COQUITLAM, B.C., April 29, 2021 – For some who live alone, a friendly phone call is a welcome distraction. For others, it’s a lifeline.
Coquitlam is now seeking participants for its new Social Connections: Let’s Chat program, which pairs volunteers with people 55-plus who live alone for a weekly phone call.
Those who would appreciate conversation each week – or know someone who would benefit from it – are invited to sign up by calling Dogwood Pavilion at 604-927-6098 and Glen Pine Pavilion at 604-927-6940.
A Phone Call Can Brighten a Day
A spinoff of the City’s former Phone Buddies program, Social Connections aims to reduce social isolation and raise the spirits of older Coquitlam residents who are on their own.
Social isolation can lead to reduced physical and mental health, including depression. It’s a very real concern during the pandemic – particularly for older people who live alone, whose only source of human connection may be a few words exchanged now and again with a masked neighbour, store clerk or delivery driver.
For up to an hour each week, the Social Connections program can provide a break in the routine and a chance to connect with another person through some friendly conversation.
Volunteers are standing by to be paired with participants. All participants and volunteers are carefully screened by City staff to ensure a good match for both parties.
More information about the program, including volunteer opportunities, can be found at www.coquitlam.ca/socialconnections.
Supporting the Community
The Social Connections program is among many supports Coquitlam has offered the community throughout the pandemic. Assistance for older residents also includes:
- The Meals for Seniors meal delivery and pickup program (www.coquitlam.ca/meals);
- The Letters of Kindness program, which solicits letters and art from the community to accompany the meals (email firstname.lastname@example.org);
- The CoquitlamSPIRIT online library (www.coquitlam.ca/spirit), which includes a 50 Plus section and provides safe opportunities for activity and connection during the pandemic; and
- Temporarily reduced drop-in fees – only $1 for seniors – for pre-registered timeslots to safely swim, skate and work out at City recreation facilities, subsidized through the City’s Community Support and Recovery Plan.
Register and Stay Informed
To sign up for activities and to keep up-to-date on program offerings and updates:
Stay informed about City news and service changes by:
Community Recreation Manager
City of Coquitlam