March 17, 2020
West Vancouver, B.C.—During this pandemic, social isolation means that connections are more important than ever. West Vancouver Seniors’ Services and West Vancouver Memorial Library have collaborated to offer phone services to help the community navigate these unprecedented times. There are two ways for people to receive support over the phone: the Seniors’ Help Line and LibraryConnect.
The Seniors’ Help Line will be answered by trained staff from the West Vancouver Seniors’ Activity Centre (SAC). This service offers one-on-one support calls, group conference calls with friends from programs and support for caregivers. Meals, made fresh each day at the Centre, can also be picked up from the SAC front desk or delivered to homes.
“The Seniors’ Activity Centre will continue to support our older adults with the highest quality of life, through phone calls, food delivery and being readily available to chat,” says Jill Lawlor, Seniors’ Services & Community Wellness Manager. People who want to volunteer can call 604.925.7280. All volunteers must complete a criminal record search and participate in training to ensure the SAC is able to provide a safe level of support for all residents.
People of all ages can call LibraryConnect for personalizedLibrary service. Trained staff will be on hand seven days a week to connect people with the social services and resources they need, walk them through how to use their devices to stay in touch with friends and family, and help them access online equivalents of the many resources they enjoy in the Library such as ebooks, audiobooks, online music and streaming video.
Both organizations will work together and refer callers to the Seniors’ Help Line and LibraryConnect as needed.
“We know that for many people, the Seniors’ Activity Centre and the Library are vital to meeting their social needs,” says Pat Cumming of West Vancouver Memorial Library. “Many will feel isolated and lonely without these connections.”
Library Director Stephanie Hall adds, “You can call either line if you simply haven’t talked to another human being in 24 hours. We can see that as we deal with the coronavirus progression, many people are going to be more isolated than usual, and we won’t be able to provide the kinds of in-person services we normally do while our facility is closed. That’s why we didn’t want to delay in adapting during this time of uncertainty. With this alternative way to connect with people, we can continue to help them in their daily lives.”
In addition to LibraryConnect, the Library is planning a host of other programs that patrons can participate in online, enabling members of the community to keep their minds engaged and active. These will be announced on the Library’s website as they become available.
The West Vancouver Foundation has today launched the North Shore Covid-19 Emergency Response Fund. The fund will support charitable organizations providing front-line services to vulnerable populations negatively affected by the coronavirus. Donations can be made online, by mail or by contacting their office. Details are available on their website.
West Vancouver Memorial Library, the Seniors’ Activity Centre and the West Vancouver Foundation are jointly committed to ensuring residents remain connected and are supported through this challenging period.
Monday – Sunday, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Seniors’ Help Line
Monday – Thursday, 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Friday – Sunday, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
West Vancouver Foundation
Sarah Barton-Bridges, Communications Coordinator, West Vancouver Memorial Library