COLUMBUS, Ohio (WTRF) – The senior population is one of the highest risk groups during this COVID-19 pandemic, meaning most of them have been taking extra precautions staying at home.
But, all of that isolation can lead to loneliness. The Ohio Department of Aging is using a daily phone call to make sure the state’s older population is staying connected, because they said you can’t over emphasize the importance of socialization.
Our seniors have had a lot of changes since COVID-19 appeared on the horizon.Carol Baker, Communications Officer, Area Agency on Aging Region 9
For the senior population, some of those changes, like the lack of connection with family and friends, can take their toll.
They are used to going out to their congregate sites and going out as much as they want to and can and now they are stuck at home, sometimes with no family members in the immediate area, and sometimes with no socialization with anyone. So, it’s important for us to know that they’re ok.Carol Baker, Communications Officer, Area Agency on Aging Region 9
A new service in Ohio is offering a free check-in by phone every day.
They will make a call every day, an aging professional, just to check in to see if that person’s ok. If they are, that’s great. They’ll move on, talk to them for a few seconds. And if they’re not, if they need something, then they will connect that person with their local AAA, Area Agency on Aging.Carol Baker, Communications Officer, Area Agency on Aging Region 9
In addition to providing a connection in a time of distance, the agency will also make sure that person has meals, transportation, medication, or anything else they might need.
Calls are made between 7:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. at a time that’s most convenient for the recipient.
To sign up, you must by 60 years of age or older and have a valid phone number. Just call 1-833-632-2428 or visit aging.ohio.gov.
You will also be asked to provide an alternate contact, in case you do not answer after three calls.
If there’s not an alternate person or they can’t reach that alternate person then they will contact the local sheriff’s department to do a well check.Carol Baker, Communications Officer, Area Agency on Aging Region 9
The Ohio Department of Aging reminds everyone this is not an emergency service.
If you do have an emergency, still call 911.
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