The aging population on Long Island continues to increase, with nearly 30% of residents over the age of 55 and 17% of the population over the age of 65. With these ages, comes economic challenges including an increased demand for geriatric health services and home health care. Living on a fixed income and often without sufficient savings, many seniors fall into the ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) category and are not able to afford these necessary services despite being above the federal poverty level; for these households, access to crucial programs and services is limited due to lack of affordability.
The current crisis poses additional challenges for the elder population - social distancing protects people's health, but also severs ties to critical resources. Therefore it is essential that we provide access to services and resources to care for our oldest and most fragile homebound members of the community.
MESSAGES OF GRATITUDE
WHAT IS SAFE AT HOME FOR SENIORS?
Safe At Home for Seniors is a United Way of Long Island managed COVID-19 health and safety outreach program that helps seniors and other vulnerable Long Islanders with a variety of challenges. Bilingual Community Navigators, in partnership with a network of agencies, focus on care and providing linkages to supportive services for seniors so they can remain in the comfort and safety of their homes... where they are best protected while maintaining social relationships. We help them continue to live active and full lives.
Safe At Home for Seniors is a community impact solution and program that can accomplish the following - at no cost - to seniors:
Connects seniors to resources and services, and navigates seniors who have unmet needs linking them to vital organizations to meet their current challenges. Investigates complaints and issues and advocates to resolve them.
While sheltering-in-place, many seniors may not be properly eating and taking care of themselves. Navigators can help place online orders for supplies, meals and other necessities in addition to coordinating minor home repairs. If needed, Navigators can pick up prescriptions, groceries, deliver hot meals, and coordinate transportation to medical appointments. We can report any notable health changes to immediate family or designee. We can provide medication reminders and connection to medical alerts.
If needed, Navigators connect seniors with non-predatory financial counseling and offer an array of trustworthy support with budgeting and monthly review of household needs.
SAFE & HEALTHY HOMES
Navigators provide “Safe at Home Kits” and “Safe Out of Home Kits”. If needed, our Navigators facilitate health, safety, accessibility and universal design home check screenings for seniors.
STAYING SOCIAL & STAYING CONNECTED DIGITALLY
Navigators help seniors fight depression and loneliness. We help seniors to better use technology and connect them to socials, book clubs, exercise, cooking and virtual trips. This includes teaching participants how to use senior friendly devices such as Grand Pads to connect them with family and grandchildren.
UNITE FOR OUR SENIORS
It’s especially important now that we look after senior citizens with chronic underlying health conditions. Many of our seniors are veterans who fought for our freedom during the Vietnam War, Korean War and World War II. Now it’s time for us to be there for them and to recognize that they are universally and adversely impacted by the pandemic. We can make a difference. Let’s Stand United Together and keep seniors Safe At Home for Seniors.
ESSENTIALS DRIVE FOR SENIORS
The drive is part of United Way’s Safe at Home for Seniors program created in response to COVID-19, that focuses on caring for the health and safety of older adults who are vulnerable, sheltering in place and lack resources. Items collected will be distributed by United Way’s community partners to seniors in need.
211 Long Island is a free, non-emergency information service that connects Long Island residents to health and human resources, in Nassau and Suffolk Counties, they may need on a daily basis or during a disaster.
To contact 211 Long Island dial 2-1-1, or outside Nassau and Suffolk Counties 1-888-774-7633, or visit 211longisland.org.