Over the past year, United Way has responded to the needs of Long Islanders experiencing unparalleled hardship especially the most vulnerable.
The not-for profit organization is focusing on protecting Long Islanders who are at risk, especially the elderly who have been greatly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. While social distancing protects the health of seniors, it also severs ties to critical resources, including access to food, medication and socialization.
United Way’s Safe at Home for Seniors is a health and safety program in the Town of Babylon as well as Brookhaven, Islip and Huntington that alleviates the stress of older adults who are alone and sheltering-in-place. United Way is working in partnership with its network of agencies to connect seniors who are sheltering in place or isolated from family or a caregiver, with Bilingual Community Navigators. They act as helping hands managing everyday tasks such as grocery shopping and picking up prescriptions; making sure their homes have proper safety measures such as grab rails and working smoke detectors; and providing communication assistance, from connecting seniors with family members to scheduling their healthcare appointments, including registering for the COVID-19 vaccine.
“The senior population is experiencing unparalleled hardship in the face of COVID-19. Safe at Home for Seniors is part of United Way of Long Island’s United Solution of working in partnership with agencies and Townships across to Long Island to protect and assist our elder neighbors. Collectively, we need to serve our region’s most fragile,” said Theresa A. Regnante, President and CEO of United Way of Long Island.
“While the COVID-19 pandemic has turned all of our lives upside down to some extent, no one has been more affected than our cherished seniors, many of whom rely on person-to-person contact and in-person services on a daily basis. The Town of Babylon is proud to join with United Way for the Safe at Home for Seniors program so that our aging residents can have access to critical resources and essential services in a safe manner, from the comfort of their own homes,” said Rich Schaffer, Supervisor of the Town of Babylon.
The Safe at Home for Seniors program:
- Protects seniors from COVID-19 with safety kits with PPE and sanitizers and ensure that they practice safe hygiene.
- Helps to manage everyday tasks such as stocking up on groceries, preparing or ordering hot meals, coordinating transportation to medical appointments and connection to medical alerts.
- Helps seniors communicate with loved ones and health care professionals with virtual devices.
- Facilitates in-person screening assessments such as physical health, emotional health, depression, Alzheimer’s and Dementia.
- Reports any notable health or mental health changes to family or designee.
- Facilitates health, safety, accessibility and universal design home-check screenings for seniors. If needed, coordinate minor home or accessibility repairs.
- Prepares seniors to protect themselves when going out in the public for a medical or other necessary appointment.
For seniors in need of assistance, contact 211 Long Island for information and referrals related to support services. Dial 2-1-1, or outside of Nassau and Suffolk Counties 1-888-774-7633 and visit 211longisland.org. 211 Long Island operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
To learn more about or to support Safe at Home, visit www.unitedwayli.org/safeathome.