Staying Connected in Meaningful Ways

As we share another check in with you Faryar and I are pleased to report several new supports that BSOSS is able to offer to you. This week Alex Munroe, our ED, provided both of us with cell phones that will enable us to call you without needing to block our personal telephone numbers. We would like to be able to check in with as many of you as possible using our new phones. There is one problem, we do not have all of your telephone numbers. Many of you we only have your email addresses. If you would like a check in call please provide your telephone number either by email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call Dorothy at 604-230-3310.

As we have continued to adapt to Covid19 I have been seeking out information regarding how seniors are managing.  April 24, John Leland published a thought provoking article in the New York Times titled, “I like It, Actually: Why So Many Older People Thrive in Lockdown.” Leland goes on to say “… the corona virus has been especially punishing for older people, isolating them in their homes or killing them at disproportionate rate…Yet many New Yorkers in this age group are thriving during this catastrophe -skilled at being alone, not fearful about their career prospects, emotionally more experienced at managing the great disruption of everyday life that is affecting everyone….they offer a counter narrative of resourcefulness and perseverance.”

The article goes on to say, research has shown that as a group older adults have a positivity bias, or tendency to see the good side of situations, said, Gary M. Kennedy director of geriatric psychiatry at Montefiore Medical Centre and professor at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. He said, “Their pessimism and anxiety tend to abate with age. They’re no longer striving for material achievements.”

As a senior can you relate to some of the sentiments expressed in Leland’s article? Each of us is experiencing the dramatic adjustments to our day to day lives as we practice physical distancing, and make choices that contribute to the well being of British Columbia as shared by Dr. Bonnie Henry. What are some examples of your resourcefulness and tips for perseverance during these times? We would love to hear from you and share them with others.

Attitude can be such a powerful factor in how we experience life’s events. In the 1800’s Emile Coue a French pharmacist experimented with what he called optimistic autosuggestion by placing the following instructions in half of the orders, ‘every day in every way I am getting better and better.’ He was curious if belief could influence outcome. In following up with the patients he indeed discovered those who followed the mantra reported increased feelings of wellness compared to the group that did not receive the mantra. A great example of a resource available when we focus on the potential power of our own attitude.

As physical distancing remains the best way to protect everyone’s health BSOSS is no longer able to offer the many face to face programs we specialize in. We want to continue to connect with you using email, telephone or virtually platforms.

Faryar and I are looking forward to talking with you to learn more about how you are managing as well as how to offer meaningful supports to you as seniors, family caregivers, and those wishing to live well in our dementia friendly community.

Dorothy and Faryar


COVID-19 Resources from posAbilities

posAbilities provides a broad range of services to persons with developmental disabilities and their families.

For a list of COVID-19 resources from posAbilities click here.


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?

COVID-19 Notice

COVID-19 Notice

April 9th, 2020

In the effort to curb the spread of COVID-19, the Brentwood Community Resource Centre is currently closed and we are temporarily suspending on-site programs.

Burnaby Community Services, Burnaby Meals on Wheels, and Burnaby Seniors Outreach staff are working remotely and we are continuing to provide critical services to those in need.

COVID-19: Website for Burnaby Residents on How and Where to Seek Care

medical aidBurnaby residents and patients of Burnaby Physicians and Nurse Practitioners can access the website for information about how and where to seek care regarding COVID-19.

This is a new website, hosted by the Burnaby Primary Care Network, in collaboration with the City and other service providers. Currently, it offers a link to the COVID19 self-assessment tool, which steers people who may be sick to the appropriate course of action, including telephone and video conference consultation with a physician, and screening appointments where appropriate. Soon, the site will be expanded to include links to the various services available for people who have been affected socially and financially by the Coronavirus. The site is constantly being updated to stay in compliance with the latest information and criteria from the BC Centre for Disease Control. It is an excellent, accurate, and up-to-date resource.


COVID-19: Community Support Programs for Seniors

important noticeThe United Way and London Drugs are partnering to provide help to seniors and other isolated individuals during the COVID-19 crisis. They are also offering volunteer opportunities. To get help or to volunteer please visit United Way’s “local love in a Global Crisis” website.

In addition, London Drugs has also set up a dedicated resource to help seniors on a one-on-one basis.   Caregivers and family members can email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if they know of a family member who might be isolated and in desperate need of any essential items or medications.  This email option is a new way specifically for seniors to get assistance.  For more information about this click here.


Caregiver Connection Newsletter and Enews

Caregiver Connection is a free quarterly newsletter published by the Family Caregivers of BC. It contains interesting and informative articles directly related to caregiving issues that help build a stronger family caregiver community.

The online Enews keeps you up to date monthly on relevant caregiver news, resources and opportunities.

Click here to find out more about the Caregiver Connection newsletter and enews.


BC Expands 211 Hotline to Pair Seniors with Volunteers

You can now call 2-1-1 or visit  if you are a senior in need, or would like to volunteer with a senior in your community to check in on them or help pick-up groceries/prescriptions. The helpline takes calls 7 days/week to help keep seniors safe.

To read more on what extra measures the BC Government is doing to help seniors and bolster seniors’ supports at community service agencies in the province click here.

Help seniors stay safe


BSOSS, BCS and Burnaby Meals on Wheels Appoint New Executive Director

Alexandra Munroe has been appointed as the Executive Director of Burnaby Seniors Outreach Services Society (BSOSS), Burnaby Community Services (BCS), and Burnaby Meals on Wheels effective December 17, 2019.  Alex has a track record of success as a strategic and operational leader with an engaging personality.  Alex’s background includes working as Vice-President of Administration and Human Resources in the for-profit tech industry, and she has held leadership roles within the seniors’ health care sector.  Her extensive experience in management and HR is key to our organizations.  Other requirements for this job include outstanding communication skills, along with a commitment to fundraising and to building a sustainable plan that ensures the societies continue to serve the Burnaby community.

As background, the Boards established a search committee comprising of Larry Ho, Rahim Rajan, Danelle Laidlaw, and Evelyn Gut  to undertake the search for an Executive Director.  Career Contacts, an experienced executive search firm was engaged to undertake this search.

An Executive Brief describing the opportunity was posted in October.  This brief was used to market the opportunity resulting in over 68 individuals declaring their candidacy for this role.  Career Contacts evaluated and screened all these candidates and conducted in-depth interviews with 12 individuals.  5 candidates were selected for interviews and 2 candidates were invited for a second interview.

Please join us in welcoming Alex to her new position as Executive Director.  We have every confidence that she will thrive in her new position and be a welcome new driving force in our organization.


Danelle Laidlaw
President BSOSS