Winter can be a time of greater isolation for seniors. Extra visits and phone calls from friends and family can help them stay connected. Community resources can also be found at bc211.ca.

5 ways to help senior friends and family this winter

bc211.ca offers community connections for all ages, throughout BC

For many families, winter is a time of busy calendars, holiday celebrations and sunny getaways. For seniors, however, the exact opposite is often true. That, paired with cold temperatures, decreased mobility and limited incomes can result in isolation that puts seniors at risk of physical, emotional and mental health concerns.

The good news is that support can be as close as bc211.ca, a BC-wide resource created in partnership with United Way that links residents to community, social and government resources on a comprehensive range of topics, from learning skills to mental health.

Health, finances among seniors’ common concerns

Seniors contacted bc211.ca for many different reasons between September 2017 and August 2018, but topping the list, outside housing and homelessness, were:

  • Health – 23.1 per cent of calls
  • Income & Financial Assistance – 16 per cent of calls
  • Transportation – 9 per cent of calls
  • Government Services – 8.7 per cent of calls
  • Mental Health – 6.8 per cent of calls
  • Basic Needs – 6.7 per cent of calls

The information sought reinforces the need to connect with seniors year-round, but especially at times that can be particularly isolating.

How can you help

1. Make time for a visit or to take a grandparent, friend or neighbour out for lunch or a drive. If you’re not close by, a regular phone call is a great way to check in, share news and stay connected. In an increasingly technology-driven society, seniors who are not as tech-savvy can be further isolated.

2. Include them in holiday festivities, such as school performances, or call to see if you can take them to church, the library or a favourite activity.

3. When you visit, look for signs that they could be struggling – little food in the fridge, for example, or an unusually unkempt appearance or home. These can signal physical or cognitive challenges, or depression.

4. Ask what they might need or want – a smartphone or tablet and a few lessons might let them “Facetime” with the grandkids, for example. Or maybe a gift card from a favourite restaurant could deliver a hot meal when they don’t feel up to cooking.

5. Look for community resources that might be able to help. bc211.ca can connect you to the full spectrum of services and organizations in your community, from transportation supports for those finding it difficult to get out, to medical and mental health services.

Optimized for mobile devices, bc211.ca connects individuals 24/7 with current, reliable information about community resources close to home, all easily accessed through the one-stop website as well as online chat daily from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Topics are also tailored to Indigenous, immigrant and senior and youth communities, making it simple to access the information you need.

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Rollover on Dillworth Drive

A car accident has resulted in one car rolling onto its side

Okanagan short story contest winners to be annouced at Milkcrate Records

The public reading is free and open to the public

Duck rescue: Kelowna men save ducklings from storm drain

Local retirees saved some local ducks from certain death.

Okanagan-Shuswap weather: Sunshine and clouds for Tuesday

Environment Canada is forecasting a mixed bag of conditions

Mounties identify woman found dead on Kelowna beach

“Our investigators do not believe criminality was involved.”

Easter bombings a response to New Zealand attacks, says Sri Lanka minister

The Islamic State group asserted it was responsible for the nine bombings

Two back-to-back earthquakes strike off Vancouver Island

The first earthquake happened at 1:27 p.m., the second at 2:44 p.m.

Man charged in fatal Salmon Arm church shooting to appear in court

Matrix Savage Gathergood charged with first degree murder, aggravated assault

Salmon Arm couple suspect dog died after eating poisonous plant on hike

Beloved healthy English Springer Spaniel dies suddenly while hiking Shuswap trail

New commemorative loonie marking ‘progress’ for LGBTQ2 people to be unveiled today

But advocates say it mistakenly suggests equality has been achieved largely as a result of government actions

‘Significant changes’ coming for Okanagan River Channel tubing company

The Penticton Indian Band’s Coyote Cruises is seeking to grow its business in the coming years.

B.C. VIEWS: NDP’s lawyer show is turning into a horror movie

Court actions pile up over pipelines, car insurance, care aides

South Okanagan community bands together on social media after shootings

Many in Penticton have turned to social media to express their condolences

PHOTOS: Green Party Leader Elizabeth May says ‘I do’ on Earth Day

May and John Kidder got married Monday morning in Victoria

Most Read