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Supporting the senior in your life during COVID-19


A young woman sits on a couch, chatting to another person on a tablet. A poodle sits on the other side of the couch.
Using video chat to see my grandparents' faces during COVID-19 makes me feel close to them despite being far apart.

COVID-19 quickly changed how I’m able to spend time with my family. Like many other BC residents, I’ve had to get used to a new normal by practising physical distancing so I can protect my loved ones. Normally, I spend a lot of my free time with family, including my grandparents; but in order to keep them safe, I’ve had to find alternative ways to connect with them while staying apart.

FaceTiming, physical distancing-style

A couple years ago, my sister and I taught my grandparents how to video chat using FaceTime – I’m so glad we learned how to use it together! During this pandemic we’ve been connecting via video regularly. Being able to see their faces makes me feel close to them despite being far apart.

Picking up the phone

If the grandparent or senior in your life isn’t tech-savvy, why not pick up the phone? I often phone my grandparents for a quick chat. A simple phone call can go a long way! It’s comforting to hear their voices and talk about what’s been going on with them. We’ll share news or talk about how my job has been going. My one grandma especially likes hearing updates about my dog!  

Dropping off care packages

This spring, spending the Easter holiday away from my family was especially hard. To help celebrate together while staying apart, I dropped off little care packages (while following physical distancing) to let my grandparents know I was thinking about them.  

Asking how you can help

No one is immune to COVID-19, but seniors are especially vulnerable to the virus. My grandparents are the keepers of my family’s history – I would be devastated if something happened to them! That’s why it’s so important to stay home as much as possible so we can protect our loved ones. I try to check in with my grandparents regularly and ask if they need anything so they can stay home and stay safe. Whether it’s picking up groceries or running errands, I offer my help when I can. I encourage others to do the same for the seniors in their lives!

Accessing other supports for the seniors:

  • Visit BC211 to access supports. The new Safe Seniors, Strong Communities program matches seniors who need support to volunteers who are willing to help. Supports may including meal delivery, help with cooking, delivery of groceries and medications, wellness calls, and visits.
  • Visit HealthLinkBC or call 8-1-1 for health information or to speak with a health care provider at any time.
  • For non-medical information about COVID-19, call 1-888-COVID19 (1-888-268-4319), 7:30 am to 8 pm, 7 days a week
  • For more information, health advice, or virtual screenings and assessments, Northern BC residents can call the Northern Health COVID-19 Online Clinic and Information Line at 1-844-645-7811 to speak to a nurse, physician, or nurse practitioner.

How have you been supporting the senior in your life?

Share your thoughts in the comments below!