COVID-19 Resources for Seniors
Activities at both Orange County senior centers were suspended on Monday, March 16, due to the risks presented by COVID-19. Since that time staff have worked to implement and modify programs and services to help support seniors throughout the crisis.
Aging Transitions, Senior Center and Volunteer Connect 55+ staff are available to meet by phone, email, in-person or virtual appointment. For more information or assistance, please contact the Passmore Center: 919-245-2015, Seymour Center: 919-968-2070, or the Aging Helpline at 919-968-2087.
See our new and modified programs, services and resources in response to the COVID-19 pandemic below:
- Aging Transitions Services
- Senior Center Programs & Community Based Services
- Employment Services
- Volunteer Programs & Opportunities
- RESOURCES for Older Adults
Aging Helpline: For more information or to register for an Aging Transitions programs, or to talk to trained staff about any aging-related issue, please call (919) 968-2087 or email Aging Services. We try to find answers to your age-related questions and link you to the services that you need. Helpline hours are 9 am – 4 pm, Mon - Fri.
Chinese Aging Helpline: Call 919-245-4275
Spanish Aging Helpline: Call 919-245-4245
OC CARES (Orange County Caregiver Awareness, Respite, Education & Support) is proud to continue offering programs for caregivers during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Please reach out to the Aging Helpline at 919-968-2087 or email the Aging Transitions team for more information on programs. We are continuing to offer virtual programming, in addition to resuming socially distanced in-person programming.
DOWNLOAD the current Caregiver Programming flier (pdf) for program details, dates and times.
REGISTER 1 day prior to the meeting. To register, call the Aging Helpline at 919-968-2087
- Activity Engagement Coaching: It can be challenging to find ways to keep loved ones with dementia engaged throughout the day. For caregivers connected to our various dementia support programs, we are now offering one-on-one consultations to identify enjoyable activities that are person-centered, meaningful and appropriately modified.
- Brief Counseling Services: Our team of social workers are available to work with older adults and caregivers for brief counseling services, free of charge. We can work with you on issues including anxiety, depression, caregiver stress and loneliness.
- Caregiver Education Series: A monthly presentation from the Aging Transitions team and community professionals on helpful topics for caregivers.
- Care Partner Collaborative: A social gathering for care partners and their loved ones experiencing cognitive and/or physical challenges. Creating a flexible space for sharing and connection, with all participants welcome to join in simple, enjoyable group activities according to individual ability levels.
- Caregiver Support Group: Virtual meeting with other caregivers to share experiences, learn new skills, and get answers to questions about dementia and other long-term disabilities.
- Memory Cafe: Has resumed at our senior centers and various outdoor locations around the county. We invite people living with memory loss and their care partners to join us for a fun, casual social outing!
For more caregiver resources: Sign up for the monthly Community News for Caregivers e-newsletter.
Durable Medical Equipment: Our occupational therapist is available should you need durable medical equipment or a consultation regarding your home safety needs. Consults are available via phone, video conference, porch visits, and 30-minute in-home meetings.
COMMUNITY BASED SERVICE and PROGRAMS
For information or to register for our Community Based Services, call the Passmore Center 919-245-2015 or Seymour Center 919-968-2070
ONLINE Programs and Activities: View our program and activity options (some programs remain online or have a virtual option). Get started today!
Fit Seniors: Exercise and wellness options designed to help keep you fit and healthy. Exercise with your favorite OCDOA fitness instructor, and discover valuable tools for staying healthy at home or on the go. Try something new using easy to follow health and in-person exercise instruction, videos and/or live online classes. Visit Fit Seniors for options like Balance Class I, Yoga, Strength Training, Staying Well at Home, Safe Driving and more. New options added frequently so stay tuned, some are FREE!
Lunch Program: Lunches are distributed curbside 3-times a week.
- Mondays: 1 hot meal / 1boxed lunch
- Wednesdays: 1 hot meal
- Fridays: 2 different hot meals
This ensures that our registered lunch participants receive 5 meals weekly. At this time we are only accepting new applications for those county residents age 60 and over and who can pick up a meal at the Seymour Center in Chapel Hill or Passmore Center in Hillsborough. Those in group quarters will only be considered if they can identify someone to come and pick up their meal. Individuals who are transit dependent may qualify for OC Meals on Wheels. To register, email Isabel Jackson or call 919-245-4256.
Senior Centers: Here are a few of the many ways that senior center staff and volunteers are making a difference:
- Lunch program participants are offered programs in the parking lot while they wait for lunch
- COVID-19 updates & guidelines are shared using multiple distribution methods
- Staff & volunteers encourage isolated participants through letters, text and phone calls
- Senior Center Garden Clubs work in the gardens while practicing social distancing using a rotational system
Seniors on the Road: All Trips of the OC Department on Aging – Seniors on the Road program have moved to "virtual" to protect the safety of our participants. Check the Endless Possibilities activity guide for available "travel" programs.
At-Home Activities: Download a staff curated list of online activities that mirror some of our drop in activities including crosswords, card games, reading books, painting, table tennis, DIY projects, and more.
Seymour Tech Remote Learning: We are offering FREE remote technology courses via Zoom. Find the schedule and sign up for these remote learning courses at www.seymourtechcenter.org. Find the course you want and simply click to enroll for each class.
Job seekers, right now, there are part-time and full-time jobs available. Large retailers and delivery companies – Amazon, CostCo, WalMart, and several grocery and pharmacy chains are hiring people for warehouse, stocking, cashier and delivery positions. In addition, jobs working remotely from home are also available, and increasing significantly. Many businesses and organizations are hiring. A list of companies currently hiring for remote jobs is available on the under the Resources for Mature Job Seekers tab below.
If you are interested in applying for any of these jobs, you need to be sure your resume and cover letter are current, strong and compelling. You will want to be confident and knowledgeable about interviewing -- how best to answer questions, and what questions you should ask. If you want help, please email our employment specialist, Mike Komives or call/text (919) 616-8778.
COVID-19 Volunteer Opportunities: Would you like to share your skills and gifts with older adults in Orange County? Contact Shenae McPherson or call 919-245-4243 for more information and to volunteer.
Emergency Plan & Serious Illness Plan: When we make health decisions ahead of time and put those wishes in writing, we bring peace of mind to our families and to ourselves. The Project EngAGE End of Life Choices Senior Resource Team has created a document to aid in beginning your process for emergency planning during this COVID-19 health crisis. This form is not intended to be or to replace your advanced directives document, but is to be used as a tool to provide additional information for quick access should you need it. Access the form here.
Supplemental Food Box Program: A FREE monthly Commodity Supplemental Food Program food box is available for qualifying for Orange County residents, age 60 and over who meet income requirements. Contact us for information or to apply
Tax Assistance - Virtual Services: The Orange County VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program) has transitioned to a Virtual Service providing assistance with 2019 tax returns for some taxpayers. The tax filing deadline for both Federal and NC State returns has been delayed to July 15, 2020. To learn more visit our VITA website.
Telephone Reassurance: As we continue to enforce social distancing, and social gatherings aren’t possible, we want to make sure you’re doing okay. Would you like a daily phone call just to check on you? We are actively enrolling new Orange County adults age 55 and over. If interested, contact us today!
Orange County Department on Aging COVID-19 Resources:
- Orange County Department on Aging COVID-19 Resource Guide for Older Adults
- At-home Activities curated by the staff of the Passmore and Seymour centers to mirror our on-site activities
- COVID Emergency Plan & Serious Illness Plan (pdf)
- For COVID-19 Volunteer Opportunities, please contact Shenae McPherson or call 919-245-4243.
- Download the 2021 Senior Housing Guide (pdf) to view senior designated housing options and other resources in Orange County, NC.
Orange County Health Department COVID-19 Updates:
- Webpage: Orange County Coronavirus (COVID-19) response, information and resources
- Newsletter: Sign up for the COVID-19 newsletter from the Orange County Health Department.
- Text updates: To receive daily text updates, text ocnchealth to 888-777.
- Actualizaciones de texto: para recibir actualizacions diarias en Espanol mande mensaje ’OCNCSALUD’ a 888777
- Hotline: Questions about COVID-19? Call (919) 245-6111 between the hours of 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday. Spanish language and other languages available.
- Email: Email your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Multilingual Resources: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Multilingual Resources
Orange County Government cares about diversity, equity and inclusion. As a community, we need to be mindful of xenophobia (dislike of or prejudice against people from other countries). Learn more about Orange County Government’s stance on Xenophobia
Inclusion Message from Chapel Hill Police Chief: Chapel Hill is committed to being a place for everyone. We want everyone in our community, including community members of Asian descent, to know that we support them. Please share the following multilingual videos broadly within your communities.
Mandarin Chinese: https://www.facebook.com/chapelhillgov/videos/155948839173628