The Gerontology Institute’s Center for Social and Demographic Research on Aging is publishing a series of blog posts to follow the ongoing impact of the coronavirus pandemic on Councils on Aging across Massachusetts. We encourage COA readers to tell us about their experiences or responses to blog posts by using the reply box at the bottom of each post.
It’s a good thing Zoom and lots of other communications technology exists these days. But the old-fashioned telephone is also playing important role in the plans councils on aging are following to keep in touch with their elder residents.
In Bridgewater, the Fire Department is assisting to help identify phone numbers from census data for over 5,000 residents who are age 60 or older. Those numbers are being used to make wellness calls, but also develop a huge database for town’s emergency response protocol.
In Billerica, volunteers are making about 150 calls each week to check in with elder residents and evaluate their needs.
“During calls to check on patrons, they are so grateful to be remembered,” said Billerica COA Director Jean Bushnell. “It was remarkable to discover that care and concerned flowed both ways, they were actually worried about our staff.” Continue reading