On July 23rd some 10 Tonari Gumi seniors and two staff members were able to gather for an enjoyable cruise around Vancouver Harbour. The weather was at its Vancouver best with largely clear blue skies and a slight breeze to make the experience even more memorable. After what had been a very hot July, the temperature and weather was ideal for our seniors. Several commented that they had always wanted to take this cruise but hadn’t wanted to do it alone. Another said that while she had been on a similar cruise before it was a special treat to be able to do it with other seniors and for the staff to be available to help them when needed. After the cruise, everyone stopped at the nearby Rio Restaurant which is an all-you-can-eat Brazilian grill. While the fresh salads were much enjoyed, the younger ones were surprised at the healthy appetites of their seniors. Grilled beef, chicken, pork and sausages were freely available and our seniors did their best to get good value for their money. It’s great to be able to get out and to enjoy the ocean breezes, but it’s even better to be able to do it with friends and those whom you feel comfortable. Many thanks to Atsuko Ichijo for organizing this outing and Utako Ueki for helping with the transport for everyone who participated.
Tonari Gumi as the lead organization in partnership with the Greater Vancouver JCCA, the Nikkei Senior Health Care & Housing Society and the Steveston Japanese Canadian Cultural Center has recently been awarded a major grant to help reduce elder abuse. Tonari Gumi is spearheading a three part program over the next year to reduce elder abuse within the Japanese Canadian Community by 1) Raising awareness 2) Training seniors and caregivers to recognize and respond, and 3) Building community collaboration to eliminate elder abuse. 1) Raising Awareness: Under this project we are looking to adapt existing prevention and awareness information on elder abuse and disseminate this information in both English and Japanese through posters, web pages, the local Japanese language press and media. We are coordinating with a local drama group consisting of Japanese seniors to produce short skits which reveal different aspects of elder abuse and would be understandable for all generations. We are also seeking individuals to interview who may be open to share possible real-life stories on elderly abuse. Utilizing these skits and interviews, a series of awareness raising seminars will be conducted in Vancouver, Burnaby, Richmond and other communities in the Lower Mainland and subsequently elsewhere in B.C. in cooperation with our partner organizations. 2) Training to Recognize and Respond to Elder Abuse: There is a plan to organize a series of bilingual workshops in Vancouver, Burnaby, Richmond and other communities to train seniors, caregivers and community leaders to recognize when elder abuse is taking place and how to take action to protect seniors from such abuse. Training expertise would be drawn from the local community (police, financial institutions, medical and psychological professionals) to deal with financial, physical and psychological aspects of elder abuse. 3) Build Community Collaboration: Together with our partner organizations within the community, […]