NYCH’s Newcomer Connections for Senior Caregivers program offered an English Conversation Circle at the Jane Street Hub from May until July.  Twenty senior caregivers (older adults who are informally supporting a family member or friend) participated, and five volunteers facilitated the groups. 

NCSC’s social work student, Laxmi Gurung, thought the enthusiasm of the facilitators was very impressive. “Also, the senior caregivers who could speak English were encouraging other participants to communicate in English saying, ‘Yes, you can do it, say it in English.’  It was very inspiring to see this kind of spirit in senior caregivers.”  

One participant’s experience went beyond learning conversational English skills. “I like this English program. I learned more English. Before I was not talking, but in this English class I learned more talking and sharing.”  

This sharing aspect was felt by volunteers as well. “The caregivers could share cultural issues and cultural ideas,” said volunteer Nadereh Javadinsa. She also acknowledged that, apart from her enjoyment of the group, participants benefited by “overcoming isolation and feeling lonely at home.”

Volunteer Nadereh (right) with ECC participants

Volunteer Nadereh (right) with ECC participants

We’d like to acknowledge the time and dedication of NYCH volunteers. We are also grateful to the Tamil Seniors of Self-Reliance group leaders for introducing us to their participants and friends!

For more information on our Friendly Visiting program, educational workshops, and group activities for senior caregivers, please contact Shova Adhikari: sadhikari@nych.ca or 647-208-9733.

ABOUT THE NEWCOMER CONNECTIONS FOR SENIOR CAREGIVERS PROJECT
The Newcomer Connections for Senior Caregivers project is part of the ENRICHES Initiative. The aim of our collaborative is to identify, engage, and support senior caregivers in northwest Toronto who are at a high risk for social isolation due to language and cultural barriers. We will connect seniors to peer mentors and youth volunteers to provide information and support in the caregivers’ own languages and provide direct services both in the community and at home. Learn more

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