Much has been said about the impact of COVID-19 on older adults, their caregivers and families. Many have struggled with anxiety along with changes in their health and well being. Others have been found themselves lonely and isolated from family, friends and colleagues. And, there have been financial challenges due to lost or reduced employment and additional costs. Things have been, and continue to be, tough in the volunteer sector as well with opportunities to lend a hand, and feel good about doing it, simply evaporated into thin air.
Now that things are opening up a little and a lot of people have started to adjust to the “new normal,” perhaps its time for a lot of us to re-image ways to participate once again. To help start that journey, The Canadian Abilities Foundation (CAF) has recently introduced a unique education program called Parlay that is custom designed to assist and connect adults 55-plus in either the workforce or as volunteers. The program encourages participants to take a fresh look at how to use their skills, experience and interests and identify find ways to “parlay” their talents into a world of surprising new opportunities.
No two situations are the same but suffice to say, many older adults prefer to stay active and engaged in day-to-day life. For some, it’s time to re-think giving back and start learning about the new and different ways to help others in the community. Alternately hunting for a full-time job or exploring available part-time positions is on some people’s wish list.
As a companion piece to Return to Work during COVID-19 for caregivers, people with disabilities, and parents of young children and teens, (canadianabilities.org/parlay/) Parlay is a free online program offered by CAF. It includes timely information, expert advice and curated content. There are helpful connections to valuable resources. And, there are video interviews that share wise counsel from energetic experts and older adults with real world experience.
While everyone’s needs are different, what we know for certain that life as we know has changed. Let’s roll up our sleeves and help each other as best we can. After all, reconnecting, finding ways to re-invent ourselves and safely re-engaging within our communities is essential to our personal and collective well-being.
Editor in Chief