We are thinking of you during these uncertain times and understand the toll that social distancing may be taking on those you serve. We know that loneliness and social isolation is one of the largest risk factors for elder abuse and exploitation. Here are some tips, updates, and news. We hope you find this information useful.
Staying Connected and Combating Loneliness
Senior Call Check Program (1-866-50-CHECK): a free, opt-in, telephonic service to check on Maryland’s older residents. The program is also currently providing messages and updates regarding the COVID-19 outbreak where to find support if needed. https://aging.maryland.gov/Pages/senior-call-check.aspx
The Disaster Distress Helpline (1-800-985-5990): A 24/7 toll-free, national hotline dedicated to providing immediate crisis counseling for people who are experiencing emotional distress related to any natural or human-caused disaster. This resource provides multilingual, and confidential crisis support. https://www.samhsa.gov/find-help/disaster-distress-helpline
Well Connected (877-797-7299): A free program offering activities, education, support groups, and friendly conversation over the phone or online. https://covia.org/services/well-connected/
Scams Related to COVID-19
Scammers are taking advantage of fears surrounding the Coronavirus. Here are some tips to keep you and your money safe.
· Be suspicious of emails claiming to be from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), or other experts saying they have information on the virus.
· Ignore online offers or advertisements for vaccinations and cures for the Coronavirus.
· Don’t answer unknown or blocked numbers. If you receive robocalls, hang up right away. Don’t give any personal information or press any numbers. The recording may promise that pressing a number will stop the calls; however, it will likely just lead to more.
· Do your homework before making any donations. Scammers will use this time to take advantage of your generosity. Don’t let anyone rush you into donating. If someone is asking for donations through gift cards or wired money, don’t do it.
· Beware of online sellers claiming to have in-demand products, like cleaning, household, and health supplies. They may take your payment and never ship your order. They may also be selling items for a price far above their value. Do research on the before ordering anything. If everything checks out, make sure to pay by credit card and keep a record of your transaction.
For more information on scams and fraud, visit the Federal Trade Commission: https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/features/coronavirus-scams-what-ftc-doing
Information on Grocery Shopping and Food Delivery
Certain grocery stores are offering “seniors-only” shopping hours in all of their Montgomery County stores and four local stores are also participating in this special program. The hours vary from store to store. https://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/HHS/Resources/Files/COVID19GroceryStores.pdf
Grocery Delivery Options: *Hours and availability may be limited right now due to high demand.
· Peapod: The grocery delivery service run through Giant: https://www.peapod.com/
· Instacart: A grocery delivery service working with Aldi, Costco, BJ’s, Target, Safeway, Costco, and other local stores: https://www.instacart.com/
· Amazon Fresh: A grocery delivery service for Amazon Prime members: https://www.amazon.com/alm/storefront?almBrandId=QW1hem9uIEZyZXNo
· Walmart Online Grocery Delivery: https://grocery.walmart.com/
· Target Grocery Delivery: https://www.target.com/c/shipt/-/N-t4bob?Nao=0
· Freshdirect: https://www.freshdirect.com/
In addition to these resources, the ElderSAFE Center language-accessible helpline remains open on Monday – Friday 9am to 5pm (301-816-5099).