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 the 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 lead active lives.

Programs and services for newcomer older adults

Newcomer older adults can get support for continued learning in Manitoba. Free programs give them a chance to meet other people, get into a sport or hobby to stay active, and gain skills.

  1. Language training
    Older adults immigrating to Manitoba must learn English. They need it to communicate with their grandchildren, neighbors and to get a job.
    • English Conversation Circles (A&O Support Services for Older Adults) is a free program that lasts for 10 weeks. To register, go to 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.
    • Aside from great books, the library has many activities for language learners. If you don’t have time to attend a class, make it a habit to listen to English songs and watch TV shows or movies. Reading story books to your grandchildren will also make you better at English.
    • For other ideas, read: 10 easy ways to improve your English.

  2. Recreation
    Keeping busy will make your mind active. Start by taking walks around your neighbourhood. You can also play with your grandchildren at the park.

    Community groups for yoga or meditation as well as other in-person activities may be on pause during the pandemic but there are other ways to stay connected. A&O has several COVID-19 response programs that provide social connection as well as basic assistance such as delivery of groceries and medication.

  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, Immigrant-serving organizations, or
    Volunteer Manitoba to find opportunities.

  4. Health care
    Older adults should have at least 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity per week (Healthy Living and Seniors). 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. Find a family doctor to get regular check-ups and appropriate health advice.

  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.

*Some of the in-person programs mentioned here are on hold in line due to the pandemic. Please check the link or call the service provider for details.

Article updated December 21, 2020.

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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.

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