After a long delay creating Mosaic’s latest newsletter and participating in community events, Mosaic’s Kevin Lopes has finished this blog featuring our wonderful friends at North York Seniors Centre.
Mosaic’s Jane Teasdale has always referred to North York Seniors Centre as the gem of North York for the incredible contributions the Centre makes for the older adult community in the North York area.
This past January 15th 2018, Mosaic’s Kevin Lopes was taken on a guided tour of North York Seniors Centre with Arlene de Vera including meeting with staff members Kate Kukor, Rose Gyasi, and Liza Frances to learn more about the Centre, the programs and services that are available. Kevin was also able to sit down and interview volunteer Josephine Harauz about her experience volunteering at the centre.
It was an informative day that gave Kevin insight into the incredible work, programs and services that North York Seniors Centre offers to the community. With day programs, caregiver support groups, transportation services, and a community hub at the Active Living Centre, North York Seniors Centre provides a variety of incredible services to older adults in the community. For older adults looking to be active members of their community, North York Seniors Centre is a fantastic place!
On a snowy day in January, Kevin began his day learning about some of the services that North York Senior Centre offers to the community through speaking with Kate Kukor and Rose Gyasi which include:
North York Seniors Centre provides transportation services in the North York region. Seniors living within North York Seniors Centre’s catchment area, Bathurst to the west, Steeles to the north, Victoria Park to the east and 401 to the south can use North York Seniors Centre’s transportation services.
Registration is quick, taking only 10 to 15 minutes with the Seniors Centre’s staff. Once registered you can book transportation to and from medical appointments, social events and grocery shopping (book one week in advance). If you are attending North York Seniors Centre events transportation to and from their events are also available.
North York Seniors Centre’s drivers are renowned for being courteous, polite and helpful! This past holiday season I was told about a wonderful outing in which members of North York Seniors Centre were picked up for a trip to the Royal Ontario Museum which involved their drivers travelling around the city to pick up attendees. I was told it was an incredible event for those who were lucky enough to attend! If you live in the North York and need transportation services contact North York Seniors Centre today.
Day Program & Caregiver Support
North York Seniors Centre also has a day program and supports for caregivers. The “A Day Away Club” provides older adults with frailties or cognitive challenges an opportunity to socialize and be active in a friendly environment. This program provides respite care for caregivers, whether they are seniors caring for spouses or children caring for their senior parents, to get an opportunity to run errands or rest. North York Seniors Centre also provides caregivers with supports with 1-on-1 meetings, and monthly caregiver support groups. The Centre also provides a Caregiver Education Series which involves experts to come in to speak about relevant topics to caregivers. North York Seniors Centre provides caregivers’ and their loved ones with fantastic opportunities through their day program and caregiver support functions!
After speaking to Kate Kukor about transportation services, the A Day Away Club and the caregiver supports available, Kevin met with Rose Gyasi to learn about North York Seniors Centre’s In-home Services which include personal support in the home or hospital. Kevin was also pleased to learn that North York Seniors Centre also offers Friendly Visiting and Telephone Reassurance Calls to homebound and isolated seniors in the community. As we know social isolation and loneliness is a growing concern among our older adult population. Volunteers take time to visit or telephone homebound seniors to offer them a social connection and support. What an incredible service to the community and to isolated older adults!
After learning about the services and programs offered by North York Seniors Centre, Kevin was off to the Active Living Centre on 21 Hendon Avenue for the afternoon. At the Active Living Centre, Kevin was scheduled to speak with volunteer Josephine Harauz about her experiences volunteering with North York Seniors Centre and then Liza Frances on the programs and services available at the Active Living Centre.
A Chat with Volunteer Josephine Harauz
Kevin sat down with volunteer Josephine Harauz to learn about her experiences working as a volunteer at the North York Seniors Centre. Josephine has been a member of North York Seniors Centre for close to 15 years, attending events and participating in the community.
For the past 10 years, Josephine has been a volunteer at the Active Living Centre working at reception. Josephine enjoys the sense of camaraderie at North York Seniors Centre, and the opportunity to build friendships as a volunteer. This is her favourite part about being a part of the community! Volunteering at North York Seniors Centre allows Josephine to meet new people, give back to her community, be mentally stimulated all while having fun.
Josephine says that volunteering at North York Seniors Centre is a good way for her to find meaningful interactions with people in the community, and then recounted a story of how she helped an individual over the phone find what they were looking for after playing phone tag with them. The gratitude the person had for Josephine’s help are the moments that Josephine enjoys most about volunteering at North York Seniors Centre! Josephine is a model volunteer, giving back to her community and finding meaning in her work in helping others.
After chatting with Josephine about her volunteer experience and her passion, Kevin met with Liza Frances to learn about the Active Living Centre and all that it offers to older adults in the North York area.
Active Living Centre
Liza Frances took Kevin on a crash course into all the incredible things available to older adults who become members at North York Seniors Centre. Annual memberships to the Active Living Centre cost $45 for the whole year. Open 7 days a week with a café and there are opportunities to get a $5 discount on the membership twice a year, at Open House events in June and September. For only $45 a year, members get A LOT of value for their money! For individuals who are 55+ the Active Living Centre looks to keep people independent, happy, healthy and having fun with their programs, services, and classes. The programs offered fall into two categories: registered and drop-in. Registered programs can last up to 10 weeks long and are often based in arts, culture, fitness or dance and have a fee, while drop-in programs are only for the day. If you are a member at the centre you will have a heavy discount on these programs, up to $40 off the cost! Early-bird prices are also available for members giving you an extra discount on top of the one you receive from your membership for signing up well in advance. Programming is offered in English, Korean, Chinese and Farsi and member suggestions are used to help programming moving forward. It is great to see that North York Seniors Centre looks for, and implements feedback from its members! Membership at the Active Living Centre has other perks as well, including discounts to special events and day trips that are organized. You can also enjoy the café five days a week and enjoy breakfast and lunch, from Monday to Friday, at reasonable prices. After Liza described all the programs available to members, I was amazed at the amount of value an older adult can get from a membership at the Active Living Centre, it is a great community and a wonderful place to remain active for older adults.
After learning about the Active Living Centre, Kevin sat in on one of the afternoon programs. For 15 minutes Kevin sat in on a Korean drumming class where about 15 elder Korean ladies were playing the Korean drums together. It was an impressive sight! After sitting in on this program Kevin thanked Arlene for the wonderful opportunity to tour North York Seniors Centre and get a sense of all the wonderful work that they do for older adults in North York.
North York Seniors Centre offers older adults in North York many fantastic programs and services. If you like to schedule a tour or would like more information on specific programs and services, you can contact North York Seniors Centre on their website, or better yet give them a call at 416 – 733 – 4111 where you can speak to an individual who can answer your questions.
This summer on Friday, July 6th, 2018 Mosaic will be taking a tour to North York Seniors Centre with 15 individuals from our community. On the day of the tour we will have an overview of North York Seniors Centre and the Active Living Centre, and then will take a tour of the Centre. Following the tour, we will sit and enjoy lunch at The Café of the centre! If you have never been to The Gem of North York, North York Seniors Centre, the hope is this has inspired you to reach out to them and be a part of their community!
Special thanks to Arlene de Vera, Kate Kukor, Rose Gyasi, Liza Frances, and Josephine Harauz for their time!