pain.
- Behavioural: isolation, outbursts, sleeping during the day, increased substance use, repetitive comments, self-injury.
CPLF Mental Health First Aid
Use the ALGEE model as described below:
- Assess risk of harm/suicide. If a risk is present, contact 911 or the Distress Centre (403-266-1601) for assistance. Encourage slow breathing. Move to a quiet area.
- Use verbal and non-verbal communication techniques to listen to the person.
- Give information. Fear is common and unpleasant. Anxiety is a real medical condition. The person is not weak.
- Encourage professional help. Questions to ask: Does this person need to see a doctor about the fear? Does this person need to contact a councellor? What therapies have been effective in the past?
- Encourage other supports. Popular self-help: talk with friends and family. Reduce caffeine intake. Regular stretching, exercise. Controlled breathing. Engage in a pleasurable task. Meditation. Relaxing music. Prayer.
If the problem is unusual, persistent, or unsafe, notify your Case Manager as soon as possible.