B.C. launches web portal to help lift seniors spirits during COVID-19

B.C. launches web portal to help lift seniors spirits during COVID-19
The new program is designed to help the public boost seniors spirits during COVID-19

B.C. is inviting everyone in the province to submit a positive greeting to seniors through the new “Tell Them You Care” web portal, to boost spirits during the COVID crisis.

BC Care Providers Association (BCCPA) launched the new web hub to provide the public with a one-stop-shop to share messages, including handwritten notes, video links, drawings and kind words, to show love and support for seniors.

“Physical distancing is an important duty for all of us during the global pandemic, but being disconnected from the broader community has been particularly hard for seniors separated from friends and family,” says BCCPA CEO Daniel Fontaine in a statement. “It is hoped that sending a heartfelt message can show that we care for our elderly loved ones, and that we are thinking of them.”

It is a greeting hub for everyone to share some love with the older generation.

“We’re particularly hoping that teachers and their students doing studies from home will embrace this opportunity and help to flood it with lots of lovely greetings,” Fontaine said.

Once a friendly greeting is uploaded to the web page, BCCPA shares them directly to seniors through car home staff or home health support workers, without collecting any personal information on either end.

“Seniors – particularly those living alone – are more vulnerable to social isolation and loneliness. A widely-cited study has shown that prolonged isolation can significantly shorten a person’s life, and is the physical equivalent of smoking 15 cigarettes per day,” said the association in a press release on Friday.

In the midst of a pandemic, BCCPA says physical distancing measures and the absence of visits from friends and family have left many older adults feeling anxious and forgotten.

“I know once those messages start rolling in, it will really boost the spirits of seniors across B.C.,” says Fontaine.

This is not the first senior-based initiative in B.C. since the start of the pandemic. The province recently adapted its BC211 phone line to help connect seniors with volunteers who want to help with grocery and prescription delivery, as well as finding companionship.

This could be helpful for seniors on the Island, as it holds the city with the oldest population in the country, who is doing its best to deal with the pandemic.

To #TellThemYouCare, go to the web portal and send in your encouraging notes.

Anyone interested in recognizing seniors care workers are encouraged to visit SafeCare BC.

Rebecca LawrenceRebecca Lawrence

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