This photo was used as a postcard sent out to clients of the Mount Newton Centre Society to let them know staff members were thinking of them throughout the pandemic. (Provided by Mount Newton Centre Society)

This photo was used as a postcard sent out to clients of the Mount Newton Centre Society to let them know staff members were thinking of them throughout the pandemic. (Provided by Mount Newton Centre Society)

Mount Newton Centre pivots to keep serving seniors

Peninsula non-profit in need of iPads to stay connected

Like many non-profits, the Mount Newton Centre Society has had to change the way clients are taken care of during this pandemic.

Under normal circumstances, Bridget Shumka coordinates the community bathing program along with an adult day program that provides seniors, who may be isolated or who are being cared for at home, organized therapeutic health and social activities.

But the centre closed its doors on March 13, slightly earlier than some other programs as staff were worried about the impact the coronavirus could have on the seniors attending programming.

“We sent everyone home and I was thinking we’ll just take a few weeks to figure this out and we’ll be back up and running again once this settles,” Shumka said.

Her role as a nurse began to change as she started calling clients, just trying to keep in touch with them throughout the closure. “It became very clear in the first and second call that they were panicking at home.”

READ ALSO: Canadian seniors isolated with fewer friends, less access to internet

And Shumka quickly realized the centre had the ability to continue caring for those clients outside of its traditional role.

Now, the centre is providing clients with three hot meals a week that are delivered to their home, staff will grocery shop for clients and the day program has gone virtual with more than 50 people registered.

“We realized we had the capacity to do more,” said Shumka, who contacted the Peninsula Health Unit to see if there was anyone who needed a helping hand or would benefit from the connection.

READ ALSO: Program makes a connection with isolated Victoria seniors

The referrals started to pour in and soon more than 60 people had been referred.

Throughout all this change, Shumka and another nurse kept calling clients, just making sure they were OK and seeing if they had needs that could be met with the centre’s help.

As B.C. continues with its reopening plan, masked porch visits have also been added to the programming. But it hasn’t been easy getting to this point.

One of the biggest hurdles the centre has had to overcome is getting the technology out to seniors in the virtual day program. The centre is using second-generation iPads with 10-inch screens to communicate with clients via Zoom. Using a program from the Alberta government, the virtual day program has different kinds of resources to offer such as Jeopardy games, bingo or trivia for mental stimulation. Shumka said the centre is still in need of about 15 to 20 iPads to ensure each client can stay connected.

“It gives them a purpose to their day. They can dress up for their meeting because we remember that when people came to Mount Newton Centre it was kind of their club,” Shumka said.

To learn more about the adult day program or to make a donation, visit mountnewtoncentre.org.


 

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email:
kendra.crighton@blackpress.ca. Follow us on Instagram.  
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

kendra.crighton@blackpress.ca

CoronavirusSeniors

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Steve Smith’s image of two sibling adolescent grizzly bears playfighting in the Chilko River in the B.C. Interior earned him best of show at the prestigious Lion’s Gate Celebration of Nature club competition for 2020-21. (Photo by Steve Smith)
Victoria Camera Club captures top spot in prestigious nature and wildlife competition

Saanich Peninsula photographers part of award-winning team

Downtown Victoria and the Inner Harbour are part of a corridor that also includes much of urban Saanich that is part of the Greater Victoria 2030 District, a sustainable buildings climate initiative announced recently. (Black Press Media file photo)
Ramping up energy efficiency in Greater Victoria buildings goal of new group

Greater Victoria 2030 District part of North American network of cities working to reduce emissions

Oak Bay High Grade 10 students Oliver Wakely and Alex Joiner with the new scoreboard to soon be installed on the grass turf. Fundraising from the Oak Bay Barbarians rugby alumni and Oak Bay Fire Fighters Charitable Foundation. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)
Oak Bay High alumni buy new scoreboard

Scoreboard to be installed on grass field

Victoria Hospice staff Brianne Ohl, left, Angela Chalmers, right, and Sandi Ogloff, at back, show off their buttons that show a picture of them smiling. Staff has worked hard to maintain the connections with patients despite the barriers of PPE and rigid COVID-19 protocols. (Victoria Hospice Photo)
Hospice provides compassion in a time of COVID

Victoria Hospice 40th anniversary on pause during pandemic

Look for the Random Act of Kindness Day colouring contest in Black Press issues Jan. 17. Physical entries can be mailed or dropped off to local Black Press offices. A scanned or photographed entry can be emailed to info@victoriafoundation.bc.ca. Winning entries can get a $50 gift card to Bolen Books and a $100 donation to a charity of their choice from the VIctoria Foundation. (Pixabay)
Colouring contest coming for Kindness Day

Kindness Day colouring contest in partnership with Victoria Foundation

Terrance Josephson of the Princeton Posse, at left, and Tyson Conroy of the Summerland Steam clash during a Junior B hockey game at the Summerland Arena in the early spring of 2020. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
QUIZ: How much do you know about hockey?

Test your knowledge of Canada’s national winter sport

An Uber driver’s vehicle is seen after the company launched service, in Vancouver, Friday, Jan. 24, 2020. Several taxi companies have lost a court bid to run Uber and Lyft off the road in British Columbia. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Taxi companies lose court bid to quash Uber, Lyft approvals in British Columbia

Uber said in a statement that the ruling of the justice is clear and speaks for itself

Nanaimo Regional General Hospital. (News Bulletin file photo)
COVID-19 outbreak declared at Nanaimo hospital

Two staff members and one patient have tested positive, all on the same floor

A long-term care worker receives the Pfizer vaccine at a clinic in Nanaimo earlier this month. (Island Health photo)
All Island seniors in long-term care will be vaccinated by the end of this weekend

Immunization of high-risk population will continue over the next two months

A 75-year-old aircraft has been languishing in a parking lot on the campus of the University of the Fraser Valley, but will soon be moved to the B.C. Aviation Museum. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Vintage military aircraft moving from Chilliwack to new home at B.C. Aviation Museum

The challenging move to Vancouver Island will be documented by Discovery Channel film crews

A video posted to social media by Chilliwack resident Rob Iezzi shows a teenager getting kicked in the face after being approached by three suspects on Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (YouTube/Rob i)
VIDEO: Security cameras capture ‘just one more assault’ near B.C. high school

Third high-school related assault captured by Chilliwack resident’s cameras since beginning of 2021

FILE - In this Feb. 14, 2017, file photo, Oklahoma State Rep. Justin Humphrey prepares to speak at the State Capitol in Oklahoma City. A mythical, ape-like creature that has captured the imagination of adventurers for decades has now become the target of Rep. Justin Humphrey. Humphrey, a Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season, He says issuing a state hunting license and tag could help boost tourism. (Steve Gooch/The Oklahoman via AP, File)
Oklahoma lawmaker proposes ‘Bigfoot’ hunting season

A Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season

Economic Development and Official Languages Minister Melanie Joly responds to a question in the House of Commons Monday November 23, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Federal minister touts need for new B.C. economic development agency

Last December’s federal economic update promised a stimulus package of about $100 billion this year

FILE - In this Nov. 20, 2017, file photo, Larry King attends the 45th International Emmy Awards at the New York Hilton, in New York. Former CNN talk show host King has been hospitalized with COVID-19 for more than a week, the news channel reported Saturday, Jan. 2, 2021. CNN reported the 87-year-old King contracted the coronavirus and was undergoing treatment at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP, File)
Larry King, broadcasting giant for half-century, dies at 87

King conducted an estimated 50,000 on-air interviews

Most Read