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Seniors Advocate asks public to look out for elderly during COVID-19 crisis

B.C.’s Seniors Advocate Isobel Mackenzie is asking all British Columbians to look out for the elderly in our community.
Seniors Advocate Isobel Mackenzie is asking the public to lend a hand to vulnerable seniors during the COVID-19 pandemic. Photo Mike Wakefield, North Shore News

B.C.’s Seniors Advocate Isobel Mackenzie is asking all British Columbians to look out for the elderly in our community.

“While the provincial health officer has advised that most people who contract COVID-19 will experience mild symptoms, it is amore serious illness for the elderly, and we need to ensure that people who are not feeling well refrain from close contact with seniors and those who have underlying health conditions,” Mackenzie said in a press release Friday. “We also need to support seniors to ensure they are properly washing their hands, cleaning surfaces they come into contact with, limiting their exposure to others in the community who may be ill and practicing social distancing for the time being.”

Mackenzie added, seniors living in the community often depend on care workers, family and friends to assist them with everything from taking their medications, grocery shopping and cooking meals to more complex personal care needs.

“These seniors may find that some of the people they rely on may be feeling unwell and it is recommended that person refrain from direct contact until they feel better. That is why, now, more than ever, it is important for all of us to look out for our elderly friends, neighbours and family members living in the community.

Mackenzie is asking all British Columbians to contact their elderly friends, family, and neighbours who might need some extra help and see how that person is doing.

“It could be anything from helping a senior get some groceries, taking out their garbage, bringing over a cooked meal or bringing them up to speed on the latest COVID-19 recommendations from our provincial health officer,” said Mackenzie. “These are things we can all do to help, and they are important measures to keep seniors who are living in the community healthy and to reduce anxiety both for seniors and for their family members.”

Mackenzie says the Office of the Seniors Advocate has a toll-free information and referral line for seniors or others looking for 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 inquires can call 1-877-952-3181 toll free. For medical questions, please phone 8-1-1. Learn more at or call 250-886-4307.

Read more from the Vancouver Courier

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