We know that seniors are at increased risk of contracting COVID-19, and it is more likely to be critical or fatal for them if they do. To keep them safe, we are practicing social distancing, which means that we are unable to visit our elderly loved ones.  

At the best of times, seniors are more likely to experience loneliness and depression if they are living alone. That risk is now magnified during this global pandemic as we practice social distancing and refrain from in-person visits. That's why GVCSS encourages families to maintain connections with their older relatives and friends through virtual means, such as making regular phone calls or video chats if they have the technical capability.

GVCSS's Director of Home Care Maria Moeller, advises family members to maintain a social connection while also assessing how they’re doing and if they need any assistance. If you observe any of the following signs in an aging loved one, speak to their doctor.


Be Aware of These 6 Signs in Elderly Loved Ones: 

  1. Respiratory symptoms like cough or sneezing
  2. Fever, body aches, and fatigue 
  3. Change in moods
  4. Decreased appetite
  5. Change in sleeping pattern: either not able to get enough sleep or sleeping more than usual
  6. Frequent fall episodes due to less daylight and lack of exercise/mobility during the cold weather


Check They Have The Essentials

In addition to noting any potential warning signs, you should regularly check that the elders in your life have what they need to stay safe and healthy. Here is a list of essential items to go over with them:

  1. Food: What food, and how much, is in their cupboards and refrigerator? If it’s not enough, make arrangements to either shop for them, or arrange a grocery store delivery.You can now also call BC211 and a volunteer will be assigned to assist.
  2. Warm clothes: Are they warm enough? Ensure they have enough blankets, warm clothing, and socks. You may need to drop off clean items and leave outside their door.
  3. Medication: Are they taking their prescription medications? How many pills are left in their prescription medications? Get them to count them out if necessary and help them arrange refills with their pharmacist.
  4. Safety: Discourage use of small heaters (for risk of fire).


Activities You Can Do “Together”:


In addition to checking in on their physical and mental well-being, it’s also important to stay socially connected with the elders in your life. Here are some suggested ways you can spend time with them during a phone call:

  1. Watch a show together apart. Tune into the same TV show (of their choosing).
  2. Play a guessing game. Guessing games like 20 Questions are fun and also help keep our minds sharp, which is good for everyone’s brain health.
  3. Ask them to tell you a story from their youth. This is perfect time to listen to their rich experiences. Ask if you can record them talking so you have it for posterity.

Most importantly, don’t forget to tell seniors in your life that they are important to you and show them you are thinking of them during these times.

If you have questions about helping an aging loved one stay independent, healthy, and safe at home, please contact us today. You can also learn more about our home care services here


Related Links


Looking for more seniors' resources? Check out our Community Resources page.