Increasing independence and reducing isolation.
At COSTI, we believe that older adult immigrants deserve to continue to live enriched lives. Many came to Canada as young adults dreaming of a better life for their children. They helped build and contribute to Canada’s growing and successful economy. They have witnessed their hard work through the achievements of their children who now have successful and prominent careers, and are leaders in their community.
COSTI’s Seniors’ Services effectively engage and involve this fast growing segment of our community through recreational, educational and cultural activities, as well as supportive counselling. Our goal is to ensure that the needs of seniors are met by providing them, their families and caregivers, with resources and safe spaces that support active and healthy aging in the community. Our programming is designed to address their physical and mental health needs, emotional well-being and social supports.
We look to addressing new and emerging trends in the coming year, particularly in the integration of technology in seniors’ services. Our work in a research project that evaluates the efficacy of cultural supports in the delivery of services to seniors and the evaluation of our Seniors Day program will inform our work. As this demographic continues to grow, so must our ability to respond.
In our efforts to reduce social isolation, at the start of the pandemic in March, we modified programming and significantly shifted our services to a virtual platform. We also stayed connected with our clients via a free interactive telephone-based group activity program Seniors’ Centre Without Walls. In addition to receiving telephone re-assurance calls and monthly bulletins, seniors actively participated in online interactive activities, such as home gardening tips; fun and fitness; health and well-being; recipe and cooking tips; discovering other countries by taking virtual tours; and also praying together.