Artists4LongTermCare: Artists create resources for all to advocate during COVID-19 and beyond
through, Ryan backerKitra Cahana lives in Arizona, but her family is entirely in Montreal - currently Canada's COVID-19 epicenter. Her sister is finishing her second year as a nursing student, about to go to the front line; her mother is a social worker in a retirement home; and her father is disabled and lives in […]

Kitra Cahana lives in Arizona, but her family is entirely in Montreal - currently Canada's COVID-19 epicenter. Her sister is finishing her second year as a nursing student, about to go to the front line; her mother is a social worker in a retirement home; and her father is disabled and lives in a large long-term care center. Thousands of miles away, Kitra remains directly connected to her father's well-being during this turbulent time. Since March, she has become more and more aware not only of her father's struggles, but also of the general challenges that long-term care has long faced.

Normally, Kitra traveled, made films, and worked as a photojournalist and filmmaker for National Geographic, NBC News, and other publications. Now she is channeling her energy into a grassroots movement focused on long-term care. She transforms the public's perception of long-term care through artwork and advocacy for residents and workers through # Artists4LongTermCare. In conjunction, she created a toolkit for residents, families and friends, to give them the means to be defenders and activists. Kitra knows she can't do this alone, so she taps into her vast networks, forging links and coalitions between artists and activists. “I give all my absolute to try to protect the residents and the workers who take care of them in a heroic way.

This business began when Kitra realized the gravity of her father's situation and the general state of long-term care, especially in Montreal. In the United States, at least 37% of all Covid-19-related deaths are residents or workers in long-term care facilities. But in Canada, the figure is 82%. It was particularly serious in the provinces of Quebec and Ontario. The federal government in Candian has ordered the military to help the hardest-hit long-term care homes. At the end of May, the military published a report detailing the total devastation of these homes. "There is a tornado of vulnerability in these buildings." as Kitra describes.

“At first I started looking around and saw all these self-help groups appearing online,” Kitra says. “All my friends were involved in all types of initiatives, and I wanted to connect with the other activists who were already advocating for long-term care. But among the many initiatives created by young artists and activists in Kitra communities, she found no mobilization to support long-term care in Montreal - or elsewhere. “There is a complete lack of awareness and focus on these communities, nursing homes, the elderly, people with disabilities in facilities and caregivers.

While Kitra hasn't seen her friends or other activists worrying about long-term care facilities, she has seen the hard work of healthcare workers and residents' loved ones. To harness this potential, Kitra decided to start her own initiative to help her father's house. She didn't know of any other family within her father's residence, but she started looking for them and created a Facebook group to bring everyone together. She then helped form WhatsApp chats for family members based on the floor their loved one lived on. Soon resources were exchanged, emotional bonds were forged, and Kitra saw the seed she sowed take on a life of its own through the ups and downs of diagnoses, deaths, and recoveries. From these experiences and the resources collected, Kitra created the toolkit to guide others through community building and information sharing. It was an undertaking that would not have been possible without the help of other families and staff at the center. Kitra explained, "They understand the intricacies of why these places are so vulnerable."

The guide not only advocates for residents, but also nurses, care partners and other staff. Kitra took into account that workers are also a vulnerable population, as the majority of them come from immigrant and migrant communities. “They themselves need extra support during the pandemic and they are in these facilities, putting their lives at risk,” says Kitra. "The way to protect residents is therefore to protect workers."

Kitra knew that such a deep problem required a deep solution - deeper than simply changing the community of the centers themselves. Kitra understood that society's view on long-term care needed to be changed as well. As a photojournalist and filmmaker, Kitra understands the power of art and storytelling to “move and shake” people into action. "But there was a lack of pictures, a lack of ordinary people commenting and saying we have to do something." Kitra knew she couldn't create that impact on her own. So she contacted her friends, photographer Isadora Kosofsky and investigative journalist Yasin Kakande, and together they triggered # Artists4longtermcare. “Artists 4 Long Term Care is a social action initiative that uses art and storytelling to raise awareness of the crisis facing residents and staff of long-term care facilities during the Covid pandemic -19. " They received works of art from all over the world to support the initiative.

Kitra's tireless work promotes the big ideas we need to overcome this crisis. "I didn't see it as a COVID issue with a quick fix, it's a systemic issue that needs to take motion to change."

Want to help? Here is what you can do:

  • Follow @ Artists4longtermcare on Instagram and share the images on social media by tagging them and using the hashtag # Artists4longtermcare
  • Use illustration for non-commercial purposes: download these images and give credit to the artist and @ Artists4longtermcare when using them
  • To send the toolbox to your networks and to include in your list of resources
  • Share additional resources, ideas or comments on the toolkit by emailing kitra.cahana@gmail.com
  • Create or order a work of art: read the artist's file in English HERE. And in French HERE. Share it with other artists, photographers, poets, filmmakers, etc. who might wish to participate


What does it mean to age gracefully ? You can’t stand in a checkout line without seeing at least a few magazine headlines about how to look younger. While dreading some wrinkles and sagging isn’t uncommon, there’s so much more to aging well.

Aging gracefully isn’t about trying to look like a 20-something — it’s about living your best life and having the physical and esprit health to enjoy it. Like a bottle of wine, you can get better with age with the right care. Read on to find out what to do and what not to do on your quest to age happily.

Your skin is your body’s largest organTrusted Source. If you treat it with care, it can better protect your body from the elements, regulate your body temperature, and provide sensation. to keep it looking and functioning at its best : Wear sunscreen and protective clothing when outside. Get yearly skin cancer screenings. Stick to gentle products in your anti-aging skin care routine. Stay hydrated.

Your skin is your body’s largest organTrusted Source. If you treat it with care, it can better protect your body from the elements, regulate your body temperature, and provide impression. to keep it looking and functioning at its best : Wear sunscreen and protective clothing when outside. Get yearly skin cancer screenings. Stick to gentle products in your anti-aging skin care routine. Stay hydrated.

Regular exercise significantly lowers your risk of diseases, such as heart disease and cancer, and helps you retain your mobility longer. Exercise also lowers stress and improves sleep, skin and bone health, and mood. The Department of Health

Healthy foods are the way to go when it comes to aging gracefully. The Dietary Guidelines for AmericansTrusted Source recommends that you eat : fruits and vegetables, either fresh, frozen, or cannedlean protein, such as fish and beansat least three ounces of whole-grain cereals, breads, rice, or pasta every daythree servings of low-fat or fat-free dairy, such as milk, yogurt or cheese that are fortified with vitamin Dhealthy fatsAvoid using solid fats for cooking and use oils instead. Stay away from processed foods, refined sugars, and unhealthy fats. You should also keep your salt intake to a peu to keep your blood pressure down.

Being happy and keeping your stress down goes a long way in helping you real and age well. tera keep your mood elevated : Spend time with friends and loved ones. Meaningful relationships and a strong social network improve esprit and physical well-being and longevity. Don’t forget your furry loved ones as having a pet has been linked to lower stress and blood pressure, reduced loneliness, and better moods. Accept your age. There is evidence that people who maintain a positive attitude about aging live longer and may recover better from a disability. Aging is inevitable and learning to embrace it can make all the difference. Do things you enjoy. Taking the time to engage in activities you enjoy will only fuel your happiness. Spend time in nature, pursue a new hobby, volunteer — whatever brings you joy.

Numerous studiesTrusted Source have linked a sedentary life to an increased risk of chronic illness and early death. Some possibilités to stay active are going on walks and hikes, taking vacations, and participating in group exercise classes.

The effects of stress on your body are vast, ranging from premature aging and wrinkles to a higher risk of heart disease. There are a number of proven ways to relieve stress, including : using relaxation techniques, such as meditation, breathing exercises, and yogaexercisinggetting adequate sleeptalking to a friend

Smoking and alcohol have both been shown to cause premature aging and increase the risk of disease. Quitting smoking isn’t easy, but there are resources available to help you quit. Speak to a doctor about how to quit. As for alcohol, limit your intake to the recommendedTrusted Source amount to avoid health risks. That’s one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men.

Good sleep is important for your physical and mental health. It also plays a role in your skin’s health. How much sleep you need depends on your age. Adults over 18 should aim for seven to eight hoursTrusted Source of sleep every night. Getting enough sleep has been proven to : lower the risk of heart disease and strokereduce stress and depressionlower the risk of obesityreduce inflammationimprove focus and concentration

Finding new and meaningful hobbies can help you maintain a sense of purpose and keep you engaged throughout the course of your life. Evidence shows that people who engage in hobbies and leisure and social activities are happier, experience less depression, and real longer.

Mindfulness is about acceptance and living in the moment by focusing on the present. Practicing mindfulness has many proven health benefits that can help you age better, including : improved focusbetter memorylower stressimproved emotional reactionrelationship satisfactionincreased immune functioningTo practice mindfulness, try : meditationyogatai chicoloring

Drinking enough water helps keep you regular and improves your energy levels and brain function. Coincidentally, it’s also been provenTrusted Source to help keep skin healthier and reduce signs of aging. How much water you should drink depends on : your thirstyour activity levelhow often you urinate and move your bowelshow much you sweatyour genderSpeak to a doctor if you have questions or concerns about your water intake.

Not taking care of your teeth not only ages your smile, but also puts you at risk for gum disease, which has been linked to heart disease, stroke, and bacterial pneumonia. Along with proper oral care, it’s important to see a dentist regularly. According to the American Dental Association, a dentist can spot signs of nutritional deficiencies, contagion, cancer, and other illnesses, such as diabetes. They recommend brushing twice a day, flossing once a day, and using a mouth rinse.

Seeing a doctor regularly can help the doctor find problems early or even before they start. How often you see a doctor depends on your age, lifestyle, family history, and existing conditions. Ask your doctor how often you should go in for checkups and screening contrôles as you age. Also, see a doctor anytime you experience concerning symptoms.

Though aging is inevitable, some people find it difficult to deal with the changes that come with getting older. If you’re worried about your health, are having dysfonctionnement feeling positive about aging, or worry that you’re not aging well it’s important to reach out for help. Talk to someone you trust, such as a family member or close friend. Professional help is also available through a doctor or a counselor.

Aging gracefully is more about being healthy and happy than keeping wrinkles at bay. Maintain a healthy lifestyle, surround yourself with people you love, and do things that bring you joy. It’s natural to worry about the challenges that aging can bring, so don’t hesitate to speak to someone about your concerns.

SHOP NOW

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *