Special to the Standard
There is no other group more affected and devastated by COVID-19 than our elders. Not just as evidenced by the shocking mortality figures but by increased social side-effects such as isolation. Prior to the pandemic, seniors were, for the most part, isolated as a result of distance due to families and friends moving away or even worse, passing away. What’s the cure for this?
Connections, inclusion and community. In this day and age of so many technological innovations, it’s easy enough to let someone know that you are thinking of them and it could be a lifeline, especially for elders.
So, make a call, plan a Zoom or chat on a computer – or send or drop off a card or letter. Any connection will bring a ray of sunshine into the darkness of being alone. To be acknowledged in any form is a genuine lifeline for our elders that lets them know they matter and are important. And it doesn’t have to be an aunt, uncle or cousin, it can be a neighbour you know or one you don’t know. What counts is letting them know that they are being thought of and considered.
In the movie Fallen, Denzel Washington’s character, Det. Hobbes, is visiting a death-row inmate he previously arrested. The inmate, Edgar Reese, greets him by saying “It’s good to see you, Hobbes”, and he replies, “It’s good to be seen by you, Reese”.
In these times we have been living, that is an even more fitting reply. For everyone, it is good to be seen – to be recognized and appreciated rather than be invisible, hidden away, out of sight.
June 15th is WEAAD – World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. Instead of just one day, let’s try out the idea for the month of June making it World Elder Abuse Awareness Month. Let’s all make a pledge to make one connection every day – by phone, by video, by mail or even a drop-off of a letter or card. It will be a lifeline to a senior who has been wasting away in the darkness of isolation due to COVID-19.
BC CRN (BC Community Response Network) is working with ReadRight Society on an intergenerational project – Connection Cards. We have card kits available, like the one pictured here, FREE for the asking. Just drop by ReadRight Society anytime Monday through Thursday, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., or Friday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Each kit contains everything you need to make two cards – blank inside. There are two greetings to choose from:
“Thinking of You” or “Happy Birthday”
All you need is some glue suitable for paper and a bit of imagination to create your Connection Card.
It’s up to all of us to let elders know they are an important part of our community and are not forgotten or passed over. Together, we can be a cure for the isolation caused by COVID-19. And who knows? You might just make a new friend. At the very least, you will have brightened a senior’s day with a lasting memento of your connection and their importance.
For more information on BC CRN- Hope, contact Kim Paolini 604 869 2466 at Hope Community Services or Sharlene Harrison-Hinds 604 869 4634.
Connection Card Kits are available at ReadRight Society, 434 Wallace Street.
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