2020 is certainly a year nobody will ever forget – we have all had to learn to adapt to new ways of doing things and routine actions have had to change to support social distancing recommendations and initiatives to keep people safe and healthy.
As we have continued to provide services throughout the entire pandemic, we have also had to adjust some of our operations and throughout the process, have developed creative initiatives to help our communities. These include:
“Porch Talk” Telephone Contact Program – Have you or someone you know felt more lonely or isolated during the pandemic and would like to chat with someone on the phone for some company and conversation? Our Agency has recently developed a program to provide telephone reassurance for those who would like just that – someone to call them for a little chat and to perhaps assist with determining resources in their community that are available to help them with any needs they may have. There is no eligibility or fee for the service. If you or someone you know would be interested in our person-to-person telephone contact program, call us at 1-800-582-7277 or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Caregiver Telephone Support Group – The Caregiver Telephone Support Group is available for caregivers age 18 and older who are providing assistance for relatives, friends, neighbors, or others; but are unpaid for the services. This also includes grandparents or other relatives raising children. Each month, the group will offer caregivers time to gain and give support with other caregivers and resources, and educational topics related to caregiving. The monthly telephone support group will be facilitated by staff with the Caregiver Support Program at the Area Agency on Aging District 7 (AAA7). The telephone option provides caregivers with the opportunity to learn and gain support from each other without leaving their homes. Calls will be offered monthly on the third Thursday of each month. The first call will take place on June 18th, but the group is open and ongoing each month. To register and receive additional dial-in information for the call on June 18th, please call 1-800-582-7277, extension 215, or e-mail email@example.com.
Wellness Tip of the Day – Each Monday and Thursday, we provide a “Wellness Tip of the Day” to help promote wellness and positive health for everyone. As our in-person wellness classes have had to take a break due to the coronavirus pandemic, the special Tips are our way to continue providing wellness information. You can find these on our Facebook page, our website at www.aaa7.org, or through your e-mail if you are signed up for our e-mail news.
Volunteering Over the Phone with the AAA7 Ombudsman Program – We have a volunteer opportunity through our Regional Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program (RLTCOP) to help residents at nursing homes feel less isolated and lonely. At this current time, volunteering with the RLTCOP would consist of phone calls to a designated nursing facility and/or a resident’s family contacts and no in-person visiting would be taking place. Additional volunteer assistance can also be provided over the phone to RLTCOP staff with other needs that may arise. Those who are interested in this volunteer opportunity would just need to contact our office at 1-800-582-7277 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please contact us at 1-800-582-7277 or e-mail email@example.com if you have any questions about these initiatives, resources in your community to promote safe and healthy living at home, or to inquire about any of our programs or services provided through our Agency.
Nina R. Keller is executive director of the Area Agency on Aging District 7.