With the ongoing pandemic, keeping in touch with others is all the more important.
That’s the concept behind the FCSS’s Adult Day Support Program is to help folks – via technology – stay connected.
Norma Bauer, who facilitates the initiative, said clients really love it when they can connect through Zoom each week.
“FCSS also has purchased five new iPads,” she said. “So in the future, we will be looking at maybe a little bit more programming. But at this point, I’m doing (the meetings) with the Adult Day Support,” she said.
“They look forward to it, and they look so happy when we are in our meetings, too. There are some really big smiles,” she said. “And I’m also trying to figure out how to do a bit more on it, too. We do some ‘Senior Singalongs’ so now I can share the screen and get some music up for that.
“I also had a gentleman and his wife play the piano and the accordion at Christmastime for us too, so that was really good.
“It was pretty special. Really, it’s about keeping up those relationships and keeping us connected. They mean a lot to me, and this way I’m still able to see them every week,” she said.
“I think it’s natural for all of us to be social.”
Prior to the pandemic, program members would meet Tuesdays and Thursdays and spend the day together.
Bauer described those meetings as having structured and enjoyable activities such as mental aerobics, music, and physical games that are designed to meet the needs and abilities of each individual who would take part.
Staff also have worked hard to address challenging emotions clients may be experiencing including sadness, boredom and anxiety.
The program also provides respite for caregivers, and is geared to adults with limitations who live in the community.
But since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic nearly one year ago, the program had to change significantly due to restrictions.
And that’s where Zoom came in.
Several months ago, a government grant from the New Horizons For Seniors Program went to providing iPads through the Rimbey Medical Clinic to support the seniors in Rimbey so that they can still utilize FCSS services, she said.
For example, Bauer has clients at the Valley View Manor who, with the staff’s help, get set up for the regular Zoom meetings.
Another client in the community has been lent an iPad, and was going to the Library to set up when it was open.
“A couple of clients also have their own computers, too. But with the purchase of a few more, we are hoping to add some more people in the future,” she explained.
During the current Zoom meetings, Bauer said participants are doing some exercising which she refers to as brain games – mental health aerobics such as quizzes and crosswords.
And of course there is lots of visiting and catching up week to week, too.
The Zoom meetings are running once a week for one hour, and they help to decrease that sense of isolation which of course has been a common problem during the pandemic.
Meanwhile, there is a wide range of helpful programs run through the Rimbey FCSS including everything from Volunteer Visitors, Meals on Wheels and Home Support Services to Palliative Care and Personal Care amongst others.
For more information, call 403-843-2030.