The past year and a half have been difficult for many communities, but one group that was significantly affected was the senior population in assisted living. With health orders and safety restrictions, seniors are isolated. According to research by the Canadian Institute for Health Information, in 2020, long-term care facilities were the worst hit sector by the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in more than 840 outbreaks and accounting for 80 percent of Canada’s COVID-19 deaths as of May 2020.
To show the senior community that people care, NYIT-Vancouver partnered with the Good Samaritan Society of Canada for the Cards of Care initiative to deliver cards to select senior homes.
On April 7 and 8, students and alumni stopped by the two Vancouver campus locations to write a short note of cheer to seniors. Participants were encouraged to reflect on their year and write something joyful to lift the spirits of seniors and their care workers. Many students expressed how much they could empathize with the seniors being isolated from their families during this time. New York Tech Vancouver’s student population is largely made up of international students, and many spoke about not being able to visit home or see their families for more than a year. They emphasized how important it has been to rely on their local community during this time and were thrilled to send a small message of hope in return.
Students can still send electronic messages of cheer, hope, and care via the Good Samaritan Society of Canada, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. They will then print them out and share them with the senior homes and their care workers.
This story was contributed by Visha Thamboo, student engagement coordinator at NYIT-Vancouver.