Vancouver, B.C. (April 17, 2020) — A new web tool will allow British Columbians from all corners of the province to submit a positive greeting to seniors receiving home care and those living in long-term care, assisted and independent living settings.
Today, BC Care Providers Association (BCCPA) launched its #TellThemYouCare web portal and invites the public to send messages, including handwritten notes, video links, drawings and other expressions of love and support to our seniors.
“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,” says BCCPA and EngAge BC 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.
“We’re particularly hoping that teachers and their students doing studies from home will embrace this opportunity and help to flood it with lots of lovely greetings.”
The #TellThemYouCare web page is unique in that it provides a hub for sending and uploading greetings to seniors, then allowing BCCPA to share them directly with seniors via care home staff or home health support workers. No personal information from the submissions will be collected or permanently stored.
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.
In the midst of a pandemic, physical distancing measures and the absence of visits from friends and family have left many older adults feeling anxious and forgotten.
“I know once those messages start rolling in, it will really boost the spirits of seniors across B.C.,” says Fontaine.