Elders are told to self- isolate, especially if they are 65+ or have underlying medical issues and conditions; this is due to the significantly greater vulnerability to the virus of elder citizens. Since RECAA is an organization of primarily elders we are respecting this advice of the medical authorities. We are self-isolating and, among other crucial errands, we are gratefully receiving help with the shopping for groceries from our family, friends and neighbours.
As you know, RECAA’s work centres around facilitating conversations with elders from Montreal’s ethnic communities in our theatre workshops. Our workshops enact small non-verbal scenes of mistreatment that can take place in the home. Even in « normal » times elders are particularly vulnerable to being isolated from information and support resources because of family, cultural and language challenges. Elder abuse remains the most hidden form of family violence.
Coronavirus has significantly interrupted RECAA’s work which began in the first week of March, 2020 : our Spring Workshops scheduled with the Portuguese, Italian, Chinese and English speaking community of elders are indefinitely postoned. The RECAA Choir which had resumed singing together and anticipated performing at a fund raising event, in June is now on line. Our co-sponsored (with Montreal Assault Prevention Centre) « Bon Voisinage II » highlighting celebrity family performers, Martha Wainwright wih her aunts the Mcgarrigle sisters, Bud Rice and father, Dave Gossage, Judy Jarvis (president of RECAA and her son Jean Sebastian Jarvis rising Indy star) …………… … will happen when we meet again in better times.
The challenge for RECAA during these times is to move our work from the physical to the digital platform. Members now are creating an information network sharing via the internet, scheduling meetings and choir practice through ZOOM, and using our smart phones, facetime, face book or the phone.
We are grateful to our student friends from the Digital world, ACT, Aging Communications Technology, who are helping us to use our digital platform, our website, to communicate with members and friends during this pandemic.
- We will be posting our thoughts, experiences and feelings in English, French, Spanish and Italian, the languages spoken in RECAA. (RECAA’s elders are from the ethnic communties of Montreal) Our website will serve as a testamony to how we lived through this period of self isolation. It will be a time of reflection on RECAA’s mandate to raise awareness of elder abuse and» to work towards a culture of respect » for all elders.
- In addition, we will use this platform to share useful information/Resources and to correct disinformation and myths.
From the UN Secretary General,
Our world faces a common enemy: COVID-19. The virus does not care about nationality or ethnicity, faction or faith. It attacks all, relentlessly.
Meanwhile, armed conflict rages on around the world.
The most vulnerable — women and children, people with disabilities, the marginalized and the displaced — pay the highest price. They are also at the highest risk of suffering devastating losses from COVID-19.
Let’s not forget that in war-ravaged countries, health systems have collapsed.
Health professionals, already few in number, have often been targeted. Refugees and others displaced by violent conflict are doubly vulnerable. The fury of the virus illustrates the folly of war.
That is why today, I am calling for an immediate global ceasefire in all corners of the world.