Services for newcomer older adults

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Settling in a new country can be harder for immigrants who are 55 and up. This is especially true for newcomers who do not belong to large ethnocultural communities (like Chinese or Filipino). It is also hard for those who do not know English.

Older newcomers who do not know English can become lonely. They stay at home because they cannot understand or speak the language. They do not become close to the community. This can lead to depression and other health problems. It limits their opportunity to live active lives.


Programs and services for newcomer older adults

In Manitoba, newcomer older adults can get support for continued learning. Free programs offer chances to meet with people, get into a sport or hobby, and others.

  1. Language training
    Older adults immigrating to Manitoba must learn English. You need it to communicate with your grandchildren, speak to your neighbors, know the community, and to get a job.
    • English Conversation Circles (A&O Support Services for Older Adults) – this is a free program. It lasts for 10 weeks. It is for improving conversational skills.
    • To register: Senior Immigrant Settlement Services.

    • Senior centres, churches, and immigrant serving organizations also offer language programs. English Online’s free language courses can be seen here.
    • Reading books at the library can help. Every day, make it a habit to listen to English songs and watch TV shows or movies. Reading story books to your grandchildren can make you better at English.
    • For other ideas, read: 10 easy ways to improve your English.

  2. Recreation
    Keeping busy will help keep your mind active. It also keeps you from being lonely. Start by taking walks around your neighbourhood. You can also play with your grandchildren at the park.

    Joining a community group for yoga or other activities expands your network. Ask your community centre, senior centre, or check the Leisure guide for group activities.


  3. Volunteering and mentoring
    Share your experience and wisdom with the community. Volunteer at your community center, church or at immigrant serving organizations. Go to Senior Scope to know volunteering opportunities.

  4. Health care
    According to Manitoba.ca (Healthy Living and Seniors), have at least 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise per week. You can also add muscle and bone strengthening activities two days per week.

    Know more about your Manitoba health care coverage. Read: 5 important facts about your Manitoba Health Care coverage. If you need transportation, read about: Transportation Options Network for Seniors (TONS). It offers a ride for your regular check-ups, medical care, or to other places in rural Manitoba.


  5. Skills training
    There are many things you can learn in Manitoba. You can learn new arts and crafts, gain computer skills, or pick up a sport like golf or fishing.

    • Creative Retirement offers activities for life-long learning. They have programs for various interests.
    • The Winnipeg Public Library has free computer workshops. Learn how to use the computer and gain other skills like browsing the internet and word processing.
    • Manitoba.ca page for Career Development – shows opportunities for building skills for work. You can also see other resources and job banks if you are planning on getting back to work.
    • The Seniors Guide – has a list of seniors centres, organizations and other supports.

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Community Resources

Seniors’ Guidebook for Safety and Security was developed by RCMP for guidance. You can download the pamphlet through the link.

Senior Centre Without Walls by A&O Support Services for Older Adults offers free educational and recreational programs over the phone. Call 204-956-6440 or go to A&O Support Services for Older Adults for more information.

Winnipeg Seniors’ Housing and Rural Seniors’ Housing have information on housing options for seniors.

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