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Alzheimer’s is a mystifying disease that can strike older adults 65 and up, and even begin in adults as young as 50. Every September 21, World Alzheimer’s Day, recognized globally, aims to raise awareness of the disease and challenge the common stigma that surrounds Alzheimer-related dementia. Studies have shown that on average, 2 out of every 3 people worldwide have little to no understanding of Alzheimer’s.

Here are a few interesting facts and tidbits related to Alzheimer’s.

Currently, There is No Cure for Alzheimer’s.

More than 100 years after the disease was discovered in 1906 by Dr. Alois Alzheimer, the origin of Alzheimer’s is still largely a mystery, although countless studies have been done and there are varied explanations. What we know is that there is no cure or way to stop its progression. However, there are ways to treat the symptoms.

Growing Older Doesn’t Mean Dementia is a Given.

There’s a perception that as we age, losing our memory and mental faculties is a given. Our brains and bodies age, and therefore we lose our sharpness. While the mind of a centenarian won’t be the same as a 20 year old or even a 50 year old, there’s nothing that suggests that older adults are destined to be plagued with Alzheimer’s or any other form of dementia as they age.

Eating and Exercise Habits May Have Some Effect on Alzheimer’s.

Several years ago, Maria Shriver, who has become the de facto spokesperson for Alzheimer’s, reported on an experimental program that has shown to reverse the early onset of the disease. Called the Bredesen Program and developed by a California neurologist, it consists of consuming a Mediterranean diet high in fat and low in carbs, doing regular cardio-based workouts, fasting after dinner, getting proper sleep, taking supplements and engaging in brain training exercises. Dr. Bredesen claims that 9 out of 10 of his patients have improved cognitive functioning after participating in his program, but that it only works for those with early-onset symptoms.

Women are at a Higher Risk for Alzheimer’s Than Men.

Maria Shriver became a big advocate for Alzheimer’s prevention after her father died from the disease. She especially rallies for brain health in women, who are more likely to develop Alzheimer’s—two out of three of the 5.5 million Americans who have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s are female. No one is exactly sure why women tend to develop it more than men, but some studies suggest that education and professional work opportunities, or lack thereof, could be a contributing factor. However, the closing gap in educational and occupational between men and women may also mean that the gender gap in Alzheimer’s diagnoses is also getting smaller. Shriver also spearheads Move for Minds, an annual initiative each November the encourages women and men to make their cognitive health a priority.

Researchers are Determined to Find a Cure for Alzheimer’s.

There are countless research studies that have attempted to explain how Alzheimer’s develops and what can be done to both prevent and cure it. Studies range from observational to clinical as well as preventional; and while scientists have made progress towards unraveling the mysteries behind this disease, there is much more to be done. The Alzheimer’s Association is a good source to read up on what scientific studies have been done to date. You and your family members can help be part of the solution by participating in a study, as scientists always need good candidates (both cognitive and non-cognitive impaired). Sign up through the Alzheimer’s Prevention Registry.

For more information about making a contribution to IOA, please visit ioaging.org/donate

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Fire season started in Northern California much earlier in 2020 than any of us ever expected, thanks to a series of unprecedented lightning storms in August. Experts predict that we are in for a whopper of a fire season this Fall, adding insult to the injury of a global pandemic that has left many of us anxious and on edge already.

Mary Griffin, who leads the home care division for Institute on Aging, has been working steadfastly on a care management strategy for IOA participants living in fire prone zones. Between potential evacuations and air quality issues, there is a lot for Bay Area seniors and their caregivers to consider and be concerned about, especially those older adults who are mobility compromised or dealing with complex medical issues. Griffin has this advice to offer to seniors, their caregivers and families in terms of mitigating fire-related concerns:

  1. Put a plan in place. Seniors and their families need to put together a plan well in advance on how mandatory evacuations will be handled. Many assisted living places are not accepting new patients due to the pandemic, so staying with friends, family members or at a hotel may be the best (and only) option. Consider all the possibilities and come up with a few housing scenarios, make a list of what to pack and jot down instructions on how to handle prescriptions and other necessities. Put it all in writing and keep in a safe place.
  • Find a local agency and connect with them. In her experience, Griffin says that it can be tough to get the attention of local firefighting and police organizations as they are often at capacity during a major disaster like a fire. If a senior needs help with an evacuation, they may be better off enlisting a local community organization to help them with temporarily relocation, providing transportation and other support. If the senior requires special assistance, such as a wheelchair accessible van, make sure to research organizations who have appropriate equipment well in advance.

A partial list of community organizations that may be willing to step up and help:

Archdiocese of San Francisco

Catholic Charities of San Francisco

Jewish Family and Children’s Services

Rotary Club

SFFD Volunteer Fire Dept

SFMTA Paratransit

Plus the following two sites list a number of organizations which can be contacted for help:

VOAD – Voluntary Organizations in Disaster

SF CARD – Community Agencies Responding to Disaster

  • Invest in an air purifier. Fires in Northern California have proven that they are going to be a yearly problem, so investing in a home air purifier is a good idea. Although purifiers can vary wildly in terms of price, you should be able to get a decent one for $150 or less, like this purifier that retails for about $85. Also invest in a few N95 masks in case seniors and caregivers need to go outdoors.
  • Hire a temporary home care worker. Even if older adults can manage fine by themselves in normal times, a situation like a potential evacuation can add a tremendous amount of stress, especially if the senior has no family members close by. Families can arrange for a home care assistant to come in for a few hours a day on a temporary basis to help the senior pack, find a place to stay, and arrange for medication and transportation in the event of a potential evacuation. Plus, says Griffin (a former nurse), hiring a home care worker on a temporary basis can help a senior who has been very resistant to the idea of extra help become more comfortable with it.
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With the widespread information about the coronavirus pandemic, it’s hard to know what’s real and what’s fiction. Even though we’ve learned a lot about the virus since March, there are still a number of “rumors” floating around. Here are a few of them in which the World Health Organization (WHO) helps clarify.

Fact or Myth? Hydroxychloroquine is effective in treating COVID-19.

Myth. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), while hydroxychloroquine is effective in treating malaria, lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, this “wonder drug” is clinically ineffective when it comes to COVID-19.

Fact or Myth? People need to wear face masks when exercising as this prevents the spread of coronavirus.

Myth. The WHO recommends that masks should NOT be worn during exercise, as they reduce the ability to breathe easily and sweat encourages the growth of bacteria. The best way to be safe during exercising is to maintain social distance of 6 feet or more.

Fact or Myth? The weather outside has no effect on the spread of COVID-19.

Fact: COVID-19 can survive in any kind of weather, including extremely hot and cold temperatures. Countries with consistently hot weather (such as Brazil) have had outbreaks as well as those with cooler weather.

Fact or Myth? Adding hot peppers to your food can prevent COVID-19.

Myth: This one is real rubbish! Even though peppers can enhance the taste of your food, they don’t do anything to protect you from contracting a virus. The best way to keep safe is to wear a mask, practice frequent hand washing and social distance yourself.

Fact or Myth? If you can hold your breath for 10 seconds without feeling uncomfortable or coughing, you don’t have COVID-19.

Myth: Remember that many people who have COVID-19 are asymptomatic, so this silly exercise gives no indication if you are infected or not. The best way to tell if you have the disease is through a laboratory test, although dry cough, tiredness and fever are all indicative symptoms.

Fact or Myth? Vaccines against pneumonia do not protect against the COVID-19 virus.

Fact: This is true. Vaccines against pneumonia, such as pneumococcal vaccine and Haemophilus influenza type B (Hib) vaccine, do not provide protection against the new coronavirus.

However, vaccinations that protect your from respiratory illnesses such as pneumonia are recommended to protect your health. 

*Source: World Health Organization.

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30 years ago, on July 26, 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law by the United States Congress. It was a groundbreaking move that secured the rights of all Americans living with disabilities, adults who are part of IOA’s core audience that we serve every day. But did you know that the city of San Francisco was key to making the ADA happen? 

Back in 1977, disability rights activists took over and occupied of the San Francisco Federal Building – a move that by directly led to enactment of the ground-breaking Section 504 regulations, considered the first civil rights law protecting people with disabilities and on which the ADA is based. The 1977 event was the longest non-violent occupation of a federal building in U.S. history. There is an award-winning documentary, The Power of 504, that details what happened.

To commemorate this historical moment, San Francisco Mayor London Breed designated July as Disability Pride Month, with a proclamation that states in part: Disability Pride enables people with disabilities to redefine their identity with self-worth, serves as a tool to tackle ableism, bias, and discrimination, and reshapes false negative perceptions of individuals with disabilities as people with value, talents, and significance. On July 26, San Francisco City Hall was lit up in blue to mark and celebrate this important event. You can see a full list of events celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disability Act here.

Institute on Aging is proud that San Francisco was a key part of the history of the Disability Rights Movement and we join all San Franciscans in celebrating this monumental anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

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In case you haven’t heard, the City of San Francisco has opened the doors for seniors and adults living with disabilities to pick up groceries, visit the doctor and take care of other essential errands via subsidized taxi rides during the pandemic.

SFMTA (San Francisco Municipal Transportation Authority) is now providing an Essential Trip Card (ETC) to anyone over age 65 and adults with at least one disability living in San Francisco. The card offers a substantial discount on taxi rides, with eligible participants only paying 20% of the cost of regular cab fare, and will cover between two and three trips per month within the city limits for essential trips such as to the pharmacy or to a grocery store.

Those over 65 years of age and persons living with disabilities may apply for the ETC program by calling 311 between 9 a.m. and 4:45 p.m. on weekdays and mentioning the program. Qualifying customers may also enroll in person at the SF Paratransit Broker’s Office (68 12th Street) if needed. Once the ETC is activated, participants will need to add funds to a card in order to receive the trip discount. For every $6 loaded, participants receive a $30 value, or $12 for a $60 value (up to $60 value per month is allowed). More on the program, included frequently asked questions, can be found here.

Currently, MUNI service is largely restricted due to safety reasons associated with COVID-19, which has made it much harder on seniors in terms of getting around.

All riders are asked by SFMTA to wear a face covering, as required by the State of California, and San Francisco’s Public Health Emergency Order. It is also recommended that the rider take hand sanitizer along during their ride and touch as few surfaces as possible.  

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Households headed by Americans 75 and older have the highest median net worth, and households headed by Americans 80 and older have twice as much net worth as those headed by Americans 50 and older.  Plain and simple, older Americans’ wealth is the primary reason they are targeted by scammers.

While scams have been around for centuries, the coronavirus pandemic has opened the door for a whole host of new and creatively sinister fraud-based activities that threaten the financial well-being of unsuspecting older adults.

“Take the deep uncertainty created by this pandemic, add the social isolation brought on by the shelter-in-place, then mix in the fact that many older adults must now rely on others to have their most basic needs met — like having groceries and medications — and you have the perfect storm for scams,” said Shawna Reeves, Institute on Aging’s Director of Elder Abuse Prevention. 

Current scams targeting seniors revolve around federal stimulus checks, fake vaccines and tests for COVID-19, charity donations, health care worker impersonators demanding money for taking care of sick relatives, and phishing scams to gain personal information. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) publishes a Scam Alert that details a number of these scams as they surface and evolve.

Why are older adults such targets for scams? In addition to the reasons stated above, older adults are more likely to own a home, have good credit, and be home during much of the day, which means they have more time to answer potentially fraudulent phone calls. Additionally, they are likely experiencing an overlay of fear related to the pandemic.  Fear can be our worst enemy when attempting to make sound financial decisions.

The first step in avoiding being the victim of a scam is to be aware of certain warning signs and red flags, such as:

  • Beware of anyone calling telling you a family member is in trouble and urgently needs money for bail or hospital bills. Get a call back number from the caller and use that to verify the authenticity of the call. Or ask them to use a family password.
  • Never give out personal information over the phone to someone who initiates a call with you. Only engage with companies with which you have an existing relationship and with whom you contacted first. 
  • Do not engage with vendors and businesses unless you have verified their authenticity.
  • If someone offers to sell you a vaccine or other treatment for coronavirus, it’s a scam. No vaccine or treatment for coronavirus currently exists. 
  • If something sounds too good to be true, it is. If you are being pressured or told that you must “act now,” stop communicating with that person or business. If you are being instructed to make a payment via money wire or gift cards, it is a scam.  Whenever you are about to send money or sign a contract, consult with a trusted friend or family member before doing so.  The more impartial eyes on a transaction, the better.

If you, a friend or a loved one has become a victim of a scam, there are resources to turn to. No one should ever feel ashamed about becoming a scam victim; the focus should be on getting the right kind of help. Here are a few resources to either report fraudulent activity or stay connected as a preventative measure: 

SF Adult Protective Services: (415) 355-6700 

San Francisco Office of the District Attorney Victim Services Division: (415) 553-9044

San Francisco Office of Financial Empowerment—Consumer Fraud: (415) 551-9595

Little Brothers — Friends of the Elderly: (415) 771-7957 

Institute on Aging Friendship Line: (800) 971-0016

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This month, Institute on Aging wants to recognize some of the glorious ways in which Bay Area locals are taking care of older neighbors, family members and friends, as well as the ways that older adults enrich the rest of us — not only during shelter-in-place, but all year long.

I’ve been volunteering for 10 years at the Friendship Line and I love it. After having a career as a geriatric social worker for 25 years, I thought I wanted to work with children in my retirement days, but quickly realized I missed working with the elderly. My cousin told me about the Friendship Line and I immediately signed up. I am 83 myself, and not shy about sharing my age with callers since I think it makes me more relatable. Quite often I get calls from people I’ve previously spoken with, and we pick up our conversation right where we left off. So many are isolated seniors, and the Friendship Line is really important to them as they don’t have anyone else to relate to in person.

–Linda Lyons, Friendship Line Volunteer

St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, Slippery Fish Preschool (my youngest son goes there), and IOA’s Activities Director, Steve Jacob, of the support services team at Martin Luther Tower (affordable senior housing) are all working together to assemble and deliver care packages to the 120 older residents sheltering-in-place at Martin Luther Tower. Each will receive a goody bag left on their door that includes letters and artwork from the preschool children.

–Rowena Fontanos, San Francisco Resident

On my block in San Francisco, we maintain an occasional online-community forum. Many of our members are aging residents or have older loved ones, so I recently reminded everyone about our Friendship Line and its magnificent ability to alleviate isolation and loneliness—an important superpower during this time of lessening live interactions. Not only did I receive gratitude notes via email, but a neighbor, whom I’d never met, showed up at my front door to thank me in person (keeping social distance, of course)! Her enthusiastic gift of gratitude really belongs to Friendship Line and the amazing staff who practice compassionate listening and support of those who need it most.

— Caitlin Morgan, Education Manager, Institute on Aging

We will never forget Father Dennis, one of the sweetest men that many of us had ever met. Formerly, he was a priest who spent most of his time in the Tenderloin helping those who needed it most. He knew the neighborhood was dangerous, but that’s why he had to be of service there. After being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, he became depressed and almost non-verbal after leaving his position at the church, but once he started coming to our social day program five days a week, he awoke again! His caregiver noted that after his first week with us, as he was driving him home, Father said, “Oh, look!  It’s that funny mustard colored house we saw yesterday” with the old, familiar delight in his voice that had been absent for so long. After that, Father started wearing his “funny t-shirts” to the center. Think Garfield saying “Ugh, Mondays” or “My friends went to Puerto Rico and all I got was this lousy t-shirt” grandpa humor type of shirts.

Father was thriving and his joy radiated to everyone with whom he came in contact. One day, I was walking with Father and he started to cry. When I inquired as to what was bothering him, he said he was overwhelmed because in his previous life, his purpose was to serve and take care of others. Now his purpose was to receive that same care. He told me that’s how he felt connected to God. I, of course, had tears of gratitude streaming down my face. He had articulated so simply one of our most human conditions: the power of care.

–Alison Moritz, Program Director of the Enrichment Center at the Presidio

Please consider making a contribution to our Care for Caregivers fund today. Because with your help, our collective care can go farther. Donate now!

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Humans are, by nature, social creatures. As the Dalai Lama once said, “We human beings are social beings. We come into the world as the result of others’ actions. We survive here in dependence on others. Whether we like it or not, there is hardly a moment of our lives when we do not benefit from others’ activities. For this reason, it is hardly surprising that most of our happiness arises in the context of our relationships with others.”

This is not just a random statement; as it turns out, it is rooted in science. Over many years, studies have shown that our social interactions, and the quality of them, quite literally affect our health and happiness, as well as our ability to live longer lives. Without connections to others, it seems that we are doomed to shrink down into less-than-ideal versions of ourselves.

As we age, our social circles and opportunities for interactions diminish. This is natural; children grow up into adults and move out, taking retirement equals more time at home, family and friends move away or pass away. Health issues can also restrict our ability to interact with others.

All of the sudden, maintaining social outlets becomes more of a challenge. This is where the Friendship Line at Institute on Aging can really make a difference.

When Dr. Patrick Arbore first established the Friendship Line in 1973, it was born from a vision to keep older adults out of harm’s way. Suicide rates among Americans age 60 and older were on the increase, and Dr. Arbore saw a need for a crisis line for this societal segment. Thus, when the Friendship Line was put into place, its intent was to field calls from those in deep distress.

As time went on, a wonderful thing happened. Staff and volunteers for the Friendship Line were getting more calls from people “who just needed to talk.” Sometimes the callers had no one else in their lives and were feeling lonely. Others were facing issues with family members, including caregiving children, and needed to vent their frustrations. Others were feeling anxious about their mortality, health or some other concern. All needed one simple thing: someone to listen.

Today, the Friendship Line still functions as a crisis hotline as originally intended, but the majority of calls are “warm line” in nature, from individuals needing to hear a friendly voice and to talk about whatever was on their mind. It also handles calls from adults of any age living with disabilities.

Recently, Institute on Aging had the unprecedented opportunity to partner with the state of California, and specifically the California Department of Aging, to expand the Friendship Line to all older Californians. Together, they established a new toll-free line (888-670-1360) and trained a new, dedicated staff to handle calls on the line. The new staff previously worked for the Alzheimer’s Association, so they were already well-versed on the specific needs of seniors.

The partnership is part of the state’s dedication to better care for California’s aging adults, not only during the pandemic, but ongoing. It is estimated that 7.8 million Californians are 60 and older and that number is estimated to increase by 40 percent in the next decade.*

So, if you are an older adult or an adult living with a disability in California, and are feeling lonely, isolated, anxious, upset or any other uncomfortable feeling, pick up the phone and give us a call. We are here to help.

*based on data in California’s State Plan on Aging, 2017-2021

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Beyond the basics, an in-home caregiver can provide much-needed companionship and serve as a buffer to loneliness for seniors not able to leave their homes.

79-year old Jobyna has dementia. Until recently, she spent a few days a week dancing, singing, playing games, and enjoying conversations and meals with her fellow seniors at a social day program held at Institute on Aging’s Enrichment Center in the Presidio.

All of that has dramatically changed for Jobyna, as it has for so many other seniors. Her days are now spent at home with her husband John, who manages much of her care. Two days a week, an in-home caregiver, Rayna takes over, giving John a much-needed break. Rayna came to the couple via another Institute on Aging service, Home Care & Support Services. Says John, who brought Rayna on right before the shelter-in-place mandate, “this was so fortuitous in light of IOA’s social day program closing. Now we have Rayna on Tuesday and Thursday….and Jobyna did not want her to leave at the end of her shift. I will try to get by on this for now during the awful pandemic.”

With weeks or perhaps months to go with shelter-in-place mandates, it’s becoming more and more challenging for seniors and their families. The challenges vary. Some older adults, who relied on meal services, are having difficulty with maintaining good nutrition, or simply missing the camaraderie they enjoyed at mealtimes. Others are having trouble with keeping up with simple tasks. Families who need to care for an aging family member are struggling to keep up while working at home and homeschooling their children. Many don’t know where to turn for help.

Institute on Aging’s Home Care & Support Services can help with caregivers who can come into the home for as little as 4 hours a day. Both clients and caregivers are carefully prescreened prior each home entry, and caregivers wear appropriate personal protection equipment.

Here are six ways that a home care worker can help seniors during this time, in addition to the basics of cooking, cleaning, shopping, and more:  

  1. Be a companion. “We are all so focused on the health side of things, but we can’t forget about our mental health,” said Mary Griffin of IOA. Humans are social beings, and seniors who live alone are particularly prone to feeling isolated and lonely with reduced human interaction, especially if family and friends are limiting or shortening their visits. A home care worker can play games with them, help put together puzzles, cook with them even just looking at old photo albums together and reminiscing about the past.
  2. Set up technology to make it easier for the senior when no one is around. Voice-driven devices, such as Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home, can be great for seniors because they can use them for functions such as turning on and off lights, the television and more. However, those devices must be set up in order to communicate with each other, which can be challenging for seniors. Home care workers can assist with the set-up process. If the senior owns a laptop or tablet, they can help them learn how to use video-chat programs such as Zoom or Google Meet in order to stay connected.
  3. Offer day-to-day reminders. Caregivers can post reminders about when to take medication, upcoming calendar events to remember (granddaughter’s birthday) and more in a place where seniors can easily access them. This is especially helpful for those with cognitive function disorders such as dementia. It can even be helpful to leave a note about the current state of affairs (we have to remain indoors during this period, and here is why….) so that those who have short term memory loss can recall why they are being asked to remain indoors.
  4. Be an exercise coach. Home care workers can provide a gentle nudge to get moving. Whether it’s a walk around the block or a walk around the house, even doing a little bit of movement can help stimulate mood-lifting endorphins. One caregiver at IOA puts on dance music for her clients and encourages them to get up and boogie. 
  5. Help stay connected to the arts. Many seniors are missing outings to local museums, the symphony and the theater, but many institutions are implementing virtual streaming of performances and places to visit, such as the San Francisco Symphony, ACT San Francisco and the California Academy of Sciences. Iconic destinations that would be normally be difficult to reach due to travel restrictions, such as the Louvre in Paris and Metropolitan Opera in New York, are free to visit online. A caregiver can help discover these opportunities.
  6. Tackle to-do lists. Perhaps its cleaning out a closet, rearranging dresser drawers or putting down shelf paper. Home care workers canmake headway on those tidying-up projects that have been on the list for months.

If you believe a caregiver from Institute on Aging’s Home Care & Support Services could be right for you, please give us a call at 415.750.4111 or 650.424.1411. We would be happy to talk about a customized plan that is right for your needs.

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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.

6151 Wilson Mills Road – Suite 101
Cleveland, OH 44143
1.440.561.7328

Copyright by Samaritan Home Health Services 2020. All rights reserved.