On July 15 – July 17, please consider giving during the Give65.ca event. On these dates the Home Instead Foundation will match donations up to $5000.  Click this link HERE to make your donation or go to https://www.give65.ca/nonprofits/askfriendshipcentre     Or donate anytime through Canada Helps on our website here http://askcentre.ca/donate-now/

The ASK Friendship Society is working hard to continue to support our clients and their families during COVID-19.  Every day, staff are making wellness check-in and socialization phone calls to our seniors and their caregivers. In May, ASK started to offer a variety of weekly online programs that includes; trivia, exercises, music and fun activities. The staff are coming up with creative online programming, even our chef is putting on cooking demonstrations from his kitchen! This programming thrives to keep our seniors active, engaged and supported within the COVID-19 limitations.  We recognize however, that none of this programming replaces the physical, mental and social benefits of coming into the centre for both our clients and their families.

ASK is working with Vancouver Coastal Health to create a safety plan to reopen our centre in a modified way. Before we can welcome seniors back to the centre we need to have approval by the Ministry of Health and Vancouver Coastal Health.  In order to keep our seniors and staff safe from COVID-19 and comply with Work Safe BC guidelines, ASK will be opening in a modified way with safety precautions in place.  In order to adhere to these guidelines, ASK will need to purchase extra equipment, supplies and cleaning services.  Once ASK reopens our aim is to continue wellness checks, socialization phone calls and online programs for those not able to attend or unwilling to attend the programs.


With your help, ASK can reopen our doors and continue to serve our seniors at the centre and at home.


April 10, 2020 – Resource List
(Click blue titles for link to webpage)

Reliable Information on COVID-19

Vancouver Coastal Health COVID-19 page 

BC Centre for Disease Control
Non-medical information about COVID-19 is available 7:30am-8pm, 7 days a week at 1-888-COVID19 (1-888-268-4319).

COVID-19 Multilingual Resources (Chinese/ South Asian/ Farsi/ Korean/ Italian)
Reputable resources for learning more about COVID-19 from UBC

HealthLink BC – Call 8-1-1 toll-free in B.C., or for the deaf and hard of hearing, call 7-1-1.
You can speak with a health service navigator, who can also connect you with a:

  • registered nurse any time, every day of the year
  • registered dietitian from 9am to 5pm PT, Monday to Friday
  • qualified exercise professional from 9am to 5pm PT, Monday to Friday
  • pharmacist from 5pm to 9am PT, every day of the year
    Translation services are available in more than 130 languages.

Dr. Bonnie Henry and the Health Minister generally brief the public daily on weekdays and Saturdays, and this is broadcast live on a number of radio and TV channels. Can be found on Global News here. 


Bc 211Phone 2-1-1
TTY Access for the Deaf/Hard of Hearing community in BC is available by dialing 604-875-0885.

bc211 has just extended their hours of operation. Phone calls are free, confidential, multilingual, and available 24/7. Online chats with a specialist are also free, confidential, and available 7 days a week from 8am to 11pm PST.

New Bc 211 Program – Safe Seniors, Strong Communities Program. 
A program that matches seniors who need support with non-medical essentials (food delivery etc.), to volunteers in their community who are willing to help. To register for services, or to offer help, register. Please Phone 2-1-1 or complete an online form here.

The Jewish Family Services Community Care Hotline has been set up as an emergency response resource in light of COVID-19. It is now available 9 a.m. – 9 p.m., 7 days a week to provide emergency essential services to anyone throughout Metro Vancouver. Call 604-558-5719 or email communitycare@jfsvancouver.ca.

Caregiver Support:
A caregiver’s role may increase or intensify at this time. As such, the Family Caregivers of BC’s Caregiver Support Line is available from Mon-Fri 8:30am to 4pm. To reach the BC Caregiver Support Line, please call 1-877-520-3267. Learn more a here.

Mental Well-Being:
The COVID-19 outbreak is a stressful situation for us all. As such, if you are feeling heightened levels of anxiety, there are a few tips and tricks that we can all use to help lower our anxiety levels.
Here to Help BC – Please check out the website for more ideas on managing your anxiety and stress during COVID-19.
Crisis Centre Resources – The Distress Phone Services provide confidential, non-judgmental, free emotional support, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for people experiencing feelings of distress or despair.
Vancouver Coastal Health Region  – 604-872-3311
Seniors’ Distress Line –  604-872-1234
BC Psychological Association Provides any BC resident (19+) with a brief (up to 30 mins) phone consultation to provide  information and strategies to help you cope with the stress associated with the COVID-19 pandemic

Jewish Seniors Alliance has put together a great list of Entertainment, Physical Activity and Self-Care.

Canadian Frailty Network has put together a list of ways to reduce isolation:
For older adults without technology
For older adults with technology

Musical Entertainment Videos From Performers who play at ASK:

Helen Del Val Click here.
Kathryn Fitzpatrick, Click here and Click here
Brendan, Click here
Virtual Orchestra, Click here
Natalie and Theresa, Click here and Click Here
Concerts in Care Online Click here

Online Grocery Shopping/Meal Kit delivery options:

South Vancouver Seniors Network’s Online Grocery Shopping/Meal Kit delivery options list

Jewish Seniors Alliance’s website has a good list of Seniors Shopping Hours and Delivery

Vancouver Coastal Health Shop by Phone Grocery Program
Provides home-bound seniors help with their grocery shopping. Clients call a designated order line to place an order and volunteer grocery shoppers shop for the seniors and the grocery store delivers to the clients home. Especially helpful if a senior does not have access to online. To register call 604-875-4608

New Bc 211 Program – Safe Seniors, Strong Communities Program. 
A program that matches seniors with food delivery, including fresh cooked meals from local centres. To register for services, or to offer help, register. Please Phone 2-1-1 or complete an online form here.

At Home Exercise Options 

For fall prevention in-home exercise tips, please visit this link:  Primary Care Fall Prevention Home Activity Program

Choose to Move – A program developed by the Active Aging Research Team at UBC.  Find information, videos and printable exercise templates for seniors.

Senior friendly exercise videos:
* These were chosen off You Tube by the staff as good examples of videos you can do at home. These are not endorsed by ASK. Please watch first and make sure they are at your level of comfort and ability. Always modify or stop if it is causing pain.

Fall Prevention exercises with Phoebe (with seated modification)

Sit and be fit with Mary Ann Wilson

Exercise Program in Mandarin

Exercise Program in Cantonese

Chair Yoga for Seniors 

Lower Body Chair Exercises

Seated Chair Exercises

Chair Yoga and Tai Chi

Chair Zumba

March 18, 2020

Dear Friends, Caregivers, Volunteers and Clients of the ASK Friendship Society,

I wish to update and provide you with further information on the actions and prevention measures we are taking at the ASK Friendship Centre regarding the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Effective March 17, 2020, as directed by Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH), the Centre was closed for participants and volunteers until further notice. Effective March 20, 2020, staff will begin to work from home to ensure that we are taking all the steps necessary to be safe through social distancing.

For the rest of this week the staff will remain at the Centre connecting with all our clients and families via telephone to gather information and check in on their wellbeing. The staff will then create individual care and outreach plans that will include ensuring access to meals, caregiver support, information sharing, friendly conversation and wellness check-ins for the duration of the closure. We will continue to work closely with VCH to support your case managers via regular phone call check in’s with our clients and families. If you are in need of something and can’t reach your case manager, please call the Centre for support at 604-263-7333, leave a detailed message and we will return your call. Alternatively, you can email caring@askcentre.ca. We will be checking both on a regular basis.

Starting March 23 staff will be calling our clients and their families on an ongoing basis to update them on relevant information, ensuring everyone is being cared for and supports are in place and spending some time making friendly conversation to help reduce the social isolation. The situation is changing rapidly, so we will continue to connect and be creative in ways that we can support from a distance. Please keep in mind, phone calls may be made from a blocked number in order to protect the privacy of our staff. If you want to reach a staff member, please leave a message on our general voicemail as it will be checked frequently.

If anyone of you, our friends, feels that you or a senior you know is in need of this type of phone support that we will be providing during this unprecedented time, please contact ASK either by email or phone. 604-263-7333 or caring@askcentre.ca We will do our best to accommodate.

We all know the importance that Adult Day Programs have for seniors and families in our communities. However, it’s important that we take steps necessary to ensure the health and safety of you, our participants, and our staff. Thank you to all of you for doing your part by practicing social distancing while you are also looking after your families, friends and neighbours.

Remember that social distancing does not mean social disconnect. We still need to ensure that everyone, especially our seniors, are connected to reduce the negative effects of isolation. The way this happens will look different in the weeks to come. In the coming weeks we will be re-evaluating the ways that we can support our seniors and families if this closure continues for any length of time.

I know that all of you will join me in thanking our dedicated staff for the care, support and attention that they provide to all our clients and wish them good health.

Do you have further questions about COVID-19?
We continue to provide daily updates to the public at www.VCH.ca/COVID19 Additional information on COVID-19 is available on the BC Centre for Disease Control (don’t know why there is a line through this! 😉 Both sites are updated regularly, so we encourage you to check them frequently.

The province has also created a phone service to provide non-medical information about COVID-19, including the latest information on travel recommendations and social distancing. Information is available in more than 110 languages, 7:30am – 8pm at 1-888-COVID19 (1-888-268-4319) or via text message at 604-630-0300.

Kara Turner
Executive Director
ASK Friendship Society

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