Oct 21, 2020

Good Morning Encounters Task Force for Senior Citizens

Good Morning Encounters
Good Morning Encounters

In our digital age, there is a way to help Seniors online so that they don't feel so alone. The Heliopolis Elderly Center decided to help our older persons by starting a group of online Good Morning Meetings! Seniors who enjoy having a good laugh or singing were able to learn new songs and hear funny jokes from the live online videos. Seniors were thrilled to be a part of our 25 weekly meetings! Over 42 elderly people participated and we had over 48 volunteers who were dressed up as clowns and did a lot of beautiful singing as well as joke-telling. Those who enjoy certain songs were able to ask for the clowns and volunteers to sing them. It was fun for the Seniors to meet with a lot of their friends who were also participating online.

It is important for seniors to take every opportunity to engage with their community in person, but for the times when they can’t, these Good Morning Meetings helped fill in some of the gaps. It was important to cater to the needs of our loved seniors' interests by creating content that they would enjoy!!! And our volunteers were always readily available for anything that our seniors might need!

Our Good Morning Meetings offered a wealth of comedy and singing content. Laughter is a source of stress relief, a mood booster, and, as the old adage says, “the best medicine.” All of these meetings were specifically tailored or our aging audience, it really was heartwarming to see how much the online meetings were so beneficial for everyone!!! Our funny online Good Morning Meetings provided lighthearted moments in the middle of difficult days. 

Some of the elderly people were very happy and communicative after the meetings, and they were happy to share their thoughts with us! Our friend Maria said, "It was a really nice morning. I'd like to express my greatest gratitude to all the volunteers! Congratulations on your proficiency and excellence in developing such beautiful and fun work."

Good Morning Online
Good Morning Online
Clowns All Around
Clowns All Around
Senior Citizen Morning Calls
Senior Citizen Morning Calls
Great Way to Start the Day
Great Way to Start the Day

Links:

Jun 25, 2020

Create a Safe Environment for our Seniors

Cleaning Supplies Nursing Home
Cleaning Supplies Nursing Home

The Velho Amigo Institute promotes actions and activities inside the Heliopolis Elderly Center that stimulate the appreciation and participation of elderly people in socially vulnerable situations in order to foster a culture of inclusion for the elderly, ensuring their rights and inspiring a society that is aware of the causes of aging and longevity.

Throughout our 21-year trajectory, our values and principles are based on our commitment to the cause and our humility in knowing that together we are stronger. Through our empathy to offer more and more humanized projects and services, with respect, transparency, and perseverance. Nevertheless, in the past two decades, we have never faced a global pandemic such as this.

In order to fulfill our mission during the pandemic, we created a protective space for our senior citizens that live in situations of social vulnerability. The Emergency Work Plan of the Velho Amigo Institute aims to ensure the integrity of the mental and physical health of our Seniors during this difficult period of social isolation in order to maintain healthy aging for the elderly who are served by our organization. In this sense, we aim to uphold these three pillars;

  1. Food Security
  2. Physical and mental health
  3. Protecting Life

Food security; we promote the daily feeding of the elderly in their homes by ensuring food for 100 elderly people in vulnerable situations in the community of Heliópolis. More than100 food baskets were distributed (see photos) and a total of 370 nursing homes also benefited from the distribution of these food baskets that helped promote healthy eating and boost their immunity in the face of the current COVID-19 situation.

Promoting Physical and Mental Health; by promoting safe spaces in order to guarantee the physical health of the elderly, by sponsoring online social activities that can minimize the impacts of our seniors living in total isolation. Our online classes help promote mental health and quality of life (given that they are the most high-risk group that needs our special care). We also presented our dear Seniors with personal hygiene and home cleaning kits (for over 500 elderly people).

Protecting Life; offering personal protective equipment (PPE) and health monitoring equipment for the elderly is indispensable during this pandemic. Your donations at GlobalGiving made possible the improvement and safety of our day-to-day work inside the nursing homes, with the purchase of more than 5,000 items of personal protective equipment (PPE), such as masks, foot, and eye protection, disposable body gowns, gloves, thermometers, and oximeters.

It became a priority for us to ensure that the living spaces within nursing homes were safe and clean. So another area that we invested in was the maintenance and administration of each nursing home by dividing each sector within the house to ensure that COVID-19 did not enter or spread within the homes by creating a customized system to track infections and implement preventive measures in a systematic way. We also developed a schedule for regular cleaning and disinfection of shared equipment, frequently touched surfaces in resident rooms and common areas. We also created a plan for how roommates, other residents, and HCP who may have been exposed to an individual with COVID-19 would be handled (e.g., monitor closely, avoid placing unexposed residents into a shared space with them).

We believe that everyone regardless of age has the right to dream, this is our focus and we also believe that being a bridge to offer our seniors a higher quality life is only possible when we have partnerships like this one at GLOBAL GIVING that not only impacts the number of people we help but also makes it possible to create moments and spaces that drive healthy aging.

Fran receiving her Food Basket
Fran receiving her Food Basket
Senior Group - Personal Hygiene Kits COVID-19
Senior Group - Personal Hygiene Kits COVID-19
Personal Protective Equipment for Staff
Personal Protective Equipment for Staff
Healthy Eating boosts Immunity during COVID-19
Healthy Eating boosts Immunity during COVID-19
Apr 28, 2020

Covid-19 and The Senior Center - Virtual Lessons

This past month we began our period of social isolation due to the novel coronavirus – in order to protect our elderly community. Even though our seniors cannot be present physically at the Heliopolis Elderly Center we decided to begin an external agenda in which all of our classes and meetings continue to happen online via phone applications and virtual meeting rooms.

Each day of the week there is a teacher responsible for sending a video with suggestions, activity guidelines and positive messages to the elderly in the Old Friend Group, where we have 70 elderly women. The IT and Literacy teachers have created groups with the participants of their workshops to pass on activities to practice at home.

The Executive Director of the Heliopolis Elderly Center also implemented a ‘virtual coffee hangout’ strategy for conversations with the elderly through videos and meeting hangout apps. In order for this to occur the team then built a tutorial for videoconferencing in order to teach the elderly how to enter the app (GotoMeeting) in order to hold a ‘virtual coffee hangout’ with the educators.

Individual meetings were held by GoToMeeting with Anne the Literacy Educator to align the work in the group via WhatsApp and testing for the Video Conference via GotoMeeting. During the week, guidance was sent via WhatsApp in the group and audio interactions with the elderly to see how they were doing. There were reports that they were physically well, sad to be at home unable to leave, and missing their teachers and colleagues.

It is important that we help our seniors continue to stay active during this period. Our group is determined to continue organizing senior-centric activities and deliver their programs and activities online so that seniors can continue to participate in the comfort of their own home. We thank GlobalGiving and all those who have helped our program continue during this difficult time.

 
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