Angelica Caballero used to happily push her shopping trolley by the bridgeway that connected her condo to SM North EDSA for her daily needs and supplies. She found the perfect home in Grass Residences – with its walkable access to the mall, a hospital and easy commute to major thoroughfares – especially for an elderly like her who lives alone. 

But with the pandemic and the subsequent lockdown, access to supplies proved to be difficult, with many stores closing or operating with limited hours. And, as a senior citizen, she was not allowed to go out, nor would she have wanted to venture out of her unit.

Caballero is one of more than 100,000 persons aged 65 years old and above, who are living alone, based on the 2015 Census of Population data. 

Commission on Population and Development Undersecretary Juan Antonio Perez III has called on barangays and community leaders to locate these elderlies so that they can be provided with appropriate support. “More than ever, the challenge for inclusivity during these trying times calls for the establishment of efficient mechanisms to easily locate vulnerable populations such as the older persons who are living alone,” Perez said in a statement.

Elderlies are among the group of individuals rendered vulnerable to Covid-19 because of limited physical mobility, increased vulnerability to infections, lower injury thresholds and higher recovery times. Without a non-elderly adult to purchase their food and medicine for them, many of them are forced to go out of their homes for weekly grocery and medicine runs.

The Good Guys to the rescue

Fortunately for Caballero, The Good Guys care team, composed of employees from SM Development Corporation (SMDC), calls her every week to assist her with her grocery and medicine needs. 

The Good Guys care team is a group of volunteer SMDC employees who regularly call selected residents to provide shopping services for elderlies who live independently. The team takes their orders – along with their Senior Citizen ID cards, prescriptions, medicine booklets and authorization letters – and arrange for these to be bought by a team of riders who bring them to the condo’s lobby guard.

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