Alberta Avenue Community League is working on developing some seniors programming. Knowing that the programs will reflect what we, as seniors, want and need gave me pause for thought. 

Isolation of seniors, in and out of residential facilities, is a harsh reality of these times. As a senior, I deeply feel the loss of personal contact. 

Seniors known to you, regardless of where they live or their circumstance, may need to hear a voice and see a face. Last year, a member of the Parkdale-Cromdale Community League called a senior friend of mine to ask how she was doing. My friend was surprised, and very much appreciated the call.

A campaign to make contact should continue. How is the older couple who live just down the street? Older folks may need more help than they let on as COVID-19 lingers. A phone call from a league volunteer can be a caring voice in a time of isolation.

Canada Post put a free postcard in every mailbox. Did you send yours to a senior you know? If you still have it, send it along to an older friend not seen in a while. You’ll be surprised by the warmth of the response.

With the Internet, parents and grandparents can keep in touch with their children and grandchildren. Is it time for them to go beyond the basics of FaceTime and Zoom? Could they use help? The 2021 Canada census is fast approaching in May and June. Statistics Canada is pushing us all to file online, with limited face-to-face census contact this year. Do you know a senior who could use help doing this online? 

One idea that Alberta Avenue and other community leagues might consider is setting up census clinics using volunteers to help where needed. You could be a hero for a room full of seniors needing help online.

Along with the rest of the population, COVID-19 is putting a strain on seniors’ mental health. One free activity for healthy seniors is to get out and walk. Community leagues like Alberta Avenue can continue leading neighbourhood walks. A kilometre a day can help drive the COVID-19 craziness away. Walks have helped me. If it doesn’t work, I’ll replace your feet. Free!

COVID vaccinations are here and free to all. For seniors, the vaccination is a godsend. The more people who get vaccinated, the sooner we will all get a new normal, with all our old freedoms and joy of life. Do not let stories of weird side effects such as webbed feet hold you back. The vaccinations work. Call Alberta Health Service at 811 for help with vaccination programs or assistance to reach a clinic.

As a senior, I can vouch that every bit of help is appreciated. The lazy, hazy days of summer are fast approaching. I, for one, plan to enjoy them to the max, twice jabbed, masked, still socially distancing, and with all the help I can get. I will be sure to let Alberta Avenue Community League know what I need.