“Among adults, the risk for severe illness from COVID-19 increases with age, with older adults at highest risk. Severe illness means that the person with COVID-19 may require hospitalization, intensive care, or a ventilator to help them breathe, or they may even die.” Centre for Disease Control & Prevention (CD), Sept 11th, 2020.
Seniors are clearly identified as the most high-risk population for COVID-19 effects, there is an increased level of fear, anxiety, and desperation among seniors. This has impacted the South Asian Seniors a lot more due to their multiple barriers. They used to engage their peers at their cultural centers, places of worship, South Asian centers & community centers, but now they are afraid to even go out. Through this project, our senior leadership would like to engage their peers electronically to defeat the effects of social isolation and loneliness.
• To defeat the social isolation, anxiety, and fear among seniors during COVID-19.
• To enable seniors to use technology for their regular needs while COVID-19 restrictions are in place.
• To enhance knowledge among seniors with the new norms during and after COVID-19
By providing regular online engagement activities, this project aims to build a strong sense of self-worth by utilizing their life experience and skillset.
Our COVID-19 relief project components are led by our senior leadership in terms of planning, to lead technical support. This will help socially isolated Seniors build intergenerational bonds learning the technology as an alternate solution to engagement. Our modified project will help local South Asian Seniors during social and physical disconnect amid COVID-19.
This project aims to achieve lasting results of healthy aging, reducing elder abuse/fraud faced by seniors, and most importantly combat social isolation with effective, structures use of technology.
The project has an intergenerational bridge-building approach educating the seniors by youth to effectively using the technology to ensure bonding, reduced gaps, companionship, and virtual networking opportunities.
Our project will be based on National Priority 1 and Priority 2:
Priority 1: Supporting healthy aging: by addressing the social isolation needs of seniors by providing virtual engagement opportunities to reduce mental health issues among home-bound seniors. By offering weekly COVID-19 info online sessions on what to expect during, & after the COVID-19 crisis is over.
Priority 2: Preventing elder abuse and fraud: by utilizing virtual educational techniques to reduce crimes & empowering seniors financially through professional PEACE Service’s monthly webinars. By recruiting and training young volunteers to support the social inclusion of seniors by developing and delivering bi-weekly Zoom Talk video conferencing sessions to engage seniors with their peers. Our project will also celebrate the success, leadership, and mentorship of our senior leaders and sustain the project impact through a Virtual Elder Summit.
Description of Activities:
Uniquely structured virtual engagement building strength, sense of support & engagement. Our project works on 4 delivery components based on NHSP priority areas we described earlier:
1. Zoom Talks: Bi-weekly, video conferencing session to share life experiences, tips for busting stress during COVID-19 isolation. Virtual engagement to reduce/ prevent the risks of mental health & Dementia caused by isolation
2. PEACE Service’s Webinars: Monthly Virtual professional speakers’ Webinars to answer heath care concerns, symptoms, exercise, social issues to reduce isolation & anxiety. Web-based delivery will also include seminars on financial management, healthy aging during and after the COVID-19 pandemic, such as how to do online banking or how to manage personal finances to avoid financial abuse. Professional speakers from local public health will be invited to deliver virtual information to raise awareness on ageism in the community and how to be inclusive when implementing COVID-19 safety measures practicing social distancing.
3. COVID-19 info bites: Weekly info bites on what to expect during & after the COVID-19 crisis is over. How to adopt changes in the community while socially distant practices are required, how to self-care and protect your family.
4. Virtual Elder Summit: A virtual elder summit to celebrate the project's success, to acknowledge seniors as leaders, planners, and peer support volunteers during COVID-19 crises time. This Summit will invite Seniors’ leaders to speak about their experience and share learnings, this summit will support the organization to recruit more seniors serving as peer leaders and supporters for their isolated peers. Our senior leadership will train them during this period of increased demand for services due to COVID-19 to sustain project impact even when the funding runs out.
Sponsored by Government of Canada