IRIS coordinator Sandi McCreight and several volunteers have been preparing more than 150 meals for local seniors each week during the COVID-19 pandemic. Submitted photo

Castlegar seniors asked to share their COVID experiences

Research project looks for information to help improve life for local seniors

Castlegar residents over the age of 60 are being asked to fill out a survey about their experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Project IRIS (Increasing Recreation Involving Seniors) and Selkirk College have partnered together to research how local seniors have fared during recent months and to discover what could help them in the future.

The survey asks questions about loneliness, mental health, physical health and other challenges.

IRIS coordinator Sandi McCreight says they also want to know what supports people feel would be helpful in the future to better support their health and wellness.

RELATED: Castlegar senior shopping program keeping locals working

McCreight says the feedback she has already received has some common threads — loneliness from lack of contact with family, friends and usual gatherings, missing regular social events and missing the freedom to be with other people.

Fear of the unknown and figuring out how to manage everday life while considering safety are also challenges local seniors report facing.

“On a positive note, seniors are very thankful to be in a province with a leader like Dr. Bonnie Henry who provides lots of information on a consistent basis,” said McCreight.

“This survey is a huge opportunity to share the concerns and challenges of seniors during this time with decision makers for future reference, said McCreight.

“Your participation is anonymous and greatly appreciated.”

Surveys can be taken by phone (250-365-7292 ext. 21489) or online . You can also call to request a paper copy.

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