We asked our members what they remember that isn’t around anymore. Here are some of their responses!:
The milk man, delivering milk to our homes in glass bottles.
By Callista Ottoni, PhD Student, University of British Columbia
How do WESN members maintain their physical and social health during the COVID-19 pandemic? This question was top of mind when I had the great pleasure to interview 31 WESN members in the spring and summer of 2020. Based on those interviews and published research here are 7 tips:
1. Call someone to be your activity buddy:
Research shows that being accountable helps you stay active. Recruit a friend (on the phone), with whom you will share your physical activity goals for the week. If safety protocols permit, bundle up and go on a physically distanced walk together. Or, just schedule a call to check-in on your progress. You can also consider joining a free program like Choose to Move that links you up with a coach and peers to help keep you motivated: https://www.choosetomove.ca/ WESN will run Choose to Move programs in 2021 – stay tuned!
2. Structure your day
We all know the days can blur into one. Now that many days are dark and rainy, it may be especially tough to get out of your PJs. Research suggests that simple things like getting dressed in the morning, and eating at sleeping at similar times each day can benefit our health over the longer term.
3. Help make someone else’s day brighter
WESN members spoke passionately about their love of volunteering and helping others—it sparked joy for all. With many volunteer programs on pause, they are thinking creatively about how to be of service: volunteer to call those seniors most at-risk of isolation, leave food on a neighbour’s doorstep, entertain children of friends and family via FaceTime, e-mail or write and mail a letter to an old friend. These are just a few examples of the small gestures that can make a huge difference in someone else’s day.
4. Discover a new educational courses online
One silver lining of the pandemic is that there are more educational classes available online than ever before – many of them are free! Some WESN members had tapped into Coursera—a platform developed by Stanford Professors to access 1000s of university classes, many for free! Others tuned into YouTube for stretching, exercise, and relaxation classes. Enter a key phrase into YouTube’s search bar, such as, “free online exercise programs for seniors.” Read the results, and pick one that looks right for you.
5. Start a new hobby or resume an old one
WEN members have diverse interests. I heard how Photography, opera singing, baking, playing musical instruments, and even practicing the splits were some of your hobbies. Participants explained how a regularly practiced creative outlet helped them find purpose and added pleasure to their day. To maximize fun, many enjoyed the process rather than worrying about the perfect outcome.
6. Relax your breath.
This may seem simple, but stressful circumstances can lead to shortened breath — this affects your whole body. Being mindful of our breath can relax our nervous system and increase calm. Participants talked about how 5 minutes of mediation or journaling in the morning helped get their day on the right track.
1. Find a comfortable seated position
2. Put one hand on your chest and one on your abdomen
3. Take a few slow breathes in and out. Feel both your chest and belly expand.
4. If you don’t feel dizzy (in which case stop immediately and resume normal breathing), trying breathing in while counting to 4 in your head, then breathe out while counting to 4 in your head.
7. Stay Connected with your Friends and Family
Aside from keeping active, research shows that keeping socially connected is vital for our wellbeing. Keeping physical distance from others does not mean you must be disconnected. Make a list of people that you love connecting with regularly- or someone who you would like to catch-up with- and give them a call! If you have a regular coffee date with a friend, keep it up by sharing a cup of joe over the phone or via video chat. Have you ever been to a virtual dinner date? Cook the same meal as a friend or family member simultaneously, and enjoy it together virtually. If you are struggling and feel lonely, know WESN has peer support services available. Don’t hesitate to reach out: call or email 604-669-7339, email@example.com.
Remember, people care, and we are all in this together.
The November 7th Public Health Order has been extended to December 7th. For the safety of our members, volunteers and staff, WESN will continue the pause on in-person social and physical programs throughout December.
Barclay Manor is still open for those with appointments for:
In-Person Technology Assistance with Marcel or Indira
Computer Lab use
Manicures and Pedicures with Heather
Spa with Shirley
Decisions about restarting programs in January 2021 will be communicated late-December.
Some of the in-person programs will take place virtually over Zoom or by teleconference. Please see our Virtual Programs page for information.
Thank you for your understanding as we work through the pandemic together.
Lyric sheets for the Heritage Harmonies Choir will be posted on the Virtual Programs page.
With the rise in COVID-19 cases, the November 7th public health order and the nature of the population WESN provides programs and services to, please note that we will not have the below listed programs run until after November 23, 2020.
We will determine next steps for after November 23 as the situation evolves.
The below list of cancelled programs includes a few that currently take place outdoors. As mentioned in the clarified public health order, groups of people should not meet outside or in restaurants either, not just indoors.
“No social gatherings of any size with anyone other than your immediate household. For example:
Note: Going for a walk is not considered a social gathering. You must make sure a walk does not turn into a group of people meeting outside.”
The November 7 public health order can be found here.
Moving Meditation-Qi Gong
French Conversation Group (Intermediate)
ESL Class (Intermediate)
Moving Meditation-Qi Gong
French Conversation Group (Advanced)
Spanish Conversation Group with Carlos (Intermediate)
German Conversation Group
Ukulele Practice Group
ESL Class (Beginners)
Barclay Manor is open for select one-on-one appointments, being in-person Technology Assistance, using the Computer Lab, spa appointments with Shirley and manicure/pedicure appointments with Heather.
All doors at Barclay Manor will be kept locked and unlocked for those with an appointment.
Thanks for your cooperation. Stay safe.
Last Updated: 17-Nov-2020
Thank you for joining us and BC Seniors Advocate Isobel Mackenzie last Tuesday.
To view the presentation slides used during the session, please click here.
Discuss topics important to you with the BC Seniors Advocate on Tuesday, November 10, 10:30AM – 12:00PM, on Zoom.
On March 19, 2014, the Government of British Columbia announced the appointment of Isobel Mackenzie as Canada’s first Seniors Advocate.
The Seniors Advocate serves as the voice of older adults and makes recommendations to government and those who deliver seniors’ services related to health care, personal care, housing, transportation and income support.
Join WESN and BC Seniors Advocate, Isobel Mackenzie, by phone or online by video call using Zoom, to discuss issues that matter to you by: