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 Huntington as well as Babylon, Brookhaven and Islip 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 across to Long Island to protect and assist our 65+ community. Collectively, we need to be best prepared to serve our region’s most fragile, especially should a second wave of the pandemic strike our region,” said Theresa A. Regnante, President and CEO of United Way of Long Island.
“We understand the hardship this pandemic has created; our Senior Center staff have had to be creative and resourceful, producing lively programming running on our TV channels and distributed to our Adult Day Care members, to help minimize feelings of isolation experienced by our seniors. The United Way's Safe at Home Kits are a welcome addition to the resources at our disposal to help keep our seniors connected with the greater community, to show them that people care and they are not alone,” said Town of Huntington Supervisor Chad A. Lupinacci.
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. 211 Long Island operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
To learn more about or to support Safe at Home, visit www.unitedwayli.org/safeathome.
Photo Caption: The Town of Huntington 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 groceries, prescriptions and mental health support, while sheltering at home.
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.