Coronavirus: Barrie offers free phone programs to seniors

Canadian seniors lacking help in the pandemic
While Ottawa is contributing $9 million through the United Way to help support services for seniors during the pandemic, Global News is hearing from seniors who say that's not enough.

Amid people staying home during the novel coronavirus pandemic, the City of Barrie, Ont., has launched a free program that allows seniors to connect with each other through phone calls with multiple people.

The program will include a number of topics each week, ranging from “brain-stimulating” games to informal coffee chats, health and wellness sessions, as well as educational talks.

READ MORE: Coronavirus: City of Barrie extends lockdown until summer, bans yard sales

“The Seniors Centre Without Walls program provides a much-needed opportunity for seniors to connect and socialize, while following the physical distancing guidelines that are in place,” Barrie’s recreation manager, Steve Lee Young, said in a statement.

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“Many seniors live alone, and we know they are missing interacting with friends family in these challenging times. Now, with a simple phone call, they can connect, chat and hopefully make new friends in the community.”

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READ MORE: Coronavirus: Supporting seniors hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic

The free program is run by Barrie’s 55+ Centre staff and volunteers. Programs are 30 to 60 minutes in length and will be offered twice a day from Monday to Thursday.

The Seniors Centre Without Walls Schedule is available online. Those who are interested can register by email at or phone at 705-739-4223.

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