While COVID-19 has brought many unexpected changes, it provided AWWA with opportunities to be innovative and the ability to find opportunities amidst adversity. As a multi-service agency, we were initially worried about the diverse range of clients we had to continue to support, from youth with disabilities to vulnerable seniors.
During this challenging time, technology has proven to be our greatest ally, as it opened us up to a world of possibilities through tele-intervention. Through tele-platforms such as Zoom and Google Meet, we planned client engagement sessions in phases and sent out pre-recorded exercise videos and handouts prior to periodic online meeting. Having readily available resources also helped caregivers with their continuum of care for seniors at home.
Sessions typically begin with informal chats before progressing to mind stimulation activities, and culminate to structured interventions. While there were initial challenges, we learned to refine the quality of our tele-interventions. There were things that we had to be mindful of such as making sure that the exercises suit the seniors’ physical and mental capability, and we had to work virtually with their caregivers to ensure that warm up and cool down exercises were carried out in a safe environment at home.
To add some fun elements to these virtual programmes, we organised virtual group activities from live exercises, to ocarina practice session, which culminated in a group performance that was streamed live! The pandemic also didn’t stop us from having virtual celebrations for Hari Raya and one of our seniors’ birthday!
The COVID-19 pandemic is unlikely going be over anytime soon, but what has appeared instead, is the opportunity for us to connect better now. With a positive outlook, unity and sparks of creativity, we’ll weather this together, but mostly online now!
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Issue 3: August 2020