Partnering to Support Seniors
by Brenda Silverthorne, wellness coordinator for CityHousing Hamilton
Our seniors living at CityHousing are following public health advice to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, such as staying home and avoiding large gatherings. However, it has also left many seniors feeling lonely or isolated from friends and families this past year. Studies show that chronic loneliness can worsen the memory in older adults and cause a decrease in mental and physical health. Even before the pandemic many seniors were at risk of loneliness.
In early 2020, through Student Open Circles, a rewarding partnership was formed between students and seniors. The student volunteers were divided into groups. Some created 800 inspiring letters sharing their own life experiences, wisdom, thoughts on COVID and amazing art work. Others developed a series of short videos focused on social participation. The videos featured music, brain teasers, and art activities to name only a few themes. CityHousing staff received many phone calls from the seniors who are receiving letters and videos, thanking the writers for their words of wisdom, and appreciating the laughter they experienced when participating in the activities.
CityHousing is truly thankful to those students who shared their inspirational talents through various forms of art. Our seniors are grateful for their time and thoughtfulness.