Deepa has been volunteering with North York Community House's Newcomer Connections for Senior Caregivers project for the last two years. She is a Social Mentor to a senior caregiver. The social mentorship program was created in 2015 to reduce social isolation among senior caregivers (55+)caring for a family or friend in need.
Deepa has connected her mentee to many caregiver resources and has taught the caregiver how to navigate systems of care for seniors. They stay connected by meeting once a week and by talking over the phone from time to time.
Their mentorship relationship is mutually beneficial, as they help one another and enjoy one another’s company. They share everything from their past, current life situation and future plans. Although the commitment for mentor match was for six months, they have continued to see one another every week for the last two years.
Deepa came to Canada as an immigrant a few years ago and completed the Social Service Worker program at George Brown College.
Deepa believes that this Social Mentorship matching program works well to address the needs of the senior community. The program benefits many senior caregivers who are home-bound due to their caregiving role or those who have few social connections.
For those who want to work or volunteer with seniors, Deepa suggests it is best to be empathetic and compassionate towards them. She also says it is important to be a good listener because you can learn a lot from the mentee’s experiences. She encourages others to volunteer as it is a great way to give back to the community and gain a lot of self-satisfaction.
For more information about NYCH or the New Horizons for Seniors Program project, visit us at nych.ca/senior-caregivers and www.enriches.ca.