March 24, 2020 (Deer Park) – Over the past year, United Way has responded to the needs of Long Islanders experiencing unparalleled hardship especially the most vulnerable.
The not-for profit organization is focusing on protecting Long Islanders who are at risk, especially the elderly who have been greatly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. While social distancing protects the health of seniors, it also severs ties to critical resources, including access to food, medication and socialization.
United Way’s Safe at Home for Seniors is a health and safety program in the Town of Brookhaven as well as Babylon, Islip and Huntington that alleviates the stress of older adults who are alone and sheltering-in-place. United Way is working in partnership with its network of agencies to connect seniors who are sheltering in place or isolated from family or a caregiver, with Bilingual Community Navigators. They act as helping hands managing everyday tasks such as grocery shopping and picking up prescriptions; making sure their homes have proper safety measures such as grab rails and working smoke detectors; and providing communication assistance, from connecting seniors with family members to scheduling their healthcare appointments, including registering for the COVID-19 vaccine.
“The senior population is experiencing unparalleled hardship in the face of COVID-19. Safe at Home for Seniors is part of United Way of Long Island’s United Solution of working in partnership with agencies and Townships across to Long Island to protect and assist our elder neighbors. Collectively, we need to serve our region’s most fragile,” said Theresa A. Regnante, President and CEO of United Way of Long Island.
Town of Brookhaven Supervisor Ed Romaine said, “The Town has enjoyed a long relationship with United Way and we are proud to support their current efforts to help our community during these difficult times. The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted so many of our most vulnerable residents who must rely on a helping hand. Thanks to United Way, they can receive the assistance they need to get by.”
Town of Brookhaven Councilman Michael Loguercio, the board liaison to the Division of Housing and Human Services said, “So many of our seniors have been isolated from family and friends during the COVID-19 pandemic and I am thankful to United Way for all they have done to help. We will get through this if we all join together and remember to check on those who are alone and in need of our support.
The Safe at Home for Seniors program:
- Protects seniors from COVID-19 with safety kits with PPE and sanitizers and ensure that they practice safe hygiene.
- Helps to manage everyday tasks such as stocking up on groceries, preparing or ordering hot meals, coordinating transportation to medical appointments and connection to medical alerts.
- Helps seniors communicate with loved ones and health care professionals with virtual devices.
- Facilitates in-person screening assessments such as physical health, emotional health, depression, Alzheimer’s and Dementia.
- Reports any notable health or mental health changes to family or designee.
- Facilitates health, safety, accessibility and universal design home-check screenings for seniors. If needed, coordinate minor home or accessibility repairs.
- Prepares seniors to protect themselves when going out in the public for a medical or other necessary appointment.
For seniors in need of assistance, contact 211 Long Island for information and referrals related to support services. Dial 2-1-1, or outside of Nassau and Suffolk Counties 1-888-774-7633 and visit 211longisland.org.
To learn more about or to support Safe at Home, visit www.unitedwayli.org/safeathome.
Photo Caption: The Town of Brookhaven supports United Way of Long Island’s Safe at Home for Seniors program, which partners with community agencies to keep older community residents safe, healthy and connected to resources such as food and mental health support, while sheltering at home. Pictured left to right: Trish Rivers, Community Impact Program Director; Town of Brookhaven Supervisor Ed Romaine; and Karen Boorshtein, President & CEO, Family Service League
About United Way of Long Island
United Way fights for the health, education and financial stability of every person in every community. We recruit people and organizations that bring the passion, expertise and resources needed to get things done. LIVE UNITED® is a call to action for everyone to become part of the change. United Way of Long Island is part of a worldwide network spanning across 41 countries and territories, including more than 1,200 local organizations in the U.S. For more information about United Way of Long Island, follow on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
About the Town of Brookhaven Department of Housing & Human Services
The Department of Housing and Human Services consists of several divisions that share the common goal to addressing the various needs of our residents and improving the quality of life for all who reside in Brookhaven. The divisions under the umbrella of this department are Housing, Community Development, Women’s Services, Youth Bureau, Senior Citizens, Veteran’s Services and disability Services.