- Dr. David Williams, Chief Medical Officer of Health, March 30, 2020
There is an increased risk of more severe outcomes for Canadians who are:
- aged 65 and over
- with compromised immune systems
- with pre-existing medical conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and lung disease
Government and local resources for seniors
Government resources and programs
- *New Resource - Ontario Community Support Association: Helping isolated, low-income seniors get meals, groceries, medicine and other essentials to stay safe at home during COVID-19
- Home and Community Care - How to get help for patients and seniors who need support living at home
- Ontario Protecting Seniors During the COVID-19 Outbreak (News Release)
- Ontario Guaranteed Annual Income System payments for seniors
- On March 25, 2020, the Ontario government announced a temporary top-up to payments made through the Ontario Guaranteed Annual Income System (GAINS). Beginning in April 2020, monthly GAINS payment amounts will be automatically doubled for a period of six months.
- Reduction in the required minimum withdrawals from Registered Retirement Income Funds (RRIFs) by 25% for 2020
Local resources and programs
- Guelph Wellington Seniors Association
- Dufferin County Senior’s Services
- Meals on Wheels for Wellington Dufferin Guelph area
- Ontario 211 - primary source of information on government and community-based social services.
- VON - Wellington-Dufferin Telephone reassurance: Provides a daily phone call to check on the health and safety of people who live alone. Phone: 519-323-2330 or 1-888-506-6353
- TeleCheck-Dufferin: A daily check-in call for adults 55+, 7 days a week. No referral required. No assessment required. No fee for service. Phone: 519-415-3764
Seniors Safety Line: Free and confidential emotional support and crisis intervention line available 24/7. 1-866-299-1011
Reduce your risk
- Stay home as much as possible, self-isolate if you’re over 70.
- Maintain physical distancing when outside your home, stay at least 2 metres (or 6 feet) away from other people whenever possible.
- Wash your hands often for 20 seconds (especially before eating).
- Cover your cough and sneeze with a tissue or your sleeve.
- Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth.
- Disinfect high-touch surfaces in your home often (door knobs, light switches, etc.).
- If you have a doctor’s appointment, call ahead first before attending.
- Work with your healthcare provider to ensure you have access to all necessary medications.
What seniors can do
- Check with your local pharmacy and grocery store for special senior hours and/or delivery options.
- Order groceries online for delivery to your home (or have someone help order online).
- Check Facebook for community groups where local businesses and farmers may offer delivery services (or have someone help find these services).
- Refer to our frequently asked questions about COVID-19 and food and shopping
- If you have a favourite restaurant call to see if they offer senior discounts, take-out and/or delivery.
- Be aware of fraud and scams during COVID-19
- Do not give your personal banking information to anyone claiming to be from Service Canada and offering to sign you up for the one-time special payment for seniors eligible for the OAS/GIS payment. *You do not need to sign up or apply for this payment**
- Set limits for watching, reading, or listening to news stories
- Try to get some fresh air and sunlight daily by opening curtains and/or windows
- Connect regularly with others over the phone or by social media.
- Continue to engage in daily physical activity and healthy eating practices.
- Get the recommended amount of sleep (approx. 8 hours)
Caring for seniors during covid-19
If you live with or know any older adults, ask how you can help them. With that said, you should not visit older adults in person unless absolutely necessary. If you are not feeling well, stay home and get healthy. If you don’t have symptoms and visit an older friend or relative, be sure to practise physical distancing — staying at least two metres apart.
- See if they need anything picked up for them, such as medication refills, groceries, cleaning products or other supplies they may need
- Ask if they need any meals prepared, a dog walked, or if there is anything else you can do for them
- Respect their ability to make decisions about their needs
- Phone calls, texts or other ways people prefer to communicate can be used to talk and socialize, check-in and help them feel connected
- Talking about positive things will help to alleviate stress and fear