Virtual Programs for Chinese-Speaking Seniors
Kin On developed its Healthy Living Program (HLP) in 2016-2017 to enable Asian adults age 55+ to stay physically, mentally, and socially active through fitness and cognitive development. Up until the start of 2020, it was in full operation, serving a combined total of over 700 seniors. When COVID-19 arrived on the scene, Kin On closed down its community centers to keep its seniors safe. Although closing our doors has kept our seniors safe from COVID-19, unfortunately, it has led to an increase in other health issues like depression and anxiety. Therefore, we’ve pivoted our HLP to support seniors at home through regular staff check-ins, as well as, virtual programming, including:
•Arts & Crafts: Kin On’s Craft & Chat program was a favorite at the Community Centers. With the closing of the centers, we decided to bring some of these events online, so seniors in the community could still connect to socialize and share their crafts with one another. We now hold regular Craft & Chat virtual program, as well as, regular calligraphy classes online.
•Exercise: Exercise is a vital component of any healthy lifestyle, seniors included! We are now providing virtual programming like Dancercise, Tai Chi, and Yoga to help seniors continue moving at home.
•Social Events: Perhaps the most important of our current programs (and one of the most widely attended) are our social events that allow seniors to simply connect and talk online. This includes a regular Tea Time program (where seniors around King County log on to a Zoom call to chat over various topics of interest), as well as, our Life Story Club.
•Technology: Seniors are at various levels of technology knowledge, and to help, Kin On is offering Technology Tutoring twice a week.
These programs have remained vital life lines to seniors isolated from family members, friends, and the greater community. Kin On is providing its online programs free of charge and is seeking additional support.
Funded by Seattle, WA (February 2021)