by Susan Smith, Executive Director, Kemptville & District Home Support
Celebrating Seniors’ Month in 2020 is quite different than other years. Typically, June is busy with a variety of activities here at Kemptville & District Home Support; the main event being the Seniors’ picnic at Maplewood Hall and Park. As I’m sure you have guessed, this is cancelled this year in order to protect everyone and slow the spread of COVID-19. Let’s find different ways to connect and celebrate!
My goal has always been to work in an organization that promotes a safe and inclusive place for seniors to be involved with, whether for information, organizing transportation and Meal on Wheels, or a place to gather together for activities, access footcare etc.
This past week brought out a sobering and heartbreaking report on the state of some, not all, long-term care facilities. We have examples of well-run, caring facilities here in our area. There are definite funding issues, as well as attitudinal issues toward seniors. We need to change the negative attitudes about seniors. This is important, as attitudes affect behaviour, both good and bad. And negative attitudes can bring the whole of society down.
The best way to change attitudes is by having regular, positive information about seniors. Education and information are so important in ensuring everyone embraces seniors as important and vital members of our communities at all stages of their lives. I have this strong desire to highlight the individual seniors here in our area. I have met so many amazing ‘older adults’ in this area, with so many others to meet.
Now, where to start? Well…what do you think of the idea of ‘porch’ pictures? These would be similar to the photographs I have seen taken in New York city of people on their porches, balconies, and through windowpanes during these times of physical distancing. Photographs are so important in capturing emotions and a moment in time. It is vital now to highlight as many seniors as possible, especially since it is still the directive to stay home as much as possible.
With this idea, I called Maggie Boyer, of North Grenville Times, and she was on board immediately! She is willing to go around and take photographs of anyone who is interested in being part of this initiative. The photographs and a bit of information would be put in the paper, and then there is the possibility of a compilation being published.
What we need are seniors who are willing to have their photo taken and published. And, most definitely, this will be done by safely distancing! If you are interested in being part of this fun project, I would love to hear from you. I can be reached at 613-258-3202, or by email email@example.com. Together, we can make sure that seniors are given the respect and esteem they deserve, and have a great time doing this!
Until next time, Susan