PEP is adapting our programming to fit the needs of our clients and families during this time.
The North Lanark Community Health Centre (NLCHC) and PEP Seniors Therapeutic Centre (PEP) are teaming up to help area seniors, and adults living with disabilities, stay connected through a new telephone-based group programming venture – called the Community Centre Without Walls – Lanark County. PEP and the NLCHC have a lot of experience in delivering in-person group programs for seniors. Collectively we have served hundreds of older adults and seniors each year through our programs, including the “Fit-for-Life” Exercise and Falls Prevention classes, PEP Senior’s Day Program or “Breathe Well Live Well” program for people with COPD. With the postponement of these programs and the need to practice physical distancing, both organizations were looking for a new way to bring seniors together to reduce isolation and to strengthen meaningful connection.
With funding support from the United Way East Ontario and the Champlain Community Support Network, the Ottawa-based Good Companion Seniors Centre has been able to expand the “Seniors Centre Without Walls” program into Lanark County. This telephone-based program will allow PEP and NLCHC to offer both closed groups (by limited invitation for a select population) and open groups (for the general population).
Pauline Fitchett, Executive Director of PEP and Kara Symbolic, Community Programs Coordinator at the North Lanark CHC noted “…how very excited we are to be partnering with each other on this initiative and to have been provided access and training through the Good Companions Program. Telephone-based group programming gives us an accessible, low-tech option that has the potential to enrich the lives of seniors and caregivers and to reduce the impacts of loneliness and isolation. We’re moving as quickly as we can to get this program up-and-running, and we’re aiming to launch our open programs on May 1.”
Open group topics are varied, and suggestions for guest speakers and topics are welcome. Individuals and other community organizations are being invited to contribute guest speakers and activities for the open program time spots. Some examples include: Word Games will get your brain firing with trivia and quizzical questions on many different topics and themes, to explore and discover fun facts on an array of topics, and to learn and gather new knowledge of words. Let’s Chat is time for seniors to grab their coffee/tea, get comfortable by the phone and join us twice a week for a chat among newly found friends. Name That… will test your knowledge on an array of mystery subjects from tunes, people, places, events and things. Highlight & Lowlight will give participants a chance to discuss their feelings and the support that they have in their daily lives and that which has brought them joy. We will be sharing one thought each on the high and low point of our week. This is a good time to ponder, share and reflect on what we have been up to. Gratitude Jar involves sharing who and what we appreciate and are thankful for for the day. Caregiver Coffee Chat is an opportunity for Caregivers to share their experiences, talk about the challenges and triumphs, and most of all to encourage each other along a similar journey.
For seniors interested in participating, here is the basic information you need to know about both open and closed group programs:
• It is completely free to participate (no long-distance or other charges apply)
• You do not need to be a member
• No special equipment is needed – just your average telephone
• Programs are multi-person phone conversations (or conference calls) with a host or facilitator
• Each program lasts between 30-55 minutes
• You are able to hear each other, talk to one another, learn and/or have fun!
• Our program calendar provides a description of the available programs so you can choose the ones that best suit your interests.
Open Community Events For the Month of May
Word Games – Mondays at 1 pm
Get your brain firing with trivia and quizzical questions on many different topics and themes / explore and discover fun facts on an array of topics / learn and gather new knowledge of words.
Let’s Chat – Tuesdays at 2 pm and Thursdays at 1 pm
Grab your coffee, get comfortable by your phone and join us twice a week for an hour chatting among friends. There will be some fun programming but the focus is on making friends and socializing in a creative environment.
Name That – Wednesdays at 1 pm
Test your knowledge on an array of mysterious subjects from tunes, people, places, events and things.
Caregiver Coffee Chat – Friday, May 8 and 22nd
An opportunity for Caregivers to share their experiences, talk about the challenges and triumphs, and most of all to encour-age each other along a similar journey. You are not alone.
Highlight & Lowlight – Friday May 16th
We have a chance to discuss our feelings and the support that we have in our daily lives and that which has brought us joy. We will be sharing one thought each on the high and low point of our week. This is a good time to ponder, share and reflect on what we have been up to.
Gratitude Jar – Friday, May 29th
Let’s share, who and what we appreciate and are thankful for today. We will also be reading a quote and will discuss as a group.
To learn more about the Community Centre Without Walls – Lanark County, or to receive a copy of the calendar please contact Pauline by phone: 613-201-7172 or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or Pam by phone: 613-326-1131 or by email: email@example.com
We are so excited to be able to adapt our programming in order to stay connected and reach our clients and their caregivers. If you or someone you know would like to participate in this telephone- based programming please reach out to us. Our first community session is on May 4th.
We can’t wait to meet you!