The Cummings Centre, a non-profit, multicultural community centre serving Montreal’s 50+ population, has put in place several measures during the current COVID-19 pandemic.
“As of March 16, the Centre has postponed all events, programs and spring registration for the main campus (Westbury) and all off-site locations,” notes Cummings Centre Executive Director Pauline Grunberg. “This has enabled staff to focus on delivering essential Social Services to clients.”
Over 850 Passover gift cards as well as 350 Kosher Meals-On-Wheels have been delivered to clients by Cummings staff. The delivery of meals and Passover meals will continue and by the end of March including this week, the Cummings Centre will have delivered 1360 meals & 120 soups to clients.
“A team of Cummings staff has been identified to do the shopping and delivery of groceries and essentials to those vulnerable clients who have no support or family,” said Director of Social Services Beth Fineberg. “This is exceptional due to this emergency. Homecare services are also continuing and the plan is to continue these services for as long as possible.”
A community helpline – 514-734-1411 was established with Federation CJA, Cummings Centre and Agence Ometz for the community at large. The lines are being staffed by a joint emergency response team from both Cummings and Ometz. Individuals needing assistance can also email Ometz-Cummingsfirstname.lastname@example.org
The Social Services Department Intake, Case Management and Community Mental Health staff continue to work remotely with their clients offering psychosocial support, financial assistance where needed and direct service through the Cummings’ Shopping Program.
The Day Services Program staff have been in touch on a regular basis with their clients, who are individuals living with dementia, to offer support and assess basic needs. They are also working with caregivers to provide in-home stimulation kits as well as implementing an online support group through Zoom, to begin the week of March 23rd.
In an effort to stay in touch with members and volunteers, the Volunteer and Program Department staff have developed a process for ‘care calls’ throughout the closure.
To help break social isolation, the Centre is providing the community-at-large free access to the Cummings Centre Virtual Library funded by the Leonard Albert Family Foundation. The library includes over 150 recorded videos of past Cummings lectures, blockbuster events and classes from experts in the field of well-aging. Topics include health and wellness, music and art appreciation, global affairs, tales and travel and more. Individuals can sign up for free at cummingscentre.org/virtual-learning/
To enrich French virtual activities, the Communauté Sépharde Unifiée du Québec, in partnership with Cummings, have offered to share a series of conferences, French music and Israeli films on the Cummings Virtual Library.
“The Program Department will be uploading new videos weekly and the team is even looking at Facebook and YouTube live videos in order to continue to support the intellectual, cognitive and physical well-being of English and Francophone seniors,” notes Cummings Director of Programming and Communications Brenda Yuen.
For more information and ongoing updates visit cummingscentre.org.
The Cummings Centre empowers and enhances the quality of life of adults age 50 and over by providing dynamic and innovative programs, social services and volunteer opportunities in a vibrant, respectful, inclusive and compassionate environment.