Pandemic Resources from NAIPC Members
Learning Series, from Scott Fulton, Home Ideations
Cut through the noise and confusion to reveal the simple truths about keeping young and maintaining health. In this learning series, top experts share keys to longevity and living a life you’ll love . Scott Fulton’s courses cover five points of knowledge in aging: mind; environment; diet; exercise and community. Recently, Fulton presented “Boosting our Protective Barriers” to better understand our biggest vulnerability and effective ways to proactively protect our immune system and slow aging. Subscribe, for free, to Longevity Advantage to watch his most recent presentations.
DIY Face Masks, from Ronnie Genser, Bereavement Navigators
The CDC currently recommends that all individuals wear cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies), especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.
They also advise the use of the cloth coverings to slow the spread of the virus and to help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others.
However, masks are sparse, so many have taken to making masks at home. Here’s an instructional video on how to make a DIY, no sew, washable mask. The only materials needed are two rubber bands and a bandana or similar swatch of fabric.
Personal Emergency Response Services, from Ronald Maggio, LifeFone
CDC social-distancing recommendations have been particularly challenging for families attempting to stay connected to loved ones. And certain populations, including older adults, are living in near-total isolation. But the good news is today’s technology, including LifeFone PERS (Personal Emergency Response Services), can help bridge the gap.
- Fall/Medical Alerts – Older adults and vulnerable populations are more at risk for falls and medical emergencies when living in isolation.
- Environmental Hazard Detection – Many hazards go undetected when older adults lack regular visitors, including those that contribute to fires.
- Medication Reminders – Medication non-adherence is a leading cause of hospitalization. And it’s much harder to ensure compliance from afar.
- Daily Check-In Calls – Families can call loved ones to check in on their wellbeing.
Pandemic Era Resources
Online Therapy Resources for Older Adults and Caregivers
During this time of social distancing, mental health shouldn’t feel out of reach. There are a number of resources that provide online and mobile tools to help individuals conquer the day-to-day struggles around general stressors, such as anxiety and depression, or specific troubles, like addiction. Therapy Assistance Online (TAO), a widely used and recommended service, provides affordable, effective and accessible therapy, and right now they are offering the full TAO self-help suite to try for free for 90 days. If you aren’t looking for therapy services, TAO also offers mindfulness exercises and therapy modules via video, for the many struggling with worry and anxiety during isolation.
Mental Health America has been using its unique database to monitor daily increases in anxiety. According to their screening data, Americans experienced a 19 percent increase in screening for clinical anxiety in the first weeks of February and a 12 percent increase in the first two weeks of March. The findings suggest that screeners represent thousands of people whose lives and sense of wellbeing are being severely impacted by concerns about the virus. To aid individuals and communities during this time, MHA has compiled a range of resources and information, including:
Another helpful resource is the DBT Self Help website. DBT or dialectical behavior therapy is a type of cognitive behavioral therapy. Its main goals are to teach individuals how to live in the moment, cope healthily with stress, regulate emotions and improve relationships with others. This resource helps locate DBT providers in your area, offers videos, training cards, additional research and other useful tools for free.
- Mental Health Information for Disease Outbreaks;
- Financial Support;
- Webinars, Live Events and Workshops;
- For Mental Health Providers;
- For First Responders;
- For Caregivers;
- For Older Adults;
- And a number of others.
There are also a number of national resources available, including:
Providing Additional Support and Contributing to the Pandemic Relief
During these uncertain times many of our members are on the frontlines, either as in-home caregivers, healthcare professionals or providing other types of support. And older adults are among the more vulnerable demographics at risk. So how can those of us at home provide additional supports and contribute to those on the frontlines?
Device Donations for Telemedicine for Seniors
Florida siblings, Hannah and Arjun Verma, started nonprofit “Telehealth Access for Seniors, Inc.” a month ago. The nonprofit assists the growing number of hospital systems that are transitioning to telehealth. But a large number of elderly and low-income patients who are at high risk for coronavirus do not have devices to attend telehealth appointments. Telehealth Access collects unused and old devices, preps them for patients and donates them to practices. Healthcare providers determine who needs them. The nonprofit is accepting any working smart device. Click here for information on how you can donate.
Making Masks to Donate to Healthcare Professionals
One of the most basic contributions that can be made, is making masks for healthcare professionals or older adults to help protect them. There are a number of online sites that provide specific details on the types of masks and requirements. Here is a resource that provides a list of materials, tools, measurements, step-by-step instructions for sewing, as well as detailed instructions on how to donate masks once they have been made, click here.
More Ways To Help During the Pandemic
Not handy with a needle? Don’t have any devices to donate? No worries, there are still plenty of things you can do to provide additional support. To start, take a minute and call a client or older adult in your community. Talk to them, ask them how they are faring, see if they need any errands run, groceries or need safe transportation to any appointments. Not only will you engage them socially, but you will be creating a lifeline for them during this time of isolation. If you can, make a donation to a nonprofit helping to respond to COVID-19, local foodbanks or other favorite causes. Volunteer for organizations that are providing critical services in your community. Also, if you are healthy and able, consider donating blood to replace the flow of donations from canceled corporate blood drives. You can contact your local blood bank or Red Cross to arrange an appointment.
Ideas for Staving Off Loneliness While Social Distancing
| While we are all under stay-at-home orders and social distancing, many older Americans are seeing their opportunities for social interaction and connection dwindle, and the feeling of isolation is palpable.
But social distancing does not have to mean they are completely disconnected. In fact, there are a number of ways individuals can maintain meaningful connections in isolation.
Online Events and Connectivity Recommendations:
- Set up regular phone calls;
- Letter writing;
- Easy-to-use technology with communication apps (i.e. virtual happy hours);
- Virtually watch your favorite shows together;
- Participate in online events and activities (see below);
- Attend virtual religious services;
- Use digital library cards;
- Stay physically active; and
- Spend time outdoors.
- View full list.
The Senior Learning Network (SLN) is offering a number of online programming opportunities for individuals throughout the month of April and into May. Please visit and share their programming schedule with clients and loved ones. View full schedule of programs.
Goldstar, a privately held event discovery service based in Pasadena, CA that sells tickets to leisure activities, such as live entertainment, theatre, concerts, dance, film screenings and sporting events, has shifted their live format to include live streaming and virtual performances and activities. There's something for everyone. See what's available in your area.
To enjoy a virtual happy hour or some face-to-face time with family and friends, try one of the many online cloud-based telecommunications platforms. Zoom is free for video calls of up to 100 participants with a 40-minute time limit.