Like many other organizations we have cancelled and postponed events until it will be deemed safe by government and health authorities. As a result of COVID-19, older adults are at high risk for social isolation. They lack opportunities to stay engaged and socialize with others; a key component to health and wellness. They also lack access to current or reliable information as many do not use or cannot access the internet. This may further impede their ability to access basic necessities such as groceries, health products or medical assistance.
The Saskatoon Council on Aging is working with community organizations on a new project to support isolated older adults. We will launch a Telephone Visit program that matches seniors with trained and screened volunteers from community organizations. The volunteers will connect with older adults once or twice a week to chat. Conversations can be short or long and can cover any topic from pets to gardening. The volunteers are not social workers, doctors or any other health care professional. They are just regular people that want to help and touch base with older adults. The only information that will be shared is a first name and a phone number. Seniors can also pick the best time for volunteers to call.
SCOA will be a central intake agency to provide callers with referrals and support relating to COVID-19. If the senior is experiencing isolation they would be connected to friendly volunteers that would be a “telephone buddy” .
To register phone SCOA 306.652.2255
Funded by the Government of Canada’s New Horizons for Seniors Program
In partnership with United Way of Saskatoon and Area.
The Saskatoon Council on Aging [SCOA] serves the approximately 80,000 older adults 55 and over in Saskatoon and area. The coronavirus outbreak has profoundly impacted the lives of older adults. They are at a high risk to become socially isolated due to necessary social distancing measures designed to keep them safe.
Prior to the crisis, SCOA provided many opportunities for older adults to socialize and stay connected. We presently have a membership of 4500 older adults. We keep people informed through our one stop information and resource centre, caregiver information and support centre, newsletters, directory of services for older adults, spotlight on Seniors trade show and our websites. Our programs and services including seniors neighborhood hub clubs, century club, life- long learning programs and globe walk program keep older adults socially connected, engaged, active and healthy.