A new web portal has been developed for the public to share messages to seniors who are isolated during the COVID-19 pandemic in B.C. Here family chats from the balcony to the parking lot at Cariboo Place in Williams Lake recently. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

#TellThemYouCare portal launched to send B.C. seniors in isolation messages of love, support

Hand-written notes, video links, drawings, expressions of love and support to seniors encouraged

Anyone with senior family or friends living in isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic knows how lonely it must be while visiting them is not an option.

To help ease the situation, the BC Care Providers Association (BCCPA) has launched a #TellThemYouCare web portal where the public can send messages, including hand-written notes, video links, drawings and other expressions of love and support to seniors.

READ MORE: Here are the measures being taken at B.C. care homes due to COVID-19

“Physical distancing is an important duty for all of us during the global pandemic, but being disconnected from the broader community has been particularly hard for seniors separated from friends and family,” said BCCPA CEO Daniel Fontaine.

“It is hoped that sending a heartfelt message can show that we care for our elderly loved ones, and that we are thinking of them.

Seniors – particularly those living alone – are more vulnerable to social isolation and loneliness.

A widely-cited study has shown that prolonged isolation can significantly shorten a person’s life, and is the physical equivalent of smoking 15 cigarettes per day, noted Fontaine.

The association is encouraging teachers and students studying at home to seize the opportunity to participate.

“I know once those messages start rolling in, it will really boost the spirits of seniors across B.C.,” Fontaine said.

To access the #TellThemYouCare web portal visit bccare.ca/tellthemyoucare.

Anyone interested in recognizing seniors care workers are encouraged to visit this page by SafeCare BC.

Care homes across B.C. have found innovative ways to allow residents inside the chance to connect with their loved ones while maintaining physical distancing protocols.

Two weeks ago in Williams Lake Vantage Living’s Cariboo Place arranged for families and friends to visit residents from outside.

Staff brought residents out on the balconies and from below in the parking lot, visitors called up to them, sharing words of encouragement.

READ MORE: Seniors staying safe, isolated at Cariboo Place in Williams Lake



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