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Aging adults need your help as they cope with COVID-19

Donation, volunteer opportunities are available

LANSING — The Aging & Adult Services Agency within the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) is encouraging Michigan residents to consider how they can help people over the age of 60 deal with the impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak.

“Older adults need our support now more than ever, as they are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19,” Dr. Alexis Travis, the agency’s director, said. “Aging & Adult Services Agency wants Michiganders to think about how they can step up and help – whether it’s by donating money, volunteering, or calling their older neighbors to make sure they are OK.”

Because older adults are at higher risk of serious illness due to COVID-19, it is particularly important for them to stay home unless it’s necessary to go out. That creates challenges for the agencies that support seniors that they are attempting to address. They can use your help.

For example, you can help older adults by:

— Contacting your local Area Agency on Aging to volunteer or donate. Volunteers to deliver meals and make friendly reassurance calls are of highest need.

— Donating the following items to your local food bank: Please note that Area Agencies on Aging do not have the capacity to accept donated goods and food.

— Shelf-stable, non-perishable food items.

— Personal care items.

— Household supplies. Please note that Area Agencies on Aging do not have the capacity to accept donated goods and food.

— In addition to calling or checking on elderly relatives, neighbors or community members, offering to pick up food or supplies.

Please note that volunteers should not be in high-risk groups such as elderly or with an underlying medical condition, to minimize the risk of spreading COVID-19.

Eight out of 10 COVID-19 deaths reported in the U.S. have involved adults age 65 and older.

If you’re 60 and over and looking for support or services, call your local Area Agency on Aging, UPCAP.

Information around this outbreak is changing rapidly. The latest information is available at Michigan.gov/Coronavirus and CDC.gov/Coronavirus.