Seniors First BC is a charitable, non-profit, provincial society which provides assistance and support to older adults and third parties assisting older adults, who are dealing with abuse or mistreatment as well as provides assistance to navigate systems that impact older adults. Services are provided through a helpline, victim services, legal advocates and an elder law clinic. Seniors First BC continues to assist seniors through these challenging times. But in order to ensure the health and safety of our senior clients and our staff and their families, we are adjusting our operations. More Information. 

Our Province-wide confidential Seniors Abuse and Information Line (SAIL)  is a safe place for older adults, and those who care about them to talk to a trained intake worker about abuse or mistreatment, receive information and support about issues that impact the health and well being of an older adult. For more information contact us at 604-437-1940 or Toll-Free 1-866-437-1940, 8 am to 8 pm daily (except statutory holidays)
The Elder Law Clinic operated by Seniors First BC offers pro bono legal services to eligible older adults residing in British Columbia on a wide range of legal matters, including:
•    Preparing wills, powers of attorney, representation agreements     
•    Understanding your legal proceedings and what to expect in court 
•    Reviewing court documents 
•    Preparing your own case and submissions 
•    Representation at certain court hearings in the Supreme Court of British Columbia and the Provincial Court (Small Claims Division) of British Columbia 
•    Assistance in matters of adult guardianship
•    General legal advice 
Contact our legal services division at 604-336-5653 for further information or to arrange a consultation with a lawyer.
While we do not offer legal services in either family or criminal law, we can direct persons to organizations who may be able to assist.    
The Stocking Stuffer Campaign and COVID-19

With the holidays around the corner and COVID-19 restrictions increasing, it has been suggested to show care and support to seniors in care homes through the Stocking Stuffer Campaign. Inside many London Drugs stores there will be a Christmas tree with hanging tags, and on these tags are senior’s stocking stuffer wish lists. Anyone is able to take a tag off the tree and complete the list; the items are sent to the care homes directly to be wrapped and distributed. Via CTV News

Elf Anonymous Looking to Letters to Boost Senior’s Holiday Spirits Amid COVID-19 Pandemic
Elf Anonymous is a volunteer-based group that would normally visit older adults in-person who are alone during the holidays. Due to the pandemic, this group has decided to collect and distribute cards and letters for seniors. This group’s goal is to share holiday cheer with older adults to promote inclusion and a sense of connection. As the COVID-19 restrictions change, it is important to stay socially connected in a safe manner to promote well-being and reduce isolation. Via 

Rotary Lights Up Courtyard and Brightens Day at Trail Seniors Home
To bring joy and a change of scenery to the seniors in isolation in the Columbia View Lodge, a group of volunteers set up an array of Christmas lights in the courtyard. The request for decorations came through Facebook which motivated the group to set up the lights earlier than usual. This production was done to show care and appreciation for the older adults, as well as to provide amusement. Via Trail Times

Seniors Finding Shelter from Homelessness
Seventy-one-year-old Real Bergeron is a former soldier in the Canadian Army and steelworker at a foundry for 20 years, and was struggling to find affordable housing with his pension in Vancouver’s expensive rental market. While staying at a Downtown Eastside shelter, he was recommended to the Veterans Memorial Manor which offers subsidized housing to former military men. Bergeron’s story is one of many of the seniors facing homelessness. While the BC government opened up 800 new subsidized units for seniors last year, this may not meet the increased demand we’ve seen in the past 8 months due to loss of income and climbing prices. Read more about seniors navigating shelter and housing, and the Vancouver programs supporting them here. Via Vancouver Sun

Healthy Aging
Participating in physical activity, maintaining mental and emotional health, challenging the brain, eating a balanced diet, getting enough sleep, quit smoking, limit alcohol intake, maintain social connections. More information: HealthLinkBC 

Tips to Get Active for 65+
Physical activity is crucial in maintaining good health. It improves cardiovascular health, enhances mood, strengthens bones and reduces the risk of falls. For optimal results, 2.5 hours of cardio and 2 sessions of muscle-strengthening exercises weekly is recommended. But, it is important to start slowly and not overexert the body. Additionally, small lifestyle changes to keep the body moving, such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator, walking instead of driving whenever possible are highly recommended. Via

Mask Tips for Those with Hearing Loss or Dementia
This article provides suggestions for those who struggle with hearing loss and/or dementia. Individuals who face hearing challenges may normally rely on lip-reading and the interpretation of facial expression which are hidden when someone is wearing a mask. Individuals who have dementia may face the issue of not remembering why masks are suggested to be worn or have trouble recognizing an individual under their mask. This article also outlines the benefits that mask-wearing can have in conjunction with social distancing. Some of the suggestions made include using hand gestures, writing “hearing impaired” on your mask to inform others, and gradually increasing the length of time wearing a mask. Via Qualicare Home Care

Tips for Fall Prevention 
Falling is a major health concern for older adults because of the risk of severely injuring one’s hip. Dr. Jaza Marina from Atlanta suggests contacting the doctor if someone is frequently feeling dizzy or tired in an attempt to prevent future falls. In addition, to reduce the likeliness of falls in the house one can remove clutter such as loose cords or bulky rugs, add a rubber bath mat to the shower, and add night-lights to the hallways and bathroom. To see more suggestions for fall prevention, visit the website below. Via Senior News


Online Workouts for Seniors to Stay Safe and Fit Indoors
With thousands of exercise videos at our fingertips, online workouts have become part of the daily routine for many people. However, choosing what to do and how to do it safely can be tough. According to professor emeritus Stuart McGill at the University of Waterloo, he recommends matching your workout to your capabilities, considering chronic conditions and medications. To learn more about how to get your online workout routine started, read this article which provides moves, tips, and online fitness videos such as the 15-60 minute workout routines for seniors from the National Institute for Aging. Via CBC


Tips for Reducing Loneliness in Elders During the Holidays
It is suggested that the COVID-19 pandemic may have effects on one’s sense of loneliness and isolation, which is commonly felt among older adults in the holiday season. Isolation is associated with an increased risk of depression which raises the importance of making an effort to stay connected safely during the season with friends and family. This article provides some suggestions to reduce the effects of loneliness including making time for meaningful conversations, sending holiday cards, and helping one virtually arrange festive decorations. Via AgingCare 

Other ideas: write a letter, send a card, create art for people passing by your window (such as a rainbow and hopeful message).

Get Moving - Stay on your Feet
The Stay on Your Feet strategy aims to encourage and aid physical activity for older adults and to prevent a sedentary lifestyle. They wish to prevent falls and maintain mobility and independence through activities that keep individuals strong, active and social. Their website includes resources to support activity for a variety of levels of accessibility. There’s even exercises you can do in the kitchen! In addition, there is information and resources on healthy eating, safety and medications. Via Stay on Your Feet

Virtual Gym: More Information - Centre for Active Living 

Find Your Local Flu Vaccine Clinic
Monika Naus, a medical director at the BCCDC, indicates that it is especially important to get the influenza vaccine this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Having both COVID-19 and influenza at the same time can be serious. According to Immunize BC, it is important to plan ahead to get your shot, since most places will require you to book in advance. For the 2020/21 flu season, adults aged 65 of years and older, living in long term care and assisted living facilities can receive the Fluzone High-Dose vaccine for free. You can find your local vaccine clinic, click here.  

Via CBC and Immunize BC 

COVID-19 Resources for Older Adults, Government of Canada

The Government of Canada has compiled a list of COVID-19 resources for seniors and caregivers. They include tips for staying healthy, taking care of your physical and mental health, and resources to stay healthy. More information - Government of Canada

Thank you to our volunteers for contributing to these articles!
Linda Yauk, Julia Bronk, Meeka Marsolais, Thi Ngoc Ha An, Margaret Ovenell, Kuldeep Kaur Padda, Shu Min Yu, Georgia Greiner, Justin Lee, Ekaterina Galysheva. 


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Wishing everyone a safe, healthy and happy holiday season and a prosperous New Year!

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