In These Times of Great Uncertainty

March 22, 2020 by Institute on Aging
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Institute on Aging’s mission has always been dedicated to preserving the dignity, independence, and well-being of aging adults and people living with disabilities. It has been our focus for over 40 years.

Today, we suddenly find ourselves in a whole new world full of uncertainty and constantly evolving questions, with a global pandemic that our core audience is most susceptible. We aren’t just helping people with well-being and independence anymore; we are helping them protect themselves, survive mentally, cope with social isolation, and manage day-to-day living in unprecedented times.  

The Incident Command Team of the Institute has been monitoring the situation since the first case appeared in the US. Throughout this rapidly evolving period, we have relied on information provided by the CDC, World Health Organization (WHO), Department of Public Health (DPH) in all operating counties, as well as partner organizations and funders. This team meets multiple times daily to assess changes and developments. In addition, there is a team who monitors changes throughout the day.

As shelter-in-place mandates have led us to suspend services such as enrichment day programs and limit access to community-based meals, we find ourselves stepping up in other areas that fit with social distancing guidelines, such as offering Home Care Services and increasing activity with our nationally recognized Friendship Line. We are, and will continue to be, a valued resource to at-risk seniors, as well as aging adults who may be feeling especially anxious, lonely and depressed during this time period.

More Help at Home

Many are wondering what will happen to our seniors ages 65 and older — the most vulnerable to medical complications as a result of coronavirus – if they are alone and without help. IOA’s home care program can help provide a bridge until daily life returns to normal. We provide personalized care for aging adults in their own home. We have licensed, bonded, and insured caregivers who can be scheduled to meet specific needs and we have hourly or 24/7 live-in care and overnight assistance. Just some of the many things we help with:

  • Companionship (even for just several hours a day)
  • Dementia and Alzheimer’s care
  • Home safety evaluations
  • Meal planning and preparation
  • Escorted transportation, errands, and accompaniment & light housekeeping

To find out more, please call our CONNECT line at 415-720-4111, or 650-424-1411.  

A Warm, Friendly Voice for Those Feeling Isolated

Our Friendship Line, which was founded 47 years ago by Dr. Patrick Arbore, is the only accredited crisis line in the country for people age 60 years and older and adults living with disabilities.

Volunteers who staff the linesassist clients, caretakers or anyone else in the community with social isolation questions, especially ones surrounding coronavirus. As participation in social activities wanes due to lockdowns, social isolation, loneliness and anxiety for seniors may increase. The Friendship Line can be a much-needed support service to aging adults at this time – we encourage you to provide the Friendship Line number to seniors who need a connection or a listening ear. Please note that our volunteers are not equipped to provide medical advice.  

We anticipate a large increase in volume in calls due to COVID-19 forcing more and more seniors to be isolated. As such, we are ramping up staffing and partners to be able to meet this growing need.

The Friendship Line was recently featured on ABC7 and featured on KQED Newsroom (IOA segment starts at 20:45).

The Friendship Line operates 24 hours a day with support in English, Spanish, Mandarin and Cantonese. 800-971-3073 (toll-free).

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Samaritan is focused on one goal – ensuring the comfort of our clients. We strive to keep individuals healthy and independent. We thoroughly assess your needs and select the appropriate caregiver to ensure compatibility.

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