September 24, 2020
Over the last 25 years, DHIC and Resources for Seniors, a local non-profit, have partnered to ensure that seniors have access to services that allow them to live independent, active lives. With the impact of COVID-19, the partnership has required a new approach as we all work to meet the demands and needs of seniors most impacted by the public health pandemic. Following are some of the ways that we have pivoted to address those needs:
Before the pandemic, the Resources for Seniors Services Coordinators would meet in person with our residents, arrange transportation for them, and serve as a listening ear during good times and bad.
At the onset of the pandemic, we started practicing social distancing measures, and our partnership with Resources for Seniors began to adapt, as we developed new ways to continue providing services to our senior residents.
Here are some of the ways we’re doing it.
At the start of the pandemic, some of our senior residents lost their jobs, leaving them to try to maneuver the frustrating process of applying for unemployment at a time when so many others were doing the same.
The Resources for Seniors Service Coordinators stepped in at all hours of the day (and in the middle of the night!) to help our residents secure their unemployment benefits.
Many senior residents rely on food delivery services, like Meals on Wheels, to get their groceries each week. However, to ensure safe protocols were in place, the program was put on hold to prevent the spread of the virus.
Recognizing the impact this has on seniors, Resources for Seniors partnered with volunteers and local restaurants to provide hot meals, delivered safely. They also delivered grocery bags of fresh produce and shelf-stable foods to residents in need.
And, they continue to support residents as needed, by going on grocery runs or setting up food delivery systems online for residents as needed.
Of course, the pandemic has been a reminder to us all of the importance of good hygiene in helping to stop the spread. At our Capital Towers community, Resources for Seniors put together hygiene kits with hand sanitizers and masks to help residents stay safe.
Health Care Programs
Many of our senior residents rely on prescription medications to stay healthy and regulate medical conditions. Resources for Seniors has an on-staff pharmacist that works with our residents to ensure they’re taking the right medications. They also have an emergency medication fund that was used to help seniors who lost their health insurance due to the pandemic.
Similarly, mental health support has been crucial for our residents during these stressful times. Resources for Seniors can connect residents with mental health professionals as needed, to ensure everyone is supported.
Socially Distant Activities
One of the many things our residents love about Resources for Seniors is the connections they make with the Service Coordinators. In an effort to not lose those connections – while maintaining social distancing requirements – Resources for Seniors has worked creatively to keep our residents engaged.
Popular activities include the riddles and brain teasers that are sent out. Once the residents solve them, they call a Service Coordinator to tell them the answer and claim a prize.
These are just a few of the ways our partnership with Resources for Seniors continues to evolve to make sure the needs of our senior residents are met.