For 57 years, Older Americans Month (OAM) has been a special time to recognize the unique ways older adults offer their time, talents and experience to the benefit of our communities. But this year is different.
Older adults in our country and here in our community are feeling the impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic. Following public health guidance, they are staying home to protect themselves and their loved-ones from a virus that disproportionately impacts older adults and people with chronic health conditions.
As the Area Agency on Aging in southwestern Ohio, including Butler, Clermont, Clinton, Hamilton and Warren counties, Council on Aging (COA) has been working hard, adapting services to meet the needs of 26,000 older adults and people with disabilities enrolled in our programs.
Council on Aging staff have been working tirelessly to provide for our community. You can visit our website, www.help4seniors.org, to find information and resources for things such as food pantries, ways to stay active and mental health resources.
There’s no doubt about it: these are trying times for older adults and caregivers. Senior centers and congregate meals sites are closed. As are adult day centers, which are important sources of stimulating activities and respite care. COA is more sensitive than ever to the needs of our community. We encourage anyone who is missing a specific service or resource due to COVID-19 to call us to learn what other resources might be available.
As states across the nation begin to re-open and determine society’s new normal, it is highly recommended that older adults continue to remain at home to minimize their exposure to COVID-19. With that directive from Ohio’s Governor Mike DeWine, comes continued need for an abundance of caution in caring for our older population.
If you’re a family caregiver preparing to return to work but worried about leaving an older loved-one alone, reach out to us for help and connect to resources such as the Family Caregiver Alliance.
Throughout Older American’s Month, we will be sharing tips on social media about ways to remain connected to your family, friends and your community. Click here to access our Facebook page, and click here to access our Twitter feed.
For more information about how Council on Aging is serving seniors at this time, please visit www.help4seniors.org. Any senior who needs help during this difficult time should contact Council on Aging at 513-721-1025.