The Area Agency on Aging Region One came out strong for seniors during the year of the pandemic.
The Area Agency on Aging Region One funded more than 1.2 million meals to homebound seniors since last March and handed out over 2,100 cleaning supply kits, among other services and resources.
The Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust awarded the agency a $50,000 grant to provide transportation for seniors to COVID vaccine sites and a $100,000 grant is being used to develop elderSHOP – through which Area Agency staff and volunteers grocery shop for older adults who can pay for groceries but can’t go to a store.
“The funding from Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust enabled us to expand our services to assist older adults who wanted to get COVID vaccines but didn’t have the means and others who were unable or afraid to go to the supermarket. We are deeply grateful for that support,” said Area Agency on Aging President and CEO Mary Lynn Kasunic.
“On a broader scale, our staff and volunteers really went the extra mile to ensure that essential needs in the community were covered,” she said.
During the last 12 months, the Area Agency on Aging’s 24-hour Senior help line responded to 68,939 calls, 24,500 more than during a typical year and delivered an average 7,197 meals a day – double the pre-pandemic volume.
It also said 936 older adults were transported to medical appointments through UberHealth and that 5,790 food bags and boxes were delivered by the Agency’s AmeriCorps Members and new volunteers.
In addition, 6,874 meals were delivered to homeless seniors living in hotels through the Central Arizona Shelter Services Project Haven.
It also made 2,466 well-check calls a week to isolated older adults.
To help homebound seniors celebrate holidays, Kasunic said that food bags with special ingredients and recipes were provided for major holidays.
“When the pandemic took hold, we knew that older adults would be particularly affected and our team reacted quickly and strategically to ensure a solid lifeline was established for those who needed our help,” Kasunic said.
Individuals needing assistance are encouraged to call the help line at 602-264-4357.
Since 1974, Area Agency on Aging has been planning, developing, coordinating and delivering critical programs and services to older adults and their caregivers, adults age 18+ with physical disabilities and long-term care needs, adults with HIV, residents in long term care facilities and survivors of late-life domestic violence and elder abuse.