LETTER: Supporting local seniors during COVID

Editor:

Over a month after stay-at-home orders began there is a lot to be proud of as we have come together to flatten the curve. However, in light of our successes so far, there are still many challenges emerging from the pandemic, one being the difficulties facing seniors at home.

As the most at-risk demographic, this time may be especially trying for seniors. A reduction in daily freedom, an increase in visitation restrictions, and the socially isolating nature of our current situation have proven to be very challenging for many, most notably when it comes to staying stocked with groceries and supplies.

This is even more challenging for seniors without access to a smartphone or computer, or for those who live rurally who are excluded from taking advantage of the increase in delivery services those in larger cities have readily available. This is why locally-run and locally-supported food delivery programs are so important.

It is so great to hear about community-based operations that are taking up the challenge of helping local seniors in need.

I also want to highlight BC211, the province-wide information and referral service that can match seniors whose support networks have been affected by the COVID-19 outbreak with volunteers that are ready to help.

Community members can also sign up as volunteers to help seniors with basic needs, including grocery shopping and pharmacy drop-offs. For more information visit www.bc211.ca or call 2-1-1.

Going to the grocery store or pharmacy for someone who is unable to can alleviate a lot of worries, so if you can safely help a senior in need or reach out to check in on them, please do so. Supporting each other is how we will get through this together.

Jackie Tegart, MLA for Fraser-Nicola

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