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Tidings of comfort and joy: holiday campaign collects greetings for B.C. seniors

Last Updated Dec 12, 2020 at 11:40 am PST

(CREDIT: iStock Photo)
Summary

It's an especially difficult time for seniors in care, as British Columbians are told to keep to their household bubbles

Notes, videos and drawings, can be submitted through a website set up by the Care Providers Association and EngAge BC

You can use #SeniorsGreetings on social media to share cheer with those who live in the province's care homes

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — Feelings of loneliness and isolation can be a struggle to deal with on an average year, but the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated that.


Seniors living in British Columbia’s care homes will need to know they are supported and loved – even from a distance – and it’s why the BC Care Providers Association (BCCPA) and EngAge BC is hoping you’ll send some kind messages to them.

The groups have made it simple by creating an online ‘Seniors Greetings’ portal, where the public can submit their handwritten notes, videos, drawings, and other thoughts, which will be passed on to those in long-term care and assisted living.

“We know that this is just one thing, but we were looking for ways that we could really spread joy among residents,” says Rebecca Frederick of EngAge BC. “You know, really show them that British Columbians are supporting them and are thinking of them during a holiday season which is like going to be challenging.”

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Visitors to the site can decide whether they’d like to share their name with their submission, and Frederick says no personal information will be stored by the organization.

“Social isolation is really detrimental to a person’s health. We know that social isolation can be the equivalent to smoking up to 15 cigarettes a day, so the more that we can do to make people feel connected to their broader communities at this time, the better.”

Frederick says there are also a few other things you can do for our seniors to keep them safe.

“We’re hoping that British Columbians will continue to follow the public health orders: wear a mask, wash their hands, and stay home when they’re sick. Those are the best things they can do to ensure our seniors living in long-term care and assisted living remain protected during the holidays.”

There have been a number of reports issued by BC Advocate for Seniors – Isobel Mackenzie – who said the pandemic contributed immensely to isolation, with a report earlier this month showing there’s been an increase in complaints at care homes and fewer inspections compared to last year.

You can submit your greetings at www.route65.ca, and if you’d like to share your message on social media, you can do so by using #SeniorsGreetings.