Sinamys has been a volunteer with SAGE since July 2021 and is participating in our Companion Calls program. Every week, Sinamys has been contacting a senior who is a member of one of our partner organizations called Progress Place. During their weekly calls, Sinamys and her companion reminisce about their favourite memories and discuss their interests, including TV shows, sports, and music. Sinamys has met with her companion in-person and hopes to join a weekly senior program hosted by Progress Place in the future. Sinamys was inspired to join SAGE to reduce social isolation from the pandemic, particularly in seniors. She hopes to continue to support seniors and to advocate for their wellbeing through volunteering. Sinamys recently graduated from the University of Toronto, with an Honours Bachelor of Science in neuroscience and psychology. Sinamys has extensive volunteer experience, including as a research assistant, at Baycrest hospital, and at an Acupuncture clinic. It is clear that Sinamys is committed to improving the health of her community and we are grateful to have her on our volunteer team.
It has been a year since SAGE launched Companion Calls, and so far, over 200 calls between seniors and SAGE volunteers have been facilitated. SAGE would like to thank our community partners, including The O’Neill Centre, Ivan Franko Homes, and Progress Place, for making this program available to their residents and members. SAGE’s volunteer community is quickly growing and to celebrate this, SAGE held our very first volunteer social event, called Community of Practice. During this event, SAGE volunteers and executives shared their unique experiences interacting with the elderly, including life lessons they have acquired and what a typical call looks like with their companion. It comes with no surprise that the calls have been beneficial for both volunteers and seniors by alleviating pandemic-induced social isolation and having a friendly conversation to look forward to every week. SAGE plans to hold more volunteer socials in the future, where people from the community can share their insight and experiences with others who share the same desire to support senior wellbeing.
Charlotte became a Companion Calls volunteer in March and participated in our pen pals program back in the fall of 2020...
Shamayal recently took a course at the University of Toronto called HMB440, dementia, taught by Dr. Franco Taverna. Her involvement in research in dementia really sparked her interest in the field, motivating her to take this course to learn more about the disease and how it affects individuals...
Shannon started volunteering with SAGE in January after being enrolled in Dementia (HMB440) at the University of Toronto. She participated in Companion Calls, meeting with a resident every week at The O’Neill Centre over video chat. She shared her travel memories, her passions, and her career goals with the resident she spoke with. To commemorate the life history of the resident, Shannon made a collage that included pictures of the resident's favourite foods, travel memories, and quotes. Shannon’s interest in geriatrics and dementia research made her seek out this opportunity at The O’Neill Centre and she plans to continue her volunteering throughout the summer while working for the Canadian Coast Guard in Vancouver Island. Her passion for research led her to pursue graduate studies in primary glioblastoma and recurrent tumors at the University of Calgary in the fall. SAGE is excited to see what Shannon accomplishes in her research career and we thank her for her continued dedication to elderly care!