Despite the COVID lockdown the SydWest Social Support and Day Respite team was determined to keep our seniors connected and engaged. Prior to lockdown, seniors enjoyed regular language-specific group social support meetings. These seniors have limited or no English and neither do they have close family support. The lockdown brought fear, uncertainty, and loneliness. They found themselves suddenly locked away in their homes with no social contact and unable to understand what was happening. To ensure seniors felt safe and supported, the team made routine welfare checks via regular phone calls and text messages to all program members to provide information, support, and advice about what was happening. The team introduced cross-cultural online wellbeing and social activities including gentle exercises, yoga, information sessions, laughter therapy and story sharing. The team also introduced basic English conversation and digital learning. These activities were very well attended. Feedback was positive. The efforts of the team to maintain quality standards were on display at a time when our seniors depended on us more than ever. Our team’s commitment and perseverance paid dividends. We managed to stay regularly connected with all our seniors who would have otherwise experienced isolation and loneliness due to COVID lockdown.
SydWest Multicultural Services