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AARP Website: A Resource Pool in Pandemic

Mutual aid groups are popping up across the country to help people who are isolated during the COVID-19 outbreak. (ulza/Adobe Stock)
Mutual aid groups are popping up across the country to help people who are isolated during the COVID-19 outbreak. (ulza/Adobe Stock)
March 30, 2020

BOISE, Idaho -- An online platform from AARP is connecting folks with groups that can give them aid while they're isolated at home during the coronavirus pandemic.

AARP Community Connections is a website that can locate the nearest mutual aid group -- where people can request help with urgent needs such as buying groceries.

Andy Miller, senior vice president of AARP Innovation Labs, says the organization already was developing a product to help people connect in times of loss.

Miller says now people can create their own groups to help others in their community.

"People are creating these groups to do everything from help people get things they need," explains, "So, 'I need someone. I can't leave my house. Maybe I've tested positive, maybe I'm just self-quarantining. Maybe I need medication and I can't leave so can someone help me? Can someone bring me food?'"

According to the website, there are mutual aid groups in Boise and Pocatello, and there's also an option for folks to start their own group.

Another challenge from COVID-19 is social isolation. Miller says the Community Connections website also has an option for people to request a call with an AARP volunteer.

"There's a whole lot of people that may never have it but still may be socially isolated or have anxiety because of what's happening," he states. "And,'I'm stuck in my house and am I going to get it?' That sort of thing. So we wanted to make sure we brought those resources forward."

The product created to connect families after losing a loved one is called Savo and was launched at the beginning of March. It's now bringing families together during the pandemic.

Also on the website is a link to an online community forum called The Mighty, for caregivers and people facing health challenges.

Disclosure: AARP Idaho contributes to our fund for reporting on Consumer Issues, Energy Policy, Health Issues, Senior Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.
Eric Tegethoff, Public News Service - ID