Seniors and Caring for Seniors

“Given the greater risk of severe outcomes to Ontarians who are elderly, I am also strongly recommending that individuals over 70 years of age self-isolate. This means only leaving home or seeing other people for essential reasons. Where possible, you should: seek services over the phone or internet; or ask for help from friends, family or neighbours with essential errands.”
- 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

Local resources and programs

Reduce your risk

How to Protect Yourself from COVID-19 - Older Adults and People with Chronic Medical Conditions or Weakened Immune Systems

  • 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
  • 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

Ministry of Health - Home and Community Care

The Ontario Caregiver Organization

National Initiative for the Care of the Elderly

Victoria Order of Nurses (VON) COVID-19 Response