By: Pat Goyeche
It’s hard to fathom how many months have passed since Abbotsford was forced to close our doors to the general public. At the time we would never have imagined the doors would still be closed in November. Our doors may be closed, but we are not closed to you; and you have certainly not been idle.
I have been so impressed with the good sense and grace with which our members and clients have adapted to the reality of restrictions and change that have come with COVID-19. Things we never thought we would have to do are being done, and our virtual worlds have expanded as our one-to-one in-person interactions have decreased.
Even those who might not fully embrace technology are using landline telephones, cell phones, tablets and computers in ways they had not imagined. Banking, grocery shopping and medical appointments are often done with the aid of technology. Helpful friends, families and virtual strangers have played a role in this as well. A shoutout to our volunteers who ‘check in and chat’ with our folks and for perfect strangers who are lending a hand, keeping an eye on each other in our community.
I think everyone would agree that the point is to stay connected as we weather the pandemic storm which rises and falls, but still we sail on. We feel a breath of fresh air and renewed hope one month, but then we have to scale back and our anxiety grows the next month.
November might prove to be one such month, where we have to hang on, hang in, hold tight and reach out. Join a virtual something or other, call a friend, have a meal with a friend or family member, virtually or in person, and carry on making connections. Be safe but be ever mindful of our need to connect. Keep sparking your imaginations, and find moments to celebrate the mundane along with the regular holidays. A walk on a sunny day is worthy of celebration!
Abbotsford will continue to offer virtual programming for seniors throughout November and December, check out the website www.glebecentre.ca under Abbotsford Programming and What is up at Abbotsford for the latest information. We also offer free meditation over the telephone, a book/puzzle exchange and sale on our front porch (as long as the snow doesn’t fly) and numerous Community Support Services for caregivers and clients.
Members and Friends are asked to renew their yearly membership or join Abbotsford for the first time, starting mid-November, to help bolster Abbotsford Programming and Services. If you have made use of our services, you know how we strive to serve you and will continue to do so with your interests and needs at the centre of our mandate. We have been working at a reduced staffing level and coping with new challenges, and we truly appreciate how you have supported us. Your financial support will ensure that when the tide subsides and we are on post-pandemic safe shores, you will find our doors open and inviting, and all of us a bit humbled with gratitude for our mutual fortitude.
I would like to publicly thank the volunteers who made our 45th Annual Bazaar Days possible. We had keen young students and community members as well as tried and true Abbotsford volunteers who made beautiful displays and kept smiling and selling for two brilliant Saturdays in September. Let’s hope the 46th will be indoors and in November!?
Unfortunately, we are unable to take in donations of goods at this time but will let you know when we can. Your donations for the bazaar are part of what makes our fundraising and our functioning as a seniors centre work so well.
We continue to share our beautiful gardens with our neighbours and friends who pass by and appreciate what each month brings to the garden palette. Recently, ‘Carol and her Crew’ helped put the gardens to bed for the winter. That said friends of Abbotsford, resist the urge to ‘hibernate’ in the months to come, join in and keep connected with and through Abbotsford.
Abbotsford is your community support centre for Adults 55+. We are the community programs of The Glebe Centre Inc., a charitable, not-for-profit, organization which includes a 254 bed long term care home. Find out more about our services by telephoning us: Mon-Fri 9 am – 4 pm at 613-230-5730 or by checking out all of The Glebe Centre facilities and Abbotsford Community Programs on our website www.glebecentre.ca