Age-Friendly Riverview is a small committee of Riverview residents who came together in 2018 as part of a University of Manitoba, Centre on Aging, research study examining the age-friendliness of Riverview. Our aim was to initiate programs and services for older adults to facilitate healthy, happy aging-in-place. We saw alleviating loneliness and building community connections as especially important aspects of age-friendliness.
The Age-Friendly Riverview committee had just launched a new initiative, called the CRISP Ideas Series, at the end of February 2020, when COVID arrived a few weeks later. CRISP stands for creative, relevant, intelligent, social, and positive and we hoped the series would provide a venue for older adults to engage with each other and CRISP ideas. We were only able to host our first talk and discussion in the series with Jino Distasio, University of Winnipeg professor and Riverview Community member, presenting a thought-provoking, very well-researched talk entitled, “The Changing Nature of Riverview and Canadian Neighbourhoods: How income inequality shapes where we live.”
We think that finding ways for older adults to engage and connect is even more crucially important during the COVID-19 pandemic. COVID-19 prevents us from connecting as a community as we used to. We cannot hold events such as the CRISP series or get together with groups of neighbours. AFR needs your ideas on how to overcome isolation and support older adults. AFR is in the process of building a website where we can connect online as one way of reaching out. In the meantime, we would like to hear from you by telephone or email. Please send us your ideas on how we can help each other in these unusual times. Phone: 432-338-8132; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Keep safe! Keep Connected!
By May Wady of AFR (& Bev Suek, Joe Distasio, Judy Jennings)