#BCStorm: Public asked to support seniors during late December deep freeze
Rare heavy snowfall warning could negatively impact seniors & home support workers
Burnaby, BC (December 21, 2021) — With the potential for heavy snowfall and sub-zero temperatures forecasted on B.C.’s south coast in the coming days, BC Care Providers Association (BCCPA) and EngAge BC is reminding everyone to consider the needs of seniors and others with mobility challenges during these extreme weather conditions.
“We want to raise public awareness on this important matter of public safety – and keep our sidewalks cleared of snow and ice in front of homes and businesses,” says Terry Lake, BCCPA and EngAge BC CEO. “It even goes beyond looking after a few metres in front of your property, but also taking a few minutes to help a neighbour with theirs as well.”
Home and business property owners are reminded of their obligation to keep their sidewalks cleared and free of icy surfaces, and to do so on a timely basis each day. Many municipalities have bylaws that require the clearing of snow and ice from the full width of sidewalks that surround their property by 10:00am on the morning following a snowfall, seven days a week.
Shoveling and salting of sidewalks or pathways into the home of an elderly neighbour or someone with mobility or health challenges will help reduce the possibility of slips and falls.
“Thousands of B.C. seniors rely upon home support visits,” adds Lake. “Workforce injuries from falls are commonplace with snow and icy conditions, which may deprive someone of a home support appointment for important daily needs such as food or medicines.”
BCCPA are also appealing to the public to support their fellow community members where possible. The City of Vancouver, for example, has the Snow Angel program to sign up volunteers to clear walks.
Last week, BCCPA relaunched its annual “Gift of Time” campaign to remind the public of the impact of social isolation during the winter holiday season. It provides another important motivation for supporting seniors at this time of year.
“Social isolation can be especially devastating for seniors during the holiday season,” says Lake. “If you have a neighbour or a loved one that might be impacted by the cold weather, take a moment to contact them. They will greatly appreciate that you did.”
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About BC Care Providers Association & EngAge BC
Established in 1977, BC Care Providers Association (BCCPA) is the leading voice for B.C.’s continuing care sector. Our growing membership base includes over 425 long-term care, assisted living, and commercial members from across British Columbia. Through its operating arm EngAge BC the organization represents independent living and home health service providers.