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Quiet Corner for Solitude and Seniors
Poran Poregbal and Samira Gholami, hosts of Today TV, engaged in a discussion with Soheil Javid, an Iranian-Canadian citizen actively involved in community initiatives and the non-profit organization of culturally centred activities for Iranian seniors.
Soheil talked about his experiences with loneliness and senior citizens. He shared that he has lived in British Columbia, Canada, for about 35 years. He remembers the challenges of COVID-19 and, at the same time, the globalization of loneliness as we have lost connection to our human tribes. He remembered Saadi’s famous poem, "Human beings are of one essence.”
As a senior person, he recognized how his parents died in loneliness due to the restrictions of Covid-19. The shock of losing his parents helped him to do some soul-searching, and as soon as the restrictions were lifted, he started to organize some outdoor potlucks with a group of friends and other seniors they knew. These outdoor activities grew, and many other seniors joined the meetings with many activities. After COVID-19, one senior citizen named Susan opened her door for the gatherings. Soheil stressed the significance of their organization's role in aiding seniors, mitigating isolation, and alleviating loneliness.
Poran emphasized the research indicating that loneliness contributes to premature death and various health issues. She commended Soheil's efforts in organizing a range of outdoor and indoor activities, including art and craft classes, music groups, and educational sessions on the North Shore.
Poran elaborated on the societal impact of senior loneliness, highlighting the need for collective awareness and action.
Samira echoed the need for activities catering to seniors whose families are busy with their own lives. As the cultural needs of seniors in our communities continue to expand, existing resources may not suffice. She encouraged viewers to consider initiating their own groups, emphasizing Soheil's support for those involved in teaching or organizing community-based activities.
In conclusion, Poran, Samira, and Soheil emphasized the pressing need to engage seniors in community initiatives. They highlighted the reciprocal benefits of improving mental and physical health through service and volunteerism.
Poran Poregbal MA, RSW, RCC Doctoral Candidate in Counselling and Psychotherapy
Samira Gholami, BA, MA Candidate Psychotherapist, Co-Founder, Director of Operations Member of (CCPA)
Producer and Journalist:
Skyrise Media Society