A Message of Well Being

Dear Friends of Burnaby Seniors Outreach,

I am hoping that everyone is finding ways to stay physically and emotionally healthy as we cope with the Covid19 virus.

These are times that are testing our resilience and our resolve individually, as a community, a province and a nation.  I have been amazed at the mutual respect I see as we adhere to Dr. Bonnie Henry’s briefings in how to best contain the spread of this virus.

We humans are hard wired for a variety of responses to stress. The best known response is known as the flight or fight response. When faced with danger we often choose between fleeing or standing our ground and defending ourselves. When it comes to an invisible virus less than half the diameter of a hair, our best defense has been to follow the advice of the experts--who knew that hand washing was a great fight strategy?

A lesser known theory of how humans respond is known as the tend and befriend response. This theory arose from the Positive Psychology movement of the early 2000s. In the original theory tending referred to mothering off- spring. If we expand the notion of tending to refer to ways we can support one another I find a great fit for tending and befriending as we all work together to contain the spread of Covid19. Burnaby Seniors Outreach has been tending and befriending to improve the life of seniors in Burnaby for a long time.

Humans are social beings, whether we see ourselves as introverts, extroverts or somewhere in between we can find support, encouragement and strength from joining together (tending and befriending) in new and creative ways as we practice physical distancing.

All of the programs that BSOSS has offered up until now involved face to face interaction whether one to one with senior peer support navigators, attendance at Expo, a workshop, support group, café or singing with the New Dementians.

Faryar and I have been on a rapid learning curve to develop competence in utilizing virtual methods of connecting. We are delighted to announce that we had our first very successful rehearsal with Jennyfer Hatch leading the New Dementians using Zoom on Saturday.

We are now ready to begin offering discussions, support groups and the Dementia Friendly Café using Zoom. We will be posting the schedule of our Zoom meetings every week on Facebook, our website and in email blasts. Zoom is confidential, Fraser Health uses Zoom for staying connected. It is very easy to use. When you see an offering you would like to attend, send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. we will then send you a link to the workshop and the password. We are very excited to be able to use new ways to tend and befriend each other.

There are many resources for people who are connected to the internet. I know if you are reading this you are connected to the internet. A very valuable site is, www.burnabycoronavirus.com. Visit www.bc211.ca or call bc 2-1-1 to learn more about the “New Safe Seniors Strong Communities Program”. The web site allows one to seek services or offer to be a volunteer. The website is also an up to date source of information on Covid19.  Calling 8-1-1 will also connect you with a health service navigator to ensure that you are able to get the information you need to look after your personal health care needs.

On behalf of the Board of Directors for BSOSS, Alex Munroe, ED of BSOSS, and Faryar we wish you the best as you adapt to the needs of our community, yourselves and your family. We look forward to providing you with virtual support as you remember to practice good self care.

The simplest way that I have found for self care has been finding joy in something each day. Today I am finding joy in making a simple meal flavoured with fresh chives, parsley and mint from my garden. Where will you find joy today?

Dorothy Leclair
Manager BSOSS