The COVID-19 pandemic and the crisis in our long-term care homes have shone a light on the need for better supports for seniors. Living at home ensures that seniors can continue to make decisions about their daily lives and remain connected to their social networks.
What if postal workers could help seniors live independently in their own homes for longer?
In addition to helping seniors, elder check-ins could bring peace of mind to loved ones and relatives who don’t live nearby. Japan, France, Belgium, Denmark and Germany currently offer effective and successful senior check-in services through their national postal services.
Door-to-door postal workers are already watchful of signs that something isn’t quite right. They could be allotted extra time on their routes to check in on seniors or people with mobility issues who sign up for the service. Check-ins could be as simple as seeing if there’s a regular “ok” sign in the window or a brief social visit.
Postal workers could also become a point of contact between seniors and healthcare or social services when the need arises. Postal workers are already trusted and reliable members of our communities. Why not leverage our 26,000 door-to-door postal workers to provide further supports to seniors?
Elder check-ins are not new to Canada. Started in 1980, the Letter Carrier Alert program still exists in Prince Edward County, Ontario.
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