Using Social Media

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 centre@bayseniors.ca

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. 

Thanks to Angus Whyte of Students for Seniors for the Facebook introduction, and to Megan Ellis, a student volunteer, for the Zoom introduction. More handouts and videos are coming soon.

Bay kids asked to make cards to add to Bay Seniors Christmas Gift Bags

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.

Saturday Sparkle: jewellery for sale by Bay Seniors on Facebook

Thanks to our wonderfully generous association and community members, we’ve already received lots of jewellery donations as a result of the stories in the November newsletter and this month’s Masthead News, and the bling keep coming! We are so grateful.
 
In fact, we have so much that our online jewellery sale, instead of taking place the last two weeks in November, will be held every Saturday for the foreseeable future on the Bay Seniors Facebook page. We’re excited about having more opportunities to connect with our members and to support the St. Margaret’s Bay Food Bank. Visit the Bay Seniors Facebook page every Saturday for our new feature, Saturday Sparkle.
 
Each Saturday, we’ll offer several pieces or sets of costume, fashion or fine jewellery for sale. Interested buyers may commit to a purchase through a Facebook message, picking up and paying for their jewellery by appointment at the Community Enterprise Centre at 5229 St. Margaret’s Bay Road, between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. weekdays. Jewellery is available by sale, not auction, so the first person to commit at the posted price is the successful purchaser. Payment by cash or cheque only, please.
 
Saturday Sparkle starts Saturday, November 21, and continuing every Saturday as long as jewellery supplies and interest last. All proceeds from jewellery sales go to the St. Margaret’s Bay Food Bank.
 
Jewellery donations so far have included vintage pieces from the 1940s to the 1990s, recent costume jewellery in excellent condition, fashion jewellery from collectible Canadian designers like Bond-Boyd, Sherman and Bob Ford, and some fine jewellery in precious metals and gemstones.

Advance viewing by appointment for Bay Seniors members

On Sunday, November 22, between 1 and 3 p.m., Bay Seniors volunteers will have some of the jewellery to be featured in the Facebook Saturday Sparkle available for in-person viewing and purchase at the Community Enterprise Centre by advance appointment only.
 
If you wish to make an appointment of up to 30 minutes to view, please email centre@bayseniors.ca or call 902-820-3334 by Friday, November 20 at 4 p.m. This viewing and purchase opportunity is available to Bay Seniors members only. Face masks and physical distancing are required, and disposable gloves will be supplied for handling jewellery.
 
Due to the changing Covid-19 situation, and in keeping with public health advisories, the November 22 advance viewing is subject to change or cancellation. Those with appointments will be notified by telephone should plans change.

Help make Christmas merrier with Bay Seniors tote bags

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.

Have your say about affordable housing

The lack of affordable rental housing in St. Margaret’s Bay is a serious ongoing problem. You are invited to share your views on this important issue through a brief survey that will take less than 5 minutes to complete.

Nancy Gilbert, chair of the St. Margaret’s Bay Housing Coalition, says the group is working towards the development of a “much-needed multi-generational residential community. We are looking for people interested in modestly priced rental accommodations to complete the survey. We hope that this project will allow people of all ages and abilities to support one another within a neighbourhood community.”
 
If you are interested in affordable housing for yourself or for a friend or family member, please consider completing this survey. The submission deadline is November 6 at 8 p.m.

To access the survey, go here: https://forms.gle/Po2TYuJc2ZY4FzXw8

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.

Flu shot more important than ever this year

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.

Lions Club medical equipment lending program

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.

For more information, contact Lions Club members Parkesh Kapoor at parkeshkapoor@hotmail.com or Leonard Bugbee at bugbeel@eastlink.ca.

Bay Seniors Friendly Neighbour Program offers free grocery and Rx delivery to eligible residents

The Seniors Association of St. Margaret’s Bay is ready to help community members who are presently not able to go out to get their groceries, medications and other pharmacy items because of the COVID-19 outbreak.

The Association is providing FREE delivery by carefully trained volunteers using the highest standards of safety. This service is available to other community members in addition to seniors, who live in the St. Margaret’s Bay region. Participants will be invoiced at 3 to 4 week intervals, so no cash changes hands and you do not need to have or use a credit card to access the service.

See more information below on geographic area served, eligibility, and safety protocols. And please share this information with others you think may need this help.

The Bay Seniors Friendly Neighbour Program
If you need someone to pick up your groceries,
pharmacy items or medications, we’ll help!

We’re happy to provide this service if you do not currently have someone who can deliver to you, and one or both of these situations apply:
  • You do not have access to transportation.
  • You are not leaving your home at this time.
Our Friendly Neighbour Program volunteers will:
  • Pick up and pay for groceries for you from Sobeys or the Superstore, using a list our volunteer will take from you over the telephone.
  • Deliver your groceries to your door. You will only be invoiced monthly for groceries purchased for you. The shopping and delivery services are offered at no cost to you.
  • Pick up and deliver your pre-ordered pre-paid prescriptions to your door if the service is not available from your pharmacy.
  • Pick up and deliver non-prescription pharmacy items. You will only be invoiced monthly for items purchased for you. The shopping and delivery services are offered at no cost to you.
Our volunteers:
  • Have been carefully screened.
  • Have been thoroughly trained in contact protocols by an expert in the field.
  • Use a full cleaning protocol for their hands, vehicles and other items with which they are in contact during the pick-up and delivery process.
  • Have a full cleaning kit, including gloves, wipes, sanitizer and disposal bags.
  • Will deliver your items using recommended physical distancing.
 

Because of very limited safe handling supplies (sanitizer, wipes, gloves) and limited funds to operate the program, we must restrict it to the geographic area bounded on the east by Highway 103 exit 4, west to Highway 103 exit 6, south to East Dover and north to Pockwock Road.

For more information or to set up a delivery, please call 902-221-8388 and leave a message.

What Bay Businesses are Offering During COVID-19, and more!

We know it isn’t business as usual for either customers or businesses during these COVID-19 days, but it’s wonderful to see how many Bay businesses are finding creative and careful ways to keep serving our community. Please share all that and more on Discover St. Margaret’s Bay (see specific links below)!

Our volunteer website team is still available as usual to review posts, answer questions and solve problems.

Include the word COVID in your post, as appropriate, for website visitors searching that keyword.

Businesses may self-post in our local directory. Each post allows for your website link and a printable PDF, which may be information on your current offerings, or other information you wish to share.

During COVID-19, we are also encouraging area businesses to describe how you’re still serving the community on our bulletin board.

Are you holding a virtual event? Tell everyone about it on our community calendar.

Our content editor wants your stories for our blog:

News stories should be one or two paragraphs, preferably with a photo or graphic.

Reflections should be personal, not business-oriented, and should capture something you want to share about life in the Bay—why you moved here, why you stay here, your favourite walk, encounters with wildlife, and other stories that make this beautiful area such a great place to live.  Reflections should be 150 to 300 words, accompanied by a photo of the author or an illustration relevant to the story.

Suggested COVID-19 safety for neighbourhood deliveries

Below, in response to requests received to share these, are the safety protocol the Seniors Association of St. Margaret’s Bay uses to provide delivery assistance to members.

The following precautions are suggested to help you deliver groceries, medicines and other urgent needs in a safe manner for both you and the recipient. By avoiding touch and droplets in the air from a possibly infected person (or any person), your exposure remains low when making deliveries.

    1. Before you leave your house, wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds, dry your hands with a paper towel, and discard the paper towel in a covered waste receptacle.

    2. Organize your supplies to take with you: new bags that can be fastened, containing latex or vinyl gloves, disinfectant wipes, paper or plastic disposal bags and hand sanitizer to take with you.

    3. Put on your protective gloves.

    4. Wipe down your steering wheel, door handles, gearshift, keys and any other surface you touch in your car.

    5. Proceed to the grocery store, pharmacy, or other designated location, and pick up the order. Wipe your gloves with a sanitizer wipe or hand sanitizer.

    6. Leave the client’s order, preferably outdoors on their doorstep or, if necessary, just inside the door. Ring the doorbell, stand back 6 ft. (2 metres) and wait for the person to pick up their goods. DO NOT GO INTO THE RECIPIENT’S HOUSE OR ACCEPT ANYTHING FROM THEM.

    7. Wipe your hands with a disinfectant wipe when you get back in your car.

    8. If you are making a second delivery, remove gloves using a glove to glove/skin to skin technique: grasp outside edge of first glove near wrist and peel away, rolling glove inside out as you peel it off. Reach under the second glove with your now bare fingers and peel
      away the second glove the same way. Discard both gloves immediately.

      Wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds, dry with a paper towel and discard the paper towel in a covered waste receptacle or a paper or plastic bag, which you will then fold closed and discard safely.

    9. When you return home, wipe down your steering wheel, door handles, gearshift, keys and any other surfaces you have touched in your car. Follow step 8 above if making another delivery.

Please conserve your supplies – there is currently a shortage of all supplies.

If face masks are available:
Place mask over nose and under chin, moulding the metal piece to the bridge of your nose. Face mask ties and straps are considered clean, and can be touched by hands.

To remove the mask, pull mask forward, bending forward to allow the mask to fall away from your face, and discard the mask immediately .

IMPORTANT NOTE: This protocol has been developed by a health care professional. We share it here as a courtesy to community members helping family and friends. This protocol is not intended to replace professional advice for specific situations. The Seniors Association of St. Margaret’s Bay is training delivery volunteers to the highest possible standard, as outlined here. Even though that standard may exceeds necessary precautions in most situations, we are committed to keeping our entire community, including our volunteers and our members as safe as possible.

PLEASE check with the Canadian government’s official COVID-19 website for more complete guidelines.