Resources for Seniors
What Benefits might I be eligible for as a Senior?
As a Senior you may be eligible for benefits through both the federal and provincial governments. Benefits you may be eligible for are listed below. Further information on the benefits may be found at the website links provided below.
- Old Age Security Pension is a Government of Canada benefit.
The Old Age Security pension is a monthly payment available to most Canadians aged 65 or older. You must apply to receive benefits. If you meet the eligibility requirements you may be entitled to receive the Old Age Security pension even if you are still working or have never worked.
- Guaranteed Income Support is a Government of Canada benefit.
The Guaranteed Income Supplement provides additional money, on top of the Old Age Security pension, to low-income seniors living in Canada. To be eligible for the GIS benefit, you must be receiving the Old Age Security pension and meet income requirements based on the income tax from the previous year.
- AISH (Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped) is a Government of Alberta benefit.
The Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped (AISH) program provides financial and health-related assistance to eligible adults under the age of 65 who have a disability. The disability must be permanent and substantially limit the person’s ability to earn a living. AISH clients may also be eligible to receive supplemental assistance (a child benefit and personal benefits) through the AISH program.
- Alberta Seniors Benefit is a Government of Alberta Program
The Alberta Seniors Benefit program provides support in addition to the federal benefits received under Old Age Security, Guaranteed Income Supplement, Federal Allowance and the GST credit. It is based on income and provides monthly benefits to eligible seniors.
- Special Needs Assistance for Seniors is a Government of Alberta Program
The Special Needs Assistance for Seniors program is available to help seniors with the cost of appliances, minor home repairs and some medical costs. Only one-time extraordinary expenses are funded. The program provides a lump-sum payment to eligible low-income seniors. The maximum assistance available is $5,000 in a benefit year (July 1 to June 30).
- Dental and Optical Assistance for Seniors are Government of Alberta programs.
The Dental and Optical Assistance for Seniors programs are based on income and provide low- to moderate-income seniors with financial assistance for basic dental and optical services that help maintain a reasonable level of health.
You could be eligible for up to a maximum of $5,000 of coverage for eligible procedures every 5 years under the Dental program and up to $230 every three years for prescription eyeglasses under the Optical program.
You only need to apply once to these programs. Seniors who have previously applied for the Alberta Seniors Benefit program, the Dental and Optical Assistance for Seniors programs or have completed a Seniors Financial Assistance application are already enrolled.
- RAMP (Residential Access Modification Program) is a Government of Alberta program.
RAMP is a program available to eligible wheelchair users to modify their home to be more wheelchair accessible. Applicants can apply for a RAMP grant for up to $5,000.
- Continuing Care is a Government of Alberta program.
Alberta’s continuing care system provides Albertans with the health, personal care and accommodation services they need to support their independence and quality of life.
There are 3 settings in which continuing care services provide clients, with different needs, with a broad range of health and personal care, accommodation and hospitality services: home living, supportive living and facility living. See the Home Care Services page for further information or click on the link provided below.
There are other federal and provincial benefits not listed above that as a senior you may be eligible for. These include Canada pension plan, international benefits, allowance for the survivor, Senior’s self-contained housing, Senior’s lodge program, aids to daily living, long-term care, public and mental health services and prescription drug service for seniors. For information on these programs please visit the links below:
If you still have some questions about Seniors benefits or need help completing the required forms, give us a call and we will help you out or find someone else who can.
What Else Should I know as a Senior?
- Personal Directives
Personal directives are legal documents which allow you to name a decision maker and/or provide written instructions to be followed when, due to illness or injury, you no longer have the capacity to make non-financial decisions such as where you will live or the medical treatment you will receive. You choose the person who will make decisions on your behalf based on your wishes and beliefs. You complete a personal directive while you have the capacity. There is a secure online registry where you may voluntarily register your personal directive at no cost. For more information, or to download a personal directive form, visit:
- Elder Abuse
Elder abuse is any action or inaction by self or others that jeopardizes the health or well-being of any older adult. It is divided into six categories: physical, emotional, financial, sexual, medication abuse or neglect. It may include the infliction of physical injury, restraint, exploitation, threats, ridicule, humiliation, forced isolation, or forced change in living arrangements. It may also include neglect; that is the refusal or failure to care for an older person whether intentional or unintentional. The following is a list of resources you can call if you are a senior experiencing abuse or you know a senior that may be being abused.
NOTE: If you suspect a crime has been committed or that someone is in immediate danger call your local police or RCMP.
Alberta Family Violence Info Line
24 hours Toll-free 310-1818
Red Deer Helping Elder Abuse Reduction (H.E.A.R.)
24-Hour Seniors Abuse Resource Information Line
Phone: 403-346-6076 (local)
Toll-free 1-877-454-2580 and ask to speak to an advocate
Safeguards for Vulnerable Adults Information and Reporting Line
Report the abuse of an adult receiving publicly funded care or support services (Protection for Persons in Care); complaints of non-compliance to the accommodation standards for supported living and long-term care, or the actions of a guardian or trustee.
Health Link Alberta
Phone: 811(24 hours)
Provides telephone advice and information on health related topics
Alberta Elder Abuse Awareness Network (AEAAN)
The Alberta Elder Abuse Awareness Network is a province-wide network of professionals dedicated to preventing elder abuse by increasing community awareness around elder abuse and the resources available to address it. The Network’s website is an educational and awareness raising resource for professionals that provides easier access to resources, knowledge and tools for use in programs and practices. More information about the Alberta Elder Abuse Awareness Network is available on the website at www.albertaelderabuse.ca
Protection for Persons in Care
Protection for Persons in Care office responds to reports of abuse of adults receiving care or support services from publicly funded service providers. This includes: hospitals, seniors’ lodges, nursing homes, mental health facilities, shelters and other supportive living settings. All service providers must protect clients from abuse and maintain a reasonable level of safety. All abuse must be reported. A complaints officer reviews every allegation reported to Protection for Persons in Care.
To report abuse, call the Information and Reporting Line at 1-888-357-9339
8:15 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday
For more information, call the number above or visit www.seniors.alberta.ca
- Motor Vehicle Operator’s Licenses for Seniors
The Driver Fitness and Monitoring Section of Alberta Transportation is responsible for making decisions relating to a person’s medical and/or physical fitness to drive. Medical reports are required upon renewal of an operator’s licence at age 75, 80 and every two years thereafter. The Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan will pay for medical exams for motor vehicle operators who are 74 years and six months of age and over. For more information about transportation items of interest contact:
Driver Fitness and Monitoring
Main Floor, 4999 98 Avenue
Edmonton, AB T6B 2X3
In all other areas of the province, call the Government of Alberta Call Centre at 310-0000 to be connected toll-free.
- Parking Placards for Persons with Disabilities
Persons who cannot walk 50 metres can apply for a parking placard or a disabled license plate. This service is provided through Alberta Registry Agents. For information about applying for a placard, check your Yellow Pages under License and Registry Services or online at
For more information, contact a motor vehicle specialist at the Government of Alberta Consumer Contact Centre by dialing 310-0000 and entering 780-427-7013.
What supports beyond FCSS are in place for Seniors in Ponoka?
- Senior’s Drop-In Centre
Who can use the drop-in centre?
Seniors 55 years of age and older can become members for an annual fee of $10.00. The Drop-in centre has an activity co-ordinator who organizes activities and events for the seniors in our community. Membership provides access to all activities sponsored by the drop-in centre. The Drop-in Centre also has a computer and a printer that are available for members to use and to download and print forms that might be needed. The centre has recently been renovated, has a brand-new TV lounge and is an inviting place to spend some time. The Drop-in Centre is located at 5015-46 Avenue in Ponoka. For more information and a schedule of events please call 403-783-3976 or visit the Town of Ponoka website at the link located at the bottom of the page.
Non-members can rent the facility. Areas available to rent include the auditorium with attached kitchen and a smaller “card” room. Rates are reasonable. To book, please call 403-783-3514.
- Ponoka Wheelchair Van
Who can use the van?
The Ponoka Covered Wagon Society provides the wheelchair van service “to transport wheelchair confined or persons who could not otherwise be transported with comfort and dignity by other standard carriers such as personal vehicles and taxis”. An escort is required.
Is there a cost to use the van?
There is a user fee for use of the van. Trips taken within the town of Ponoka cost $5.00 per person, one way. Out-of-town trips also cost $5.00 per person, one way with an added mileage charge of $0.60 per kilometer. Trip tickets can be purchased from the van driver. A book of ten tickets is available at a discounted price of $45.00.
How do I book the van?
To book the van please call 403-783-0399. A 24-hour advance notice is requested when possible. Please book out of town appointments at least two days in advance.
Rules to Remember when Using the Van!
- Be ready 10 minutes prior to your scheduled pick-up time.
- Drivers will wait for a maximum of five minutes for riders to appear for their trip. Delays affect the next pick-up.
- Dress appropriately for the weather. Break-downs and delays can happen.
- All passengers must wear seatbelts, unless medically excused.
- Book at least 24 hours in advance to help us maximize our resources. When making a booking, please inform us of all stops that you intend to make.
- Same day bookings are handled on a space available basis (no guarantee).
- When canceling your bus, we prefer at least three hours notice. When you give us enough notice, we can accommodate other passengers.
- Sidewalks must be clear to get you to the van safely. Drivers have discretion to decide if your path or stairs are in an unsafe condition.
- The driver will help you to your destination or home but is unable to accompany you into the building.
- Drivers are not responsible for carrying your groceries for you so make sure if you require assistance that you have made arrangements.
- There is no charge for the accompanying escort. Escorts are expected to provide assistance for their designated passenger.
- Additional companions may ride at the regular fee but only if space is available.
Where can I make donations to the Ponoka Covered Wagon Society?
As the society is a registered charitable organization, donations are tax deductible. Receipts are issued for donations of $5.00 or more. Donations or memorials can be dropped off at the FCSS office, at Ponoka Funeral Home or with the van drivers.