Give the gift of time to isolated seniors this holiday season

Give the gift of time to isolated seniors this holiday season

Campaign aims to encourage people to spend time with lonely seniors

A province-wide awareness campaign is taking aim at social isolation among B.C. seniors during the festive season. The “Gift of Time” campaign is being promoted by BC Care Providers Association (BCCPA) as a way to raise awareness of the loneliness and social isolation many seniors face, during a time when many are celebrating.

The campaign reminds members of the public to reach out to seniors living in a care home, or living alone at home. The best gift you can give during the festive season is the “gift of time”.

“There is no easy solution when it comes to the challenge of social isolation among seniors, but raising awareness is a vital first step,” says BCCPA CEO Daniel Fontaine. “We hope the #GiftOfTime awareness campaign kicks off an important conversation.

“When people are celebrating the festive season with loved ones, this is the best time to remind the public to reach out to a senior.”

Social isolation among seniors has been the subject of prominent public inquiries, such as those by Canada’s National Seniors Council, and the U.S. Senate Aging Committee. A widely-cited study determines that the negative health impact of social isolation is equivalent to smoking up to 15 cigarettes per day. Both urban and rural communities across the continent have struggled with what to do about social isolation among seniors.

“There is indeed a growing awareness among our political leaders of the cost of social isolation on our public health care system,” says Fontaine. “However, we have to convince governments of the benefit of investing in initiatives that enhance quality of life among frail and elderly seniors.”

BCCPA’s Gift of Time campaign will be featured in both audio and video formats on multiple media platforms to audiences in Metro Vancouver, the Interior, and on Vancouver Island, as well as promoted online through social media during the month of December. You can view the video at

Additional information and resources on the subject of social isolation among seniors, including copies of the campaign advertisements, can be accessed at

Correction: In a recent article about the Community Resource Society’s Christmas hampers (“Christmas Hamper committee getting ready for ‘organized mad dash’”, The Journal, Dec. 6), it was reported that a spaghetti dinner in Clinton organized by the Clinton Food Bank would see funds raised donated to the Christmas Hamper committee. The dinner was in fact hosted by the South Cariboo Historical Museum Society, with all proceeds going to the CRS in Ashcroft for the Christmas Hamper program. The Journal apologizes for the error.

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