While COVID-19 has forced us to physically distance ourselves from friends, family and neighbours, the implications for many local seniors have been significant.
“Seniors are being impacted significantly with this increase in isolation. Even if they did have a social network prior to this, now their network is substantially diminished,” says Joanne Leginus, with Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows Community Services.
“Seniors really are on their own and isolated. Some are in self-isolation, unable to see friends and family; others have a spouse in hospital while they’re alone at home. And for those who live in a seniors facility, visitors no longer come for the safety of seniors living there. In addition to this isolation, some seniors are struggling with their inability to get much-needed groceries and medications.”
The Community Services team, Joanne says, is here to support the most vulnerable in our community. Every day, volunteers and staff are doing wellness checks and friendly phone visits with seniors, they’re shopping for and delivering groceries to seniors’ homes, delivering meals to seniors, and supporting them with getting their prescriptions.
If you know of a senior who needs support, call
Joanne also encourages people to check on their elderly neighbours and other seniors in their network. “As a community pulling together, we can and are making a difference, and ensuring our seniors are supported,” she says.
The community comes together
As the community continues to rally together in these unprecedented times, the team at the non-profit organization is thankful for the heartfelt contributions from local individuals and businesses.
“Many individuals are calling to ask what they can do to help, which is helping us meet this increased need, ” Leginus says. “We have individuals offering donations to pay for groceries for seniors who are low income and don’t have money for this basic need. We have others making face masks for our volunteers and putting together care packages and gifts for our seniors.
The need continues to grow
Still, Community Services, which has provided community support programs since 1971, continues to see more seniors reaching out for support.
“Since the end of March, we have received over 100 new referrals for seniors needing support, and this trend is continuing,” Joanne says.