IMPERIAL COUNTY — Seniors who have dedicated their lives to serving the community have earned the gratitude of the Imperial County Area Agency on Aging, especially during these uncertain times as the world deals with novel coronavirus, officials said.
In an email blast to the Imperial Valley on March 15,
AAA reminded residents that the eight meal congregate sites are closed until
further notice due to social distancing amid the COVID-19 outbreak. These
include the daily site at Calexico, two in El Centro, one in Brawley, as well
as the once weekly sites in Holtville, Ocotillo, Westmorland and West Shores.
Elderly contacted concerning changes
The daily sites serve only Monday through Friday. Yet
starting on March 23, seniors will receive meals at home.
“We prepare 150 meals a day,” said Karla
Flores, AAA ombudsman. “With home delivery, seniors will receive one hot
meal and six frozen dinners they can heat up in a microwave or conventional
oven. We already have a contract with the county department of social
All meal recipients have been informed of the new
coronavirus guidelines per the county health department as they are one of the
most vulnerable populations at risk for infection. They are also receiving the
California Department of Aging guidelines as well, noted Flores.
Rosie Blankenship, AAA manager and Imperial County
Public Administrator, announced to the county Board of Supervisors on March 24
that businesses like Broken Yolk Café had donated eggs and potatoes and other
food stuffs to local seniors. About 100 seniors were due to have the items
delivered to their homes later that day, Blankenship said.
“We also outreached (to) seniors who are using a
variety of pharmaceuticals don’t contravene with one another,” said
Flores. “We’ve identified all the pharmacies that will be open and can
deliver to the senior homes.”
The name of the above is the Medication Management
Operations program run through the Imperial County Tobacco Education project,
explained Fernanda Lynch, health program coordinator. It is also known as HomeMeds,
which was initiated as a fall prevention program. It now covers evidence-based
modular platforms derived from the senior program, Lynch indicated.
Safeguard implemented for pharmaceutical
Anyone over age 60 can have their pharmaceuticals
checked, verified by a pharmacist and a medication management consultant.
“We make sure their medications are safe to
take,” said Lynch. “A registered nurse will conduct a home visit and
assess the medication that she inputs into a software program. After the
pharmacist reviews it, the nurse returns to the home and provides a list to the
client. The service is free to anyone over 60.”
For many seniors living in a home environment, they
already employ somebody to monitor them, noted Flores. Yet they can also
arrange for an in-home support service worker for one to four hours a day.
Imperial County Social Service Department has contracted with Catholic
Charities to look after seniors.
AAA reminds seniors many stores remain open during the
coronavirus crisis. Concern of retailer shortages of household goods, however,
has provoked binge buying and leaving empty store shelves.
For seniors in need, AAA can shop for toilet paper, face
tissue or canned goods and can be picked from the AAA office, 778 W. State St.
The hours are 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. including the noon hour.
“But we want to emphasize to seniors to continue
to wash your hands frequently and practice social distance (at least six feet
away from other individuals),” said Flores. “Please seniors, shelter
at home because we care about your safety and health. There is no need for you
to be out and about.”
any questions or needs, people can email AAA at: www.aaa24.org.