Jackie Smithers runs the Elders Program at the Conayt Friendship Society and she’s looking forward to resuming in-person meetings once the pandemic is behind us. The last 18 months have not been easy for anyone, and social isolation is especially hard on our elders. Despite challenges like social distancing and lack of internet access, Jackie has stayed connected to the 40 elders our program serves every month, providing updates, care basket deliveries, continental breakfast deliveries/pick-up, and check-ins several times a month.
Jackie works with a core group of 18 elders to plan activities and programs, and makes their plans a reality with funding from Service Canada’s New Horizons for Seniors program as well as much appreciated donations.
The Elders Room at the Conayt Friendship Society will hopefully soon be a bustling hub again where elders meet, engage in crafts, attend workshops, and socialize. Some elders in the group have also mentored students at local schools and helped out with volunteer hours at Merritt Moms and Families, another one of our programs. The Elders Room is stocked with craft and other supplies for program activities, with sewing being one of the favourites.
Also very popular is the yearly food preservation with harvest picked from the land, and we hope to still be able to take advantage of the sage harvest later in September, Covid-permitting.
The celebration of the seasons plays a big role all year round, another highlight is the yearly Christmas Hamper program. We are usually able to put together 40 hampers each year and deliver them to elders, but with additional funding we were able to supply 60 baskets to elders in 2020.
Workshops are also part of the Elders program, with topics like emergency preparedness, wills and estate planning, and stress management during Covid. With the suspension of in-person workshops and internet access being a challenge for many, Jackie has been compiling all workshops in writing and hand-delivers the material to each participant along with a little gift.
It’s so important to stay connected during the pandemic, and Jackie has made sure that all elders in our program are well taken care of.
The Elders Program is a great place to make new friends and anyone 55 years or older is welcome. We also invite all elders who participate in the program to become members of the Conayt Friendship Society and get involved, a membership for elders is only $2.50 for two years. Please reach out to Jackie Smithers at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and connect with us on Facebook and Instagram to stay updated on all Conayt projects and programs.