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

Stats Canada expects COVID-19 to impact inflation

Inflation trajectory already pointing downards because of COVID-19

Saanich community kitchen continues food distribution amid COVID-19 pandemic

New food delivery system launches March 27 for members stuck at home

COVID-19: Coping with isolation, stress and anxiety

Centre for Addiction and Mental Health shares useful information on coping with pandemic

Food safety a good practice amid COVID-19 concerns

BC Centre for Disease Control offers useful food safe information for households

COVID-19: A message from the publisher

We will be making some changes to our print editions during these unprecedented times

World COVID-19 morning update: Olympics delayed one year; 12,000 health care workers infected

Comprehensive world news update: Lockdown in UK showing signs of hope

Newspapers are safe to touch, World Health Organization confirms

Just make sure to wash your hands as you would after touching any surface or object

‘It’s up to us: Recently-returned B.C. couple urges Canadians to take COVID-19 seriously

Garrett Kucher and Tory Apostoliuk make it home after almost a week of lockdown in Spain

‘Nothing concrete’: Tenants, landlords lack details after B.C. unveils COVID-19 rental aid

Single mom in Golden says she’s already going to the food bank after being laid off

Canada will make sure masks sent by China meet quality standards: Trudeau

Chinese Embassy tweeted that China was sending 30,000 medical masks along with gowns, gloves and goggles

B.C. issues guidelines about distancing, reusable bags to grocery stores amid COVID-19

Hand sanitizer and markers to keep lines two metres are apart are needed, province says

No plans to call in military right now to enforce COVID-19 quarantine: Trudeau

Trudeau unveils $7.5M for Kids Help Phone, $9M for vulnerable seniors amid COVID-19

Most Read