New COVID-19 program offers meaningful telephone connections for seniors in isolation

Media Release
April 20, 2020

Windsor, ON – The Windsor-Essex COVID Care Coalition is launching the Windsor Essex Seniors Call Assurance program (WESCAP) to provide outreach and social support to seniors in isolation due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Seniors can sign up for the program by calling (877) 771-2677 from Monday to Friday from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. WESCAP will be available to seniors who are 55 or older starting Monday, April 20.

United Way/Centraide Windsor-Essex County will receive $102,499 through the Government of Canada's New Horizons for Seniors Program. This federal funding is part of a $9 million grant to United Way/Centraide Canada supporting emergency response services to vulnerable seniors across Canada. All monies will be used to support local seniors programming between now and the end of June.

"While physical distancing is essential to protecting seniors from COVID-19, it risks isolating them from their community," says Honorable Deb Schulte, Minister of Seniors. "That is why the Government of Canada is proud to work with United Way Canada to help support the needs of seniors during this difficult time. By using local expertise, this funding will help provide support tailored to the unique, local needs of seniors across the country. As we work together to flatten the curve and slow the spread of the virus, the government is supporting Canadians every step of the way."

“Seniors in our community are not only at the highest risk of poor health due to the COVID-19 crisis, but they are also much more likely to be negatively affected by increased social isolation measures,” says Lorraine Goddard, CEO of United Way/Centraide Windsor-Essex County. “These funds help us ensure that while vulnerable seniors are isolated, they are also supported.”

The dangers of social isolation to older adults combined with mandated self-isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic creates a significant risk to the long-term well-being of seniors in our community. The Windsor Essex Seniors Call Assurance program is intended to help alleviate isolation by providing a meaningful social connection and support through regular telephone check-in calls and referrals to other community supports, if necessary. In times of unprecedented crisis, it is critical that all sectors work together and respond quickly to support the most vulnerable people in our community.

"As a community, we know that a lack of social connections and social isolation is a great risk factor for older adults," says Sally Bennett Olczak, CEO, Alzheimer Society of Windsor and Essex County. "The Alzheimer Society is pleased to act as the central intake agency to provide wrap-around care and support for seniors who call the support line at this critical time."

Seniors who call the program phone number will be referred to an organization in their neighbourhood to receive a security check call within three days of the initial request. Alzheimer Society of Windsor-Essex County, Amherstburg Community Services, Community Support Centre of Essex County, Life After Fifty, South Essex Community Council, The Hospice of Windsor and Essex County and VON Windsor have joined forces to offer WESCAP.

More information on the Call Assurance program can be found at www.weareunited.com/GETHELP.

Windsor-Essex COVID Care Coalition partners include Amherstburg Community Services, Alzheimer Society Windsor-Essex, Canadian Mental Health Association Windsor Essex County, City of Windsor, Community Support Centre of Essex County, Family Services Windsor Essex, Green Shield Canada, Hopsice of Windsor & Essex County, Life After Fifty, New Canadians' Centre of Excellence, ProsperUs, South Essex Community Council, Unemployed Help Centre, United Way/Centraide Windsor-Essex County, The Victorian Order of Nurses for Canada, Ontario Branch - Windsor-Essex Site, Windsor-Essex Children's Aid Society, Windsor-Essex Community Foundation, Windsor Essex Compassion Care Community, Windsor-Essex County Health Unit, Windsor Family Homes & Community Partnerships, and Windsor-Essex Food Bank Association members.

 

Media Contact:  Angela Kharboutli, Manager, Marketing & Communications, United Way/Centraide Windsor-Essex County | Windsor Essex COVID Care Coalition Member
akharboutli@weareunited.com
  |  W: 519-259-6169 |  M : 519-562-7841

Facebook Group: Windsor-Essex COVID Care Coalition  

 

NHSP (3)

The New Horizons for Seniors Program (NHSP) provides grants and contributions for projects that help improve the well-being of seniors and foster their social inclusion. To provide more support for seniors during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government of Canada announced flexibility for organizations to use funding received through the NHSP community-based stream to provide immediate and essential services to seniors impacted by COVID-19.

United Way/Centraide Windsor-Essex County
300 Giles Boulevard East, Unit A1, Windsor, Ontario N9A 4C4

t: 519-258-0000 | f: 519-258-2346 | info@weareunited.com | Charitable Registration #: 108160334 RR0001