Senior Services Disrupted; Volunteers Have to Revert to Phone Contact to Provide Help

Older persons are most at risk of serious illness from the coronavirus. The first death in New York State is an 82 year old woman with emphysema. Though most will not get the virus, our way of life including senior services programs are being disrupted. Congregate meal programs at local sites are closing with meals offered at home if needed. We are fortunate that so many older persons are volunteers in senior services programs but many are now calling in to say they are not going to volunteer in the short term during this crisis. Visitation at hospitals, nursing homes and other senior facilities is being sharply curtailed. So, it’s up to all of us to help older friends, neighbors and relatives through watching out for them, re-assurance phone calls, picking up medicine and groceries for them if needed and more.

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I have been a senior advocate for most of my career. I was Executive Director of the New York StateWide Senior Action Council and the New York State Alliance for Retired Americans. In 2007-2010 I was the Director of the New York State Office for the Aging

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