Overwhelmed and exhausted, 63-year-old Shahida has little time for herself. It’s with support from The Salvation Army that she is able to recharge and maintain a positive attitude.
“At the end of the day, there is no time left for me,” says Shahida, who looks after her two sons who suffer with depression. “I love my family and wouldn’t have it any other way. I just find it hard making time for myself.”
At The Salvation Army’s Barbara Mitchell Family Resource Centre in Winnipeg, S.T.A.R.S (Senior’s Tuesday a.m. Recreation Spot), Shahida sets aside her responsibilities for a few hours and reboots.
“There is a lot to do at S.T.A.R.S.,” says Shahida, “such as exercises, outings, crafts and guest speakers. But what I like best is talking with others facing similar challenges. It helps me feel better about my situation. We have become a little family.”
The centre provides a broad range of integrated services for people affected by issues such as low education/literacy levels, language, culture and low coping skills. A new initiative, Wisdom Through the Ages, provides opportunities for children and seniors to learn from one another.
“We share valuable skills and knowledge with each other,” says Shahida. “Seniors teach kids how to bake and kids teach us how to use technology. We tell them how a smile and talking to someone in a wheelchair is really appreciated and they tell us that they want to be heard.”
Shahida has learned that when life gets overwhelming, you have to find ways to make it more manageable. The Salvation Army helps provide the tools she needs to better care for herself and her family.
Photo: Shahida (left) enjoys a S.T.A.R.S. outing with friends