LOA COVID-19 RESPONSE FROM PRESIDENT AND CEO RON BOYD
Heroism is endurance for one moment more.
― George F. Kennan
October 23, 2020- Eight months into this pandemic I continue to be amazed at the herculean response to the novel coronavirus. It becomes more apparent the farther along we progress on this journey that staff, volunteers and the human service community’s main concern is for the seniors that we serve and the desire to continue full services as long as possible. That speaks well of all of the aforementioned who view LOA’s mission as vital. I see nothing short of “heroes” every day. With that being said we do want everyone to stay healthy including staff, volunteers and our clients.
Please be assured that LOA is closely monitoring the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. In an effort to keep staff, volunteers, clients and the general public healthy, LOA has established an emergency response task force to oversee overall agency and departmental protocols for dealing with the potential threats of the COVID-19 virus.
We continue to stay in close contact with the Department of Aging & Rehabilitative Services (DARS), CDC, VDH, and Meals on Wheels America (MOWA).
Since LOA serves an at risk population, our offices remain open to clients by appointment only. Other non-emergency services and meetings are being conducted virtually and/or telephonically. LOA has been able to maintain all thirty one community based programs with a few slightly modified during the pandemic. Staff have heightened our protocols for disinfecting all common areas as well as individual offices. We are utilizing safety protocols including use of face masks, shields & gloves when conducting in person and in home services.
Over the past several months, LOA has worked tirelessly to enhance our facilities with efficient ways to protect staff, volunteers and clients from the spread of germs. All in person appointments are screened as well as asked a series of questions to determine if there is any risk of exposure.
It is our desire to continue full services as long as we deem staff & volunteers can remain safe and healthy. Our goal is to continue all vital services as long as we feel it is safe under guidance of the CDC, DARS and VDH. At this point we have minimal interruption of our nutrition services. Congregate diner services have been suspended in areas preventing social distancing however drive thru and takeout opportunities occur occasionally. We have received state waivers to temporarily offer home delivered meals to some of our current congregate clients most at risk of food insecurity.
Senior Food Boxes as well as emergency food boxes are delivered monthly. We have initiated safety protocols for those delivering meals to protect both the staff and volunteer as well as limiting the risk of exposure to our clients.
We applaud our staff and volunteers as they continue to serve and deliver services during these difficult times. They are truly the heroes each and every day. If you would like to volunteer at this time please call LOA at 345-0451, email firstname.lastname@example.org or go to our website www.loaa.org . We are monitoring the CDC and VDH and are staying abreast of this rapidly changing situation and will address suspension of services and/or closing of sites as their guidance dictates.
We appreciate all of the community support as you stand alongside our wonderful staff and volunteers. We courage everyone to “check on the elderly in your area” during these trying times. Make sure they have adequate basics and encourage them to refill their prescriptions. Many of the seniors we serve are isolated and unable to get out for their supplies (i.e. groceries, prescriptions, etc.) and would greatly benefit from a “well check”.
Endurance is not just the ability to bear a hard thing, but to turn it into glory.
― William Barclay
LOA provides the following services for seniors 60 and older who reside in the Fifth Planning District of Virginia (Roanoke County, Roanoke City, Botetourt County, Craig County, Alleghany County, Salem and Covington) unless otherwise noted:
- Care Coordination – Evaluates cases to determine which services are needed and links people with those services. Provides outreach (finding people who need the services and making the public aware of the services) and, screening, assessment, care planning, service delivery coordination, monitoring and reassessment.
- Options Counseling – A Case Manager meets with clients and discusses information and options for various services, and the client arranges their own services. Options Counseling is available to individuals age 60 and over, and individuals age 18 and over with a disability.
- Meals-on-Wheels – Volunteers deliver hot meals to homebound elderly.
Eligibility criteria in addition to being 60 years of age or older include:
- The individual must be homebound, defined as: Someone unable to leave home to attend regular social activities such as a senior center or congregate nutrition site. The recipient may be able to go to medical appointments, but needs escort assistance to do so safely. A client without access to adequate nutrition and for whom transportation to a congregate site is unfeasible may be considered homebound.
- The individual must be unable to prepare meals and have no one available to prepare meals.
- The individual must be able to remain safely at home, with home delivered nutrition as a support service.
Other individuals eligible to receive home delivered nutrition services, include:
- The recipient’s spouse, regardless of age or disability
- At the discretion of the AAA, an individual with disabilities, regardless of age, who resides at home with the recipient over age 60 who receives a home delivered meal.
- Pets Eat Too – Pet food is donated by the RVSPCA for the pets of our Meals-on-Wheels clients and is delivered on a weekly basis by the volunteers.
- Nutrition Counseling – Clients who meet the eligibility criteria for Meals on Wheels and Diner Club and are assessed at a high nutritional risk can be referred to a Registered Dietician for a nutrition consultation.
- Diners Clubs (Congregate Meals) – Persons with economic or social needs meet at supervised sites for lunch, activities, and programs.
Eligibility criteria in addition to being 60 years of age or older include:
- Individuals must be mobile, not homebound, and physically, mentally, and medically able to attend a congregate meals program
Other eligible individuals including the following:
- The recipient’s spouse, regardless of age or disability
- Individuals with disabilities who are not older individuals but who reside in housing facilities occupied primarily by older individuals at which congregate nutrition services are provided
- At the discretion of the AAA, individuals with disabilities, regardless of age, who reside at home with and accompany older eligible individuals to the congregate site
- At the discretion of the AAA, individuals, regardless of age, providing volunteer services during the meal hours
- Long Term Care Ombudsman – Investigates complaints and provides advocacy for residents of any age who reside in long-term care facilities or who are receiving licensed home health care services. Responds to inquiries about long-term care services in nursing homes, assisted living facilities and licensed home health care services.
- Long Term Care – Coordinates community and institutional based services and advocates services for long-term care. No real eligibility requirements.
- Speaker’s Bureau – Speakers will make presentations, at no cost, on issues of concern to seniors and their caregivers. The LOA is also available for health fairs and other events.
- Public Information – Keeps elderly and general public informed on current aging issues via a website (loaa.org), newsletters, electronic newsletters, brochures, a Speaker’s Bureau, information fairs and on Facebook (search for Local Office on Aging).
- Vital Services Transportation – provides rides to vital services such as doctor appointments, social service appointments, pharmacy, grocery shopping, etc. To qualify a person must be unable to drive a car or not own a vehicle. Income must not be higher than 150% of the Federal Poverty Level.
- Assisted Transportation – Provided to seniors 60 and older who need to be accompanied by someone to medical appointments. A CNA will assist the person to the vehicle, drive them to the appointment and drive them home. The CNA will see that the person gets back into his/her home safely. Must be unable to go to medical appointments alone.
- Care Transitions – Care transitions involves a health coach working with clients who are discharged from hospital to help them locate services in order to return to their home in the community. Care transitions helps the client keep doctors’ appointments and understand how to take medications as needed in order to help prevent readmissions to the hospital.
- Legal Assistance – Legal advice and assistance with the preparation of Powers of Attorney, Advance Medical Directives, and simple wills. To qualify a person must have income no higher than 150% of the Federal Poverty Level.
- Homemaker – Provides, through outside contractors, in-home homemaker services including household tasks like sweeping, mopping, dusting and other cleaning chores. Must be 60 or older and must need assistance with IADS (instrumental activities of daily living).
- Personal Care– Provides, through outside contractors, in-home personal care including bathing, dressing, toileting and ambulation. Must be 60 or older and must need assistance with ADLS (Activities of Daily Living.)
- Emergency Services – Provides, through donations from the public, eyeglasses, canes, walkers, wheelchairs, adult diapers and other items.
- Adult Day Care – Through outside contract, provides daytime respite care for elderly with limited means. Must be 60 or older and require supervision in a structured setting.
- Fan Care and Cooling Assistance – Placement of fans in homes of elderly who have a need for assistance. Air conditioners are given to those with no working air conditioner in the home and whose income is below 150% of the Federal Poverty Level. This program is funded by donations from the public.
- Caregiver Support – Counseling for overburdened caregivers who are caring for individuals age 60 and over, respite and information and referral.
- VICAP – Answers to questions about Medicare, Medicaid, Medigap, Medicare Advantage, Medicare Part D & long-term care insurance. Assistance figuring out medical bills.
- Chronic Disease Self-Management – Program offers workshops for older adults and adults with disabilities to address the challenges of living with any chronic health condition. The program consists of a series of workshops that are conducted once a week for six weeks in community settings. Workshop participants develop the skills and coping strategies they need to manage their symptoms through a group process that includes action planning, interactive learning, behavior modeling, problem solving, decision-making and most important, social support, for change. Some workshops may be held for those who have specific health conditions such as dementia or diabetes.
- Soup for Seniors – A canned food drive held annually in February. All LOA clients, elderly living in low-income independent living and other seniors throughout the Roanoke Valley receive the loaded bag of soup to help get them through the harsh winter months.
- Senior Medicare Patrol – Provides presentations to groups on scams, identity theft and preventing Medicare and Medicaid fraud and abuse. Also counsels seniors on scam and fraud issues and helps to report Medicare and Medicaid fraud and abuse.
- Matter of Balance – Program offers workshops for managing falls and increasing activity levels. Anyone who is concerned about falls, interested in improving balance, flexibility, strength, or has fallen in the past, or has restricted activities because of falling concerns, age 60 or older would benefit from the program. This program emphasizes practical strategies to manage falls and promoted exercises to increase strength and balance.
- Senior Food Boxes – In partnership with the Southwest Virginia Foodbank, a monthly food box delivery will be made to qualifying seniors. Must be 60 years of age or older and income must be at or below 130% of the Federal Poverty Level.
- Age Friendly Community – LOA facilitates the AARP Age-Friendly Community Initiative comprised of a collaboration of community partners focused on the 2018 Age Friendly Roanoke Survey Assessment and developing a three year comprehensive plan.
- Elder Justice Alliance – a community-based team of organizations and individuals committed to using education, collaboration, and coordination of community resources and services to address abuse, neglect, and financial exploitation of those age 60 or older.
LOA MISSION STATEMENT:
The LOA serves seniors 60 and older in the Roanoke Valley and Alleghany Highlands with a mission of helping older persons remain independent for as long as possible. We are able to carry out this mission by providing services such as Meals on Wheels, Transportation, Case Management and Insurance Counseling.
LOA FUNDING SOURCES:
In addition to receiving funds through the Older Americans Act, funding is received from the State General Assembly, local government contributions, United Way of Roanoke Valley, the Greater Alleghany Fund, foundation grants and donations.
Central Mailing Address:
PO Box 14205
Roanoke, VA 24038
Central Street Address:
4932 Frontage Road, NW
Roanoke, VA 24019
Toll Free: 1-800-355-6222
Chief Executive Officer: Ron Boyd