4 ways you can help protect seniors amid COVID-19

Health authorities across Canada are urging Canadians to stay home and practice physical distancing to prevent the spread of the coronavirus and COVID-19. 

The Public Health Agency of Canada says seniors are among the most vulnerable to COVID-19, and that there is an increased risk of more severe outcomes of COVID-19 for those Canadians aged 65 and over, those with compromised immune systems, and those with underlying medical conditions. Provincial governments, including Ontario and Quebec, are urging everyone over the age of 70 to stay at home. 

In an effort to help Canadian seniors and vulnerable family members, friends and neighbours, there are several steps we can take to help them stay home and stay safe during these difficult times. 

Encourage seniors to register for online or telephone banking 

Many seniors still visit their local bank branches to perform simple banking activities, even though the majority of the banking they are doing can be done online. To help the seniors in your life stay home, ask them if they have registered for online banking through EasyWeb or the TD app. 

If they haven't, you can let them know that TD has created a number of free tutorials to help Canadians register for online banking, and to help customers manage their money more easily. TD is encouraging customers, whenever possible, to bank digitally to avoid coming into branches

Customers can bank online anytime with EasyWeb or from almost anywhere when they use the TD app on their smartphone. You can even be with them on the phone to help walk them through the tutorial to help get them more comfortable with the idea of online banking. To learn more and to access our tutorials, visit: https://www.td.com/ca/en/personal-banking/how-to/digital-banking/

You could also encourage the seniors in your life to register for direct deposit payments for their Canada Pension Plan or direct withdrawals for regular expenses, like utility bills. You can also explain to them how to check their balances online, so they won't have to visit a branch to update their passbooks.

For more information on how to register for online banking, please visit: www.td.com/covid19

Shop for groceries online  

To help minimize the number of times the seniors in your life need to leave their homes, consider helping them order their groceries online for delivery or doing their shopping for them. For vulnerable seniors who need additional assistance, the United Way is supporting local organizations that provide practical services to more vulnerable Canadian seniors – with the assistance of the Government of Canada – such as delivery for groceries, medications, or other needed items, as well as personal outreach to assess individuals’ needs and connect them to community supports. There are United Way organizations across the country, find the one nearest you by visiting the United Way website.

Help our seniors to spot fraud 

Unfortunately, fraudsters target vulnerable people and always try to profit from misinformation during times of increased anxiety, and these times are no different. The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre has advised Canadians be on the lookout for scams related to the ongoing health crisis, including phishing, malware, and other malicious email campaigns. Help protect your family members by talking about common scams that often target elderly Canadians. 

Stay in touch

Canadians everywhere are being asked by public health agencies to physically distance from one another, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't be staying connected by reaching out to our loved ones in other ways. Self-isolation can be a lonely experience for some people, so it's a good idea to check in on the seniors and any other vulnerable people in your family and in your community. Call them or arrange video chats for them to see how they are and what you can do to help them.