Practical help during the COVID-19 outbreak

Bay Seniors now offers Friendly Neighbour program
Need help getting groceries or other necessities? Contact us!

The Bay Seniors Association is working to connect residents eager to be of help with seniors who may need assistance due to self-isolation guidelines and reductions in services caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Volunteers will pick up groceries, pharmacy items and household goods (e.g., laundry soap, pet food, lightbulbs, etc.) and deliver them to those who are unable to do so because of health or transportation issues during self-isolation.

Please, don’t hesitate to reach out. Public health continues to reinforce the importance of social distancing and social isolation in controlling the spread of this disease. Seniors, those with chronic heart, lung and kidney disease, and those with certain other medical conditions have been strongly advised to limit their exposure to public spaces. Accepting help from our neighbours at this time is not accepting charity–it is simply good sense, and helps to protect everyone in the community.

If you have recently returned from a non-Canadian destination, please remember that you are required to self-isolate at home for 14 days, even if you do not have symptoms of illness.

To request service, or for more information on the Friendly Neighbour initiative, please email neighbours@bayseniors.ca or leave a message at 902-820-3334. We ask that all parties observe safe social distancing, and of course volunteers must be symptom-free.

How area businesses are helping keep seniors safer

Thank you to local retail stores, including Sobey’s, Lawton’s, the Superstore, Redmond’s Home Hardware, and the NSLC, for offering special shopping services to seniors and those with serious health conditions:

  • Sobey’s, the Superstore and Lawton’s are reserving the first hour of each day, from 7 to 8 a.m., for seniors and immunocompromised shoppers. The stores have also implemented extra overnight cleaning protocols.

  • Redmond’s Home Hardware is offering a shop-by-phone service. Residents may call the store to place their order, and Bay Seniors Friendly Neighbour volunteers will deliver the purchases.

  • The NSLC is offering their first hour, now 10 to 11 a.m. for seniors and those with chronic health conditions, asking other shoppers to wait until later in the day.

Do you own or manage a local business? Please let us know what you’re doing during the COVID-19 outbreak to help keep our community safer. Email sharon@bayseniors.ca.

Protect yourself from fraud

It’s heartening to know so many people are willing to help out in
times of need, like this one. But, sadly, there will always be bad
apples in every barrel. The RCMP and the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre say
that to safeguard ourselves from fraudsters during the COVID-19
outbreak, we should:

  • Not deal with any person or organization we don’t know, especially if they initiated contact with us. If we need information or help, we should reach out to trusted sources.
  • Not click on email links and attachments we are not expecting, and that come from unknown or suspicious sources.
  • Never give out personal or financial details.

Some scams that have already been reported in Canada include people making fraudulent offers of duct cleaning, air filters or household decontaminants to protect against COVID-19, people pretending to represent utilities and demanding payment, others offering to test for the virus or claiming to have a preventative or treatment, and those offering masks and sanitizers in exchange for a supposed donation to a real charity that they do not represent, among other scams.

The bottom line? For current, accurate information on the COVID-19 situation, visit Canada Public Health or watch and read news from reputable news agencies. If you are contacted by phone, email or in person by someone you suspect is committing fraud, do not give out any information or confront the source, but report the contact to the RCMP or the Canada Anti-Fraud Centre.

IMPORTANT:
No volunteer from the Bay Seniors Friendly Neighbour initiative will ever contact you offering service. To access the program, please email neighbours@bayseniors.ca or leave a voicemail
message at 902-820-3334. That way, you can be sure you’re dealing with someone authorized by Bay Seniors to provide help.

Let’s meet up on Facebook: Bay Seniors wants to hear from you

Tell us what you’re reading or watching on TV right now, share your pantry ingredient recipes, and post photos of signs of spring. We’re all in this together! www.facebook.com/bayseniors

Your tax questions answered by CRA: January meeting follow-up

Now that they aren’t available in post offices, where can we order paper copies of tax guides or forms?
Orders placed for the 2019 Income tax package will be shipped during the week of February 17, 2020.

To order these, go to: Order forms and publications or call CRA’s General Inquires at 1-800-622-6232 TTY: 1-800-926-9105.

 

What medical expenses can I claim, and how can I maximize the tax benefits of these?
Go here for full details: medical expenses

 

Is there additional help and information for those who are self-employed  or own a small business?
Yes! The CRA offers free one-to-one visits and group seminars for small businesses and self-employed individuals across Canada through its Liaison Officer Service. You can request more information or an appointment here: Canada.ca/liaison-officer

 

Where can I get software for filing my taxes online? 
Go here to find software for filing returns: Certified software for the 2019 NETFILE program

 

Reminder from Melissa:
“As I mentioned at your meeting, through the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program, community organizations host free tax clinics, where volunteers file tax returns for eligible people. For more information go to Free tax clinics or call 1-855-516-4405.”

Recycling expert provides the answers on ‘what goes where’

Loren Horwich, Local Waste Educator at Divert NS, joined us at our October monthly meeting to talk about recycling in HRM.

We learned that in HRM, we have 5 waste streams:

  1. blue bag recycling
  2. paper recycling
  3. corrugated cardboard recycling
  4. green bin (organics)
  5. garbage

Out of all the streams, blue bag recycling gets the most questions as there is such a variety of what can go into the bag. Loren’s top tips are summarized in the panel below.

HRM has been collecting recyclables since 1992, at the recycling plant in Bayer’s Lake where everything is sorted by hand. What is accepted in recycling is based on the need and a market for that particular material.

We learned about innovative projects in Nova Scotia that take old plastics and turn them into recycled plastic lumber and furniture, carpet and even a soft fibre that feels just like cotton.

Although most of our time with Loren was spent talking about recycling, she reminded us about the 3 R’s – Reduce, Reuse and Recycle – with the first in the list being the best solution for the environment.

Even if you are a diligent recycler, remember to reduce first, maybe supporting your local farmer’s market to reduce the amount of food packaging, using cloth bags instead of plastic or keeping your own reusable straw or coffee mug in your car. The less you use, the less that has to be recycled.

Here are some of Loren’s tips for blue bag recycling:

  1. HRM is now accepting old metal pots, pans and cookie sheets (plastic handles are ok).
  2. When recycling plastics, ask yourself, is this a container? If it is made of plastic but is not a container, it can’t go into the blue bag.
  3. All caps and lids must be removed from containers (these DO NOT go into the blue bag). Instead of throwing them in the garbage, you can collect all caps and bring them into your closest Enviro Depot. The caps are used as part of a new pilot project in Nova Scotia to aid in waste-water treatment.
  4. Paper labels DO NOT have to be removed from containers. The paper is burned up when the plastic recyclables are melted down.
  5. Food containers DO NOT have to be scrubbed clean. Containers have to be empty but not spotless; like paper labels bits of food residue is burned up in the melting process.
  6. Use the ‘rule of thumb’ when determining if a plastic can be recycled. If you can use your thumb to stretch the plastic it can be recycled, if it does not stretch it can not be recycled. That means no hard plastic packaging and bags, plastic cutlery, plastic straws or Keurig cups.
  7. Bundle all soft plastics into one plastic bag. This makes it easier to sort on the assembly line at the recycling plant.

You can find the complete list of what goes where at halifax.ca/recycle