Survey Results – Your Thoughts on Helping People Stay Connected and Safe During COVID-19

Memo to: People We Support, Families, Guardians, and Skills Society Employees

Re: Survey Results – Your Thoughts on Helping People Stay Connected and Safe During COVID-19

From: Senior Leadership of Skills Society

November 23, 2020 

Thank you

Thank you to all the people we support, family members, and guardians who participated in the survey! We sincerely appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts and suggestions of ways to support the people we serve in feeling connected to one another during this unprecedented time. 

We value your insights and feedback 

The insights from this survey were themed, and Skills Senior Leadership looked at what was possible to implement while considering available resources, safety during the pandemic and what might have the greatest impact for the people we support. We are all navigating an extraordinary Pandemic that the human race has not seen anything like in over 100 years. Navigating the Pandemic is the top priority to support the people we serve, families and our employees to get through it as safely as possible. The summarized and themed survey responses are included below. 

Actions we will try in order to support and respond to your feedback

  1. Sharing this feedback with our Skills Community, and asking that Managers and Team Leaders discuss and implement ideas through team meetings.
  2. Continue offering weekly Virtual CommuniTEA Connection events. Everyone we support is welcome to register for these events! These include things like preparing a recipe together, having a conversation around a specific topic, or doing a guided art project. To learn more and see a schedule of events visit our website at: www.skillssociety.ca/covid-19-resources or contact Jessica, Virtual Community Building Initiative Coordinator at ltai@ualberta.ca.
  3. MyCompass Person-centered Planning Labs have moved online where creative ideas to stay connected will be explored.
  4. Where feasible and possible we continue to explore online offerings of Skills gatherings, events, and projects (i.e., Day of Giving, Annual General Meeting). To learn more or RSVP for the Skills Society’s 5th Annual Day of Giving please email info@skillssociety.ca or phone 780-496-9686. 
  5. Continue to communicate how important regular check ins are between Managers, Team Leaders, individuals, families and guardians.

Questions?

If you are a family or guardian and require additional information please be in touch with the Manager associated with your loved one’s support.

More opportunities to stay engaged and connected through community partners

Our friends at Kudoz, in partnership with co-make-do are offering weekly (almost daily!) experiences that the people we support can join in. These experiences are free of charge and include chats, classes, and digital cafes. Simply click on the Zoom link in the event’s description to join. To see the events calendar or to sign up for email updates click here. If you or your loved one have questions about participating in these events please contact Rebecca (rebeccar@skillssociety.ca).  

Please know that we are working our hardest to keep the people we serve as safe as possible, while always balancing precautions with safeguarding the mental and physical well-being of the people we serve. 

Sincerely, 

Senior Leadership of Skills Society 

 

Community & Belonging During COVID-19

Survey results and themes from people we serve, family members and guardians

 

 

It Starts with Citizenship

For many of us, citizenship is something we take for granted. It can be defined in many ways, but at its core ​citizenship​ is our sense of value and belonging. Skills Society is committed to delivering services that strengthen belonging and encourage and support individual choice and opportunity. ​Citizenship​ is what we strive for every day.

Full citizenship involves…

 

Overview of Survey Results

Thank you

to all the people we support, family members, and guardians who participated in the survey!

During this unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic, Skills Society has been looking for new and creative ways to support the people we serve in feeling connected to others and community. In October we launched a small survey for people we support, families and guardians inviting them to share suggestions on ways Skills Society may support them or their loved ones during these times. To better understand how we may do this, we invited people we support to also share what’s been going well, what could be better, and moments of citizenship and belonging in their lives over the part year. We heard from 48 people and the responses were reviewed and themed by Skills Senior Leadership. Below are the summarized and themed survey responses and actions Skills Society will take in response to the information shared.

Themes of What People We Support Are Struggling With During the Pandemic

  1. It is very difficult to grow connections and deepen a sense of belonging with COVID-19 safety protocols and restrictions.
  2. Even though the safeguards from Health Authorities and Skills Society protect people, it leads to further isolation, requiring a stronger attention to support mental health in creative ways.
  3. People yearn for face to face, physical contact with family, friends, new pets, support workers and neighbours.
  4. COVID-19 safety restrictions and the changes associated with it (i.e., social distancing and not going out as much as before) have led to feelings of boredom; it is difficult to remain entertained and stay healthy.

Themes of What’s Generally Going Okay

  1. People are using digital tools like Zoom and Facetime to stay in touch with friends, family and community. This helps with staying connected to others but is not as good or meaningful as real face to face connection.
  2. People are finding safe and creative ways to connect with friends and family outdoors.
  3. People enjoy participating in the Virtual CommuniTEA Connection events and find them helpful.
  4. All things considered people are adapting to the new normal as best they can; may not be a time for thriving, but persevering and getting through this unprecedented time.

Suggestions and Ideas From People We Serve That Could Help During These Times

  1. Continue with virtual ways of connecting with friends and family (i.e., Zoom, Facetime, Virtual CommuniTEA Connection events, MyCompass Timeline Posts, phone calls).
  2. People we support often need help from staff to schedule, set up and get online in order to participate in virtual connections and activities (i.e., Zoom, Facetime).
  3. Virtual connection is not the only way to connect – exploring creative ideas, games, and activities to keep engaged and connected with others at home. The implication here is that it would be very helpful if staff could help research and come up with ideas people can engage with at home.
  4. One thing that was clear was people reported being most proud when they were able to maintain their physical and mental wellbeing and work and volunteer opportunities. COVID-19 disrupted all of these key pieces that make life good. The implication here is getting creative to safely explore and maintain physical and mental wellbeing, and even work and volunteer opportunities if possible. Again, staff being creative and advocating is key to opening up opportunities safely during the pandemic.

Actions We Will Try in Order to Support and Respond to Your Feedback

  1. Sharing this feedback with our Skills Community, and asking that Managers and Team Leaders discuss and implement ideas through team meetings.
  2. Continue offering weekly Virtual CommuniTEA Connection events. Everyone we support is welcome to register for these events! These include things like preparing a recipe together, having a conversation around a specific topic, or doing a guided art project. To learn more and see a schedule of events visit our website at: www.skillssociety.ca/covid-19-resources or contact Jessica, Virtual Community Building Initiative Coordinator at ltai@ualberta.ca.
  3. MyCompass Person-centered Planning Labs have moved online where creative ideas to stay connected will be explored.
  4. Where feasible and possible we continue to explore online offerings of Skills gatherings, events, and projects (i.e., Day of Giving, Annual General Meeting). To learn more or RSVP for the Skills Society’s 5th Annual Day of Giving please email info@skillssociety.ca or phone 780-496-9686. 
  5. Continue to communicate how important regular check ins are between Managers, Team Leaders, individuals, families and guardians