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

‘An extra $220 every 90 days’: B.C. patients pay more dispensing fees due to prescription limits

Kelowna woman says it’s outrageous to charge for refills every 30 days

East Kootenay Track and Field Club cancels season

The East Kootenay Track and Field Club has made the call to… Continue reading

MLA Clovechok urging government to explain fluctuating prices

He has sent a letter to minister of energy

Birthday parades help Kimberley celebrate in times of isolation

After seeing her friend Melissa Young do the same in Cranbrook, Lisa… Continue reading

Porch Photography Project captures heart of Kimberley during isolation

“This project is showing all the colours of Kimberley’s community love”

‘Hold our line’: 29 new cases of COVID-19 announced in B.C.

Saturday’s number of new cases marks the lowest in weeks.

Two inmates found positive for COVID-19 at federal prison in B.C.; other tests pending

15 staff self-isolating waiting results, refusal to work notice sent, says correctional officer

Critic, workers’ group ‘disappointed’ Trudeau chose Amazon to distribute PPE

Amazon Canada said in an email to The Canadian Press that it is working with Canada Post, Purolator

Full World COVID-19 update: National Guard collect ventilators in New York; Spain, Italy improve

Comprehensive coronavirus update with news from around the world.

Two people fined after B.C. police spot online ads re-selling 5,000 surgical, N95 masks

Police confiscated the masks, being sold at inflated prices, and now working with Fraser Health

General exposure to public low after inmate tests positive for COVID-19: Interior Health

The Okanagan Correctional Centre inmate is receiving appropriate care

Sex workers face new risks during COVID-19 pandemic

‘Desperation has kicked in’ for vulnerable, undocumented workers unable to access help

Unclear if Cowichan couple refusing to self-isolate will face penalty

No fines or charges have been laid to date, including Cowichan couple who won’t self isolate

Most Read