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COVID-19: Local Resource Centers Seen As Key to Helping Seniors

In addition to local agencies, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says seniors staying at home because of COVID-19 can refill medications with a mail-order service. (Adobe Stock)
In addition to local agencies, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says seniors staying at home because of COVID-19 can refill medications with a mail-order service. (Adobe Stock)
March 18, 2020

MADISON, Wis. -- Older Wisconsin residents are being asked to stay in their homes as a precaution against the new coronavirus, and they're being reminded to reach out for help as concern about the virus continues to grow.

Seniors' groups say it can be hard for an older person living on their own to stay isolated, while managing to take care of all their needs. Sam Wilson, AARP Wisconsin state director, said there's a lot to consider, "whether they be medical needs, grocery needs, daily living needs."

If they can, Wilson urged seniors to lean on friends and family to pick up medications or groceries. If that isn't possible, he suggested they contact their local Aging and Disability Resource Center as another option. He said many can provide meals on wheels and other services.

The new coronavirus has prompted concerns over a decline in volunteer work, from blood donations to food banks, but Wilson said for older Americans, there's been a grassroots movement to offer them help.

"Folks -- whether they're in the service industry, whether it's high school and college students -- those that right now have some time to be able to assist are really looking for opportunities." he said.

Wilson said they encourage potential volunteers to reach out to local agencies to help facilitate food deliveries or other forms of assistance. Meanwhile, AARP is hosting a live Q&A session over the phone at noon Thursday for seniors who want to learn more about the coronavirus, including how to avoid scams, and resources available for family caregivers. More details are online at AARP.org, and a locator for Aging and Disability Resource Centers is at dhs.wisconsin.gov.

Disclosure: AARP Wisconsin contributes to our fund for reporting on Budget Policy & Priorities, Consumer Issues, Health Issues, Senior Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.
Mike Moen, Public News Service - WI