There are lots of resources for seniors looking for information about COVID-19. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

There are lots of resources for seniors looking for information about COVID-19. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

COVID questions? Here are some phone-based resources available for seniors

Here is a list of numbers to keep on hand for Vancouver Islanders who aren’t fond of computers

Theresa Graham isn’t sure what to do if she thinks she contracted COVID-19, and she’s not alone.

Graham lives in a senior’s complex in Duncan with 41 units, and many of her neighbours have expressed the same concerns.

“What do we do if we want to be checked out?” Graham wonders. “Do we phone 811? If we need a test, how do we get there?”

Graham and her friends say they have never really seen any directions for folks who are on their own, if they are concerned they might be ill. A lot of the information is available online, but that’s not helpful for people who grew up without computers and still don’t have them in their homes.

“We can live without them,” Graham points out.

Several people who live in Graham’s complex don’t drive, and it is too far from the hospital to walk. If they do feel sick, they don’t want to take transit or a taxi or call a neighbour and risk exposing them to the coronavirus.

Island Health spokesperson Dominic Abassi understands where those concerns are coming from.

”It’s certainly true that the majority of the resources are online-based,” he acknowledges.

Never fear, though. There are other ways to find the information that Graham and others are seeking. Abassi provided several phone numbers for resources.

“Through most, if not all, of these resources people can be connected to the supports they require,” he says. “For instance, if someone calls for testing and they have transportation challenges, our call takers have resources to support those needs.”

BC Seniors’ Advocate: 877-952-3181

BC211: 211

“A really good resource is bc211,” Abassi notes. “Folks can just call 211 and they will be connected to a myriad of support services, including COVID-specific ones.”

24/7 medical advice, including about COVID: call 811

Non-medical information about COVID-19: 888-268-4319

Island Health’s COVID testing call centre: 844-901-8442

“If someone feels like they have symptoms, call 811 or just call this number to book a test. As mentioned above, when folks receive a call back to book testing, they can mention any transportation/mobility issues and resources can be made available to support.”

Provincial call centre for booking a vaccine appointment: 833-838-2323.

“The same resources are available to support folks who may need to receive a vaccine in their home. We have a home vaccine program to support that.”

Graham, who turns 82 this November, has already had her first vaccine shot. But like many seniors, and others, the pandemic is getting her down.

“It’s not helping our outlook,” she confesses.

Graham takes solace in gardening, which keeps her both busy and outside. She’s fortunate, she says, to live in a bungalow where she has her own garden.

“If I was in an apartment, I’d be going stir-crazy.”

For more news from Vancouver Island and beyond delivered daily into your inbox, please click here.

RELATED: Comox woman who was on fence books vaccination due to brother’s death

RELATED: B.C. clarifies COVID-19 travel restrictions, Lower Mainland a single zone

Coronavirus

Just Posted

‘Nindanikoobijiganag: We are Star People’ by Mississauga Nishnaabe Lucbanin artist Estrella Whetung. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)
Victoria beadwork exhibit speaks to evolving, enduring nature of Indigenous art

On Beaded Ground features work from West Coast artists and a Cedar Hill Middle School group

A seniors housing complex proposed for Cedar Hill Road in Saanich was supported by council after a public hearing on May 12. (Rendering by Jenson Group Architects)
New 85-unit seniors housing development gets green light from Saanich council

Four-storey rental complex would be located on Cedar Hill Road

Kenny Podmore, here seen at Sidney’s cenotaph in November, says he feels for the veterans after organizers had to cancel an event acknowledging Victory in Europe (VE) Day for the second time in as many years because of COVID-19. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
North Saanich event marking 75th anniversary of VE-Day cancelled

Sidney resident first planned event for May 9, 2020 moved to May 8 before being cancelled

Individuals and businesses are encouraged to bring their unwanted electronics to Tillicum Centre May 14 to be shredded, recycled or donated. (Black Press Media file photo)
Greater Victoria residents can shred, donate electronics safely

Vancouver Island Better Business Bureau hosts event May 14 at Tillicum Centre

Daily confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day rolling average in white, to May 12, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. preparing ‘Restart 2.0’ from COVID-19 as June approaches

Daily infections fall below 500 Friday, down to 387 in hospital

On Friday, May 14 at Meadow Gardens Golf Club in Pitt Meadows, Michael Caan joined a very elite club of golfers who have shot under 60 (Instagram)
Crowds at English Bay were blasted with a large beam of light from an RCMP Air-1 helicopter on Friday, May 14. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marc Grandmaison
Police enlist RCMP helicopter to disperse thousands crowded on Vancouver beach

On Friday night, police were witness to ‘several thousand people staying well into the evening’

Sinikka Gay Elliott was reported missing on Salt Spring Island on Wednesday, May 12. (Courtesty Salt Spring RCMP)
Body of UBC professor found on Salt Spring Island, no foul play suspected

Sinikka Elliott taught sociology at the university

The first Black judge named to the BC Supreme Court, Selwyn Romilly, was handcuffed at 9:15 a.m. May 14 while walking along the seawall. (YouTube/Screen grab)
Police apologize after wrongly arresting B.C.’s first Black Supreme Court Justice

At 81 years old, the retired judge was handcuffed in public while out for a walk Friday morning

Queen Elizabeth II and Clive Holland, deputy commonwealth president of the Royal Life Saving Society, top left, virtually present Dr. Steve Beerman, top right, with the King Edward VII Cup for his drowning-prevention work. Tanner Gorille and Sarah Downs were honoured with Russell Medals for their life-saving resuscitation. (Buckingham Palace photo)
Queen presents Vancouver Island doctor with award for global drowning prevention

Dr. Steve Beerman receives Royal Life Saving Society’s King Edward VII Cup at virtual ceremony

Former UFV Cascades wrestling coach Arjan Singh Bhullar is now the ONE heavyweight champion after defeating Brandon Vera via TKO in round two on Saturday in Singapore. (ONE Championship)
Former UFV wrestling coach wins MMA championship

Arjan Singh Bhullar captures ONE heavyweight title, first Indian origin fighter to achieve honour

Astra Zeneca vaccine waits for injection in a Feb. 3, 2021 file photo. A Langley man has become the second B.C. resident to suffer a blood clot following an injection. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
B.C. man required emergency surgery after AstraZeneca vaccination

Shaun Mulldoon suffered ‘massive blood clot’ after jab

Chilliwack’s Kile Brown, performing as drag queen Hailey Adler, dances and lip syncs in front of hundreds of people during the inaugural Chilliwack Pride Barbecue at the Neighbourhood Learning Centre on Aug. 24, 2019. Monday, May 17 is International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of May 16 to 22

International Day Against Homophobia, Talk Like Yoda Day, Sea Monkey Day all coming up this week

Most Read