As we all continue to adapt to staying in touch with family and friends through fewer and smaller in-person gatherings, being able to get together online is more important than ever. Those of us who already use social media may be using it more, and in different ways, while others are just beginning to embrace it.
Social media, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and many more, are available as “platforms,” the word used to describe the specific technologies and programs that allow communications between different users in one virtual location. Bay Seniors has an active Facebook page we invite you to visit and participate in: www.facebook.com/bayseniors.
Zoom, a video meeting and conferencing service, formerly used mainly for business meetings, is now being used for book club meetings, worship services, birthday parties, and much more. Bay Seniors is working toward using Zoom for various member services, starting with a weekly “drop-in coffee hour” for members to enjoy virtual time together. If you’re interested in more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
While most Bay Seniors members are online, receiving our newsletter, members’ update and other communications from us by email, a smaller number use social media regularly. In our recent member survey, and through other information from members, we have learned that many of you would be interested in learning more about social media, and specifically:
- Which platforms to join, based on who you want to stay in touch with and how you want to stay in touch;
- How to protect your privacy and safety on social media;
- How to get the most out of social media.
In the next few months, Bay Seniors will be offering help to members interested in learning more about using social media. Support and education will be provided by our volunteer tech team, which will include tech-savvy Bay Seniors members and Students for Seniors, a terrific group of high school students who are kicking off our Using Social Media program with two easy-to-use documents for members thinking about joining Facebook or using Zoom.
The Bay Seniors Association is inviting local children and teens to assemble and personalize Christmas cards for local seniors. The cards will be included with the Christmas gift bags the association is putting together for around 75 local seniors.
Volunteer-created card kits, with a card, envelope and several decorative components, can be picked up from the Community Enterprise Centre (CEC) at 5229 St. Margaret’s Bay Road, weekdays between 9 am and 4 pm. Kids are encouraged to assemble and personalize the cards as they wish, adding a holiday greeting. Completed cards should be dropped off at the CEC by December 15.
Becky Weickert, president of Bay Seniors, says this is the second time the association has offered this program. “We did it near the start of Covid, and it was a lovely way for families to reach out to seniors. We’ve had many comments from seniors who received one, saying how much it meant to them to get a cheerful card with a caring message from a local child or teen. And the kids had fun opening the kits and using them as a starting point for their own creativity.”
The Christmas in the Bay organizers are also promoting the program, and Weickert says Bay Seniors is delighted to have that help to ensure more families participate. “We will definitely send out all the cards we receive. This is an especially important Christmas for us all to stay in touch and let our neighbours know we’re thinking of them,” she adds.
Michelle Maclean, the Bay Seniors board member who is coordinating the Christmas gift bags, says the association is grateful to the community members who have been donating items to fill the 75 Bay Seniors volunteer-made fabric tote bags being used for the gifts. “We’ve had a wonderful response, with people dropping off puzzle books, socks, pens, eyeglass cleaner, facial tissues, and lots of other goodies. But, says Maclean, “We have room for more.”
Maclean says gift bag items can be dropped off at the CEC until December 7.
Advance viewing by appointment for Bay Seniors members
Can you help us fill around 75 Christmas gift bags for seniors in our area?
Bay Seniors fabric tote bags are being filled with items like puzzle books, pens, playing cards, socks, chapstick, hand sanitizer, a box of facial tissue, sugar-free candy, eyeglass cleaner and other useful items to offer some extra holiday cheer to local seniors who may be unable to spend Christmas this year with family or friends. Donations can be dropped off at the Community Enterprise Centre, 5229 St. Margaret’s Bay Road, Monday to Friday, 9 to 4. The requested deadline for donations is Monday, December 7.
We’re also looking for six volunteers to help pack the bags at the CEC on the afternoon of December 8 (with Covid protocols of physical distancing, masks and handwashing in place), and around 10 volunteers to deliver the bags on December 17. In case of bad weather, volunteers will be contacted for packing and delivery on alternative dates.
Bay Seniors fabric tote bags will also be available to purchase.
Bay Seniors will be at the St. Luke’s Annual Christmas Christmas Craft Fair on November 21 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at St. Luke’s United Church, 5374 St. Margaret’s Bay Road, with our wonderful reusable fabric face masks and tote bags, all made by dedicated Bay Seniors sewing volunteers.
The bags, available in many lovely colours and prints, make wonderful gift bags or gifts, and are available for only $10 each and 3 for $25.
Masks continue to cost only $5 for an adult size and $3 for a child size, and are also available in lots of new colours and prints.
Printed copies of the survey are available at the Community Enterprise Centre, 5229 St. Margaret’s Bay Road, Upper Tantallon.
For more information, contact Nancy Gilbert by email.
Even if an annual flu shot isn’t part of your usual self-care routine, this is the year it absolutely should be, says Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health. While the flu shot won’t protect against Covid-19, it will help reduce the number of people getting influenza, which will reduce pressure on the health care system.
Unlike previous years, you have to make an appointment at either doctors’ offices or pharmacies to get the shot, which is available now.
Meanwhile, Dr. Strang says Australia’s experience during their flu season, which is earlier than ours, indicates precautions against Covid-19, especially frequently washing and sanitizing our hands, wearing a mask, maintaining physical distances as needed, and avoiding crowds, will very likely reduce the number of cases of influenza this year.
The St. Margaret’s Bay Lions Club has an extensive collection of medical equipment it’s eager to lend out to Bay residents as needed.
One happy and grateful user of the Lions Club medical equipment program is shown in the photo. Bridget Fitzgerald (seated in scooter) of Upper Tantallon is joined by (from left) Lions Blaine MacDonald, Doreen MacDonald and Leonard Bugbee, who is the club’s social services chairman.
Barbara Way, the club’s president, says inventory includes wheelchairs, scooters, walkers, canes, medical boots, commodes, bedpans, k-dishes and hospital beds. The available inventory changes somewhat, depending on what is presently out on loan, but all the equipment is loaned out at no cost to those who need it. Borrowers must arrange for someone to pick up and drop off any borrowed equipment, as the Lions Club is not able to do so.