City expands social support for Kitchener seniors

Posted On Thursday April 23, 2020

With physical distancing measures in place to stop the spread of COVID-19, the City is supporting Kitchener seniors, who may be isolated from others, through regular reassurance calls. Since March 23, City of Kitchener staff have placed over 1100 calls to 200 different seniors that would typically attend direct City programs. Given the demand, the City is expanding the program to include participation from any Kitchener senior who could benefit from ongoing social connection and support during this time.

“Supporting the most vulnerable shows the very best of who we are as a City and the caring nature that so often defines our people and our community,” said Mayor Berry Vrbanovic. “By providing meaningful social interactions, we’re supporting seniors’ mental and emotional well-being, and connecting them to community resources to meet their current needs.”

In collaboration with the participant, staff determine the structure of each call to meet the participants’ unique social needs. Calls can vary from a quick check-in to gauge physical and emotional well-being, to discussions related to available community supports, and, in some cases, even program delivery by phone. The frequency of calls is dependent on the preferences, needs and interests of each senior and can range from daily to bi-weekly.

“It’s important, especially while current safety measures are still in place, that we support older adults in our community who may have a more difficult time maintaining social connections with others,” said Councillor Sarah Marsh. “At a time when we must be physically distant from one another, a simple phone call to check-in and show an older adult you care can make a big difference.”

If you know a senior who would benefit from this service, please have them contact 519-741-2916 to register. Referrals from friends, family and community agencies are also accepted, provided the senior has given permission to share their contact information and has agreed to receive reassurance calls from the City. Questions about this program can be directed to Bethany Pearce at 519-741-2200 ext. 5081.  

 

For more information:
Shawn Falcao
Manager, Corporate Communications
shawn.falcao@kitchener.ca

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