Seniors’ Program Our seniors are the most affectead part of the immigrant community members. They are the ones who lost all their wealth and family, relatives, and friends when they fled their home country. As a result, most of them have stress issues, depression, and mental health concerns. Some of them lost their loved ones in wars and they came to Canada with that pain. Most of them have communication barriers and it is extremely hard for them to easily adapt their new country. They are affected by loneliness and isolation. Then COVID-19 added injury on insult for them.
Oromo Elders traditionally seat in a circle and solve their problems
Enjoying Canada's summer with elders
They need the coordinated and consistent help which our organization has been providing for many years at a certain level. We are working to establish a center where they can do the daily routine, they were accustomed to back home. Things like playing senior’s cultural game, having coffee together, teaching young people about some cultural practices and heritages, practicing their rituals and religion are helpful to overcome most of the challenges.
Once the COVID-19 is over we will have organized teams of volunteers who can drive them back and forth to our center where they get all the traditional and religious fulfilments they may be missing.
On the other hand, we continue to receive and accommodate new seniors in much better ways than their predecessors were treated. Providing essential services such as healthy exercises, information for government and other services; proper settlement and integrations; and experts in education teach about eating a healthy diet and home visits for assurances. We are developing many more programs for seniors in short period of time.
Seniors also have special health issues not related to COVID that may seem like COVID. They may find people are angry with them or need them to move quicker than they are able. They may have hearing problems and are not able to understand what is being said. These are everyday occurrences for many seniors, including new and existing immigrant community members.
Misunderstandings can occur further isolating them and increasing the sense of loneliness which then enables more mental health issues, such as depression.
When Elders remember life in refugee camps
Social interaction is a way to prevent this from happening. It is most unfortunate that 2020 had the situation in which we needed to isolate and be separated from others.e iceberg. The problems need more attention from government and all stake holders.
FOCAS is always there for elders during difficult time of COVID-19
Many seniors are already experiencing isolation and are desperately missing their family and friends. They may not have the experience or knowledge to use a computer easily. This would make it difficult for them to use Zoom, Facebook, or any other form of electronic communication. We can help with this too. But again, it would need to be after the restrictions for COVID-19 are lifted, letting us bring people back to situations where we are able to work beside each other to teach and learn. Seniors also have the burden of their memories. For some, they may find they are not able to remember things as they used to, how to get from place to place, where they left their keys, coat or list needed to do things they need done. A routine helps provide more structure to their day and by encouraging them to meet with other seniors, we can assist with building these routines. For others, their memories inhibit them from moving forward to be able to do everyday tasks, memories of famine, war, and turmoil.
To learn more contact FOCAS