One of the hardest aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic has been staying apart to stay safe. Seniors have borne the brunt of this “new normal” whether in care homes or living on their own as many have already lost loved ones and peers at this stage of their lives.
That’s what university student Hannah Crouse found when she began delivering food bank packages to seniors in Port Elgin, New Brunswick last year. On her first stop, she met a woman who hadn’t seen another living soul for three or four months since the pandemic began. It was the same for many other elderly folks along the way.
Crouse, who studies at nearby Mount Allison University in Sackville, decided she had to do something to help tackle the heartbreaking loneliness. So she asked other students if they’d be interested in visiting with local seniors? As it turns out, young people were also feeling the pain of isolation.
Thus was born the “Community Connect” program which introduced 18 seniors and 20 students with the goal of building friendships over a meal, sharing stories or other means. The initial eight-week session was transformative for everyone involved. Now, with the second phase about to begin, the number of students interested in participating has more than doubled. It’s a win-win all around!
Have a listen as Hannah explains. (below with her new buddy Brenda Trafford)