Although Christmas is popularly depicted as a time of family gatherings and togetherness, it can lead to feelings of loneliness and isolation for many. These feelings are likely to be far more widespread this year thanks to COVID-19, with seniors in care affected the most.
To alleviate this, the BC Care Providers Association (BCCPA) and EngAge BC have created a new online #SeniorsGreetings message portal where the public can submit handwritten notes, videos, drawings, and other expressions of love, hope, and support to B.C. seniors who live in long-term care and assisted living.
“We recognize how difficult this holiday season will be for many British Columbians, especially with traditional gatherings not happening. But for seniors living in care, the impact of social isolation can be unbearable,” says Rebecca Frederick, Senior Manager, Strategic Engagement, EngAge BC. “We hope therefore that all BCers will join us in sending a greeting to seniors in care over the holiday season.”
To make a #SeniorsGreetings submission, visit www.route65.ca. Messages and images will then be virtually shared with B.C. seniors who live in long-term care and assisted living settings. Visitors have the option to submit anonymously or with their name, and no personal information will be stored by the organization.
Those sending messages are encouraged to make them detailed, thoughtful, and heartfelt. There is a template available for handwritten messages, and it is easy to send photos, drawings, or videos.
“We are all looking forward to safely celebrating with the seniors in our lives. Until that is possible, we hope that #SeniorsGreetings will bring some joy to seniors living in long-term care and assisted living,” says Frederick.
In addition to participating in #SeniorsGreetings, BCCPA is reminding British Columbians that the best thing any of us can do to support seniors living in long-term care and assisted living is to follow public health orders, wash your hands, wear a mask, and stay home when you are sick.