March 17th, 2021 marks one year of closure for NYSC
Today, March 17th marks one year that North York Seniors Centre (NYSC) was forced to close its doors to the public due to the pandemic. Since then, our dedicated staff teams have initiated innovative solutions to continue assisting seniors to remain socially active and continue to deliver essential support services in the community.
Since April 2020, as Personal Support Workers continued to assist frail seniors in their homes, NYSC in-person activities pivoted to a 100% online delivery model. All social programs (Active Living Centre, A Day Away Club, and Caregiver Support Groups) went virtual with 1000+ activities delivered via social media and Zoom. Over 7000 programs were delivered by telephone via a conference platform. During a time of restricted and limited social contacts, NYSC clients are building new connections and friendships through these new technological channels.
According to Bethany Vallentin, ALC Supervisor, participants meet different people over Zoom and over the phone that they may not have encountered at the Active Living Centre (ALC). Bethany goes on to say, “Although we are [virtually] connected, we are missing the laughter in the program rooms, friendly faces filling the café, and of course, the hugs that would brighten both person’s day”.
With the support of our core funders, receipt of special grants, and generous individual donors, NYSC has been decreasing the gap of isolation exacerbated by the pandemic. Today, there are 25 to 30 seniors online and connected per live-streaming activities offered twice a day. Over 2400 seniors receiving all kinds of support, such as reassurance calls, hamper deliveries, transportation rides to medical and vaccination appointments, in-home services including meal preparation and personal care.
We are all looking forward to the day when we can safely gather, greet each other with a hug, share a laugh over a meal, and participate in activities at our facilities again. Stay well, stay diligent – we will see you again soon!