Connect with your elderly neighbours during COVID-19 crisis

Check in on them, by phone or in person, to ensure their needs are being met

The threat of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is impacting lives worldwide, and although it may not yet have reached your community, you can expect it to in the coming days or weeks.

One vulnerable group that cannot be ignored is the elderly in the community.

Many B.C. communities have higher-than-average population of seniors, based on the popularity of the province as a retirement destination.

BC Seniors Advocate Isobel Mackenzie said at times such as this, it’s important to ensure everyone has a strong support system – neighbours helping neighbours.

“When the provincial health officer calls on British Columbians to consider what we can we do, obviously taking care of ourselves is number one, but the other thing we can do is reach out to the seniors we know around us and see what extra help they might need right now,” said Mackenzie. “The impact of COVID-19 could mean that their care worker is under the weather and can’t provide help. It could mean that their adult children who would normally help them, aren’t feeling well and can’t help them. It may mean that they really shouldn’t be in crowded situations… somebody else could go do their grocery shopping for them.”

Mackenzie recommends exchanging phone numbers with your neighbours (if you don’t already have them) and keeping in contact with each other via phone or text.

Mackenzie said a crisis like this tends to galvanize communities, and she expects the most communities will take the time to rally around each other and get through this pandemic together.

“From my years in homecare, that is the kind of thing we would see. I was in homecare during the blizzard of ’96 here in Victoria, and the way people came together to help each other out at that time was phenomenal. Now that was a different issue, in terms of why there was a crisis. But the effect on seniors being shut in and not getting what they needed… there is the potential of that, today.

“We are going to see a lot more seniors needing help with things… so if we are healthy, we should help.”

The Office of the Seniors Advocate (OSA) has an information and referral line for seniors or others looking for community resources not related to health care.

“We have a toll-free number that people can call to find out about community resources that might be available, and we have just partnered with bc211 to expand our hours of operation,” said Mackenzie.

Seniors with non-medical related inquiries can phone the OSA’s toll-free number at 1-877-952-3181. For medical questions, please phone 8-1-1.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Quesnel family pinning autism awareness onto community

Laura and Matthew Hender have sold thousands of autism awareness pins over the past eight years

COVID-19: Quesnel council moves to electronic meetings

Video of council’s first electronic meeting is now available on the City of Quesnel’s website

COVID-19: MP Todd Doherty updates community

‘The next 14 days are critical,’ writes the Cariboo-Prince George MP

COVID-19: All sports fields and baseball fields in Quesnel now closed

City trails and parks remain open, but users must maintain social distancing space of two metres

Letter to the editor: ‘Do what you can when you can’

Bert de Vink shares some insight into life with dementia

Here’s how to talk to people who aren’t taking physical distancing seriously

Approach the conversation with empathy says conflict expert

B.C. clears more acute hospital beds as COVID-19 case growth slows

Province holding about 40% of beds empty for peak still to come

As 500K+ apply for emergency benefit, Trudeau says aid coming for Canadians left behind

Canada Emergency Response Benefit provides $2,000 per month

UPDATE: UK PM Boris Johnson moved to intensive care after COVID-19 symptoms worse

He has been quarantined in his Downing St. residence since being diagnosed with COVID-19 on March 26

Travellers, travel agents ‘in agony’ over refund policies and customer service

Many Canadian carriers are offering customers flights rebookings or travel vouchers — but not refunds

Introverted and extroverted kids likely to react differently to COVID-19 restrictions

B.C. child psychologist says your parenting approach can’t be one-size fits all in social isolation

B.C. begins taking submissions for $2M COVID-19 research fund

Rural health, impact of shifting hospital resources among priorities

Wearing non-medical masks can stop spread of COVID-19 before symptoms start: Tam

Health officials had previously not recommended wearing them

Most Read