The Center for Aging in Place offers this informal senior services/referral directory and online resources for Westchester County amid the COVID-19 pandemic, with thanks for the help of DOROT Westchester, RSVP of Westchester, Volunteer New York! and Nonprofit Westchester.
Efforts will be made to update this version as the pandemic evolves. Proposed changes, additions or updates, or requests for the removal of information, may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
This version published on April 21.
To learn more about the novel coronavirus and the illness that it can cause, known as COVID-19, visit the website of the Westchester County Department of Health at https://health.westchestergov.com/ and the website of the Centers for Disease Control at https://bit.ly/3bXmADq.
Westchester County Department of Senior Programs and Services has an array of resources available at https://bit.ly/3bRDlQ1.
The Westchester County Department of Community Mental Health (DCMH), together with its partner agencies, offers guidance and support to Westchester County residents who may experience stress, fear, grief, depression and anxiety. DCMH will be implementing educational and supportive services through a dedicated telephone resource line, social media, taped video recordings, chat lines, printed materials and linkage to counseling. The DCMH Information, Support and Referral line is 914-995-1900, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m./Text 914-461-7281.
United Way's 2-1-1 Helpline is a free, confidential, multilingual service to assist in finding the answers to health and human services questions and in reference to needs resulting from COVID-19. It is open 365 days a year. Simply dial 2-1-1.
Feeding Westchester offers food package distribution sites, mobile food pantries and drive-thru food distributions. To find more information and identify locations, visit https://bit.ly/2KLG41F or call 914-923-1100, weekdays, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The RideConnect program of Family Services of Westchester serves older adults 60-plus who need shopping and doorstep delivery of groceries. The program continues to provide transportation to critical/urgent medical appointments and its volunteers have been taking clients to dialysis and chemotherapy appointments as well. Volunteers will work with a client to obtain a grocery list, do the shopping and then drop the groceries at the doorstep — the client is financially responsible for the cost of the groceries. This also includes making deliveries from food pantries for those in need. Call 914-242-7433 or email Karen Ganis at email@example.com.
WestFair Rides volunteers continue to drive pre-registered riders to their medical appointments. They ask that riders and drivers take precautions to protect each other. If your appointment is not for a critical issue, consider postponing your appointment. If you don’t feel well, call your doctor’s office immediately for suggestions about next steps. In addition to the CDC/DOH recommendations about social distancing and other precautions, we suggest riders sit in the back seat, as far from the driver as possible. Call 914-764-3533 for more information or visit https://www.westfairrides.org/.
Check out the DOROT University Without Walls. It offers hundreds of classes, appealing to a wide range of interests — all over the telephone. English-speaking participants can choose from ever-changing topics and such perennial favorites as Museum Talks, Literature and Arts, In the News, Understanding Your Rights, Jewish Interests, and Health and Wellness. Classes are small. Visit https://bit.ly/3aSqTOW. Or call 877-819-9147.
Tips on helping seniors use video calling, from the Philadelphia Inquirer: https://www.inquirer.com/health/coronavirus/seniors-video-calling-how-to-help-facetime-skype-whatsapp-coronavirus-20200326.html.
Information from Social Security and Medicare related to coronavirus can be found at https://www.ssa.gov/coronavirus/. For instance, Medicare now offers expanded coverage for telehealth services by many health providers.
Information from the IRS about changes to tax filing dates, and about receiving your “economic impact payment,” can be found at https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus.
The Senior Law Day Collaborative — a team of more than 150 attorneys, financial planners, geriatric care managers and more — offers free consultations and advice. They can accept email inquiries regarding legal, financial and health care topics. They are currently offering a series of live webinars (and post session recordings). Visit www.SeniorLawDay.info.
Information on additional food and water delivery options can be also found via WestFair Rides at https://bit.ly/2y4fqyv. WestFair Rides alsohas a list of some pharmacies that may be able to deliver to a residence that can be viewed at https://bit.ly/3bUzceu.
Volunteer New York! and its “Virtual Volunteer Center” is a hub for listing all COVID-19 response and recovery volunteer opportunities in our region. Visit https://www.volunteernewyork.org/vvc.
Westchester Library System manages the volunteer-staffed Senior Benefits Individual Counseling (SBIC) sites at nine libraries. Westchester seniors can receive unbiased answers to Medicare questions by calling 914-231-3260 or emailing SBICS@wlsmail.org. Leave a name, a question and a preferred method of contact and our volunteers will get back to you within a day, even on weekends.
Westchester Library System Online Resources — Westchester Library System offers digital content — books, magazines, comic books, movies, music and learning programs for all ages. All are accessible at www.westchesterlibraries.org; have your library card handy. Email firstname.lastname@example.org. We'll call or email you back and walk you through.
Westchester Library System VisionLab — Westchester Library System supports community members with low vision in identifying and using services and tools that can keep them reading and engaged, i.e. accessing services of the NYS Talking Book and Braille Library and navigating accessibility features in current devices. Email email@example.com.
Lists of online cultural activities: https://bit.ly/2VUiG8N.
Film recommendations from the senior film programmer at Jacob Burns Film Center: https://bit.ly/3bVPV0Q.
Don’t forget about your local public television station for insightful reports into the evolution of the pandemic and for retrospectives, special musical programming, features, literature and history, and others: https://www.thirteen.org/. The station also offers access to free Broadway shows and musicals at this time.
Next Avenue brings you reliable stories, special features, videos and resources on issues that matter most as we age — a lot of information about the many ways the pandemic affects our daily lives and strategies we can learn to use to respond and plan: https://www.nextavenue.org/.
NY Connects is a trusted place to go for free, unbiased information about long-term services and supports in New York State for people of all ages or with any type of disability. Visit https://www.nyconnects.ny.gov/ or call 1-800-342-9871.
One of the biggest challenges facing families today is finding the services to enable their loved ones to stay healthy, vital and connected to their communities as they age. Family Services of Westchester helps seniors and their families meet this challenge by providing a continuum of care that supports seniors. Visit https://bit.ly/35nyvaT.
The Partnership Innovation for Older Adults Program brings mobile outreach and off-site services, including behavioral health and aging services and telehealth interventions, to older adults in Westchester County, age 55-plus. Family Services of Westchester is the lead agency in this program, funded by the NYS Office of Mental Health in collaboration with the Westchester County Department of Senior Programs and Services and the Lexington Center for Recovery. Contact Tonia Monti at 914-668-9124, ext. 22.
Pace Women's Justice Center's Elder Justice Unit provides free civil legal services and referrals to residents, male or female, aged 60-plus, who have experienced elder abuse or mistreatment. During the COVID-19 health care crisis, its attorneys are available via phone and internet platforms regarding orders of protection, powers of attorney, advanced health care directives, voluntary guardianship, wills and eviction prevention. Call 914-287-0739 or 914-422-4188 to be connected with an attorney Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Fraud prevention advice: https://bit.ly/2VQUQL2.
Westchester Jewish Community Services provides integrated programs that support older adults in aging safely and well. Programs meet the needs of all seniors and have a particular focus on frail, homebound and isolated older adults. Visit https://bit.ly/3bSIgQW.
The White Plains Public Library has curated a list of local and area services being offered to seniors, especially with information about local food shopping and delivery options, Meals on Wheels, social and geriatric services, and recreational information. Visit https://bit.ly/3bS6fQg.
At the Alzheimer’s Association Hudson Valley Chapter, meetings, events and other activities will be conducted online or by phone whenever possible. For updates on events and other information, check www.alz.org/hudsonvalley. During this time, the Alzheimer’s Association is available to you 24/7 for assistance and support at 1-800-272-3900.
Coronavirus tips for dementia caregivers: https://alz.org/help- support/caregiving/coronavirus-(covid-19)-tips-for-dementia- care?_ga=2.226127582.552122592.1586558775-980664202.1586558775.
In an effort to contain the spread of COVID-19, the Yonkers Office for the Aging is closed to walk-ins; however, some of our services to the most vulnerable will continue. If you need further assistance or have questions, call the office at 914-377-6822, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Visit https://bit.ly/2YmeVKK.
The Boxwood Alliance researches and organizes information useful to older adults, their families and their caregivers. Its website provides free connections to resources, tools and research-based programs. Visit https://theboxwood.org/.
“Iamfine.com” offers a daily automated check-in phone service for free. The service calls a person who lives alone, one to two times a day at a predetermined time and prompts them to press 1 to confirm they are OK. If they miss their check-in, then Iamfine.com will alert friends and family.
Coronavirus Information for Heart Patients, from the American Heart Association: https://bit.ly/2Yie4uq.
Coronavirus Information for Diabetes Patients, from the American Diabetes Association: https://www.diabetes.org/coronavirus-covid-19.
Coronavirus Information for Lung Disease Patients, from the American Lung Association: https://bit.ly/2Yl2wXB.
Information on coronavirus for Latinx individuals with chronic health conditions: https://bit.ly/2yWKmk6.
Westchester Senior Voice has a website with all sorts of information about the status of local senior service programs, recreation opportunities, changes to senior facility schedules and capacities, transportation systems, rehab, musical activities, articles on many topics related to well-being, and more. https://westchesterseniorvoice.com/.
VISIONS is a 94-year-old social service and vision rehabilitation nonprofit organization that serves blind individuals and their families. All VISIONS services are free and continue to function remotely. For information, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.visionsvcb.org.
The “Go Wish Game” gives you an easy, even entertaining way to talk about what is most important to you. The cards help you find words to talk about what is important if you were to be living a life that may be shortened by serious illness. Playing the game with your relatives or best friends can help you learn how you can best comfort your loved ones when they need you most. Go Wish can be played by one, two or more people. Visit https://bit.ly/35np9My.
The Conversation Project is dedicated to helping people talk about end-of-life care. https://theconversationproject.org/. It is a public engagement initiative with a goal that is simple and transformative: to have every person’s wishes for end-of-life care expressed and respected.
Prepare For Your Care is a step-by-step program with video stories to help you have a voice in your medical care, talk with your doctors, give your family and friends peace of mind, and fill out an advance directive form to write out your wishes: https://prepareforyourcare.org/welcome.
Cancer Support Team services are operating fully, either remotely or on-site. The Cancer Support Team is the only Westchester County-based nonprofit home care program, licensed by the New York State Department of Health, providing access to essential health care services, professional nursing, social work counseling, case management and other supportive services at no cost and without regard to insurance coverage to patients and their families at any stage of the illness. Visit https://cancersupportteam.org/ or call 914-777-2777.
Gilda’s Club Westchester has suspended in-person supportive programs. It is offering virtual online programs free for anyone impacted by cancer. Visit https://gildasclubwestchester.org/.
Online crossword puzzles: https://wapo.st/2SkBvQ2 and https://bit.ly/35kt1On.
Online Sudoku: https://sudoku.game/.
Learn or practice a new language: https://www.duolingo.com/.
Hi-Tech Charities is a 501(c)(3), nonprofit community development corporation that provides employment training, facilities and housing development, and various community economic development, social services and health care programs that empower individuals, families, businesses and communities. Home health care services provided include nursing, home health aide, personal care, physical therapy, occupational therapy, respiratory therapy, speech-language pathology, medical social services, nutrition, homemaker, housekeeper, medical supplies, equipment and appliances. Visit www.htc.ngo.
Sharp Again Naturally has been extremely concerned about the impact of “social distancing” in seniors suffering from memory loss. Sharp Again Naturally has been creating Interactive Activities eblasts, containing easy tips and suggestions of “socially-distanced” activities. These eblasts are sent out every seven to 10 days. Visit https://bit.ly/2Ym6W0q and https://bit.ly/3c3kbqs.
Sharp Again Naturally also provides the Sharper Mind Virtual Support Group, a safe, secure online member group for anyone concerned about their own memory loss or that of a loved one, including family members, caregivers and practitioners. Email email@example.com.
Give yourself time to unwind and relax — learn to meditate: https://bit.ly/3cUciE2 or https://www.headspace.com/.
The Care Café at the Wurzweiler School of Social Work of Yeshiva University has developed virtual programming to help those in need manage direct and indirect responses to trauma during this global pandemic, and to create a space for our community to come together. Some examples of these programs include chair yoga, a singing workshop and a senior drop-in café to connect and share coping strategies. Visit https://www.yu.edu/care-cafe.
The mission of the Center for Aging in Place is to develop grassroots aging-in-place organizations in Westchester working to improve the quality of life for older adults who choose to live at home and stay engaged in community life. CAP provides information and resources to communities, organizations and individuals to support the goals of aging in place and to advocate for robust multigenerational neighborhoods. Visit https://www.centerforaginginplace.org/.