We are excited to announce our new project, Messages of Gratitude for Healthcare Heroes! In collaboration with UTSG MEDLIFE, we will be collecting messages of encouragement, similar to our Community Cheer project, and handwriting them for over 150 healthcare workers at The O'Neill Centre in Toronto! We will collect messages at bit.ly/3ffwa8P until April 7th. We will also be holding a message-writing workshop via Zoom and provide an update on the conditions of frontline healthcare workers on April 1st, 5 PM EST, sign-up available at bit.ly/3f8Ys52. Please join us in thanking our selfless healthcare professionals for all of their perseverance throughout this pandemic!
Fawziyah previously volunteered at Mount Sinai Hospital, where she interacted with elderly patients. Due to her upbringing in a country where the elderly population accounted for less than 1% of people, this experience helped her realize that healthcare for the general population is quite different to the care required by the elderly. Her interest in geriatric care became even more apparent when she learned how long-term care homes were disproportionately affected by COVID-19. The pandemic has motivated her to help support staff in long-term care and be more active in the elderly community. Her drive to assist in bettering the quality of life of elderly people was reflected through her volunteering with SAGE to safely deliver refreshments for healthcare workers at The O’Neill Centre in Toronto. She also plans to participate in future projects with SAGE. We thank Fawziyah for her contributions!
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!
Noor has been assisting us with social media communications and networking since she joined us last August. Her eagerness to learn about the stories of others underlie her enthusiasm to connect with both students and people of older age. Outside of SAGE work, Noor is also a host of the Raw Talk podcast, where she interviews people about their experiences and interests, which span a variety of topics. We greatly thank Noor for her help in spreading our mission!
Olivia has been a volunteer in the Education & Advocacy team of SAGE since September, 2020. Her passions for public health and long-term care led her to join SAGE. Protecting the health of residents and staff in long-term care is one of Olivia’s top priorities, and she achieves this through sharing educational pieces with the community. Additionally, Olivia addresses other challenges faced by the geriatric population. Earlier this year, Olivia described age-based discrimination in her article, Ageism in a Canadian Context: Part 1. In this piece, she defines ageism and stereotypes, describes how the elderly population is impacted by ageism, and provides additional educational resources. Outside of her work with SAGE, Olivia completed her internship at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario, where she gained a passion for healing through physical activity. She currently volunteers with Food Sharing Ottawa, the Sandy Hill Senior Network as a Virtual Event Organizer, and the University of Ottawa Pride Centre. We appreciate Olivia’s drive to educate our communities and we look forward to her next project!