INFO-FLASH News 2020-03-25
Key information sources are at the bottom of this message

Staying Apart, Together, to Stay Healthy

What are “social distancing” and “flattening the curve”?

“Social distancing” and “flattening the curve” have been in the news. "Social distancing" is avoiding physical contact with people who do not live with you as well as public spaces, where surfaces may be infected. “Flattening the curve” is the use of social distancing to slow the spread of the virus so that fewer people need to seek treatment at any given time. This explains why Ottawa Public Health is advising social distancing .

Social Distancing does not have to mean social isolation

Yet, social distancing does not have to mean social isolation for older adults. But don’t take our word for it. Here is a opinion piece from The Globe and Mail, In an era of isolation, it’s essential we maintain social connections with our most vulnerable . They urge all Canadians to make a list of people they are concerned about and plan to stay in touch with them.

How do you practice social distancing?
(adapted from Ottawa Public Health, Social Distancing)

Social distancing means:
  • Staying home as much as possible
  • Avoiding non-essential trips in the community
  • Connecting with family and friends through technology
  • Spending time outside and in settings where people can maintain a 6 feet (2 meters) distance from each other
  • Posting messages in your window or on your door to let others know you are ok
  • If you have family members living in long-term care homes, retirement homes, supportive housing, hospices and other care settings, visiting only as regulations allow and staying in touch by phone
  • If you are still working, talking to your employer about working from home where possible

Please note that these guidelines are not meant to say “you must stay in your home!”

You can still go outside to take a walk, go to the park, or walk your dog. If you need groceries, go to the store. The recommendation is simply that while outside you make sure to avoid crowds and maintain a distance of 6 feet (2 metres) from those around you.

We are in this together
We can all help by keeping in touch by phones and screens with family, friends and neighbours. We can offer to help and ask for help when we need it.

Over the next while, we will be putting out our INFO-FLASH newsletters, like this one, on COVID-19 related topics of interest to seniors.

Stay safe! Even with social distancing, we’re in this together.
Sarah Bercier

Executive Director
The Council on Aging of Ottawa
Community Information and Services for Seniors

Community Information Centre of Ottawa connects you with supports and services in 150+ languages.

City of Ottawa provides information and services for residents about municipal services.
Resources to Stay Socially Connected
offers a telephone friendly visiting line for seniors 55+.

613-696-9992 or 1-855-892-9992
Seniors’ Centre Without Walls organizes free telephone group activities for seniors 55+ and adults with physical disabilities.
Other Resources and Supports
Distress Centre of Ottawa and Region is a local connection to mental health support and resources, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Distress: 613-238-3311
Crisis: 613-722-6914 or

LGBT Wellbeing Check-in Program provides a telephone assurance program for LGBT adults with disabilities (18+) and older adults (55+). To access the program, contact Good Companions at 613-236-0428 or

Ontario Caregiver Helpline provides caregivers with a one-stop resource for information and support. 1-833-416-2273 (CARE)
TelAide offrons un service d’écoute téléphonique en français aux personnes qui ont besoin d’une oreille, qui nécessitent du soutien ou de références.

Elder Abuse Response and Referral Service provides intake, information, consultation, referral, and support services for seniors at-risk or who are in an abusive situation.
613-596-5626 ext. 230

Telehealth Ontario is a free, confidential service you can call to get health advice or information. A Registered Nurse will take your call 24 hours a day, seven days a week. 1-866-797-0000
What should older adults and their caregivers
know about COVID-19
Canadian Media Sources on COVID-19
For all other COA News check the Updates
Contact Us
(613) 789-3577