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Posted: May 10, 2020

Support offered for isolated seniors

Community help needed to find most vulnerable

Cranbrook Better at Home is inviting seniors or caregivers in need of support to reach out.

As more and more people are appropriately self-isolating during COVID-19, many seniors who are able to live independently with the help of family and friends, are finding those supports unavailable. This will continue as helpers isolate or start returning to work or school. Some have no local support system and may not even know where to begin to find them. Your assistance is requested to help identify those most vulnerable people.

Better at Home, along with community partners, help fill service gaps, by providing non-medical supports for older adults. While in-home services have been paused for now due to COVID-19, ample help IS available, including:

  • Grocery shopping, pick-up and/or delivery;
  • Prescription pick-up and delivery;
  • Meal delivery (including information what is available);
  • Telephone or video chats;
  • Laundry (using commercial services);
  • Transportation to medical appointments (if no other options);
  • Light yard work;
  • Outdoor odd jobs (examples: garbage/recycling, dropping off bill payments, garage/shed cleanup).

“We have a fully screened team of healthy, criminal record checked volunteers who are eager to lend a hand,” said Laurie Harris from Cranbrook Better at Home, “There is simply no need to put yourself or others in harm’s way right now.”

Harris notes that not everyone is connected to social media or local newspapers. Some do not get out to see posters hung on bulletin boards and shop windows, and not everyone has a phone.

Community based service providers rely on neighbours, store and clinic staff, bus and taxi drivers, government and utility workers – and the community at large – to recognize when help might be needed and reach out. “You don’t have to know the answers or do the work yourself,” said Harris, adding, “It can be as simple as handing someone our number and saying ‘give them a try.’”

Better at Home is working as part of the Provincial Emergency COVID-19 response plan “Safe Seniors, Strong Communities,” a joint initiative between the Ministry of Health, bc211 and United Way of the Lower Mainland. Emergency COVID-19 response services are free of charge to seniors 65+ or by donation.

Residents anywhere in the province are encouraged to call 2-1-1 or log on to www.bc211.ca to register and get connected to nearby help.

“There are so many supports for seniors and caregivers in our communities,” said Harris. “It can be hard to figure out who does what. We’re here to help with that, wherever you or your loved ones live in the province”.

For information or assistance, call 250-426-2943, email [email protected] or connect through www.facebook.com/CranbrookBetteratHome

Lead image: Laure Harris (R) picking up dinners from Soulfood owner Danielle Eaton (L) for distribution to local seniors. To date, generous community members have purchased over 500 Soulfood dinners for vulnerable community members. Photo submitted

Cranbrook Better at Home is delivered by Community Connections Society of Southeast BC (Non-Profit Society #S-0017571. Registered Charity #12863 9234 RR 0001).


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