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 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
Caregiver Supports: Support groups, Memory Café, and Care Partner Collaborative have all gone online and most participants have been quick to adopt this new way to gather and stay connected.
- Activity Engagement Coaching: As we all continue to spend a lot of time at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, 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 (via phone or GoToMeeting) where we can brainstorm together with you to identify enjoyable activities that are
- person-centered, i.e. tailored to your loved one’s current and past interests, likes, preferences
- appropriately modified to current level of cognitive ability, thereby reducing frustration and stress
If interested, please contact Lisa Meinert, certified Dementia Care Partner and Activity Professional firstname.lastname@example.org or 919-245-4251.
- Care Partner Collaborative: A social gathering for care partners and their loved ones experiencing cognitive and/or physical challenges. Our group has moved online, coming together each Wednesday at 11 a.m. via GoToMeeting. We continue to create a flexible space for sharing and connection, with all participants welcome to join in simple, enjoyable group activities according to individual ability levels. To register, please call 919-968-2087 or email email@example.com. Contact Lisa for more information.
- 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. Thursday, April 23 at 1pm. Available via GoToMeeting. To register, please call 919-968-2087 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Contact Kim for more information.
- Memory Cafe: A monthly opportunity for persons with dementia and their care partners to relax over a “virtual” cup of coffee and socialize. Available via GoToMeeting. To register, please call 919-968-2087 or email email@example.com. Contact Kim for more information.
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 phone consultation.
Volunteer Driver Program continues to provide rides for older adults to essential services. This service has become even more important as Orange County Public Transit and Chapel Hill Transit have limited service.
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 ONLINE program and activity options and get started today, the list of virtual opportunities are growing every day!
Fit Seniors:"At home" 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 exercise guides, videos and 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 and get started today, it’s FREE!
Lunch Program: Lunches are distributed curbside 3-times a week. A hot meal and a boxed lunch are distributed on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, ensuring that our registered lunch participants receive 6 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. 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 receive DIY Activity, Craft and Fitness packets
- Implemented a new Stay at Home Scavenger Hunt program, complete with prizes
- 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 BYOT (Bring Their Own Tools) to work in the gardens while practicing social distancing using a rotational system
- Quilters make and donate masks to health care facilities
Seniors on the Road: All Trips of the OC Department on Aging – Seniors on the Road Summer program have been CANCELLED to protect the safety of our participants.
With the uncertainty of the pandemic and the implications of not being able to properly maintain social distancing in regards to transportation and at the venues, the Department on Aging is cancelling the trips planned for June, July and August 2020. We hope to be able to travel again in the fall. Take Care and Stay Well.
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. Leaders from Orange County’s Department on Aging and UNC’s Partnerships in Aging have created a list to match volunteers with the needs and changing circumstances of individuals and organizations that serve older adults. To volunteer, please add your name to the COVID-19 Volunteer List.
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.
Grocery Delivery Service: If you are in need of grocery delivery, or if you know an older adult who would benefit from this service, Volunteer Connect 55+ is now offering this resource. To register for this program, complete the online request form or contact the Aging Helpline at 919-968-2087. This service is being offered to Orange County residents age 60 and over. Ordering requirements apply.
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)
- COVID-19 Volunteer Opportunities
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 Department on Aging Press Releases:
- Posted April 17, 2020: Orange County senior centers offer new and modified programs and services to support older adults.
- Posted March 13, 2020: Orange County senior centers suspending activities due to COVID-19,
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