We are excited to announce that Companion Calls have launched at the Ivan Franko Homes! With two locations in North York and Mississauga, this home has been caring for seniors since 1964. The seniors at the home are Canadians of Ukrainian descent who continue to practice their cultural traditions and communicate with staff in their native language. The home provides 160 seniors with the option of living in long-term care, assisted living, or independent apartments. In all three models, the homes are small-scale and home-like, giving the seniors a more comfortable and personalized experience. In addition, seniors at the homes can partake in a number of leisurely programs, including Ukrainian Folk Art and outdoor activities. In warmer seasons, seniors have access to greenspace and can enjoy acres of gardens and orchards. Four SAGE volunteers have been making calls with residents at the Ivan Franko Homes and are excited to connect with their new friends. COVID-19 continues to restrict visitations in senior living communities and it is crucial that we find safe alternatives until in-person activities can resume. We thank our volunteers for their continued efforts for supporting our seniors.
We are excited to announce that University of Toronto students taking the course HMB440 (Dementia) have been matched with residents at The O’Neill Centre for Long-Term Care for Companion Calls! In the month of February, 13 calls between HMB440 students and residents were facilitated. Students will continue with their placements at the home for the rest of the semester and can hopefully meet with their new friend in-person once it is safe. HMB440, a course taught by Dr. Franco Taverna, offers a unique community placement at a long-term care home where students can meet with an elderly resident. SAGE executive members who took HMB440 last year had to stop attending their placements when the pandemic began and, unfortunately, remote options were not available at the time. It was clear that residents in long-term care would be subject to isolation, making SAGE members determined to offer safe social programs to alleviate this concern. Through Companion Calls, residents can interact with students, reminisce about their most cherished memories, and make new friends. We thank HMB440 students for keeping the elderly community connected and for putting a smile on the faces of residents with each call!
We are excited to present our impact report for 2020, which documents all of last year's accomplishments! All of our work so far would not have been possible without the generous support of our volunteers and greater community. We thank you for supporting SAGE in 2020 and ask for your continued support for an even greater 2021. Please continue to support long-term care homes and keep an eye out for our new initiatives coming later this year! The full impact report can be viewed here or downloaded here.
Hannan has been a volunteer with SAGE since June and has actively participated in Companion Calls at The O’Neill Centre. She joined SAGE to support residents in long-term care and to advocate for their mental health. During her conversations with the residents, she shares her ambitions and her interests with them and has heard all about their past experiences. The residents are always excited to speak with Hannan and are fascinated by what she has to say. In the future, Hannan hopes to continue doing calls with residents and to meet residents in-person once it is safe to do so. We thank Hannan for keeping residents company during the pandemic and for giving back to the elderly community.