Minister of Health Adrian Dix and seniors advocate Isobel MacKenzie have announced community support programs for seniors during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The province has provided funding to expand the bc 211 helpline and website so the elderly can be connected with other residents who can offer support.

The website and helpline are to support seniors who are living at home and is available across the province.

Operators will manage calls from people who are offering to help and people who need help.

MacKenzie is encouraging people who want to help seniors in their community to call the phone line or visit the website.

“The message is simple, wherever you live in BC if you want to help seniors with virtual visits, picking up and delivering some groceries, picking up and delivering some medications, maybe dropping off a meal or two, call 211,” she said.

Mackenzie added the province has increased funding for the Better At Home program.

The additional funding is for the core better at home service so it can meet the COVID-19 challenge.

“Please do not be afraid but please stay home and let us help, we want to help,” Mackenzie said to seniors. “Your kids, your grandkids, your community, every one of your elected officials at every level of government wants you to be safe and we are here to make sure you are supported,”.

Mackenzie stressed the importance of physical distancing saying now is not the time to be out and about in the community.

(files from Lindsay Newman, My staff)