Give ‘the gift of time’ this holiday season to those who are alone

Give ‘the gift of time’ this holiday season to those who are alone

Third annual campaign aims to raise awareness about seniors who feel disconnected from others

The festive season leading up to Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve is a time for many people to celebrate with family and friends. However, many seniors across the province are socially isolated, which can lead to loneliness and a feeling of being disconnected from others.

That’s why the BC Care Providers Association (BCCPA) is once again inviting people to give “the gift of time” this month in support of seniors who are either living alone, or are in a care home.

“Each year as the festive season approaches, we hear stories about socially isolated seniors who are distressed knowing that the winter weather conditions will make it difficult to keep connections with family members and companions,” says BCCPA CEO Daniel Fontaine. “Therefore, all of us should consider giving a small amount of time to make a connection with a senior who spends far too much time on their own. That gift of time can go a long way to brightening the lives of so many.”

Visiting someone is one way to give the gift of time, but even just picking up the phone and calling someone can help a person who is feeling isolated this Christmas season.

Social isolation among seniors has been the subject of prominent public inquiries by agencies such as Canada’s National Seniors Council and the U.S. Senate Aging Committee. A widely-cited study determined that the negative health impact of social isolation is equivalent to smoking up to 15 cigarettes per day.

Urban and rural communities large and small across North America have struggled with the question of what to do about social isolation among seniors. The British government has appointed a “Minister of Loneliness” due to the health impacts of social isolation.

“Government policy makers already understand the costs of social isolation,” says Fontaine. “Now we need to convince them of the benefit of investing in initiatives that enhance quality of life among seniors.”

The BCCPA has launched its third annual #GiftOfTime campaign across the province in order to raise public awareness of the issue, and urges community members everywhere to take a moment to give the gift of time during the month of December.

Additional information and resources on the subject of social isolation among seniors can be accessed at

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

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

Just Posted

A sign indicating a COVID-19 testing site is displayed inside a parking garage in West Nyack, N.Y., Monday, Nov. 30, 2020. The site was only open to students and staff of Rockland County schools in an effort to test enough people to keep the schools open for in-person learning. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
4 more deaths, 54 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

This brings the total to 66 deaths in the region

Police say that a U-Haul truck abandoned in Cache Creek on Jan. 19 (pictured) was being used to transport equipment and supplies consistent with a fentanyl drug production operation. (Photo credit: Barbara Roden)
Rental truck abandoned in Cache Creek believed to be connected with fentanyl drug production

Police seized high end equipment, chemicals, and several firearms

Toronto Public Health nurse Lalaine Agarin makes preparations at Toronto’s mass vaccination clinic, Jan. 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
3 deaths, 234 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health over the weekend

One death connected to outbreak at Kamloops’ Royal Inland Hospital, where 20 patients and 28 staff have tested positive

People skate on a lake in a city park in Montreal, Sunday, January 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
The end of hugs: How COVID-19 has changed daily life a year after Canada’s 1st case

Today marks the one year anniversary of COVID-19 landing in Canada

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Employers might be able to require COVID-19 vaccination from employees: B.C. lawyer

‘An employer must make the case’ using expert science, explains lawyer David Mardiros

Dr. Penny Ballem, a former deputy health minister, discusses her role in leading B.C.’s COVID-19 vaccination program, at the B.C. legislature, Jan. 22, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C. holds steady with 407 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday

14 deaths, no new outbreaks in the health care system

A Cessna 170 airplane similar to the one pictured above is reported to be missing off the waters between Victoria and Washington State. Twitter photo/USCG
Canadian, American rescue crews searching for missing aircraft in waters near Victoria

The search is centered around the waters northeast of Port Angeles

Interior Health reported two more COVID-19 deaths at Sunnybank Retirement Center in Oliver Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021. (File photo)
COVID-19 claims lives of two more South Okanagan care home residents

Five residents of the Oliver care home have died since the outbreak was first declared

Jonathon Muzychka and Dean Reber are wanted on Canada-wide warrants. (Courtesy of Victoria Police Department)
Convicted killer, robber at large after failing to return to facility: Victoria police

Dean Reber, 60, and Jonathon Muzychka, 43, may be together

B.C. Premier John Horgan listens during a postelection news conference in Vancouver on Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
30% of B.C. recovery benefit applications held up in manual review

The province says 150 staff have been reassigned to help with manually reviewing applications

Adam Dergazarian, bottom center, pays his respect for Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, in front of a mural painted by artist Louie Sloe Palsino, Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Kobe Bryant’s presence remains strong a year after his death

Tuesday marks the grim anniversary of the crash that took their lives

Surrey RCMP are investigating after a pedestrian was struck and killed at 183 Street and Highway 10 Friday night. (File photo)
Modelling of predicted transmission growth from the B117 COVID-19 variant in British Columbia. (Simon Fraser University)
COVID-19 variant predicted to cause ‘unmanageable’ case spike in B.C: report

SFU researchers predict a doubling of COVID-19 cases every two weeks if the variant spreads

The Brucejack mine is 65 km north of Stewart in northwestern B.C. (Pretivm Photo)
B.C. mine executives see bright gleam in post-COVID future

Low carbon drives demand for copper, steelmaking coal

Most Read