When one steps into the role of a caregiver, it may be unintentional at first. Perhaps it begins with taking a parent to a doctor’s appointment, or picking up some groceries for an elderly neighbor. Caregiving can also begin by necessity without warning, often following a major health incident such as a car accident or stroke. At one point or another in our lives many of us will find ourselves committed to caring for another person – and I know many of us are already on this journey with a loved one.
On September 10, more than 250 guests celebrated The Vic Foundation’s 5th Annual Miracle Garden Party in support of Mental Health – a sold out event hosted at five exceptional restaurants in Winnipeg. By virtue of our generous sponsors and supporters, we raised over $125,000. The net proceeds will be invested in mental health initiatives in our community.
You can probably list several things you’ve been doing lately to keep yourself healthy in the past few months: wearing a mask, frequent handwashing, and physical distancing. But what have you been doing for your mental health? Living through a pandemic is stressful. Scrolling through ever-updating information, worrying about you and your loved ones’ health, and being physically separated from your support system can all negatively affect your mental health.
These last few months have been a lonely time for many of us, as social distancing has kept us apart from family members, friends, and colleagues. The unfortunate reality is that an overwhelming number of older adults were already experiencing feelings of loneliness prior to the onset of COVID-19. According to Statistics Canada, as many as 1.6 million older adults in our country reported feeling lonely in 2016. With an increasing number of Canadians entering their senior years and social distancing being part of our daily lives for the foreseeable future, this issue is a growing area of concern.
Hospital stays can be tough for patients and families, and they became even more challenging when physical distancing and visitor restrictions came into effect this spring. But thanks to the extraordinary support of our community, we are bringing patients and families closer together — even while they are physically apart.