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

B.C. firefighters only responding to most life-threatening calls during COVID-19 pandemic

The directive comes after province spoke with paramedics, fire services, according to top doctor

‘An extra $220 every 90 days’: B.C. patients pay more dispensing fees due to prescription limits

Kelowna woman says it’s outrageous to charge for refills every 30 days

Over 440 complaints issued in 3 months about Central Kootenay governments: B.C. Ombudsperson

Most common complaints were about decisions and bylaw enforcement in local governments

Trail medical lab makes changes amid pandemic

Rossland and Salmo clinics are not seeing immunocompromised or suspect/symptomatic patients.

New city hall, four-storey development proposed for Rossland

The building would include 37 affordable housing units

QUIZ: How much do you know about hockey?

Take this test and find out how well you know Canada’s most popular winter sport

QUIZ: How much do you know about hockey?

Take this test and find out how well you know Canada’s most popular winter sport

Researchers look at humidity as a weapon in the fight against airborne viruses

Regular hand washing, physical distancing and PPE for health care workers remains best line of defense

Two inmates found positive for COVID-19 at federal prison in B.C.; other tests pending

15 staff self-isolating waiting results, refusal to work notice sent, says correctional officer

Critic, workers’ group ‘disappointed’ Trudeau chose Amazon to distribute PPE

Amazon Canada said in an email to The Canadian Press that it is working with Canada Post, Purolator

Full World COVID-19 update: National Guard collect ventilators in New York; Spain, Italy improve

Comprehensive coronavirus update with news from around the world.

Two people fined after B.C. police spot online ads re-selling 5,000 surgical, N95 masks

Police confiscated the masks, being sold at inflated prices, and now working with Fraser Health

General exposure to public low after inmate tests positive for COVID-19: Interior Health

The Okanagan Correctional Centre inmate is receiving appropriate care

Most Read