As with the rest of the country and the world, our agency is adjusting with how to cope and manage during the coronavirus pandemic. The Area Agency on Aging District 7 (AAA7) and its network of service providers are considered part of the essential services during the pandemic as we continue to serve the most vulnerable populations in our 10 counties in southern Ohio including Adams, Brown, Gallia, Highland, Jackson, Lawrence, Pike, Ross, Scioto and Vinton.
While the agency is not currently available for “walk-in” appointments at our local offices in Rio Grande, Waverly, West Union and Wheelersburg, the Agency Resource Center is available via phone (1-800-582-7277) to answer questions or provide information on resources in the community. Phone lines are open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m., or you can email the agency at email@example.com. Assistance AAA7 can provide over the telephone includes referrals to community resources during the pandemic such as home-delivered meals services, and general information and referral to service providers and contacts in your local community that provide services for care in the home or services needed during the stay-at-home order, such as transportation.
During this pandemic, we have all learned more about social distancing and staying at home — embracing new routines and learning how to do things differently. While there is a large number of people who live with others and have family and friends to depend on, there are many who, during this time, feel more isolated and lonely. We thank our local providers and senior centers and nutrition programs that are continuing to check on and make available services to seniors and those living with disabilities in their homes.
I encourage you to reach out to someone you know who may be living alone and those without family or friends to check on them. Perhaps their support network does not live close and therefore cannot assist them during this time. See what you can do to help them within safe social distancing guidelines. Phone calls can do wonders to lift someone’s spirits. Our agency has recently developed a program to provide telephone reassurance for those who would like just that — someone to call them and check-in and perhaps assist with determining resources in their community that are available to help them with any needs they may have. If you are interested in having someone call you to provide telephone reassurance, call us at 1-800-582-7277 or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our agency is appreciative of all the front line workers throughout our communities who are continuing to provide services as we journey through this pandemic. Services are still needed in our communities and we are grateful for your hard work and dedication. Our agency will continue to do what we can to help support seniors and those with disabilities who are looking for services and programs to help them remain safe and healthy in their homes.
Nina R. Keller is the executive director of the Area Agency on Aging District 7, which includes Highland County.