Annual Report 2017 Sage Seniors association

From our President

From our Executive Director

Our Approach


We listen for, celebrate, and help mobilize the unique gifts, aspirations, and strengths of seniors.


We take the time to deeply understand seniors as holistic, complex, and multifaceted individuals who have a spectrum of needs and strengths.


We work with seniors in a reciprocal and co-creative manner that recognizes and draws upon the shared wisdom and expertise of both staff and seniors.


Seniors must self-determine when, how, why, and what it means to create positive changes in their lives and communities.

Strategic Direction

Our strategic plan involves engaging stakeholders, clients, academia, and the community at large in the prevention of vulnerability in older adults: we are emphasizing research and evaluative practices that can not only meaningfully inform our own program development, but be translated into practical tools and approaches that can be disseminated and shared more broadly; we are using the Plan Now to Age in Place Toolkit as a framework for programming that encourages older adults to pro-actively plan for life’s transitions; and we our employing our communications, community relations, and public events to explicitly combat ageism.

Our Approach

2017 Year in Review

Social Media

Computer Class


International Women's Day

Sage celebrated International Women's Day on March 8, 2017. The campaign theme this year was Be Bold For Change. To be part of the movement and celebrate women and the strength diversity brings to our communities, Sage pledged to continue to help forge a more inclusive world. Using the pledges pictured below, we did a social media campaign to show our solidarity and support for women. Sage will continue to embrace and be strengthened by the diversity of our community and by the seniors we serve.

Intergenerational Connection at Sage

On March 17, 2017, students from City Hall School had the opportunity to interview seniors at Sage to learn more about their stories of growing up in Alberta. By interviewing the seniors, the students had an opportunity to connect with an older generation, ask questions, and view the seniors as a living library.

Diary entry from City Hall student.

Ride for Mom

Sage is proud to be a part of The Edmonton Domestic Violence Shelters Engage (EDVSE) which is a coalition of six Edmonton organizations including the Alberta Council of Women's Shelters, Catholic Social Services, Lurana Shelter Society, Wings of Providence and WIN House.

On May 13, 2017, the day before Mother’s Day, Blackjacks Roadhouse & Games Room in Nisku, Alberta, hosted the First Annual Ride for Mom. The Ride for Mom is a motorcycle event to raise awareness for domestic violence through a one day motorcycle ride.

Seniors Week 2017

We challenged 25 Grade Six students from St. Philip Elementary School in Edmonton to try and keep up with Sage’s Zumba Gold seniors’ group. The theme for Seniors Week at Sage was Aging is Awesome, which aimed to shed a positive light on a time of life that is often given a bad rap.

Men's Shed

In 2017, Community Navigators began working with a community volunteer to explore the idea of creating a Men’s Shed in the Edmonton area.

Men’s Sheds are a grassroots, bottom up community approach for addressing men’s health and wellbeing. Sheds are welcoming, inclusive spaces that allow men to share skills, participate in informal learning, and build relationships; thereby decreasing loneliness, depression, and isolation.

Edmonton has one pilot Men’s Shed running with approximately 16 members ranging in age from 18-82. There has been significant interest from other organizations and community groups that are requesting information and guidance in creating additional Sheds in the Edmonton area, and Community Navigators are continuing to work with these organizations/groups to facilitate the creation of additional Sheds to support healthy connections for all men.

English as Another Language

Grandparents Who Parent Support Group

In partnership with The Family Centre, Sage planned and implemented a free support group for grandparents who are parenting.

This support group provides an opportunity for grandparents who are parenting to meet, provide support, and continue to strengthen one another during their parenting journey.

Weekly topics discussed included:

  • Understanding Your “Not-So-New” Role
  • Building Relationships
  • Managing Finances
  • Exploring Legal Issues
  • Promoting Well-Being

Research Projects

Senior Centre Inventory and Classification Survey

In 2016-17, Sage, on behalf of the Alberta Association of Seniors Centres (AASC), undertook research into the nature, function, and role of senior centres across Alberta. The purpose of the project was to explore the practices, possibilities, and challenges of positioning Alberta senior centres as essential, community-based organizations that contribute to the overall quality of life of older adults.

After consulting with senior centres across Alberta via survey and focus groups, changes have been made to the Active Ageing framework to better reflect the Alberta context, to emphasize the direct impact that senior centres have on health and wellbeing, and to provide a tool that senior centres can use for strategic planning, priority setting, and evaluation.

Seniors Centres of the Future

In partnership with the City of Edmonton, Sage researched ways to ensure that our community is best prepared to anticipate and meet the changing needs and desires of the seniors’ population.

To read the Seniors Centres of the Future Final Research Report, click here.

Project Impact

In January, our leadership team began a ten-month long training in evaluation practices with Dr. Steve Patty from Dialogues in Action, via the Project Impact for the Alberta Capital Region session offered by Edmonton’s Common Outcomes Group. Because of the relative newness of the Ageing to Sageing program, we have been focusing our work with Dr. Patty on how Sage employs its community engagement model.

The purpose of Project Impact has been to help us define our impact, evaluate that impact, and improve our programs and strategies based on evaluation. Through the training, we have explored our theory of change, developed evaluation and analysis tools, identified trends, and articulated findings from the quantitative and qualitative evaluations that we conducted.

Drop-In Counselling

Through a partnership with The Family Centre of Northern Alberta, Boys and Girls Clubs, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Edmonton and Area, Canadian Mental Health Association - Edmonton Region, and the John Howard Society, Sage is able to provide free, drop-in counselling sessions for people seeking help when they need it most.

The Pride Centre of Edmonton hosted sessions in 2016, but officially joined the Memorandum of Understanding in 2017, receiving funds to host a drop-in site.

Life Enrichment

Remaining mentally and physically active is critical to healthy aging. Life Enrichment provides opportunities for seniors to learn, share, grow, and connect through a wide variety of programs.

To see Sage's full list of Life Enrichment activities, click here.

Klondike Days 2017

Pride Week Senior’s Strawberry Tea 2017

Health Services

In 2017, we renovated our space to prepare for a new health services program at Sage! In partnership with the University of Alberta's Faculty of Nursing, nurse practitioners will be providing health services at Sage, including:

The exam room walls are up! Things have really started to come together to prepare for a new health services program. We are looking forward to how these renovations serve the people who inspire us the most: Edmonton's seniors!

Food Services

Food is often the key to bringing people together, making connections, and building community. The Sunshine Café at Sage is an ideal place for meeting friends downtown for breakfast, lunch, coffee, or a light snack.

Sage Savories

Since 2008, Sage has provided high quality frozen meals to Edmonton seniors through the Sage Savories program. The program was created to ensure that seniors had options for nutritious, flavourful frozen meals that they could enjoy at home. Due to the availability of alternative frozen meal services and ongoing challenges with the costs of operating Sage Savories, we decided to end the program as of April 30, 2017.

Seniors' Health and Wellness Forum

The second annual Seniors’ Health and Wellness Forum, Presented by Age Friendly Edmonton, was held Saturday, November 4, 2017, at the Central Lions Seniors Recreation Centre. The Forum featured presentations and panel discussions on health, wellness, and social supports vital to healthy aging, including a presentation by PEGASIS (Pan-Edmonton Group Addressing Social Isolation of Seniors) on how to address a range of factors that may lead to social isolation as we age.

Volunteer Services

Results from 2017 Volunteer Survey

On Wednesday, April 26, Sage celebrated volunteers at the Spring Volunteer Appreciation Event. This event was dedicated to honouring the many volunteers who devote their time to Sage. The event theme was Thank You For Helping Sage Grow - an ode to how volunteers are vital to our organizations growth and success.

To view photos from the event, click here.

On December 6, 2017, Sage celebrated volunteers at the Winter Volunteer Appreciation Event. This event is dedicated to honouring the many volunteers who devote their time to Sage.

To view photos from the event, click here.

If you would like to learn more about how you can support Sage by volunteering, please click here.

Culture of Learning

Community Service Learning (CSL)

Sage and the University of Alberta, through the Community Service Learning (CSL) program, work collaboratively to integrate student learning opportunities into all areas of our organization.

A key strategic focus for Sage is to develop programs and tools that will help seniors who want to age in place in their communities to do so in proactive, safe, and healthy ways. As part of this focus, we developed an online decision-making “toolkit” based on the Thinking about your future? Plan now to Age in Place toolkit prepared by the Forum of Federal/Provincial/Territorial Ministers Responsible for Seniors. In 2017, CSL students worked to enhance a basic version of the toolkit online in the form of a survey with links to information and interactive resources that can help seniors, their families, and caregivers to make informed decisions about planning for the future.

To view the digitized Aging in Place checklist, click here.

Professional Information Program

In 2017, Sage held two Professional Information sessions:

Capacity and Consent

In June 2017, three panelists discussed and answered questions regarding the issue of capacity and how it impacts our ability to consent to sexual activity. The topic considered both caregiver and facility perspectives: issues related to the impacts of variable consent and diminished capacity, negotiating affection and intimacy, and the limits of containing behaviour in group living environments.

Let’s Talk About: Medically Assisted Dying

In June 2016, the Supreme Court struck down the laws prohibiting medically assisted dying. In this session, panelists discussed the impacts of this decision, and what it means in practice.

The Sage Awards

The 11th Annual Sage Awards, presented by Servus Credit Union, was held on May 10, 2017 and honoured the achievements of 10 outstanding seniors and their contributions to our community:

  • Arts & Culture: Ms. Rae Hunter
  • Community Building: Mr. Evert Poor
  • Education: Mrs. Phyllis Arnold
  • Environment: Capt. (Ret'd.) William Dickson
  • Health & Wellness: Mr. Gino Ferri
  • Public & Non-Profit: Ms. Agathe Joly
  • Science & Technology: Mr. John McDougall
  • Social Justice & Peace: Ms. Kay Douglas and Ms. Marilyn McSporran
  • Transportation: Mr. Rudy Kornelsen

Seniors' Housing Forum

On Saturday, September 23, 2017, Sage partnered with key community stakeholders to host a free one-day Seniors' Housing Forum for seniors, their families, and caregivers. Each year, this event offers participants relevant information on seniors housing, community resources, a comprehensive resource kit, and a complimentary boxed lunch.

Ageing to Sageing

A grant from the Age Friendly Edmonton Knowledge to Action (K2A) Fund allows us to support senior led, neighborhood level initiatives. With this funding, our Community Animators are able to provide micro-grants for projects.

Islamic Senior Women’s Group

In December 2017, the Islamic Senior Women’s group received a K2A micro-grant to undertake a new year-long project. The Islamic Seniors Women’s group has been meeting for over two years, and one of the main organizers has a vision to have the senior women in their community create a cookbook; through the process of sharing their recipes from their home countries, the senior women will be able to tell their stories of how they came to Canada and share their own resilience and strength.

To read about how the Islamic Senior Women’s group of Al Rashid Mosque used the Knowledge to Action (K2A) micro-grant to undertake a project, click here.

Abbott School

The Abbott School Mental Health Nurse, approached Sage’s Community Animator, to develop a senior-led project at Abbott School. A call was put out to interested seniors and a small group met to learn about the Abbott School community in late fall.

Sage, the seniors, and the Principal and Mental Health Nurse at Abbott School worked to co-create a set of agreements to guide the group’s interaction with the students.

Seniors and students started out reading and playing board games together.

Seniors also had the opportunity to spend time with the school Elder, and to learn more about indigenous culture. Soon, as many as 10 older adults were regularly attending the school on Wednesday afternoons, and the activities expanded based on the interests of the participants. They now include music relaxation, a science club, gardening, and crocheting, all of which have proven quite popular with the students.

Pan-Edmonton Group Addressing Social Isolation of Seniors (PEGASIS)

In partnership with the Edmonton Mennonite Centre for Newcomers, Edmonton Seniors Coordinating Council, Edmonton Southside Primary Care Network. GEF Seniors Housing, Drive Happiness, and Westend Seniors Activity Centre, Sage works to reduce social isolation among Edmonton seniors.

Trends we see in the PEGASIS program:

  • There is a number of people who are struggling to meet their basic needs (e.g. housing). We are working with low-resourced seniors who have complex needs related to housing, income, and mental and physical health that need to be addressed alongside, if not before, social needs.
  • There is a significant number of seniors who are isolated because of past traumatic experiences and related mental health struggles. A few seniors have identified mistrust of people and systems as some of the reasons why they isolate themselves.
  • The Community Navigators are actively working with socially isolated seniors with complex needs, many of whom are experiencing simultaneous (financial, physical, mental health) challenges and require significant assistance with the issues that keep them isolated. It is only once these issues have been addressed that the seniors are open to engaging socially, and this often requires significant support from the Community Navigators as well. For example, the Community Navigator may need to attend Sage Life Enrichment programs with a senior, and help them to connect with peers and establish themselves as part of the group.
  • Community Navigators are also working with seniors who are struggling with issues related to hoarding behaviour. These individuals tend to be extremely isolated because, in addition to all of the complexities identified above, they are also dealing with the stigma associated with hoarding behaviour. It can take a long time to develop a trust relationship with these individuals, who are often on the verge homelessness due to hoarding-related eviction or because their home is being condemned. The isolation that these seniors experience is deeply rooted in larger issues that must be addressed before they can begin to build social connections. One of the Community Navigator also is involved in the Hoarding Support group for Older Adults at Sage and is a member of the Hoarding Coalition.
  • The PEGASIS team has noticed an increased community interest in the impact of social isolation in seniors, and are confident that the PEGASIS project can help to raise awareness and inform discussion in this area.
PEGASIS Volunteer Training Workshop

This Full House Drop-In Group

This Full House drop-in support group is a monthly support group for seniors who are negatively impacted by hoarding behavior. This group is often the first opportunity for these seniors to share and connect with other members in the community who have had similar experiences.

Traditional Teaching & Support Circle

The Circle of Support is a twice monthly drop-in group faciliated by an Indigienous Cultural Helper (Elder) at the Safe House. The Circle of Support uses traditional teachings, ceremonies, wellness activities, and one-on-one discussion to assist people on their healing journey, and fosters the creation of a supportive community.

To read Shelley's story about her experience at the Seniors Safe House, click here.

Seniors Overcoming Abusive Relationships (SOAR)

Seniors Overcoming Abusive Relationships (SOAR) is a weekly support group for older adults currently residing at the Seniors Safe House, as well as former residents who continue to receive support via outreach and intensive case management. SOAR is facilitated by a Registered Social Worker who helps participants develop community-based social connections, learn about the cycle of violence and its impact, and build self confidence.

Community Engagement


Sage works with a wide variety of organizations to help seniors live their best lives possible. We would like to acknowledge that we could not do our work without the numerous agencies that we work collaboratively with in the community.

Donations allow for the diversification of funding sources and discretionary income, which in turn, increase our responsiveness to trends and allow for increased social service delivery.

This Full House

This Full House provides practical and emotional supports to older adults who are living with the effects of hoarding behaviour. This Full House is facilitated by a Registered Social Worker, and includes:

  • Appointments in the office or home visits.
  • Hoarding assessment.
  • Development of an action plan with goals and objectives, timelines, and costs.
  • Connection to resources and supports.
  • Participation in lunch support group.
  • Follow up and maintenance support.

To read a story from a participant of This Full House, click here.

This Full House is member of Edmonton’s Hoarding Coalition.

Seniors Safe House

The Seniors Safe House provides temporary accommodation for seniors who are in need of refuge after leaving an abusive situation.

Safe House Follow Up Program

The Safe House Follow Up program provides continuity of services for individuals who are transitioning into the community via a familiar and trusted social worker who helps ensure they remain safe in their new environment, and are able to access community supports.

Intensive Case Management

This program provides support to seniors who are on the wait list for admission to the Seniors Safe House, as well as to seniors who are ineligible or, based on individual circumstances, choose not to seek refuge there.

Assessment and Support

Assessment and support is the first point of contact for seniors, their families, friends, and caregivers who have identified a need for information, guidance, or support.

Staff in our Assessment and Support program help seniors navigate what are often complex systems that can be confusing and overwhelming.


In our Housing program, social workers work with seniors to increase their knowledge of housing options in the Edmonton area, including information, referrals, and assistance to help seniors secure safe and affordable housing to meet their needs.

To read a story about a senior who accessed our Housing program services, click here.

Long Term Social Work


Social work staff provide:

  • Assistance, information, and support on-site to seniors accessing our services.
  • Help connecting to resources at Sage and in the broader community.
  • Assistance navigating difficult systems.

Multicultural Seniors Outreach

In partnership with the Multicultural Health Brokers Co-operative and the Africa Centre, Sage provides the Multicultural Seniors Outreach program. The purpose of this program is to seek out, reach, and enhance the well-being of at risk immigrant and refugee seniors.

Guardianship and Trusteeship

Sage works with the Office of the Public Guardian and Public Trustee to help people through the process of attaining Guardianship, as well as applications for Trusteeship.

Income Tax and Forms Completion

Sage partners with the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program of the Canada Revenue Agency to provide an Income Tax Clinic in March - April each year. This program provides free income tax preparation services to low income seniors.

In addition, volunteers provide year-round income tax preparation and form completion services for seniors, as well as outreach services for seniors who are unable to come into the office. If you need help, but are unable to come into Sage, our social workers can meet you in the community or in your Edmonton area home.

Directory of Senior Services

Our Directory of Senior Services is an annual publication that provides free, comprehensive information about seniors' services in the Greater Edmonton area.

Sage Ukelele Class members Cleide Grossi, Marion McKenzie, and Eva Peters painted by Terrie Shaw are featured on the cover of the 2017/2018 Directory of Senior Services.

You can view the entire 2017-2018 Directory as a PDF file by clicking here.

Board of Directors

  • President: Reg Joseph
  • President Elect: Joyce E. Tustian
  • Treasurer: Tammy Pidner
  • Secretary: Vacant
  • Past President: Barb Burton
  • Member-at-Large: Daniel Morrow
  • Member-at-Large: Michael Phair
  • Member-at-Large: Dr. Gabrielle Betts
  • Member-at-Large: Dr. Raj Pannu
  • Member-at-Large: Dr. Jean Waters
  • Member-at-Large: Dr. Hubert Kammerer
  • Member-at-Large: Gregory Springate

Financial Statements

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Created with images by OC Gonzalez - "My Old Man" • Mikael Kristenson - "auditorium" • Sérgio Rola - "untitled image" • Cathal Mac an Bheatha - "A Moment"

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