It has been over half a year since Keiro shifted to providing free weekly virtual programs, creating a space to both remain engaged with others during these times while also learn something new. For many, this was the first time they had tried online video conferencing and webinars. We interviewed some of our regular attendees to share their favorite program and why they are meaningful. For many participants, these forums have become a part of their new normal and a much-needed way to stay connected while staying safe at home.

David, Reseda

“I hope the forum classes will continue, even after the pandemic subsides. It’s an easy and convenient way to stay connected.”

First forum: Emergency Preparedness | Favorite Forum: Community Bingo

David found out about the classes through his cousin, who urged him to attend an emergency preparedness forum, which was very informative. Eventually he began attending more and the forums “became a welcomed part of the pandemic life.” “They offer a wide variety of topics – games, crafts, information, speakers – and make it easy to attend. The Zoom format makes it easy and convenient. I don’t even have to dress up to attend,” shared David.

Mitzi, Porter Ranch

“Keiro Forums are definitely one of my positive discoveries during this COVID quarantine.”

First forum: Conversation Kitchen | Favorite Forum: BBQ series, Estate Planning, Scattegories

Mitzi described these forums using three “E”s – educational, entertaining, and enjoyable – and couldn’t select just one forum as her favorite. “For inspiration, it was the outdoor BBQ series that inspired me to do more outdoor cooking,” she explained.

She also enjoys the cultural elements woven into games like Scattegories, where they played on the topic of Japanese nouns/adjectives. “That was funny and loads of laughs! I look forward to sessions that celebrate and touch on my unique Japanese American background and heritage.”

She added receiving help from Keiro staff as well. “I had a technical update need and Kylie Uyeda was there to resolve my challenge with extreme patience for which I will be forever grateful.”

Sam, Orange County

“I’ve learned a lot from Keiro’s classes, and I was able to apply that to my senior group’s activities.”

First forum: Keiro hosted community partner meeting | Favorite Forum: Community Bingo

Sam shared that being able to access these classes from the comfort of his home is a great benefit, adding that it also “saves gas and time.” Aside from his favorite forums like community bingo, which he said is much – needed entertainment with his wife during the pandemic, the biggest benefit he found was learning new skills and applying it to his life. He learned how to host Zoom meetings early on through Keiro’s forums, and now assists his church community’s older adults. “I have hosted over ten senior meetings using Zoom.”

Audrey, South Bay

“These forums have kept me connected with people in the outside world. I’m nearly 77 and continue to stay at home.”

First forum: Tech Hours | Favorite Forum: Conversation Kitchen, Crafts Corner

Audrey shared that her favorite forums are Conversation Kitchen and Crafts Corner. “Any craft is fun and is a great relaxing ‘me time’!” She constantly looks forward to newly added classes, commenting “I don’t want to miss out on anything!” Audrey isn’t quite ready to go back to community centers yet, so the classes help her stay connected. “Keiro’s opportunities have been a life-line and life saver. I would definitely like to see it continue because I, for one, would rather meet on Zoom than go and drive somewhere and to avoid crowds.”