Rimbey FCSS has launched a superb means of connecting virtually across the community via the ‘Virtual Coffee Connection’.
Norma Bauer, who facilitates the Adult Day Support Program through the Rimbey FCSS office, and Jamie Coston, volunteer coordinator with Rimbey FCSS, worked together to set up the program.
“What we did is we started with our clients,” said Bauer. “But we have opened it up to the community as well.
“I had about five clients yesterday, so that was great,” she said of the Connection, which started up about three weeks ago.
Since the start of the pandemic last year, Bauer had first been in touch with FCSS clients through regular phone calls.
“Every week I would phone about 20 people – I just check in and see how they are doing and if they need anything,” she explained. “So that has been really, really nice. A lot of people say just knowing someone is checking in on them is comforting for them.
“So from that, we felt that we should do something virtually.”
That was all the more important as months went by and in-person meetings just couldn’t take place due to the ongoing pandemic.
Bauer would chat with various clients in the community via Zoom which has also been a terrific means of staying in touch, she said.
And now with Virtual Coffee Connections, the goal is to grow this online community even more. Anyone is welcome to come onboard.
“For the first few meetings, everyone knew each other. And then yesterday there was a new person, so we were able to introduce them over Zoom,” she said, pointing out that it’s a great way to make some new friends as well.
“We also do some range of motion exercises and there is lots of visiting. One thing I have also gotten out of it myself, is that over the last few meetings, the (participants) are so interesting! They have a lot of stories to tell, and a lot of history to share,” she said. “For me, it’s been really nice to hear these stories.”
Virtual Coffee Connection runs Tuesdays at 10 a.m.
If folks aren’t interested in taking part visually, they can also call in as well.
“We wouldn’t be able to see them, but they could listen and contribute to the Coffee Connection,” she said. “We also still have some iPads at the FCSS office that we can lend out to people if they are interested in learning how to use one.
“If they do need help getting onto Zoom, we can sure give them a hand over the phone with getting it all figured out,” she said. “I’m hoping once the Adult Day Support program returns that we can bring some iPads in and start teaching clients more about them, too.”
If you or someone you know would like to take part in Virtual Coffee Connection, please contact Norma Bauer or Jamie Coston at the FCSS office by calling 403-843-2030.