B.C. Seniors Advocate Isobel Mackenzie and Health Minister Adrian Dix. (B.C. government)

B.C. 211 hotline expands to link COVID-19 homebound seniors, volunteers

Thousands of volunteer offers to be matched up to need

B.C. MLA offices and Seniors Advocate Isobel Mackenzie have received thousands of calls offering to help seniors who are staying home for the COVID-19 pandemic, and have added resources to the 2-1-1 phone line and BC211 website to match them with the need.

People want to pick up groceries or deliver medications and hot meals to seniors, and the service has added significant call centre staff to make that happen, Mackenzie said March 26. The new coronavirus is particularly a risk for elderly people with underlying health issues, so staying at home is most important to them.

“My message to seniors is simple,” Mackenzie said. “Don’t be afraid, but please stay home. Please, let us pick up your groceries. Please, let us pick up your medications. Please, let us deliver meals.”

Mackenzie said the 2-1-1 call centre has added capacity equivalent to handling 100,000 calls a year, and urged people to use the www.bc211.ca website if possible. Volunteers should give their area and availablity, and seniors should provide their location and needs.

RELATED: Here’s what’s considered an essential service in B.C.

RELATED: B.C. government liquor stores close Sundays amid demand

Health Minister Adrian Dix said the ministry is taking steps to protect seniors in hospitals, residential care and assisted living facilities, but most B.C. seniors aren’t in institutional care.

“These are challenging times for seniors living at home,” Dix said. “Throughout B.C. we have a network of organizations and volunteers in communities who support seniors living at home, and those networks as well have been stretched in recent times.”

Dix noted that the province dedicated $50 million last week to the United Way, which works with 68 B.C. organizations to provide community services. He said he is contacted daily by people who want to help, “and that is an inspiring thing in difficult times.”


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislatureCoronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Delta council passes bylaw to fine people who don’t socially distance, respect closures

Not social distancing or obeying provincial orders in Delta could set you back hundreds of dollars

Surrey’s JoJo Mason brings mom along for Saturday song during Diesel Bird Digital Music Festival

Online event March 28-29 to rally behind Canadian musicians hit by COVID-19 show cancellations

VIDEO: ‘Hands, washing hands’: Surrey teachers sing ‘Sweet Caroline’ with COVID-19 lesson

Staff at Fleetwood Park Secondary are featured in video posted to Youtube on Friday

Two workers at seniors’ homes in Surrey, Langley diagnosed with COVID-19

One is a staff member at Elim Village-The Harrison, at 9025 160th St., and the other is a health worker supporting and Chartwell Independent Living at Langley Gardens

From lockdown in Italy to self-isolation in South Surrey

Like many returning citizens, Peninsula-raised James Bogart & Emily Schenk have a long journey ahead

Trudeau announces 75% wage subsidy for small businesses amid COVID-19

This is up from the previously announced 10 per cent wage subsidy

World update, 9:30 p.m. March 27: Positive news in Korea as U.S. hits 100,000 cases

The United States now has the most coronavirus cases of any country in the world

VIDEO: Penguins roam empty halls of Vancouver Aquarium

COVID-19 has forced the Vancouver Aquarium to close access to guests – leaving room for its residents

Significant snowfall forecast for Interior mountain passes

Allison Pass, the Okanagan Connector, Rogers Pass and Kootenay Pass could see 15 to 25 cm of snow

Kids get back to learning in B.C., online

Ministry of Education rolls out new tool for school

67 more B.C. COVID-19 cases, two more deaths in Vancouver region

Positive tests found in Surrey, Langley long-term care facilities

‘Now is not the time to bag that peak’: BCSAR manager discourages risky outdoor adventures

Call volumes are not going down, even as the COVID-19 pandemic persists

Food Banks BC already seeing surge in demand due to COVID-19 pandemic

Executive director Laura Lansink said they expect applications will keep increasing

Nanaimo couple caught aboard cruise ship with four dead and COVID-19 present

Four ‘older guests’ have died on Holland America’s Zaandam; cruise line confirms two COVID-19 cases

Most Read