Helping seniors stay safe during the COVID-19 pandemic

A message from the Barriere Medical Clinic

It’s important that we come together as a community to help keep everyone, especially seniors, safe and healthy. Seniors are at high risk of becoming ill and potentially dying of the COVID-19 virus. This applies to anyone over the age of 65, especially if they have other health problems. It is very likely that COVID will be prominent in our community within the next month with another surge after Christmas, and we need to do what we can to keep everyone safe, especially our essential workers and seniors.

How can you keep yourselves and others safe?

The most important thing is to stay home and avoid contact with people outside of your household. Washing your hands and socially distancing from others is very important. Wearing masks in public places and workplaces is now necessary and has been made mandatory. You may not agree but this has been put in place for everyone’s safety and we appreciate you wearing a mask, as it helps protect us.

If you can get someone young and healthy to pick up your groceries/prescriptions/etcetera so that you can stay home, we would highly recommend this. If you are a senior that is struggling because you don’t have the help you need, or if you are a younger person interested in helping a senior in need, please use resources such as the various Barriere Facebook pages or call the medical clinic and we will help connect you.

What to do if you are sick:

If you have any signs of infection – sore throat, runny nose, cough, fever, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of sense of smell or taste, shortness of breath, headache, muscle aches and pains, tiredness, weakness, sneezing – these are all potentially signs of COVID-19.

You can have COVID-19 without a fever. If you are experiencing ANY of the above symptoms, you are eligible for COVID testing. Please call the medical clinic to arrange for testing. The COVID-testing is set up in the parking lot, we come outside to your vehicle. We do not want patients with any symptoms of infection inside of our health care facility unless they require emergency medical care.

Many patients have told us they simply “have a cold” and are under the impression that this can’t be COVID-19. This is NOT TRUE, for many people COVID-19 will feel like a normal cold, especially for young healthy people. If you have any symptoms of being sick STAY HOME and call to get tested.

How can you help us at the Medical Clinic?

We are VERY busy at the moment, especially with answering phone calls and questions. Please be patient with us, we are doing the best we can to bring you medical care in an efficient and safe manner. Please look at when your prescriptions are due to run out and book an appointment at least two weeks in advance.

We are currently trying to limit the number of patients coming into the clinic in order to keep everyone safe. This means you are more likely to have a telephone appointment with your doctor first. We see sick people in our clinic and because of that we want healthy people to stay away if possible.

If you have a telephone appointment booked with the doctor please treat this appointment with the same respect as an in person appointment. Please be prepared to answer your phone at the designated time. We have very limited time in our schedules and if you don’t answer at the time of your appointment you may have to rebook. Please also try to be in a quiet area by yourself as confidentiality is important to us.

How to stay positive during COVID-19:

There is a lot of strain on all of us at the moment because of the pandemic. Seniors especially are more isolated and have the potential to develop depression or anxiety. If you are experiencing signs of depression or anxiety please contact the clinic to talk with your doctor.

Suggestions for ways to feel better:

Going outside – recommended daily even if it’s just for a few minutes

Moving your body – walking, dancing, any form of exercise

Socializing in other ways – including telephone calls or online. If you know a senior that might be lonely, give them a call.

Doing something to help others – there are seniors that could use help with deliveries, and the food bank always needs donations/money/volunteers – helping others is a great way to feel better.

Avoiding the news – this may sound strange, but watching and consuming too much of the news can be bad for your mental health, it’s okay to take a break.

Deep breathing and relaxation techniques.

Creativity – make something (art, food, whatever), this can reduce stress.

Counselling and therapy can be very helpful, and many services are now offered via telephone or online.

Please be patient with us and each other. We are all doing the best we can and we want the best for this community. If we work together we can keep our community and our seniors healthy and safe!