May is Older Americans Month, and this year, more than ever, our seniors remain our most vulnerable population during the COVID-19 crisis. Please find below a variety of important resources for helping our older neighbors, friends and family members, particularly during this “Safer at Home” emergency order when they may need help to obtain basic necessities like groceries and prescriptions.
During the safer at home order, older Angelenos should continue to follow these guidelines:
Try to stay home as much as possible
Try not to go to the grocery store. If you do, please know that stores have special early hours for seniors to avoid crowds.
- You must wear a face covering when you enter any store. One can be fashioned out of a bandana, scarf, or any piece of cloth you have laying around.
Consider grocery delivery services.
If you do go out, make sure to keep at least 6 feet away from people.
Wash your hands often.
Try not to touch your face and mouth.
Take shoes off at your door before walking inside.
Be aware of "senior scams" using COVID-19 scare tactics and service scams to obtain personal information and to peddle fake tests and "snake oil" cures. Please cross-check offers with independent and official resources and report scams. Also, please continue to check the LA City Department of Aging website for up-to-date resources at https://aging.lacity.org/.
Governor Newsom has announced the “Stay Home. Save Lives. Check In” campaign urging all Californians to check in on their older neighbors with a call, text or physically-distanced door knock to help combat social isolation and food shortage insecurity among Californians who are over the age of 65. A statewide hotline has also been made available at (833) 544-2374 — in coordination with the non-profit local 2-1-1 systems, so that Californians have a dedicated information center during this crisis. For example, the 2-1-1 system is able to help older Californians access grocery and medication delivery while staying at home.
Please check my website for an updated list of current resources available throughout our Fifth District. We also include featured neighborhood resources, local businesses, services and programs including senior store hours. (I was proud to write the motion requiring special early hours for seniors only.)
If you are aware of an older Angeleno that is lacking support or resources, please do not hesitate to contact my office. My staff and I are available and ready to assist you.
Councilmember Paul Koretz, Fifth District
Emergency Senior Meals Programs
To meet the growing needs of our seniors, Mayor Garcetti announced the launch of the Emergency Senior Meals Response program that provides healthy meals from local restaurants delivered by taxi drivers to thousands of qualifying low-income seniors during the coronavirus pandemic; which, in turn, helps two hard-hit industries while providing meals for at-risk seniors.
To qualify for the new program, recipients must be 60 years old or older, reside in the City of Los Angeles, and may not be currently enrolled in any other meal programs, like Meals on Wheels or CalFresh.
Enroll in the Emergency Senior Meals Response hotline by calling (213) 263-5226, Monday through Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., or you can fill out the questionnaire here. For more information, visit https://aging.lacity.org/seniormeals
For information or to sign-up, visit coronavirus.lacity.org/seniormeals or call (213) 263-5226. Due to the expected level of response and interest in this program, please allow at least 72 hours to receive confirmation that you are eligible to participate.
Be Aware and Report Senior Scams
Be aware that there are an ever increasing number of "senior scams" that are using scare tactics based on the COVID-19 pandemic to obtain personal information and to peddle fake tests and "snake oil" cures. If you receive an offer that seems to good to be true or if you feel pressured to provide personal information, please immediately end communication with the source. Instead, please check independent and official resources to cross check the promotions.
You can report COVID-19 consumer related scams with the City Attorney's office at https://www.lacityattorney.org/covid19
Additional Scam and Fraud Prevention Resources:
AARP’s Fraud Watch Network can help you spot and avoid scams. Sign up for free “watchdog alerts," review scam-tracking maps, or call the toll-free fraud helpline at 877-908-3360 if you or a loved one suspect you’ve been a victim.
Follow the Los Angeles Stop Senior Scams Acting Program on Facebook. For more information, please contact SSCAP director Adrienne Omansky at SSSAP4U@gmail.com for more information about the useful program.
Also, please take note that Coronavirus testing is free in Los Angeles for everyone. However, con artists have developed creative ways of trying to cash-in Medicare benefits. So, please keep a watchful eye on your Medicare account for any unauthorized changes or claims.
Updated helpful articles about avoiding the latest Senior Scams are available here at NotBornYesterday.com
Nutrition and Temporary Delivery Programs for Older and Dependent Adults
All 85 congregate meal sites operated by the City of Los Angeles remain closed until further notice. To ensure older adults continue to receive critically-needed meals, the City and its community partners have begun distributing packaged and frozen meals for older adults enrolled in its meal program at meal sites. Adults 65 and older must send a family member, friend or caregiver who is under the age of 65 to pick-up meals at these sites. If a senior is not aware of who their meal provider is, or if not enrolled in the Department of Aging meal program, call the department at (2130 482-7252 to enroll. The phone line is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 PM.
The City is aware that many seniors may not have caregivers that can pick up meals for them. Therefore, we are working with our providers to ramp up home-delivered meal services for seniors and consequently reduce the need for meal distribution at meal sites. Seniors who already receive regular home meal delivery will have their services continued without interruption. This map, which is being continuously updated, shows the status of each elder nutrition site and whether or not delivery has been implemented, site by site: https://bit.ly/2JbY04T.
Los Angeles County Workforce Development, Aging & Community Services is providing a free delivery service to older and dependent adults during the COVID-19 crisis through a new Critical Delivery Service program. For assistance, please call (888) 863-7411 Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Older Adult Mental Health Resources
Friendship Line (Institute on Aging): 24 hour toll-free crisis line in the country for people aged 60 years and older, and adults living with disabilities. They also make on-going outreach calls to lonely older adults. For information, call (800) 971-0016.
- GENESIS - Program offered through LA County Department of Mental Healththat offers specialized services to meet the mental health needs of older adults (60+). Services can be provided in home or the community. For more information, call (213) 351-7284.
LA Warmline - Confidential overnight telephone support service for loneliness, confusion, substance, mental health concerns. Please call (855) 952-9276.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline - Provides 24/7 free and confidential support for people in distress at (800) 273-8255)
If the news surrounding COVID-19 is causing you to feel stressed, anxious, or depressed, call Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health hotline anytime (24/7) at (800) 854-7771 or text “LA” to 741741 to get help.
The City of Los Angeles now has COVID-19 testing available for all residents of Los Angeles. Please make an appointment at Coronavirus.LaCity.org/Testing. If you do not have internet access, please call the Mayor’s Help Desk at 213-978-1028.
Service and Program Resources:
Multipurpose Senior Centers Direct Services
Multipurpose Senior Centers (MPCs) located throughout the City of Los Angeles provide a wide variety of direct services and programs. To find the MPC that serves your community, or if you have questions regarding our programs and services, you can call 213-482-7252, or email email@example.com.
Los Angeles Department of Aging
The City of Los Angeles Department of Aging is just a phone call away for anyone who needs more information or has questions about services for seniors, call (213) 482-7252, Monday - Friday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Social isolation is a bigger problem than ever in the face of this crisis. Seniors and caregivers should not hesitate to reach out to find out about social programs, mental health resources, food delivery, and how seniors can safely interact with others via telephone or their computers.
Westside Friends Want to Help:
Westside Friends is a community network of support for neighbors impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, serving all of the westside, including Venice, Del Rey, Mar Vista and Palms.
By signing up with Westside Friends (currently partnered with the Mar Vista Farmer’s Market to deliver your Community Supported Agriculture boxes), neighbors can: request support from a neighbor for contact-free assistance on deliveries or errands.
Training is available for community members who wish to become local Block/Apartment Captains to arrange communication between neighbors and make sure no one gets left behind. Please contact Westside Friends if you or your neighbors need assistance by calling (213) 785-2052 or sign up at their website WestSideFriends.com.
Here to Serve
My office, like all City of Los Angeles offices, is following recommended protocols such as social distancing and working remotely to slow the spread of the coronavirus. That said, my staff and I are always readily available to help with your questions, concerns, and needs during this difficult period. We can be reached by phone at 213-473-7005, 323-866-1828 (West LA), or 818-971-3088 (Encino) and through email firstname.lastname@example.org. Since we are experiencing a higher-than-normal volume of calls, feel free to email the staff member you wish to contact directly. The accompanying link contains those e-mail addresses.
I know these are really confusing times and that new information is changing quickly, so please continue to check and verify official information through these credible resources: