CLBC Announces Emergency Funding for Pandemic Responses
Provincial emergency COVID-19 funding will be distributed through Community Living BC (CLBC) to ensure people with developmental disabilities stay supported and safe during the pandemic.
As part of the B.C. Government’s $5-billion COVID-19 Action Plan, up to $35.6 million will be available over three months from CLBC to support service providers to continue delivering residential services, including group homes, home sharing and supported independent living that about 9,500 adults with developmental disabilities count on.
“This pandemic has had a significant impact on agencies and home-sharing providers who perform essential care and services, creating challenges for people with developmental disabilities and their families,” said Shane Simpson, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction. “This funding will ensure that quality of care and staffing levels are maintained so that the people who depend on these services remain safe and supported.”
Under this temporary emergency support, CLBC service providers who provide residential services, such as group homes, can request funding to address overtime costs or staffing shortages and to access additional supplies for delivering disability-related supports to keep individuals safe.
People with developmental disabilities who live independently with the help of agency-supported living services have also been identified as vulnerable during the COVID-19 pandemic. Emergency funding will support service providers to adjust and continue supports to keep these people safe.
Many home-sharing providers are taking on extra caregiving requirements. This is because of the need to follow health guidelines, the disruption to services, such as community inclusion or day programs, and difficulty in acquiring resources that people usually access in their communities. These home-sharing providers will be able to apply for temporary additional funding to ensure people under their care remain supported. Read more here…
BC Updates the Testing Criteria for COVID-19
BC has updated the criteria for access to testing for COVID-19. Now anyone who has symptoms of COVID-19 can be tested to see if they have COVID-19. Previously, testing was focused on healthcare workers and people in outbreaks. There is more on the process for accessing testing here on the BC Centre for Disease Control website: http://www.bccdc.ca/health-info/diseases-conditions/covid-19/testing
Staying Home, Staying Active!
This morning, Arlene Zukerman and Ernie co-hosted a zoom call for people to share ideas about activities to do at home. Participants each shared a favourite activity they’ve been enjoying as they practice physical distancing and stay close to home. Allan shared his plans for organizing a potluck dinner once the distancing rules are relaxed. Even if we can’t do all the things we want to do right now, we can still make plans and get organized for future activities! A few people talked about how they’re doing more baking, and trying out new recipes to enjoy with their families. Others talked about the importance of having a regular routine and sticking to it. Several people are making time each day to go for a walk in their neighbourhood, or doing exercises at home. Teri shared some of the activities she and Bill and Patti are doing, including Patti’s yoga that she’s been practicing on the patio:
What are you doing to pass the time at home? Send us your updates and photos!
We have started a webpage of resources linked on our COVID-19 Updates page:
Provincial Resources for Mental Health
Our CLBC Analyst in Burnaby forwarded this link to Provincial Resources for Mental Health, especially important in this time of pandemics, physical distancing and unemployment:
B.C. seniors, adults, youth and frontline health care workers experiencing anxiety, depression or other mental health challenges arising from the COVID-19 pandemic can get help through virtual services.
To support British Columbians of all ages during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Province is expanding existing mental health programs and launching new services.
A Directory of Benefits for Canadians and British Columbians
Here is a hub of benefits the federal government, provinces and territories are offering to people financially affected by the coronavirus.
Free Live Webinars – Planning for the Future – The Legal Side
From Nidus: We are learning many things in response to Covid-19. Now is the time to get your affairs in order! It’s about taking responsibility; its about exercising your rights and duty!
Attend one of our introductory webinars and get informed about legal planning documents available in BC. Same topic, offered different times. There will be a question and answer period at the live webinar. Click for poster to help promote.
Truth and Reconciliation Personal Action Plan
Many people are working from home and have reached out to https://twitter.com/sarahc_robinson ask about online training or resources to improve their understanding of Indigenous perspectives. She created this brief Truth & Reconciliation Personal Action Plan, which is available here for free: https://t.co/Y0QZn54XH2?amp=1
Self-Care Tips – Spend Five Minutes with Nature
To-Do: Spend five minutes exposed to nature taking social distancing into consideration.
Go for a short walk, sit in your yard or on your patio, or immerse yourself in watching a nature documentary. During times of social isolation where we’re spending most of our time at home, it can be easy to binge-watch mindless TV but watching a nature documentary- like Blue Planet- can engage our minds as well as make us feel more connected to nature.
Now is also a great time to practice your mindfulness skills! As you enjoy nature, take slow, deep breaths and identify: a) five things you can see, b) four things you can feel, c) three things you can hear, d) two things you can smell, and e) one emotion you are experiencing right now. While you do this, express gratitude for all that nature gives to us.
Why? Science tells us spending time in nature has a significant positive impact on our psychological well-being. Being outdoors reduces stress, lessens anxiety, and boosts our overall mood. It also has a grounding impact for all of us! There’s a good reason ‘forest-bathing’ and ‘eco-therapy’ are getting so much attention in the popular media these days!
Self-Reflection Tip: How can you incorporate more nature into your life? It doesn’t have to be time consuming or expensive! Try cutting back on TV consumption to get in a hike once a week, take a short walk at lunch, find a space to sit near a window, or add plants to your home or office.
Take care – Wash Your Hands! 😊
Link to CLBC Weekly Update for Individuals and Families: https://mailchi.mp/communitylivingbc/clbc-weekly-update-for-individuals-families-april-22-edition-3239064?e=d4i7Xzf4Pw
COVID-19: Transit Service Suspensions
Further transit service suspensions are being implemented across the network due to low ridership relating to the COVID-19 pandemic.
For details, please visit the Transit Service Changes page.
Our vast network of buses, trolleys and Community Shuttles link to various hubs, exchanges, SkyTrain stations and tourist destinations throughout Metro Vancouver. NightBus routes (late-night service) start with “N”.
Find your bus schedule using the new Trip Planner and Next Bus website. Use Next Bus to find out when the next bus is coming to your stop.
Note: Our Bus, SkyTrain, SeaBus and West Coast Express services begin and end at slightly different times. Use our Trip Planning tool to verify early morning or late night transfers.
On the new Trip Planner Click on the “Routes” menu on the right side of the screen. Select any number of routes on the list to view all the stops and buses servicing the selected routes on the map.
With the current uncertainty and adjustments to regular routines, it’s natural for our stress levels to rise. Remember that stress is a reaction to a situation and not the situation itself. We’ve rounded up four simple stress management techniques that everyone can apply when they are feeling overwhelmed:
Use nature to nurture
Studies show that spending 20 to 30 minutes enjoying the outdoors can lower stress levels. Even a short moment outside interacting with nature can help you feel more relaxed. Tend to your garden, go for a walk among the trees, or bird-watch in your backyard – just be sure to leave distractions behind so you can fully enjoy the fresh air.
Take a breath
One of the simplest stress management techniques is to take some intentional, deep breaths. It can help clear your mind, relax your body, and improve your focus. Try this: close your eyes, slowly breathe in through your nose for four seconds, hold and count to four, exhale for four seconds, count to four, and repeat until you feel a sense of calm.
Sweat it out
For most people, exercise is an accessible way to manage stress. The release of endorphins can bring stress levels down. Walking, jogging, climbing stairs, gardening, and even taking a dance break can go a long way in managing stress. An added bonus – physical activity helps you sleep better which further reduces stress levels; win-win!
Switch up your tasks
Worry and anxiety can increase when a task is too challenging, and our skill level is low. Switching to a task where you feel more skilled can lower the challenge level and give you a sense of relaxation and control. This then allows you to approach the more challenging task from a different angle.