Home News and Features Navigating COVID-19 for the Elderly

Navigating COVID-19 for the Elderly

The Community of Vermont Elders (COVE) is currently working to connect older Vermonters with the information they need to get through this time safely by developing webinars, podcasts, and sending frequent updates. We recommend following the current guidelines provided by the Vermont Department of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the World Health Organization. Their websites are as follows: Vermont Dept of Health: healthvermont.gov/ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): cdc.gov/

Please don’t send things to nursing homes. The facilities are already overwhelmed with cleaning and ensuring safety. If you would like to help bring some cheer during this time when vulnerable older adults may be experiencing higher than average levels of anxiety, isolation, or fear try utilizing technology or other creative means to connect.

Perhaps a filmed performance/song/letter or a live video chat. Perform a large puppet show on the lawn. Bread and Puppet Theater Build a very large snowman to wave (if you have snow left).

We do not know how long the virus may last on surfaces, but we do know that older people and immune compromised people are at significantly higher risk. Please protect our older population. COVE’s phone number is 229-4731. Email marichel@vermontelders.org.
World Health Organization (WHO): www.who.int/

Vermont 2-1-1 is an excellent resource that can provide callers with information and referral services to federal, state, and local entities, community action agencies, churches, and more. According to their website, Vermont 2-1-1 is the number to dial to find out about hundreds of important community resources, such as emergency food and shelter, disability services, counseling, senior services, health care, child care, drug and alcohol programs, legal assistance, transportation agencies, educational and volunteer opportunities, and much more. They can be contacted by simply dialing 2-1-1. If you are calling from a border town, please be sure to ask if you are speaking with Vermont 2-1-1. If you end up connecting with another state’s 2-1-1, they should be able to connect you to Vermont’s.

Central Vermont Council on Aging, 59 North Main Street, Suite 200, Barre, Vermont 05641. Help Line at (800) 642-5119; Phone: (802) 479-0531 or Toll Free: 1-877-379-2600; Fax: (802) 479-4235; Email: cvcoa@cvcoa.org

SASH (Support And Services At Home) serves older adults as well as people with special needs who receive Medicare support. SASH coordinates the resources of social-service agencies, community health providers and nonprofit housing organizations to support Vermonters who choose to live independently at home. Individualized, on-site support is provided by a Wellness Nurse and a SASH Care Coordinator. For information about SASH is helping residents at home to handle the COVID-19 outbreak CALL (802) 863-2224 | Fax: 802-863-6661 | TTY/TTD: 800-253-0191
Visit: sashvt.org/

The Senior Help Line is coordinated by the Vermont Areas Agencies on Aging and can provide information and referral for caregiver support, health insurance counseling, transportation, senior nutrition programs including meals on wheels, adult day programs, home health services, housing alternatives, and exercise and wellness programs. The Senior Help Line number is (800) 642-5119. 802-863-2224

The Community of Vermont Elders is committed to keeping older Vermonter safe and well-informed. We will continue to share new information as we learn it. Our staff is working remotely. If you have questions, call or email Marichel Vaught at (802) 595-9872 or marichel@vermontelders.org

Free Newsletter for Seniors Launched

Montpelier resident Peter Kelman has started a free email newsletter and website called “Aging Intentionally” to provide information to senior Vermonters on topics ranging from estate and legal planning to Medicare and housing decisions. The project was launched March 8, but quickly became focused on COVID-19, Kelman said. He has already sent several newsletters with information about the virus, with links to many websites. Interested readers can sign up for the free newsletter by emailing Kelman at phkelman@yahoo.com, or they can read the newsletters online at his website, agingintentionally.org.