Working at a long-term care facility for seniors, Azmina Khimji has been on the front lines with the most at-risk part of the population during the Covid-19 crisis.

“Our biggest challenge is people who have dementia. They don’t remember they need to be isolated,” said Azmina, who works as a recreational therapist and volunteer manager at the Windermere Care Centre in Vancouver.

Azmina lives in Burnaby and attends Downtown Jamatkhana. She said one of the hardest things she has done during the pandemic is stopping families from visiting. Some worry they will never see their loved ones again. To compensate for regular visits, she and her staff organize FaceTime meetings and window visits.

“We facilitate the conversation back and forth,” she explained. “And if families want to send us emails or letters to the loved ones, we make sure to print and deliver them.”

Originally born in Taborah, Tanzania, Azmina moved to Vancouver in 1974. She has worked on seniors’ programmes with the Ismaili community for years, including developing seniors’ centres and the Seniors Visitation Program across Canada.

Like most others working on the front lines, Azmina encourages the Jamat to stay vigilant about precautions that will stop the spread of germs. She also looks forward to when Ismailis will be able to return to Jamatkhana.

Her advice to the Jamat, particularly the seniors, is to “Stay strong in your faith, stay connected to those you care about as well as you can, stay active, and above all, stay safe."